Jacksonville Jaguars' schedule features two tough stretches

Blake Bortles helped the Jaguars end a nine-year playoff drought. Dennis Schneidler/USA Today Sports

The NFL has released its 2018 regular-season schedule. Here's a look at what's in store for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Breakdown: The Jaguars get a lot of home games early and a lot of road games late, but if they can manage a tough start they'll give themselves a good chance to repeat as AFC South champs. After opening on the road against the New York Giants the Jaguars play three consecutive home games, including games against 2017 playoff teams the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans in back-to-back weeks. Two weeks later they're at the Kansas City Chiefs, which means the Jaguars will play three playoff teams in a four-week stretch. The Jaguars do that again in November and early December: back-to-back games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills and get Tennessee two weeks after that.

Back in prime time: The Jaguars were one of two teams that didn't have a prime-time game in 2017 (the Cleveland Browns were the other team) but their surprising run to the AFC Championship game earned them two night matchups in 2018. Surprisingly, one isn't the title-game rematch with the Patriots. It's Pittsburgh at home on Nov. 18 -- the Jaguars' first Sunday night game since 2008 -- and on the road in Tennessee on Thursday, Dec. 6. The Jaguars are 5-2 in prime-time games against the Steelers, though they lost the last matchup on Oct. 5, 2008. The Jaguars' 36-22 loss at Tennessee on Oct. 27, 2016 (also a Thursday night) was the last time the Jaguars appeared in prime time.

Coughlin goes home again: It certainly looks like the NFL has a sense of humor. Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars' executive vice president of football operations, will face the team he coached to a pair of Super Bowl titles in the 2018 season opener when the Jaguars play the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. It's not his first trip back there since he was fired in 2015 -- the Jaguars played the Jets there last season -- but it is the first time Coughlin will face his former team. Granted, he's not coaching the Jaguars but he does have his hand in every football aspect so you can be sure that this game will have a lot of meaning for Coughlin. The Giants replaced him with Ben McAdoo but he didn't even last two full seasons before he was fired after botching the Eli Manning benching. This will surely be an emotional day for Coughlin, who still has close friends in the Giants organization and it's going to be something that draws a lot of attention the closer the game gets.

Strength of schedule: T-25th, .477

Jaguars' Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9, at NY Giants, 1 p.m.

  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16, New England, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, Tennessee, 1 p.m.

  • Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30, NY Jets, 1 p.m.

  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

  • Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 21, Houston, 1 p.m.

  • Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28, Philadelphia, 9:30 a.m.

  • Week 9: BYE

  • Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11, at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18, Pittsburgh, 8:20 p.m.

  • Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

  • Week 14: Thursday, Dec. 6, at Tennessee, 8:20 p.m.

  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, Washington, 1 p.m.

  • Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, at Miami, 1 p.m.

  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, at Houston, 1 p.m.