AFC finalists in Jacksonville get only one guaranteed prime-time game

AP

The league office apparently doesn’t think much of the Jaguars.

The AFC finalists, a team that came within a whisker of making it to the Super Bowl, has secured only one guaranteed prime-time game in 2018. It comes in Week 14 on a Thursday night against the Titans in Nashville.

The Jaguars also are scheduled to host the Steelers on Sunday night in Week 11, but that’s the first full-blown flexible-scheduling weekend. If the Jaguars underperform during the first half of the season, the Jaguars could find themselves flexed right out of a prime-time home game.

Even if they aren’t, the Jaguars have gotten the short end of the scheduling straw. The other conference finalists — the Patriots, Vikings, and Eagles — have five, four, and five prime-time games, respectively. The 49ers, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2013, also have five.

Last year, the Dolphins had four prime-time games after ending an eight-year playoff drought and making a one-game postseason exit.

Whether the league believes the market is too small, the team isn’t sexy enough, and/or the following hasn’t grown to the kind of size that will bring major eyeballs to the TV, the schedule doesn’t reflect what the Jaguars did last year, or what they could do this year.

Of course, the schedule as constructed actually helps them. Coaches prefer fewer prime-time games, in order to have a consistent routine. The Jaguars have no Monday night games, which means they won’t be faced with a short week (other than the one that comes with their Thursday game).

The Jags also benefit from the boost that comes from the perception of disrespect. They can play that card to get a chip on the team’s shoulder, while also enjoying the reduced distraction of playing a bunch of prime-time games. All in all, it’s a win-win for a team that needed only one more win last year to get to its first ever Super Bowl.

48 responses to “AFC finalists in Jacksonville get only one guaranteed prime-time game

  1. Every Millenials 2nd favorite team is the jags cuz we were young when tbey joined the league and it was exciting. Everyone wants to watch the jags and yet they give us the Jets…

  2. @minnesotablizzard, the Panthers came in the same year, Cleveland and Houston weren’t far behind. Why Jacksonville? Because they won last year?

    You’re right, “millennials.” 😂

  3. This really is a joke. Playoff teams like the Jags and Bills get 1 prime time game. Meanwhile, the 5-11 New Jersey Jesters get 3 prime time games (season opener MNF, TNF game, and they play a Saturday game either at 4 or 8 pm eastern). The NFL must be STOKED to see two non-playoff teams (Lions and Jesters) to start the season on MNF. Then, they get the juggernaut matchup between the Browns and Jesters week 3 on TNF. Finally, a Week 15, when they are probably way out of the playoffs, they get another NFL Network game against the Texans. This really is a joke.

  4. They certainly did well last year, and by the end of the year their fan base woke up and paid a little attention for a change. But they need to show some sustained matket before the NFL is going to give them too many prime time slots. Its a business.

  5. I think the Jaguars are one of the must see teams. They’re built the right way. They have so many defensive studs, and a great young QB. The NFL blew it big time on this one. Blake Bortles is a high ceiling guy that relies on a great defense to be affective. Well, they finally put a great defense together, which takes the pressure off Bortles. Last year wasn’t a fluke. Live and learn NFL. I think I’ll get the Sunday Ticket again, just to see Jax.

  6. The 49ers won five real games and one against the Rams JV squad, but somehow landed five primetime games as well.

  7. GoBills87, maybe the Bills should have shown up during their primetime game against the Jets last season if they wanted more. The Jaguars also lost to those “Jesters.”

  8. “charliecharger says:
    April 19, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    I think the Jaguars are one of the must see teams. They’re built the right way. They have so many defensive studs, and a great young QB”

    Cody Kessler?

  9. I wish my team only had one prime time game. Who wants their team playing a ton of night games?

  10. Don’t like the Jags but I do rate them – Coughlin’s influence will only grow too.

  11. Tarps in jax over entire sections of the stadium for home games.

    The tarps were removed for the wild card game though, because A TON of Bills fans showed up.

  12. Because the Jaguars could win 10 Super Bowls in a row and still nobody on the planet would care about them aside from their few thousand fans. The Cowboys or Patriots or Giants or one of the relevant teams losing a game is a bigger story and gets 10x more press than the Jaguars winning 10.

  13. do it again, then you’re for real. right now it’s simple economics – the nfl is targeting larger audiences. more eyeballs = more revenue.

  14. The Jags also benefit from the boost that comes from the perception of disrespect.

    Did you mean like the disrespect in the sentence “If the Jaguars underperform during the first half of the season, the Jaguars could find themselves flexed right out of a prime-time home game?” No mention here that the Steelers could underperform and cause the game not to be flexed.

  15. .
    Network executives do not want to bank their careers on Blake Bortles. Can you blame them?
    .

  16. AFC West 2017 recond and 2018 prime-time games…

    Chiefs….10-6……5
    Chargers…9-7……1
    Raiders….6-10…..3
    Broncos….5-11…..3

  17. mjmeyer86 says:
    April 19, 2018 at 9:34 pm
    GoBills87, maybe the Bills should have shown up during their primetime game against the Jets last season if they wanted more. The Jaguars also lost to those “Jesters

    —————-

    And yet the New Jersey Jesters still went 5-11, while the Bills made the playoffs and lost to the team that lost the AFC Championship Game. Even with a player like Mayfield, they are still a 6-10 team next season.

  18. “I think the Jaguars are one of the must see teams. They’re built the right way. They have so many defensive studs, and a great young QB”

    Did the Jags obtain a “great” young QB recently? Last I checked they had Bortles and Kessler. Maybe I missed something.

    In all seriousness, we have to be realistic. Losing big market teams are just more relevant ratings-wise than a winning small market team like Jacksonville. So yes, a losing Jets team will draw more interest than a 11 win Jags team. That’s just reality.

  19. Jacksonville had a good season but Houston and Indianapolis have better QBs and are more likely to be in the playoffs Jacksonville losts both times to Tennessee

  20. 315judman says:

    April 19, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Tarps in jax over entire sections of the stadium for home games.

    The tarps were removed for the wild card game though, because A TON of Bills fans showed up.

    ___________________________________

    The tarps were removed for this season as well. Also the playoff game was sold out before the Jags even knew they were playing the Bill’s. If you’re gonna make up nonsense at least make sure it checks out.

  21. Unfortunately this is what the networks do. They don’t give you the best games.They feature mostly the big cities & east coast teams in every sports they cover. Jacksonville is a good young team that deserves more coverage.

  22. SF has the maximum five and Jacksonville has one. This is all you need to know. National TV likes quarterbacks and Jimmy G and not Bortles.

  23. Hey Jag fans…no use trying to win over the knucklehead jokester (who need to keep their day job) fans of other teams…they are never going to like your team. Quit trying to explain it to them.

    Just ignore them…it’s us against the world!

  24. Or the suits think that the Jags were a fluke? They do get the London game every year and that kind of counts to those who like to watch games starting at 6am.

  25. Yawn. As Jim Nantz would say….”friends, join us for regional action next Sunday on [anither netwirk] as the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the….”

    The Jags put the “regional” in regional action. Nuff said.

  26. Yawn…just to recap- the Jags stadium was built for the 100,000 fans who attend the Florida-Georgia game. The tarps (now mostly removed) simply reduce the size of the stadium to NFL average.

    The Jaguars finished 21st in home attendance last year and this year, with 7500 new season ticket holders (so far), will be in the top 20, possibly as high as the 14-16 range.

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your bashing.

  27. The No.1 military town in the NFL gets unfairly shafted on Primetime games in spite of a better winning record than most of the other teams. Just goes to show how much the NFL really cares about service members who live there and would enjoy having more primetime games when the team deserves to.

  28. Disrespect to the team, but as I mentioned on another article, I would rather not have prime time games.

    I would watch Jacksonville and Minnesota ahead of 7 of the other teams that got 5 prime time games.

    At the same time, I like watching an early 1pm game, and a 4pm game. By then Im spent. And if my team plays at 8, I get a very short nights sleep. I hate those games.

  29. minnesotablizzard says:

    April 19, 2018 at 8:54 pm
    Every Millenials 2nd favorite team is the jags cuz we were young when tbey joined the league and it was exciting. Everyone wants to watch the jags and yet they give us the Jets…

    This is so true. I once had a Jaguars jacket. I didn’t even realize why I wanted it at the time.

  30. As a Jaguars season ticket owner I prefer Sunday 1pm games. I can make it home for the end of the 4pm games and be settled in for SNF.

    Respect is earned on the field not by the TV schedule.

  31. Well the national audience can’t fall in love with the Jags if they can’t see them. Jacksonville’s game-day experience is getting better every year (stadium improvements, lower concession pricing, great ampetheatre outside, Sports bars and businesses popping up near the stadium, dog park is meh- who’s gonna bring a dog to a football game in 90 degree heat).

    Calias, Jaden, Ngakoue, Telvin, Fournette, all are going to be pro-bowlers (some already are). This season is going to be a monster. THEN the media will pay attention.

  32. The 49ers have a good history and a nationwide following. The Jags have a history of losing and are a very small market team with no big stars in their history. The Jags are a very good young team and seem to be on the right path but few would still go out of their way to watch them outside of Jacksonville and their opponent.

  33. well let’s face it, the JJ’s simply over their heads for one season so far…and their last three games, against quality qb’s, their vaunted pass dee was absolutely shredded by garappolo, big ben and two-yard Tommie…the nfl saw this and realized they were looking at a one season wonder, so they only got one game…

  34. I think the other issue is offense bias. If they were just as good as they are but built to run up and down the field and score a ton they’d have more games on prime time.

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