Jaguars will open 2021 season at Texans. Trevor Lawrence makes his Jacksonville debut in Week 2
Jaguars will play Dolphins in London on Oct. 17
Trevor Lawrence will have to wait until Week 2 to hear cheers from Jaguars fans at TIAA Bank Field.
The Jaguars much anticipated 2021 opener will feature Lawrence making his debut and Urban Meyer coaching his first NFL game on the road against the Houston Texans.
The Jaguars' 17-game schedule was unveiled Wednesday night, and the highlights include playing three of their first five games at TIAA Bank Field.
But the Sept. 12 opener at NRG Stadium in Houston will be the first time the Jaguars will open on the road since 2018, when they beat the New York Giants 20-15 at MetLife Stadium.
The Jaguars were swept by the Texans last season, but Houston is projected to finish at the bottom of the AFC South standings this season. The Texans have uncertainty at quarterback with Deshaun Watson due to legal problems arising from allegations of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions.
The Texans also released three-time NFL defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt in February after he asked for his departure. He ended up signing with the Arizona Cardinals.
The Jaguars' lone win last season came in their season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, 27-20 at TIAA Bank Field before losing 15 in a row to clinch the No. 1 overall pick for the first time.
The last time the Jaguars opened on the road against the Texans, they won 29-7 in 2017 before finishing 10-6 and advancing to the AFC title game.
The Jaguars have won three of their last four openers, the lone loss came in 2019 at home against the Kansas City Chiefs 40-26.
Lawrence will make his home debut in Week 2 vs. Broncos
Lawrence will make his home debut in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos. The Jaguars are anticipating full capacity at TIAA Bank Field for the 2021 season after having limited capacity last season due to COVID-19 precautions.
The Broncos are another rebuilding franchise that finished in the cellar of the AFC West standings with a 5-11 record. In 2019, the Jaguars went to Denver and escaped with a 26-24 victory.
The Jaguars will remain at home for Week 3, playing host to the Arizona Cardinals, who finished third in the AFC West last season with an 8-8 record.
Return to London vs. Dolphins
The Jaguars are heading back to London to play the Miami Dolphins during Week 6 on Oct. 17 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with the kickoff scheduled for 9:30 a.m. ET. The NFL also announced that the Atlanta Falcons will host the New York Jets on Oct.10 in London.
The Jaguars were initially scheduled to play two home games at Wembley Stadium in London last season before the NFL called off its annual International Series due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Jaguars had played a game in London every season since 2013 until last season.
''The Jaguars are honored to return to London, our home away from home, and continue in our mission to grow the NFL and promote Jacksonville in the UK and beyond,'' Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. ''With Urban Meyer as our head coach, we'll be arriving with an entirely new look and attitude that I'm confident will meet the approval of our Union Jax supporters.
''I'm also hoping that many of our loyal fans in Jacksonville can join us in London for a great experience and to ratchet up the home-field advantage.''
A full-capacity crowd is expected in London for the Jaguars-Dolphins game, but if the United Kingdom's COVID-19 protocols change that would prohibit a full-capacity crowd, then in all likelihood the game would be switched to TIAA Bank Field.
With the owners approving a 17-game schedule last month, the Jaguars are still guaranteed an eight-game home schedule at TIAA Bank Field, regardless of the one home game played in London.
''We have been working closely with the UK government, the city of London, and the relevant health organizations over the past year in planning the games,'' said Christopher Halpin, the NFL executive vice president-chief strategy and growth officer. ''Through their successful vaccine rollout and commitment to bringing crowds back to the sports events, the time is right for the return of NFL football this fall.''
One prime-time game: Thursday night at Bengals
The Jaguars' only prime time game will be against the Cincinnati Bengals on the road for Thursday Night Football in Week 4. The arousing interest for the game will be the feature quarterback dual between Lawrence and Bengals' Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick out of LSU in 2020.
The Jaguars have not made an appearance on ESPN's Monday night schedule since two home games in 2011. They have not appeared on NBC's Sunday night telecast since October 2008 against Pittsburgh.
Toughest stretch comes after bye
After the Dolphins game in London, the Jaguars a bye for Week 7 before traveling to play the defending AFC West champion Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 31. After the Seahawks, the Jaguars have another daunting challenge facing the Buffalo Bills and their productive quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills (13-3) are the defending AFC East champions. In Week 10, the Jaguars face AFC South rival Indianapolis on the road.
Pair of back-to-back road games
The Jaguars have back-to-back road games twice – at the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 against the Titans. In Week 16 on Dec. 26, the Jaguars play at the New York Jets in which the buildup will between Lawrence and quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in last month’s draft. In Week 17, the Jaguars travel to face the New England Patriots, who drafted Jacksonville native quarterback Mac Jones in the first round.
Season finale at home vs. Colts
The Jaguars’ regular-season finale will be against the Colts for the third consecutive season. Jacksonville's final regular-season game is on Jan. 9 at TIAA Bank Field. The Jaguars are 1-1 against the Colts in season finales.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 schedule
TBD Cleveland Browns
Aug. 23 at New Orleans Saints
TBD at Dallas Cowboys
Week 1, Sept. 12 at Houston Texans 1 p.m. CBS
Week 2, Sept. 19 Denver Broncos 1 p.m. CBS
Week 3, Sept. 26 Arizona Cardinals 1 p.m.
Week 4, Sept. 30 at Cincinnati Bengals
Week 5, Oct. 10 Tennessee Titans
Week 6, Oct. 17 Miami Dolphins (London)
Week 7, BYE
Week 8, Oct. 31, at Seattle Seahawks
Week 9, Nov. 7, Buffalo Bills
Week 10, Nov. 14, at Indianapolis Colts
Week 11, Nov. 21 San Francisco 49ers
Week 12, Nov. 28 Atlanta Falcons
Week 13, Dec. 5 at Los Angeles Rams
Week 14, Dec. 12 at Tennessee Titans
Week 15 , Dec. 19 Houston Texans
Week 16, Dec. 26 at New York Jets
Week 17, Jan. 2 at New England Patriots
Week 18, Jan. 9 Indianapolis Colts