No prime-time games on Jacksonville Jaguars schedule for first time ever

The Jaguars again spent a lot on their free agents this offseason, but past commitments have yet to pay dividends on the field. AP Photo/John Froschauer

The NFL has released its 2017 regular-season schedule. Here’s a look at what’s in store for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Breakdown: The Jaguars have a tough start and tough finish but the middle part of the schedule is pretty manageable. The Jaguars play three of their first five games on the road and one of the two home games is their annual game in London against Baltimore. Three opponents made the playoffs in 2016 (Houston, Pittsburgh and Seattle) and they play the Texans in the season opener and the Steelers in Week 5 -- both games on the road. After the Steelers game on Oct. 8, the Jaguars play seven games against teams that finished with non-winning records in 2016, including the Los Angeles Rams (4-12), Los Angeles Chargers (5-11), and Cleveland Browns (1-15). If the Jaguars are in contention in the AFC South entering December, they'll have to navigate a tough final four games. They have back-to-back home games against Seattle and Houston -- the second and third games in a three-game homestand (Indianapolis kicks it off on Dec. 3) -- and then finish with back-to-back road games at San Francisco and Tennessee. The 49ers aren't very good (they are coming off a 2-14 season) but the Jaguars aren't good out West. They've lost eight games in a row in the Pacific time zone by an average of 21 points per game -- and only three of those opponents went on to have winning records.

No prime time: The Jaguars don't have a Thursday night or Sunday night game, which means they will not play a game in prime time for the first time in franchise history. They've played in at least one for the previous 22 seasons (17-19). But there shouldn't be too much of an outcry because the Jaguars have won just 17 games over the past five seasons and really haven't earned an appearance in prime time. The only reason they've appeared on Thursday night the last six seasons is the NFL wanted to have every team play on national TV. There is one good thing about no Thursday night appearance in 2017, however: We don't have to see those ghastly mustard yellow uniforms.

No early bye week: The Jaguars opted to not take their bye week following their Sept. 24 game in London and will instead take it in Week 8 (Oct. 29). The Jaguars took their bye after their London game in each of the past four seasons, but from 2013-15 the London game came during the middle of the season. Last year the Jaguars played at Wembley Stadium in Week 4 and took their bye in Week 5. After playing the Ravens, the Jaguars will play at the New York Jets. Three of their next four games after London will be on the road before the bye week.

Strength of schedule: 18th, .480

Jaguars' regular-season schedule (All times Eastern)

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10, at Houston, 1 p.m.

  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, Tennessee, 1 p.m.

  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24, Baltimore, 9:30 a.m.

  • Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1, at NY Jets, 1 p.m.

  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

  • Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, Los Angeles, 4:05 p.m.

  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22, at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

  • Week 8: BYE

  • Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5, Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

  • Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12, Los Angeles, 1 p.m.

  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

  • Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 26, at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, Seattle, 1 p.m.

  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17, Houston, 1 p.m.

  • Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 24, at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.

  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, at Tennessee, 1 p.m.