JACKSONVILLE – Come September and October, the Jaguars will log some serious air miles.
That the Jaguars will be one of the NFL’s most well-traveled teams in recent seasons has been known for some time. What’s striking about the Jaguars’ 2013 regular-season schedule released by the NFL Thursday at 8 p.m. is this:
All those miles? The West Coast trips?
Those get out of the way early – really, really early.
The Jaguars, who will travel more miles to games in 2013 than in any other season in their 19-year history, will play away from EverBank Field five times in the first eight weeks of the season, flying to Oakland, Seattle, St. Louis, Denver and London during that span.
The Jaguars’ five longest trips of the season come before the November 3 bye.
The Jaguars open the season at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, then travel to Oakland September 15 and Seattle September 22.
“The back-to-back west coast games are a great opportunity for our young players and our team as a whole to bond right away,” Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said. “We will most likely stay on the west coast following the Raiders game so we will be spending a lot of time together.”
They follow that with a home game against Indianapolis September 29 followed by back-to-back road games at St. Louis and at Denver.
They then return home against San Diego before playing the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London October 27. That game is considered a home game for the Jaguars by the NFL.
“We have been aware of the date for some time but to see it on the schedule now is exciting,” Bradley said. “What a great opportunity to showcase the Jaguars in the U.K. We have been planning our logistics and are ready to roll. It’s an honor for our organization to represent the NFL and the city of Jacksonville.”
The Jaguars’ bye is November 3, followed by a stretch of three more road games in four weeks, with a game at Tennessee November 10, a home game against Arizona November 17 and road games at Houston and Cleveland November 24 and December 1, respectively.
They follow that stretch with three consecutive home games: a Thursday night game on the NFL Network against the Houston Texans on December 5 followed by games against the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee at EverBank Field on December 15 and December 22.
“You never complain about three straight games in front of your home crowd,” Bradley said. “I know players love the opportunity to play on national television in prime time and they get that opportunity against a division opponent.”
The Jaguars then close the season at Indianapolis December 29.
Five of the team’s six AFC South games come after the bye, including both games against Tennessee and Houston. The lone division game before the bye is the September 29 game against the Colts at EverBank Field.
Eight of the 16 games are against teams that made the postseason last season, with four games against postseason teams coming after the bye and four coming before.
The Jaguars next season will fly 19,446 miles to play eight regular-season road games, the most air miles flown to road games in their 19-year history.
Including London, the Jaguars will travel 27,296 miles next season.
The most miles the Jaguars previously have traveled in the regular season was 18,982 in 2004, with the team traveling 15,492 miles last season.
The Jaguars in 2013 will travel to Seattle (2,440), Oakland (2,350 miles), Denver (1,490), Houston (814), Cleveland (754), St. Louis (753), Indianapolis (688) and Tennessee (484).
The London trip is 4,240 miles one way.
Also Thursday, the NFL released the dates and times of the Jaguars’ preseason schedule: vs. Miami (Friday, August 9, 7:30 p.m.); at New York Jets (Saturday, August 17, 7:30 p.m.); vs. Philadelphia (Saturday, August 24, 7:30 p.m.); and at Atlanta (Thursday, August 29, 7:30 p.m.).
“I think this is a fair and very competitive schedule that our fans and players will enjoyI know we are all excited to be kicking off the season at home in front of our fans. Obviously you have four of the first six away from EverBank Field and that will be a great challenge for our guys. We just finished a great three-day minicamp and to get the schedule today just culminates a great week for the Jaguars.”