Jaguars 2013 schedule: Search for improvement will be challenged by playoff contenders

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars are looking to improve with a young roster and a new coaching staff, but will face several challenges in 2013.

The Jaguars enter the 2013 season with a new regime and several new players aiming to improve a team that went 2-14 last season.  New head coach Gus Bradley brings a brash and energetic style to a team that was lacking in toughness and talent over the last several years. His 4-3 Under scheme on defense will be a challenge for offenses in the AFC South and the Jaguars will hope to steal wins from teams that are viewed as playoff contenders.

The AFC South plays the NFC and AFC West this season, so the Jaguars will be tested by likes of the 49ers, Seahawks, Broncos and Rams. Combine those talented teams with division rivals like the Colts and Texans, and it is easy to see that the Jaguars are facing an uphill battle to make the playoffs. The Jaguars' challenges will come quickly with two road trips that will cause them to travel across the country in Weeks 2 and 3 (Oakland, Seattle).

Jacksonville will have an easier schedule after the bye week, but will face divisional opponents five times in a span of eight games.

Week Date Opponent Time (ET) TV
1 Sep. 8 vs. Kansas City 1 p.m. CBS
2 Sep. 15 @ Oakland 4:25 p.m. CBS
3 Sep. 22 @ Seattle 4:25 p.m. CBS
4 Sep. 29 vs. Indianapolis 1 p.m. CBS
5 Oct. 6 @ St. Louis 1 p.m. CBS
6 Oct. 13 @ Denver 4:05 p.m. CBS
7 Oct. 20 vs. San Diego 1 p.m. CBS
8 Oct. 27 vs. San Francisco 1 p.m. FOX

10 Nov. 10 @ Tennessee 1 p.m. CBS
11 Nov. 17 vs. Arizona 1 p.m. FOX
12 Nov. 24 @ Houston 1 p.m. CBS
13 Dec. 1 @ Cleveland 1 p.m. CBS
14 Dec. 5 vs. Houston 8:25 p.m. NFLN
15 Dec. 15 vs. Buffalo 1 p.m. CBS
16 Dec. 22 vs. Tennessee 1 p.m. CBS
17 Dec. 29 @ Indianapolis 1 p.m. CBS

Toughest Out: Seahawks (away)

Gus Bradley will be returning to Seattle with his Jaguars in Week 3 and Jacksonville will play a defense that could give quarterback Blaine Gabbert a rough afternoon. As if the west coast trip was not enough, the Jaguars' defense faces the challenge of containing second-year signal-caller Russell Wilson. With Justin Blackmon still on the sideline while serving a suspension, Cecil Shorts will be tasked with getting open against Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman.

Must Win: Colts (home)

The Jaguars would make a statement if they were able to beat the Colts at home in Week 4. Jacksonville split the series last year and an early win against the division rivals could allow the Jaguars to gain momentum as they enter a second stretch of back-to-back road games against St. Louis and Denver.

Don't Overlook: Browns (away)

While the Browns may be the Jaguars' easiest opponent on paper, Cleveland has the weapons to air it out on offense. Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson are both in their second years and looking to make a major leap this season. Wide receivers Josh Gordon and Greg Little will test the Jaguars' secondary early and often.

For all your Jacksonville Jaguars news, make sure to head to Big Cat Country.

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