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Jags given good schedule

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All right, let's analyze the Jaguars' 2008 schedule.

• The Jaguars will receive a lot of national exposure. More specifically, Jacksonville Municipal Stadium will receive a considerable amount of national exposure, and that should help the Jaguars sell the stadium's naming rights.

Prime-time home games are scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 5, against the Steelers, and for Thursday, Dec. 18, against the Colts. Those are the highlight games of the home schedule, but there is also a four o'clock game against visiting Cleveland on Sunday, Oct. 26, and those three dates could give "The Jack" a full name and the Jaguars needed revenue.

There is also a Monday nighter in Houston on Dec. 1 and a four o'clock job in Indianapolis in week three. Those two and the three high-profile home games give the '08 schedule a lot of flavor and that's a major positive.

• It's a marketing dream come true.

Why? Well, the home opener is an easy sell and the opponent that day is Buffalo, which would otherwise not be an easy sell. That's one tough sell out of the way, right?

The schedule has balance. It has three, maybe four, high-demand games (Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Indianapolis and, maybe, Cleveland), and those games are spaced out neatly, which should aid sales of the not-so-high-demand games.

• There are no red-flag months.

Last year, for example, the Jaguars faced a midseason stretch of schedule that included three consecutive road games. The Jaguars face no such daunting stretch of schedule this year. They play a minimum of two home games in every month of the season and the bye week comes favorably in week seven of the season.

• There are only two negatives.

The Jaguars have a six-day rest between road games in Houston and in Chicago. That's something the league doesn't usually do to teams coming off a road Monday night game. When they do it, however, it's usually an intentional little challenge that let's you know you've arrived.

A week later, the Jaguars have just a four-day rest between home games against Green Bay and Indianapolis, but the Colts face the same quick turnaround.

Hey, no complaining. This is a good schedule. It'll help the Jaguars sell their product and contend for a playoff berth. It's the kind of schedule the league gives to teams it expects to be among its upper crust.

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