Ready for prime time: Jaguars land Sunday, Monday night football games

Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates on the field after beating the Los Angeles Chargers in an NFL wild card playoff football game at TIAA Bank Field on January 14, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) (Kevin Sabitus, 2023 Kevin Sabitus)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars are finally good enough for the NFL’s prime-time television slots.

Jacksonville was put in three primetime games, including two at home, when the league announced the 2023 schedule on Thursday night. That’s the reward for an AFC South title and run to the divisional round of the playoffs.

Of course, much of it has to do with the ascension of quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who enters his third year facing the most difficult 17-game schedule of his career. The Jaguars open the season on the road at Indianapolis and rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson on Sept. 10 before a Week 2 game at TIAA Bank Field against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

But the biggest gains for the Jaguars from the scheduler makers were the inclusion of two marquee primetime slots — Sunday and Monday night football. Jacksonville ended the league’s longest Monday Night Football drought with a Week 13 home game that pits Lawrence against Cincinnati star Joe Burrow.

The Jaguars had not appeared in the league’s premier time slot since Dec. 5, 2011. Jacksonville also snapped an even lengthier streak on Sunday night. The Jaguars will host the Ravens in Week 15 on Sunday, a rematch of a 2022 thriller where Lawrence led a remarkable Jaguars comeback for a 28-27 win. Lawrence threw a two-point conversion pass to Zay Jones with 18 seconds to play and Justin Tucker missed a 67-yard field goal to clinch it.

Jacksonville’s third prime-time game is a Thursday night game in Week 7 at the Saints.

Jacksonville will also play in London on back-to-back weeks on Oct. 1 and 8, games that were announced earlier this week. The Jaguars will host the Falcons at Wembley Stadium and then visit the Bills the following week at Tottenham Hotspur. Other than the two weeks in London, there are no extreme road tripleheaders. The farthest trip west is Houston.

The league is certainly more confident in the Jaguars now that Lawrence is on board.

The last time Jacksonville reached the playoffs (2017), Blake Bortles was the team’s quarterback. The league gave it a Thursday night game against the Titans and a Sunday night game against the Steelers. The latter game was eventually flexed out of the night spot and pushed up to 1 p.m.

But Lawrence moves the needle.

The Jaguars have 15 appearances on Thursday night, including one each year from 2018-2022.

Jaguars 2023 schedule


TBD, at Cowboys

TBD, at Lions

TBD, vs. Dolphins

Regular season

Week 1, Sept. 10, at Colts, 1 p.m.

Week 2, Sept. 17, vs. Chiefs, 1 p.m.

Week 3, Sept. 24, vs. Texans, 1 p.m.

Week 4, Oct. 1, vs. Falcons (London, Wembley Stadium), 9:30 a.m.

Week 5, Oct. 8, vs. Bills (London, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium), 9:30 a.m.

Week 6, Oct. 15, vs. Colts, 1 p.m.

Week 7, Oct. 19, at Saints (Thursday Night Football), 8:15 p.m.

Week 8, Oct. 29, at Steelers, 1 p.m.

Week 9, Nov. 5, OFF

Week 10, Nov. 12, vs. Niners, 1 p.m.

Week 11, Nov. 19, vs. Titans, 1 p.m.

Week 12, Nov. 26, at Texans, 1 p.m.

Week 13, Dec. 4, vs. Bengals (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m.

Week 14, Dec. 10, at Browns, 1 p.m.

Week 15, Dec. 17, vs. Ravens (Sunday night), 8:20 p.m.

Week 16, Dec. 24, at Bucs, 4:05 p.m.

Week 17, Dec. 31, vs. Panthers

Week 18, TBD, at Titans, TBD

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.