FILE - Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (25) runs past Houston Texans defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson (93) and middle linebacker Neville Hewitt (43) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. James Robinson, the third-year pro is working his way back from a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg sustained at the New Yok Jets in December. He was cleared to begin practicing in full last month, but he didn’t play in the preseason and hasn’t endured more than thud contact in training camp.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Jaguars Open Season Against Commanders

The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to the nation’s capital to face off against the Washington Commanders on Sunday. Jacksonville is looking for a fresh start this year after the whirlwind of drama last season.

Meyer Out, Pederson In

In the aftermath of the Urban Meyer fiasco, the Jags hired former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

Pederson won a Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2017, and he’s had success working with young quarterbacks in the NFL. Before getting injured in 2017, Carson Wentz was the frontrunner for the MVP award that season.

After coaching Wentz for five seasons in Philadelphia, this is the first time Pederson faces Wentz as an opponent.

New Weapons for Lawrence

Other than bringing in a new head coach, the Jaguars main focus this offseason was bolstering the offense for young quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The team signed former Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk to a four-year, $72 million contract this offseason. The Jags expect the 25-year-old receiver to become a key pass-catcher in their offense.

The Jaguars also added former New York Giants tight end Evan Engram. He was very productive in his first five NFL seasons with the Giants and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2020.  In addition to his offensive skillset, Engram should bring a good veteran presence to a young Jaguars team.

Young Jags Make Their Debut

After missing all of last season with a foot injury, 2021 first round pick Travis Etienne is set to make his NFL debut.

Although the running back has only played in the preseason, he has some familiarity playing with Trevor Lawrence. The tandem played together for three seasons at Clemson. From 2018-2020, they led the Tigers to three consecutive college football playoff appearances, including winning the national championship in 2018.

Another young Jaguar set to make his first appearance in the NFL is defensive end Travon Walker. The Jaguars selected Walker with the first overall pick in April’s draft.

The defensive end out of Georgia is characterized as a swiss army knife who has the speed and athleticism to play anywhere on the defensive line. The Jaguars hope he can step in and make an immediate impact on a defense that has struggled to stop the run in recent seasons.

The Jaguars and the Commanders are set to kickoff at 1 p.m. Sunday at FedEx Field in Washington.


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