It's going to be another rebuilding year for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who ought to snap a two-season streak of finishing with the league's worst record in 2022.
Moving on from Urban Meyer, whose disastrous tenure as head coach ended 13 games into last season, to Super Bowl winner Doug Pederson was a step in the right direction.
The former Philadelphia Eagles head coach should get the best out of sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence and provide the leadership the rest of the roster needs.
Improvements to a defense that ranked 20th in the NFL overall, 17th against the pass, 24th against the run and 28th in points allowed per game, won't happen overnight.
But Jags fans will be encouraged by how the Cincinnati Bengals went from a 4-11-1 laughing stock to Super Bowl nearly men in just over one year - showing that fast rebuilds can be done.
NFL, 2022/23 season
Across the United States, games also scheduled for London, Munich and Mexico City
September 8th 2022 - February 12th 2023
|How to watch|
NFL Game Pass, ESPN, CBS, FOX, NBC, NFL Network
BUF Bills +600, TB Buccaneers +700, KC Chiefs +1000, LA Rams +1000, GB Packers +1200
4th in AFC South (3-14)
Making the playoffs is probably still too big of a step to contemplate, despite the optimism over Pederson's arrival and the influx of talent via the last two drafts.
Even to finish with a winning record in 2022 would need the Jaguars to triple their win total of last year, so that looks like a long shot too.
Perhaps, the best Jacksonville can really aim for is to make the closing stretch of games relevant in some way. In order to do that Pederson's team will need to target an even split of the first ten.
Only two of their first ten opponents reached ten regular season wins in 2021, so the opening to the schedule is not as daunting as it could have been and it may give them an opportunity to double last season's win tally.
The Jags head to the nation's capital to take on the newly-named Commanders on Sunday 11th September/September 11th.
Jacksonville have played at FedEx Field three times in their history and lost all three times - the last time being in 2014 when Kirk Cousins was Washington's QB and Chad Henne was under center for the Jags.
Pederson's offensive line catches a break with the likelihood that Washington's former second overall draft pick and elite pass rusher Chase Young misses the game as he is still recovering from an ACL tear sustained last season.
Jacksonville are +165 on the Money Line, with the Commanders -185 to make it four home wins in a row and a seventh in a series they lead 6-1-0.
The Indianapolis Colts make the trip south to Florida in Week 2 seeking revenge for the embarrassing Week 18 loss to the Jaguars that ended their playoff hopes last season.
The history of Jaguars-Colts clashes suggests that defeat should not have been as big a surprise as it seemed, given Jacksonville have won seven straight home games against Indy.
Two weeks later, the Jaguars are slated to go to Philadelphia for what is already being dubbed 'The Doug Pederson Bowl' against the Eagles.
Philly went 9-8 in their first season under Nick Sirianni, the coach they brought in to replace Pederson after firing him in January 2021.
But without doubt, the most brutal stretch of games facing Jacksonville comes in November - straight after the Jags return from their annual home game in London - against the Denver Broncos this year.
They start against at TIAA Bank Field against revitalized Las Vegas Raiders team, before the trip to Kansas City's ominous Arrowhead Stadium for a date with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Following their Week 11 bye, the Jaguars face another elite quarterback in the form of duel-threat Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens - although it is at least at home.
In terms of which coaches were available and would have taken the position, the Jaguars could not have done any better than hire Pederson.
He outsmarted Bill Belichick in the biggest game on the planet with one of the most creative play calls in modern history - the 'Philly Special' - at the end of the 2017 season.
So it was a huge surprise around the league when the Eagles forced him out after a 4-11-1 season that followed two more playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019.
Pederson, who returns to the league fully refreshed after a year's sabbatical and with a point to prove, didn't turn the Eagles into contenders overnight and has shown he knows his way around a long-term rebuild.
WR Christian Kirk (Arizona Cardinals)
WR Zay Jones (Las Vegas Raiders)
TE Evan Engram (New York Giants)
OG Brandon Scherff (Washington Commanders)
DT Foley Fatukasi (New York Jets)
LB Foyesade Oluokun (Atlanta Falcons)
CB Darious Williams (Los Angeles Rams)
DE Wyatt Ray (Cincinnati Bengals)
DE Arden Key (San Francisco 49ers)
RB Carlos Hyde
WR D.J. Chark (Detroit Lions)
OG Andrew Norwell (Washington Commanders)
OG A.J. Cann (Houston Texans)
C Brandon Linder
DT Jihad Ward (New York Giants)
LB Myles Jack (Pittsburgh Steelers)
LB Damien Wilson (Carolina Panthers)
|Defensive MVP||Josh Allen|
Travon Walker (1st Round)
Lawrence, Jacksonville's 2021 No.1 draft selection, failed to complete 60 percent of his passes, and threw more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (12) as a rookie.
Last year, he had little or no blocking from his offensive line and lost his top receiver in Week 4, so there were enough excuses for the former Clemson star to suggest he still has plenty of unlocked potential.
Outside linebacker Allen was one of the most dominant pass rushers in the league at the middle point of the 2021 season, but it tailed off badly for him. He led the Jags in sacks with 7.5, but the team needs more from him in 2022.
Running back Travis Etienne could go well this year as he returns from a Lisfranc injury that cost him all of the 2021 season.
James Robinson remains the best pure rusher on the Jaguars roster, but he tore his Achilles in December and may take time to get back up to speed - allowing Etienne - primarily a receiving back - to step up his role.