Coming off a huge win over the Titans last week, the Texans are back at home against another AFC South foe – the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags are coming off a big Monday night win over the Ravens to break their five game losing streak. The Texans put up 41 against the Titans last week, below are the keys to a win Sunday, along with the final prediction for the contest.
1. Test the run game early – The Jags were on their game Monday night, holding Ray Rice of the Ravens to less than 30 yards on the ground. The Texans did as they pleased on offense against the Titans, but they can’t assume they can just do that again vs the Jags. Arian Foster averaged 4.6 yards per carry against the Titans, and is back to form with a couple good games under his belt. If the Texans can get Foster going early, it opens up play action for Matt Schaub and the passing game.
2. Contain Hill – If there’s one player that can stretch the field for the Jags, it’s WR Jason Hill, who had four grabs in the Monday night win, and on the year has 18 catches for 301 yards with two scores. He is averaging 16.7 yards per catch. He’s still young and growing, but for now, he’s one of the few offensive playmakers that the Jags have, and the Texans can’t lose sight of him, or he can pull off some plays that can get the Jags in position to put points on the board.
3. Scobee’s Leg Can be a Factor – Monday night while the Jags defense dominated the Ravens, it was Josh Scobee who led the way with three 50+ yard field goals that ended up being the difference. The Texans defense has to make sure not to let the Jags march into Texans territory, because it’s at that point Scobee can get points on the board. Neil Rackers can kick some long ones as well, but Scobee is a guy with a monster leg that has to be accounted for by the Texans.
Prediction – The Jags come in riding high with a huge win over the Ravens on Monday night. They got a good game from Blaine Gabbert, who didn’t make mistakes. The Texans have to force him and confuse him into a few errors, and it’s at that point with short fields the Texans can attack. Matt Schaub was excellent against the Titans, and will need to be that way again, and Arian Foster also needs some runs to soften up that Jags D-line that got to Joe Flacco. It won’t be easy, but the Texans will find a way. Houston 20 Jacksonville 13