The Texans are rolling after their huge Sunday night win over the Bears, and this week they take on one of the worst teams in the AFC, as they take on the one-win Jaguars.
Houston is going for a fifth consecutive victory over the Jaguars, who try to avoid matching their longest losing streak in franchise history.
Giving up averages of 281.6 yards and 15.9 points to rank second and third in the league, the Texans made things especially difficult on the Jaguars (1-8) during a 27-7 road win Sept. 16, holding them to a franchise-low 117 yards.
While Houston has outscored Jacksonville by an average of 13.5 points during its run in this series, Texans coach Gary Kubiak isn’t overlooking this AFC South game.
“We’ve got to get ready for a division opponent real quick,” he said after last weekend’s win. “It’s just part of the maturing process if you want to be good enough to someday put yourself in the position to win a championship. I think we’re growing up from that standpoint.”
Tied with Kansas City for the league’s worst record, the Jaguars are averaging 12.5 points during a six-game losing streak. Jacksonville, which suffered seven consecutive defeats during its inaugural 1995 season, saw its woes continue last Thursday with a 27-10 loss to the Colts.
“I don’t think any of us thought that we would be in this position,” coach Mike Mularkey said. “I know our team didn’t feel like we’d be in this position. … We’re not looking back. We’re moving forward. We’re going to try to continue to gain progress in what we’re doing. It’s disappointing because none of us felt like we would be here by any means.”
Maurice Jones-Drew‘s continued absence surely hasn’t helped the Jaguars, who won’t have their All-Pro running back for the fourth consecutive game. Starting in place of Jones-Drew, Rashad Jennings has compiled 131 yards on 40 carries over the last three weeks.
Blaine Gabbert completed 18 of 31 passes for 209 yards with an interception last Thursday before aggravating an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. While Chad Henne was much more efficient in his place, Gabbert, whose 76.9 passer rating ranks sixth-lowest in the NFL, will continue to start.
This game just smells of a blowout, and it will happen. Look for the Houston offense to have its way with the Jaguars, who may keep it close for about a quarter, and then it’s all Texans from there.
Easy win for the Texans at home to get to 9-1.
Houston 37 Jacksonville 17