The Jaguars travel to London to "host" the Texans this Sunday. The game will be played in front of a national television audience at 9:30 in the morning. The Jaguars have played fairly well over the years in London, although they came up just short last year against the Eagles. The Texans are making the trip across the pond for the first time. While the Jaguars may have the advantage of experience playing in London, there will be several critical matchups to keep an eye on.
Whitney Mercilus vs Cam Robinson
Last time these two teams played, pass-rush specialist Whitney Mercilus had his biggest performance of the 2019 season. Mercilus sacked Gardner Minshew twice and pressured the Jaguars' young QB five times. Of course, that was before Cam Robinson entered the lineup for the Jaguars. Robinson was still working back after suffering a torn ACL in 2018. Mercilus lines up on the defensive right side, so he'll be lined up almost exclusively against Cam Robinson. But Robinson has been far from perfect in pass protection since returning from injury. He's clearly not yet at his best, but Robinson will need to play with some fire to slow down Mercilus and give his QB more of a chance than he had in week two.
DJ Chark vs Johnathan Joseph
Veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph is well past his prime. As long as he's able to suit up on Sunday (he has a neck injury but is participating in practice), he'll be the primary cover guy against DJ Chark. The first time the two teams faced off, Joseph got picked on a bit, surrendering six catches on nine targets in coverage. Chark leads the AFC in receiving and has been one of the most efficient and explosive wideouts in the NFL this year. If Chark can get open deep downfield, chances are Gardner Minshew will find him. That could be the difference in this game.
Laremy Tunsil vs Yannick Ngakoue
This will be a battle between two of the best in the game. Laremy Tunsil has been a dominant pass protector on the left side for the Texans this season. And in recent weeks, Yannick Ngakoue has been nearly unstoppable rushing the passer on the defensive right side. Ngakoue has registered ten pressures in the last two games, has picked up two sacks, and even scored a touchdown on a pick-six. Getting Deshaun Watson to the ground will be critical for the Jaguars' defense this week. If Yannick Ngakoue can perform at a high level against one of the best pass protectors in football, it'll help the Jaguars greatly. It'll also show that he deserves the type of payday that he's looking for.
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