In the Jaguars last matchup against the Texans, the story of the game was Blake Bortles miscues. It goes without saying that this will be the key to this game as well.
My assumption about the game plan that the Jaguars coaching staff is going to employ is one heavily centered on controlling the Texans 5th ranked running game and establishing one our own. Although Chris Ivory has been limited in practice this week, I think the Jags offense will benefit from the returned combination of both Yeldon and Ivory in the backfield. The Texans have the best passing defense in the league so we’re going to have to limit Bortles opportunities to make mistakes throwing the football. Our success is going to be almost entirely dependent upon by which defense breaks down in the running game.
I think our main focus against a team that has trouble creating it’s own plays on the offensive side of the ball, is to protect the football and win the line of scrimmage. We’ve been on the verge of winning the past few weeks and I actually think the Jaguars will pull this one out.
Prediction: JAX 21, HOU 14
The Jaguars face off against the Houston Texans this week in a game that could really go either way. Both teams come in to this game struggling offensively so I don't see a shootout, but either way I expect it to go down to the wire. Offensively, with Allen Hurns doubtful, the game plan has to be continuing to get Marquise Lee the ball. Lee is having a career year, although maybe not in the touchdown department, but he has been the Jaguars most consistent receiver. Stopping the run has been the Texans weak spot this year, granted they rank 18th in the league but the Jags need to take advantage when possible. With that being said if Bortles can refrain from making mistakes and the offense can find a rhythm I think they can keep this one tight. Defensively stopping running back Lamar Miller should be the only game plan. The Texans offense really roles through him and if I have to choose between Miller or Osweiler beating me, give me the latter. The Jags do need to pressure Osweiler, as the Texans do posses big play ability with the receivers they have but I don't see any happening with the way the Jaguars secondary has played this year, ranking 4th against the pass. If the Jaguars can stop Miller and not give up splash splays down the field, along with not beating themselves, I think they come away with the W.
Prediction: JAX 19, HOU 17
My goodness, both of our previous two contributors are picking the Jaguars to take down the Texans?! This is a Jagaurs team that has lost five straight to the Texans and eight straight games overall. The Jaguars are 2-11 and find new ways to screw themselves weekly. Bortles has thrown three pic sixes in his last three contests agains the Texans. In the only time the two teams have faced off in 2016, the Texans pounded the rock and established the run game early to the tune over 180 yards on the ground. Can the Jaguars defense play physical enough to slow down one of the best running teams in the NFL? Can Blake Bortles not turn the ball over? Can the team as a whole eliminate pre snap penalties that have killed them as of late? The Jaguars have too many questions and not enough answers. The Texans are playing for the division crown each and every week from here on out. The Jaguars don't yet have what it takes to compete at the highest level as evidenced by their eight straight losses and their 2-14 record over their last 16 games dating back to 2015. Texans win, in a game that the Jaguars have more yards and win the time of possesion battle.
Prediction: JAX 17, HOU 23
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