Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
Sunday, December 30th, 2007
1:00 p.m., Reliant Stadium
Kickoff temperature: 67 degrees, 30% chance of precipitation
Line: Texans by 6.5
Series Notes: Texans lead all-time series 6-5 with the Jaguars winning the last meeting in October, 37-17. Houston has defeated Jacksonville at least once in four of their five years of existence.
One most important thing for the Jaguars:
1. No injuries. This game means nothing to the Jaguars and the last thing they need is an injury to a key starter. There aren’t enough players to rest everyone, so the Jaguars will need a little luck to accompany them in their trip to Texas. What to look for:
There are normally five most important things for the Jaguars, but this week injuries are the only thing that matters.
1. Look for a solid game from Quinn Gray. This may be Gray’s last audition for a bigger payday somewhere, as he’s due to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Look for Gray to throw the ball a lot, as the Jaguars will likely be playing without Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew for much of the game.Meaningless prediction:
2. Look for an inspired effort by the Texans. With a victory, Houston will reach eight wins and a .500 record for just the second time in franchise history. This is clearly a team on the rise, and they will be playing this game like it’s their Super Bowl.
3. Look for Mario Williams to register at least one sack. The former #1 overall pick is having a monster year with 14 sacks, and look for him to feast upon what will probably be a backup tackle for the Jaguars.
4. Look for Matt Jones to catch a touchdown pass, again. Jones has played well in his limited opportunities over the last few weeks, and he ought to see extended action on Sunday. Jones against the Houston defensive backs should be a mismatch in the Jaguars favor.
5. Look for lots of effort from LaBrandon Toefield. This will be Toefield’s best audition for 32 NFL teams as he will become a free agent again after the season. Toefield should be motivated, and he should get plenty of opportunities.
Why a meaningless prediction? Because it’s a meaningless game. This is one team’s Super Bowl against the other team’s backups. Nobody in the NFL is deep enough to play all backups at skill positions against another teams’ starters and come through with a victory. Final score: Texans 34, Jaguars 21
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
For more, go to: JagNation.com