Houston Texans (5-6) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5)
Sunday, December 6th
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Kickoff Temperature: 59 degrees
Line: Pick ‘em
Three most important things for the Jaguars on defense:
1. Pressure Schaub. With Duane Brown hobbled by a knee injury, the Jaguars may be able to get some pressure on Matt Schaub. If they don’t, it could be a very long day as Matt Schaub is very accurate with time.
2. Make Schaub throw outside the numbers. Whereas Matt Schaub is having a nice season, he doesn’t have a rocket arm and he tends to make some mistakes when throwing outside the numbers.
3. Contain Andre. Easier said than done, but Andre Johnson may be the best receiver in the game and the Jaguars are down their best corner. Jacksonville needs to roll coverage to whatever side Johnson lines up on and if Kevin Walter, David Anderson and James Casey beat them, so be it.
Three most important things for the Jaguars on offense:
1. Loosen them up. Over the past two weeks especially, teams have stacked the box to stop Maurice Jones-Drew and it’s worked for the most part. Houston will be without rookie corner Glover Quin and the Jaguars should be able to make some plays in the passing game with Mike Sims-Walker.
2. Be careful with the football. Although the Texans have been on a losing streak, they have a very opportunistic defense which can force turnovers. If the Jaguars can play a clean game they should come out on top.
3. Screens and draws. With a premier pass rusher such as Mario Williams, as well as a struggling offensive line for the Jaguars, the team will likely run screens and draws to slow down the Texans rush.
What to look for:
1. Look for Andre Johnson to score. Johnson is one of the toughest assignments in the league for any corner and he will likely find himself in one of the Jacksonville end zones.
2. Look for the Texans to have less than 60 yards rushing. Ever since the Jaguars were gashed by Chris Johnson, the team has done a great job of stopping the run as opponents have averaged just 62.5 yards per game on the ground.
3. A dance from Jones-Drew. Maurice Jones-Drew leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns, despite being shut out last week. The odds of Jones-Drew being shut out two weeks in a row are not good.
4. Look for a lot of big plays. With injuries on defense for both teams, expect to see some offensive firepower.
5. Look for the Texans to squeak by. Houston is clearly the more desperate team as there have been heightened expectations for them ever since the beginning of the year. Houston should be able to force some turnovers and make enough plays to extend their playoff hopes for at least one more week.