The Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) host their first divisional opponent at EverBank Field of 2016. The 5-3 Houston Texans lead the AFC South, with all five of their wins coming at home.
Jacksonville is a loss away from a four-game losing streak, something this fan base has had to witness fairly consistently since 2010. The stadium may look empty for much of the 1:00 p.m. kick. The Jags have turned the city and those who root for them into an apathetic bunch.
The Jaguars are 11-17 against the Houston Texans. Jacksonville is 7-7 at home.
Jacksonville went out with a sputter in the series last meeting, on Jan. 3, 2016. To close the 2015 season, the Jags lost 30-6. They had season lows in yardage (215) and points. How much has really changed?
Humble Brag to Texans Fans:
Jacksonville has scored 16 more points through eight games this season. Only the Rams and Bears have scored less than the Jags and Texans.
At least the Jaguars have ONE win at home.
Our 2016 free agency was better?
Connections to River City:
Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh spent six seasons in Houston (2005-10). The last two, he was the assistant linebackers coach.
We don’t want many connections with the Battle Red.
What to Watch:
Turnovers. We don’t need a turnover battle victory, but force one or maybe two. Without JJ Watt, the Texans haven’t been able to make a habit out of loose balls either.
Chris Ivory. Run free, and live in the end zone.
The Jaguars getting a touchdown on first drive of the game. We cannot type the number of games it has been. Hand cramp.
Trying to Figure Out:
Houston is one of four teams that are undefeated at home (5-0), but are 0-3 on the road. Win-less road teams are the Browns, Bears, Dolphins, Panthers and Niners. What is wrong with the Texans during away games?
The Texans look like they’ll be without veteran nose tackle Vince Wilfork (groin). He missed practices Wednesday and Thursday. Can the Jags run like they did in Kansas City?
The real impact of rookies Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue is clear each week. Will there be any drop off for the majority of divisional games?
About the Opponent:
The Texans are the best home team in the NFL – 5-0 at NRG Stadium. They are still searching for a road win in 2016. Sunday presents an excellent opportunity for that.
It’s a Texans team without JJ Watt and that has been defined by the struggles and what-could-happen-now play of off-season free agent quarterback Brock Osweiler. They beat the Chiefs in Week 2, but have gotten owned by the Patriots, Vikings and Broncos. Houston and head coach Bill O’Brien are a tough bunch to figure out this season.
Lamar Miller against the Jaguars defensive line. With no Roy Miller, the other Miller could have a field day. The Jaguars run defense ranks 24th in the league. More importantly, if Lamar Miller breaks free and does whatever he wants, then shaky QB Brock Osweiler will have time to get out of his own way.
He has two 100-yard games. But let’s see if his ailing shoulder holds him back at all.
This Equals a Win:
Run game opening up the passing attack.
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett calling another good game.
Limit the mistakes with the ball and create a turnover.
How to Listen:
Frank Frangie, Tony Boselli and Jeff Lageman will provide the call on 1010XL and 92.5 FM with Rick Ballou working the sidelines. The Sawyer Gas Kickoff Show begins at 10 a.m. The simulcast will be on WGNE 99.9 FM.
We recommend listening because it sounds like every drive the Jaguars still might have a chance at the playoffs.
Where to Watch:
The 1 p.m. game will be on CBS and locally on WJAX 47. Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon will be in the booth for this Week 9 matchup.
We are so sorry Harlan – who is one of the best – has to call this one. Hopefully we get a call like this Sunday.