Turkey Day Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) vs. Houston Texans (7-3)
at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida on November 27, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving Jaguars fans! As you sneak food from out of the kitchen, let me help clear your conscience by taking your mind off of the stolen food that is in your stomach. Let’s talk some football.
The plan this offseason was for the Jaguars to win the division crown this season. That plan will officially end with a Texans victory this weekend. It definitely has not been a great season to be a Jaguars fan in terms of wins and losses, but since today is Thanksgiving, I won’t divulge too deeply into all of that negativity. So I’m going to quickly give my points for offensive/defensive advantages and then get back to sneaking this food out of the kitchen. Tell no one.
The Statistics (all statistics gathered from nfl.com):
Jacksonville Jaguars’ Offense vs. Houston Texans’ Defense
Jaguars’ Offensive Ranks (it’s hard to be thankful for these numbers):
-Total offense: 32nd
-Passing offense: 32nd
-Rushing offense: 12th
Texans’ Defensive Ranks:
-Total defense: 1st
-Passing defense: 2nd
-Rushing defense: 4th
-Advantage: Houston Texans’ Defense (strong advantage)
I don’t know what Wade Philips put into the chili over there in Houston, but his defense is playing lights out this year. Couple that with the offense that Houston has, and you’ll see that this defense was poised for success.
I give Houston’s defense the edge in this one for different reasons though. Sure there are the stats, but at this point in the season we have enough of a sample to make generalizations about teams. The Texans’ defense is good. The Jaguars’ offense is not. And let me be clear; the Jaguars’ offense STINKS! It’s a farce (of course that was in my best Bob Ryan voice). And that’s what it comes down to. If the Jaguars can’t find a way to spread out the Texans, make running lanes with blocking and spacing, and call/coach with minimal mistakes, they’ll continue to be inept.
Houston Texans’ Offense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars’ Defense
Texans’ Offensive Ranks:
-Total offense: 7th
-Passing offense: 15th
-Rushing offense: 2nd
Jaguars’ Defensive Ranks:
-Total defense: 3rd
-Passing defense: 4th
-Rushing defense: 15th
I’m not sure what to expect from these two units. This will be Houston’s first game without Matt Schaub, so I would generally believe that the Jaguars would put 7 and 8 men in the box and force Matt Leinart to throw constantly. But, the key injuries the Jaguars have sustained on the defensive side of the ball (Rashean Mathis, Terrance Knighton, Clint Session) might force them to play to not give up big plays.
Don’t forget that all indications are pointing towards the Texans getting Andre Johnson back. I’m sure we all know what he brings to the table. Arian Foster’s been running strong, and well, Gary Kubiak’s ball club has been good at moving the football.
I think that this will be a good matchup, but there are few unknowns that I would like to see play out once or twice before I garner too many expectations.
There you have it. Let me just say that I’m not feeling too good about this game, but I have you to choose a Jaguars’ opponent to beat them this season, and I’m not going to start now. I wouldn’t bet much on it though, probably on $1.43 or so (including tax). Like I mentioned before, if the Jaguars lose this game they will be mathematically unable to reach the playoffs, which has become an all-to-common theme. But this is Thanksgiving Day so I’ll leave all of that negativity for another post.
Thanks for reading, and I bid thee good eating for dinner…and dinner #2, aaaaand dinners #3,4,5, and 6. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.