Texans/Jaguars Thursday Night Preview

cecil-shorts

On an average basis a game between two teams or even a fight between two people is a contest to see which is better. That just doesn’t seem to be the case with the Thursday night NFL game between the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans have the leagues worst record at 2-10. The Jaguars are tied with several teams for the third worst record in the league. This game has the feel of which team is truly the worst in the NFL. This game is a race for the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Texans came into the year as division favorites and Super Bowl contenders. They seemed to be on pace to start the season too winning the first two games. The season has been a disaster since as they’ve lost ten straight. The losing streak seemed like it was going to come to an end last week in New England as the Texans held a 17-7 halftime lead. In seasonal Houston fashion of course the Texan blew the lead and lost the game.
Texans fans and the organization had hoped they found their QB of the future in Case Keenum and it looked that way for a couple of weeks back against the Colts and Cardinals. Week 9 against Indianapolis saw Keenum throw for 350 yards and 3 touchdowns. Case followed that up in Arizona by throwing for 201 yards and another 3 touchdowns. Things have cooled off for the young signal caller since. While Keenum has averaged 204 passing yards a game over the last three weeks he has thrown only one touchdown, none against the Jaguars in week 12. He has also thrown an interception in three straight games. In the week 12 meeting between the two teams, with Kennum under center, the Texans managed only 218 total yards of offense. That is the season low for Houston.
The Jacksonville Jaguars seem to be headed in the opposite direction though. While the Jaguars are near the bottom of the league with only three wins, all three of those wins have come in the last four games. The downside to the “hot streak” is the fact that none of the wins have come at home. In fact, the Jags have lost seven straight home games which is the worst streak in the franchises history. It has been a team effort in Jacksonville’s recent turn around. They have a suddenly hot wide receiver duo. Cecil Shorts caught eight passes last game against the Texans for 71 yards. He followed that up last week with six catches for 64 yards and the game-winning touchdown with only 40 seconds left in the game. His counter part, Ace Sanders, had four catches against Houston for 61 yards. Last week against the Browns Sanders improved to eight catches for 67 yards. Even running back Maurice Jones-Drew is getting in on the offensive fun. In week 12 MJD carried fourteen times for 84 yards and ran one into the end zone. Jones-Drew ran the ball twenty-three times last week for 77 yards and while he didn’t run a score in he did throw one. Yes, that’s right, he threw a touchdown pass.
The Jaguars defense had trouble last week containing Browns receiver Josh Gordon as he torched the secondary with 261 yards and two scores. Andre Johnson is definitely capable of such numbers but he doesn’t seem to be on the same page with Keenum lately. If I was a betting man I’d take the Jaguars to win this game and keep their winning ways going. The Texans are stuck in quick sand and there should be major changes in the offseason. Jacksonville is victorious 27-20.

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