The Jacksonville Jaguars head to play the Houston Texans on Sunday – a pivotal game in what some experts predict to be a wide open AFC South race. Jacksonville will look to avoid starting 0-2 for the first time since 2016. Rookie QB Gardner Minshew will get his first start of the season.
Minshew Looks to Stay Hot
Thrown into the fire last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, Minshew completed his first 13 passes and finished 22-for-25 with 275 yards. Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone loves the confidence he’s seen from his QB.
An incredible performance for a rookie, but it was against one of the softest defense in the NFL last season. In 2018, the Chiefs allowed the second most passing yards per game. Houston’s defense packs a punch, especially in the run game, where it allowed the third fewest rushing yards per game.
Even though Minshew was accurate, especially when testing Kansas City’s secondary with a 69 yard bomb to D.J. Chark, Jacksonville will look to keep its rookie QB conservative by relying on the powerful Leonard Fournette.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) September 8, 2019
If the Jaguars don’t get the ground game going, though, they’ll need to loosen up the reigns on their QB and hope he can find holes in a defense that allowed Drew Brees to pass for 370 yards.
Watt to Watch For
All eyes will be on J.J. Watt. That tends to happen after a player wins three NFL defensive player of the year awards.
Already dealing with injuries to the offensive line, Watt and the rest of the D-line will be looking to pressure Minshew into making mistakes. However, that defense was only able to knock Brees down once.
With Jadeveon Clowney now in Seattle, Houston needs someone to step up and take the attention off Watt.
Return of Sacksonville?
After being 22nd in sacks last season, Jacksonville has a prime opportunity to reclaim the title of sacksonville. Deshaun Watson continues to run for his life. After giving up the most sacks last season, Watson was thrown to the ground six times last week. The offensive line still struggles.
Jacksonville’s defensive line is banged up, but if Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue can suit up, Watson may be in for another long night.
Three players are not expected to practice today.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) September 12, 2019