Texans at Jaguars
Two teams looking to break out of the logjam atop the AFC South standings square off Sunday, when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Houston Texans. The Jaguars are looking to bounce back from two consecutive losses, while the Texans are seeking a fourth straight win following an 0-3 start.
Jacksonville looked like it might be a Super Bowl contender after handily beating New England in Week 2, but the offense has been inconsistent and the defense has been lit up in back-to-back losses at Kansas City and Dallas. Now the Jaguars have to contend with a third consecutive dual-threat quarterback in Deshaun Watson. “He’s a weapon,” Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone told reporters. “There’s no mistake about it. He’s a guy that can run, he’s a guy that can extend plays, he can make throws. He’s someone that, for a long period of time, at least as long as I’m here, is going to be very difficult for us and a challenge for us.” All six of Houston’s games have been decided by seven points or fewer, including a pair of overtime wins.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Jaguars -4.5. O/U: 41.5
ABOUT THE TEXANS (3-3): Houston’s defense is rounding into form and has forced seven turnovers during the three-game winning streak after managing only three takeaways in the first three weeks. Watson and the offense have moved the ball effectively, ranking 11th in the NFL in total offense, but 11 turnovers and the struggles in the red zone have contributed to the team ranking 21st in scoring. Houston has yet to produce a 100-yard rusher this season and needs Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue to get untracked.
ABOUT THE JAGUARS (3-3): After a promising start, Jacksonville’s offense ranks 29th in scoring and has not reached double digits in points twice in the last four games. Blake Bortles has thrown five interceptions and two touchdowns in his last two contests without running back Leonard Fournette, who is expected to be out at least three more weeks with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey anchors the league’s top-ranked pass defense and will be tasked with slowing down DeAndre Hopkins, but the Jaguars were gashed for 206 rushing yards in last week’s 40-7 loss at Dallas.
1. Watson has been sacked a league-high 25 times this year, and the Jaguars took down Houston quarterbacks 14 times in two meetings last season.
2. Jacksonville DE Calais Campbell has registered six sacks and four tackles for loss in his last two games against the Texans.
3. Houston DE J.J. Watt has recorded seven sacks and three forced fumbles in his last four contests.