Week 11: Jacksonville Jaguars At Houston Texans
- QuarterbackBlaine Gabbert had to come out of the Jaguars’ Week 10 game against the Colts after re-aggravating his shoulder injury. He has a chance to get back in the lineup against the Texans, but if he can’t go backup Chad Henne will get the call. The good news for the Jaguars is that there’s little difference between the two quarterbacks. That’s also the bad news as neither man has distinguished himself.Matt Schaub is coming off a poor game in the Texans’ Week 10 victory over the Bears in rain-swept Soldier Field. However, Schaub is one of the better quarterbacks in the league. He is smart and accurate in his passes. He reads defenses well and knows how to exploit his opponents’ weak spots.
- OffenseThe Jaguars are a substandard offensive team when running back Maurice Jones-Drew is not in the lineup. He was unable to play against the Colts with a foot injury, but he could be back for this game. The Jaguars have to be impressed with wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who plays with speed and explosiveness. Rookie wideout Justin Blackmon has the tools to make a contribution but he is inconsistent.Arian Foster is one of the best all-around players in the game. He scores at least one touchdown every game and has great skills as a runner and a receiver. Wide receiver Andre Johnson appears to be healthy again and he can make plays against any defense. The Texans have an excellent offensive line that has keyed much of their success.
- DefenseThe Jaguars are not going to win many games this year overall, but whatever they achieve will likely be the result of what they do on defense. The Jaguars hit hard, tackle well and make opponents earn what they can on the offensive end. Linebacker Paul Posluszny sets the tone for the defense with his physical play and positioning. He had eight tackles against the Colts.The Texans have a big-play defense led by defensive end J.J. Watt, who can sack the quarterback and bat down passes with ease. Watt did not do much against the Bears in Week 10, so he should be due for an explosive game against Jacksonville. The Texans’ secondary is skilled and will make life difficult for Gabbert and Henne.
- Special TeamsThe Jaguars can get the job done when they send placekicker Josh Scobee on the field. He has made 15-of-16 field goal attempts and he was successful on his only attempt of 50 yards or more. Bryan Anger averaged 47.2 yards on five punts against the Colts.The Texans struggle with both kickoff and punt coverage. That is probably the biggest weakness in their game as they have allowed kickoff and punt returns for scores. Placekicker Shayne Graham has made 15-of-17 field goal attempts this season and has been solid.
The Texans should have a big advantage in this game as long as they don’t look past the Jaguars. The Texans have too much precision on offense and too much strength on defense. Unless the Texans turn the ball over, the Jaguars will have little chance of competing for 60 minutes.