The Texans will spend Sunday afternoon tangling with a talented Jacksonville Jaguar football squad. The 2-6 record is nowhere indicative of the explosiveness and athleticism on this roster.
On defense, the Jaguars opened up the checkbook for a number of defensive free agents in the offseason. Then, they made cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Myles Jack and rush end Yannick Ngakoue their first three selections in the 2016 NFL Draft. As such, the defense looks completely different since the last time the Texans faced this crew.
Offensively, this group has struggled immensely in the first three quarters of a game. But, finally at home after two straight on the road, the Jaguars will be out to prove something on Sunday. To beat them, here are my Keys to the Game.
Get quarterback Brock Osweiler in rhythm nearly immediately
As first downs pile up, keep the tempo hot...or hotter than normal
When the Jaguars get stubborn and single cover receiver DeAndre Hopkins, make them pay.
Control the down guys in the run game, but not in lieu of getting a hat on the team's three linebackers - Paul Posluszny, Telvin Smith and Myles Jack - MUST occupy them throughout the game.
Chip on Yannick Ngakoue, slow his rush and they shouldn't get consistent pressure without blitzing.
Be prepared to drive repeatedly as in touchdown scoring drives - big plays won't happen against a unit with this type of speed.
Know where Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is at all times.
Safeties MUST assist in the run defense, early, often and consistently
Turn. Them. Over.
Force Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to throw into small windows. THAT will produce turnovers.
Limit running backs Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon's yards after first contact.
Don't get lost on rub routes out of bunch sets.
If Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson catches a few, fine. Allen Hurns? Cool. Anyone else? No way.
Defensive stalwart Jadeveon Clowney is the one player who can make some big time splash plays. Unleash The Clowney.
Texans Special Teams
Average 12.5 yards per punt return.
Win drive start, in other words, have a positive drive start difference.
Check out the best photos from Wednesday's practice as the Texans got back to work after the bye week.