First Glance: Texans at Jaguars

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](https://www.texanschecking.com/) Back to Basics- 'Do your job'. It's a simple statement, but it's one head coach Bill O'Brien hammered home throughout the week of practice. 
"Everybody on defense, coaches and players alike, we just all have to do a better job of doing what our job is," O'Brien said. "What we're talking to the players about right now is, 'look, do your job first, okay? Then you can go make the play, if that makes sense.'"
The Texans have allowed 27 points per game, which ranks them in the bottom third of the NFL. An uptick would start with them narrowing their focus, according to defensive end J.J. Watt.
"We just need to focus on what we're doing and make sure that we do our assignments, we play our roles and we go out there and we play to the best of our abilities," Watt said.
Veteran defensive lineman Vince Wilfork agreed, and emphasized the importance of 'staying at home' and taking care of job number one.
"We need everybody in position," Wilfork said. "When you have two, three guys out of position, that can mean a lot for us. We're just concentrating on this. We're just getting back to fundamentals and just trusting one another."
Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley, however, is wary of the Houston defense. He doesn't think the Texans are far off, and pointed to their success on third down. The defense has held opponents to 30.77 percent on third down, which is the second-best mark in the NFL.
"Listen, they've got some talent and it's just a matter of putting it all together," Bradley said. "Sometimes talent is extremely important, but having good fortune and things going your way, that can bring some things."
Defending 'The Allens'- The Jaguars have a pair of pass-catchers in Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson who are flourishing in their second seasons as professionals. They rank eighth and 13th, respectively, in the NFL in receiving yards this season. They also have the respect of former teammate and current Texan receiver Cecil Shorts, III.
"Allen and Allen are playing really well right now," Shorts, III said. "I'm excited for them. They're kind of like my little brothers." 
Robinson, who has four touchdown catches and is averaging 18.1 yards per reception, played his college ball at Penn State. O'Brien was his head coach for two seasons with the Nittany Lions, and said his former player is a "big challenge" for the Texans defense.
"He's a guy that can make the contested catch," O'Brien said. "He's a competitive guy. He's a really good route runner. He's tough. He's having a real good year for Jacksonville."
Cornerback Kareem Jackson added that the duo is dangerous because of their ability to go deep. They've each had a 21-yard or more reception in every single game, and both have had a 50-yard or more catch this season as well.
"Both of them definitely vertical threats," Jackson said. "Definitely doing some great things for their team. As a secondary, it's definitely our job to stay on top, try to minimize them whenever we get the chance."

Coming on Strong- Jaelen Strong was active for the Thursday-nighter against Indianapolis, and he responded by catching a pair of passes. Each resulted in a touchdown, and he finished with 53 yards on the night. It was just the second game in which he dressed, and the rookie gained a measure of confidence with his performance.
"When you go out there and get reps and start learning more and more, you become more confident," Strong said. "The difference is just how I'm handling everything. Just being patient."
DeAndre Hopkins is atop the NFL in receiving yards with 578, and he's riding a three-game streak of 100  or more yards receiving in a contest. Wide receiver Cecil Shorts, III returned to practice this week on a limited basis, and fellow wideout Nate Washington missed practice because of a hamstring injury he suffered at Atlanta. Without Washington, and with Shorts, III coming back from injury, there's a good chance Strong will get more passes thrown his way on Sunday.


Turnover Differential- The Texans have been crippled by turnovers, and their inability to create turnovers. At dead last in turnover differential, as well as takeaways, they're also tied for the third-worst mark in the NFL with 10 turnovers.
The defense has a pair of interceptions this season, and that's it. But linebacker Brian Cushing is confident that a reversal in that department can start soon, and cause a wave of success.
"I do," Cushing said. It's only going to take one game to really turn it around. Hopefully it'll be this Sunday, and that's what we're aiming for." 
The Jaguars are an odd team, in that they have just three takeaways, which is one more than the Texans. They've turned the ball over six times.
"We need to get more takeaways on defense," Watt said. Last season's Defensive Player of the Year, he said getting takeways was "one thing we did great" in 2014, when the Texans led the League with 34.
Foster time- With Arian Foster in the lineup, the Texans haven't lost to the Jaguars since November 14 of 2010. The Houston running back missed both 2013 contests because of injury, but the team's won seven straight otherwise.
Foster's scored eight times in those seven wins, and cracked the 100-yard mark on the ground in four of those games. 
But that history of success, if you listen to Foster, has no bearing on Sunday's matchup.
"Every year is different," Foster said. "New year, new team, new identity, so you have to approach it like that."
The Pro Bowler caught nine passes in the loss to the Colts, and finished with 77 yards receiving. With 41 yards rushing, Foster had another game in which he amassed more than 100 scrimmage yards.
"Arian is a very versatile player, whether it's out of the backfield or lining him up as a receiver or as an outside receiver," quarterback Brian Hoyer said. "When you think Arian Foster, you think running back, Pro Bowl, rushed for over 1,000 yards. For me, I've seen more of it now being on the inside, what he's capable of doing in the passing game."




1. Back to Basics- 'Do your job'. It's a simple statement, but it's one head coach Bill O'Brien hammered home throughout the week of practice.

"Everybody on defense, coaches and players alike, we just all have to do a better job of doing what our job is," O'Brien said. "What we're talking to the players about right now is, 'look, do your job first, okay? Then you can go make the play, if that makes sense.'"

The Texans have allowed 27 points per game, which ranks them in the bottom third of the NFL. An uptick would start with them narrowing their focus, according to defensive end J.J. Watt.

"We just need to focus on what we're doing and make sure that we do our assignments, we play our roles and we go out there and we play to the best of our abilities," Watt said.

Veteran defensive lineman Vince Wilfork agreed, and emphasized the importance of 'staying at home' and taking care of job number one.

"We need everybody in position," Wilfork said. "When you have two, three guys out of position, that can mean a lot for us. We're just concentrating on this. We're just getting back to fundamentals and just trusting one another."

Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley, however, is wary of the Houston defense. He doesn't think the Texans are far off, and pointed to their success on third down. The defense has held opponents to 30.77 percent on third down, which is the second-best mark in the NFL.

"Listen, they've got some talent and it's just a matter of putting it all together," Bradley said. "Sometimes talent is extremely important, but having good fortune and things going your way, that can bring some things."2. Defending 'The Allens'- The Jaguars have a pair of pass-catchers in Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson

who are flourishing in their second seasons as professionals. They rank eighth and 13th, respectively, in the NFL in receiving yards this season. They also have the respect of former teammate and current Texan receiver Cecil Shorts, III.

"Allen and Allen are playing really well right now," Shorts, III said. "I'm excited for them. They're kind of like my little brothers."

Robinson, who has four touchdown catches and is averaging 18.1 yards per reception, played his college ball at Penn State. O'Brien was his head coach for two seasons with the Nittany Lions, and said his former player is a "big challenge" for the Texans defense.

"He's a guy that can make the contested catch," O'Brien said. "He's a competitive guy. He's a really

good route runner. He's tough. He's having a real good year for Jacksonville."

Cornerback Kareem Jackson added that the duo is dangerous because of their ability to go deep. They've each had a 21-yard or more reception in every single game, and both have had a 50-yard or more catch this season as well.

"Both of them definitely vertical threats," Jackson said. "Definitely doing some great things for their team. As a secondary, it's definitely our job to stay on top, try to minimize them whenever we get the chance."3. Coming on Strong- Jaelen Strong was active for the Thursday-nighter against Indianapolis, and he

responded by catching a pair of passes. Each resulted in a touchdown, and he finished with 53 yards on the night. It was just the second game in which he dressed, and the rookie gained a measure of confidence with his performance.

"When you go out there and get reps and start learning more and more, you become more confident," Strong said. "The difference is just how I'm handling everything. Just being patient."

DeAndre Hopkins is atop the NFL in receiving yards with 578, and he's riding a three-game streak of 100 or more yards receiving in a contest. Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III returned to practice this week on a limited basis, and fellow wideout Nate Washington missed practice because of a hamstring injury he suffered at Atlanta. Without Washington, and with Shorts coming back from injury, there's a good chance Strong will get more passes thrown his way on Sunday.4. Turnover Differential- The Texans have been crippled by turnovers, and their inability to create

turnovers. At dead last in turnover differential, as well as takeaways, they're also tied for the third-worst mark in the NFL with 10 turnovers.

The defense has a pair of interceptions this season, and that's it. But linebacker Brian Cushing is confident that a reversal in that department can start soon, and cause a wave of success.

"I do," Cushing said. "It's only going to take one game to really turn it around. Hopefully it'll be this Sunday, and that's what we're aiming for."

The Jaguars are an odd team, in that they have just three takeaways, which is one more than the Texans. They've turned the ball over six times.

"We need to get more takeaways on defense," Watt said. Last season's Defensive Player of the Year, he said getting takeways was "one thing we did great" in 2014, when the Texans led the league with 34.5. Foster time- With Arian Foster in the lineup, the Texans haven't lost to the Jaguars since November

14 of 2010. The Houston running back missed both 2013 contests because of injury, but the team's won seven straight otherwise.

Foster's scored eight times in those seven wins, and cracked the 100-yard mark on the ground in four of those games.

But that history of success, if you listen to Foster, has no bearing on Sunday's matchup.

"Every year is different," Foster said. "New year, new team, new identity, so you have to approach it like that."

The Pro Bowler caught nine passes in the loss to the Colts, and finished with 77 yards receiving. With 41 yards rushing, Foster had another game in which he amassed more than 100 scrimmage yards.

"Arian is a very versatile player, whether it's out of the backfield or lining him up as a receiver or as an outside receiver," quarterback Brian Hoyer said. "When you think Arian Foster, you think running back, Pro Bowl, rushed for over 1,000 yards. For me, I've seen more of it now being on the inside, what he's capable of doing in the passing game."

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The Houston Texans roster in photos.


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