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History on Texans' side versus Jags


Since 2002, the Texans are 7-5 against the Jags.

With AFC South opponents already beating up on each other, the Texans could stay afloat in the division by winning at Jacksonville this weekend. The Jags (1-2) are coming off a last-second victory against the Indianapolis Colts, a team that also has posted just one victory this season. Only the Tennessee Titans remain undefeated with a 3-0 record.

Lucky for the Texans, the Jaguars consistently have struggled against Houston, winning five games in 12 encounters. In fact, Jacksonville is the only team in the league that has played the Texans more than three times and lost more often than won.

Houston swept the series in 2006 with a 27-7 home rout and won 42-28 in the final game of the 2007 season at Reliant Stadium.

"They just outplayed us," Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said. "You have to recognize that. You get opportunities in this league to go compete and when the game is over, you either got it done or you didn't. They found a way to beat us."

{QUOTE}The reason why the Texans have matched up well against the Jags, which ranked second in the league in rushing last season, is hard to explain - even for Houston head coach Gary Kubiak.

"I don't know," Kubiak said. "A lot of people have asked me that. It's another division game. I know it's very competitive in our division, people get after each other and we've had some dang good football games with them. You're going to have to play really, really well to beat them."

The Texans haven't done that in their last two outings. In the season opener against Pittsburgh, the run defense which allowed Willie Parker to rush for 138 yards. Last Sunday at Tennessee, the defense let the Titans score 21 points in the first half before buckling down and giving up just 88 yards of total offense in the final two quarters.

The Texans will have to play even stouter upfront against the Jaguars, which boast possibly the best running back tandem in the NFL. Jacksonville ran the ball 48 times last week against the Colts with Fred Taylor rushing for 121 yards and Maurice Jones-Drew recording 107 yards rushing and a touchdown.

"I think the key is that we have to be effective, effective stopping the run," Kubiak said. "That doesn't mean you're going to totally shut it down, but you have to find a way to keep it under control and get yourself off the field. We did that in the second half the other day, but no challenge bigger than trying to do it again this week against a two-headed monster. They have two great backs back there."

As for the Texans' offense, success could boil down to executing a balanced attack. Houston was able to get its running game going against Tennessee with rookie Steve Slaton rushing for 116 yards.

The passing game was a different story. Quarterback Matt Schaub went 17-37 and threw three interceptions. Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson finished with just 29 receiving yards and dropped two touchdown passes.

The Jags' physical defense won't make like easy for Schaub. Defensive tackle John Henderson anchors a mammoth defensive line that will look to pressure the quarterback.

"We've got to put together a good effort," Del Rio said. "We understand, first of all, that home games are important. Divisional games are important. And when you have a home divisional game, it's huge. So from that standpoint this is a big, big game for us."

The Texans couldn't agree more.

"It's a big game for us," Schaub said. "Go on the road, in Jacksonville, to get a win - we want to erase the taste of the first two weeks out of our mouths and get off the streak that we've been on here. You know, 0-2. To get that first win, it's a big test for us, but one we have to stand up to."

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