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Know Your Foe: Jacksonville Jaguars | Week 12


At this exact time last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars were 3-7 heading into a matchup with the Baltimore Ravens in Duval County.

Also, at this exact time last year, the Houston Texans were 1-8-1, preparing to travel to Miami to take on the Miami Dolphins.

Fast forward one year's time to the present day and things have changed significantly. How much so? The 7-3 Jaguars will saunter into NRG Stadium to face the 6-4 Houston Texans for the AFC South division lead. 

That's how much has changed since Thanksgiving weekend 2022. A win over the Ravens last year helped catapult the Jaguars to the 2022 AFC South division championship. When the Jaguars hit their peak last year, they came to Houston and took out years of frustration in a 31-3 whitewash of the Texans in week 17.

As we all know, the Texans' rise didn't truly begin until a 37-17 win over Jacksonville in week three and that loss to the Texans gave the 2023 Jaguars a real kick in the backside. They left Jacksonville to travel to London and went 2-0 beating the Falcons and the Bills. Returning stateside, the Jags won three more in a row before their bye week. Their 34-14 win over Tennessee wasn't even THAT close last week as the Jaguars completely dominated the Titans down in Florida.

Sunday's matchup will be the first matchup between these two teams this late in the year with winning records and the winner will stand atop the AFC South…for now. Considering where these two teams were last year, that's a MOUTHFUL, but a good one at that.

As such, let's get to Know the Texans' Week 12 Foe (again) - the Jacksonville Jaguars

View the best photos from the Week 3 matchup between the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

2023 Schedule (7-3)

Week 1 - W @ Indianapolis Colts 31-21

Week 2 - L Kansas City Chiefs 17-9

Week 3 - L Houston Texans 37-17

Week 4 - W Atlanta Falcons (London) 23-7

Week 5 - W @ Buffalo Bills (London) 25-20

Week 6 - W Indianapolis Colts 37-20

Week 7 - W @ New Orleans Saints 31-24

Week 8 - W @ Pittsburgh Steelers 20-10

Week 9 - BYE

Week 10 - L San Francisco 49ers 34-3

Week 11 - W Tennessee Titans 34-14

Week 12 - @ Houston Texans

Week 13 - Cincinnati Bengals

Week 14 - @ Cleveland Browns

Week 15 - Baltimore Ravens

Week 16 - @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 17 - Carolina Panthers

Week 18 - @ Tennessee Titans

Jaguars OFFENSE (in 2023 regular season)

Rushing Yards Per game - 108.7 ypg (17th in the NFL)

Passing Yards Per game - 225.4 ypg (16th)

Total offense per game - 334.1 ypg (16th)

Turnovers lost - 17 (6 INT, 11 Fumbles lost)

Expected Jaguars starting offense for Week 12

QB - Trevor Lawrence

RB - Travis Etienne 

WR - Christian Kirk


WR - Zay Jones

TE - Evan Engram

LT - Cam Robinson


C - Luke Fortner

RG - Brandon Scherff


Other Key Offensive pieces



TE - Luke Farrell

WR - Tim Jones

OL - Tyler Shatley

Italics - Rookie

ALL CAPS - New to team in 2023

Keys to winning v. the Jaguars Offense

  1. RB1- After a Jaguars run to the Divisional round of the 2022 playoffs, national pundits and the sort heaped oodles of praise on QB Trevor Lawrence…and for good reason. He had reached HIM status and the next step was a Jacksonville Jaguars' trip to the Super Bowl on his broad shoulders. But, a funny thing happened between then and now; RB Travis Etienne took over as the engine of the Jaguars offensive machine. Look, Lawrence is still an outstanding QB but in recent weeks, Etienne has been the driving force in this offense. His power. His speed. His receiving talents. He's a three down running back and he's a nightmare for defenses that don't tackle exceptionally well. The Texans have had some tackling issues this year and that worries me when facing one of the top five RBs in the league and, arguably, Jacksonville's most dangerous offensive weapon.
  1. Ridley me this, Batman- After the Texans beat the Jaguars in week three in Jacksonville, there was plenty of talk in Jacksonville about the lack of BIG success for WR Calvin Ridley. He fumbled the ball away to the Texans on one drive. He had a couple of drops during the game as well. It seemed like there was more rust that needed to be knocked off, in all honesty. Also, there was the thought that the Jaguars needed to find the right way to use Ridley. Well, the rust is gone and the Jaguars have seemingly figured it out. Last week against the Titans, Ridley ruined them, to the tune of seven catches for 103 yards and, most importantly, two touchdowns. On his first touchdown, he ran a perfect corner route, left the DB in coverage and toe tapped for the touchdown in the back corner of the end zone. Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence forced the ball to Ridley in the first matchup against the Texans and now he's getting the ball to Ridley in the flow of the offense and the Texans need to take away those easy opportunities that the Titans gave to Ridley last week.
  1. Cam's Back- Jaguars OT Cam Robinson is Jacksonville's best OL and he missed the first meeting serving an NFL suspension. He's a major key to the performance of that offensive line and he'll face Jon Greenard for a significant amount of the game. JG52 does a great job getting up under the pads of taller, more upright pass protectors, but Robinson will get nasty in the run game. So, Greenard has to set a mean edge against Robinson and the Jaguars OT will be challenged to stay agile and loose to handle all that Greenard brings to the pass rush party.

Jaguars DEFENSE (in 2023 regular season)

Rushing Yards Allowed Per game - 87.0 ypg (4th in the NFL)

Passing Yards Allowed Per game - 254.4 ypg (29th)

Total offense Allowed per game - 341.4 ypg (20th)

Turnovers generated - 20 (11 INT, 9 Fumble recoveries - Jaguars are +3 in TO margin)

Expected Jaguars starting defense for Week 12

OLB - Josh Allen

DL - Folo Fatukasi

DL - Adam Gotsis

DL - Roy Robertson-Harris

OLB - Travon Walker

WLB - Devin Lloyd

MLB - Foye Oluokun

CB - Tyson Campbell (injured last week) or Montaric Brown

S - Rayshawn Jenkins

S - Andre Cisco

CB - Darious Williams

*Nickel - Tre Herndon

Other Key Defensive pieces

OLB - K'Lavon Chiasson

OLB - Dawuane Smoot

ILB - Chad Muma


S - Andrew Wingard

OLB - Shaq Quarterman

S/ST - Daniel Thomas


Italics - Rookie

ALL CAPS - New to team in 2023

Keys to winning v. the Jaguars Defense

  1. The Meaner Josh Allen- When we sat down with Texans GM Nick Caserio this week, I asked him how much has changed, and what has really changed, since the first meeting. The very first thing out of his mouth was "Josh Allen". Immediately, I had to remind myself that it was the Jaguars and not the Bills. Since the Texans win in week three, Jaguars DE Josh Allen has racked up 6.5 sacks, which gives him 9.5 for the season. But, against Houston in week three, facing an OL without Laremy Tunsil, Allen had no sacks and no TFL, but did get three QB hits. Now, Tunsil is back and will go toe-to-toe with the dynamic, long and physical Allen. The Jaguars are rock solid, though, in the run game and Allen is a big reason why. His violence at the point of attack will create issues for Tunsil and the Texans tight ends.
  1. Tyson or Montaric?- Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell is one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL, but he's missed three games in the last month due a hamstring injury. His status will be up in the air heading into this matchup with the Texans. His size is of HUGE value to the Jaguars, due in large part to facing the Texans 6-4 WR Nico Collins. If Campbell isn't able to go, the Jaguars will turn to Montaric Brown, a second year player from Arkansas. He's just 6-0 and with 5-9 Darious Williams on the other side, they could have issues matching up with Nico in the passing game.
  1. We'll take THAT!- The Texans did a great job in the first matchup with the Jaguars of not turning the ball over. As of late, the Texans haven't been as lucky, nor have they been as protective of the football. Against Cincinnati, the Texans fumbled twice and threw an INT. Against the Cardinals, three interceptions cost the Texans points as all of them came in the Cardinals red zone. The Texans lost those SIX turnovers in the past two weeks, yet the Texans were able to overcome those mistakes to win both games. The Texans won't be so lucky this week; the Jaguars have turned offenses over, not named the Texans, 20 times. If the Texans give Lawrence, Etienne and the Jaguars additional opportunities, it's going to be a LONG afternoon for the Texans at NRG Stadium.

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