I'm getting better at the media stuff. I can tell. Rookie TE Brevin Jordan
The Houston Texans prepared for their rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. In the season opener, the Texans beat the Jaguars 37-21. Since then, both teams have struggled and now sit at 2-11 heading into Week 15 with rookie quarterbacks under center.
Here are the top stories and quotes from the week:
With a growing number of positive COVID-19 cases throughout the league, the NFL is placing all 32 teams in intensive COVID-19 protocols effective until the conclusion of Week 15.
The Texans had six players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list heading into Friday's practice: DB Terrence Brooks, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB Christian Kirksey, DB Terrence Mitchell, DB A.J. Moore and DL DeMarcus Walker.
"We basically went virtual starting yesterday," Head Coach David Culley said Friday. "Everything is virtual as far as our meetings. We actually get to be on the field with them just like normal, except any time we're off the field is basically a virtual thing. Everybody has to wear a mask at all times other than when we're on the field. It's the same thing when we travel, but basically, we're just going with the protocols that they've assigned us to do."
The Texans will be the first team to face the Jaguars after they fired Head Coach Urban Meyer. The Jaguars announced that Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevel will serve as the interim HC.
"I don't see many changes that really affect what we do," Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith said. "Speaking of the defensive coordinator, the guy that's going to call the offensive calls still is doing that, so it doesn't affect an awful lot. I think all of us in the profession, we've been in places where firings happen, coaches leave, but eventually, they didn't cancel the game, so they're going to show up, we're going to show up. I think you get down to that. We're going to practice today preparing just like we were before."
Davis Mills will face No. 1 overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence on Sunday. The two rookies both grew up in Georgia. Mills says he didn't know Lawrence "super well" but did run into him from time to time.
Mills will be running an offense with a much-depleted running backs group. David Johnson was activated off of the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Rex Burkhead was limited in practice this week due to a hip injury. The success of the run game will improve play action.
"I know most of it is making sure we have a really good play-action fake and getting a lot of pull from the defense to make sure they are packing the box," Mills said. "But like you said, I think successful running game improves the play action."
Despite only rushing for eight yards on eight carries in their 20-0 loss to the Titans in Week 14, the Jaguars average 102.7 yards per game this season. After giving up 193 yards rushing and two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks, Houston's defense knows what the keys to slowing down James Robinson and the Jaguars run game will look like.
"They do a lot of inside zone, so I think we have to just stay gap-sound," Eric Murray said. "That's kind of what we haven't been doing the past couple of weeks in the run game. As long as we stay gap-sound and we tackle well, I think we can handle the run."
Nico Collins is still looking to score his first NFL touchdown despite coming close a few times this year. LINK
Rookie Brevin Jordan has three touchdowns on 15 catches this season. Roy Lopez has renamed the red zone in Jordan's honor.
And... the Houston Texans officially expanded their fanbase into Mexico as part of a big NFL announcement that happened this week.
The Texans will travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars on Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon CT from TIAA Bank Field.
Catch the Texans at NRG Stadium on December 26 when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.