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Texans wide receivers, Jags secondary ready to battle

Tied at 3-3 atop the AFC South, the Texans and the Jaguars are preparing for first-place showdown on Sunday. Expect the matchups between the Texans wide receivers and a talented Jacksonville secondary to be competitive, if not entertaining.

"They’ve some of the best corners in the game, hands down,” DeAndre Hopkins said Thursday.

Hopkins, who leads the AFC with 657 receiving yards, will face cornerback Jalen Ramsey on Sunday. The Jaguars third-year All-Pro has been outspoken on many players in the NFL. However, both Hopkins and Ramsey have nothing but mutual respect for one another both on and off the field.

“I love it,” Hopkins said. “He matches up against me well, better than a lot of other corners.”

The Jaguars defense, despite allowing 70 points in the last two weeks, still tops the NFL with a league-low 187.8 passing yards per game and ranks second in yards per game allowed (270.8). Former Texan A.J. Bouye earned his first Pro Bowl nod and a second-team All-Pro honors following his first season with the Jaguars last year.

“They have a lot of talent,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “They’re very well coached. It’s a tough league. Some weeks don’t go as good as other weeks, the matchups or whatever it is. So, we’ve got to watch the tape, learn from it, from both our tape and their tape and try to go out there and do the best that we can.”

Will Fuller V currently leads the league in touchdowns per target among players with more than 10 touchdowns. Both Fuller and rookie Keke Coutee bring additional challenges this year for the Jaguars.

In his third NFL game in Week 6 vs. Buffalo, Coutee finished with 33 receiving yards on three receptions (11.0 avg.) and passed Hopkins (18) for the most receptions through a player’s first three NFL games in franchise history.

“The young kid, Coutee, has been really a big boost,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said. “I think that Will can take the top off of any defense. He has great speed, big, good routes, good catch radius. The other guy in the slot (Coutee) is extremely quick, extremely fast and it’s just a matter of we just hope we have enough guys that can hopefully make those throws tighter or those windows tighter. As a group, those guys now, you’re worried about them when you’re on the field.”

The (3-3) Texans will travel to Jacksonville to face the (3-3) Jaguars on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 12 noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.

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