Vandermeer's View: More juice


The Texans head to Jacksonville in an effort to reignite their season. The campaign, at 1-4, is in critical condition as the team is starving for a win.

No, make that a series of wins but all they can do about that right now is put together a winning effort in North Florida.

We've analyzed the team's struggles like an over-the-top CSI episode. Nothing would help them more than making some big plays early and playing with the kind of exuberance that helped them finish 5-2 down the stretch last year. In other words, bring the 'juice.'

Bill O'Brien used that word a lot in Hard Knocks. It's synonymous with passion, fire, enthusiasm. Not that the Texans aren't fired up. We can see the effort. But is it a chicken-or-egg thing? Does playing fired up help you make a play or does making a big play get the squad more fired up? Perhaps the answer is a little of both.

The coaches blame themselves. The players blame themselves. The dam has yet to break on the kind of big play-making defensive moments we anticipated in the offseason. A couple of momentum swinging takeaways would be a terrific boost for an offense still finding its footing.

Brian Hoyer gets his second start and this time he has Arian Foster to work with. For most of the Colts game Hoyer played the kind of ball the coaches expected on opening day. If he's able to move the team that well, and get a running game, the Texans should be in good shape. This isn't the first time the Texans have headed to Jacksonville in desperate need of a win. Houston leads the series 15-11, but trails 7-6 in Jacksonville. Remember, this series has more bizarre twists and turns than the other two division storylines.

The Hail Mary in 2010, the halfback option in 2009, the overtime gut punch in 2008, the eve of a coach firing in 2013, the near five quarter game in 2012. Stop me.

The Texans need to somehow find the best version of their 2015 selves, and fast. And, of course, bring the juice.

Texans star J.J. Watt dressed as Batman to deliver candy to kids at Texas Children's.

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