Del Rio and Kubiak Both On the Hot Seat

It's not set in stone, but most feel that both Gary Kubiak and Jack Del Rio have to reach the postseason to keep their jobs. It's more than likely that only one team will qualify, if any, so Sunday's game is extremely important.

For Jack Del Rio and Gary Kubiak, the stakes are high Sunday when the Jaguars go to Houston.

Both coaches likely need to make the playoffs to save their jobs and this game could have a major effect on the AFC South race.

The Texans lead it with a 4-3 record after routing 3-3 Tennessee 41-7 last week.

The Jaguars are 2-5 after ending their five-game losing streak with a 12-7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

A Jaguar victory would put Jacksonville only a game behind the Texans with the bye and then road games against the Colts and Browns. They would be in a position to save Del Rio's job with a surge in the second half of the season.

By contrast, a victory would give the Texans a three-game lead over the Jaguars and would make it likely Houston would win the division to save Kubiak's job and send Del Rio packing.

The Jaguars have had something of a history of following big wins with disappointing showings the following week.

In 2006, they beat Pittsburgh at home on Monday night 9-0 to go to 2-0.

Del Rio has said he has more fond memories of that game than the playoff win at Pittsburgh in 2007.

"Our stadium was just rocking that night," he said of the 9-0 victory. "The team played well and we shut them out and it was a heckuva moment."

The Jaguars again got all their points on Josh Scobee field goals and the defense had a shutout until late in the fourth quarter when Baltimore scored its only touchdown.

The only downside of the big win over the Steelers in 2006 was that even though they were 2-0 at the time, they promptly lost their next two games to Indianapolis and Washington.

Later in the 2006 season, they got to 8-5 with a memorable 44-17 thrashing of the Colts. The Jaguars then lost their last three games to miss the playoffs and the Colts went on to win the Super Bowl.

In December 2004, they beat the Packers in Green Bay, 28-25, to go 8-6. They then came home and lost to Houston, 21-0, a loss that cost them a playoff berth.

"We're looking forward to the opportunity of getting ourselves back in the race," Del Rio said. "The team that's out in front right now in our division (we're) going down to their place.

Divisional games are very important. For us, it's about staying true to the process and the work and the preparation that goes in. And going out and getting after that team and that's what we're getting ready to do right now."

Of the past problems coming off big wins, Del Rio said, "The biggest thing for us is not to be historians of the negative. I think for us we want to play good football, build on the positives, correct the negatives and move forward."

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew said the Jaguars would need to make a strong transition from the Ravens' win to the next test.

"We have to have a quick turnaround," he said. "It's going to show the maturity of our team and how we're able to come back after a big victory like this and how we're going to be able to prepare and get ready for Houston, which is a very tough team."

The fact that every division team has at least three losses has made it a wide-open race.

"You don't have Indy that's sitting there at 7-0 or 8-0 running away with things," Del Rio said.

Instead, the Colts without Peyton Manning are 0-7 so if the Jaguars knock off the Texans, they will be in the middle of it.

SERIES HISTORY: 19th regular-season meeting. Series tied, 9-9. Last year, the Jaguars won the first game on Mike Thomas' Hail Mary catch on the final play, but Houston came back to win the second game, 34-17. The Jaguars trailed only 20-17 at halftime, but were outscored 14-0 in the second half. Arian Foster won the league rushing title with a 180-yard effort.


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