Jaguars vs. Texans: Inside Slant

To gauge what kind of season the Jaguars are having, just check how they do against the Houston Texans.

They went 12-4 and made the playoffs in 2005, when they swept the Texans. They missed the playoffs in both 2004 and 2006 when they were swept by the Texans and finished 9-7 and 8-8.

The Texans won seven game in 2004 and six last year and four of their 13 wins came against the Jaguars.

In their first five years, they went 18-50 against the other 30 teams and 6-4 against the Jaguars.

In 2004, they came into Jacksonville with nothing on the line the day after Christmas and blanked the Jaguars, 21-0 to knock them out of the playoffs.

With that history in mind, it's obvious the Jaguars aren't overlooking the Texans for next week's Monday night showdown against the Super Bowl champion Colts.

If they can beat the Texans, the Jaguars game against the Colts will be the biggest they've played since the 1999 AFC title game. The Jaguars would be 4-1, the Colts, who have a bye this week, 5-0, and the division lead would be on the line.

But the Jaguars know they can't afford to stub their toe against the Texans if the game against the Colts is destined to be for first place. Coach Jack Del Rio even called the Texans' game a "big, big" game.

And the Jaguars may be helped by the fact that the 3-2 Texans looked like a stronger team than they have been in the past when the Jaguars have tended to overlook them.

Del Rio all but blistered his hand patting the Texans on the back.

"All you have to do is watch the tape to get an understanding of the challenge that we have in front of us," he said.

"So it's a big challenge for us. Obviously, it's a home game, it's a divisional game. We dropped the opener against Tennessee here at home so you really need to win in your division. You need to win home games in your division. It just makes it very, very important and we're gearing up for a big challenge," he said.

SERIES HISTORY: 11th meeting. The Texans lead the series, 6-4, and swept the Jaguars in both 2004 and 2006. In the last meeting between the two teams last Nov. 12, the Jaguars lost 13-10. In that game, the Texans, leading 13-10, with 1:40 left, went for it on fourth-and-one at their 41 to seal the victory.

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