Jaguars vs. Texans: Gameplan & Matchups

Gameplan and Matchups as the Houston Texans head to Jacksonville

JAGUARS GAME PLAN:
    The Jaguars will continue to try to use their ball-control offense that produced 18 play drives in consecutive games on the road against the Broncos and Chiefs. The Jaguars play what might be called small ball. They don't make a lot of big runs or passes, but they grind out yardage in small chunks, keep their defense off the field and stay in control. The Jaguars are playing fast games doing this. Their game in Kansas City lasted only 2:44.

TEXANS GAME PLAN:
    The Texans will look to run the ball against a defense that held the Kansas City Chiefs to just 10 rushing yards last week. The Texans have struggled to establish any sort of run game in recent weeks. It has been due partly to poor play by an offensive line still struggling to compensate for the loss of Steve McKinney. It's also because Green has battled a knee injury since Week 1 and hasn't started the past two weeks.

    Defensively, the Texans have to try to shake up David Garrard. Last season, they were able to pull off a 13-10 victory on the road because of four interceptions. The Texans must be able to get turnovers and pressure Garrard. The defensive line has been quiet the past two weeks. Their blitzes haven't been very effective.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
    Texans CBs Dunta Robinson and DeMarcus Faggins vs. Jaguars WRs Ernest Wilford and Dennis Northcutt. Since Robinson is one of the best young corners in the league, the Jaguars are likely to pick on Faggins the way they picked on aging Ty Law in Kansas City.

    Jaguars LT Khalif Barnes or Mo Williams vs. Texans DRE Mario Williams. This is likely to be a tough matchup for the Jaguars. Barnes is coming off a sore ankle and may be distracted by off-the-field problems and Williams is a right tackle playing out of position when he fills in for him. Williams could put pressure on Garrard.

    Texans RB Ahman Green vs. Jaguars' run defense. The Jaguars held the Chiefs to just 10 yards rushing last week. Green is expected to return to the lineup for the first time in two weeks after recovering from a knee bruise he suffered in Week 1. Green will likely take about 18 carries, allowing Ron Dayne to also get on the field to throw off the defense at times. Green has yet to finish a game this season because of the knee injury. When he has been on the field, however, he has played well. He is averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

    Jaguars QB David Garrard vs. Texans pass defense. If Garrard just carries a little of last year's contest in the back of his mind, maybe the Texans can get into his head. Garrard won't likely let that happen. He hasn't thrown an interception yet this season. Last year, the Texans intercepted him four times, which was the key to the Texans winning 13-10. Morlon Greenwood, DeMarcus Faggins, Anthony Weaver and Dunta Robinson all picked up interceptions.

INJURY IMPACT:
    Houston's Green (knee) practiced and is expected to play this week. He will likely get the majority of repetitions after taking three weeks to heal his bruised knee. However, Dayne will also be involved in the run game.

    WR Jacoby Jones (shoulder) is still trying to recover from the separated shoulder. There's a chance he could come back this week, but he's still not participating in much of practice.

    WR Andre Johnson is continuing rehab and is likely at least one more week away from returning to practice.

    Ryans (ankle) was held out of practice Wednesday but is not expected to be slowed in the game Sunday.

    DT Travis Johnson (neck, knee) was limited in practice. He is expected to play, and likely be at 80 percent. He probably won't take as many snaps in the game as he normally would.


Jags Illustrated Top Stories