Jaguars Inside Slant

The Jaguars don't have to worry about the Houston Texans ruining their season this year. The Texans have yet to post a winning record in their first six years in the league, but they've specialized in giving the Jaguars fits.

They swept the Jaguars in both 2004 and 2006 and both times those two losses cost them a playoff berth. In 2004, they came back from a big win in Green Bay only to get blanked by the Texans, 21-0, on the day after Christmas.

But this time, the Jaguars will go for a sweep of the Texans Sunday, but it doesn't matter whether or not they win.

That's because they're already locked into the fifth seed and will play at the fourth seed which is likely to be Pittsburgh regardless of how they fare against the Texans.

That gives the Jaguars the luxury of resting some starters against the Texans.

That's what they did the only other time they faced a situation like this. That was in the 2005 season finale, when they were also 11-4, had clinched a wild-card spot and were playing Tennessee.

Four starters Fred Taylor, Chris Naeole, Paul Spicer and Reggie Hayward were inactive and David Garrard only played a half in a 40-13 victory over Tennessee.

But Mike Peterson suffered a wrist injury and played in a cast in the 28-3 playoff loss to New England. He had 10 tackles and a forced fumble, but the play that is remembered is the one when he couldn't wrap up Ben Watson and Watson spun out of his arms and went on a 63-yard touchdown jaunt. Getting out of Houston without any major injuries is the main objective.

Coach Jack Del Rio, who dislikes talking to the media and rarely reveals any information, refused to say which starters will sit out.

"I'm not going to get into who I'm going to play," Del Rio said.

But if the game two years ago is any indication, he'll rest a few starters.



SERIES HISTORY: 12th game. Texans lead, 6-5, but lost the first game this year by a 37-17 margin in Jacksonville when Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and David Garrard passed for 221 yards and two touchdowns.

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