Game Preview: Texans vs Jaguars

Our game preview this week looks at the Houston Texans matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Houston Texans (5-6) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5)

Sunday, December 6th

Jacksonville Municipal Stadium

Kickoff Temperature: 59 degrees

Line: Pick ‘em

Three most important things for the Texans on defense:

1. Stop Maurice. Jones-Drew is the key to the Jaguars offense and if he's neutralized, the Jaguars don't score much. When Jones-Drew gets 20 carries or less, the Jaguars average just 11 points per game.

2. Blanket Mike Sims-Walker. MSW is the Jaguars first legitimate receiver since Jimmy Smith retired, and he has been a huge key to their passing game. In games which Walker has four or fewer catches, the Jaguars are 1-4.

3. Pressure Garrard. David Garrard is very good when he has time to throw, as most quarterbacks are, but he's terrible in crisis. Garrard will make mistakes and take sacks when pressured.

Three most important things for the Texans on offense:

1. Keep up the tempo. The Jaguars tend to struggle against no-huddle type of offenses, and the team is very thin at defensive end and cornerback. If the Texans can maintain a quick tempo, there will likely be many plays to be made.

2. Look for Walter and Anderson. The Jaguars have struggled covering slot receivers, and much of their defensive attention will likely be focused on Andre Johnson.

3. No turnovers. We say it every week, and every week it's important. Turnovers have been killers to the Texans eighth-ranked offense, and when they've played clean they've won games.

What to look for:

1. Look for Andre Johnson to score. Johnson is one of the toughest assignments in the league for any corner and he will likely find himself in one of the Jacksonville end zones.

2. Look for the Texans to have less than 60 yards rushing. Ever since the Jaguars were gashed by Chris Johnson, the team has done a great job of stopping the run as opponents have averaged just 62.5 yards per game on the ground.

3. A dance from Jones-Drew. Maurice Jones-Drew leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns, despite being shut out last week. The odds of Jones-Drew being shut out two weeks in a row are not good.

4. Look for a lot of big plays. With injuries on defense for both teams, expect to see some offensive firepower.

5. Look for the Texans to squeak by. Houston is clearly the more desperate team as there have been heightened expectations for them ever since the beginning of the year. Houston should be able to force some turnovers and make enough plays to extend their playoff hopes for at least one more week.

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