Speaking with the foe. Texans Vs. Jags Q&A
Nov 30, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; A Jacksonville Jaguars fan looks on from the stands in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at EverBank Field. The Jaguars won 25-24. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Today I had the pleasure of doing a little QA session with Daniel Lago of Black and Teal the Jaguars fan site here with fansided. It’s always fun to talk shop with other writers about the teams we are most passionate about.
The Jaguars surprised the NFL by scooping up Blake Bortles with the third pick in the draft. A lot of Texans fans were calling for a quarterback what with the Texans need for one. How have the Jacksonville fans responded to having him as their teams leader?
"Daniel Lago:Fans fell in love with Blake Bortles in the preseason when he looked like he was undoubtedly going to become the best quarterback in franchise history, but things have cooled off considerably. We all forgot to take the preseason results with a grain of salt. Bortles is doing pretty much what was expected of him when he came out as a raw junior – he’s flashed some amazing ability, but he’s been wildly inconsistent and made some head-scratching decisions. He appeared to be regressing for a short stretch in the middle of the season, but he played much better last week. Right now it’s wait and see with Bortles since this franchise has been burned by so many quarterbacks recently."
The Jaguars have had their struggles this season, however good things are happening with their defensive line. Who should worry the Texans the most this match up?
"DL:The best player on defense and really the entire team has been defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks. Outside of maybe Gerald McCoy and Marcell Dareus, he’s been the best defensive tackle in the AFC. He has been the main driver in the Jaguars good pass rush, as his interior presence has made up for the lack of a true elite edge rusher."
The Texans have been victimized by deep passes this season, the Jaguars young rookie Marqise Lee has had a nice couple of games lately. Do you see him building on his recent success?
"DL:Lee definitely had his “breakout” game last week, as he finally appeared to find some chemistry down the field with Blake Bortles. Hopefully he’ll build on his big game, but he’s been pretty inconsistent this season, and he really only started seeing significant time because of an injury to fellow rookie receiver Allen Robinson. Lee still has to learn to go full speed on every play, even when he’s not the primary route."
J.J. Watt likes to move around a lot on the line. Which lineman has the best chance of taking on #99 in a one-on-one match up?
"DL:I’m pretty sure this is a trick question, because I can’t think of anyone in the league let alone the Jaguars who can hold their ground against Watt. The Jaguars are at an extreme disadvantage against Watt because they have one of the youngest offensive lines in the NFL. Unfortunately, that youth means most of these guys haven’t bulked up yet, and Watt should be able to do whatever he wants. The only guy who has been consistently good on the line has been rookie right guard Brandon Linder, but he hasn’t faced anyone like Watt before."
Finally, what’s your take on how this plays out and final score.
"DL:It’s tempting to pick the Jags here at home after a huge win, but this is not the same Texans team from last year. The Jaguars only hope really is to get to Fitzpatrick and prevent him from pushing the ball downfield to Hopkins and Johnson. Bortles and company haven’t really gotten it going offensively, and it’s hard to imagine that happening against J.J. Watt."
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