Game day is here and the Houston Texans are ready to face their AFC South foe, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both teams look to get their second win of the year. Let’s check out a game preview as well as an update on the highest profiled player on the team.
Texans DE J.J. Watt has illness, listed as questionable – by Tania Ganguli, ESPN
"The Texans could be without their marquee player as defensive end J.J. Watt was added to the team’s injury report Saturday with an illness.He is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.Watt is the fourth player for the Texans (1-4) to become sick this week. Receiver Jaelen Strong, cornerback A.J. Bouye and practice squad quarterback Zac Dysert all missed practices. Strong also is questionable, while Bouye is listed as probable. Watt did not miss any practices this week.The Texans already will be without pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney, who has a sprained ankle."
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars game preview – Fox Sports
"There aren’t many job titles in the NFL more unstable than that of Houston Texans starting quarterback with coach Bill O’Brien consistently rotating Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.Hoyer did enough last week to convince O’Brien he’s – for now – the best man for the gig and will get the start Sunday in Jacksonville.The Jaguars hope Blake Bortles’ shoulder injury will heal in time for him to be fully healthy under center as they look to snap a three-game skid in the AFC South battle of 1-4 clubs.Hoyer won the Texans’ starting job out of camp, then was removed in favor of Mallett in a season-opening loss to Kansas City. Mallett has started the last four, but he was benched for Hoyer in each of the last two.O’Brien has decided to go back to Hoyer, who finished 24 of 31 for 312 yards and threw two touchdowns for the second straight week in Houston’s 27-20 loss to Indianapolis on Oct. 8.Hoyer has completed 62.1 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and two picks, while Mallett has a 53.1 completion percentage with three TDs and four interceptions.“It’s 11 one-game seasons (remaining), so (Hoyer’s) the starter for Jacksonville,” O’Brien said. “I think over the last two games he’s gone in there with a really good attitude, with a calmness about him, with really good mechanics. Has he been perfect? No. But I think that … overall he’s played pretty well.”"
Vandermeer’s View: More juice please – by Marc Vandermeer, HoustonTexans.com
"The Texans head to Jacksonville in an effort to reignite their season. The campaign, at 1-4, is in critical condition as the team is starving for a win.No, make that a series of wins but all they can do about that right now is put together a winning effort in North Florida.We’ve analyzed the team’s struggles like an over-the-top CSI episode. Nothing would help them more than making some big plays early and playing with the kind of exuberance that helped them finish 5-2 down the stretch last year. In other words, bring the ‘juice.’Bill O’Brien used that word a lot in Hard Knocks. It’s synonymous with passion, fire, enthusiasm. Not that the Texans aren’t fired up. We can see the effort. But is it a chicken-or-egg thing? Does playing fired up help you make a play or does making a big play get the squad more fired up? Perhaps the answer is a little of both.The coaches blame themselves. The players blame themselves. The dam has yet to break on the kind of big play-making defensive moments we anticipated in the offseason. A couple of momentum swinging takeaways would be a terrific boost for an offense still finding its footing.Brian Hoyer gets his second start and this time he has Arian Foster to work with. For most of the Colts game Hoyer played the kind of ball the coaches expected on opening day. If he’s able to move the team that well, and get a running game, the Texans should be in good shape. This isn’t the first time the Texans have headed to Jacksonville in desperate need of a win. Houston leads the series 15-11, but trails 7-6 in Jacksonville. Remember, this series has more bizarre twists and turns than the other two division storylines.The Hail Mary in 2010, the halfback option in 2009, the overtime gut punch in 2008, the eve of a coach firing in 2013, the near five quarter game in 2012. Stop me."