Moving on with the countdown, we come to the third of the Houston Texans divisional games, this time as they host the Jacksonville Jaguars:
A lot has been made about the Jaguars this offseason. People keep saying that they drafted well and they are ready to make the jump to contenders in the AFC South. Be that as it may, there are still a lot of questions for this team to answer.
First, will the money they spent on free agents pay off this time? The Jaguars have always spent big in free agency and often got little production out of those free agents. They went at it again this offseason as they brought in Malik Jackson, perhaps the most coveted free agent on the market, to play a three technique.
They also brought in Chris Ivory from the Jets to share carries with T.J. Yeldon. Ivory was fifth in the league in rushing yards last year, but for a back that’s had one standout season it seemed like a lot of money.
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Second, can the offensive line protect Blake Bortles? They sure didn’t last year as J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus had a routine meet at the quarterback in the two games last year. Kelvin Beachum was brought in from Pittsburgh to challenge former second overall pick Luke Joeckel at left tackle, but that doesn’t figure to be enough.
Third, will secondary improve? They brought in Prince Amukamara from the Giants and drafted Jalen Ramsey fifth overall in this year’s draft. They have nowhere to go but up as they were burned routinely by top receivers, including DeAndre Hopkins.
The Jaguars are the only team that the Texans have a winning record against, winning 17 of the first 28 meetings. In the past five years they’ve swept the Jaguars four times, the only exception being 2013 in which they lost both games; prior to that the season series was tied at 9-9. There have been 14 games played in Houston, and the Texans have won ten of them.
Coming into this week 15 game, there could be a lot on the line for both teams. They both could be fighting for a division title and/or potentially a wild card spot. By this time Brock Osweiler should have a better understanding of the playbook which could make the difference in this one.