Know Your Opponent: Houston Texans

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Oct 30, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) throws during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium.
Oct 30, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) throws during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will host the AFC South-leading Houston Texans in Week 10, in what is shaping up to be a must-win game if Jacksonville wants to stay in the playoff race. Houston currently holds a three game lead over Jacksonville in the AFC South, but a four game lead would be tough to overcome for the Jaguars with only six weeks remaining in the season. Here’s what you need to know about the Houston Texans:

Offense: 

The Houston Texans are nothing more than anemic on offense. Quarterback Brock Osweiler, who was brought in during the off-season as a free agent, has really struggled so far. Houston ranks dead-last in passing efficiency according to Football Outsiders, and Osweiler has yet to record a QB rating over 100 percentage points through eight games. Their running game isn’t much better, ranking 25th in offensive efficiency.

Oct 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) takes the handoff from Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at NRG Stadium.
Oct 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) takes the handoff from Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at NRG Stadium.

They are coming off a bye week, so it’s possible that they tweaked the offense to simplify the passing game for Osweiler. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will likely be shadowed by cornerback Jalen Ramsey, which should be a lot of fun to watch.

Defense:

Defensively, they aren’t as good as people thought entering the season. That’s mostly due to the fact that J.J. Watt is out for the season with a back injury, which left a sizable hole in the Texans’ front seven. They rank 28th in defensive rushing efficiency, something that Jacksonville will likely try to exploit now that the running game showed signs of life last week against Kansas City.

JJ WATT

They are solid against the pass. Blake Bortles may be in for a rough day, as the Texans rank 7th in passing efficiency.

Overall:

This will be a very winnable game for Jacksonville. Despite the fact that Houston is 5-2, their flaws match-up well with what Jacksonville wants to do, both offensively and defensively. The loss of J.J. Watt cannot be overlooked, and their offense is flat-out bad. I would expect this to be a low scoring game, as both offenses are below average, while both defenses are above average.

 

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