Nov 23, 2013; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) looks to pass against the Memphis Tigers during the second quarter at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
After two straight wins on the road, the Jacksonville Jaguars return home Thursday night to take on the Houston Texans for the lead in the Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes. The Houston Texans came into the season as possible Super Bowl contenders and have dramatically underperformed in a trainwreck of a season, while the Jaguars have exceeded expectations in the last several weeks with wins and competitive performances. Well now the two teams face off for the second time and the outcome may very well determine who selects first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The stakes are certainly high, so we reached out to our friend Stephen Forsha – editor of Toro Times – and asked him a few questions about this week’s game.
1. The Texans hit rock bottom when they lost to the Jaguars at home – is the franchise looking at a complete overhaul this offseason?
"I don’t think there will be a complete overhaul, but they do have a few questions that need to be answered this offseason, one being the quarterback position. I’m still not sold that Case Keenum is the solution at the quarterback spot for next season and beyond, so the draft will play an important role.Also I want the Texans to resign Ben Tate to a longer deal, but I just don’t see that working out financially, or working out with him and Arian Foster sharing time again next season.Another note is the Texans might have a new head coach next season. It hasn’t been stated if his job is safe or not, so that decision will factor into the other two points I previously made."
2. The Texans currently have the number one overall pick. Who should they take right now?
"If I were the Texans I’m drafting Teddy Bridgewater, the QB out of Louisville. This year showed them how much a really good QB matters in the NFL, and Matt Schaub wasn’t the answer this year, and though he’s improving, Keenum still hasn’t been able to lead the Texans to a win.Another choice is go defense and take Jadeveon Clowney from South Carolina. The duo of him and J.J. Watt is really tempting to have.Those are my top two choices as of right now, but that could change."
3. J.J. Watt is arguably playing as well as he did last year, so what’s the problem on defense?
"The problem on defense is Watt isn’t getting the help he needs, and with the lack of production from the offense they are on the field a lot more than they should be.They also haven’t had much production from their outside linebackers and I feel the defensive backs could have played a lot better at times this season as well.Not to mention the injury of Brian Cushing and the Ed Reed project earlier this season didn’t help matters much."
4. Jaguar fans are currently struggling with wanting to win, but also wanting to lose enough to get the first overall pick. How do you feel about the Texans finishing this season? Are you rooting for wins or for close losses?
"I don’t ever root for my team to lose, but a loss in this game, this season is a win and a plus for next year. A lot of Texans fans want a loss on Thursday, so it seems like Jaguar fans will be Texans fans, while Texans fans will be cheering for the Jaguars Thursday.If the Texans don’t win this game, I don’t see them winning another game for the remainder of the year, ending with a 14-game losing streak."
5. What’s your prediction for the game?
"I don’t know if the Texans can continue the momentum they had last week against the Patriots, but if they can they will win this game. On the other hand the Jaguars have won two straight games, so I’m picking the Jaguars to win this one.Final score: Jaguars 20, Texans 10"
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89