Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn’t take Texans QB Tyrod Taylor lightly

Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor #5 at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor #5 at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn’t take the Houston Texans lightly despite the fact that Tyrod Taylor, not Deshaun Watson will be the starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2021 regular season.  Texans head coach David Culley met with Houston’s media and announced Tyrod Taylor will start against the Jaguars in the season opener. This isn’t surprising. In fact, it would have been shocking if Watson had gotten the start, as he hasn’t really practiced and is facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Jaguars are a 3-point favorite to beat the Texans ahead of their Week 1 matchup. Nevertheless, they shouldn’t underestimate Taylor, who won’t hesitate to torch Jacksonville’s secondary if given the chance. The Virginia Tech product isn’t as good as Watson but not many NFL quarterbacks are. The 2017 first-round pick has been one of the league’s best passers, so asking someone to recreate his production may be too much. As long as Taylor avoids making major mistakes, Houston will have a fighting chance versus the Jags.

Taylor signed with the Texans earlier this year. Over his 10-year career, he has played for the Baltimore Ravens (where he earned a Super Bowl ring as Joe Flacco’s backup), the Buffalo Bills, the Cleveland Browns, and the Los Angeles Chargers. He’s appeared in 72 games with 47 starts and has completed 61.4 of his passes for 9,770 yards with 54 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

Moreover, he has a 24-21-1 record as a starter and made the Pro Bowl in 2015. Last season, he was set to start for the Bolts before a team doctor accidentally punctured his lung ahead of their Week 2 matchup, paving the way for rookie Justin Herbert to become the starter.

The Jacksonville Jaguars must force Tyrod Taylor to make mistakes.

The Jaguars’ defense did a good job of stopping the run during the preseason. However, they had trouble stopping the pass in the first two games. Against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2 of the preseason, they allowed Jameis Winson and Taysom Hill to complete a combined 20 of 30 receptions for 261 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. Jacksonville’s secondary tightened up against the Dallas Cowboys, but they were facing Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci, so it’s difficult to assess how much they really improved.

On the other hand, the Jaguars’ run defense showed out in the preseason, clogging up rushing lanes and giving up less than 4.0 yards per carry in every game. If Jacksonville can neutralize the Texans’ rushing attack and make Taylor beat them with his arm, the Jaguars will be in a position to win their first game in a year.

The Jacksonville Jaguars look like the better team ahead of Week 1 and facing Taylor will increase their odds of earning their first victory of the year. They must take advantage of their favorable matchup to start the 2021 season on a winning streak.

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