Jacksonville Jaguars: 3 keys to victory vs Texans in Week 1

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson #30 (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson #30 (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

The wait is finally over for the start of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ regular season! The Jags will take on the Houston Texans in Week 1. Here are some keys to victory.

After a topsy-turvy offseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the regular season begins Sunday. The Jags will travel to Texas to face off against the Houston Texans, a team that has also undergone many changes in their organization this past offseason.

Regardless of what has happened in previous months, the only thing that should matter for both teams is what takes place on the football field this Sunday. For Jacksonville, they must accomplish the following keys if they want to achieve an opening week victory.

1. The Jacksonville Jaguars must protect Trevor Lawrence.

The Jaguars’ first key to victory may be easier said than done. At times during the preseason, the offensive line seemed noticeably overwhelmed. However, this predicament should not be the case against the Texans. Jacksonville activated right guard A.J. Cann from the COVID-19/Reserve list Monday. The same day, head coach Urban Meyer told the local media every starting offensive lineman “should be ready to play” in Week 1.

Left guard Andrew Norwell missed all the preseason and center Brandon Linder was out in the last two games. Having both players back should give the Jaguars’ offensive line a boost Sunday. Meanwhile, the Texans’ defensive front is arguably one of the least influential groups in the entire NFL.

Moreover, their best pass rusher, Whitney Mercillus, may not be at 100 percent. For the Jags, this is an ideal game to generate cohesiveness in pass protection. But, moving forward, the group must grow and remain consistent with protecting Trevor Lawrence.

2. The Jacksonville Jaguars must establish the run game.

What is a young quarterback’s best friend, you may ask? A potent rushing attack. The Jaguars possess one of the league’s most dynamic runners in James Robinson. The Illinois State product enters Year 2 as the team’s workhorse back and figures to carry a similar workload to last season.

However, this year, Robinson will have the assistance of journeyman NFL running back Carlos Hyde, who will spell him from time to time in order to keep him fresh.

Indeed, a strong rushing attack will enable Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguar offense to get in a rhythm early, which leads to the final point.

3. Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson must pressure QB Tyrod Taylor.

The Texans without Deshaun Watson starting are a different NFL team. In Watson’s place, veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor will replace him. While Tyrod is a good signal-caller, he is not the mobile threat that Watson is.

Behind a shaky offensive line, both edge defenders Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson must seize their golden opportunity. While Allen was sidelined due to injury last season, there’s no better way for him to return to form by ripping off a few sacks against Houston this Sunday. For Chaisson, he finished last season strong, so it would be beneficial to pick up where he left off in 2020.

In conclusion, should the Black and Teal follow the above keys to victory, there is no reason why they cannot start the 2021 NFL season on a victorious note.

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