Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans: 5 bold predictions for Week 1

Houston Texans mascot "Toro" and the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. (Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Texans mascot "Toro" and the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. (Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Head coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool) /

It’s a bit difficult to make predictions in Week 1 of the regular season since teams are taking the field for the first time and opponents don’t have much film to study. However, the Jacksonville Jaguars look better than the Houston Texans on paper and are favored to win the game by three points.

Both squads hired new head coaches and new general managers this year. The difference is that the Jags led the league in cap space and had a surplus of draft picks while Houston didn’t have first or second-round selections. Furthermore, the Texans weren’t in great cap shape, which limited their ability to make impact signings. General manager Nick Caserio did what he could with what he had but the results aren’t encouraging.

The Texans announced earlier this week that Tyrod Taylor will get the starting nod. Also, they ruled out Deshaun Watson for the game with a “Not Injury Related” designation.

Without further ado, here are five bold predictions for the Jaguars’ first game of the 2021 season.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence will throw two touchdowns.

After two preseason games, rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence finally threw his first and second touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys. The case could be made the former Clemson Tiger was facing the Dallas Cowboys backups. But he showed flashes of the talent that made him the top pick in the 2021 draft.

Lawrence will have a favorable matchup against Texans cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves III and Terrance Mitchell, who gave up a combined 12 touchdowns last year.

Moreover, EDGE rusher Whitney Marcellus may not play and if he does, he will be limited, so Houston’s pass rush will not be at full strength. The situation will be ripe for Lawrence to test the Texans’ back seven and take a few shots downfield. While things will get complicated as the season goes on, the rookie passer will score the first and second touchdowns of his NFL career in the season opener.