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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Jacksovnille Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Jihad Ward #59 and linebacker Myles Jack #44 (Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars defense will show up versus the Texans.

2. The Jaguars will limit the Texans’ defense to 50 rushing yards. 

Although the Jags struggled to defend the pass in the first two weeks of the preseason, they did a superb job of stopping the run, allowing a total of 180 rushing yards over three games. Moreover, all three opposing offenses averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry.

Texans running back Mark Ingram III has a few years left in the tank but Jaguars defensive tackles DaVon Hamilton and Malcom Brown should have no trouble clogging up running games in Week 1. Last season, Jacksonville ranked near the cellar in rushing touchdowns. That will change in 2021 after all the upgrades they made in the offseason and they will start the season on a high note.

3. Jacksonville’s defense will register four sacks. 

Opposing teams had no trouble throwing the ball against the Jags last year and one of the reasons was that they couldn’t rush the passer. Not having EDGE defender Josh Allen for several games definitely hurt and so did K’Lavon Chaisson’s slow start. The Jags registered a measly 18 sacks and Dawuane Smoot had 5.5 of them, 30.5 percent of the team’s totals.

Allen is now healthy, and Chaisson finished the 2020 season strong. Furthermore, the team’s brass signed Jihad Ward and Roy Robertson-Harris in the offseason. They both should help turn the Texans into a one-dimensional team. Once Houston abandons the run, Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen will look for ways to pressure quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Allen will lead the team with two sacks, Smoot will get one, and Chaisson will post another one.