After a disappointing Week 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jacksonville Jaguars are turning their attention to Week 3. On Sunday, the 0-2 Houston Texans travel to Duval.
While the Texans have looked far from a competitive team and Rookie Quarterback C.J. Stroud is only making his third start, this is an opportunity to rack up a division win. Perhaps more importantly, this can be a chance to spark the Jaguars offense’s confidence heading into a 2-week London trip.
How the Jaguars Offense matches up against the Texans Defense
Evan Engram has started to show flashes of what Jaguars’ fans saw in the second half of 2022, with an impressive display on Sunday. While the Texans’ passing defense has been stout against running backs and tight ends, they are exceptionally susceptible to wide receivers.
While the Jaguars have been effective at throwing the ball deep, the Texans are vulnerable in the shorter part of the field. According to ESPN’s DJ Bien-Aime, the Texans are giving up a third-worst 76.4 percent completion rate. If the Jaguars can avoid negative plays, there should be plenty of opportunity to exploit defensive injuries in the short game.
As ineffective as the Jaguars have been rushing the ball, the Texans are equally as effective at stopping it. Even if the Jaguars can build a sizable lead early in the game, I would be surprised to see Press Taylor dramatically shift toward the run game.
How the Jaguars Defense matches up against the Texans Offense
The Texans’ passing offense has been ineffective through two weeks, as expected from a team fielding a Rookie Quarterback. While the tight ends have been relatively effective, most of these plays are coming from crackdowns on long yards-to-go situations.
The Jaguars’ defense has been frustratingly soft against the shorter throws. However, in this matchup, the Jaguars will likely be patient, allowing C.J. Stroud to make the easy plays and wait for an opportunity to force a mistake. While Stroud has not thrown an interception yet, he has been strip-sacked in each of his first two games. The Jaguars pass rush, especially Travon Walker on Stroud’s backside, will be an area to watch especially if Laremy Tunsil does not suit up.
The Jaguars have been inconsistent with the Rushing Defense, an excellent performance in Week 1 followed by a subpar game in Week 2. If the Texans want to keep their foot in this game, they will need to run the ball effectively to force the Jaguars to limit their blitzes and designed pressures.
Keep an eye out for the statistical recap next week and Go Jags!