Week 12: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
The Houston Texans have become the Jaguars' kryptonite in recent years. Since 2018, they've only managed to beat them ONCE, and that came last season in their second encounter. They even lost earlier this year and the game was at home. This would've been understandable in 2019 or 2020 when Jacksonville was pretty much the worst team in the league. However, the Jags had more talent across the roster in 2021 and still got swept. What makes the losses more infuriating is that two of the Texans' four wins that year came against Jacksonville.
Last year, Houston was in a state in disarray, with no long-term plan in place. Yet, they defeated the Jaguars in their first matchup. They also beat them earlier this season at the Bank. How can Jacksonville routinely lose against a club that's supposed to be worse on paper? It's hard to tell but they'd better figure it out before Week 12, when they'll travel to NRG Stadium to take on their division foes.
The Houston Texans began yet another rebuild this year but it looks like they found a keeper in DeMeco Ryans, who's made sure his team shows up every Sunday. Although they have a long way to go before they can become a legitimate contender, they've taken several steps in the right direction.
The Jaguars know firsthand how good the Texans can be. In Week 3, they couldn't stop rookie C.J. Stround and the offense couldn't move the ball. While that game has no bearing in the next one, Houston has shown they can beat the Jags. In Week 12, they'll turn heads when they pull off the upset and sweep Jacksonville.
Prediction: Jaguars lose