NFL Football

27
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Houston 10 10 7 0 27
Jacksonville 7 9 3 6 25
25
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , November 8, 2020
TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida  Weather: 79°, Partly Cloudy  Attendance: 15,668

Texans-Jaguars Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

  1. The Texans have won five straight against Jacksonville going back to the start of the 2018 season, including a 30-14 victory in Week 5. Houston has held the Jaguars to 7.8 points per game during the streak, the second fewest in a divisional matchup in that time (Patriots -- 7.5 vs. Jets).
  2. Houston has matched its worst start in franchise history at 1-6, equaling their record after seven games in 2005. Jacksonville was also on the schedule for the Texans' eighth game that season, a game they lost, 21-14, to drop to 1-7.
  3. Since Romeo Crennel took over before Houston's Week 5 game against Jacksonville, Deshaun Watson has thrown for more yards per game (334.3) and more yards per attempt (9.1) than any other NFL quarterback. His 73.9 percent completion rate is second only to Drew Brees (75.0) in that time (minimum 50 attempts).
  4. The Jaguars have lost six straight games after opening the season with a win over the Colts. They've allowed at least 30 points in each of those games, one shy of the longest streak of games allowing 30 or more points in NFL history (7 -- Broncos in 1963-64 and Rams in 2007-08).
  5. Undrafted rookie James Robinson is fourth in the NFL averaging 100.9 scrimmage yards per game. Robinson has averaged 19.1 scrimmage touches per game, most among rookies as only Pittsburgh's Chase Claypool (7) has more touchdowns than Robinson (6) among first-year players.
  6. J.J. Watt has 99 career sacks in 119 games in his career. Only three players have recorded 100 sacks in their first 120 career games (Reggie White -- 96 games, DeMarcus Ware -- 113 games, Bruce Smith -- 115 games).
Team Comparison

Houston
 
Jacksonville
23.7 Points 22.0
299.3 Pass Yds 265.0
84.9 Rush Yds 96.6
4 Takeaways 6
(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo )

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The Jacksonville Jaguars have been here before. Fairly often, too.

The Jaguars (1-6) are last in the AFC South, the same spot they occupied in each of the last two seasons and three times in the last four years.

This time, though, they have company.

Houston (1-6) is tied with Jacksonville at the bottom of the division. The Texans haven't brought up the rear in the South since 2013.

One of them will double their win total and escape the AFC South cellar when they meet Sunday. The home crowd might even be secretly pulling for the visiting team.

On pace for another losing season, many among the Jaguars faithful already have turned their attention toward potential leadership changes, the NFL draft and the prospect of finding a franchise quarterback. Landing Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State's Justin Fields or North Dakota State's Trey Lance might depend on losing games the rest of the season.

Jacksonville has dropped six in a row, giving up at least 30 points in each one, and is now making a quarterback change.

Rookie Jake Luton, a sixth-round draft pick from Oregon State, will start in place of Gardner Minshew (thumb) and make his NFL debut against the Texans. The 6-foot-6 Luton has NFL size and a big arm. But he lacks mobility and experience, and has a lengthy injury history.

Luton may have caught a break Thursday when the Texans placed three linebackers, including standout Whitney Mercilus, on the COVID-19 list. Jacob Martin tested positive for the coronavirus, and Mercilus and Dylan Cole were forced to isolate for five days because of contact tracing. They have to test negative for five consecutive days before rejoining the team.

"Man, they just need to forfeit the game," Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen quipped. "Just get all them guys healthy and move onto Week 10. I'm just kidding. I hope everybody is healthy over there. I don't wish nobody to get sick or miss any games. I'm just ready to play.

"We've got to play with the cards that we're dealt with and they've got to play with the cards that they're dealt with, and we'll just see how it goes Sunday."

The series has been all Houston of late.

The Texans have won five straight, 11 of 13 and 16 of the last 20 against Jacksonville, a streak of one-sidedness in an era of NFL parity.

Houston's lone win this season came against Jacksonville, a 30-14 victory a month ago in Romeo Crennel's debut as interim coach. The Texans have since given up a combined 77 points in consecutive losses to Tennessee and Green Bay.

"Well, I think everybody thinks we stink and so I'm going to tell them that we stink. OK?" Crennel said. "And then if we can do better than that, if we can get some deodorant, then we'll smell a little bit better. A win is like deodorant to me."

GROUND GAINS?

The Texans continue to search for ways to improve their run defense and running game while being among the worst in the NFL in both areas.

Houston ranks 31st in run defense, allowing 165.9 yards a game on the ground, and is last in rushing yards (84.9).

David Johnson has been mostly ineffective since joining the Texans in a trade that sent star receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona in March. The Texans believe he might be pressing a bit as his struggles have mounted.

"He wants to get out there and probably try to hit a home run at times where he probably needs to take what's given," running backs coach Danny Barrett said. "We talk about being patient and the game will come to him."

WATSON WINS

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is undefeated in five starts against Jacksonville, a constant reminder that Jacksonville could have - and probably should have - drafted him with the fourth overall pick in 2017. Jaguars personnel chief Tom Coughlin chose running back Leonard Fournette instead and stuck with embattled starting quarterback Blake Bortles.

Watson, meanwhile, won consecutive division titles before losing more games already in 2020 than any other regular season.

"You're looking at someone that has a high level of confidence, has a really good arm, can throw it deep, short, has good accuracy, plus he can run," Marrone said. "So there's a lot of things that you have to be able to defend to try to stop him."

DOUBLEHEADER

Stadium workers will work long into the night Saturday getting TIAA Bank Field turned around between college and pro games.

Florida and Georgia will play in front of about 18,000 fans Saturday afternoon, and seats, club areas and locker rooms will have to be cleaned, sanitized and prepped for the NFL game the next day.

It's the first time the Jaguars will play a home game the day after the rivalry known as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party."

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated November 5, 2020

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