Last game of the season. It is tough to know that there will be no teal & black on the field until Mini-camps and OTAs begin. At that time, there could be a big difference in Jacksonville. But today, we are still talking about now.
One more time
Jacksonville heads into Houston having won their last game against divisional rival Tennessee (yes, I still hate them) and a 3-12 record on the season.
Houston is coming off a huge home win against the Baltimore Ravens and, barely, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
This will be the second meeting in the last 4 weeks between the two teams with the Texans finishing on top in Jacksonville 27-13. That game, Jacksonville made mistakes. The last two games, Jacksonville has not made any mistakes. Blake Bortles has managed the game very well and has not made the rookie mistakes we have been accustomed. Can he do it for one more game?
Here some the stats
The first item we look at is what the Jag offense can do against the Defense.
Houston’s defense is ranked 24th against the pass allowing 251-yards per game. Now, I have been saying all along that Bortles is due for his big game of the year, or better said, most complete game of the year. I am not going to beat that drum today. If he can play the way he has in the last two weeks, we have a great chance of winning the game.
Against Tennessee, Jacksonville rushed for 177-yards and had two touchdown’s. This Sunday, the play against a Texan defense that is ranked 11th in the league allowing 104-yards per game. Jacksonville has ran it’s best against poor run defense teams. It would be nice to see them run the ball against anyone.
We know how the Jaguars have done all season:
- Offensive passing — 30th (192.6-yards per game)
- Offensive rushing — 23rd (100.8-yards per game
- Defensive passing — 20th (244.3-yards per game)
- Defensive rushing — 27th (127.3-yards per game
Houston’s passing game, the last couple of weeks, has been non-existent especially since they are on their fourth or fifth quarterback of the year. Whoever gets the start, they are in place to manage the game mostly by handing off to that 4th ranked rushing offense averaging 135.9-yards per game.
If the Jaguar defense can limit the big plays to rushing establishment of Foster and Co., I think they can keep the game close. Make the no-name quarterback beat you.
Motivation is key
Houston has a slim shot at the playoffs. With that being said, they have to win the game to keep those hopes alive. My hope is they do a little scoreboard watching as both the Ravens and Chargers play one o’clock games on Sunday. I never question the motivation of players too much but it would be interesting to see if the Ravens or Chargers are winning big how everyone in Reliant Stadium acts the rest of the game.
Jacksonville has nothing to play for and that is always dangerous. A team that has limited the mistakes over the last couple weeks and a defense that is really coming into their own. Imagine the amount of momentum they could take into the offseason with a win in Houston on Sunday. It would be a win that would only match last year’s win toto but the growth that this team has seen this year is tremendous and makes you excited for 2015.
How can Jacksonville win
Here is what it will take for Jacksonville to finish the season with a win:
- Blake Bortles plays like he has the last two games — no turnovers and big runs at key moments. He seems to be getting it more over the latter part of the season. Lets go into the offseason on a high.
- Gerhart, Todman, etc run like hell — If they can arch the effort from the Tennessee game on Sunday, they will win…plain and simple.
- Get Lee involved early — Is it me, or does the offense seem to go better when Lee makes some plays? He is fun too watch and he is gaining valuable experience. Feed him the ball
- 4 sacks — I don’t care who, I don’t care how…a minimum of 4 sacks is needed for a good defensive effort
- Turnovers — this will make it a great defensive effort. Do this and Jaguars could win by A LOT!
What is going to happen?
Really tough to call — both defense can control the game and this could turn into a low scoring affair that we were used to seeing back in the day. I expect both defenses to be on their toes for this one, so it is going to be up to one of the offenses to get it done. As much as I would like to pick the good guys, I just do not think (ON PAPER) they can pull this out.