These two teams couldn’t be in a more divergent state of affairs for the 2012 season.
The Texans are once again dark-horse contenders in the AFC. If they can stay healthy, the trio of Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson should make easy work of the AFC South this season on their way to a nice run in the playoffs.
The Jaguars, on the other hand, are under new ownership, dealing with a disgruntled star player in Maurice Jones-Drew and are one year into the Blaine Gabbert era at quarterback—one that started out rocky last season.
While it is still early in the season—and the NFL has taught us that nothing is a guarantee—Houston should be able to take a commanding lead in the division come Sunday after just two games played.
Here is a bold prediction for each team in Sunday’s matchup.
Arian Foster and Ben Tate Combine for 175 Yards and 2 Touchdowns
While the score might indicate otherwise, the Texans didn’t exactly dominate the Miami Dolphins defense in Week 1’s 30-10 victory. Houston’s offense was able to take advantage of a short field due to turnovers by Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
However, don’t let the 337 total yards accumulated by the Texans fool you. This offense is legit and features a wide assortment of weapons, primarily in the backfield with Arian Foster and Ben Tate.
While neither racked up tons of yards last week against the Dolphins, Foster did shine with his chances to get into the end zone.
The Jaguars allowed Adrian Peterson to have a huge day in his return to the field for the Minnesota Vikings last week. Houston should be playing with a lead the entire game and would do well to feed the ball to Foster and Tate all day long.
Blaine Gabbert Takes another Step in Shaking Last Year’s Rookie Jitters with 275 Passing Yards and 2 Touchdowns
Jaguars’ quarterback Blaine Gabbert hasn’t endured much success in his short time thus far in the NFL, but his 260 yards and two touchdown passes last week in a 26-23 loss to the Vikings is a lot more in line with what many thought of him coming out of college.
While the Texans defense might not suggest ideal conditions for Gabbert to build a little momentum after last week’s performance, he will certainly be in the position to do so.
Jacksonville should be playing catch-up most the game, putting the ball in Gabbert’s hands to make plays if the Jaguars plan on keeping the score close.
Even in a loss, Gabbert can ride the coattails of last week’s success and distance himself even further from last year’s dreadful season.