The Jags look to end a season full of expectations, injuries and disappointments in Houston this Sunday. Jacksonville has an opportunity to spoil a title for the AFC South-leading Texans, as this game is a must-win for Houston. While the Jags are focused on finding a way to win in Week 17, the team has also been very vocal about embracing their last opportunity to play together as a team.
Jaguars captain linebacker Telvin Smith (who returned an INT for a TD in Miami last week) shared his approach to the final game of the year during Thursday's media availability.
"Your pride's on the line," Smith said. "My number and my name is on the line. My people watching this, you know what I mean? It's not like it's for nothing. You have to go out and you have to perform."
Performing is what the Jags will do on Sunday. They'll leave it all on the field in Houston - and will hopefully bring one more win back to #DUUUVAL.
In the last four games, Jacksonville has allowed 16 sacks. If you know anything about the Texans, you know that the Jags line will have their hands full with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney (who have combined for a miniscule 23.5 sacks in 2018). The BOAT will make his return as QB1 to end the season, but he will need the offensive line to give him some protection against Watt and Clowney. Fortunately for Blake Bortles, this isn't his first time standing in the pocket with those guys coming at him.
Enough about Watt and Clowney though because Jacksonville has Calais Campbell to lead the defensive line and apply pressure to Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson. In last week's victory over the Dolphins, Campbell had a sack and three quarterback hits. He has nine sacks and 65 tackles on the season … but he's going to have to add a few more to that list if the Jags want to come out with a W.
Though they will need help to get there, the Texans are playing for the number one or number two seed in the AFC going into the playoffs. Can #DUUUVAL play spoiler? I think yes.
The Jaguars will start Blake Bortles at quarterback for their regular season finale against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Bortles came in for Cody Kessler in the middle of Jacksonville's 17-7 win over the Miami Dolphins. He finished 5-of-6 for 39 yards and led the team on a scoring drive in the fourth quarter that ended with Kai Forbath's go-ahead 26-yard field goal. Jaguars' coach Doug Marrone stated Bortles gave the Jags the best chance to win, and with something to prove, the BOAT will have to find a way to end the season on high note.
- Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. returned to practice this week and could be active on Sunday in Houston.
- Quarterback Cody Kessler was limited in practice this week. Tanner Lee (QB) was moved from practice squad to active roster on Friday.
- Wide receiver Dede Westbrook led the team the team in receptions and receiving yards against Miami in Week 16. Bortles will likely look to him often in the final game of the season.
- On Friday, corner A.J. Bouye was ruled out and running back Leonard Fournette was listed as questionable.
We're gleefully looking to the New Year with this bright and invigorating cocktail. Pop the Champagne and add the unexpected twist of grapefruit juice and vodka to liven up your New Year's Eve party.
New Year New Jag
- 2 Ounces of Vodka
- 1 ½ Ounces of Champagne
- Fresh Grapefruit Juice
- Fresh Grapefruit Garnish
- 1 Rosemary Sprig to Garnish
- Start with a shaker full of ice. Next, add two ounces of vodka and one and a half ounces of champagne. Stir gently. Pour into cocktail glass full of ice. Top with fresh grapefruit juice. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and rosemary sprig.
Liven up your New Year's Eve celebration with the Texan Spritz, a fun take on a bubbly classic. Next, get ready to ring in 2019 in style.
The Texan Spritz
- 2 Ounces of Pineapple Juice
- Simple Syrup
- Shaved Coconut to Garnish the Rim
- Pineapple Leaf Garnish (optional)
- Pour a small amount of simple syrup onto a saucer. Next, tap the rim of your champagne flute onto the simple syrup to create a damp surface. Then, place your flute onto coconut shavings to create your coconut dusted rim. Next, pour two ounces of pineapple juice into flute and fill the remainder of the glass with champagne. Garnish with a pineapple leaf.