JACKSONVILLE – Each week during the 2022 season, Jaguars "experts" – Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton and J.P. Shadrick – will analyze the following day's Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Tony Boselli, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars left tackle
- The Jaguars will win if:They continue to play smart, complimentary football. During the three-game winning streak, the Jaguars have been playing opportunistic defense, getting eight turnovers. Lawrence has converted those into points. Lawrence has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since returning from London, and that will need to continue against a stingy Texans pass defense.
- The Texans will win if:They keep it close until the fourth quarter and get a turnover late in the game. The last three weeks, they have played teams in playoff contention – losing two by a total of ten points and beating the Titans. They have been plus-12 turnovers during the nine-game winning streak against the Jaguars, and that will need to continue for them to win.
- As Boselli sees it:The Texans haven't won a home game this season, and that doesn't change this week. It will be closer than it should be, because Texans Head Coach Lovie Smith has the Texans still playing hard. The nine-game losing streak against the Texans ends this week: Jaguars 23 Texans 17.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
- The Jaguars will win if: They continue to protect Lawrence and keep the passing game flying as it has been. They need to run with Etienne. This could be a game to empty the bench if the Jaguars get a lead. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson has said he will play all of his starters, but it might be a good game to rest some of them after the Jaguars get a lead.
- The Texans will win if: They somehow harass Lawrence and – on offense – take advantage of their two-quarterback system. Driskel is a very good runner and the Jets' running quarterback, Chris Streveler, bothered the Jaguars last week. The Texans also must win the turnover battle.
- As Frangie sees it: The Jaguars are the better team and should win. Pederson's challenge will be to keep a young team from looking ahead to next week's crucial home showdown with Tennessee. Pederson has been very good at having this team ready to play. The Jaguars should win.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
- The Jaguars will win if: They can avoid turning the ball over against a Texans team that has been struggling. The Texans' run defense has been the NFL's worst and finding success on the ground allows an offense to be more explosive, unpredictable and safer with the ball. Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. must ensure he has a tight hold on the ball as the last couple weeks has seen the ball loosen from his grip.
- The Texans will win if: Their two quarterback rotation with Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel keeps the Jaguars' defense off balance. The Texans are playing both quarterbacks and each has a distinctive style – with Mills being a more traditional drop-back quarterback and Driskel more of a read-option quarterback. When you have two quarterbacks playing, it means you don't have a clear No. 1, but it worked for the Texans last week against the Titans.
- As Lageman sees it: This has been a year of change and it is time to end the nine-game losing streak to the Texans. To their credit, the Texans have been playing pretty well and very hard the last three games – and it will not be easy for the Jaguars in a strange environment. Many fans in attendance will be hoping the Texans lose to keep the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming spring draft so they may find a future franchise quarterback.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
- The Jaguars will win if: They get a lead in the opening 20 minutes. I think the mentality of this game will be interesting to watch. Sure, the Jaguars are saying all the right things – but they said all the right things before getting crushed by Detroit in Week 13, too. I think we will know the Jaguars' head space early and an early lead will be a good sign.
- The Texans will win if: They hold the Jaguars under 20 points. Houston keeps battling and can spoil any hopes of a wild-card bid by the Jaguars. Houston is dependent on a defense that has limited many opponents, including the Jaguars a couple of months ago.
- As Martineau sees it: I really like how the Jaguars are approaching this game. The feeling is so good right now in Jacksonville and I have a hard time seeing that changing. I think beating a divisional opponent is important, staying hot is important and building more momentum into the Titans game next Sunday is important. I think the Jags will get a chance to rest their starters in the fourth quarter and win this game, 30-13.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
- The Jaguars will win if: The score touchdowns in the red zone and protect the ball everywhere, particularly in the red zone. The Jaguars outgained the Texans 422-248 in the team's first meeting, but scored just two field goals in three red-zone possessions in a 13-6 loss. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence also had a key end-zone interception in that game.
- The Texans will win if: They force Lawrence into mistakes. The Texans have eight takeaways in the last three games, which is the major reason they pushed playoff-bound Dallas and Kansas City during that stretch before beat contending Tennessee last week. The Texans must take the ball away in big situations to win Sunday.
- As Oehser sees it: The Texans have played hard the last three weeks, and they haven't quit on the season. That means this could be a tight game. The Jaguars should win, but they will have to minimize mistakes.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
- The Jaguars will win if: They convert in the red zone. Recall Week 5 when the Jaguars lost to the Texans, 13-6: The Jaguars scored two field goals on three red-zone possessions, a formula for losing to any team – one that was 0-3-1 entering the game. The Jaguars have been up and down inside the opponent's 20-yard line this season, going three of four versus Dallas in Week 15 but only one of three against the New York Jets in Week 16. The Jaguars are playing well and on the verge of a division title. The Texans are playing better in the last three weeks than they had previously, but are on the verge of the No. 1 overall pick. If the Jaguars score touchdowns in the red zone, they'll win.
- The Texans will win if: The Jaguars aren't dialed in. They were not dialed in on October 9, looking like they expected to show up and win. That won't work on Sunday in Houston. Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor told me this week that will not happen this time around. If it does, the Jaguars will lose a 10th consecutive meeting.
- As Sexton sees it: The Jaguars will win because they have seen what happens when you just expect to win. If the Texans game in October didn't prove it to them, there are enough guys who were here last January when they were in the same position as these Texans and knocked the Colts – in essentially the same position as the Jaguars are now – out of the postseason.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com senior reporter
- The Jaguars will win if: They hold onto the football and take an early lead. The Jaguars have lived dangerously by having to comeback to win lately. Score early, take the life out of the Texans team and set the tone and don't let up.
- The Texans will win if: They get at least two takeaways from their defense. In two games the Texans have been plus-two in turnover margin, they've logged their only two wins of the season. Without key pieces on offense, they need extra possessions to stay in games most weeks.
- As Shadrick sees it: Credit the Texans for still fighting this late in a lost season, but this feels like unfinished business for the Jaguars after the loss in Week 5. This Jaguars team feels locked in and will not let this opponent sneak up on them. This is a season of ending streaks, and this should be another when the Jaguars end a nine-game skid in the series with Houston. Take care of business and then gear up for the AFC South championship game in Week 18.