The Jacksonville Jaguars open AFC South divisional play when they travel to Houston to take on the Texans at NRG Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 15.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Since signing with the Jaguars in 2017, DL Calais Campbell has the second-most sacks among all players at NRG Stadium (5.5), while DE Yannick Ngakoue is tied for fourth (3.5) during that span. Campbell recorded a franchise-record 4.0 sacks in the 2017 season opener at Houston and 1.5 sacks in the season finale at Houston in 2018. Campbell’s 5.5 sacks are the most among players to play 10 or fewer games in NRG stadium since 2017. Only Houston DE J.J. Watt has recorded more sacks (10.0) during that span in 11 games at NRG Stadium.
QUOTABLE: “It’s important for us to make [Deshaun Watson] uncomfortable … It’s a continuous pursuit. You can never be satisfied. Even if you get there six times, you have to get there seven. [Watson] is an incredible player.” – DL Calais Campbell
MINSHEW MAGIC: Jaguars rookie QB Gardner Minshew II was thrust into action in Week 1 and responded by completing 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards and two TDs. Minshew’s 88.0 completion percentage was the highest in single game franchise history among QBs with at least 20 attempts, and he became the first rookie in NFL history to post at least 275 passing yards and have a completion percentage greater than 75.0 in their NFL debut as a rookie in Week 1. He completed his first 13 passes, becoming the only player in the last 40 years to complete his first 13 passes in their NFL debut.
QUOTABLE: “[Minshew is] fearless and that’s the thing that I like about him the most. He steps up in the situation, he won’t blink. And as a receiver, I feel that this room has to help him out. But, he’s the signal caller, so what he says goes, he’s the man in this offense. So, if he wants to change the plays, whatever he wants to do, that’s what we’re going to do and we’re going to make it work.” – WR D.J. Chark Jr.
CATCH CHARK IF YOU CAN:Second-year WR DJ Chark Jr.turned in the best game of his young career in Week 1 of the 2019 season, catching four passes for a career-high 146 yards (36.5 rec. avg.) and one TD. Among players with at least four receptions in a game, Chark’s 36.5 yards per catch avg. is the highest in a single game in franchise history and was the sixth-most in the NFL. He is the only player in the NFL with at least three receptions of 30-plus yards.
QUOTABLE: “I’ve seen DJ Chark come in every day to work and just want to get better. Even when he’s had good days at practice, he’s come in the next day really hungry to learn. When you have that type of athletic ability and you are able to listen to critique and get better, the sky is the limit.”– WR Chris Conley
DIVISIONAL PLAY BEGINS:Sunday marks the Jaguars’ divisional opener and one of six games the team will play against AFC South opponents this season. Jacksonville has won two of their last three divisional openers. The defense has been especially stingy against AFC South opponents and is the only unit in the AFC South to allow fewer than 20 points per game to divisional opponents since 2017. In their last four games against Houston, the Jaguars have held the Texans to 13.5 points per game.
QUOTABLE:“This week we have an in-division opponent, the Houston Texans, who three out of the last four years have won the division. They’re an extremely strong football team. They’re well-coached. They have very good players. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. Our focus right now is on our team, going out there and putting in the work this week, and obviously we have to improve quite a bit in a short period of time to perform the way we want to perform, so that’s where we are right now.” – Head Coach Doug Marrone
CONNECTIONS: Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marroneand Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien know each other well, having coached together at Georgia Tech from 1995-99. Several Jaguars also hail from Texas, including WR Dede Westbrook(Cameron), S Cody Davis(Stephenville) and CB D.J. Hayden(Houston). Former Jaguar great and current WRs Coach Keenan McCardellis a Houston native and attended Waltrip High School, which is fewer than 20 miles from NRG Stadium. The Jaguars have two former Texans on their 53-man roster – CB A.J.Bouye and RB Tyler Ervin.
QUOTABLE: “We’re talking about someone who’s one of my best friends in the business. We’ve been friends a long, long time. So, our conversations are – and again, during this period of time, we don’t talk. It’s just too much for us and we just go and compete. The players are on the field and we’re trying to do the best job.” – Head CoachDoug Marrone onBill O’Brien
Every week during the 2019 season, Jaguars Public Relations Assistant David Wolf will write five key stats with supporting quotes about the Jaguars’ upcoming game. A Chapel Hill, N.C. native, Wolf joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in May 2018.