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Sunday: The Jaguars' Chance to Get A Head Start on the AFC South Division | Quick Thoughts

Quick Thought (pregame)

JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser, senior correspondent Brian Sexton and team reporter Kainani Stevens offer quick thoughts on the Jaguars as they prepare to play the Houston Texans at EverBank Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m. in a 2023 Week 3 game…

John Oehser, Jaguars Senior Writer…

  1. No trap zone. A likely Jaguars theme this week is whether Sunday is a "trap" game. The thought here is it's something more important – an opportunity for the Jaguars to continue earning their status as the top team in the AFC South. Yes, the Jaguars must move quickly past the disappointment of their performance in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday. But that disappointment shouldn't linger as the team – particularly the offense – figures to want to show it is far better than a three-field-goal performance in the regular-season home opener. The key storyline from this view is the Jaguars' chance to move to 2-0 in the AFC South. That would extend their franchise-record AFC South winning streak to five games. It's a home game against an 0-2 opponent with a rookie quarterback. That's the sort of game dominant division teams win. This a chance for the Jaguars to show they are becoming that sort of team.
  2. The defensive improvement is not nothing. The angst around the Jaguars' offense through two weeks is understandable. The unit was expected to be a team strength, and three field goals were disappointing no matter the opponent. But what shouldn't be overlooked when considering the big picture is that this Jaguars defense looks very good through two games, certainly good enough to create key turnovers in big moments and be stout against the run against most teams. That's what was expected entering the season and the unit getting significant stops in key situations is a good sign. The Jaguars' offensive talent and Head Coach Doug Pederson's history producing effective offense makes you believe that that unit will become more consistent. Knowing that the defense can complement that unit – and maybe even be better than complementary – as the season continues bodes well for the long term.
OLB DJ Coleman (54)

Brian Sexton, Jaguars Senior Correspondent …

  1. You can make this rookie quarterback one dimensional in the other direction from the last rookie quarterback. Texans rookie C.J. Stroud is a passing quarterback and doesn't want to run like Anthony Richardson of the Colts. That's why the Texans have running back Dameon Pierce. But the Texans fell behind by double digits in their first two games – against the Ravens and Colts – and were forced to abandon the run. Stroud has thrown the ball 91 times already; that's not a formula for success. He's an accurate passer and hasn't thrown an interception, but he has been sacked 11 times behind an injured offensive line and fumbled three times. The key to making the rookie look like a rookie is to put points on the board early.
  2. The Jaguars need to get their running game in gear and give the Texans' defense a reason to slow down on their way to quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and Co. were all about the rush last week, because the Jags either couldn't – or wouldn't – commit to the running game. I get that the passing game is supposed to be and likely will be this team's identity, but it isn't after two games. Pederson proclaimed Travis Etienne Jr. a 1,600-yard back during training camp and we've seen enough of rookie Tank Bigsby to know how he can complement the quarterback. Houston is allowing 4.3 yards per carry through two games. It seems like a good time to put this offense in a lower gear and get the offensive line back in a nasty mindset by grinding on an undersized Texans defensive front. The running game will help that unit and before long the passing game will find its rhythm.
Defensive Line Coach Brentson Buckner, Assistant Defensive Line Coach Rory Segrest and DL Roy Robertson-Harris (95)

Kainani Stevens, Jaguars Team Reporter/Producer ...

  1. Turning the page. There's no shame in losing to the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, but it was certainly frustrating since a win was right there for the taking. Still, it's time to turn the page and focus on the Texans. Holding on to "what could have been" would be disastrous for this team. There will be many big games this season, and developing a consistent offensive attack remains Priority No. 1.
  2. Establish the run. We know the wide receiver group is talented on this team and the unit's best chance to thrive is with an established run game. Bigsby didn't touch the ball Sunday and Etienne was limited to 12 rush attempts. I would like to see more of what we saw versus the Colts, when the dedication to the run opened things up for the rest of the offense.

The first home divisional matchup of the season is on the way and players are hitting the field at the Miller Electric Center 💪 Swipe to view practice photos ➡️

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