I like to call it "Fall Back Sunday" because this is the weekend we turn our clocks back one hour, say goodbye to daylight and begin preparing for winter. Those circumstances are certainly not as extreme in Florida as they are in the northeast, nonetheless, nothing says change of seasons like the last weekend in October, even in Florida.
In the NFL, "Fall Back Sunday" means the serious football time of year has arrived. November is a few days away, Thanksgiving is just ahead and if you have designs on making the postseason, this is a good time to begin putting your best foot forward.
That's where the Jaguars and a whole bunch of other middle-of-the-pack teams are. OK, which is it going to be? Playoff contender or early-season tease?
The Jaguars' opponent this Sunday is expansion Houston. The Texans are not to be taken lightly, but they are a perfect foe for finding your game. And that's what the Jaguars have to do.
What is their game? Is this a passing team that uses Fred Taylor to keep defenses honest? Or is this Taylor's team and it uses its passing game to move the chains and give Taylor a fresh series of downs?
There is a distinction between those two styles, and the Jaguars need to embrace one or the other. All winning teams have a specific personality. The Jaguars have yet to express theirs.
Now's the time to do it.
With that said, here's "10 things" the Jaguars have to do to beat the Texans.
- Ignore the league rankings--The Texans are dead-last in the league in total offense. That may be misleading.
- Sack the quarterback--David Carr has been sacked 40 times. That's one of the big reasons the net yardage is so bad. It's how you beat the Texans; sack the quarterback.
- Reduce the risk of error--The Texans can't win this game unless the Jaguars give it to them. Play it safe is the way to go.
- Forget fourth down--Just kick the darn thing.
- Run, Fred, run--The Texans are 21st against the run and 1-5 teams have a tendency to wilt.
- Protect Brunell--Dom Capers knows how to get pressure on a quarterback.
- Know the circumstances--A win coupled with an Indianapolis loss would put the Jaguars in a first-place tie with the Colts. That is the day's number one objective.
- Defend your turf--The Jaguars are on a two-game home winning streak. Make it three.
- Say thank you--The Jaguars owe a deep debt of gratitude to the Texans for assuming $17 million of Jaguars salary cap amortization in last winter's expansion draft.
- Just play hard--That'll work.