Wednesday's notebook

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Home opener

The Jaguars open up the home portion of their schedule on Sunday as they host the Houston Texans in AFC South play.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET.  The Jaguars are 11-6 all-time in their home opener including two straight wins.  The Jaguars are looking to open division play with a win for the third straight season. 

This is the 21st meeting between the two teams with the Texans leading the series, 11-9.  The Jaguars have won four of the last five meetings at home but the Texans swept the season series in 2011.   This is the earliest (week two) game between the two teams and only the fourth meeting in September. 

Taking care of home

Gene Smith is in his fourth season as the Jaguars general manager and his first four drafts (2009-12) netted 26 players and 20 remain with the club, a 76.9 percent retention rate.  Of the six players selected in the first two rounds, all six are regular starters for the Jaguars.  Of the 22 current starters, 15 were either drafted by the Jaguars or signed as rookie free agents including 10 of 11 offensive starters.

OFFENSE

POS. PLAYER HOW ACQ.
LT Eugene Monroe 2009 Draft (1st Round)
LG Eben Britton 2009 Draft (2nd Round)
C Brad Meester 2000 Draft (2nd Round)
RG Uche Nwaneri 2007 Draft (5th Round)
RT Cameron Bradfield 2011 Draft (Undrafted Rookie)
TE Marcedes Lewis 2006 Draft (1st Round)
WR Justin Blackmon 2012 Draft (1st Round)
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 2006 Draft (2nd Round)
FB Greg Jones 2004 Draft (2nd Round)
QB Blaine Gabbert 2011 Draft (1st Round)

DEFENSE

POS. PLAYER HOW ACQ.
DT Tyson Alualu 2010 Draft (1st Round)
RDE Andre Branch 2012 Draft (2nd Round)
LB Daryl Smith 2004 Draft (2nd Round)
LB Russell Allen 2009 Draft (Undrafted Rookie)
RCB Derek Cox 2009 Draft (3rd Round)

Hot in September

Josh Scobee is definitely not a slow starter based on his recent play in the opening months.  Scobee has connected on his last 13 field goal attempts in September including all three last Sunday at Minnesota.  His last miss in September was Sept. 20, 2009 vs. Arizona.  He joins David Nugent (15 of 15), Connor Barth (14 of 14) and David Akers (12 for 12) as the only players (min. 10 attempts) since 2010 to not miss in September.

Hot starts are becoming the norm for the ninth-year pro.  Here's a look at his totals to start the season the last three years:

■ (2012) - Hit on field goals of 19, 26 and 47 yards at Minnesota.  Was 5 of 6 in the preseason with his only miss blocked at Baltimore.

■ (2011) - Connected on his first 15 field goal attempts before he was wide right on a 45-yard try in the second quarter on Nov. 13 at Indianapolis.  The 15 straight field goals tied his career-best, equaling the third-best streak in team history.  He was 9 of 10 on field goals in the preseason.

■ (2010) - Started the season 14 of 14 with nine of the field goals coming from 40-plus yards before he missed on Nov. 14 against Houston.  He also made all nine field goal attempts in the preseason.

Milestone upcoming for Scobee

Josh Scobee enters Sunday's game with the Texans tied with Mike Hollis for the franchise record for most points scored with 764.  Scobee needs six field goals to break Hollis' team field goals record (175).

First overtime game with new rules

The Jaguars and Vikings played the first overtime game with the new overtime rules instituted for regular season games in 2012.   For the 2010 postseason, the NFL installed a modified sudden death system and the system was expanded to cover all NFL games in 2012 including preseason and regular season.

Both teams have the opportunity to possess the ball at least once in the extra period unless the team that receives the overtime kickoff scores a touchdown on its first possession.

The Vikings won the coin toss in overtime and marched 55 yards on eight plays to set up a 38-yard field goal by Blair Walsh.  On the ensuing possession, the Jaguars failed to convert a fourth down pass to end the game.

Sunday's loss was the 12th overtime game in franchise history and first since Dec. 26, 2010 against Washington (L, 17-20). 

JAGUARS OVERTIME HISTORY

LOCATION W L T WON TOSS LOST TOSS
Home 3 1 0 4 0
Road 4 4 0 2 6
Totals 7 5 0 6 6

Jones-Drew on verge of another record; nears 7,000 career rushing yards

Maurice Jones-Drew already owns the franchise record for total touchdowns with 74.  Jones-Drew's next rushing touchdown will be his 63rd and break the team record held by Fred Taylor. 

Jones-Drew enters the game with 6,931 career rushing yards, 69 rushing yards shy of 7,000 for his career.  He would join Steven Jackson (9,146), Frank Gore (7,737) and Willis McGahee (7,430) as the only active NFL players to accomplish the feat.

Jones-Drew has played in 10 games against the Texans and has recorded nine rushing touchdowns and three 100-yard rushing games.  He has scored 32 touchdowns in 34 career division games including four in six games in 2011.  Since becoming a full-time starter in 2009, he leads the NFL with 17 touchdowns (15 rushing, 2 receiving) and a 101.9-yard rushing average in 17 division games. 

Mularkey, players visit Wolfson Children's Hospital

Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey made a stop at Wolfson Children's Hospital last Friday to present a check on behalf of the organization and its fans.  Fans who attended the club's scrimmage on Friday, August 3 at EverBank Field donated $6,250 and the Jaguars matched the amount for a total donation of $12,500.

A trio of wide receivers spent more than an hour at the hospital on Tuesday visiting kids.  Laurent Robinson, Justin BlackmonandMike Thomas went room-to-room and handed out miniature footballs, t-shirts and other items. 

Strong start for Gabbert

Blaine Gabbert opened up his second NFL season by recording a career-best 96.1 passer rating and throwing for a career-high 260 yards. Gabbert completed 23 of 39 passes and matched his career-high with two touchdown passes.  The 260 yards were the fifth-most in franchise history for an opening day game and the highest total since 2003.

It marked Gabbert's third career game with multiple touchdown passes and he has at least one touchdown pass in 11 of his first 15 starts.  Eight of his 14 career touchdown passes have come in the last six games dating back to 2011.

Jaguars roster loaded with Texas natives

The Jaguars have eight players with ties to Texas: linebacker Kyle Bosworth (Plano, Plano West Senior High), guard Uche Nwaneri (Garland, Naaman Forest High), cornerback Aaron Ross (Tyler, John Tyler High, Univ. of Texas), cornerback Kevin Rutland (Houston, North Shore High), kicker Josh Scobee (Longview, Longview High), offensive lineman Herb Taylor (Houston, Hightower High, Texas Christian) and wide receiver Mike Thomas (DeSoto, DeSoto High).

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