Week 2: Houston Texans At Jacksonville Jaguars
- QuarterbackMatt Schaub made a successful return from the fractured foot that knocked him out last season. He wasn’t overly impressive in Week One against the Dolphins, but the Texans demonstrated their faith in him by giving him a contract extension.Don’t blame Blaine Gabbert for the Jaguars’ Week One overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He led the offense to what appeared to be a game-winning drive in the final minute only to see the Vikings pull off the miracle and tie the game up.
- OffenseFew teams in the NFL can approach the balance the Texans have on offense. Andre Johnson is one of the most explosive receivers in the game and Arian Foster is probably the best all-around running back in football.Maurice Jones-Drew ended his holdout and should be in peak form for this game. He has agility and quick-strike ability. Keep your eye on wideout Laurent Robinson, who caught five passes in the opener and was targeted nine times.
- DefenseThe Texans depended on their defense to erase any thoughts the Dolphins had of recording an upset. Wade Phillips’ defense is noted for its speed and defensive end J.J. Watt is a superb pass rusher (1.5 sacks vs. Dolphins) while Brian Cushing is rapidly becoming one of the best linebackers in the game.The Jaguars are likely to become one of the better tackling teams in the league, thanks to the solid fundamental play of hard hitting linebacker Paul Posluszny. Free safety Dawan Landry is a nasty tackler as well.
- Special TeamsDonnie Jones averaged 43.6 yards on his five punts against the Dolphins. Shayne Graham is a decent field goal kicker but not a star.The Jaguars need to take Jones-Drew off special teams after averaging just 2.0 yards on his punt returns. Punter Bryan Anger gets great height and distance on his kicks.
The Texans are one of the most complete teams in the league and they should not be bothered by going on the road. The Jaguars are almost always overlooked and quite physical, but they don’t have enough talent to stay with Houston this season.