Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Houston Texans look to continue their run as the best team in the AFC as they visit the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans are -3.5 point favorites over the Jaguars with an over/under point total set at 40.
At the start of the season Jackson Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio received an ultimatum that if the Jags didn’t make the playoffs he would be gone; 10 games in and he has one foot out of the door. The jaguars let one get away from them on Sunday as they had the ball at the one yard line with a few tried to get into the endzone for the winning score but they were unable to do so. Blaine Gabbert continues to look like a rookie QB completing 48.9 percent of his passes for just 1,235 yards and six touchdowns and five interceptions. Maurice Jones Drew is closing in on another 1,000 yard season as he has 941 yards and five touchdowns. Mike Thomas leads Jacksonville in receiving with 35 catches for just 357 yards and Marcedes Lewis has 23 catches. The Jaguars defense is allowing just 300.2 yards per game and 18 points and they have 23 sacks, eight fumble recoveries, and 10 interceptions for a plus two turnover margin. Paul Posluszny has 77 tackles, Daryl Smith has 75 tackles, and Jeremy Mincey has 4.5 sacks to lead the Jacksonville defense. The Jags have a championship defense but without a passing game the offense isn’t getting enough points on the board.
The Houston Texans have te best record in the AFC but as they come off of the bye week they get injured players back but try and carry on with a huge piece of the puzzle missing. The big story this week for the Texans is Matt Schaub and really his absence as he is gone for the season with a foot injury. Matt Leinart who hasn’t played a down this season and hasn’t proved he is a viable option as an NFL QB gets the start though T.J. Yates who will be o the bench may actually be the better option the player we may see at some point. Leinart won’t have to do it himself as Arian Foster and Ben Tate have turned into a two headed monster in the backfield with Foster averaging 4.3 yards per carry and scoring six touchdowns and Tate averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Owen Daniels has been the leading pass catcher with 37 grabs and three touchdowns and Jacoby Jones has provided the deep threat but the Texans get back arguable their best player, Andre Johnson, who has missed the last several games with an injury. Houston has the top defense in the NFL allowing just 269.7 yards per game and 16.6 points while recording 26 sacks, recovering seven fumbles, and snatching 14 interceptions for a plus nine turnover ratio. Brian Cushing has 69 tackles, Brooks Reed has five sacks, and Jonathan Joseph and Jason Allen have three interceptions each. It will be a different Texans team as the opposition will be stacking the line to challenge Leinart to beat them.
Jacksonville is 3-1-1 against the spread in their last five games overall, 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games as a home underdog, and 4-10-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Houston is 3-0-1 against the spread in their last four games overall, 4-1 against the spread in their last five as a road favorite, and 6-2-1 against the spread in their last nine games against the AFC. The home team is 3-0-1 against the spread in the last four meetings of these two.
Houston has traditionally struggled in Jacksonville and the thought of Matt Leinart facing any kind of viable defense is a scary thought. While Blaine Gabbert hasn’t proved to be much better than Leinart, he at least has an NFL arm. The Texans may be in for a long final few games and will probably be giving Yates a chance in the near future.
Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 Houston Texans