It's Battle Red Day, and the Texans have once again scheduled the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville is 2-5 in Reliant Stadium (1-5 under Jack Del Rio), and the Texans are looking to win their second consecutive division game after defeating the Tennessee Titans on the road, 34-31 last week.
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) vs. Houston Texans (1-1)
Sunday, September 27th, 12:00 p.m. (CST)
Kickoff Temperature: Roof closed
Line: Texans by 4
Three most important things for the Texans on defense:
1. Stop the run (this time we mean it). The only thing the Jaguars can do well on offense is run the football with Maurice Jones-Drew, and the Texans have struggled mightily in the last month stopping the run. Houston needs to reverse this trend.
2. Take advantage of the young tackles. The Jaguars have a pair of rookie bookends starting, and not only the great Mario Williams, but Antonio Smith or Tim Bulman both have to win those one-on-one battles and pressure David Garrard.
3. Keep contain on Garrard. When Jaguars quarterback David Garrard starts to move around, it's not to throw, as he tucks the ball and runs. If you can keep Garrard in the pocket, he will get flustered and sack himself.
Three most important things for the Texans on offense:
1. Dink and dunk again. The Jaguars were picked apart by Kurt Warner last Sunday as he simply dropped back three steps and found open receivers time and time again (to the tune of a new NFL single-game record 92.3% completions). Matt Schaub can easily do the same.
2. Get the tight ends involved. Jacksonville's linebackers will struggle to cover Owen Daniels and the Texans need to take advantage of that matchup.
3. Don't turn it over. If Houston doesn't turn the ball over, it's not likely that the Jaguars can drive the football consistently, even against a struggling Texans defense.
What to look for:
1. Look for Maurice Jones-Drew to get over 100. MJD is one of the best players in the game, and is the Jags best playmaker. He will run the ball and catch it out of the backfield early and often.
2. Look for Schaub to throw for nearly 300. Matt Schaub is coming off a career game and this defense is much worse than the Titans D that he shredded a week ago.
3. Look for the Texans to register at least three sacks. The Jags offensive line isn't that bad, but Garrard tends to run into sacks.
4. Look for Andre Johnson to have a rough day. Jaguars corner Rashean Mathis shadowed Larry Fitzgerald last week, and did a fine job on him. Look for the Texans other wideouts to be more productive than Johnson.
5. Look for a trick play. It could be a fake kick, maybe a halfback option or something else, one of these teams will pull something out of the bag in hopes to get a cheap score.
Sleeper watch: Zac Diles, Jarett Dillard