The Houston Texans go to Jacksonville on Sunday to face the Jaguars. In Week 3, Chris Brown fumbled away a win on the goal line in Houston. Now the Texans will look for revenge. Here are the five matchups I feel are most important in order for that to happen.
1. Tyron Brackenridge vs. Andre Johnson - It's hard enough to contain Johnson with everyone healthy, much less when you're missing your best cover corner, Rashean Mathis. The Jags sport the 26th ranked pass defense this season, of which Mathis was one of the few highlights. Now Brackenridge, how has given up a total of 251 yards and a touchdown in the last two games since taking over the starting role, will try and stop Andre, who will likely play inspired because of the last couple of games.
2. John Busing vs. Maurice Jones-Drew - The Texans run defense has turned a corner since the last time they played the Jaguars, mostly due to improved play from the safety position. Busing hasn't contributed to that improvement though, and had not started since Week 3 until he was forced back into the lineup last week because of a season-ending injury to Eugene Wilson. The reason he lost his job? Poor support to the run. Busing will be dropped in coverage more than Bernard Pollard, but he will still be required to come up to help bring Jones-Drew down.
3. Dunta Robinson vs. Mike Sims-Walker - Anyone who has regularly watched the Texans this year knows that Robinson has been abused regularly. Opposing #1 wide receivers have tallied 50 receptions for 639 yards and 5 TDs, which is slightly deceiving considering it doesn't take into account the many pass interference infractions Dunta's committed. Sims-Walker can claim 6 receptions for 81 yards of that total. I honestly don't understand why teams don't throw Robinson's way more often.
4. Mario Williams vs. Eugene Monroe - This one is a little obvious but pivotal nonetheless. The Jaguars have given up the 6th most sacks and the 88 times that David Garrard has been hit is the most in the NFL. It's been established that Williams is hurting, but he simply needs to be able to beat a rookie in a must win situation, period.
5. Gary Kubiak vs. Wasted Season - To say the season has been disappointing is an understatement, but it's not over yet. The playoffs is almost certainly out of the picture, but the first winning season in franchise history is not. The Texans under Gary Kubiak are
11-4 10-5 in the last 5 games of the season over the last 5 years the Kubiak Era. Gary might be coaching for his job though. It will be interesting to see how his coaching demeanor changes, if any, now that his back is against the wall.