After everything that's happened this season, here we are, talking about a Houston Texans squad that should--SHOULD--be hosting a playoff game next week. That, my friends, is simply nuts. This team was dead. DEAD. They legitimately looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL. After 15 games, however, they're 8-7, atop a terrible division, the prohibitive favorites to be the fourth seed in the AFC when the NFL Playoffs begin next week. It's almost enough to make you think predictions don't matter, that it's impossible to accurately call how a NFL season will play out.
ALMOST. But not quite. Here's how tomorrow's tilt between the Texans and Jaguars will unfold.
1. In his return to Houston's starting lineup, Brian Hoyer will look rusty but will eventually put together a two TD effort. Mark him down for 265 passing yards, a completion rate of 62%, and 1 interception to go with the aforementioned pair of TD passes, one of which will go to DeAndre Hopkins and the other of which will go to Ryan Griffin.
2. Recall that Whitney Mercilus had two sacks last time the Texans played the Jaguars. It shall happen again on Sunday. As the Jags focus on stopping J.J. Watt, Mercilus feasts anew. Other sacks of Blake Bortles--Watt (they can't keep him from doing what he does) and Brian Cushing.
3. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns may well be the best wide receiver duo in the NFL today. Each of them will find the end zone on Sunday, and they'll combine for 160 yards receiving. That's not to say the Jacksonville passing game will operate without issue; Bortles will throw two interceptions on the afternoon. Quintin Demps and Kevin Johnson will be the beneficiaries of Bortles' errors.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Although it's fair to wonder if the Texans will come out with their proverbial house on fire given the playoff odds stacked in their favor, I believe Bill O'Brien will have his charges sufficiently motivated to treat this as a win-or-go-home game. Thanks to a dangerous passing game, the Jaguars will not go quietly into that good night. But it won't be enough to derail Houston from clinching a playoff berth in front of the home crowd. Texans 27, Jaguars 20.
Jaguars vs Texans coverage
Big Cat Country