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Texans-Jaguars Preview: Five Things To Watch

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Texans. Jaguars. This game doesn't matter. Here's your viewing guide for this Week Seventeen matchup, including five things to keep an eye on as the Texans take on the Jaguars.

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

You shouldn't be reading this. I shouldn't have written this. Don't let anyone fool you. This game doesn't matter. It's meaningless.

There are millions of things outside your door you should be doing instead of letting me put my thoughts into your brain or watching this game. You could be driving out to West Texas while listening to Explosions in the Sky, or putting together a puzzle, or helping out at the old folks' home, or riding a bike and savoring the Christmas lights one last time, or kneeling in a pew, or reading William Faulkner, but you will, and I will as well, because somewhere along the way we've decided to be REAL Texans fans.

To be a REAL Texans fan, you have to watch every game. You don't get to pick and choose. You have to watch them in December when they're 3-11 and playing the 2-12 Jaguars or when they're massacred in primetime by New England. In order to celebrate in drunken revelry , you have to put the work in. These three and a half hours that you are most certainly never going to get back against the Jaguars is part of being a REAL fan.

Let's get on with it.

1.) THE CLUB

I loved yelling, "THE CLUB!" It was a ton of fun to say every time J.J. Watt made a tackle. The problem was I didn't get to holler this very often. In the last three games against New England, Indianapolis, and Tennessee, Watt had 8 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, and 1 pass deflected.

Playing professional football is a difficult thing to do. Playing professional football with one hand is a much more difficult thing to do. With one arm, Watt couldn't grab, he couldn't read and shed, and he couldn't take on two blockers at once. He made some sweet swim moves occasionally and bombarded his way into the line of scrimmage to open up holes for other players. Watt's hand hampered him and turned him into a destroyer of planets, instead of the universe swallower he usually is.

That's the past.  Tomorrow, Watt could be playing without that black hammer.

This week, Watt practiced without a cast, and it's a possibility he's CLUBLESS for this week's game. This isn't important for this week, but it is for next week. For the Texans to win their third playoff game, Watt needs to be at full strength. Playing without the CLUB this week would be a nice practice run against an offensive line with an adjusted sack rate of 7.3% (24th) before football matters again.

2.) Poor Davon House

The Jaguars' defense is weird. They're 14th in run defense DVOA and 31st in pass defense DVOA. Andre Branch, Telvin Smith, Paul Posluszny, and Jared Odrick are all good run defenders. They tackle and take on blocks well. Their secondary consists of Davon House, Jonathan Cyprien, Aaron Colvin, and Josh Evans.  It is one of the worst in the NFL.

Together this starting four, combined with a few other players, are 28th (DVOA) in covering WR #1, 27th covering WR #2, 26th covering other WRs, 28th covering TEs, and 24th covering RBs. This week, they should be horrified trying to cover DeAndre Hopkins.

Last time the Texans played the Jaguars, Hopkins had 10 catches on 15 targets for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns; if you want to relive it, you should re-read my Incompletions section on it. Hopkins was so good that he managed to overshadow Cecil Shorts III's homecoming. In that game, Nuk did numerous vile and despicable things to Davon House. It was a XXX performance that can't be described with diction suitable for this forum.

We should throw some pennies together and get House an edible arrangement or something. If he's left in man coverage against Hopkins, he's going to have to need something to cheer him up once this game is over.  Nothing mollifies a broken heart quite like a kiwi cut into a heart.

3.) The A-Team

So much is said about Blake Bortles being a bad quarterback. Yeah, he does make one or seven Geno Smith-esque idiotic plays that leave shaking your head or giggling, depending on where your heart lays. Yes, he is inaccurate at times, especially throwing short. Yes, he has a a lot of interceptions.

But for him to be a successful NFL quarterback, he really only needs to fix the turnover issues. The context is important. He doesn't have to be all that accurate because of the skill players around him. Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson are two incredible receivers who just need the ball in the same zip code to leap over a meek safety and haul the ball.

This duo has become one of the best combinations in the NFL.

Player DYAR DVOA Targets Yds TD Catch%
A.Hurns 241 (16) 18.2% (11) 160 1,1013 10 61%
A.Robinson 290 (6) 13% (17) 142 1,292 14 53%

I've watched most of the Jaguars' games this year thanks to the condensed versions that Game Pass offers. I wouldn't have done this, but these two are so much fun to watch. I'm pumped to see these two and Julius Thomas take on Johnathan Joseph, Kevin Johnson, and Kareem Jackson.

(Also, we really need to come up with a nickname for Joseph, Johnson, and Jackson. It's weird to see a combination of common "J" last names all in the same place. Submit your ideas below.)

4.) Jadeveon Clowney Better Not Play

I'm really tired of it, Jadeveon. I really don't need you to play with my heart like this. Too often you leave the field and scare us to death that an ACL is shredded, or a meniscus is popped, or a dread is ripped. Last week you left the field against Tennessee after a non-contact injury. Yet again it wasn't a disaster of an injury, just a little hurt foot. Cool. That's good. Much better than a groin injury.

Mr. Clowney, you don't need to play this game.  Hell , ou don't even need to watch this game.  You don't need to prove you're a REAL fan. This game doesn't matter. Sit this one out and get ready for either Eric Fisher or D'Brickashaw Ferguson in the Wild Card round. Houston can only win if they hold an opponent to less than 20 points. For them to beat either New York or Kansas City, they'll need you to wreak havoc.

5.) PLAYOFFS?

Two months ago on Battle Red Radio, I said the division is going to depend on if either the Texans or Colts sweeping the last three games of the season. I was 95% correct. The AFC SOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP depended on the winner of the Texans-Colts game.

The Texans are the captain of this shoddy ship. For them to lose ownership to the Colts, the following needs to happen:

-Indianapolis beat Tennessee.

-Jacksonville beats Houston.

-Miami beats New England.

-Denver beats San Diego.

-Atlanta beats New Orleans.

-Baltimore beats Cincinnati.

-Buffalo beats the New York Jets.

-Oakland beats Kansas City.

-Pittsburgh beats Cleveland.

The odds of this happening? 512 to 1. Weird things happen in life, but Indy making the playoffs isn't going to be a time where you ponder the strangeness of it all.

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