SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!!!!!!
It’s almost time to get this season started. Tomorrow afternoon, the Houston Texans will host the Worst Uniforms In The NFL to kick off 2017. I mean, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Everyone from the novice to the casual observer to the expert analyst is largely picking the Texans to win this game. Let’s see what the venerable Battle Red Blog staff thinks will happen, shall we?
Tim: Texans 24, Jaguars 13.
NRG Stadium is going to be wild as Houstonians welcome their team back and release two weeks' worth of frustration from the aftermath of Harvey. The Texans will feed off that energy and play inspired football throughout the afternoon.
Blake Bortles will be responsible for at least two turnovers and get sacked four times. Leonard Fournette will learn that there is in fact a significant step up from running between the tackles against the Florida Gators verus attempting to do the same against the Houston Texans. Tom Savage will throw his first NFL touchdown--to DeAndre Hopkins--and will not throw a pick. We'll walk away feeling good about the team as they quickly turn their attention to the Bengals and Thursday Night Football next week.
Diehard Chris: Texans 23, Jaguars 10.
The Jaguars cannot win with Blake Bortles. They sure as [kitten] can’t win with Blake Bortles against this Texans’ defense, despite the questionable back-end. But - more importantly - THE JAGUARS CANNOT WIN WITH BLAKE BORTLES! Houston’s defense will rule the day against the Jags, and the Texans’ offense will show some early-season jitters because... well, it’s just not going to be a very good offense.
I need all of you to sympathize with me personally on this one. I need your thoughts and prayers. We have a new kicker. I do not do well with kickers, including new kickers. Ka’imi Fairbairn is causing me stress. I need all of you to put your time and feelings aside and think about how I’m going to get through breaking in a new kicker. I thank you. I thank you all. #ThoughtsAndPrayers
UprootedTexan: Texans 26, Jaguars 10.
As long as Blake Bortles draws a paycheck from this team and they insist on letting him play, the Texans will have a better than average chance of winning against the Glitter Kitties.
That said, I do think the Jags get a rushing TD off the strength of Fournette, and our defense gets a couple of picks, one of which will be returned for a score.
Savage shows a little spark of something, but not enough to really make all of Texans Land comfortable with him as the starter. Yeah, that's good and nebulous, like all great predictions should be.
Luke Beggs: Texans 21, Jaguars 14.
The Jags’ offense will still be in a period of discovery about what they want to do. The Texans’ offense will do just enough to overcome Jacksonville’s improved defense. I think Tom Savage will keep the Texans’ offense afloat, and the defense carries the day as usual.
TexansTakeaway: Texans 24, Jaguars 10.
The Texans’ defense is going to feast this weekend. They may have a hard time containing Leonard Fournette, but Blake Bortles will continue to be mediocre and turnover prone, handing Houston a few interceptions and maybe a pick-six. Plus, we get a healthy J.J. Watt and a healthy Jadeveon Clowney on the same line, something we've been waiting to see since Clowney was drafted in 2014. That, plus their determination to bolster the spirits of Houston in the wake of Harvey, should mean a huge game defensively.
On the other side of the ball, I don't have high expectations. I hope Nuk shows out after his contract extension and D’Onta Foreman rumbles in for a score. But quarterback and offensive line play will probably remain sub-par. Plus, we have to face A.J. Bouye Jalen Ramsey in the secondary, a duo I am not looking forward to testing. In the end, the Texans’ defense will pull out the win. Like always.
BFMF’nD: Texans 16, Jaguars 6.
The defense, aided by a raucous crowd, will deliver a stunning performance, including scoring a touchdown. Ka'imi Fairbairn will add three field goals on four attempts as the Mighty All-Field Goal Offense returns to NRG Stadium.
Otherwise, this game will set back offensive football by decades. Again.
Jeremy Brener: Texans 20, Jaguars 13.
Houston wins this through their run game. Their depleted receiving unit is not a good matchup against the Jaguars’ underrated secondary. However, the front seven for Houston proves to be too much for the porous Jacksonville offensive line.
Tom Savage looks solid but does not wow anybody. However, his game management skills and ability to not turn the ball over are good enough for Houston to get the win. He throws a touchdown to C.J. Fiedorowicz, Lamar Miller runs for another, and Fairbairn nails a short field goal. Jacksonville has a Fournette TD on a one-yard run and Bortles throws two picks. Ultimately, the Houston defense is too much for the Jags to handle, and they go 1-0.
Capt. Ron: Texans 12, Jags 6.
It will likely be a frustrating display for both offenses but an electrifying day for the Texans' defense as they extend their league-best 2016 status into 2017 in greater pursuit of "1985 Bears-level" recognition.
The real story at NRG this Sunday will be emotional tributes to all those who suffered tragedy during Harvey, and to celebrate the incredible heroism of so many who rushed in to selflessly help in so many ways.
Taking a look at the bigger picture in the AFC, no matter what happens Sunday for the Texans, they can at least head into this season knowing that the Patriots--who Houston will visit in Week 3--are indeed mortal, thanks to an inspiring decleating from the Chiefs on Thursday night.
Brett Kollmann: Texans 9, Jaguars 6.
If you love defensive football, this is the game for you. Neither ball club is expected to score many points, but I suspect that will be more because of the strengths of both teams' defenses rather than the ineptitude of their offenses. Jacksonville might legitimately boast the best starting corner tandem in the NFL, while Houston could legitimately boast the best trio of pass rushers in the league. No matter what, both quarterbacks are probably going to struggle mightily in this one.
But just because the scoreboard is not being lit up does not mean that this game won't be immensely entertaining. This is the first Sunday ever where J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus will all be completely healthy and on the field together. We as a fan base have waited four frustrating years for this moment, and now it has finally arrived. Rejoice, brothers and sisters, for the Electric Circus has at long last come to town!
GreatSportsMorpheus: Texans 17, Jaguars 6.
If you're expecting to see a high-scoring shootout to start the season, you may be disappointed tomorrow. Jacksonville's offense should continue to struggle to score. The addition of Fournette doesn't have move the dial much for them because their offensive line has no answer for the Texans’ front seven. Whitley Mercilus could have a huge day as the Jags will focus on Watt and Clowney.
Savage is still getting used to his role in the Texans’ offense. Expect O'Brien to be conservative in play-calling until he sees Savage get comfortable. It won't take much to win this game, but it will be ugly.
Mike Bullock: Texans 26, Jaguars 17
One offensive TD, one defensive score, and the All Field Goal Offense FTW! J.J. Watt and friends get off to a slow start, but ramp up fast and shut down Jacksonville’s offense after an early 10 points. Then Savage throws a pick-six which puts the final Jag points on the board.
Ramsey and Hopkins have a battle for the ages, fans start chanting for Deshaun Watson, and Leonard Fournette leaves the game injured after a collision with Benardrick McKinney. Otherwise, a typical glitter-kitty beatdown. Can’t wait!
A clean sweep! Please note the Titan Matt Weston, Slanderer of Blade Runner and a Huge Fan of the Texans Rangers, Who Are Currently 16 Games Behind the Houston Astros is off in the wilderness somewhere looking for Dragon Glass, so he wasn’t able to drop a Jaguars win prediction on us.
See you tomorrow, BRBers! Hit up the comments below for your predictions, and enjoy Week One!