The Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, both horrendous franchises sitting at 2-11, will have a sopping wet slapfight Sunday in Jacksonville. While the Texans stay the course with many of their bad decisions, the Jaguars dropped one of theirs very quickly, jettisoning head coach Urban Meyer after only 13 games.
A bold move by the Jaguars for sure. Does it mean they are a good franchise, or a better one than the Texans? No. Does it mean they deserve credit for ejecting quickly from an obviously horrid situation? I think it kind of does. In general, the “football world” is surprised at how horribly this year went for Meyer, who was hired to a lot of fanfare. Sure, there were folks who didn’t think Meyer’s style would translate well to the NFL, but the vast majority didn’t look at the hire and say, “What the absolute ****” as they did with a certain other goofball AFC South franchise.
Yessir, the Texans will be out there looking to reduce penalties and turnovers tomorrow, as that is apparently the reason they are so bad. The game plans and the coaches are great, guys. The team just has to execute the game plan better. But oh, also, the coaches need to coach better.
Whatever, man. I have That Football Feeling. Or it may be golf ball sized kidney stone.
Let’s see how the BRB staff predicts Saturday’s soft little pookie bear contest going:
Matt Weston: Jaguars 24, Texans 17.
We saw it happened last year when the Houston Texans fired Bill O’Brien. Tim Kelly finally called vertical routes to Brandin Cooks, Deshaun Watson had more freedom at the line of scrimmage and was able to audible Darren Fells to an enormous touchdown, and Gardner Minshew II was stuck trying to carry Jacksonville against an emotional Texans team all by himself. The Texans picked up their first win of the season after starting 0-4 and then proceeded to go 3-8 to end the season.
The Jaguars are finally free from Urban Meyer’s reign of terror. Kickers won’t get kicked, cracks won’t be massaged, Marvin Jones won’t have to holler, James Robinson will actually play, and so on as the Jaguars look to avenge a Week One loss where they were completely unprepared for a Cover Two defense and defending rubs when playing man coverage.
Losing on Sunday is the best thing for the Texans too. A loss against Jacksonville, with games against Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tennessee to end the season, almost assures them the chance to pick second overall, and maybe even number one if Dan Campbell manages to squeak another win out in Detroit. This game is going to be slightly less dumb without Meyer, but it will still be an all-time dumb game, something we need in a season where the Texans aren’t just bad, but bad and boring.
God bless the STUPOR BOWL.
Chris: Jaguars 29, Texans 13.
I can see a scenario where the Jags play some inspired football for a couple of weeks after canning Urban Meyer. What better team to test out that newfound energy and mettle than the hapless, room temperature, butter-soft Houston Texans who constantly get blown out and are last or near last in rushing and passing offense? A team that has a head coach who doesn’t oversee the offense or the defense, not calling plays for either, yet is still a complete trainwreck when it comes to clock and game management.
Oh, well. I guess I should answer my own question - the Texans are the perfect team for the Jaguars this week. A team you can slap around, try some new stuff on offense and defense against, and have them graciously thank you for that beating afterwards.
bfMFd: Glitter Kitties 17, Texans 9.
There are three worst franchises in the NFL right now, and this is a battle between two of them. Urban Meyer is gone. David Culley still exists, along with Tim Kelly and Lovie Smith.
I have nothing deep to say about this game. Neither team would get a Top 10 ranking in the NCAA. This game only exists because it’s on the schedule.
This is the type of match-up only Bill O’Brien could be excited about, and that should tell you everything you need to know about this game.
l4blitzer: Texans 16, Jaguars 16.
What we have here is perhaps the dumbest match-up that the 2021 NFL season will present to us. You have two bad teams, with bad coaching (well, Jacksonville did just prune their bad coach, but still, the interim guy doesn’t inspire much confidence) and questionable front office personnel with questionable personnel decisions. Both teams are fighting each other for the not-so-coveted dead last ranking in most offensive/defensive/special teams statistical categories. Jacksonville is giving a class in how not to use and develop a potential once-in-a-decade talent with Trevor Lawrence. Davis Mills rates higher in just about all key passing categories than Lawrence. That is not a sentence I would have EVER thought I would write.
Part of me is a little disappointed that The Urbz was sacked before this game. I envisioned perhaps one of the worst games in the history of the NFL with Culley/Urban, Part Deux. The game would be so bad that it would be the NFL-equivalent of a Sharknado-style cult classic movie. The derpness would just blow up on social media, with these teams with questionable motivation going through the motions in front of a sparse, dispassionate crowd. I could just smell a classic 6-6 tie. However, Jacksonville got around to doing the logical thing, purging Meyer, and thus they may actually have some confidence and a smidge of competence. Not much, but maybe enough.
This game could possibly see either Jacksonville explode with their new-found freedom, putting together their best offensive effort of the season and blasting the Texans by 17+ points. Or they could still be so clueless and lost that they come out and let the Texans pound them like it’s Game 1.
These teams are just so collectively bad that the only way this sort of match-up could live down to its proper potential is for these squads to end in a potentially amusing tie. I see Jacksonville jumping out to a two-score lead, a product of their liberation from the worst Urban to ever lead an organization. However, the emotion crashes, and the Texans get within three at the half. The Texans actually score in the second half and the game goes to overtime, where both teams miss OT-winning kicks. The teams leave the field with the same number of losses and wins as they did when they left. The Texans log the franchise’s first tie.
It may not match the first Sharknado, but this could still be a game so-bad-that-it-is-good. It’s about all that is left for the team in 2021.
Mike: Jaguars 27, Texans 12.
Even if Darrell Bevel is no one’s first vote for Coach of the Year, ever, he’s a major improvement over David Culley. Not to mention the Glitter Kitties should be fired up to prove they aren’t as hapless as Urban Meyer told them they were before he got booted. Wonder if Trevor Lawrence is begging Dabo Swinney to move to Florida?
Speaking of booting, Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked the longest field goal in franchise history last week, which means he’s going to miss an extra point this week, because #Texans. Culley and company will accidentally get a few things right, which will make this seem like a competitive game for the first 15-20 minutes before Cal McEasterby reminds them that culture is more important than performing celebration worthy plays and the tank will reassert itself atop the pile of crushed and broken Houston fans.
Kenneth: Texans 17, Jaguars 13.
Well, considering multiple Texans were recently diagnosed with COVID and it is spreading around the nation fairly quickly, this week’s slate of games may not happen. Or next week’s. If we do play, I think the Jaguars are capable of rallying around the change in their locker room to put together a good performance. However, I doubt their offense will be transformed in a matter of days. I can see Trevor Lawrence playing a cleaner game, but that doesn’t excuse some of the bad habits he’s developed. For Lawrence and the league, I’m hoping he gets it together, but his mentality and confidence are stricken.
This game is about more than Urban. It’s about seeding in the NFL Draft. I’ve written about how the third pick may have more equitable value than the 2nd overall pick. I’m assuming this will be a race to the bottom, but it will be curious as to how both teams approach this game. Considering when these draft picks come to fruition, most of the players on the current roster aren’t exactly fighting for their own futures when trying to lose these games.
Matt Robinson: Jaguars 24, Texans 13.
The Trevor Lawrence Revenge Game is upon us. Now rid of his kyrptonite-esque coach Urban Meyer, this young quarterback has a chance to to be a perennial thorn in Houston’s side not unlike Peyton Manning.
While most teams tend to find their identity and improve as the season carries on, it seems as though Houston has regressed in many ways. A team insistent on being a heavy personnel, run the ball, limit turnovers type of offense has been fighting its roster’s true strengths in some sort of midlife crisis type of situation. Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, Brevin Jordan...this team has weapons as well as an offensive line that is able to pass protect. With little to lose for the rest of the season, Dais Mills needs to have his bubble wrap removed and be given more liberties to push the ball downfield. An increase in non-screen pass attempts may not produce amazing results, depending on Mills but it will give more opportunities to evaluate a lot of Houston’s offseason questions.
Should Davis Mills start in 2022? How usable are Nico Collins and Brevin Jordan as offensive pieces? Before we decide Laremy Tunsil’s fate or commit to Tytus Howard’s fifth-year option, how do we value Howard long-term? Can Charlie Heck continue to develop and settle into being a solid starter?
Tim: Jaguars 24, Texans 14.
As many others have mentioned, I expect the Jaguars—who are clearly more talented than the Texans—to revel in the dismissal of their former head coach and put on a show (to the extent one can be put on by this Jacksonville squad) for their home crowd. 2-12, here we come.
Use the comments section below to predict Sunday’s game. Will the Texans jump a team in disarray, or get jumped because the Jaguars so glad to have Meyer out of the building? The intense drama will play out Sunday at noon. Don’t miss it!