On Sunday afternoon, #LadyRamsey and the Jacksonville Jaguars will meet the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in the 2018 regular-season finale for both teams. The Jaguars of course were favored to win the AFC South by nearly everyone this season, but completely fell apart and have taken their rightful place at the bottom of the division once again. It’s just who they are. One season doesn’t change that, now does it? No. No, it does not.
With a defense that could potentially rise up at any moment, the Jaguars could have a decent shot to play spoiler in this game if they had some semblance of a quarterback. Laughably, they do not. I mean COME ON, guys - even the Jaguar fans knew keeping Blake Bortles around at ANY price was a bad idea.
You can review all the potential playoff seedings for the Texans here, but it appears the most likely outcome for the Texans is the No. 3 seed, hosting a playoff game in the first week of the tournament. HOW-EVAH, for that to happen, barring a Titans-Colts tie, Houston needs to win this game. With that said, let’s see how the BRB staff sees this one playing out...
Chris: Texans 29, Jaguars 13.
I’m going to allow myself the luxury of predicting a Texans blowout win, which I have not done much this season. Maybe just a couple times. I just feel like the boys are gonna put it all together Sunday and finish the season strong. Also, Blake Bortles is going to be the starting QB for the Jaguars. Or, if he gets benched - again - it will be Cody Kessler. So forgive me if I’m not too worried.
BFmf’nD: Texans 22, Glitter Kitties 17.
This game should be a perfect ending to the season: conservative, playing to to lose football on both sides of the ball, a one-score game, red zone struggles, and a game that takes us back to 1920.
Matt Weston: Texans 23, Jaguars 13.
Can you be nostalgic for something that happened only two months ago? If so, then this game is for everyone who loved each and every notch on the bedpost during the Texans’ nine game win streak. Win after win after win after win after win from an offense that did just enough, combined with the best run defense in football gripping the necks of bad offenses that had to run the football to limit the damage their quarterback would do.
This game is a homage to those times. A bonus track on a greatest hits record. The Jags have to run the ball. They aren’t good at running the ball. They won’t score very many points, if any at all. Jacksonville’s pass defense can still be ferocious at times and carry this team like an actual jaguar carries an antelope corpse up into the trees (the antelope corpse being Cody Kessler or Blake Bortles). This time it will be Bortles, just like last time. And just like last time, Houston’s offense will do enough to make this a win that reminds us of simpler, front porch rocking chair days.
Mike Bullock: Texans 38, Jaguars 20.
I’m going to respectfully disagree with BFD on this one. I think the Texans players are going to take over here and rise up. The run game will get going once more, the passing attack will be lethal, and the J.J. Watt-led defense will stifle the Jaguars’ offense. The spitting and sputtering will end, and the Texans will finally have what comes close to a complete game. Houston will finally ride into the NFL Playoffs looking like a real contender. Hopefully, they won’t blow all they have on this one game.
kdentify: Texans 31, Jaguars 13.
While I don’t know that I can predict this Texans offense going all out and scoring 38 points on the Jags, I do think Houston’s defense will be stifling, holding the Bortles-led offense to less than two TDs, while our offense shows what it’s capable of and scores at least three TDs.
The Texans head into the 2018 playoffs on a high note and look like they might be capable of challenging for the AFC crown.
Tim: Texans 24, Jaguars 13.
While it is tempting to peg Sunday’s tilt as a one-sided affair that favors the good guys, I have too much respect for Jacksonville’s defense—especially Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, and Calais Campbell—to think that the visitors will just roll over. Deshaun Watson is a wizard, and DeAndre Hopkins is a witch, but the rest of Houston’s options in the passing game do not exactly scream “BLOWOUT.”
The last time these teams met, Lamar Miller rushed for 100 yards. Although I don’t expect a returning Miller to reach quite the same level of success on Sunday, I do expect the Texans to run the ball with some proficiency and with great repetition. That should serve to put a bit of a governor on the number of points Houston scores.
Defensively, the Texans will confuse Blake Bortles and take advantage of a woebegone Jacksonville offense. I would be stunned if Bortles didn’t get find some yards running the football, and I hope the Texans are ready for a steady diet of zone read from Bortles & Co.; that and quick passes over the middle are likely the only way Jacksonville will be able to move the ball with any regularity. Ultimately, it won’t be enough to keep pace with the home team.