Maybe drink less and do fewer drugs Saturday night, because there’s a Texans game at 8:30 AM on Sunday morning. The Texans will be making the trip to London for the first time, while the Jags are old hands at this whole international showcase game thing. I do think that is an advantage for the Jaguars; however they still have to contend with the AFC Player of the Month in October, Deshaun Watson (even if he doesn’t have two fully-functional eyes).
Let’s see how the BRB staff sees Sunday’s
game match going down from the field pitch in London!
Matt Weston: Houston Texans 30, Jacksonville Jaguars 27.
Let’s start the “Outscore every damn team every damn week” campaign. This isn’t the same Jaguar team as the one Houston beat in Week Two, and that took D.J. Reader collapsing the rush lane, slowing down Leonard Fournette, and giving Justin Reid a lighter game-winning tackle attempt to foil a two point conversion that would have won the game for Jacksonville. Two inches was the difference in that contest.
Since then, the Jaguars have found their calling on offense. D.J. Chark is a legitimate WR1, Chris Conley is like playing the lottery, and D.J. Westbrook is back. They actually have Gardner Minshew II throw downfield even when they aren’t behind. The run game isn’t good, but it’s been sorted out now that they’ve gone back to a power-oriented scheme.
Houston will have to put up 30 or so to beat just about every team now that Watt is busted and the secondary is sick. They should be able to do that on Sunday. Even if the Jags’ pass rush is better since last time, and even though Tre Herndon and A.J. “The Texans Should Have Franchise Tagged” Bouye are a good corner combo, their linebackers can be picked apart and Deshaun Watson can throw deep down the middle.
It’s going to be close. It’s going to be stupid.
Capt Ron: Texans 24, Jaguars 21.
I wish I was there in London to attend the game. It’s by far my favorite city to tour. Instead, I’ll be freezing at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin for the Formula 1 race.
A game without J.J. Watt just feels empty. Watson will now be the sole face of the franchise for the rest of the season. He can manage that and should engineer a win against the Jags.
Kenny O.: Texans 24, Jaguars 20.
Sad we not going to see the biannual DeAndre Hopkins vs. Jalen Ramsey match-up. But the Texans have scored 23+ points in every road game this season. Don’t see why that doesn’t continue here.
Mike: Glitter Kitties 31, Texans 23.
This has all the makings of a back and forth, pulse-pounding roller coaster of a game. After last week’s win and the emotional letdown of losing J.J. Watt yet again, Houston could very well come out flat and get punched in the mouth quickly. Then Deshaun Watson will put on his “Not today, J-Ville!” hat on and retake the lead, only to have Gardner Minshew utterly destroy what’s left of the Texans secondary to take the lead in the fourth quarter and never relinquish it.
There’s something to be said for familiarity, and the Jaguars are very familiar with playing in London. The Texans, not so much.
Add to that, this:
Texans don't take five injured players to London: Roby, Johnson Jr., Fuller, Mancz and Gipson https://t.co/BpFZVY7yvO— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 1, 2019
...and it could be a long, long mourning... err... morning for the Texans’ fan base.
TexanRevJ: Texans 20, Jaguars 17.
I’m having a hard time picking against the Texans right now. It’s not that they are so much better than the competition, but that they have a QB who is playing like the best in the league. Deshaun Watson is going to keep this team in every game they play.
Life without J.J. is going to make the defense almost unwatchable, though. Gardner Minshew and D.J. Chark should have a field day against a secondary whose only remaining starter is Justin Reid. The run defense should still be decent, and I don’t think Leonard Fournette will have a great day. Still, a team without a pass rush and a bad secondary is going to be in a dogfight each week.
I’m guessing that Hopkins has a TD, D.J. Reader has a strip sack, and the Texans win this one with a sigh of relief.
Tim: Texans 28, Jaguars 27.
Picking the Texans to win this week is 100% about Deshaun Watson. On paper, the Jaguars should win this game. London is new for the Texans, and while Houston has more top-level talent on its roster, I believe the Jaguars have a better team on balance at this point of the season when you take into account the rash of injuries the Texans have suffered on defense.
Romeo Crennel is going to have to get very creative in manufacturing a pass rush. He’d have to do that anyway without J.J. Watt, and the urgency has only increased with the news that Tashaun Gipson, Lonnie Johnson, and Bradley Roby didn’t even make the trip to London. Johnathan Joseph’s anticipated return will help some, but it’s not like we’re talking about getting a lockdown corner back on the field at this point of J-Jo’s career. Things are bleak in Houston’s secondary, and I have nightmares about repeated bombs from Minshew to Chark at Wembley on Sunday.
Still...we have DW4, and that’s often enough. Despite all my misgivings about this week’s tilt, I’ll ride with Deshaun to win a nail-biter.
Use the comments below to predict Sunday’s early morning game from London! Will the Texans be jetlagged in the first quarter? If they are, will it actually look any different than their usual first quarter sleepwalking? Above all else, enjoy the game and continue to bask in the Astros World Ser—- oh [KITTEN], my [KITTENING KITTEN].