After a heart-ripper of a loss on Monday night to the Saints, the Texans look to rebound in their 2019 home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Nick Foles out due to a broken clavicle, the Jaguars will be led by QB Gardner Minshew - who looks every bit the description of “A Florida Man.”
Let’s see how the BRB staff sees this one playing out.
Chris: Texans 30, Jaguars 20.
The Texans offense looked... different on Monday night. I’m not saying it’s going to be more wide open and more focused on pushing the ball downfield - but that sure is what I hope continues to be the trend. I’d love to see the Texans continue what appears to be a surprisingly effective one-two punch at RB with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson - but I understand the Saints don’t exactly have a great defense. The Jaguars will be a much tougher test in that regard. Hopefully we will see Deshaun Watson with the full complement of receivers via Keke Coutee’s potential return. Most important - let’s not get Deshaun killed, whether it be by poor OL play or from his own style of play. There were (a few) moments Monday where Deshaun had actual time to throw. Let’s see if that can become a trend.
Matt Weston: Texans 24, Jaguars 20.
Houston has to win every game against run-heavy teams to make the playoffs. This is one of those games. Historically, which means the last two seasons, the Jaguars have been led by their run-heavy power run attack with Leonard Fournette. He bashes linebackers with a club and picks up enough on first and second down to create reasonable third down opportunities. This is still the idea. The Jags’ offensive line is pretty healthy since Josh Walker filled in well for Cam Robinson. The difference is 22-25 Gardner Minshew II is here to carry the Jaguars on his back like some ancient turtle. The Jags may actually be able to throw the ball against Houston, as the Texans have no answer to stopping a team’s middle passing game. Chris Conley, Marqise Lee, and Dede Westbrook is a watered down version of what the Saints put out there. D.J. Chark can play and should be able to give Johnathan Joseph fits.
You can’t expect them to, though. It’s been one game. J.J. Watt gets rookie Jawaan Taylor, who played pretty well last week, and Walker, who played pretty well last week too. That being said, neither belong on the same planet as Watt, and Whitney Mercilus should be able to scratch at Gardner’s mustache. This won’t be a week where the Texans have 1 sack and 3 quarterback hits.
Additionally, the Jags’ passing offense couldn’t cover Sammy Watkins or Travis Kelce. The ball was out before the Jags’ pass rush could really get to Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs did a great job stressing Myles Jack in the center of the field, and A.J. Bouye and D.J. Hayden carried on their shoddy performance from last year. The Texans probably won’t be able to run the ball on Sunday, but they should be able to sling it some against the Jags, and DeAndre Hopkins is always able to get his, even against Jalen Ramsey.
Capt. Ron: Jaguars 13, Texans 24.
Division rivalries are typically close games. This early in the season, both teams lack the film research to truly anticipate each other’s tendencies on either side of the ball, so there will be a surprise here and there. I suspect we’ll see a fairly conservative and close game for most of the day with Houston maintaining a comfortable lead throughout the tilt.
Watt historically does well against the Jaguars, so I expect to see him break out on the stat sheet, unlike last week against the Saints. Aaron Colvin was jettisoned from the roster, but the defense is still leaky in the secondary with little help from the pass rush, so the Jags will at least get a touchdown and two field goals. I think we’ll see another heavy dose of the running game from Houston, based on last week’s success with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson. Hopefully Watson hits a few long touchdown passes to balance out the offensive attack.
Luke Beggs: Texans 28, Jags 17.
I can actually see a way in which the Jags win this through the Texans’ run D struggling against Fournette.
However, I don’t think that will happen on Sunday. The Jags’ defense honestly got torched last week. A.J. Bouye struggled, and without Telvin Smith in the middle of the defense to cover whoever dares to cross the middle, they’re not the same unit they were last couple of years. The Texans have a blueprint to attack after what the Chiefs did last week. It’s all going to come down to whether or not Houston can execute against them and whether the defense can hold Leonard Fournette and the raddest rookie mustache in town to under 20 points.
BFmf’nD: Texans 30, Glitter Kitties 20.
This game profiles much differently with Zach Mettenberger, I mean Blaine Gabbert, I mean Gardner Minshew, as the starting QB for the Glitter Kitties. After all, Nick Foles dropped 471 yards on the Texans last year, and he is completely capable of doing that again. If healthy, of course.
But that’s the catch with Minshew starting. Minshew had a nice game against the Chiefs, a defense that will struggle against the pass as badly as we will. However, there was no tape on Minshew. Now there is.
Finally, if the offensive play calling is finally, after five years, not straight trash, this team should put up some points. Three field goals for Kai’mi.
Kenneth L.: Texans 17, Jaguars 13.
Have we already forgotten that we play to the level of our competition? This game will be slow and methodical. The Texans will always be in control, but the Jags will never be too far away.
Keke Coutee and Tytus Howard should both be ready to go by Sunday. Expect four WRs to spread the defense out and a ton of short passes. I’m pretty excited to see Jags rookie Josh Allen. They have a pretty damn good defensive line, so this will be another test for Houston’s offense.
Josh: Texans 28, Jags 10.
The loss on Monday night hurt, mainly because we got to witness just how special Deshaun Watson is and how much he can do for the Texans before it got ripped away by bad coaching and defensive play. The Texans looked good against the Saints, and I suspect they will look really good against an undisciplined Jags team.
On the other side, the Jags got blown out. It’s not the loss itself, but the way they lost, that gives me confidence. Houston’s weapons aren’t quite at the level of Kansas City’s, but Will Fuller really changes the way that Deshaun plays. Look for DW4 to have a big game this week.
Can Mustache Minshew play well enough to keep the Jags competitive after the second quarter? He looked decent against the Chiefs when forced into action, but now there is tape on him. The Texans should be able to find a way to limit him and get the win.
Mike Bullock: Texans 30, Jaguars 17.
J.J. Watt was on the side of my milk carton Tuesday morning. What’s the remedy? What’s the one thing Watt has always excelled at, rain or shine? Going against a rookie QB. In comes Minshew, who did well against the Chiefs, but that was a defense that doesn’t face the Jags often, didn’t have any film on Minshew, and didn’t have J.J. Watt.
On the offensive side of the ball, the o-line has had another week to be less awful, Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson got a taste last week of O’Brien’s commitment to the run, and Deshaun Watson put the whole world on notice that he’s got weapons and isn’t afraid to use them. Count on the offense for at least three touchdowns.
Add in the All Field Goal Offense, which stumbled uncharacteristically last week, to bring in nine more points, and the Texans hit the 30 mark.
Tim: Texans 27, Jaguars 20.
The Texans’ offense continues to move the ball and put points on the board. Their defense plays better after a very disappointing second half performance against the Saints last week, with J.J. Watt notching his first two sacks of the season and Whitney Mercilus continuing to show he can produce after two seasons in the wilderness. Gardner Minshew throws for two touchdowns, one pick, and whispers begin about whether Nick Foles might get Wally Pipp’d.
Please use the comments section to give us your predictions for the home opener and above all else - this is supposed to be FUN, so enjoy the game!