Five things to look for in a game between two of the NFL’s worst teams in 2020
Week 1 of the NFL features many exciting matchups. The Jaguars-Texans game does not predict to be one of the marquee matchups of the season. Our Jaguars-Texans preview is here to highlight some key parts of the game to help make this game more bearable.
Whether you are a Jaguars or Texans fan or for some reason plan on tuning in to this game today, here are the five key points to watch for in today’s game.
1. Texans Offense Post Watson
What will David Culley bring to the Texans in a post-Watson and post-O’Brien world? With Tyrod Taylor at the helm and David Mills waiting close behind, there is not much to expect from this Texans offense.
The Texans finished 31st in rushing during the 2020 season and the only expectation for improvement relies heavily on how much the Texans lean on the running game with two new QBs in the mix. However, the Texans are expected to be trailing most of the season diminishing the run game further.
With no more Watson and moving on from Fuller the Texans pass game took a big hit this offseason. Expect to see more RPOs and short crossing routes with a mix of Lindsay/Johnson doing some receiving out of the backfield. The Texans should look to utilize and grow any young talent on offense while establishing a new offensive culture.
2. Will the Texans Defense Step Up?
The Texans made an effort to find trade value for the few talented defenders that led the league’s worst rushing defense in 2020. That effort may not translate into much success this season or any time soon, but the Texans are expected to have a heavy rotation on the defensive line to keep guys fresh.
With a bunch of young and unproven players on defense for the Texans, it can be expected that their defense will not improve on last season’s abysmal performance. However, in a game against the Jaguars’ young core, there will be chances for the Texans defensive players to make a name for themselves in the locker room.
3. Turnovers Turnovers Turnovers
Both the Jaguars and Texans made huge changes this offseason to their entire roster. With heavy change comes a learning curve. Expect to see multiple turnovers in this game as the two new offenses look to get comfortable.
With the Texans running a 2-high safety defense Trevor Lawrence will have ample opportunities up the seam but expect the transition to the NFL and the speed of the game cause him to have a few errant throws.
The Texans should be able to take care of the ball. Yet, keep an eye on aging David Johnson and young receivers to make a few mistakes.
4. Trevor Lawrence
Prior to Travis Etienne’s injury, the Jaguars’ offense looked to be exciting. Without Etienne, the running game falls back to Robinson who proved he can be successful on the ground, but lacks the pass-catching Etienne brought. This will force Lawrence to target more downfield in hopes of stretching the Texans’ defense and loosening the focus on the run-game.
Lawrence is a strong, tall and talented QB, but rarely does a rookie QB come in and shine immediately. Lawrence has an opportunity to do just that against an undermanned Texans’ defense. If Lawrence can come out of this first game with a win and no turnovers it can help him establish confidence early in his NFL career.
5. Jaguars New Look Defense
The Jags will be debuting their 3-4 defensive scheme in week 1. Shifting over from the 4-3 scheme they ran last year will result in different pressure looks and hopefully a revitalized defensive front seven.
Expect to see significant rotation in the three-down linemen for the Jags, but also expect to see the right side of the line struggle against the Tunsil and the left side of the Texans O-line.
The Jags are hoping to confuse opposing offenses and add some diversity to the league’s second-worst defense in 2020.
If you enjoyed our Jaguars-Texans preview, check out our other NFL game previews! Future Jaguars and Texans previews to come!