This week’s matchup between the 8-7 Jaguars and the 5-10 Texans kicks off at 4:15 EST, and if the Jags win and the Colts lose, they win the AFC South. The last time these two teams met was on Nov. 14th when QB David Garrard threw a 50 yard bomb to WR Mike Thomas as time expired to win the game. But the Jags have lost their last two games and have faced some bad injury news lately. RB Maurice Jones Drew will not play this week, and neither will David Gerrard. Trent Edwards will get the start behind centre and he should be able to move the ball quite well against a very leaky and suspect Texans secondary. Jacksonville are looking for their first division title since 1999.
Jacksonville lost to the Redskins last week, seriously hurting their playoff chances. Their defense played well, keeping the Skins from passing over 200 yards, but they lacked the killer instinct that they needed at the end of the game. It went to OT and Washington’s kicker Graham Gano won it with a field goal. Washington’s defense is just as poor as the Texans, but Jacksonville weren’t able to capitalize. They’ll have to score to win this week as the Texans boast one of the most potent offenses in the league. Jacksonville will have Rashad Jennings serving as their running back this week. He exploded for over 100 yards two weeks ago vs. the Raiders and he’ll be up against it with Houston’s solid run defense. This will be a highly competitive game between two teams that have lots to play for.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak is playing for his job. Rumors have been swirling all week that if Houston don’t win, Kubiak will be fired. The former assistant to Mike Shanahan has failed to lead the Texans to a playoff game during his time as coach, and he can’t complain that he hasn’t had the talent. With Matt Schuab, Andre Johnson, and a very stout defensive line, the Texans have underachieved and showed their youth during the toughest part of their schedule over the last few years. The pressure is on this week.
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Jaguars vs. Texans Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Jacksonville Jaguars +3
@ Houston Texans -3
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Jaguars vs. Texans Prediction for Week 17 Betting:
Spread Prediction (Top Play): Below average offenses look like the ’07 Patriots against the Texans. Houston’s beat writer wrote this week that the Texans have the worst secondary in any level of football of all time. Jags QB Trent Edwards can move the ball, and really only lost his job in Buffalo due to injury. He should have no problem moving the ball through the air this week, and it’ll help the Jags running game. Houston may be without Andre Johnson as he’s suffering from a high ankle sprain. The way their season has gone, I wouldn’t be surprised if Houston doesn’t even show up.
Game Total Prediction: One poor defense, one really poor defense, and two teams who can score. Jags coach Jack del Rio is aggressive and will have his team ready to play. Houston had the first game of this series earlier in the year but lost because they gave up on the last play and allowed a Hail Mary TD. Their defense probably won’t play well and weather conditions are fit for a high scoring affair.