Texans and Jaguars searching for higher-scoring offenses in first meeting of the season


Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, Fox

OPENING LINE: Jaguars by 8 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Houston 0-2; Jacksonville 1-1.

SERIES RECORD: Texans lead 28-14.

LAST MEETING: Jaguars beat Texans 31-3 on Jan. 1, 2023, in Houston.

LAST WEEK: Texans lost to the Colts 31-20; Jaguars lost to the Chiefs 17-9.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Texans even; Jaguars plus-3.

TEXANS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB C.J. Stroud had 384 yards passing with his first two TD passes last Sunday despite being sacked six times. It was the second-most passing yards by a rookie in franchise history. His 58 completions in his first two games rank second in NFL history, trailing Joe Burrow (60 in 2020).

JAGUARS PLAYER TO WATCH: Calvin Ridley leads the team with 133 yards receiving on 10 catches, including chunk plays of 24, 26 and 29 yards. He’s still looking for a breakout game — and a more explosive play — with his new team.

KEY MATCHUP: Texans WR Nico Collins versus Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell. Collins had a career-high 146 yards and a touchdown last week against the Colts. It was the first 100-yard game of his three-year career and the most yards receiving by a Texans player since DeAndre Hopkins had 147 on Dec. 30, 2018. Campbell is quickly becoming a lock-down defender. He has an interception and a forced fumble in two games.

KEY INJURIES: The Texans could get LT Laremy Tunsil (knee) and S Jimmie Ward (hip) back against Jacksonville. Both returned to practice in a limited capacity Wednesday. Tunsil was inactive last week, and Ward missed the first two games. Ward’s return would be a big boost for a secondary expected to be without S Jalen Pitre (bruised lung) again. Jaguars WR Zay Jones (knee) and DT Foley Fatukasi (shoulder) missed practice Wednesday while LB Josh Allen (shoulder) was limited.

SERIES NOTES: Jacksonville ended a nine-game losing streak to Houston in January. The Texans have won 15 of the past 18 meetings and 20 of the past 25, a staggering stretch of lopsidedness considering the NFL’s penchant for parity.

STATS AND STUFF: Houston’s Dameon Pierce had 99 yards rushing and a touchdown in his previous trip to Jacksonville. … RB Devin Singletary had seven catches for 43 yards in his only career game against the Jaguars. … WR Robert Woods has had at least 50 yards receiving in both games this season. … Rookie WR Tank Dell had seven catches for 72 yards and his first career TD last week. … DE Jerry Hughes had a sack in his previous game against the Jaguars. … LB Denzel Perryman has had a tackle for a loss in three of his past four games and had 10 tackles in two of his past three games against Jacksonville. … S M.J. Stewart had 10 tackles and forced a fumble against the Colts. … Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has 10 TDs — seven passing and three rushing — and two INTs in his past five AFC South starts. … RB Travis Etienne had more than 100 yards from scrimmage in both games against Houston last season. … Evan Engram is one of two AFC TEs with five or more catches in each of the first two weeks of the season. … OLB Josh Allen has six sacks in his past four games against the division, including at least one in each game.

FANTASY TIP: Coming off a lackluster performance against Kansas City at home, the Jaguars could be poised for an offensive breakout against the Texans. Lawrence, Ridley, Etienne, Engram and WR Christian Kirk seem like solid options.



The Associated Press