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Jaguars vs. Texans, 1 ET
If I told you that this game would actually matter in the beginning of the season, I think you would’ve given me very favorable odds that it wouldn’t matter. Here we are 16 weeks deep into the season and the Jaguars need to get a victory in order to keep their playoff hopes alive (at the time of writing this, the Cowboys/Titans game hasn’t happened).
Jacksonville has had a very streaky season. They lost five consecutive at one point and they have four wins in their past five games now. They absolutely want to win this game so they can have the upper hand at home against Tennessee to end the season next week. The Jaguars are pretty healthy and have looked solid these past few games. Trevor Lawrence is looking the part of a sure-fire quarterback and has even protected the ball well this year. Travis Etienne has looked like a good running back already with 1,000 rushing yards on the season. He should be able to have a big season with the Texans rush defense among the worst in the league. The Jaguars are just 3-5 on the road this year but they had a win last week against the Jets and they now have more time to prepare for this game.
The Texans record may suck, but they aren’t just pushovers. They’ve played rather well actually over their past three games. On the road against Dallas, they took the Cowboys to a one-possession game before ultimately losing. The next week they lost to the Chiefs in overtime at home. Finally, last week, they took down the Titans on the road. They were knocking on the door to a win for a weeks and finally broke through against the Titans. Now they probably will fall back to normal. I have to imagine that it was more the Cowboys and Chiefs overlooking the Texans than it was the Texans playing superbly.
I’m taking the Jaguars to cover this game. The spread is a reasonable -4.5 which means that the Jaguars will need to do more to separate themselves than just a last minute field goal. I think that they are capable of that and know what is on the line. They are a young and hungry team so motivation shouldn’t be a factor here.
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