Jags look to snap 9-game skid against Texans on Sunday

December 29, 2022 GMT
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Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) makes a touchdown catch against Tennessee Titans cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Amis)
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Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) makes a touchdown catch against Tennessee Titans cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Amis)

JACKSONVILLE (7-8) at HOUSTON (2-12-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, CBS.


AGAINST THE SPREAD: Jaguars 7-8; Texans 7-7-1.

SERIES RECORD: Texans lead 28-13.

LAST MEETING: Texans beat Jaguars 13-6 on Oct. 9 in Jacksonville.

LAST WEEK: Jaguars beat Jets 19-3; Texans beat Titans 19-14.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Jaguars plus-5; Texans minus-2.

JAGUARS PLAYER TO WATCH: Christian Kirk, who played in college at nearby Texas A&M, needs 12 yards to become the fifth player in franchise history to reach 1,000 yards receiving in a season. Jimmy Smith did it nine times, and Keenan McCardell did it four. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns were the most recent to accomplish the feat in 2015. Kirk already has set career highs in receptions (76), yards (988) and touchdowns (seven).

TEXANS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Brandin Cooks had the game-winning touchdown reception last week after missing three games with a calf injury. He’s been good against the Jaguars in his career, piling up 621 yards receiving in six games. He had 132 yards receiving in his previous home game against Jacksonville and has had a 100-yard game in two of his past three games against the team.

KEY MATCHUP: Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawrence ranks ninth in the NFL with a career-high 3,749 yards passing. He’s been great in the team’s three-game winning streak, throwing for a combined 915 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception. The Texans are coming off a strong performance against the Titans where they limited Malik Willis to just 99 yards passing.

INJURIES: Jaguars coach Doug Pederson probably will be cautious this week with anyone nursing an injury. RG Brandon Scherff (abdomen/ankle) and LS Ross Matiscik (back) are the most likely to take the week off. LB Travon Walker (high ankle sprain), the top draft pick in 2022, is expected to return after missing two games. ... Texans T Tytus Howard, C Jimmy Morrissey and S M.J. Stewart will all likely miss the game after sustaining concussions last week. ... TE Teagan Quitoriano missed practice this week with a thigh injury.

SERIES NOTES: The Texans have won nine straight in the series. ... The Jaguars haven’t notched a win over Houston since a 45-7 victory on Dec. 17, 2017. ... Jacksonville won both meetings in the 2017 season. ... Houston won six straight before those two wins. ... These teams have played to overtime twice with the previous time coming in a 43-37 win by the Texans in 2012.

STATS AND STUFF: The Jaguars can’t clinch a playoff spot this week, but can win the AFC South for the first time since 2017 by beating Tennessee at home in the regular-season finale. ... Jacksonville has only three guys on its roster who have beaten Houston while playing for the Jags: LT Cam Robinson, LG Tyler Shatley and DE Dawuane Smoot. Robinson and Smoot won’t play after being placed on injured reserve earlier this week. ... LT Walker Little, a second-year pro who was born and raised in Houston and won a state title in 2014 with Episcopal High School, will make his second straight start in place of Robinson. ... Lawrence needs 19 completions to break the team’s single-season mark of 368 set by Blake Bortles in 2016. ... RB Travis Etienne is the first 1,000-yard running back in Pederson’s head coaching career. ... The Jaguars are one of two NFL teams with three players with 60 or more receptions. Kirk (76 for 988), WR Zay Jones (75-778) and TE Evan Engram (68-723) can become the second trio in NFL history to have three newcomers top 800 yards receiving and first since Miami in 1993. ... LB Foye Oluokun leads the NFL with 162 tackles. ... Houston is looking for its first home win of the season in its home finale. ... The win over Tennessee last week snapped a nine-game skid. … QB Davis Mills had 178 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception last week. He needs 382 yards passing to reach 3,000 this season. ... RB Royce Freeman is averaging 47 yards rushing a game since taking over for leading rusher Dameon Pierce, who is out for the season. ... DB Jalen Pitre had nine tackles and his fourth interception of the season last week. He leads all rookies and all defensive backs with 126 tackles this season. ... DB Jonathan Owens had the first sack of his career last week. ... LB Christian Kirksey has had at least five tackles in all 15 games this season and has a tackle for loss in four straight games. ... DL Jerry Hughes forced his second fumble of the season last week. ... DL Ogbo Okoronkwo set a career high with three tackles for loss and two sacks last week. He has had a sack in three of his past four games.

FANTASY TIP: Lawrence could be a good pickup if he continues the strong play he’s had in the team’s past three games.


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