LDE J.J. Watt vs. Jaguars RT: As of now the Jaguars are still trying to figure out who will be starting at RT come Sunday. If Britton is healthy he could move back over to RT or we could be stuck with Guy Whimper again. Regardless of who is at the position, they need to have a monster game in terms of pass protection. J.J. Watt is a beast on the defensive line and made Dolphins rookie RT Jonathan Martin look like a fool last week. With 1.5 sacks and 3+ tipped passes, Watt made a huge impact on the game. That can't happen again if the Jaguars want any chance of winning this game. The Texans secondary was a top unit last year and Gabbert is going to need all the time he can get to try and find an open receiver. Last week Whimper and company made Brian Robison look like an All-Pro and Watt is arguably better than Robison. Stopping Watt is an absolute must if the Jaguars want to win.
QB Gabbert/Jaguars WR's vs. CB Kareem Jackson : There is no doubt that Texan's CB Johnathan Joseph is one of the better CB's in the league. Which ever WR he is assigned to cover on Sunday is going to have a tough time finding seperation (Though Jospeh has acknowledged the challenge he has ahead in possibly guarding Blackmon). Bruce McCain is also a solid slot CB so Thomas/Shorts might have a tough day as well. The match-up to watch however is whichever WR finds themselves lined-up with Kareem Jackson. While Jackson has been steadily improving in recent years, he is still a CB that can be exploited especially when he is in 1-on-1 coverage. He can be beaten off the line easy and sometimes finds himself out of position. Jackson is one of the few weaknesses in the Texans secondary, Gabbert and the Jaguar receiver that finds himself matched up with Jackson need to exploit this.
LDE Jeremy Mincey vs. RT Derek Newton : The Jaguars defensive ends were stonewalled last week versus the Vikings . As Alfie pointed out in his article earlier this week, Mincey was held in check well by Vikings RT Phil Loadholt but the Texans however now have the young and inexperienced Derek Newton at RT. In his first start Newton was a mixed bag, being indirectly called out for poor run blocking but was okay in pass protection. This is a match-up that the Jaguars need Jeremy Mincey to win. With All-Pro LT Duane Brown most likely containing rookie Andre Branch , the Jaguars need Mincey to generate any sort of pass rush from the left side. The Jaguars corners (*cough* Aaron Ross *cough*) were disappointing in Week 1 and giving Matt Schaub plenty of time to throw is only going to make it worse. Mincey needs a big game against Newton for the Jaguars to contain the Texans offense.
P Bryan Anger / KR Mike Thomas vs. Texan's Special Teams: The Miami Dolphins didn't score a single offensive touchdown last week and their only touchdown came on a punt return touchdown that was poorly covered. Texan's Coach Kubiak was disappointed in the Texans special teams which gained only 61 return yards on four returns and gave up the afformentioned punt return for a touchdown (Per Paul Kukarsky ). The Jaguars need a lot of things to go right on Sunday to make sure they have a shot at winning and that starts with special teams. Anger proved in his first NFL game that he is a quality punter and the Jaguars need to that to continue into Week 2 as pinning the Texans deep and forcing them to attempt long drives is key. Last week against the Dolphins, turnovers forced by the Texans defense gave their offense great field position often and the longest TD drive was only 54 yards. Hopefully the MJD as punt returner experiment is over and Mike Thomas soley takes over that role. If Thomas can exploit the Texans coverage unit and help give the Jaguars good field position, it will go a long way to keeping the Jaguars in the game especially against this stout defense.