The Jaguars finally return to Everbank Field this weekend after a three-week road trip that felt more like three years.
Finding a way to lose all three road games in three different (but equally disappointing) ways has quickly twisted the cautious preseason optimism into hip-fired negativity. For this reason, it's difficult to unearth any legitimate confidence in any home game.
This weekend's match-up, however, should breed a little optimism.
The Houston Texans are coming to Duval with the same 1-4 record as the Jags, some of the same dumb injury luck, but none of the home-field advantage.
The Texans also have a Ferris wheel at their quarterback position -- two mediocre guys in Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett, both with their highs and lows.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars are gradually getting healthier. There's a good chance Sen'Derrick Marks sees the field this weekend for the first time since tearing his ACL late last season. Marks' play might not be full speed initially, but his presence will be a welcome gift to the Jaguars' struggling front four.
Tight end Julius Thomas will see an increased workload after a limited performance against Tampa Bay last week. Thomas' implementation into the Jaguars game-plan creates immediate mismatches for a struggling Texans defense.
Still, after a problematic start to the season, it has become difficult to label any upcoming Jaguars game as "winnable."
But Vegas doesn't care.
The Jaguars, as of today, are favored to win by a whopping 1 point over the Texans. Sunday's match-up becomes only the 3rd game the Jaguars have been favored in since Gus Bradley took the coaching reigns.
SUPER BOWL https://t.co/OpDOEW89y7— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) October 15, 2015