Thanks to @BattleRedBlog for answering our questions leading up to the Jacksonville Jaguars hosting the Houston Texans.
1. The AFC South is quite the dumpster fire, but the Texans are king of that dumpster fire. Do you think Houston sticks it out this year or will the Colts or Titans make a sneak attack.
I think the Texans probably outlast the rest of the division in the long run, but the Titans and Colts sure have the potential to at least make it close. In the end I think Tennessee is a better team as a whole than Indy, but of course anything is possible with Andrew Luck under center.
This much is certain, however — nobody from this division is winning the Super Bowl. The best we can realistically look forward to is a home playoff game and *maybe* a win to put us into the next round against the *real* contenders.
2. How does the fanbase like Brock Osweiler? From the outside looking in, he doesn't look like "the guy" even though he was paid "the guy" money. But then again, we have Blake Bortles, so glass houses and thrown stones, right?
Honestly most of his problems stem from communications issues with his receivers. The vast majority of his interceptions were on throws to DeAndre Hopkins where the two simply could not get on the same page and the ball was either put on a different shoulder than Nuk was expecting, or even on an entirely different route than *Osweiler* was expecting. Hopefully the bye week helped to smooth out some of those issues, but we won't know until we see it on the field.
As for now the fanbase likes him, check back with us at the end of the season for that answer. We still have no idea what to think.
3. How has having J.J. Watt out affected your defensive scheme? Is it largely the same with a downgrade in edge rush or have there been large-scale changes?
Obviously missing the best player in football is going to hurt, but Jadeveon Clowney has done everything in his power this season to make up for Watt's absence. He doesn't have the numbers that Watt put up for several years in a row, but his impact on every single down is certainly comparable. He crushes any run play that comes his way, and as a pass rusher his combination of quickness and power is extraordinary. This is essentially his rookie season due to his first two years in the league being bogged down by injuries, so if THIS Clowney is who we have to look forward to in the future, consider me STOKED.
Schematically, Clowney has moved inside from his outside linebacker position to take over Watt's vacated defensive end spot, so expect to see him lining up inside quite a bit this weekend. That being said, he also lines up as an edge rusher on obvious passing downs — just as Watt did — so there is a good chance that he will face every member of that Jaguars offensive line at least a few times in this game.
4. If you were the Jaguars coordinators, how would you gameplan against either side of the ball for the Texans?
Attack the Texans offensive line early and often. They haven't been able to stop *anyone* from getting to Osweiler this season, so throwing blitzes at this group is probably a good idea. The more one-on-one situations you can generate against left guard Xavier Su'a-Filo, the better.
Defensively, just do whatever you can to double team Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus in passing situations. Nobody else in this front seven has much aptitude for getting to the quarterback (other than Bernardrick McKinney on well-timed blitzes). If you can devote all of your attention to Clowney and Mercilus, you shouldn't have to worry too much about everyone else.
5. Is there a Jaguars player on either side of the ball that you say, "If the Chiefs don't stop him, we're in trouble"?
Probably Allen Robinson. He's been up and down this year in congruence with Bortles' struggles, but when he's on, he is ON. 50/50 balls are essentially 70/30 balls when they are thrown to AR-15, so I'm a little worried about what he can do in the red zone. The Texans need to contain him if they want to win.
BONUS: What's gonna happen on Sunday? Will the Jaguars lose (again) at home? Will they keep it close? Is there any chance of an upset?
I think the Texans are going to win, but with their struggles on the road this year who knows what will happen. We still have no idea if Houston is even a good team this season because of their nauseating inconsistency, so I suppose an upset for the Jaguars is still entirely possible. At the end of the day, however, I'll predict this one to end with a score of 24 - 16 in favor of the Texans.