The Jacksonville Jaguars will be hosting the Houston Texans on Sunday at EverBank Field and to get us ready for the game we’ve got Brett Kollman from Battle Red Blog here to answer some questions leading up to the Week 15 matchup.
1. What's the mood in Houston around Bill O'Brien? Is he on his way out?
There is no way O'Brien is fired. The players love him, the ownership at the very least seems to tolerate him, and Deshaun Watson was putting up record-shattering numbers in his offense. If the Texans' star players weren't dropping like flies this season, they probably would have contended for the division (if not more than that). As far as I'm concerned, O'Brien is safe until he loses the locker room, but that won't be any time soon.
2. We gotta talk about Deshaun Watson. Is he a quarterback that can compete with the rest of the division and compete with the Jaguars?
Absolutely. The Jaguars defense is otherworldly, but so was the Texans offense with Watson at the helm. He's poised, he's intelligent, and he never makes the same mistake twice. Having the mobility of a caffeinated gazelle didn't hurt either, of course. I can't express to you how I excited I am to see him go toe to toe with that Jaguars defense for the next few years. If that game doesn't scream "Sunday Night Football", I don't know what does.
3. Why the hell didn't y'all sign Colin Kaepernick? He seemed... well, perfect for your offense.
Kaepernick may or may not have fit this offense from a mobility standpoint, but he definitely did not fit this offense from a mental standpoint. O'Brien puts a lot on the plate of his quarterbacks at the line of scrimmage, and Kaepernick has never demonstrated the ability to make quick decisions pre and post-snap. What made Watson so special in this scheme was his ability to be a threat as a runner and a passer, but Kaepernick only brought one of those things to the table.
Oh, and our owner kind of hates him. That probably mattered a wee bit.
4. Is there a Jaguars player on the offensive side of the ball other than Leonard Fournette that you'd say, "If the Texans stop him, we're in trouble"? Is Blake Bortles a legitimate worry to opposing defensive coordinators now?
I'm personally a little bit cautious about officially declaring Bortles to be "reformed" from his old ways, but if he can continue his recent hot streak all the way through the playoffs he might be able to get his career back on the right track. That being said, when looking at just this game he is certainly at the top of the list of "must-stop" players. Leonard Fournette is a revelation, but he can't do it all himself. If the Texans can force Bortles into mistakes (like they used to do), they have a shot to win this game...but that's a pretty big "if".
5. What's gonna happen on Sunday? Will the Jaguars get a win? Will the Texans surprise us?
Lol... nope. Jaguars win by 20.