Following two straight embarrassing losses, The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the division rival Houston Texans on Sunday at 1 p.m. This game has big implications in the AFC South, as the Texans, Jaguars and Tennessee Titans are all currently tied at 3-3 in the division.
The Jaguars have been decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the ball and that is starting to show up. Meanwhile, the Texans are also banged up and the offensive line play has been awful. The two teams have been going in seemingly opposite directions, though, with the Texans winning three straight games, and the Jaguars obviously dropping the previous two.
These two teams aren’t particularly fond of each other, and the rivalry lives on. What does the history of this series tell us, though? Let’s take a look.
All-time regular season series record: Houston Texans lead 19-13
Postseason Record: N/A
Last Jaguars win: Dec. 17, 2017 (45-7)
Last Texans win: Dec. 18, 2016 (21-20)
Current Streak: Jaguars own a two-game winning streak
Biggest Jaguars win: 45-7 (Dec. 17, 2017)
Biggest Texans win: 30-6 (Jan. 3, 2016)
Interesting takeaway: The Jaguars outscored the Texans 74-14 (37 points per game versus 7 points allowed per game) in the two meetings in 2017. Though the Jaguars have only won two of the past five games, Jacksonville has outscored Houston 121-89 in that time span (24.2 points per game versus 17.8 points allowed per game).
Quick thoughts: Historically, the Texans hold a six-game advantage in the series. Before Jacksonville’s 2017 Week 1 demolition derby, the Texans had won the previous six matchups from 2014 through 2016. The Jags have since shifted the momentum with back-to-back blow out wins. If the Jaguars are able to win on Sunday, it will be Jacksonville’s first three-game winning streak against the Texans since 2009-2010, and just the second occurrences in series history. Exactly half of the meetings in this series (16 out of 32 games) have been decided by seven points or less. Games played in Jacksonville are also split, with the Texans and Jaguars earning eight wins a piece.
Date: Dec. 17, 2017
Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville
Team Stats: Jaguars — 326 passing yards, 138 rushing yards, 25 first downs
Texans — 128 passing yards, 87 rushing yards, 9 first downs
Quick recap: The Jaguars absolutely destroyed the Texans on this day. This was the biggest win in terms of point differential in series history. Blake Bortles carved up the Texans, completing 21 of 29 passes for 326 yards, three scores and zero picks (143.7 QB rating). Leonard Fournette sat this one out with a quad injury, and Chris Ivory, Corey Grant, T.J. Yeldon and Tommy Bohanon led the ground attack. Meanwhile, T.J. Yates was in for an injured Deshaun Watson and things didn’t go so well for him. Yates completed just 38 percent of his passes for 128 yards with one touchdown, one pick. The Jags jumped out to a 31-0 lead at halftime and never looked back.
Date: Sept. 10, 2017
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston
Team Stats: Jaguars — 125 passing yards, 155 rushing yards, 19 first downs
Texans — 164 passing yards, 93 rushing yards, 23 first downs
Quick recap: This was the first game of the 2017 season, and it was also the game that set the tone for what the Jacksonville team was throughout last season: tenacious defense and efficient offense. Leonard Fournette had an impressive NFL debut with 100 rushing yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t the most stellar game for Blake Bortles, but he didn’t turn the ball over and got the job done. The Jacksonville defense went absolutely bananas with 10 sacks and four turnovers and that was our first glimpse of an absolutely elite unit, and quite possibly the best defense in Jacksonville history. This game was all Jags.
Through the Decades
1990s: The Texans did not exist yet
2000-2010: Tied 9-9
2011-Present: Houston 10-4
Quick thoughts: It was a highly competitive series in the early going. Houston’s first season of competition was 2002 and the two teams each won nine of the first 18 matchups. But ever since the 2011 season, it has been all Texans. Houston has won 10 of the 14 contests since then, including six of the past eight games. But Houston’s domination of Jacksonville came to an end last season, and the Jaguars are looking for their third straight victory in the series. The Jaguars have lost three of the past four games played in Jacksonville, but of course handily won the last home game.
Heading into the first matchup of 2018, it feels like a must-win game for the Jaguars before the season spirals out of control. This is a very important divisional game, and a win here puts Jacksonville back in the driver’s seat. The Texans are confident right now, with a healthy defense and a three-game winning streak. Still, I expect the Jaguars to bounce back and put together a win here. If not, things may go off the rails quickly for the remainder of the season.
What do you think happens on Sunday?
Who wins the AFC South battle?
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