Well, the Jacksonville Jaguars wrap up a miserable 2018 season against the Houston Texans on Sunday, and then will look to make improvements during the offseason. One such area the team surely needs to upgrade is the quarterback position, but for one last week (in all likelihood) Blake Bortles will be starting his last game for the Jags.
The Jags and Texans have a deep rivalry, and that rivalry continues this week. For the final time in 2018, let’s review the series history.
All-time regular season series record: Houston Texans lead 20-13
Postseason Record: N/A
Last Jaguars win: Dec. 17, 2017 (45-7)
Last Texans win: Oct. 21, 2018 (20-7)
Current Streak: Texans won the last game
Biggest Jaguars win: 45-7 (Dec. 17, 2017)
Biggest Texans win: 30-6 (Jan. 3, 2016)
Interesting takeaway: The Jaguars are just 5-11 (which, coincidently, will be the Jaguars 2018 season record if the team loses on Sunday) while playing the Texans on the road, but won the 2017 meeting in Houston and lost by a single point in the 2016 matchup.
Quick thoughts: Historically, the Texans hold a seven-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 then briefly shifted the momentum with back-to-back blow out wins last season, but the Texans got back on the winning track in the first meeting of 2018. While the Texans win more often, a lot of games have been closely contested as 16 out of the 33 games between the two franchises have been decided by seven points or less. The Jaguars have played much better in Duval, winning 8 out of 17 meetings, while, as mentioned, above, the Texans has won 11 of the 16 meetings in Houston.
Date: Oct. 21, 2018
Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville
Team Stats: Jaguars — 217 passing yards, 70 rushing yards, 15 first downs
Texans — 139 passing yards, 141 rushing yards, 15 first downs
Quick recap: This game offered some foreshadowing, as it was the first time this season that Blake Bortles was benched in favor of Cody Kessler. Bortles would then start four more games before being benched indefinitely, and now we are back to Bortles as Kessler showed a complete lack of ability to lead an offense. This was not a blowout win by the Texans by any means, but three turnovers by the Jags (two fumbles by Bortles and one pick by Kessler) was the team’s undoing, while Houston did not turn the ball over once. Deshaun Watson was held in check with 139 passing yards, 13 rushing yards and one touchdown, while Lamar Miller ran for 100 yards and a score. The Jaguars simply couldn’t move the ball downfield. Jacksonville didn’t get on the board until late in the third quarter, and weren’t able to close the gap in the fourth quarter.
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. 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 and one pick. The Jags jumped out to a 31-0 lead at halftime and never looked back.
Through the Decades
1990s: The Texans did not exist yet
2000-2010: Tied 9-9
2011-Present: Houston 11-4
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 11 of the 15 contests since then, including seven of the past nine games. But Houston’s domination of Jacksonville came to a brief halt in 2017, before Houston’s win this past October. The Jaguars struggle in Houston, but have a one-game winning streak in Space City.
Heading into the 2018 season finale, it’s good to see Bortles under center. He’s not a good quarterback, but he has always done things the right way, is easy to root for and honestly runs the offense better than Kessler. The Jaguars hurt themselves in terms of draft order with a win, but they can also knock Houston out of winning a divisional title, and that’s certainly not something they’re just going to lay down and let their rivals take. But Houston is just a much better team this year, so try as they might, it’s not going to be an easy game for the Jags.
The Jaguars are big underdogs in this one, and I am sure the majority of fans are hoping for a loss to better Jacksonville’s draft position, but we’ve done a poll for 17 weeks straight and won’t stop now. Let us know.
Who wins the season finale?
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