Coming off a tough outing against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, the Jacksonville Jaguars are looking to get back on track against the Houston Texans in Week 3. On paper, the Jags should take care of business with relative ease on Sunday afternoon, but anything can happen in the NFL. Not to mention Trevor Lawrence has not had much success against the Texans to this point in his career. He’s led the team to just a 1 and 3 record versus the division rival while having a two-to-one interception (6) to touchdown (TD) ratio in the process.
This game is the perfect opportunity for Lawrence to finally put together a big performance against a rebuilding Houston Texans team that is absolutely decimated by injuries at the moment. While a good game for Lawrence is an obvious blueprint to success, there are some other keys to victory in this one as well. Let’s dive into the three biggest X-factors for a Jacksonville Jaguars win on Sunday.
Josh Allen entered the 2023 season in a contract year with the Jags and boy is he playing like it. The former 2019 first-round pick has been great to start the year and should be in line for another big-time week against the Texans on Sunday. It was recently reported that All-Pro tackle, Laremy Tunsil, will not play in this one, which sets Josh Allen up with a matchup against Josh Jones on that left side, who struggled as Tunsil’s replacement a week ago. Advantage Allen.
The defense has been impressive to start the season and is now essentially being served a beat-up Texans squad on a silver platter in Week 3. They should be able to pin their ears back and go all game long against a rookie quarterback in C.J. Stroud. If Josh Allen can get to the rook early and often, it will only make everyone else’s job that much easier on defense.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had just 74 yards on the ground in their Week 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, so establishing the run should be a point of emphasis for a team that’s still trying to find their rhythm in 2023. Lucky for them, the Texans defense has had trouble in that department to start the season. In the first two weeks, they’ve allowed a league-high six rushing touchdowns to opposing offenses, with all six of them coming in the red zone.
Not only is this game a great opportunity to get the rushing attack back on track, but it also has the potential to be the perfect remedy for Jacksonville’s red zone woes of a week ago. Establishing the run in the short field could allow Press Taylor to keep things simple for the offense. I expect a heavy dose of Travis Etienne and Tank Bigsby in this one, with Trevor Lawrence sprinkling in a few chunk plays with his legs as well.
Rookie right tackle Anton Harrison has had his ups and downs through the first two weeks of his rookie season, which is to be expected, but the 2023 first-rounder has already gained the respect of not only his teammates and coaches, but his opponents as well.
This kid is going to be good. He’s playing his 3rd game Sunday— Chris Jones (@StoneColdJones) September 20, 2023
That type of praise from a player of Chris Jones’ caliber is quite the endorsement for Harrison, especially when you consider the fact that the rookie is just 21 years old. His potential is through the roof.
He’ll have another opportunity for some good work in Week 3 as Harrison is set to face off against another first-rounder from this past draft cycle in Will Anderson Jr. The Texans rookie has been a bright spot on a banged-up defense in 2023, and his blend of speed, power and technique make him a tough test for the Jags right tackle.
Not only will this be a fun matchup to watch, but Harrison’s success against Anderson would go a long way in helping Trevor Lawrence and this Jags offense find their rhythm early.
Who do you think will prove to be an X-factor in this one, Jags fans?