The Houston Texans week 2 match up against the Jacksonville Jaguars is surprisingly similar to their week 1 game. Like the previous week against the Miami Dolphins the Texans face a team with a young quarterback, an explosive running back, an offensive line battling injuries and a defense that might be spectacular but is efficient. In order to be successful against the Jaguars the Texans need to be proficient in three facets of the game.
First the Texans have to keep Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert uncomfortable. Last week the Texans did a good job against Ryan Tannehill forcing the quarterback into several turnovers. It is important for the Texans defense to keep the quarterback guessing and make him over-think before making a play. This may be easier for the Texans than it was for the Minnesota Vikings in week 1 because offensive tackles Cameron Bradfield and Eben Britton have ankle injuries. Bradfield is ruled out for the game and Britton is questionable after missing practice all week. This should help the Texans get to Gabbert and force him into ill advised throws and force the Jaguars to be a one dimensional offense.
Second the Houston Texans need to keep running back Maurice Jones-Drew contained. Jones-Drew may still have some rust after his off season hold out but is still a dynamic player. I believe the most spot on description of Jones-Drew is a bowling ball. He is a strong, compact running back that is about as hard to tackle as it is to catch a bowling ball being thrown at you. In both cases your first instinct is to get out of the way. The Texans have struggled against the run this year and need to step it up against this dangerous runner.
Third the Texans need to need to establish the running game early with running back Arian Foster. Last week the Texans could not get a consistent ground attack going and needed the defense to give them short fields to push the ball across the goal line. New right Derek Newton tackle needs to have a strong game and show the Texans they made the right move by cutting ties with former tackle Eric Winston. By establishing the run early it will force the Jaguars to walk up a safety into the box to defend against the run and will open up the receivers down the field.
The Texans have the formula to beat the Jaguars this week after facing a similar team in the Dolphins last week. The key will be for the Texans to execute the game plan effectively. Most importantly the Texans need to run the ball well and defend against the run. If it comes down to the quarterbacks making big play to win the game I have much more faith in Matt Schaub than I do in Blaine Gabbert.
This article is by Joe Serenka, Rant Sports Houston Texans Blogger. You can see more of his articles at http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/author/joeserenka/And you can follow him on twitter at @Texansblogster