TV Schedule: Thursday, Dec. 5, 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Stadium: EverBank Field
Weather: High 78, Low 60
Line: Houston (-2.5)
The 2013 season can’t get much worse for the Houston Texans. After a 2-0 start to the year, one of the AFC‘s favorites to head to a Super Bowl has now lost 10 straight games and is in line to have the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft. It’s not too far off to say the Texans are the most disappointing team in the NFL this season. Matt Schaub started the season as the team’s starting veteran quarterback, but has since been benched for young gunslinger Case Keenum who has no experience prior to this season. Keenum has passed for 1,433 yards and eight touchdowns with just three interceptions. Andre Johnson has emerged as Keenum’s favorite wide out, catching 82 passes for 1,123 yards and five touchdowns — seeing a resurgence since the young quarterback took over. Arian Foster is now out for the season at running back and Ben Tate is filling in, rushing for 646 yards and four scores.
On the other side of the field, things are looking up for the Jacksonville Jaguars after a horrid start to the season. Not many people thought the Jaguars would win a game in 2013, but that has since changed as they have posted three wins in their past four games. While they might have the worst offense in the league, the Jaguars have been able to get the job done in the last few weeks. Veteran quarterback Chad Henne has passed for 2,319 yards and six touchdowns for the 23rd-ranked passing offense and dead-last ranked overall offense. Cecil Shorts has bailed Henne out more often than not, catching 64 passes for 764 yards and just two touchdowns — he has nearly 30 more catches than the next closest wide out. Maurice Jones-Drew has stepped his game up recently as well, rushing for 616 yards and five touchdowns after beginning the season as poorly as anyone.
Defensively, the Jaguars aren’t playing as poorly as they are on offense. Jacksonville has been a lower-tiered team on defense this season, however, ranking 30th in points allowed and 25th in total yards per game in the league. Houston has had one of the best defenses in the league, but have failed to convert that into wins. The Texans rank third in the league in total yards and second in passing yards allowed per game. However, they also rank 27th in points allowed and are 20th against the run.
PREDICTION: Texans 28, Jaguars 24
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.