Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Watch Live Stream Online for Free; Preview
Andre Johnson and the Houston Texans should should cruise to a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. (Photo: REUTERS / Molly Riley)
Two AFC South foes face off Sunday afternoon as the Houston Texans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on CBS in certain markets, and you can also watch a live stream online for free here.
Houston is coming off an easy victory over the turnover-prone Miami Dolphins. The Texans trailed Miami 3-0 midway through the second quarter before the Dolphins gave the ball away on four consecutive drives. Houston turned those three interceptions and a fumble recovery into 24 points to put the game away before halftime.
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The Texans defense this week should be able to continue that momentum against another young quarterback. Jacksonville is led by second-year player Blaine Gabbert, who looked lost at times last season.
While fellow first-round rookie Cam Newton was putting up record numbers in Carolina, Gabbert struggled behind an often-porous offensive line. The Jaguars allowed 44 sacks last season, tied for seventh-worst in the league. Gabbert constantly looked uncomfortable in the pocket as a result.
This year, Gabbert does seem to have improved. Against the Minnesota Vikings last week, he threw for two touchdowns and zero interceptions and appeared to throw the game-winning touchdown pass with under a minute left. However, the Vikings drove down the field for the tying field goal and ultimately won the game in overtime.
It helps that Gabbert actually has receivers to throw to this year. The team drafted rookie Justin Blackmon early in the first round and signed free agent Laurent Robinson from Dallas. Robinson burst onto the scene last season with 11 touchdowns and three 100-yard games. The team also still has a potent running game led by running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
The second-year player was also aided last week by a strong performance from left tackle Eugene Monroe. Monroe allowed zero tackles or sacks to All-Pro Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, and he will have a similarly tough challenge this week. Sports Illustrated's Peter King reports that Monroe will likely be matched up against linebacker Connor Barwin on Sunday. Barwin tied for ninth in the league last season with 11.5 sacks.
But even if Monroe wins his individual matchup, the Texans should still be able to put pressure on Gabbert. Houston has a strong group of pass rushers, including defensive ends Antonio Smith and JJ Watt, and finished sixth in the league in sacks last season,
Couple that with an explosive Houston offense led by running back Arian Foster, wide receiver Andre Johnson, and quarterback Matt Schaub, and it's tough to see Jacksonville winning this matchup.
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