Last weekend was rough. The Jaguars jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead, but promptly blew it before throwing a go-ahead touchdown with 20 seconds left. Then, they allowed the Vikings to nail a 55 yard field goal and lost in overtime. In other words, it was a heartbreaker, and it wasn't the offense's fault.
Week 2 brings the perception of a greater challenge. I word it that way because it is still too early to know exactly which teams are playoff bound and which ones will be flailing about at the bottom of the standings. Still, the Texans had a very strong showing in week 1, and they won't be easy to slow down.
The Jaguars have a number of injury concerns coming into their game against the Texans. Daryl Smith is out, Derek Cox is questionable, Cameron Bradfield is out, Uche Nwaneri is probable and Eben Britton is questionable. That's a lot of key players that are banged up coming in.
The Texans, on the other hand, have far more players on their injury report, but all of them except Bryan Braman are listed as probable. In other words, the Texans are healthier than the Jaguars at this point.
Outside of injury concerns, this game will come down to the Jaguars' play on defense and Blaine Gabbert's play on offense. At this point, I'm not willing to say I have full confidence in Gabbert to post solid numbers every week, but I do expect him to play reasonably well week in and week out.
It's the defense that concerns me. Last week, that unit shut the Vikings down for nearly an entire half, but after that, the Vikings had their way with the Jaguars' defense. To put it lightly, it was an embarrassing way to open the season.
This week's challenge is no easier. Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub provide the Texans with a trio of playmakers on offense.
The hope here is that last week was more or less a fluke. The hope is that the Jaguars' defense is pissed off and ready to hit someone and hit them hard. We'll learn a lot about the resolve of this team today. The Jaguars are the underdog, but a win would do wonders for their season.
It's only week 2, but this is one of the biggest games on the Jaguars' schedule. With a win against the Texans, the Jaguars would be the division leader going into a game against the Indianapolis Colts. 1-1 with a division win is miles ahead of 0-2 with a division loss. It's only week 2, but games seldom get much bigger than this, especially to start a season.