Jacksonville Jaguars @

Houston Texans

Sun, Sep 15
10:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 273
Odds: Houston Texans -8.5, Total: 43.5

Game Analysis

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Best Bet- *Under (44.5) – HOUSTON (-8.5) vs Jacksonville

Lean – Jacksonville (+8.5)

Rookie 6th-round pick Gardner Minshew comes into this week overrated after throwing for 10.5 yards per pass play on mostly short check-down routes versus a Chiefs prevent defense. Minshew averaged just 5.4 air yards per attempt, the second-lowest of any week 1 quarterback. Our metrics make a 5-point adjustment for the drop-off from Nick Foles to Minshew, which is seemingly in line with the market on the side considering the look-ahead number for this game was Texans -3.5. However, for some reason it seems the market did not properly account for Minshew in the total as we would’ve made this total 44.6 if these two teams played last week before the Foles injury. The total closed at 41 and 40.5 in the two meetings between these teams last season and I expect this total to keep dropping towards those numbers.

The Jaguars will likely lean heavily on Leonard Fournette with Minshew making his first start under center, which will be a poor strategy because he is a bad running back. Fournette has a career success rate of just 36% and terrible elusiveness. The Texans had the 4th-best rush defense last year and I expect them to bottle up Fournette. Minshew, meanwhile, will be in trouble when he does drop back to pass. Texans’ star defender JJ Watt should feast on his matchup with rookie right tackle Jawaan Taylor after his tough matchup in week 1 versus Saints tackle Ryan Ramczyk, while Whitney Mercilus will take advantage of the absence of Cam Robinson on the other side provided the left tackle cannot play with his hyperextended knee. It will also be tougher for Minshew to duplicate his success last week now that there is some tape on him.

Houston’s offense averaged 7.0 yards per play against the Saints, but that number is deceptive because it was only 5.9 yards per play before the 2-play final drive when Deshaun Watson was just heaving it deep in a desperate situation. Watson was pressured on half of his drop-backs, most of any quarterback in the NFL, and the Texans offensive line that ranked 31st last season is not going to be completely fixed by the addition of left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who conceded 2 sacks in his first game with the team. Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and rookie Josh Allen, who had 4 pressures in his debut, should make it difficult for Watson once again. Meanwhile, shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey will negate DeAndre Hopkins while I expect AJ Bouye to contain Will Fuller. The weakness of Jacksonville’s defense this season will be against tight ends but Houston’s offense does not have the personnel to take advantage of that weakness.

I believe the Jaguars will commit to the rushing attack as long as they’re in this game, keeping the clock moving, while their defense will put Deshaun Watson under fire all game again. Our model favors the Texans by 6.2 with a predicted total of just 40.2 points. The Under is a 1-Star Best Bet at 43.5 points or higher (Strong Opinion at 43).

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Jaguars
  • Texans


  • Pass Plays 33.7 38.7
  • Succ Pass Plays 45.6% 41.9%
  • Sack Rate 4.6% 10.2%
  • Int Rate 1.0% 0.0%
  • Deep Pass Rate 15.7% 28.8%
  • Big Pass Yards 43.1% 58.7%
  • NYPP 7.3 6.8


  • Rush Plays 19.0 27.3
  • RB YPR 4.1 4.0
  • Stuff Rate 23.9% 20.9%
  • Succ Rush Plays 33.9% 56.1%
  • Big Rush Yards 65.1% 35.7%
  • Yards Per Rush 4.8 4.0


  • All Snaps 52.7 66.0
  • Early Down Succ 44.0% 48.7%
  • Succ Rate 41.1% 47.7%
  • Big Yards Rate 50.9% 51.5%
  • Yards Per Play 6.4 5.6
  • Fumble Lost Rate 1.2% 0.4%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 31.7 29.3
  • Run Ratio 36.1% 41.9%
  • Starting Field Pos 25.2 31.4
  • Game Control -0.7 0.7
  • Points 19.3 20.0
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