Jacksonville Sports Day

Bonts: Jaguars Should Bounce Back Against Houston

JACKSONVILLE — After consecutive road losses, the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) return home to TIAA Bank Field to face Houston (3-3) on Sunday.

The Jaguars should right the ship against the Texans and get on the winning side of the ledger.

“We just have to play ball,” said Calias Campbell, one of the team’s defensive captains following Sunday’s 40-7 loss to the Cowboys. “Talking has never won a ballgame. Executing wins ballgames. We just have to make sure we play ball and figure out how to win this next game.”

Against the Cowboys, the Jaguars had three first downs, 64 yards, four punts, and trailed 24-0.

At the half.

The blowout victory was the most points scored by the Cowboys since a 40-10 defeat of San Francisco a little more than a year ago. The Dallas defense recorded three sacks and two turnovers in completely shutting  down the Jaguars offense

Don’t look for a repeat by Houston  – on either side of  the ball. The Texans haven’t found their identity. And, they won’t find it Sunday in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars and Texans are tied with Tennessee (3-3) for first place in the AFC South, one of the worst divisions in the NFL. Another reason Jaguars’ fans shouldn’t fret or panic.

Jacksonville hasn’t lost three consecutive games since Doug Marrone took over as the team’s head coach. The Jaguars are 2-0 against Houston under Marrone. Campbell posted 2.0 sacks in their meeting last December, and his 6.0 sacks against the Texans in 2017 were the most against any opponent in a single season in franchise history.

Marrone said Houston’s JJ Watt is still a force on the Texans defense.

“He’s back playing like when he was the Defensive Player of the Year. We all know he’s a good football player. He’s extremely tough, extremely active. He has 7.0 sacks, leads the league. I have a ton of respect for him, especially how he’s battled back and then all around. I don’t know him personally at all, but in the community what he has done there. He is just an outstanding person and an outstanding football player.”

The Jaguars have acquired fifth-year running back Carlos Hyde from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a 2019 fifth-round draft selection.

Hyde, 6-0, 229, has appeared in 56 career games with 41 starts after originally being drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.  The signing comes after running back Leonard Fournette will miss his third straight game Sunday.

Fournette was ruled out  due to a hamstring injury that has limited him to parts of two games this season. Running back T.J. Yeldon was removed from the injury report on Friday.

Fournette led the Jaguars in rushing with 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie in 2017, but the former No. 4 overall draft pick has been limited to 71 yards on 20 rushes this season.

GAME NOTES: Jacksonville’s defense has allowed 187.8 net passing yards per game, the lowest mark in the NFL this season. The Jaguars’ five passing TDs allowed are the fewest allowed by any team….Sunday’s matchup versus the Texans marks the Jaguars’ second divisional game this season. Of Jacksonville’s next seven games, four are against AFC South opponents….in his last six home games, QB Blake Bortles has thrown for at least 300 yards in four of those games and has thrown 13 TDs and two interceptions….the Jaguars are one of six teams in the NFL to have not missed a field goal this season….. Telvin Smith Sr. has recorded a team-high 49 tackles in 2018 and passed Akin Ayodele (489) on the team’s all-time tackles list. With four tackles on Sunday, Smith will become the eighth player in team history to record at least 500 tackles…. Keelan Cole has scored a TD in four of his last six home games.

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