Jacksonville Jaguars: 4 bold predictions for Week 1 vs. Texans
If not for the much anticipated debut of the number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence this game wouldn’t have a ton of appeal. The Jaguars were literally the worst team in the league last season and they’re set to take on the unanimous worst team in the league this season, the Houston Texans.
Luckily we do get Trevor Lawrence and a Jaguars team hoping to take a step towards the playoffs but the Texans are hopeless. Let’s get into what to expect from Jacksonville.
4 Bold Predictions For Jaguars in Week 1
Bold prediction #1: The Jaguars win by 10+ points
Sorry to the Houston Texans, but there’s not much hope in my eyes for them in Week 1. The Jaguars won’t be a playoff team, but this is a team full of young weapons on offense led by Trevor Lawrence looking to prove themselves.
Lawrence will be throwing to Laviska Shenault Jr. and D.J. Chark, two young receivers looking to break out in 2021. Undrafted rookie running back James Robinson is returning to lead the backfield after his big breakout year and they’ve also added Marvin Jones as a veteran presence among the receivers.
On defense, this team has some recognizable names that haven’t put together that big season yet, similar to the receivers. C.J. Henderson and Shaquill Griffin make up a nice cornerback duo if they can reach their potential but there’s not much behind them.
At linebacker the Jaguars have Myles Jack and Josh Allen, another duo that has potential but haven’t put it together for a full season. Allen is the main pass rusher of the two and had a nice rookie season with 10.5 sacks but only played eight games in 2020. If he can get back to his rookie numbers then that’s a nice step.
Overall this is a young team loaded with unrealized potential. If a couple players on both sides of the ball get close to their potential then Jacksonville can start pushing for the playoffs as soon as next season. That all starts with a statement win in week 1 against the Houston Texans. Expectations for the Texans are at rock bottom so let’s see what the Jaguars can do.
Bold prediction #2: The Jaguars defense records at least two sacks and two turnovers
The defensive potential talked about in the paragraphs above will start to show up in week 1. Whether it’s Josh Allen looking like the top ten pick the Jaguars drafted a few years ago or any of the high upside corners jumping in for an interception, this can be a fun week for the Jaguars defense.
They’re up against Tyrod Taylor as the quarterback for the Texans and a running back committee consisting of Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, and David Johnson. That could be a pretty solid group… three years ago. Am I hating on the Texans too much? I don’t think that’s possible.
K’Lavon Chaisson and Josh Allen could each record a sack as C.J. Henderson intercepts a pass and Myles Jack forces a fumble. That’s the off the record prediction for how this prediction ends up going. Week one should be fun for this exciting Jaguars team but it should be the opposite for the Texans offense. Tyrod Taylor has typically been good at avoiding interceptions but he hasn’t been a consistent starter since 2017. Who knows what to expect in week 1.
Bold prediction #3: One of Laviska Shenault Jr. or D.J. Chark go for 100 yards and two touchdowns
One of these two wide receivers eventually has to break out and that could start this week. Every quarterback tends to have a favorite target and it’s very likely that one of Shenault and Chark will break out and be the favorite target for Trevor Lawrence.
Sure, it could be someone like Marvin Jones but the more likely scenario is one of the two second round wide receivers end up being the guy for Lawrence. This would require a big day overall for the Jaguars on offense unless Lawrence literally only throws to one guy. That seems unlikely.
If Laviska Shenault or D.J. Chark are able to put up these big numbers in week 1 then it could be a sign to come for this offense. Both receivers will be upgrading from a combination of Gardner Minshew or Mike Glennon to Trevor Lawrence. Sometimes being terrible for a year pays off for everyone and these two young receivers could be two of the biggest beneficiaries. Shenault will be entering his second season as Chark enters his fourth. The hope is that these two can be among the best wide receiver duos in the league, but that will take a big step from both and from the quarterback position.
Bold prediction #4: James Robinson will average at least 5.5 yards per carry
No team was worse than the Texans when it came to defending the run last season. They ranked 32nd in total rushing yards given up at 2,564 and 32 in yards per carry at 5.2 on the season. James Robinson will be looking for another good season after his great rookie campaign and all the attention seems to be on the passing game. Robinson is being overshadowed by the debut of Trevor Lawrence but he should go out and show everyone he’s still got it.
Robinson averaged 4.5 yards per carry on the season in 2020 so increasing in this game by a full yard would be impressive no matter the defense he’s up against. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry or more in three games last season and two of them came late in the season. For him to do this while everyone is watching Trevor Lawrence would be a great showcase of how exciting this offense can be at every skill position group.