The Houston Texans' franchise-record losing streak is up to 10 games, and even Thursday's trip to Jacksonville no longer seems like an easy win for the defending AFC South champions. The Texans let one slip away Sunday, falling 34-31 to visiting New England after leading by 10 at halftime and being up by three in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville rallied for a 32-28 win at Cleveland last week, its third win in the last four games after dropping eight straight to start the season.
While the Texans are playing their way into contention for the top pick in next year's draft - they own the league's worst record at 2-10 - the Jaguars' chances of picking first are fading, as they're one of four teams at 3-9. Jacksonville has yet to win in front of its home crowd but has three straight games to try and change that, with Buffalo and Tennessee visiting the next two weeks. "We don't look ahead much, but I said, 'We have a great opportunity with three (home) games in a row,' " Jaguars coach Gus Bradley told the team's website. "It doesn't make it any more important than an away game, but it is special to play at home."
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network. LINE: Houston -2.5. O/U: 43.
ABOUT THE TEXANS (2-10): Houston did a lot of things right against the Patriots, including rushing for a franchise-record four touchdowns and scoring TDs on all three of its trips to the red zone. Quarterback Case Keenum has played fairly well despite being winless in six starts, passing for 1,433 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions, and the ground game continues to produce even with Arian Foster on injured reserve following back surgery. Statistically, the Texans should be better than their 2-10 record - they rank 10th in total offense and third in total defense - but a minus-12 turnover margin contributes to their ranking 29th in scoring offense and 27th in scoring defense.
ABOUT THE JAGUARS (3-9): Jacksonville aims for its first three-game winning streak since 2010 as the league's last-ranked offense has shown signs of life recently. Chad Henne has taken over the starting quarterback job for the remainder of the season and led the Jaguars on an 80-yard drive for the winning score against the Browns. The defense still ranks 30th in scoring and 25th in total yards but turned in a dominant performance in a 13-6 win at Houston two weeks ago.
1. Jacksonville has recorded eight takeaways in the last four games, matching the total from its first eight contests.
2. Houston WR Andre Johnson has 49 career 100-yard receiving games and has caught a pass in 113 consecutive contests.
3. The Jaguars have topped 100 yards rushing in two straight games after failing to do so in their first 10.
PREDICTION: Texans 23, Jaguars 20