My fellow contributor Brian Patterson and I were chatting the other day, we both agree that Nick Martin has the chance to be a perennial pro bowl level center.
The formula, at least on Sunday, worked perfectly. The defense then forced a three-and-out on its end. But it made him fresh for the fourth, which started with his longest run, a 17-yarder when he turned the right corner. Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson will look to head the Jaguars' receiving corps after combining for over 1,700 yards and 9 touchdown grabs last season.
Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette ran for 100 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 24 yards in his National Football League debut. Darby remained on the ground for several minutes as medical staff attended to him.
Robinson eventually walked off the field and was taken to the locker room to undergo further tests. However, Robinson failed to make it to the visiting sideline after crumpling to the turf. First-year coach Doug Marrone is still trying to find a quarterback.
The Jaguars finished with 155 yards rushing with 100 yards and a touchdown from the rookie Fournette. Following weeks of uncertainty on the offensive line, the Jaguars were able to form a unit that kept Bortles clean in the pocket.
Kicker Jason Myers had an up-and-down performance, which will not curb the preseason concerns about his accuracy.
TEXANS NOTABLE ROOKIE: Running back D'Onta Foreman. He led a 14-play, 75-yard scoring drive in his first series.
That's because Bortles - who didn't win the first-string job as much as backup Chad Henne failed to capture it - and his teammates kept their composure by driving 51 yards for a Jason Myers field goal. Brandon Allen completed 22 of 31 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown. And, on this day, the Jaguars spoiled the party, thumping the very bad Texans 29-7.
I am predicting Watt to have 2.5 sacks Sunday and look back to normal with his relentless pass rush and his ability to absolutely blow up a run play.
The Jaguars took a surprising 19-0 lead into halftime, thanks in large part to Fournette's strong play. For his first assignment, Robinson gets three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. Those are just some of the reasons the Texans are five point favorites on Sunday. The defense produced four turnovers for starters.
The Jaguars were without running back T.J. Yeldon due to a hamstring injury. He did not return. Jalen Ramsey more than lived up to his preseason hype.
This offense is going to need to establish the run game early.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle is also reporting that tight end Ryan Griffin is also being evaluated for a concussion. Watt will receive a massive ovation before the game.