Wednesday, December 4, 2013
What changes in 11 days?
By Tania Ganguli
There was a little bit of unfamiliarity between the Jaguars and Texans when they first played this season. The Jaguars' roster has turned over quite a bit since their meeting last year and the coaching staff is new.
That won't be a problem Thursday. Eleven days after their first meeting of the season, the Jaguars and Texans face each other again.
"There are not a whole lot of changes that are going to go on, especially in a short week like this," Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne said. "It's just mano-a-mano, and just go out there and play ball. Whoever wins the one-on-one matchups is going to win."
I addressed this topic in my buzz video today. There are advantages and disadvantages to being so familiar with your opponent.
"Positives, you obviously have a game of film that's very recent that you can watch," Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said. "Negatives, there's not a whole lot of other film in between the games. But it's a familiar opponent and they are seeing the same film that you're seeing, and it's a quick turnaround.
"But in a situation like this where you lost a couple of weeks ago, it's a chance to go out and get back on the right track and maybe get a win back. And that's the goal. That's when a short turnaround is nice is when you can go back out there and get that taste out of your mouth."
ESPN.com Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky touched on this last week when Indianapolis played Tennessee for the second time in three weeks. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that kind of situation is scheduled four times this NFL season. The Panthers and Saints face each other in weeks 14 and 16 and the Chiefs and Broncos faced each other in weeks 11 and 13.
As a viewer, I'd think there are more negatives than positives. It's nice to see the way teams change over the course of a season. And when injuries are involved, a team can wind up playing the same divisional foe twice without a key player (which happened to the Titans).
More space between the games would make the second ones serve as a sort of measuring stick for that change, whether it's positive or negative.