The Jaguars will rely heavily on Maurice Jones-Drew against Houston.
Roll with him: Both the Texans and Jaguars will look to their primary backs -- Arian Foster and Maurice Jones-Drew, respectively -- early. It’s more important for Jacksonville to gain some control over time of possession and to get a lead that will allow for MJD to run often. The Jaguars will be adjusting to playing defense without injured Aaron Kampman. Minus their primary pass-rush threat, the Jaguars likely will allow Matt Schaub more time to throw. Yes, the Texans have the league’s worst pass defense. But Jacksonville’s is 28th and also super-susceptible to big plays. And Houston has more big-play threats.
Old connection:Kerry Collins and Randy Moss have history, even if it’s ancient history. Vince Young was limited Friday, and while he’s technically a game-time decision it appears increasingly likely that Collins will sub for Young (ankle) on Sunday in Miami. No matter who's playing quarterback, how much of an impact can the Titans get from Moss after a week’s work? And will the Dolphins' coverage immediately create space for Chris Johnson in the run game? That’s what the team was expecting by making the move.
Jason Allen beyond special teams: He was a late waiver claim this week, but the Texans' pass defense is struggling. Allen’s likely to have a role on special teams right away in light of the loss of Dominique Barber. Gary Kubiak has completely backed rookie cornerback Kareem Jackson and I don’t anticipate a change. But if David Garrard is getting good protection and throwing well, will the Texans stick with a troubled group or look to change something up, at least in a nickel package?
Slowing Owens: The Colts have gotten better play from Kelvin Hayden recently, but their second corner and nickel corner have been question marks. Deshea Townsend, who’s been filling in as nickel, was cut this week. The Bengals will try to keep Terrell Owens hot, as the Colts continue to recover from injuries in the defensive backfield. Jacob Lacey should be better his second week back. Jerraud Powers said he expects to be back. Justin Tryon is questionable. If it’s Hayden, Powers and Lacey as the top three, Indianapolis should be able to keep things in front of them.
Minus Daniels: The Texans will be without Owen Daniels (hamstring) but that doesn’t mean they cannot be effective throwing to tight ends. Joel Dreessen and James Casey accounted for nine of the team’s 21 catches and 105 of their 267 passing yards last week in a loss to San Diego. Houston should have Schaub keep targeting the duo and look to expand Casey’s role. He’s a guy that can do some damage, and they should see what he can do with increased opportunity.