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Top 5 Rushing Matchups Week 1
Jacksonville at Houston
Jacksonville saw a significant change in offensive coaching personnel this offseason, with the firing of Doug Marrone, and the hiring of Head Coach Urban Meyer and Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell. The Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence first overall and Travis Etienne 25th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, but lost Etienne for the season with a foot injury suffered in a preseason game. Jacksonville returns 2020 starter James Robinson who was great in a surprise role with the team as he averaged 4.5 yards-per-carry. The Jaguars will supplement Robinson with free agent signee Carlos Hyde who has struggled to find a home changing teams in each of the last five seasons. Jacksonville ranked 12th in yards per carry in 2021 (4.5) and returns its core offensive linemen from last year that ranked in the bottom 10 units in 2020.
Houston gave up the second-most fantasy points to running backs (32.5) and most rushing yards in the league in 2020. Their rush defense will go through a significant overhaul in 2021. Houston’s defense ranked amongst the worst in the league in 2020, before losing key contributors J.J. Watt and linebacker Tyrell Adams. The loss of Deshaun Watson will also hurt as the Houston offense could cover the poor rush defense by scoring points and forcing opposing offenses into passing situations. With Watson out and Taylor starting, the Houston rush defense should face a significant amount of negative game script situations as teams are expected to get out in front of what should be one of the worst defenses in football.
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