“Minshew Mania” crosses the Atlantic this weekend as the Jacksonville Jaguars look to stay in the AFC South title chase Sunday when they face the Houston Texans in a divisional showdown in London's Wembley Stadium.
When: Sunday, Nov. 3
Time: 9:30 a.m. ET
TV: NFL Network
Live Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
The Jaguars (4-4) are currently the closest thing to a home team that the NFL can have in London. They are owned by Shahid Khan, who also owns English soccer club Fulham. Khan’s also well-known to American sports fans for having stars Carlos Bocanegra, Brian McBride and Clint Dempsey during his time in the Premier League.
This is the club’s seventh consecutive year playing one of its home games in London, and the Jaguars are 3-3 in those games after last season’s 24-16 loss to Philadelphia. This season, they enter their London contest looking for a third consecutive victory after defeating the New York Jets 29-15 last Sunday.
In their win over the Jets, Minshew threw for 279 yards and a season-high three touchdowns, the last of which, an 8-yard dart to D.J. Chark with 4:13 to play, sealed the victory. Since replacing Nick Foles in the season opener following Foles' injury, the sixth-round pick has thrown for 1,697 yards and 10 TDs with only two interceptions.
Chark’s breakout season continued last week with six catches for 79 yards, bringing the second-year wideout's total to 39 receptions for 660 yards at the halfway point. He is on pace to be Jacksonville’s first 1,000-yard receiver since 2015 and just the fifth in franchise history.
The Jaguars defense contributed three interceptions and has recorded seven of their nine takeaways in their last two games. Jacksonville have also yielded just 79 rushing yards combined in its last two victories after allowing 132.2 per game in its first six contests.
Houston (5-3) remained a 1/2 game behind AFC South leader Indianapolis after a 27-24 victory over Oakland last Sunday. Deshaun Watson completed 27-of-39 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns, and capped the Texans' go-ahead drive in remarkable fashion by escaping a sack and throwing a 9-yard TD pass to Darren Fells with 6:26 remaining.
The win, though, came at a tremendous cost as star defensive end J.J. Watt suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle injury. It is the third time in four years that Watt, who had four sacks despite being constantly double-teamed, has had his season cut short by a major injury.
The Texans are going for a sweep of their season series with the Jags after holding off Jacksonville in Week 2 for a 13-12 victory. Watson was held to a season-low 159 passing yards in that game, but ran for Houston’s only touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Minshew rallied the Jaguars within one on a touchdown pass to Chark with 30 seconds to play, but coach Doug Marrone’s decision to go for the win with a two-point conversion failed when Leonard Fournette was stopped short of the goal line.
Houston is making its first appearance in London, having played one prior international game, a 27-20 loss to Oakland in Mexico City in 2016.