Four takeaways: Jaguars dominate, prepare for massive showdown against Titans

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (1) runs for a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game in Houston, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) (Eric Christian Smith, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The Jaguars ended a nine-game losing streak against the Texans with a 31-3 win in Houston on Sunday. The Jaguars even their record at 8-8 and now turn their attention to one of the biggest regular season games ever in Jacksonville. Here are my for takeaways from the win over the Texans:

Largest halftime lead since 2017

It was comfortable a game as the Jaguars have had in five years. The 21-0 halftime lead is the largest for the Jaguars since the 2017 season. That also came against the Texans. What does it mean? It means the Jaguars are a good team and they did what good teams doe to bad teams. Dominate.

Trevor’s day

Trevor Lawrence was very accurate, although he didn’t look to throw downfield too often. When he did in the first half, he and his receivers were not on the same page, resulting in an interception, the eighth of the season for Lawrence. By the time CJ Beathard was warming up in the first half, you knew that Lawrence’s day was going to be brief. He left the game after directing a touchdown drive in the third quarter. It couldn’t have worked out better for the Jaguars. The quarterback got a chance to rest and the Jaguars got the win.

Etienne goes big

Travis Etienne looks like he’s going to make a big play just about every time he touches the ball. Of course, it doesn’t always happen. But on Sunday, it did. Etienne broke free for a 62-yard run as part of the game where he totaled 140 yards from scrimmage in the first half and did not play in the second half. He has become one of the best big play threats in the NFL. One more win, and he can show that big play potential in the playoffs.

What’s next

The Jaguars now look to host the Titans in Week, 18. It might be the biggest regular season game for the Jaguars in franchise history. If not, it is certainly one of the biggest. The opportunity to win the division, defeat a rival, and earn a playoff spot all at the same time is a rare opportunity. And for Jaguars fans, a win means the chance to celebrate the return of the Jaguars as a significant team in the National Football League. It would also mean the Jaguars would host a playoff game for the fifth time in franchise history.