Can the Jaguars RB Travis Etienne break through against the Texans?

Travis Etienne Jr. had an incredible collegiate career at Clemson: he set ACC all-time career records for rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns and total runs scored.

Unfortunately, it’s been a while since we’ve seen this same cat. Etienne was drafted 25th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021 but missed his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury. He’s yet to score this season as he plays Robin against James Robinson’s Batman.

What’s interesting about the running back tandem is that they are the exact opposite of what we expected for the season. Etienne was supposed to be the boom or bust guy, but it’s Robinson who has several long touchdowns this season and ranks dead last in hit rate among 39 players.

Etienne has 34 carries for 144 yards this year, which ranks him 37th and 35th, respectively, among all running backs in the NFL. According to the chart from Sports Info Solutions, however, Etienne is having a solid season by advanced metrics. Despite being stuffed at the line of scrimmage for the fourth-highest rate among 44 backs, he ranks 34th in broken points rate as well as 15th in yards after contact per attempt.

He still manages to bounce off defenders at a fairly high rate in the league, but the space just hasn’t been there for Etienne to open plays wide. The good news is that could change this week.

Houston is giving up the fifth-highest yards per carry this season and is below average in most defensive metrics. Jacksonville’s high projections in the gap (-7) and team total (25.5) this week indicate they will have control of the game. Will Etienne and the Jaguars enjoy their best game on the ground so far this season?