HOUSTON — Fresh off their bye week, the Houston Texans picked up their second victory of the season in a 27-25 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday afternoon, inside TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. With the win, the Texans improved to 2-6 on the season, 2-1 against their AFC South counterparts.
Deshaun Watson had another substantial performance for the Texans, but this time his play was awarded a victory. He threw for 281 yards going 19-for-32 in the pocket, to go along with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Watson was also able to torch the Jaguars on the ground for a team-high 50 yards on 10 carries.
The dynamic duo between Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks was on full display as they combined for 183 reception yards on eight catches, and a trip to the end zone after connecting with Watson. The most pivotal moment of the game came with 6:05 remanding in the third quarter. The Texans stood on their own 23-yard line when Watson threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Fuller.
Although the play put the Texans up 27-16, Houston survived what should have been a delay of game with the play clock running down to zero prior to Watson’s snap. The touchdown would go on to give the Texans a two-point advantage for the win.
Injuries played a significant role in Houston’s regular-season sweep over the Jaguars. Charles Omenihum (hamstring), Brennan Scarlett (arm) and Senio Kelemete (concussion) all sustained injuries during the first half and did not return to the field.
Running back David Johnson brought Houston’s injury total to four when he suffered a concussion following a hit by Jacksonville’s LB Myles Jack early in the first quarter. David’s injury allowed Duke Johnson to become Houston’s every-down back. The 27-year-old running back recorded a total of 73 yards — with 41 coming on the ground and one touchdown.
Injuries also left the Texans extremely thin on defense. Including Omenihum and Scarlett, the Texans played without six defensive players as Whitney Mercilus (COVID related), Dylan Cole (COVID related), Jacob Martin (COVID related) and Bradley Roby (personal) was ruled out prior to Sunday’s game.
Although they struggled at times, the Texans made enough stops to help secure a victory. Vernon Hargreaves III notched Houston’s second interception on the year, while J.J. Watt recorded his 100th career sack late in the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars came into Sunday’s game with Jake Luton starting in place of the injured Gardner Minshew (hand). While Luton has had a solid debut, the rookie quarterback nearly threw five interceptions — all slipping between the hands of the Texans’ defenders. Luton ended the game with 304 yards and two touchdowns.
As one of the NFL’s worst teams at stopping the run, the Texans held the Jaguars to a total of 115 yards on the ground — 99 coming from rookie halfback James Robinson on 25 attempts.
Following their Week 9 victory, the Texans will look for their first win streak of the season playing against the 5-3 Cleveland Brown next Sunday. Tip-off is slated for noon CT at FirstEnergy Stadium.
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