- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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What it means: The Texans are off to a 2-0 start and remain ahead of the pack in the AFC South. Their lead over the 0-2 Jaguars now amounts to 2.5 games. Houston was methodical, as a good team should be against an overmatched team with some personnel deficiencies.
What I liked: The Texans were assertive. They threw mostly short stuff, clearly thinking that after the Jaguars struggled to bring down the Vikings last week that the Jaguars would struggle to get them to the ground. While Jacksonville tackled better, the Texans found steady bites of yardage, allowed nothing very damaging on defense and got out of town without any new injuries apparent.
What I didn’t like: Jacksonville seemed to play scared on offense. They needed to protect quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who was working behind a line using two subs. But still, they should have at least attempted to threaten the Texans down the middle of the field once in a while. When they finally did, Gabbert found Laurent Robinson down the middle and the 32-yard gain set up a somewhat inventive, short touchdown throw to Maurice Jones-Drew. Overall, the formations and play calling were too conservative. Maybe the Jaguars were naïve enough to think that stuff could work as they planned. As the game unfolded, however, they have to adjust if they intend to compete. And they simply didn’t adjust enough.
AWOL: Justin Blackmon was ineffective. But did the Jaguars put him in good spots? Shouldn’t slants and crossing routes by the rookie receiver be bread-and-butter plays for the Jaguars? My answer is yes.
Not a controversy: Chad Henne completed a couple of passes when he took over in the fourth quarter for Gabbert, who left with a leg injury. If Gabbert’s healthy, expect no controversy. The progress he’s made wasn’t undone by a poor game against a very good defense.