Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wrap-up: Jaguars 23, Texans 18
By Paul Kuharsky
Jacksonville saw its star back stuffed on a fourth-and-goal, gave up a safety and muffed a punt.
But against Houston the resilient Jaguars overcame their mistakes, took advantage of three interceptions, got big plays from unlikely contributors Nate Hughes and Zach Miller, beat the Texans 23-18 and expanded their current hold on an AFC wild-card spot.
While Jacksonville upped its mark to 7-5, Houston fell to 5-7 with a fourth consecutive loss, all in the AFC South. The Texans are tied with the Titans in the division's basement.
One of the Texans’ last ditch efforts came on a fourth-quarter trick play a heady player would have quickly aborted. But instead, Chris Brown forced a throw from the Jacksonville 5-yard line as he was hit and Gerald Alexander picked it off, ending a possession that needed to produce at least a field goal.
The Texans aren’t lacking for symbols of their failures, but there was another one.
Meanwhile the Jaguars completed a sweep of their division rivals and moved to 5-1 at home. They were opportunistic and tough.
Their biggest question in a surprising season has been consistency. They’ll have a chance to show some when they host the Dolphins next week with a chance to move three games over .500 for the first time this season.
Houston is finished with division games (1-5) and all but eliminated from the playoff picture. They need to win three of their final four to get to that familiar 8-8, or to run the table to top it for the first time.