Jaguars even with Texans at the half

November, 18, 2012
11/18/12
2:45
PM ET
In perhaps the most extreme matchup the NFL currently has to offer of good versus bad, bad is holding its own.

The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) are tied 17-17 with the Houston Texans (8-1) at Reliant Stadium in one of those games that, through a half, reminds us just how unpredictable the league is.

I constantly say, it’s the No. 1 reason to love pro football.

In what was perhaps the best moment for the Jaguars all season, after Justin Blackmon failed to complete what could have been a touchdown catch, the Jaguars bounced back on the ensuing third-and-10 from the Houston 13-yard line.

Marcedes Lewis got past Glover Quin and leaped high to snare Chad Henne’s pass in front of a second defensive back.

Rather than wallow in, and sag as a result of the lost opportunity, the Jaguars bounced right back and did better.

It was a big moment that made it 7-7 in the first quarter.

Cecil Shorts then took a short pass 67 yards, breaking a tackle by Kareem Jackson and turning Tim Dobbins around at the left sideline before he raced to pay dirt.

Shorts, by the way, is the first player in the NFL this season with four receiving touchdowns of at least 35 yards.

Henne’s playing for Blaine Gabbert, who suffered a bruised throwing elbow when a blitzing Danieal Manning hit him on it as he was throwing, forcing a lost fumble.

The initial report said his return was probable. But coach Mike Mularkey would be wise not to mess with what’s been working.

Maybe the Texans restore order and pull away in the second half. It will certainly be worth watching to see if they can.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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