Sunday, November 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Jacksonville Jaguars
By Michael DiRocco
HOUSTON -- A few thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars' 13-6 victory against the Houston Texans.
What it means: The Jaguars are on a roll after Sunday’s victory. That’s two victories in their last three games and they’re entering a stretch of winnable games in December: Cleveland, Houston, Buffalo and Tennessee. Part of the success is due to an easier schedule in the second half of the season, but the Jaguars have also played better against the run in the three games since their bye week.
Stock watch: The Jaguars’ running game, which has been the worst in the NFL all season, showed up in a big way against the Texans. The Jaguars ran for a season-high 120 yards, the first time they have rushed for more than 100 this season. Maurice Jones-Drew also had his best game of the season against the Texans. He ran for a season-high 84 yards and caught six passes for 60 yards to give him a season-high 144 total yards. His previous best was 71 yards rushing against the Denver Broncos and 122 total yards against the San Francisco 49ers.
Passing grade: One week after giving up 419 yards passing to Carson Palmer, the Jaguars clamped down on the Texans and quarterback Case Keenum. He completed 15 of 27 passes for 130 yards and no touchdowns. Receiver Andre Johnson, who came into the game second in the NFL with 72 catches, had just one catch for 15 yards until less than two minutes remained.
Ugly answer: The Texans took the opening possession of the second half and drove 83 yards in 6:34 and kicked a field goal to cut the Jaguars’ lead to 10-6. The Jaguars’ answer was less than impressive. They drove the ball from their own 20 to the Houston 31, but had to overcome three penalties and had a pass that was almost intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Chad Henne also simply dropped the ball while he was bringing his arm back to throw and the drive ended when Josh Scobee’s 49-yard field goal attempt was blocked. Plus, they got a first down in the middle of the drive when Antonio Smith was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Henne.
What’s next: The Jaguars will play at the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.