Texans' defense, running game leads rout of Jaguars

HOUSTON (AP) -- Houston looked nothing like the old, pathetic
Texans of last year. Maybe that's because the stars of Sunday's win
over the Jacksonville Jaguars weren't around back then.

Rookie Wali Lundy had 93 yards rushing and a touchdown and
fellow first-year players Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans led a
resurgent defense in a 27-7 win over the Jaguars.

Lundy, who hadn't played in the past three games, had a
touchdown early in the fourth quarter that extended the lead to
17-7. No Houston running back had gained 60 yards rushing before
Sunday and the Texans managed just 34 yards rushing last week.

Houston's defense, allowing a league-worst 418 yards a game
coming into the game, forced two turnovers -- both of which led to
touchdowns -- and held the Jaguars to 220 yards.

The Jaguars (3-3) trailed 10-7 and had a first down inside the
30 when Antwan Peek forced Fred Taylor's fumble, which No. 1 pick
Williams recovered. The fumble was Taylor's first since 2004 and
Williams' first career recovery.

"It really felt like that gave this team a boost of energy,"
Williams said. "After that, everything started clicking. It was a
big momentum change and I was glad to be a part of it."

Lundy had his first career touchdown and became the first
Houston running back to score this season when he ran in from the 2
in the fourth. His 29-yard run -- a career high -- four plays earlier
got the Texans to the 15.

Ron Dayne had started the last two games for Houston, but was
inactive on Sunday, as coach Gary Kubiak said he wanted to give
Lundy and Samkon Gado another shot.

"I was worried about him after the first couple of weeks that
the overload had slowed him down and he wasn't reacting," Kubiak
said of Lundy. "Sometimes you have to let players sit back and
watch a week or two so that they calm down. He played with great
presence today."

The Texans (2-4) put up their biggest point total of the season,
and did it against the NFL's only defense with two shutouts. It's
Houston's first AFC South victory since beating the Jaguars 21-0 in
December 2004, and the Texans' second victory matches their win
total from last season.

The win also marks the first time in the Texans' short history
that they've won consecutive home games. Texans fans, who normally
boo most of the game before leaving early, were raucous and began
doing the wave midway through the fourth quarter.

On Jacksonville's first play after the score, Demarcus Faggins
knocked the ball out of Ernest Wilford's hands and the Texans
recovered. It was the 2006 debut for Faggins, who missed the first
five games with a fractured foot.

Faggins said Wilford was holding the ball out every time he
caught it on Sunday.

"I said, 'OK, you do it again, I'm going to get it. I'm going
to make sure I'm going to try to strip the ball when I see it,"
Faggins said. "And it happened. That was a turnaround right there.
That's what kind of sealed the deal."

David Carr found rookie tight end Owen Daniels on the 14-yard
touchdown pass two plays later to make it 24-7. Carr rebounded from
last week's two interception performance to finished 25-of-34 for
224 yards.

Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich, who entered the game with a
sore left ankle, may have realized it was going to be a long day
when his foot got tangled up with his center and he fell into the
splits before being hit by Williams on Jacksonville's first drive.

Things didn't get much better from there as he often underthrew
or overthrew receivers and finished 14-of-28 for 125 yards.

Leftwich denied that his ankle affected his play.

"I was just a little off today," he said. "I didn't play my
best football today. I don't know why. I was OK, I wasn't hurt."

The only time Jacksonville was able to get anything done was in
the third quarter when Maurice Jones-Drew bulled in from 1 yard out
for the touchdown. The nine play, 70-yard drive was one yard less
than Jacksonville's total yardage in the first half.

Jacksonville's next drive was stopped when Ryans tipped a pass
by Leftwich on third down. Ryans, a linebacker who leads the Texans
with 47 tackles this season, had six on Sunday.

Houston's third quarter woes continued as they have been
outscored 48-0 in that quarter. But unlike last week in a 34-6 loss
to Dallas in which they had a halftime lead, they didn't collapse
after a tough third quarter.

"I got real emotional with the players and told them it was
about the fight," Kubiak said. "I told them the only one who was
going to save them was themselves. I told them to get out there and
fight through this."

Game notes
Eric Moulds had three catches for 16 yards to reach 700
receptions for his career. ... The Texans wore their "Battle Red"
jerseys on Sunday and improved to 2-1 when wearing the jerseys
against the Jaguars. ... Houston's Kris Brown made two field goals
and missed one.

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