The fine folks at Gillette --- makers of the incomparable Fusion ProGlide Power, and corporate embodiment of the greatest Onion article ever written --- have sponsored new series of posts that will run through the end of the regular season. The concept is simple: I pick what I think were the five most important defensive plays from the previous game, and you vote for the play that you think was truly the cat's pajamas.
In a rather fortuitous turn of events, the first of these posts comes following a game that the Texans won in large part because the defense was able to make Blaine Gabbert play like ... well ... Blaine Gabbert. (Because, seriously, that dude sucks. (And that's coming from someone who actually roots for Mizzou.))
After the jump, FIVE PLAYS ENTER; ONE PLAY LEAVES!!!!
1. Johnathan Joseph's interception. Second quarter, Jags facing 3rd & 10 after Houston had just reclaimed the lead on Matt Leinart's TD pass to Joel Dreessen. Gabbert was not yet in full David Carr pantomime, and he took a shot 40 yards down the right sideline. Joseph played the ball perfectly, undercut the WR, and returned it 29 yards to the Jacksonville 34. The Jaguars wouldn't get close again.
2. Connor Barwin's four sacks. Sure, that's four plays, but consider it shorthand for his overall performance. His first sack was on 3rd & 6 while the Jags were leading 10-7. The second came on 3rd & 5 on Jacksonville's ensuing possession after the Joseph INT. The third was a ten-yard loss on first down mid-way through the third quarter. The fourth was a thirteen-yard loss on first down on Jacksonville's final drive that wound up being just enough to cause Jax to hurry the fourth-down play that ultimately cost them the game.
3. Glover Quin's stop on a screen pass to Maurice Jones-Drew. Jackonsville's possession immediately after Arian Foster channeled his inner pterosaur and flew into the endzone to tie the game. Jacksonville facing a 3rd & 14. Blaine Carr dumps a quick screen to MJD, but Glover Quin sniffs it out and drops Jones-Drew with extreme prejudice after a gain of only 5.
4. J.J. Watt's near interception of his batted pass. First quarter, Jags' first possession, 3rd & 7. Gabbert releases just as Barwin hits him, and Mario Blanco bats the pass straight up in the air. Watt then immediately tries to locate the ball and dives for it, almost intercepting the batted pass. I love him.
5. Brice McCain's pass defensed to (effectively) end the game. The Jags complete a 25-yard pass on 3rd & 27, then hurry to the line to quick-snap the fourth-down play. McCown tries to hit Mike Thomas on a quick pass, but Brice "I'm So Amazingly Glad Frank Bush Isn't Here Anymore Because Now I Look Like A Real CB" McCain makes a great play and breaks up the pass. A couple kneeldowns and Robert is your father's brother.
So, which one was the best?