The Houston Texans aren't in control of their playoff destiny-- not by a long shot-- but they were in complete control of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the last two quarters today. After a first half of looking out of sync on offense and rather listless on defense, the Texans scored 17 unanswered points to finish the game and keep their slender playoff hopes alive for another week.
#Texans have 7 wins. 4 vs rookie QBs (Carr, Mettenberger 2x, Bortles), 2 vs benched QBs RGIII & Manuel & 1 vs should -be-benched Hoyer.— Adam Wexler (@awexler) December 7, 2014
The offense sputtered, coughed and hacked but ultimately settled to a sustainable thrum as Arian Foster ran for 127 yards on 24 carries. A 1-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter by Foster put the game out of reach for the Jaguars. Despite missing three games this season, Foster is third in the league in rushing with 1,028 yards and a 5.0 average.
After a brilliant week against the Titans, Ryan Fitzpatrick looked a lot more familiar against a stouter Jaguars defense. Fitzpatrick started the first half with a dismal 27 yards on 5/10 passing. But like so many times before, he finished much stronger, this time with 135 yards on 13/19 passing. Fitzpatrick was also as scrappy as ever, rushing eight times for 19 yards, including a four-yard touchdown on a designed QB sweep.
Defensively, J.J. Watt predictably made Blake Bortles' life miserable early and often, sacking him three times, swatting down a pass and adding on four tackles for loss. Despite some horrid tackling, Denard Robinson was held to just 30 yards on 10 carries.
As often has been the case this season (and for all of Romeo Crennel's coaching career), the defense bent rather flexibly through the air, giving up big chunks of yardage to Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and Marcedes Lewis. But despite some flashes of brilliance, it was ultimately Blake Bortles' inaccuracy that hampered the Jaguars the most, throwing for 205 yards on 20/39 passing. A touchdown gave his team a lift early on, but an interception to D.J. Swearinger late in the third quarter doomed them.
With this victory, the Texans are 7-6 heading to Mt. Doom to face Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
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