Jaguars hand Texans 11th straight loss, 27-20
The Jacksonville Jaguars played 299 games without having a
non-quarterback throw a touchdown pass.
Then they did it twice – in four days.
Receiver Ace Sanders heaved a 21-yard TD pass to running back
Jordan Todman in the third quarter, helping the Jaguars beat the
Houston Texans 24-20 on Thursday night.
”We’re going to find ways to be bold,” coach Gus Bradley
The trick play came just days after Maurice Jones-Drew’s 8-yard
TD pass to college teammate Marcedes Lewis, which turned out to be
a huge play in Jacksonville’s 32-28 victory at Cleveland.
Clearly, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch is finding different
ways to get it done. Not only did the Jaguars score an
opening-drive touchdown for the fourth time in five games – most of
them scripted plays by Fisch – they also were aggressive at every
Following Case Keenum’s interception with less than a minute to
play in the first half, Fisch dialed up a deep pass from Chad Henne
to Cecil Shorts III. And late in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars
went deep again and drew a pass-interference penalty that was
instrumental in helping close out the victory.
But Sanders’ toss was the main highlight.
Henne threw behind the line of scrimmage to Sanders, who took a
few steps in the other direction and threw across the field to
Todman. It resulted in a touchdown and a 24-10 lead.
”We are just starting to get more comfortable and take more
shots,” Jones-Drew said. ”Coach says to always be bold with your
statement, and throwing a double pass is very bold. This is what we
want to continue to do and just keep defenses on their heels.
Sometimes when a defense gets too aggressive they can control what
you do on offense. So if you throw a little wrinkle in there every
now and then, you keep them on their heels and you’ll be able to
The Jaguars (4-9) won their third straight – their fourth
victory in five games since a bye – and continued to show signs of
progress under Bradley. They have the longest winning streak in the
AFC. Not bad for a team that started 0-8.
”Four out of five, yeah, you’re feeling good,” Henne said.
Jacksonville also won at home for the first time since Nov. 25,
2012, against Tennessee.
”Our guys just really believe,” Bradley said. ”The biggest
challenge is to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re a young team
that’s learning how to do this.”
Aside from Jacksonville’s winning ways, here are five things to
know about Thursday night’s game:
QB QUANDARY: Houston has another decision to make at
quarterback. Coach Gary Kubiak benched starter Case Keenum,
replacing him with Schaub late in the third quarter. Schaub came
off the bench and carved up Jacksonville’s secondary, throwing for
198 yards and a touchdown. But he also misfired in the red zone
late and threw an interception that essentially sealed the loss,
which extended Houston’s franchise-record losing streak to 11
games. ”I have a lot of confidence in him … and always have,”
Kubiak said. ”He went in there and showed he has bought into what
is going on.”
MJD’S NIGHT: Maurice Jones-Drew topped the century mark for the
first time since Sept. 23, 2012. He ran 14 times for a season-high
103 yards. He also caught two passes 20 yards. His 48-yard run in
the third quarter set up the trick-play score. He left the game in
the closing minutes with a right hamstring injury, but said after
the game that he will be fine. ”I’ll be all right,” he said. ”It
just tightened up at the end.”
PENALTIES PLUS: The Texans added a new wrinkle to their
season-long woes. Plagued by turnovers and red-zone struggles all
year, Houston was flagged 14 times for a franchise-record 177 yards
at Jacksonville. ”They were huge penalties,” coach Gary Kubiak
said. ”That’s on me. It’s ridiculous. It’s inexcusable. It can’t
happen.” It did. And all those flags surely helped the Texans blow
another winnable game.
JOHNSON SHINES: Andre Johnson caught just two passes for 36
yards in the teams’ first meeting 11 days ago. He made up for it
this time around. Johnson had 13 receptions (21 targets) for 154
yards – his latest gem against the Jags.
EVERYONE EATS: After a fourth win in five weeks, Bradley
rewarded his players with three days off. He also reminded them
about his ”eat crumbs” motto, which is designed to keep players
humble and hungry. Guard Uche Nwaneri, though, had a suggestion for
anyone who doubted the Jaguars: ”Everybody who was talking noise
can just eat some crow real quick,” Nwaneri said.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org