Texans 34, Jaguars 17: Defense torched by Schaub, Foster

The Indianapolis Colts won over Tennessee just as the clock hit zeroes. Thank goodness, because it would have been terrible if the Titans had managed to win that game. The Jacksonville Jaguars finished out another disappointing season with 3 straight losses. Yes the Jaguars were without their pro-bowl running back. Yes they were missing their starting QB, David Garrard as well, but those were offensive players. The offense didn't look good, but that was expected. Nothing excuses the kind of defense the Jaguars played today. Nothing.

The Jaguars allowed 497 yards of offense against the Texans. Without Andre Johnson. Arian Foster did most of the damage, absolutely demoralizing the Jaguars in the running game. He rushed for 180 yards and 2 TD's on his way to becoming the 6th ever player with 1500+ rushing yards and 600 receiving yards. He also cemented his status as the NFL's leading rusher. He had the rushing title locked up by the 5 minute point in the first quarter. He and Derrick Ward combined for 244 rushing yards behind a Texans offensive line that entirely overpowered the Jaguars' newly revamped D-line. The Jaguars were blown off the ball on the Texans' first three drives, drives of 90, 64 and 93 yards. At halftime, the Texans had 228 yards of offense and 20 points.

For the first half, the Jaguars weren't far behind. The Texans already knew they were bad at covering the pass, but the Jaguars showed them just how bad they were against the run. In the first half, the Jaguars had 175 yards, with 150 of them coming on the ground. The Jaguars ended with 172 rushing yards on the day. Rashad Jennings rushed for 108 yards, as the Texans failed to hold the line with Mario Williams out. All game, on both sides, players were missing tackles and losing containment on outside runs. It was really the kind of game that makes you cringe if you are a defensive guy. The Jaguars stuffed the ball down Houston's throat. Marcedes Lewis caught a 6 yard TD pass, and Jennings had a TD run to bring the game to 17-20 Houston at halftime.

 

Del Rio gave his players a pep talk coming out of the locker room in the third quarter. The team certainly didn't seem to hear it as they went on to allow another two touchdowns in the second half. The Jaguars offense looked inept playing for Trent Edwards, who completed 12-24 passes for only 142 yards. If the Jaguars were trying to determine if Edwards was the answer at quarterback, the answer was a resounding no. When it mattered the most in the second half, the Jaguars punted three straight times. The fourth time, Marcedes Lewis fumbled as Glover Quin punched the ball out of Lewis' hands. Lewis was not squeezing the ball tightly at all. The Jaguars ended the game with Edwards throwing an interception.

 

This Texans team had been stagnant for most of the season. They had lost 8 of their last 9, and the game was preceded by a rally held to get the coach, Gary Kubiac fired. After today's game, I suppose those fans won't have a great case for firing him. The Jaguars will now end the regular season at 8-8. The team had their playoff destiny in their hands against the Colts week 15, but failed to make it over .500. After finishing last season at 7-9, the Jaguars have made the most of the limited talent on their team. A game like today's wipes much of that out. Now, all that remains to be seen is what Wayne Weaver will do in the wake of another disappointing late-season collapse.

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