In fact, up until about halfway through the third quarter, I thought House was doing a pretty damn good job at his assignment. And his assignment was undoubtedly a tough one -- House followed a top 5 NFL receiver around the field all day long.
So let me be clear -- I don't think Gus Bradley should bench Davon House for third-year cornerback Dwayne Gratz. House was brought to Jacksonville to replace Gratz, and I personally don't think his benching is a move that will benefit a struggling defense.
Sure, benching House might "light a fire" under his ass, but I'm just not sure the Jaguars are in a position to bench their best corner for motivational purposes. It's not like lighting House's ass on fire will turn him into a top NFL cornerback, and right now, House is the most aggressive one-on-one guy the Jaguars have. I think the Jags need House in their line-up behind a struggling pass rush.
But there are a few moments that stick out on Sunday's film that spotlight House in a very negative way.
Though, these moments came in a pair of subsequent drives late in the third quarter, and they shouldn't define House's complete four quarters of play -- in my opinion, at least.
Nonetheless, these moments are moments that left a bad taste in the mouth of head coach Gus Bradley, leading to House's benching.
Here's where House's bad drive started.
House is pressing DeAndre Hopkins, as he has done a lot of the day up until this point. Hopkins is a tough assignment for any DB, mostly because of his ability to play and utilize the entire field.
Here's where House slips up. Hopkins releases from the line, and House gets tangled up in an arm fight. This is going to happen when the corner is pressing, of course, but House locks his arms instead of fighting through it, all while looking back at the quarterback. House eventually gets called for holding.
Hopkins swipes down on House's grasp, breaking free in the process. If you're going to hold the receiver, at least make sure he's not able to fight his way free.
By this point, House is unable to use the sideline to his advantage. If House had been able to stay on Hopkins' inside hip, there would have been little chance at a completion due to a lack of WR real estate. Unfortunately, Hopkins creates separation and Hoyer throws a perfect ball.
Defensive holding is declined in favor of an explosive play.
Two plays later, House allows a touchdown to Hopkins. Admittedly, this play looks pretty damn ugly, but it's important to recognize the many moving parts.
Here's the set-up:
Up to this point, the Texans had uncovered redzone success in the middle of the field. In this play, the Jaguars are employing a cover 2 look. House (yellow) is matched up once again with -- you guessed it -- Hopkins (red). Hopkins is going to sprint past House's short zone into the deep right corner of the endzone.
At the snap, House does a pretty good job closing off underneath. House pushes Hopkins towards the sideline.
Here's where the play breaks down. House plants himself at the goalline. Meanwhile, Hopkins continues his route towards the deep pylon. At this point, Josh Evans (blue), the Jaguars' deepest safety, should be shifting to his left to meet Brian Hoyer's gaze. Likewise, House should probably be aware of the situation (no flat receiver) and should continue backing up into the endzone.
By the time House recognizes the hole and Evans makes his way over, the ball is on it's way to Hopkins. Both Evans and House barely miss getting a piece of the pass as they hustle to recover.
Hoyer was late on the pass, and House was almost able to make the play as he caught up to the route. Instead, it's a touchdown on a slight mental lapse.
Full speed, the above play looked ugly. Hopkins ran right by House, which is something that just can't happen on a short field in the redzone. However, there are a few moving parts to this one, and I'm not sure it's fair to place the entire blame on Davon House.
There was a play in the drive after this one, however, that was entirely House's fault. And it came on a third down when the Jaguars desperately needed a stop.
House is once again glued to Hopkins. Hopkins is going to run a go-route, highlighted in yellow.
House does a decent job in the initial break off of the line. Then, Hopkins gives a little stutter inside.
Hopkins' juke is able to separate House from his hip way too easily. Hoyer is already releasing the ball at this point.
There's no excuse for this one. The ball (orange) is descending to a wide-open DeAndre Hopkins. House gets burned.
This play, perhaps, was the final straw for Gus Bradley. Bradley will now call on Dwayne Gratz to replace House in the London match-up this weekend.
Ironically, this "final straw" is very reminiscent of Dwayne Gratz's blown coverage against a top reviver last year. In London.
Here's a few stills from that one:
Gratz presses Dez Bryant...
Gratz gets shredded...
Gratz gets left behind. Burned for a 68-yard touchdown.
So, Mr. Bradley, excuse my lack of excitement concerning an announcement that Gratz -- the guy you replaced due to plays like the one above -- will be replacing the replacement that was supposed to replaced him.
I understand that House didn't play up to his potential on Sunday against the Texans. But guess who else didn't play up to their potential -- the entire team.
Want to hold someone accountable? Great! But not your best corner. Not the guy you have placed on an island against top talent all season long, especially since he has actually played damn pretty well up to this point.
Davon House has defended 10 passes this season. The highest total of any Jaguar, though the entire 16 games last season, was 9 passes defended by Dwayne Gratz.
I get it, I guess. Something needs to change. House's Texans film is both good and bad, and Gratz hasn't been awful this season. But still -- there's probably a different move the Jaguars can make here.