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Jaguars vs. Texans: Blake Bortles leads most important drive of game

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NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars were up 19-0 to start the second half. Deshaun Watson came in to replace an underwhelming Tom Savage and scored a touchdown on his first career NFL drive.

It was a deflating drive, partly because the touchdown was only possible by a phantom “roughing the passer” penalty on Yannick Ngakoue and partly because the Jaguars have historically struggled with answering in these types of situation, all too often going three-and-out in their next possession and giving the opposition a chance to get to within a score.

Not this week.

Blake Bortles led the most impressive drive of his career and one of the best I’ve seen by the Jaguars in years. They finally answered an opponent when it mattered most.

Play #1: 1st and 10 at JAX 25

Chris Ivory right tackle to JAX 32 for 7 yards

Right out of the gate, Ivory is able to get yards after contact and the right side of the line (specifically A.J. Cann!) leads the way. It’s a solid run that went for three or four yards more than you thought it would when the play developed.

Play #2: 2nd and 3 at JAX 32

(8:35 - 3rd) Blake Bortles pass incomplete short right to Allen Hurns

Clean pocket, single coverage, good look, and Blake is right on the money — Allen just fails to haul it in. This could have easily been the play we all looked back on today as the back-breaker. Instead, the Texans secondary gifts us a first down on the next play.

Play #3: 3rd and 3 at JAX 32

(8:31 - 3rd) (Shotgun) Blake Bortles pass incomplete deep left to Marqise Lee. PENALTY on Kevin Johnson, Defensive Pass Interference, 20 yards, enforced at JAX 32 - No Play.

Technically this wasn’t really a play, but it’s the most important part of the most important drive so it needs to be shown. I love the route combination of Hurns clearing one of the two defenders on this side of the field out towards the sideline to leave Lee alone with Johnson. This would have been a tough catch to make even if pass interference wasn’t there. Like I said, the Texans gifted us a first down.

Play #4: 1st and 10 at HOU 48

(8:24 - 3rd) Chris Ivory right tackle to HST 47 for 1 yard

Jadeveon Clowney gets in the backfield and the Texans defensive line stops the Jaguars offensive line in its tracks. Ivory has no choice but to reverse field and get the only yard he can.

Play #5: 2nd and 9 at HOU 47

(7:45 - 3rd) Chris Ivory up the middle to HST 46 for 1 yard

The Jaguars are going full Jaguars at this point. Delayed hand off is met by the Texans front eight knowing exactly where the ball is going from the moment it’s snapped.

Play #6: 3rd and 8 at HOU 46

(7:14 - 3rd) (Shotgun) Blake Bortles pass short middle to Allen Hurns to HST 33 for 13 yards

What a route. What a throw. What a catch. The offensive line gives Blake and Allen all the time they need to get past the last third down they’ll face on this drive.

Play #7: 1st and 10 at HOU 33

(6:40 - 3rd) Leonard Fournette left guard to HST 26 for 7 yards

First, this is Fournette’s first snap of the drive. The coaching staff had run him hard in the first half and needed to give Ivory some reps. Now it’s time for Fournette to get the money carries just outside the red zone.

Play #8: 2nd and 3 at HOU 26

(6:02 - 3rd) (Shotgun) Blake Bortles left end to HST 11 for 15 yards

Damn, I love this play. Fournette sells the inside run beautifully and Blake doesn’t even hesitate for his part.

Play #9: 1st and 10 at HOU 11

(5:22 - 3rd) (Shotgun) Blake Bortles pass short middle to Allen Hurns to HST 2 for 9 yards

Jeremy Parnell lets his guy get around the edge, but Blake steps up in the pocket to deliver a would-be touchdown had it not been for an ankle tackle on Hurns.

Play #10: 2nd and 1 at HOU 2

(4:40 - 3rd) Leonard Fournette right end pushed ob at HST 1 for 1 yard

Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett wanted to get Fournette that second touchdown, but it wasn’t in the cards. The Texans had this run covered in the middle and on the edge.

Play #11: 1st and Goal at HOU 1

(4:14 - 3rd) Tommy Bohanon pass from Blake Bortles for 1 yard

There is nothing more Tom Coughlin or Doug Marrone than a play-action pass to your power run back so you can throw it to your fullback. Touchdown Jaguars.