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Jaguars can’t overcome sloppy offense, fall 30-14 to Texans

The Jacksonville Jaguars fall to 1-4 on the season.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) couldn’t overcome key offensive and special teams mistakes today, falling 30-14 to the Houston Texans (1-4).

The Texans entered the day with interim head coach Romeo Crennel after firing head coach Bill O’Brien to start the week.

Entering the contest, the Jaguars were already without defensive end Josh Allen (knee). Shortly prior to kickoff, two other key defenders, cornerback CJ Henderson (shoulder) and linebacker Myles Jack (ankle) due to injuries. While the team did have some issues, other players stepped up in a big way early for Jacksonville.

Starting in place of Henderson, and with nickel cornerback D.J. Hayden (hamstring) placed on the team’s reserve/injured list earlier in the week, the Jaguars needed some help in its secondary and veteran CB Sidney Jones, formerly with the Philadelphia Eagles, would provide it early.

Late in the first half of the game, Jones picked off Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in an attempt to provide the Jaguars’ offense another opportunity to score points heading into halftime. Jaguars defensive end Dawuane Smoot assisted the Jones interception.

While the Jaguars’ defense did provide the team an extra offensive possession near the end of the half, kicker Steven Hauschka was unable to connect on two separate field goals. One, a 24-yard field goal that was missed wide left, and another, a 49-yarder that just came up short, on the ensuing drive after Watson threw an interception.

In the first half of the game, Jaguars quarterback Garnder Minshew II appeared to be on fire, connecting on 16 out of 22 of his passes for 143 yards and a touchdown to receiver Keelan Cole. Cole came down with a 13-yard touchdown reception, and an impressive toe-tapping catch near the corner of the endzone.

The Jaguars defense played an average first half with just one brutal mistake coming off of a Watson to tight end Darren Fells 44-yard touchdown pitch and catch. The Texans gained just 186 yards of total offense with Watson connecting on 11 of 15 passes for 150 yards, one touchdown and one interception to the Jaguars’ 205 yards of total offense during the first half of action.

The Jaguars entered halftime down 10-7.

In the second half of play, the Jaguars seemingly couldn’t get out of their own way. Following an interception by safety Jarrod Wilson. The pass was tipped up in the air, and into the hands of Wilson by Jones, who became the only Jaguars player with 4+ passes defensed over the last three seasons.

Jacksonville got down in goal-to-go territory. On a fourth-and-1, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone opted to go for it after two Hauschka misses.

Jacksonville failed to convert after running with Robinson in a wildcat formation. Robinson rolled to the right and attempted to pass before trying to tuck it and run, however, he would fumble on the play, recovered by the Texans.

On the Texans’ ensuing possession, Watson wouldn’t be stopped, completing 5 out of 5 of his passes for 66 yards and a touchdown to receiver Will Fuller. The Texans would go up 20-7 with the majority of the fourth quarter remaining.

After starting the day one of three in the red zone, the Jaguars and Minshew would drive down the field thanks to a deep 51-yard pitch and catch from Minshew to veteran receiver Chris Conley who beat the coverage deep to the four-yard-line.

After three-straight incompletions, Minshew was able to connect with rookie receiver Collin Johnson on a four-yard touchdown, the first touchdown of Johnson’s young career. Jaguars would trail 20-14 with 10:23 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Following a made field goal attempt by the Texans and a Minshew fumble with 4:39 remaining in the game, the Texans would convert a fourth-and-four into a touchdown, extending its lead to 30-14.

With its final drive, the Jaguars and Minshew were unable to connect for a much-needed touchdown, turning the ball over on downs to the Texans with just 1:38 remaining. The Jaguars fall to 1-4 on the season and are 0-5 when Minshew throws for 300 or more yards, including three of such occurrences this season.