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Unlike the case in their season opener last week, the Houston Texans (2-0) had no problem whatsoever getting off to a quick start. Houston relentlessly imposed their will on their AFC South rival – the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) – throughout a 27-7 Week 2 victory on Sunday down in North Florida.
Quarterback Matt Schaub didn’t throw a touchdown and the defense only forced one turnover, but none of those factors prevented the Texans from putting up 10 points the first quarter, seven in the second and the third and three more in the fourth.
Domination on the ground propelled Houston from start to finish, as running back Arian Foster totaled 110 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries. As if that wasn’t enough, his backup, Ben Tate, complemented him with 12 attempts, 74 yards and two trips to the endzone of his own. Foster’s one yard touchdown run with 15 seconds remaining in the first quarter capped off a six-play, 42-yard drive to extend the Texans 3-0 lead to 10-0. Tate’s first touchdown came from eight yards out a little more than halfway through the second quarter to make it a 17-0 Houston advantage. He would go on to add a two yard scoring rush late in the third, pushing the Texans further ahead, 24-7, following Jacksonville’s only points of the day, which came on a five yard touchdown pass by Blaine Gabbert to Maurice Jones-Drew.
Gabbert had a day he’d certainly like to forget, completing just seven of 19 passes. However, he made sure to hold his Jaguars teammates accountable as well. “We killed ourselves,” said Gabbert. “We were 0 for 9 on third down, just a lack of execution. Had a bunch of mental mistakes. We just shot ourselves in the foot. And you can’t win football games in the NFL by doing that.”
Jaguars first year head coach Mike Mularkey removed Gabbert in the fourth quarter for precautionary reasons due to a “strain in the back of his leg.” Jones-Drew, Jacksonville’s main offensive weapon and last year’s league rushing leader, finished with a mere 60 yards on 12 carries.
“All of it was weird,” Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. “We’ve got to fight. We’re not in too big a hole. We’ve got to climb out of that hole and pull it together.”
Houston added a fourth quarter field goal to give themselves a 27-7 lead – the same score they would win by. The Texans dominated on both sides of the ball, outgaining Jacksonville 411 to 117 in yardage. “We were mad that we started slow last game so we came out here with a mission, a goal, to start fast,” said Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. “Two 20-point wins the first two weeks? That’s what you’re supposed to do. If we can just stay focused on our goals, we should be fine.”
Image Courtesy of Houston Texans