Jaguars Win First Game Of Season, Edge Texans 31-24

The Houston Texans were riding a bit of momentum as they hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at Reliant Stadium, riding the arm of quarterback Matt Schaub and the speed of wide receiver Andre Johnson. Unfortunately for the Texans, some mistakes, namely running back Chris Brown’s fumble, along with a supreme effort by Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew, enabled Jacksonville to escape with a 31-24 victory over Houston.

The first quarter was non-descript as Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee nailed a 52-yard field goal while Schaub connected on a 18-yard TD pass to WR Jacoby Jones, giving Houston a 7-3 advantage going into the second quarter. The second quarter was a scorefest as both teams alternated a pair of scores each; Jacksonville would draw first blood in the period when QB David Garrard ran in from 2 yards out for a TD.

Schaub would continue his hot passing with his second scoring strike of the first half, tossing a 9-yard strike to WR Kevin Walter, pushing the Texans ahead 14-10. Less than two minutes later, Jones-Drew would break loose on a long 61-yard run to paydirt, putting the Jaguars back on top 17-14; with 19 ticks left in the half, Schaub would connect again, this time with tight end Owen Daniels on a 9-yard score, giving Houston a 21-17 halftime lead. Detect a trend here? Yup, that’s right – defense officially became an afterthought.

The third quarter and fourth quarters were basically the Jones-Drew Show as he would cross the goal line on a 1-yard dive, enabling the Jaguars to reclaim the lead at 24-21; however, Texans kicker Kris Brown connected on a 27-yard FG which tied things up at 24 as both teams entered the final period.

Jones-Drew would score the go-ahead TD at the 14:15 mark of the fourth quarter, putting Jacksonville up 31-24. The Texans had plenty of opportunities to tie things up, but the best chance to benefit went by the wayside as RB Chris Brown fumbled and lost the ball to the Jaguars in the end zone. The play would go to the booth for review, of which the play was upheld.

But by and large, the Texans’ NFL-worst run defense let them down – this time to their detriment. Garrard had just an OK outing as he went 18-for-30 for 214 yards while Schaub had another good effort, going 26-for-35 for 300 yards, 3 TD’s and an interception. Jones-Drew ran all over the Texans, rushing for 119 yards and 3 scores while RB Steve Slaton countered for the Texans with 76 yards on 12 carries.

Mike Sims-Walker led all Jaguars’ receivers with 81 yards on 6 receptions while WR Torry Holt caught 3 passes for 57 yards. Walter led the Texans receiving corps with 7 receptions for 96 yards and a score while Andre Johnson caught 4 balls for 86 yards. Jacksonville (1-2) hopes to ride this wave as they now host the Tennessee Titans next Sunday while the Houston Texans (1-2) remain at home as the Oakland Raiders visit Reliant Stadium – also next Sunday.

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