Texans vs. Jaguars final score: Turnovers sink Jacksonville in London and more takeaways

Sunday was the first appearance for the Texans in London, and it was memorable, with a 26-3 decision in their favor. 

After a clean first half, play between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans got very sloppy in the second half. Jacksonville botched a field goal try on their first possession of the second half, which turned out to be foreshadowing of what was to come. The Jaguars had three consecutive turnovers in the fourth quarter, which allowed Houston to extend its lead. The Texans were not immune to mistakes, either. Running back Carlos Hyde was way downfield on a long run when Jarrod Wilson knocked it out of his hands at the 1-yard line. The Jaguars recovered in the end zone. 

Bill O’Brien’s team minimally keeps pace with Indianapolis (depending on who wins Colts-Steelers today) within the AFC South while Jacksonville falls below .500 in the division. 

Why the Texans won

Houston controlled things on the ground while playing a cleaner football game. The Texans rushed for 216 yards on 34 attempts (6.4 yards per carry) Sunday. With run production like that, teams do not need to pass the ball. Quarterback Deshaun Watson had just 194 passing yards, but play designs by O’Brien were effective because they had multiple options. 

Jacksonville, comparatively, ran the ball well but were not as committed. They rushed for 74 yards on 19 carries (4.5 yards per carry). 

Why the Jaguars lost

To this point in the season, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II had been fairly secure with the football. Coming into the game, he had thrown two interceptions in eight games. He doubled that total with two additional interceptions against a banged-up Houston secondary. Minshew also lost two more fumbles, which has been a problem for the Washington State product. He had already fumbled seven times this season. 

Turning point

At halftime, Jacksonville was facing a 9-3 deficit. On the first possession of the second half, they attempted a field goal try but the snap was high and it took too long for the snap to get down so kicker Josh Lambo initiated a fire drill. Instead of three potential points, the team was left with nothing. Houston scored 10 points on their next two drives to essentially put the game out of reach. The Jaguars did not score during the second half. 

Play of the game

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson pulled a couple of rabbits out of the hat during Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. On this particular play, he was in the grasp of Yannick Ngakoue when he somehow managed to distributed the ball to running back Carlos Hyde.

On another play, Watson’s knee was nearly down before getting rid of the football. He turned a few probable sacks into positive yardage. 

What’s next

Houston improves to 5-3 with Sunday’s win. They are a half-game back of the Indianapolis Colts, who play the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1 p.m. ET slate of games. The Texans enter the bye week with an away game against the Baltimore Ravens awaiting them upon return. 

Jacksonville, meanwhile, enters their bye week as well. The franchise faces a decision between marketing darling Gardner Minshew II and veteran Nick Foles at the quarterback position. Their next game comes on the road against the Indianapolis Colts. The Jaguars are the only team under .500 within the AFC South pending the outcome of Tennessee’s Week 9 road game against the Carolina Panthers. 

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