One injury after another throughout this season the Houston Texans have found ways to continue winning games. This time, however, the odds could finally be stacked against them.
After losing starting quarterback Matt Schaub two weeks ago the Texans began prepping backup Matt Leinart. Leinart, a six-year veteran, was looking for redemption, what he got instead was a possible season-ending shoulder injury.
With the Texans up 20-10 in the first half Leinart took a snap, was pressured, threw the ball at the feet of RB Arian Foster, and was driven (shoulder first) into the ground. When he got up you could tell that things were not good.
Now the Texans had signed Kellen Clemens during their bye week and it looks as if he could not have arrived at a better time. With both Matt and Matt on the sidelines rookie QB T.J. Yates was called up to take over for the Texans. Clemens was not activated for today’s game meaning that Yates had to stay healthy for the remainder of the game. This would radically alter the play-calling in the second half of the game.
Let us do a quick review of the game if we shall…
The first score of the game was by the Jacksonville Jaguars on an Arian Foster fumble. The fumble recovery was made by Jaguars CB Ashton Youboty who took the ball 38 yards for the pick-six. Fortunately, for the Texans, this would be Jacksonville’s only touchdown of the game.
Two possessions later Arian Foster gets a chance at redemption. He does a wonderful job of redeeming himself with a 43-yard rumble to the Jaguars 16 yard line. Five plays later, from the Jaguars one yard line, Foster runs the ball in for the Texans first score of the game.
Early in the second quarter Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee puts up a 21 yard field goal.
Four minutes after Scobee’s field goal, Texans QB Matt Leinart runs a play-action pass and connects with TE Joel Dreesen for a 20-yard TD reception.
With just over four minutes remaining in the first half Texans kicker Neil Rackers connects on a 51 yard field goal. This field goal was exceptional because the air was swirling around the stadium and made kicks exponentially more difficult than normal.
Winding down the clock in the first half Rackers again tacks on another field goal, this time from 31 yards out and with six seconds remaining in the first half.
Jacksonville adds a field goal late in the fourth quarter, their last score of the game.
And that is how the game ended. What happened in between was, for the most part, as boring as watching paint dry. This was definitely a defensive game. The Texans, with their third-string QB taking snaps, became a predominant run team in the second half of the game.
Speaking of the second half, their were nine three-and-outs in the second half alone. These two teams went head-to-head defensively and battled as if they were in the trenches of an all-out war.
The victor, of course, were the Texans and they owe their victory, in large part, to the pass rush. Jaguars QBs Blaine Gabbert and Luke McCown were sacked a total of seven times! OLB Connor Barwin had a career best four sacks, rookie DE J.J. Watt contributed another two, and rookie OLB Brooks Reed tacked on another. Additionally, CB Johnathan Joseph had the only interception of the day.
Defensively, the Jaguars looked like a top three defense. However, they were unable to sack either QB Matt Leinart or rookie QB T.J. Yates. They had no interceptions and, outside of the fumble recovery TD, looked to be struggling against the Texans offense.
This game was not, by any means, a fun game to watch. The Texans appear to be struggling once again to win games. Granted, this game was against one of the best defensive units in the league but when you are down to your third-string quarterback you know that things are about to get rough.
The defense won this game for the Texans. Thank the good Lord for Wade Phillips, the Texans’ man of the year!
Topics: Arian Foster, Blaine Gabbert, Brooks Reed, Connor Barwin, Houston, J.J. Watt, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jaguars, Joel Dreesen, Johnathan Joseph, Josh Scobee, Kellen Clemens, Matt Leinart, Matt Schaub, Neil Rackers, T.J. Yates, Texans, Wade Phillips