Jaguars Falter in Second Half, Fall at Home: 3 Things We Learned
For one half of football it looked as though the Jacksonville Jaguars may be onto something – controlling the clock and using a balanced offense and aggressive defense to keep the Houston Texans at bay, most notably defensive end JJ Watt.
It’s obvious the team forgot it had a second half of football to play. While Watt, the top defensive player in the NFL this season, may have been on the minds of the Jaguars offense and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, it does not explain how Jacksonville could not stop Arian Foster and a rushing attack that allowed the running back to gain 127 yards on the game, consuming clock and pitching a shutout in the second half of the game on Sunday. The 27-13 loss on Sunday just magnified the fact the team cannot seem to put together two compete halves, which have plagued the franchise this season.
Just so you know, the Texans won consecutive games for the first time since Week 2, not a stat Jacksonville should be pleased about after coming from behind last week to beat the New York Giants. Now, the Jaguars have three games left, which include another matchup with Houston on the road, after they face the Ravens next week, followed by a Thursday night tilt in Jacksonville with Tennessee.
The loss also was the 11th loss of the season for the team, that at 2-11 are still in competition for the potential top pick in the NFL, which is now held by the Oakland Raiders.
Here are three things we learned Sunday.
JJ WATT IS REALLY GOOD
He is the most dominant pass rusher in the game today. The Jaguars used multiple sets to try and block the defensive end, but he still got to the quarterback and disrupted plays. Watt had three sacks on the day and numerous tackles.
Yes, he did line up as a tight end on offense for a play, but did not catch a pass.
Watt, according to ESPN.com, created major problems, finishing with three sacks and five quarterback hits. The Jaguars lost starting right tackle Austin Pasztor last week and went with unproven veteran Sam Young. Not surprisingly, Watt dominated the matchup. He was most disruptive once the Texans took a double-digit lead.
FOSTER TO THE RESCUE
For a defense that plays well against the run, the Jaguars had issues stopping the Texans’ star Arian Foster. The Houston offensive line was able to neutralize the Jaguars run defense to free the running back for big gains, which included a touchdown.
Houston ran for 173 yards as a team (including a touchdown scramble for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick) while Jacksonville ran for 74 yards the entire game.
This is the 4th 1,000-yd rushing season for Arian Foster. All other running backs in Texans history have combined for three such seasons (Domanick Williams - 2, Steve Slaton - 1).
THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE
Blake Bortles threw his 16th interception this season... His -6 TD-Interception differential is the worst in the league.
If there was a good thing to be said about the game for the Jaguars, it was the play of the rookies Allen Hurns and Marquise Lee and the presence of tight end Marcedes Lewis. Lewis had three catches for 69 yards. Lee continues to improve with five catches for 67 yards.
Hurns caught the team’s only touchdown of the day on a four-yard pass play.
The Jaguars showed its ineptitude on offense by only gaining 73 yards in the second half.