Week 16 Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars 38, Houston Texans 20
What you need to know
The Jaguars opened up the offense early calling several pass plays on first down. After a couple of near miscues by Garrard, the Jaguars settled in to a mix of running and passing. Unlike last week, Garrard was successful on hitting his deep targets on his way to a 292 yard passing day.
Ernest Wilford delivered as Jacksonville’s most productive player in the passing game. Wilford had just four receptions but a lofty 29.5 yards per catch and a touchdown. His numbers would have been more productive, but several dropped passes and a couple of overthrows impacted his numbers. Wilford took advantage of his height and single coverage in posting 118 receiving yards.
The Jaguars’ running game, lead by Fred Taylor, exploited a weak Houston rush defense for 172 yards and four touchdowns. LaBrandon Toefield scored three touchdowns on just four carries and Taylor added a 15 yard score of his own.
The Jaguars have come from behind in nine of their 11 victories including this victory. After trailing 20-17 with 11 minutes left in the game, David Garrard led the comeback moving Jacksonville into scoring position for two rushing touchdowns and adding a third through the air for the 38-20 victory. The 38 points scored were the highest total for Jacksonville since the 2000 season.
Offense was not the problem for Houston in this game as David Carr passed for two touchdowns and 295 yards in a losing effort. Carr’s second touchdown pass of the game, a 53 yard strike to Andre Johnson, gave Houston a fourth quarter lead that the defense could not hold.
The Houston defense gave up a combined 448 yards on the ground and through the air. The defense put pressure on David Garrard but did not bring additional pressure with the blitz to help force miscues by the inexperience quarterback. Houston allowed 30 first downs to the Jaguars including five on penalties.
Wide receivers Andre Johnson and Corey Bradford supplied the offense for the Texans as both surpassed the 100 yard mark. Johnson finished with 118 yards, including a 53 yard touchdown grab. Bradford tallied 101 yards and a 50 yard touchdown. The 53 yard reception was the longest pass play this season for the Texans.
Linebacker Shantee Orr recorded two sacks and two forced fumbles for Houston.
What you ought to know
|QB David Garrard, Pass: 18 - 31 - 292 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 40 - 0|
Garrard had a career high 292 yards passing and a touchdown leading Jacksonville to victory and a spot in the playoffs. He showed a strong arm on several deep out routes and was quite poised setting up in the pocket. Garrard was fortunate on several occasions that his errant passes were not intercepted thanks to the Houston defenders for dropping the ball. He did have an interception nullified due to a personal foul penalty against Houston. Garrard had two fumbles in the game; both on sacks but each was recovered by Jacksonville. Although he was sacked three times that number could have been high but his mobility and lower body strength helped him avoid a few more. He showed nice touch as he lofted a pass to Wilford for a 36 yard touchdown. Garrard completed 18 of 31 passes for 292 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. He also added 40 yards to the rushing stats.
|RB Fred Taylor, Rush: 22 - 101 - 1, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets)|
After sharing the load last week with Greg Jones, this week Taylor was the workhorse for Jacksonville with 22 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Taylor had success running the ball inside and outside the tackles throughout most of the game. Although most of his carries were relatively short gains, he did have a nice 18 yard gain on a draw play on second down and 15 yards to go. Taylor had the misfortune of being replaced by Toefield at the goal line on two occasions. He scored on a 15 yard run in the fourth quarter aided by poor tackling by Houston. Taylor has just three rushing touchdowns for the season and this marked just his third game with over 100 yards.
Pearman saw most of his action as a receiver with five receptions for 44 yards. Three of his five catches came during the two minute drill before halftime with his longest gain of 15 yards coming in the fourth quarter. On the ground, Pearman saw just one carry for two yards.
Toefield filled in for an injured Greg Jones as the backup running back and found the end zone for three touchdown runs. He was the lucky recipient of Fred Taylor’s efforts on his first two scores that put Jacksonville near the end zone. Toefield relieved Taylor at the goal line and scored from one and two yards out. His third score was not as easy; he was stopped at the line of scrimmage then bounced outside and rumbled for the 17 yard touchdown. The touchdowns were Toefield’s first of the season.
Smith caught three passes for 41 yards on the Jaguars first possession leading to an early Jaguars lead. He had just two receptions in the second half and finished the game with five receptions for 71 yards. Smith has now caught a pass in 75 straight games. .
Wilford made the most of his four receptions finishing with 118 yards and a touchdown. Garrard took advantage of one on one coverage and a significant height advantage utilizing Wilford as a deep threat downfield. Wilford did have several dropped passes in the game but he made up for those mistakes with a beautiful diving reception and three receptions of over 32 yards, including his 36 yards touchdown. He finished with a whopping 29.5 yards per catch in the game. Wilford had two additional end zone targets but both were easily defended and nearly intercepted. Garrard and Wilford caught the Houston defense clearly expecting a run on third and one but burned them for the 36 yard touchdown strike.
Williams had three receptions for 48 yards, all in the second half. He was the intended target of Garrard on a late second quarter interception but the play was nullified by a Houston personal foul.
Jones was not a factor in the Jaguars’ passing game with no catches on two targets. He did have an end zone target but dropped the pass on what should have been an easy score. Jones did have five yards rushing on an end around play.
Brady was primarily used as a blocker and had no receptions on two fourth quarter targets.
Jones had one target on Jacksonville’s first possession that was almost intercepted and did not receive another target the remainder of the game.
Scobee had a busy day going five for five on extra point attempts. He was one of two on field goal attempts, splitting the uprights from 26 yards away but pushing his 40 yard attempt wide right.
The Jaguars were successful plugging up the middle and forcing Jonathan Wells outside through most of the game. They held Houston running game to 107 yards and fewer than four yards per carry. Cornerback Kenny Wright led the Jaguars with eight tackles.
The Jaguars’ pass defense allowed two touchdown passes of 50 yards or more and 292 passing yards to David Carr. They did manage one interception by cornerback Terry Cousin off a deflection by defensive tackle Marcus Stroud. Defensive tackle John Henderson registered two sacks and a forced fumble, while defensive end Reggie Hayward and linebacker Mike Peterson each registered a sack.
|QB David Carr, Pass: 19 - 29 - 295 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 7 - 0|
Carr played one of his best games of the season leading an explosive Houston offense with two touchdown passes of 50 or more yards. Although he was sacked four times in the game, he was very successful when his offensive line gave him time to setup and look downfield. Carr was able to blend an effective short passing game with several deep targets downfield which included the two touchdowns. He connected with Bradford for a 50 yard touchdown and Johnson for a 53 yard score. Carr completed 19 of 29 attempts for 295 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. His interception was intended for Andre Johnson but was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Jacksonville. Carr also fumbled on the first pass play from scrimmage when he was sacked for a loss but the ball was recovered by Houston.
Wells filled in for an inactive Domanick Davis (knee) and had another solid performance. Although he could not duplicate last week’s two touchdown output, Wells produced 86 yards on 21 carries. He fought for most of his yards against a stingy Jacksonville defense often lowering his shoulder and powering his way for that extra yard or two. His longest run of the game was 13 yards when he found an opening in the middle then bounced outside before being hauled down by the defender.
Morency’s did not seeing much playing time with Jonathan Wells having a solid performance rushing the ball. He was limited to just four carries for 12 yards on the ground. Morency added a reception for 14 yards on Houston’s last possession of the game.
Johnson saw 13 targets as Carr’s favorite receiver including several deep looks downfield. His size, strength and speed were difficult for the Texans’ cornerbacks to defend and Carr was successful at taking advantage of the match up. Johnson finished the game with seven receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. He and Carr hooked up for a 53 yard bomb earlier in the fourth quarter to give Houston the lead. Johnson found a seam over the middle, Carr hit him in stride and Johnson’s speed did the rest into the end zone. The 53 yard play was the longest this season for Houston. Johnson also had another end zone target late in the game but was just out of reach and off his fingertips.
Bradford had his best game of the season with four receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. He scored on a 50 yard strike from Carr, as he easily beat his defender down the left sideline for the go ahead touchdown in the second quarter. Bradford also had another scoring opportunity in the fourth quarter but the pass was thrown well out of reach and through the back of the end zone.
Morgan had one target late in the game but the pass was overthrown out of bounds.
Mathis had his one target late in the game. He did contribute 51 yards on kick returns.
Rivers caught all four of his targets in the second half for a total of 28 yards.
Brown was two of four on field goal attempts in the game. He was successful from 37 and 53 yards away but wide right from 38 and 48 yards out. The field goal from 53 yards away set a new franchise record for the Texans. Brown made both of his extra point attempts.
The Texans’ rush defense was dominated by the Jaguars’ offensive line and shredded for 172 yards and four touchdowns. The performance solidified the Houston rush defense as one of the worst in the league. Poor tacking led to scores of 15 and 17 yards in the fourth quarter that sealed another loss for Houston. Rookie safety, C.C. Brown led the Texans with 11 tackles.
The Texans’ pass defense did put pressure on David Garrard recording three sacks in the game but did not force a turnover. The smaller defensive backs were exposed frequently by much taller Jacksonville receivers and Garrard. Houston allowed 292 yards passing and a touchdown. The defense also gave up 13 passes of ten yards or more. Linebacker Shantee Orr registered two sacks and two forced fumbles for the Texans.