The Houston Texans scratched out a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-12 pushing their record to 1-1. It was a sloppy game for the Texans especially after their high flying effort the week before that saw and explosive offense.
Here are some quick hitters from the Texans win over the Jaguars in their first home game of the season.
Justin Reid's Game Saving Play
The chatter inside the locker room was the stop made by safety Justin Reid stopping Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette just inches short from an 0-2 start. Reid was position at the goal line to stuff Fournette on the second effort.
Great play, he made a great play," Bill O'Brien said of the game-saving tackle by Reid. "I thought the defensive line got some penetration. He is a very good tackler. Had a good game tackling last week had another good here, today, relative to tackling. That was a really good defensive play right there. It was good, really good."
Offensive Ups and Downs
The Texans offense was out of sorts. Part of that was due to the fact of playing a talented defense in the Jaguars. The passing game for Deshaun Watson was hit and miss and it clear when Jalen Ramsey is on the field, he makes life tough for DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins was held to 5 catches for 40 yards, and it took away a significant portion of the Texans offense when they needed big plays the most. The passing game depended on Will Fuller who had two costly drops in critical situations but turned to Kenny Stills on a 31-yard strike to set up a field goal.
The one area the Texans offense did show well was in the running game centered around Carlos Hyde. When the Texans needed to get the ball moving, it leaned on the offensive line and Hyde to eat up yards to get them out of trouble.
Hyde for the second week in a row, ran hard and moved the chains rushing 20 times for 90 yards and averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Hyde is proving to be a good fit for what the Texans want to do in the running game, but it starts with Hyde breaking tackles at the line of scrimmage.
Whitney Mercilus Showing Up
In two weeks, Mercilus has been the defenses best pass rusher, and on Sunday, it was no different. Mercilus provided much-needed pass-rushing and made some game-changing plays including a sack and caused a fumble on Gardner Minshew II that set up the offenses only touchdown on the day.
Mercilus now has 3.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in the first two weeks of the season for the defense. He has been a difference-maker off the edge for the defense.
Jaguars Slow Deshaun Watson in the Air
Last week Deshaun Watson put on a show through the air, but against the Jaguars defense, it was anything but that. It was tough sledding for Watson on throws of 10+ yards.
Watson on throws 10-19 yards was 3 of 6 (1 drop) for 43 yards, and on throws, 20+ yards Watson was 2 of 6 (1 drop) for 59 yards. Watson only completed 41.7% of his passes on throws of 10+ yards which help slow the Texans offense.
Watson has done a solid job of controlling the 10-19 yard area in the passing game, but it was not the best for the passing game today. Watson finished the day 16 of 29 for 159 yards but only completing 59.2%.
Credit Jacksonville for a solid game plan on Sunday.
Texans Bungle Up the End of the First Half
The Texans ended up inside the Jaguars five yard-line after a 31-yard completion to Kenny Stills. The offense bogged down and the Texans settled for a 22-yard field goal by Ka'imi Fairbairn.
When asked about the situation at the end of the first half, O'Brien discussed the series of events.
"We had a couple of plays there that we wanted to call," O'Brien said. "We called all three or four of them I think. Felt like we were in good shape there to have a chance to score a touchdown there on the catch by Kenny (Stills) down at the two-yard line. And he was a little short of where we thought maybe he would be so we felt we had another good play there. Good low red area play. Just didn't you know get the right coverage there and made the decision to kick the field goal."
The questions of O'Brien not calling timeouts came into play, taking two into halftime and only using one after a Watson scramble.
"No," O'Brien said of the need to burn timeouts earlier. "We had two plays there and just took a little time getting lined up on the two plays, but no we don't...I think you're talking about Hopkins' catch and then after that you know we could have taken a timeout, but we had two plays. Took a little longer to get lined up than we thought and we'll work on that this week."
The plays did not go according to plan in the red zone, leaving the Texans with a field goal attempt. O'Brien thought about going for the touchdown but thought against it.
"Felt like we were in good shape there to score a touchdown then there at the end we didn't get the touchdown so I decided with two seconds left to kick a field goal. Could've gone for there and decided to kick the field goal."