Justin Reid stuffed Leonard Fournette at the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt and the Houston Texans held on for a 13-12 win over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
The Jaguars covered 68 yards in 14 plays with rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II converting a fourth-and-10 with an 18-yard scramble before later finding DJ Chark on a 4-yard scoring pass with 30 seconds left. But instead of attempting the game-tying extra-point kick, Jacksonville went for the victory and Reid stopped Fournette as Houston (1-1) claimed this AFC South tilt.
Houston relied on its defense throughout against the Jaguars (0-2), with Whitney Mercilus producing a strip sack of Minshew early in the fourth quarter that resulted in a J.J. Watt fumble recovery at the Jacksonville 11-yard line. On fourth down of the ensuing Texans’ drive, Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson scrambled 2 yards for a score and a 13-3 lead with 11:35 left.
Minshew finished 23 of 33 for 213 yards but, like Watson, was sacked four times. Carlos Hyde rushed 20 times for 90 yards to pace the Texans, who produced just 263 yards of offense.
Watson completed 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards.
Leading 3-0 on a Ka’imi Fairbairn 39-yard field goal, the Texans squandered an opportunity in the second quarter when Will Fuller dropped a Watson pass in Jaguars’ territory. Jacksonville capitalized with D.J. Hayden’s sack of Watson on the ensuing third down to force a punt.
The Jaguars then pushed to the Houston 28 before Mercilus dropped Minshew and forced a fumble that Jacksonville recovered. But the nine-yard loss stifled the Jaguars’ momentum, and Jacksonville settled for Josh Lambo’s 40-yard field goal that tied the game at 3-3 with 3:17 left in the half.
The Texans carried a 6-3 lead into the locker room but only after questionable clock management cost Houston a chance at a touchdown. Fairbairn drilled a 22-yarder on second down after the Texans allowed precious seconds to exhaust despite possessing three timeouts at the start of the possession. Houston went to the half with two of those timeouts remaining.
—Field Level Media