JACKSONVILLE, Fla — It was the best the Jaguars defense has looked in months. Despite playing without arguably their top three defenders in Josh Allen, Myles Jack and C.J. Henderson, the Jaguars held Houston to 13 points through the first three quarters. They got pressure on Deshaun Watson. They picked him off twice.
And yet, even with their “high-powered” offense, it wasn’t enough.
Recently-signed kicker Steven Hauschka missed two, first half field goals and rookie James Robinson fumbled deep in Houston territory on a would’ve been, go-ahead drive. That left at least nine points on the table in a game that the Jaguars would ultimately lose 30-14. Jacksonville is now 1-4 on the season. The win is Houston’s first of the season.
Make no mistake about it: Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars offense played well. Minshew was 31 of 49 for 301 yards and two touchdowns. The Jaguars are now 0-5 in games in which Minshew throws for more than 300 yards. The Jaguars started five of seven on third-down, ultimately finishing eight of 16.
They also made four trips to the red-zone and came away with just 14 points.
Additionally, against the worst-rushing defense in the NFL, Jaguars lead tailback James Robinson had just 13 carries for 48 yards. Chris Thompson had two carries for seven yards. Earlier in the week, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden had said the goal was to get Robinson 20-25 carries, and 5-10 for Thompson. As mentioned, on fourth-and-one from the Texans’ 8-yard line, the Jaguars lined up Robinson in the wildcat. Robinson appeared ready to throw the ball when he fumbled it away, ending the drive. Minshew was also hit and fumbled on what was probably the Jaguars’ “make-or-break” drive in the fourth quarter.
Hauschka missing from 24 and 49 in the waning minutes of the second quarter didn’t help the Jaguars’ cause either.
While their back-up kicker struggled, the Jaguars’ defensive back-up’s impressed. Former Philadelphia Eagle Sidney Jones had four pass break-up’s and a timely interception. In his return from the Injured List, Jarrod Wilson also had an interception. In place of Jack, Dakota Allen had a team-high seven tackles. After safety Josh Jones was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit, rookie Daniel Thomas saw plenty of run, too. The Jaguars bent but did not break at the hands of Watson, who is now 5-0 in his last five game against Jacksonville.
In their previous two games, that would’ve probably been enough to get the win.
Unfortunately, on Sunday, it wasn’t enough.
Jacksonville (1-4) hosts the Lions (1-3) next Sunday at 1 p.m.