HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Sunday the Houston Texans locked up their 3rd AFC South division title with a 30-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans technically clinched before their win over the Jaguars thanks to the 20-17 win by the New Orleans Saints over the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints win, sealed the Texans holding the tie-breakers over the Indianapolis Colts. But the Win by the Texans gives them a 9-7 record on the season and will beat the Colts by one game. This is the Texans second straight 9-7 season after finishing 2013 2-14 and the worst record in football.
The Texans were led by Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt who had a combined 6.5 sacks on the day, Mercilus with 3.5 Watt with 3, and they each recovered a fumble. Mercilus’s recovery came on one of Watt’s sacks.
The Texans also picked off Blake Bortles twice on the day, one for a pick-six to cement their defensive dominance over the Jaguars.
Duane Brown, the pro bowl left tackle for the Texans left the game near the end of the first quarter with a torn quad tendon. Bill O’Brien said after the game he does not know how bad the injury is but, “it doesn’t look good.”
The Texans stymied the Jaguars on their opening drive thanks to a J.J. Watt sack. Watt played the day for the first game in a month without a club on his previously broken left hand. The Texans would punt on their ensuing drive allowing the Jaguars to take over near mid-field.
With nothing left to play for this season, Jacksonville elected to go for it on fourth down and four but the Texans defense forced a turnover on downs after batting down a Blake Bortles pass intended for Julius Thomas.
The Texans would finish next drive with a Nick Novack field goal from 29 yards out to take a 3-0 lead. Jaelen Strong had a reception for a gain of 25 yards and the Jaguars would tack 15 more yards on for a personal foul on Brian Hoyer.
With just over three minutes left in the third quarter, Duane Brown left the game with a leg injury to his right leg. He attempted to get up but went back down and was eventually carted off the field. The Texans would finish the drive with a Jonathan Grimes touchdown catch to make it 10-0.
The Jaguars would answer with a field goal.
After a Texans punt, Brian Cushing would make his presence felt. He would force a fumble allowing Watt to recover for the Texans. They would march down the field on the ensuing drive handing the ball to Grimes for a rushing touchdown, his second of the day. 17-3 Texans lead with just under six minutes left.
With just over one minute left in the half, Andre Hal would intercept a Bortles pass allowing the Texans to take over deep in their own territory. The Texans would drive down the field and end the drive with a field goal.
The second half would start with a punt but the Jaguars would have their next drive halted by Whitney Mercilus. His third sack of the day jarred the ball loose from Bortles but the Jaguars would recover and punt.
The teams would trade punts and with just under three minutes left Brian Hoyer would throw his seventh interception of the year deep in Texans territory. The Jaguars would settle for a field goal after a Watt sack. 20-6 Texans lead.
The Texans would respond with a missed field goal. The Jaguars would get a big pass play to get deep into Texans territory but the Texans dynamic pass-rushing duo would strike again.
J.J. Watt would force a fumble and Whitney Mercilus would recover the loose ball allowing the Texans to take over. The Texans would methodically march down the field with a combination of Grimes and Blue rushing the ball. Novak would finish off the drive with a 51-yard field goal to make it 23-6 Texans.
The Texans would add a pick six from Kareem Jackson to seal the Texans victory at 30-6.
The Texans will host a home game in the playoffs next week. They will either host the Kansas City Chiefs or the Denver Broncos at NRG Stadium. The schedule is expected to be announced during Sunday Night football.
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