The Jacksonville Jaguars did everything right on Sunday. They moved the ball on the ground. Chad Henne hit his receivers in motion and moved the chains. The defense put continuous pressure on Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum and looked good for the most part on special teams. And most of all, the Jaguars beat one of their rivals 13-6 for a much needed second win of the season.
Every week, the local media has heard from head coach Gus Bradley about he sees signs of progress, players doing their job, a continued intensity in practice and a team that comes out to play hard every game.
On Sunday, all those components came together. Cecil Shorts caught passes. Maurice Jones-Drew ran with authority. The line run blocked better than it had all season and most of all, the defense showed a continued improvement since the team’s bye week three weeks ago. It was the second win in three weeks and back to back road wins for this team in five seasons. The Jaguars now travel to Cleveland next Sunday before facing the Texans again on December 5. This could start a nice run for this franchise.
Here are five things we learned from this game.
Maurice Jones-Drew isn’t finished yet
We have made a huge deal about his legs, the foot injury and the fact he looks a bit slower than he has been. Maurice Jones-Drew was every bit the player he used to be on Sunday. The Jaguars did a great job of making him the focal point of this game and used him on the ground and in the passing game.
Great pass rush
Sen’Derrick Mark, Andre Branch and the rest of the Jaguars front line harassed Case Keenum all day. While they did not put up sack numbers like Houston, they did make a point of applying pressure. The play of Geno Hayes and Paul Posluszny from the linebacker position was also key to keeping Houston off balanced all day long.
Henne was efficient
The quarterback continues to show he should have been the starter from the beginning of the season. Short passes and the ability to dump the ball off to Maurice Jones-Drew from the backfield certainly helped the offense. Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders were equally effective.
Houston is really a bad team
Offensively. The play of Dennis Johnson was overshadowed by poor execution. You have to wonder if Case Keenum should have been pulled and what could Matt Schaub have done to win? The receives could not haul in passes. The defense was as effective as I have seen them, with pressure being applied to Henne all day. The Jaguars still had issues with the blitz.
A cluster at the bottom
The Texans have lost nine in a row. The Jaguars seem rejuvenated. Atlanta has two losses. What I am getting at is the Jaguars are not the worst team in the NFL anymore. There will be a major shake up in this team after the season. Whether or not Gary Kubiak keeps his job is unknown. If the Texans have the first pick in the draft, do they take another quarterback?