Texans-Jaguars: The Moral of the Tale

I’m not a huge believer in moral victories. Either you win, or you lose. But though the Texans lost 30-27 to the Jaguars in overtime this weekend to go 0-3 on the season, if there’s such a thing as a moral victory, I guess this loss would be that.

Things didn’t start well for the Texans as the offense got a five-yard penalty on their very first play of the game. The Jaguars stuffed the running game at the start, and Schaub’s passing game wasn’t impressive. Neither were the special teams, as the punt unit often allowed the Jaguars get good field position in the first half.

The Jags' first TD came off the special teams when they went with a quick snap to the up back on a fake punt with the up back running virtually untouched for a 41-yard touchdown. The TD should have never happened as everybody I know watching the game, including the CBS announcers, pointed out that the fake punt was coming many seconds before the snap. Or rather, if the Texans special teamers would have been paying attention, someone would have had plenty of time to call a timeout.

The Texans' running game never got untracked, but Steve Slaton was still a damaging performer, hauling in 83 yards on the receiving end, including a 30-yard touchdown. Owen Daniels continued in his role as Matt Schaub’s safety valve, catching eight passes for 87 yards, and Kevin Walter caught eight passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns. And I’ve been tough on Matt Schaub, but he had a good game. He went 29 for 40 for 307 yards and three touchdowns while throwing no interceptions. I guess that just goes to show what can happen when the QB’s got a little time.

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The defense was, again, disappointing. Especially in the second half. For some reason, though the Steelers and Titans shoved the ball down the Texans throat by way of the running game, the Jaguars seemed to not even make much of an effort with running the ball – those bastards; I had Fred Taylor starting on my fantasy team. But they never put much pressure on Jaguar QB David Garrard who, if he wasn’t picking apart the Texans secondary, was finding holes in the Texans line which he exploited by running the football.

Still, with 1:49 left in the game, the Texans were winning 24-20. Of course, one second later, Garrard was in the end zone. And though the Texans tied the game with a Kris Brown field goal as time ran out, you couldn’t help but sense that the Jaguars would win the game when they won the overtime coin toss.

Like I said: I don’t much believe in moral victories. But despite the loss, I think the Texans' offense can come home feeling a bit better about things. For a week at least. I can’t say the same about the defense, and with the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning coming to town next Sunday, the defense better start trying something different, because what they’ve been doing just ain’t working. -- John Royal

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