Texans vs. Jaguars: Houston Dominates in Jacksonville

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistSeptember 16, 2012

Foster braves rain showers to topple the Jaguars.
Foster braves rain showers to topple the Jaguars.Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

The battle of premier running backs was one-sided, to say the least.

Arian Foster put up 147 total yards and a touchdown as the Houston Texans steamrolled the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-7 in a game that wasn't even as close as the final 20-point margin indicated.

Houston piled up more than 400 yards of total offense to the Jaguars 117 in a blowout that showed off the Texans' offensive and defensive ability.

Jacksonville had no luck moving the ball in the first half, managing only one six-play, 36-yard drive of note among six drives. Five other Jaguars' drives ended in four plays or less. So much of the positive vibes surrounding Blaine Gabbert evaporated in a 7-of-19 effort that resulted in just 53 yards passing.

The Jaguars were constantly tortured by the Texans swarming defenders as the Jaguars line, and Guy Whimper in particular, struggled to protect Gabbert. He was sacked three times on the day.

The offense was so bad for Jacksonville that, despite a five-yards-a-carry day from Maurice Jones-Drew, they penetrated Houston territory just twice. One of those drives actually started in Houston territory on a punt return.

In short, it was the worst offensive day in Jaguars' history.

For the Texans offense, it was another ruthless bludgeoning of an inferior opponent. They protected the ball and pounded away with Foster and Ben Tate. The two runners combined for 184 yards rushing, three touchdowns and another 60 yards receiving.

Matt Schaub was able to play conservative, hooking up with tight ends or running backs on 20 of his 26 completions. Despite throwing for just 5.6 yards a pass, Schaub was not sacked and did not turn the ball over.

The Texans opened the game with a field-goal drive, and by the end of the first quarter, were already up 10-0. A 26-yard run by Tate set up Fosters' first touchdown. Tate would post the next two touchdowns as the two backs alternated freely throughout the game.

The Texans have done a brilliant job of taking care of business against lesser teams in the first two weeks. They still lead the AFC South by a full game over Indianapolis but know their schedule is about to get tougher.

Houston travels to Denver in Week 3 and then plays the Titans, Jets, Packers and Ravens before the bye. That stretch will go a long way to showing just how far the Texans can go in 2012.

As for the Jaguars, their season hangs by a thread. With so much of the good work by Gabbert completely undone in a terrible effort against Houston, Jacksonville has to travel to Indianapolis in Week 3.

A loss by the Jaguars to the Colts would practically quench any lingering hopes of being serious playoff contenders in 2012. If Jacksonville doesn't beat Indianapolis, they may find themselves searching for their first win well into November.