The Houston Texans’ defense held the Jacksonville Jaguars to one field goal and Deshaun Watson threw for two touchdowns as the Texans rolled to a 26-3 win on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London.
The Texans’ defense shut down the Jaguars’ rushing attack, giving up just 74 yards on the ground. They did give up 309 yards passing, but the beleaguered Texans’ secondary did not allow a touchdown, or a pass interference penalty. The closest the Jaguars got to the end zone was the Texans’ 12-yard line, where they had to settle for a field goal. Safeties Jahleel Addae and Justin Reid both had interceptions in the fourth quarter, and Dylan Cole and Zach Cunningham had fumble recoveries.
“We played good team defense today. Our pass rush was disciplined. Everyone stayed in their lanes and the secondary did their jobs. The interceptions were very opportunistic and both guys were in the right spot,” Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien said.
On offense, the Texans again started slow, as they led 9-0 at halftime. The sole touchdown came on a patented Texans’ long drive of 80 yards and over eight minutes as Darren Fells caught a 1-yard pass from Deshaun Watson for the score. Fells leads the team with six touchdowns.
“Fells has been good since his first day here. He is smart and he does everything we ask of him,” O’Brien said.
In the third quarter, Duke Johnson scored on a 1-yard run with 31 seconds to go in the quarter to put the game out of reach. On the drive Carlos Hyde had a 48-yard run to give the Texans the ball at the Jaguars 23-yard line.
Hyde has his best day as a Texan as he rushed 19 times for 160 yards. But his day ended poorly as he had the ball stripped from him on the 3-yard line after running 58 yards for an apparent touchdown. The Jaguars recovered the ball in the endzone.
Before the game, O’Brien said his top priority was a clean game, no penalties or turnovers. Today was not that game, as the Texans had seven penalties for 60-yards, all on offense. Hyde’s fumble was the only turnover.
For the Jaguars, Minshew completed 27 of 47 passes for 309 yards and had two interceptions and two fumbles. Leonard Fournette, the NFL’s second leading rusher, was held to 40 yards on 11 carries.
Watson completed 22 of 28 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns and rushed seven times for 37 yards. Watson had several plays where he completed passes while being dragged down by several tacklers.
“There are a lot of games left, so there is going to be a lot of crazier plays left,” Watson said.
Duke Johnson had five receptions for 68-yards, and DeAndre Hopkins had eight receptions for 48-yards and one touchdown.
“We said we were coming here on a business trip, and we came very focused. We stuck with our plan. The defense was great. They went out there and did their job. And Watson is amazing. He is humble and his play speaks for itself. 6-3 is great but we have to take it day by day. We need to go back and prepare for Baltimore,” Hopkins said.
The attendance for the Texans first game in London was 84,771.
” The crowd was great. They were really into it. We had a great experience here,” O’Brien said.
“The experience and crowd were great. After the game, some of us went up into the crowd and celebrated with them,” Watson said.
The Texans (6-3) have a bye week next weekend before they play the Ravens in Baltimore.
8:20 Texans: Ka’imi Fairbairn 52-yard field goal.
Drive: 13 plays, 47-yards, 6:40.
Texans 3 Jaguars 0
5:50 Texans: Darrin Fells 1-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson. Kick blocked.
Drive: 14 plays, 80-yards, 8:14.
Texans 9 Jaguars 0
1:52 Jaguars: Josh Lambo 30-yard field goal.
Drive: 11 plays, 63-yards, 4:03.
Texans 9 Jaguars 3
5:02 Texans: Fairbairn 42-yard field goal.
Drive: 7 plays, 26-yards, 3:54.
Texans 12 Jaguars 3
0:31 Texans: Duke Johnson 1-yard touchdown run. Fairbairn kick.
Drive: 5 plays, 79-yards, 2:19
Texans 19 Jaguars 3
4:19 Texans: DeAndre Hopkins 1-yard pass from Watson. Fairbairn kick.
Drive: 2 plays, 3-yards, 0:10
Texans 26 Jaguars 3