March 21, 2018

The POGs: Jacksonville Edition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-  The Texans easily defeated their division rival Jacksonville Jaguars by amassing 411 total yards via a franchise record 83 total plays.  The Texans dominated offensively and defensively.  The Jaguars were stuffed, managing only 117 total yards – 32 yards coming on one pass play.  Gabbert was limited to a miserable 53 yards passing.

The Jaguars had no answers for their abyssmal showing.  Neither during the game or after, as evidenced by the post-game quotes.  In fact, it seems as if the Jaguars believed they beat themselves rather than getting man-handled by a far superior team.

“Yeah we killed ourselves.  We were I think zero for nine on third downs.  Just a lack of execution, had a bunch of mental mistakes and we shot ourselves in the foot”, said Gabbert after the game.

Huh?  Nevermind the fact that you had Watt & Co. in your face all day while your receivers were smothered by excellent cornerback play.

And their All-Pro runningback Maurice Jones-Drew (MJD) echoed Gabbert’s comment, “We just didn’t give ourselves a chance.  We didn’t execute at all and that is myself and everybody down the line.  We just didn’t do a good job.  They didn’t do anything complicated.  We knew what they were going to do.”

It gets even more mind boggling when MJD says, “We ran the ball well.  I think we broke a couple big runs.  We did some great things in the pass protection.  When we executed plays we scored.”  So with 65 total rushing yards, the Jaguars ‘ran the ball well?’  I wonder what he thought of the Texans’ 216 total rushing yards with 3 touchdowns.


Offensive Player of the Game

With the Texans disposing of the Jaguars behind the relentless ground attack that even included third string Justin Forsett (6 attempts, 35 yards, 5.8 average), Ben Tate is this week’s Offensive Player of the Game.  Ben Tate only had 12 carries but was able to make the most of them by gaining 74 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He had a long rush of 25 yards and bailed Schaub out with a few screen pass catches (4 catches for 23 yards).

Foster, not to be outdone, had a game high 110 yards on 28 carries and 1 touchdown.  He was also featured in the passing attack with 6 catches for 37 yards.

“They push each other,” Texans’ Kubiak said.  “They feed off each other.  I thought Ben really gave us some juice early in the game.  They fed off each other and played well.”

Foster and Tate carried the ball on 50 of the 75 offensive plays (66.6%) and combined for 244 yards (64.3% of the total yards).

“I see him break a run and I’m chomping at the bit and thinking, ‘I could outdo that,” said the Offensive Player of the Game.  “Then I go out there and break one, and then he’s out there saying, ‘I could outdo that.’  So it’s a good, friendly competition out there and also helps this team go.  I think it’s very important for both of us.”

Arian Foster patted Tate on the back after the game (figuratively of course) by saying, “He’s a great back, man.  It’s fun to watch him.  I tell him all the time, he could start in this league at a lot of places and just to keep his head down and go to work.  It’s fun to be a part of a backfield like that.”

This three-headed monster, that eats a lot of clock, will be tough to stop as long as the big guys up front are paving the way.


Defensive Player of the Game

Not to be out shined, the Texans’ defense strolled to a dominating performance of the Jaguars.  It only took the defense 38 plays to stuff the Jaguars.  It was a revolving door of three and outs and I’m pretty sure Jaguars’ punter Brian Anger was icing his leg after the game.  Last year’s third round pick by the Jags, which at the time was criticized as too high for a punter, punted 9 times for 470 yards.  Maybe the Jaguars knew how horrible their offense would be and invested in a punter in the 3rd round for a reason.  Good move – I think.

The defense was led a second straight week by the Player of the Game, J.J. Watt.  His disruption led to 5 total tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery and 2 signature “Swatts”.

“Our defense is having a lot of fun.  We’re flying around.  It’s so much fun to just run around out there and make plays,” said Watt.

Modestly, Watt contributed his game success to his teammates.  He explained after the game that the big plays are just a byproduct of his teammates, timing, preparation and having a good time.

When asked about teammate Daniel Manning’s comments regarding Watt making the Pro Bowl, Watt said, “I hope I’m not going to be available for the Pro Bowl Week.”  Suggesting the Texans will be preparing for the Super Bowl, which conflicts with the Pro Bowl time.


Special Teams Player of the Game

The special teams’ coverage is still an area of concern but Shayne Graham was 2 for 2 on field goals and 3 for 3 in extra points.  But, this week’s Special Teams Player of the Game is punter Donnie Jones.  He didn’t get many chances but the few he got resulted in an average of 49.8.  He also booted a long of 58 yards and dropped one punt within the Jaguars’ 20 – and almost stopped another punt on the Jags’ 1 yard line but Bryce McCain fell into the endzone for a touchback.  Jones has been a pleasant surprise and will be called upon to flip the field in the games where the Texans’ offense struggles.

With the Jaguars in the rear view mirror for now, the biggest challenge of the year so far will be next week versus Manning and the Broncos in Denver.




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