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(Sunday, September 27th)
Final Score: Jacksonville 31, Houston 24
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 119 yards on 23 carries and tied a career high with three touchdowns, as the Jacksonville Jaguars held off the Houston Texans, 31-24, in an offensive shootout at Reliant Stadium.
Jones-Drew also caught four passes for 28 yards for the Jaguars (1-2), who avoided going 0-3 for the third time in club history. David Garrard went 18- of-30 for 214 yards and rushed for a TD. Mike Sims-Walker caught six passes for 81 yards.
"We made some adjustments during the course of the game where we saw how they were fitting our running game a little bit and the way they were fitting was perfect for those type of plays so we were able to switch it up a little bit and they mis-fit a couple of times and we were able to take advantage of those times," Jones-Drew said.
Matt Schaub connected on 26-of-35 passes for 300 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for the Texans (1-2), who were coming off a thrilling 34-31 win over the Titans in Week 2. Kevin Walter hauled in seven passes for 96 yards and a score while Owen Daniels and Jacoby Jones each had a TD catch. Steve Slaton rushed for 76 yards on 12 carries in defeat.
"It was a bad start from the get-go and, to me, they dominated," Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. "They really took control of the game offensively in the third and throughout half of the fourth quarter."
With the score tied at 24, Jacksonville put together a scoring drive which bridged the third and fourth quarter.
The Jaguars were faced with a 4th-and-1 at the Houston 12 -- and instead of going for a field goal -- head coach Jack Del Rio dialed up a Jones-Drew rush that went for four yards and a fresh set of downs. On the next play, Jones- Drew bulldozed his way up the middle for an eight-yard touchdown run to put the Jags ahead 31-24 with 14:15 left in the game. Torry Holt's 27-yard reception was key to the 10-play, 87-yard drive.
After a series of punts, the Texans took over on their own 11. After the first two plays went just seven yards, Schaub was sacked by Clint Ingram on third down.
Jacksonville took over on its own 40 with about 5 1/2 minutes left. On 2nd- and-10, Garrard hit Sims-Walker with a nine-yard pass, but Sims-Walker fumbled the ball and Houston's Zac Diles recovered. The play was reviewed and upheld.
On the ensuing drive, Schaub's nine-yard pass to Daniels set up a 1st-and-goal at the Jaguars two-yard-line. Schaub then hit Joel Dreessen in the end zone, but Walter was called for offensive pass interference on the play. The penalty on Walter became costly.
On 2nd-and-goal, Chris Brown rushed to the right side of the line and tried to push his way into the end zone. As Brown went down, he fumbled the football into the end zone and Jacksonville's Daryl Smith recovered for a touchback. The play was reviewed to see if Brown's knee was down before he lost the ball, but was upheld and gave the Jaguars the ball with two minutes to go.
Jacksonville ran out the clock to secure its first victory of 2009.
"It's a tough situation knowing that I went out there to do the best I possibly can and I let all my teammates, coaches and the organization down," Brown said. "I knew it was going to be a close call, but it's all on me and next time I won't give it a chance to be a fumble."
The Texans moved the ball into Jacksonville territory on the first drive of the game, but Schaub's pass to Andre Johnson was intercepted by Rashean Mathis inside the 10.
Jacksonville put together an eight-play, 59-yard drive that was topped off with a 52-yard field goal from Josh Scobee. Garrard highlighted the drive with a 30-yard run.
Houston put together a scoring drive late in the first period to take a 7-3 lead. Schaub hit Walter with a 24-yard pass on the first play, setting up the Texans at the Jaguars 20. Two plays later, Schaub found Jones in the middle of the end zone for an 18-yard score.
Jacksonville responded with a scoring drive of its own, which carried over into the second quarter. Garrard's 18-yard pass to Marcedes Lewis highlighted a 10-play, 69-yard drive that ended in a two-yard TD run by Garrard with 11:18 left on the clock.
After a series of punts, the Texans used a nine-yard TD reception from Walter to gain a 14-10 margin with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining. But on the fourth play of the Jags' ensuing drive, Jones-Drew found an opening on the right side of the line and scampered 61 yards untouched into the end zone for a 17-14 Jacksonville lead.
The back-and-forth battle continued, as Houston put together a 10-play, 66- yard drive at the end of the half. The Texans decided to go for it on a 4th- and-1 and the Jacksonville 16. Walter took an end-around handoff for 11 yards and a first down. Three plays later, Schaub connected with Daniels on a two-yard TD pass for a 21-17 lead at the half.
The offensive shootout carried over into the third stanza. The Jaguars' first drive of the period lasted almost five minutes and covered 83 yards over 10 plays. Garrard's 28-yard pass to Sims-Walker highlighted the march, which was capped off with a Jones-Drew one-yard TD run for a 24-21 lead.
Kris Brown's 27-yard field goal deadlocked the contest with about four minutes remaining in the third.
Despite the loss, Houston is 12-6 at home since 2007...The Texans lead the all-time series with the Jaguars, 8-7, including a conventional split of last year's home-and-home series...The Jaguars won their first game in Houston since 2005...Johnson caught four passes for 86 yards...Garrard rushed for 29 yards on five carries.
09/27 19:03:46 ET
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