It was just another Sunday afternoon at Reliant. Chad Henne led his high-flying offense to four touchdowns in the air, linking with Justin Blackmon 7 times for 237 yards, as two potent offenses squared off. Henne posted a 126.8 passer rating as the Jags took the lead 3 times, including a 14 point lead in the 4th quarter before ultimately being bested in overtime. It was the great game we were all expecting it to be.
Wait a minute…
WHAT?! Before the snoozer Thursday Night Football against the Colts, Henne hadn’t thrown a touchdown since losing his starting job to one Matt Moore in Miami. The Jaguars still have the leagues worst offense even after getting 378 yards in the air in a high scoring game in Texas. Rookie Justin Blackmon nearly doubled his receiving total for his career in one game, including a 81-yard dagger that left many-a-gape in Houston.
I found myself itching to root for Jacksonville, even though I consider the Texans to be the team to beat this year. They played with heart, which is definitely something you can’t say about the entire rest of the season. They had no running game, and they made that not matter. Kubiak was having a coronary on the sidelines after mistakes in the secondary allowed Jacksonville to put points on the board.
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Both teams played well in the first half, as spectators were anticipating when the Texans would pull away as they entered the locker rooms at halftime equalized at 17. Instead the Jaguars scored 10 unanswered, and tightened their stranglehold on Houston after a Texans field goal with a long touchdown pass to Blackmon. The crowd went silent, hands went over mouths, onto heads, and beers disappeared. Schaub stepped up, hit Graham for two touchdowns on drives that left fans asking why it hadn’t been that easy all day. When it came to overtime, Jacksonville’s lack of a run game was finally exploited as the Texans held on a desperate 4th and 10 at midfield to takeover on downs. The Jags were playing soft, expecting to play the pass over the middle of the field and cover the sidelines close to the 40 yard mark. Schaub noticed, gave the “You see what I’m seeing?” head nod to physical freak Andre Johnson and called the screen. It was just a scene of men against boys after that, touchdown Texans, game over.
This game was a testament to the fact that any given Sunday any bottom feeder can take down a premier team. I predicted Schaub breaking out the big guns (43 passes for 527 yards and 5 touchdowns), even that the Texans would score 45 (they scored 43), but Nostradamus that I am I predicted a shutout of the league’s worst…well everything. The Jaguars were fun to watch for once, they were almost heroic. In the end people will remember that the Texans left week 11 9-1 and the Jaguars left 1-9. No one cares if you go 10-6 with 10 close games or 10-6 with 10 blowouts. The “W” reigns supreme.