Houston Texans 7-3-0-7 — 17
Jacksonville Jaguars 0-7-7-0 — 14
FINAL: DeAndre Hopkins Leads Texans Over Jaguars
If anything’s gone right for the Texans this season, it’s DeAndre Hopkins. Since being drafted in 2013 the Texans always considered Hopkins nothing more than a deep threat until this year, when he was promoted to starting receiver. After just five games, Hopkins has established himself as one of the NFL’s best.
Today Nuk finished with 10 catches for 148 yards on 15 targets, all game-highs. He also caught two touchdowns from Hoyer, who played a great game of his own. Hoyer finished with 293 and three scores, and did not throw an interception.
The only turnovers of the game belonged to Blake Bortles and Jacksonville, who couldn’t keep pace with the Texans in the second half. Without T.J. Yeldon in the backfield Jacksonville struggled to find balance, as Bortles attempted 53 passes. His three interceptions made the difference in the game, with one of them being returned 31 yards for a Houston TD that put the game away for good.
It’s a bad day for the Jaguars, and it won’t make their flight easy. The Jaguars are on their way to London, where they’ll meet the Bills for the second of three NFL International games this season. The Texans will continue their tour of Florida, and head south to play the Dolphins.
Hoyer to Hopkins Gives Texans Late Lead
Brian Hoyer is tough. The Texans QB took a huge hit, then returned after just one play to throw his second TD pass of the game. Hoyer was injured on a scramble, when he appeared to give himself up but was still hit hard by Jaguars safety Jonathan Cyprien.
Ryan Mallett entered for one play, and handed the ball to Foster before Hoyer returned. On his second play back he found DeAndre Hopkins in the corner of the endzone. Hopkins has over 100 receiving yards for the fourth straight game.
HALFTIME: Late INT Keeps 10-7 Score
Neither team has blinked so far in Jacksonville, as the Texans and Jaguars are playing a close one. A late INT from Bortles preserved the Texans 10-7 lead at the half.
The Texans offense is at it’s healthiest, and it’s showing. Brian Hoyer has not thrown an interception, and 60 of his 134 yards have gone to former Jag Cecil Shorts. Arian Foster has ten total touches, including a 14-yard reception for the Texans’ only touchdown.
Jacksonville is hanging around, keeping pace with the Texans. Blake Bortles is leading the offense in passing and rushing, and has hit Allen Robinson four times for 56 yards. J.J. is playing for the Texans, but he has been a non-factor. Bortles has had little pressure, no matter which side of the line the Texans position Watt.
The game will come down to whoever makes the first big mistake. The Bortles pick before halftime was bad, but as mistake-prone as both teams can be, we’re just waiting for the big swing.
Arian Foster Caps Off 99-Yard Drive
Brian Hoyer may have locked down the Texans QB job. Hoyer just took the Texans 99 yards- their longest drive since 2010, en route to the game’s opening touchdown. The Texans did a great job mixing it up on that drive, alternating Foster with Chris Polk and good short passes from Hoyer.
Normally this season, any Texans drive would be stalled by a penalty. This one was no exception. But a gutsy call by Bill O’Brien on 4th and 1 extended the drive, and now the Texans are ahead early.
The AFC South doesn’t change.
The coaches change, the quarterbacks change, but the standings never change.
Once again, the Colts are AFC South leaders heading into the colder months. It’s become expected, despite the steady improvement of their division cohorts. The biggest turnaround this year was supposed to be Houston, who had all the summer hype behind them following Hard Knocks.
They fell flat. The entire division has.
But there’s hope. Tonight the Colts are visited by world-champion New England, and should get all they can handle from Brady and Gronk. That opens the door for this game’s winner to latch onto the two spot, ready and waiting for Indy’s next slip.
Believe it or not, this is a big game. And these teams are still alive.
Because the AFC South doesn’t change.