Ben Tate (44) is greeted by teammate and fellow RB Arian Foster (23) after Tate’s first score of the day. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
The Houston Texans rolled through Week 2 of the 2012-13 NFL season as they dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-7 at EverBank Field.
If you’re a Texans’ fan and there was any doubt in your mind after last week’s slow start against the Dolphins, I assure you, you have nothing to worry about as of now.
Houston showed no signs of sluggishness at the start of this contest as they came right out and racked up five first downs on their first drive. They may have only managed a field goal after moving the ball 66 yards, but the Texans set the tone for the rest of the day with that possession.
The highlight for the Texans’ offense today was the backfield, which combined for 216 yards and all of Houston’s three touchdowns.
Ben Tate was particularly impressive amongst this group totaling 74 yards on 12 carries and accounting for two touchdowns. Tate showed good burst and made strong cuts up the field all day long, to which the Jaguars had no answer. On one play, Tate got to the corner, found some great blocking and burned the defense for a 26-yard touchdown run. But after review, Tate was confirmed out-of-bounds at the 1-yard line. Arian Foster, who had an impressive day as well, compiling 118 yards on 23 carries, got the carry for the 1-yard touchdown run.
Blaine Gabbert (11) walks off the field after a disappointing day at the hands of the Houston Texans. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
On defense, the Texans looked no further than their front line and J.J. Watt to disrupt anything positive happening for the Jacksonville offense. It seemed like every other play saw Watt in the backfield pulling down a Jaguar running back, hitting Gabbert, or knocking down a pass at the line. He finished with 5 tackles, two for losses, 1.5 sacks and got to Gabbert another 3 times throughout the day.
Second-year Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert looked remarkably like a rookie once again as he and the Jacksonville offense managed a grand total of -4 passing yards at the end of the first half. Gabbert would eventually connect with Maurice Jones-Drew on a 5-yard underthrown touchdown pass early on in the 3rd quarter for the Jags only score of the day.
Obviously, Jacksonville’s passing game was virtually non-existent. But I will graciously account that, at least in part, to the Houston secondary. When Gabbert did actually have time to throw, he rarely had an open target, and on the rare occasions that the planets aligned and he was still standing and had an open target, he either overthrew them or the receiver would drop the ball.
If you’re wondering where MJD was throughout the day, he was once again relegated to shouldering the brunt of the offensive load for the now painfully predictable Jaguar offense. As I predicted at the beginning of the year, Houston’s primary key to success in this game was stopping Jones-Drew who finished with 60 yards on 12 carries and 7 yards on 3 receptions and a touchdown – I’d say a job well done by the Texans’ defense.
It turned out to be another impressive day for the Texans, but came at the expense of another bottom-half team in the league.
At this point, we know that Houston is doing what they were expected to do and are still well on their way a division title. But no one will know anything for sure, until the Texans face off against a more formidable opponent. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait long.
The Houston Texans travel to the Mile-High City to test their strength against the Denver Broncos in the 4:25 p.m. slot next Sunday.