JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – TIAA Bank Field welcomed 66,543 football fans as the Jaguars hosted their first home game since their matchup with the Jets September 30th. As excited as fans were to be back home, fans were also looking forward to a win, which unfortunately was not the result for the Jaguars. Facing off against an okay Texans team, Jaguars were favored to win. The Texans are known to hold on in games due to their defense primarily, but the team usually falls short offensively regardless of the offensive weapons they have.
Early in the first quarter Bortles had a costly fumble that seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game versus Houston. Jacksonville’s offense had trouble creating any sort of momentum on that side of the ball. Pass after pass fell incomplete and the run game was nearly nonexistent, while the Texans’ run game couldn’t be tamed by the Jaguars defense. Midway through the first quarter, the Texans got on the board first with a field goal. One entertaining part of the Texans versus Jaguars matchup was watching Jalen Ramsey and Mark Hopkins. Hopkins had a nice one-handed catch on Ramsey that visually circulated the internet fast. Shortly before the end of the first quarter, Houston put up another field goal to head into the second quarter up 6-0.
The second quarter was more of the same, with the Texans running fiercely downhill on the Jaguars defense and Watson getting off efficient long passes here and there. The Jaguars defense appeared to be in no position to be overworked this game or attempt to compensate for what the offense couldn’t get done. With 5:31 left in the second quarter, Houston runs into the end zone for their first touchdown, leading 13-0 closing out the first half.
In the start of the third quarter, Bortles escaped an almost safety and fumbled the ball, giving the Texans prime field positioning inside Jacksonville’s 20. Houston maximized on the opportunity, taking the score up to 20-0. In the next series for the Jaguars, Coach Marrone put in backup quarterback Cody Kessler, out of USC. A little momentum was created once Kessler got in, and the chains finally started moving for the Jaguars. With 2:15 left in the third quarter, Kessler connected with Yeldon, finally getting Jacksonville on the scoreboard.
All though fans were probably hopeful that Kessler would lead the Jaguars to a comeback, the fourth quarter was scoreless for both teams, ending with a Houston victory over the Jaguars 20-7.
In the post-game press conference, Coach Marrone had one thing and one thing only to say, “You cannot win games whenever you are turning over the ball, bottom line. You’re just shooting yourself in the foot.” Bottom line, Jaguars plan to work on correcting that. Marrone also stated that pulling Bortles wasn’t just a warning to Bortles, but to every position on the team, “something’s got to change, but for starters it’s not turning over the ball!”
Jaguars head to Wembley Stadium in London this weekend to hopefully redeem themselves against the Super Bowl Champions.
Kasey Hudson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org