“He’s got a strong leg but he’s become more than just a power kick-off guy,” Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said of kicker Josh Scobee. “He’s become a real reliable field goal kicker as well, he’s been able to execute some trick things and so he’s becoming a complete kicker. That happens with seasoning and so we’re really happy for him. What a great job. Back to back huge moments in the ballgame and to be able to nail it for us, that gives us a lift for sure.”
A first half defensive battle turned into a second half shootout as both teams scored at will after the intermission. In six second half possessions, each team scored two touchdowns and a field goal, as both defenses turned to butter.
“We struggled and thought we had some chances to get them off the field, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. “They made some big third downs and a big fourth down. You need players to step up to the plate to make those plays, make those tackles, get to the quarterback. We didn’t do it and give them credit, they did.”
With both defenses gassed at the end of regulation, the coin toss likely was going to determine the winner of the game. Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans called tails and the coin came up heads, and Jacksonville subsequently took the ball down the field with relative ease and Josh Scobee kicked Jacksonville to victory.
Houston quarterback Matt Schaub bounced back from a tough first two games to torch the Jacksonville defense. Schaub completed 29 of 40 passes for 307 yards, including three touchdowns and no interceptions. Schaub never threw the ball into coverage and finished with a 119.5 quarterback rating in the losing effort.
“I expected it (to play well),” said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. “He’s a winner and the kid’s a battler. He had a lot on his plate going in to this game and he stepped up to the plate and played like a winner.”
Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard, who also struggled entering the game, played his best game of the season as he completed 23 of 32 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown. Garrard didn’t throw an interception for the first time this season and finished with a 103.1 quarterback rating. Garrard also led the Jaguars in rushing with 41 yards on the ground.
“I think that’s an added part of the game you have to defend defensively when you’re playing against a mobile quarterback,” Del Rio said when asked about Garrard’s mobility. “Not only can he make plays with his mind, not only can he make plays with his arm, but he can make plays with his feet and that added dimension does create some problems defensively for people.”
Texans rookie running back Steve Slaton had 116 total yards (83 receiving) and one touchdown, and tight end Owen Daniels had seven receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown. Texans wide receiver Kevin Walter had eight catches for 76 yards and two scores.
Houston played a cover one defense for much of the game which all but neutralized the powerful Jacksonville rushing attack. The Jaguars had just 139 yards on 25 carries, 41 of which came from quarterback scrambles. Jacksonville was forced to throw the football and were able to do it effectively for the first time this year. Wide receiver Matt Jones led the Jaguars in receiving again with five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Mike Walker had a career high five receptions for 46 yards, and Reggie Williams had a season high four catches for 46 yards.
In a game that could’ve gone either way, the Jaguars evened their record to 2-2 while the Texans are now 0-3.