In perhaps the most worthless game of the NFL season (or most important in terms of draft order), the Jacksonville Jaguars held off a late rally by the Houston Texans Thursday night to win 27-20 and grab their third consecutive victory.
After a winning their first two games, the Texans have plunged headfirst into the abyss and have lost 11 in a row. The good news is that puts them in position for the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, but it sure makes watching games an excruciating experience. Here's noted masochist Bayless Parsey of Battle Red Blog on the experience:
You just know how it's going to end, every game. You wonder how it could be in an alternate universe in which Matt Schaub's parents had never met. You wonder what it would be like if we hadn't drafted the fat kicker. You daydream about all sorts of things: Glover Quin instead of Ed Reed, Russell Wilson instead of not. You just wonder. Maybe with a tad more luck this season, we're 7-2 in [close] games, warming up for a playoff run that would end with a win over the Bengals and a loss to New England or something. Standard Texans stuff, basically. It's irritating.
The Jags, on the other hand, have suddenly won four of their last five after a 0-8 start. While they likely played themselves out of the top drat pick on Thursday night, the improvement has to be a promising sight for fans. Adam Stites at Big Cat Country likes what he sees, but acknowledges the win was more about the ineptitude of the Texans.
Really, the Jaguars owe the Texans for the victory, as the visiting team racked up 177 yards of penalties and afforded the Jacksonville offense several opportunities.
Concerning for the Jaguars were fourth quarter injuries to both Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman. A hamstring injury ended Jones-Drew's day and Todman went down shortly thereafter, leaving the Jaguars with only Denard Robinson at running back, although Todman returned in the final minutes.