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Texans can't snap losing streak, fall to Jags

Posted Dec 5, 2013

Texans lose eleventh-consecutive game in a game that was marred by penalties and saw a quarterback change in the third quarter.

The Texans fell to Jacksonville, 27-20, on Thursday night. It was the eleventh straight loss of the season. Quarterback Case Keenum was replaced by Matt Schaub in the third quarter after trailing by two touchdowns. Schaub led the Texans on two scoring drives, but the Texans lost their seventh-consecutive game in a scored decided by one touchdown or less.

The Texans fell to 2-11 on the season in a game marred by penalties on all fronts: offense, defense, and special teams. Houston was flagged 10 times for 115 yards in the first half alone. In the end, Houston tied its franchise record of 14 penalties for a record-breaking 177 yards.

"We had 14 penalties or something and it’s just ridiculous," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "There were huge penalties; down the field, pass interference penalties and those types of things. It’s on me. I am the coach. It’s discipline and it’s just ridiculous. There is no way you should make that many penalties in a football game.” 

Keenum was 16-of-29 for 159 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and a passer rating of 68.0 before exiting the game in the third quarter.

Schaub took over when the Texans trailed 24-10 and completed 17-of-29 passes for 198 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

“That was a coach’s decision," Andre Johnson said of the change at quarterback. "I feel very comfortable with Matt. I’ve played a lot of football together with him and he went out and gave us a chance to win the game."

Quarterback Chad Henne marched the Jaguars 80 yards down the field after the opening kickoff to give the Jaguars an early 7-0 lead on a 1-yard scoring strike to Marcedes Lewis.

Two drives later, he connected with Lewis on a 41-yard pass. Two back-to-back penalties on Houston moved Jacksonville into the red zone, first a 33-yard pass interference and then a neutral zone infraction inside the 10-yard line. Henne found Cecil Shorts III in the corner of the endzone to put the Texans in a 14-0 deficit with 13:41 remaining in the second quarter.

The Texans were called for holding on the ensuing kickoff, moving them back to their own 7-yard line.  Houston punted on its first three possessions and did not make it past mid-field until its fourth offensive series.

Keenum picked up steam late in the second quarter as he completed 7-of-8 passes for 76 yards.  He found Keshawn Martin on an 8-yard touchdown pass. Houston trailed 14-7 with 1:53 remaining in the first half.

The next drive lasted just two plays before Keenum threw his first interception of the game. Cornerback Alan Ball intercepted the pass intended for Johnson. The Jaguars converted the turnover into more points as Josh Scobee kicked a 40-yard field goal to give Jacksonville a 17-7 lead at halftime.

Keenum and the offense took over early in the third quarter and moved the ball 30 yards on five plays. Randy Bullock kicked a 34-yard field goal and Houston trailed 17-10 with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter. It would be Keenum’s last drive of the game.

Jacksonville fired back immediately with another score on its next drive. A pass interference call on Johnathan Joseph and facemask penalty on Swearinger extended the drive to set up a third touchdown for the Jaguars. Wide receiver Ace Sanders threw a 21-yard pass to running back Jordan Todman on a trick play as Jacksonville increased its lead, 24-10.

Schaub took over for Keenum late in the third quarter and led the team on consecutive scoring drives. Schaub marched the offense down the field, going no-huddle and completing passes to Johnson, Hopkins, and Martin on his first three attempts. Schaub was 6-of-7 on the 76-yard drive that ended in a 5-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Graham.

Bullock successfully kicked a 31-yard field goal to bring the Texans within four points following the next drive to bring the Texans within four points. Houston trailed 24-20, with 11:31 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Unable to convert on fourth-and-2 on their next possession, the Texans turned the ball over on downs with 3:37 remaining in the game. Houston would get one final possession with 2:16 remaining in the game but it ended in an interception by Schaub on a pass intended for Johnson.

“I tried to make a play up the middle against their two-deep coverage and should have checked it down," Schaub said after the game. "With two minutes and 20 seconds and no timeouts, I was trying to get chunks of yards to get downfield. I was just trying to make plays and take what they gave us.”

Jacksonville took over and Scobee added a 39-yard field goal with 0:25 remaining in the game to cap off a 27-20 win over the Texans.

Johnson led the receivers with 13 catches for 154 yards. Ben Tate rushed for 53 yards on 14 carries. Brooks Reed had the lone sack of the game for a loss of six yards.

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