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Back on Track | Vandermeer's View

The Texans went to Jacksonville needing to stop the bleeding on a two game drought. They got the job done and learned plenty along the way.

Adversity hit before the flight even left Houston with numerous key players out. During the game, several more had to exit with injuries, but the Texans banged the dents out and found a way to win.

We didn't know much about Jacksonville's rookie quarterback Jake Luton going in except that he was a big guy with a big arm. At the end of the day, he was one throw away from tying the game inside of two minutes to go but his two point conversion pass was off the mark and the Texans killed the clock after recovering an on-side kick.

Before anyone eye-rolls me about beating the Jags, let me remind you that even though the Texans own the all-time series, these divisional games are often painfully close.

Last year, Houston had to stop a two-point conversion for the win. In '18, Deshaun Watson had to overcome a collapsed lung to win the game in North Florida. In '16, Brock Osweiler had to complete a pass to kill the clock, on a day where he threw for only 99 yards on 27 attempts - that's wild.

Blake Bortles, as a Jags rookie in 2014, scrambled 34 yards for a late first and goal opportunity that the Texans were able to barely hold off on their way to clinching a winning season.

These are just off the top of my head. I could go on. This matchup is historically way tougher than you think - and Sunday was no exception.

Rookie James Robinson came into the game 6th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage and he racked up 99 yards. D.J. Chark is one of the best wide outs no one talks about and he had a 73-yard TD catch.

But the Texans made key plays, including Deshaun Watson finding Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks for long touchdown passes, and Watson's 50 rushing yards helped the Texans get over the century mark on a day when David Johnson had to leave the game.

It was great to see J.J. Watt become the 35th player in NFL history with 100 sacks. His strip sack of Luton stopped a third down bid in the 4th quarter.

This all leaves the Texans at 2-6, a record which hardly makes anyone smile, but this is not the time to dwell on it. Cleveland is next, then New England and Detroit, on Thanksgiving. In a little over two and a half weeks, here's to hoping the record looks a whole lot better and sets up an interesting and entertaining December.

The most important thing now is to take inventory of what the roster looks like and get ready to play Cleveland, who will be coming off a bye.

One step at a time.

Check out some photos from the Houston Texans Week 9 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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