Heading into the fourth quarter of Sunday's game with Jacksonville, David Johnson had carried 11 times for 44 yards. The Texans held a 13-7 advantage.
But Johnson and the Texans closed the game strong, as the veteran running back rushed six more times for 52 yards in the final quarter, and Houston ran away with a 30-14 victory at NRG Stadium.
"I ran the ball pretty well," Johnson said. "Still had some runs I wish I could have got back, a couple of them. Just trying to do too much sometimes instead of just relaxing, being patient and letting our guys up front do their jobs and me just being patient running the ball."
That patience came to the fore when the Texans took over at their own 32-yard line with 1:38 remaining. The Jaguars had all three timeouts, and a glimmer of hope they could pull off a miracle. Johnson quickly snuffed out that light.
He churned forward for 11 yards on the first play of that drive, and Jacksonville used its first timeout. After the break, Johnson went to the right side for his longest run as a Texan, blazing for 29 yards.
"Overall, I feel like it was great, especially at the end of the game," Johnson said. "We needed to get the first down or we needed to run the ball to really finish the game, and we did a great job."
Seven of Johnson's 17 carries were for five yards or longer, and he finished with three carries of at least 10 yards. The danger of his legs allowed Deshaun Watson and the passing game to exploit some holes in the Jaguars defense.
"Any time that you can establish the running game, that impacts the linebackers and the underneath coverage," interim head coach Romeo Crennel said. "So, our ability to run the ball some allowed us to open up some of those lanes. The guys underneath in that mid-level, they were having to come up. They were kind of settling because they were maybe looking for shorter passes, and then Deshaun was able to find the deep route and get the ball down the field."
Getting those carries late, and making the most of them, was special for Johnson.
"It means a lot," Johnson said. "At the end of the day, that four-minute is very huge for an offense, especially with our defense being on the field and doing what they did at the end of the game. We really wanted to give them a break, and it really just made me feel confident that they gave me the ability, the opportunity to run the clock out."
The win was the first of the 2020 season for Houston. Johnson and the Texans face the Titans this Sunday in Nashville at Noon CT.
Houston Texans players take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium in Week 5 of the 2020 NFL Season.