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Road Rally | Vandermeer's View

In the division, on the road, in the rain.

This seems to be a pretty good recipe for the Texans, who made it back-to-back water logged victories away from NRG in the AFC South after defeating Jacksonville in the Sunshine State 30-16.

The three-game home stand didn't go according to plan but the Texans were proficient as they ventured to a familiar foe, taking down a divisional opponent to get back in the win column for the first time since their upset at Tennessee four weeks ago.

Davis Mills picked up his first victory as a starter but it was really a total team effort with all three phases of the game coming together for Houston.

The Texans scored on their opening possession with Mills hitting Brandin Cooks for a 22-yard score on third down. Houston eventually built a 14-3 advantage on Tremon Smith's kickoff return for a TD, the first for Houston since Jacoby Jones ran one back in 2009.

The lead was 10 at halftime. Yes, the Jags got a first half touchdown drive finished by a James Robinson one-yard run. But Ka'imi Fairbairn stayed hot, hitting a 52-yard field goal and a 51-yard triple as time expired in the first half. The halftime buzzer-beater happened for the second week in a row and was a nice example of complementary football.

After Jacksonville failed on a 4th-and-1 at the Houston 38-yard line, Mills went three-for-four on a 21-second drive that enabled Fairbairn's kick.

The second half saw the offense slow down for a while but the defense kept the Jags out of the end zone, even after a Mills pick that set up Jacksonville in Houston territory in the fourth quarter. The ensuing three-and-out forced the third Jaguar field goal of the day and capped their point total at 16.

This was a complete effort. There were no takeaways but Lovie Smith's D made plenty of stops including three sacks. And Mills took a nice step forward by throwing for over two hundred yards and hitting Cooks on screen that the veteran took to the house for the final Houston score.

The ground game isn't fixed yet but they made enough plays to move the pile when they had to. And on a day when many bodies were out injured or on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, players stepped up all over the place to secure a coveted victory.

Three games remain, starting with a date with the Chargers on Sunday. Each game presents an opportunity to further evaluate the young talent and get an even more extensive look at what Mills can do.

For now, the Texans can enjoy another victory at Jacksonville. They close out the second decade in team history with a 12-8 edge in North Florida.

Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans Week 15 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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