After the game, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence said he'd never had a three-interception passing performance in his life.
"It's frustrating and I hate losing," Lawrence said. "I hate losing. So we're going to get better. But that's all you can do is watch the tape, learn from it, get better, and move on."
The Houston Texans defense picked off the rookie and No. 1 overall draft pick three times during their 37-21 victory against Jacksonville.
"Whenever you've got a young quarterback, first game in the NFL, you want to make it as hard as possible for him," LB Christian Kirksey said. "He did some things good and obviously there's some things he has to work on but you know the kid came out and he did it the best that he could. But as a veteran defense and guys that have been in the league, it's our job to create turnovers and takeaways like we did today."
In his NFL debut, Lawrence completed 28-of-51 passes for 332 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions and a 70.1 passer rating. The Texans defense added four quarterback hits, six passes defensed and 1.0 sack in their Week 1 performance.
Lovie Smith's defense had placed an added emphasis on getting takeaways this offseason. After a 2020 season where they forced just nine turnovers for the year, the Texans bounced back with a third of that total in Week 1.
"It was awesome," WR Brandin Cooks said. "Especially Lovie talked about it, he preaches it all throughout the week, they practice it, and for it to come to life in a real game was awesome, absolutely."
In fact, two of the picks came on back-to-back drives of the second quarter.
DBs Justin Reid and Vernon Hargreaves each intercepted Lawrence in the second quarter of Sunday's game at NRG Stadium.
With 4:54 left in the second quarter, Justin Reid picked off Trevor Lawrence's pass, intended for wide receiver Devin Smith. Reid added a 21-yard return to give the Texans possession at their 48-yard line.
On the next drive, Vernon Hargreaves III intercepted Lawrence and ran 18 yards before he was pushed out of bounds at the Jaguars seven-yard line. Texans kicker Joey Slye capped off the drive with a 26-yard field goal. The Texans took a 20-7 lead with 0:59 left in the first half.
Reid, now in his fourth season with the Texans, now has six interceptions in his NFL career while Hargreaves now has four picks.
Later in fourth quarter, Kirksey added a third interception when he picked off Lawrence's pass intended for Laviska Shenault. Kirksey finished with six tackles (five solo), two tackles for loss and two passes defensed in addition to the interception.
The Texans will head to Cleveland to face the Browns in Week 2. Sunday's kickoff is set for noon on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
Join us at home for Thursday Night Football at NRG Stadium on September 23 at 7:20 p.m. as the Texans take on the Panthers. Click here for tickets.