From the press box - 2:54 p.m.The Texans' defense made just enough plays to win last week at Tennessee, and they just came up with a big one late in the fourth quarter. On the Jaguars' second play from their own 40-yard line, Dunta Robinson stripped Sims-Walker at the end of a nine-yard reception. Linebacker Diles picked it up at the 49 to give the Texans possession and new life with 4:25 left on the clock.
Del Rio challenged the ruling, but it was upheld after review. It was Robinson's eighth-career forced fumble and first since 2006. It was Diles' first-career fumble recovery.
I've got to go down to the field to prepare for postgame coverage. Be sure to watch Texans TV after the game for Kubiak's live press conference. Thanks for joining me for my in-game blog.
From the press box - 2:49 p.m.Three plays and a punt. Pass to Slaton for no gain, pass to Walter for seven yards, sack by Clint Ingram for a seven-yard loss. With 5:24 left in the game, the Jags have the ball back at their own 40.
Schaub had 200 passing yards in the first half but has only 63 in the second. Johnson hasn't caught a pass since the second quarter.
From the press box - 2:45 p.m.The Texans' defense halted the Jaguars at the Houston 39-yard line and, after an intentional delay of game penalty on the Jags, Jacksonville punted the ball back to the Texans with 7:04 remaining. The Texans trail by seven.
Jacksonville's seven-play drive took a little more than four minutes off of the game clock.
Thompson's injury was announced - left knee; his return is questionable.
From the press box - 2:37 p.m.The Texans punted after four plays to give the Jaguars the ball back at their own 27 with 11:43 in the game. Walter picked up a first down on an 11-yard catch on the first play of the drive, but Schaub was sacked on the next play and left tackle Duane Brown was flagged for a false start on third down to lead to the punt. Chaun Thompson made the tackle on the punt return but left the game with an injury.
Rermember to check out Texans TV after the game to watch live as Gary Kubiak and players address the media in a press conference from Reliant Stadium.
From the press box - 2:28 p.m.Nope. The Jaguars picked up the first down with a four-yard run by Jones-Drew. Robinson had a shot to make a difficult tackle in the backfield but couldn't get his hands on the Jags running back.
Jones-Drew scored on the very next play on an eight-yard run through the middle of the Texans' defense. Jones-Drew now has 16 carries for 104 yards and three touchdowns, and it's 31-24 Jacksonville with 14:15 left in the game.
From the press box - 2:25 p.m.When the fourth quarter starts, it'll be decision time for Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio. Jacksonville is facing a fourth-and-one at the Texans' 12-yard line. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans stuffed Jones-Drew for no gain on a third-down carry, punctuating the end of the third quarter with a rare third-down stop for the Texans' defense. Ryans teamed up with Cushing to stop running back Rashad Jennings for a one-yard gain on second down.
The Jaguars have carved up the Texans' defense on this eight-play, 60-yard drive. Can the Texans make a stop when it counts?
From the press box - 2:12 p.m.Tie game. Kris Brown nailed a 27-yard field goal with 4:02 left in the third to even the score at 24. The Texans are now seven-of-seven in the red zone this season - five touchdowns and two field goals. This was the first time in four trips to the red zone today that they didn't score a touchdown. Schaub tried to run for the first down on third-and-six, but he came up a yard shot on his scramble to the right side.
The Jaguars have scored on four of six possessions today (not counting their one-play drive at the end of the first half). Let's see if the Texans' defense can come up with a stop.
From the press box - 2:09 p.m.The third quarter is flying by. We're already down to the 4:48 mark thanks to a couple of clock-eating drives, one by both teams. The Texans have the ball at the Jacksonville 13-yard line facing a third-and-six. They called a timeout to prepare for the play.
Slaton has led the Texans' charge down the field, with three carries for 25 yards and a leaping 22-yard catch down the left sideline on the drive.
From the press box - 1:59 p.m.Not a good start to the second half for the Texans. The Jaguars marched 83 yards down the field in 10 plays for a go-ahead touchdown with 10:10 showing on the clock. Jones-Drew punched it in from one yard out to put Jacksonville on top 24-21, the sixth lead change of this game.
Garrard connected with receiver Mike Sims-Walker three times for 47 yards on the drive. Receiver Mike Thomas also had a 22-yard run on an end around that got the Jags into Texans territory.
From the press box - 1:47 p.m.Halfitme by the numbers:
21-17: The score, in favor of the Texans
256-250: Total yards, in favor of the Texans
200: Passing yards for quarterback Matt Schaub
121.0: Schaub's passer rating
2: Consecutive games for Schaub with three touchdowns in the first half
86: Receiving yards for Andre Johnson, which leads all players
60: Receiving yards for Kevin Walter in his first game of the season
3: Touchdowns scored by the Texans in three trips to the red zone
105: Rushing yards allowed by the Texans
91: Rushing yards gained by the Jaguars on two plays, including a 61-yard touchdown by Maurice Jones-Drew
3.9: Yards per carry for Steve Slaton, a season-high
70,083:Today's paid attendance
74:Consecutive sellouts at Reliant Stadium
From the press box - 1:37 p.m.
It's halftime, and the Texans lead 21-17. The **St. Thomas Episopal School Pipe Band and Drumline** is performing on the field. I have a cousin who went to St. Thomas, and I saw them perform at her graduation a few months ago. Should be a good show.
I'll be back shortly with halftime by the numbers. Gotta grab some food first to recharge my blogging energy.
From the press box - 1:33 p.m.Touchdown, Daniels, to make it 21-17 with 19 seconds left in the half. Daniels scored on a two-yard pass from Schaub on third-and-goal from the two. It's his second consecutive game with a receiving touchdown, already matching his total from last season.
The Texans converted a key fourth-and-one from the 16-yard line with 1:07 left. They spread everybody out, then motioned Walter into the backfield. Schaub pitched the ball wide left to Walter, who ran 11 yards down to the five-yard line. Schaub handed off to Brown for a four-yard gain on the next play and a one-yard loss after that.
This is Schaub's second consecutive game with three touchdown passes in the first half.
The Texans, who were so poor in the red zone last season, are now a perfect six-of-six inside the 20 this season with five touchdowns and a field goal.
Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton was injured on the series. He limped off field with help of trainers and went straight to the locker room.
From the press box - 1:20 p.m.We're at the two-minute warning. The Texans have a first-and-10 at the Jacksonville 25 with a chance to go back on top. Johnson has a 22-yard catch on the drive and Slaton a 15-yard gain on a screen pass. Jones set the Texans up with good field position on a 36-yard kickoff return.
From the press box - 1:18 p.m.The Texans are back behind by a score of 17-14 with 3:47 left in the half. Another big-play run kiled the Texans' defense - this time, a 61-yard score by Jones-Drew. On a first-down play, Jones-Drew had a gaping hole to the right between Busing and Fred Bennett, with about four yards on either side of him. Nobody was back there to stop Jones-Drew from racing to the end zone untouched. The play looked eerily similar to touchdown runs by Mike Bell, Adrian Peterson and Thomas Jones into the same end zone at Reliant Stadium this year.
Jaguars right tackle Eben Britton sprained his knee; his return is questionable.
From the press box - 1:12 p.m.Touchdown, Kevin Walter - 14-10 Texans with 5:38 to go in the half. Nine-yard catch for the score, Schaub's sixth pass of the season and 30th as a Texan.
Walter caught the ball around the two-yard line and made a full extension on the right sideline to hit the pylon with the ball and put the Texans back on top. I mentioned earlier that Walter might have a big game, and that prediction is looking good so far. He leads all players with four catches for 60 yards.
The Texans are five-of-five in the red zone this season with four touchdowns and one field goal.
From the press box - 1:05 p.m.Another stop for the Texans' defense on third down. They forced their second three-and-out of the game with 8:02 remaining in the half. On third-and-six from the Jacksonville 24, rookie defensive end Connor Barwin applied pressure off the edge, and Garrard's short pass over the middle for Jones-Drew fell incomplete. Cushing had a chance for an interception on the play, but it looked like he was too focused on getting ready to hit Jones-Drew and stop him from getting a first down.
The Texans still got good field position after a 38-yard punt by Adam Podlesh was returned 13 yards by Jones to the Jags' 49-yard line. This is the second time the Texans have started a drive in Jacksonville territory - they scored a touchdown in three plays the first time.
From the press box - 1:02 p.m.
The Texans' latest drive stalled at the Jacksonville 38-yard line and led to a punt with 9:06 left in the half. It's the third time the Texans have gotten into Jaguars and come away with nothing.
The Texans picked up 34 yards on the first play of their drive - 19 on a pass from Schaub to Walter and 15 more on a roughing the passer penalty on linebacker Daryl Smith. They gained only two yards after that, on a Chris Brown carry, and Turk's punt rolled into the end zone for a touchback.
From the press box - 12:54 p.m.Turns out the challenge just delayed a Jags touchdown by one play. Immediately after the challenge, Garrard ran in for a two-yard touchdown on a rollout to the right with 11:18 left in the first half. Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing was in the flat with a chance to make a play, but Cushing went back and forth in deciding whether to cover a receiver or go after Garrard and Garrard ran in untouched.
The Texans trail 10-7.
From the press box - 12:51 p.m.Kubiak's challenge was successful. After review, the officials ruled that Wilford did indeed step out at the two-yard line. It's still 7-3, Texans. The Jaguars now have first-and-goal at the two.
From the press box - 12:49 p.m.A go-ahead touchdown for the Jaguars is under review with 11:42 left in the second quarter. Receiver Ernest Wilford was credited with a 15-yard touchdown catch, but Kubiak has challenged that the ruling that he didn't step out of bounds, and it appears on replays that he did step out on the left sideline at the two-yard line. Busing missed on a tackle that would have had him down at about the five, but it looks like the call should be overturned.
From the press box - 12:42 p.m.At the end of one, the Texans lead 7-3. They've outgained the Jags 120-82 in total yards and had the ball for 8:14 in the first quarter. Schaub is 7-of-11 for 96 yards with a touchdown and an interception, Slaton has six carries for 24 yards and Johnson has a game-high 39 receiving yards on two catches.
The Texans are 12-8 under Kubiak when leading after the first quarter.
From the press box - 12:39 p.m.Touchdown, Jacoby Jones, and it's 7-3 Texans with 1:58 left in the first. Schaub hit Jones over the middle for 18 yards on the third play of the Texans' drive, a play that looked almost exactly like Jones' 29-yard touchdown catch at Tennessee last week. It was Jones' second career touchdown catch and second in as many games.
Two plays before Jones' touchdown, Walter moved the Texans into the red zone with a 24-yard catch, his first of the season. Schaub rolled out right to avoid pressure and hit Walter on the move to make the play.
From the press box - 12:32 p.m.It'd be an understatement to say that the Texans' defense has struggled on third down this season, but they just showed up big to force a three-and-out with 3:12 to play in the first. Defensive end Mario Williams dragged down Jones-Drew at the line of scrimmage on third-and-12 from the Jacksonville nine-yard line, and after a punt the Texans have the ball at the Jacksonville 44.
Cornerback Dunta Robinson broke up a pass intended for Torry Holt on the right sideline, closing in on Holt and deflecting the ball out of bounds. Amobi Okoye and Brian Cushing teamed up to stop Jones-Drew for a two-yard loss on first down.
An assist on the three-and-out goes to the Reliant Stadium fans, who did a great job of showing up in red today and are bringing the noise early on.
From the press box - 12:29 p.m.The Texans didn't gain any more yards in three plays after Johnson's catch, and their drive stalled at the Jacksonville 45-yard line. It's the second time in two possessions that they've gotten into Jaguars territory, but they've still got zero points on the scoreboard.
Matt Turk let off a nice punt from the 45 that was downed at the 11-yard line. There's 4:43 left in the first with the Jags up 3-0.
Considine lef thte game with a groin injury. His return is quesitonable.
From the press box - 12:24 p.m.The big play of the Jags' scoring drive was a 30-yard run by quarterback David Garrard on first down from the Jacksonville 29. Garrard faked a reverse right to a wide receiver and took off on a sweep to the left, fooling just about everybody on the Texans' defense and most of the observers in the press box, too (at least it fooled me... I'm assuming/hoping I wasn't the only one).
With their backs against the wall, the Texans' defense made a couple of plays to force a field goal. Linebacker Zac Diles layed the wood on Garrard on a blitz on the very next play just as Garrard let off a pass to Maurice Jones-Drew. Safety John Busing, in the starting lineup for the first time, wrapped up Jones-Drew on the spot for a five-yard gain. On third down, defensive end Tim Bulman made an outstanding diving deflection on a swing pass intended for Jones-Drew, and that brought on the field goal unit.
The Texans are driving the ball back down the field. Slaton picked up a 14-yard run on the second play of the series, and Schaub hit Johnson over the middle for a 17-yard pass on the next play. Jags starting strong safety Sean Considine was injured on the play and walked off the field.
From the press box - 12:16 p.m.It's 3-0 Jaguars with 7:35 left in the first. After the turnover, Jacksonville moved 59 yards in eight plays for a 52-yard field goal by Josh Scobee that looked like it would've been good from 60. I'll be back momentarily with some of the key plays on the drive.
From the press box - 12:11 p.m.10:52 left in the first quarter. The Texans' first drive just ended with an interception by Rashean Mathis at the Jacksonville eight-yard line. Matt Schaub aired it out for Andre Johnson down the left sideline, but it was behind him and Mathis made a leaping pick that Johnson couldn't pry from his grasp.
Johnson had a 22-yard catch on the drive, and Owen Daniels had an 11-yard catch for a first down. The Texans had a second down at the Jacksonville 37 when Schaub threw the pick.
Great enthusiasm from the crowd right now. They filled the stadium with chants of "Mario! Mario!" before the Jags' drive started and are revving up the noise big-time.
From the press box - 12:01 p.m.Jacksonville wins the toss with a call of heads. It's the third consecutive week that the Texans have won the coin toss. The good news- the Texans' offense will have the first crack at the ball. The Jags deferred to the second half, and Houston chose to receive. Jacoby Jones is back deep waiting on the ball.
I'll check back in shortly.
From the press box - 11:58 a.m.A rousing rendition of the national anthem by Ryan McKinny of the Houston Grand Opera. We're minutes away from kickoff, which is scheduled for 12:02 p.m.
The cheerleaders are leading the crowd in alternating chants of "Houston" and "Texans" as the coin toss approaches.
From the press box - 11:54 a.m.Intros are underway. The Texans are introducing their starting offense. The Jaguars already were introduced as a team.
In case you missed the **inactives**, cornerback Jacques Reeves (fibula) and wide receiver Andre Davis (concussion) will not play today. Kevin Walter (hamstring) will be active and in the starting lineup for his first appearance of the 2009 season. He had never missed a game due to injury in his career before this season and has been chomping at the bit to get on the field, so don't be surprised if he shows up big today.
From the press box - 11:40 a.m.The Texans are 8-6 against the Jaguars, the only division opponent whom they have a winning record against. They're currently riding a three-game winning streak Jacksonville at Reliant Stadium, including a 30-17 victory on Monday Night Football last December. Steve Slaton ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns and had 52 receiving yards in the game, while defensive end Mario Williams sacked Jags quarterback David Garrard three times and forced a fumble.
This will be Matt Schaub's first home start against the Jaguars. Schaub has never played a game in the Battle Red uniforms, either. He missed the 2007 and 2008 Jags games with injuries, but he went 29-of-40 for 307 yards and three touchdowns at Jacksonville last season in Week 4.
Wide receiver Andre Johnson has caught 65 passes for 787 yards and four touchdowns in 11 career games against the Jags. He had seven catches for 75 yards and a touchdown on MNF last season.
In case you missed it, here are **five things to watch for** in today's game.
From the press box - 11:25 a.m.The Texans are decked out in Battle Red today - red jerseys, red pants, red cleats. Texans fans clad in red shirts and jerseys are slowly but surely filing into the stadium with kickoff 35 minutes away.
In Battle Red uniforms, the Texans are:
4-1 against the Jaguars
4-0 under Gary Kubiak
2-0 in all red (pants and jerseys)
From the press box - 11:17 a.m.
I'm all set up at my spot in the Reliant Stadium press box for the Texans' Battle Red Day game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Before we get to the game, let's start with the important stuff: Food.
Today's press box pregame menu, along with a rudimentary photo of the main dish taken from my iPhone:
Carved honey ham
Sliced turkey breast with gravy
Glazed baby carrots
Tossed green salad
Fresh fruit salad
Bread pudding with creme anglaise