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Vanderblog: Texans earn first victory of the season in Jacksonville


When the Texans maneuvered their way to a 14-0 lead, I thought that maybe this could turn into one of those gut-it-out AFC South grinders in North Florida. The day ended with a 20-point takedown of the defending AFC South Champs.

The great thing is that it feels like Houston is just scratching the surface of their potential. They haven't run the ball they way they want and they haven't pressured to their liking - yet they found way to decisively vault into the win column, showing the future is bright.

C.J. Stroud threw another two TDs. He also had a 46-yard pass to Tank Dell to set up the first touchdown of the day, a one-yard plunge by Dameon Pierce.

Through three games Stroud has found Dell, Nico Collins and Robert Woods for 15 receptions each, showing a great sense of finding the open man and spreading the ball around. He's top three all-time in yards for a rookie's first three games. And he's just getting started. The 68-yard scoring pass to Tank Dell on third and three was brilliantly executed.

The Texans ran the ball for only 86-yards but the total was effective enough, with the passing game clicking to the tune of 60% on third down conversions. Stroud talked about trying to do 'what the great ones do' after the game and mentioned 3rd down conversions as a big key.

The defense was undermanned again. Jimmie Wardmade his Texans debut and was a big factor. Blake Cashman joined the line-up, on a day they had to go without Denzel Perryman, and contributed big time with a pick off Trevor Lawrence. Shaq Griffin performed well at corner, as Derek Stingley Jr. went on IR.

The third phase came up with the biggest play, or is it plays? Will Anderson Jr.'s blocked field goal set up a scoring drive. Plus, we'll talk about Andrew Beck's 'are you kidding me?' kickoff return for a long time.

No one knows where it's all going but it's clear this is an exciting new direction for the squad. They are heating up on offense and the defense took a big step forward in week three.

Pittsburgh is up next and it'll be no picnic to play them. But the Texans will be back at home on 'Watt Day' and give it all they have to keep this momentum going.

View the best photos from the Week 3 matchup between the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

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