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Houston Texans clinch AFC South division title

The Houston Texans (9-7) didn't need outside help to win the AFC South, destroying the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) 30-6. It's the Texans' first division championship since 2012. Houston will host the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round. Here is what you need to know:

  1. Credit the Texans' defensive line for the division championship. J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus destroyed the Jaguars' offensive line. Watt, playing without a cast for the first time in weeks, couldn't be blocked. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year whipped every blocker who attempted to slow him down. He was in Blake Bortles' grill all game, compiling three sacks, eight tackles -- three for loss -- two passes defensed, four QB hits, a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Mercilus was nearly as impressive racking up 3.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and two tackles for loss. Watt took over the NFL sacks lead with 17.5 (Khalil Mack enters his afternoon game with 15). The pass-rushing duo will be devastating for any playoff opponent.
  1. Brian Hoyer returned from his second concussion of the season and was solid for the Texans. As he has for much of the season, Hoyer consistently makes the correct reads, spreads the ball around (eight receivers with a catch) and mostly avoids disastrous drives. He smartly targeted DeAndre Hopkins heavily -- seven receptions on 12 targets for 89 yards. Hoyer's worst throw of the game was wildly behind Hopkins that was tipped and picked. It's a play he'll have to avoid against good teams in the postseason.
  1. Gus Bradley's squad didn't show up early (again) and were buried. Jacksonville looked like a team playing out the sting of another lost season. It's not a game owner Shad Khan will be thrilled with after giving the coach a vote of confidence last week. Perhaps the play that defined the Jags' game was on a late first-half possession when Bortles uncorked a heave to Allen Robinson. The stud receiver didn't make a play on the ball, which was picked off. The Texans took the turnover for a last-second field goal at the half.
  1. Bortles set a record for most passing yards in a single season in Jaguars' history, but it was one of his worst games of the season. His offensive line gave him no help, allowing eight sacks, but the quarterback struggled to feel pressure, especially from the backside. Bortles didn't maneuver crumbling pockets well -- it's surprising the coaching staff didn't try to move the pocket more. The pressure got in the quarterback's head, as he was off target almost all game. This will be the tape Bortles uses during the offseason for motivation. His two interceptions gave him 18 on the season, most in the NFL.
  1. The Texans used a plethora of running backs to grind down the Jags' defense and salt away the clock with a big lead. Alfred Blue was impressive between the tackles, running through second-level tacklers for 102 yards on 21 carries (4.9 average). Jonathan Grimes scored a touchdown on the ground and one on a reception -- he also threw one incompletion. Rookie Akeem Hunt flashes big playmaking on the edge and in the passing game. He's the Texans' best runner in space. Hunt is a big play waiting to happen on screen passes.
  1. The Texans suffered a big blow when starting left tackle Duane Brown left early. Brown was carted off after suffering a torn tendon in his right quad, per the Houston Chronicle. It's a huge loss entering the playoffs. The Texans' pass blocking struggled at times, getting Hoyer hit often early. For a quarterback who has already suffered two concussions this season, it's a concern entering the postseason.

Texans receiver Nate Washington also left early with a hip injury.

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