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Texans' Jones apologizes, moves forward after muffed punt

Sunday's divisional playoff loss to the Ravens turned a game of what-ifs for the Texans, who had a scattering of errors and lost opportunities, highlighted by Jacoby Jones' botched punt return that flipped the tables early.

After the Ravens fired blanks on their opening drive, Jones baffled onlookers by attempting to field a bouncing punt at his 13-yard line. Baltimore's Cary Williams launched into Jones, who lost the ball before it was recovered by Ravens rookie Jimmy Smith at the Texans' 2.

It was a gaff that kicked open the door for Baltimore's first touchdown just three plays later.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak took a moment Monday to encourage Jones, who made it a point to apologize to his teammates.

"It's something I've got to live and learn with," Jones told The Associated Press. "It's a decision that I made. I've got to grow up and learn from it. It's a mistake I made with being a football player. Some people don't understand."

What should be understood is that Jones' mistake alone didnt bury the Texans, who lost 20-13. They had 56-plus minutes to make up for the miscue -- and came close -- but the series of poor decisions that followed kept this spirited team from pulling the upset.

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