Texans knock off Jaguars to stay alive in playoff race

The Houston Texans (7-6) remain alive in the AFC playoff race after knocking off the hapless Jaguars (2-11) 27-13 in Jacksonville. Our takeaways:

  1. TexansPro Bowl wideout Andre Johnson left the game early with a concussion after taking a crushing helmet-to-helmet hit from Jaguars rookie Telvin Smith. Without his top weapon, Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was held to just 27 passing yards over the first two quarters. This is not a dynamic offense with The Amish Rifle at the controls, but he led the team to three straight second-half scoring drives and played mistake-free ball down the stretch.
  1. Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles played a strong first half against J.J. Watt and friends, but killed the team with a third-quarter interception that set up a Texans touchdown and a 24-13 lead that Houston wouldn't lose. Jacksonville's young skill-position players show flashes of promise, but there's no anchoring force to this attack. It doesn't help that Bortles is playing behind a Swiss-cheese line that allowed four sacks and nine hits on the passer.
  1. With Johnson out of the lineup, Fitzpatrick again looked to DeAndre Hopkins, who followed up last week's 238-yard explosion with just 49 yards off four catches. The offense centered entirely around Arian Foster, who had 88 yards before the half and carried the team with 127 yards and a touchdown at 5.3 yards per attempt.
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