Deshaun Watson made his NFL debut on Sunday, that is the only positive thing to say about their 29-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Houston Texans failed in just about every aspect of the game as they were outplayed all over the field. Unfortunately for Houston, they were unable to give their fans the uplift they needed after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
Before being benched, Tom Savage was unable to move the offense down the field. Savage was 7-13 passing for 62 yards and was sacked six times. Savage fumbled in the final minute of the first half and it was picked up by Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and returned for a touchdown. Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson came in to replace Savage and went 12-23 for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Watson was able to lead the lone touchdown drive as he completed a four yard pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Running back Lamar Miller had a sub-par day with 65 yards on 17 carries with two receptions for 31 yards. Houston needed an excellent performance from Miller to take the pressure off Savage and later Watson. Miller was unable to perform at the level needed for the Texans to come away with a victory. Jacksonville smothered the Houston rushing attack and forced the inexperienced Texans quarterbacks for throw the ball, not exactly the path to success.
Not enough can be said about the NFL debut of Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette as he gashed the Houston defense for 100 yards on 26 carries while adding 24 receiving yards on three receptions. Fournette’s performance was essential for the Jaguars offense as quarterback Blake Bortlles was unimpressive, completing 11 of 21 passes for 125 yards and one touchdown.
Houston’s highly touted pass rush was unable to get to Bortles as they were unable to sack him once. This made a huge difference in the game as the Texans defense relies on their ability to rush the passer. Houston’s defense will not succeed if they are unable sack the quarterback and it showed on Sunday.
Jacksonville’s rushing attack was too much for Houston as they amassed 155 yards rushing on 39 carries with one touchdown. Houston has to improve their rushing defense if they plan to remain competitive this season and that is not even bringing winning a game into the equation.
The absence of All-Pro left tackle Duane Brown did not help matters as the Texans allowed 10 sacks, the most of any team in week one. This does not include the games on Monday night but it is unlikely a team gets 10 sacks tonight. If Houston wants to have a chance of winning the division or wining football games, they need to back up a dump truck full of cash to Duane Brown’s house immediately. They can not allow their quarterbacks to continue getting sacked at this rate. Houston already did this once with David Carr and we all know how that worked out.
Week one was the worst-case scenario for the Texans as they could not protect their quarterback, run the ball and stop their opponent. Houston must improve next week for them to have a chance at making the postseason. Unfortunately for Houston their next game comes on Thursday against the Bengals in Cincinnati, not an adequate amount of time to get their new starting quarterback ready. This week’s game could end up as bad as this week and head coach Bill O’Brien could be on the hot seat sooner rather than later.