By CJ Carlson
Jaguars Recap: Week 12
It wasn’t a pretty game of football, but the Jacksonville Jaguars found a way to take down their divisional rivals to stay on top of their division. The now 8-3 squad had to claw their way to a 24-21 victory against the Houston Texans, who now fall down to 6-5. Houston falls into a two-way tie with the Indianapolis Colts for second place, while the Jaguars get a solid two game lead.
For the Jaguars offense, it was mostly Trevor Lawrence who got the ball moving. He completed 23 out of his 38 total pass attempts for 364 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also added a one-yard rushing touchdown at the goal line to make it two total for him. His great day passing the football benefitted Evan Engram, Calvin Ridley, and Christian Kirk. Engram hauled in five receptions for 49 yards, Ridley had five for 89 yards and a touchdown, and Kirk had four for 89.
What was slightly concerning for me was that the run game was almost non-existent for yet another week. Travis Etienne has been unbelievable this season, but there’s been times where the run game just can’t get their legs underneath them. Etienne had 20 rush attempts for just 56 yards without a touchdown.
Mind you, 20 of those 56 yards came on just one run. If you take that away, Etienne had 19 rushes for 36 yards, under two yards per carry. Even with that added run, he had just 2.8 yards per rush. That’s not going to be sustainable long-term if they want to make a deep playoff push, they’ll need to spark that ground attack moving forward.
All in all, it was a very good showing for a team that needed this win to stay ahead of the competition in the division. They didn’t force a turnover, but they did sack CJ Stroud twice and keep him under pressure enough to pull out a win in the closing seconds. Again, it wasn’t pretty, because Houston barely missed a game-winning 58-yard field goal attempt which would have sent it into overtime. Either way, Jacksonville splits the season series with Houston and gets the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13.