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Week 2 Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars 12, Houston Texans 13

What you need to know

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) lost a heartbreaker on Sunday, falling 13-12 to the Houston Texans after a failed two-point conversion attempt on one of the game’s final plays. The offense struggled to move the ball for nearly the entirety of the game behind rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew. Minshew did string together solid drives on the final two possessions of the game, however, giving the team a chance to win.

Houston Texans

The Texans tight ends are on the field, but there are not many targets headed their way. Darren Fells and Jordan Akins are the top tight ends for the offense but are non-factors in the passing game.

Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Keke Coutee are being worked into the offense and getting significant snaps. Stills had a 31-yard reception to set up a field goal, but he also had a reception wiped out due to a penalty. Coutee was worked back into the offense but it as a slow day for Coutee also who was a non-factor in the offense.

Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Gardner Minshew, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 33 - 213 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 56 - 0
Minshew’s biggest struggles in his first career start came when the Texans were able to pressure him. Whether by sending extra blitzes or Whitney Mercilus whipping the left side of the offensive line, the Texans were in Minshew’s face early and often. The pressure forced Minshew to rush an early throw to a wide open DJ Chark, with the pass falling incomplete despite the nearest defender several yards away from Chark. Minshew also fumbled three times, losing one of them, partially due to holding onto the ball too long and partially due to poor blocking.

On the other hand, Minshew showed great poise and accuracy throughout the game. He escaped pressure to pick a first down with his legs on two pivotal third downs and one 4th and 10 at the end of the game. When throwing the ball, Minshew really didn’t throw an inaccurate pass outside of his miss to Chark and another miss to Leonard Fournette our of the backfield. His downfield accuracy was on point and he gave his wideouts a chance to get yards after the catch.

Minshew finished the game 23/33 passing for 213 yards and a touchdown pass. He needs to cleanup the fumbling issues, but he showed more food than bad in week 2.

RB Leonard Fournette, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 47 - 0, Rec: 4 - 40 - 0 (6 targets)
Fournette has a disastrous day running the ball for Jacksonville. Despite a strong effort on the two-point conversion, he was stuffed at the goal line, a strong metaphor for his day against Houston. He ended the game with 15 carries for a meager 47 yards, partially due to poor run blocking and partially because of his poor vision and open field ability.

After a week where Fournette looked quick and decisive, he continued to run into the backs of his blockers and miss open rushing lanes on Sunday. His worst play came when he was able to get past the second level on an inside zone play for 14 yards, but he was tackled easily in space by Tashaun Gipson. If Fournette can break that tackle like he’s expected to, he probably scores a touchdown.

Fournette did however once again show great promise as a receiver, finishing the game with four catches for 40 yards. His after the catch ability is a big part of the offense and is a vital aspect of his game with a rookie quarterback at the helm.

WR D.J. Chark, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 55 - 1 (9 targets)
Chark turned in his second straight strong performance after a career day against the Kansas City Chiefs in week 1. He did not make any huge downfield plays against Houston, but he did show terrific ball skills on two separate third down catches, which is a big positive since ball skills were his biggest red flag in 2018. Chark was used all over the field for Jacksonville and is beginning to have the look of a WR1. He scored the team’s only touchdown by running a smart drag route into the hole in the Texans’ zone coverage on the team’s second-to-last offensive play.

WR Chris Conley, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 73 - 0 (5 targets)
Conley only saw five targets on Sunday but he largely made the most of them. He dropped one 3rd down pass on the offensive’s final drive, but the good far outweighed the bad as he turned in a four catch, 73-yard performance.

Conley’s best play came on a 31-yard deep shot connection from Minshew, the offense’s biggest gain of the day. He beat the defensive back on the release to gain separation and then battled physical coverage to not only catch the pass but also keep both feet in bounds. He has become a consistent contributor this far.

WR Dede Westbrook, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (5 targets)
Westbrook was targeted five times but only ended the game with one catch for three yards. He was routinely open but penalties seemed to negate every big play he made — from a holding on the offensive line eliminating a 12-yard gain on a screen to a 28-yard gain being negated by a strange offensive pass interference call, yellow flags hurt Westbrook’s production more than anything.

WR Keelan Cole, 9 offensive snaps
Keelan Cole only played 9 snaps and was not targeted once, despite Marqise Lee not playing due to a knee injury.

TE James OShaughnessy, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 28 - 0 (4 targets)
Until rookie Josh Oliver is healthy, O’Shaughnessy is going to get the most reps and targets among the tight ends. He was mostly used as a checkdown target against the Texans, never once being a primary read.

Houston Texans

QB Deshaun Watson, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 29 - 159 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 5 - 1
It was a slow day for Watson through the air but mainly due to the Jaguars taking DeAndre Hopkins out of the game. Watson struggled to get the offense going, and for the most part, his pass protection held up. Watson did not get much help from others, and he had two critical drops from Will Fuller that would have been sizeable gains. Watson did throw some deeper routes to find Fuller for 28 and hit another deep ball to Kenny Stills for 31. The two longest completions to DeAndre Hopkins were on play-action passes to the middle of the field for 14 and 13 yards. Watson did have a 2-yard touchdown rush that was the only touchdown on the day for the Texans.

RB Carlos Hyde, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 90 - 0
When the Texans needed a spark, they turned to Carlos Hyde to handle the run game. 20 carries and the continues to get the bulk of the work in the running game. He had strong runs and no negative runs. Two of Hyde's longest runs of the night were 14 and 11 yards, and on both runs, he finished by running over defenders. The Texans went away from Hyde in the red zone, which is unfortunate with how well that ran the football.

RB Duke Johnson, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 31 - 0 (1 targets)
It was a slow day for Duke Johnson, and he was only targeted one time in the passing game. His best run came on a 3rd and long call where Johnson had a 19-yard run that saw him use a spin move and break a tackle. Outside of that run, Johnson was a non-factor for the offense.

WR DeAndre Hopkins, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 40 - 0 (8 targets)
Hopkins ran into his arch-nemesis in Jalen Ramsey, who has had the most success covering him over the years. Hopkins had two receptions over 10 yards for 14 and 13 yards. He did have one target over 20+ yards, but it was not close to being completed. Hipkins did most of his work underneath against Ramsey but it, like most of the Texans skill players, a slow day at the office.

WR Will Fuller, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 40 - 0 (7 targets)
With Hopkins taken out of the game, the Texans turned to Will Fuller to pick up the slack. Fuller had beautiful 28-yard reception off the arm of Watson to get the Texans out from deep in their territory. Fuller got down the right sideline, and Watson dropped a dime to him in stride. Fuller had two costly drops both that hit him in his hands that he could not haul in. Fuller had a couple of receptions for 7 yards but missed his big opportunities in the passing game with his drops.