Jaguars last-minute Hail Mary fails in loss to Texans in Week 5

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker (44) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL Sunday, October 9, 2022. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker (44) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL Sunday, October 9, 2022. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

The Jacksonville Jaguars had the chance to make a statement with a win over the Houston Texans in Week 5. Unfortunately, they couldn’t seize the opportunity and ended up losing 13-6. Worse even, they granted their division foe their first win of the season.

Just like last week, the Jaguars still had a chance to tie near the end of the fourth quarter. With three seconds left on the clock, Trevor Lawrence threw a last-minute Hail Mary that fell into the hand of cornerback Desmond King, effectively putting an end to the game.

The Texans entered the game with a 0-3-1 record and didn’t play a particularly great game. But it was good enough to beat a sloppy Jaguars team that managed to gain yards in chunks but couldn’t reach Houston’s end zone even once in the game.

The Jaguars’ offense didn’t do much of note in the first half but kind of woke up in the first possession of the third quarter. In the first eight plays, they managed to march down 68 yards. But once they got into the Texans’ red zone, Trevor Lawrence threw an interception directly into cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.’s hands, giving the rookie his first pick of the season and his NFL career. This was arguably Lawrence’s worst pass of the season, especially when you take into account that it would have weighed heavily in the outcome of the game.

Speaking of Lawrence, he was a mixed bag (leaning towards bad) against the Texans. He had several completions over 20 yards but he also made several head-scratching throws. There were times when he had an open receiver and he overthrew them. Similarly, there were a few passes that were a bit off-target but wide receiver Zay Jones should have caught them.

The Jaguars had several chances vs. the Texans but couldn’t capitalize

Early in the fourth quarter, the Jags turned the ball over on downs. They went for it on fourth down but running back James Robinson got stuffed. Fortunately, the defense stepped up and linebacker Foyesade Oluokun sacked Davis Mills for an 8-yard loss. For the nth time in the game, the Texans punted but Jacksonville’s offense wasn’t able to do much.

Rookie Travon Walker had a head-scratching mistake that kept a Texans’ drive alive. On third-and-20, he had a false start but to make matters worse, he slammed Davis Mills into the floor once the play was over, which led to a roughing-the-passer penalty that granted Houston’s offense a fresh set of downs. You could make the case that this was the Jags’ worst mistake of the game, or was it Lawrence’s first interception?

The Texans struggle to convert in third downs early in the game but were more efficient in the second half. Running back Dameon Pierce dropped a couple of passes but he also ran hard, racking up 99 yards on 26 carries and the game-winning touchdown.

The Jaguars had a chance to solidify their lead in the AFC South but instead lost. While there’s still plenty of time to recover, this is their second straight loss and they must stop the bleeding as soon as possible or run the risk of tumbling down the division.

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