The Houston Texans had been surging in recent weeks. But the Jacksonville Jaguars put a stop to their division foes, beating them 24-21 in Week 12. It wasn't easy though. In fact, the outcome could've been different had kicker Matt Ammendola had nailed his last-minute, 58-yard field goal.
Early in the third quarter, the Jaguars seemed in control of the game, leading 24-14. However, the offense cooled down, and the defense couldn't stop C.J. Stroud, which allowed the Texans to come back and make it 24-21. Given how well Stroud had played throughout most of the game, it looked like Houston was going to be able to tie the game. But they ultimately couldn't seal the deal.
The Jags deserve a lot of credit for going to NRG Stadium and getting their fifth consecutive win on the road this season. Houston took things to the wire but Jacksonville prevailed in the end and remains in first place in the AFC South heading into Week 13. With that in mind, here are three observations from the bout.
3. The Jaguars consistently pressured C.J. Stroud and it made the difference
The Jags brought the heat in Week 12, but still wasn't enough to consistently slow C.J. Stroud down. Stroud's feel for the rush and superb pocket awareness helped him get out of tough situations. The former Ohio State Buckeye went 26-of-36 for 304 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
In the first half, the Jags pressured Stroud on 57 percent of his dropbacks (12 of 21). Per Michael DiRocco of ESPN, that was the highest rate the rookie passer has experienced this season. But as much as Jacksonville pressured Stroud, they had a hard trouble stopping him. He would often leave the pocket to find more time to throw.
That said, the Jaguars' efforts to bring the heat weren't in vain. They did manage to hit him several times and register four sacks. Also, Josh Allen and Travon Walker, who had a combined two sacks in the Texans' last drive, were pivotal in the win.
Had the duo of Allen and Walker not taken down C.J. Stroud in the last drive, the Texans would have had a significantly better chance of making their last-minute field goal.