Final

Texans 0

(5-8, 2-5 away)

Jaguars 27

(4-9, 4-3 home)

1:00 PM ET, December 7, 2003

 

1 2 3 4 T
HOU 0 0 0 00
JAX 7 10 0 1027

Rookie QB Ragone struggles in debut

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Playing with a rookie quarterback and running back, the Houston Texans failed to put together drives and were shut out 27-0 by Jacksonville on Sunday.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Texans: What offensive options does a team have when it's without its top two QBs and top RB?
The Texans have to start focusing on special teams and its defense. The play of the special teams is vital to the success of the offense because it gives the team a chance to play with a short field. Also the defense has to start playing tough and asserting its influence on games. Both units need to score points to make up for Houston's lack of offense.

Question on the Jags: All things considered, what's been your assessment of Del Rio this season?
Early in the season the Jaguars struggled mightily, but the past few weeks they have played very competitively. They're getting good runs from RB Fred Taylor and consistent play from QB Byron Leftwich. Also WR Jimmy Smith has done a great job giving Leftwich a great target as he learns the game. All in all, Del Rio has done a good job and has followed the lead of most of the new coaching hires with success in their initial seasons.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

"David Ragone gave us everything he had," Texans coach Dom Capers said of the rookie who filled in for injured Texans quarterbacks David Carr and Tony Banks.

"We weren't able to get any drives going, but I am not going to put it on Dave Ragone," Capers said. "There are 11 guys out there and it was a combination of the Jaguars defense and our lack of execution in a lot of areas."

"We wanted to be aggressive early and shut it down and make life miserable for him," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said of Ragone, who had his first NFL start Sunday. "Nothing is easy in this league."

Tony Brackens had two sacks to help Jacksonville stifle Houston's undermanned offense. The Jaguars (4-9) handed the second-year Texans (5-8) their first shutout and pulled within one game of Houston in the "race" for third place in the AFC South.

Brackens got his fifth and sixth sacks of the season. Fred Taylor broke a late 62-yard run to finish with a season-high 163. Jimmy Smith caught a 32-yard touchdown and Byron Leftwich threw for 194 yards to lift Jacksonville to its second straight victory.

The Texans, meanwhile, lost a good chance to put together the first winning streak in the franchise's short history. It has taken the Texans longer than any other NFL expansion team to put together back-to-back wins. Thus far, the team's wins are typically followed by big losses.

Coming off a win over Atlanta last week, Houston's hopes were dashed when starting quarterback David Carr (shoulder) and running back Domanick Davis (thigh) were scratched.

"I would like to sit here and say that David Carr and Domanick Davis would have saved the day for us," Texans tight end Billy Miller said. "But it would be tough rolling off my tongue. Those two guys would have helped us, but don't get me wrong, they kicked our butts."

Tony Hollings ran for 19 yards on 18 carries in Davis' place. Ragone had a terrible first outing, going 11-for-23 for 71 yards and an interception.

He failed to lead the Texans to a score, but did get one thing some quarterbacks wait years for -- his first career reception. He caught his own pass, which had been deflected by Marcus Stroud at the line.

An on-the-ball scoreboard operator reacted by quickly flashing Ragone's receiving stats on the big board. It was a welcome moment of comic relief on a flat-feeling day at Alltel Stadium, where the Jaguars had their worst home attendance in the team's nine-year history.

Despite the lack of fan support, the Jaguars are shooting up the NFL rankings. They came into the game ranked sixth in overall defense, second in rushing, and both numbers are sure to improve after the Jaguars allowed only 124 yards, 70 rushing.

The 124 yards were the second-fewest allowed in franchise history. The record (53 yards) came in a 48-0 win over Cleveland on Dec. 3, 2000. That was the game that essentially sealed the firing of Chris Palmer, then coach of the Browns. Palmer also had a hand in this one as offensive coordinator of the Texans.

Smith caught a long touchdown pass for the second straight week to put the Jaguars ahead 7-0.

Taylor surpassed 100 yards for the fourth time in five games. His 62-yard run in the fourth quarter set up LaBrandon Toefield's first touchdown run for the 24-0 lead.

Leftwich completed 18 of 29 passes, a decent outing, but nothing spectacular.

It was better than Ragone, though, who had more yards rushing than passing (42-41) after the third quarter. In fact, with 51 yards rushing, Ragone outgained Hollings, who didn't break anything longer than 5 yards on his 19 attempts.

"Maybe next time, I'll respond a little differently," Ragone said. "It's kind of like growing pains."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Houston
Jacksonville
1st Downs723
Passing 1st downs
48
Rushing 1st downs
211
1st downs from penalties
14
3rd down efficiency
1-127-17
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays00
Total Yards141402
Yards per play--
Total Drives--
Passing71194
Comp-Att
11-2318-29
Yards per pass
3.16.7
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-171-12
Rushing70208
Rushing Attempts
2340
Yards per rush
3.05.2
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-00-0
Penalties10-867-70
Turnovers30
Fumbles lost
20
Interceptions thrown
10
Possession24:1435:46

Passing Leaders

HOUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTRAT.
Ragone11/23713.10136.7
JAXC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTRAT.
Leftwich18/291946.71093.2

Rushing Leaders

HOUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ragone55110.2014
Hollings18191.105
JAXCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor241636.8162
Toefield10545.4117

Receiving Leaders

HOURECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Miller4297.30100
Armstrong2136.5090
JAXRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Smith35819.31320
Hankton44912.30220

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERHOUJAX
jaxTD5:30Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 63 yds, 2:18
06
jax5:30
Drive info: 6 plays, 63 yds, 2:18
07
SECOND QUARTERHOUJAX
jaxFG3:29Seth Marler 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 36 yds, 5:05
010
jaxTD0:20Fred Taylor, 2 yd run
Drive info: 9 plays, 84 yds, 1:40
016
jax0:20
Drive info: 9 plays, 84 yds, 1:40
017
FOURTH QUARTERHOUJAX
jaxTD12:26LaBrandon Toefield, 1 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 80 yds, 0:37
023
jax10:21
Drive info: 5 plays, 80 yds, 0:37
024
jaxFG2:00Seth Marler 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 62 yds, 7:20
027