Final

Jaguars 6

(5-3, 3-2 away)

Texans 20

(4-3, 2-2 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 31, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 T
JAX 0 3 0 36
HOU 7 3 0 1020

TD return of Leftwich interception seals win

HOUSTON (AP) -- With less than a minute to go and the end zone in sight, Byron Leftwich once again had the game in his huge, capable hands.

Surprisingly, he let it all slip away.

Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Jaguars at Texans: Is Carr on the verge of becoming one of the league's top QBs?

I'm not going to put him in that category quite yet because he still needs to blossom a little more. But I have no doubt that in four or five years the battles between Carr and Leftwich will be quite exciting. Both young guys show a lot of poise under pressure in the final moments of games when even older guys start to fade. They also have a gunslinger's mentality and a lack of fear when it comes to throwing the big pass. Those qualities are going to serve them and their fans well in the future.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

DeMarcus Faggins returned Leftwich's errant pass 43 yards for a touchdown with 42 seconds left, sending the Houston Texans to a 20-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

"I just knew with all my heart we would find a way to put this thing into overtime," Leftwich said. "This is the first time that we've ended up on this end of it."

David Carr upstaged Leftwich in a showdown of emerging young quarterbacks, going 26-of-34 for 276 yards and a touchdown to lead the Texans (4-3) to their fourth win in the last five games.

Houston's only loss during that time came in overtime against Minnesota, and the Texans finally moved above .500 for the first time in franchise history this late in a season.

In the latest edition of this developing AFC South rivalry, the Texans moved the ball with ease on offense, held Jacksonville (5-3) to 39 yards rushing and avoided the costly emotional outbursts that doomed the Jaguars.

"They definitely came in with some cockiness," Texans linebacker Jamie Sharper said. "And we handed it back to them."

A week after leading the Jaguars to the winning field goal at Indianapolis, Leftwich had another chance for some late-game heroics in the stadium where he made his rookie debut last year. Instead, Faggins stepped in front of receiver Ernest Wilford for the interception and never broke stride on his way down the sideline into the end zone.

"I wanted to throw to someone else and my legs weren't adjusted and it just got away from me," Leftwich said.

Leftwich finished 25-of-40 for 227 yards with two interceptions but got almost no help from the ground game after Fred Taylor left the game in the third quarter with a hip pointer. He should be available to play next week.

The Jaguars compounded their problems by committing a handful of stupid penalties, two that directly led to 10 points, and looking totally flat after their big win over the Colts.

"You can't lose your head there," Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said. "For us to take the next step ... that is something we need to be better at."

Meanwhile, the Texans showed uncommon poise down the stretch for a team that's usually been out of the playoff race by autumn.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Texans coach Dom Capers made a bold decision to run a fake field goal on fourth-and-2 from the Jacksonville 17. Holder Chad Stanley made the gamble pay off with a nifty bit of running.

Stanley took the snap, ran to the left and stopped a defender in his tracks with a pitch fake before finishing a 5-yard run. Jacksonville's John Henderson shoved Stanley to the ground well after the play, drawing a personal foul penalty.

Three plays later, Kris Brown kicked a 21-yard field goal to give Houston a 10-point lead.

"It was a risky play, but we executed it right," Stanley said. "I know I looked pretty slow coming out of there."

An earlier Jacksonville blunder allowed the Texans a chance to score just before halftime.

Brown missed a 53-yard field-goal attempt as time expired, but Jaguars defensive lineman Marcus Stroud drew a flag for trying to climb over the pile to block the kick.

The 15-yard penalty gave Houston another chance, and Brown nailed the 38-yarder to give the Texans a 10-3 lead at the break.

The Texans made a few silly mistakes of their own, including one on Jabar Gaffney's 15-yard run off a reverse late in the first quarter. Gaffney lost the ball during a premature celebration just before crossing the goal line, and Jacksonville challenged the score.

The touchdown was overturned after a quick replay review and the Jaguars quickly seized upon Gaffney's gaffe, going 54 yards in 12 plays for a 44-yard field goal by Josh Scobee.

"I was trying to get a hold of it to spike it," Gaffney said. "I guess it's a lesson learned. I don't want to see what would have happened if it came out the other way."

Game notes


Faggins recorded his second career interception and first for a score. ... The Texans held an opponent without a touchdown for only the second time in team history. The last came in a 24-6 win over Pittsburgh on Dec. 8, 2002. ... This was the first game this season in which Leftwich didn't throw a touchdown.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FOURTH QUARTERJAXHOU
houTD0:52Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 33 yds, 0:00
619
hou0:52
Drive info: 1 plays, 33 yds, 0:00
620
SECOND QUARTERJAXHOU
houFG0:01Kris Brown 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 3 plays, 50 yds, 0:15
310
FIRST QUARTERJAXHOU
houTD3:30Touchdown
Drive info: 8 plays, 40 yds, 4:50
06
hou3:20
Drive info: 8 plays, 40 yds, 4:50
07
FOURTH QUARTERJAXHOU
houFG6:48Kris Brown 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 54 yds, 5:27
313
jaxFG3:55Josh Scobee 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 65 yds, 2:45
613
SECOND QUARTERJAXHOU
jaxFG6:40Josh Scobee 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 54 yds, 5:37
37