Final

Jaguars 17

(4-8, 3-3 away)

Texans 30

(5-7, 4-2 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

8:30 PM ET, December 1, 2008

NRG Stadium, Houston, TX 

1 2 3 4 T
JAX 0 0 3 1417
HOU 10 0 6 1430

Top Performers

Passing: D. Garrard (JAX) - 287 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: S. Slaton (HOU) - 21 CAR, 130 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: M. Jones (JAX) - 8 REC, 104 YDS

Williams, Slaton put on a show as Texans sack the slumping Jaguars

Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Steve Slaton wanted the ball more.

So the rookie marched up to Houston coach Gary Kubiak at halftime, grabbed him by the shirt and told him so.

Kubiak listened and Slaton responded with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Texans to a 30-17 win over slumping Jacksonville in their Monday Night Football debut.

Fast Facts

• Mario Williams has 11 sacks this season while the rest of the Texans team has combined for nine sacks.

• Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has thrown 11 interceptions in 12 games.

• The Texans appeared on "Monday Night Football" for the first time in the franchise's seven-year history.

• Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor needs 18 yards to tie O.J. Simpson for 17th place on the NFL's all-time rushing yardage list.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

"I wanted to run the ball," Slaton said. "I wanted to let him know that if he needed someone to count on, it was me."

Mario Williams had a season-high three sacks and forced a fumble, Andre Johnson added a TD reception and Kris Brown kicked three field goals in the win, a highlight in Houston's disappointing season so far.

The top pick in the 2006 draft, Williams brought down quarterback David Garrard in the second, third and fourth quarters. He forced a fumble by Garrard on his last sack and Houston recovered on the 7.

"Our defense was excellent throughout the game," Kubiak said. "Our defense played extremely well, gave us tremendous opportunities."

Williams' sack set up Slaton's 7-yard score that made it 23-3 with 4:35 to go. Slaton tacked on a 40-yard TD run and finished with 130 yards rushing on 21 carries. He also had two catches for 52 yards in front of a franchise-record crowd of 70,809.

"Nothing's too big for him," Kubiak said. "To watch him get stronger at the end of the game is impressive."

AFC South

ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky analyzes the Texans victory over the Jaguars in his AFC South blog.

• Blog network: NFL Nation

Slaton, Williams and the rest of the Texans were clad in their "Battle Red" uniforms for their first Monday night game. The city of Houston hosted a Monday nighter for the first time since Nov. 21, 1994, when the New York Giants beat the Oilers 13-10 at the Astrodome.

Sage Rosenfels, making his fourth consecutive start in place of injured Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, threw for 200 yards and a score with an interception.

Williams, who has 11 sacks this season, thrived once again in the prime-time spotlight. In his only other night game, a Thursday night matchup against Denver last season, he finished with 3 sacks.

"The scene was set," Williams said. "There was a lot of intensity. People were saying that we weren't ready for the big stage, analysts or whatever. Come on, now. Anything can happen. As long as we go out there and play ball like we're supposed to, we'll be all right."

Houston (5-7) isn't where it hoped to be after finishing 8-8 last year, but is feeling good after two straight wins.

Jacksonville (4-8), a playoff team last season, has lost five of six after another lackluster performance.

"This is unimaginable," Fred Taylor said. "We never thought before this season we'd be at this point."

Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Houston Texans' 30-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars had three turnovers and missed a field goal. Garrard fell to the grass twice without being touched by the defense.

"I just kept getting stepped on," Garrard said. "I know my center is doing all he can to protect me, but when you get stepped on on that push-off foot, there's not much you can do. It makes you look clumsy, like your foot is cemented to the ground."

Down by 13 and facing fourth-and-2, Garrard found Matt Jones on a 27-yard pass that got Jacksonville down to the 6 early in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars managed just 1 yard in the next three plays and went for it again on fourth down.

This time Garrard's feet got tangled with a teammate and he crashed to the ground. He got up and flipped the ball toward the end zone as he was hit, but the pass was broken up by Fred Bennett. Coach Jack Del Rio could only shake his head as he watched the play unfold.

"We are working hard and we're trying hard, but that's just not good enough," Del Rio said. "Our execution is not crisp."

Garrard was 25-of-35 for 287 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Jaguars' only TDs came in the last 3 minutes with the game out of reach. Taylor went in from the 4 to cut it to 23-10 and Reggie Williams scored on an 18-yard reception with 39 seconds left.

Slaton had a nifty 46-yard catch and run in the third quarter that got Houston down to the 1. Slaton failed to score on three straight runs and Houston settled for a 20-yard field goal by Brown that made it 16-3.

Williams got his ninth sack of the season and first in almost a month when he took down Garrard on third-and-5 to force a punt late in the second. The second one came in the third when the QB tripped on one of his linemen and got back up to try to get a pass off. Williams yanked him down before he could get rid of the ball.

Johnson's 31-yard catch capped a quick opening drive and gave the Texans a 7-0 lead early in the first. The reception gave Johnson a franchise-record 29 career touchdowns.

Jacksonville's only chance to score in the first half came early in the second quarter when Josh Scobee's 43-yard attempt sailed wide right. Scobee kicked a 29-yarder in the third.

Game notes


Jaguars CB Rashean Mathis has a sprained right knee and Del Rio said he'd be evaluated on Tuesday. ... Williams' forced fumble was his fourth of the season and seventh for his career. ... Slaton has eight touchdowns this season, tying a rookie team record.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
JAX
HOU
1st Downs2118
Passing 1st downs
158
Rushing 1st downs
68
1st downs from penalties
02
3rd down efficiency
4-111-8
4th down efficiency
1-20-1
Total Plays6451
Total Yards388326
Yards per play6.16.4
Total Drives1212
Passing262200
Comp-Att
25-3514-25
Yards per pass
6.98.0
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-250-0
Rushing126126
Rushing Attempts
2626
Yards per rush
4.84.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-40-3
Penalties8-605-30
Turnovers31
Fumbles lost
20
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession33:0326:57

Passing Leaders

JAXC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Garrard25/352878.2113-25
HOUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rosenfels14/242008.3110-0
Turk0/100.0000-0

Rushing Leaders

JAXCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor9677.4124
Jones-Drew12494.1014
HOUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Slaton211306.2240
Rosenfels221.003

Receiving Leaders

JAXRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones810413.0027
Williams55511.0120
HOURECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson77510.7131
Slaton25226.0046

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERJAXHOU
houTD12:04Andre Johnson 31 Yard Pass From Sage Rosenfels (Kris Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 69 yds, 3:05
07
houFG6:33Kris Brown 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 28 yds, 3:03
010
THIRD QUARTERJAXHOU
houFG10:18Kris Brown 50 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 1:54
013
jaxFG3:33Josh Scobee 29 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 69 yds, 6:43
313
houFG0:49Kris Brown 20 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 40 yds, 2:43
316
FOURTH QUARTERJAXHOU
houTD4:39Steve Slaton 7 Yard Run (Kris Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 7 yds, 0:00
323
jaxTD2:14Fred Taylor 4 Yard Run (Josh Scobee Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 73 yds, 2:24
1023
houTD2:11Steve Slaton 40 Yard Run (Kris Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 40 yds, 0:07
1030
jaxTD0:45Reggie Williams 18 Yard Pass From David Garrard (Josh Scobee Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 63 yds, 1:25
1730