JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Coming off the bye week, and starting a rookie quarterback, the Jaguars avoided becoming the first team in NFL history to give up 30 points or more in seven straight games in a 27-25 loss to the Houston Texans. It was the sixth straight loss to the AFC South rivals. Here were my top four takeaways from the game:
A mixed day for Jake Luton
Jake Luton had a day in line with what you would expect form a rookie. Some good, some bad, some ugly.
• The Good: Luton’s first NFL completion was a 73-yard touchdown to DJ Chark. It was the fourth longest first completion for an NFL rookie in history. The play followed his first pass, a batted ball, and it showed off his strong arm. Late in the game with the Jaguars trailing by eight, Luton directed a seven play, 80-yard drive and scored a touchdown on a 13-yard run. Then, needing a two-point conversion to tie the game, Luton threw behind DJ Chark. For the game, Luton completed 26 of 38 passes for 304 yards.
• The Bad: Luton had two early passes knocked down and three more that could have been intercepted but were dropped in the first half.
• The Ugly: In the third quarter, Luton made a bad decision and throw under pressure and that led to an interception by Vernon Hargreaves III. He was being pressured when he threw toward James O’Shaughnessy with three defenders in the area.
I would like to see more of the former Oregon State Beaver. There were some rookie mistakes, as you would expect in his first game action of any kind in the NFL. But his arm strength and ability to shake off mistakes looked good in his first start.
A number of Jaguars rookies made contributions
The Jaguars need to see these young players show signs that they can improve over the last two months of the season. Some of the good and some of the bad from the Jaguars draft picks:
• James Robinson continued his outstanding rookie season. Robinson ran 25 times for 99 yards and a touchdown and now holds the record for the most scrimmage yards by an undrafted rookie through the first nine weeks of the NFL season. However, when the Jaguars needed a yard, Robinson was twice stopped short of a first down in the fourth quarter.
• Chris Claybrooks was a standout on special teams. He downed a pair of Logan Cooke punts inside the 5-yard line and his 40-yard kickoff return at the end of the first half set up Josh Lambo for a team-record tying 59-yard field goal, the longest field goal of Lambo’s career.
• Laviska Shenault had one catch, then left the game with a hamstring injury. He did not return.
• Fellow wide receiver Collin Johnson dropped the only pass intended for him, it was a fastball that would have bene a tough catch, but one that NFL receivers are expected to make. He later caught a pass in the fourth quarter.
• CJ Henderson had a good first half, until a pass interference penalty late in the second quarter. The penalty led to a Texans touchdown. In the third quarter, Henderson lost track of the ball and Will Fuller burned him for a 77-yard touchdown to stretch the Texans' lead to 27-16. On the play, replay clearly showed that the play clock had expired. It should have been a delay of game penalty on Houston.
• K’Lavon Chaisson continues to struggle to make an impact. The rookie from LSU had a chance to sack DeShaun Watson in the end zone, but ran past the Texans quarterback, missing his chance for a safety.
Myles Jack made a difference in his return to the lineup
The linebacker who missed the Jaguars' game against the Chargers before the bye week with an ankle injury, led the Jaguars with 11 tackles and forced a fumble. He also had back-to-back plays in the first half when the Texans had the ball second-and-1. First, Jack tackled David Johnson for a 2-yard loss, then he hit Johnson as the pass arrived forcing an incompletion and a punt.
The Jaguars are 1-7 at the halfway mark of the season. They get to face Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Cleveland to close out November. The combined record of that trio? 18-5. If the draft were held today, the Jaguars would have the No. 2 pick of the first round.