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Texans use Foster, Tate to run past Jaguars

The SportsXchange

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars game-planned to take Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson out of the equation.

But that left a lot of other opportunities and running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate made the most of them.

The Texans built a 17-0 halftime lead, with Foster and Tate each scoring a touchdown, and went on to beat the Jaguars 27-7 Sunday in front of 62,907 at EverBank Field.

Houston (2-0) is the only unbeaten team in the AFC South after just two weeks.

Foster rushed for 110 yards on a workload of 28 carries, just four days after he missed practice with the flu. He passed Dominic Williams as the all-time leading rusher in Texans history with 3,176 yards.

Tate came off the bench to gain 74 yards on 12 carries, and added another short TD run in the third period that capped a 17-play, 80-yard drive to answer Jacksonville's only touchdown.

Quarterback Matt Schaub (26-of-35 passing for 195 yards) -- operating more from the no-huddle and with Johnson limited to three catches for 21 yards -- found six other receivers, led by Foster and tight end Owen Daniels with six catches each.

"(Becoming the Texans top rusher) is not why you play the game," Foster said. "It's a good individual accolade but it's a tribute to a lot of hard work by a lot of people, the offensive line, wide receivers, coaches ... it's a cumulative effort."

Foster said the idea against the Jaguars' bend-but-not-break defense was to use the no-huddle but emphasize the run and take what Schaub could get from short passes. The result was a nearly 27-minute time of possession edge over the Jags.

"We wanted to come in here and establish the run, establish control of the line of scrimmage," he said. It's always good to have a game plan and stick to it."

Texans coach Gary Kubiak said biding time was the best way to approach the game, but it still was better than last week when the Texans scored only three points in the first quarter against an under-manned Dolphins defense.

"They're (the Jaguars) a Tampa-Two football team that says you're not going to make a lot of big plays and do you have the patience to hold the ball and move it," he said. "We knew that going in. Possession time is what we came to do, hang on to the ball and execute."

Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said mental mistakes, penalties and missed assignments led to a nightmarish situation.

"It was absolutely unbelievable some of the things we did," Mularkey said. "I will make sure that's cleaned up."

The Houston defense dominated the Jaguars (0-2) and its battered offensive line, allowing only one possession across midfield in the first half and holding Jacksonville to only nine first downs, 117 total yards. Defensive end J.J. Watt had four solo sacks, 1.5 sacks, recovered a fumble and deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage.

After showing flashes of improvement over a horrific rookie season last week in a 26-23 overtime loss to the Vikings, Jags quarterback Blaine Gabbert reverted to form and completed 7 of 19 passes for only 53 yards and a passer rating of 62.8 before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter because of a hamstring injury.

"No execution today, whatsoever," Jags guard Uche Nwaneri said. "I'm sitting here kind of (wondering) why we were not able to execute some of the things we did well during the week (in practice)."

First-round draft pick Justin Blackmon was held without a catch. Maurice-Jones Drew, the NFL rushing leader last season who held out for 38 days in the preseason, managed only 12 carries for 60 yards.

"They were banged up and it was a tough situation," Watt said. "We can only play against the guys they play."

Notes: Schaub continued his winning ways on the road for the Texans in his first road game since last November against Tampa Bay. Since 2009, Schaub is second among active NFL quarterbacks in average yards per game in road games (302), third in passer rating (102.2) and fourth in completion percentage (66.7). He has thrown 39 TD passes and only 14 interceptions in road games. ... The Jaguars battered offensive line included one starter, Herb Taylor, who was only signed by the team six days before the game. Taylor filled in for Eben Britton at left guard. ... The Jags also were without cornerback Derek Cox and linebacker Daryl Smith. ... The Texans won their fourth game in a row over Jacksonville and are 12-9 overall against the Jags. ... Jones-Drew's 5-yard TD pass from Gabbert in the third quarter resulted in two milestones. Jones-Drew became the fourth active NFL player to score 75 touchdowns or more (Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzales and Randy Moss are the others) and the conversion gave kicker Josh Scobee the franchise record for scoring with 765 points, passing Mike Hollis. ... The Jaguars recognized Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richardson-Ross during the game, after she signed autographs for fans under the stadium for 45 minutes. Richardson-Ross is the wife of Jaguars cornerback Aaron Ross. She won the 400 meters and was on the gold medal-winning 4x400 meter relay team.

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