Jacoby Jones’ early fumble may have cost Houston a playoff win

Chris Chase

Jacoby Jones' inexcusable punt-return fumble wasn't the reason the Houston Texans lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game. It happened with 11 minutes left in the first quarter, far too early for it to be the definitive difference between victory and defeat.

Don't tell that to Houston Texans fans, who will be playing games of "what if?" with Jones' ill-advised punt return for years to come. After letting a Sam Koch punt bounce on his own 20, Jones evidently thought it was a good idea to try and field the ball with a Ravens player in his face. This turned out predictably.

Baltimore recovered the ball on Houston's 2-yard line and scored a touchdown three plays later. That seven points would be the winning margin in the game.

Jones explained himself after the game.

"The way it bounced, I wasn't trying to get us pinned down there," he told reporters. "I was really trying to hurry and grab it and get down but it hit off my facemask."