Texans 26, Jags 3

Texans vs Jags: Good, bad and ugly, London Edition

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In an early morning London Edition of AFC South action, the Texans throttled the Jags 26-3. It was a close game until the Texans pulled away in the second half. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Fresh off being named AFC Offensive Player of the Month in October, Deshaun Watson continues to show why he's so special. 22/28 for 201 yards and two touchdowns, plus another 37 yards rushing. His best work came in the form of turning into an escape artist and making plays. He's special and I hope he can stay healthy. That, and Bill O'Brien needs to continue to call plays the way he has lately.

-Carlos Hyde was an afterthought. Kenny Stills was a throw-in. Now, both guys are staples in this offense. Hyde had 160 yards rushing and narrowly missed a touchdown. Stills has proven to be more than just a deep threat as he routinely makes tough catches to keep the chains moving. Who would've thought either of these guys would contribute so much when they were traded for just prior to the season starting?

-The defense stepped up big time. While there were some areas that need improvement, I was thoroughly pleased with their performance. They iced the game with three straight turnovers in the 4th quarter (two interceptions and a fumble). They also managed to hold Leonard Fournette to only 72 yards on 16 touches. Doing that to one of the league leaders in yards from scrimmage was perhaps most impressive.

The Bad

-Three offensive penalties on the opening drive for a total of 30 yards are one of the reasons why this team constantly puts itself behind the eight ball to open games. I'm not alone in thinking shooting yourself in the foot and trying to walk it off is a bad idea, am I?

-It took the defense until the last play of the third quarter to finally get a sack. They had no pressures or hits until then either. To say the pass rush was non-existent would be a bit much, but not off base. Gardner Minshew is no Watson, but he is slippery. Missing J.J. Watt hurts, but that's no excuse. They ultimately ended up with two sacks and should've had at least four or more.

-As I mentioned earlier, Hyde narrowly missed a touchdown. Why? Because he didn't change the ball to his outside arm and it was poked out right before he crossed the goal line. All ball carriers are taught to switch the ball to your outside arm when carrying the ball on the sideline. To add insult to injury, he never got his chance to score when the Texans immediately got the ball back. Let's hope he corrects this small issue in the near future.

The Ugly

-It's time for Jonathan Joseph to retire. Sure he got a nice pass break up in the 4th quarter, but he got big faced by Leonard Fournette in the 1st quarter and had to leave the game. Later, he delivered a big hit on Kelan Cole and came out for a few plays. He's no longer the player he was once before. However, he should be retained as a special assistant because of what he can provide the young defensive backs.

-Jags defensive end Calais Campbell was called for helmet to helmet in the 3rd quarter on a Watson scramble. His helmet completely missed Watson and the only thing that hit Watson in the head was his arm. While protecting the quarterbacks has been a point of emphasis for years now, some of these calls are getting ridiculous.

-Former Texans corner A.J. Bouye tried to start something arguing with Dylan Cole between the change over after a turnover. Both guys were held back. The interesting thing here is they're both defensive players and there wasn't anything that happened that could lead to the animosity. I'll be looking for a possible cause, but that looked personal.

The six hour time difference proved to be a non-factor. This win keeps the Texans at pace with the Colts. An early game this week coupled with a bye next week should allow them maximum rest and preparation. They'll need it because they have the Ravens in Baltimore then the Colts, followed by the Patriots, coming to NRG for their next three games. Here's where they can prove themselves to be true contenders. The Colts game is a must-win if they want to win the division. Ravens and Patriots are wins needed to move up the AFC playoff ladder. Hopefully we will see them come out of this midseason test unscathed and battle-tested.

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2020 strikes again for the Texans. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images.

Let's face it; the Texans aren't going anywhere this season. But they have played better since ending the Bill O'Brien era, going 4-3 with two close losses.

After humbling the Lions for their most impressive win of the season, the Texans were able to bask for all of three days before the news came down that WR Will Fuller and CB Bradley Roby were handed six-game suspensions for PED use.

Fuller was surprisingly healthy and having his best season as a pro. It's probably no shock that he had to take something to stay healthy. It's also no surprise that Brian Cushing - he of the "overtraining" - is an assistant strength and conditioning coach on the team. But that is another story for another time.

The Texans offense will miss Fuller, especially with Randall Cobb on IR and Kenny Stills cut last week. They are down to Brandin Cooks and Keke Coutee plus whatever practice squad fodder they can find. But Deshaun Watson is the key and is playing well, and the tight ends and Duke Johnson out of the backfield can be used as passing game weapons. So Fuller will be missed, but the Texans will figure it out.

The bigger issue is the loss of Roby, their only real cornerback. The defense has been better of late, but when Roby has been out, the secondary has gotten torched. Gareon Conley is also out with injury, leaving Vernon Hargreaves, Phillip Gaines and Keion Crossen as the main culprits. It's debatable any of them even belong on an NFL roster.

Roby would take the opponent's best receiver, letting the others face off with lesser lights. While he was beaten a lot, he played well at times and gave the Texans a positive return from the position.

On a bad defense, losing a key player only makes things worse. Roby is a key player, and there simply is no replacement anywhere on the roster. Fuller is certainly a loss, but the offense can be adjusted. Roby? There does not seem to be any way to replace him. In the end, losing both players sucks. But losing Roby sucks more. And any good will or momentum the Texans built up took a major hit.

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