Tampa Bay Sports Day

NFL: Jaguars Snap Five-Game Stretch of Kickoff Weekend Losses

Photos by Rick Wilson/Jacksonville Jaguars

HOUSTON – The Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves in first place in the NFL AFC South after being the only team in the division to win on opening day.

Jacksonville traveled to Houston and defeated the Texans, 29-7, in an AFC South divisional matchup. Division rivals Tennessee and Indianapolis also suffered losses Sunday.

It marked the team’s first Opening Day victory since Sept. 11, 2011, when the Jaguars defeated Tennessee, 16-14. The win snapped a five-game stretch of Kickoff Weekend losses. It also marked the Jaguars first road Opening Day victory since Sept. 12, 2004, when the Jaguars defeated Buffalo, 13-10.

QB Blake Bortles finished with 125 passing yards on 11-of-21 passing and one touchdown. Rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushed 26 times for 100 yards and one TD. The LSU product also caught three passes for 24 yards.

In the second quarter, second-year defensive end Yannick Ngakoue sacked Texans QB Tom Savage and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Dante Fowler Jr. Fowler took the fumble 53 yards for a TD.

The Jaguars opened the game with an eight-play, 56-yard scoring drive, culminated by a 42-yard field goal from Jason Myers. The opening drive score marked the first time the Jaguars have registered points on the opening drive of the season since the 2012 season at Minnesota.  In the second quarter, Myers connected on a 25-yard field goal.

The Jaguars defense recorded a franchise single-game record 10 sacks against the Texans on Sunday, with defensive end Calais Campbell’s franchise record 4.0 sacks leading the team.  In today’s game Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue,  Lerentee McCray, Malik Jackson, Fowler Jr. and Abry Jones all registered sacks.

Jalen Ramsey posted three tackles, and a game-high three passes defensed against Houston. In his Jaguars debut, cornerback A.J. Bouye finished with six tackles, five solo and one pass defensed against his former club. Bouye has now registered 11 passes defensed in his last five games, including the postseason.

Myles Jack started at linebacker against Houston and recorded a career-high 14 tackles, eight solo, and one tackle for a loss.

GAME NOTES: The Jaguars defense registered four takeaways against Houston on Sunday, and finished the game with a +4 turnover margin. The Jaguars were able to score 16 points from the four takeaways…the Jaguars defense held the Texans to 52 total net yards in the first half of the game. In addition to the +4 turnover ratio, the jaguars posted a +10 sack differential. The offense held the Texans front-seven to zero sacks…tight end Marcedes Lewis became the second player in Jaguars history to appear in at least 12 seasons for the club, joining former offensive lineman Brad Meester, who appeared in a franchise-record 14 seasons for Jacksonville.