Published September 17, 2012
| Sports Network
Jacksonville, FL – Arian Foster rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown, while Ben Tate added a pair of scores on the ground, as the Houston Texans stymied the Jacksonville Jaguars offense in a 27-7 triumph on Sunday at EverBank Field.
Foster, who became the all-time leader on the Texans' rushing yardage list in the process, carried the ball 28 times and added six catches for 37 yards. Tate rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries and hauled in four passes for 23 yards.
Matt Schaub connected on 26-of-35 passes for 195 yards, as the Texans (2-0) earned their fourth straight victory over the Jags and won back-to-back games to open a season for the third straight year.
"Just a great all-around team effort," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "We played good physical football and protected the ball all day."
Blaine Gabbert struggled for the Jags, who managed a franchise-low 117 total yards of offense. The second-year quarterback went just 7-of-19 for 53 yards and a touchdown before being removed late in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.
Maurice Jones-Drew was the lone bright spot for Jacksonville (0-2), rushing for 60 yards on 12 carries and adding three catches for seven yards for the Jags, who were coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to Minnesota in Week 1.
"That was not a good showing," admitted Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey, who is in his first season with the team. "We never really gave ourselves a chance to be in that ballgame against a very good football team."
The Texans took their opening possession 66 yards on 13 plays into Jaguars' territory, but the drive stalled late and Houston settled for a 31-yard field goal from Shayne Graham.
A 36-yard punt return from Trindon Holliday to the Jacksonville 41 set up the Texans' first touchdown drive. After Schaub kept the drive alive with a 9-yard completion to Owen Daniels on 3rd-and-4, Tate stiff-armed a defender and rushed 25 yards down to the 1-yard line.
The run was originally ruled a touchdown, but replay showed Tate's foot touched out-of-bounds before the ball crossed the goal line.
After Tate was stuffed on first down, Foster punched it in from a yard out for a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Texans went three-and-out on their first drive of the second quarter, but used a 7-play, 58-yard march on their next possession to grab a 17-0 lead.
Schaub hit Foster out of the backfield for an 18-yard gain on 3rd-and-3 to keep the trek alive, and Tate finished things off four plays later with an 8- yard surge to extend the Texans' advantage midway through the second stanza.
Houston held the Jags to minus-4 yards through the air, while shutting them down on all six of their third-down tries in the first half to take a comfortable 17-point lead into the locker room.
After the teams exchanged three-and-outs to start the second half, an 18-yard punt return from Mike Thomas set the Jags up at the Houston 37.
Gabbert then found Laurent Robinson for a 32-yard reception down to the 5-yard line before hitting Jones-Drew on the next play for a touchdown pass to bring the home team within 17-7.
Houston countered with a lengthy 17-play, 80-yard scoring march that chewed up over nine minutes on the clock to put the game away.
Houston converted three third downs on the drive, with Tate and Foster doing most of the heavy lifting before Tate capped the trek with a two-yard plunge to give the Texans a 24-7 lead.
After another Jacksonville three-and-out, Houston moved the ball 73 yards in 10 plays, setting up a 37-yard field goal from Graham to make it a 27-7 game.
Chad Henne entered for Gabbert to start Jacksonville's next drive after Gabbert suffered an apparent leg injury on the previous series.
Henne hit Robinson for 11 yards on his first pass and after a pair of penalties, found Thomas for 12 more. Jones-Drew then scampered for 17 yards, but Henne fumbled the next snap, giving the ball back to Houston.
Foster passed Domanick Williams (3,195) for first on the franchise's all-time rushing list ... Jacksonville opened a season with back-to-back losses for the first time since 2009 ... Jacksonville's previous franchise-low for yards was 126, which they established on Dec. 16, 2004 against Houston ... The Texans ran 83 offensive plays, which is the most in team history in regulation ... Houston set a franchise record for time of possession, holding the ball for 43:17.