Dameon Pierce carries Texans past Jaguars for first win

Oct 9, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) hands off to Houston Texans running back Dameon Pierce (31) against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Dameon Pierce capped a 12-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:11 left to play as the Houston Texans earned their first win of the season, beating the host Jacksonville Jaguars 13-6 on Sunday.

Pierce, a rookie who played collegiately at Florida, rushed for 99 yards to carry a largely stagnant Texans offense. His bruising 20-yard run through a series of failed arm tackles set the Texans up at the Jacksonville 2-yard line. Two plays later, Pierce snapped a 6-6 deadlock as Houston (1-3-1) beat Jacksonville (2-3) for the ninth consecutive time.

Jaguars rookie linebacker Travon Walker enabled the Texans to extend their winning drive with his late hit on Texans quarterback Davis Mills, providing Houston a crucial automatic first down on third-and-20. Mills finished 16 of 24 for 140 yards. The Texans amassed only 248 yards.

Jacksonville committed several critical errors en route to the loss. Trevor Lawrence tossed a pair of interceptions, one in the end zone to Texans rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. that snuffed a nine-play, 68-yard drive early in the second half. The Jaguars finished 0-for-3 on fourth down, committed six penalties and were guilty of several ill-timed dropped passes.

Lawrence completed 25 of 47 passes for 286 yards. Texans cornerback Desmond King II picked off his final pass of the game, a desperation heave from midfield with the game clock expired.

The Jaguars’ inability to sustain success began in the first half. Travis Etienne Jr. broke off consecutive runs of 18 and 30 yards on the Jaguars’ second possession only for that drive to stall. The Jaguars pushed to the Houston 8 on their next drive but settled for a 26-yard Riley Patterson field goal after Texans defensive tackle Maliek Collins flushed Lawrence from the pocket on third down.

Ka’imi Fairbairn recorded field goals of 50 and 51 yards for the Texans, who grabbed a 6-3 lead with 3:23 left in the half. Houston averaged just 4.6 yards on the two scoring drives sandwiched around the first of three failed fourth-down conversions by Jacksonville.

The Jaguars did catch a break just prior to the intermission. Etienne fumbled a would-be catch and the ball was recovered by Houston, but the fumble was overturned by replay. Patterson followed with a 45-yard kick that yielded a 6-6 halftime tie.

–Field Level Media

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