(Photo credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports)
Fullback Andrew Beck returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and C.J. Stroud passed for 280 yards and two scores to lead the Houston Texans to a 37-17 upset of the host Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC South battle on Sunday afternoon.
Tank Dell caught five passes for a career-high 145 yards and a touchdown and Brevin Jordan also had a scoring reception for the Texans (1-2). Dameon Pierce rushed for a touchdown, Blake Cashman made a key interception and Will Anderson III blocked a field goal to help Houston beat the Jaguars (1-2) for the 10th time in the past 11 meetings.
Trevor Lawrence completed 27 of 40 passes for 279 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Jaguars. Tank Bigsby rushed for a score and Christian Kirk had a touchdown catch for Jacksonville.
Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for 88 yards on 19 carries and had four receptions for 50 yards for the Jaguars.
Stroud completed 20 of 30 passes for Houston, which was missing three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil (knee) for the second straight contest. The victory was the first for the Texans under new coach DeMeco Ryans.
Jacksonville began to dig out of a 17-0 hole to start the second half as Bigsby scored from the 1 with 11:17 left in the third quarter. Brandon McManus tacked on a 33-yard field goal to cut the Jaguars' deficit to 17-10 with 4:35 remaining in the period.
On the ensuing kickoff, the up-man Beck muffed the kickoff on the left side at the 10-yard line before picking the ball up at the 15. He eluded multiple Jaguars prior to the 20 and darted to this right. McManus missed a diving attempt around the Jacksonville 45 and Beck avoided one more tackle as he continued down the right sideline for his second career touchdown.
Jacksonville's next drive ended with Cashman's diving interception at the Jaguars' 49. Ten plays later, Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked a 26-yard field goal to boost Houston's lead to 27-10 with 12:36 left in the contest.
Jacksonville made another push and Lawrence's 26-yard scoring pass to Kirk cut its deficit to 10 with 10:40 left. Three plays later, an uncovered Dell was wide open in the Jaguars' secondary and caught the ball at the Jacksonville 40 and raced the rest of the way for a 68-yard touchdown to make it 34-17.
Fairbairn tacked on a 33-yard field goal with 2:10 remaining.
Earlier, Houston took the lead for the first time this season when Pierce scored from the 1 with 7:35 left in the first quarter.
Three-plus minutes into the second quarter, Anderson blocked McManus' 51-yard field-goal attempt. It set up Stroud's 2-yard scoring pass to Jordan to make it 14-0 with 7:27 remaining in the first half.
Fairbairn kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired.
--Field Level Media