Jaguars looking to slow down Texans' Johnson again

Jaguars looking to slow down Texans' Johnson again
December 4, 2013, 3:49 pm
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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew throws an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The Jacksonville Jaguars would love a repeat performance against Houston receiver Andre Johnson.

The Jaguars held the five-time Pro Bowler to two receptions for 36 yards in their first meeting 11 days ago, Johnson's worst day in more than a year.

But the Jaguars (3-9) realize there's little chance it happens again when the Texans (2-10) come to town for the rematch Thursday night. After all, this is the same inexperienced secondary that got torched by Arizona's Michael Floyd for 193 yards last month, and by Cleveland's Josh Gordon for 261 yards last week.

''You definitely don't want to see those kind of performances on your secondary,'' Jaguars cornerback Alan Ball said. ''We have to put it behind us, learn from it and go from there.''

Sounds simple, but Johnson has a history of success against Jacksonville. He has 106 receptions for 1,470 yards and seven touchdowns in 18 career games against the Jaguars. And the best game of his 11-year career was a 14-catch, 273-yard performance against Jacksonville last year.

Johnson offered no reasons for his lack of production less than two weeks ago. Houston struggled all day, finishing with a season-low 218 yards.

''They came in and had a great plan defensively, and they did a great job of executing,'' Johnson said. ''You have to give them credit. They went out, did a great job. Hopefully we'll be able to go out and make some plays against them Thursday night.''

Others have.

Although Jacksonville have been stout against the run since its bye, holding Tennessee, Arizona, Houston and Cleveland under 100 yards, the team has been burned through the air.

Tennessee's Ryan Fitzpatrick came off the bench and threw for 264 yards and two scores. Arizona's Carson Palmer finished with 419 yards and two touchdowns. And Cleveland's Brandon Weeden ended up throwing for 370 yards and three scores.

So it's become clear that teams are picking on Jacksonville's young secondary, which includes rookie cornerback Dwayne Gratz and rookie safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Josh Evans. Evans (shoulder) is out this week, leaving second-year player Guy Winston to make his first career start.

''In the NFL, you get humbled very quick,'' defensive coordinator Bob Babich said. ''I think the guys, they're just looking at it as a challenge of playing against a great player. I'm sure they've seen him for many, many years making great plays, and for them, I'm sure they're saying, `Hey, I'm playing against Andre Johnson. This is neat.'

''The good thing about being a rookie is sometimes you're young enough where you don't understand. You just go out there and play.''

In addition to Johnson trying to rebound, here are five things to know about the Texans and Jaguars:

BRIDGEWATER BOWL? The loser of the game, especially if it's the Texans, would have the inside track to the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft. If the Jaguars lose and finish the season with three wins, they likely would get the top pick based on weakness of schedule. And with both teams looking to draft a quarterback, this could be a deciding game for who gets first shot at Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, widely considered the top quarterback available (if he enters the draft) since Oregon's Marcus Mariota is returning to college for another year.

JAGUARS AT HOME: The Jaguars have lost six in a row at home, a streak coach Gus Bradley pointed out in meetings this week. Jacksonville has won three in a row on the road, including the last two weeks, and needs to carry that momentum into EverBank Field on Thursday night. The team's last win at home came Nov. 25, 2012, against Tennessee. ''Can we stay true to the last couple of weeks how we got to this point?'' Bradley said. ''Our players felt like we had the recipe all year, but we saw the results. Let's stick to the recipe and see if we can.''

KUBIAK'S FUTURE: There's already plenty of speculation about Texans coach Gary Kubiak's job security. His team has lost 10 consecutive games, the longest streak in franchise history. Getting swept by Jacksonville surely would intensify it. The Jaguars have swept Houston just twice in the 11 years since the creation of the AFC South. ''I've got too many other people to worry about and things to worry about,'' said Kubiak, who suffered a mini-stroke last month but returned to coaching soon after. ''I don't worry about myself.''

MJD'S MATCHUP: No team has given up more touchdowns to Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew than the Texans. MJD has found the end zone 11 times in 12 games against Houston. He also has 828 yards rushing. But all the talk this week was about Jones-Drew's arm. His TD pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis was the first by a non-QB in franchise history. Asked whether he's a better passer than teammates and college QBs Denard Robinson or Mike Brown, he said: ''The stats speak for themselves.''

MINCEY RETURNS: Jaguars veteran defensive end Jeremy Mincey, inactive the last two games after oversleeping and being late to a team meeting, will return against the Texans ''unless something unforeseen happens,'' Bradley said.


AP NFL website:

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps coming off Monday night's loss. He'll remain a WR2 for Week 8 against the Titans.
Oct 22 5:22PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans listed Foster as "not injury related," but he missed practice time last week with a groin issue. Foster has a matchup with the Titans' No. 22 ranked run...
Oct 22 5:15PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
According to, there's a "decent chance" Jadeveon Clowney (knee)... "He feels good," coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Well see how it goes this week in practice. We'll be able to make a determination pretty soon about whether...
Oct 21 3:58PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught two passes for 24 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers. Graham was targeted three times, but dropped the other. It can be considered one of Graham's better statistical games of the season, which obviously means he's nowhere near...
Oct 20 11:31PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins each saw a team-high nine targets. There was nothing special about Johnson's night. His biggest play was a 24-yard grab on a deep in route in...
Oct 20 11:25PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 108 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Hopkins and Andre Johnson each saw a team-high nine targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it to whichever receiver was working against embattled Steelers CB Cortez Allen. ...
Oct 20 11:16PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 14 yards on five carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown in the Texans'... Blue was the vulture on the opening-drive 11-yard score after Arian Foster managed 59 rushing yards to get the Texans near the goal line. Foster is an every-down back,...
Oct 20 11:09PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception... Fitzpatrick played well for much of the first half, leading the Texans on three consecutive scoring drives to open the game. It was a train wreck thereafter. One play...
Oct 20 10:56PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-23, Week 7 loss to the... Foster got off to a blazing start, rushing for 59 yards on the Texans' 94-yard opening touchdown drive, but was vultured by Alfred Blue for the 11-yard touchdown catch to...
Oct 20 10:47PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is inactive for Monday night's Week 7 game against the Steelers. Clowney's lateral agility wasn't where the Texans wanted it to be in pre-game warmups. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery after Week 1. Whitney Mercilus is...
Oct 20 6:09PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins (hand) is probable for Week 7. The Texans listed Hopkins on the injury report, but his status was never in doubt. He'll be a WR3 for Monday night against the Steelers.
Oct 18 2:54PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (groin) is probable for Monday night's game against the Steelers. Foster was limited on Thursday, but practiced in full the last two days. He should have another heavy workload against a Steelers defense that's allowing 4.4 yards per carry...
Oct 18 2:48PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was upgraded to full in Saturday's practice and is listed as probable for... Johnson is good to go for Monday night's matchup with the Steelers. He's Rotoworld's No. 15 receiver this week.
Oct 18 2:39PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against... Clowney got in two limited practices this week, but said he still "can't run laterally." He could be held out in an attempt to get fully healthy for Week 8. If...
Oct 18 2:20PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) returned to practice Friday. It was Clowney's first practice since undergoing knee surgery in Week 1. He's expected to be a game-time decision for Monday night. Clowney will likely be on a limited snap...
Oct 17 6:08PM Read More