Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Arian Foster ran for two touchdowns and the Houston Texans spoiled the Jacksonville Jaguars’ playoff aspirations with a 34-17 victory at Reliant Stadium.
Foster had 180 yards on 31 carries for the Texans (6-10), who snapped a four- game losing streak. Houston lost eight of its last 10 games following a promising 4-2 start to the season.
“I think our offensive line just dominated the line of scrimmage,” said Foster, who won the NFL rushing title with 1,616 yards on the season. “If you look back at some of the holes we were running through, they were big.”
Matt Schaub completed 18-of-22 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown in the win.
Jacksonville (8-8) entered Sunday needing a win and an Indianapolis loss to clinch the AFC South, but that task became even more challenging without the services of quarterback David Garrard and star running back Maurice Jones- Drew.
Garrard missed the regular-season finale after undergoing surgery earlier in the week to repair a torn tendon in his right middle finger and was subsequently placed on injured reserve, while Jones-Drew sat out with a knee injury.
Former Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards started in place of Garrard and connected on 12-of-25 tosses for 140 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Rashad Jennings rushed for 108 yards and one score on 22 carries.
“We tried to do some of the things that Trent (Edwards) was most comfortable with as we put the plan together,” said Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio. “We had some opportunities but didn’t quite execute those as well as we thought we might have had a chance to today.”
The opening drive of the game ended with a two-yard touchdown run by Foster. Houston tacked on three more points when Neil Rackers made a 26-yard field goal on the next possession.
Jacksonville responded with an eight-play, 67-yard march that ended with Jennings scoring on a three-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
Derrick Ward, though, raced 35 yards into the end zone on the ensuing series to increase Houston’s lead to 17-7.
The Jaguars answered with a 39-yard Josh Scobee field goal and pulled even on a seven-yard TD pass from Edwards to Marcedes Lewis with 1:54 remaining in the half. Lewis tied the single-season franchise record with his 10th reception for a touchdown.
Rackers kicked a 33-yarder as the frame expired to give the Texans a three- point halftime lead.
Following the break, the Texans capped off a 97-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown pass from Schaub to Owen Daniels. Foster then put Houston up 34-17 with a 35-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson missed the game with an ankle injury…Jennings caught four passes for 34 yards…Jacksonville finished 1- for-10 on third down…The Texans haven’t lost five in a row since ending the 2005 season with two straight defeats and getting off to an 0-3 beginning the following year.
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