Texans Clinch AFC South

via NFL

1. Let’s start with a critical bit of housekeeping: The win for Houston seals up the AFC South.

2. This game felt over as soon as Deshaun Watson popped into the end zone on a 5-yard scoring burst to put the Texans up 10-3 against a Jaguars squad refusing to move the ball. That touchdown march began when Jacksonville’s Dede Westbrook muffed a punt on Houston’s 49-yard line. Facing an edgy defense, Lamar Miller looked healthy barreling in for a touchdown of his own before the half, a feat set up by a bobbled pass that magically landed in the arms of DeAndre Hopkins (12/147) in the red zone. The starry wideout made play after play to cap another brilliant season. Watson galloped 12 times for 67 yards and was still scrambling with two minutes to go. He took far too many hits — his six sacks on the day made it a league-high 62 on the year — but that’s part of the deal with this Texans attack. On defense, J.J. Watt appeared to hurt his right arm before the half, but returned wearing a brace to finish the game.

3. This godless campaign can’t end quickly enough for a Jaguars operation that put up 119 yards on the day, ran for just 30 yards and saw 10 of 11 drives end with a punt or turnover. In what might be the final appearance by Blake Bortles in black, gold and teal, the embattled signal-caller threw for 29 yards over the first two quarters, tossed a pick and settled for a field goal after Jacksonville recovered a botched Texans punt return at Houston’s 10-yard line. The Jaguars were dangerously disorganized through the air and saw next to nothing from Carlos Hyde (10/13) with a banged-up Leonard Fournette sitting it out and finishing his second season with just 439 yards at 3.3 yards per carry in eight disappointing appearances. Jacksonville sending a 2019 fifth-rounder to Cleveland for Hyde, meanwhile, looms as a steal for the Browns. Few teams league-wide have more work to do on offense heading into a busy offseason.

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