HOUSTON, Texas – The Jaguars can run after all.
They can play defense, too.
They did both in effective fashion on Sunday afternoon, with running back Maurice Jones-Drew turning in his best game of the 2013 season and the Jaguars' defense doing the same en route to a 13-6 victory over the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium.
Jaguars defensive end Ryan Davis clinched the victory with an interception off of a tipped pass with :34 remaining.
The victory was the second in the last three games for the Jaguars (2-9), who lost their first eight games entering a Week 9 bye. The Texans (2-9) lost their ninth consecutive game.
Jones-Drew, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, rushed for a season-high 84 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. The Jaguars entered Sunday 32nd in the NFL in rushing and had run for 32 and 54 yards the last two weeks against Tennessee and Arizona.
The Jaguars' 120 yards rushing as a team also were a season-high.
Quarterback Chad Henne completed 23 of 32 passes for 239 yards and no touchdowns and no interceptions for the Jaguars, while Texans quarterback Case Keenum completing 18 of 34 passes for 169 yards and no touchdowns with an interception.
The Jaguars outgained Houston 333-128.
The Jaguars dominated early, taking a 7-0 lead after a first quarter in which they outgained the Texans, 121-4.
Jones-Drew's 1-yard run on the first possession gave the Jaguars the early lead, capping a 10-play, 75-yard drive on the game's opening possession. The Texans then picked up two first downs on the ensuing possession, but did not have another first down the rest of the quarter.
Henne started hot for a second consecutive week, completing 9 of 15 passes for 120 yards. His 51-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders set up the Jaguars' first touchdown. He had a perfect passer rating in the first quarter against Arizona last week.
The Jaguars pushed the lead to 10-0 midway through the second quarter with Josh Scobee's 30-yard field goal 7:57 before halftime.
The Jaguars had outgained the Texans 210-11 at one point late in the first half before Houston put together a solid possession to cut the lead at halftime.
Randy Bullock's 49-yard field goal with 29 seconds remaining in the second quarter made it 10-3 at halftime. That capped the Texans' best drive of the half, a nine-play, 49-yard drive.
The Jaguars had a 209-60 total-yardage advantage at halftime.
The Texans cut into the lead with a 20-yard field goal by Bullock in the third quarter, but Scobee pushed the lead back to seven with a 53-yard field goal with 6:44 remaining.
This came in the final minute of the fourth quarter. With the Jaguars holding a 13-6 lead, the Texans drove from their 20 into Jaguars territory. But Davis intercepted a tipped pass by Keenum with :34 remaining to seal the victory.
1.The Jaguars' touchdown drive on their first possession was the third time they have accomplished the feat in as many games. The last time the Jaguars scored touchdowns on their opening possession of the consecutive games was 1998.
2.Jones-Drew's touchdown run was his fifth of the season and his third consecutive game with a touchdown. Jones-Drew later had a 44-yard second-quarter run, his longest run of the season. Jones-Drew finished with 144 total yards, his first day over 100 yards offense this season.
3.Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks had two passes defensed at the line of scrimmage.
LOOKING ON . . .
1.Ace Sanders got his first start since Week 5, and made immediate impact. The rookie wide receiver's 51-yard reception set up the Jaguars' first touchdown and came on a drive on which he already had a third-down reception that resulted in a first down. He finished with four receptions for 61 yards.
2.Jaguars defensive end Andre Branch continues to show significant improvement. The second-year defensive end on Sunday registered a sack for a second consecutive game, sacking Texans quarterback Case Keenum for a 19-yard loss in the first quarter. Branch had a sack, a hit and four hurries against Arizona last week after a batted pass against Tennessee the week before.
3.The Jaguars' early lead could have been bigger, but their second drive of the game stalled at the Texans 45. Bryan Anger's punt meant the Texans started the ensuing drive at their 17. Their ensuing drive ended at the 50. The Jaguars also had four drives stall in Arizona territory in the second half a week ago.
4.Henne withstood heavy pressure early. He was sacked three times in the first half, and several of his big plays for first downs came under a heavy rush.
Jagaurs running back Justin Fosett sustained a foot injury in the third quarter and did not return.
Wide receiver Mike Brown and cornerback Will Blackmon missed the game with AC joint injuries, with defensive end Jeremy Mincey not making the trip because of a violation of team rules. Ace Sanders started in place of Brown.
The Jaguars' other inactives Sunday:
Quarterback Ricky Stanzi, guard Jacques McClendon, defensive tackle Abry Jones and wide receiver Stephen Burton (concussion).