JACKSONVILLE – The chances were there – more than a few, actually.
The Jaguars again failed to take advantage, with the result being yet another home loss and a fourth consecutive loss overall.
Quarterback Blake Bortles threw two interceptions and the Jaguars' special teams allowed a long second-half punt return to set up a key touchdown. Overall, the struggling Jaguars made enough key mistakes at crucial times to allow the Houston Texans to hold on for a 24-21 victory Sunday in front of 62,091 on a sun-splashed, breezy afternoon at EverBank Field.
The Jaguars had an opportunity late.
After trailing throughout the game, Bortles passed for a 14-yard touchdownto wide receiver Allen Robinson, who then caught a two-point conversion from Bortles to cut the Texans' lead to 24-21 with 2:17 remaining. The Jaguars then had a chance to regain possession, but quarterback Blake Osweiler completed a key 10-yard pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on 3rd-and-5 from the Texans 13 just after the two-minute warning. That enabled Houston to run out the clock.
The Texans pushed a four-point halftime lead to 21-10 with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Osweiler to tight end Stephen Anderson early in the third quarter. The teams then traded field goals before Robinson's late touchdown pulled the Jaguars to within three.
The Jaguars (2-7) haven't won in four games at EverBank this season. Their lone home victory came over the Indianapolis Colts in London in Week 4.
The Texans (6-3) maintained their lead in the AFC South.
Bortles completed 32 of 49 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns with both interceptions coming in the first half. The first interception was returned for the game's first touchdown.
Osweiler completed 14 of 27 passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. The Texans rushed for 181 yards.
The Jaguars' defense held the Texans to 273 total yards, but failed to produce a turnover for a fifth consecutive game. Their last takeaway was against the Colts in Week 4.
The Jaguars have led for just two minutes, 49 seconds since that Colts game. They led for the final 2:49 of a come-from-behind, 17-16 victory over the Bears two weeks after beating the Colts and haven't led in four games since.
The Texans turned a Bortles mistake into an early lead. Cornerback Kareem Jackson stepped in front of a third-down pass from Bortles to wide receiver Allen Robinson then returned it 42 yards for a touchdown to give the Texans a 7-0 lead. The interception was the third Bortles has thrown this season on the Jaguars' first possession.
The Jaguars' turnover ratio is now minus-14 for the season and minus-24 dating to the beginning of last season. The Jaguars haven't scored a first-series touchdown since Week 2 of 2015.
Sunday was the ninth time Bortles has had an interception returned for a touchdown.
The Jaguars responded on the ensuing series, driving 75 yards on 13 plays and tying it 7-7 with a five-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to tight end Julius Thomas. Bortles completed 8 of 9 passes for 51 yards on the drive.
The Texans made it 14-7 with :19 remaining in the first quarter when Osweiler passed one yard to tight end Ryan Griffin. That capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive.
The Jaguars made it 14-10 with a 54-yard field goal by Jason Myers with 5:17 remaining in the second quarter.
PLAYER OF THE GAME … Allen Robinson, wide receiver.The Jaguars' third-year veteran caught nine passes for 107 yards with a long of 19 yards. Many of his receptions were diving or leaping.
The Jaguars finished with 327 total yards. The Jaguars had 185 yards total offense in the first half, with Bortles completing 19 of 27 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.
The Jaguars held the Texans to 273 total yards and 16 first downs. The Jaguars held the Texans to 147 yards and nine first-half first downs.
SPECIALLY … Myers' 54-yard field goal in the first half would have been good from 65 or 70 yards.
INJURY UPDATES …
Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee sustained an ankle injury near the end of the first quarter and returned immediately thereafter.
Wide receiver/punt returner Bryan Walters was ruled out Friday after spending the week in the concussion protocol.
The Jaguars' other inactives Sunday: Quarterback Brandon Allen, defensive end Chris Smith (eye), cornerback Josh Johnson, running back Corey Grant, offensive lineman Bryce Harris and defensive tackle Richard Ash. NOTABLE …
*Ben Koyack and Marcedes Lewis were the starting tight ends for the Jaguars, with Julius Thomas playing extensively on packages throughout the game.
*The Jaguars, after rushing for a season-high 205 yards a week ago against the Kansas City Chiefs, were held to 80 yards. T.J. Yeldon led the Jaguars with 32 yards rushing on nine carries.