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O-Zone Late Night, Week 12: Jaguars 24, Texans 21

O-Zone Late Night - Week 12

HOUSTON, Texas – This was a big-time victory.

Little more must be said to analyze the Jaguars’ 24-21 victory over the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium Sunday.

Yes, the offense had some missed opportunities, and the Jaguars likely could have secured the victory earlier. Yes, the defense allowed Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud and a scrappy, ascending team to make second half plays to claw back into a game the Jaguars mostly controlled. Yes, they needed a 58-yard field goal by Houston kicker Matt Ammendola to bounce off a crossbar and into the field in the final minute.

But you know what?

Style and margin of victory mean nothing in late November in the NFL.

The Jaguars on Sunday beat a winning team in the division on the road in late November. They are two games ahead of the Texans and Indianapolis Colts with six games remaining with tiebreaker advantages over both teams. This was huge. This was clutch. This was what NFL November football is about.

Let's get to it …

Wade from Westside

Josh Allen - PAY THAT MAN!

Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen yet again had a huge game in a big Jaguars victory Sunday. He had 2.5 sacks, including 1.5 on the final drive. He's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. He has earned a franchise-defining megadeal. I expect there's a good chance he will sign one.

Kyle from Jax

Whatever happened to pass to set up the run?

This was the much-ballyhooed, sometimes-ill-advised, often-confusing First Email of the Game. It came around the time of the Jaguars' first drive – a 12-play, 65-yarder that set up a 40-yard field goal by kicker Brandon McManus. It was, from this writer's view, a solid first drive that included two third-down conversions and settled the Jaguars into the game. I don't know why not passing to set up the run was bothersome, but I don't pretend to know everything.

Rusty from Ocala

How important does the Ezra Cleveland trade look now? Also, Travon Walker appears to have taken a step forward the last few weeks. Your thoughts?

Cleveland, acquired in a trade-deadline deal with the Minnesota Vikings, replaced Walker Little at left guard Sunday after Little moved outside to replace injured left tackle Cam Robinson (knee). The deal to acquire Cleveland looked important at the time because you usually need six or seven good offensive linemen to get through a season. It looks just as important now. Jaguars second-year outside linebacker Travon Walker has played at a high level all season, and he appears to be improving in recent weeks.

Jim from Middleburg

John, almost as exciting as being shot at and missed.

I laughed at this. I wasn't particularly proud of myself for laughing. But I laughed.

Roy from Jacksonville

Love the long arm of the "Law…..rence."

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence reached the ball over the goal line on a second-quarter one-yard touchdown run Sunday. Lawrence does this a lot. It is cool when it works. The pessimist in me dreads the day when this results in a fumble. So far, it has worked.

FP from Savannah

Bonehead defensive call on first Houston touchdown- three rushing???????? How about a blitz? My grandmother could have thrown a touchdown pass with all the time Stroud had.

It's always coaching in the NFL.

Tom from Mean Streets of Nocatee

Hope they don't end up losing this one by one, two or three points.

This came immediately after Head Coach Doug Pederson opted against a field goal on first-and-goal from the one on the final play of the first half – a decision that came after Lawrence passed 57 yards to wide receiver Christian Kirk. Running back Travis Etienne Jr. was stopped for no gain on the play and the half ended with the Jaguars leading, 13-7. Pederson is aggressive by nature. This was aggressive and could have gone a long way toward ending the game. Pederson's aggression often works. It didn't on that play Sunday. Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes the bear eats you.

Jeff from Ormond beach

Take the points and go up two scores then get the ball after half drive and go up three. Instead give the Texans momentum. Not smart.

Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes the bear eats you.

Sensei Rudy from Northern California

Now, THAT'S what I call a big-time game. The Jags have played in a lot of them the last couple of years and have done very, well. That served us well in the playoffs last year. We're battle tested. We're ready for whatever is next. And it feels damn good.

Winning is cool. Fans like it. As well they should.

JB from ATL via Mandarin

People are busy talking about narratives. The narrative for this team should be that it has played 11 games and only lost three. One was a competitive game against the defending Super Bowl Champs, one was when the league found out how good C.J. Stroud is, and one was against a Super Bowl contender right after they made a big addition at the deadline. All are understandable. The Jags are one of the top teams in the NFL.

There will be plenty of Jaguar's narratives moving forward. In the immediate aftermath of Sunday's victory, the only Jaguars narrative that matters is they are two games ahead in the AFC South and tied for fewest losses in the AFC. They're in the thick of this thing as December begins. That's it. That's the storyline.

Jaguars are in beast mode 😤 Swipe through the intense in game shots of the Jaguars vs. Texans matchup 🐆

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