Jaguars Ready to Improve History with Houston

At first glance, the Jaguars should be able to exhale this weekend. After facing three playoff contenders in Tennessee, Buffalo and Indianapolis in their first three games and going 1-2, the Jaguars will host the Houston Texans, who are 0-2, in their next game Sunday.

But the Texans, who have yet to have a winning season since they came into the league in 2002, always seem to give the Jaguars fits. They hold a 7-5 lead on them in the 12 games between the two clubs.

Houston won both games in 2004 and the Jaguars won both games in 2005, but the teams tend to split every year of late, although Houston's win in the regular-season finale last year was meaningless because the Jaguars had already clinched a playoff berth and rested their regulars.

The Jaguars, though, could have an opportunity to make a move in their next three games before the bye.

After hosting Houston and Pittsburgh, they go to Denver.

They beat all three teams last year and if they do it again, they'll be 4-2 at the break.

The Jaguars hope their 23-21 victory over Indianapolis on Josh Scobee's 51-yard field goal with four seconds left will be a springboard for them after they lost their first two games.

"It was a spark we needed," said cornerback Rashean Mathis, who intercepted a Peyton Manning pass in the second period and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown.

"Now we can continue to keep this flame going," Mathis said. "This could have been the game that saved our season; we definitely needed this win."

Middle linebacker Mike Peterson, who said he felt "sick" when Joseph Addai scored on a two-yard run to put the Colts ahead 21-20 with 1:07 left, said the defense had confidence the offense was going to pull it out.

The key thing for the Jaguars is that they finally got their running game untracked as they rushed for 236 yards, including 121 by Fred Taylor and 107 by Maurice Drew.

In the first two games, Taylor had 67 yards rushing and Drew had 30 yards rushing.

Still, the Jaguars scored a touchdown on only one of four trips into the red zone.

Besides the 51-yarder by Scobee, he made two of 26 and 21 yards and the Jaguars came away with no points when coach Jack Del Rio went for it on fourth-and-two at the Colts' 11 in the second period. Taylor was stopped after a one-yard gain.

This was only the Jaguars' second win in Indianapolis and their first in the Colts' new stadium. Scobee won both of them with late field goals. He hit a 53-yard game winner with 38 seconds left in his rookie season in 2004 and hit a 51-yarder with four seconds left Sunday against the Colts.

On Scobee's final kick, quarterback David Garrard said, "Man, I was doing a lot of praying. It felt like we won the Super Bowl. I ran out on the field and the coaches were yelling to get back on the sidelines."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Remember how good it feels when we're preparing for next week (against Houston). The NFL is a game of momentum and this big win here gives us momentum." -- Middle linebacker Mike Peterson.

LINEUP WATCH: Milford Brown, who was signed just two weeks ago, started his second consecutive game at right guard and now seems to be settling in at the position.


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