HOUSTON — When Jacksonville entered its bye week winless, the goal was to turn things around in the second half of the season.
So far, so good.
Maurice Jones-Drew ran for a season-high 84 yards and a touchdown and the Jaguars extended the Texans’ losing streak to a franchise-record nine games with a 13-6 victory on Sunday.
The two-time AFC South champions haven’t won since Sept. 15.
Josh Scobee kicked field goals of 30 and 53 yards to help the Jaguars win for the second time in three games.
“We’re obviously not where we want to be, but we’re starting to put together really solid work weeks, and we’re seeing some of it now come out on Sunday,” linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “That’s great that we’re headed in the right direction.”
Jones-Drew’s touchdown on Jacksonville’s first drive put the Jaguars (2-9) on top, and they never trailed against an inept and ineffective Texans offense.
“We struggled to throw and catch and do some of the simple things,” Houston coach Gary Kubiak said.
Case Keenum had the worst performance in his five starts, throwing for just 169 yards with an interception. Kubiak wouldn’t commit to sticking with Keenum, saying he never makes decisions right after games.
Houston (2-9) was driving late when rookie Ryan Davis grabbed a one-handed interception off a deflection by Keshawn Martin to seal the win.
The Jaguars pushed their lead to 13-6 with Scobee’s 53-yard field goal with about seven minutes remaining.
“There’s so many things that when you have success, when you have a victory like this, so many things you can point out that lead up to it,” Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley said. “That’s what I’m most pleased about. It wasn’t by accident.”
Houston got lucky on its next drive when Keenum threw a ball right into the hands of Jacksonville rookie Johnathan Cyprien, but he couldn’t hold on to it. It didn’t matter much though as the Texans ended up punting a few plays later anyway.
Keenum shouldered the blame for the loss.
“I’m very frustrated right now,” Keenum said. “We had guys open, we had the right play calls and I didn’t see them I didn’t hit them.”
Jacksonville entered the game averaging an NFL-worst 61.7 yards rushing a game, but finished with 118.
Jones-Drew found some room in an otherwise tough season and added 60 yards on six receptions.
Chad Henne was 23 of 32 for 239 yards and Cecil Shorts led the team with eight catches for 71 yards.
Kubiak coached from the booth for the second straight week on the advice of his doctors after returning to work last week after recovering from a mini-stroke.
Henne was sacked and fumbled on third down late in the third quarter. The Jaguars recovered and attempted a 49-yard field goal, but J.J. Watt swatted it down and the Texans returned it 25 yards. It was the second time this season that Watt has blocked a field goal.
Houston didn’t take advantage of the opportunity, and Jacksonville got the ball at its 40 after Dennis Johnson was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter.
Rookie Denard Robinson came in for one play on Jacksonville’s next drive, and launched a long and accurate pass on third-and-5 downfield to Shorts. But Johnathan Joseph was there to break it up and the Jaguars had to punt again.
Jones-Drew gave the Jaguars an early lead when he scored on fourth-and-1 from the 1 on the first drive. Jones-Drew had a 41-yard catch and run and Ace Sanders grabbed a 51-yard pass to set up the score.
Jones-Drew had a 44-yard run in the second quarter on a drive that ended with a 30-yard field goal by Scobee to make it 10-0.
Houston hadn’t made a first down on four straight possessions and had just 20 total yards before a 29-yard run by Johnson 4½ minutes before halftime. But the offense soon stalled again after Keenum was sacked and the Texans settled for a 49-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-3 at halftime.
Keenum was terrible in the first half, going 5 for 12 with 32 yards. His tough day started early when he was sacked by Andre Branch for a loss of 19 yards on third down on Houston’s first series.
NOTES: Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton attended the game and served as an honorary team captain. … Houston’s Andre Johnson, who had a career-high 273 yards receiving in his previous game against Jacksonville, managed just 36 yards receiving on Sunday.