HOUSTON: Trevor Lawrence threw for 364 yards and a touchdown, and the AFC South-leading Jacksonville Jaguars escaped with a 24-21 victory over the division rival Houston Texans on Sunday when Matt Ammendola’s 58-yard field goal attempt bounced off the crossbar with 34 seconds left.
The Jaguars (8-3) avenged their 37-17 home loss to Houston (6-5) in Week 3 and created some separation at the top of the division.
The Texans led by one after a touchdown run by Stroud midway through the third quarter. Lawrence responded with by throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley and hitting Ridley for the 2-point conversion to make it 21-14.
Brandon McManus tacked on a field goal early in the fourth quarter to pad the lead, and Jacksonville’s defense stopped Houston on fourth down.
But McManus missed from 55 yards with seven minutes left. Stroud then orchestrated a 55-yard drive, capped by a 17-yard touchdown reception by Nico Collins, to cut the lead to 24-21 with just over five minutes to go.
The Texans got a stop but couldn’t move the ball and settled for the long field goal attempt on fourth-and-12 instead of giving Stroud and the offense one more shot.
Derek Stingley Jr. intercepted Lawrence near midfield early in the second half. It was the second straight game with an interception for the third overall pick in the 2022 draft.
The Texans had third-and-goal at the 1 on the ensuing drive. Stroud faked a handoff to fullback Andrew Beck and dashed to the right before high-stepping his way into the end zone to put Houston on top 14-13.
Jacksonville retook the lead on its next drive, aided by two pass-interference penalties on cornerback Tavierre Thomas. The first one gave the Jaguars a first down at the 8 and the second gave them a new set of downs at the 1.
McManus added a 53-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to make it 24-14.
Lawrence scored on a 1-yard touchdown with about 10 minutes left in the second quarter to put the Jags ahead 10-0. D’Ernest Johnson took a screen pass 42 yards earlier in the drive.
Stroud connected with Devin Singletary on a 33-yard catch on the next drive to get the Texans to the Jacksonville 8. Two plays later, he found Tank Dell for a 7-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 10-7.
Jacksonville pushed the lead to 13-7 on McManus’ 48-yard field goal about 2 1/2 minutes before halftime.
The Texans had a chance to cut the lead with 25 seconds left in the first half, but Ammendola’s 49-yard attempt was wide right.
There were 10 seconds left in the second when Lawrence found Christian Kirk for a 57-yard reception, but he was pushed out of bounds at the 1-yard line with 1 second left. The Jaguars went for it instead of attempting a field goal, but Travis Etienne Jr. was swarmed by multiple Texans and stopped for no gain.