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HOUSTON 21, JACKSONVILLE 19

Ex-Jaguars Put Drive in Texans

October 28, 2002|From Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The clock ran out, and Jaguar Coach Tom Coughlin thought he had been through the worst. Then, an irate fan spit on him and called his team pathetic.

Led by a group of former Jacksonville players, the Houston Texans defeated Coughlin's downtrodden team, 21-19, Sunday -- a day that left little doubt that it's better to be a former member of the Jaguars than a current one.

A trick play on a punt return set up Kris Brown's 45-yard game-winning field goal with 2:11 remaining to give the expansion Texans (2-5) the first road victory in franchise history.

"Someone said it was pathetic, and that's where we are right now," Coughlin said after his team suffered its third consecutive loss and dropped to 3-4.

Not so for the Texans, who ended a five-game losing streak and looked at home doing it.

A sign in the northeast end zone said it all: "All our Ex's play in Texas," and on this day, the Jaguars probably wished they had some of them back.

The Jaguars jettisoned Seth Payne, Gary Walker and Tony Boselli to Houston in the expansion draft so they could get their salary-cap mess in order in the off-season.

Watching from the sideline was Boselli, the All-Pro left tackle and onetime cornerstone of the Jacksonville franchise who is out for the season because of an injured shoulder.

Walker and Payne, meanwhile, led Houston's domination of the Jacksonville offensive line. The Texans limited Fred Taylor to 84 yards, and the Jaguars gained only 290 yards.

"It feels great, not only to come back here and win in Jacksonville, but just to get a win as a team," Walker said.

But of all the former Jaguars, maybe former defensive coordinator Dom Capers deserves the most credit for the milestone victory.

With three minutes remaining, the Houston coach called for punt returner Jabar Gaffney to throw back across the field to Aaron Glenn. Glenn took the lateral and ran 42 yards through open field to give Houston the ball at the Jacksonville 33. Four plays later, Brown's field goal put the Texans ahead.

Capers said special teams coach Joe Marciano asked him if he wanted to run it.

"I said, 'Will it work?' " Capers said. "He said, 'Yes.' So I said, 'Let's run it.' I'm glad he thought of it."

It was the kind of play an expansion team with nothing to lose might try.

Coughlin remembers: He called the same play on a kickoff return in 1995, Jacksonville's first season, and Jimmy Smith scored a touchdown against Denver. But that came during a loss.

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