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HOUSTON 24, JACKSONVILLE 20

Capers' Gamble Pays Off for Texans

September 29, 2003|From Associated Press

HOUSTON — Dom Capers decided the game was going to end in two seconds. David Carr made it the right choice.

Down by three with the ball inside the Jacksonville one-yard line, Capers kept the Texans' offense on the field rather than send the game into overtime with a short field goal. Carr took the snap and immediately stretched the ball over the goal line as time expired for a 24-20 Houston victory.

"When I saw how close we were, I thought, 'Let's go for it. Let's try to win the game and end this thing right now,' " Capers said.

The Texans (2-2) had to wait a few anxious moments while officials reviewed whether Carr got the ball over the line before it was swatted away.

"You go on instincts," Capers said. "If we don't make that, you guys are asking me about it for the next year. I had a gut feeling."

The play sent Jacksonville to 0-4, its worst start since the franchise's inaugural year in 1995.

Byron Leftwich, making his first start in relief of an injured Mark Brunell, threw three interceptions but had the Jaguars ahead late in the fourth quarter and got the ball back when the Texans' Stacey Mack threw an ill-advised halfback pass to a double-covered Andre Johnson, and Jason Craft came down with the interception.

The game turned with 2:42 remaining when Leftwich scrambled around the right end for nine yards and fumbled during an Eric Brown tackle.

The Texans' Matt Stevens fell on the ball at the Jacksonville 41, and then Carr and running back Domanick Davis marched Houston down the field. The Texans had six chances to score from inside the Jacksonville five and the Jaguars committed three penalties in that time before Carr's game-winner.

Leftwich tied the score, 17-17, with a franchise-record 84-yard touchdown pass play in the third quarter to Troy Edwards.

Leftwich, officially announced as the starter shortly before the game, was 17 for 36 for 231 yards. The second-year Carr was 23 for 36 for 234 yards.

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