Texans defense spoils the anticipated debut of Trevor Lawrence

By Coty Davis

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans pulled off one of the most significant upsets during Week 1 of the 2021 season by taking a 37-21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Texans’ win over the Jaguars spoiled the debut of top overall pick Trevor Lawrence.

Lawrence threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns on 51 pass attempts but committed three interceptions in his first career game. Following the Week 1 contest, linebacker Christian Kirksey said the objective for Houston’s defense was to make the game hard as possible for the rookie quarterback — a goal the Texans unquestionably accomplished.

“It’s definitely part of the learning process,” Lawrence said following the loss. “I’m kind of a perfectionist, so it’s frustrating just because I did some things that I don’t normally do and just threw some bad decisions that I’m disappointed in.”

The Texans pressured Lawrence in the pocket the entire game, which forced the Clemson prodigy to make several notorious decisions with the ball.

On one particular play early in the fourth quarter, a four-man rush featuring Jacob Martin, Ross Blacklock, Roy Lopez and DeMarcus Walker forced Lawrence into throwing a rugged pass to escape a potential sack. Wideout D.J. Chark was Lawrence’s intended target.

In addition to a trio of interceptions, Lawrence’s passes included six uncatchable attempts to his wide receivers. Midway through the fourth quarter, Lawrence experienced his first career sack after being taken down by nine-year veteran Whitney Mercilus.

The Texans’ win over the Jaguars also spoiled the coaching debut of Urban Meyer. Under Meyer, Jacksonville made several mishaps throughout the game, including a penalty for having 12 men in the offensive huddle.

“Losing is always hard, especially when you feel like you are prepared and had a great week,” Lawrence said. “[I thought] we were ready and obviously didn’t play well. It starts with me. I didn’t play well for sure. I played really bad tonight. Disappointing for sure.”

“I still believe in this team. I still know what we are capable of. We did
some good things. We started off with some penalties, three and out. But after that we had a couple good drives. There’s a lot of good things there and we have to keep doing those and learn from the bad.”

With Lawrence dropping his first game, former Texan David Carr remains the last No. 1 pick quarterback who won his first career start. After the Texans drafted Carr with the top selection during the 2002 NFL Draft, Carr led Houston to an inaugural 19-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys inside the then-Reliant Stadium.

It’s an astonishing accomplishment given the number of talented quarterbacks who have entered the league since Carr in 2002. And it’s a record, not even Lawrence could break.


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