HOUSTON -- Sunday's Jaguars-Texans game shaped up as one of the biggest matchups of Week 12, and it delivered. A back-and-forth affair between Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Stroud came down, literally, to a couple of inches. Jacksonville held on to win 24-21 when Matt Ammendola's game-tying field goal attempt from 58 yards out hit the crossbar and bounced backward into the end zone.
One of the big-picture takeaways from watching this game was imagining Lawrence and Stroud going against each other twice a season (at least!) for years to come. So when it was over, I asked Lawrence if that's something he could get excited about, as well. He smiled and said no. "I want the teams in our division to be as bad as possible," he said, before going into a nice answer about how impressed he is with what Stroud is doing as a rookie and how he expects it to be a good rivalry going forward. "I'd prefer if the other teams in our division all had bad quarterbacks."
But Houston does not. Stroud took a couple of bad sacks on the final drive, which ended up being costly since the Texans needed to be only 1 yard closer for a successful field goal attempt. Overall, Stroud continued his stellar rookie season with 304 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, 47 rushing yards and a rushing TD. He surpassed Justin Herbert for the most passing yards in the first 11 games of a rookie season and tied Andrew Luck for the second-most 300-yard passing games by a rookie with six, two behind Herbert's record of eight. Stroud is, Sunday's tough loss notwithstanding, legit. Sorry, Trevor.
All of that said, the game went Jacksonville's way. As a result, the Jaguars have a two-game lead in the AFC South with six games left in the regular season. Jacksonville wide receiver Christian Kirk told me, "This was a must-win game for us, and that's the way we prepared all week." A loss would have dropped the Jaguars into a tie with Houston, and the Texans would have had the tiebreaker by virtue of beating the Jags twice this season. Instead, the Jaguars are in control of the division, and we begin our Week 12 overreactions column -- in which we judge some of the biggest potential takeaways off the slate of games -- with them and their potential.