Jacksonville (1-7) lost its seventh straight and barely avoided making NFL history. The Jaguars would have become the first to allow at least 30 points in seven consecutive games in a single season. Instead, they will share the record with the 1968 Denver Broncos and the 1984 Minnesota Vikings.
Jacksonville had a chance to tie it late, but rookie Jake Luton's 2-point conversion pass to DJ Chark landed at his feet. Luton, a sixth-round draft pick making his NFL debut in place of Gardner Minshew, scrambled for 13 yards to make it a two-point game with 1:39 remaining.
Luton stiff-armed rookie Jon Greenard and then spun away from Keion Crossen and into the end zone. Crossen recovered an onside kick that helped Houston (2-6) ice the game.
Both of Houston's victories this season came against the Jaguars.
Watson was instrumental in each. He threw for 281 yards and two scores in this one, which came three weeks after his 301-yard, two-touchdown passing performance in Houston.
He found Brandin Cooks on a crossing pattern on Houston's first series. Cooks turned it up the sideline and outran defenders for 57 yards. Watson's deep pass to Will Fuller was considerably tougher. Fuller stopped, cut inside CJ Henderson and then ran untouched the rest of the way to put the Texans (2-6) up 27-16 in third quarter.
Jaguars players screamed at officials just before Watson snapped the ball, saying the play clock was at zero, and coach Doug Marrone was livid afterward. Replays showed it was a blown call.
Nonetheless, it will go down as another awful play for a defense that's setting new franchise marks for futility.
Jacksonville wasn't much better on the other side of the ball.
Luton threw a touchdown pass on his second attempt. He found Chark streaking past Vernon Hargreaves for a 73-yard score that gave the Jags a 7-0 lead.
But Luton did little the rest of the way. He completed 26 of 38 passes for 304 yards, with the TD, an interception and a fumble that a teammate recovered.
Chark finished with seven catches for 146 yards, and had a costly drop late.
James Robinson scored for the fourth time in three games, finding the end zone on a 1-yard plunge in the second quarter. He ran 25 times for 99 yards.
Texans star J.J. Watt notched the 100th sack of his career when he stripped Luton in the fourth quarter. Watt became the 35th player in NFL history to reach the century mark and the first to accomplish the feat for the Texans.
Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo tied a franchise record by making a 59-yard field goal at the end of the first half. Lambo drilled a low, line drive between the uprights and celebrated wildly with teammates at midfield.
Josh Scobee held the team record alone since 2010, when he hit a 59-yarder to beat Indianapolis in Jacksonville.
Texans: Already down three linebackers to start the game, Houston lost another one in the first quarter when Brennan Scarlett injured an arm. He appeared to get X-rays and was later ruled out. Houston traveled without linebackers Whitney Mercilus, Jacob Martin and Dylan Cole because of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
Three more Houston players were ruled out: running back David Johnson (concussion), guard Senio Kelemete (concussion) and defensive end Charles Omenihu (leg).
Jaguars: Rookie receiver Laviska Shenault (hamstring) left in the first half and was ruled out at the break. Defensive lineman Doug Costin was evaluated for a concussion.
Texans: play at Cleveland. Houston has won five straight and seven of eight in the series.
Jaguars: play at Green Bay, which has won four of six meetings all time. Jacksonville last won in Green Bay in 2004.