Del Rio More Subdued after Latest Letdown; on the Field, the Jags' Loss to the Texans Had a Familiar Feel

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Byline: VITO STELLINO

There were two 4-7 teams at Houston's Reliant Field on Monday night. That's where the resemblance between the Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars ended.

The Texans, playing in their first Monday night game, arrived ready to play.

"Everybody was pumped,'' Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson said.

The Jaguars?

They appeared to be continuing to sleepwalk through the end of the season.

Just in case anybody thought the Jaguars couldn't play as poorly as they did in a 30-12 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 23, the Jaguars virtually did it again in a 30-17 loss to the Texans that wasn't as close as the score sounded.

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio seemed resigned to the fact that his team is now 4-8 and probably destined for a losing season.

After the Minnesota loss, Del Rio was visibly upset during his postgame news conference, calling his team's play "ridiculous," "mistake-filled," "sloppy," "embarrassing" and "totally unacceptable."

That approach didn't seem to make a difference, so Del Rio switched his tactics and toned down his criticism at his postgame news conference Monday.

"We came out here and battled. We just came up short once again. The guys are working hard and trying hard and giving good energy and effort," he said.

The only time Del Rio showed any emotion was when he was questioned about whether or not his team has packed it in.

"You wouldn't say there was a lack of want-to. That can't even be a sincere comment," Del Rio said. "We're going to continue to do the right things for the right reason and look to execute better. I don't like to hear those questions [about whether the team quit]."

The Jaguars are going to hear a lot of that, especially after the poor showing in a prime-time game on national television.

The ESPN crew bashed the Jaguars during the game, and the analysts continued it after the game.

"I've never seen a more disinterested team in a Monday night moment," Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young said on the postgame show.

Young said the team has "much more talent" than the way it is playing. However, the Jaguars might not be not be as talented as their reputation. They've drafted one Pro Bowl player in the past six years and have signed several high-priced free agents who haven't made major contributions. …

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