The Jets' aerial attack soared to 315 yards and three touchdowns with Mark Sanchez earning a 100.2 quarterback rating against the Texans. Gang Green's onslaught featured star wide outs Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards combining for 11 receptions, 212 yards and three touchdowns, torching a pitiful Texans secondary. New York had a field day against the worst pass defense in the NFL and running back LaDanian Tomlinson hauled in seven receptions for 71 yards. The play of the line was a downer, surrendering three sacks to the Texans. Down four points and equipped with zero timeouts and 55 seconds on the clock, Sanchez effortlessly marched the Jets 68 yards on just five plays, culminating in Santonio Holmes' Texas two-step in the back of the end zone for a 30-27 victory.
New York barely eclipsed the century plateau on the ground with 103 yards on 31 carries. Shonn Greene committed a costly fumble early in the fourth quarter, bestowing Houston with second-life and sparking their comeback. The ground and pound was absent as Tomlinson and Greene combined for just 78 yards, with a long run of 12 yards on the afternoon the biggest gainer of the day. Opposite a beleaguered secondary, the Jets excelled in the passing game, but struggled to hit their stride in the run game. The Texans front seven proved to be a stalwart unit, despite their poor ranking this season…or maybe the Jets just made them seem better then they really are.
Houston's passing game was pedestrian through the first three quarters, but shined brightly in the final period. Darrelle Revis locked down standout wide receiver Andre Johnson as his four receptions for 32 yards marked his lowest output on the season. Conversely, former Jets tight end Joel Dreessen enjoyed his best production of the season, destroying the Jets with four receptions, 106 yards and a touchdown. Missed coverage in the secondary was problematic for New York as Dreessen's 43 yard fourth quarter touchdown came courtesy of a blown assignment by cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Linebacker Bryan Thomas registered Gang Green's lone sack on the afternoon as Rex's boys failed to produce consistent pressure on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub.
Arian Foster had a stellar all around game collecting 84 rushing yards, two touchdowns and 143 all purpose yards. Foster made his first would-be tackler miss on the majority of his touches and was a piercing thorn in the Jets side all afternoon. Defensive end Mike DeVito atoned for a missed tackle, when he chased down Foster from behind, dislodging the ball from the Texans tailback and restoring possession to Gang Green's offense. The Jets have not allowed a 100 yard rusher on the season, but the NFL's leading rusher, Arian Foster, gave New York all they could handle on Sunday.
Nick Folk rectified his poor performance last week in Cleveland by connecting on three of his four field goal attempts, with his miscue occurring on a 53 yarder on New York's first possession of the second half. Folk was steady for Gang Green on Sunday, showing no lingering effects from his Week 9 debacle. Jim Leonhard boasted a flashy 30 yard punt return, setting the Jets up with fantastic field position at the Houston 29 yard-line, on the offense's opening possession of the game. Punter Steve Weatherford averaged a booming 47.5 yards per kick, with the Jets downing two of his punts inside the Texans' 15 yard-line. The special teams played sound return coverage allowing Houston a long return of 23 yards on the afternoon. Not too shabby.
The guys in headsets enjoyed a smooth ride through three quarters of play, with New York hitting on all cylinders. It all unraveled early in the fourth quarter, as costly turnovers and untimely penalties inspired Houston's comeback. Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine admittedly need to clean up the blown coverage and miscommunications in their secondary as it cost them dearly on Sunday. The Jets exploited their most favorable matchup, with their high flying passing attack battering the Texans putrid secondary. The Jets coaching staff did an adequate job insisting they will take the win, while noting there are several areas for improvement.