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10/09/2012 4:44 AM EDT
Texans stay unbeaten, hold on to beat Jets 23-17
HOUSTON 23, NY JETS 17

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- After Arian Foster ran over the New
York Jets all night, it was time for the defense to seal things
for the Houston Texans.



A six-point lead. Three minutes left. Mark Sanchez and the Jets
84 yards away from sending the Texans to their first loss with a
crowd-pleasing comeback.



Not on this night.



Kareem Jackson intercepted Sanchez with 1:51 remaining as the
Texans held on for a 23-17 victory Monday night and a 5-0 start.



"That's what you dream about," defensive end J.J. Watt said.
"It's Monday Night Football. You're on the field. You have a
chance to end the game. That's what you want. For us to go out
there and do that, it's huge."



Foster ran for 152 yards and a touchdown, and the Texans
overcame some big throws by Sanchez, a few exciting moments by
Tim Tebow and a 100-yard kickoff return by Joe McKnight to beat
the Jets for the first time in team history. The Texans (5-0)
joined the Atlanta Falcons as the NFL's only teams without a
loss.



"Arian stepped up and played huge," quarterback Matt Schaub
said. "We're very excited to be 5-0 and get a win on the road."



It was a close one, though. Much closer than most expected.
After all, the Jets (2-3) were heavy underdogs after coming off
a 34-0 loss to San Francisco last week, but made a game of it.



"You got to give yourself a chance to win and we did that
tonight," said Sanchez, whose throw was intercepted by Jackson
after tipping off the hands of Jeff Cumberland.



Schaub was 14 of 28 for 209 yards and a touchdown to Owen
Daniels, winning his ninth straight game - the longest active
streak in the NFL - dating to last season. Daniels finished with
four catches for 79 yards for the Texans, who have just their
second five-game winning streak in team history.



"A big part of that is it doesn't matter on this team about
stats or individually what is going on," Daniels said. "It's
great to be a part of something like that."



The enthusiasm was tempered, though, by a left knee injury to
star linebacker Brian Cushing that coach Gary Kubiak said he was
"very concerned" about.



"I don't know what happened," Kubiak said. "They tell me he cut
on a play and his foot might have got stuck in the turf."



Tebow got the MetLife Stadium crowd fired up at times during the
game, including running for a first down on a fake punt. He also
threw a pinpoint deep pass that newly signed Jason Hill should
have caught, and later took a direct snap and ran for 13 yards
to get the ball near the goal line in the fourth quarter. But
other than that, Tebow spent most of his time on the sideline -
again.



"You know, going in, I had no idea when I would go in," Tebow
said. "I just try to be ready at all times."



After Shayne Graham's 42-yard field goal made it 20-7 late in
the third quarter, McKnight got the Jets right back into it with
his 100-yard kickoff return - his second of his career - to cut
the Texans' lead to 20-14 with 4:38 left in the third quarter.



New York then attempted an onside kick, but the ball went
through Chaz Schilens' hands and Shiloh Keo recovered, giving
the Texans the ball with good field position.



"If I caught it, we probably would've won the game," Schilens
said. "Huge letdown."



Schaub hit fullback James Casey for 30 yards to quiet the crowd,
but the Jets' defense held the Texans to a 22-yard field goal
with 13 seconds left in the quarter.



Nick Folk's 21-yard field goal with 11:55 left made it 23-17,
but it appeared the Jets would get more.



Sanchez hit Cumberland for 24 yards on first down, and then
Jeremy Kerley for 36 yards two plays later. Then, Tebow came in
- with Sanchez lined up as a wide receiver - and rumbled up the
middle for 13 yards to make it first-and-goal from the 3. The
crowd at MetLife Stadium went wild, sensing a chance at Tebow's
first touchdown since being acquired by New York in March.



Tebow stayed in but was stopped for no gain. Then, Sanchez - who
has been under fire with many calling for Tebow to take his
starting job - had a pass tipped by Watt and then threw
incomplete to Schilens in the end zone on third down.



"We could've won, we should've won," Schilens said. "We got in
the way of ourselves again. Sooner or later, we'll fix it."



Foster walked untouched into the end zone for a 13-yard
touchdown to give the Texans a 14-7 lead with 11:11 left in the
first half. He gained 42 yards on three straight carries on the
67-yard drive.



The Jets threatened late in the half, but Sanchez's pass was
tipped by Watt and went off Kerley to Brice McCain, who ran back
the interception 86 yards before Kerley caught him at the New
York 9. Graham made a 27-yard field goal as the half ended to
make it 17-7.



The Texans opened the game by scoring on an efficient 8-play,
85-yard drive capped by a 34-yard touchdown catch by a wide-open
Daniels less than 4 minutes in. Daniels, who earlier gained 14
yards on a screen pass, got wide open behind the secondary as
New York's safeties both bit on Schaub's play-action fake.



"It was huge to start fast," Schaub said. "We knew they were
going to come out ready to play, fired up, with a lot of energy.
We were just trying to take that wind out of their sails."



The Jets tied it late in the opening quarter, taking advantage
of an interception by Antonio Cromartie. Four plays later, the
Jets tied it for their first points in two weeks - a 27-yard TD
catch by Cumberland.



"It was a lot of courage, a lot of effort that we showed," Tebow
said. "It wasn't always perfect and we always didn't execute the
way we want to, but you can never question our toughness or our
effort or our character."



NOTES: Cromartie held Andre Johnson to one catch for 15 yards.
Johnson also had a drop. ... Jets C Nick Mangold left early in
the third quarter with an injured ankle, but returned later in
the period. Jets backup receiver Clyde Gates injured his left
shoulder and his arm was in a sling after the game. Linebacker
Josh Mauga had his right arm in a sling afterward. Jets
defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis injured in a knee in the fourth
quarter.



---



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