EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- With his team down 9-3 to the New
York Jets at halftime, Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak still
believed a road victory was within reach.
Then the third quarter came.
The Jets put up 14 points while holding the Texans scoreless,
and never looked back while handing the Texans a 26-11 loss.
"We made some big mistakes in the third quarter that were
inexcusable," said Kubiak, whose team fell to 3-8 on the year.
"We were going the wrong way trying to hand the ball off. Some
alignment things we did didn't make sense.
"That's on us as coaches, and it was the difference in the
game. We had a good football game, our defense played well. We
needed a play in the third quarter to make a difference and they
made every play and we made absolutely none."
Houston's defense held the Jets to 27 yards rushing and sacked
quarterback Chad Pennington once for a 9-yard loss.
But the Jets countered by sacking David Carr four times and
holding to the Texans running game to 25 yards. Still, Carr
completed 39 of 54 attempts with one interception for 321 yards.
"They tried to take away the running game and they did a good
job at it," Carr said. "We tried to take a couple of shots down
the field, but they knew exactly what they wanted to give us."
The Texans also arrived just as Pennington rediscovered some
missing chemistry with his receivers.
"We did stop the run, but [Pennington] does a great job of
picking you apart if you give him time," Kubiak said. "Without
looking at the film, I would think that once again pressure is an
issue. When we do pressure people, we play pretty good in the
secondary and I'm not sure we did that today."
Pennington had his finest passing day in weeks, throwing for 286
yards and a touchdown.
Pennington also gave the Jets quite a scare. The quarterback had
to leave briefly in the third quarter when he was hit by two Texans
and left writhing in pain on the Meadowlands turf.
With the crowd watching in stunned silence -- a scene that has
become all too familiar with Pennington the last few seasons
because of shoulder injuries -- the Jets (6-5) stood around him as
the trainers examined the quarterback. Good friend and receiver
Laveranues Coles also went down on a knee to talk to the
After several nervous moments, Pennington got up under his own
power as the fans cheered wildly. He let them know he was OK when
he pumped his right fist and then signaled the crowd to make more
noise. Pennington missed one play -- Patrick Ramsey threw an
incomplete pass -- before returning.
And he certainly looked good, especially in the second half, as
Pennington finished 24-of-31. He spoke at length during the past
few weeks about needing to reconnect with his receivers after
throwing for 200 or more yards once since opening the season with
two consecutive 300-yard games.
Apparently, everything's OK now. Coles caught nine passes for
111 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and
Cotchery had seven catches for 110 yards.
Mike Nugent tied a career high with four field goals, including
a career-long 54-yarder for the Jets.
Pennington was 5-for-5 for 89 yards on the Jets' first
possession of the third quarter. He connected with Chris Baker for
28 yards and Cotchery for 35 to get down to the 12. Pennington then
lofted a pass to the left front corner of the end zone, and Coles
leaped for the score.
Cedric Houston added a 1-yard touchdown run later in the third
quarter to make it 23-3.
Nugent kicked a 40-yarder midway through the fourth quarter for
his third career four-field-goal game.
Andre Johnson caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Carr with 3:51
left to cap a 76-yard drive for the Texans, and Wali Lundy's short
reception completed the 2-point conversion. Johnson and Eric Moulds
each had 10 catches.