In a game they didn’t show up for until the second half, the Jets fell to 5-5 after not completing a comeback effort against the Houston Texans, 24-17.
After starting 4-1 and falling to 5-4 with a loss to Buffalo, the Jets looked to reestablish their winning ways against the after a ten day break.
Neither team scored on their opening possession. The Texans came all the way down the field on their next possession, and after making a goal line stand which included safety Calvin Pryor breaking up a pass to JJ Watt, in on offense, the Jets held the Texans to a field goal.
After a series that ended in a punt and included a brutal drop on a deep ball from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Brandon Marshall, the Texans were driving again when cornerback Marcus Williams strip sacked Houston quarterback TJ Yates. The Jets got the ball back at midfield, and tied the game at 3-3 in the middle of the second quarter. The field goal was kicked by Randy Bullock, who was signed a couple of weeks ago in place of injured kicker Nick Folk.
The teams traded possession, with defensive end JJ Watt clobbering various members of the Jets offense, until last in the second when Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins burned cornerback Darrelle Revis for a 61 yard touchdown run.
The Jets trailed at the half 10-3.
Again, the teams traded possessions to start the third. Early on in the third quarter, the Jets were 0 for 6 on third down conversions. Their first third down conversion was a touchdown pass to Marshall, who had been having a rough game. The drive featured a fumble call which was overturned when running back Chris Ivory was ruled down by contact, and a 44 yard gain when the Texans were called for pass interference on Eric Decker.
The Jets momentum was short lived. The Texans came back down the field easily and had an easy touchdown when Yates swung a pass to his left to wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who threw a 21 yard pass to running back Alfred Blue who ran in to the endzone uncontested.
The defense laid an egg a second possession in a row, allowing another easy touchdown, picking on Marcus Williams when Darrelle Revis went to the locker room to be tested for a concussion.
The Jets got within a score when they came down the field on the back of Ryan Fitzpatrick, running back Bilal Powell, and Eric Decker. After a series that featured a 25 yard gain by Powell and reception by Decker for 18 yards, Fitzpatrick made two gutsy plays. On fourth down, Fitzpatrick took the ball himself for the first down, and later, on the touchdown, he ran the ball in himself, going head first into the endzone, colliding with a defender and losing his helmet, making the score 24-17 Texans.
The Jets got the ball back twice after that, but each drive ended when the ball was intercepted, and the Jets, who finally showed up a day late and a dollar short, lost 24-17.
The game really came down to a complete lack of execution. Marshall dropped a touchdown pass. Rookie wide receiver Devin Smith dropped a touchdown pass, and a number of other passes. The defense laid an egg in the third, when the score was still close, and that was before Revis left the game. Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions after being reasonably reliable all game. The wideouts gave zero help to their quarterback.
Fitzpatrick’s final line on the day was 19/39 for 216 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions, and a 52.9 rating. He rushed for a touchdown, and was sacked three times.
Chris Ivory led the Jets in rushing yards with 36 on eight carries. Bilal Powell followed with four carries for 22 yards.
Eric Decker led the team in receiving yards with four receptions for 81 yards. Powell had five receptions for 67 yards. Marshall had five receptions for 47 yards.
Defensively, defensive tackle Damon Harrison had 12 tackles and led the team, followed by David Harris with eight and Marcus Gilchrist with seven. Marcus Williams had the only sack.
The Jets look to get back in the win column next Sunday against division rival Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is at 1:00.