That’s all the Jets could ask for on Monday night vs the Texans, and with the game on the line, they had that chance, only to see it slip away.
The Jets wake up Tuesday under .500 at 2-3, thanks in part to a defense that couldn’t stop Arian Foster, and a QB that couldn’t get it done in crunch time.
The result – a 23-17 loss that almost was if Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense could have produced just one more drive.
The end came when Sanchez was intercepted by Kareem Jackson on a pass that tipped off the hands of Jeff Cumberland with 1:51 remaining.
As for Foster, all he did was gouge the Jets all talk but no bite run defense for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Matt Schaub completed 14-of-28 passes for 209 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Shayne Graham connected on three field goals for the Texans (5-0), who keep building on their best start in franchise history.
Owen Daniels added 79 yards and a score on four receptions in the win for Houston, who have become the best team in the AFC in clear cut fashion just five weeks into the 2012 campaign.
The Jets were heavy underdogs after coming off a 34-0 loss to San Francisco last week, but made a game of it. Backup quarterback Tim Tebow got the crowd fired up at times throughout the game, including running for a first down on a fake punt, but had little impact otherwise.
Sanchez went 14-for-31 through the air for 230 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for New York, which had been 5-0 all-time against the Texans since the team entered the league in 2002.
Jeremy Kerley paced all Jets receivers with five catches for 94 yards.
The Jets got a huge splash play on special teams, as Joe McKnight took a kickoff back 100 yards that put the Jets back into the game going from 20-7 to 20-14.
Up next for the Jets is first overall pick Andrew Luck and the Colts, who landed a 30-27 upset of the Packers Sunday at home.