Wizards

Texans stay unbeaten, hold on to beat Jets 23-17

201210082049749775829-p2.jpeg

Texans stay unbeaten, hold on to beat Jets 23-17

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.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

ap_18050145959742.jpg
Associated Press

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Bradley Beal may have had a slow start in the three-point contest on Saturday night, but in Sunday's All-Star Game he worked quickly to make the most of his relatively small window of playing time.

Beal checked in for the first time with 5:45 left in the first quarter and less than 25 seconds later had his first points on a two-handed dunk assisted by LeBron James.

In his All-Star debut, Beal helped lead Team LeBron to a 148-145 victory over Team Stephen as the league utilizied a new format for the annual showcase.

RELATED: BEAL BOUNCED EARLY IN THREE-POINT CONTEST

Beal finished with 14 points and a steal in a productive night. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and an impressive 4-for-8 from long range. 

Beal also tried to get a travelling call from the refs on Karl-Anthony Towns. Yeah, that's not likely to happen in an All-Star Game:

Beal more than held his own and only played 16 minutes, which was good considering he has logged the fifth-most minutes of any player so far this season. A realistic best-case scenario was a strong showing and a short night and that's exactly what he got.

Not only does Beal play a lot of minutes, the Wizards need him now more than ever with John Wall's injury. He needs whatever rest he can get during this All-Star break.

Speaking of Wall, he was in the house despite being in the middle of his rehab from left knee surgery. Per usual, Wall was shining bright:

RELATED: BEST WIZARDS/BULLETS MOMENTS ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

The All-Star Game wasn't all about Beal, of course. Here are some other things that stood out...

*The new format and increased financial incentive were intended to make the game more competitive and that's what happened late in the fourth quarter. Usually, that's how these things go where the players will start trying at the end. But this time it seemed to be up a few levels and it was fun to watch. 

Both teams scored in the 140s, so it wasn't exactly a defensive battle. No matter what the league does, the players will only try so hard for so long. The main goal of everyone's is to not get injured in a game that ultimately doesn't count for anything. Still, this was different and appears to have been a success.

*While everyone was focusing on the reunion of LeBron and Kyrie Irving the best beef was Joel Embiid vs. Russell Westbrook. Those two have traded waves to taunt each other at the end of wins in head-to-head matchups and it was clear on Sunday they still don't like each other. Westbrook tried to dunk all over Embiid in the first half, only to get blocked at the rim.

Westbrook's determination to dunk on Embiid was out of the ordinary for an All-Star Game. It was obvious what was on his mind:

*Irving's handles are simply ridiculous. Check out this fake behind-the-back move he pulled with Giannis Antetkounmpo guarding him. Yes, it didn't fool the defender but it was impressive nonetheless:

*LeBron is 33 years old, yet he was still running up and down the court faster than anyone and leaping above the rim to thrown down alley-oop after alley-oop. It is truly amazing and everyone should enjoy watching him while they can, regardless of whether they like the guy or not.

This was one of his dunks:

LeBron took home MVP with a game-high 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and a steal.

*The pregame show was quite bad. It was anchored by comedians Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle and, though they had some funny jokes, it lasted nearly 30 minutes. The whole thing was pretty much universally panned on social media. Fergie's national anthem was also roasted by the masses.

*The halftime show was much better. It began with N.E.R.D taking it back to their older days with 'Lapdance,' went to Migos performing 'Stir Fry' and swung back to N.E.R.D. who did their latest hit 'Lemon.' 

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

Quick Links

The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

Whoever put together the NBA All-Star Game player introductions has some 'splainin to do. 

The NBA introduced a kinda-full Staples Center to their 2018 All-Stars about an hour ago, and boy was it weird. There were a lot of dancers in different themed costumes. Kevin Hart was screaming. Rob Riggle was screaming. Ludacris showed up? Hey! Did you know that the Barenaked Ladies are still a band? The NBA would like you to know they're still around.  The whole thing was like when you're at an art museum and you're told that abstract piece in the corner is actually really meaningful but you gotta be honest, you don't get it. 

Anyways, the internet hated it. Here are some highlights from the internet hating it:

The lesson here is that you never need Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle. One will do.