Redskins

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

So what does Josh Norman want from Redskins fans? 'Pandemonium'

So what does Josh Norman want from Redskins fans? 'Pandemonium'

Josh Norman made headlines last week when he called out a subset of Redskins fans for booing the home team and others for not showing up to FedEx Field.

Some fans took exception to Norman's comments, but on Wednesday, the star cornerback made clear exactly what he wanted from fans. 

"You want to see an atmosphere full with raving Redskins Nation fans and pandemonium," Norman said during an interview with Larry Michael on Redskins Nation. 

"That's what you want to see."

Norman's request seems more than fair, especially considering the 6-3 Redskins will take on the 6-3 Texans. Both teams are in first place in their division, and while Washington is coming off a solid road win in Tampa, Houston travels to FedEx Field winners of six-straight. 

"It’s big, because the other team is coming in at 6-3," Norman said. 

6-3 is the best Redskins record this late in the season since 2008, and Norman recognizes his team is trying to turn mediocre tide of recent years and that fans might need a reminder.

"To change that from the culture where it was to now coming around, come on man, we need your support."

For decades, the Redskins fan base was considered among the NFL's best. Venerable RFK Stadium had arguably the best home-field advantage in the league. Norman remembered that.

"This is a signature storied franchise," Norman said. "I grew up with it knowing the Washington Redskins and knowing how big it was. Down in Carolina that was our team. The Washington Redskins was the team of the South. Everybody was about that."

Times change.

The 'Skins left RFK more than 20 years ago and now Carolina roots for the Panthers. 

Still, for Norman and many players, the challenge is out there for the fans to fill up FedEx Field and make it a hostile atmosphere for the Texans.

"From the inside of the stands to the outside of it, all Redskins Nation going in there live, pumping us up. We feeding off of them, we giving them something to cheer for and they giving us back something to be excited for," Norman said. "Those big 3rd downs. As long as we need them, we hear those decibels. We need it up to 105. Literally just blow it off the roof, those decibels, just shoot them up. That’s what we need."

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

lamar-ap.png
USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has had his fair share of life changing moments. 

Winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016, being drafted by the Ravens in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and come Sunday, possibly his first NFL start.

With Joe Flacco nursing a hip injury suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9, the 21-year-old could be leading the Ravens for a full 60 minutes against division rival Cincinnati Bengals in what could be a defining moment of their season.

"I'm just going into it like any other week," Jackson said Wednesday. "Just preparing for whatever."

While Jackson has appeared in all nine games going 7-for-12 for 87 passing yards and one touchdown, he is the only first-round quarterback out of the 2018 draft that has yet to start this season. 

When asked how he would feel if his name is called Sunday, Jackson said he would have "butterflies" at first but added once the ball is snapped, "it's on."

Through the Ravens' first half of the season, how and when Jackson is utilized at either quarterback or receiver, has lacked consistency. Add in the lack of highlight reel passes from him and many are concerned he's not ready for an NFL start. 

The fast style of NFL play compared to that of college football was something Jackson admittedly struggled with throughout the preseason. But with nine regular season games under his belt, Jackson feels that is the area where he's taken the biggest strides. 

"Calling the plays," Jackson said. "Before I'd have to ask coach a hundred times, 'say it again, say it again,' but now he says it one time to me. Don't get me wrong, sometimes if [the call] is long or whatever I have to ask [coach to] say it again, but other than that I'm getting better with that."

Head coach John Harbaugh offered no insight on who would be their starting quarterback on Sunday and it can be expected he'll keep hush up until the last moment. Flacco was not on the practice field during media availability Wednesday, either. 

But let's not forget the other veteran quarterback on their roster; Robert Griffin III

For the first time since 2009, the Ravens decided to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster for this very reason.

After sitting out of football for a year, RGIII was given a second chance in Baltimore, but has been a gameday inactive since the start of the season. If the week progresses and neither Flacco or Jackson seem ready, it could be the comeback of the once Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

"That's my job. That's why they brought me here," Griffin III said Wednesday on if he feels prepared to possibly start. "They brought me here to be a pro. They brought me here to help this team if need be. I try to help the defense every week on scout team and then do those [reps], and if my number's called I'll be able to go out there and lead this team."

Both RGIII and Jackson said that it would be "awesome" if they were named the starting QB on Sunday, but that no matter who it ends up being they're all here for one another.

"I'm going to continue to help [Lamar] just like I have all season because we're about the Ravens here," Griffin III said. "It's not about individuals. We've got a pretty daunting task ahead with this Bengals team and then just with the rest of our schedule, so we've got to make sure we make the most of every opportunity."

MORE RAVENS NEWS: