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Jets Battle Back to Avoid Humiliating Loss in Houston

It wasn't pretty early on, but the Jets rattled off 18 unanswered points to earn their third win of the year.

Jets fans had read this script before.

New York start slows, falls behind and by the time the offense finds a way to move the football, it's too late.

Sunday in Houston seemed like déjà vu early on, but the Jets didn't go down without a fight. Bouncing back from an 11-point deficit, New York rattled off 18 unanswered points, defeating the Texans, 21-14.

In his return from injury, rookie quarterback Zach Wilson looked ineffectual early. He was missing easy throws, succumbing to pressure in the pocket and watching helplessly as New York began to fall behind. 

In fact, it didn't take long before the rookie made his first ill-advised decision of the day, throwing his 10th interception of the season. 

Scrambling forward, Wilson tried to shovel a pass to running back Ty Johnson on third and long. Wilson hit him between the numbers, but on Johnson's back, allowing Houston's defensive back Tavierre Thomas to snag an interception off the deflection.

Meanwhile, the Texans jumped in front by two scores, capitalizing on New York's ineptitude on offense. Tyrod Taylor threw a touchdown pass directly following Wilson's pick, finding tight end Brevin Jordan from 13 yards out.

Then, Taylor added another touchdown pass—a 40-yard strike over the top to Brandin Cooks—after New York's subsequent drive ended in a three-and-out.


It wasn't until late in the second quarter that Wilson established some momentum and began to bring the Jets back into the game. On Gang Green's fifth drive of the afternoon, Wilson and the Jets marched 70 yards on 10 plays. Running back Austin Walter capped it off with a two-yard score, the first touchdown of his career.

New York proceeded to take the lead on their opening drive of the second half. Wilson orchestrated an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Wilson's first career rushing touchdown, cutting back and diving for the goal line. 

Two penalties from the Texans opened the door to that score, nullifying a field goal attempt from Matt Ammendola.

The score remained knotted at 18-14 deep into the fourth quarter, but a lengthy drive from the Jets iced the game. New York converted on two separate fourth-down plays, eating plenty of time off the clock. Houston burned all three of their timeouts, setting up a 37-yard field goal from Ammendola. 

All the Jets needed to do at that point was make one more stop on defense and they got the job done. The Texans didn't even manage one first down, turning the ball over as the Jets ran out the clock, securing their first road victory of the season. 

Wilson ended up with 145 passing yards in the victory, completing 14 of his 24 passes. It wasn't perfect by any means, and there are still some injury concerns with the status of Wilson's right knee, but it certainly seemed like the rookie was aiming to utilize his checkdowns more often and play smart. He'll need to continue to improve with his accuracy and decision making going forward.

Putting up 21 points in a win over the Texans isn't exactly something to write home about, though. With a few more talented opponents looming on New York's schedule, Wilson will have several opportunities to grow and begin preparing for next season, as long as he's healthy. 

The defense deserves plenty of credit on Sunday as well. New York had five sacks, holding Houston to just 202 yards of offense.

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