The Texans out-played, out-coached, and out-executed the Jets for three quarters during Sunday afternoon’s game, and by the time New York figured it out, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it all away allowing Houston to hang on and win 24-17.
The Texans improve to 5-5 with the win, their third straight, while the Jets lose for the fourth time in its past five games and fall to 5-5. Houston hosts the Saints next week, and New York returns home to host the Dolphins.
The Jets had a plethora of opportunities late and couldn’t capitalize. With 2:02 left in the 3rd quarter and Houston up 24-10, Fitzpatrick hit Devin Smith right in the bread basket in the end zone for what would have been a huge 46-yard touchdown, but Smith couldn’t hang on. A holding penalty followed, and a promising drive culminated in a punt.
Crucial mistakes have slowly become the story of Devin Smith’s season. The second-round pick out of Ohio State continues to be integrated more and more into the game plan and for the second week in a row, made an extremely costly mistake that played a big role in a Jets loss. In New York’s last game against the Bills, Smith muffed a kick return and Buffalo returned it for a touchdown. The Jets lost by five points.
Fitzpatrick would respond though and lead the Jets on a 9-play 73-yard drive that ended on a Fitzpatrick 6-yard touchdown run to cut Houston’s lead to 24-17.
On the run, Fitzpatrick took a big shot to the head that caused his helmet to fly off and concussion tests on the sideline. Despite tearing ligaments in his non-throwing hand and nearly fumbling after taking a hard hit earlier in the game, Fitzpatrick continues not to slide and appears to have to desire no start.
After getting a big stop, the Jets got the ball back at their own 41-yard line with 3:08 to play, but Fitzpatrick wouldn’t get past Houston’s 46 and a fourth down pass to Devin Smith (sound familiar) was intercepted.
Thanks to a quick three-and-out, the Jets were fortunate to have one more chance. That chance was quickly wasted when Fitzpatrick was intercepted on the second play of the drive by Andre Hal and Houston was able to kneel the rest of the clock out to seal the Texans’ win.
Fitzpatrick has had a knack this season of coming up just short in leading the Jets to come from behind wins. It first happened in Week 3 against the Eagles, and then in the past two games against the Bills and Texans. Last week against Buffalo, the Jets had the ball on the Bills 5-yard line down by five, and Fitzpatrick couldn’t deliver the knockout punch. Ever since Tom Brady led the Patriots to a come from behind win in Week 7, the Jets haven’t been the same.
Despite having to start T.J. Yates at quarterback, the Texans were able to find a way to win thanks to an outstanding game by offensive coordinator George Godsey, and DeAndre Hopkins having his way with the Jets’ secondary. Godsey’s wide array of play-calling completely threw off the Jets, and an Alfred Blue 21-yard touchdown pass to Cecil Shorts III was the call of the day.
Hopkins beat Darrelle Revis deep late in the 2nd quarter for Houston’s first touchdown of the day, and then beat Marcus Williams in the 3rd quarter for a touchdown after Revis was forced to leave the game with a concussion.