People have been asking all season long can Sanchez lead the Jets on a last minute drive. He proved it in a big way today. The Jets were down four with under a minute left and Sanchez proved his worth, directing a 72-yard scoring drive for the win. The Jets improve to 8-2 and the Texans drop to 4-6. A pity to the Jets fans who left early. And many did. Holmes caught 7 passes for 126 yards and 2 TDs and Sanchez completed 22 of 38 passes for 315 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT.
It was a big win for the Jets, who are still in the hunt for home field advantage for the playoffs.
The Jets lockerroom was understandably upbeat. "It's just me playing football," Santonio Holmes said when asked about his late-game heroics. It's the second week in a row Holmes caught a game-winning touchdown pass on the Jets final drive. It's probably safe to say that he has fully arrived.
Check this blog later on for some thoughts from our excellent Newsday football writers Rod Boone and Kim Martin.
Fourth quarter scoring: Mark Sanchez has arrived. Facing a 27-23 deficit, with 55 seconds left, Sanchez directed a 5-play, 72-yard drive. He capped it with a 6-yard TD pass to Holmes with 10 seconds left. Key Plays: Edwards 42-yard catch, Holmes, 6-yard TD. Drive: 5 plays, 72-yards, 45 seconds. Jets 30, Texans 27.
The Texans took advantage of two more Jets miscues. Brad Smith returned a kick to the 40, but it was called back thanks to an unsportsmanlike penalty by Robert Turner. Sanchez threw an interception two plays later and the Texans extended their lead to 27-23 on a 22-yard FG by Rackers. Texans 27, Jets 23.
The Texans have completely turned the tables and have made the Jets pay for Greene's fumble and the failed drives. Schaub hit Kevin Walter for a 35-yard pass, Johnson on a 14-yard play during a 73-yard scoring drive. Arian Foster capped the drive with a 1-yard scoring run. The play was reviewed because it looked as if Foster's elbow was down before the ball crossed the plane. But the officials upheld the ruling on the field. Drive: 7 plays, 73 yards, 3:51. Foster 1-yard TD. Texans 24, Jets 23.
The Texans are starting to make the Jets pay for the field goals. Shonn Greene fumbled at midfield. The Texans recovered scored on the very next play, Schaub hit Joel Dreessen on a 43-yard TD. Drive: 1 play, 43 yards, 9 seconds. Jets 23, Texans 17.
TheTexans answered the Jets TD with a drive of their own. But the Jets held, forcing the Texans to kick a 38-yard FG. Key plays: Dreesseen 31-yard catch, Foster 13-yard catch, Walter 14-yard catch. Drive: 7 plays, 59 yards, 2:30. Rackers 38-yard FG. Jets 23, Texans 10.
The Jets had a golden opportunity to put the Texans away as they recovered a fumble on the Texans 22. But they couldn't get into the end zone and had to settle for a Nick Folk 30-yard FG. Drive: 4 plays, 10 yards, 1:28. Folk 30-yard FG. Jets 23, Texans 7.
In-game stats note: It's been a coming out party for Santonio Holmes. He has six catches for 120 yards and a TD.
Third quarter scoring: Mark Sanchez has found his groove. The second-year pro directed the Jets on a 92-yard scoring drive, capped by a 41-yard TD pass to Santonio Holmes. Key plays: Edwards 13-yard catch, Greene 13-yard run, Tomlinson 18-yard catch on 3rd and 10. Drive: 9 plays, 92 yards, 4:06. Holmes 41-yard TD catch. Jets 20, Texans 7.
Game note: a fan ran onto the field and nearly ran the length of the field before getting tackled at the 7 yard line by security.
Analysis: The Jets have had their chances to really put the Texans on their heels, but they just can't close out their drives. Defensively, the Jets have played well. The Texans have moved the ball between the 30s, but the Jets have tightened up when needed. As for the Revis-Johnson matchup, it hasn't been much. Johnson has 3 catches for 12 yards and has been thrown to just five times. Texans coach Gary Kubiak did the Jets a favor with some horrible clock management at the end of the first half. The Texans had the ball in Jets territory, but went into the the half with one timeout left.
Halftime stats - Passing: Sanchez 9-17, 93 yards 1 TD; Schaub 10-16, 115 yards. Rushing: Greene 7-22, Tomlinson 5-14; Foster 13-53 1 TD. Receiving: Holmes 3-55, Edwards 2-31, Turner 1-21; Foster 3-46; Dreessen 2-32, Johnson 3-12.
Second quarter scoring: The Jets offense is beginning to turn the corner, but they still have issues finishing drives. The Jets started their last drive of the second quarter 1st-and-10 on the Texans 48, but could only manage a 33-yard field goal by Nick Folk. Key plays: A roughing the passer penalty on Bernard Pollard. Shonn Greene, 9-yard run. Drive: 8 plays, 33 yards, 3:15. Folk 33-yard FG. Jets 13, Texans 7.
The Jets offense came right back as Mark Sanchez directed a 78-yard drive to give the Jets a 10-7 lead. The big play came from Braylon Edwards, who caught a 27-yard pass from Sanchez and set the Jets up with a 1st-and-goal from the 10. Edwards capped the drive with a 4-yard TD catch. Key plays: Holmes, 26-yard catch; Patrick Turner, 21-yard catch; Edwards, 27-yard catch. Drive: 10 plays, 78 yards, 4:59. Edwards 4-yard TD catch. Jets 10, Texans 7.
The Texans came alive on offense as Arian Foster and Matt Schaub helped engineer an 11-play, 67-yard scoring drive. Foster accounted for 45 of those yards, including a big 11-yard catch and run on 3rd-and-3. Drive: 11 plays, 67 yards. Foster 1-yard TD run. Texans 7, Jets 3.
Injury note: Jets RT Damien Woody (knee) left the game with 1:05 left in the 1st quarter with an injury. His return is questionable.
First quarter scoring: It was a positive start for the Jets. After forcing a 3-and-out, Jim Leonard got the crowd going with a 33-yard punt return that set the Jets up with a 1st-and-10 on the Texans’ 29. The Jets couldn’t capitalize with six and had to settle for a Nick Folk 37-yard field goal. Yes, Folk actually made a field goal. Key Plays: Sanchez 7-yard pass to Holmes, Tomlinson 4-yard run. Drive: 6 plays, 10 yards, 1:47. Jets 3, Texans 0.
Welcome to another Sunday on the Boone Docks Jets blog. Marcus Henry will take through today's action between the Jets (7-2) and the Texans (4-5) at the New Meadowlands stadium.
No Jerricho Cotchery today for the Jets. He is nursing a partially torn groin. Patrick Turner was added to the roster in his place.
There are a couple of interesting story lines here. Rex Ryan made a plea to Jets fans to be loud and rowdy. He wants the New Meadowlands to be a real home field advantage today. Here's Rod Boone's story.
There is also the Darrelle Revis-Andre Johnson matchup. Last season, Revis limited Johnson to four catches and 35 yards receiving in the Jets 24-7 season opening win. Revis got off to a slow start this season thanks to a lengthy holdout and subsequent hamstring injury. Revis believes he will be ready to go today, while Johnson expects it to be a Larry Bird-Magic Johnson type matchup.