A promising first 20 football minutes saw the Texans build a 14-3 lead over the New York Jets on the strength of good defense and two Tyrod Taylor TD passes. But from 10:29 left in the second quarter, Houston would not score again.
It was a frustrating afternoon, with the Jets slowly building just enough offensive momentum to get a lead and the Texans attack stalling out on the way to a 21-14 loss.
The defeat clinches a losing season, as the Texans have not had back-to-back losing seasons in 15 years, the '05-'06 campaigns.
After the 11-point lead was earned, the Texans were only able to get three first downs the rest of the way. Two of them were on a potentially game-changing 3rd quarter drive with Taylor running for 30 yards to the New York 34-yard line. The drive went backwards from there, ending with a 19-yard sack and subsequent punt.
The Jets were off the mark early, thanks to the Texans thwarting a goal-to-go situation that followed shortly after a deflected pick on Houston's opening drive. Zach Wilson was sacked by Jacob Martin on third-and-goal, giving the Rock Boyz a chance to play some air guitar. A field goal was the only damage.
But the Jets got in gear later in the second quarter when Rice Alum Austin Walter, from Crosby, punched it in from the two. Then Jets OC Matt LeFleur brought in Josh Johnson at QB for the two-point conversion attempt. Johnson ran it in to make it a three-point game at the break.
New York took the lead on its next possession to open the third quarter. A leverage penalty on a field goal attempt game them a first down. An offside penalty later and the Jets were in the end zone on a Zach Wilson run.
The Houston ground game showed the most pop its had since opening day and Taylor's passes did the job to get a double-digit lead. But New York gradually took control of the game.
Credit the defense for once again enabling the Texans to have multiple opportunities to make a run. A key stop in the fourth quarter on a Demarcus Walker sideline sack led to a bad punt and terrific drive start spot at the Jets' 37-yard line. But the Texans went three-and-out and followed that up with a missed 55-yard field goal attempt.
Next up is Indy. Last time, it was a rough afternoon on the road. Now the Texans have them here. And there's plenty of work to do to mount a serious threat against a team that went toe-to-toe with the defending Super Bowl champs Sunday.
Kickoff against the Colts is set for noon CT on December 5. Click here for tickets
Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans Week 12 matchup with the New York Jets.