The Houston Texans fell, 21-14, to the New York Jets on Sunday at NRG Stadium.
It was the Texans' first home game in nearly a month and just the second home start for QB Tyrod Taylor since the Week 1 opener against Jacksonville.
"We just didn't play very well consistently offensively," Head Coach David Culley said. "We had a couple of sacks right there, actually early. And we just weren't able to consistently keep the ball moving."
After leading by as many as two scores, the Texans fell behind as the Jets went on an 18-0 run. In the second half, the Texans offense failed to score and converted just three first downs.
"I think that boils down to execution," Taylor said. "Like I said, it's just us not executing. If you look at the first half, the flow of the game was in our favor. We were executing, hitting our chunk plays, doing what we needed to do in the run game, but we didn't like I said, we didn't do it in the second half."
Taylor, in his fifth start, completed 17-of-26 passes for 158 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a 91.5 passer rating. He also added 30 rushing yards on two carries in the loss. WR Brandin Cooks led the team with three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.
The Texans defense finished with four sacks and one takeaway, an interception by DB Tavierre Thomas. LB Zach Cunningham tallied a team-high eight tackles (six solo) and two tackles for loss. DL Jon Greenard returned to the starting lineup and had two tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble. Jets QB Zach Wilson completed 14-of-24 passes for 145 yards, and also tossed an interception. He finished with a 58.5 passer rating and for a touchdown.
"They just knew that we got guys when they get into those predictable situations that they know we're going to try to tee off and get off the ball," Greenard said. "But at the same time, we have to know what's coming behind that. We've got to be more sound and more understanding of their game plan, understand situational football and get better in that aspect, things we've got to clean up ourselves. It just shows up week in, week out. We have to continue to build upon that.
On the opening drive, Taylor's pass was deflected and picked off by Jets DL John Franklin-Myers. Wilson and the Jets offense took over at the Houston 37-yard line after Franklin-Myers' 46-yard return. The Jets settled for a field goal after DL Jacob Martin's sack on third down ended the drive. New York took a 3-0 lead with 5:34 left in the first quarter.
The Jets' second possession ended in a Texans takeaway. After LB Kamu Grugier-Hill sacked Wilson for a loss of nine yards, Wilson flipped the ball to his receiver on 3rd-and-17. Thomas made a diving catch and picked up the interception. Five plays later, Taylor threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to TE Brevin Jordan to give Houston a 7-3 lead at the start of the second quarter.
Taylor threw his second touchdown of the game on the next drive, finding Cooks for a 40-yard strike in the end zone. The Texans took their biggest lead of the day, up 14-3 after the six-play, 72-yard scoring drive.
The Texans defense forced three consecutive three-and-out drives before the Jets scored again. RB Austin Walter scrambled for a two-yard touchdown run. Backup QB Josh Johnson added a successful two-point conversion run. The Jets trailed by a field goal, down 14-11 heading into halftime.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Wilson led the Jets offense down the field but would settle for a 34-yard field goal. However, a leverage penalty called on DL Ross Blacklock on the field goal unit would extend the drive, giving the Jets a first-and-goal from the eight yard-line. Two plays later, Wilson scrambled four yards for a touchdown. The Texans trailed for the first time, down 18-11 with 7:51 left in the third quarter.
Greenard's strip-sack on the next Jets' possession set up 3rd-and-29 after the ball rolled out of bounds. K Matt Ammendola's 42-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide left, and the score remained 18-11.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Texans reached Jets territory for the first time since the second quarter. A short punt gave Houston possession at the Jets' 37-yard line to start the drive, but the Texans were unable to add points after K Ka'imi Fairbairn missed the 55-yard field-goal attempt.
The Jets took a 21-14 lead after Ammendola added a 37-yard field goal to cap off a drive that lasted 6:20 in the fourth quarter.
Houston had two more possessions but was unable to score and now falls to 2-9 on the season.
The Texan will host the Colts on December 5 at NRG Stadium in Week 13.Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets
Houston Texans players are warming up at NRG Stadium! Check out the best pregame photos presented by Gatorade.