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Texans lose 24-7 to Jets


In one of the most anticipated Week 1 matchups in the NFL, the Texans learned that they have a lot to work on in a lopsided 24-7 loss to the New York Jets.

Coach Gary Kubiak summed it up best.

"We were pretty much dominated as a football team across the board," he said. "We obviously weren't ready to play and that starts with me. You play that poorly, that starts with the coach. I didn't have them ready to go."

The Jets cruised by the Texans behind 462 total yards of offense, including 190 rushing yards. On the other side of the ball, Rex Ryan made his head coaching debut and witnessed his defense hold the Texans' offense scoreless and limit them to 183 total yards from scrimmage.

The story of the game was rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, who displayed veteran poise that belied his inexperience. The No. 5 overall pick sidestepped pass rushers and dissected the Texans' secondary with precision. He completed 18-of-31 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown with one interception. On third down, he was deadly, passing for five first downs, rushing for one and then tossing a 30-yard touchdown on another third down conversion.

"We were there making him move and he made a lot of plays off schedule," Kubiak said. "He did it preseason, he did it in college, and I told our guys he would come in here and do it here and he did. He's a hell of a player and they did a great job getting him ready to go."

{QUOTE}Meanwhile, quarterback Matt Schaub was pressured most of the afternoon and appeared to be slowed by his left ankle injury. He finished with 166 yards on 18-of-33 passing with an interception.

"It was frustrating," Schaub said. "We tried to move the ball and then had a turnover. It was hard to get ourselves going. We had some penalties and hurt ourselves. Credit goes to the Jets. They played better than us today."

On the ground, running back Steve Slaton had only 17 yards on nine attempts. In one of the few times that the Texans' offense drove inside New York territory, Slaton was tackled and fumbled at the 15-yard line at the end of an 18-yard reception. The Jets recovered the ball to quiet the 70,118 fans in attendance.

"I hurt my team," Slaton said. "I promised to hold on to the ball. To let it go on the 15 when we were so close to scoring is just a big blow to the team."

The Jets scored first at the end of the first quarter when Jay Feely capped a 16-play, 68-yard drive with a 24-yard field goal.

The Texans' next drive ended at their own 47-yard line after they moved the ball 15 yards in five plays. Schaub's pass to André Davis on third-and-six went through Davis' hands for an incompletion. Afterward, Davis took a big shot.

Jets running back Leon Washington gained 12 yards on first-and-15 on the next drive, but the play was followed by two Sanchez incompletions and a punt. On third-and-three from the 27, Sanchez was leveled before throwing by linebacker Xavier Adibi, who came up the middle untouched on a blitz.

Slaton's fumble occurred on the next series, when he was hit by cornerback Donald Strickland. Defensive end Mike Devito recovered the ball and ran seven yards to the New York 22.

The Jets then extended their lead to 10-0 with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez to wide receiver Chandi Stuckey, who was wide open in the middle of the end zone on a busted coverage by the Texans' secondary. The score capped a 10-play, 78-yard drive that ended with about three minutes left to play in the first half.

On the opening drive of the third quarter, Sanchez kept moving the chains, completing four passes for 53 yards, including two passes for 22 yards on third down. A direct snap to Washington picked up nine yards to the one-yard line, where running back Thomas Jones scored.

With 5:18 left in the third quarter, the Texans appeared to generate some momentum. Tight end Owen Daniels caught a 27-yard pass to the Houston 41. On third-and-nine, Schaub found Andre Johnson open for seven yards. Kubiak left the offense on the field for fourth-and-two, and Schaub's pass intended for Daniels was broken up by safety Eric Smith.

Johnson, who led the NFL in receptions last year, had only four catches for 35 yards.

"You really don't know how the day is going to be when you go out there and play," Johnson said. "It turned out the way it turned out and there is nothing we can do about it now but just move on to next week."

The Texans scored their only points on a fumble return for a touchdown with 12:18 remaining in the contest. Safety John Busing picked off Sanchez's pass and returned it 15 yards before he was tackled and fumbled. Safety Dominique Barber recovered the loose ball and scored on a 48-yard return. Kris Brown's extra point made it 17-7.

Houston held the momentum only briefly. Sanchez converted another third down on a 40-yard pass to tight end Dustin Keller to the Houston 33. After a five-yard illegal substitution penalty by the Jets, Jones scored on a 38-yard run off the right guard.

Schaub completed four passes for 35 yards on the ensuing series before he lobbed a pass under pressure and was picked off by cornerback Lito Sheppard at the Jets' 12-yard line with 7:20 left in the game.

Jones proceeded to gain 39 yards on a rush off the right tackle to help the Jets to run out the game clock.

Injury notes: Wide receiver André Davis left the game in the fourth quarter with a concussion and did not return...defensive tackle Shaun Cody left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained knee and did not return.

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