Texans unable to finish off Jets in 30-27 loss

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - No team has experienced more last-minute drama in the past three weeks than the Texans.

The latest example occurred Sunday afternoon at New Meadowlands Stadium, where the Texans made an improbable comeback from 16 points down in the fourth quarter against the NFL's fifth-ranked defense.

But with 10 seconds on the game clock, quarterback Mark Sanchez's six-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santonio Holmes gave the Jets a 30-27 win in front of 78,843 fans.

The heartbreaking loss was another setback for the Texans (4-6), who are on the fringe of the AFC playoff race with only six games remaining. Today's defeat combined with last week's loss at Jacksonville on a deflected Hail Mary pass, and the Week 9 loss to San Diego on an interception, leaves Houston with a bitter taste.

"There never is a margin for error in this business," Kubiak said. "You get yourself in those positions, you've got to close the deal. You have to figure out a way to close the deal. You can't sit there and say, 'Why me?' You have to go make the plays.

"It's just disappointing, but I'm very, very impressed with our effort. We're coming off of last week (at Jacksonville), and we came out here and had a tremendous effort as a football team against a great football team at their place. When you've got the game won with 50 seconds left and let it go, it's tough to say, but that's part of the deal."

The most pivotal play on the game-winning drive was wide receiver Braylon Edwards' 42-yard catch that set up the score. Facing two deep safeties and man-to-man coverage underneath, Sanchez threaded a pass beyond cornerback Jason Allen and a split second before safety Eugene Wilson could reach Edwards.

"We felt good about the coverage," Kubiak said. "But obviously they made a great play."

Defensive coordinator Frank Bush also was asked about the completion.

"We didn't make a play," Bush said. "We didn't make a play on the football when we needed to make a play, and it cost our team the football game."

Houston held a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter when running back Arian Foster scored on a two-yard touchdown run. After that, the Jets surged ahead by scoring the next 20 points on a pair of touchdown passes to Edwards and Holmes, respectively, and a 30-yard field goal by Nick Folk.

After running only seven offensive plays in the third quarter, the Texans scored 20 unanswered points in a little more than 11 minutes. After kicker Neil Rackers booted a 38-yard field goal, linebacker Brian Cushing stripped running back Shonn Greene, and the fumble was recovered by middle linebacker Kevin Bentley. On the next play, quarterback Matt Schaub connected with tight end Joel Dreessen for a 43-yard score.

"I think we found a way to make some plays," tackle Eric Winston said. "I don't know routes and I don't know stuff like that but obviously we got some guys getting open for Matt. Matt was hitting them. And we were protecting pretty well.

"You keep hammering and you keep hammering and I think we presented a lot of problems…and we were able to move the ball."

Once Foster scored his second touchdown with 2:24 left in the game to give Houston a 24-23 lead, defensive end Mark Anderson pressured Sanchez into throwing an interception that Bentley returned to the New York 10. Rackers' 22-yard field goal extended the lead.

Bentley finished with a game-high eight tackles, including two for loss, as well as one quarterback hit to go with his two takeaways. He didn't take any satisfaction in his performance, though.

"We're super frustrated," Bentley said. "I don't know what to say, really. I'm hurting. I know we're all hurting. We should've come out and won that game. I don't know what's going on luck-wise, execution-wise, but I don't know what they needed – 70-80 yards to win with 50 seconds? We're supposed to win that game. I don't know what happened."

The Texans will carry a four-game losing streak into their Week 12 matchup against the Tennessee Titans next Sunday at Reliant Stadium.

A year ago, the Jets reversed course with a 5-1 record down the stretch to finish 9-7 and earn a playoff berth. That said, Kubiak remains optimistic based largely on the effort he sees his team play with amid the recent adversity.

"You just keep working and believing in what you're doing and keep your chin up and keep plugging," Kubiak said. "Keep playing that hard and something good will go our way."

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