AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ The Houston Texans are still
undefeated _ but very nearly let this one slip away.

Arian Foster ran for 152 yards and a touchdown, and the Texans
stayed unbeaten by defeating the New York Jets for the first time
in team history, hanging on for a 23-17 victory Monday night.

With a chance to lead the Jets on a winning drive, Mark Sanchez
was intercepted by Kareem Jackson on a pass that tipped off the
hands of Jeff Cumberland with 1:51 remaining and the Texans (5-0)
joined the Atlanta Falcons as the NFL’s only teams without a loss.

The Jets (2-3) were heavy underdogs after coming off a 34-0 loss
to San Francisco last week, but made a game of it. Backup
quarterback Tim Tebow got the crowd fired up at times throughout
the game, including running for a first down on a fake punt, but
had little impact otherwise.

Houston also overcame a 100-yard kickoff return by Joe McKnight
that cut the Jets’ deficit to 20-14.

Matt Schaub was 14 of 28 for 209 yards and a touchdown to Owen
Daniels, winning his ninth straight game _ the longest active
streak in the NFL _ dating to last season. Daniels finished with
four catches for 79 yards for the Texans, who have just their
second five-game winning streak in team history.

Nick Folk’s 21-yard field goal with 11:55 left made it 23-17,
but the Jets appeared as though they would get more.

Sanchez hit Cumberland for 24 yards on first down, and then
Jeremy Kerley for 36 yards two plays later. Then, Tebow came in and
took the direct snap _ with Sanchez lined up as a wide receiver _
and rumbled up the middle for 13 yards to make it first-and-goal
from the 3. The crowd at MetLife Stadium went wild, sensing a
chance at Tebow’s first touchdown since being acquired by New York
in March.

Tebow stayed in but was stopped for no gain. Then, Sanchez _ who
has been under fire with many calling for Tebow to take his
starting job _ had a pass tipped by J.J. Watt and it was
incomplete to Chaz Schilens in the end zone on third down.

Perhaps the only bad news for the Texans happened when star
linebacker Brian Cushing left in the second quarter with a left
knee injury and didn’t return.

Foster walked untouched into the end zone for a 13-yard
touchdown to give the Texans a 14-7 lead with 11:11 left in the
first half. He gained 42 yards on three straight carries on the
67-yard drive, and had 100 yards on the ground at halftime on just
nine carries.

The Jets threatened late in the half, but Sanchez’s pass was
tipped by end J.J. Watt and went off Kerley to Brice McCain, who
ran back the interception 86 yards before Kerley caught him at the
New York 9.

Shayne Graham made a 27-yard field goal as the half ended to
make it 17-7. He added a 42-yarder late in the third quarter to
make it 20-7.

McKnight got the Jets right back into it with his 100-yard
kickoff return _ his second of his career _ to cut the Texans’ lead
to 20-14 with 4:38 left in the third quarter. McKnight sped up the
middle, cut to his left and ran out of a shoulder tackle attempt by
DeVier Posey and dived into the end zone.

New York attempted an onside kick, but the ball went through
Chaz Schilens’ hands and Shiloh Keo recovered, giving the Texans
the ball with good field position.

Schaub hit fullback James Casey for 30 yards to quiet the crowd,
but the Jets’ defense held the Texans to a 22-yard field goal with
13 seconds left in the quarter.

The Texans opened the game by scoring on an efficient 8-play,
85-yard drive capped by a 34-yard touchdown catch by a wide-open
Daniels less than 4 minutes in. Daniels, who earlier gained 14
yards on a screen pass, got wide open behind the secondary as New
York’s safeties both bit on a play-action fake by Schaub.

New York then went three-and-out, an all-too-common series for
the Jets this season _ as chants of “Tee-boww! Tee-boww!” started
after Sanchez’s first incomplete pass on second down. Tebow made
his first appearance on the Jets’ fifth play from scrimmage and, to
a wave of cheers, threw a pinpoint deep pass to newcomer Jason
Hill. But the receiver dropped it, Tebow departed and Sanchez
missed Clyde Gates on third down, bringing on a chorus of boos.

Jets coach Rex Ryan promised his defense would be sturdier than
in last week’s rout at the hands of San Francisco, and after
Houston’s scoring drive, it was. Cromartie stepped in front of
Andre Johnson and picked off Schaub’s poorly thrown pass on the
Texans’ third possession, then gave the ball to his wife in the

Four plays later, the Jets tied it for their first points in two
weeks _ a 27-yard TD catch by Cumberland.

Sanchez zipped a pretty pass to Clyde Gates on first down for a
27-yard gain on the scoring drive. After a 2-yard run by Bilal
Powell and McKnight got 1 yard, Sanchez threw yet another terrific
toss to Cumberland, who caught the ball over Glover Quinn, bobbled
it and tucked it in as he fell to the turf in the end zone to tie
it at 7 with 4:07 left in the opening quarter.

Tebow got the crowd going when the Jets went for it on
fourth-and-1 at their 24 on the first play of the second quarter.
The do-it-all backup quarterback took the snap and ran off left
tackle for 3 yards. But the drive fizzled with three straight
incompletions by Sanchez.
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(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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