New York Jets return man Joe McKnight cut the Texans' lead to six midway through the third quarter with a 100-yard kick-off return touchdown, but that was as close as New York would get as they fell to the still perfect Houston Texans on Monday night, 23-17.
Tipped passes proved deadly to the Jets' offense. With time running down in the first half, the Jets had moved inside the Houston 10-yard line looking to tie the game at 14 before halftime. But a Mark Sanchez pass was tipped by Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and intercepted and returned 86 yards by cornerback Brian McKnight. Instead of a tie game, the Texans extended the lead, 17-7.
With the Jets mounting their final drive of the game trailing with under two minutes to play, a Sanchez pass deflected off a Jets wide receiver and was also intercepted. And with only four seconds left to play and the New York Jets needing a miracle, Sanchez's last pass was, of course, tipped and incomplete.
J.J. Watt continued his impressive season, adding another sack to bring his league-leading total to 8.5.
Mark Sanchez finished 14-of-31 for 230 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Shonn Greene was the leading rusher with eight carries and 26 yards.
The Houston Texans remain perfect, moving to 5-0 on the season with the win. The New York Jets drop to 2-3.