Texans ground Jets to maintain perfect start
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - The Houston Texans maintained their perfect start to the NFL season with a 23-17 win over the struggling New York Jets on Monday.
The Texans joined the Atlanta Falcons as the only teams to win their first five games of the campaign, while handing the injury-plagued Jets their third loss of the season.
The visitors scored two touchdowns, the first by tight end Owen Daniels on the opening drive of the game after a 34 yard pass from quarterback Matt Schaub, who completed 14-of-28 for 209 yards.
Their other touchdown came early in the second quarter when running back Arian Foster strolled 13 yards to score. Foster rushed for 152 yards in the game, including an even 100 in the first half as the Texans threatened to run riot.
The Texans scored 13 unanswered points and led 20-7 early in the second half when Shayne Graham kicked the second of his three field goals before the Jets threatened to mount a comeback.
"It looks like we're a little snake-bitten with injuries but that's no excuse," Jets head coach Rex Ryan told reporters.
"That (Houston) is a good football team and at the end of the day, they made more plays than we did."
Thrashed 34-0 by the San Francisco 49ers last week, the Jets (2-3) ensured there would not be another shutout when tight end Jeff Cumberland scored a first quarter touchdown off a 27 yard pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez.
However, Sanchez made only 14-of-31 passes, marking the fourth week in a row his completion rate has dipped below 50 percent.
Trailing 20-7, the home side burst into life when Joe McKnight scored off a 100-yard kickoff return in the third, cutting the margin to six points and giving them a glimmer of hope, but they were unable to get any closer.
"It shows a lot about our team that we can go on the road in a tough environment and win a ball game that goes all the way down to the end," Houston defensive end JJ Watt said.
"We had a lot of fun out there but it wasn't an easy one by any means."
(Editing by John O'Brien)