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 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 stands.
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.
NOTES: Cromartie held Johnson to one catch for 15 yards and Johnson also had a drop. ... Jets C Nick Mangold left early in the third quarter with a left ankle injury, but returned later in the period. Jets backup receiver Clyde Gates injured his left shoulder and his arm was in a sling after the game. Linebacker Josh Mauga had his right arm in a sling afterward. Jets defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis injured in a knee in the fourth quarter.
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