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 Watt and his next throw was incomplete to Chaz Schilens in the end zone on third down.
Perhaps the only bad news for the Texans came when star linebacker Brian Cushing left in the second quarter with a left knee injury that Houston coach Gary Kubiak said he was "very concerned" about.
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.
The Jets threatened late in the half, but Sanchez's pass was tipped by 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. New York then attempted an onside kick, but the ball went through Schilens' hands and Shiloh Keo recovered, giving the Texans the ball — leading to a 22-yard field goal a few moments later.
"If I caught it, we probably would've won the game," Schilens said. "Huge letdown."
The Texans opened the game with a 34-yard touchdown catch by a wide-open Daniels less than 4 minutes in.
The Jets took advantage of an interception by Antonio Cromartie later in the opening quarter, tying it with their first points in two weeks — a 27-yard TD catch by Cumberland.
"We could've won, we should've won," Schilens said. "We got in the way of ourselves again. Sooner or later, we'll fix it."
NOTES: Jets C Nick Mangold was carted from the sideline in the third quarter with a right ankle injury, but returned for the final play of the period and finished the game. Backup WR Clyde Gates injured his left shoulder and LB Josh Mauga hurt his right arm — both had their arms in slings. ... The Texans are the first professional football team in Houston to start 5-0 since the Gamblers of the USFL in 1985. ... Tebow finished with 19 yards rushing on five carries.
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