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.
Nick Folk's 21-yard field goal with 11:55 left made it 23-17, but it appeared the Jets 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 — 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 then threw incomplete to Schilens in the end zone on third down.
"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."
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. Graham made a 27-yard field goal as the half ended to make it 17-7.
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.
"It was huge to start fast," Schaub said. "We knew they were going to come out ready to play, fired up, with a lot of energy. We were just trying to take that wind out of their sails."
The Jets tied it late in the opening quarter, taking advantage of an interception by Antonio Cromartie. Four plays later, the Jets tied it for their first points in two weeks — a 27-yard TD catch by Cumberland.
"It was a lot of courage, a lot of effort that we showed," Tebow said. "It wasn't always perfect and we always didn't execute the way we want to, but you can never question our toughness or our effort or our character."
NOTES: Cromartie held Andre Johnson to one catch for 15 yards. Johnson also had a drop. ... Jets C Nick Mangold left early in the third quarter with an injured ankle, 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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