Sam Darnold
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

The New York Jets put up a strong fight against the playoff-bound Houston Texans, but fell just short in a Saturday night thriller.

Geoff Magliocchetti

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—Despite two touchdowns from Sam Darnold, two other scores from DeAndre Hopkins spelled doom for the New York Jets, who fell 29-22 to the Houston Texans on Saturday late afternoon.

The game got off to a defensive-minded start, with each defense earning a showstopping sack on their respective first drives. JJ Watt ended the first drive for the Texans, shortly before his offense broke into Jets territory. But thanks to Henry Anderson, and with a little help from officials, the Texans only managed a Ka’imi Fairbairn field goal to make 3-0.

The teams struggled to move the ball afterward, though they each earned a field goal to create a 6-3 tally. After Watt made his prescience felt once more by forcing a lost Elijah McGuire fumble, Watson hooked up with DeAndre Hopkins for a 46-yard score to make a two-possession game.

The Jets offense would sputter again, leading to another Fairbairn field goal, this one from 53 yards away.

The Jets, however, would change up momentum with a nine-play, 83-yard drive that concluded with a five-yard Darnold touchdown pass to Robby Anderson, one that cut the lead to single digits, even with Jason Myers missing the extra point.

Houston had three timeouts and 30 seconds to work with, but Henry Anderson’s second sack of the day ended any thoughts of a quick score. For good measure, Anderson would add his third of the day to open the second half.

Though another missed extra point awaited, the Jets would earn another touchdown, this one being a 13-yard throw from Darnold to Andre Roberts. In the process, the Jets continued to plague Watson and the Texans’ offense.

The fourth quarter opened with another Fairbairn field goal, but the Jets had yet another march in them to take their first lead of the day.

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The trek included a gutsy fourth and short where Darnold found Robby Anderson, and ended with an Elijah McGuire touchdown, with the help of a team push. Myers made the extra point to make it 22-19. 7 minutes and 33 seconds were taken from the clock.

Not to be outdone, the Texans went 75 yards in seven plays and retook the lead on a 14-yard Watson throw to Hopkins.

The Jets got the ball back, but a missed catch from Robby Anderson ended their chances at victory. They’d get one more chance after Fairbairn’s fourth field, but that opportunity likewise
fell short.

The New York Jets will play their home finale next week against the Green Bay Packers (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX).