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(Sunday, September 13th)
Final Score: NY Jets 24, Houston 7
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Mark Sanchez enjoyed a solid pro debut, completing 18-of-31 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown as the New York Jets shut down Houston, 24-7, in the season-opener for both teams from Reliant Stadium.
"We wanted to get a win under our belt. That meant the world to me," Sanchez noted. "I wanted to play well for the veteran defense, my offensive line and also for coach Ryan. This is just Week 1 of 16, and I gotta keep things in perspective."
Thomas Jones had 107 rushing yards and two scores on 20 attempts for the Jets (1-0), who gave Rex Ryan a victory in his head coaching debut. Jerricho Cotchery had six receptions for 90 yards, Dustin Keller hauled in four balls for 94 yards and Chansi Stuckey caught four for 64 yards and a TD.
Matt Schaub struggled under center, throwing for 166 yards on 18- of-33 attempts with an interception for the Texans (0-1), who were 8-8 a season ago. Owen Daniels caught four balls for 44 yards, but Steve Slaton was limited to 17 rushing yards on nine attempts.
The visitors got rolling on a 16-play, 68-yard scoring drive at the end of the first quarter, ending on Jay Feely's 24-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining.
Slaton's fumble at the Jets' 17 on Houston's longest drive of the first half fell into the hands of Mike Devito at the 15 for a seven-yard return. New York then marched 78 yards in 10 plays and took a 10-0 lead when Sanchez connected with Stuckey on a 30-yard TD pass.
The Jets went up 17-0 on a Jones one-yard run, after holding the ball for the first 7:25 of the third quarter and going 87 yards in 12 plays.
Houston finally got on the board early in the fourth. Sanchez threw a pass intended for Keller right into the hands of the Texans' John Busing. He fumbled on the run back, but the ball was picked up by Dominique Barber and taken the final 48 yards for a touchdown.
New York responded on the ensuing drive, as Jones burst through the right side on a 38-yard TD run. The score was set up on the previous play when Sanchez hit Keller for 40 yards into Texans territory.
Houston's final possession of the contest fell into the hands of Jets cornerback Lito Sheppard with 7:20 left, and the Jets ran off the remainder of the clock aided by three first downs.
"It's hard for me to pinpoint just one thing. I was most disappointed offensively, how we played," said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. "The lack of offense gave us no chance."
The Jets have won all four meetings since the Texans entered the league in 2002...Texans wide receiver Kevin Walter was inactive for the contest. New York hosts New England next Sunday, and Houston travels to Tennessee...Slaton was held to one yard rushing on six attempts in the first half as Houston ended with just 38 total yards on the ground, compared to 190 for New York...The Jets racked up 462 yards total offense to 183 for the Texans.
09/13 18:11:46 ET
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