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Houston Texans Final Score/Post-Game Recap: Jets 21, Texans 14

The Houston Texans improve their draft position.

New York Jets v Houston Texans
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

There’s silver at the bottom of the ocean. The Houston Texans lost a game they never should have lost today at NRG Stadium. A veteran roster, a supposed competent quarterback in Tyrod Taylor, a defense that is ranked 10th by DVOA when you include turnovers, a team that went up against the worst defense in the NFL, one that features a terrible trio of cornerbacks and a rookie quarterback who has been a play-to-play disaster returning from a knee injury. This is the game a team built like the Texans should win, but it’s a game they ended up losing.

Houston went up 14-3 after Taylor finally hit a deep pass down the sideline. After missing a wide open Nico Collins, Taylor found Brandin Cooks against Bryce Hall on 3rd and 11 two players later. Tim Kelly did his best Bill O’Brien impression this afternoon. Rather than run an offense that attacks the Jets’ weaknesses—stopping passes outside the numbers because of their cornerback play—Kelly ran the offense he’s comfortable with. Run heavy. Funky play action. Quick, short passes. Houston was shut out in the second half.

The Jets are a team that made the necessary changes. Zach Wilson missed throw after throw. Throwing too high to the flat, throwing too hard to the slant, missing while throwing on the move. Mike LaFleur switched from a short, middle of the field passing offense to a horizontal one. Outside zone, jet sweeps, throws out to the sideline, nice screen pass designs, and every blade of grass was utilized to turn the Jets from putrescent to completely acceptable.

Like all games between bad teams, the one was still close. After Matt Amendola (not related to Danny) gave the Jets a three point lead, the Texans had the chance for a game-tying drive. A quick pass to the flat to Danny Amendola (not related to Matt), two terrible run plays (one of which was a tackle for a loss by Quinnen Williams), and Hall defending a quick comeback to Nico Collins out wide. Four and out. The Jets got the ball back thanks to a turnover on downs, effectively squashing Houston’s chances

This is as bad as it gets. At home. Ghost town stadium. Losing to a young and atrocious 2-8, now 3-8, team. For an organization that talked with its chest puffed out this summer, putting out this performance is like dog’s nose meeting its own fecal manner.

But it’s not all bad. This is where the silver lining comes in. The Jets now have the tiebreaker over the Texans and are 3-8 while Houston drops to 2-9. The Texans are now projected to pick third overall with a game and a half “lead” on the Jets. The Texans are also a half game behind the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are also 2-9. A loss to the Jaguars in Week Fifteen could solidify the number two overall pick for Houston. All this means the Texans would have a better pick to trade down from or they could get the leftover after Detroit chooses between Kayvon Thibodeaux and Aidan Hutchinson.

These are the good things we try and look forward to in a season that has lacked so much. The Texans will try to keep the bad times rolling next week when they play the Indianapolis Colts in Houston at 12 p.m. CST.