NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 12 Game Recap: New York Jets 21, Houston Texans 14

Houston, Texas, USA; New York Jets running back Josh Adams (36) scores a touchdown during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets picked up their third victory of the season in a nail-biting 21-14 win over the Houston Texans in Week 12.

Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson returned from injury to lead New York to its second victory in the past five weeks, aided by a successful run-heavy approach. Houston continued to struggle offensively, accruingjust 45 total yards in the second half.

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New York Jets


Zach Wilson appeared skittish in his return from a knee injury that forced him out of the Jets' past four contests. He threw for 145 yards on 14-of-24 passing and one interception. The rookie signal-caller rarely looked to push the ball downfield, averaging just 4.7 yards of depth per target. A mere 20.8% of Wilson’s attempts traveled past the first-down marker.

Target Depth Comps/Atts Yds Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 5/6 12 83.3% 0
Short (1-9) 6/12 82 58.3% 0
Medium (10-19) 2/3 29 66.7% 0
Long (20+) 1/2 22 50% 0

Wilson was pressured on nine of his 28 dropbacks while averaging just 2.68 seconds to throw. The rookie was particularly adept at finding his pass-catchers in space, as a season-high 65.5% of his yards came after the catch. The former second overall pick also collected the first rushing touchdown of his career on a well-executed read option from the four-yard line midway through the third quarter.  

Running Back

Tevin Coleman handled lead-back duties for New York in Michael Carter‘s absence, collecting 70 yards on 18 total touches in the victory. He led all players with five forced missed tackles.

Former practice squad member Austin Walter scored the Jets' lone rushing touchdown of the day (aside from Wilson's score). Walter came into Sunday’s contest with just three rushing yards to his name, yet he operated as the team’s backup running back and finished with 38 yards on nine carries.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Wide receiver Braxton Berrios led all pass-catchers with 47 yards through the air, 46 of which came on an impressive catch-and-run late in the third quarter. He outgained wide receiver Elijah Moore by just one yard despite the fact that Moore drew a game-high eight targets, catching four of them for 46 yards.

Tight end Ryan Griffin was second on the team with four targets, reeling in three of them for 20 yards. Griffin's average of 8.3 yards per target was second-highest among Jets pass-catchers.

Offensive Line

New York’s offensive line was up and down in its performance Sunday, powering a Jets rushing attack that averaged 4.6 yards per carry yet conceding 14 pressures and four sacks in pass protection. Starting center Connor McGovern was the unit’s highest performing member. He finished as the only starter who didn't allow pressure.

Defensive Line

Edge defender John Franklin-Myers’ first-quarter pass deflection and interception was New York’s defensive highlight of the day. And the third-year pro led all defenders with two sacks to cap off an all-around dominant performance. The defensive line combined to finish with nine pressures and four sacks in the victory.

Player Pass-Rushing Snaps Pressures Sacks 
Quinnen Williams 24 1 1
John Franklin-Myers 23 2 2
Sheldon Rankins 18 1 0
Shaq Lawson 17 1 0
Folorunso Fatukasi 11 2 0

The Jets' linebackers combined for 18 tackles Sunday, led by starter C.J. Mosley who paced all New York defenders with eight tackles in the win. The unit performed admirably in coverage, conceding four receptions on seven targets for 18 yards.


Cornerback Michael Carter II drew a team-high six targets, allowing five receptions for 47 yards and two first downs. He was one of three New York defensive backs to draw over four targets. The unit allowed 13 receptions on 19 targets for 140 yards and seven first downs to finish with a combined 124.9 passer rating allowed.

Player Cov. Snaps  Rec./Tgts Yds Passer Rating Allowed
Javelin Guidry 32 1/4 7 39.6
Michael Carter II 31 5/6 47 99.3
Ashtyn Davis 31 0/1 0 39.6
Bryce Hall 31 5/6 68 153.5

Houston Texans


Tyrod Taylor performed competently in Sunday’s defeat, throwing for 158 yards on 17-of-26 passing to go along with two touchdowns and one interception. The 11-year pro held up well against seemingly constant pressure, finishing with three completions on five attempts for 38 yards — including both his touchdown and an interception — on 10 pressured dropbacks.

Target Depth Comps/Atts Yds Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 5/7 18 85.7% 0
Short (1-9) 10/13 89 76.9% 1
Medium (10-19) 1/2 11 50% 0
Long (20+) 1/4 40 25% 1

Taylor connected with wide receiver Brandin Cooks for a 40-yard touchdown pass on his lone completion on a pass targeted 20-plus yards downfield.

Running Back

Rex Burkhead handled a team-high 12 carries yet managed just 27 yards on the ground. He was only slightly more effective as a receiver, hauling in each of his three targets for 27 yards.

David Johnson was Houston’s leading rusher Sunday, totaling 55 total yards on 12 touches. He was responsible for the unit’s lone forced missed tackle in the defeat.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks led all Houston pass-catchers with 45 yards through the air, the vast majority of which came on a touchdown reception midway through the second quarter. He was the only Texans wide receiver to log more than 28 yards through the air, as the unit reeled in nine of its 16 targets for 92 yards and five first downs.

Tight end Brevin Jordan tied Cooks for the team lead in receptions (three), collecting 23 yards and a touchdown catch early in the second quarter. Jordan displayed some impressive shiftiness with the ball in his hands, finishing second on the team with 17 yards after the catch.

Offensive Line

Houston’s offensive line struggled throughout Sunday’s defeat, surrendering 13 pressures and five sacks while facilitating a Texans rushing attack that averaged just 1.3 yards before contact. Starting center Jimmy Morrissey was particularly faulty in pass protection, conceding a team-high three pressures and two sacks in the loss.

Defensive Line

Edge defender Jonathan Greenard led the way for the Texans up front, pacing the unit with four pressures and one sack in Sunday’s defeat. He was one of three Houston defensive linemen to finish with two or more pressures, as the group accrued 12 pressures and three sacks.

Player Pass-Rushing Snaps Pressures Sacks 
Jacob Martin 21 3 1
Maliek Collins 20 2 0
Jonathan Greenard 19 4 1
Ross Blacklock 12 1 0
Jaleel Johnson 11 0 0
DeMarcus Walker 11 1 1

Houston linebackers combined for 19 tackles with an average depth of tackle of 2.6 yards, led by Zach Cunningham’s team-high eight tackles. The group held up well in coverage, allowing receptions on each of their four unit-wide targets for just 19 yards and one first down.


Cornerback Tavierre Thomas captained an overall impressive performance from Houston’s secondary. The fourth-year defensive back registered the Texans’ lone interception while conceding receptions on just three of his team-high seven targets. Thomas was far from the only Houston defensive back to thrive in Sunday’s defeat, as the unit allowed just 126 yards on 10 receptions while finishing with a group-wide 51.6 passer rating allowed.

Player Cov. Snaps  Rec./Tgts Yds Passer Rating Allowed
Desmond King II 28 6/6 95 118.8
Eric Murray 27 0/1 0 39.6
Terrence Brooks 26 0/1 18 39.6
Terrance Mitchel 21 1/3 10 43.8
Tavierre Thomas 20 3/7 21 10.7
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