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Texans look to remain unbeaten as they face Jets on TSN

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The Sports Network
10/8/2012 2:25:24 PM
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(Sports Network) - When it rains it pours.

Already without its best defensive player, the New York Jets lost their top offensive star back on Sept. 30 when receiver Santonio Holmes went down with a Lisfranc injury in his left foot during the team's 34-0 shellacking at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.

Now perhaps the NFL's best team, the Houston Texans, arrives in North Jersey to close out Week 5 of the NFL season with a Monday night matchup with the Jets.

You can watch the game live on TSN at 8:30pm et/5:30pm pt.

Holmes was placed on injured reserve by New York on Wednesday, joining All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is done for the year with an ACL injury.

The Texans, meanwhile, are off to the best start in franchise history, using a stifling defense as well as a potent running attack and a crisp passing game to move to 4-0 for the first time after a 38-14 rout of the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 30.

Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns, Matt Schaub threw for 202 yards and two scores and Arian Foster ran for 86 yards and a touchdown in that one.

Schaub completed 20-of-28 passes, Owen Daniels caught six balls for 72 yards and a touchdown, and James Casey had five receptions for 36 yards and a score for Houston (4-0), which has outscored its opponents by a gaudy 128-56 margin this season.

"It feels good," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said of his club's 4-0 start. "It's been a good September for our football team. We played pretty solid football."

Defensive end J.J. Watt tallied two of the Texans' four sacks in the triumph against the Titans. He has recorded 1 1/2-plus sacks in every game this season and has 7 1/2 on the year.

Watt, in his second year out of Wisconsin, was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September after registering 20 tackles, the 7 1/2 sacks, two fumble recoveries and five passes defensed during the month.

On the other side of the ledger is the Jets, a club that can at least take comfort in the knowledge it is at .500 despite being the epitome of Murphy's Law early this season.

New York came into its game against San Francisco without Revis as well as speedy wide receiver Stephen Hill and tight end Dustin Keller, both of whom were inactive with hamstring injuries.

Holmes suffered his injury during the fourth quarter of the rout after making a catch. He immediately fell to the ground without being contacted and let go of the ball, which 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers promptly returned for a 51- yard touchdown.

The seven-year veteran was New York's only reliable threat outside the numbers and finishes his season with 20 receptions for 272 yards and a touchdown.

San Francisco held the overmatched Jets to a paltry 145 yards of total offense and nine first downs while forcing four turnovers. The 49ers also blocked a punt that led to a touchdown and registered three sacks of Mark Sanchez, who managed just 103 passing yards on 13-of-29 passing and was intercepted once for New York, which was handed its most lopsided shutout loss since a 37-0 setback to Buffalo in the 1989 regular-season finale.

"I apologize for my language because I was going to say we got our butt kicked, but we got our (expletive) kicked," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "It's unacceptable. As coaches, we need to look at what we're doing. Clearly, we're not going to beat anybody when we play like we did today."

The Jets had not been shut out since a 9-0 home defeat to Green Bay on Oct. 31, 2010.

"I'm disappointed," Ryan added. "I thought our fans deserved a heck of a lot better than this. We had a packed stadium and played like...we played terrible."

Perhaps terrible enough to think about a quarterback change?

Sanchez had to know this was coming the minute the Jets traded for the immensely popular Tim Tebow in the offseason. Only consistent stellar play from the USC product was going to keep the wolves at bay and Sanchez has been anything but stellar early in the season.

Logically Tebow, a deeply flawed player who has displayed far less accuracy than the embattled Sanchez during his career, would have less of a chance to get this Jets offense moving with few weapons at his disposal.

But logic is never in play when it comes to backup signal callers, who are generally the most popular people in town until the locals actually get to see them play.

"I'm just ready and anxious for when my number's called, to just try to help this team," Tebow said. "(It's) the same attitude I've had the whole time. When my number's called, (I) just want to have competitive excellence to help these guys."

For now, Ryan is still protecting Sanchez.

"I'm not ready to make a quarterback change," the coach said. "We have to get better play at quarterback. We have to get better at a lot of things. You look at yourself first, and there are things that clearly we all need to do. I think Mark's the answer at quarterback. Again, time will tell."

Arian Foster (Photo: Michael DeHoog/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Michael DeHoog/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
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