EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Whew! Rex Ryan's New York Jets sure are perfecting the art of stunning endings.
Hey, at least they didn't need overtime to settle this one.
Santonio Holmes caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez with 10 seconds left, lifting the Jets to an unlikely 30-27 comeback victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
After New York blew a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Jets trailed 27-23 with less than a minute left. But Sanchez completed two passes to LaDainian Tomlinson and then had a pretty 42-yard pass to Braylon Edwards with 16 seconds remaining. Edwards was knocked out of bounds by Eugene Wilson, stopping the clock and giving the Jets (8-2) a chance to win.
On the next play, Sanchez coolly found Holmes streaking into the left corner of the end zone for the winning score, sending the New Meadowlands Stadium crowd into a frenzy.
A video replay confirmed that Holmes, whose 37-yard touchdown catch won it in overtime at Cleveland last week and set up the win at Detroit with a 52-yard reception in OT, got both feet in bounds.
The Jets were coming off becoming the first team to win consecutive overtime games on the road, and looked as though they were going to fall to 2-3 at home.
But it was another heartbreaking loss for the Texans (4-6), who fell last week on a desperation heave as time expired at Jacksonville. Two weeks ago, Houston lost to San Diego on a late interception after driving for a potential go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.
It appeared Houston was in good shape in this one as Arian Foster scored a questionable go-ahead 1-yard touchdown with 2:18 remaining.
Foster, the NFL's leading rusher, was hit at the goal line but reached out as he landed on a teammate and the ball broke the plane for a touchdown. Ryan challenged the call, thinking Foster was down, but the play was upheld after replay review.
Neil Rackers kicked a 22-yard field goal with 55 seconds to go after Sanchez was intercepted by Kevin Bentley – sending thousands of fans to the exits.
For those who stayed, they were treated to another incredible ending.
Sanchez finished 22-for-38 for 315 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Holmes and one to Edwards. Holmes finished with seven catches for 126 yards.
New York gets back to work quickly, with another home game Thursday night against Cincinnati.
Foster had 84 yards rushing and two touchdown runs. Matt Schaub, starting after being hospitalized Tuesday night with a knee injury, threw for 254 yards and a touchdown to Joel Dreessen.
The Jets went up 20-7 on Holmes' 41-yard touchdown catch with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter. On third-and-6, Holmes took a short slant pass from Sanchez and zipped past a few defenders and into the end zone.
The score came moments after a man jumped onto the field and dashed across the turf for about 80 yards before tripping and then being jumped on by several security officers, including two New Jersey State troopers. He was handcuffed and led away from the field.
Mike DeVito later forced a fumble by Foster, and the ball was recovered by Jim Leonhard at the Texans 22. Four plays later, Nick Folk kicked a 30-yard field goal to make it 23-7 and giving the Jets what appeared to be a comfortable lead.
Houston then began its comeback with Rackers' 38-yard field goal with 12:21 that made it 23-10.
The Texans took advantage of a fumble by Shonn Greene, scoring immediately after Brian Cushing knocked the ball loose and Bentley recovered. Schaub found Dreessen wide open down the left sideline and the big tight end ran into the end zone untouched for a 43-yard touchdown that made it 23-17 with 9:14 left.
Houston took a 7-3 lead 4:43 into the second quarter of Foster's 2-yard touchdown run, his 11th of the season. He had 35 yards rushing and an 11-yard catch on the 11-play drive.
New York took a 10-7 lead with 5:18 left before halftime on Edwards' 4-yard touchdown catch, converting two third-down plays and overcoming two penalties on the drive.
Folk's 33-yard field goal with 58 seconds left in the half put the Jets ahead 13-7.
Folk, who missed three field goals in the Jets' win at Cleveland last week, was short on a 53-yard attempt on New York's opening drive of the second half.