The Jets’ limited receiving corps showed some life against the Texans on Saturday at MetLife Stadium, but in the end they once again fell short.
With Quincy Enunwa sidelined because of an ankle injury, Robby Anderson flashed some lost magic while Andre Roberts busted out to score his first receiving touchdown of the season as Sam Darnold showed terrific touch and maneuverability.
Darnold found nine different receivers, but it wasn’t enough as the Jets fell to the Texans 29-22 to drop to 4-10.
On a day DeAndre Hopkins (two touchdowns) showed the Jets what a real superstar receiver looks like, Anderson caught seven passes on 11 targets including a 5-yard touchdown. However he had a lowlight, too, dropping a long fourth-and-15 pass with 1:47 left in the game.
“It was just a little bad judgment by me,’’ Anderson said. “I came a little bit too much under and it hit right off my fingertips. But I’ve got to make those plays.’’
In a season of extreme disappointment, at least the Jets had some happy moments.
Anderson caught that 5-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds remaining in the half to cut Houston’s lead to 16-9. Roberts later found himself free in the corner after a slant-and-go move for a 13-yard touchdown in the third quarter that closed the Texans’ lead to 16-15.
Anderson clicked with Darnold for much of the day.
“It feels real good. I think that it shows that we have a good connection,’’ Anderson said. “We’ve just got to keep building from it.’’
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Communication is the key, Anderson said.
“Communication, repetition and connection,’’ he said.
Let’s add another word: catching.
On the touchdown to Anderson, Darnold showed enough wiggle ability to stay out of J.J. Watt sack trouble. Darnold did a good job of feeling pressure in the pocket, and on his toss to Anderson, he earned a little more time by stepping up nicely to find a wide-open Anderson in the middle of the end zone.
“It’s a lot of fun,’’ Anderson said of working with Darnold, “because you can’t never expect the play to die. Expect the unexpected with him.’’
That’s why it would have been so intriguing if Anderson could have made that last catch with the Jets trailing at the time, 26-22.
“Every throw that I throw to our receivers I feel like they can catch, but at the same time I’ve got to put it in a better spot,’’ Darnold said. “That’s just the name of the game. I want to make it easy on them. We’ve just got to connect there.’’