“He didn’t say anything,” Moss said of Testaverde. “He could just see it in our eyes and we could see it in his eyes. We just had to fight. We knew it would not be easy and we had to fight them.”
The 39-year-old Testaverde has led New York (2-4) to two victories after opening with four straight losses. He returned as the starter when Chad Pennington broke his left wrist in the preseason, but Pennington could retake the reins as early as next week in Philadelphia.
Jets coach Herman Edwards said he would make that decision Monday.
Down by a point at his own 14-yard line with 2:48 remaining, Testaverde and the Jets calmly got the job done.
“Our guys are real experienced,” Testaverde said. “We’ve been in this situation before. You don’t have to say a lot, you just call the play with confidence and let them see it in your eyes, and the guys came out and made some great plays.”
Despite the late score—which was followed by an incomplete pass on a 2-point try—the Jets held their breaths when J.J. Moses returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to the New York 27 and the Texans (2-4) quickly moved to the 9.
On fourth-and-4, David Carr’s pass over the middle glanced off receiver Andre Johnson’s chest and fell to the ground. The Jets were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, but possession already had changed and the offense could exhaust the final 21 seconds.
“The last pass was intended for Billy Miller. I told Andre after the game, `Don’t worry about it. It wasn’t your fault,”’ Carr said. “We’ve tried that play many times in practice and that’s never happened.”
Houston’s second straight loss spoiled a spectacular game by Texans rookie running back Domanick Davis, who rushed for 129 yards and caught nine passes for 70 more in his first start. It was the first 100-yard rushing performance in the franchise’s 22-game history.
“It feels good knowing I was the first one to do it, but it would feel a lot better if we would have been able to win,” Davis said. “We knew we could have beaten them, but we just have to (figure out) how to put them away.”
Davis started in place of Stacey Mack, who had two touchdowns in his new role of backup and goal-line specialist.
Testaverde was 15-of-29 for 182 yards and also threw his 250th career touchdown pass, while Santana Moss had six receptions for 111 yards.
Testaverde got the game-winning drive rolling with a 25-yard pass to Moss, then he scrambled for 13 yards to near midfield before New York turned to its tailback tandem of Jordan and veteran Curtis Martin, who had a 20-yard run.
Jordan finished the drive with runs of 6 and 8 yards.
“At the end of the year we’ll just look at this game as another win,” Edwards said. “Some will say it was ugly, but the guys did a great job of fighting back and we pulled it out.”
Davis, who never could establish himself as the featured back at Louisiana State, set the tempo early. He accounted for 44 yards rushing and receiving on Houston’s opening drive but was getting a breather when Mack romped through the Jets secondary for a 10-yard TD run.
Davis got Houston going again after New York’s third consecutive three-and-out series to start the game, helping the Texans drive to the Jets 1. Coach Dom Capers went for it on fourth down and Mack flew over the top, breaking the plane of the goal line just before linebacker Sam Cowart knocked the ball loose.
The Jets, who lost 9 yards in the first quarter, finally came alive pinned at their own 9 late in the second. Testaverde capped the drive with his scoring toss to Moss, who split cornerback Kenny Wright and safety Marlon McCree in the end zone.
McCree knocked helmets with Wright on the play, sending Wright to the locker room. He did not return.
Doug Brien hit a 39-yard field goal late in the third quarter and a30-yarder midway into the fourth to narrow Houston’s lead to 14-13.
Curtis Martin finished with 88 yards rushing, giving him 10,723 for his career and moving him to 13th place on the league’s all-time list. He passed Ricky Watters, who had 10,643. … Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis had a sack in his ninth consecutive game, a team record. … The Texans’ 169 yards rushing also was a team record, surpassing their previous high of 141 yards last yearagainst Buffalo.