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OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
December 19th, 2004

Throughout the week, the Jets players had complained about the offense being conservative and not being able to put points on the scoreboard. The Jets channeled that frustration onto the field today as they racked up a season-high 482 yards in a 37-14 win over Seattle at the Meadowlands.

Throughout the week, the Jets players had complained about the offense being conservative and not being able to put points on the scoreboard. The Jets channeled that frustration onto the field today as they racked up a season-high 482 yards in a 37-14 win over Seattle at the Meadowlands.

With the victory, the Jets move to 10-4 and one step closer to the playoffs.

QB Chad Pennington rebounded from a dismal performance against Pittsburgh last week, by completing 18-of-24 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Pennington talked about how the Jets offense was able to be so effective.

“We just executed,” Pennington said. “We kept the chains moving, got into a rhythm and a flow offensively.”

The Jets offensive line paved the way for 229 rushing yards. RB Curtis Martin had 134 yards and two touchdowns while RB Lamont Jordan rushed for 84 yards.

Martin talked about the play of the o-line.

“I talked to them beginning of the week,” Martin said. “I told them as long as you get job done, we’ll be fine. They played their butts off.”

The Jets defense came up huge, shutting out Seattle in the second half and forcing three turnovers. It was the eighth game this year the Jets have shut out an opponent in the second half. Jets head coach Herman Edwards was certainly pleased by the play of the defense.

The Jets received the ball to begin the game and drove 71 yards in 11 plays and 5:06 but had to settle for a 21-yard Doug Brien field goal after the drive stalled inside the Seattle 10. On the drive, Curtis Martin rushed four times for 36 yards.

The Seahawks answered as WR Jerry Rice caught a 12 yard TD pass from QB Matt Hasselbeck, who was 4-for-4 for 40 yard on the drive. Rice hauled in a one-handed catch in the back of the end zone, beating CB Terrell Buckley. Josh Brown’s extra point sailed through the uprights and Seattle led 7-3. The drive went nine plays, 71 yards in 4:27.

The Jets took back the lead for good on the first play of the second quarter as Martin scored his 11th rushing TD of the year as he plunged in from one-yard out on third and goal. Martin followed RG Brandon Moore into the end zone. The key play of the drive was a 34 yard pass to FB Jerald Sowell on 3rd-and-2 from the Seattle 40. The Jets were three-for-three on third down on the drive. After Brien’s extra point, the Jets took back the lead at 10-7.

The Jets defense stepped up on the next possession, forcing Seattle to punt.

Martin again found the end zone, this time rushing from three yards out. Sowell was solid on the drive, making two catches for 28 yards. Sowell had his best game of the year with five catches for 83 yards. Seattle challenged that Martin got into the end zone but the call stood and Brien’s extra point gave the Jets a 17-7 lead with 7:44 left in the second quarter. The drive took eight plays, 69 yards in 4:16.

On Seattle’s next drive, Jets LB Eric Barton intercepted his first pass of the season at the Jets 39 and returned it seven yards to the 46.

The Jets capitalized on the turnover as four plays later, Pennington found a wide-open Santana Moss for a 32-yard score and the Jets had a commanding 24-7 lead.

Seattle got the ball back on their own 24 with 1:43 left in the first half. Hasselbeck drove his team down the field and on 3rd-and-2 from the Jets 6, he found TE Jerramy Stevens for a touchdown in the back of the end zone as Stevens beat CB Donnie Abraham.

After forcing Seattle to punt on their first possession of the second half, the Jets added to their lead as Moss caught his second TD of the day from Pennington, a seven-yard hook-up. Moss finished with five catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns. The Jets showed a bit of trickery as on 1st-and-10 from the Seattle 43, Lamont Jordan took a direct snap and ran 33 yards to the 10. Jordan talked about the play.

“That’s a play we’ve had in this offense for 3 years now,” Jordan said. “It was a good job by the offensive linemen. They pulled well and I got around the edge.”

Moss was one of seven players who caught a pass from Pennington.

“We tried to get him the ball early,” Edwards said. “He got into a flow. I thought Paul did good job orchestrating offense where a lot of people touched ball and made plays.”

Brien missed his first extra point of the year but the Jets still had a 30-14 lead with 9:22 left in the third quarter.

On their ensuing possession, Seattle went for it on fourth and goal at the Jets 1. On a toss right, RB Shaun Alexander fumbled as he was hit by Barton, and DE Shaun Ellis recovered in the end zone for a touchback. Edwards talked about the goal line stand.

“It was a heck of an effort,” Edwards said. “If they score there, tight football game again.”

Ellis finished with three tackles and a sack and feels the defense can still improve.

“It feels good but still have to pick up our game from defensive side,” Ellis said. “We gave up two scoring drives of over 70 yards. We fought through it and played hard.”

The Jets were not able to put any points on the board on their next possession as Brien missed a 30-yard field goal wide left. It was one of only three possessions the Jets did not score on.

With 12:19 left in the game, Seattle got the ball back and a chance to cut into the Jets lead. But once again the Jets defense came up big, forcing the third Seattle turnover. On 3rd-and-10 from their own 21, Hasselbeck was sacked by Ellis and the ball came loose. It went off Ellis into Seattle G Steve Hutchinson’s hands. He fumbled it and Barton came up and recovered the ball. Barton was all over the field, leading the Jets with 11 tackles, a sack, an interception, and a fumble recovery. Barton talked about his and the defense play.

“It was a good game today,” Barton said. “I was fortunate to make the plays I did. We had to win. We all felt it and executed and did a good job.”

The Jets again converted off the turnover as Pennington hooked up with WR Justin McCareins for a five-yard touchdown and after Brien’s extra point, the Jets led 37-14 with 8:14 left in the game.

Seattle went three and out on their last possession of the game and the Jets were able to run out the final 7:06 by handing off to Jordan nine straight times.

Martin said the Jets goal all season has been to get to 10 wins.

“We knew coming in we had to get number ten,” Martin said. “It was the number we talked about all week, that was on the board. We focused and got it done.”

While the Jets put themselves in good position for the playoffs with the victory today, Jordan said the Jets can’t be satisfied with 10 wins.

“We can’t be satisfied until we win the super bowl,” Jordan said. “We should definitely enjoy this victory. For us offensively to play way we did, that’s huge and next week is big test.”

Edwards agrees with Jordan.

“We’re not with 10 wins,” Edwards said. “We got a lot of work left and we play some good teams down the stretch. We got a lot of work ahead.”

MISCELANEOUS GAME TIDBITS: Jerricho Cotchery had two kick returns for 39 yards. He also had one reception for 15 yards.

-The Jets have won the last five meetings against Seattle.

-Martin’s set two new Jets record with 12 rushing TD for the year and 53 as a Jet. He now has 14 total TD this year, tying the team record shared by Art Powell, Don Maynard, and Emerson Boozer. Martin also had his eighth 100-yard rushing game this year. He is now 80 yards shy of passing Eric Dickerson for fourth-place on the NFL career rushing list.

-The Jets are now 6-1 at home this year.

-After being flagged 12 times last week, the Jets were only penalized two times for 15 yards today.

-DE Shaun Ellis is now tied for 10th on the all-time Jets sack list with 37.

-WR Justin McCareins now has a catch in every game this year.

-The Jets did not punt once.

-The Jets defense held Alexander to 77 yards. Alexander was second in the NFL in rushing coming into the game.

-QB Ricky Ray, SS Rashad Washington, LB Victor Hobson, T Marco Cavka, WR-KR Jonathan Carter, G Dave Yovanovits and DE John Abraham were declared inactive.

INJURY REPORT: Edwards said there were no apparent new injuries.

The Jets host their final home game of the season next week as the New England Patriots come to the Meadowlands. The Jets will look to avenge an earlier 13-7 loss to the Patriots. The Joe Klecko #73 retirement will take place at halftime. Check back to Jets Insider.com often throughout the week for all the latest information leading up to the Jets/Patriots clash.

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