By Drew Buono
Jets Staff Writer
December 3rd, 2006
Jets DE Bryan Thomas forces Green Bay QB Brett Favre to fumble during Gang Green's 38-10 victory on Sunday.
Jets DE Bryan Thomas forces Green Bay QB Brett Favre to fumble during Gang Green's 38-10 victory on Sunday.

Contenders or Pretenders? The New York Jets are definitely contenders in the AFC and have a very good chance of making the playoffs as either the five of six seed. Their blowout win in Lambeau against the Packers finally gave head coach Eric Mangini that consistency he was looking for from his team.

The Jets came out onto that cold turf with fire in their hearts, as they would not let anything overpower them. It was a Jet dominated first half, as the team scored on all five possessions including four touchdowns. Not only did they score on every possession of the half, but the drive for each of their five scores averaged 70 yards.

The Jets had almost more yards at the half, 340, then they did in any game this season. QB Chad Pennington had 241 of those first half yards, with two touchdown passes. RB Cedric Houston was the lead rusher with 55 yards in the first half with two touchdowns as well. The run game which had done absolutely nothing in the last six quarters prior to this game, exploded today for 178 yards on 31 rushes.

Houston reached the 100-yard plateau for the first time in his career, with 102-yards on 22 carries. The tag team of Houston and Leon Washington had 142 yards for the game and maybe just maybe provided Mangini his answer at the running back position. Houston said the offensive line was the reason for his big game, “it’s start with the offensive line from (Pete) Kendall to D’Brickashaw (Ferguson).”

Houston wasn’t the only player to standout today, as WR Jerricho Cotchery had the most receptions in a game in his career today with nine for 99 yards and a touchdown. Cotchery told reporters afterwards, “I told you so,” referring to the fact that when teams put two players on WR Laveranues Coles it gives Cotchery more of an opportunity to have a big game.

The big key to this game was that the Jets had a complete offensive attack on the field. Pennington had a great game and his running backs complemented him very nicely. The second half was almost meaningless except to see if the Jet defense could hold Green Bay scoreless for the third time this year at home.

The defense was unsuccessful at the shutout, but did only allow ten points to the Packers. This is now the fourth straight game that the Jets have allowed 13 points or less to an opponent, going 3-1 over those four games. The second half, was more about maintaining the lead and keeping the Packers out of the endzone. Besides letting the Packers dominant the third quarter, the Jets played a complete game with a first half that was as close to perfect as your going to get in the NFL.

Packers QB Brett Favre again tried everything he could to get his team into the game, but again by trying to do everything he became the major factor in the team’s downfall. Favre had all three of Green Bay’s turnovers, including two in the first half, which led to Jet touchdowns. The only positive for Favre, was his 411th career touchdown pass to WR Donald Driver in the third quarter.

Mangini was happy “across the board” with how his team played today. The head coach was especially happy at, “winning on the road especially in a historic place like this, it’s a positive.” Mangini was not only pleased at his team’s consistency throughout the game, but is also pleased, “at the way we continue to make progress.” Pennington continued on his coach’s words saying he likes how the “guys keep getting better and better.” Pennington is also excited about the, “capability and potential we have, we’re putting full games together.”

The Jets are coming together at the right time and with their remaining schedule, this consistency and four quarter effort will most likely result with a birth to the next round of play.

- The 38 points scored by the Jets, is the most they’ve had in a game in over two years.
- Their 340 first half yards were their second highest total this season, the highest yard total came against Detroit when they had 398 yards for the whole game!
- Pennington came out firing in the first quarter hitting eight different receivers for 151 yards on 11-16 passing.
- The offensive line was exceptional today for the Jets, as the line allowed no sacks on Pennington for the game and gave the quarterback plenty of time to complete a season high 25 passes.
- DE Bryan Thomas is already making good on his new contract with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble on Favre.
- The Jets had 22 first downs in the first half compared to only six for the Packers.
- If the Jets were to be a wild-card team they would be a team to be afraid of, as they improved their road record to 4-2 on the season.
- The Jets are also beating the teams on their schedule that they should be winning against, going 6-1 against teams with a losing record.


Don’t miss exclusive live appearances by NY Jets stars coming up next week at Last Licks in Massapequa, Long Island.

Tuesday December 5th, 6:30-8PM
WR Jerricho Cotchery
RB Leon Washington

Tuesday December 12th, 6:30-8PM
TE Chris Baker
DE Shaun Ellis
DT Bobby Hamilton

For more information or to reserve a spot, call Last Licks at 516-541-6326 or log on to their website by CLICKING HERE.

The Jets return to Hofstra University tomorrow for head coach Eric Mangini’s press conference. will have a complete recap following Monday’s events.