It started promising on Sunday as Jets RB Leon Washington ran back the opening kickoff. However, the Jets blew a 17-3 lead in an overtime 23-20 loss to the Redskins. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Johnathan Joseph, Lee Evans and now add Shaun Suisham to the list of names that have single-handedly beaten the Jets.
What happened Sunday afternoon at the Meadowlands is not a reoccurring nightmare for Jets fans. It is a reality! With QB Kellen Clemens taking over the reigns as the starting quarterback the Jets still couldn’t muster much offensively, especially in the second half, as Gang Green dropped the sixth straight game by the score of 23-20.
“Obviously there is no consolation to the end result, but I was proud of the way these guys fought,” said Jets head coach Eric Mangini. “I think we did some good things in all three phases, but we just couldn’t quite finish it.”
Five minutes into overtime Suisham hit his second 46-yard field goal of the game. Suisham kicked five field goals on the afternoon. He kicked two from 46, two from 40 and one from 22 yards out.
“Kicking is a pretty simple skill if you are doing it well. I try not to over think when I’m doing it,” said Suisham his performance today. “It is as simple as kicking a ball and kicking it straight.”
As the game went into overtime Jets fans thought they might have had the game won. The Jets won the coin toss and took over on their own 19. On the first play from scrimmage Clemens found WR Jerricho Cotchery for a 39-yard gain and the Jets were in business in Washington territory.
But that’s as far as they would get. The Jets were unable to move the ball as Ben Graham was forced to punt the ball.
The Jets had a lot of trouble moving the ball offensively. Like most games this season, the Jets strayed away from the running game. RB Thomas Jones never got a chance to get going today. Jones only got 13 carries that only amounted to 49 yards. Jones was the team’s prized off-season acquisition and he only got one more rushing yard than Clemens. Clemens finished with 7 carries for 48 yards.
It’s just the way the game went. He got some carries; Leon (Washington) got some carries. Some of the things they were doing, in terms of pressure, we thought running into that wouldn’t have been very effective,” said Mangini. “So it ended up being more of a passing game.”
Jones is a player that gets stronger as the game goes on and he needs carries get stronger. He said after the game he felt good and his legs felt fine.
“I just go with whatever the gameplan is,” Jones said. “I play they coach.”
But Washington had no problems moving the ball, especially by way of the running game. RB Clinton Portis carried the ball 36 times for 196 yards and one touchdown. Portis kept the Jets defense on the field for 36 minutes.
“Obviously, it doesn’t feel good,” said Jets linebacker Eric Barton about the Jets giving up nearly 300 yards rushing. “If you can’t stop something everyone is going to do it until you correct it. That’s how you play this game, until someone fixed something you try to take advantage of it.”
Even when Portis wasn’t running the football, the defense struggled defending the pass. Even though the Redskins only converted on third down 46% of the time, it felt like more. Whenever the Jets thought they had QB Jason Campbell contained he was able to roll out of the pocket and find the ex-Jet Santana Moss (4 receptions, 58 yards) or TE Chris Cooley (4 receptions, 49 yards).
All of Cooley’s receptions came on third down.
The Redskins were down 17-3 at one point, scored 11 unanswered points in the second half to take a 20-17 lead but K Mike Nugent hit a 30-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in to send the game into overtime.
With the Jets up 17-12 early in the fourth quarter, Clemens was looking for WR Jerricho Cotchery. Cotchery caught the ball but he could not hold on to ball as he was hit by Washington CB Shawn Springs. Redskins S LaRon Landry picked up the ball and returned it 15 yards.
Mangini challenged the play, but the call on the field stood.
“I didn’t feel like I had control of (the ball). Obviously, I did and it was a fumble that was a huge turning point because we were in field goal range,” Cotchery said about the fumble that led to the Redskins touchdown. “I am disappointed because the team counts on me. We had some crucial plays that I didn’t make today.”
On the ensuing Washington would score to go-ahead touchdown. Clinton Portis’s 32-yard run set up his one-yard touchdown run. Redskins QB Jason Campbell found WR Antwaan-Randle El for the two-point conversion to make the score 20-17.
Early on it looked like the announced crowd of 76,663 were going to be watching a Jet win as RB Leon Washington took the opening kickoff back 86 yards for his third kick return for a touchdown. Washington became the first player in Jets history to return three kicks for touchdowns.
No Coles, No Ryan
There was no Laveranues Coles today. Coles suffered a concussion against the Bills last week and declared inactive for today’s game. Since Coles did not play, he snapped two streaks in the process. Before Sunday, Coles has played in 106 consecutive games with 104 straight starts. With Coles not available the Jets signed WR Chris Davis to active roster from the practice squad.
Along with Coles TE Sean Ryan was declared inactive. Throughout the season and in training camp, Ryan practiced with Clemens and the second team. In the preseason games it looked like Ryan had developed some chemistry with Clemens. Ryan has played in seven of the Jets eight games before being inactive today.
Joining Coles and Ryan on the inactive list was QB Marques Tuiasosopo (3rd QB), CB Drew Coleman, FB Darian Barnes, OT Adrian Jones, TE Jason Pociask, DT C.J. Mosley.
Inactive for the Redskins was QB Mark Brunell (3rd QB), CB David Macklin, LB Marcus Washington, OL Mike Pucillo, DT Ryan Boschetti, OG Randy Thomas, OL Kevin Sampson, WR Brandon Lloyd.
Military Day at the Meadowlands
Today was Military appreciation day. Before the game the American flag was unfurled by 75 military personnel representing each of the five branches of the military. A U.S Coast Guard Helicopter flew over the stadium as Marine Sergeant Elizabeth Quinones performed the national anthem.
Also the Jets honored Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy. The Patchogue, NY native was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Bush nearly two weeks ago (it’s the highest award for valor in action). Murphy, who lost his life during the heat of battle, was able to save lives of other soldiers despite being injured himself. His mother Maureen Murphy and brother John Murphy served as honorary captains for today’s game.
-OG Will Montgomery was active for the first time this season, but did not see any action.
-OL Jacob Bender and DL Mike DeVito were active for the second straight week
-WR Chris Davis made his NFL debut today in place of the concussed WR Laveranues Coles. Davis wore #19; the last Jet to wear that number was former first round pick Keyshawn Johnson. Davis carried the ball one time for a three yard gain. Later in the second quarter Davis left the game with a shoulder injury and never returned.
-Jets RB/KR Leon Washington returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. It was his third kickoff return for a touchdown this season, which is a Jets record for a single season and ties Justin Miller for most career kickoff returns for a touchdown as a Jet.
He is the 11th player in NFL history to return three kickoffs for a touchdown in a season. Buffalo’s Terrence McGee was the last player to accomplish the feat, returning three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2004.
Bobby Humphery was the last Jet to return an opening kickoff for a touchdown. He had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Cincinnati (12/21/86), a 52-21 loss. Leon Washington’s return was the Jets 10th kickoff return for a touchdown since special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff joined the Jets in 2001. The 10 touchdowns are the most in the NFL during that span. Washington is now averaging 33.5 yards per kickoff return on 25 returns.
-TE Joe Kowalewski caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Kellen Clemens in the second quarter to cap off a 10-play, 80-yard drive. It was the first touchdown of Kowalewski’s career and his second career reception. The Jets signed Kowalewski as a free agent in 2006 after he came to rookie minicamp on a tryout. He spent 2006 on the practice squad before making the 53-man roster in 2007.
-K Mike Nugent was two-of-three on field goal tries, nailing a 29-yarder in the first quarter and a game-tying 30-yarder with 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The field goals were the 58th and 59th of his career, passing Bobby Howfield for fourth all-time in team history. He now has 251 career points, passing Wayne Chrebet for 13th all-time in team history.
-LB Eric Barton recorded his first sack and first interception of the season in the third quarter on the same series. He sacked Jason Campbell for a seven-yard loss and then intercepted him five plays later. It was Barton’s fourth interception in his nine-year NFL career and first since 2004 vs. Seattle, his first year as a Jet.
-WR Justin McCareins started at wide receiver for the second time this season. He caught a season-high three passes for 32 yards.
-WR Brad Smith started at wide receiver for the fourth time this season. He caught a career-high four passes for 27 yards.
-Clemens’ 18-yard rush in the 2nd quarter was the Jets longest run by a quarterback since Vinny Testaverde ran for 24 yards at Buffalo (9/8/02). The last Jets quarterback to rush for 40 yards in a game was Brooks Bollinger against Oakland (12/11/05), when he ran for 56 yards on six carries.
-Jerricho Cotchery caught five passes for 90 yards to extend his streak to 15 consecutive regular-season games with at least four catches. It is currently the second-longest streak in the NFL behind Rams Torry Holt’s 16-game streak. The Rams had a Week 9 bye.
Cotchery leads the team with 51 receptions for 682 yards (13.4) and one touchdown.
-Thomas Jones rushed for 49 yards on 13 carries. He passed Travis Henry, Chuck Foreman and William Andrews to move into 66th on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. Henry rushed for 31 yards on nine carries today at Detroit. Henry now trails Jones by 13 rushing yards.
-Chris Baker caught a season-high four passes for 42 yards.
-David Harris, according to the press box defensive statistics, recorded 24 tackles with 20 solos in his second career start. The defensive coaches' film statistics will be released Monday night.
-The Jets recorded a season-high 23 first downs.
-This was the Jets first overtime game since vs. Jacksonville (9/25/05), a 26-20 loss. They are now 14-15-2 in overtime games.
-The Jets trail the all-time series with the Redskins 8-1.
Up Next for the Jets
The Jets have their bye week this week. But after the bye Gang Green returns to action with a home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Game time for that game is 4:05.
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