The New York Jets made big plays on both offense and defense as they beat the Arizona Cardinals 13-3 and improved to 8-3 to stay in the playoff race.
It did not look too promising in the first quarter when QB Quincy Carter got hurt on the first possession and was replaced by third string QB Brooks Bollinger. The latter, however, did not disappoint. While Carter was on the sideline, Bollinger completed 5 of his 9 passes for a total of 60 yards. Carter returned in the second quarter when the score was still 0-0, as neither offense was unable to put up any points in his absence. Well rested Quincy was able to finally generate a scoring drive that culminated in a 28-yard field goal. The Jets took a 3-0 lead but the Cardinals weren't prepared to give up just yet. They responded with a scoring drive of their own and tied the game right before the half ended.
The Jets started the second half right where they left off. An 11-play drive that went for 57 yards resulted in yet another field goal, giving the Gang Green a 6-3 lead. Two minutes later the Jets got the ball back, as DE Shaun Ellis was finally able to sack Arizona's quarterback Shaun King, forcing the Cards to punt. The Jets started at their own 31-yard line and on the very first play Carter went for it all. He connected on a perfect 69-yard strike to WR Santana Moss, which gave the Jets a 13-3 lead with less than three minutes left in the third quarter.
The Cardinals' attempt to make a comeback was stopped short, as rookie MLB Jonathan Vilma intercepted King's pass right when it seemed like Arizona would at least score a field goal and get back in the game. King was quickly replaced by Josh McGown who threw two more interceptions, bringing the Jets' turnover total up to four (the Gang Green also recovered a fumble in the 4th quarter).
QB Quincy Carter finished the game 8 out of 12, 133 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. The Jets also added 146 on the ground (RB Curtis Martin - 99 yards, RB LaMont Jordan - 43 yards). WR Santana Moss made 5 receptions for 109 yards, 1 TD in what was definitely his best game of the season.
MLB Jonathan Vilma led the team with 8 tackles (5 solo) in addition to his interception and fumble recovery. CB David Barrett had a solid game against his former team. First, Barrett forced a fumble in the 4th quarter and then added an interception. S Reggie Tongue recorded 8 tackles (8 solo).
Next Sunday the Jets will host the Houston Texans (5-6) at Giants Stadium. The kickoff time is at 1:00 PM EST.