The New York Jets looked like a totally different team today, as they utterly dominated the Seattle Seahawks, beating the NFC playoff contender, 37-14. The Jets' offense that looked too conservative last week gained a total of 482 yards against the Seahawks, while the defense shut out an opponent in the second half for the seventh time this season.
The Gang Green started the contest with an impressive 71-yard drive but had to settle only for a field goal when Paul Hackett called his "signature" draw play on a 3rd and goal inside Seattle's 5-yard line. The Jets took a 3-0 lead that was quickly overtaken by the Seahawks, as Jerry Rice made a beautiful one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown. This was the last time, however, Seattle led in this game.On their second possession the New York Jets confidently marched 75-yards down the field and RB Curtis Martin concluded the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, 10-7. Martin scored again seven minutes later even though replays showed he never reached the goal line. Seattle challenged, but referee Scott Green determined the touchdown should stand. The Seahawks promptly tried to respond, as they drove inside the Jets' territory, but Hasselbeck's pass was intercepted by LB Eric Barton. Just four plays later QB Chad Pennington connected with WR Santana Moss on a 32-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 24-7. The Seahawks, however, still refused to give up and cut the lead to 24-14 just before halftime.
After the Jets' defense forced the Seahawks to go three and out on their first possession of the second half, the offense quickly extended the lead back to three scores, as Pennington again connected with Moss on a 7-yard TD pass. The Seahawks once again tried to make a comeback but RB Shaun Alexander fumbled on a 4th down play inside the Jets' 1-yard line. The fumble was forced by LB Eric Barton, who recorded 11 tackles besides his interception in the 1st half.
Barton's heroics continued in the fourth quarter when he recovered another fumble, following DE Shaun Ellis' sack of Matt Hasselbeck. The Jets took over in the Seahawks' territory and five plays later Pennington found WR Justin McCareins in the end zone, pulling the Jets out of reach, 37-14.
Pennington finished the game 18 of 24, 253 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs - quite a turnaround after his terrible performance last week against the Steelers. RB Curtis Martin added 134 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. RB LaMont Jordan, who saw plenty of playing time in the 4th quarter, gained 84 yards on 15 carries, as the Jets once again gained over 200 yards on the ground. FB Jerald Sowell led the team with five receptions for 83 yards. WR Santana Moss, who had his best game of the season, made 5 catches for 79 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Moss also had a 12-yard run in the first half.
LB Eric Barton made the team-high 11 tackles (7 solo), forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, had a sack, intercepted the ball and also added two pass defenses. Rookie S Erik Coleman had another impressive game. He recorded 6 tackles and also had a sack. DE Shaun Ellis made 3 tackles, fumble recovery, forced fumble and a sack.
Next week the New York Jets (10-4) will host their division rivals, the New England Patriots. The teams already met in week seven when the Pats managed to squeak by with a 13-7 victory. The kickoff is at 4:05 PM EST.