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The Florida Times-Union

October 9, 2006

Jets' Coles mad after game

Washington gains 101 yards in loss, but is dismayed by outcome.

By GARRY SMITS

The Times-Union

Leon Washington had the best day of his brief NFL career and could hardly have cared less, because it didn't result in a victory for the New York Jets.

Laveranues Coles played little - at least in his opinion - and seemed to care deeply about being an afterthought in the Jets' offense.

The two Jacksonville natives were different pictures of frustration Sunday after the Jaguars pounded the Jets 41-0 at Alltel Stadium.

Washington, a rookie who played high school football at Jackson, had the first 100-yard game of his professional career with 101 yards on 23 carries.

"It doesn't matter," said Washington, who estimated he had around 100 family and friends in the stands to watch the game. "We didn't win."

Coles, a seven-year veteran and a Ribault High graduate, played little in the second and third quarters and caught three passes for 19 yards. It was his second consecutive subpar performance against the Jaguars' defense, after catching four passes for 17 yards last year in New York, when the Jaguars won 26-20 in overtime.

Coles, who said he had about 25 family and friends attending the game, has played one other NFL game against the Jaguars in Jacksonville, in 2002. He caught eight passes for 97 yards in a 28-3 loss to the Jags.

However, Coles was simmering in the locker room for more reasons than his meager statistics. He was clearly displeased at his lack of playing time in the game and danced a fine line between refusing comment and letting his frustration show.

"I'm not in control of calling plays and I have nothing to do with the game plans," he said. "I just play ball. I have no comment on what [Jets coaches] have to deal with. I didn't play a lot of the game and all I can tell you is what I did. I played very few plays and that's all I can say."

Coles, who came out for Tim Dwight, said a muscle pull that had him listed as questionable this week did not affect him.

"I was fine," he said.

When asked if he was frustrated, Coles said: "Any time I'm not on the field, I'm frustrated."

Coles was questioned further, but directed inquiries to the Jets coaching staff.

"It's up to you [the media] to ask the coaches," he said.

The opportunity for that was gone by the time Coles voiced his displeasure. Jets coach Eric Mangini had already spoken to the media before the Jets' locker room was open, and was unavailable after Coles was interviewed.

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Morning after: Jaguars 41, Jets 0

Monday, October 09, 2006

BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

Star-Ledger Staff

OVERVIEW

Will the real Jets please stand up. Entering the season as an unknown commodity because of a new coaching staff, the Jets surprised everyone with their gritty performances in the first four games, including two road victories. Was it a fluke or are the real Jets the team we saw yesterday?

Q&A

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE JETS' RUNNING GAME?

Though the Jets rushed for 132 yards on 34 carries yesterday, it was a "soft" 132 yards. The problem? For starters, the Jets have one of the smallest offensive lines in the NFL, with starting guards Pete Kendall and Brandon Moore each weighing less than 300 pounds. What's more, left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson weighs roughly 310 pounds, lightweight from his position. There are simply no holes to run through.

WHY DO THE JETS CONTINUE TO HAVE THE FIRST-QUARTER BLUES?

At some point, you have to look at the coaching. With all week to prepare, many offensive coordinators script the first 10 to 15 plays of their gameplan. Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer doesn't do that and perhaps he's getting outcoached in the early going.

WHETHER IT'S THE 3-4 OR 4-3, WILL THE JETS EVER FIND A DEFENSE THAT WORKS?

The Jets, who allowed yet another 100-yard rusher, opened yesterday's game in a 4-3 alignment and then continued to switch between the 3-4 and 4-3 all game. On the one hand, it keeps an offense off-balance. But at the same time, defensive players can't settle on a front and learn the player next to them to maximize the effectiveness of the defense.

WHAT HAPPENED ON THE PUNT BLOCK?

The Jaguars overloaded the right side and the Jets didn't make the correct adjustment. Jets LB Cody Spencer, whose penalty forced the Jets redo the punt, appeared to miss a block as the Jags' Gerald Sensabaugh broke through.

DID YOU NOTICE

QB Chad Pennington was left in the game in a blowout loss until the 2-minute mark, when he gave way to rookie Kellen Clemens. "We're in it as a group," said Mangini, adding he didn't have a major problem with Pennington's interceptions because he has thrown balls in tight spaces before this season. ... Rookie WR/QB Brad Smith started the game at running back. ... On the Jets' third offensive play, Smith lined up at QB, with only three offensive linemen on a third-and-one, and ran a sneak for the first down, the Jets' only third-down conversion of the first half. ... Mangini was 1-for-3 on challenges, overturning a fumble by FB B.J. Askew at the 4-yard line.

NEXT OPPONENT

Miami Dolphins at the Meadowlands, 4:15 p.m., Ch. 2

Why it's a good matchup for the Jets

The Dolphins (1-4), who lost to the Patriots yesterday, are reeling after entering the season with high expectations. Starting QB Daunte Culpepper has been benched in favor of Joey Harrington and the defense hasn't stepped up. What's more, the Jets are hungry for their first home victory.

Why it's a bad matchup for the Jets

Dolphins coach Nick Saban is among the best in the league this side of Bill Belichick and Miami has loads of talent, including defensive mainstays Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor. Saban and his gang are capable of catching fire at any time and going on a roll.

Prediction

Jets 21, Dolphins 13.

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Jaguars deal Jets crushing setback

Monday, October 09, 2006

BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

Star-Ledger Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jets coach Eric Mangini met up with Murphy's Law for the first time as an NFL head coach yesterday and, predictably, it wasn't a pretty sight. In fact, his team suffered one of the worst losses in the franchise's star-crossed, 47-year history.

The Jets had a meltdown of epic proportion as they were thumped, 41-0, by the Jacksonville Jaguars at Alltel Stadium. It was the third-largest shutout loss in franchise history and the team's most lopsided defeat since a 42-point drubbing by the Dolphins in 1986.

Quarterback Chad Pennington threw for just 71 yards and had three interceptions -- each setting up a Jaguars touchdowns -- and punter Ben Graham had the first punt of his career blocked, also leading to a touchdown.

The Jets, who switched between the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes all game, allowed 181 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns as Fred Taylor (21 carries, 111 yards, one TD) and rookie Maurice Jones-Drew (13-59-2) had their way running mostly up the middle.

Also, the Jets were a miserable 3-of-14 on third-down conversions and were never in the game after falling behind 28-0 at halftime.

Finally, when the Jets tried to hit back, they were called for two questionable roughing-the-passer penalties on linebackers Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton.

"Obviously, I'm very disappointed," Mangini said. "They just physically beat us up and out-executed us in every phase of the game. It was offense. It was defense. It was special teams. It was coaching. ... Everybody in the room owns this, everybody is a shareholder in this crash.

"When you get out-executed and out-physicalled, no scheme or one play in the world is going to solve that problem. For this game to mean something and be significant in terms of our growth, we have to learn from the mistakes we made and make sure they don't happen again."

"It was one of those dog days where we came out flat, they came out roaring and they kicked our butts," linebacker Jonathan Vilma said.

The Jags (3-2), coming off consecutive losses, were indeed a nasty bunch. They were without several starters along the defensive line, including Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcus Stroud, and lost middle linebacker Mike Peterson (strained shoulder) in the first quarter. It didn't matter.

Mistakes and turnovers by the Jets gave Jacksonville a short field all day and the Jags repeatedly cashed in. They had scoring drives of 8, 23, 24, 50 and 71 yards and were 5-of-5 in the red zone.

Quite frankly, this is the type of drubbing some expected the Jets (2-3) to endure on a regular basis this season as they regroup under Mangini. But they have been among the early surprises of the young NFL season, having shown grit and resiliency.

Now, the Jets' true colors may be revealed in the coming weeks as they play host to the struggling Dolphins (1-4) on Sunday and then the winless Lions (0-5) come to town. The Jets, who have yet to win a home game this season, will be favored in both games.

"The good thing is it doesn't count double or triple." Pennington said of the embarrassing loss.

The Jets' mistakes were many: a slow start, turnovers, no run defense, poor tackling, penalties, no running game when it counted. They were also stopped on a first-and-goal from the 8-yard line in four tries late in the game.

For the 19th consecutive game, the Jets didn't score an offensive touchdown in the first quarter and fell behind 14-0 at the end of the quarter. It has been a recurring theme this season and this time they couldn't come back.

"To be honest, we've been flat several times this season," Jets linebacker Matt Chatham said. "Starting fast was something we were really focused on this week. Obviously, we didn't do that and this week we coupled it with not only not starting fast but not finishing fast or playing fast in the middle."

Pennington (10-of-17, 71 yards, three INTs) was intercepted by Jaguars cornerback Brian Williams on the Jets' first possession and it was downhill from there. A blocked punt by the Jags deep in Jets territory led to 21-0 deficit with 12:52 left in the second quarter and the rout was on.

Pennington's second interception lead to a 28-0 Jags lead with 7:70 remaining in the second quarter.

"I'm disappointed in how I played," said Pennington, who had his first three-interception game since 2004 against the Steelers and was mercifully benched at the two-minute warning. "You don't give your team a chance when you threw three interceptions.

"I don't have any explanation to what happened out there. I know we prepared very hard this week, had a good gameplan, and everybody was confident, including myself. The bottom fell out of it somehow."

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Jaguars humble upstart Jets 41-0

By MARK LONG

The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars must have been in a hurry to end their two-game losing streak.

The Jaguars scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions, quickly rebounding from consecutive losses and beating the New York Jets 41-0 on Sunday.

Maurice Drew ran for two touchdowns, Fred Taylor added another and Byron Leftwich capped the fast start with a 1-yard TD pass to George Wrighster.

The Jets (2-3) provided plenty of help along the way.

Chad Pennington threw two interceptions that Jacksonville (3-2) turned into touchdowns, Ben Graham had a punt blocked that resulted in a score and two questionable roughing the passer penalties made it even worse.

The result was exactly what the Jaguars wanted after losses at Indianapolis and Washington. The offense, almost nonexistent in the second half against the Colts, came up with several big plays against New York's woeful defense. Jacksonville's defense, embarrassed after giving up 481 yards and 36 points to the Redskins, clamped down on Pennington & Co.

Pennington finished 10-of-17 for 71 yards. He was picked off three times and sacked three times. His friend and former college teammate fared much better in their third meeting. Leftwich was 9-of-20 for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Leftwich had the better supporting cast, too. Taylor ran 21 times for 111 yards, and Drew added 59 yards.

Jacksonville also won despite resting receiver Matt Jones (ankle) and defensive linemen Marcus Stroud (ankle/groin) and Marcellus Wiley (groin).

The only negative for the Jags was that linebacker Mike Peterson, the team's leading tackler the last four seasons, sprained his left shoulder in the first half and did not return.

He was hardly missed.

Brian Williams intercepted Pennington's second pass of the game. Pennington rolled right and threw behind Laveranues Coles, who reached back with his right hand and tipped the ball to Williams.

Taylor gained 37 yards on the next two plays, setting up Drew's 6-yard scoring run.

After a three-and-out by the Jets, Jacksonville needed just six plays to extend the lead. Taylor's 13-yard run up the middle gave the Jaguars 121 yards on 10 plays and a two-touchdown advantage.

But the rout was just getting started.

Gerald Sensabaugh blocked a punt early in the second quarter and the Jaguars recovered at the 8-yard line. Three plays later, Drew scored from 4 yards out to make it 21-0.

Pennington's next pass was intercepted by Terry Cousin, and Leftwich made the most of a short field. He found Wrighster in the left corner of the end zone to make it 28-0.

The Jags may have been forced to attempt a field goal after Leftwich's third-down pass fell incomplete. But Jonathan Vilma was flagged for slamming Leftwich to the ground.

Leftwich was knocked down again a few minutes later, this time by Eric Barton. The Jets linebacker was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit, but replays showed little — if any — contact.

The Jaguars sealed the victory with a field goal and a touchdown on their first two possessions of the second half. Josh Scobee made a 43-yarder, then Leftwich found Reggie Williams across the middle for a 16-yard score — three plays after Pennington was intercepted for the third time.

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Coles has something to say

Monday, October 09, 2006

BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

Star-Ledger Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- WR Laveranues Coles wasn't a happy camper after the game and wasn't afraid to let his feelings known.

Coles, who has been outspoken this season but embraced nonetheless by coach Eric Mangini, may feel the wrath of his coach after his comments following the humiliating 41-0 loss to the Jaguars yesterday at Alltel Stadium.

Coles, voted the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September, had only three catches for 19 yards and sat for most of the second and fourth quarters.

"That's something you have to ask Coach about," said Coles, adding that his injured right arm was fine. "I don't know why. I just work here. That's it. ... Anytime I'm not on the field, I'm frustrated. It's just something they (the coaches) have to deal with. Not me."

One reason Coles may not have seen as much action is the Jets are trying to incorporate rookie Brad Smith and veteran Tim Dwight more into the mix. They were also trailing 28-0 midway through the second quarter. In addition, teams are rolling their coverages toward Coles to try to take him out of the game.

Coles would hear none of it, and Mangini wasn't asked about his comments because the media was unaware of Coles' displeasure until after Mangini's postgame news conference.

"All I can say is it (the coverage) is nothing I haven't seen," said Coles, who has 33 catches for 431 yards and a TD this season. "Most teams are going to figure out where I am on the field. ... I do what I'm told to do. I'm just a pawn in a chess game. They move me here, they move me there. They ask me to do something and I do it."

Coles has been speaking freely since training camp began and is the only player on the team to do so. Most players know Mangini wants to keep controversial comments to the media to a minimum.

"I've been watching TV and seeing how guys go back and say I'm sorry," Coles said. "At this point in time, you want to sit back, think about everything that went on, watch the film and try to make the corrections. I don't ever want to end up on that side where people are saying he's a bad apple for saying certain things."

LBs Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton were upset and perplexed by the roughing-the-passer penalties called on them.

Referee Tony Corrente told a pool reporter that Vilma was flagged for "driving the quarterback into the ground and landing his body weight into his chest." Barton, Corrente said, was whistled for a "dip and whip," dipping his head and whipping through with the hit to make contact with the helmet.

"They're not allowing us to play football," Vilma said. "No, (I didn't know Jags QB Byron Leftwich had thrown the ball). I got up and I was looking for the ball and I saw a flag."

Leftwich outweighs Vilma by 12 pounds and is four inches taller.

Barton drilled Leftwich near the goal line for a possible sack and safety -- replays showed he did not hit Leftwich's helmet -- but was still called for the penalty. "The referee said it was helmet-to-helmet," Barton said. "They get paid. I guess whatever they say is right."

Rookie RB Leon Washington, who grew up in the shadows of Alltel Stadium and worked there as a teenager, rushed for 101 yards on 23 carries, both career highs. He may press Kevan Barlow (four carries, -1 yards) for the starting job next week.

"I felt pretty comfortable and excited about playing in front of the home crowd," he said. "But this was a business trip for us and it was very, very disappointing to come out with the type of performance we gave today. We were beaten up and down the field.

"It felt good to get the opportunity. Coach (Mangini) talks about it all the time -- taking advantage of the opportunity."

QB Chad Pennington said Jags DE Paul Spicer, who hit him and injured his rotator cuff last season, chatted with him briefly during the coin toss.

"He congratulated me and said he was glad to see me back," Pennington said. "It meant a lot to me. It just shows the respect football players have for each other even though we're out there trying to beat each other up."

The Jets most lopsided shutout loss in franchise history was 48-0 to Kansas City in 1963, followed by a 43-0 loss to Miami in 1975. ... The Jets are 0-3 in Jacksonville. ... Jets rookie QB Kellen Clemens replaced Pennington with two minutes left for his first career action. He was 0-for-1 and suffered a strip sack.

Jags LB Mike Peterson, who leads the team in tackles for the fourth consecutive season, strained a pectoral muscle early in the game and didn't return. His status is not clear.

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Blocked punt a big setback

BY TOM ROCK

Newsday Staff Correspondent

October 9, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jets were hit with a double-whammy on special teams early in the second quarter when a penalty erased a successful punt and forced a second kick, which was blocked to set up Jacksonville's third touchdown.

"It was a momentum changer," punter Ben Graham said. "We'd just come off the field from a 61-yard net punt."

After an open-field tackle by B.J. Askew, the Jets had the Jaguars pushed back to their own 20. But a penalty against Cody Spencer for an illegal block above the waist made Graham re-kick from his own end zone. Gerald Sensabaugh slipped through the left side of the protection and blocked the attempt, and Jorge Cordova recovered at the Jets' 8. A tackle by Matt Chatham prevented Cordova from scooping up the ball and scoring, but three plays later, the Jaguars had a 21-0 lead.

Entering yesterday, Graham had punted 95 times without having one blocked. In one of the few light moments after the game, he joked that he would have to start over in his quest to break Chris Gardocki's record. The Steeler's streak was 1,127 without a block entering last night's game.

Clemens gets in

Kellen Clemens said he didn't have time for butterflies. At the two-minute warning, the rookie made his first regular-season appearance, spelling an ineffective Chad Pennington and sparing him from injury in the waning moments.

"Chad went out there [for the final drive] and they said, 'Get warmed up,'" Clemens said. "I just made a couple throws on the sideline and then had a chance to go in. It was a great opportunity for me to get into a regular-season game. I would have liked to have been more productive."

Clemens threw an incompletion and was sacked twice, the second one causing a fumble with 13 seconds left.

Jet streams

RB Derrick Blaylock was activated for the first time in two games but participated only on special teams ... Rookie CB Drew Coleman started for Justin Miller ... It was the second straight home shutout for the Jaguars.

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GRADING THE JETS

BY TOM ROCK

October 9, 2006

OFFENSE

F Chad Pennington looked lost, chucking three interceptions, and two looked as if they were aimed for defenders. The Jets were unable to mount much of a running game, even though the Jaguars were without two of their top defensive players. T Marcus Stroud was out and LB Mike Preston left in the first quarter with a shoulder sprain. When a team is shut out, there is only one possible grade.

DEFENSE

F The roughing-the-passer penalties on Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton were bad calls and turnovers put the defense in poor positions, but there were many other bad plays. The defensive front was bullied by the Jaguars' blockers, allowing Fred Taylor to get 111 yards on 21 carries and Maurice Jones-Drew to add 59 on 13. Jacksonville had no negative yardage except for Byron Leftwich taking a knee to end each half, and the Jaguars were 6-for-13 on third downs.

SPECIAL TEAMS

D- Some early mistakes by special teams helped bury the Jets early. The illegal block on a punt return by Cody Spencer made the Jets re-kick and allowed the Jaguars to block it, setting up the touchdown that made it 21-0. Mike Nugent gets an incomplete because he touched the ball once, booting the second-half kickoff. Punter Ben Graham had a 67-yarder that adds half a grade to the evaluation.

COACHING

D Offensively, the Jets tried to jump-start themselves in the first quarter by using cute play-calling, but they went to the Brad Smith well too often and he became a target, not a surprise. The Jets mingled some four-men fronts on defense but were physically unable to adjust to the Jaguars' running game. Eric Mangini challenged three plays and had the fumble call against B.J. Askew reversed, but then the Jets couldn't punch it in from inside the 1.

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Jets flummoxed by flags

BY ERIK BOLAND

Newsday Staff Correspondent

October 9, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Perhaps Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton were supposed to simply grab the flag affixed by Velcro to Byron Leftwich's belt and yell, "Got you!"

Vilma and Barton earned two personal-foul penalties against Leftwich during yesterday's 41-0 pounding at the hands of the Jaguars, calls that looked dubious as they were replayed several times on the Alltel Stadium scoreboard.

Some perspective:

On an afternoon in which the Jets were simply hideous, the calls did not come close to deciding the game. They merely offered macabre humor during an overall dreary day.

With the Jaguars leading 21-0, they faced a third-and-goal from the Jets' 7-yard line early in the second quarter. Leftwich, hit on his release by Vilma, threw incomplete for Reggie Williams. Referee Tony Corrente tossed his flag: roughing the passer. Three plays later, the Jaguars led 28-0.

Corrente's explanation to the crowd? "The defender used his full body weight to land on the quarterback," he said.

Corrente told a pool reporter afterward that the foul was an interpretation of the rule prohibiting the driving of the quarterback into the ground.

Replays showed Vilma hitting Leftwich as the quarterback released the ball, with gravity carrying him to the ground on top of Leftwich.

"What we've asked [tacklers] to do is to try to fall off to the side, that he does not drive him into the ground," Corrente said.

Vilma shrugged in the locker room after the game. "I understand they want to protect the quarterback, but you gotta play football," he said. "They're not allowing us to play football. It's kind of tough."

Asked if there was a way - like a contortionist - to avoid putting his full body weight on the quarterback while in the air, Vilma laughed.

"I have no idea," he said. "They must know something I don't."

Barton was similarly perplexed, though not as outspoken, about his penalty that potentially cost the Jets a safety later in the second quarter.

On third-and-6 from the Jacksonville 10, Leftwich dropped back to the goal line. He appeared to duck in anticipation of contact, which he received a split-second later from Barton.

Tweeeeet. Personal foul for helmet-to-helmet contact.

"I went in to tackle a big quarterback and the ref said it was helmet-to-helmet," the 6-2, 245-pound Barton said of the 6-5, 242-pound Leftwich. "He said it was helmet-to-helmet, so I guess it was."

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JAGUARS 41, JETS 0

Bad sunburn on Florida vacation

Turnovers, anemic offense and defense leave Jets blistered

BY TOM ROCK

Newsday Staff Correspondent

October 9, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Bryan Thomas sat at his locker, staring at the stapled sheets of paper, squinting for an explanation. Somewhere in that package of stats and numbers there had to be an answer, a reason for the Jets' linebacker to be feeling the way he did.

Across the locker room at Alltel Stadium, Chad Pennington sat at his station, stooped over, examining the same statistical evidence for anything positive, anything worth latching on to. A clue.

Neither found what he was looking for, nor did the Jets, who traveled to northern Florida in search of a boost and left bloodied and bruised. Their mistakes and misfortune snowballed while the Jaguars' side of the scoreboard swelled at a similar pace.

The competitive game ended early in the third quarter as the Jaguars scored 10 points in a span in which the Jets had only one offensive snap - Pennington's third interception of the game - to take a 38-0 lead. When the game officially ended, the Jets were on the miserable side of a 41-0 decision.

"This was a flat-out butt-whipping," Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma said.

How bad was it? Historically bad. It was the worst loss since the Jets fell 45-3 to the Dolphins on Nov. 24, 1986 and the worst shutout defeat since a 43-0 loss to the Dolphins on Oct. 19, 1975. It was tied for the ninth-worst loss in franchise history and made the Jets' record 2-3.

Not even under Rich Kotite did the Jets ever lose this badly.

"I don't have any explanation for what happened out there," said Pennington, who threw three interceptions for the first time since late in the 2004 season, when he was playing with what later would be diagnosed as a torn rotator cuff. "The bottom fell out of it somehow."

The Jets had not been perfect this season, but before yesterday they were consistently competitive. Losses to the Colts and the Patriots were tightly fought and revealed as much character as ability. But in this loss, the Jets were squashed. No one had to worry about "moral victories" after this one.

"This wasn't improvement," coach Eric Mangini said. "This wasn't growth and it wasn't progress. The only way we are going to continue to grow is to evaluate what we did poorly and make sure it doesn't happen again."

The Jets were in the game for about six plays, driving 20 yards on the opening series before Pennington threw a pass behind Laveranues Coles that was tipped and intercepted by Brian Williams. Four plays later it was 7-0, as Maurice Jones-Drew went untouched up the middle for a 6-yard score.

The Jets punted after a three-and-out on the next possession, and this time Fred Taylor capped a six-play, 71-yard drive with a 13-yard stroll through the gut of the defense. A blocked punt led to Jones-Drew's second TD run - in which he stretched the ball over the goal line while laying on top of some Jets defenders - and after another three-and-out, the Jaguars again drove to make it 28-0 at halftime.

That drive was helped along by a questionable call against Vilma, who was flagged for roughing the passer on a third-and-goal pass that would have sailed incomplete. Instead the Jaguars were given a new set of downs at the 3.

Thomas said the accumulating mistakes felt like getting punched in the mouth over and over again, demonstrating the sensation by jabbing his fist into his jaw. "It's embarrassing, man," he said.

Jacksonville (3-2) opened the second half with a 10-play, 59-yard drive helped by a missed tackle by Justin Miller on a short third-and-5 pass that exploded for a 40-yard gain. The Jaguars made it 31-0 on a 43-yard field goal by Josh Scobee.

Pennington threw the interception on the next snap and three plays later, it was 38-0 on Byron Leftwich's 16-yard pass to Reggie Williams. A 40-yard field goal by Scobee with 2:42 left ended the onslaught.

"They just physically beat us up and out-executed us in every phase of the game," said Mangini, who included offense, defense, special teams and (yes, Jeremy Shockey) coaching. "Across the board they played better."

Twice the Jets came close to avoiding the shutout. First, Eric Barton seemed to sack Leftwich in the end zone, but he was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit that was just as questionable a call as the one against Vilma. Then, in the fourth quarter, the Jets had third-and-goal from the 1, but a run by B.J. Askew and a run by Leon Washington only negotiated the expanse between the 1 and the goal line but never emerged from it.

Washington, a rookie from Jacksonville who ran for 101 yards on 23 carries, said he thought he made it in on his fourth-down run.

"I'd like to see that on film," he said.

He might be the only one looking forward to that experience.

Shooting blanks

The 41-point shutout loss was the third-worst in Jets history:

Score Opponent Date

48-0 @ Kansas City Dec. 22, 1963

43-0 Miami Oct. 19, 1975

41-0 @ Jacksonville Yesterday

37-0 Buffalo Dec. 23, 1989

31-0 @ Buffalo Sept. 6, 1981

31-0 @ L.A. Raiders Sept. 8, 1985

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Pennington hands it over to Jacksonville

BY ERIK BOLAND

Newsday Staff Correspondent

October 9, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The only person to have a worse week in Florida was former Congressman Mark Foley.

In yesterday's 41-0 loss to Jacksonville, Jets quarterback Chad Pennington played his worst game of the season and maybe of his entire career.

Pennington went 10-for-17 for 71 yards and three interceptions. It was reminiscent of last year's game against the Jaguars, a 26-20 overtime loss in which Pennington was 9-for-19 for 76 yards with three interceptions. That was the game in which he injured his right shoulder and was lost for the season.

Pennington emerged from yesterday's debacle unscathed, at least physically.

"I'm disappointed in how I played," he said. "You don't give your team much of a chance when you make three interceptions. When they jumped out on us so quick, they wouldn't quit and we knew we had to get multiple scores and press the issue a little."

Pennington's travails began on the game's opening drive. On first-and-10 from the Jets' 41-yard line, Pennington rolled out and had Laveranues Coles open over the middle. Pennington's throw was off target and Coles, reaching behind, deflected the ball straight into the arms of cornerback Brian Williams, who returned the ball to midfield.

It took the Jaguars four plays to capitalize, taking a 7-0 lead with 9:44 left in the first quarter.

"I just got that one behind him," Pennington said. "I felt like I had a hole, and I did. I just threw it behind him."

Jacksonville led 14-0 by the end of the quarter, and the numbers indicated what was to come. The Jaguars led 123-39 in total yards and 7-3 in first downs. It was the continuation of the Jets' overall first-quarter struggles this season; they have yet to score in the opening 15 minutes.

"Obviously, we do have an emphasis on starting better," Pennington said. "Up until now, we've done a good job of finishing strong, but we need to find ways to start faster."

Down 21-0 in the second quarter, Pennington tossed a second interception, this one to cornerback Terry Cousin at the Jets' 39. He returned the pick to the 23, and eight plays later, Jacksonville had a 28-0 lead.

"I forced it in there," Pennington said of the pass intended for Brad Smith. "It was a regular cover-two defense. I just forced it."

Pennington's third interception came after Jacksonville took a 31-0 lead early in the third quarter. On the Jets' next play, Pennington looked for tight end Chris Baker over the middle. Pennington instead found safety Deon Grant at the Jets' 25. It took three plays for the Jaguars to find the end zone and make it 38-0 with 8:50 left in the third.

Jets coach Eric Mangini used the same word - forced - that Pennington did in evaluating the quarterback's performance. "He's put a lot of those balls into tight spaces the last few weeks," Mangini said. "When you force those balls in there, there's going to be a chance defensively for them to make those plays."

But Mangini quickly pointed out the obvious.

"Everybody's a shareholder in this result," he said. "Everybody's a shareholder in this crash."

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First & wrong again

BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

JACKSONVILLE - The Jets, who lost two quarterbacks in the same game last season against the Jaguars, tempted fate by allowing Chad Pennington to play through most of garbage time in yesterday's 41-0 loss to Jacksonville.

His team hopelessly behind, Eric Mangini didn't pull Pennington until the two-minute warning, when the Jets were two plays into their final possession. He was replaced by rookie Kellen Clemens. On the previous drive, Pennington was hit while scrambling on a fourth-and-5 play. Talk about risk-taking.

"We're in it as a group - we're always in it as a group - and Chad was leading the offense," Mangini said. "At that point, I thought he should have the opportunity to continue to lead the offense."

Mangini said he never considered an earlier change with Patrick Ramsey.

"Chad is someone I believe in whole-heartedly," Mangini said.

Pennington, ever the diplomat, said the extra playing time allowed him to get more comfortable with the new system.

Jags DE Paul Spicer, who gave Pennington his season-ending shoulder injury in 2005, greeted him at the coin toss with kind words. "That meant a lot to me," Pennington said.

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio also let QB Byron Leftwich play the whole game, another highly questionable decision.

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FIRST & WRONG: The first-quarter woes continued: Five straight games without a point, 19 straight without an offensive TD. Looking for a jump-start, the Jets resorted to trickery on the first possession. On their first play, rookie WR Brad Smith lined up as the lone running back, and he gained five yards on a toss. On their third play, Smith was the quarterback behind a three-man offensive line (the tackles were split wide), with Pennington in the backfield. Smith ran a keeper up the middle for a first down. They were outgained in the first quarter, 123-39.

LOW POINT: RB Kevan Barlow, who had been hoping for an expanded role, was a nonfactor: four carries for minus-1 yards. Rookie RB Leon Washington (23 for 101) got the bulk of the work, mostly because the Jets were in a passing mode. With RB Cedric Houston (knee) sidelined for a few weeks, the Jets activated Derrick Blaylock, who was inactive the last two games. Blaylock was limited to special teams. . . . DT Dewayne Robertson may have hurt his lower left leg. He was seen after the game with an electronic stimulator attached to his leg. . . . Jets opened in a 4-3 defense, with DE Bobby Hamilton replacing LB Victor Hobson. . . . Two other defensive changes: Rookie Drew Coleman started at right corner, ahead of Justin Miller and David Barrett, and LB Brad Kassel started for Eric Barton.

LOUD & UNCLEAR: Jets notified the NFL about a heated altercation before last week's game at Giants Stadium. Colts GM Bill Polian, claiming that loudspeakers were too close to the field, confronted a Jets official in the tunnel, grabbed him by the lapels and lifted him against a wall, Fox Sports reported yesterday. A Jets spokesman declined to comment, except to say the league had been made aware of the matter.

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Jets have rough time with flags

BY TIM SMITH

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

JACKSONVILLE - The Jets' defense was slapped with two costly and controversial roughing the passer penalties yesterday.

While the calls had little bearing on the eventual outcome of the game - a 41-0 drubbing by Jacksonville - it continued the quarterback-bashing the two teams have inflicted on each other this decade.

Last year at Giants Stadium, the Jags' defense knocked Chad Pennington and backup Jay Fiedler out of the game - and the season. In 2002, the Jaguars knocked Vinny Testaverde out of a game. Yesterday, Jacksonville's Byron Leftwich was knocked out of the game for one play after getting nailed by linebacker Eric Barton late in the second quarter. Barton was penalized on the play.

The first roughing penalty yesterday was called midway through the second quarter. On third-and-goal from the Jets' 7-yard line, Leftwich went back to pass and was hit by linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Vilma was flagged on the play because he landed on Leftwich with his full body weight. It didn't matter that Leftwich (242 pounds) weighs more than Vilma (230). Referee Tony Corrente said his crew thought that Vilma was driving Leftwich into the ground.

"What we've asked (defenders) to do is to try to fall off to the side, that he doesn't drive him (the quarterback) into the ground," Corrente said.

Vilma said Leftwich still was holding the ball when he hit him and considered it a fair tackle. He wasn't too pleased with Corrente's interpretation of the play.

"I wish they could get it right," he said. "I understand you have to protect the quarterback. But, I mean, you have to play football. They're not allowing us to play football. That's kind of tough. They said I couldn't land on him. That's weird. Unfortunately, we gave up a touchdown after that. That hurts the most."

Barton was called for his personal foul after Corrente said the linebacker made helmet-to-helmet contact with Leftwich on a tackle.

"We call it a dip and whip if he hits here (pointing to his shoulder) and comes through and makes late contact," Corrente said. "The initial contact was enough."

Barton shrugged it off.

"I just went in to tackle the quarterback and the referee said it was helmet-to-helmet," Barton said. "They get paid (to make the calls). I guess whatever they say is right."

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Coles takes seat, gets hot about it

BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

JACKSONVILLE - Laveranues Coles isn't bashful about expressing his opinion, especially when it comes to the coaching methods of Eric Mangini. Last night, he was at it again, questioning why he spent so much time on the bench in the Jets' 41-0 loss to the Jaguars.

"I played very few plays," Coles said, raising the issue himself. "That's something you have to ask Coach about. I don't know why."

Indeed, it seemed curious, especially since Mangini kept quarterback Chad Pennington in the game until the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. Most of the other starters stayed in, too, but Coles, the Jets' top playmaker, was missing in action for stretches.

Coles insisted it wasn't because of his calf and wrist injuries, claiming they "didn't bother me at all." He didn't directly criticize Mangini, but it was apparent that he wasn't pleased.

"I started the game, I sat in the second quarter, I sat some of the third and sat a majority of the fourth," Coles said.

Why?

"That's something you have to ask him about," Coles said. "I just work here."

Coles, who entered the game as the NFL's co-leader with 30 receptions, was held to a season-low three catches for 19yards. The Jaguars rolled some of their coverages to Coles, but he called it, "Nothing I haven't seen before."

Because Coles made his comments after Mangini's postgame press conference, the Jets' coach wasn't available to respond.

Clearly, Pennington missed his go-to receiver. Fact is, he couldn't find any of his receivers, even the ones on the field. He completed only eight passes to his wideouts - a low number, considering the Jaguars spent the entire second half in a soft Cover-2 zone defense.

Of course, the Jets were so inept that "no scheme in the world, no one play in the world, no one player in the world" would've made a difference.

Pennington sidestepped a question about Coles' playing time, giving it the time-tested, "You have to ask coach" explanation.

For Coles, who grew up in Jacksonville and is having a 25,000-square foot mansion built in the area, this wasn't the homecoming he envisioned.

"Anytime I'm not on the field, I'm frustrated," he said. "It's something they (the coaches) have to deal with. It's not me.... I have a role to play. I play it. That's it. I'm just a pawn in a chess game. They move me here and there. They ask me to do something, and I do it."

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Chad takes a step back

Monday, October 9th, 2006

JACKSONVILLE - It was bound to happen. At some point this season, Chad Pennington was going to be proven a mere mortal and the Jets were going to have to turn in their "Cardiac Kids" capes. Yesterday was the day.

The Jets were on the verge of making believers of the skeptics until they looked every bit like a team in the Brady Quinn sweepstakes in their 41-0 loss to the Jaguars. Gone were the tricky gadget plays, the gutsy gunslinger play-calling, and the good feelings of nearly stunning Peyton Manning and the Colts a week ago.

The running game may have appeared to finally be a plus, as Leon Washington ran for 101 yards. But they were empty steps. The only true positive for the Jets was that Pennington left healthy, which was not the case the last time the Jets played Jacksonville. On that fateful afternoon of Sept. 25 last year, Jaguars defensive end Paul Spicer twisted Pennington's arm on a sack, tearing the quarterback's rotator cuff for a second time and sending the Jets into a downward spiral.

Pennington's main pain yesterday was in other areas. He threw three interceptions, which Jacksonville turned into 21 points. The Jets converted just three of 14 third-down opportunities, killing drives all day long. And Pennington had to watch his Marshall University prot

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Eric's Jets get man-handled

By RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Monday, October 9th, 2006

JACKSONVILLE - There was anger, embarrassment and disbelief in the Jets' locker room last night after their most lopsided defeat since 1986 - a 41-0 thrashing by the Jaguars. The only thing missing was a cherry bomb on top, a Jeremy Shockey-like rant about being "outcoached."

The Jets showed great restraint - the only thing they did right all day - but there were plenty of raw emotions at Alltel Stadium.

Eric Mangini, confronted with his first taste of adversity in his young coaching career, called it "a crash," as in: "We're all shareholders in this crash."

Co-captain Matt Chatham, echoing that sentiment, offered this harsh assessment: "The biggest thing is for guys to take ownership of this and say, 'Absolutely everyone in this room sucked. The coaches sucked. The players sucked. We all sucked.' "

They will get no arguments.

The Jets are known for epic losses, but this was one for the ages - the third-worst shutout in the 47-year history of the franchise. The last time they were blanked this badly was a 43-0 loss to the Dolphins in 1975. Where have you gone, Charley Winner?

"It's embarrassing, but not because it's history," Brandon Moore said. "Anytime you get your butt kicked like that, it's embarrassing. Whether it's the worst in 40 years or one year, it's embarrassing."

Outspoken Laveranues Coles seethed at his locker, but he held his tongue, claiming he was afraid of saying the wrong thing.

"I've been watching TV where guys have been saying things and they have to come back and say they're sorry," he said, making an apparent reference to Shockey. "I don't ever want to end up on that side of it. I don't want people to think I'm a bad apple."

But by not speaking, he spoke loudly.

The Jets should issue a team apology to their fans after a performance so bad that it actually outdid all of the slop served up in the Rich Kotite era. Garbage time started early, like the second quarter. The physical Jaguars hit them early, and the Jets crawled up into the fetal position.

Chad Pennington played one of the worst games of his life, posting a career-low 28.9 passer rating. He completed only 10 of 17 passes for 71 yards and threw three interceptions, resulting in 50-, 8- and 24-yard touchdown drives for the Jaguars. He looked like an imposter, nothing like the quarterback who lit up defenses in the first four games.

"The good thing is, this doesn't count double or triple. It's just one loss," said Pennington, who, surprisingly, wasn't pulled until the final two minutes of the debacle. Pennington wasn't the only culprit. The Jets, continuing an alarming trend, allowed a season-high 181 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. There were too many missed tackles, gaping holes in the line and breakdowns in the secondary. There also were key roughing-the-passer penalties on Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton.

Oh, yes, and the special teams stunk, too, allowing a blocked punt.

"They just physically beat us up," Mangini said. "It was offense, it was defense, it was special teams, it was coaching. Across the board, they played better."

Five games into the Mangini era, the Jets' scorecard looks like this: Two victories, two moral victories and one demoralizing loss. But this was the first time they looked completely ill-prepared.

They came out with more wrinkles than an unpressed suit, but nothing worked. They made three lineup changes on defense, opened in a 4-3 for the first time and called a couple of funky blitz packages. Offensively, they went into their bag of tricks, using rookie Brad Smith as a running back, quarterback and receiver on the first three plays.

The banged-up Jaguars took the bag and stuffed it over the Jets' heads. Remarkably, the Jets have yet to score a first-quarter point. They fell behind at halftime, 28-0, but there was no gritty comeback by Mangini's tough overachievers.

"That's what we hung our hat on to this point - our toughness," Chatham said. "To get beat like that, in all three phases, you lack toughness. That's pretty evident."

It was so bad that the Jets let Ernest Wilford scamper nearly 30 yards with only one shoe on a reception, a lot better than any Jet player did with two shoes.

Perhaps the most damning aspect of the debacle was how the Jets let the Jaguars score: Their defenders were noncompetitive on four touchdowns, including between-the-tackles runs by Maurice Jones-Drew (6 yards) and Fred Taylor (13). Runway models never had it so easy.

On Byron Leftwich's 1-yard scoring pass to George Wrighster, David Barrett stood passively, letting Wrighster outmuscle him. On Leftwich's 16-yard strike to Reggie Williams, the Jets left him wide open in the end zone.

"Am I troubled? No," Vilma insisted. "Am I frustrated? Yes."

Coles provided the most pragmatic line. Asked where the Jets go from here, he said, "Back to New York."

They couldn't escape Jacksonville fast enough.

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A BLANK LOOK

By MARK CANNIZZARO

October 9, 2006 -- JACKSONVILLE - The Jets flew back to New York late last night wondering why they bothered to board their Saturday charter flight to Jacksonville in the first place.

After all, they never showed up to Alltel Stadium for their scheduled game against the Jaguars, did they? Was that Hofstra University or the Jets playing the Jaguars yesterday?

If those were the real 2006 Jets being utterly humiliated by the Jaguars 41-0, then it figures to be a long rest of the season.

The Jets, now 2-3 after a second consecutive loss, better pray this was an aberration, otherwise it is going to become late awfully early this season.

The loss was the Jets' worst since a 45-3 loss at Miami in November of 1986. They weren't even blown out this easily during the - ahem - two-year Rich Kotite era. It was the third-worst shutout loss in franchise history, falling proudly in place just after a 48-0 loss to Kansas City in 1963 and a 43-0 loss to Miami in 1975.

"Man, that was embarrassing," Jets defensive end/linebacker Bryan Thomas said, sitting in front of his locker shaking his head.

"Yeah, it's embarrassing," Jets right guard Brandon Moore said. "It feels terrible not being able to get anything going - anything. It's all of those (emotions). It's anger, shock, surprise."

Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma, a defensive captain and leader on the team, said, "I really don't have an explanation. This was just a flat-out butt-whipping."

Eric Mangini has only a few days to repair techniques and psyches before the Jets play the Dolphins at home on Sunday.

"We're all shareholders in this crash," Eric Mangini said. "(The Jaguars) just physically beat us up and out-executed us in every phase of the game. It was offense, it was defense, it was special teams, it was coaching. We all own this one across the board.

"The only way this game is going to mean something is if we can take something away from it, learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again," Mangini went on. "This wasn't improvement. This wasn't growth and it wasn't progress."

Where do you start with a loss as pitiful as this?

Right from the start, the Jaguars exposed the Jets' most glaring weakness - their porous run defense - by gashing them play after play on the ground with their superior two-headed running back tandem of Fred Taylor (21 rushes for 111 yards, 1 TD) and power-pack rookie Maurice Jones-Drew (13-59, 2 TDs).

Much like every team the Jets have faced this season, the Jaguars ran at will on their defense. Not even Chad Pennington, who entered the game with the fourth-best QB rating in the NFL, could save the Jets yesterday. He had one of the worst games of his career, throwing three interceptions, all of which led to Jaguars TDs.

"I don't have an explanation to what happened out there," a bewildered Pennington (10-of-17, 71 yards, 3 INTs, 28.9 rating) said.

Long after the game, Pennington sat alone at his locker and stared at the statistics sheet. He looked sick to his stomach.

"The first two things I always look at are turnovers and third-down efficiency," he said. "We were 3-for-14. You can't keep drives alive doing that. I'm just disappointed in how I played. I didn't give my team a chance. You throw three interceptions and you're not giving your team a chance to win."

Pennington's first pick, a throw behind Laveranues Coles on the game's opening drive that was picked by Jags' cornerback Brian Williams, led to a six-yard Jones-Drew scoring run for a 7-0 Jacksonville lead.

The Jags took a 14-0 lead on a 13-yard scoring run by Taylor, who ran right up the middle untouched.

A blocked Ben Graham punt by Gerald Sensabaugh deep in Jets' territory led to the second of Jones-Drew's two rushing TDs, this one from four-yards out for a 21-0 lead.

The Jets' next possession ended in the second of Pennington's interceptions, this one by Jacksonville's Terry Cousin. That led to a one-yard Byron Leftwich scoring pass to George Wrighster on a marvelous play-action fake to Jones-Drew. That made it 28-0 with 7:10 still remaining in the first half.

At that point, the Jaguars had 150 yards in total offense to the Jets' 29.

There would be no spirited comeback in the second half.

"During the fourth quarter, when we hadn't come back and we felt like there was more (butt kicking) to come," Jets linebacker Matt Chatham said, "that was a helpless feeling."

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PENALTIES MAKE AFTERNOON ROUGH

By MARK CANNIZZARO

October 9, 2006 -- JACKSONVILLE - Though the sequences had nothing to do with the outcome of the game, the Jets were victimized by two highly questionable roughing-the-passer penalties called on linebackers Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton. Both came on third-down plays the Jets' defense had stopped.

The first came on a third-and-goal play from the Jets' 7 with the Jags leading 21-0. Vilma broke though and tackled Jags quarterback Byron Leftwich right after Leftwich flung the ball out of the end zone and was called for the personal foul for "landing with the full weight of his body" on Leftwich.

How exactly can a player trying to make a tackle stop himself in mid-air?

"The first (penalty) dealt with driving the quarterback into the ground and landing his body weight into his chest," referee Tony Corrente said. "We've asked (the defensive players) to try to fall off to the side so that he doesn't drive him into the ground."

The penalty gave the Jags a first down on the 3, and three plays later they went up 28-0 on a Fred Taylor scoring run.

Later in the first half, Barton broke though the line and appeared to have sacked Leftwich at the Jacksonville 1-yard line, but he was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet blow. The replay showed Leftwich ducking his helmet into the facemask of Barton.

*

The Jets were also hurt badly by an illegal block by LB Cody Spencer during a 55-yard Ben Graham punt that ended on the Jacksonville 20-yard line.

The Jags, of course, accepted the penalty and made the Jets re-punt. When they did, Graham's punt was blocked by Gerald Sensabaugh and recovered by Jorge Cordova at the Jets' 8-yard line. Three plays later, the Jags took a 21-0 lead on a four-yard Maurice Jones-Drew TD.

*

It was a bittersweet homecoming for Jets rookie RB Leon Washington, who grew up just down the street from Alltel Stadium and had family and friends in the stadium to see him perform as a pro for the first time. He rushed for a career-high 101 yards on 23 carries.

"It felt good to get the opportunity," Washington said.

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Jets bumble, rumble to embarrassing loss

Monday, October 9, 2006

By RANDY LANGE

STAFF WRITER

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There is no way to sugarcoat this one. Gang Green is red-faced.

The Jets, after opening the Eric Era so promisingly, laid one of the fattest eggs in franchise history Sunday.

And nobody was willing or able to say why the Jaguars handled the Jets so easily in the 41-0 whitewashing at Alltel Stadium. Only Laveranues Coles hinted at his opinion, and where he was going those hints didn't paint a rosy picture.

"It's a combination of feelings," coach Eric Mangini said after the Jets fell to 2-3. "It's disappointment, it's anger, it's the understanding we need to continually improve.

"This wasn't improvement."

Not when you go from almost upsetting the still-undefeated Colts to suffering the third-worst shutout in the 47 seasons of franchise history.

"I don't have any explanation to what happened out there," quarterback Chad Pennington said. "The bottom fell out of it somehow."

You could say that, when Pennington suffered the second-worst statistical game of his career -- the only game worse than his 28.9 passer rating was the 18.4 in last year's Jacksonville game that ended his season -- and the Jets had their fewest passing yards (71) since 1981 and their fewest net yards (45) since 1977.

"It was just one of those dog days," linebacker Jonathan Vilma said, in a statement fraught with double entendre.

Coles, who came into the game tied for the NFL lead in receptions and left it with three catches for 19 quiet yards, tweaked Mangini and his staff even more than he had in previous weeks.

"I don't ever want to end up on the side of the situation where people say I'm a bad apple," he said. "If I had all the answers, I'd be coaching. But I'm a player and I just go out wide and do what I'm told to do. I'm just a pawn in a chess game. They move me here and there."

The Jets seemed determined in trying to find a way to start this game better than they had their previous 18 road games, all without a first-quarter TD. Getting the ball first, they opened with rookie Brad Smith at running back, then put him at QB in a funky six-wide formation to get their initial first down.

But the drive ended with the first of three Pennington interceptions, thrown behind Coles and batted to cornerback Brian Williams.

On defense, they opened in the 4-3 -- with Bobby Hamilton at end, Brad Kassell for Eric Barton at linebacker and rookie Drew Coleman starting at right corner -- and mixed in the 3-4 and even a five-man front for the first quarter in an effort to slow the Jags' offense.

But Fred Taylor began his day with a 32-yard screen pass to the Jets' 13 before rookie back Maurice Jones-Drew knifed through the porous defense for 7 yards, then 6 for the game's first touchdown.

"From the first turnover," wideout Jerricho Cotchery said, "everything just went bad from that point on. We didn't start well, we didn't finish well, we didn't do anything well."

Here's how bad it went:

In the second quarter, Ben Graham's 60-yard net punt was negated by new Jet Cody Spencer's illegal block. Graham's next punt resulted in the first block of his career by Gerald Sensabaugh. Jones-Drew carried three times from the Jets 8, the last for his second TD for a 21-0 lead.

Barton got the Jets' only sack of Byron Leftwich. Unfortunately for the visitors, it came as he was committing a "dip-and-whip" roughing penalty, according to referee Tony Corrente. Instead of the Jags punting from their end zone, they ran more time off the clock and led at the half, 28-0 -- the Jets' worst halftime deficit since the 1996 opener at Denver.

Even when the Jets got close, they couldn't close the deal. Rookie Leon Washington, playing in front of his hometown fans, did the vast majority of the Jets' running work with 23 of their 34 carries for 101 yards, but he couldn't punch it in on three runs after second-and-goal at the Jaguars' 3.

The Jaguars scored all five of their touchdowns from inside the Jets' 20. No Gang Green defense in the last dozen seasons -- not even the Rich Kotite Jets -- gave up more than four red-zone TDs in a game.

The Jets didn't have much to hang onto as they left the locker room.

Coles had one more message. "I hope we rebound," he said. "That falls upon our coaching staff to get us moving in the right direction."

And DE Kimo von Oelhoffen had a grim message that will set the tone for this week's preparation for Miami: "We will get better. We need to get better. We're not going to panic."

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Colts GM Polian accosts Jets official

Jay Glazer / FOXSports.com

Posted: 8 hours ago

When Colts GM Bill Polian placed defensive tackle Corey Simon on non-football injured reserve this week for an unknown illness it drew raised eyebrows around the league. As it turns out, that was not Polian's most questionable move in the last seven days.

Polian accosted a New York Jets official in the tunnel of Giants Stadium prior to last week's game, several sources and people present on the scene told FOXSports.com. The Jets have notified the NFL front office to ask what options they have and what action they can take if any.

According to the sources, Polian was upset that speakers were set up too close to the field. After voicing his displeasure, a Jets operations employee talked to Polian about the issue. It's unclear what transpired between the two but Polian eventually grabbed the Jet by the lapels of his suit jacket and jacked him up against the wall of the tunnel.

The team employee, who was quite shaken up by the fiasco, sought out GM Mike Tannenbaum about the matter. Tannenbaum then raised the issue with the league office in defense of the team's employee. It is unclear what action if any the Jets or the league can take in the matter but as one Jets source said, "You should have the right to a safe workplace without worrying that somebody is going to put his hands on you."

It's also unclear if Polian reacted upon getting provoked or Polian overreacted without much prompting.

The story quickly circulated throughout the Jets complex this week and many were appalled by Polian's actions.

Calls to Tannenbaum on Saturday evening as well as calls to Bill Polian's cell phone were not returned.

When contacted regarding the situation, the NFL's spokesman Greg Aiello said he was unaware of the situation and the league would have no comment regarding matters with teams.

It's unclear what the two men said to each other but regardless, Polian should not put his hands on an employee of another team or any man for that matter. Given his position in the league, it makes his actions even more questionable.

What is also unclear, since such matters seem rare in this league, is if any action will be taken by the league office or if Polian should simply issue an apology. According to others inside the Jets, the team employee who was accosted was quite upset by the incident.

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Jets' Coles frustrated by lack of playing time in loss

Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- New York Jets receiver Laveranues Coles bought 25 extra tickets for friends and family members to come see him play in his hometown.

Maybe that's why he was upset with his lack of playing time.

Coles finished with three catches for 19 yards in New York's 41-0 loss at Jacksonville and was clearly frustrated with his performance.

"I pretty much have no comment on things. I can only speak about what I did. I didn't play a lot of plays," Coles said after the Jets suffered their worst loss in 20 years. "I played very few plays and that's all I can say. I started the game, then I sat the second quarter, some of the third quarter and the majority of the fourth quarter.

"I don't know why. That's something you have to ask the coaches. I don't know. I just work here. Am I frustrated by it? Any time I'm not on the field, I'm frustrated. It's just something they have to deal with. It's not me."

Coles had been listed as questionable for the game with a wrist injury. But he said his wrist was fine.

"It didn't bother me at all. I wasn't hurt," he said.

He was disappointed being on the sideline more than in the huddle.

"I don't want to get into saying how I feel right now," Coles said. "You see all the time guys say things and then you have to come back and apologize for what you said. I don't ever want to end up on that side of things where people say he's a bad apple. When you lose a tough game like this, you just go back and regroup, kind of figure out again what your role is and where you fit in.

"I don't have all the answers as to what happened today. If I did I would be coaching. I'm a player. I do what I'm told to do. I'm just a pawn in a chess game. They move me here, move me there. They ask me to do something, I do it. If not, I leave it alone."

Jerricho Cotchery led the Jets with four receptions for 49 yards. Chad Pennington was 10-of-17 passing for 71 yards. He threw three interceptions and was sacked four times.

The Jets return home next week against Miami.

"I hope we rebound, but again, that falls upon our coaching staff and trying to figure out a way to get us back to going the right direction," said Coles, who is nearing completion on his $8 million, 25,000-square-foot home in nearby St. Johns County.

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Jets Drop to 2-3

Published: 10-08-06

By Eric Allen

Eric Allen is the editor of newyorkjets.com.

Article Permalink: http://www.newyorkjets.com/articles/jets-drop-to-2-3

The New York Jets dropped to 2-3 on the season following a 41-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Alltel Stadium. Turnovers proved costly for the Jets as the Jags scored 28 points off of three Chad Pennington interceptions and one blocked punt.

"Obviously it's very disappointing," said first-year Jets head coach Eric Mangini. "They just physically beat us up and out-executed us. It was every phase of the game: it was offense, it was defense, it was special teams, and it was coaching."

Rookie Jets running back Leon Washington stood out in defeat, rushing for 101 yards on 23 carries. Washington, who grew up yards from Alltel Stadium, ran hard throughout and added a reception for eight yards.

For the fourth consecutive week, the Jets again saw their opposition strike first and this Jacksonville attack was lethal. The Jaguars, without the services of wide receiver Matt Jones and defensive tackle Marcus Stroud, dictated play in the opening half and raced to a 28-0 lead.

"Starting fast is something we

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Jaguars enjoy one-sided victory over Jets

/ Associated Press

Posted: 10 hours ago

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Defensive tackle John Henderson jumped up and down at the goal line, shaking his head from side to side and screaming at the top of his lungs.

He wanted a stop. He wanted a shutout. He wanted redemption after an embarrassing defensive performance at Washington.

He got all three.

The Jacksonville Jaguars scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions, quickly rebounding from consecutive losses and beating the New York Jets 41-0 on Sunday - the worst Jets loss in 20 years. Henderson and his fellow defenders provided the exclamation point with a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter.

"There was a lot of frustration after the way we played against Washington," Henderson said. "We knew we were better than that. We had to show people that the last game wasn't really us."

They did. The Jags intercepted Pennington three times, forced a fumble, held the Jets to 177 total yards and posted their second shutout of the season. They also continued the offensive barrage that began last week in the 36-30 loss.

It happened early, too.

Maurice Drew ran for two touchdowns, Fred Taylor added another and Byron Leftwich capped the fast start with a 1-yard TD pass to George Wrighster.

The Jets (2-3) provided plenty of help along the way.

Pennington threw two interceptions that Jacksonville (3-2) turned into touchdowns, Ben Graham had a punt blocked that resulted in a score and two questionable roughing the passer penalties made it even worse.

"It felt good because last week was a hard one to swallow," offensive tackle Khalif Barnes said. "But we were never down. We knew we would bounce back."

The result was exactly what the Jaguars wanted after losses at Indianapolis and Washington. The offense, almost nonexistent in the second half against the Colts, came up with several big plays against New York's woeful defense. Jacksonville's defense, embarrassed after giving up 481 yards to the Redskins, clamped down on Pennington & Co.

"It was just a plain ol' butt-whipping they laid on us," Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma said.

Pennington finished 10-of-17 for 71 yards. He was picked off three times and sacked three times.

"I don't think there wasn't anything positive coming out of this game," coach Eric Mangini said.

There were plenty of positives for Jacksonville.

Leftwich, Pennington's close friend and former college teammate, fared well in their third meeting. He was 9-of-20 for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Leftwich had the better supporting cast, too. Taylor ran 21 times for 111 yards, and Drew added 59 yards.

The Jaguars also won despite resting receiver Matt Jones (groin) and defensive linemen Marcus Stroud (ankle/groin) and Marcellus Wiley (groin).

The only negative for the Jags was that linebacker Mike Peterson, the team's leading tackler the last four seasons, strained a pectoral muscle in the first half and did not return.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed," coach Jack Del Rio said.

Although losing Peterson would be a huge blow for a team already without defensive end Reggie Hayward for the season, he was hardly missed against the Jets.

"We just did what we're supposed to be doing," safety Deon Grant said. "We just had one of those fluke games last week. This game was definitely more like our defense."

Brian Williams intercepted Pennington's second pass of the game. Pennington rolled right and threw behind Laveranues Coles, who reached back with his right hand and tipped the ball to Williams.

The Jags quickly turned it into a touchdown.

After a three-and-out by the Jets, Jacksonville scored again. Taylor's 13-yard run up the middle gave the Jaguars 121 yards on 10 plays and a two-touchdown advantage.

But the rout was just getting started.

Gerald Sensabaugh blocked a punt and the Jaguars recovered at the 8-yard line. Three plays later, Drew scored from 4 yards out to make it 21-0.

Pennington's next pass was intercepted by Terry Cousin, and Leftwich made the most of a short field. He found Wrighster in the left corner of the end zone.

The Jaguars sealed the victory with a field goal and a touchdown on their first two possessions of the second half. The touchdown came three plays after Pennington was intercepted for the third time.

"We weren't going to allow them to score," Henderson said. "We wanted to dominate. We wanted another goose egg. We take a lot of pride about that, especially at home."

Notes: The Jets hadn't lost by such a wide margin since falling 45-3 to Miami on Nov. 24, 1986. ... Jags DE Paul Spicer, whose sack ended Pennington's season a year ago, told the quarterback to "stay healthy" at midfield before the coin toss. ... Taylor had his first 100-yard game of the season. ... Jets RB Leon Washington ran 23 times for 101 yards, the rookie's first 100-yard game.

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