Jump to content


Sperm Edwards

Recommended Posts


Taylor furious at Fish



Losing to the Jets yesterday was a little too much to bear for Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor.

"It's gotten to the point where it's embarrassing," the Pro Bowler said after his team fell short again in a 20-17 loss at Giants Stadium. "We're 1-5. It's embarrassing for everyone involved, for the guys who work and want it, for the coaches, for (owner) Wayne (Huizenga), for the fans, for the guys who played before us."

The Dolphins, a team many had pegged as a Super Bowl contender, are instead last in the AFC East and are 0-3 within the division.

"The Jets aren't a better football team than us," Taylor said. "They played good today, they won the game. Congrats to them. But I can sit here after every game we've played and give you those three or four plays where we shoot ourselves in the head. It's ridiculous and we don't deserve to win. You do those things, you don't deserve to win."

The Dolphins gift-wrapped two interceptions, lost another fumble, dropped an easy interception, blew a coverage on a TD and failed to convert on key third and fourth downs throughout the game.

Even after QB Joey Harrington awoke and led a furious rally in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins, trailing by three with a half-minute to play, were stung by coach Nick Saban's decision to try a 51-yard field goal, which the strong-legged Olindo Mare barely got to the end zone.

"You do the simple things," Taylor said. "You catch the freakin' ball. You get the coverage check and you cover the man. You rush the quarterback and you get his butt on the ground. You don't fumble the ball, you create turnovers. This is not a hard game. It's complicated by people. You do the easy stuff and you win the freakin' game."

Taylor refused to give up on the season, but when asked how the Dolphins can turn it around, he didn't have an answer.

"What else you gonna do?" he asked. "You can't bring in more guys on scholarship. This is the NFL. You've got to deal with what you've got. ...

"Right now, we're not good enough."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Jet 'D' nearly breaks



The Jets' defense was guilty of a near-monumental collapse in yesterday's 20-17 victory over the Dolphins.

Playing with a 17-point lead, the Jets allowed a staggering 212 total yards and two touchdowns in the final 13:15. They appeared to be in a prevent mode, although Eric Mangini insisted that wasn't the case.

"We blitzed; we just didn't get there," the coach said. "We brought some pressure off the edge and up the middle. (The Dolphins) were executing pretty well at that point. We had some missed tackles sprinkled in there. It was a varied approach."

On the final drive, on a third-and-2 from the Jets' 32, S Eric Smith came on a blindside blitz and may have pressured QB Joey Harrington into an incompletion. Prior to that, however, the Jets used only three- and four-man rushes on the drive.

Harrington went 18-for-28 for 199 yards in the fourth quarter.

"The defense held them just far enough out," TE Chris Baker said. Did the Jets hold or did Miami run out of time?


RUSH JOB: Rookie RB Leon Washington got his first NFL start, but he disappeared for the remainder of the first half. Washington (11 carries for 58 yards) was featured in the second half, and the running attack perked up. Kevan Barlow finished with 45 yards on 13 rushes.

The Jets' ever-changing backfield could be in store for a shakeup. Curtis Martin, on the physically-unable-to-perform list with a knee injury, is eligible to start practicing this week.

It's a crowded backfield, although the Jets could unload a back by tomorrow's trading deadline. Derrick Blaylock is believed to be on the trading block.

WHEW! QB Chad Pennington almost threw a disastrous interception. In the fourth quarter, he hit CB Eddie Jackson in the chest at the Jets' 20, but Jackson dropped the ball. It would've been returned for a TD, which would've made it 20-17.

"I was getting ready to make a tackle," Pennington said. "My heart was in my throat."

THAT'S A FIRST: The Jets finally scored a point in the first quarter. Mike Nugent made a 33-yard field goal, their first first-quarter points of the season. But they failed to score a touchdown. That makes it 20 straight games without an offensive touchdown in the opening quarter. They're closing in on the record of 23 set by the Cardinals in 1999.

TWO-TIMER: DB Hank Poteat, who signed last Tuesday with the Jets, saw action and became part of history. Poteat also played the Dolphins last week as a member of the Patriots. He became only the sixth player since the merger in 1970 to face the same opponents in successive games, but the first to win both games. ... Jets CB David Barrett (hip) was inactive for the second time in three weeks. Rookie Drew Coleman started for the second straight week at right cornerback, with Justin Miller backing him up. ... ILB Eric Barton returned to the starting lineup after backing up Brad Kassell last week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Laveranues goes long

Jets turn WR loose




Laveranues Coles pulls in a 22-yard

touchdown reception after making

a 58-yard catch-and-run TD (below)

earlier in yesterday's game.


Laveranues Coles was running slant after slant and the Jets' offense was looking about as potent as the postseason Yankees.

Sometime during the second quarter, Coles found offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on the sideline.

"We gotta go vertical," he told the coach.

Early in the third quarter, they did.

All it took was the Dolphins' third-string cornerback to bite on what seemed like another slant pattern to turn Coles loose for the 58-yard touchdown catch that turned around yesterday's game. Throw in another 22-yard TD catch about 10 minutes later and it was quite a day for the guy who was so frustrated last week that he almost had a Terrell Owens moment.

"He's a competitive guy," Chad Pennington said. "And he answered with a great game this week. One thing you get with Laveranues ... you get consistency."

Coles played only 35 of 58 plays and not at all in the fourth quarter in the blowout loss in Jacksonville. While Eric Mangini might have just been protecting Coles' injured hand in garbage time, Coles was frustrated over not being used and came close to a full-blown vent in the postgame locker room.

"I'm just a pawn in a chess game," he said then.

Yesterday, he took it out on a Miami secondary that began the game without starting corner Travis Daniels and lost backup Andre' Goodman in the second period. That left Eddie Jackson on Coles when the Jets, up 6-3 at the time, faced a second-and-4 from their 42.

"We were running a couple of slants and they were playing the slants really good because Laveranues is such a great slant runner," Pennington said. "This time around, he ran the slant and go pattern and the corner jumped it pretty good."

Jackson, who later let an interception bounce off his chest, bit hard. It almost looked as though he was blitzing and Coles didn't even have to finish his pattern.

"He bit so hard that after one step, I just cut it off and headed straight up," Coles said.

"That catch and throw sometimes is the hardest one to make," Pennington said, "because he ends up being so open."

Coles wasn't really that open on the second touchdown, where he drew coverage from strong safety Traveras Tillman. Pennington, however, had nothing to lose since the Dolphins had jumped offside on the play.

"We had a sprint right package on and they covered the underneath. Laveranues was on a corner route and the corner had turned his back," the quarterback explained. "I felt like I'd put it up in the air and give him a chance to jump for it. Normally, it's hard for a DB to locate the football when his back is turned."

The two big plays were Dolphin-killers.

"One, we were in position to make the play on and didn't," complained coach Nick Saban. "The other we were just playing three-deep zone and the guy ran a double pattern and we bit because our eyes weren't in the right place."

Coles finished the day with five catches for 106 yards, giving him 38 for 537 and three TDs on the season.

"You see his toughness," Mangini said. "Whenever he is called on, he responds."

"I've always thought that he's been a top receiver in this league," Pennington said. "He's not flashy. He's a blue-collar, hard-working receiver who's very tough."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Green thoughts turning to playoffs


Bryan Thomas celebrates the

Jets' victory yesterday.

At this time last year, the only thing the Jets were playing for was a better spot in the draft. They already had lost two quarterbacks and had just started a seven-game losing streak in what became one of the most demoralizing seasons in their history.

Now their perspective has totally changed, even if they nearly blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead to Miami's Joey Harrington, who doesn't have to wait very long to hear his name called in the list of the worst quarterbacks of this decade. The only positioning the Jets are thinking about is the kind that keeps a team playing into January.

Are they delusional? Hey, this is a league that gives just about everybody a chance. The Jets are 3-3, in second place in the AFC East, and in the next two weeks play Detroit at home and Cleveland on the road. It's hard to ask for much more. There is no reason the Jets shouldn't hit the halfway point at 5-3. They can thank the NFL for scheduling Houston, Green Bay, Buffalo, Miami and Oakland in the second half.

"We put ourselves in the right position to make a run for it in the end," linebacker Jonathan Vilma said.

It took some shaky last-minute coaching decisions by Nick Saban and then Olindo Mare being five yards short on a 51-yard field goal with 28 seconds left for the Jets to finally get off the field with a 20-17 victory.

It was suggested to Pete Kendall that the victory was tainted because after the Jets took a 20-3 lead with 13:15 remaining, they allowed Harrington, who got run out of Detroit and is only starting for the Dolphins because Daunte Culpepper just can't move, to get Miami two touchdowns in less than six minutes and then nearly get the game into overtime.

"Tainted? No, not in my mind anyway," Kendall said. "They are so hard to come by, especially seemingly in my career. I'll take them any way I can get them."

Saban helped the Jets with his late-game strategy. He had one timeout remaining when Miami got the ball on its 11 with 2:18 remaining. He ended the game with that timeout in his pocket.

Harrington, who all of a sudden gave Jets fans flashbacks to Dan Marino, easily moved the Dolphins to a third-and-2 at the Jets' 32 with 38 seconds remaining. This would have been an excellent time for Saban to call time to make sure the Dolphins ran a productive play to get the first down. Mare is 33 years old and Saban needed to get the ball closer than a 51-yard attempt.

Instead, operating out of the no-huddle, Harrington took the third down snap in the shotgun and fired the ball way over the head of Derek Hagan on the sideline. At the very least, Saban should have given the ball to Ronnie Brown, who had scorched the Jets for 127 yards on just 22 carries. Then, Saban elected to kick the long field goal rather than go for it on fourth down, another shaky decision, especially on a windy day at the Meadowlands.

Mare, the fifth-most accurate kicker in NFL history, has hit 14 from 50 or longer. He hit one of them this year. He is 50% from that range. But in the winds of Giants Stadium, kickers' numbers never hold up. The Dolphins would have had a better chance going for the first down than Mare hitting that kick.

"We thought he would make the field goal," said Saban, who added that he considered going for it on fourth down. "We had confidence in him."

This would have been a brutal game for the Jets to lose, especially after they were humiliated 41-0 in Jacksonville last week. So, it had to be tough for Eric Mangini to watch as Mare swung at the ball. "I've seen a lot of important field goals kicked in my career. That was another one of those field goals," he said. "Some go through and some don't. That one didn't."

Adam Vinatieri, the greatest clutch kicker in NFL history, hit a few during Mangini's New England days. But as reliable as Mare has been in his career, he is not Vinatieri.

It's a positive reflection on Mangini that he was able to get the Jets to quickly recover from Jacksonville. It was the first crisis of his administration: the crushing loss to the Colts and getting crushed by the Jaguars.

And after Laveranues Coles clearly was unhappy with his playing time last week, he was the best player on the field for the Jets, catching five passes for 106 yards, two of them for touchdowns. Mangini didn't freeze him out of the offense because he was outspoken. That would have been counterproductive and petty.

The victory allowed the Jets to feel pretty good about themselves and where they are headed. They never wanted to believe this was a 4-12 team they were taking into the season.

"Last year, we lost so many players," Kendall said. "Guys just continued to fall by the wayside. It got harder and harder every week. It got to the point where I felt we needed to wear, 'Hello, My Name Is' tags. So, I don't think this collection of men looked back and said, 'We're a 4-12 team and that's who we think we are.'"

They are trying to create an identity this year. They can worry about the draft later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Jets survive and that's A-Mare

Reel in Fish on missed kick




Chad Pennington celebrates with

Laveranues Coles after throwing

a fourth-quarter TD pass to Coles


Twelve years after the infamous Fake Spike Game, six years after the unforgettable Midnight Miracle, the Jets and Dolphins almost delivered a new epic in their storied rivalry last night.

It was an almost-miracle that nearly ended with a spike in the Jets' heart. Quicker than you could say, "Dan Marino to Mark Ingram," a Jets blowout turned into a heart-pounding finish at Giants Stadium.

Chad Pennington was certain it was going to overtime. He wasn't alone. Some of his teammates saw the initial flight of Olindo Mare's potential game-tying, 51-yard field goal with 33 seconds left and figured it was going to split the uprights.

But the ball died. The Jets lived.

And they exhaled. Boy, did they exhale. They survived a wild final 18 minutes, 20-17, and that was all they cared about, especially after last week's 41-0 debacle in Jacksonville.

"Just like we drew it up," deadpanned Eric Mangini, whose team turned Joey Harrington into Marino and almost blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter.

"Unintentionally entertaining," linebacker Matt Chatham said with a big laugh, joking that the late-game drama could help the Jets' chance of securing another prime-time TV date later in the season.

"Trust me, I know how we feel, so I can imagine how the fans must feel," tight end Chris Baker said. "It's crazy."

The Jets are bad for stadium traffic. The way they play, who can leave early? In their three wins, they almost blew 16-, 15- and 17-point leads. Clearly, the Jets lack killer instinct, but they're 3-3 and who could've expected that?

After two straight losses, the Jets were desperate for a win, especially at home, where they hadn't lost three straight since 1999.

For those reasons, and because of clutch individual performances by Pennington and Laveranues Coles - the leading men, so to speak, in last week's nightmare - the Jets felt good about themselves.

"I can't tell you how good this win feels," said Pennington, who hooked up with his old buddy Coles on 58- and 22-yard touchdowns that gave the Jets a 20-3 lead with 13:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Mangini, perhaps trying to inspire his traditionally slow-starting team, showed a video clip of the second Hearns-Hagler fight, known for its brutally violent first round. That hardly did the trick. Oh, the Jets broke their first-quarter scoring slump with a field goal, but their 3-0 halftime lead wasn't exactly a cushy situation.

Then Pennington (17-for-29, 175 yards) and Coles (five catches for 106 yards) turned the game into their personal pitch-and-catch. Coles ran a slant-and-go on third-string cornerback Eddie Jackson, who got twisted into the ground. Coles was wide open and Pennington beat a blitz for a 58-yard score, the longest of Coles' career.

They set up the play beautifully. When the Dolphins' cornerbacks started jumping the Jets' slant routes, Coles told offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, "We gotta go vertical." And they did.

On their next possession, Pennington rolled right on a third-and-1 and threw a jump ball in the end zone for Coles, who outmuscled safety Traveres Tillman for a 22-yard touchdown. Pennington knew it was a free play because Miami had been flagged for offsides.

For Pennington, who threw three interceptions last week, it was a sweet rebound performance. For Coles, who seethed last week about his lack of playing time, it was an emphatic statement. The Jets seem to take their cue from both players.

"He's a go-to guy who makes play after play, game after game," Mangini said of Coles.

Then things got crazy. Harrington, intercepted by Victor Hobson and Andre Dyson in a woeful first half, went Marino on the Jets. Operating a hurry-up attack, he completed 18 of 28 passes for 199 yards in the fourth quarter.

The Jets played soft zones, rarely blitzing, and the conservative approach nearly bit them hard. Harrington (27-for-43, 266 yards) threw a 2-yard touchdown to Chris Chambers, and Ronnie Brown (127 yards on 22 carries) scored on a 1-yard run with 2:56 to play. The Jets punted it back to Miami, and here came Harrington.

The Dolphins drove to the Jets' 32. Harrington, who was hurt by stone hands (his receivers dropped five passes), was undermined by rock-head game management by his coach. Curiously, on a third-and-2 with 38 seconds and a timeout remaining, Nick Saban called a pass, not a run. Incomplete.

Mare, who made a 52-yarder earlier in the season, came in for the tie. He said he struck it well, but the ball died in the night air. It fell about five yards short of the crossbar.

Interestingly, several Jets noticed during the game that the kicking balls seemed flat. Could that have contributed to Mare's miss? Hmmm. It added to the drama, familiar territory for the Jets.

"I've been through years like this before," said Chatham, a former Patriot. "I'd probably have a full head of hair right now if it hadn't been for several years like that."

He pointed to his head. He's bald. Completely bald.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Schedule will help fair-to-middling Jets

Shaun Powell


October 16, 2006

Well, the Jets don't live among the true lightweights of the NFL, although they certainly checked out the neighborhood.

With 28 seconds left yesterday, they came about 10 yards shy of being tied by the Dolphins on the next-to-last play. That's how much Olindo Mare's 51-yard field-goal attempt missed by. Ten yards separated a lame team that's barely breathing and the Jets, who merely breathed a sigh of relief after a 20-17 win in which they nearly blew a 20-3 fourth-quarter lead.

"It didn't go exactly the way we wanted," defensive end Shaun Ellis said.

Not exactly. After absorbing a 41-0 whipping in Jacksonville last weekend, the Jets were looking to put some distance between themselves and some company they'd rather not keep.

The Dolphins are as bad as it gets, with a second-string quarterback who couldn't hold his job in Detroit and a wrecked secondary just waiting to be exploited. Yet they shrugged off a 17-point deficit, marched downfield in the final moments and nearly pulled the Jets down to their level.

So what does that say about the Jets? Here's what: Thank goodness for the schedule makers.

Really, the football gods must've been rescued by Fireman Ed in their previous lives. They're doing their part in ensuring that this rebuilding year under a rookie coach and a team that can't run the football will be as painless as possible.

They evidently have a soft spot for Eric Mangini and Chad Pennington and everyone else in the organization with something on the line, because the road ahead for the Jets is paved with similarly friendly and frolicking Dolphins.

In the final 10 games, the Jets will play seven teams that had a combined 6-27 record before this weekend's games. Yes, that's no misprint: 6-27. That's not a schedule, that's a welcome mat.

On the next two Sundays, the Jets get Detroit (not the Tigers, the Lions) and Cleveland, who were 1-9 before yesterday. Those two teams are just a bit more intimidating than what's in store three Sundays from now, when the Jets meet the Bye Weekers.

Later, there's Houston and Green Bay and Buffalo and Miami (again) and finally Oakland, the kind of Sunday guests you'd like to send a limo for. If the 3-3 Jets can just resist the urge to get too bored after halftime, they can have a winning record this season. Seriously.

Although, if that happens, we'll know why. We'll know the record will be misleading, because these crummy teams just don't have enough talent or passion or purpose to do much damage this season.

The Dolphins are placing their trust in quarterback Joey Harrington, who replaced Daunte Culpepper, who isn't much without a healthy knee and Randy Moss to carry him. Harrington has this habit of throwing poor passes, which got him run out of Detroit and helped the Dolphins fall behind 20-3 yesterday until he put together a rather decent fourth quarter to make the Jets somewhat worried.

And the Dolphins are hurt on defense, which is partially why Laveranues Coles broke wide open for the longest touchdown catch of his career, a 58-yarder from Pennington, and then simply outleaped poor Andre Goodman, a third-stringer pressed into duty, for another TD catch.

That should've been enough. Problem is, the Jets really aren't that much better, to be honest. When receiver Justin McCareins stumbled and missed a Pennington pass on third down, with a 20-17 lead, the Jets were forced to punt and give the Dolphins a shot. Harrington felt no pressure from the Jets' pass rush and pushed the Dolphins from their 11 to the Jets' 32 before Mare came up short.

"Just the way we drew it up," Mangini said sarcastically, referring to his team's collapse. "It was back and forth, up and down. That's the way Jets-Miami games go, and we didn't want to disappoint."

Six games into the season, the Jets have a rhythm, and it goes something like this: Some days, they'll force a good team to play hard. Others, they'll get destroyed. Which means they live somewhere in the mushy middle, certainly not among the elite, but ahead of the dogs.

"It's important to put this one behind us and look forward to next week," Ellis said.

And why not? The Lions are coming to town. Disguised as Dolphins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Nugent finally gets his kicks


Newsday Staff Writer

October 16, 2006

It had been almost a month since Mike Nugent lined up for a field goal. But he was called upon to cap the game's opening drive yesterday, and his 33-yard field goal was the first (and only) first-quarter points the Jets have scored this season.

"It's one of those things where you have to be ready whenever it is," said Nugent, who added another 33-yarder to cap the first drive of the second half and make it 6-0. "You can't just assume, 'I didn't kick any field goals last week, I probably won't kick any this week.'"

Nugent hadn't attempted a field goal since the fourth quarter of the Patriots game four weeks ago. He said extra points help him stay sharp (though he hadn't tried one of those in two weeks, thanks to last week's shutout loss). He said last year he had a similar start to the season, with a shaky opening performance, then a lull in number of attempts. Nugent has attempted six field goals this season and in 2005 had eight through six games.

"It comes with the job," he said.

Blitzkrieg stop

The Jets took control of the game with Chad Pennington's 58-yard touchdown pass to Laveranues Coles, but the play was set up along the line of scrimmage. The Dolphins showed blitz, and while Pennington stalled before calling for the snap to give the offensive line time to adjust, center Nick Mangold made his own call to adjust to the coming rush. The result was enough time for Coles to perform his slant and go and burst wide open. The Jets picked up a blitzing Zach Thomas and Pennington made the pass.

"That was the proverbial everything fell together," Jets guard Pete Kendall said.

Jet streams

Jets coach Eric Mangini challenged one play, hoping that the spot of a third-down pass would give the Jets a first down when it appeared TE Chris Baker lunged for the yardage before he went out of bounds. The play stood as called and the Jets wound up punting ... The Jets' offense had 12 possessions and went three-and-out on five of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites




October 16, 2006



Chad Pennington was pretty lackluster until Laveranues Coles beat a third-string cornerback for a 58-yard TD, but he didn't have any interceptions and the offense did not turn it over. The team rushed for 103 yards against a decent defensive front, but the Jets could not take advantage of first-half turnovers, then could not milk the clock in the fourth quarter to keep the Dolphins off the field.



Three turnovers, a fourth-down stop, and a stand to keep the Dolphins just outside Olindo Mare's range on the final drive should be enough for a high grade. But Miami averaged 5.5 yards per play, converted 7 of 9 third downs in the second half, and the Jets barely put a hit on Joey Harrington (27-for-43, 266 yards). Seventeen points tied the most the Dolphins have scored in a game all year, and the Jets allowed that in the second half.



Mike Nugent came out of storage to kick a pair of field goals. Ben Graham averaged 43.6 yards per punt, but his best effort, a 66-yarder, was negated by an illegal touching penalty against Drew Coleman and resulted in a re-kick and a 47-yard swing in field position. Brad Smith was stunning with three special teams tackles and Tim Dwight had the right idea when he let a punt bounce inside the 10, even though it kicked straight up and was downed at the 4.



The big curiosity this week was watching to see how the Jets reacted after last week's 41-0 blowout loss against the Jaguars. Eric Mangini and his gang worked hard to keep the Jets on a steady course, and it seemed to work. The Jets were not buried by the weight of that loss. Their bend-but-don't-break defensive philosophy causes more than a few Jets fans to palpitate, but it worked in this case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Coles now in better mood

Receiver plays big role and finishes with 106 yards and 2 TDs


Newsday Staff Writer

October 16, 2006

Laveranues Coles is happy. For this week, anyway.

Seven days after bemoaning his lack of playing time in a 41-0 loss at Jacksonville, Coles came through with five catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns in yesterday's 20-17 victory over the Dolphins. His day allowed him to reach two career milestones. Coles, in his seventh NFL season and fifth with the Jets, surpassed 450 career receptions - he has 453 - and went over 6,000 career yards. He has 6,038.

"A win makes a lot of difference to me," Coles said. "Any time you lose, I'm frustrated, being the competitor I am."

Explaining his displeasure after the Jacksonville game, Coles said, "You just want to find ways to help the team win. With a win, everything is better."

Things did not look that way as the game slogged late into the third quarter with the Jets holding a 6-3 lead. It was then, according to Coles, that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer implemented a suggestion Coles made earlier in the afternoon.

"We had run a lot of slants before that," Coles said. "I had run the slant maybe eight times and I said to him [schottenheimer], 'We have to get vertical.'"

They did. The Jets took over at their 36-yard line with 4:24 left in the third quarter. After a 6-yard pass over the middle to Jerricho Cotchery, Coles was matched one-on-one on the left sideline with Dolphins cornerback Eddie Jackson. Coles faked the slant, Jackson fell down and safety Travares Tillman was slow rotating over to help as Coles took off. Chad Pennington, who had looked to his right, glanced deep down the left sideline and found Coles all alone. He hit Coles in stride for a 58-yard touchdown and a 13-3 lead.

"It was a double move and he [Jackson] bit pretty hard," Coles said. "I was wide open."

Coles victimized Tillman again in the fourth quarter. With the Jets facing a third-and-1 from the Dolphins' 22 with 13:23 left, they got a free play as Miami jumped offsides. Pennington rolled to his right, set his feet and delivered a jump ball for the 5-11 Coles against the 6-1 Tillman. Tillman did not see Pennington release the ball and Coles jumped and snatched the ball away for a touchdown.

"I got behind him," Coles said of Tillman. "I didn't think Chad was going to throw it, but then I saw his arm **** back. I just went up and got that ball."

Coles' demeanor could not have been more different from last week after catching only three passes for 19 yards in the loss to Jacksonville. He did not outright blast coach Eric Mangini but did not cloak his anger, either.

Mangini appeared to diffuse the situation last week and had nothing but praise for Coles yesterday.

"He was outstanding again," Mangini said. "You see his toughness, his ability to make plays, whether it's short, whether it's deep. Whenever he is called on, he responds. I was happy with that."

Coles also was happy. "I feel good," he said. "Any time we win, I'm excited. It's not about me. It's about how the Jets perform and if we win."

As for his in-game suggestion about getting "vertical," Coles was asked to clarify if he made his thoughts known to Schottenheimer or to Mangini directly. Coles smiled, then drew a big laugh from reporters.

"Oh, I said it to Brian," Coles said. "I don't bother Eric during games."


5 Receptions

106 Yards

21.2 Average per catch

58 Longest gain

2 Touchdowns

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Jets' run 'D' shows slight improvement


Newsday Staff Writer

October 16, 2006

Something had to give. And when it comes to stopping the run, it's almost always the Jets' defense.

In a matchup of one of the league's worst defenses against the rush (the Jets) and one of the league's worst rushing offenses (the Dolphins), the verdict was a push. Miami got the yards, a season-best 129, but the Jets won the game, 20-17.

"We'll take the win," defensive end Bryan Thomas said.

The Dolphins entered the game ranked 27th out of 32 teams in rushing at 84 yards per game; the Jets were 28th in the league against the rush, allowing 149 yards a game.

Yesterday was an improvement over last week, when the Jaguars rolled up 181 rushing yards in a 41-0 victory. Miami's Ronnie Brown ended up with 127 yards on 22 carries yesterday, but Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis said those statistics were misleading. Except for a 26-yard scamper in the third quarter, Brown generally was contained.

"He really had the one long run that put him over 100 yards," Ellis said. "You take that away and we hold him at or under 100 yards."

Of course, the corollary to that is Brown had not rushed for 100 yards in a game before facing the Jets. Brown's previous high was 90 yards in a Sept. 24 victory over Tennessee.

"We're making a lot better progress," middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. "Overall we did a pretty good job. I think the biggest thing is we showed the character that we can bounce back after something like last week. Being able to bounce back against any adversity is a great thing to have."

Although the Dolphins held a 395-272 advantage in total yards, the Jets' defense forced three turnovers. Linebacker Victor Hobson and cornerback Andre Dyson made interceptions and Hobson had a fumble recovery.

Still, the adversity Vilma spoke of after the Jacksonville game would have paled in comparison to what the Jets, and the defense in particular, would have faced had Miami completed a comeback from the 20-3 deficit it faced early in the fourth quarter.

The Dolphins went to their two-minute offense and had little trouble moving downfield behind struggling quarterback Joey Harrington, who led touchdown drives of 81 and 74 yards in the final quarter and had the Dolphins in range for a tying field-goal attempt of 51 yards by Olindo Mare, but it fell short with 28 seconds left.

"I wouldn't say we wore down at the end," Vilma said. "I think we had a couple of breakdowns on our technique but we did a better job of that on their last drive."

Allowing the two scoring drives in the fourth quarter was a concern to Jets coach Eric Mangini, but he didn't think that overshadowed what the defense accomplished in the first half, when it held the Dolphins to 112 total yards. The Jets led at the half 3-0.

"I felt [the defense played well] especially in the first half," Mangini said. "We caused three turnovers, and that's important. Being able to generate those turnovers is going to be key week in and week out."

Particularly after last week, when the Jets could neither move the ball nor stop it. Must-wins do not occur in October for football teams, but yesterday showed there was no hangover from the embarrassment in Jacksonville.

"This was very important after last week," Ellis said. "That was a tough loss, a humiliating loss. We needed a positive outcome today and we got it."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Jets' 'D' forced to sweat it out

Monday, October 16, 2006



EAST RUTHERFORD -- Sunday's first half was a post-Jacksonville hangover, the third quarter a return to the feel-good form of their first two road victories.

The fourth quarter? It got too close for comfort.

"Olindo Mare, he scares the hell out of you when they get inside the 40," linebacker Matt Chatham said.

But in the end, Mare's 51-yard game-tying field goal fell safely short in the cool Meadowlands winds, and the Jets found themselves buffeted back onto the familiar turf they occupied before swallowing their Jag-ged little pill.

They beat their old friends and foes, the Dolphins, 20-17. They won their first home game under coach Eric Mangini. They improved their AFC East record to 2-1 and their overall record to a still-surprising, still-full-of-promise 3-3.

"I can't tell you how good this win feels," Chad Pennington said after hitting Laveranues Coles with 58- and 22-yard touchdown passes on back-to-back second-half drives to give the Jets a 20-3 lead that saw them through. "Last week and the days building up to this [game] made it a tough week for this team, especially me."

This game was tough, too. Coles, who has yet to be listed on the Jets' weekly injury report with his right hand injury, greeted the CBS crew at the production meetings with a left-handed handshake and did the same at the postgame locker room door with owner Woody Johnson.

"Anytime you win a ballgame, you get excited," Coles said without a word about his condition. "I'm running off the field concerning myself about how to get ready for next week. That's what I do."

He also plays in pain. Two teammates described him as "a true warrior."

"If there's something broke in there, Laveranues would still be playing well," fellow wideout Jerricho Cotchery said. "The way he goes about everything, nothing's going to keep him off the field."

"We never doubted," linebacker Jonathan Vilma said, "that he was going to fight through it."

The defense's fight has been understated much of the season. And the Miami statistics would suggest that defense has yet to emerge: 24 first downs, 395 yards, 8-of-15 on third-down conversions and three long fourth-quarter drives to make it close.

But perhaps the defenders made a leap forward in the first three quarters. After no takeaways, not even a forced fumble, in the losses to Indianapolis and Jacksonville, they had three against Miami (and no giveaways). After one tackle for loss in those games, they had three vs. the Dolphins.

"Our run fits were better," said linebacker Bryan Thomas, who had a game-high 11 tackles. "We had 11 hats around the ball carrier every play."

"It means a lot when we can stop any offense," said linebacker Victor Hobson, whose interception and fumble recovery contributed to stopping the 'Fins and dropping the supposed Super Bowl contenders to 1-5. "We want to be out there on the field when the game is on the line as a defensive unit."

While the offense sputtered to two Mike Nugent field goals, the "D" rendered QB Joey Harrington and his receivers ineffective and Vilma and Erik Coleman stoned Ronnie Brown on fourth-and-1 for no gain at the Jets' 29 in the first half.

In the third quarter, Vilma and Dewayne Robertson held Brown again, to 1 yard on third-and-2 from the Jets' 4, forcing coach Nick Saban to settle for Mare's only field goal to make it 6-3.

Then the offense scored enough and the defense held on for a wild ride as the Dolphins came back.

"If I knew why, we'd play like that all the time," said Harrington, who led the club to two TDs, then to the Jets' 32 with 33 seconds left.

Saban helped out by not trying to run for the first down on third-and-2 with a timeout left.

But the Jets, having weathered storms at Tennessee and Buffalo, survived Miami. Up next: home vs. Detroit (1-5) and on the road at Cleveland (1-4) before their bye.

Mangini hasn't said it publicly, but he's told the Jets they're as able as any of the Patriots' three Super Bowl champions he helped coach.

"He made mention of it," Vilma said. "We're in a very good situation as far as talent. He told us a few things here and there, but that's really about it. That's why we don't get too high on the highs and too low on the lows. We just go out there and play each Sunday."

E-mail: lange@northjersey.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites


NY Jets 20, Miami 17

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Jets thought they blew it.

The offense built a big lead with a second-half scoring burst, but the defense let the Miami Dolphins back in the game.

And in the end, Olindo Mare was jogging out onto the field for a potential tying field goal.

"I think a lot of us felt that we were probably headed to overtime," Jets quarterback Chad Pennington said.

But Mare came up short on a 51-yarder as the Jets barely held on for a 20-17 win Sunday, New York's first home victory.

"Those types of field goals, he makes," Pennington said. "For him to miss one was a shock to us. We felt like we had to get ready to go into overtime. Luckily, we caught a break."

Laveranues Coles caught two touchdown passes and Mike Nugent kicked a pair of 33-yard field goals in a game that could be added to the lengthy list of classic meetings between the AFC East rivals. The Jets (3-3) did just enough after halftime to earn an important division win.

After taking a 20-3 lead, the Jets had to sweat this one out as Joey Harrington led the Dolphins (1-5) on two long scoring drives in the fourth quarter, getting within a field goal on Ronnie Brown's 1-yard touchdown run.

Working out of the no-huddle offense and catching the Jets out of position time after time, Harrington had one more chance and marched the Dolphins down the field again with a plethora of short passes in a last-minute effort to pull even.

"We don't even think about it when we're in that fast offense," Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers said. "Everybody knows what they have to do. The defense can't really set up for what they want to do. We were just using three different plays and they were working. Everything was clicking."

But Mare, who was 1-for-3 this season on kicks of 50-plus yards, came up short, the ball landing in the end zone as the jubilant Jets cheered.

"We thought he could make the field goal," Miami coach Nick Saban said. "We had confidence in him."

Harrington, making his second straight start in place of the injured Daunte Culpepper, finished 27-of-43 for 266 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions, while Brown had 127 yards on 22 carries.

"We moved the ball well all day," Harrington said. "The first three quarters, we made mistakes -- the same stuff we've done all year. In the fourth quarter, we didn't do that. We finished drives, which is what we didn't do the rest of the game."

Two plays after Mare's 21-yard field goal cut the deficit to 6-3, the Jets answered right back on Coles' 58-yard touchdown catch, the longest of his career.

On the second play of the drive, Coles broke down the left sideline but cornerback Eddie Jackson turned inside as the Jets receiver zipped by. Pennington, seeing him wide open, lofted a pass that Coles caught near the Dolphins 35 and then took off into the end zone untouched to make it 13-3 with 3:23 left in the third quarter.

"It was supposed to be a slant-and-go," Coles said, "but he bit so hard off of one step, I just cut it off and straightened up. From there, it was a touchdown."

New York then took advantage of a turnover. On second-and-10 from Miami's 40, Sammy Morris ran the ball for 3 yards before Rashad Moore poked it out of Morris' hands and Victor Hobson recovered.

"We've got to get over the hump and get a win," Chambers said. "We've got to try and fix this. We've shot ourselves in the foot every time."

Six plays later, Coles caught a 22-yard pass from Pennington in the right corner of the end zone for his second TD catch of the day, giving the Jets a 20-3 lead 1:45 into the fourth quarter. Coles finished with five catches for 106 yards, while Pennington was 17-of-29 for 175 yards and the two TDs.

The victory went a long way in softening the embarrassment from last week's 41-0 loss at Jacksonville.

"I can't tell you how good this win feels," Pennington said. "Last week and just this week building up to this game was a tough week, I know for my team, and especially for me."

Miami cut it to 20-10 on Chambers' 2-yard touchdown catch from Harrington, capping a 12-play, 81-yard drive with 8:49 remaining.

New York led 3-0 at halftime as the teams combined for less than 200 total net yards in the first half, with Miami gaining 112 yards and the Jets 86. The Jets came out a bit more energized to start the second half, capping a 12-play, 65-yard drive with Nugent's second 33-yarder.

Leon Washington, who had 42 yards rushing on the drive, had a 12-yard scramble and then powered ahead for 11 yards to get to the Dolphins 24. Two plays later, Washington scampered for 8 yards to put the ball on the 15. Coach Eric Mangini, who has shown to be a gambler on fourth down, instead sent Nugent out to get the points on the board.


Coles' 12-yard catch in the second quarter was the 450th of his career. With his five catches, he has 453 in seven NFL seasons. ... Chambers, who finished with five catches for 60 yards, has caught a pass in 53 straight games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Dolphins-Jets Stats

Miami 0 0 3 14_17

N.Y. Jets 3 0 10 7_20

First Quarter

NYJ_FG Nugent 33, 9:30.

Third Quarter

NYJ_FG Nugent 33, 9:30.

Mia_FG Mare 21, 4:24.

NYJ_Coles 58 pass from Pennington (Nugent kick), 3:23.

Fourth Quarter

NYJ_Coles 22 pass from Pennington (Nugent kick), 13:15.

Mia_Chambers 2 pass from Harrington (Mare kick), 8:49.

Mia_Brown 1 run (Mare kick), 2:56.




First downs 24 15

Total Net Yards 395 272

Rushes-yards 29-129 27-103

Passing 266 169

Punt Returns 4-31 2-6

Kickoff Returns 5-69 2-50

Interceptions Ret. 0-0 2-6

Comp-Att-Int 27-43-2 17-29-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 0-0 2-6

Punts 3-40.3 7-43.6

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-0

Penalties-Yards 6-61 8-70

Time of Possession 31:47 28:13



RUSHING_Miami, Brown 22-127, Morris 5-2, Chambers 1-1, Harrington 1-(minus 1). N.Y. Jets, Washington 11-58, Barlow 13-45, Smith 1-1, Dwight 1-0, Pennington 1-(minus 1).

PASSING_Miami, Harrington 27-43-2-266. N.Y. Jets, Pennington 17-29-0-175.

RECEIVING_Miami, McMichael 8-72, Hagan 6-66, Welker 6-56, Chambers 5-60, Morris 1-7, Russell 1-5. N.Y. Jets, Coles 5-106, Baker 4-39, Dwight 3-9, Barlow 3-3, Askew 1-12, Cotchery 1-6.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Jets Hold On for Win

The Jets got what they needed today, a victory over a division rival. It was by no means easy though, as the team built up a 20-3 lead but had to hang on for a 20-17 win. Olindo Mare missed a 51-yard field goal in the closing seconds as the FISH couldn't pull off the come back. In my opinion though, the game never should have come down to that.

Chad Pennington had a nice second half, hitting Laveranues Coles on two touchdown passes to break the game open. The game should have been over, but the Jets started to play NOT TO LOSE instead of playing to win. On defense, the team played soft immediately after Coles' second touchdown. The FISH, after not being able to do anything all game, drove straight down the field and scored to cut the game to 20-10. The Jets then tried to kill the clock by running the ball with Kevan Barlow right into the middle of the line. A quick three and out gave the ball right back to Miami again. Again, the FISH were able to drive right down the field with soft coverage in the secondary and all of a sudden it was a three-point game. Gang Green tried one pass down the field on the next possession that fell incomplete and the FISH had one more chance. The defense finally did hold as Mare's kick fell short and the Jets got out of Dodge with a win.

It is just incredible how this team seems to fight and claw during the game, but it always seems to be a nail-biting ending. It was the same deal in week one against Tennessee, week three against Buffalo and today against Miami. Why can't they just win a game going away!?

I have other questions too. Where was Leon Washington in the fourth quarter? He should have been running the ball to kill the clock, not Kevan Barlow! Why was the coverage so soft for the whole fourth quarter? These coaches should all know that the PREVENT defense only prevents a team from winning!

Ok, don't get me wrong here, I am very pumped up that the Jets won this game today. I just felt it could have been a much easier win than it turned out to be. The team is 3-3, however, which is quite a nice place to be at this point. The Jets are alone in second place in the AFC East, with a record of 2-1 in the division. All of that is great news for this team. They showed a great deal of character bouncing back from last week's performance too. The bottom line is getting a "W" and Gang Green was able to get it today. It turned out to be another step forward in the growing process for this young team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Laveranues makes all the right moves

Monday, October 16, 2006



EAST RUTHERFORD -- A week ago, he called himself "a pawn in a chess game."

But on Sunday, Laveranues Coles decided to call his own move. And yes, it was one that eventually helped checkmate the Dolphins.

Coles suggested a slant-and-go pattern that worked to perfection for a 58-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, and he added a second TD catch in the fourth quarter. Those two scores provided just enough cushion for the Jets to withstand Miami's comeback and hold on for a 20-17 victory at Giants Stadium.

"You see his toughness," coach Eric Mangini said, "his ability to make plays, whether it's short, whether it's deep. Whenever he is called on, he responds."

Coles felt he wasn't called upon enough against Jacksonville last week, which is why he responded the way he did. Injuries to his left calf and right wrist had made Coles mostly a possession receiver over the previous three games, and he had complained after the 41-0 loss to the Jaguars about his lack of use.

Coles had only two catches for 17 yards through the first 2

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Martin eligible for practice


Newsday Staff Writer

October 16, 2006

This is the week many Jets fans have been waiting for since training camp began. And it could be the week Curtis Martin has been waiting for since December.

Martin, the No. 4 all-time rusher in NFL history, is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as of today, and his first practice could be Wednesday. Whether that will happen remains undecided.

Martin has a three-week window beginning today to return to the practice field, and a three-week window that begins the day he returns to practice to be added to the active roster. Theoretically, Martin, who still is recovering from right knee surgery in December and has a painful bone-on-bone condition in that knee, could be on the field against the Lions on Sunday. He has until the Nov. 26 game against the Texans to be activated. The Jets have a bye in Week 9 that could be used to their advantage by activating but obviously not playing Martin.

Martin has been on the PUP list since the opening of training camp, and the Jets have been trying to find a suitable replacement for him since then. While some have shown Martin-like flashes - rookie Leon Washington ran for 101 yards last week and is being tutored by Martin - none has been able to replicate his every-down durability nor his any-down explosiveness.

Derrick Blaylock started the season as the top running back but was benched in Week 3. Kevan Barlow, for whom the Jets traded a fourth-round draft pick to the 49ers late in training camp, has averaged 2.8 yards per carry this season; his longest was an 11-yard gain. Cedric Houston came off the bench in Week 4 and looked as if he might provide an answer, but he hyperextended his knee in the same game and has not played since.

Whether Martin is healthy enough to help fill the gap his own injury created is uncertain, but Jets coach Eric Mangini said he has moved to football-type exercises.

Some already may have counted Martin out, ordering the gold retirement watch and planning for the number retirement ceremony. But the Jets appear willing to at least allow Martin back on the practice field to see if he can come back from his injury.

He has three weeks to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


JETS Q&A: Vilma delivers big stops


Newsday Staff Writer

October 16, 2006

Newsday's Tom Rock analyzes the key plays and storylines from Sunday's win over the Dolphins.

Was Jonathan Vilma a factor in the game?

The defensive captain, who has been quiet for most of this season, came up big in several spots yesterday. Midway through the second quarter he stood running back Ronnie Brown up at the line of scrimmage when the Dolphins needed about a foot to convert a fourth-and-1 attempt. Then late in the third quarter, when the Dolphins had third-and-2 from the Jets 4, he made the initial hit on Brown, sending the running back lateral and allowing Dewayne Robertson to slam him down. Miami settled for the field goal there that made it 6-3. Those plays alone probably scared the Dolphins into trying a 51-yard field goal on fourth-and-2 in the final minute.

How was utility-man Brad Smith utilized in this game?

Smith's biggest contribution came on special teams, where he made three tackles. But he also lined up under center for one play - a handoff to Leon Washington - and took another snap on a quarterback sneak after going in motion but settling in behind center Nick Mangold. Smith said he made only two tackles as a quarterback at Missouri, both after turnovers he committed.

Was DT Rashad Moore trying to strip the ball when he forced the fumble on Sammy Morris?

Not exactly. Moore said Morris was carrying the ball in his inside arm, and Moore just happened to get a piece of it while making the tackle. "I was just going to make the play," Moore said. "The ball was the closest thing I could get to."

Was Eric Mangini's pregame film selection on target?

Nope. Mangini has had an uncanny ability to predict the tone of games, coinciding them with his viewing selections. This time he selected the second fight between Thomas Hearns and Marvelous Marvin Hagler, which featured one of the most action-packed first rounds in boxing history. It may have been an attempt to jumpstart the offense, which hadn't scored in the first quarter this season. But the game, which was 3-0 at halftime, had no relationship with the fight.

What's ahead for the Jets?

Two winnable games. The Jets host the Lions on Sunday, then travel to Cleveland to end the first half of the season. There is a chance that this team that won four games last year and was expected to endure similar misery this season could be 5-3 at the bye.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Jets notebook

Monday, October 16, 2006

Brick's day

Rookie left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson got his first taste of the great Jason Taylor on the Jets' ninth offensive play in Sunday's 20-17 win over Miami, when the Dolphins' "outside end" threw him out of the way and dropped Leon Washington for a 2-yard loss.

"Jason just did what he does," Ferguson said. "Obviously, there were things I could've done differently because that's my job to go out there and block him. So after he did what he did, I tried to change my approach."

Brick's approach worked fine. Taylor had one sack up the middle, but Chad Pennington put that on himself for not throwing the ball away, and one other tackle for a loss from the Dolphins' left side. But Ferguson held up well against one of the Jets' major nemeses -- and earned braggin' rights with a high school friend as a result.

"He's a diehard Dolphins fan who always gives me grief," Ferguson said. "He told me, 'I hope you guys get beat this week.' I'm going to give a call later and see what's up. I'm going to rub it in."

Special Smith

Brad Smith made one of the biggest impacts of his pro career, not for the Jets' offense but on special teams, with three second-half solo tackles of Wes Welker. His favorite tackle of the three?

"I almost got the ball on the punt, so that probably won't be it," Smith said of taking Welker down at the Miami 26 for a 1-yard gain after he muffed Ben Graham's final punt. "My teammates busted the wedge open. All 11 of us had a hand in it."

Smith also dropped Welker on his two previous kickoff returns, after a 12-yard return at the 21 and a 15-yard return at the 19.

Smith's offensive contributions were more understated. His biggest: On third-and-1 on the first drive of the third quarter, Pennington was in shotgun and Smith went in motion, then stopped behind center Nick Mangold, took the snap and gained the yard for the first down.

Not so special

Smith's special-teams play helped make up for another punt-return gaffe in the first half. Graham got off a 67-yard punt downed at the Miami 15 by rookie Drew Coleman. Only problem: Coleman stepped out of bounds first, so in downing the ball he was flagged for illegal touching.

Graham's re-kick was returned by Welker to the Jets' 38, resulting in a glaring giveback of 47 yards of field position.

At least the Jets are improving in this area. At Jacksonville, Graham's 60-yard net punt, wiped out by an illegal block and followed by the first blocked punt of his career, produced 72 yards of wasted field position.

Dyson up and down

Andre Dyson had his third interception this season when Chris Chambers juggled the ball to him. Dyson also gave up a TD pass to Chambers with 8:49 left.

-- Randy Lange

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...