Saturday, November 15, 2008
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: A 'Wicked' weekend

1st-place Jets reveling in win over Patriots

Send a link to a friend

[November 15, 2008]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Leon Washington had dozens of voice mails and text messages waiting for him. So did Tony Richardson and Jerricho Cotchery.

DonutsExcited friends and family members wanted to talk all about the New York Jets beating the New England Patriots and taking over sole possession of first place in the AFC East for the first time in nearly seven years.

"A huge game like that, that everybody's watching, that's what it's all about," Washington said Friday. "That's what you want to play in the National Football League for. It was a great feeling to see that so many people were watching the game and sending text messages after the game. That was pretty sweet."

But it sure wasn't easy for the Jets, who needed overtime to win 34-31 on Thursday night and snap a four-game losing streak (and 11 of 12) to the pesky Patriots. They had to sweat through a few anxious moments after Matt Cassel threw a perfect pass to Randy Moss with 1 second left in regulation to tie it.

"When you're up with a minute-something left and they have one timeout and they don't have Tom Brady, you're thinking you might have a chance to win the game," said Washington who caught a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 92 yards for a score.


"When you play a champion like New England, you know they're going to keep fighting," Washington added. "You know they're going to have a chance at the end."

The Jets won the coin toss and Brett Favre led an impressive 14-play drive capped by Jay Feely's 34-yard field goal to win it.

"I was nervous as heck," Favre said after the game. "I'm no different than anyone else. You know everyone's coming up, 'Hey, this is where you do your thing.' And I'm thinking, 'My God, why can't we make this easier?'"

There was plenty of celebrating after the game at Foxborough, but the Jets don't want to get too carried away just yet.

"We did not win the Super Bowl last night," Washington said. "It was just a divisional game against a rival opponent and we're just glad we came out with a victory."

Yes, and a victory that put them all alone atop the division for the first time since Nov. 19, 2001.

"It was great for us to go out and make that statement that, 'Hey, we want to make a stand,'" Washington said. "We feel like we can compete in the division and compete in the AFC."

Favre was 26-of-33 for 258 yards, two touchdowns and, most importantly, no interceptions for the second straight game.

"It's very special to have a guy like that step into your huddle," said Cotchery, who made a highlight-reel, one-handed 46-yard catch in the first half. "I didn't see any nervousness on his face. I saw a quiet confidence on his face, so to speak. When he stepped into the huddle, we knew we were going to be able to get it done because that's the way he's been this entire year."

That confident attitude might be Favre's greatest asset to this team.

[to top of second column]

Nursing Homes

"When we go into these games, we don't think we can win," Washington said. "We don't believe we can win. We got the sense before that game that guys knew we were going to win that game. We knew we were going to come out with a victory."

The winning drive showed that. Favre found rookie Dustin Keller on third-and-15 for 16 yards, and again two plays later for 12 more. Laveranues Coles also had a 16-yard catch that put the Jets in field-goal range.

"To win this game with all the ups and downs that went into it, it was special," coach Eric Mangini said. "It's special in the context of how we're starting to play and the way we're starting to play. That, to me, is the most satisfying thing."

The Jets certainly made their share of mistakes, particularly on the Patriots' tying drive. After Thomas Jones failed to get 2 yards on third down just after the 2-minute warning to give New England one more shot, the Jets' prevent-style defense allowed Cassel to dink and dunk - and scramble - his way downfield to set up the tying score.

"I don't know how he got that throw in there and how Randy made that catch," Mangini said. "It was an amazing play."

Still, New York managed to come out on top and the players were looking forward to a few days off as division leaders. Then, it's time to prepare for their next game: a showdown in Tennessee against the currently undefeated Titans.

"As happy as everybody was with the victory, still the attention was shifted to the things we need to get corrected," Mangini said. "That, to me, is really important."


[Associated Press; By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


< Sports index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor