In what has to be one of the ugliest games of football played recently the New York Jets emerged victorious, 7-6, over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The Jets benefited from the fact that Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley was unable to help the team convert on all 15 third down opportunities during the game.
The Jets got the ball after the Cardinals first drive stalled, but on the very first play from scrimmage Mark Sanchez was intercepted by former Jet Kerry Rhodes. The Jets defense stopped the Cards on both third and fourth downs with less than a yard to go. Bilal Powell got the bulk of carries early. After Sanchez gained a first down by running for two yards he hit Jeff Cumberland to move the ball to the Cards 48 yard line. Powell bounced outside for seven, then a little more than three more for another first down. Sanchez found Stephen Hill for seven, then Nick Folk attempted a 46-yard field goal that went off the left upright. The next Jets drive saw Sanchez hit Dustin Keller for 10 plus yards then Jeremy Kerley along right sideline for a first down around mid-field. Shonn Greene returned and got another first down on consecutive running plays. Unfortunately Sanchez was picked again by Rhodes when he overthrew Cumberland.
Joe McKnight was in on the next drive, getting seven yards on a designed sweep with him moving towards Sanchez as the ball was snapped. On third down that drive ended on a sack of Sanchez. Sanchez was intercepted a third time as Patrick Peterson took the ball away from Chaz Schilens off the top of his helmet on a deep pass play. Several plays later, LaRon Landry returned the favor and intercepted Lindley. Nick Folk attempted a 52-yard field but now it was no good off of the right upright. Sanchez found the sideline when Greene took his first direct snap in over a season up to the 40 yard line. Dustin Keller helped the Jets get a first down when he stretched the ball out on third down to get the last yard needed, but Keller limped off a play later. The Cards got the ball back but their drive stalled. Rashad Johnson took a fake punt and ran 40 yards to 35 yard line. Former Jet Jay Feely connected from 48 yards just before the half.
Joe McKnight took the second half kickoff to the 22 yard line and Vlad Ducasse came in at left guard. Shonn Greene got the majority of runs but the Jets were forced to punt, then Sanchez was sacked to end the next drive, and had a pass batted down on their third drive to end that possession. Shortly after David Harris and Bart Scott sacked Lindley, the Jets got Greg McElroy warmed up to come in on the next series. Powell ran to the right on the first play and got a long run just into Cards territory at the 47 yard line. McElroy connected with Hill a few plays later for first down to 35 yard line. A few plays later McElroy took a late hit out of bounds to give Jets a shot in the red zone. Bilal Powell got a first down and put them at the four yard line.
After two shorts runs to end the third quarter, McElroy found a wide open Jeff Cumberland in end zone for touchdown to put Jets up 7-3. On the Jets next drive McElroy dumped the ball off to Kahlil Bell, who fumbled as Kerry Rhodes forced the fumble and Washington would recover for Arizona. A few plays later Feely connected from 35 yards to cut the lead to one. Later we heard that Bell was in for McKnight who had left with rib injury in the third quarter. Muhammad Wilkerson and Bart Scott sacked Lindley to end the Cards following drive. Shonn Greene busted out a long run to midfield on the next drive for Gang Green. Jeremy Kerley made a great concentration catch for about 13 yards and a first down to keep drive going. After the Cardinals used up their timeouts and the two minute warning had passed, Shonn Greene broke a five yard run but fell down at the one yard line even though the Cards defense was going to allow him into end zone. The Jets kneeled down twice from there and the game ended with Jets win.
Now the Jets will travel to Jacksonville on Sunday to face the Jaguars, who were a potential landing spot for Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow. We wouldn't be surprised if all three quarterbacks are active this Sunday and the rest of the season to give the Jets the best option available among them to win.
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