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Jets Post Preseason-Opening Win over Colts

Posted Aug 7, 2014

Furney's 51-Yard FG Secures 13-10 Victory; No Separation for Geno Smith, Michael Vick

Preseason openers can be uneven affairs, and so it was for the Jets' opener against Indianapolis at MetLife Stadium tonight.

The good part of the evening for Rex Ryan's side was the 13-10 victory, which was fashioned on rookie K Andrew Furney's 51-yard field goal with 1:08 to play and then LB A.J. Edds' fumble recovery off a strip sack by rookie IK Enemkpali with 49 seconds left. The takeaway was the first opponents' recovery in any game since Leger Douzable fell on a loose ball  at Atlanta in Game 5 last year.

The win was especially noteworthy since Ryan's Jets had gone 0-5 in preseason openers since he took over as head coach in 2009. But the vaunted defense struggled to stop Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck, who put up 206 yards of offense and committed no turnovers in the first half while the Jets' first and second offenses managed less than half that.

"Overall it wasn't great, but it wasn't a pillow fight, either," Ryan said. "A win's a win and we're happy to take it. That's why we compete and I'm happy to open it up with a victory."

And anyone looking for a QB separation in this game didn't get it. Geno Smith got the start and directed our two first-quarter drives, the second one moving 27 yards and producing a long Nick Folk field goal. Geno was 4-for-6 passing for 33 yards and a 10-yard designed keeper.

"We did well as an offense," Smith said in the locker room afterward. "We put points on the board, had two drives, got a field goal, and we won the game, so I can't really speak on myself. The coaches do all that. But when you win the game, it's always good for the morale and it's always good to have a first preseason game at home and come away with the victory."

Then Michael Vick got two second-quarter possessions and his offense produced the first touchdown drive of the preseason. But his offensive numbers weren't much different: 3-for-6 for 17 yards and three scrambles for 19 yards.

"I felt well. I did all right. Could've been better," Vick assessed. "I wanted to get some throws down the field, but unfortunately that didn't happen, so we'll see what happens next week. There's always next week."

About a round of applause from the fans in the stands when he first took the field, Vick replied, "I wasn't expecting it. ... To get that type of reception, it was a very warm welcome and I appreciate it."

Rex blamed his own playcalling for the defense's rough start, but the players were putting their performance on themselves.

"I'm always tough," LB Demario Davis about grading his unit's play. "I'm not as tough as the critics but I can't really give a grade. I just know it can be a lot better."

Matt Simms came on for the third frame and played the entire second half, getting the "relief win" by leading the Green & White on a 28-yard drive to Furney's winner. Simms' first four drives ended in punts but he also completed 13 of 18 passes for 96 yards.

"It was just good to get out there and finally get a rhythm," Simms said. "Obviously in camp you only play sparingly. I felt composed back there and felt like I was making good decisions, so I was excited that I got some of that rust off."

First Half: Fit to Be Tied

The first defense didn't open exactly the way it wanted. After a pass play stop by Dimitri Patterson on one side and Dee Milliner on the other, the Colts drove from their 19 to the Jets 5 in 10 plays before backup C Jonotthan Harrison, in due to Khaled Holmes' injury, put a shotgun snap off Luck's shoulder pad before he was ready. The visitors had to settle for Adam Vinatieri's 39-yard field goal.

Indy replaced Luck with Hasselbeck for its second series and this one went much better from the Jets' perspective as David Harris' third-down sack forced a punt.

The Green & White on Smith's second possession drove across midfield before stalling, then brought on "Folk Hero." And Folk found a way again, driving his own 51-yard field goal try off the crossbar/upright joint and through to tie the score at 3-3. It was Folk's 15th 50-plus FG as the Jets' kicker and his fifth in the preseason, all since 2010.

But the Colts were up for the task and then some, moving against the Jets' mix of first- and second-string defenders 80 yards on nine plays to Hasselbeck's swing pass to Daniel Herron, who beat rookie LB Jeremiah George to the goal line for the 12-yard score.

Michael Vick then came in with 13:17 to go in the half. Eighty yards later, Vick's first drive as a Jets QB produced Johnson's first TD as a Jets RB on a 1-yard run and the score was again tied, this time at 10. Helping the drive along were a pair of 15-yard penalties on Colts DBs, Vick's 15-yard scramble, and his 6-yard fourth-down completion to FB Tommy Bohanon for first-and-goal at the 2.




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