2008 Week 8 - Jets vs Chiefs Photos
For most of the week leading up to the Jets' game with the Chiefs, Laveranues Coles' status was in doubt. But there was no doubt late this afternoon when Coles' one-handed grab of a Brett Favre pass with just one minute remaining gave the Green & White a come-from-behind 28-24 victory at the Meadowlands.
Favre, who had a tough afternoon with three interceptions, got a favorable one-on-one matchup with Coles on Dimitri Patterson. Favre threw a stop fade behind LC and the savvy vet made a tough catch look simple. Only seven days after suffering a concussion against the Raiders, Coles rung the Chiefs' bell and boosted the Jets to their first three-game home win streak of the Eric Mangini era.
"You hope for the opportunity and you get the opportunity to make a play. It's something I've been entrusted to do by my teammates," said Coles. "I got to the sideline and guys were saying we have been waiting to see that all game."
"I wanted to throw it even more behind him that I did," Favre said of the winner. "It's a fade route and the guy played it high over the top with his back to me, so I was going to try to back shoulder him. I did but not as much as I would have liked."
The Chiefs moved to the Jets' 31 in the waning seconds, but the threat was halted when Drew Coleman knocked down a fourth-down pass from Tyler Thigpen inside the Jets 30.
The Jets moved to 4-3 on the season and are a game behind the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills, who lost Sunday at Miami. The Jets and Bills will square off Sunday in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Midway through the fourth quarter, it appeared the Jets would finally put the final nail in the Chiefs' coffin, having driven from their 22 to the Chiefs' 8. Then Favre went to Chansi Stuckey and for the second time in this game got flowers — Brandon Flowers.
Instead of the Jets taking a lead of 11 points or even seven points on a chip-shot field goal, the Chiefs' rookie CB picked Favre a second time and raced 91 gut-wrenching yards for a touchdown. Favre was the only man with a chance at a shoestring tackle, but the Virginia Tech product outraced the 39-year-old to the sideline. But the Jets would eventually rally and close out the 1-6 Chiefs.
Connor Barth's 30-yard field goal five minutes into the third quarter gave the Chiefs a 17-14 and their first lead in three games. Trailing by a field goal, the Jets answered with a 13-play march and reclaimed the lead at 21-17 on Thomas Jones' plunge from less than a foot out.
Before Jones crossed the goal line, his backfield mate converted in a critical situation. Facing a third-and-8 from the KC 10, Leon Washington picked up 8 yards and an inch to get the Jets a huge first down.
Washington was spectacular throughout, scoring one touchdown on the ground and another through the air and also averaging 38.7 yards on his three punt returns.
"Leon is a great player," Jones said. "He makes plays on offense and he makes plays on special teams. His returns give us great field position and he definitely is one of those players you have to watch of on defense because he can definitely hurt you."
On an otherwise perfect day, the Jets played an imperfect first half. They appeared to be on verge of a blowout but then committed three costly errors: a missed makeable field goal and two Favre interceptions. And while the Green & White may not have established supremacy over the young Chiefs, Washington was super and his pair of touchdowns helped the Jets to a 14-14 deadlock at the break.
Late in the first quarter, the home fans received a pre-Halloween scare with the Jets leading 7-0. Favre, who attempted to step up in the pocket, was drilled by Chiefs DE Tamba Hali among others and hit the ground hard. He was able to unload an errant pass in the process that Flowers turned into his first pick for the visitors, returning it to Jets' 38.
Tyler Thigpen, the second-year QB from Coastal Carolina, took over from there and led the Chiefs to a TD. He completed all three of his passes on the scoring march, including a 19-yard beauty to Tony Gonzalez that evened things up. Rookie corner Dwight Lowery, stationed in front of Gonzo, looked to be in decent position by the boundary but the ball was hauled in up high by the 6'5" future Hall of Famer. It was Gonzalez's 850th career reception.
For the first time in 11 games, the Jets scored a touchdown on their first possession. A methodical 10-play, 73-yard march was capped off when Favre dumped a short pass out to Washington and the Jets' runner scooted 18 yards for a score and the Jets were quickly out of the gate.
"The kid is spectacular," said FB Tony Richardson of Washington. "I don't care how you get the ball in his hands — whether it's catching a pass, running the ball or obviously on special teams — he is very, very special."
Then after defensive end Shaun Ellis's sixth sack of '08 forced a Chiefs punt, Washington got the Jets back into KC territory with a 25-yard punt return. But the home team couldn't capitalize as the drive stalled and Jay Feely landed a 36-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Washington's longest run of his career — a 60-yard dash up the gut — put the Jets up, 14-7, with just 1:57 remaining in the second quarter. But Thigpen, who completed 15 of 20 for 179 yards in the opening 30 minutes, gunned an 11-yard strike to wideout Mark Bradley in the back of the end zone. Originally ruled an incompletion on the field, the replay official upstairs called for a review and referee Peter Morelli overruled the field decision and determined Bradley had got both feet in bounds.
"We definitely dodged a bullet," said Jets OLB Calvin Pace. "You have to be happy with the win — you have to celebrate it. We have to correct the simple mistakes we're making."
"I want to keep winning. I think we have to tighten it up," added a less than elated Kris Jenkins after the game. "I think the fans know that, I think the coaches know that and I think the players know that."
The Jets suffered an inside blow to their linebacking crops when David Harris left in the second quarter with a hip injury. His return was listed as questionable but he never came back and veterans David Bowens and Cody Spencer filled his spot next to Eric Barton.
Despite being active, TE Chris Baker never took the field for the Jets. Rookie Dustin Keller got the start in his place and Robert Turner, who said he hadn't played the position since high school, got a lot of reps at blocking TE.
Cornerback Justin Miller was in uniform for the first time this season. After suffering a foot injury in the preseason, Miller was inactive for the Green & White's first seven games. The 5'10", 196-pounder, in his fourth season out of Clemson, had practiced fully the past two weeks. His most visible contributions: a 22-yard return on a third-quarter kickoff and a assisted tackle in kick coverage.
With their third consecutive home win tucked away, the Jets are set to face a challenging road stretch. After traveling to Buffalo next weekend to take on the AFC East leaders, they'll return home to face the St. Louis Rams before a rare Thursday night date at New England. Then they'll get a little extended rest before a Music City trip to Nashville for a matchup with the undefeated Titans. The Bills (3-0) and the Titans (3-0) have yet to lose a home contest while the Patriots have a solid 3-1 mark in Foxboro.
Title Team Honored
The Jets held a halftime ceremony to honor their 1968 Super Bowl III champions. Joe Namath and 35 members from the 1968 team were introduced to the home faithful during an emotional tribute.
"i just thought it was another big game, but I never thought it would last 40 years," said Winston Hill, one of pro football's greatest offensive linemen.
Myko a Hit
Myko, an OuttaPocket Entertainment Recording Artist, delivered a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem. Jets running back Thomas Jones owns OuttaPocket.