- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Situation: The Jets trailed 23-13. It was starting to get away from them after a blocked punt, which set up a Carolina touchdown. The Jets got the ball at their 20 with 11:05 remaining. They needed a big play or a sustained drive to slow the Panthers' momentum. The last thing they needed was a turnover.
What Happened: A turnover. After five plays, Smith faced a third-and-11 from his 30. The Panthers played a Cover 2 defense. Smith looked for Santonio Holmes over the middle, but he was doubled. The rookie quarterback tried to fit in through the tightest of windows; it never had a chance. Munnerlyn made the interception and took it to the house, icing the game. It was Smith's fifth pick-six, tying the team's single-season mark, set by Joe Namath in 1967. Afterward, Smith lamented that he should've simply thrown to a check-down option. It was his 21st interception. Good thing for Eli Manning or else he'd lead the league.
The Impact: The Jets went down by 17 points with 8:17 to play. They struggle to score that many points in a game, let alone in half a quarter. They were cooked.