Tuesday, November 9, 2010
AFC East Week 9 decisive moment
By Tim Graham
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When reporters in Baltimore headed for the M&T Bank Stadium elevators to interview the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens, we assumed the rest of the AFC East had lost.
With limited cell reception in the concrete bowels of the stadium, we couldn't get updates. So we asked the Dolphins about their missed opportunity to gain ground in the standings because, you know, both the New York Jets and New England Patriots had lost. The players, who'd seen the out-of-town scoreboard, didn't correct us. They thought the Jets had lost, too.
Only when we returned to the press box did we learn the Jets somehow came back from 10 points down in the final four minutes to beat the Detroit Lions in overtime.
Several critical plays helped the Jets complete their startling rally. But the one that stood out most to me while watching a replay of the game was the senseless late hit Lions linebacker Julian Peterson delivered to usher the Jets into field-goal range and send the game into overtime.
With no timeouts, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez threw left to LaDainian Tomlinson for a 13-yard gain with 40 second left in regulation. Tomlinson was trotting to a stop well out of bounds. Peterson leveled him.
The 15-yard penalty advanced the ball from the Detroit's 43-yard line to the 28-yard line. Nick Folk eventually kicked a 36-yard field goal as time expired. Then he made a 30-yarder in sudden death to give New York the AFC East's only victory of Week 9.