EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- On a day of individual milestones,
the New York Jets wanted to talk about collective achievement.
Question on the Broncos: What's the biggest reason for their woes the past three weeks?
They don't seem to have much camaraderie as a team. And they don't play a physical style of offense. The Broncos also lack a punishing, Terrell Davis-type runner. Clinton Portis has played well, but Davis ran hard and punished defenses when they tried to tackle him. Defensively, Denver has good stats but doesn't make the big plays.
Question on the Jets: Any chance they can sneak into the playoffs?
It could happen. I'd give them a 60-40 chance right now. Last week, they almost beat the Raiders, so the Jets are playing well. This is what December is for in the NFL -- to separate the playoff teams from the wannabes.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
Such as winning their fifth game in the last six, a 19-13
victory over Denver that severely damaged the Broncos' playoff
hopes. And rallying to win for the first time with Chad Pennington
at quarterback. And staying alive in the AFC East race despite
being outplayed for much of Sunday's game in the wind and
"This is a total team win,'' said Pennington, who hit
Laveranues Coles with a 28-yard touchdown pass into the wind to put
the Jets (7-6) in front 17 seconds into the fourth quarter. "The
offense came through and grabbed the lead and the defense held
Coles, who went over 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in
his three-year career, came through to make a spectacular grab. He
beat Tyrone Poole's single coverage to make a diving catch at the
2, then rolled untouched into the end zone for a 16-13 lead. Coles
finished with six catches for 126 yards and has 73 for 1,022 this
"It was sort of weird, because my helmet was kind of fluttering
around in different directions,'' Coles said. "I didn't get
focused on the ball until the last second.
"One guy does not make the difference.''
Not even when that guy is Curtis Martin, who became the 16th
player over 10,000 career yards rushing and scored the Jets' other
touchdown. Martin did not play a pivotal role Sunday, but he did
his share. All of the Jets did.
"That character of fighting to the end and handling adversity
until the end, that is where we're getting better,'' said Martin,
who rushed for at least 1,152 yards in his previous seven seasons.
The Broncos (7-6) took a huge hit in losing their third
straight, falling despite gaining 369 yards. They were in position
to win in the final minutes, but Brian Griese, back from a knee
injury, was picked off at the New York 2 by rookie Jon McGraw, his
first career interception.
"I don't think we deserve it right now,'' said Griese, who
finished 28-for-37 for 266 yards. "We've lost three in a row and
any team that has lost three in a row doesn't deserve to be a
New York's bend-but-don't-break defense, led by Marvin Jones' 17
tackles, helped keep the Jets one game out of the AFC East lead.
Denver is two games out in the AFC West, trailing the Raiders and
John Hall's 21-yard field goal with 5:56 to go gave the Jets a
six-point edge. But Anthony Becht dropped a sure touchdown pass one
play before that. And Hall had an extra point blocked in the second
period, which gave the Broncos late life that McGraw snuffed.
"This speaks a lot for the team's character,'' McGraw said.
"This had huge playoff implications for us.''
Denver impressively covered 68 yards on an 8-minute opening
drive. Rookie Clinton Portis got his 1,000th-yard rushing on the
first play, a 5-yard gain. He also surpassed 100 yards for the
sixth time, rushing for 103.
But the Broncos stalled at the Jets 5 and Jason Elam kicked a
22-yard field goal.
The Jets responded with a seven minute drive. One play after
Martin went over 10,000 yards with an 8-yard run, he surged into
the end zone on the opening play of the second quarter for a 1-yard
Hall's extra point was blocked by Kavika Pittman.
That allowed Denver to tie it with another time-consuming march,
covering 60 yards in 6:23. Elam connected from 23 yards.
The Broncos messed up another threat when they couldn't gain a
yard on two runs from the Jets 30, including Griese's sneak on
Denver did not come up short on its next series, moving 67 yards
in 1:36 behind Griese's pinpoint passing. He completed the quick
drive for a 13-6 lead by hitting rookie Ashley Lelie in the left
corner of the end zone with 11 seconds remaining in the half.
The wind kicked up in the second half, costing Denver twice in
the third quarter. Elam missed field goals from 33 and 46 yards
into the gusts, while Hall nailed a 43-yarder, making it 13-9.
"I lined up, thought I was OK, then I felt the wind,'' Elam
said of the 46-yarder. "I've never felt anything like it. The wind
Denver TE Shannon Sharpe returned from a dislocated elbow
and had nine catches for 100 yards. ... Griese went over 1,000
career completions and is at 1,019. ... Martin finished with 57
yards. ... Jets TE Chris Baker hurt his neck and shoulder. ... The
Jets honored the "New York Sack Exchange'' at halftime. ... The
alltime series is tied 14-14-1. ... Veteran guard Dave Szott played
every down in his first appearance as a Jet.
Jon Gruden breaks down why you should keep an eye on Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin during Cleveland's matchup against the Ravens on Monday Night Football.
NFL Nation previews what to watch for around the league Sunday, including fantasy football updates on Patriots receiver Brandon LaFell and Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd.
Recapping Saturday's top stories, which include the Patriots being without a key pass-catcher on Sunday against the Broncos, plus status checks on all of Week 12's injuries.
Jamie Collins will miss his fourth straight game with an undisclosed illness, while Danny Amendola and Michael Williams also won't play Sunday night.
Nineteen years separate QBs Matt Hasselbeck and Jameis Winston, who will be trying to bolster their playoff chances Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Darius Fleming's promotion from the practice squad likely means the Patriots won't have Jamie Collins, who has missed the last three games, on Sunday.