Final

Panthers 17

(2-1, 1-0 away)

Jets 12

(0-3, 0-2 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:00 PM ET, August 26, 2012

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 

1 2 3 4 T
CAR 3 7 0 717
NYJ 3 6 3 012

Jets still TD-less following loss against Panthers

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Three preseason games and counting. No trips to the end zone for the New York Jets.

After a couple of close calls, including a late drive by Tim Tebow in the final seconds, the Jets failed to score a touchdown again as the Carolina Panthers held on for a 17-12 victory Sunday night.

"Well, I've said it before," starting quarterback Mark Sanchez said. "We're saving our good stuff for the regular season."

Whew.

That should relieve Jets fans who might be downright nervous after their team became the first since the 1977 Atlanta Falcons to go without a touchdown in its first three preseason games.

Sanchez, Tebow and the starters will not play Thursday night in the preseason finale at Philadelphia, so the Jets (0-3) certainly have a lot to work on before the regular-season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 9. All of that sneaky wildcat stuff the Jets have planned with Tebow will have to wait a few more weeks -- when the games actually count.

"When Week 1 comes around, all bets are off," wide receiver Santonio Holmes said, "and the guns are firing."

They certainly weren't in this one -- for either team.

"Any time you can hold a team to field goals, I think you've accomplished something," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said.

Tebow, who entered in the third quarter, got the fans at MetLife Stadium fired up with a dazzling 20-yard run in the fourth, but threw an interception three plays later.

Tebow faced a third-and-16 from the Jets 34 and ran around in the backfield, eluded a tackle attempt by Ryan Van Bergen and then took off and slipped through a few other tackle attempts by the Panthers (2-1) before being taken down for a 20-yard gain by Reggie Smith. Tebow pumped both fists and yelled at the crowd chanting "Tee-boww! Tee-boww!"

But three plays later, Tebow was intercepted easily by Smith.

"It was kind of good news, bad news with Tim," Jets coach Rex Ryan said.

Tebow got the Jets in scoring position again in the closing moments, again with the fans chanting his name, but threw four straight incompletions from the Panthers 27 to end the game.

"I felt like we had it the whole time," Tebow said. "I still feel like we should have had it. I feel like we just came up one or two plays short."

Tebow finished 4 of 14 for 55 yards and the interception, but certainly had the Panthers nervous. He ran five times for 45 yards.

"It's a nightmare," Rivera said of facing Tebow. "Heck, I was in San Diego trying to stop him when he was in Denver. He's an exciting football player. There are things he does that brings excitement and gets his teammates going. He's a guy if you keep the game close gives you a chance to win. He's a different type of football player, a different type of quarterback."

While the Jets didn't get into the end zone, two fans nearly did. Two men -- wearing only underwear and sneakers -- were tackled by security behind the end zone before they could get onto the field of play. One was handcuffed quickly and led off the field, while the other struggled for a few minutes before being led away.

Cam Newton was held mostly in check by the Jets, going 6 of 15 for 60 yards, but he got the Panthers into the end zone with a touchdown pass to Louis Murphy.

"Offensively, we have to do a better job sustaining drives," Newton said. "We got some first downs, but we stalled at the end."

Backup QB Derek Anderson put Carolina ahead to stay with a 1-yard touchdown toss to Gary Barnidge, making it 17-12 with 11:31 left.

Sanchez played well into the third quarter, but got no help from his receivers, who dropped a few passes. He finished 11 of 18 for 123 yards and an interception.

He was done in on consecutive plays by his own wideouts. First, on second-and-10 from the Jets 38, Sanchez hit Holmes in the mask and the receiver couldn't corral the pass. On the next play, Sanchez hit Stephen Hill in the chest, but the rookie couldn't control the ball and it bounced off his arms and into the hands of cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.

Five plays later, Newton connected with Murphy, starting for the injured Steve Smith, for a 9-yard touchdown that put the Panthers up 10-9 with 1:16 left in the opening half.

"Any time you don't have Steve Smith, it throws some of the timing off," Rivera said. "We do miss Steve. We'll be honest about that."

Jonathan Stewart was injured on the drive, twisting his right ankle when he took a handoff and went down the right sideline for 7 yards before he was knocked out of bounds on a hard hit by LaRon Landry.

Rivera said X-rays "were completely negative" and he didn't believe it was a high ankle sprain.

The Jets lost three key players to injuries as tight ends Dustin Keller (hamstring) and Josh Baker (right knee) and linebacker David Harris (ankle) all left in the first half.

Baker appeared to sustain the most serious injury in the second quarter when he was hit on the right knee by a Panthers defender while trying to catch a pass from Sanchez in the end zone. Baker stayed down for several minutes, was helped to the sideline and then carted to the locker room.

Game notes


Josh Brown, competing with Nick Folk for the Jets' kicking job, made a 34-yarder but missed a 45-yard attempt wide left in the third quarter. ... Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum needed a few stitches after injuring an arm earlier Sunday while riding his bike with his family. ... Panthers rookie LB Luke Kuechly was in on a game-high 10 tackles.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CAR
NYJ
1st Downs1818
Passing 1st downs
128
Rushing 1st downs
48
1st downs from Penalties
22
3rd down efficiency
7-134-15
4th down efficiency
0-01-2
Total Plays5866
Total Yards244290
Yards per play4.24.4
Total Drives1011
Passing143157
Comp - Att
15-2615-32
Yards per pass
5.54.9
Interceptions thrown
12
Sacks - Yards Lost
2-74-21
Rushing101133
Rushing Attempts
3030
Yards per rush
3.44.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-30-3
Penalties3-257-60
Turnovers22
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
12
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession27:5932:01

Passing Leaders

CARC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Anderson6/7649.1110-0
Newton6/15604.0102-7
NYJC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Sanchez11/181236.8011-8
Tebow4/14553.9013-13

Rushing Leaders

CARCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith11343.107
Williams7284.0015
NYJCARYDSAVGTDLG
Greene13473.6018
Tebow5459.0020

Receiving Leaders

CARRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Barnidge24422.01433
Olsen3299.70145
NYJRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Hill56813.60327
Epps23417.00225

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCARNYJ
carFG08:18Olindo Mare 33 Yd 30
nyjFG05:13Nick Folk 46 Yd 33
SECOND QUARTERCARNYJ
nyjFG06:51Josh Brown 34 Yd 36
nyjFG04:39Nick Folk 22 Yd 39
carTD01:16Louis Murphy 3 Yd Pass From Cam Newton (Justin Medlock Kick) 109
THIRD QUARTERCARNYJ
nyjFG01:48Nick Folk 30 Yd 1012
FOURTH QUARTERCARNYJ
carTD11:31Gary Barnidge 1 Yd Pass From Derek Anderson (Justin Medlock Kick) 1712