Hopeful Jets are fighting to the finish
LANDOVER, Md. - With the Jets trying to close out another too-close-for-comfort fourth-quarter comeback, New York coach Rex Ryan walked up to the player known as “Mayhem.’’
“Fourth-quarter sacks win games,’’ Ryan told him.
Linebacker Aaron Maybin then took his spot on the field and did one better. He not only sacked Rex Grossman, but also dislodged the ball from the Redskins quarterback. The Jets recovered, setting up the first of two insurance touchdown runs by Shonn Greene that closed out yesterday’s 34-19 win over Washington.
The Jets needed big plays in the waning minutes because, for the second straight game, their first three quarters were so-so. Yet, when the game was on the line, Mark Sanchez was able to lead his 10th career fourth-quarter or overtime comeback victory - and his second in two weeks - highlighted by his 30-yard pass to Santonio Holmes for the go-ahead touchdown with 4:49 to play.
“It tells us we have to get better,’’ Ryan said. “Sometimes, you don’t like it to come down to that.’’
The victory kept New York (7-5) in the hunt for an AFC playoff berth.
“We know where we think we’re going,’’ Ryan said. “More confident than 100 percent? I don’t know about that.’’
The Jets had only 168 total yards after three quarters, committed untimely penalties, and had another special teams turnover against the Redskins (4-8), who have lost seven of eight.
Washington is expected to lose two starters - tight end Fred Davis and left tackle Trent Williams - for the remainder of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, two people with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press. The suspensions would begin next Sunday against the Patriots.
One of the people who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity said Williams and Davis were among 11 players who failed drug tests during a lockout-related grace period negotiated between the NFL and the players’ union. The other nine cases were dismissed because the players were first-time offenders.
Neither Williams nor Davis was in the locker room when reporters were allowed to enter after the game. Their lockers were cleaned out by team employees.
Sanchez completed 19 of 32 passes for only 165 yards, but avoided throwing an interception after having at least one in five straight games. He also didn’t get sacked for the second straight week.