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Aside from having to call a timeout before ever running an offensive play and losing safety Jim Leonhard to a potential season-ending knee injury, the New York Jets got exactly what they needed on Sunday. The team won an easy game over the Kansas City Chiefs and got help from the rest of the N.F.L. as Cincinnati, Oakland, and Tennessee all lost, putting the Jets in control of their playoff destiny with three weeks remaining.
Aside from the timeout, the Jets offense came out firing and never stopped. For the second straight game, the Jets offense scored on their first drive and put up 30+ points, cruising to victory over the Chiefs 37-10 to move into the final wild card spot. Mark Sanchez became the first quarterback in Jets history to throw for two touchdowns and run for two touchdowns.
The Jets have been slow starters all season rarely scoring in the first quarter let along their first drive, but were able to rebound after an inexcusable timeout was called due to the wrong personnel being on the field at the start of the first drive. They scored 28 points in the first half and the defense dominated the hurting Chiefs holding them to just four total yards in the first half,
Sanchez finished the game 13 of 21 for 181 yards before Mark Brunell came in to finish the game. Shonn Greene led the way on the ground rushing for a season-high 129 yards and a score while catching three balls for 58 yards. LaDainian Tomlinson and Santonio Holmes caught touchdowns from Sanchez and the Jets won their third straight improving to 8-5 overall and 6-1 at home.
Tyler Palko got sacked five times and finished 3 of 8 for 11 yards in the first half and 16 of 32 for 195 yards, one touchdown and one interception. During the worst part, the Chiefs got flagged five times for 81 yards during the Jets’ final touchdown drive. One of the flags was on head coach Todd Haley for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“That generally gets you beat,” said Haley, who wouldn’t elaborate on what he said to the officials. “The one thing we can’t do is lose our composure on calls.” Sanchez capped the first drive with a one-yard touchdown run and the Jets never looked back. He finished an 11 play, 77-yard drive to set the tone for the rest of the game.
After Leonhard made an interception, was injured, then carted off the field, Sanchez found Greene for 36 yards. Two plays later, Sanchez found Holmes for a four-yard strike to make it 14-3.Greene’s seven-yard touchdown run gave the Jets a 21-3 lead and Tomlinson made it 28-3 less than two minutes later on a screen pass from Sanchez near the end of the half.
The Chiefs’ lone scoring drive came when Jerheme Urban caught a 24-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-10, but the Chiefs didn’t have much else to smile about. Sione Pouha finished things off by tackling Jackie Battle for a safety late in the game.
New York is now in control of its destiny with only three weeks left in the season. They travel to Philadelphia to face the Giants and finish up on the road against Miami. Kansas City heads back home to face the undefeated Packers, and then finishes the season with games against Oakland and at Denver.
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