NFL Roundup: Jets down Tampa Bay, stay in race
Share with others:
Playing extensively for the first time in two years, Kellen Clemens filled in for injured rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez with a steady, if unspectacular performance in New York's 26-3 win yesterday.
With Thomas Jones and Jay Feely on their games, plus the NFL's second-ranked defense shutting down the sputtering Buccaneers, Clemens didn't have to give the Jets more in his ninth career start.
"I feel good about it, but I'd be lying if I said that I hadn't come in with a little bit higher expectations," Clemens said after completing 12 of 23 passes for 111 yards and no interceptions.
"I did what was necessary -- no turnovers and made good decisions in the run game, got us in and out of a couple of plays that we didn't want to be in. So, I did my job. I don't think I blew the top off of anything, but I did what was required."
Jones rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns, Feely kicked four field goals, and the Jets intercepted rookie Josh Freeman three times while holding the Buccaneers to 124 yards, including just 43 on the ground.
Receiver Brad Smith had the Jets' longest completion of the day -- 27 yards -- when he threw to Eric Smith on a fake punt play.
"I thought Kellen did a great job in the huddle. I thought he did a great job of making the plays when he needed to make them," Jones said. "It's his first game in a long time, so I thought he played well. Hopefully, he can continue to get better each week."
Ideally, he won't have to.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said there's a chance Sanchez may be able to return from a knee sprain next week against Atlanta.
"We'll see how it goes. I've got confidence in Kellen, but we'll see how Mark is when we get back," Ryan said. "I think he'll be ready to go, but I'm not sure."
The Jets (7-6) climbed over .500 for the first time since beating Oakland to improve to 4-3 Oct. 25. The Buccaneers (1-12) lost for the third week in a row to a backup quarterback, with Freeman continuing to go through the growing pains of a young passer.
Freeman was 14 of 33 for 93 yards and sacked three times by the Jets, who got interceptions from David Harris, Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes.
"It's all on me," the 21-year-old added of Tampa Bay's offensive struggles. "I'm the quarterback. I've got to find a way."
The Buccaneers were held to 15 yards total offense in the first half. They didn't manage a first down until the middle of the third quarter, and that came on a penalty.
• Texans 34, Seahawks 7: Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson put together their best game of the season to help host Houston out of a slump and keep their dwindling playoff hopes alive. Johnson had a season-high 193 yards receiving and two touchdowns to lead the Texans (6-7) to the win against Seattle to break a four-game losing streak.
Schaub had 336 yards passing before halftime and finished with 365 yards and two touchdowns. His first-half yardage was the second-most in a first half this season in the NFL.
The defense did its job too, returning an interception for a touchdown and hurrying and harassing Matt Hasselbeck. The quarterback had three fumbles, was sacked three times and taken down numerous other times and finished with 247 yards.
Hasselbeck injured his right shoulder on a hard hit by DeMeco Ryans on Seattle's first series of the second half. He returned on the next series and finished the game. Schaub cooled off in the second half and Houston's offense didn't score another touchdown, but Hasselbeck and the Seahawks couldn't get anything going and the Texans maintained their comfortable lead.
• Bills 16, Chiefs 10: Rian Lindell kicked three field goals and visiting Buffalo intercepted Matt Cassel four times to beat struggling Kansas City. Buffalo (5-8) overcame three turnovers and an ineffective passing game to finally close out a win in the fourth quarter. The Bills had lost seven times this season when they were within a touchdown headed into the final 15 minutes, pulling this one out with two interceptions in the final 2:11.
Kansas City (3-10) got a career-high 143 yards and a touchdown from Jamaal Charles, but couldn't overcome another shaky game from Cassel. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't exactly stellar, throwing for just 86 yards on 12-of-20 passing.
The Chiefs needed an extra day to avoid their first blackout since 1990 and keep their sellout streak alive at 156 games. They did it, but most of the fans didn't want to use their tickets: Arrowhead Stadium was a little over half full for the game.
• Redskins 34, Raiders 13: Jason Campbell threw two touchdown passes to give visiting Washington the lead and Quinton Ganther put it away by running for two fourth-quarter scores in the Redskins' victory against Oakland. The Redskins (4-9) had lost three in a row, blowing leads of 6, 8 and 10 points.
Those losses came against upper-echelon teams in Dallas, Philadelphia and New Orleans, not the bottom-dwelling Raiders (4-9). Oakland had won two of three, led by fourth-quarter comebacks by Bruce Gradkowski, who replaced an ineffective Russell last month but was injured in this one.
• Titans 47, Rams 7: Tennessee isn't giving up on its slim playoff hopes, not without a fight. Chris Johnson ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns and also took a short pass 66 yards for another score as host Tennessee stayed alive by routing woeful St. Louis. The Titans (6-7) must win out and get plenty of help after their 0-6 start. But they started a three-game homestand by handing the struggling Rams (1-12) a fifth consecutive loss even with Vince Young out with a strained right hamstring.
Young started despite an achy right knee and played well until pulling up at the end of a 44-yard run -- the longest of his career -- midway through the second quarter. He left with a 14-0 lead and watched from the sideline as Kerry Collins finished off the win.
First Published December 14, 2009 12:00 am