Smith leads Jets to 37-27 victory over Raiders
Geno Smith bounced back in a big way after an early interception
had memories of some recent mistakes creeping into his mind.
The rookie quarterback threw a touchdown pass and ran for
another score as the New York Jets’ suddenly resurgent offense set
a season high for points and stopped a three-game skid with a 37-27
victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
”Man, we needed that in the worst way,” coach Rex Ryan said,
”to say the least.”
Chris Ivory had a touchdown run, Nick Folk kicked three field
goals and Antonio Allen blocked a punt and returned it for a score
to help the Jets (6-7) avoid their first four-game losing streak
Smith ended a miserable stretch that included getting benched
last week by throwing his first touchdown toss since Week 7. He
finished 16 of 25 for 219 yards, and ran five times for 50 yards –
and was able to overcome his 20th interception of the season, which
led to a field goal for the Raiders.
”I can’t sit here and say I’m not human because it is
difficult,” Smith said. ”When you have those struggles and you
come out and, the first quarter and first half, you have an
interception near the 50-yard line and you kind of start to think
about those things, all of those mistakes in the past.”
Smith got a boost on the sideline from his teammates, who urged
him to hang in there and not lose his confidence.
”That’s the mark of this young man,” Ryan said. ”He’s a
resilient guy and has shown he can bounce back. It was an excellent
performance on his part, and really, the team in general.”
Matt McGloin threw two touchdown passes and fullback Marcel
Reece, starting because Oakland was down three injured running
backs, had a 63-yard touchdown run for the Raiders (4-9).
Oakland has lost three straight overall, and 13 in a row in
games played in the Eastern time zone.
”Today is as bad as we played this whole season,” Raiders
safety Charles Woodson said. ”It was really embarrassing to be
part of it. We looked like the Bad News Bears out there.”
With the Jets leading 3-0 after Folk’s 41-yard field goal, Smith
was picked off by Kevin Burnett. The sparse crowd at MetLife
Stadium booed loudly, but Sebastian Janikowski missed a 52-yard
Despite Smith’s turnover, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
went right back to the pass on the next drive. Smith lofted a throw
that a leaping Jeremy Kerley came down with for a 25-yard touchdown
and a 10-0 lead.
”I just went up and got it,” said Kerley, playing for the
first time since dislocating his left elbow on Nov. 3. ”It felt
like backyard football.”
It was Smith’s first TD pass since Oct. 20 against New England
and his second in eight games. It was also New York’s first
touchdown of any kind in nine quarters.
Terrelle Pryor came in at quarterback on Oakland’s third
offensive series to help offset the Raiders’ lack of running backs
with Darren McFadden, Rashad Jennings and Jeremy Stewart all
inactive with injuries. He led a drive capped by a 41-yard field
goal by Janikowski.
Then McGloin returned and, on third-and-9 from the 3, Ed Reed
got his 62nd career interception and first with the Jets. Folk
later made a 23-yard field goal.
Allen blocked Marquette King’s punt, recovered it and returned
it for a touchdown to put New York ahead 20-3 in the second
Oakland got on the scoreboard right away in the second half as
Reece zipped up the middle for a 63-yard touchdown. He finished
with 123 yards on 19 carries.
But the Jets came right back as Smith ran for an 8-yard score,
his fourth of the season.
McGloin connected with Rod Streater on a 48-yard touchdown pass
on a ball threaded between Reed and Antonio Cromartie, who smacked
into each other. The Jets said Cromartie has a head injury, but he
finished the game.
Ivory blasted into the end zone from 15 yards, slipping out of
three tackle attempts and dragging a fourth Raiders defender over
the goal line for a 37-20 lead. The play was set up by Smith’s
McGloin, 18 of 31 for 245 yards, connected with Mychal Rivera on
a 1-yard touchdown with 2:24 remaining.
”We’re out of lifelines,” Jets guard Willie Colon said. ”We
have to execute and have to get it done, and today was the first
NOTES: With 2,475 yards passing, Smith passed Mark Sanchez
(2,444 in 2009) for the most by a rookie in franchise history. …
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said TE Nick Kasa and DT Vance Walker
suffered concussions, and LB Sio Moore had a neck injury, but he
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org