2004-12-10 / Sports

Pennington Leads Jets Over Texans, Giants Fumble At Skins

Herman Edwards greets Chad Pennington on the sidelines in a Jets 29-7 win over the Texans. (AP/Michael Kim)Herman Edwards greets Chad Pennington on the sidelines in a Jets 29-7 win over the Texans. (AP/Michael Kim) After early season visions of a possible Super Bowl matchup dancing in New Yorker’s heads, the cold, hard truth has slapped them back to reality. While the Jets continued their drive towards the playoffs with a 29-7 win over the Texans, the Giants took a beating against longtime-rival Washington, getting blown out 31-7, and are now officially in free-fall mode.

New York Jets

PASSING OFFENSE (B+) – The return of QB Chad Pennington was a victory in itself for the Jets, however, his play showed just how important he is to this team. Pennington completed his first eight passes on his way to a 20-for-27, 155 yard day. He threw two touchdown passes and looked crisp in doing so, spreading the ball around to eight different receivers.

RUSHING OFFENSE (A) — The Jets ran for more than 200 yards for the third time this season because of a fantastic performance from the O-line. RB Curtis Martin had one of his best games in weeks; rushing for 134 yards and one TD (he added another receiving touchdown) while backup RB LaMont Jordan continued his strong play of late, gaining 60 yards on just 11 attempts.

PASS DEFENSE (A-) – Gang Green’s defense did a wonderful job holding up-and-coming QB David Carr to just 157 yards on 12-of-25 passing. The second-year quarterback was intercepted twice due to consistent pressure from New York’s pass rush. The Jets managed to keep WR Andre Johnson out of the endzone, though he did grab seven passes for 125 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE (A) – After being burned for 129 yards last season, New York held RB Domanick Davis to just 52 on 17 attempts, though he did score the only Houston TD. DE Bryan Thomas played well subbing for injured DE John Abraham, helping hold the Texans to only 83 yards on the ground.

Since losing a heartbreaker against the Ravens three weeks ago, the Jets (9-3) have not lost since. Winning the division will probably be a long-shot, but New York did beat an improving Texans (5-7) team. However, next week’s matchup against the Steelers in Pittsburgh will tell a lot about how far this team has come…and how far they can go.

Up Next: @ PIT (11-1) Prediction: PIT 17, NYJ 14.

New York Giants

PASSING OFFENSE (D) – After a promising first game, rookie QB Eli Manning suffered through another bad outing, though he didn’t have the time to throw with the O-line playing one of its worst games of the season. Manning completed just 12-of-25 passes for 115 yards as his receivers did not have the time to gain any sort of separation. WR Amani Toomer led the team with 59 yards, but 48 of them came on one garbage-time pass.

RUSHING OFFENSE (D) – Easily the worst performance of the season, RB Tiki Barber came into the game ranked second in the NFC with 1,145 yards rushing. By the end of the game, he had added just 38 more to that total on 15 carries. Playing from behind had a lot to do with that, but the offensive line, which has blocked well for the backs, was miserable.

PASS DEFENSE (D) – Redskins QB Patrick Ramsey looked like the second-coming of Brett Favre instead of a struggling young player trying to stick as a starter. Ramsey threw for only 174 yards but completed 19-of-22 passes and three TDs, shredding Big Blue’s secondary in the process. WR Lavernaues Coles caught six passes for 60 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE (D) – Wasn’t Washington RB Clinton Portis supposed to be in Coach Joe Gibbs’ doghouse? Portis carried the ball 31 times and gained 148 yards, part of

a 211-yard explosion by the Redskins running game that included 64 yards from backup RB Ladell Betts. Without DEs Michael Strahan and Keith Washington, New York’s run defense continues to sputter.

A 5-2 start seems like a lifetime ago as the Giants (5-7) have now dropped five consecutive games, three under Manning’s guidance. There are rumblings coming from the offense that they do not like the play-calling and Coach Tom Coughlin may have the beginnings of mini-mutiny on his hands. As it is, the loss to the lowly Redskins (4-8) was the worst defeat of the season and with games against the Ravens and Steelers the next two weeks, it might be wise for the fans of Big Blue to cover their eyes.

Up Next: @BAL (7-5) Projection: BAL 17, NYG 10.

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