The Jets Show They Have Heart In Loss
They have heart.
“I learned a little bit about our football team,” Coach Herman Edwards said afterwards. “They kept fighting when it looked ugly early. We found a way to make it a game and we had the ball at the end of game.”
As the first half progressed, it looked like LaDainian Tomlinson would score 10 touchdowns instead of the four - a career high - he registered. The running back ran at will on the Jets in the first half of the game and tight end Antonio Gates, who had 132 receiving yards, complemented Tomlinson’s 153 all purpose yards; 103 which came before halftime.
“The game plan was to know where they were at all times,” cornerback Ty Law said. “They came out in the first half, but we stopped them in the second half.”
It was a tale of two football games as the Jets [2-6] were badly outplayed and lucky to go into the locker room only down 21-10. Brooks Bollinger came in for Vinny Testaverde, who left with an injured calf, with 3:51 seconds left in the third and jump started the Jet offense.
There was definitely an adrenaline rush, but I was just thinking of executing the first play,” Bollinger, who was 11-20 for 106 yards and two touchdowns, said. “There is a lot going through your mind. That is where you have to start and then it is just reacting.”
Trailing when we came in 28-13, the Jet backup immediately led Gang Green down the field for 75 yards which was topped off by a five yard touchdown pass to fullback Jerald Sowell. Bollinger looked more polished compared to his last outing a few weeks ago in Baltimore.
“I was definitely more comfortable,” the quarterback compared. “That, obviously comes from the more snaps you get, but it’s a lot of things. Success breeds confidence as well.”
After the Chargers [5-4] added another field goal to make it 31-20, Justin Miller returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to give the Jets the ball at the San Diego 48-yard line. Bollinger then drove New York for another touchdown seven plays later, when he hit Laveranues Coles in the endzone.
It looked like New York would complete the comeback when Jonathan Vilma recovered a Drew Brees fumble cause by John Abraham. It gave the Jets the ball at the Charger 30 with 3:06 to play.
Vilma said, “We knew that they were not flat out better than us. We didn’t try to show a valiant effort; we tried to win the game.”
The Jets moved the ball down to the San Diego 3-yard line, in a series of impressive plays including a nice catch by Wayne Chrebet, which the wide receiver sustained his ninth concussion and ultimately ended his career. But after four attempts at the endzone, the Jets would fall short.
The loss did give Edwards hope for the second half of the season and said, “All you can ask guys to do is to play like that and eventually you can win games.”