Jaguars get the jump on battered Jets in OT

Smith's 36-yard TD catch comes after Leftwich switches play call

Jaguars 26 Jets 20

NFL Gameday

Week Three

September 26, 2005

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Byron Leftwich switched plays just before a crucial third down in overtime against the New York Jets.

Leftwich noticed the Jets' defense was jumping routes on third down all day, so he decided to send Jimmy Smith long. The strategy worked.

Leftwich threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Smith, giving Jacksonville a 26-20 win over the New York Jets yesterday, although the Jaguars (2-1) had to survive a replay review after Smith initially was ruled down at the 1.

The Jets (1-2) have bigger troubles: Quarterback Chad Pennington strained his right shoulder again, and backup Jay Fiedler could be out for a while with a right shoulder injury.

Pennington and Leftwich gamely played through pain, but in the end, Leftwich left his good friend hurting even worse.

"Byron made a good call," said Smith, 36, who beat David Barrett on the winning score. "He told me to run a slant and go. Fortunately, I ran a good enough route for him to make the easy throw."

Leftwich finished 16-for-23 for 177 yards with two touchdowns and one interception despite a groin injury. Teammate Fred Taylor had a career-high 37 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.

"These kind of games, when you pull them out, do wonders for the confidence," Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said. "The guys start believing and understanding that it doesn't always go exactly how you'd like to go, but you've got to find a way to scratch out a win."

The Jets are trying to figure that out.

Perhaps it was too much to ask Pennington to lead the Jets to victory with an injured right shoulder. Pennington left in the third period after straining his shoulder on consecutive sacks. It is the same one in which he had a torn rotator cuff repaired in the offseason.

But it wasn't long before he was back in when Fiedler got hurt. Though emergency quarterback Brooks Bollinger started warming up, Pennington came back in the fourth quarter.

Pennington finished 9-for-19 for 76 yards and two interceptions, and coach Herman Edwards said Bollinger might have to start Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium against the Ravens.

Curtis Martin could not get going, either, finishing with 67 yards on 18 carries. The Jets had 168 yards of offense, and Jacksonville held the ball for nearly 15 more minutes.

"Offensively we're all searching for answers right now," Pennington said. "We're just taking turns messing plays up."

Jacksonville 3 7 3 7 6 - 26

N.Y. Jets 0 7 7 6 0 - 20

First quarter Jac-FG Scobee 32, 4:37.

Second quarter Jac-Wilford 21 pass from Leftwich (Scobee kick), 5:50. NY-Sowell 1 run (Nugent kick), 1:51.

Third quarter NY-Reed 33 fumble return (Nugent kick), 12:17. Jac-FG Scobee 40, 5:05.

Fourth quarter Jac-Taylor 3 run (Scobee kick), 14:57. NY-FG Nugent 35, 9:43. NY-FG Nugent 25, 1:14.

Overtime Jac-J.Smith 36 pass from Leftwich, 8:55. A-77,422.

........................Jac NY

First downs 16 12

Total Net Yards 308 168

Rushes-yards 47-139 25-89

Passing 169 79

Punt Returns 5-31 3-(-3)

Kickoff Returns 4-93 3-75

Interceptions Ret. 2-9 1-0

Comp-Att-Int 16-24-1 11-22-2

Sacked-Yards Lost 2-8 4-16

Punts 6-50.0 7-48.6

Fumbles-Lost 3-2 3-1

Penalties-Yards 9-85 6-44

Time of Possession 40:31 25:34

Rushing-Jacksonville, Taylor 37-98, Pearman 4-22, Leftwich 2-12, G.Jones 4-7. New York, Martin 18-67, Pennington 3-15, Blaylock 3-6, Sowell 1-1. Passing-Jacksonville, Leftwich 16-23-1-177, M.Jones 0-1-0-0. New York, Pennington 9-19-2-76, Fiedler 2-3-0-19.

Receiving-Jacksonville, R.Williams 5-54, M.Jones 4-31, J.Smith 2-41, Wilford 2-35, B.Jones 2-8, Pearman 1-8. New York, Coles 4-17, Baker 3-45, Martin 2-4, McCareins 1-16, Chrebet 1-13. Missed field goals-None.

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