There was Brett Favre stepping up in the pocket, as he has thousands of times in his career, set to unleash another bullet. In another quadrant of the field stood tight end Visanthe Shianicoe, waiting to grab Favre's offering. Lurking silently behind Shianicoe was reserve cornerback Dwight Lowery.
As the ball spiraled towards Shianicoe's waiting hands, Lowery jumped in front of the Minnesota Vikings tight end, grabbed the ball and began to run. Hard. Towards the painted grass 26 yards away.
He didn't stop until he reached the painted grass. Once there, Lowery's celebration was less personal accomplishment and more of what he and his team had survived.
Lowery's interception return for the game-winning touchdown was the difference in the Jets 29-20 Monday Night win over the Vikings at the Meadowlands. The Jets improved to 4-1. Minnesota , even with the mid-week acquisition of Randy Moss, fell to 1-3. The Jets will be in Denver this Sunday to play the 2-3 Broncos.
The Jets had a 12-0 midway through the third quarter due to four Nick Folk field goals (25 yards, 53 yards, 22 yards and 34 yard). Then the game transformed from sluggish to slugfest as the teams traded scores in the final 17:10 .
Favre hooked up with Moss on a 37-yard go route for the former's 500th touchdown of his NFL career with 2:10 left in the third quarter to cut the Jets' lead to 12-7. Folk's 31-yard field goal pushed the lead to 15-7 at the end of the quarter. Favre hit second-year receiver Percy Harvin for a 34-yard touchdown at 12:47 of the fourth to lower the deficit to two, 15-13 (Antonio Cromartie broke up a two-point conversion attempt). Shonn Green appeared to put the game out of reach with a 23-yard touchdown run with 4:30 left that gave the Jets a nine-point cushion, 22-13, but Favre and Harvin connected on an 11-yard touchdown with 3:09 remaining to cut the lead to two, 22-20. That set the stage for Lowery's heroics.
Favre, who spent the week in the midst of maelstrom after an internet report surfaced claiming he had sent sexually suggestive text messages and cell phone photos to a female Jets employee, completed 14-for-34 passes for 264 yards, the three touchdowns and the interception against his former team. The Jets sacked Favre four times for a loss of 24 yards and he fumbled away quarterback-center exchanges due to torrential downpours making the ball wet and hard to handle.
The Jets did not commit any turnovers despite the terrible weather. Mark Sanchez wasn't great but was effective in completing 21 passes for 191 yards. The two-headed running back beast of Green and LaDainian Tomlinson combined for 151 yards on 30 carries.
Adrian Peterson rushed for 88 yards on 18 carries. Harvin caught five passes for 97 yards while Moss, in his first game in his second stint with the Vikings, grabbed four balls for 81 yards.
The opening kickoff was delayed 45 minutes due to an electrical storm.
You can Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman