With just over one minute left in the first half, the Jets faced a third and nine from their own 26-yard line, trailing the Lions 7-3. The Jets were held out of the end zone for nearly six straight quarters, with consternation mounting and the team looking befuddled as to how to cross the goal line. Avoiding some pressure, Mark Sanchez stepped up in the pocket and unleashed a soaring bomb, which descended perfectly into the outstretched hands of Braylon Edwards for a 74 yard touchdown grab. The Jets would carry a 10-7 advantage to the locker room, aiming to build on their offensive momentum.
CHEER II: With no timeouts and 1:40 remaining in the game, Mark Sanchez orchestrated a heroic comeback as the Jets trailed the Lions 20-17. Sanchez and the Jets began the drive from their own 22-yard line, following Kyle Wilson's 12 yard punt return. On the third play of the drive, a third and nine from the Jets' 23, Sanchez fired a bullet to the chest of tight end Dustin Keller, moving the chains for a gain of 10 yards. Two plays later, Sanchez targeted LaDanian Tomlinson in the flat for a minimal gain, with Tomlinson alertly scooting out of bounds. Lions linebacker Julian Peterson's late hit catapulted Tomlinson to the ground along the sideline, culminating in a 15 yard penalty and a fresh set of downs from the Lions' 28 yard line. On the subsequent play, the Jets ran a draw play for tailback Shonn Green, bulldozing for eight yards down to the Detroit 20 yard-line. With four seconds remaining, Mark Sanchez spiked the ball setting up kicker Nick Folk for a 36-yard game-tying field goal as time expired.
Early in the third quarter, New York defensive tackle Trevor Pryce was assessed a roughing the kicker penalty, (knocking down Detroit kicker Jason Hanson after a 20-yard field), awarding Detroit with a fresh set of downs at the Jets one-yard line. The Lions ran a play action fake to tailback Jahvid Best, with Matthew Stafford keeping the ball on a bootleg, waltzing into the end zone as the Lions took a 13-10 lead. With Hanson injured, rookie defensive tackle Ndamukung Suh missed the extra point as the ball grazed the right upright and sailed wide. The missed field goal meant the Jets only needed three points on their final drive to get to over-time, but if Pryce doesn't run into Hanson, then the Folk kick wins the game.
"Obviously we feel fortunate we got the win, but we don't care -- we'll take it," exclaimed head coach Rex Ryan. "That's what good teams do, find a way to win."
323. Mark Sanchez threw for a career high 323 yards leading the Jets on three straight scoring drives, and in doing so erased a 20-10 deficit, toppling the Lions 23-20 in overtime.
Both teams were plagued by penalties as the Jets committed a whopping 11 penalties for 99 yards and Detroit a dismal 11 penalties resulting in 102 yards.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: In overtime, on second and 10 from the Jets 32, right guard Brandon Moore stymied the Lions monstrous rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Moore's block allowed Sanchez adequate time to find wide out Santonio Holmes for a 52-yard reception, setting up Nick Folk's game winning 30-yard field goal.