Jets fall to Saints

Despite Chad Pennington and the rest of first team's solid effort, the Jets fell to the New Orleans Saints, 22-17 Saturday night at the Meadowlands. <p>

The loss leaves the Jets with a 1-2 preseason record.

After forcing New Orleans to punt on their first offensive series, the Jets took over with 10:54 left in the first period.

Pennington, and the Jets starters, marched down the field deep into New Orleans's territory, behind the pinpoint accuracy of their quarterback. For the drive, Pennington put up perfect numbers. (5-5, 47 yards).

Despite Pennington's accuracy, the Jets failed to score, even with the advantage of having the ball inside the Saints five-yard line.

Darrin Smith stopped Lamont Jordan, on a fourth and goal, from the one-yard line. Jordan was running off left tackle.

"We have to get our running game going," said Herman Edwards. "We have to knock that ball in there. We are going to have to run the ball better."

New Orleans then took over possession on their own three-yard line.

Deuce McAllister, and the Saints, stormed down the field, with an impressive ground attack. McAllister touched the ball seven times on this drive, six of which were running plays.

McAllister gained 30 yards on six carries setting up the Saints first points of the game.

With 13:04 left in the second period, John Carney converted on a 33-yard field goal, giving New Orleans the early 3-0 lead.

"The offensive line did a great job of giving me a hole to run through," said McAllister. " I felt pretty good."

Each team then had one possession; both teams were forced to punt, on their respective possessions.

The Jets then took over at the 43-yard line of New Orleans, with 3:41 left in the first half.

What ensued was a 10-play 57-yard drive.

Pennington again was flawless on the drive. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 42 yard, spreading the ball around to three different receivers, Santana Moss, Curtis Conway, and Jerald Sowell.

The drive culminated when under heavy pressure; Pennington fired a five-yard strike to Conway, for the Jets only touchdown of the half.

Conway is enjoying working with his new quarterback.

"We (himself and Chad) are gradually working on it and getting better," said Conway. "We are getting on the same page offensively and getting to the point where we are supposed to be."

For the half, Pennington was 14 of 20 passing for 141 yards. Pennington had a quarterback rating of 106.5, his highest percentage of the preseason.

The teams went into the locker rooms for the half with the Jets leading 7-3, this would be the last both teams saw of their first team units. Backups played the rest of the contest.

. The Jets took over possession to start the second half, but were forced to punt after five plays.

The Saints then showed their grit on special teams, when Lynaris Elpheage took Dan Stryzinski's punt and ran up field for 54 yards. Elpheage's run gave the Saints the ball on the Jets 23 yard line.

Todd Bowman then connected with Boo Williams for a six-yard touchdown score; the extra point was blocked, giving the Saints a 9-7 lead.

The Jets quickly answered back, with an 8 play- 61 yard drive that ended with a field goal, giving them a 10-9 lead with 7:25 left in the third period. This would be the last lead the Jets would have for the game.

The Saints then went on a 15-play, 65-yard touchdown drive that took 7:13 off the clock. James Fenderson scored from one yard out giving the Saints a 15-10 advantage. An attempted two-point conversion failed.

The Saints took over possession again with 10:17 left in the fourth period. This was the start of a 6-play, 64-yard touchdown drive. This score gave the Saints a 22-10 lead.

The highlight of the offensive series was a J.T. O'Sullivan 23 yard touchdown pass to backup running back Curtis Keaton.

The Jets and Saints then traded possessions again, until the Jets took over with 1:44 remaining in the game.

Marquel Blackwell guided an impressive two-minute drill, giving New York their only touchdown of the second half.

Game Notes:

Injuries of note in the contest were Derek Pagel (right ankle). Marvin Jones (hamstring), and Chris Smith (right ankle)


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