Playoff Bound

With Sunday's 42-17 thumping of the Green Bay Packers, the Jets became the first team in AFC history to make the playoffs after starting out 2-5.

There was a strange feeling permeating through the stadium. When the Jets took the field, the one o'clock game between Miami and New England had gone into overtime, and neither Gang Green nor their fans knew if they had been eliminated. But when the scoreboard flashed a Patriots' victory, 78,000 fans erupted in simultaneous cheer.

 

When they realized they were still playing for the AFC East division crown, New York proceeded to go on a 10-play, 84-yard scoring drive. It would be the first of four touchdown passes from Chad Pennington, and signal the end for Green Bay.

 

Pennington was spectacular again. He finished the game 17 of 24 with 196 yards passing, four TD's and no INT's. He finished the season leading the AFC in completion percentage and QB rating, and broke Vinny Testaverde's team record QB rating set in 1998.

 

Here are some of things the Jets had to say after the game:

 

Herman Edwards

 

"I'm really proud of the coaches and players for hanging in there and winning the division title. Perseverance, I really believe in that, and faith. If you have those two things and you believe in what you're doing, and you surround yourself with good people, good things happen."

 

Chad Pennington

 

"I've always felt and always said that we have a lot of character on this team and a lot of pride about ourselves to tighten it up when the chips are down and make something happen. To me that's very exciting. That's how you win championships. It's about coming together as a team when nobody else thinks you can do it."

 

Curtis Martin

 

"I feel this is the best moment of my career. I think a lot of guys on the team share the same feeling because we've been through so much. You learn to appreciate things more after you've been at the bottom. We were definitely at the bottom. We were starting to be the laughing stock of the NFL. And to be able to climb out of that hole and to win the division and be the AFC East champions, I take my hat off to the guys on this team. I think more importantly the leadership. Herm Edwards and this staff have done an amazing job keeping us focus on the goal ahead."

 

 


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