Work in Sports
My favorite Martin
Jets' Martin runs for 149 yards in 24-17 win
Posted: Tuesday November 16, 1999 03:48 PM
The inexperienced Lucas, a longtime project for the Jets coach Bill Parcells, threw for two touchdowns, and Martin rushed for more than 100 yards for the fourth straight game. That duo of former Patriots produced 14 points in 28 seconds late in the first half.
"This is probably one of the best moments ever, besides the Super Bowl [in 1996 with New England]," said Lucas, who played special teams for the Patriots, but was a quarterback at Rutgers. "You come back to beat the team and the guy [coach Pete Carroll] who cut you, so you've got to feel pretty good."
Martin finished with 149 yards on 31 carries and a 36-yard scoring run, his longest of the season.
"Maybe we can get some momentum from this and turn our season around," Martin said.
For all their heroics, though, the Jets (3-6), who lost four games by blowing fourth-quarter leads, had to hold on. The rusty Patriots, coming off a bye, woke up in the final quarter for 14 points, and three times got the ball back when down by seven.
"I was sure we weren't going to blow this lead," said Martin, who signed a six-year deal with the Jets last year. "I was standing on the sideline watching and praying."
It was another sweet victory for Parcells over his former team, which he left in a dispute with Patriots owner Robert Kraft in 1996. The Jets got started on their run to the AFC title game last year by beating New England on a Monday night.
"Like I told the players, even though we are 3-6, it is too soon to quit," Parcells said.
Martin's TD run made it 14-3, and when Drew Bledsoe's ill-advised bomb into the wind was picked off by Marcus Coleman and returned 26 yards, New York was in good position again with 48 seconds left in the half. On third down, Lucas hit Fred Baxter from the 11 for a 21-3 halftime lead.
John Hall's 26-yard field goal capped a monstrous 19-play drive of 11 minutes, 23 seconds and made it 24-3.
The Patriots (6-3), who blew a chance to tie for first place in the AFC East, then responded, scoring on a 13-yard screen pass to rookie Kevin Faulk. They came right back with a 31-yard pass to Troy Brown, making it 24-17 with 6:58 remaining.
Lawyer Milloy's interception runback three plays later to the Jets 27 gave the Patriots excellent field position. But Bledsoe threw four straight incompletions, and they never threatened again.
"There was never a time when I thought we were going to lose the game," Bledsoe said. "It was just a question of when."
When never came.
The Jets, who had three sacks, put together a nice drive early in the second quarter when they got the wind at their back and Lucas went 5-of-5. From the 1, Keyshawn Johnson slipped into the right corner of the end zone to take Lucas' scoring toss.
"I'm glad he did what he did against New England," Johnson said. "It shows that everyone ain't right in this world evaluating talent. He can play quarterback in this league."
New York appeared to get out of that hole on a diving catch by Wayne Chrebet for 29 yards, but the Patriots challenged the call and got the reversal, forcing a punt.
New England gained 75 yards in the first half and didn't get any better in the third quarter. Bledsoe, who was intercepted only four times going in, was picked off again by Coleman on a deep pass. Minutes later, his short throw was picked off by Marvin Jones.
"We knew it was going to come down to this," Coleman said of the defense shutting down the Patriots. "It didn't surprise us."
Notes: Second-year tackle Jason Fabini, the Jets' best blocker, was lost for the season with torn left knee ligaments ... Martin has rushed for 131, 123, 128 and 149 yards in the last month. It is the third time he's had four straight 100-yard efforts ... Patriots cornerback Kato Serwanga sustained a concussion ... Bledsoe was 15-for-36 for 170 yards, his worst outing of the season ... Jones made his first career interception for New York.