In a must-win game for both the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers, the Jets came out on top. Both teams started the day with identical 4-6 records with outside shots at entering the wild-card hunt. With New York coming into the game with a three-game losing streak and shaky quarterback play in recent weeks, Carolina had a solid chance to win the game. The Jets had other plans in mind. Ultimately, the Panthers hurt their chances more than the Jets improved theirs.
It all started with a 67-yard interception return for TD by cornerback Darrelle Revis halfway through the first quarter which gave the Jets a 7-0 lead. That lead never relinquished as the Panthers would only score two field goals throughout the game.
The Panthers and Jets had a combined total of 7 turnovers. However, the Jets’ ability to turn their opponents’ turnovers into touchdowns proved to be the difference. Carolina scored 3 points off turnovers as opposed to the Jets’ 14.
Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme completed 14 of his 34 passes for 130 yards. He finished with 4 interceptions on the day. The third ranked rushing offense was also of no use as the rushing attack combined for a total of 75 yards.
Jets Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for 154 yards and had one interception. It was his injury scare though that had the Jets and their fans worried. He shook off the leg injury and returned to the game.
Budding star Darrelle Revis, and safety Kerry Rhodes, benched by the Jets, each had 2 interceptions. Rhodes had the interception that sealed the deal with 1:10 remaining in the game.
Delhomme is second in the league with 18 interceptions this season. Even with the season almost gone, do not expect Coach John Fox to bench Delhomme. John Fox might be playing for his job right now and backup quarterback Matt Moore probably does not give him more of a chance to win their remaining games.
The Panthers are heading back home and facing the improving 1-10 Buccaneers next Sunday.