Sanchez hurt, Smith inconsistent, Jets win 24-21 in OT against Giants

Published August 24, 2013

| Associated Press

The Jets' quarterback picture got even murkier despite winning the annual bragging rights game with the Giants.

Billy Cundiff kicked a 32-yard field goal with 8:04 left in overtime and the Jets defeated the Giants 24-21 Saturday night. It's the only time the rivals will play this year unless they qualify for the cold-weather Super Bowl here in February. The way the Jets and Giants played, it's highly unlikely.

Rookie QB Geno Smith struggled, then Mark Sanchez seemingly hurt his right shoulder, and his status is suddenly in question two weeks before the season opener. The only guy who looked good for the Jets was Matt Simms.

Coach Rex Ryan refused to comment on Sanchez's injury other than to say it was a shoulder problem. Sanchez left the stadium right after the game and was not available for comment, but his clotches remained hanging in his locker.

The Jets' quarterback situation has been the No. 1 question mark for Ryan's team since training camp opened. If Smith is the No. 1 quarterback, he didn't look ready for prime time on Saturday.

Simms, the son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms, looked good in mop-up action. He was 6 of 10 for 120 yards, hooking up with Ryan Spadola on a 70-yard pass play to set up the winning field goal.

Cundiff's first attempt from 40 yards missed, but Giants coach Tom Coughlin had called time out. The Jets ran two plays and Cundiff was good the second time.

The Jets blew a chance to end the game earlier in overtime when Nick Folk was wide right on a 39-yarder shortly after Da'Rel Scott lost a fumble.

Sanchez, the Jets' starter since 2009, was hurt after replacing Smith (16 of 30 for 199 and three interceptions) in the fourth quarter. He was hit by defensive tackle Marvin Austin shortly after throwing a pass.

Sanchez (5 of 6 for 72 yards and a lost fumble) tried to throw a practice pass on the sideline, but he shook his head after making one short toss — possibly a shake-off that gives Smith the starting job by default.

Smith also showed his potential when he threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Ben Obomanu on the Jets' second possession, and led a 57-yard drive against the Giants' backups in the third quarter that gave the Jets a lead. Bilal Powell capped that drive with a 2-yard run.

David Wilson provided the highlight for the Giants. The second-year running back took a handoff from Eli Manning (8 of 20 for 83 yards) on the Giants' first possession and used a seal by Hakeem Nicks to sprint 84 yards down the left sideline.

Smith, a second-round pick, made too many mistakes in his first NFL start: the three interceptions and giving up a safety that put the Giants ahead 15-14 in the fourth quarter when he stepped out on the end zone attempting to elude pressure.

Following a short punt by Steve Weatherford that gave the Jets the ball at the Giants 37, Simms threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Spadola to give Ryan's team a 21-18 lead with 2:02 to play.

Curtis Painter, who played quarterback the entire second half in his bid to replace David Carr as Manning's backup, led a 10-play, 64-yard drive that tied the game on Josh's Brown's fourth field goal, a 40-yarder with 37 seconds to play.

Brown's other field goals covered 40, 33 and 50 yards.

The Giants had a frustrating first half. Interceptions by Prince Amukamara and Stevie Brown on a play in which he sprained his left knee gave the Giants the ball inside Jets territory. Brown hit a 40-yard field goal three plays after Brown's pick, but the offense never looked cohesive.

The Giants' best drive came late in the half. Manning sandwiched passes of 20 yards to Jerrel Jernigan and 34 to Nicks around a 23-yard pass interference penalty against Kyle Wilson to get a first-and-goal at the Jets 4. Three plays netted 2 yards and Manning's fourth-down pass to Nicks 2 — was broken up by Dawan Landy.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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