The New York Jets head into their off week with the best record in the National Football League after beating the Denver Broncos 24-20 to extend their winning streak to five games.
LaDainian Tomlinson scored the winning touchdown with 1:13 left, a two-yard run that came after the Broncos were flagged for a 46-yard pass-interference penalty on fourth down.
The Jets were among four teams with 4-1 records entering Week 6 of the NFL season. The Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens all lost yesterday before the Jets sealed their win in Denver when Dwight Lowery recovered a fumbled snap with 35 seconds left. It’s the Jets’ first 5-1 start since 2004 and sixth in franchise history.
“We did a great job of stepping up to the challenge,” Tomlinson said during a news conference at Invesco Field. “Usually if you turn the ball over three times, you lose the game, but we kept fighting. It didn’t look good for us but in the end it came out the right way.”
The New York Giants beat Detroit 28-20 to hand the Lions their 24th straight road loss, and Pittsburgh defeated the Cleveland Browns 28-20 in Ben Roethlisberger’s return for the Steelers after a four-game suspension.
Ryan Longwell kicked a 38-yard field goal with 4:05 remaining and the Minnesota Vikings held on for a 24-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys in a matchup of 1-3 teams that started the season as top Super Bowl contenders, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez had two of the Jets’ three turnovers -- throwing his first two interceptions of the season -- before leading an 82-yard drive that extended New York’s NFL- best winning streak.
Trailing 20-17 with just over a minute left, the Jets had a fourth-down-and-6 play from the Broncos’ 48-yard line when Sanchez threw a deep pass for Santonio Holmes. Broncos safety Renaldo Hill was penalized after reaching back and hooking his finger on Holmes’s facemask, giving the Jets a first down at Denver’s two-yard line.
“I don’t think Mark Sanchez would have made that throw last year,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “He had the presence of mind to say, ‘You know what, I have one-on-one coverage out there. I’m going to throw it to a great football player who’s down in the end zone and either (Holmes) is going to catch it or they’re going to have to foul him.’ He launched it up there and that’s exactly what happened.”
Tomlinson scored his second touchdown of the game on the next play and the Jets held on for the victory when Lowery pounced on a fumble after a snap slipped off the fingers of Broncos’ quarterback Kyle Orton. Lowery’s interception return for a touchdown in the closing minutes clinched the Jets’ win over the Vikings six days earlier. The Jets have a bye this week before next playing Oct. 31 at home against Green Bay.
Rookie quarterback Tim Tebow made his first appearance for the Broncos (2-4) since opening week and had six rushes for 23 yards, including his first NFL touchdown.
Baltimore had a three-game winning streak snapped with a 23-20 overtime loss to the New England Patriots, Chicago was upset at home 23-20 by the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta was beaten 31-17 by the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Patriots, who were off last week, improved to 4-1 after beating the Ravens on a 35-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski in overtime.
Brandon Jacobs had two rushing touchdowns at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as the Giants logged their first home win over the Lions since 1990. Detroit is still seeking its first win away from home since a 16-7 victory at Chicago on Oct. 28, 2007.
Roethlisberger passed for 257 yards and three touchdowns in his return for the Steelers, who are 4-1 after last week’s bye. The 28-year-old quarterback, who led Pittsburgh to two Super Bowl titles, was banned for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy after being accused of sexually assaulting two women. Roethlisberger denied the accusations and no criminal charges have been brought against him.
The San Francisco 49ers got their first win after a 0-5 start, beating the Oakland Raiders 17-9, while the Miami Dolphins won 23-20 in overtime against the Green Bay Packers.
The Indianapolis Colts beat the Washington Redskins 27-24 as Peyton Manning had his 60th career 300-yard passing game, three behind Dan Marino for the most in league history.
Houston outscored Kansas City 35-31, St. Louis knocked off San Diego 20-17 and New Orleans beat Tampa Bay 31-6.
Tennessee visits Jacksonville in tonight’s game, while Buffalo, Cincinnati, Arizona and Carolina are off this week.
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