Big second-half swing leads Jets past Redskins 34-20
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Mistakes got the New York Jets in a real mess in the first half.
Todd Bowles’ bunch got it all together in the third quarter, overcoming a sluggish start to beat the banged-up Washington Redskins 34-20 on Sunday.
“I didn’t think we were playing with enough energy,” Bowles said. “We were flat.”
They certainly sharpened up in the second half, improving to 4-1 for the first time since 2010.
The Jets, coming off a bye-week break, trailed 13-10 at halftime, with the Redskins (2-4) scoring their points off three takeaways by Bashaud Breeland, who had an interception and two fumble recoveries.
But New York opened the second half with 24 straight points to take control against a Washington team without several injured starters, including wide receiver DeSean Jackson, left tackle Trent Williams and cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Chris Culliver.
“We’re not perfect yet and we’ve got a long way to go,” wide receiver Brandon Marshall said.
They’re still a lot closer than the Redskins, who were outgained 474-225.
“We had an opportunity to win this game,” coach Jay Gruden said. “And, in the second half, we just laid an egg. A big egg.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, and Chris Ivory rushed for 146 yards and a TD on 20 carries for the Jets. Marshall had seven catches for 111 yards and a touchdown, and Eric Decker also caught a TD pass.
“Every win’s not going to be pretty,” Bowles said. “We’re going to make some mistakes, but how we come back from it and how we grow as a team moving forward is what’s going to make us a decent team.”
A few things to know from the Jets’ comeback victory over the Redskins:
THIRD-QUARTER EARNINGS: Two plays after Nick Folk tied it at 13 with a 39-yard field goal, the Jets got the ball back when Darrelle Revis intercepted Cousins’ pass for Ryan Grant. With the ball at the Redskins 18, the Jets wasted no time as Fitzpatrick took off up the middle, got a big block from tight end Kellen Davis near the goal line and got into the end zone for a 20-13 lead.
Marshall made it 26-13 with a terrific fingertips catch just off his shoe tops, getting inside of Breeland on a low throw. He then scooted down the sideline for a 35-yard TD.
New York got the ball back when Marcus Gilchrist picked off Kirk Cousins’ deep pass for Jamison Crowder. Decker caught a 2-yard pass to put the Jets comfortably in front, 34-13 early in the fourth quarter.
New York has outscored opponents 34-0 in the third quarter this season. Meanwhile, Washington has been outscored 46-3.
CAPTAIN KIRK: Cousins was 25 of 43 for 196 yards with a touchdown to Pierre Garcon, but also threw two interceptions. He has two INTs each in four games this season — all losses, but no INTs in Washington’s two wins.
Gruden dispelled any murmurs of a quarterback controversy, saying the Redskins are sticking with Cousins.
“You hate to pin this game on Kirk,” Gruden said. “I know he could have played better. We had no running game whatsoever. Kirk is not in a stage in his career right now, nor is anybody on our roster, to carry our team throwing the ball as much as we would have had to today.”
RICHARDSON’S RETURN: Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was credited with a half-sack and three assisted tackles in his first game after sitting out the first four because of a suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
“I did all right,” he said. “Sideline-to-sideline plays weren’t as consistent as I usually have been. But other than that, it was good.”
BREELAND’S BIG DAY: With Hall out with injured toe, Breeland got the start in his place and was all over the field in the first half.
He recovered Decker’s fumble on New York’s opening drive, setting up Garcon’s 2-yard TD catch. After the Jets tied it on Ivory’s 1-yard run, Washington forced another turnover when Breeland ripped the ball out of Marshall’s hands after a 12-yard catch. Dustin Hopkins kicked a 54-yard field goal to tie it at 10.
The Jets turned it over again on their next possession as Fitzpatrick’s pass tipped off Marshall’s hands and Breeland made a diving interception. Six plays later, Hopkins kicked a go-ahead 30-yarder.
LOOK WHO IT IS: With all the Redskins’ injuries to starters, they had no choice but to make Robert Griffin III active against the Jets.
He was in uniform on the sideline for the first time this season — but as the third-stringer behind Cousins and backup Colt McCoy.
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