Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 19, 2015 · Page D5
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October 19, 2015

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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page D5

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Monday, October 19, 2015
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DemocratandChronicle .com Monday,October19,2015 Page5D NFL EAST RUTHERFORD, N .J. - The Jets made a s trong statement to themselves — and maybe the rest of the NFL — with a big bounce-back second half. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, and the resilient Jets overcame a sluggish s tart to beat the banged- u p Washington Redskins 3 4-20 on Sunday. “ Every win’s not going to be pretty,” coach Todd 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 adecent team.” The even-keeled Bowles’ way is to downplay success, but the Jets looked every bit like a playoff contender for the f inal two quarters. They’ll get their biggest test yet next Sunday at AFC East- rival New England. “If you want to be a great team,” wide receiver Brandon Marshall said, “you’ve got to be able to punch through adversi- t y.” Chris Ivory ran for 146 y ards and a TD on 20 carries for the Jets, who improved to 4-1for the first time since the 2010 team o pened 5-1. Marshall had seven catches for 111 yards and a touchdown, and Eric Decker also caught a TD pass. T he Jets, coming off a b ye-week break, trailed 13-10 at halftime, with the Redskins (2-4) scoring their points off three turn- overs by Bashaud Breeland, including an interception and two fumble recoveries. B ut the Jets opened the second half with 24 s traight points to take control against a Washington team without several injured starters, inc luding wide receiver De- Sean Jackson, left tackle Trent Williams and cor- nerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Chris Culliver. “ We’re not perfect yet a nd we’ve got a long way to go,” Marshall said. They’re still a lot closer than the Redskins, who were outgained 474-225 by the Jets. “We had an opportunity to win this game,” c oach Jay Gruden said. “And, in the second half, w e just laid an egg.” Kirk Cousins was 25 of 43 for 196 yards with a touchdown to Pierre Garc on, but also threw two interceptions. He has two INTs each in four games this season — all losses, but no INTs in Washing- t on’s two wins. “ If I start to doubt, I’m not going to ever get to the level I want to go,” Cousins said. “I’ve got to keep going, learn from mistakes.” Gruden dispelled any murmurs of a quarter- b ack controversy, saying the Redskins are sticking w ith Cousins. “You hate to pin this game on Kirk,” Gruden said. “I know he could h ave played better. We had no running game whatsoever. Kirk is not in astage in his career right now, nor is anybody on our r oster, to carry our team t hrowing the ball as much as we would have had to today.” The Redskins down- graded Jackson to out Saturday; he hasn’t played since the season opener because of a left hams tring injury. Tight end Jordan Reed, center Kory L ichtensteiger and backup running back Matt Jones were also out. With so many injuries, e ven Robert Griffin III was active — as the Redskins’ third-string quarterback — for the first time this season. N ick Folk tied it at 13 w ith a 39-yard field goal early in the second half. Two plays later, the Jets got the ball back when Darrelle Revis made an easy interception of Cousins’ pass for Ryan Grant. W ith the ball at the R edskins 18, the Jets w asted 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 2013 lead. “He’s deceivingly fast,” a smiling Decker said of Fitzpatrick. “He’s a n athlete.” M arshall made it 26-13 w ith a terrific fingertips c atch just off his shoe tops, getting inside of Breeland on a low throw. He then scooted down the sideline for a 35-yard TD —as Breeland sat on the field with his head in his hands in disbelief. The Jets got the ball back when Marcus Gilchrist picked off Cousins’ deep pass for Jamison Crowder. Decker caught a 2-yard pass to put the Jets c omfortably in front, 3413 early in the fourth quarter. The Redskins crept closer when Jeron Johnson blocked Ryan Quigley’s punt and Rashad Ross recovered in the end zone with just under four m inutes left. But Davis recovered the onside k ick. Notes: The Jets have outscored opponents 34-0 in the third quarter this s eason. Meanwhile, Washington has been outscored 46-3. … Jets RB Bilal Powell sprained an ankle, and CB Buster Skrine suf- f ered a concussion. … R edskins S Trenton Robinson sprained an ankle and a thumb. JETS 34, REDSKINS 20 Jets bully Redskins, 34-20 DENNIS WASZAK JR. ASSOCIATED PRESS BRAD PENNER-USA TODAY SPORTS Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall celebrates with wide receiver Eric Decker after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the third quarter of Sunday’s game. PHILADELPHIA - Eli Manning got his introduction to the NFL in Philadelphia, finishing his first game flat on the ground a fter a crushing hit. He has won two Super Bowls since that rough debut in 2004, but no team h as beat him up more than the Eagles over the years. Manning’s 13 losses to P hiladelphia are his most against any opponent. On Monday night, Manning gets another shot at the Eagles (2-3) when the NFC East-leading New York Giants (3-2) come to L incoln Financial Field. “ Should be a great atmosphere and a great challenge for us,” Mann ing said. “It’ll be loud, they’ll be fired up, they’re going to be rocking.” M anning came off the bench in relief of Kurt Warner in a lopsided loss to the Eagles in Week 1of his rookie season. His first snap was a handoff t hat Tiki Barber took 72 yards for touchdown. He was sacked by Jerome McDougle and fumbled o n his last snap. “I kind of spun back,” Manning recalled this w eek. “I went horizontal. Wasn’t good.” He got up and has never missed a game since becoming the starter in the middle of that season. Manning is off to an ex- c ellent start this year in h is second season under offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. He has 10 t ouchdown passes and only two interceptions and is coming off one of h is best games. Manning completed 75.9 percent of his passes for 441yards and three TDs in a 30-27 comeback win against San Francisco last Sunday n ight. “You can see there’s a comfort level in Eli in the whole system,” Eagles c oach Chip Kelly said. “He’s getting the ball out of his hand quickly. He c an recognize how people are defending their team. He’s rapidly going through his progressions and putting them in a really good situation offensively.” H ere’s some things to k now about the Giants-Eagles game: Sam’s slow starts: Ea- g les quarterback Sam Bradford has completed 56 percent of his passes w ith two TDs, three interceptions and a 65.6 QB rating in the first half of games. His completion rate is 70 in the second half and he has six TDs, t hree interceptions and a 102.0 QB rating. He’ll face the coach who drafted him in St. Louis. Steve S pagnuolo is now the Giants defensive coordinator. E li’s targets: Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle are nursing hamstring injuries. If Manning’s top two guys are slowed, he’ll turn to Dwayne Harris, tight end L arry Donnell and run- n ing back Shane Vereen. The trio combined for 20 catches and two TDs last w eek, including the game- winning reception by Donnell. R eplacing Prince: Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara is out because of a torn left pectoral muscle. Jayron Hosley will start in his place. He f illed in when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was injured earlier this season. “When he’s been out t here, he’s done well,” coach Tom Coughlin said. Ground game: DeMar- c o Murray is coming off his best game with the Eagles, rushing for 83 yards on 20 carries in a win over the Saints. Ryan Mathews had 73 yards on eight carries in that game. He’s av- e raging 5.0 yards per at- t empt to 2.7 for Murray, the reigning NFL rushing champion. Should Mathe ws be the featured back? “Whatever they decide,” Murray said. “I can only c ontrol what I can control. Ican’t control the plays being called or who’s in on different situations. I think he’s running it great. Obviously, he’s a t ough running back, tough to defend, tough guy to bring down.” X-plays: The Eagles h ave allowed 18 pass plays of 20 yards or more, including five against Drew B rees and the Saints. Only eight teams have given up more. Still, it’s improvement for Philadelphia after allowing the most last season. Manning has 15 pass plays of at least 20 y ards in the first five g ames. “It’s something that we have to continue to emphasize and do,” Kell y said. MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL Manning’s come long way since 2004 ROB MAADDI ASSOCIATED PRESS pro, has matured into one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. But he’s not Tom B rady or even Eli Manning, Super Bowl quart erbacks who also came into Orchard Park this season and left winners. Dalton’s release is quicker than a bad first date and teams have been beating Buffalo’s p ressure with quick- developing throws. But on Sunday, Dalton was allowed to sit in the pocket with too much impunity as he flung the ball far and wide, like the 42-yard bomb to Marvin Joneson the Bengals’ opening drive of the second half that led to a touchdown, a 24-14 lead, and pretty m uch broke Buffalo’s back. D alton, who threw for three touchdowns,no interceptions and wasn’t s acked, seemed per- p lexed and relieved when Iasked him about Ryan’s u ncharacteristic game p lan that included more three-man rushes and more people in coverage out of respect for receivers A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu and Jones. Dalton was dared to deliver and he did. “ Yeah, he’s known for all of the different looks t hat he gives you and he did give us some, but when we had chances to m ake good plays we did,’’ D alton said. “I mean, they did some, but you c an say they didn’t blitz a l ot for a Rex Ryan defense. And we did a good job in pass protection, picking stuff up and knowing the looks we were getting.’’ Football is a chess game and Ryan worked h imself into checkmate. When five consecutive B engals’ drives between the first and second half were resulting in TD, FG, T D, TD, FG, you’d think h e’d have come after Dalton hard – with some- t hing - because the game plan he had wasn’t work- i ng. You’d have expected it from Jim Schwartz last y ear, when Buffalo led the NFL in sacks with 54. Through six games under R yan, Buffalo has a grand total of nine. “A couple are my f ault,’’ Ryan said when asked about the play of h is front seven. “I went with some three-man rush stuff and never let my guys go as much as I should have. We gotta take a long hard look at what we’re asking our g uys to do.’’ Right about now, his guys are getting frustrated. Mario Williams, who had 14.5 sacks a year ago, has two. Jerry Hughes, who had 10, has one. It’s one thing for a pass rusher not to get to the quarterback, and another when he's told to put the transmission into reverse a nd drop into coverage which is occurring with m ore frequency. Bengals coordinator Hue Jackson was a move ahead of R yan all day. “ (Teams) see it on film that we’re not always r ushing our four like we used, a lot of guys drop- p ing nowadays, so it’s different,’’ linebacker P reston Brown said. “They have more time when they see certain b litzes coming, they know they have a little more time when some- b ody is dropping.’’ Hughes wasn’t in the m ood to be an analytical as Brown. He didn't sack Dalton but he did sack free speech, uttering “I’ll let the coach coach and we’ll play. Whatever the coach calls, we’ll run it.’’ W ell, they’ll run it as best they can. The Ben- gals converted 7 of 12 third downs, had 112 yards rushing – including a17-yard touchdown run by Giovani Bernard when the Red Sea parted, and were perfect in the red zone with four touchdowns. And now Pro Bowl d efensive tackle Kyle Williams has a knee in- j ury. At 3-3, the Bills are at acrossroads. The sched- u le was set up to stack w ins at home, but that didn’t occur, not with a 1 -3 record at The Ralph. Six of the next eight are o n the road. With injuries hampering the offense f or the foreseeable future, it’s on Ryan’s defense to keep the team c ompetitive and relevant. He was too quick to praise the Bengals offen- s ive talent. What about the Bills’ expensive def ensive talent? “I think we do have weapons on defense,’’ Ryan said. “But this team (Cincinnati), if everybody thought we were going to shut them out, t hat probably wasn’t realistic.’’ Nobody expected that. But giving up three instead of seven would’ve been nice help for rusty backup quarterback EJ Manuel. Forcing more than three punts perhaps? Ryan was hired to make Buffalo’s strong defense stronger, fix the o ffense, and deliver the kind of swagger that e nds a 15-year playoff drought. All we’ve gotten thus f ar is a used car sales- m an. JAMIE GERMANO/@JGERMANO1/JAMIE GERMANO/@JGERMANO1/, STAFF P HOTOGRAPHER Bills Duke Williams comes free on a blitz but Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was able to get off the pass. Defense Continued from Page 1D

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