8:30 PM ET, December 23, 2001
Testaverde, who has rallied New York to four fourth-quarter comebacks, threw a 6-yard pass to Anthony Becht in the final minute Sunday night to give the Jets a 29-28 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. "Considering everything, all the pressure on us winning in December, the playoff pressure, never winning here -- at least I hadn't won here -- and being on national television, that's probably one of the best drives I've been associated with coming in a winning game," Testaverde said. Testaverde, who rallied the Jets four times in the fourth quarter last season also, has done it each of the last two weeks. And both were won with short touchdown passes to Becht. "When we got the ball back, I told them we were going to win the game," Jets coach Herman Edwards said. "There was no doubt in my mind we were going to win this game." Not even with the Jets trailing 28-22 with 2:48 remaining and without a timeout. Before the final drive, the Jets' only touchdown came on Testaverde's 25-yard pass to Lamont Jordan in the first quarter. After that, the Jets relied on five field goals by John Hall until Testaverde took control in the closing minutes. The Jets stopped the Colts on the next series to preserve the victory -- and eliminated Indianapolis, Denver, Tennessee and Cleveland from playoff contention. New York's second straight victory also moved them within a half-game of the AFC East-leading New England Patriots. Testaverde performed masterfully on the drive that gave the Jets their second straight one-point win. He started by throwing 23 yards to Wayne Chrebet and hooked up again with Chrebet on a 16-yard pass. Then, Testaverde improvised as he scrambled down the field, pitching the ball to Curtis Martin. The play gained 23 yards and put the Jets (9-5) in position to score. Martin rushed for 122 yards on 23 carries. "There was nobody around except one defender who was going to chase me," Testaverde said. "I just flipped it back to him." On the next play, Testaverde found Martin for a 15-yard gain, and then he threw to Becht. Hall kicked the extra point for the lead -- and the win. Testaverde finished 27 of 48 for 285 yards and two touchdowns to move him past Len Dawson and into 13th on the NFL's career list. He also threw two interceptions. Chrebet caught eight passes for 118 yards despite having leg cramps in the third quarter, but it was Becht's game-winner that was the talk after the game. "I usually release outside, but the end was playing outside, so I just stepped inside," Becht said. "I just stopped at the goal line, turned and caught the ball." Peyton Manning was 25-for-35 for 228 yards and one touchdown, although the Colts' biggest play came on tight end Ken Dilger's pass to Marvin Harrison that gave Indianapolis the lead. On third-and-10, Manning threw a lateral to Dilger, who turned and fired a 39-yard touchdown pass to Harrison. Kevin McDougal ran the conversion in to make it 25-22 with 10:02 left. It was the first touchdown pass of Dilger's seven-year career, and the first by a Colts non-quarterback since Curtis Dickey on Sept. 16, 1984, against the St. Louis Cardinals. "It's a play we've worked on for a month or so," Dilger said. The Colts then got a 43-yard field goal from Mike Vanderjagt with 2:48 to go, making it 28-22. But that was too much time for Testaverde, who found the seams in the Colts' leaky defense. "We didn't look pretty at times and kicked some field goals," Edwards said. "But when we needed to score, Vinny and the offense got going."Game notes
Jets tight end Anthony Becht hauls in the winning touchdown.
Manning played in his 62nd game Sunday, passing former quarterback Jack Trudeau for third on the Colts' career list among quarterbacks. Only John Unitas (208) and Bert Jones (98) have played in more games. ... Early in the second quarter, Martin became the 17th player in NFL history to rush for 9,000 yards. ... Marvin Harrison made his 500th career reception in the first half, and in the second half became the most prolific receiver in the first six years of his career. He passed Green Bay's Sterling Sharpe, who had 501 receptions in his first six seasons.
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