Martin scored on the Jets' first two possessions and became the
team's all-time rushing leader, helping New York to a 34-28 win
Sunday over the Chargers, who lost quarterback Drew Brees to a
Martin scored on runs of 1 and 2 yards and finished with 119
yards on 32 carries. With 8,185 yards in seven seasons with the
Jets, he broke Freeman McNeil's old team record of 8,074. Martin
has 11,984 yards in 10 NFL seasons, good for 11th on the all-time
list. Next up is Thurman Thomas with 12,074.
The Jets are 2-0 for just the second time in 11 seasons.
"September ghosts, whatever, I don't buy into it," Martin
said. "We just haven't been playing well in the beginning of the
season. We've got the right attitude this year and we are playing
The Jets jumped to a 17-0 lead, then didn't fold when the
Chargers finally got into the game.
The Chargers (1-1) were booed often during their home opener.
Brees sustained a concussion late in the third quarter on a
helmet-to-helmet hit by safety Jon McGraw, who was called for
roughing the passer.
Brees finished that drive and was in for two more possessions,
throwing a 33-yard TD pass to Reche Caldwell to pull the Chargers
to 27-21 with 7:38 to play.
Brees was pulled for 41-year-old Doug Flutie with less than four
minutes to go and the Chargers trailing 34-21. Brees wasn't happy
about it, throwing his helmet on the sideline and having a heated
discussion with coach Marty Schottenheimer.
Brees went from being impressive in a 27-20 win at Houston to
being awful, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. By
midway through the third quarter, he'd thrown as many interceptions
as completions, finishing 8-of-19 for 146 yards.
"I was a little woozy, but I knew I was playing in a football
game," Brees. "The two interceptions were probably the things I
Brees will be examined Monday.
Asked about the Chargers' game at Denver next Sunday, Brees
said: "I don't see why I wouldn't play."
Brees was 3-of-12 for 74 yards with two interceptions before the
concussion. Afterward, he was 5-of-7 for 72 yards and a TD.
Schottenheimer said he wasn't aware of Brees' concussion until offensive coordinator Cam Cameron told him about it after the TD pass to Caldwell, 12 plays after Brees was hurt.
"I looked at him and I made the decision he wasn't going to
go," Schottenheimer said.
Flutie scored on a 6-yard run with 30 seconds left. New York's
Wayne Chrebet recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Three plays before the concussion, Brees hit LaDainian Tomlinson
for a 59-yard gain, which set up Tomlinson's 4-yard TD run late in
the third to cut a 20-point deficit to 27-14.
McGraw didn't question the roughing-the-passer call.
"No malicious intent on my part. I just wanted to hit the
quarterback and make a play for the team. It was just
unfortunate," he said.
Pennington gave the Jets a cushion with a 1-yard TD throw to
tight end Chris Baker with 3:56 left. Pennington was 22-of-29 for
Tomlinson had 87 yards on 19 carries and 76 yards on three
The Chargers have lost 20 of their last 27 games under
Schottenheimer, including going an NFL-worst 4-12 last year.
It was the Jets who started the Chargers on their free-fall,
embarrassing them 44-13 here on Nov. 3, 2002.
New York picked right up from that win, which helped propel them
to the AFC East title that year.
Martin broke McNeil's record with an 11-yard gain on his first
run of the day, giving the Jets the first of four straight first
downs. He capped the drive with a 1-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
The Jets got the ball right back when Coleman intercepted Brees
at the San Diego 44, setting up Martin's 2-yard run for a 14-0 lead
with 3:42 left in the first quarter.
"It was important for our offense to set the tempo,"
Pennington said. "On the road, the only way to take the crowd out
of the game is to come out and put some points on the board and get
some drives going, and we were able to do that."
San Diego got some momentum when Tim Dwight returned the ensuing
kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown.
The Jets weren't nearly as efficient after that, but neither
were the Chargers, who a week earlier had no turnovers while their
new 3-4 defense forced four.
Jets Pro Bowl C Kevin Mawae broke his right hand in the
third quarter. ... Tomlinson jammed his right big toe.
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Landon Turner visited the Saints' practice facility in high school and dreamed about returning as a professional, and now the UFA guard will be.
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