Martin now eighth on NFL career-rushing list

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Chad Pennington could feel the

pressure of trying to make franchise history weighing down his


Eric Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Even though they keep winning, should the Jets be concerned with their offense?

That should be a concern for the Jets because they aren't executing like they believe they should. I don't think there's a high degree of panic because they are undefeated, and RB Curtis Martin is running the ball well. Also, QB Chad Pennington isn't making mistakes and is managing the offense well. They do need more production from the receiving corps especially WR Santana Moss, but I expect him to come around and start making big plays soon. Right now he's recovering from his injury and the Jets are running the ball effectively. They aren't going to fix what's not broken, but the staff will eventually start to get him the ball more.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

Trailing 14-3 at halftime, Pennington spoke up in the locker

room. It worked. Pennington led a second-half comeback and rookie

Jonathan Vilma sealed it, helping the New York Jets beat San

Francisco 22-14 Sunday.

Though they floundered for the first half, the Jets are 5-0 for

the first time in their 45-year history thanks to a strong effort

after the break.

"At halftime, it wasn't about the offense's play," Pennington

said. "It was about looking at each other in the eye and having a

gut check. Are we playing up to our capabilities? It's about

playing with passion. That's what we did in the second half."

His speech was a little more animated than that.

"That's the maddest I've ever seen Chad," said running back

Curtis Martin, who had 111 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns,

while passing Marcus Allen for eighth place on the NFL career

rushing list.

With Pennington sparking the offense, defensive coordinator

Donnie Henderson lit a fire under his unit. After San Francisco

(1-5) scored its second touchdown to go up 14-0 midway through the

second quarter, he left his usual spot up in the coaches box and

went down to the sideline.

That was enough to motivate the players, who got an earful from

their coach.

"He told us to get our butt in line and get on the job,"

tackle Jason Ferguson said.

They did that, shutting out the 49ers and limiting Tim Rattay to

93 yards passing in the second half. Rattay finished 18-of-28 for

286 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Meanwhile, Pennington and Martin keyed the Jets. Now they can

savor making history before turning to a division showdown at New

England next weekend.

"We had a chance to etch our names in stone," Martin said.

"Today we made history."

Pennington finished 20-of-30 for 222 yards, but went 11-of-14

for 117 yards in the second half. Martin also had a big second half

and now has 12,282 yards rushing.

The Jets began their comeback on their first drive of the third

quarter. LaMont Jordan capped a 91-yard drive with a 17-yard

scoring run. He failed on the 2-point conversion and the Jets

trailed 14-9.

After forcing San Francisco to punt, Pennington went to work

again, leading the Jets 70 yards. Martin scored from the 1 to give

the Jets the lead. Pennington threw incomplete on the 2-point


"When we went down and scored, we got our adrenaline back,"

coach Herman Edwards said. "From there, we started playing like we

did before."

But San Francisco had two good chances to take the lead,

trailing 15-14.

After Toby Gowin's punt went 31 yards, the 49ers got the ball at

their 38 with 7:38 to go. They drove to the Jets 27 before Arnaz

Battle fumbled the toss from Rattay on an end-around and lost 8

yards, knocking them out of field goal range.

Then, with the ball on his 35 with 1:44 remaining, Vilma picked

off Rattay's poorly thrown pass, ending any hope of a rally. Martin

added a 9-yard touchdown for the final margin.

"It came so quickly I was like, 'Thank you!" Vilma said.

San Francisco coach Dennis Erickson was discouraged with the way

San Francisco let the game slip away.

"We've got find a way to win," Erickson said. "We've got to

make plays at the end. We're finding a way to not make plays."

They certainly made them in the first half. On the first scoring

drive, Rattay threw a beautiful pass down the middle to Brandon

Lloyd, who easily ran in for a 33-yard touchdown.

The Niners scored again on their next drive when Rattay found

Arnaz Battle for a 65-yard reception to the Jets 2. Kevan Barlow

scored on the next play, capping the 88-yard drive for a 14-0 lead.

Rattay had 193 yards passing in the first half.

"We played well in the first half," Rattay said. "It didn't

carry over in the second half. We didn't put points on the board

when we needed to."

The Jets did a good job of containing tight end Eric Johnson,

the NFL's leading receiver. Playing despite cracked ribs, Johnson

had four catches for 24 yards.

Game notes
The injury news got worse for San Francisco, though

Erickson said none of them are serious heading into a bye: G Justin

Smiley (knee bruise); CB Ahmed Plummer (thigh strain); RB Kevan

Barlow (shoulder); FB Terry Jackson (toe sprain); WR Brandon Lloyd

(calf bruise); T Scott Gragg (hip bruise); The Jets also played

without WR Santana Moss (hamstring), and guards Pete Kendall (toe)

and Brandon Moore (hamstring).hamstring