As for the Washington Redskins? Well, suffice it to say that
coach Joe Gibbs was agitated and terse, sounding as if he'd just
lost by four touchdowns to Dallas in Week 6 of the regular season.
Blaylock made a promising bid to win a starting job Saturday
night, rushing for 46 yards on 10 carries in the Jets' 27-14
victory over the Redskins. He punished what is supposed one of the
league's best run defenses with four consecutive carries for 27
yards to start New York's opening drive.
"I feel real good. I felt good about getting the holes, hitting
the holes, and seeing the way everybody performed," Blaylock said.
"It felt good tonight."
Rookie Brad Smith ran 61 yards for a touchdown on a double
reverse, and fellow fourth-round draft pick Leon Washington
returned a kickoff 87 yards for a score. Reggie Newhouse added a
fourth-quarter touchdown catch as the Jets showed some all-around
improvement after last week's 16-3 loss to Tampa Bay.
The Jets entered the game trying to sort out two marquee
positions. Three quarterbacks got a chance to make a case for the
No. 1 job, but none made the kind of statement that would put them
ahead of favorite Chad Pennington, who missed the game due to a
Patrick Ramsey, acquired from the Redskins in the offseason, got
the start in his return to his old home stadium. His performance
wasn't bad but it was hardly inspiring -- he went 6-for-9 for 33
yards, was sacked twice and didn't have a completion for longer
than 9 yards. Ramsey was on the field for one score, but it was the
one-play drive that consisted of Smith's long TD run.
"I do feel like we took a step," Ramsey said. "But there are
plenty of things that we can clean up."
Brooks Bollinger entered midway through the second quarter and
seemed at times to do as much running as throwing. He completed 10
of 16 passes for 69 yards and ran five times for 35 yards. He led a
23-play, 76-yard, drive that took nearly 12 minutes and resulted in
a field goal in the third quarter.
Second-round pick Kellen Clemens played the fourth quarter and
threw the first touchdown pass of the game, a 5-yard toss snagged
nicely by NFL Europe product Newhouse, son of former Dallas
fullback Robert Newhouse.
With Curtis Martin's career in doubt because of a knee injury --
and after last week's attempted trade for Lee Suggs fell through --
the Jets are left with Blaylock, Washington and Cedric Houston in
the mix at running back.
Washington, playing the part of the second quarter and all of
the third, ran for 17 yards on six carries. Houston ran for 53
yards on 14 carries in the fourth, when the stands were half-empty
and the starters long gone.
The Redskins wanted to see something from their starting offense
after last week's 19-3 loss to Cincinnati, but new assistant coach
Al Saunders' attack generated only three first downs in three
drives with starting quarterback Mark Brunell. The first-team
defense was embarrassed by Smith's reverse and allowed 145 yards
rushing in the first half.
"I'm concerned all the way across the board," Gibbs said in a
postgame news conference that lasted less than three minutes. "I
think it's not playing, and me not coaching. When we show up and do
stuff like that at home, I take it real serious. I think our
players do, too. We're going to do something about it. It's hard
for me to find something where I thought we played well."
Jason Campbell, competing with Todd Collins for the No. 2 job,
threw an interception in his first drive but made a nice 20-yard
completion under pressure on his next drive to set up Washington's
first score, a 1-yard run by Rock Cartwright. Collins, playing the
fourth quarter, recovered from a miserable outing last week and
went 12-for-18 for 114 yards with one touchdown and an
Redskins defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin left the game in the
first quarter with a sprained right knee. Griffin was able to jog
off the field, and Gibbs said it was "just a bump -- nothing
serious." Backup tight end Robert Johnson injured his left ankle
in the third quarter; X-rays were negative.
In addition to quarterback and running back, the Jets might want
to think about starting some competition at punter. Ben Graham, the
only punter on the preseason roster, produced a 7-yard shank on his
first attempt, then later launched an 8-yarder at the end of a
bizarre play. Graham at first looked as if he were going to run the
ball on a fake, then, just before reaching the line of scrimmage,
he booted the ball diagonally well into the stands.