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Pennington, Martin, Defense Power the Jets

Monday, December 6, 2004; Page D12



EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Dec. 5 -- Chad Pennington made some great throws and some ugly ones. He took a few hits, too.

Jets quarterback Chad Pennington definitely shows that his shoulder is in fine form against Houston. (Kathy Willens -- AP)

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Although Pennington's return from a strained right rotator cuff was far from perfect, Curtis Martin was stellar yet again, and the two helped the Jets rally for a 29-7 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Pennington, back after missing three games, directed three second-half touchdown drives and Martin added his seventh 100-yard game of the season to help the Jets (9-3) stay in the thick of the AFC playoff race.

The Jets also had another solid defensive effort, shutting out the Texans (5-7) in the second half -- the sixth time this season they've blanked an opponent over the final two quarters -- and allowing 10 points or fewer for the third straight game.

Martin had 134 yards on 23 carries, going over the 1,300-yard mark on the season. He needs 26 yards to become the fifth back to reach 13,000 yards in a career.

Pennington finished 20 of 27 for 155 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

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