Final: Jets, 34, Redskins 19
The Redskins advanced into Jets territory to start the final period and had first and 10 at the 45. Helu ran for five yards but was stopped for no gain on second down before Grossman threw incomplete on third, forcing a punt that pinned New York at its 11-yard line.
The Jets got a nine-yard run from Greene on first down, but Sanchez missed badly on consecutive throws, including a ball that was tipped on third down. New York punted, and returner Bandon Banks took it back 20 yards. The Jets also were flagged for ineligible man downfield, setting up the Redskins at the New York 31.
Washington managed just three yards on its first two plays, and on third and seven, Grossman had his pass to wide reeiver David Anderson batted in the end zone by cornerback Antonio Cromartie. That sent in Gano for a 46-yard field goal for a 16-13 lead with 7:52 to play.
The Jets’ Josh Baker returned Gano’s short kickoff 29 yards to the New York 49, and Greene ran for eight yards to get the drive started. The Jets faced third and four from the Redskins 35, and Sanchez managed to flip a pass to Greene for 10 yards despite being under heavy pressure.
Greene ran for five yards on the next play before Sanchez delivered a 30-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in the back corner of the end zone.
The Redskins then gave the ball back when Grossman was sacked by linebacker Aaron Maybin and fumbled. Linebacker Calvin Pace recovered at the 9, and two plays later Greene scored on a direct snap for a 27-16 lead with 3:42 to play.
A field goal by Graham Gano and the third rushing touchdown of the day for Jets RB Shonn Greene accounted for the final score.
The Jets got the ball to start the second half, but they kept moving backward. Their possession began with a false start on first down and a delay of game on second. After finally gaining positive yardage on third and 20, they had to punt, and the Redskins began their first series of the half at their 43. They couldn’t do anything with good field position and had to punt.
Neither team generated much offense over the next handful of possessions until the Jets got the ball at the Redskins 47 with 9:35 to play. Running back Shonn Greene ran for eight yards on first down and picked up a yard on second, setting up third and short. Conner dove for the first down, barely getting underneath linebacker London Fletcher at the line of scrimmage.
On first and 10 from the 37, Sanchez threw incomplete before connecting with tight end Dustin Keller for four yards. Sanchez threw incomplete again on third, and Folk tied the game with a 51-yard field goal with room to spare.
When Helu fumbled on Washington’s ensuing possession and the Jets recovered, Folk had a chance to give New York the lead, but he missed a 40-yard attempt wide right. Linebacker Perry Riley made a key tackle on the drive, stopping Conner for no gain on third and three after the fullback caught a short pass.
The Jets got a break when Redskins cornerback Kevin Barnes was called for a personal foul for a helmet to helmet hit on Sanchez. That moved the ball to the New York 41, but a penalty and an incomplete pass made it third and 23, and the Jets had to punt as the quarter expired.
The Redskins were on the move again to start the second quarter, a drive that began at their 34 near the end of the opening period. The second play from scrimmage in the second quarter was a 22-yard run on a pitch right to Helu, who went untouched through a gaping hole at the line of scrimmage.
The promising possession stalled after that, with Helu stopped for no gain and a screen to wide receiver Santana Moss, who was playing his first home game after returning last week at Seattle. On third and 11, quarterback Rex Grossman had to check down to rookie running back Evan Royster, who picked up three yards.
Place kicker Graham Gano came on for a 33-yard field goal with 11:32 to play, and the Redskins took a 10-7 lead. Washington got the ball right back when the Jets punted after three plays on their ensuing possession but wound up punting.
The Jets took over at their 16 and used pass plays of 12 and 18 yards in part to get to the Redskins 35 with 4:43 to play. But from there New York managed eight yards and had to settle for place kicker Nick Folk’s 45-yard field goal to tie it with 3:06 before the half.
New York returner Jeremy Kerley muffed a punt just before halftime, allowing the Redskins an unexpected scoring chance when Perry Riley recovered at the 18. Washington made one error after another, though, including calling consecutive timeouts, and Grossman made several poor throws. All that led to Gano’s 24-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play for a 13-10 lead.
The Redskins marched 82 yards on their opening drive for a 7-0 lead on rookie running back Roy Helu’s two-yard touchdown run around the left side. Helu took the pitch, broke free from Jets defensive end Ropati Pitotua in the backfield and squeezed into the end zone for Washington’s second straight game with a touchdown on its first possession.
Helu was heavily involved from the outset, going 15 yards on a toss around the right side on first down. He touched the ball six times overall. The Redskins did not have to convert a third down on the drive.
The Jets came right back, though, with a 17-play drive that covered 74 yards and used 9 minutes 6 seconds. It began at the New York 26 and included a pair of third-down conversions and another on fourth down.
Among the key plays on the possession were a 16-yard screen pass from Mark Sanchez to LaDainian Tomlinson on second and 11, fullback John Conner’s one-yard dive on fourth and one and an eight-yard reception by wide receiver Plaxico Burress on third and three at the Redskins 9.
The drive featured plenty of verbal sparring between Burress and Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Officials had to separate the two animated players when New York reached the red zone, but the talking continued through the end of the Jets’ touchdown march.