The Panthers committed two turnovers before the game is seven minutes old, the second leading to a Jets field goal and an early 3-0 lead for New York with 5:34 left in the first quarter.
On the first turnover, Matt Moore overthrew Brandon LaFell on a deep route. LaFell was single-covered for awhile, but Jets safety Jim Leonhard made an excellent play to come over and grab the slightly overthrown ball.
The Jets were quickly forced to punt -- Everette Brown had a sack and Chris Gamble nearly had a pickoff himself -- but Carolina quickly turned it over again before the offense even got on the field.
This time, it was Armanti Edwards' fault.
The Jets punt was short -- but not that short. Edwards, playing deep, allowed the ball to bounce in front of him (although it looked like he certainly could have caught it). Then he couldn't get his teammates away from it -- they were blocking for what they thought would be a punt return -- and the ball hit reserve safety Jordan Pugh in the leg.
The Jets quickly recovered at Carolina's 35. Edwards got some advice from Steve Smith after that one on the sideline (Smith is out for this game, but used to be one of the best punt returners in the NFL).
Then Everette Brown had his second sack of the first quarter as Sanchez held the ball a long time. That short-circuited the Jets drive, and Nick Folk hit a 42-yard field goal for New York.
4 days ago