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Jets Q&A: What caused the blocked punt?

The Carolina Panthers' Jason Williams (54) blocks a

The Carolina Panthers' Jason Williams (54) blocks a punt by Ryan Quigley (1) during the second half. (Dec. 15, 2013) Credit: AP

What happened on the blocked punt?

Panthers linebacker Jason Williams found a way to exploit the Jets' special-teams unit. And it worked.

"We noticed that they were shifting their wing out to the side of the punt and bringing the personal punt protector down on the line, which leaves no one in the backfield,'' said Williams, who blocked Ryan Quigley's punt to give the Panthers the ball at the Jets' 14 and swing the momentum in Carolina's favor. "It basically gave me a one-on-one with the long snapper. So it was something we noticed and we figured if they did it again, we would capitalize.''

Williams easily blew by long snapper Tanner Purdum and had a clean path up the middle. Rex Ryan said the Jets had tried to "take advantage of our speed'' by using three gunners on the punt. "When you do that,'' he said, "obviously you cover up the center, and the guy just had a good rush on us. That's exactly what happened.''

When was the last time Sheldon Richardson scored a TD?

Not since high school at Gateway Tech in Missouri. Richardson said he did it all back then, adding: "No joke, either.''

At the start of the season, the rookie defensive tackle told the coaching staff, " 'I want to do anything to help this team win.' And I did that.''

The 6-3, 294-pound Richardson took back-to-back handoffs near the goal line -- his first two NFL rushes -- and his 1-yard TD pulled the Jets to within 16-13 with 3:04 left in the third quarter.

He said the team has practiced the run play a "few times,'' so it wasn't at all surprising that he got two chances to punch it in.

"Marty [Mornhinweg, the offensive coordinator] wanted it in there, so I told him give it back to me,'' said Richardson, who has the same number of touchdowns (one) as Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill.

But he wasn't in the mood to celebrate getting into the end zone. "It's a touchdown,'' Richardson said. "It is what it is. Doesn't mean anything. We lost.''

How did Antonio Cromartie fare?

The cornerback said he was cleared to play "about two, three hours before'' the game.

"I had to go out and warm up and see how I feel and make sure I didn't get any lightheadedness, dizziness or headaches,'' said Cromartie, who suffered a concussion in last week's win over the Raiders. "I felt good. No headaches, no anything.

"This is the best I've felt,'' said Cromartie, who's dealt with a hip injury all season. "I'm glad the way I'm feeling right now. I didn't get any patterns thrown to my side, so you can't really tell. But this is the best I've felt physically the whole entire season, running around and being able to cut.''

Any other Jets injuries?

Muhammad Wilkerson was shaken up on a first-quarter play and was slow to get up. The defensive end -- who has been nursing a wrist injury recently -- missed a few plays but returned. Right tackle Austin Howard suffered a left knee injury during the game but also returned. Although Howard wouldn't elaborate on the specific injury, he said in the locker room that he is fine.

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