DETROIT – There may not be a shred of gauze left in the Motor City this morning, not with all the Jets’ self-inflicted wounds yesterday.
They could’ve backed up an ambulance to their locker room and loaded everybody in, wrapping them up in enough bandage to mummify each one. Instead, the Jets essentially left Ford Field in an armored car, all equipped with ski masks after escaping with a 23-20 victory over the Lions in overtime on the strength of a 30-yard Nick Folk field goal 2:18 into the extra session.
Just how fortunate were the Jets? They won despite three of their 11 penalties directly leading to Detroit touchdowns -- one on the game’s opening drive, another on the Lions’ first second-half possession and another early in the fourth quarter.
They trailed by 10 points with just under three left in regulation, storming back (with a little help from the Lions) behind QB Mark Sanchez. He rallied the Jets for two scores in the final 2:46 to force OT and engineered their five-play, 56-yard game-winning drive that was capped by Folk's 30-yarder.
"At the end of the game, we started going with the hurry up and then went into our full two-minute attack," Sanchez said. "As soon as we kicked the field goal, I’m running over to the sidelines thinking these guys can’t stop us. We’ve got to go full. Keep going. Keep going. We talked about it for a second, and everyone agreed. That was our best chance to win. We had them back on their heels. It was obvious we took over this game at the end and took this win."
But just the fact that it got to that point was a minor miracle given the Jets' miscues. They were flagged 11 times for 99 yards and fumbled five times. Lucky for them, they only lost one -- on WR Braylon Edwards' 1-yard reception during the opening drive of the second half when he was popped by S Louis Delmas.
They know they can't keep pulling this Houdini act.
"We don't want it to get down to this -- the last minute of the game," LB Bart Scott said. "We've got to go back and work hard in practice. It shouldn't be this difficult. This is a tremendous football team and we can't beat ourselves. We can't have all the penalties -- myself with the personal foul -- I just got to step back and not retaliate because it's the second person that always gets caught. We've just got to continue to grow as a football team, keep trying to establish our identity."
Some more leftover nuggets that got lost in yesterday's wild affair:
--* Sanchez connected with Edwards for the pair’s fifth touchdown of the season, hooking up on a 74-yarder just before halftime.
--* The 74-yard pass is the longest regular-season pass of Sanchez’s career. His longest was an 80-yard touchdown pass to Edwards in last season’s AFC Championship game against the Colts. Edwards, by the way, has caught all four of Sanchez’s longest career passes.
--* Sanchez recorded the first 300 yard passing game of his career, completing 22-of-39 passes for 336 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a QB rating of 82.9. On the last three scoring drives, Sanchez connected on 9-of-11 passes for 144 yards and a rating of 116.3.
--* Scott, who got that dumb personal foul on the Lions' first drive, sacked QB Matt Stafford with 7:34 left in the first quarter for a 10-yard loss, the Detroit native's first sack of the season and 18th of his career.
--* LB Bryan Thomas knocked Stafford out of the game in the fourth with a right shoulder injury, recording his second sack of the season and 27th of his career.
--* CB Darrelle Revis held Lions WR Calvin Johnson to one reception for 13 yards. Revis finished the game with three tackles and two passes defensed.
--* With a little luck (and help) in their last two road contests, the Jets have reeled off seven straight regular-season games away from the crib. The streak began with their 19-13 victory over the Bills in Toronto, and it's the longest road winning streak in club history, topping the six-game streak during the 1985 and 1986 seasons.