Surging Jets jolt the Colts
Published: Sunday, January 5, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 5, 2003 at 12:24 a.m.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - After what they went through to make the playoffs, what a waste it would have been to exit early.
That was the message Herman Edwards gave his New York Jets. They heeded it superbly, routing the befuddled Indianapolis Colts 41-0 Saturday.
After barely getting into the postseason, the Jets emphatically showed they belong with their biggest playoff victory and their first postseason shutout. Chad Pennington, the spark plug of their turnaround, threw for three touchdowns, LaMont Jordan ran for two and the defense had Peyton Manning and the Colts off-stride from the outset.
``I am so proud of my teammates to see in every one of them that they are not complacent,'' Pennington said.
``To me, it's special when you're able to step in the huddle and see the intensity and focus in the eyes of your teammates.''
New York (10-7) began the season 1-4, but won seven of its last nine to storm to the AFC East title on the final day of the season.
The surge continued against the wild-card Colts (10-7).
``This is a breath of fresh air, but it is only the first win on a long road,'' Wayne Chrebet said.
The Jets will be at either Oakland or Tennessee next weekend. It was their first postseason victory since 1998, when they made it to the AFC championship game, and the score matched the last playoff game at the Meadowlands, when the Giants beat Minnesota for the 2000 NFC title.
``I'm 82-0 in my last two playoffs here,'' said safety Sam Garnes, who was with those Giants. ``It definitely feels good to do 41-0 as a Jet.''
The only more lopsided shutout win in NFL postseason history was Chicago's 73-0 victory over Washington in 1940.
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