Jets end season with win


Published: Monday, January 2, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 2, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
When Justin Miller started his high-flying act down the sideline, Buffalo looked on in disgust.
Miller scooted past every Bills player, speeding for a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 5:58 remaining to lift the Jets to a 30-26 victory Sunday. Ty Law sealed the win with his third interception of the game, helping New York (4-12) end the season with some dignity.
"We've been through a horrific season," Jets coach Herman Edwards said. "It's not fun for the players, it's not fun for the organization. We just kept fighting. That's something to say about those men in that locker room."
The loss, however, was most undignified for the Bills (5-11), who came into the game yielding 18.6 yards per kickoff return - tops in the NFL. It was the first time they gave up a kickoff return for a score since allowing two in an overtime loss to the Jets to open the 2002 season.
"I never imagined we'd lose the game on a touchdown, the way our unit had been playing," linebacker Mario Haggan said. "We came in with high hopes but to give it up like that really hurts. Until we kick it off in 2006, this will be in the back of our minds."
Both organizations are probably happy the season is over. The injury-ravaged Jets must deal with a new round of questions on the status of Edwards, who affirmed his commitment to the team again Sunday despite speculation linking him to Kansas City.
Now that Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil has decided to retire, that link will probably keep gaining strength. Edwards, who makes about $2 million a year, might try to use the situation to lobby for a contract extension because he needs time to clean up the team.
As for Buffalo, coach Mike Mularkey, the subject of much criticism this season, is expected to stay but general manager Tom Donahoe could be out. Mularkey said he wasn't concerned with his job security. Owner Ralph Wilson said he planned to meet with Mularkey in the next few days.
Browns 20, Ravens 16 Dennis Northcutt's 62-yard punt return helped Cleveland win its sixth game under first-year coach Romeo Crennel.
Earlier this season, Northcutt twice brought back punts for TDs that were nullified by penalties. After his third-quarter jaunt, he checked to be certain there were no penalty flags and waved his arms like an official.
It was the first win in the AFC North for the Browns (6-10), who were embarrassed 41-0 by Pittsburgh a week ago. They finished with two more victories under Crennel than they had in 2004. The Ravens (6-10) had won their two previous games, leading owner Steve Bisciotti to say coach Brian Billick would be back next season.

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