EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rex Ryan got the better of his twin again, thanks to big plays by his pride and joy, the New York Jets‘ defense.
The offense and special teams came up with some huge plays, too.Nick Folk remained perfect this season by kicking four field goals, Ryan’s defense held Drew Brees and the high-scoring Saints to six points in the second half, and New York had seven plays of at least 19 yards in a 26-20 upset of New Orleans on Sunday.Ryan is now 7-3 against his brother, Rob, and the Jets (5-4) maintained their string of alternating wins and losses. They tied the 2005 New England Patriots for the longest such string to begin a season, according to STATS.Folk is 23 for 23 on field goals and 14 of 14 on extra points.Interceptions by Demario Davis and Antonio Cromartie highlighted New York’s solid defensive performance, and former Saints running back Chris Ivory rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown.New Orleans (6-2) got two touchdown catches from Jimmy Graham, giving him 10 this season, but did little in the second half while the Jets maintained their lead.The brothers hugged at midfield after the game.The Jets’ offense was opportunistic after getting two takeaways by the D. The second was not Brees’ fault: Nick Toon, son of former Jets star receiver Al Toon, had the ball pop off his hands late in the first half and high in the air, where Cromartie snagged it. That pick soothed the crowd that was getting on Cromartie for two major gaffes earlier in the second period.Cromartie fell down on Robert Meachem‘s 60-yard catch and run. Graham capped that 80-yard drive with his 10th touchdown this season when he outmuscled Cromartie in the end zone for a 10-yard score.Brees, who lost one of his favorite targets when Darren Sproles left early with a concussion, shook off a first-quarter interception by Davis with a 51-yard throw to Graham. The powerful tight end beat Jaiquawn Jarrett down the right sideline and dragged the safety the final 5 yards to the goal line.Often, though, the Saints were out of sync, including using all three first-half timeouts on offense in the opening quarter. That cost them when they couldn’t challenge Cromartie’s interception, which led to Geno Smith‘s 3-yard touchdown run.Davis’ interception came on a ball tipped by teammate Dawan Landry, and led to Folk’s 39-yard field goal. Ivory gave New York’s offense its biggest boost with first-half runs of 27 and 52 yards. The second burst came from the Jets 2 and sparked a 93-yard drive to Folk’s second field goal, from 21 yards to make it 7-6.Ivory added a 3-yard TD run in the second quarter, and Folk hit his 22nd straight field goal without a miss, a 47-yarder that barely sneaked over the crossbar, to start the second half.Garrett Hartley, who missed earlier from 43, made a career-long 55-yarder, drawing the Saints within 23-17. Folk nailed another one, from 45 yards, in the fourth period, and Hartley countered with a 43-yarder.Brees was 30 of 51 for 382 yards with two TDs and two picks. Graham finished with 116 yards on nine receptions.—AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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