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Jets Defeat Jaguars, 17-10: Mark Sanchez Holds QB Spot As New York Remains In Playoff

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MARK SANCHEZ
JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 09: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets scrambles for yardage during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 9, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida. | Getty Images

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The New York Jets stayed on the ground and stayed in the playoff hunt.

Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell ran for short touchdowns and the Jets kept their postseason hopes alive with a 17-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

The Jets (6-7) were shut out at halftime for the second consecutive week, but they didn't need to change quarterbacks to spark the offense this time around.

Instead, they just pounded the Jaguars (2-11) up the middle.

Mark Sanchez, benched last week in a 7-6 win against Arizona, was hardly a factor. Neither was backup Tim Tebow, who spent his homecoming on the sideline.

Greene scored on a 1-yard plunge in the third quarter, and Powell added a 4-yarder early in the fourth. Powell's score made it 17-3 in a game that looked every bit like one featuring two of the NFL's worst offenses.

Greene finished with 77 yards rushing. Powell added 78 yards on the ground.

Although the Jaguars turned Sanchez's first-half fumble into a field goal, he ended up having a decent day. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards, including a 37-yard completion that helped the Jets milk the clock in the closing minutes.

Tebow was healthy enough to serve as New York's backup quarterback in his hometown, but he never got off the bench.

Jets coach Rex Ryan had planned to have all three quarterbacks active, including third-stringer Greg McElroy, but Joe McKnight's migraine headache before the game prompted Ryan to suit up an extra running back.

The Jaguars were inept most of the day, no surprise given how they have played at home in 2012.

Montell Owens seemed to catch the Jets by surprise on a second-and-17 play, running 32 yards for a touchdown that made it 17-10 with 7:06 remaining. He finished with 91 yards on 14 carries.

But Jacksonville mustered little else, clearly hampered without leading receiver Cecil Shorts III and left guard Mike Brewster. Shorts (concussion) and Brewster (hand) missed the game, and their backups were less than impressive.

Kevin Elliott dropped two passes and was flagged for illegal touching on a key play with about a minute left. Eben Britton was manhandled inside, giving up several sacks.

Chad Henne completed 21 of 43 passes for 185 yards, with two interceptions.

The Jaguars managed just 6 yards in the third quarter, futile enough that veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis called an offensive meeting on the sideline to get things turned around.

It did little to change the outcome.

Henne hooked up with Jordan Shipley for 28 yards on fourth down with 48 seconds remaining, moving the Jaguars into Jets territory. But Ellis Lankster ended with the game with an interception – one that came two plays after Elliott stripped a near-pick out of his hands.

The Jets have won two in a row and three of four. But they might be without rookie receiver Stephen Hill, who injured his right knee and had to be helped off the field.

___

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