EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Byron Leftwich took another beating. So did his friend, Chad Pennington.

The two Marshall quarterbacks gamely led their teams despite their own physical pain Sunday. But it was Leftwich who left Pennington hurting even more after throwing a 36-yard touchdown to Jimmy Smith in overtime to lift Jacksonville past the New York Jets 26-20.

Leftwich, who went 16-of-23 for 176 yards with one touchdown and one interception, was knocked down constantly, but stood standing for the final drive. Smith got past David Barrett on the winning score, his second catch of the day.

Perhaps it was too much to ask Pennington to lead the Jets to victory with a bum right shoulder. Pennington left in the third quarter after straining his shoulder, the same one in which he had a torn rotator cuff repaired in the offseason.

But it wasn’t long before he was back in, when Jay Fiedler hurt his shoulder. Though emergency quarterback Brooks Bollinger started warming up, Pennington went back into the game in the fourth quarter.

He directed the tying drive to Mike Nugent’s 25-yard field goal to knot the game at 20. The kick came after an officials review overturned a called touchdown – replays showed Wayne Chrebet bobbled the 7-yard pass from Pennington.

It was not enough. Pennington finished 9-of-19 for 76 yards and two interceptions.

Fred Taylor had a career-high 37 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars.

The Jets relied on their defense to keep them in the game, converting two turnovers into 10 points. After playing mistake-free football in the first two games, Jacksonville had three turnovers, including one when they seemed to have the game in hand.

With a 20-17 lead, Jacksonville got a drive going, but David Barrett changed everything with 3:17 remaining in regulation. After Leftwich completed a 3-yard pass to Reggie Williams, Barrett stripped the ball and Barrett scooped it up, racing 30 yards to the Jacksonville 21 to set up the tying field goal.

John Abraham caused the first turnover, sacking Leftwich and forcing a fumble early in the third quarter. Defensive tackle James Reed returned the ball 33 yards for a 14-10 Jets lead.

Jacksonville went ahead on the first play of the fourth quarter, Taylor scoring on a 3-yard run off a Jets turnover. Rookie returner Justin Miller fumbled a punt and Gerald Sensabaugh recovered at the 16. Taylor scored four plays later, putting Jacksonville ahead 20-14. The Jets got within three when Nugent kicked a 25-yard field goal.

Of even bigger concern for the Jets is their quarterback situation. Fiedler is an experienced backup, but he has been injury-prone throughout his career. He got hurt when he was hit hard following a completion.

Pennington left after he was sacked on consecutive plays during the Jets’ first series of the second half.

Jets offensive tackle Jason Fabini also left in the fourth quarter with an injured right knee. Jaguars defensive end Reggie Hayward also limped off, and offensive tackle Maurice Williams sprained his right knee in overtime. Jaguars right guard Chris Naeole also sprained his left knee.

AP-ES-09-25-05 1646EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.