EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – The New York Jets turned on the offense and woke up the crowd with a second-half scoring burst. Then they did all they could to let the Miami Dolphins back in it.

Laveranues Coles caught two touchdown passes and Mike Nugent kicked a pair of 33-yard field goals, and barely held on for a 20-17 on Sunday. Miami had a chance to tie, but Olindo Mare came up short on a 51-yarder.

In a game that could be added to the lengthy list of classic meetings between the AFC East rivals, the Jets (3-3) did just enough after halftime to earn an important division win.

After taking a 20-3 lead, the Jets had to sweat this one out as Joey Harrington led the Dolphins on two long scoring drives in the fourth quarter, getting within a field goal on Ronnie Brown’s 1-yard touchdown run.

Harrington, making his second straight start in place of the injured Daunte Culpepper, had one more chance and marched the Dolphins down the field again in a last-minute effort to tie it. But Mare, who was 1-for-3 this season on kicks of 50-plus yards, came up short, the ball landing in the end zone as the jubilant Jets cheered.

Harrington finished 27-of-43 for 266 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions, while Brown had 127 yards on 22 carries.

Two plays after Mare’s 21-yard field goal cut the deficit to 6-3, the Jets answered right back on Coles’ 58-yard touchdown catch, the longest of his career.

On the second play of the drive, Coles broke down the left sideline but cornerback Eddie Jackson turned inside as the Jets receiver zipped by. Pennington, seeing him wide open, lofted a pass that Coles caught near the Dolphins 35 and then took off into the end zone untouched to make it 13-3 with 3:23 left in the third quarter.

New York then took advantage of a turnover by the Dolphins (1-5). On second-and-10 from Miami’s 40, Sammy Morris ran the ball for 3 yards before Rashad Moore poked it out of Morris’ hands and Victor Hobson recovered.

Six plays later, Coles caught a 22-yard pass from Chad Pennington in the right corner of the end zone for his second TD catch of the day, giving the Jets a 20-3 lead 1:45 into the fourth quarter. Coles finished with five catches for 106 yards, while Pennington was 17-of-29 for 175 yards and the two TDs.

Miami cut it to 20-10 on Chris Chambers’ 2-yard touchdown catch from Joey Harrington, capping a 12-play, 81-yard drive with 8:49 remaining. Harrington hit Derek Hagan with a 24-yard pass to the Jets 18, and found Hagan again for a 10-yard gain to put the ball at the 5.

New York led 3-0 at halftime as the teams combined for less than 200 total net yards in the first half, with Miami gaining 112 yards and the Jets 86. The Jets came out a bit more energized to start the second half, capping a 12-play, 65-yard drive with Nugent’s second 33-yarder.

Leon Washington, who had 42 yards rushing on the drive, had a 12-yard scramble and then powered ahead for 11 yards to get to the Dolphins 24. Two plays later, Washington scampered for 8 yards to put the ball on the 15. Coach Eric Mangini, who has shown to be a gambler on fourth down, instead sent Nugent out to get the points on the board.

AP-ES-10-15-06 1939EDT


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