The New York Jets continued their preseason touchdown drought as they fell 17-12 to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night.
The Jets preseason futility is fueled by an offense that has yet to find the endzone through three games, the only team remaining in the NFL without an endzone celebration. Both quarterbacks struggled for the Jets. Mark Sanchez went 11-for-18 with 123 yards and an interception and backup quarterback Tim Tebow went 4-for-14 for 55 yards and an interception as well. Tebow also added five rushes for 45 yards.
The Jets wide receivers did their starting quarterback no favors. Four of Sanchez's seven incompletions and his interception were the result of dropped passes. Only Stephen Hill had a game of worth, catching five passes for 68 yards.
Cam Newton led the Panthers to victory with a mediocre game as well. Newton was 6-for-15 for 60 yards and a touchdown. He ran twice for 16 yards, but also fumbled the ball away. Backup quarterback Derek Anderson had a very efficient drive, leading the Panthers on a nine-play, 76-yard drive to up the score to 17-12. He finished the game 6-for-7 for 64 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
The first half of the game was a virtual bloodbath for the Jets, who saw three players go down with injuries. Tight end Dustin Keller injured himself after catching a 24-yard pass and left the game in the first quarter. Linebacker David Harris left the game in the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury. Tight end Josh Baker had a gruesome knee injury in the second quarter after a collision in the endzone.
It wasn't all bad for the Jets though. The defense was stayed solid, with an interception and forcing three fumbles, recoving two of them.
The backfield tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart did alright as well, garnering a total of 52 yards on 15 carries. Stewart injured his ankle in the second quarter and had to be carted off the field.
The Panthers defense did a good job holding the Jets to four field goals, with linebacker Luke Kuechly performing admirably, ratcheting up 10 tackles.
The Jets have now gone 12 quarters, 36 drives and 173 plays without a touchdown so far this preseason.
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