Comical finish plummets Jets to worst start under Edwards

Updated: November 3, 2003, 7:45 PM ET
ESPN

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The New York Jets are finding new ways to lose every week.

The latest: a botched 51-yard field goal attempt in the closing minutes of overtime against the New York Giants on Sunday, thanks to an unaware kicker who lost track of time on the play clock and was not ready when the ball was snapped.

Doug Brien was late getting to the ball, giving Will Allen time to block the kick. The Giants marched down the field and won the game on a field goal of their own, 31-28.

The loss dropped the Jets to 2-6, their worst record under coach Herman Edwards. Four of the six losses have been by a touchdown or less.

"The only positive thing about it is that I'm here, I'm alive," cornerback Ray Mickens said. "Other than that, I'm at a loss for words as far as what happened."

On Monday, Edwards said if he was faced with the same decision again -- go for it on fourth-and-3 or kick a long field goal -- he probably would go with Chad Pennington to make something happen.

"You can always second-guess yourself," Edwards said. "At that point of the game, we went with the field goal. Now, today is a different day. You think about what you would have done and in my own mind, I know what I am going to do if I get put in that situation again. I know where I am going to put the burden."

On third-and-8, Santana Moss made a 5-yard catch to the Giants 32. The 40-second clock started running before the ball was set.

With the clock ticking, Edwards had a decision to make. Should he have Brien attempt a 51-yard field goal or let Pennington and the offense try and convert a fourth-and-3? Edwards said punting was not an option.

Pennington led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives that forced the overtime, and the Jets were 2-for-2 on fourth-down conversions in the game. But Edwards went with special teams coach Mike Westhoff, who said he thought Brien could nail the field goal despite being 0-for-2 from 50-plus yards this season.

Edwards signaled for the field goal team with about 25 seconds left on the clock.

"That's enough time," Edwards said.

Not exactly. Brien took his time getting ready to kick. Tick, tick, tick. Westhoff nearly got a penalty for walking onto the field to scream, 'Hurry up!' Holder Dan Stryzinski and snapper James Dearth also noticed time ticking away and screamed for Brien to hurry.

Brien did not notice. Instead, he went through his mental checklists so he could prepare for the kick. Dearth had to snap the ball with 1 second on the clock. Brien was not ready to kick, so he got to the ball late. Allen came around the side and blew past Kevin Mawae to block the kick with 4:02 remaining.

"Everybody was onboard but the bus driver," Westhoff said. "It's not that he was late or not ready. It's just he was a little methodical. He gets into a zone and is really concentrating on the kick. I think he just overdid it."

In the spring, Westhoff saw that Brien was slow in getting ready to kick, so he told him to speed up the routine. Brien worked on it during the offseason, and Westhoff said it never had been a problem until this kick.

"We were methodical in getting ready to go, and all of a sudden the train's pulling out of the station and we're not on it," Westhoff said. "That's inexcusable. I don't know what else to do about it."

After the game, Brien said, "I don't look at the clock. I'm in my zone. I go out and do my routine. Unfortunately, I didn't hear the hurry-up calls until it was too late. ... Maybe I go deaf in pressure situations."

He probably is paying attention now. The Jets are near the bottom of the league, and winning the remainder of their games seems the only way to make the playoffs.

"We don't have a bad team at all," Mickens said. "We have a pretty good team. But there are some close games you have to win. We just have to keep fighting and find a way to win those games."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index