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Carter's TD salvages ugly day for Jets

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Curtis Martin's injured knee wouldn't let him
play. His heart wouldn't let him quit.

Knowing he was too hurt to be effective, Martin still wanted to
be in the huddle as the Jets attempted to rally in the fourth
quarter. So he went to New York coach Herman Edwards and asked a
favor.

"I said, 'Just let me go in there, let me look the offensive
linemen in the eye and see if we can't get this thing going,"
Martin said.

One week after mismanaging the game clock, the Jets beat it as
Quincy Carter threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Justin McCareins
with 5:32 remaining to give New York an ugly 10-7 win over the
Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Last week, the Jets (7-3) bungled to an overtime loss against
Baltimore because they failed to manage time wisely and because of
some questionable play calling. New York cleaned up those issues,
but there wasn't much else it did well offensively until Carter
rallied the Jets from a 7-3 deficit with a 75-yard TD drive.

Sacked six times and under pressure all afternoon, Carter
completed a crucial third-and-11 pass to McCareins, who stretched
out to pick up the first down at Cleveland's 24. After a 13-yard
pass to Santana Moss, Carter again hit McCareins, who stepped out
of cornerback Michael Lehan's tackle and scored.

"We made the right plays at the right time," Moss said. "It
doesn't matter how pretty it was as long as we did what we came
here to do."

New York's LaMont Jordan, filling in for a banged-up Martin,
rushed for 61 yards in the fourth quarter. Jordan, whose ill-timed
and poorly executed halfback option pass a week ago underscored the
Jets' woes, ground out 34 yards as the Jets ran out the final 3:55
to hand the Browns (3-7) their fourth straight loss.

Jets safety Erik Coleman had a key sack to end Cleveland's final
drive.

The Browns also were hurt by usually reliable kicker Phil
Dawson, who was wide right on two field goals -- his first misses
after making 27 straight.

"It's hard to swallow," Dawson said. "I proved today that I'm
not perfect -- unfortunately. I didn't do my job."

Martin rushed for 88 yards on 17 carries. In the first quarter,
he went over 1,000 this season, joining Hall of Famer Barry Sanders
as the only players in NFL history to begin their careers with 10
straight 1,000-yard seasons.

Martin bruised his right knee in the second quarter and carried
just twice in the fourth as the Jets rode the powerful Jordan, who
spent the past week hoping for a chance at redemption after his
option pass was intercepted.

As the Jets' offense continued to misfire in the second half,
Martin wanted back in and Edwards finally let him. He picked up 13
yards on the first two snaps of New York's game-winning drive
before the Jets put the ball in Jordan's hands.

Martin's return to the field may have been brief, but it
inspired the Jets.

"I never count Curtis out," Jordan said. "I've been around
him for four years and I've seen him play through some incredible
injuries. You can't count Curtis Martin out unless he says he's
out. Doctors can't even tell him no."

Meanwhile, the Browns were booed off the field by their fans
after dropping their fifth in six games.

Quarterback Jeff Garcia didn't play after halftime after
slightly separating his throwing shoulder. Kelly Holcomb couldn't
rally Cleveland, completing just 4 of 10 passes for 32 yards.

Garcia said he only would have played in an emergency.

"I was not 100 percent," said Garcia, who will have an MRI on
Monday. "I couldn't squeeze the football. I just wanted to be out
there to support my teammates."

Dawson's miss with 11:27 left gave the ball to the Jets at their
25. Jordan powered up the middle on four straight runs as New York
moved into Cleveland territory. Carter, who finished 11-of-20 for
116 yards, then had three straight completions to cap a scoring
drive that kept New York in the thick of the AFC playoff race.

"On that last drive, we kept saying, 'It's now or never,"
Carter said. "The defense kept us in the game and it was up to us
to win it."

Game notes
Browns RT Ryan Tucker sprained his right knee in the third
quarter and didn't return. He will have an MRI on Monday. ...
Martin (12,741 yards) moved past Tony Dorsett (12,739) into sixth
place on the career rushing list. ... The Jets were 2-for-14 on
third down, the Browns 2-of-13. ... Browns KR Richard Alston
returned a kickoff 52 yards, the third consecutive week he's had
one longer than 50. ... Cleveland started five drives at its own 40
or better and didn't get a point, punting four times and missing a
field goal.