Jets' Hall Gets A Kick Out Of Win

Posted: November 03, 1997

John Hall reacted like a guy who had just hit the lottery jackpot.

He didn't boot it all that high, but his 37-yard field goal in overtime was plenty strong enough to lift the New York Jets to sole possession of the AFC East lead.

After the rain, wind, lightning and thunder - with sloppy play to match - disappeared, Hall's fourth field goal gave the Jets a 19-16 victory yesterday over the visiting Baltimore Ravens. It was the first game-winner of Hall's career and put the Jets (6-3) one game in front of Miami, Buffalo and New England.

Hall took off his helmet and pranced around the field before being mobbed by his teammates.

``I lost my mind,'' said Hall, who had Matt Bahr - coach Bill Parcells's personal kicking guru - help him with technique during the bye week. ``I'm not really a showboating type of person. It was a fun game and I was excited. You don't get many opportunities to do things like that.''

Nor do backup quarterbacks get many chances to do what Glenn Foley has the last two games. He guided the Jets to a win over New England before the bye, and he again relieved Neil O'Donnell yesterday.

Foley, who came on in the fourth quarter, drove the Jets 60 yards to the winning kick.

``I'm going to do exactly what the coach wants me to do,'' Foley said. ``I will let coach Parcels run the program. I just go in there and do my job. But, naturally, I want to be the starter.''

Parcells said that's a question for another day. He was more interested in praising his team for handling the horrible weather conditions.

``I'm really proud,'' he said. ``I've been talking to them about the elements and I have to prepare them for those type of situations. If you don't, you give the players excuses for losing.

``It's pouring down rain and the wind is whipping 15 mph, that's a factor. But give those players credit. We didn't turn the ball over, we ran back the punts and got good field position.''

As for O'Donnell, he said all the right things, but was clearly not happy about getting yanked.

``I'm not going to pout,'' said O'Donnell. ``I'm not happy with it, but if we keep winning, I'm fine.''

O'Donnell (12-for-20, 96 yards) didn't have a bad day, considering the monsoonlike conditions, but the offense seemed flat under his leadership. His last series included a batted pass, a sack and an illegal-forward-pass penalty.

Leon Johnson averaged 23 yards on punt returns. And cornerback Otis Smith, burned often this season, made two big plays to set up field goals. Smith, burned so often previously this season, had an interception and a fumble return to set up field goals.

Vinny Testaverde completed 25 of 46 for 288 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, and Matt Stover had three field goals for Baltimore (4-5).

In other games:

VIKINGS 23, PATRIOTS 18

At Minneapolis, Moe Williams opened the game with a 74-yard kickoff return and later scored his first career touchdown to help the Vikings past New England. Cris Carter also caught a late scoring pass and Eddie Murray kicked three field goals as Minnesota (7-2) won its fifth straight, the longest streak of Dennis Green's six-year tenure. The Patriots (5-4), who rallied from a 13-point deficit to close to 16-12 in the final period, have lost four of five.

PACKERS 20, LIONS 10

At Green Bay, the Packers, whose secondary struggled since losing starting cornerback Craig Newsome to a knee injury in their opener, picked off four Scott Mitchell passes in the victory over Detroit. Rookie cornerback Darren Sharper had a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown for Green Bay (7-2), the first pick of his career. Barry Sanders finished with 105 yards on 23 carries for Detroit (4-5), his career-high seventh straight 100-yard game. It was also his seventh consecutive 100-yard rushing game on the road, tying the NFL record held by Marcus Allen.

BRONCOS 30, SEAHAWKS 27

At Denver, the Broncos' John Elway outdueled Seattle's Warren Moon in a battle of two of the NFL's elder statesmen. Elway, who threw two touchdown passes to Moon's three, completed a 49-yard pass to Shannon Sharpe to set up Jason Elam's 22-yard field goal with 7:28 left.

Denver (8-1) took a 20-10 lead on the opening play of the second half before Moon led the rally for Seattle (5-4). Moon finished 28-for-46 for 256 yards, while Elway was 19-for-30 for 252 yards.

BUCCANEERS 31, COLTS 28

At Indianapolis, Karl Williams scored two touchdowns, set up another score with a 63-yard punt return and put Tampa Bay (6-3) in position for Michael Husted's winning field goal with eight seconds left. The Colts (0-9), the NFL's only winless team, took a 28-21 lead behind third-string quarterback Kelly Holcomb, but Trent Dilfer's 24-yard scoring pass to Williams tied it.

BENGALS 38, CHARGERS 31

At Cincinnati, Eric Metcalf set an NFL record with two punt-return touchdowns, but the Bengals still managed to earn their first win since the season opener. The Bengals scored three second-quarter touchdowns off turnovers, including John Copeland's 25-yard fumble return.

Metcalf returned punts 85 and 67 yards for touchdowns, giving him the NFL record of 10 career kick returns for scores. But San Diego (4-5) couldn't do much else, losing quarterback Stan Humphries to a concussion in the third quarter.

BILLS 9, DOLPHINS 6

At Buffalo, Steve Christie had field goals of 41, 40 and 39 yards for the Bills (5-4), who overcame six fumbles, only one of them lost, and a muffed punt to beat Miami (5-4). The last came with 10:42 left in the game to break a 6-6 tie. Miami's Dan Marino sprained his left ankle and left in the third quarter after going 4-for-14 for 67 yards and an interception.

JAGUARS 30, OILERS 24

At Memphis, Jacksonville (6-3) almost blew a 27-10 lead, but Tony Brackens stopped Archbishop Ryan's Frank Wycheck at the 2 on fourth down with 2:58 left to save the win. Steve McNair moved Tennessee (4-5) 84 yards to first-and-goal on the 7, but Brackens ended Tennessee's three-game winning streak.

PANTHERS 38, RAIDERS 14

At Charlotte, Fred Lane, a free-agent rookie, replaced the injured Tshimanga Biakabutuka and ran for three touchdowns as Carolina (5-4) ran for a franchise-record 216 yards. Lane had 147 yards in 28 carries. Napoleon Kaufman, who came in averaging an NFL-best 5.7 yards per rush, was held to 16 yards on 10 carries for Oakland (3-6).

REDSKINS 31, BEARS 8

At Chicago, Washington (5-4) scored on its first three possessions, going 76, 55 and 80 yards for touchdowns against the Bears (1-8). Terry Allen, who had missed the previous two games with a sprained knee, finished with 125 yards on 20 carries for the Redskins.

FALCONS 34, RAMS 31

At Atlanta, Morten Andersen's 27-yard field goal with two seconds left gave the Falcons (2-7) the win. Isaac Bruce had 233 receiving yards for St. Louis (2-7), which tied the score at 31 on Tony Banks's 1-yard scramble with 1:10 left.

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