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St. Louis trails the Jets 40-0 at halftime, loses 47-3
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Brett Favre hung out on the New York Jets' sideline after calling it an early day, relishing a rout that was unlike any other in franchise history.
"It's proof positive of what this team is capable of being," Favre said.
The dominant Jets took advantage of every mistake by the St. Louis Rams, making their 47-3 rout Sunday look more like a scrimmage than an NFL game. They planned to celebrate for at least a few hours before they started preparing for their big matchup at New England on Thursday night.
"I've only had about 5 minutes to really think about it," Jets coach Eric Mangini said. "It's New England. It's a tough game, a conference opponent and it's always a tough environment up there."
The Jets (6-3) certainly made things tough for the Rams (2-7) at the Meadowlands. Thomas Jones had three touchdown runs, Jay Feely kicked four field goals — including a franchise record-tying 55-yarder — and the Jets converted five turnovers into 27 points. Their previous biggest win was 45-3 over Houston in 1988.
"It's awesome to be in a game like that," Favre said.
That is, as long as you're on the winning side.
"It was embarrassing," Rams interim coach Jim Haslett said. "That was bad football all the way around. I can't even describe it."
The Jets have won three straight and five of six, with the only blemish a 16-13 overtime loss at Oakland three weeks ago. New York is tied with New England at the top of the AFC East, making Thursday's matchup between the rivals even more intriguing.
"They've been the nemesis for the whole league, not just this franchise," Jets fullback Tony Richardson said.
Jones had 26 carries for 149 yards, and Favre was 14 of 19 for 167 yards and a touchdown to Dustin Keller before being replaced by Kellen Clemens in the fourth quarter. It was the Jets' first win over the Rams since 1983.
"It definitely feels good to be at this point right now," Favre said. "A game like this does a lot for you, but I don't think this team will be overconfident."
New York had two interceptions and three fumble recoveries, including Calvin Pace's 50-yard touchdown return. Things were so bad for the Rams that Trent Green, who replaced the ineffective Marc Bulger at halftime, hit umpire Bill Schuster in the head with a pass.
The Jets scored on all seven of their first-half possessions, jumping out to a 40-0 lead, their second-most points in an opening two quarters.
"The Rams got taken to the woodshed today," St. Louis guard Richie Incognito said. "It was terrible to be out there on the field."
Jones, who entered second in the AFC in rushing, capped the Jets' opening drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. He took a couple steps to his left, shifted to his right and juked Oshiomogho Atogwe, then got a nice block downfield from Laveranues Coles as he scampered into the end zone.
"Running the ball, you physically have to dominate the other team," Jones said. "And I think that's what we were able to do."
Pace's fumble recovery gave the Jets a 17-0 lead. Hit by blitzing safety Abram Elam as Bulger tried to throw, the ball was jarred loose. Pace picked it up and took off down the sideline untouched for the score.
Haslett challenged that it was a fumble, but officials upheld it after a short video review.
"Somebody was looking down on me today because if it had taken another bounce, I might've kicked it out of bounds," Pace said. "I had enough burst to finish and get into the end zone."