JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The New York Jets finally have a winning streak.
Riding an effective running game and stout defense, the Jets defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-10 on Sunday at EverBank Field, winning their second game in a row for the first time this season.
New York (6-7) overcame a bleak first half that included two turnovers and only 94 total yards. But Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell took turns battering the Jaguars defense in the second half, each scoring a touchdown and alleviating some pressure on quarterback Mark Sanchez, who won his first game as a starter since Nov. 18.
The deciding score came early in the fourth quarter on Powell's four-yard run that gave the Jets a 17-3 lead. Powell carried on all seven plays of the 46-yard drive.
Greene, who scored from one yard out on the Jets' first possession of the second half, gained 77 yards on 20 carries and Powell had 80 yards on 18 attempts. Sanchez, who threw for only 51 yards in the first half, finished 12-of-19 for 111 yards.
Greene's TD ended a streak of 16 consecutive possessions without a score for the Jets. Nick Folk added a 44-yard field goal in the third period.
The Jaguars cut the lead to 17-10 on Montell Owens' 32-yard TD run with 7:06 remaining but failed to threaten on two subsequent attempts to tie the game. Quarterback Chad Henne (21-of-43 for 185 yards) took the Jaguars to the Jets' 27 in the closing seconds but was intercepted by Ellis Lankster with 15 seconds left.
The Jets defense held the Jaguars to 2-of-15 on third-down conversions.
Jacksonville (2-11) has started a new losing streak, both to AFC East teams. The Jaguars beat Tennessee two weeks ago but have since lost to the Bills and the Jets.
A subplot throughout the afternoon was whether Jets' backup quarterback Tim Tebow, who grew up and played high school football in the Jacksonville area and won the Heisman Trophy at the University of Florida, would get into the game. He was on the active list and was throwing on the field 2 1/2 hours before the game.
However, Tebow never left the sideline as Jets' coach Rex Ryan weathered the scoreless first half and stuck with Sanchez.
It was the second time Tebow had appeared in his hometown as a member of the visiting team. He got in for two plays for Denver during the opening game of his rookie season in 2010, carrying the ball once for a short gain.
A dismal first half for both teams ended in a 3-0 Jaguars lead, with Josh Scobee kicking a 31-yard field goal with 6:44 remaining in the second quarter. One of two first-half turnovers for the Jets, a fumble by Sanchez after being sacked by Jason Babin, led to the field goal.
The Jaguars failed to take advantage of another chance on the Jets' next possession. After the Jets picked up a first down at midfield, wide receiver Jeremy Kerley fumbled at the end of a seven-yard reception from Sanchez, with cornerback Derek Cox forcing the fumble and safety Dwight Lowery scooping it up and dashing 62 yards down the sideline for an apparent touchdown - which was the ruling on the field.
However, the play was reviewed and Lowery was ruled down because Kerley bumped against him with his right shoulder while both were on the ground. The Jaguars still retained possession but had to punt five plays later.
The Jaguars also wasted a long drive on their first possession of the game, going from their own 33 to the Jets' 20 in 12 plays. The drive included a 10-yard completion to tackle Guy Whimper, who reported as an eligible receiver, and five carries for 20 yards by Owens, a special-teams player pressed into service at running back because of the Jags' numerous injuries.
But on a third-and-one play at the Jets' 11, Henne was intercepted by linebacker Bart Scott on a pass tipped by another linebacker, Garrett McIntyre.
Notes: Fans at the game wore the entire Tebow jersey ensemble. There were Jets, Denver Broncos and University of Florida jerseys with Tebow's No. 15 spotted throughout the parking lots and in the stands. ... Jets running back Joe McKnight was limited because of a migraine headache he developed before the game. ... In addition to Greg McElroy, the other Jets' inactives were wide receivers Jordan White and Clyde Gates, guard Caleb Schlauderaff, tight end Dustin Keller, linebacker Ricky Sapp and defensive lineman Damon Harrison. ... The Jaguars inactives once again included hobbling running backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings, defensive ends George Selvie and John Chick, big-play wide receiver Cecil Shorts, cornerback Aaron Ross and guard Mike Brewster. ... Depth at tight end seemed to become even more of a concern for the Jets when Keller's replacement in the lineup, Jeff Cumberland, left the game with an injury in the second quarter. He was replaced by second-year Stanford product Konrad Reuland, but Cumberland was able to return and made a key reception for 37 yards to help the Jets burn the clock. ... Folk broke a slump with his third-quarter field goal. He had either missed or was blocked on four of his last six attempts. With the exception of the blocked kick, the misses were on attempts of 44 yards on longer.