Sunday, September 7, 2008
Jets hold on, beat Dolphins 20-14, Opportunity Arises
In one of the more exciting 1:00 games of the day (though watching all the games from a bar in King of Prussia, there wasn't a whole lot of competition), the New York Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins 20-14.
The story of the game heading in was how the two quarterbacks would play with their new teams. Both responded with solid games in their debuts.
Brett Favre threw two touchdown passes, one to Jerricho Cotchery, and one on a 4th and 13 to Chansi Stuckey that showed Jets fans what he could bring to the table. The 56 yard pass to Cotchery showed a brand new dimension to the offense that simply wasn't there with Pennington. He ended up 15-22 for 194 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions.
But more importantly, weren't you just happy to see a Jet quarterback who could throw the deep ball? Or throw the ball down the field more? With some zip on the ball?
Chad Pennington was Chad Pennington for the Dolphins. He played exactly like he did last season. Not surrounded by a ton of talent, he managed to string together some short passes by taking what the defense gave him, but he wasn't able to put up many points. 26-43 for 251 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception isn't bad, but if you remember, he had a lot of games like that last season, but the wins and the points weren't there.
Remember the Buffalo game last year? He was 32-39 for 291 yards last year, with 1 touchdown, and 2 picks, an 84.9 quarterback rating. Look at the first Patriots game. He posted a 130.5 QB rating, despite losing 38-14.
But speaking of the Patriots, did you hear that Tom Brady is probably out for the season? As a diehard Jets fan, I'd be lying if I said I shed a tear for Brady's demise. Never root for injuries, but this one certainly makes things interesting in the division. We'll have all week to discuss the ramifications of Brady's injury, so I digress back to the game.
Outside of Favre's performance, the two biggest positives of the game from a Jets perspective are the running of Thomas Jones (22 carries, 101 yards, 1 touchdown) and the performance of the run defense against Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. The tandem combined for 16 carries, tallying just 47 yards between them.
Kris Jenkins's presence was felt immediately in the middle of the defense, and the team was able to do its thing. No single defender stood out, but Bryan Thomas posted two sacks and Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace had one each.
Laveranues Coles played, but he only made one catch for five yards.
Here's how the rookies did.
Vernon Gholston - Was seen involved in a few pressures, but didn't register in the stat book.
Dustin Keller - No catches.
Dwight Lowery - Started and played very well on defense. Defended three passes, including the last play of the game.
Erik Ainge - Inactive
Marcus Henry - Inactive
Kenwin Cummings - Inactive