Jets fans received a nice gift from Gang Green during their 20-14 victory over Miami today; something that they haven’t seen since the days Vinny Testaverde donned the green and white: the deep ball.
On his own 44, QB Brett Favre hooked up with WR Jerricho Cotchery on a deep post route down the left sideline for a 56 yard touchdown. The TD broke Favre’s drought having not thrown a touchdown in 123 opening day pass attempts.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Favre said about the win today. “We made some mistakes but a lot of it falls back on the quarterback like when we jumped offsides. These veteran guys I’m playing with don’t do that.”
Yes, not pretty would be the way to describe certain aspects of todays game on both sides of the ball. But sometimes, not pretty works. The Jet drive that followed K Mike Nugent’s leg injury saw a 4th and 13 situation with the Jets in field goal range. Coach Mangenius decided to go for it and elect to keep Nugent and his ailing thigh on the sidelines. Favre dropped back and eluded one defender and let up a floater after being hit where WR Chansi Stuckey reeled in the pass at the front middle of the endzone.
Favre wasn’t the only QB on the field that wanted to open up his repertoire with his new team. QB Chad Pennington had a solid debut against his former employer, completing 26 of 43, 251 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT. Unfortunately for Miami, Pennington’s pick came on Miami’s last offensive play when DB Darrelle Revis stepped in front of a floater intended for Dolphins receiver Ted Ginn Jr. in the right corner of the endzone.
“It’s disappointing because I had some plays that I know I have to make,” Pennington said. “I have to stay away from errors to keep our drives going and get us into a rhythm, especially in the first half because it sets the tone for the rest of the game.”
TE Chris Baker had two nice catches today, most notably his 29 yard reception in the third quarter on a seam route from Favre, his longest reception in three years. Two plays later, Dolphin DE Matt Roth knocked the ball out of Favre’s hand where LB Channing Crowder recovered the fumble.
“I just wish we could’ve got some points out of that turnover,” Pennington said.
Gang Green can say the same.
With 9:03 to play in the game, DB Dwight Lowery deflected an out route from Pennington intended for Ginn Jr. at the goal line to force a turnover on downs. The Jets failed to get the drive started, and went three and out.
“That was a big play that needed to be made,” Lowery said.
First Time for Everything
WR Chansi Stuckey had his first career reception and first career touchdown in today’s win against the Dolphins.
Calling it a thigh
Gang Green Kicker Mike Nugent hurt his left thigh on a missed 32 yard field goal attempt after landing on it at an odd angle.
Porter and Cox butt heads
Dolphins LB Joey Porter and Jet defensive line coach Bryan Cox got into an argument during pregame warm-ups and were restrained by their teammates.
Kellen Clemens, the kicker?
Clemens was seen on the sidelines warming up at the kicking net just in case Mike Nugent could give it another go. Luckily for Jets fans, Clemens wasn’t needed.
Inactive for today
DB Justin Miller, QB Erik Ainge, LB Kenwin Cummings, WR Marcus Henry, OL Robert Turner, WR David Clowney, QB Brett Ratliff
Grading Gang Green
Jets fans got a little taste of what will be a popular connection (Favre to Cotchery) this coming season. Favre wasn’t perfect, but for a guy who came into Week 1 with a little more than half the playbook in his noggin, he did a pretty decent job. He was efficient and didn’t make any huge mistakes. Favre was 15 of 22, 194 Yds, 2 TD. RB Thomas Jones finally showed the burst that has been expected from him with the new revamped offensive line. A repeat performance (22 carries, 101 yards, TD) will be crucial next week against New England even if Tom Brady doesn’t suit up.
Gang Green got to Pennington today on several occasions, but it was too close for comfort coming down to the wire on the last drive that ended with a Revis interception. Calvin Pace made his case as to why Jets brass paid for him, recording his first sack as a Jet. However, giving up 251 passing yards to an offense that was ranked near the bottom of the league last year doesn’t bode well when they face teams like the Patriots and the Chargers in the coming weeks. OLB Vernon Gholston didn’t show much during his playing time today which was limited, besides pursuing Pennington after DE Shaun Ellis sacked him. LB Eric Barton looked solid and had six tackles on the day.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C
Yes, Mike Nugent hurt his left thigh on the field goal attempt, but a chip shot like that has to be made and he’s been less than stellar during the preseason and in practice. The grade would be lower if the special teams unit figured out how to handle WR Davone Bess; by not kicking to him.
Offensive Jet of the Game: RB Thomas Jones
Defensive Jet of the Game:DB Dwight Lowery
Jets Quick Hits:
-Jets now lead the regular season series against Miami, 46-38-1 (85 meetings).
-Jets have won:
Five in a row
Eight of the last nine games
Seventeen of the last 21 games since the start of the 1998 season.
-Players who made their first start for the Jets (Seven players): Brett Favre, Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Bubba Franks, Kris Jenkins, Calvin Pace and Dwight Lowery.
-Dwight Lowery’s start at cornerback marks the second straight season the Jets have had a rookie start at corner on opening day. Darrelle Revis made his first start at corner vs. NE, 9/9/07. Lowery was credited with four tackles and three pass breakups in the press box statistics, including two pass breakups in the end zone to end a Dolphins drive two yards short of the end zone.
-Brett Favre’s start was his 254th consecutive regular-season start and 276th consecutive start overall. He was 15-of-22 passing for 194 yards and two touchdowns (125.9 rating) today and is now 161-90 as a starting quarterback in the regular season.
Favre’s first completion as a Jet was a five-yarder to Laveranues Coles on the Jets opening drive of the game.
Favre’s first touchdown pass as a Jet was the 443rd of his career, a 56-yarder to Jerricho Cotchery. It was the longest reception and touchdown reception in the regular season for Cotchery since his 71-yard touchdown reception vs. NE, 9/17/06. Cotchery had a 71-yard touchdown reception at NE in the 2006 Wild Card game, 1/7/07. Cotchery finished the game with three receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Favre’s second touchdown pass as a Jet was the 444th of his career, a 22-yarder to Chansi Stuckey in the second quarter. It was Stuckey’s first career reception and first career touchdown. He finished the game with two catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. The 22-yard scoring play came on fourth down, while his other reception was a 15-yarder on third down to keep the Jets final scoring drive alive in the second half.
-Cotchery and Stuckey are the 45th and 46th players to catch touchdown passes from Favre.
-Bubba Franks 14-yard reception in the first quarter was his first as a Jet. He had 256 receptions in eight years with the Packers.
-Shaun Ellis’ first quarter sack gives him 54.5 in his career, moving him into fourth place all-time for the Jets. He had been tied with John Abraham.
-Bryan Thomas posted a career-high two sacks for the second time in his career. He also had two sacks vs. HOU, 11/26/06. His career total is now 19.5 sacks.
-Chris Baker’s 29-yard reception in the third quarter was his longest since 2005, when he had a 30-yard reception vs. JAC, 9/25/05.
-Thomas Jones’ six-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was his second rushing touchdown as a Jet and 36th rushing touchdown of his career. Both of his rushing touchdowns for the Jets have come at Miami. He had a one-yard touchdown run at MIA, 12/2/07, in the Jets 40-13 win.
-Jones registered 101 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. He eclipsed 100 yards for the 23rd time overall, 21st time in the regular season and fifth time as a Jet. His performance today was his third consecutive 100-yard performance at Dolphin Stadium (110 yards vs. MIA, 12/2/07; 112 yards vs. IND, Super Bowl XLI, 2/4/07).
-Calvin Pace registered his first sack as a Jet on first-and-goal at the 10 in the fourth quarter. The sack was the 15th of his career.
-Revis’ fourth-quarter interception in the end zone with five seconds remaining was the fourth of his career.