In Chad Pennington’s career, he has been through a lot of things – adversity, injuries and rumors come to mind – as a former member of the New York Jets. Now the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, he is enjoying a renaissance season. In Sunday’s game between the Jets and Dolphins, Pennington – while not statistically having his best outing – led his team on key drives during the mid-third and mid-fourth quarters, sending Miami into the postseason with a 24-17 win over New York at Giants Stadium in what could possibly be Jets QB Brett Favre’s last game as a player.
The first quarter was one of attrition as neither team scored; the Jets drew first blood as Laveranues coles and Favre connected on a 13-yard touchdown pass, giving New York a 6-0 lead (the extra-point attempt was mishandled) with 6:47 left in the first period. Miami would score twice in a row on a 27-yard TD pass from Pennington to Ted Ginn, Jr. and an interception by defensive end Philip Merling, which was returned for a TD – giving the Dolphins a 14-6 lead with 2:03 left in the first half. The Jets would add a Jay Feely 28-yard field goal, making the score goint into halftime 14-9.
New York would regain the lead on a 10-yard TD run by Leon Washington and a 2-point conversion early in the third quarter; but Miami would respond with a six-play scoring drive, capped by a Pennington-to-Anthony Fasano 20-yard TD pass, giving the Dolphins a 21-17 lead with 7:16 remaining in the third period. The Dolphins would add some insurance as Dan Carpenter nailed a 48-yard field goal at the 9:20 mark of the fourth quarter, icing the game for Miami.
Pennington went 22-of-30 for 200 yards and 2 TDs while Brett Favre went 20-of-40 for 233 yards with a TD and 3 INTs. Ronnie Brown led the Dolphins rushers with 57 yards on 11 carries while Ricky Williams carried the ball 10 times for 50 yards; Leon Washington led New York with 10 carries for 60 yards and a TD. Ginn, Jr. led all Dolphins receivers with 2 receptions for 71 yards and a score while Coles led the Jets receivers with 4 receptions for 88 yards and a TD. Miami (11-5) will play again next week as they will host the Baltimore Ravens while New York will end their regular season 9-7.