It was only his second career NFL start, but young Pennington looked like an old veteran today, completing 24 of his 29 passes for 324-yards and a TD. It was his first career 300-yard passing game, and first NFL victory as a starter. His performance had his receivers singing praises.
"Chad is something special," said Laveranues Coles. "I gave him the nickname "Franchise", and I think in the long run he'll be a great addition for us in the offense for years to come."
"He's been waiting for his opportunity and he is obviously a talented quarterback," said Wayne Chrebet. "He had a great career in college and he's carrying it over to the pros. He is our leader and we will follow him."
The Jets' receivers were happy campers today as Pennington had them all involved in the offense. Santana Moss had five catches for 111-yards, his first career 100-yard receiving game. Laveranues Coles continues to be Pennington's favorite target, and caught six passes for 86-yards and his first TD of the season. Coles extolled Pennington's leadership skills.
"Chad is the leader in the huddle," said Coles. "He comes in and directs things. He tells us what he wants done. He gets the ball to everyone, [and] he just makes plays out there on the field for us."
Wayne Chrebet had a limited role as the slot receiver, but still came up big with four catches for 53-yards. The Jets' running game was inconsistent, but Pennington used his running backs in the passing game, throwing nine times to his backs, for 74-yards. Curtis Martin caught three of those nine balls, and also gained 70-yards on the ground. The Jets have gone to Martin early in the last two games, and it has been very effective in setting up the play-action pass.
"I see it as a one-two punch thing," said Martin. "Now when teams look at us, they know they can't put eight guys in the box. We're making plays in the passing game.
The move to Chad Pennington appears to have paid off for the Jets, who took care of business today, in a must-win game. They'll try to make it two in a row next Sunday when Cleveland comes to town.