Pennington completed an impressive 21 of 26 passes for 229 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. His four touchdowns were a career high, and his quarterback rating was an astounding 126.9. Pennington has the Jets on a role and has his team singing his praises.
“I think today we got into a little rhythm,” said Curtis Martin, who rushed for 112 yards. “The maturity of Chad Pennington – being able to sit and watch for a while. I think he did a great job of staying focused and waiting for his time and now he’s the man.”
“Pennington made some nice throws in the second quarter,” noted Herman Edwards. “Our receivers played well, and the running game clicked a little more today.”
The Jets got off to a shaky start when RB James Stewart gained 39 yards on Detroit’s first play from scrimmage. Detroit drove seemingly effortlessly on the Jets defense, before Marvin Jones bailed them out with an interception in the end zone. Pennington took over from there and drove the Jets 80 yards on 12 plays, culminating with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss in the corner of the end zone.
“It was crucial for our offense to take control of this game,” said Pennington. “That first drive gave our offense confidence in the adverse situation and we took control.”
The offense would have been starting from behind, had it not been for the big interception from Jones, who read quarterback Joey Harrington perfectly.
“That was a play we had been working on,” Jones said. “We knew that was something that they liked in the red-zone. I read the quarterback and knew that was the play when it started. Then I read it and went and got it.”
Jones led the team with seven tackles, and had the only interception. Sam Garnes picked off a ball in the third quarter, but it was negated by a James Darling penalty. The defense had its ups and downs early, but tightened up in the second half.
“Defensively, after the first half, we got some momentum going and were able to make some plays on them,” said Edwards. “Our defense got cranked up at the end and played better.”
The Jets have won three straight, and four of their last five games. Pennington has helped the Jets make an impressive turnaround from a 1-4 start to the season. The Jets will host Buffalo next weekend, in a key division game.