2007-09-28 / Sports

Jubilant Jets Get Much Needed Victory Over Miami Dolphins

By Elio Velez

QB Chad Pennington spikes the ball in delight after scoring a 2-yard touchdown run. Photos by Peter Borriello and Michael Delgado. QB Chad Pennington spikes the ball in delight after scoring a 2-yard touchdown run. Photos by Peter Borriello and Michael Delgado. Everything is not 100% right in the New York Jets universe but a 31-28 victory last week against the Miami Dolphins made things a lot easier for Gang Green.

It was the Jets' first victory of the season and as they improved to 1-2, the win against Miami was another case that QB Chad Pennington can change the fortunes on his team when he is on the field.

Pennington was sharp and effective in hearing the adulation of the crowd by completing 15 of 22 attempts for two touchdowns and a 2-yard running touchdown last Sunday in a 31-28 win.

The offensive line and runningbacks found cohesion with Thomas Jones running for his first 100-yard rushing effort. Leon Washington gave the special teams a much needed boost with a 99-yard kickoff return.

Though they gave up more than 400 total yards to the Miami offense, just the thought that a healthy Pennington can galvanize his troops and lead them to victory is a positive for TE Chris Baker.

Leon Washington of the New York Jets runs past Miami Dolphins Greg Camarillo to complete a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown in New York's 31-28 victory last Sunday at the Meadowlands. Leon Washington of the New York Jets runs past Miami Dolphins Greg Camarillo to complete a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown in New York's 31-28 victory last Sunday at the Meadowlands. "When you get your starter back, it obviously helps out a lot," Baker said. "He came in and did a real good job. We were able to run and pass the whole game."

After Pennington scored the twoyard touchdown, and the Jets had the 31-13 lead, he almost seemed like a man possessed with joy.

Lifting himself in the air with no hint of the pain of the ankle injury that plagued him for two weeks, the touchdown seemed like a cathartic moment for the quarterback.

"When I get in there, I hope that the guys can feed off of my energy. I try to be really energetic and enthusiastic and lead the way. It's important that we all play with passion," Pennington said.

In fact Pennington admitted that his head was spinning the first few plays when he almost forced two interceptions into double coverage. Once he cleared his head and focused on getting rid of the butterflies, the Jets were better for it. At least for one week, Pennington, who is still not quite 100%, got the fans on his side.

"I love Jet fans. They are passionate and loyal," Pennington said. "Like I said last week, I felt like I was ready to go. I worked extremely hard to put myself in that position."

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