QB Kellen Clemens threw three touchdown passes in the first preseason game of the 2007 NFL season, as the New York Jets defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 31-16.
The Gang Green exclusively ran the ball in the first quarter, giving their offseason acquisition, RB Thomas Jones, plenty of carries to get comfortable in the new offense. Jones gained 27 yards on 8 running attempts and scored the only Jets’ rushing touchdown. Meanwhile, starting QB Chad Pennington did not attempt a single pass and Jets’ fans had to wait almost till the end of the second quarter before they finally saw their team complete a pass. That’s when Clemens connected with WR Justin McCareins on a 42-yard completion that put the Jets inside Atlanta’s territory. The Gang Green scored four minutes later, as they took a 14-10 lead.
New York also scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter. First, QB/WR Brad Smith returned the kickoff 46 yards to the Jets 49 and RB Leon Washington gained 25 yards three plays later. Four plays later, Clemens found rookie WR Chansi Stuckey in the left corner of the end zone to make it 21-13. The defense quickly made the Falcons go three and out, and five minutes later Clemens connected with TE Sean Ryan for their second touchdown of the night (Ryan also scored in the second quarter).
QB Kellen Clemens looked solid and finished the game 16 of 22 for 174 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT. RB Danny Ware gained the team-best 48 yards on 12 carries, RB Leon Washington finished the game with 30 yards on 9 carries and also had an 86-yard kickoff return, which led to the first Jets’ touchdown. RB Thomas Jones gained 27 yards on 8 carries. Backup TE Sean Ryan caught two touchdown passes. Rookie WR Chansi Stuckey made 3 grabs for 20 yards, 1 TD.
On the defensive side, FS Kerry Rhodes and LB Eric Barton made 4 solo tackles apiece. Rookie LB David Harris had 4 tackles (3 solo). S Drew Coleman had the only Jets’ interception of the game. LB Andre Wadsworth, who’s trying to get back in the NFL, made 2 solo tackles.
Next Friday the New York Jets will host the Minnesota Vikings in the second preseason game. The kickoff time is at 8PM EST.