QB Brett Favre looked like the Brett Favre of old, as he threw two touchdown passes and led the New York Jets to a 20-14 victory against the Miami Dolphins. Favre finished the game 15 of 22, 194 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, with an impressive quarterback rating of 125.9.
The Jets scored first when on the first play of their second possession of the game, Favre threw a long pass to a wide open WR Jerricho Cotchery who broke a tackle and fell into the end zone. Later in the quarter the Gang Green moved the ball deep into the Dolphins' territory only to settle for a field goal after two incomplete passes to Cotchery and WR Laveranues Coles. PK Mike Nugent missed the following 32-yard field goal attempt, injuring his thigh in the process.
The Dolphins tied the game early in the second quarter, as they executed an 11-play drive that went for 78 yards. The Jets, however, quickly retook the lead on the ensuing possession. The Jets decided to go for it on a 4th and 13 from Miami's 22-uyard line, as they couldn't try a field goal due to Nugent's injury. Under heavy pressure Favre threw a desperate pass that found an open WR Chansi Stuckey for the go-ahead touchdown. The Gang Green attempted a 2-point conversion but Favre's pass to RB Leon Washington was incomplete.
The Jets had a chance to widen their lead on the first possession of the third quarter but Favre, trying to be too fancy, was stripped off the football and fumbled on Miami's 26-yard line. As the quarter was coming to its end, RB Thomas Jones scored on a 6-yard run, which matched his total touchdown output of last year.
In the final quarter Miami scored a touchdown and shorten New York's lead to just 6 points. In the final minute the Dolphins got within scoring distance but Pennington's pass in the end zone was intercepted by CB Darrelle Revis with 5 seconds left.
The Gang Green, who struggled running the football all last season and this year's preseason, gained over 100 yards rushing, including 101 yards on 22 carries (4.6 yards per carry) by starting RB Thomas Jones. WR Jerricho Cotchery led the team with 3 receptions for 80 yards. The other starting receiver, Laveranues Coles, caught just 1 pass for 5 yards but that was most likely due to the fact that he's still nursing an injury. The playcalling was mostly good but the Jets did get a bit conservative in the last quarter, trying to hold onto their lead, and almost paid the price.
The defense played well stopping the run, as the Dolphins had to double team NT Kris Jenkins on every play. Jenkins had just 2 tackles (1 for loss) but surely his presence helped the linebackers get into the backfield much more often than last season. LB Eric Barton had the team high 6 tackles (6 solo). LB Calvin Pace had 5 solo tackles (2 for loss) and 1 sack. DE Shaun Ellis also looked impressive, as he had 4 tackles and 1 sack. LB Bryan Thomas led the team with 2 sacks. Rookie CB Dwight Lowery, who started in place of injured CB Justin Miller, had a great game. Lowery defended 3 passes in addition to making 4 tackles (3 solo).
Next Sunday the Gang Green will take on the New England Patriots (1-0) who will be without their starting QB Tom Brady. Brady suffered what could be a season ending injury in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The kickoff is at 4:15PM EST.