Pennington Leads Jets Past Miami, 31-28

Sunday, September 23rd 2007, 3:26 pm
By: News On 6

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Chad Pennington left no question whether his injured right ankle was completely healed. The quarterback also answered his critics, leading the New York Jets to their first win.

Showing no ill effects from the injury that sidelined him last week, Pennington threw two touchdown passes and ran for another as he consistently moved the offense and the Jets held on for a 31-28 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Leon Washington returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score, and Thomas Jones had his first big game for the Jets (1-2) by rushing for 110 yards on 25 carries.

Ronnie Brown scored on a 22-yard pass from Trent Green with 1:15 left to pull the Dolphins within 3 points. After New York's Chris Baker was called for batting the ball forward out of bounds on an onside kick attempt to give Miami another opportunity, Eric Smith recovered the ensuing kick to seal the win for the Jets.

Brown had 112 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries and added six catches for 99 yards and a TD. But he couldn't keep the Dolphins from their first 0-3 start since 2004. It's the fifth time Miami has lost three straight to open a season.

Pennington was injured in the season opener against New England, and backup Kellen Clemens started in his place last Sunday at Baltimore. Clemens had an impressive fourth quarter and that left some fans hoping he would see more action soon.

Pennington showed this is still his team.

He threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Laveranues Coles, a 4-yarder to Chris Baker and also ran the ball in for 2 yards _ his first rush for a touchdown since 2004. He capped his scoring scamper with a pump of his fist and some celebratory chest bumps with his teammates.

Pennington finished 15-of-22 for 124 yards.

Cam Cameron is off to the worst start of any first-year Miami coach since George Wilson dropped his first five games with the AFL expansion team in 1966. That squad finished 3-11, the worst season in franchise history.