|Pennington comes up just short in Dolphins debut|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 07 September 2008 12:04|
Five weeks after he was ousted from the New York Jets, Pennington had 251 yards passing and two touchdowns against his former team. But he came up just short, throwing an interception in the end zone with 5 seconds left to seal the Jets' 20-14 win Sunday.
``My pride's hurting,'' Pennington said, searching for words to describe his emotions. ``Losing is not fun.''
Especially to the Jets and the man who took his job.
Pennington was efficient - but not spectacular - against New York, completing 26 of 43 passes. The Dolphins provided little protection for him, and their supposed stout running game of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown never showed.
Meanwhile Brett Favre, whose acquisition forced the Jets to cut Pennington to clear salary cap space, was leaping and skipping along New York's sideline after each touchdown.
Pennington could only watch in disappointment.
``He wanted this as bad as you can imagine,'' Dolphins receiver Greg Camarillo said. ``Anytime you play your old team, especially a guy just coming from that team and watching another quarterback play his position, he wanted revenge. He had all his friends out there. I wish we could have gotten it for him.''
Miami had a chance.
Pennington sailed a would-be-tying touchdown pass to the end zone for Ted Ginn Jr. in the final seconds, but could only watch as the ball floated. And floated. And floated.
Pennington said he could only think of one thing.
``Knock it down,'' he said. ``Once the ball was in the air, and I saw the position, it was like it was in slow motion. There was nothing I could do.''
Darrelle Revis' interception in the corner of the end zone gave Favre and New York the win, starting Miami's season just where it left off last year's forgetful 1-15 season - with a loss.
Pennington had led Miami on a 53-yard touchdown drive minutes earlier. He converted a fourth-and-7 during the drive that ended with his 11-yard touchdown pass to David Martin, making it 20-14 with 3:27 left.
``I'd like to think that some of the things he worked on with us came into play there,'' Jets coach Eric Mangini said. ``I was impressed with him, but I've always been impressed with Chad in terms of the way he managed the game.''
But dogged in New York for his lack of arm strength, Pennington never could muster a big play.
After the interception, Pennington took the slow walk to the sideline, unclipping his helmet and facing his head to the dirt. Though the 32-year-old quarterback never said it, his teammates knew how much one more touchdown pass - and a win - would have meant.
``Chad's a pro's pro. He's hurting, but he won't show his emotions,'' Miami fullback Boomer Grigsby said. ``He wanted this win big time, no doubt about it.''