Early in the fourth quarter Sunday, with the game on the line, New York Jet Coach Herman Edwards walked to his franchise quarterback on the sideline.
He told Chad Pennington, “We have to score.”
The Miami Dolphins had just closed the gap to three points and the defense needed a breather. Pennington promptly went out and led a beautiful drive, making up for his struggles early on, and helped seal a 17-7 victory with a one-yard score to Jerald Sowell.
On the drive, Pennington went seven for seven for 74 yards. He finished 19 for 30 for 190 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
It was far from pretty, but the Jets (1-1) will take any win after a loss in Kansas City last week in which the Jets had three turnovers and Pennington fumbled six times. New York had no turnovers Sunday, ran for 98 yards, held Miami (1-1) to 66 on the ground, and committed five penalties for 40 yards.
Pennington struggled most of the day; many of his passes wobbled. But he was at his best after Gus Frerotte threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Randy McMichael to close the gap.