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Pennington Guides Another Late Comeback
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Rob T
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Post: #1
 
Pennington guides another late comeback

By ANDREA SZULSZTEYN, AP Sports Writer
November 24, 2003
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- Chad Pennington knows how to rally a team in the second half. He has plenty of experience in that department.

Go back to 1999, when he was the starting quarterback at Marshall. The Thundering Herd played Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference championship game and trailed 23-0 early in the third quarter before Pennington engineered a comeback.

Marshall scored four touchdowns in an 8:20 span of the second half and won 34-30 after Pennington threw a 1-yard TD pass to Eric Pinkerton with four seconds remaining. That game-winning drive started with 3:09 to go.

Now with the New York Jets, Pennington has engineered two comeback wins this season. The latest came Sunday against Jacksonville, when he threw a 3-yard TD pass to Santana Moss with 26 seconds remaining to win it 13-10. That drive started with three minutes left.

``It was very eerie, to say the least, because it was very similar,'' Pennington said.

Pennington also led the Jets to a come-from-behind 27-24 overtime win over the Oakland Raiders two weeks ago, though his late rallies against the Giants and Colts came up just short.

Coach Herman Edwards said he has only been around one other quarterback with the special gift to rally his team to victory: Joe Montana.

``He has a little bit of that aura, everyone thinks he's going to do it,'' Edwards said. ``He just has a different way of how he goes about keeping guys poised. Players step up. The offense wanted to go out there and do it.

``He might not get it done every week, but he will make it interesting.''

On the flip side, the Jets (4-7) did have to rally to beat a struggling Jacksonville team that has two wins this season. And their four victories are against teams that are a combined 13-31. But Pennington makes them fun to watch, even if they are nearly out of contention.

Pennington actually had two chances to stage rallies against the Jaguars. After Jacksonville scored to go up 10-6, the Jets faced fourth-and-4 from their 40 with 3:33 remaining. Rather than punt, Edwards opted to go for it, hoping his defense would either stop the Jaguars or hold them to a field goal. In that case, they would still need a touchdown.

But Pennington threw incomplete to Moss, and the Jaguars took over. After three straight rushing plays got them 6 yards and wasted just 29 seconds, they had to punt and pinned the Jets back at the 6 with no timeouts.

The Jets did not worry because they had Pennington. Helped in part by a 27-yard pass interference call, the Jets reached the Jacksonville 3. Rather than spiking the ball, he decided to take a shot into the end zone -- with the wrong personnel package on the field.

Pennington had two tight ends, two backs and Moss with him, a running formation called ``solo right.'' So he sent Sowell out wide.

``I needed one more guy out there and I saw Jerald and told him to go out,'' Pennington said. ``He had never been in solo before. I told him, 'Get set and be still.'''

He then made eye contact with Moss to let him know the ball would go to him. And then he added the fake spike motion -- a la Dan Marino against the Jets in 1994 -- to try and catch Jacksonville off guard.

``It wasn't much of a fake,'' Pennington said. ``I didn't think about it, it just happened.''

The whole play worked to perfection, and Pennington added to his resume. After all, the fourth-year player has started just 16 games in his NFL career, but learned plenty while he was on the bench for two years.

``Chad is not the quarterback he's going to become by any stretch of the imagination,'' Edwards said. ``He's going to get better.''
11-24-2003 06:39 PM
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Post: #2
 
Marshall scored four touchdowns in an 8:20 span of the second half and won 34-30 after Pennington threw a 1-yard TD pass to Eric Pinkerton with four seconds remaining. That game-winning drive started with 3:09 to go.

That Drive and Win was soooooo SWEEEET
11-26-2003 12:57 AM
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