Chatman Carries Jets Past Eagles, 27-20

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2008 Preseason Week 4 - Jets vs Eagles Photos

With Brett Favre on the sideline, reserve RB Jesse Chatman gave a yeoman's effort and led the Jets to a 27-20 victory Thursday evening at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field. As expected, neither the Jets nor the Eagles played their starters in both clubs' final preseason game of 2008. 

Chatman, who totaled 180 yards of offense, broke a 20-20 fourth-quarter deadlock with a 2-yard plunge and those points stood up. His run, which came on the heels of Ahmad Carroll's recovery of a muffed punt, capped a short 17-yard drive. He was a true workhouse on this night. 

The final Chatman stat line read 29 carries for 93 yards and six receptions for another 87 yards. The Jets finished their summer campaign with a 3-1 mark and the Eagles dropped to 2-2.

"I hadn't gotten that much work in the first three preseason games, so they were willing to give me the opportunity and I was able to go out and take advantage of it," Chatman said.

In addition to his impressive charge, QB Erik Ainge, the fifth-round rookie from Tennessee, performed well in his two-plus quarters. Ainge completed 10 of 16 for 131 yards and his 6-yard toss to WR David Ball gave New York a lead, at 17-13, for the first time.

While Kellen Clemens received the start at quarterback, Jets head coach Eric Mangini alternated first-half series between KC and Brett Ratliff. Each struck on his second possession and Ratliff's 11-yard TD to rookie Paul Raymond cut Philly's advantage to three at the half. It was Ratliff's fourth scoring pass of the summer and his second to the rookie from Brown in as many weeks.

"We have a lot of good players out here and it made my job a lot easier," Ratliff said.

After spotting the Eagles a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the Jets got on the scoreboard early in the second when Mike Nugent nailed a 22-yard field goal. Chatman helped set up the points, carrying 10 times for 45 yards on a marathon 17-play possession. The sustained Chatman attack helped create a ton of space for Raymond's 21-yard end-around, which moved the Jets into the red zone.

Veteran K David Akers' 40-yard kick was followed by Lorenzo Booker's 3-yard TD scamper as the Eagles raced out of the gates. Two plays prior to Booker's score, Kevin Kolb and Hank Baskett combined for a 25-yard gain with Chansi Stuckey, a wide receiver, trailing in coverage and David Barrett, playing deep safety instead of corner, coming over late.

"He's been working there some throughout camp but hasn't gotten very many reps," Mangini said of Stuckey. "He does have very good short-area quickness and the ability to react."

Trailing, 13-10 , the Jets tallied the next 10 before Feeley got things even on a 3-yard TD to Brandon "Bam" Childress. But fittingly, Chatman would have the final say.

"It's nice to finish up with a win," Mangini said. 

With the preseason complete, the Jets' focus shifts to Chad Pennington, Bill Parcells and the Miami Dolphins. Brett Favre will lead the Green & White into South Florida for perhaps the most highly anticipated opener in franchise history.

Picks a Plenty

The game's first turnover came when S Abram Elam jumped in front of an A.J. Feeley toss up the right sideline. Feeley broke out of the pocket and never saw the Jets DB, who nicely stepped in for the pick. Late in the fourth, Hank Poteat made sure the lead stood up when he corralled a deflection inside the Jets' 10.

Oh, Henry

Rookie WR Marcus Henry made a whale of a catch in the second stanza. Ratliff threw to his shoestrings, but the rookie from Kansas dropped his hands down close to the ground and effortlessly made the reception. Then Henry tacked on 15 yards after the catch on a play that covered 27 yards in all and set up YAC and covered 27 yards in all and set up the Jets' first TD.

Brett's Summer Summary

In two preseason games with the Jets, Brett Favre got three quarters of work. He completed 78 percent (14 of 18) of his passes for 144 yards without a turnover. Favre hooked up with rookie TE Dustin Keller for a 4-yard score against the 'Skins.

"I understood why he didn't want to play the starters," Favre said of Mangini. "It was understandable. Sure, I wanted to play, but it wasn't a big deal. I never really brought it up."

Roster Cutdown

The Jets, who entered the night with 75 players on their roster, will have to get down to 53 by Sunday. Then on Monday, the team will be able to add eight players to their practice squad.

"We could wind up maybe with some non-traditional numbers, but we'll do what's best for us when looking over a 16-game season," said GM Mike Tannenbaum.

"We're moving on now to some very tough decisions," added Mangini.

Jersey Bound

On Tuesday, the Green & White officially open their new team headquarters in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets will hold their first practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Wednesday.

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