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Favre Debut a Dandy but Jets fall to 'Skins, 13-10


2008 Preseason Week 2 - Jets vs Redskins Photos

Brett Favre didn't disappoint in his much-anticipated Jets debut.

In just a quarter's worth of work against the Washington Redskins, Favre completed five of six passes for 48 yards and exited with a 4-yard TD pass to rookie TE Dustin Keller.

And yet on a wild night, the 'Skins escaped from the Meadowlands with a 13-10 victory when Mike Nugent nailed the left upright on a game-tying 23-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the game.

"I felt like I threw the ball well, I moved around okay," Favre said.  "Ten days ago, I was doing yard work. I don't know what else to tell you. I ran and threw a little bit with kids at the high school, but there's no substitute for what we did tonight."

"I thought it was an excellent start," added head coach Eric Mangini. "He was able to move the team down the field, put us in position to score and execute there to Dustin."

Donning a Green & White jersey for the first time, Favre was as good as advertised. He threw with force and touch, displaying his golden arm in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. The man who guided the Packers the previous 16 seasons and owns a section of the NFL record book by himself, made his 14 plays count.

"For the most part I felt comfortable in this uniform and I felt comfortable in this locker room," he said.  "I had numerous people on the Redskins say, 'Man, you almost don't look right.' But it's going to start looking right because I'm having a good time."

If you give a Hall of Fame QB terrific field position, he's going to make you pay. The Redskins allowed Favre a second-possession drive start at their 46-yard line after an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction came on a punt. Six plays later, Favre hit a wide open Keller in the end zone for the short score.

"It was a simple play," Favre said. "We had Keller and Franks on two quick outs. Keller had better leverage at the 5 and Franks had a little trouble getting off the line. It was pretty simple."

The TD was set up by a couple of long gainers as Favre, taking advantage of tremendous protection from the O-line, applied deft touch on a 19-yard completion to Jerricho Cotchery. J-Co, running all the way across the field from right to left, caught the ball in stride and got the club into the red zone. Then OC Brian Schottenheimer confused the "D" on an end-around call to Brad Smith for 12.

Following a nifty 4-yard Leon Washington run, Favre looked right and came back left to the rookie from Purdue. The new faces — one old, one young — made it a night to remember even if this contest carried a preseason tag.

"He (Favre) came up to me a little later in the game and said, 'I was going to give you that ball, but now that I think about it, I'm going to keep it for myself," recalled Keller.  "Then as soon as I get in the locker room, I get a tap on my shoulder and he says, 'You deserve this. Congratulations on your first touchdown.'"

Favre got the ball to start the game and was on the mark immediately, delivering a strike to Cotchery for 11 on a slant. His second pass went over the middle to TE Chris Baker for 10 and he made it 3-for-3 on a short dump to Washington. But the initial drive, which included a fourth-and-1 conversion run from Thomas Jones, stalled after a sack and an incompletion on Favre's fourth throw.

Despite moving into Jets territory four times in the opening half, the Redskins could only muster a 30-yard Shan Suisham field goal. Safety James Ihedigbo made sure Rock Cartwright's 73-yard carry went for naught, intercepting a Derek Devine pass in the end zone.

Backup Kellen Clemens took over for Favre in the second quarter and completed only three of 10 passes before halftime. But the Jets backup didn't get much help as his receivers dropped a number of catchable balls. He finished the night 5-of-13 for 63 yards.

Suisham and Nugent exchanged field goals in the second half as both teams emptied their benches. The Jets, who surrendered 181 yards rushing, bent defensively but didn't break until late in the fourth.

TE Jason Goode, who caught a short ball from rookie QB Colt Brennan, went in from 33 yards out with just over a minute left to play when Ihedigbo couldn't come up with a tackle. The Jets, after leading most of the way, faced their first deficit.

QB Brett Ratliff led the offense right back down the field and the home team had chances to win this one. Rookie free agent WR Paul Raymond dropped what should have been a game-winner in the end zone and then Nuge failed to deliver on a kick he'd love to have back.

"Those field goals are pretty high-percentage field goals — they're in the 90s league-wide.  It's one you got to make — it's a chip shot."

At least this August night belonged to Favre. It was a wonderful New York beginning for the Mississippi magician.

For Openers

For the first time in years, the Jets did not come out of the end zone tunnel as a team. The offensive starters were called out one by one and Favre heard a thunderous ovation when he was announced last.

Wright Stuff

WR Wallace Wright continues to make significant contributions on special teams. He posted three ST stops and nearly blocked a first half punt.  During the team meeting Saturday morning, Eric Mangini said Wright would be one of the team's captains.

"I was just honored," Wright said.  "This was my first time being captain in the National Football League, so I just wanted to go out there and play like it."

Barton's on the Ball

It was a good outing for the Jets' starting inside linebackers. David Harris, a tackling machine as a rookie, played in his first game of the summer. And Eric Barton, who had a pick last Thursday against the Browns, made a couple of outstanding plays.

Late in the first, Barton ignored a Randy Thomas block and threw down Cartwright for a loss of 5 when the 'Skins were threatening deep inside NYJ territory. Later Barton separated WR Maurice Mann from the ball, forcing an incompletion in the second.

Chatman Churns

Reserve back Jesse Chatman, a nice free-agent pickup who is coming off a career year in Miami, ran very well in the third quarter. He broke a number of tackles and made some shifty moves while picking up 28 yards on his 10 carries.

Missing in Action

Laveranues Coles, a former 'Skin, was not active. The starting receivers tonight were Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith. DE Shaun Ellis, who's been slowed by a hand injury, did not suit up. Ellis worked out before the game and was replaced in the lineup by Mike DeVito. David Clowney sustained a shoulder injury in the third quarter and left the field.

Return Appearances

The Redskins brought a number of former Jets — WR Santana Moss, guards Randy Thomas, Pete Kendall and Jason Fabini, and LB Khary Campbell — on their trip up north. And former Dolphin Jason Taylor, a DE/LB whose 117 sacks are the most among active players, traded in his dancing shoes for turf wear.

New York, New York

Next Saturday, the Jets will play host to the Giants at the Meadowlands. Kickoff is again for scheduled for 7 p.m. as the Green & White figure to get a good test from the defending champions. You can expect the majority of both teams' starters to play into the second half.

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