Today’s season opener has many storylines, but of course one line rises above all others for many, and that’s the starting quarterbacks.
Chad Pennington is on the field now, an hour before the Jets and Dolphins kick off their 2008 seasons at Dolphin Stadium. The former Jets first-round pick (in 2000) and starting QB (from 2002-07) is stretching and walking in advance of limbering up with his fellow Miami signalcallers.
And Favre, acquired by the Jets in trade from Green Bay on Aug. 6, the day before Pennington was released, has come out again, 45 minutes before kickoff, to throw leisurely at the moment with backup Kellen Clemens.
Emotions will run high in this game. In fact, they already have. Jets assistant DL coach Bryan Cox, the former Jet and Dolphin, and Miami LB Joey Porter were seen jawing at each other at midfield during warmups.
Miami’s radio talking heads have sounded concerned about the Green & White element that is always in the Dolphin Stadium stands, and indeed a number of Jets fans have been spotted before the game, in the front rows and elsewhere in the stands, many wearing their new No. 4 jerseys.
Here’s an interesting comparison of Favre and Pennington in their last four season-opening starts, Brett for the Packers from 2004-07 and Chad for the Jets those same seasons. Both QBs are 2-2 in their starts, but for what it’s worth, Pennington’s passing numbers are quite a bit better:
But if the past can be any predictor of the present, Jets fans would gladly take Favre’s performance in the Packers’ 2004 opener at Carolina. In that game he was a modest 15-for-22 for 143 yards, one TD
Two stats that mean nothing: The Jets are in their green jerseys and white pants for this game, since the Dolphins are in their traditional home September white/white garb. They’re 0-2 since 2000 when opening in green/white, having lost at home to Indianapolis in 2001 and on the road at Washington to open the NFL’s 2003 regular season.
And Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are calling this game for CBS. As I mentioned on our "Jets Two-Minute Drive," in the previous 15 seasons Simms has called more Jets games than any other network broadcaster, play-by-play or analyst. That totals 41 games in all, and interestingly the Jets are 20-21 in those games.
Originally ticketed for about 13 percent of the country, this game is now going out to more than 50 percent of CBS’ affiliates.
The Jets inactives today are Brett Ratliff (as the third quarterback), QB Erik Ainge, WRs Marcus Henry and David Clowney, CB Justin Miller, LB Kenwin Cummings, OL Robert Turner and DL Kareem Brown.
The Dolphins’ IAs: John Beck (third QB), WR Ernest Wilford, CB Michael Lehan (Miami’s only listed player on the week’s injury reports), RB Jalen Parmele (no relation to Bernie Parmalee), G Shawn Murphy, DE Lionel Dotson, T Nate Garner (the Jets’ seventh-round draft pick claimed off waivers) and DE Rodrique Wright.
And the Dolphins’ pressbox crew has just passed out pregame notes, which include a Miami lineup change, with Greg Camarillo replacing Derek Hagan as the Dolphins’ starting WR opposite Ted Ginn Jr.
Both teams will introduce their teams at once, not individually.
Mike Carey is our referee today. Among the Jets games Carey has refereed are: the Bubby Brister shovel-pass game at Carolina in 1995; the Jets’ only win in 1996 at Arizona; the 2000 season-opening win over Favre and the Packers at Green Bay; Pennington’s first win as an NFL starter vs. Minnesota in ’02; the Chris Baker non-forceout game at Cleveland in ’06, and last year’s 40-13 rout here in South Florida. What does it all mean? I’m not sure.
And now, as Hank Williams Jr. used to sing before ABC Monday Night Football broadcasts and as my partner Eric Allen asked me at the top of our first radio show of the season, "Are you ready for some football?" Or to paraphrase for Jets fans, "Are you ready for some Favreball?" The opening kickoff isn’t far away.
Tags: Brett Favre, Chad Pennington, Jim Nantz, Kellen Clemens, Miami Dolphins, Phil Simms
Posted in Randy Lange | 10 Comments »