NFL: Favre wins in Jets’ debut
MIAMI ó Brett Favre sank to one knee on the sideline, helplessly watching the Miami Dolphins try to upstage his comeback with one of their own.
Six months after Favre began a brief retirement, he made a stirring debut Sunday as Broadway Brett. But in the final minute the Dolphins marched down the field while Favre’s New York Jets clung to six-point lead.
What was he thinking?
“Don’t score,” he said.
Simple enough. Favre’s new beginning had a happy ending when Darrelle Revis intercepted Chad Pennington in the end zone with 5 seconds left, and the Jets won 20-14.
“It was shaky, but it’s a good start,” Favre said. “It’s a win, and you can never question a win.”
Favre hardly looked like the retiring type, raising his arms to signal a touchdown, then leaping and skipping to the bench, where he vaulted into the arms of two teammates. That was after he threw a 56-yard touchdown pass on New York’s second series.
He later improvised on fourth down for a 22-yard scoring pass, and finished 15-for-22 for 194 yards and his 161st victory, extending his NFL record for starting quarterbacks.
Favre said the game left him glad he’s still playing at age 38, and after 16 seasons in Green Bay, he feels at home with his new team.
“I know I made the right decision,” he said in his Mississippi drawl. “I’m a New York Jet. I don’t know about a native New Yorkian, or however you say it. Hey, I’m happy to be a Jet.”
For the Dolphins, the loss marked a disappointing start to the Bill Parcells era, and it was painfully reminiscent of last year’s 1-15 team. Parcells took over last December, but despite turning over more than half the roster and hiring Tony Sparano as coach, the Dolphins gave up too many big plays and sputtered on offense until their frantic late rally.
“If we had made just one more play, we could have won the game,” receiver Greg Camarillo said. “That’s what hurts.”
Pennington, playing against the team that released him in favor of Favre, drew boos early before finishing 26-for-43 for 251 yards.
“I just hate losing,” Pennington said. “I hate it as bad as you can imagine. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Jets or anyone else, a loss hurts bad.”
New York’s Dwight Lowery batted away a pass by Pennington in the end zone on fourth down with 9 minutes left, but the Dolphins kept coming. They converted a fourth-and-7 during a 53-yard drive that ended with Pennington’s 11-yard touchdown pass to David Martin, making it 20-14 with 3:27 left.
After New York punted, the Dolphins started from their 39 with 1:43 left. They reached the Jets 18, but when Pennington tried to hit Ted Ginn Jr. in the corner of the end zone, Revis had position and made a one-handed interception.
That clinched the Jets’ fifth consecutive win over their AFC East rivals.