Comeback Comes Up Short

QB Chad Pennington

The Dolphins began their 2008 season much the way most of 2007 went, with a loss, but at least they should some fight in giving themselves a chance to win at the end. But there would be no miracle comeback as the Dolphins dropped a 20-14 decision.

The game ended when Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis intercepted a Chad Pennington pass in the end zone intended for Ted Ginn Jr. on third-and-10 from the 18-yard line.

Pennington threw two touchdown passes in his Dolphins debut, both to tight ends (Anthony Fasano and David Martin). But Pennington wasn't as accurate as he has been in his career.

The Dolphins trailed 20-7 with five minutes left in the game before Pennington drove the Dolphins on a 53-yard drive that feature a fourth-down completion to Ginn.

Ginn, however, wasn't much of a factor in the game because most of Pennington's completions went to the tight ends and running backs.

The defense had its problems with the Jets, giving up two touchdown passes to Brett Favre and a touchdown run to Thomas Jones.

But the defense stopped the Jets on a three-and-out twice late in the game to give the Dolphins a chance to win the game.

While the Dolphins offense couldn't get anything going early on, the defense fell asleep after a Favre play fake and the result was a 59-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery that gave the Jets a 7-0 lead.

Then things got weird.

While missing a short field goal attempt, Jets kicker Mike Nugent sustained a thigh injury that left him unable to kick for a while.

The Dolphins then tied it at 7 on the touchdown pass to Fasano before the Jets drove deep into Dolphins territory. On fourth-and-13 from the Dolphins 22, the Jets went for the first down because of Nugent's injury.

Favre avoided a sack when he got away from Randy Starks and then he threw up a prayer that found its way into the hands of wide receiver Chansi Stuckey. Stuckey got behind safety Renaldo Hill when Hill inexplicably started running toward the offensive backfield.

The score remained that way until late in the third quarter when Jones scored and it looked as though the Dolphins might get blown out at home by the Jets for the second consecutive year.

But then came the fourth-quarter comeback. And while it wasn't enough to produce a victory, at least it was an encouraging sign after what had been a really tough season opener.

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