<
>

Take your pick: Pennington or Favre?

10/27/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
MIAMI -- Did the New York Jets really need to trade for Brett Favre?

Maybe not.

They had on their training-camp roster a quarterback who is playing rather well somewhere else this year.

Chad Pennington, after eight seasons with the Jets, has been posting highly efficient numbers for the Miami Dolphins, who have only one fewer victory than his old club after seven games.

Favre has been winning with performances that make Jets fans feel like they just staggered off the Tilt-A-Whirl. He threw three interceptions, including one for a touchdown, but then hit Laveranues Coles with 65 seconds left to beat the lowly Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

About 1,100 miles away, Pennington was marching all over Dolphin Stadium in a victory over the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills. He threw for 314 yards, his first 300-yard game with Miami and the sixth of his career.

Pennington has notched passer ratings of 100 or higher in four of his past five games. The one time he didn't hit triple digits he finished with a 92.0 rating. Miami is 3-2 in those games.

Then there's Favre, the first-ballot Hall of Famer the Jets just had to obtain because they weren't convinced Pennington could do the job. Pennington has had shoulder surgeries, was coming off an ankle injury and was retooling his mechanics.

Favre over his past three games has thrown three touchdown passes and seven interceptions. His passer rating has plummeted from a well over 100 to 89.5 after Sunday.

Pennington -- rag-arm reputation and all -- has thrown for more yards than Favre on fewer attempts and completions. Pennington also has more completions of 20 yards or longer and 40 yards or longer.

Favre and San Francisco 49ers journeyman J.T. O'Sullivan lead the NFL with 11 interceptions.

One more element to consider: Favre's receiving corps consists of potential game breakers Coles and Jerricho Cotchery and three viable tight ends in Chris Baker, Bubba Franks and Dustin Keller.

After Ted Ginn, a 2007 first-round draft pick who hadn't done much and recorded his first career 100-yard game Sunday, Pennington's next three receivers lately (Greg Camarillo, Davone Bess, Brandon London) weren't drafted at all. Miami does have two nice tight ends in Anthony Fasano and David Martin.

How good would the Jets be if they had kept Pennington and passed on Favre?