Favre Starts for Jets, Brennan Finishes for Redskins
Sunday, August 17, 2008
EAST RUTHERFORD N.J., Aug. 16 -- The buzz began during pregame warmups at Giants Stadium and intensified as the moment drew closer for Brett Favre and the New York Jets. The quarterback, one of the game's all-time greats, soon would make his preseason debut against the Washington Redskins after arriving in a trade from the Green Bay Packers, and the Redskins had their own reasons to be excited.
Washington welcomed back cornerback Carlos Rogers and linebacker Rocky McIntosh -- each coming off reconstructive knee surgery -- providing a lift for a defense that was the foundation of the team's run to a playoff berth last season. Rogers and McIntosh got in a little work and left early, and rookie quarterback Colt Brennan rallied the Redskins late for a 13-10 victory in front of an announced crowd of 76,132.
Trailing 10-6, Washington took over on its 20-yard line with 2 minutes 4 seconds remaining in the game. Brennan had entered in the third quarter in Washington's first two preseason games but came in to start the fourth quarter Saturday. That's because Coach Jim Zorn wanted to evaluate the rookie in a late-game situation with the team either in a hurry-up mode because it trailed or trying to manage the clock with a lead.
On the drive's first play, Brennan completed a 37-yard pass to wide receiver Billy McMullen. Marcus Mason rushed for 14 yards on the next play, and then Brennan was sacked. The Redskins went to a no-huddle offense, and Brennan teamed with tight end Jason Goode on a 33-yard touchdown pass over the middle with 1:09 to play. Jets defensive back James Ihedigbo gambled for the interception, and Goode got behind him. Place kicker Shaun Suisham's point-after kick gave the Redskins a three-point cushion.
Quarterback Brett Ratliff responded, leading the Jets from their 24-yard line to Washington's 5. On third and five with five seconds left in regulation, kicker Mike Nugent's 23-yard field goal attempt caromed off the left upright, and Washington improved to 3-0 in the preseason.
Rogers and McIntosh joined Washington's first-team defense for a portion of the Jets' two first-quarter possessions with Favre at quarterback. Favre got off to a good start with his new team, completing 5 of 6 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown, and he converted two big plays against Rogers and McIntosh en route to the Jets' only touchdown.
"Nervous, excited," said Favre, who received a standing ovation when his name was announced. There were "some feelings I have not felt in a while, but I was excited."
Said Rogers: "It was the same old Brett Favre. Just a different jersey."
With the Redskins thin on the offensive line because reserve tackles Stephon Heyer (knee) and Todd Wade (ankle) are out, the unit took another hit when starting right guard Randy Thomas left the game early after straining his right knee.
"It's a little strain," Thomas said. "I'm just being a veteran. It's preseason, the first quarter, you're just being smart about it. If it's the regular season, I'm still in there."
Running back Ladell Betts, who started because Clinton Portis was given the night off, also has a mild sprain of his right knee, a team spokesman said. Betts said his leg got caught underneath him when he was tackled and he feared it was a serious injury.
"It scared me for a second, but I'm not feeling any pain now," Betts said.