Saturday was the Washington Redskins' sixth round draft pick Colt Brennan's birthday.
And the Jets gave him quite the present.
What was it? First, they created the perfect scenario for him by being unable to complete enough passes and convert enough first downs to extend the Jets' lead beyond reach in the fourth quarter. With the game within reach, Brennan responded.
Brennan first entered the game at the start of the fourth quarter. The Jets lead was one point, 7-6. Brennan's first drive was uneventful, three and out. Jets quarterback Brett Ratliff (signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jets last season) promptly marched his team downfield and added to their lead, setting up a Mike Nugent field goal.
Brennan's second possession was only slightly more eventful than the first, but still ended with a punt. Fortunately for him and the Redskins, young Ratliff was not able to duplicate his first appearance. The Jets would punt and leave Colt Brennan two minutes and four seconds with which to win the game.
On his first play, from the Redskins' 20 yard line, Brennan tossed a pass deep down field, and wide receiver (and roster hopeful) Billy McMullen went high in the air to make the catch at the Jets' 43 yard line. 37 yards. Good start to a game winning drive.
But it wasn't all pretty. Following the next play, a 14-yard Marcus Mason run, Brennan dropped back to pass, but had no time to react as the Jets blitzed heavy, and he was sacked for a four-yard loss.
But Brennan learned from that blitz. On the next play, the Jets blitzed again, but this time, he was ready for it. He knew where his hot route was. And just as importantly, the rest of the offense saw the blitz coming as well, learning from the last play, and being ready for the next.
Brennan read the blitz and lofted a pass into the middle of the field. Tight end Jason Goode, who also recognized the incoming blitz, went after the ball aggressively. As it turned out, he had to, as a Jets defensive back also leapt for the ball, expecting to intercept the pass.
But Goode was, well, good. He made the catch and turned for the endzone, rumbling untouched for the would-be game-winning touchdown.
The Jets following possession began with one minute four seconds on the clock and the Jets' young quarterback was not to be outdone by Brennan.
Ratliff promptly marched downfield and put his team in position for a game-winning touchdown (aided largely by the worst tackling performance from the Redskins defense thus far in the preseason).
This led to a decision from Jets' head coach Eric Mangini (a man affectionately known as Mangenius) that still boggles the mind. I will not offer details here. I have already written about it and there is no need to beat a dead horse, or a missed field goal, for that matter.
Suffice to say that Mangini decided to attempt a game tying field goal, which would have sent the game into overtime. In the PRESEASON!
Fortunately for all involved, kicker Mike Nugent missed from the FIVE YARD LINE, and the Jets gave Colt Brennan a very nice birthday present.
Happy birthday Colt.