Brett Favre Is Flying High—Aging Quarterback Still Looks Sharp
We are four weeks into the season and Jets fans have gone through an emotional roller coaster. It's somewhat typical at this point, and fans should be used to it from previous seasons.
They have experienced remarkable highs, stunning lows, high hopes, and low expectations.
Week One at the Miami Dolphins
When the schedule came out with the Jets going to Miami to start the year, many expected the team to win to get one of its few wins in the season.
But when the face of the division changed with the acquisition of Brett Favre by the Jets and the subsequent signing of Chad Pennington by Miami, both teams upgraded their quarterback situations and turned the game into an instant headline.
Jets fans were not disappointed when Favre found Jerricho Cotchery after a textbook play action fake to Thomas Jones that left Cotchery open for a 56-yard touchdown pass.
The highlight for Jets fans was the second touchdown of the game. Favre was being pulled down by a Miami player but was able to throw a prayer into the end zone that was caught by little known receiver Chansi Stuckey.
The Jets won the game 20-14.
Week Two vs. the New England Patriots
When Favre became a member of the Jets, fans' expectations were high with the prospect of an aerial battle with Tom Brady. But in Week One, Brady tore his ACL when he was hit by a Kansas City player and was lost for the season.
This was supposed to break the AFC East wide-open for the Jets' taking.
Replacing Brady was backup Matt Cassel. Although he had been with the team for a while, he couldn't get playing time for love or money in either USC or New England.
In the end, Cassel didn't score any touchdowns, but he didn't make any mistakes either. And when Favre was intercepted by Brandon Meriweather in the third quarter, the Patriots were able to control the momentum for the rest of the game as they played relatively safe football.
They went on to defeat the Jets for their home opener, 19-10.
Week Three at the San Diego Chargers
Many expected this to be a loss for the Jets with or without Favre since the Chargers are one of the AFC's powerhouses. But after two painfully unlucky losses, there were questions about their mental toughness. Could the Jets have a chance to sneak away with a win?
Things started well with a David Barrett interception return in the first quarter, but that's where it ended. The Chargers would go on to score 38 of the next 45 points.
In the fourth the Jets tried to mount a comeback, but it was not enough. The Chargers won 48-29.
Week Four vs. the Arizona Cardinals
After Week Three, the Jets were 1-2 and many fans were beginning to question whether it was worth it to acquire Favre. He still did not have a full comprehension of the playbook and wasn't on the same page with key receiver Laveranues Coles.
Even worse, at the age of 38, Favre's body wasn't fully recovered from an ankle injury suffered in San Diego.
The Cardinals came into the Meadowlands having not seen their homes in almost two weeks. They chose to stay on the East Coast after a close loss to the Washington Redskins.
In the second quarter, the Jets found their "on" switch, and began to show the potential power of their new offense. Favre and Coles showed off their developing chemistry en route to a three-touchdown performance.
Coles' abilities were in question after missing much of training camp with a nagging injury, and his obvious disappointment with the release of close friend, Chad Pennington.
In the second-half, the Jets continued their assault as Favre found Cotchery twice for touchdowns. He concluded his career day with a touchdown to rookie tight-end Dustin Keller to secure a 56-35 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
The Jets are off this week, allowing them to rest and practice. Being able to refine their skills without preparing for another team can only be good for a team that is beginning to operate at its full potential.
Ahead for the Jets lie games with the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Immediately following those games is a critical division game against the surprising Buffalo Bills.
The next three games will give the Jets a chance to progress as a team against three relatively weak teams, although Kansas City upset the Denver Broncos in Week Four.
If the Jets can perform well in their next four games, they will become legitimate contenders in the AFC.
If that does happen, it will be time to believe that this really is the year.
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