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Brennan steals spotlight from Favre

- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 17, 2008

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. | Colt Brennan put a damper on Brett Favre's big night. The future Hall of Famer was excellent in his New York debut, but Washington's rookie quarterback made the biggest play, beating the blitz to hit tight end Jason Goode with a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter that beat the Jets 13-10 Saturday night at Giants Stadium.

"They had been blitzing a lot and the play before that they got us on a blitz," said Brennan, who was celebrating his 25th birthday. "So I was anticipating blitz and they blitzed again. We had the tight end going over the middle and there was only [safety James Ihedigbo] guarding him. I threw it off my back foot. It wasn't a very good ball. The defender had to go up and try to make a play on it, too, instead of securing the tackle. Jason was able to grab the ball, spin out and nobody was there. When they blitz, either they win or we win and on that one, we won."

Winning is all the Redskins have done for first-year coach Jim Zorn this preseason after Jets kicker Mike Nugent hit the left upright on a 23-yard field goal try as time expired.

"We executed well enough to get ourselves in scoring positions, but we never finished the drives," Zorn said. "[But] we didn't just pack it in and go home. We stayed in it all the way. But we have a lot of work to do."

Still, Brennan and Goode hooked up to give Washington a win.

"[Ihedigbo] went for the ball and luckily I got it before he did," said Goode, a rookie free agent from Maryland who faces long odds of making the team.

The 38-year-old Favre, the NFL's all-time leader in touchdown passes and passing yards, was acquired from Green Bay on Aug. 7, five months after he had announced his retirement. He opened his first series as a member of the Jets by finding receiver Jerricho Cotchery on an 11-yard slant. After Andre Carter dumped Leon Washington for a 5-yard loss, Favre connected on his next two passes for 14 yards. Thomas Jones picked up the first down on fourth-and-short, but a 10-yard sack by Marcus Washington and Cornelius Griffin two plays later effectively ended the possession.

However, after Washington went three-and-out, Favre needed just six plays to put the Jets on top with some help from three Redskins players making their 2008 debuts.

Second-round draft choice Devin Thomas, coming off a pulled hamstring, was penalized 15 yards for stepping out of bounds covering Durant Brooks' punt. On third-and-3, cornerback Carlos Rogers, playing for the first time since tearing his right ACL and MCL last Oct. 28 at New England, was burned by Cotchery for 19 yards to the Washington 20.

Then on second-and-goal at the 4, reserve tight end Dustin Keller got behind linebacker Rocky McIntosh - playing for the first time since tearing his left ACL last Dec. 16 here against the New York Giants - and grabbed Favre's touchdown pass with 5:25 left in the first quarter. Thomas didn't do much better the first time he touched the ball, returning the kickoff just 14 yards.

"It feels good to get my feet wet," Rogers said.

While Favre completed five of six passes for 48 yards, the touchdown and a 139.6 passer rating before calling it a night, Jason Campbell wasn't nearly as well as sharp as he had been the previous two weeks against the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills, connecting on just 4-of-10 passes for 28 yards. Campbell, who came into the game with a 125.6 rating, had a 52.1 rating Saturday.

Ladell Betts (34 yards on six carries) set up Shaun Suisham's 30-yard field goal that made it 7-3 just nine seconds into the second quarter but suffered a mild sprained right knee. Guard Randy Thomas left during the same series with a right knee strain. Redskins officials as well as Betts and Thomas said their injuries weren't serious, although Betts said he was scared "big time" when his knee got trapped under his body.

Third-stringer Rock Cartwright replaced Betts and soon ripped off a 73-yard run, but fourth-string quarterback Derek Devine threw an interception in the end zone. Fourth-string back Marcus Mason's 19-yard dash set up Suisham's 36-yard field goal that drew the Redskins within 7-6 just 4:30 into the third quarter. Nugent's 43-yarder made it 10-6 with 9:08 left.