Now America knows why the Jets kicked Chad Pennington to the curb in favor of Brett Favre this past summer; Pennington was just awful against the Baltimore Ravens throwing four costly interceptions and getting sacked three times in a 27-9 meltdown on Sunday. Penninton was totally ineffective against the Ravens. He dinked and dunked all day long, a familiar image of ineptitude during his mediocre eight years with the New York Jets. Whenever Pennington dared to throw the ball farther than five yards, he was picked off by hungry Raven defenders.
Ed Reed had the most fun against Pennington's softballs. He had two interceptions, including an over-the-head catch, where he was able to spin around and run right past the entire Dolphins offense, skip over a defeated Pennington and score the touchdown to give the Ravens a 10-3 lead.
The Ravens offense was no better. In fact it harkened back to the decade of pathetic play from the Ravens offense ever since they came into existence in 1996. Joe Flacco was awful; he completed only nine passes in 23 attempts. The only thing Flacco did consistently well was overthrowing his intented receivers. At least Flacco was not like Pennington who over threw his receivers but forgot to overthrow the Ravens defensive secondary!
With the score 20-9, the Dolphins had a chance to get back in the game, but Pennington first threw a near fifth interception to Reed, but Reed dropped it, forcing a second down at mid-field. Next, the Dolphins tired a trick play with Ted Ginn Jr. on an end around. Ginn decided to do his best Jerricho Cothery impression by fumbling the ball and losing large amounts of yards putting Miami in a impossible third and 25. Pennington, in typical Pennington fashion, threw a five yard incompletion forcing a Miami punt.
The Ravens drove it down the field to end to end the game. Willis McGahee broke free of a few tackles and sprinted 48 yards to the Miami five yard line to set up a first and goal. Three plays later, Flacco took it in himself with a quarterback draw to make it 27-9.
Miami's suprising season comes to an end and so does weeks and weeks of praise for the overrated Pennington. Even though Pennington had a great season, a lot of the praise was undeserved. It was really based on indirect criticism of a Jets team that collapsed in their final five games of the 2008 season. Pennington's arm is still suspect, and he still finds ways to put his team behind the eight ball against stiff competition.
Dolphin fans should not get too excited about 2009 because Miami has the toughest schedule in the NFL next season. As for the Ravens, they move on to Tennessee next week. The Titans and Ravens played very early in the year this season, with the Titans coming away with a 13-10 win in Baltimore.