Maybe the Jets should've paid Pete Kendall that $1 million.
A contract dispute between Kendall and the team led to him being traded to Washington last month, leaving the Jets without a starting left guard and the veteran leader of their offensive line.
That line struggled on opening day, allowing five sacks and leading the running game to only 3.2 yards per carry in a 38-14 loss to New England.
"We have to go out there and execute better," second-year left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson said. "Obviously, the Patriots are a great team. I made some mistakes and there were some other mistakes made that we need to clean up."
Ferguson had two penalties, a holding and a false start, although the holding infraction was declined. But his most glaring error occurred in the third quarter when Jarvis Green beat him on an outside move and sacked quarterback Chad Pennington. The oft-injured quarterback went down with an apparent sprained right ankle.
An obviously hurting Pennington hopped off the field under his own power, but had to hop on his left leg to do that. He came back and led a touchdown drive before pulling himself from the game in the fourth quarter. He walked out of the stadium with a noticeable limp and his status for the Baltimore game on Sunday is in doubt.
|Chad Pennington #10 of the New York Jets is injured while being sacked by the New England Patriots on September 9, 2007 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Patriots defeated the Jets 38-14. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)|
"I have no idea," Pennington said when asked if he would miss time because of the injury. "I'm sure I'll see the doctors frequently this week and we'll see what happens."
If Pennington can't go, Kellen Clemens would start against Baltimore as the Jets try to avoid an 0-2 start. Clemens was 5-for-10 for 35 yards. He replaced Pennington for one play in the third quarter before the eighth-year veteran came back to lead his second touchdown drive, despite hobbling with a soft boot-like apparatus on his right foot. Clemens re-entered the game with 6:44 to go.
"I was trying to rely on my experience from the Jacksonville game and trying to stay focused," said Pennington, recalling the game of Sept. 25, 2005 when he suffered a torn rotator cuff against the Jaguars, yet re-entered the game. He didn't play again that season.
"Even though I felt unstable, I felt like I was seeing things well throughout the game," Pennington said. "I could still get the ball to our playmakers. At that point in the game, we still had the threat of trying to run the football because it was still early, so I felt like I could still get back out there and help us."
But with the Patriots leading 31-14 with 6:44 left, Pennington reluctantly told coach Eric Mangini that he couldn't go back in and risk further injury.
"I had to, for the first time, be brutally honest with myself as far as injuries are concerned," Pennington said. "Without the threat of the run, I'm kind of a sitting duck back there. I just didn't feel like it would be smart (to go back in)."
Pennington was sacked four times and Clemens was taken down once.
"It's definitely embarrassing," strong safety Kerry Rhodes said. "(But) we're a strong group. We're going to bounce back."