We have the 55th and final position filled on the GGN All Time Jets Team. The winner of the third and final vote at Quarterback is: Chad Pennington!
Chad Pennington played 11 years in the NFL, from 2000 through 2010, the first eight with the Jets. Along with Aaron Rodgers, Pennington was one of the last first round draft choice NFL quarterbacks to sit on the bench for multiple years before he got his chance to start. Pennington sat behind Vinny Testaverde for the first two years of his career, and began the third year of his career still on the bench behind Testaverde. He took so long to develop that in training camp in 2002 head coach Herm Edwards openly expressed concern that Pennington was too cerebral, was thinking too much instead of just letting things flow, and he might never develop into a starting NFL quarterback. The irony of that speculation was that 2002 turned into the best year of Pennington’s career. After replacing a faltering Testaverde in the starting lineup in a week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that brought the Jets to a 1-3 record, Pennington and the Jets went on a tear. The Jets went 9-3 the rest of the way, earning the AFC East division title, the last such title the Jets would win to the present day. Pennington led the NFL in passer rating, completion percentage, and touchdown percentage in 2002, but was inexplicably denied Pro Bowl honors. The Jets went on that year to a stunning 41-0 demolition of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the playoffs, before succumbing to the Oakland Raiders in the second round.
Chad Pennington never again reached the brilliant heights of his 2002 campaign, but when he was healthy, the Jets made the playoffs. Pennington suffered a series of debilitating shoulder injuries over the years that sapped what little arm strength he was originally blessed with. Nonetheless, in his only two post - 2002 healthy years in a Jets uniform, Pennington led the Jets to two playoff berths. Pennington won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award twice, with the Jets in 2006 and with the Dolphins in 2008, and he is 18th all time in career passer rating.
Chad Pennington represents what might have been for Jets fans. When he was healthy, the Jets were contenders. But he was rarely healthy, and a series of devastating injuries destroyed the brilliant promise of his youth. To this day, Pennington remains the last Jets quarterback that was good enough to always have the Jets in contention when he was healthy. It’s been a long slog through the quarterback wilderness for the Jets since Pennington, one Jets fans are hoping Sam Darnold will end.
So there we have it, the final piece of the entire GGN ALL Time Jets Team, as voted by all of you. The full 55 man roster follows below:
INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE
INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINE