Pennington comeback nearly dooms Giants

Updated: November 3, 2003, 8:39 AM ET
ESPN

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In his first start since the Giants broke his wrist in the preseason, Jets quarterback Chad Pennington almost returned the favor by nearly ruining the Giants' season.

Pennington passed for 281 yards and capped a dramatic 86-yard drive with his fourth touchdown pass for the Jets in a 31-28 overtime loss to the Giants on Sunday.

"It hurts and it is very frustrating," Pennington said. "And it hurts deep down inside, your guts hurt. There were plays out there that could have been made. I know from my point of view and on my part, I could have helped us and put us in a better situation."

Pennington had both good and bad moments in his first start of the year, a start delayed almost three months because he broke his left wrist after being tackled by the Giants' Brandon Short in a preseason game.

The loss of Pennington devastated the Jets, whose record slipped to 2-6. They face the prospect of almost needing to run the table to have a shot at the playoffs.

With Pennington back at quarterback, the Jets at least have a chance.

Pennington completed 27 of 45 passes against the Giants, three times finding Santana Moss for touchdowns. He hit Anthony Becht with a 9-yard scoring pass to tie the game with 29 seconds to play in regulation.

Pennington also had a 22-yard pass to Moss that put the Jets in position to attempt a 50-yard field goal in overtime. The kick was blocked, and the Giants took over and won on a 29-yarder by Brett Conway with four seconds to play.

"It was certainly fun to play in games like this," Pennington said. "But when things don't go your way and you come up on the short end, it's gut-wrenching, and it's just a bad, bad feeling. The only thing that is going to take it away is to get a win and get that bad taste out of your mouth."

Pennington also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, setting up 13 Giants points.

Pennington, who developed a great working relationship with Laveranues Coles in recent years, worked well with Moss on Sunday. The two combined 10 times for 121 yards.

Moss' three touchdowns and his 10 catches were career bests.

"We said if they are going to play man to man, let's beat them," Moss said. "And that is what we did when they played me in a man."

Pennington, who saw his first regular-season action last week against Philadelphia, isn't worried about rebounding.

"Thank God we have eight opportunities left to do something," Pennington said. "Now we have to go out to Oakland and deal with a good mind and play like we did today. If we do that, things will start to turn our way."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index