The Jet Press Hall of Fame Nominee: Chad Pennington


Jets 2000 Rookie class

Here is our fourth candidate for enshrinement in the Jet Press Hall of Fame, presented by Debbie Schechter.

Chad Pennington is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the history of the New York Jets.

When you talk about the quarterbacks the New York Jets have ever had, 99.9 percent of the population talk about Broadway Joe and rightfully so.

But when you talk about the most accurate quarterbacks in Jets history, the first name that comes to mind is Chad Pennington. Just look at where he stands in the Jets Record book for completion percentage and passer rating. He is either first or near the top in both categories.

He was a member of the a very talented first round rookie class in 2000 (see photo above, photo credit: NY Daily News) with Anthony Becht, John Abraham, and Shawn Ellis. And it was at a time when you were a rookie QB, you sat and studied behind the number 1.

And that was to his benefit. When he took the reigns from Vinny Testaverde, Pennington began to write his piece of New York Jets history. He completed 275 of 399 passes for 3,120 yards. He had 22 touchdowns to only six interceptions. He had a 68.9 completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 102.4 (all from pro-football reference.com)

Listen to the man himself recount the memories of the 2002 playoff win over Peyton Manning (video courtesy of nfl.com): 2002 memories.

Pennington was never had the greatest arm strength, but he was one of the quarterbacks who could out think you. Watch this recap courtesy of Jets TV and the New York Jets Website: Detroit 2002

a_pennington_iHe also got his first 300-yard passing game back in Minnesota in October of 2002. He was completing 24 of 29 passes for 324 yards for one touchdown. This was his first 300-yard passing game of his career (espn.com & profootballreference.com)

His time with the Jets was riddled with injuries, but his work as a quarterback didn’t suffer. As a Jet, Pennington’s lowest completion percentage was in 2005 with a 59 even (pro football reference.com). There are some quarterbacks in the NFL today who would love to have a 59% completion percentage.

Pennington battled shoulder problems to help lead the Jets to their first ever road playoff win in San Diego in 2004. His stats from that game were 23-of-33 for 279 yards and had two touchdowns (espn.com).

Overall, Pennington’s 8-year Jet career entailed completing 1,259 of 1,919 passes for 13,738 yards. He had 82 touchdowns to 55 interceptions. His Jet career completion percentage is 65.6%. He has a career quarterback rating for the Jets of 88.9. (all from pro football reference.com) Plus, his career 66 completion percentage is the best in the ENTIRE NFL.

When you think of some of the great New York Jets, you have Joe Namath, Don Maynard, Weeb Ewbank, Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, Greg Buttle, Freeman McNeil, Wayne Chrebet, Al Toon, Wesley Walker, Curtis Martin, you have to put Chad Pennington in this group.

He’s the most accurate quarterback the Jets have ever had and has set the standard that all the quarterbacks who follow are measured.

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