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Pennington, Jets thrive in the cold at Lambeau

Dec 3, 2006 - 9:09 PM GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Brett Favre is virtually unbeatable at Lambeau Field when the temperature is below 34 degrees. Somebody forgot to tell Chad Pennington and the New York Jets.

Pennington passed for 241 yards and two touchdowns in the first half when the Jets built a 31-point lead en route to a 38-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers in an interconference contest.

Snow showers and a game-time temperature of 19 degrees was made to order for Favre, who entered with a 40-4 record at home when the temperature is below 34.

But the three-time MVP was no match for Pennington, who put on a clinic in the first half, completing 22-of-29 passes and directing five scoring drives - three of which went for more than 70 yards.

"It was exciting," Pennington said. "I think that our guys did a great job of having a mindset to execute and to not let the elements affect us. It was definitely a full, all-around offensive effort."

Pennington hit Jerricho Cotchery with a 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter and connected with tight end Chris Baker on a one-yard scoring play with nine seconds left in the first half to help the Jets (7-5) open a 31-0 lead.

"One of the trademarks of the offense is trying to play fast and in doing that different guys are going to come open based on whatever the scheme is," Jets coach Eric Mangini said. "One of the things that Chad is always very good at is understanding where the hole in the defense is and getting the ball to that receiver. I thought he did a nice job of finding those spaces and taking advantage of those spaces."

Cedric Houston also scored on two short runs in the first half, when the Jets more than tripled the Packers (4-8) in yardage, 340-100. Houston finished with a career-high 105 yards on 22 carries.

Rookie Leon Washington scored on a 20-yard run with 11:30 left in the fourth quarter to complete the rout.

Favre completed just 6-of-11 passes for 48 yards with an interception in the first half. The interception was the 266th of Favre's career, tying him with Fran Tarkenton for third-place on the all-time list. In the second half, Favre threw another interception to surpass Tarkenton.

"That was tough to swallow," Favre said. "Either we're not executing the scheme very well, or we're not playing up to our abilities individually, or we're not very good. One of the three. It might be a combination. I don't know.

"What do you say when you're down 31-0 at the half? I mean, that was embarrassing."

Favre threw the 411th touchdown of his career, connecting with Donald Driver on a 20-yard scoring play with 1:16 left in the third quarter. Dan Marino is the all-time leader with 420 TD passes.

The loss was the fifth in six home games for the Packers this season.

"We looked like we were playing in mud," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "Chad Pennington was just out there playing pitch and catch with his receivers."

Fans booed the Packers as they jogged to the tunnel at halftime.

"I'd be booing too," McCarthy said. "They should boo us. I didn't have a problem with that. This is a man's league, it's a man's business, a man's game, and you can't perform like that."

Pennington connected with eight different receivers. Cotchery led the way with nine receptions for 99 yards.

Mike Nugent kicked a 24-yard field goal to cap New York's first possession. The Jets got the ball back when end-outside linebacker Bryan Thomas sacked Favre and forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson near midfield.

Pennington then hit Cotchery with a 12-yard touchdown on a 3rd-and-9 play with 4:45 remaining in the first quarter.

Houston scored on a three-yard run to cap a nine-play, 83-yard drive and plunged in from the one to end an eight-play, 70-yard drive in the second quarter.

"Cedric did a nice job and the offensive line did a nice job," Mangini said. "It was a nice mixture of Cedric and Leon. They complemented each other."

Favre was picked off by cornerback Andre Dyson with five minutes left in the half, and Pennington directed a 77-yard drive, capped by his one-yard scoring toss to Baker with nine seconds left in the half.

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