KELLEN CLEMENS hasseemingly secured his status as the Jets' Quarterback of the Future. Asecond-round pick out of Oregon in 2006, Clemens averaged a touchdown every 10throws this preseason, and his sparkling 112.2 passer rating was more thantwice that of incumbent Chad Pennington's. The upshot: Like the other playersshown on this page, eighth-year man Pennington needs to be sharp right away.Coach Eric Mangini now has a strong alternative at QB.
The Jets' schedulewon't make it easy on Pennington, who will face five top 12 pass defenses inthe first six weeks. In his favor, though, is his history of defeating thedoubters by coming out roaring. Last year, returning from his second surgery inas many seasons on his throwing shoulder and dealing with lingering questionsabout his arm strength, Pennington averaged 269 passing yards in the firstthree games while tossing five TDs and just one INT. A repeat performance isnecessary to ensure that he remains the Jets'--and fantasy owners'--Quarterbackof the Present.
An oft-injured vet. A breakout RB (Ladell Betts) waiting in the wings. Weknow how this¬†will end in Washington if Portis‚Äôs knee¬†tendinitislimits his early production.
Remember how well Titans coach Jeff Fisher played the hot hand in2006—neither Vince Young nor Travis Henry started Week¬†1. If Whitefalters, Chris Brown is in.
Soon to turn 35, ‚Äúthe Reverend‚Äù has 29‚Äëyear-old Drew Bennett nipping at hisheels. Mitigating factor: Since 2002, even the Rams‚Äô third receiver has caughtan average of 43 balls.
He should treat the first four games as a tryout to reclaim the starting RBjob before Dominic Rhodes returns to the Oakland lineup from hissuspension.
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RON SCHWANE/US PRESSWIRE (PORTIS)
¬†OPTIONPLAY¬†If Pennington is ineffective early, he might get the quickhook.
PETER NEWCOMB/WIREIMAGE.COM (BRUCE)
ROBERT E. KLEIN/ICON SMI (PENNINGTON)