For too long this season Chad Pennington has been hung out to dry by his offensive teammates or made foolish mistakes himself. In plenty of games, he hasn't had reliable protection from his offensive line, a running attack to keep opponents honest or a receiver to make plays. This in turn has forced him into situations where mistakes are likely.

But Sunday, Laveranues Coles lent a helping hand in the Jets' 26-11 win over Houston. He had an acrobatic catch in the first half to set up one of Mike Nugent's three field goals before intermission. With six minutes gone in the third quarter, Coles struck again and gave the Jets the cushion they'd need for their victory.

Coles finished with 111 yards on nine catches; teammate Jerricho Cotchery had 110 yards on seven catches. Pennington threw for 286 yards and a touchdown without an interception. His signature moment came when he was knocked down and needed to have his shoulder looked at after a heavy hit by Mario Williams in the third quarter. But by the time it came for Pennington to leave the field, he sprinted off and waved both arms, including the affected shoulder, to call for more support from the crowd. That combined with his receivers' output and defense's stinginess helped the Jets win a game they needed at home.

Photo of Chad Pennington after a first down sneak by AP//Bill Kostroun