Former N.C. State star wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery needed two series to benefit from the New York Jets’ acquisition of quarterback Brett Favre.
Only 7 minutes into the Jets’ NFL opener Sunday at Miami, Cotchery hauled in a 56-yard touchdown strike from Favre on an up-and-out pattern that caught the Dolphins’ secondary flat-footed. The play gave the Jets a 7-0 lead en route to an eventual 20-14 win.
For Favre, it was TD throw No. 443 of his long career. For the 6-foot, 205-pound Cotchery, it was TD catch No. 9 as a pro. Working primarily with QBs Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens in 2007, Cotchery had 82 snags for 1,130 yards, but only two TD receptions.
Wolfpack fans fondly remember the Alabama native as the favorite target for Philip Rivers during the early 2000s. Cotchery finished his State career with 200 receptions (9 more than Torry Holt) for 3,119 yards and 21 TD catches.
Favre’s second TD pass as a Jet _ a 22-yarder _ went to former Clemson standout Chansi Stuckey.
Combined, Cotchery (3 catches, 80 yards) and Stuckey (3-34) accounted for 117 yards of Favre’s 194 total.
Meanwhile, rookie running back Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans prevailed over QB David Garrard and the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game that featured two of the top players in East Carolina history.
Johnson, in his NFL debut, caught a 7-yard TD pass from Vince Young and led the team in rushing with 93 yards on 15 carries, as Tennessee took 17-10 win. Garrard, the former Southern Durham High standout, completed 23 of 35 passes but was victimized by two interceptions.