Harrington plays well in defeat

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Joey Harrington looked comfortable running the Atlanta Falcons' offense. He's not Michael Vick, but he showed he can scramble a little bit, too.

Thrust into the starting quarterback job while Vick is away from the team and facing federal dogfighting charges, Harrington led one scoring drive in his three series Friday night in a 31-16 loss to the New York Jets in the preseason opener for both teams.

The former Detroit and Miami quarterback was 6-for-9 for 88 yards, including a 37-yard completion to Dwayne Blakley on a play that was kept alive when the traditional pocket passer avoided a pass rush with a nice scramble.

While Harrington is nowhere near the mobile playmaker Vick is, he showed he can certainly play in new coach Bobby Petrino's offense.

Jets backup Kellen Clemens was also impressive, going 16-for-22 - including nine consecutive completions during one stretch - for 174 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Sean Ryan. Quarterback/wide receiver Brad Smith was incomplete on the Jets' only other pass attempt.

New York ran the ball early and often, giving new No. 1 running back Thomas Jones plenty of work while Chad Pennington didn't attempt a pass in his two series. In fact, the Jets failed to complete a pass until late in the second quarter.

Jerious Norwood, starting for the injured Warrick Dunn, had eight carries for 29 yards, including a 10-yard run that gave Atlanta a 7-0 lead with 39 seconds left in the first quarter. Rookie Jason Snelling led the Falcons with 10 carries for 48 yards.

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