First a few updates:
1. The Jets released cornerback Marquice Cole to make room for Shaun Ellis who is now reinstated and will be back in the starting line-up when the Jets play the Pats this Sunday.
2. The Jets made a nice little jump in ESPN’s Power Rankings from #23 to #16, giving them the week’s biggest improvement.
3. A few non-Jets things: The Yankees should be clinching that AL East title any day now and yes I believe they are the team to beat in the playoffs…Last week’s Entourage was a bit of a let down…But you have to be fired up about that new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm starting up this Sunday.
NFL Week 1 Recap
Wrapping Up Jets/Texans
Defensive Player Of The Game: David Harris/Darrelle Revis – It is impossible not to recognize both of them, which is why Rex Ryan gave them both game balls. Harris was all over the field and Revis shutdown arguably the best receiver in the NFL.
Offensive Player Of The Game: Mark Sanchez – Another easy pick, Sanchez looked like a seasoned veteran in his first career start. The tests only get tougher with the Patriots and Titans coming to town.
Honorable Mentions: Jerricho Cotchery for being clutch on third downs and looking like a running back after the catch…Donald Strickalnd for making two impact plays in a limited role…Sione Pouha/Mike DeVito for filling for Shaun Ellis and not letting the D-Line miss a beat…Leon Washington for 120 total yards…The Jets offensive line…Steve Weatherford for bringing some stability to the punting position.
AFC East Observations
New England Patriots – Was it just me or did the Patriots look nothing like an elite team last night? I’m pretty sure I saw Buffalo physically dominate them for 58 minutes and then choke away the game in a manner that only the Bills could. Give Tom Brady credit for a strong finish and leading the game winning drive and to Randy Moss/Ben Watson for having big time nights. However, let’s be honest the Pats defense didn’t look good, they had no running game, and Brady looked a little shaky in the pocket. How often you think Rex Ryan will be sending the house next week?
Miami Dolphins – Welcome to reality Miami fans aka your 2009 season. I have been saying this for months, Miami has 6-10 written all over them, last year’s magical run is over and it is time for a tough schedule and a lack of talent to catch up with them. Chad Pennington won’t finish the season as their starter, and they will be 0-2 after losing to Indy this Monday night.
Buffalo Bills – Smart play, Leodis McKlevin…just brilliant. You really showed everybody what a game breaker you were last night by taking the ball out of the end-zone with your hands team blocking for you and then trying to fight for extra yards after getting lit up by Brandon Merriweather…awesome, real smart football. Beyond that, Buffalo was impressive and should be 1-0. How do you bench Fred Jackson when Marshawn Lynch comes back?
Five Teams That Impressed Me
- Philadelphia Eagles- Steam rolled the Panthers in their building, but better hope McNabb gets back quickly.
- Oakland Raiders – Put up a fight on Monday Night Football when everyone expected them to lose by 30.
- Buffalo Bills – See above.
- San Francisco 49ers – Big opening day win against the defending NFC West champs.
- New York Giants – Dominated the Redskins, don’t let the score fool you.
Five Teams That Looked Like Garbage
- St. Louis Rams – Absolutely no fight from this team, are they really that bad?
- Cleveland Browns - They are going to average about 10 points a game this year.
- Carolina Panthers – They aren’t going anywhere with Jake Delhomme, who looks like his confidence is shot after last year.
- Arizona Cardinals – What happened to that offense from last season?
- Miami Dolphins – The first of many losses for them this year.
Let’s see if the Vikings can win when somebody stops the run (if it is possible to stop AP)…At least on Sunday night I was happy we didn’t trade for Jay Cutler, 4 picks owch…The poor Bengals, they had become my 2nd favorite team after Hard-Knocks and they lose like that? (By the way, Laveranues had 1 catch and 2 drops)…Good effort by a young Jacksonville team to nearly upset the Colts…I’d still take Darren Sproles over LaDanian Tomlinson, regardless of what anyone says about him having some type of big bounce back year…Reggie Bush: 7 carries for 14 yards, glad we got #29.
Jets vs. Patriots First Look
The Opponent: Everybody’s pick to win the AFC East, Las Vegas’s favorite to win the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots are the team that every analyst and expert loves to love. The Pats were 11-5 last year without All-Pro quarterback Tom Brady who has now returned. New England looked less than impressive as they escaped with a week one victory because the Buffalo Bills choked in the final minutes. Regardless, they have won their last eight games in the Meadowlands against the Jets and have one of the league’s most potent offenses. Despite questions on defense, the Pats will be consensus favorites to beat the Jets this week as the media hypes up Rex Ryan’s quote that he won’t “kiss Bill Bellicheck’s rings.” If the Jets want to be considered serious AFC contenders, a win at home against the Pats would be a good place to start.
New England Patriots Starters/Key Reserves
- Quarterback: Tom Brady – 39/53, 378 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT
- Running Back: Laurence Maroney – 10 carries, 32 yards
- Running Back: Fred Taylor – 9 carries, 25 yards, 1 TD
- Running Back: Kevin Faulk – 3 carries, 7 yards
- Wide Receiver: Randy Moss – 12 catches, 141 yards
- Wide Receiver: Wes Welker – 12 catches, 93 yards
- Wide Receiver: Joey Galloway – 0 catches
- Tight End: Ben Watson – 6 catches, 77 yards 2 TD’s
- Tight End: Chris Baker – 1 catch, 7 yards
- Left Tackle: Matt Light
- Left Guard: Logan Mankins
- Center: Dan Koppen
- Right Guard: Stephen Neal
- Right Tackle: Nick Kaczur
- Defensive End: Ty Warren
- Nose Tackle: Vince Wilfork
- Defensive End: Jarvis Green
- Outside Linebacker: Pierre Woods – 4 tackles, 2 FF
- Inside Linebacker: Jerod Mayo
- Inside Linebacker: Gary Guyton – 4 tackles
- Outside Linebacker: Adalius Thomas – 1 sack, 5 tackles
- Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain – 2 sacks
- Outside Linebacker: Derrick Burgess – 1 sack
- Corner: Leigh Bodden – 5 tackles, 1 pass defense
- Corner: Shawn Springs – 6 tackles, 1 FF
- Safety: Brandon Merriweather – 8 tackles,
- Safety: James Sanders – 4 tackles
- Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
- Punter: Chris Hanson
- Kick Return: Laurence Maroney
- Punt Return: Wes Welker
Key Players: Obviously Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker are the Pats best weapons on offense. They have a deep group of running backs led by Laurence Maroney and their offensive line is consistently solid. On defense, they have a strong rotation at outside linebacker who all contribute to their pass rush. Brandon Merriweather is a rising star in the secondary.
Injuries: The Jets appear to be 100 percent healthy heading into this game, nobody will be inactive because of an injury. Pats middle linebacker Jerod Mayo was hurt last night and is questionable to play this week.
Early Story Lines: Pats have won 8 straight in the Meadowlands…Rex Ryan “kiss the rings” quote…Battle for early lead in AFC East…Darrelle Revis vs Randy Moss…The Jets defense getting after Tom Brady…Mark Sanchez vs Bill Bellicheck’s defensive scheme.
Good Luck Blocking Kris Jenkins