Time to Jump Off the Jets Bandwagon?

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First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan admitted he made a mistake by not using his timeouts during his conference call with media members yesterday. The big guy is guilty of being overconfident in his defense and denying his offense, which was playing very well, a chance to win the game at the end.

2. Site Updates – The newest episode of TOJ TV has been placed on the TOJ TV page, also the new commercial as been placed on the Jets Commercials page, the stats have also been updated. I got away from my normal weekly format because of the short week, but tomorrow I will be back to the usual Thursday game breakdown and Friday will have the new episode of TOJ TV with the Jets/Bills prediction.

3. Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring), Damien Woody (foot), Brad Smith (quad), and Shaun Ellis (knee) didn’t practice today. Lito Sheppard and Donald Stickland were both limited in practice. I wouldn’t bet on Cotchery playing this week.

Time To Jump Off the Jets Bandwagon?

A football season is undeniably filled with peeks and valleys. An important point often raised to players and coaches for that matter is to never get too high after a win or get too low after a loss. It is often easy to ignore this advice after a win, when the joy of victory covers the blemishes in a performance and after a loss, when the sting of defeat ignores the positives.  The point I am trying to make in relation to the Jets is that however stupid it was to consider them a Super Bowl contender at 3-0, it is equally stupid to bury them at 3-2.

Let’s reflect on the Jets first five games. In week one, they caught an average Houston team off guard in their building. Mark Sanchez played unusually well for a rookie and the Jets offensive line wore down a weak Texans front seven in the second half, springing a few big runs. Their defense spent the entire day in the face of a shell shocked quarterback who clearly didn’t know what to expect from their unit. In week two, the Jets played a poor first half but managed to keep the game close by forcing New England to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. In the second half, they came out with more energy than the Patriots and rode the momentum of opening the half with a touchdown to a victory. In the third game, the Jets played a terrific first 7 minutes, jumping out to a 14-0 lead and then were thoroughly outplayed by the Titans the rest of the way. They hung on to a victory because of a muffed punt and dropped passes by Tennessee receivers. In week 4, their defense put together a great all around effort but they were undone by rookie mistakes from their quarterback. On Monday night, the Jets defense wasn’t prepared for Miami’s Wildcat approach and had the ball ran down their throat, wasting a great performance by their offense in 31-27 loss.

So, what do we have? We have a football team that is inconsistent on both sides of the football. The past couple of weeks they haven’t been able to sync up a strong performance from their offense and defense. Yet, here a few things to remember before you step to the ledge on the Jets 2009 season:

1. Their offense is only going to get better…much better. They just added a playmaking, legit number one receiver who appears to be hungry and focused. Their quarterback is maturing with each passing week and has shown an ability to push the ball down the field, and respond to adversity. Jerricho Cotchery is banged up right now but was playing at high level through 4 weeks and when he returns to 100 percent, the Jets will have one of the better starting duo of receivers in the league. David Clowney showed he was a capable playmaker on Monday Night, hauling in a 53 yard catch and finishing the game with 4 receptions. Brad Smith has made at least one big play in every game this season except for one (15 yard run week one, 17 yard catch week three, 18 yard run week four, 19 yard catch week three). Dustin Keller has been curiously uninvolved in the offensive attack but is still a capable playmaker as demonstrated last year and against the Texans this season.

The offensive line has shown signs of improvements the past two weeks, appearing to finally get in sync after having limited work together in the pre-season. Thomas Jones does appear a step slower but Shonn Greene is slowly developing a bigger role to replace some of his carries. Leon is putting together a pretty good year and is long overdue to pop a few big plays. The bottom line is that the Jets have plenty of weapons around a rookie quarterback who should do nothing but improve in the coming weeks.

2. When it comes to our defense the proof is in the rule, not the exception. It is foolish to miscast the Jets defense as frauds because they played poorly 1 out of 5 games. Their masterful performances against the Texans, Patriots, Saints, and in the 4th quarter against the Titans don’t get erased because of one bad game. Does anybody say the Ravens had a poor defense last year because the Giants and Colts ran it up on them? No, these things happen in the NFL. The opposing team is coached and wants to win too, they are going to be better in some weeks. Obviously, the goal is to limit the number of times it happens throughout a season but a 4 to 1 ratio isn’t bad and likely equates to double digit victories.

Calvin Pace is going to get his feet back under him. Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland are eventually going to return from injuries. This unit hasn’t been perfect all season and certain players need to improve their play, Kerry Rhodes needs to become a playmaker in terms of forcing turnovers, Marques Douglas has to be better against the run, and Shaun Ellis/Bryan Thomas and Pace need to generate a pass rush, in order for the Jets to become a truly elite defense.

The Jets aren’t running away with anything this season. They will be in a battle with the Patriots and Dolphins all year for the AFC East crown. The amazing thing about the NFL is how fickle it is. It is  comedic listening to people crown Chad Henne the next Dan Marino because he played one good half of football. Remember everything you are reading right now about the Jets and Dolphins and think about how much things could change by their next meeting, which is only three weeks away. I don’t think I am going out on a limb by saying I believe the Jets will take care of business against the Bills and Raiders the next two weeks or that there is a fair chance the Dolphins will lose to New Orleans after their bye. If those three games fall into place, the Jets will be 5-2 and Miami will be 2-4, with the Monday Night loss a distant memory and the Jets being presented with an opportunity to bury the Dolphins at home.

The NFL is a funny thing because the Jets could absolutely find a way to lose to Buffalo or Oakland. However, my gut instinct tells me that they will come out motivated the next two weeks to show the first three weeks weren’t a fluke and they’ll beat up on two inferior opponents, setting the stage for a game that should feel like the Super Bowl for the defense when they face the Dolphins at home.

You want to jump off the Jets bandwagon? At least wait until they lose to Buffalo at home or Oakland, not when they lose to the defending AFC East champs on the road by a last second touchdown.

Bills/Browns Highlights…If you could call them that

8 thoughts on “Time to Jump Off the Jets Bandwagon?

  1. Joe, your post get better and better every week I couldent agree with you more. As a long time jet fan I absolutley agree with everything you just said. Every year the Jets lose these kind of games and every year people jump off the bandwagon and the jets fall out of the national spotlight. So let the hater be the haters and let’s think what we wanna think hopefully the jets will get out of this little slide and will be able to get back to where we were. All I’m saying is this is going to be a fantastic football team in the near futurethey have all the right tools. Keep up the good post joe they really entertain me.

  2. X,

    Great insight. I too was disappointed this week as the Jets defense fell victim to the Wildcat on Monday Night Football. Some observations from a non-biased fan:

    1. Revis is human. I know you are huge on the young corner, however there were times (both playing the run and the pass) on Monday Night where he showed he isn’t the BEST corner in the league. I can recall a terrible effort in trying to tackle Ronnie Brown. I understand Brown is an underrated star in this league, but Revis looked like Diego Gomez trying to tackle a young 16 out there. Late in the game Revis also got beat by Ted Ginn for a long touchdown. Ginn, not a premier receiver in the league, altough he does own elite NFL speed seemed to fly past Revis for a score that gave Miami control late in the game. Now I know what your going to say, “Even the best corners make mistakes and get beat sometimes”. A very valid point. BUT – the BEST corner in the league makes those plays in a big game on Monday Night Football. I think Revis is an exceptional young corner, however it is early to anoint him the best corner in the NFL. (Which you have done on your site before)

    2. PAGING DUSTIN KELLER?…I know Rex Ryan is a defensive mastermind from Baltimore but how about getting your stud TE involved? You would think that in the past few years Ryan took a look over at the offense in Baltimore and saw a guy named Tood Heap making plays and being a centerpiece in their offense. How about they start incorporating the TE in NY. (Wait did I just say incorporate a TE in an offense) HA!

    3. The sky is the limit for Braylon. I know your a huge fan of a big time receiver and I think NY is a great place for him. Edwards showed that he left his troubles in Cleveland and looked energized and fresh in the game vs Miami. I have a feeling Sanchez and Edwards will begin to develop some chemistry and this combination could be a favorite for Jets fans for quiet some time.

    Curious what you have to say regarding my opinions big 9? I’ve had some free time on my hands before I hit the beach today so I thought I’d show you some love.

    On another note, Rumor has it a certain #39 had half a sack vs Juniata. You have an thoughts on that?

    -Z

  3. Z,

    I always appreciate your long, detailed insights. Revis didn’t have his best game on Monday but that doesn’t erase the way he played the first four games…can you name another corner you’d rather have right now? I couldn’t.

    The Jets need to do a much job of getting the ball to Dustin Keller. It is almost as much of a crime as Muhlenberg not getting the Big 9 over the middle.

    Obviously, I love Braylon after 1 game and have already ordered my #17 jersey…not Jon Liberty but Braylon Edwards.

    I will be in Dallas in 3 short months, so you can continue your primary job of being my wingman.

    My sources have confirmed that #39 DID NOT record half a sack…he just jumped on the pile after the play

  4. Greg,

    Thanks for the support and keep reading…and always feel free to offer suggestions on what type of coverage/articles you’d like to see

  5. Thanks for all the recap and updates. May our favorite team wins! Keep up the good work here. By the way, being a great NFL fan is rewarding too! Here’s one from Premio Foods, the producer of delicious and quality sausage products in the U.S. They’re giving away free buy one get one coupon whenever your favorite team wins. Be a Premio Facebook Fan and check out the details. Thanks and have a great day!

  6. to answer the first question:

    Never.

    I will die a Jets Fan.

    ok, for 16 regarding Revis’ game on Monday. Give Ronnie Brown credit on his shiftiness; he reminds me of Curtis Martin when he does that. But I must disagree on the Ginn TD. The Jets were in Cover Two and Revis handed Ginn off to the over the top Safeties. Ginn just plain out-woody woodpecker’ed them down the field, and Henne just let it out for him to catch up to. If you’ll notice in that play, Revis started trying to come back to him once he noticed Ginn had beaten the coverage; he actually gained on the safeties and was passing them, but by then it was too late, Ginn had the ball and was 10 yards away from the end zone.

    Right on regarding Dustin Keller. How in the world could schotty NOT be drawing up plays with Dustin as the 1 or 2 read? Everybody keeps on (rightfully IM-not-so-HO…) calling him the Jets version of Dallas Clark. What are the coaches saving him for?

    Schotty, if you’re reading this (and I know you do…) WTF is up with that??!!! Get Dustin INVOLVED!!!

  7. Joe,

    I’ve been biting my tongue on the comments cause after this loss you’ve been sounding like a typical Jets fan – negative and turning on players so quickly. Now it seems you’ve steadied yourself a bit and are being more objective.

    Miami won because they are THAT good, not because the Jets were THAT bad.

    The fact is had the Jets gotten the ball back with time on the clock they win. Everyone else’s analysis of the game would be completely different and the Jets bandwagon would still be full.

    The fact is Miami played a really good game, and it’s typical of the way they have played all season, except this time they cut down on the mistakes. The Jets played their typical game, but their lack of depth hurt them on D because their backups got pancaked.

    Fortunately, Miami isn’t a very consistent team [because of players like Ted Ginn, Will Allen, and youngsters still learning on the job]. Miami will be a strong contender in the division but in the end will slip because of strength of schedule and lack of leadership on the field].

    Newsflash – Revis will get burned again. Last game wasn’t the first time and it wasn’t the last time. Good news is it won’t happen very often.

    Let’s see what happens this week against the hapless Bills [who always plays us tough by the way].

  8. All good points Angel…the loss was still stinging as I wrote my article Monday night and Tuesday morning, I think TOJ TV on Friday will show how I am really feeling about this season, which is much more positive like I conveyed in this article

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