Grading Out The Jets/Panthers Game

*Nov 29 - 00:05*

First a few updates:

1. Except for Denver winning (thank you very much Giants), literally every team the Jets needed to lose yesterday, actually did lose. It was a rare day of positive outcomes for the Jets, who now somehow sit 1 game out of the AFC’s final wild card spot.

2. I don’t have a major problem with how Kerry Rhodes handled the media yesterday. The guy has been through a rough week with his well deserved benching. He said what he needed to say and left before having to answer millions of questions about whether he should get his job back (he shouldn’t yet, Eric Smith played a very good game). Hopefully, Rhodes will string together a few big games and start to resemble the player the Jets expected him to be in 2009.

3. The stats and game highlights section have been updated. It was nice to finally add some winning highlights. We are currently working on an extended holiday special version of TOJ TV to hopefully air before the Jets/Bucs game on December 13th. However, I’d like to get something up before Thursday’s game but apparently I need to devote more attention to my finals than my website’s television show. We’ll see if I end up writing my final today or instead laying in my bed, watching re-runs of LOST, and eating pretzels.

Grading Out The Jets/Panthers Game

JETS V PANTHERS SQuarterbacks: (B-) It was far from his best game of the season, but it was still a step in the right direction from the previous few games for Mark Sanchez. He was noticeably more careful with the football, showed his ability to run when his receivers are covered and displayed accuracy on a few impressive throws over the middle to Dustin Keller. Yes, the interception he threw was a bad pass and eventually he will have to press the ball down the field a little more but he played well enough for the Jets to win. It was also good to see him finally get his completion percentage well above 50.

Running Backs: (B-) A solid, workmanlike day from Thomas Jones. Shonn Greene’s fumble lowered the grade of this group. He shows some good burst but must do a better job of protecting the football. It was a smart decision by the Jets coaching staff to activate Danny Woodhead and use him in the third down role because he is a very good receiver out of the backfield. He provides a Sanchez a good outlet as a check down.

Wide Receivers: (C) It was a quiet day from this group, with Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery only combining for 4 receptions. Edwards showed a strong ability to run after the catch and it was also a good decision to throw him shorter passes to keep him involved.

Tight Ends: (C) Dustin Keller had a very good game, except for his fumble. It is good to see him becoming more consistently involved in the offense. Ben Hartsock is stringing together a few games without a penalty.

Offensive Line: (C) It wasn’t the best day for this group. Sanchez was sacked a few times and Thomas Jones couldn’t crack the 100 yard mark. D’Brickashaw Ferguson also had a holding penalty.

Defensive Line: (A) A really strong effort from this group in slowing down DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Marques Douglas and Shaun Ellis are both playing better than expected this season. Sione Pouha has also been more than competent as a replacement for Kris Jenkins.

Linebackers: (A) A sack for David Harris, Calvin Pace, and Bryan Thomas. Bart Scott was also fairly active. Was Vernon Gholston in uniform on Sunday?

112909Jets03ACNYSecondary: (A) Darrelle Revis played another terrific game on Sunday, you can add Steve Smith to the list of elite receivers who have been completely shut down by Revis. Eric Smith didn’t disappointin his promotion to the starting line-up, with a team leading 8 tackles and 2 for a loss. Aided by Jake Delhomme’s general awfulness, Kerry Rhodes pulled in his first two  interceptions of the season. Rex Ryan is looking pretty smart for at least one week.

Special Teams: (B) Jay Feely made an important kick in the 4th quarter. Brad Smith had a nice kick return. The punt coverage was a little shaky.

Coaching: (A) The benching of Kerry Rhodes brought out strong performances from both him and Eric Smith. Ryan also made the right call by challenging Steve Smith’s touchdown. It was a good game plan on both sides of the ball and the coaching staff had the team ready to play.

Highlights of the Jets 17-6 Win Over Carolina

It's About Time: Jets Beat Panthers 17-6

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It wasn’t pretty but it was something the Jets badly needed, a victory. If the Jets could have played this type of ugly, run-dominated, conservative style a few other times this year they may not be below .500 right now. Mark Sanchez didn’t light the world on fire today with with 154 yards passing, o touchdowns, and an interception. However, he was 13/17 which is a major step in the right direction for his completion percentage. He also chipped in 27 yards rushing. The injury to his leg that required him to miss a few snaps doesn’t appear to be too serious because it didn’t look to limit him when he returned.

Turnovers still remained an issue today with fumbles from Shonn Greene and Dustin Keller, however the Jets were able to overcome it thanks to a terrific effort from their defense. Darrelle Revis continued to prove he was the best cornerback in football by holding Steve Smith to one catch for five yards and pulling in two interceptions of his own, including a bizarre one that he ran back 67 yards for a touchdown. Kerry Rhodes picked himself off the mat and recorded his first two interceptions of the year. The early returns on Rex Ryan benching him are positive because Rhodes appears to have woken up and the guy who replaced him, Eric Smith played a great game also, leading the team with 8 tackles, including 2 for a loss.

Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, and David Harris each recorded a sack and the Jets constantly applied pressure all game. It looked a little bit like the first few weeks of the season. Thomas Jones had another solid effort with 75 rushing yards and touchdown. Braylon Edwards chipped 40 yards receiving and even Danny Woodhead got into the act with 23 receiving yards and a rushing attempt.

Also, to everybody in Miami…haha.

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Rough slate of games yesterday for the NFL. I still don’t understand how the Raiders beat the Bengals and Eagles. The Giants laid a big time egg, which caught me off guard especially because of how bad Denver had been playing. Unless they get things turned around quickly, the Giants might be joining the Jets at home in January.

2. Rex Ryan press conference today: He took some time to stand up for Vernon Gholston, who will be active this week. Donald Strickland and Dwight Lowery are going to be out. He expressed frustration with how the news about Kerry Rhodes being benched got out, and reiterated that he will still be on the field in nickel and dime packages.

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

Offense: Expect a run heavy game plan from the Jets. The Panthers have struggled against the run all season and I think the game plan will work to protect Mark Sanchez. He will likely be started out with a bunch of short throws and pass plays with very basic reads. More important than the Jets winning this week, is Sanchez not turning the ball over, improving his completion percentage, and throwing a couple of touchdown passes. Regardless, I’d be shocked to see Thomas Jones have anything less than 20 carries and see Sanchez throw more than 20-23 passes.

Defense: If the Jets are smart they will stack the box to prevent DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart from beating them, leave Darrelle Revis one on one with Steve Smith and see if Jake Delhomme can beat them. This unit has been good all season and dominant at times but they struggled to create big plays. If there is a week to rack up some interceptions, forced fumbles, and sacks…this is it.

Prediction: I expect an ugly, turnover filled, low-scoring game. I am going  with Carolina 16-13.

Darrelle Revis Will Have His Hands Full

Thanksgiving Ramblings On The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. My head is still hurting from national high school reunion night. I must say it is good to be back in Ringwood for the weekend and that despite being a generally anti-social person it was good to see everybody last night. I made the brilliant decision to walk home last night along the main road in our town instead of through the woods with my friends. This resulted in me nearly being by two cars, my friends thinking I got lost and a random girl offering me a ride home. I would like to thank that random girl for picking me up because I might still be walking if she didn’t.

2. I know we have been on a bit of a hiatus from Turn On The Jets TV but I can assure you Corbett and myself have some quality ideas for upcoming episodes. Don’t worry the show isn’t going to end when the Jets season ends. We will continue entertaining all our loyal viewers here and on youtube year round.

3. Kissing Suzy Kolber did another hilarious Rex Ryan story, this one with a Thanksgiving angle: http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2009/11/a-very-special-thanksgiving-with-a-very-special-surprise-guest.html#more-21696 — beware of explicit material.

4. The attractive girl of the day in Jets apparel:

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Thanksgiving Ramblings On The Jets

– Matthew Stafford threw 4 interceptions today and completed less than 50 percent of his passes…at least Mark Sanchez isn’t the only rookie quarterback struggling.

– Did anybody else find it hilarious when Hank Poteat got called for pass interference on the last play of the Browns/Lions game last week? Poor Eric Mangini looked like his head was going to explode…that’s what you get when you fill your defense with Jets castoffs.

– How about this trade offer for the off-season? Kerry Rhodes and Vernon Gholston to Cleveland for a 2nd and3rd round pick? We need draft picks, not more veterans. Obviously only Eric Mangini would be interested in Rhodes and Gholston at this point.

– So if the Giants beat the Broncos, the Ravens beat the Steelers, the Niners beat the Jaguars, the Colts beat the Texans, the Bills beat the Dolphins, and the Jets beat the Panthers, they will only be one game out of the wild-card. See, they are still in it, right? right?

– David Clowney has more twitter incidents (2) than touchdowns this season (1).

– Kerry Rhodes and I have the same amount of sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles for the Jets this season.

– Leigh Bodden was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week…Mark Sanchez making average cornerbacks pro-bowlers on a weekly basis.

– Drew Coleman just knocked at my door…he is still looking for Wes Welker. (As you can tell, I am also a part time comedian).

– Braylon Edwards better duplicate his performances against Miami a few times the rest of the season if he wants that fat, new contract from the Jets in the off-season.

– Since there has been plenty of negativity around this team, let’s shout out a few people who are having good seasons: Darrelle Revis is the best corner in football right now, Jerricho Cotchery has been very productive since returning from his injury, Shaun Ellis is still going strong, Nick Mangold is having another all-pro season, Jim Leonhard has been a good addition and showed his toughness by playing last week, Marques Douglas has been a solid upgrade over Kenyon Coleman, Tony Richardson is still a very good fullback, Thomas Jones is earning a new contract, Dustin Keller is being more consistently involved in the offense.

And now some entertainment…

How ‘Effin Funny Is The Office?

Some of Corbett and My Work Prior to Turn On The Jets

And of course the last episode of TOJ TV, for those few in America who haven’t seen it

Rex Makes Right Move By Benching Rhodes

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First a few updates:

1. Dwight Lowery and Donald Strickland will be out this week. Vernon Gholston returned to practice today from his hamstring injury.

Rex Makes Right Move By Benching Rhodes

As I am sure most Jets fans know by now, Kerry Rhodes has been benched in favor of Eric Smith. It was a bold move by Rex Ryan but a necessaryone and one that could be remembered as a key part of his development as a NFL head coach. Slowly, Ryan is starting to realize what is actually required of a head coach. He is becoming more involved in the offense and working to be in control of the full team instead of just a defensive coordinator. The decision to bench Rhodes shows that Ryan is going to hold players accountable, even when they are high-paid, big name guys. Just from following the Jets and reading fan’s opinions on Rhodes, this move should be a jolt to Rex’s popularity with people who follow the team.

08jets_1_190Let’s look at the reality of the Rhodes situation. The guy was a 5th round draft pick in 2005, came out of nowhere to be a big time playmaker in 2006 and 2007. He earned a fat, new contract and a warranted reputation as a player who didn’t receive enough attention for his play on the field. Rhodes also started becoming focused on his off the field modeling and acting career. In 2008, he had a quiet season but the blame was passed on to Eric Mangini’s schemes. This year there were high expectations for him to be a playmaker in Rex Ryan’s defense, with comparisons to Ed Reed being thrown around. The results so far? Zero interceptions, zero sacks, zero forced fumbles, and 1 tackle for a loss…yikes. Last week against New England was the final straw, as Rhodes missed countless tackles and appeared soft against receivers over the middle and the running game.

Most people seem to think Rhodes is on his way out of New York, yet I don’t know if that is a foregone conclusion. I think the intention of this move is to wake Rhodes up, sharpen his focus, and find a way to get him to reach his potential. Will the decision pay off? We will see over the next few weeks because Rhodes will still be on the field in plenty of defensive packages, as Rex Ryan made clear today. Listening to Ryan talk, it doesn’t sound like he is ready to give up on Rhodes and that he hopes this is a move that will lead to a strong response from him.

Some people will say if Ryan is holding people accountable, then how come Mark Sanchez isn’t being benched? I know I have been hard on Sanchez the past week, but the situations are completely different. There is nothing to be gained by benching Mark Sanchez right now. He needs to be on the field the last six weeks and work through his mistakes. The Jets aren’t going to the playoffs. The most important thing for the rest of the 2009 season is Sanchez taking steps in a positive direction. Kerry Rhodes was expected to be a Pro-Bowl player this year and he has been a below average safety at best. Mark Sanchez is a rookie quarterback who started 16 games in college, who has been awful at times yet the reality is that he has played well enough for the Jets to win 7 of their 10 games this season.

Rex Ryan did the right thing by benching an ineffective player who seems to be preoccupied with his off the field lifestyle. Hopefully, Kerry Rhodes wakes up and becomes the player he has the talent to be.

Insert Your Own Funny Comment

NFL Week 11 Recap/Jets vs. Panthers First Look

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First a few updates:

1. The big story being reported out of the New York media today is how Rex Ryan will be more hands on with the Jets offense and Mark Sanchez. Hopefully, a person the size of Ryan constantly in Sanchez’s ear about protecting the football will make him think twice before he launches another ball off his back foot into double coverage. Ryan also said yesterday he felt disrespected by the Pats bombing it up to Randy Moss with 30 seconds left despite being up 17. Was it a classless move? Sure it was, but what else would you expect from New England? The Jets and Pats are rivals. For all the talking the Jets have done this year, this is no time to be complaining about feeling disrespected.

2. The Jets fell to number 22 in ESPN’s Power Rankings. Remember when they were the #5 team? It is hard to believe that it was during this season.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – Unless they have a colossal meltdown, the Pats should cruise to the AFC East title. I am not sure if they are good enough right now to pull out a victory in New Orleans, but beyond that I think will roll through the rest of their schedule.

Dolphins-Patriots-Football2__1222089553_3355Miami Dolphins – Somehow, someway the Dolphins are right in the thick of the AFC wild card race. Unlike what was expected for the AFC this year, there is plenty of mediocrity battling for the #5 and #6 playoff spots. If the Dolphins can avoid a slip up against Buffalo this week, they will have a chance in upcoming games against Houston and Jacksonville to put themselves in great position to play in January. I am already having nightmares about a Miami/New England first round playoff game.

Buffalo Bills – I am fascinated to see how the NFL Network is going to promote the upcoming Jets/Bills Thursday night game, “Watch Mark Sanchez and his 19 interceptions lead the 4-7 Jets into Toronto to play Ryan Fitzpatrick and the 3-8 Buffalo Bills”…oh boy.

TOJ Top Twenty

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – I am giving them the bump up to #1 because of recent impressive victories over New England and on the road at Baltimore.
  2. New Orleans Saints – If they beat New England on Monday night, 16-0 becomes a reality.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – All I can do now is hope for a Brett Favre flameout in the playoffs.
  4. San Diego Chargers – About to run away from the suddenly hapless Broncos in the AFC West.
  5. New England Patriots – Another chance to show they are an elite team this Monday night.
  6. Arizona Cardinals – Putting together a very impressive season to follow up their NFC title.
  7. Cincinnati Bengals – A loss to Oakland? Really? Fortunately for them the Steelers couldn’t beat the Chiefs.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – They finally won a close game.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Ugly ugly win but if they can handle Oakland on Thursday, they will be 8-3 heading into a huge game against the Giants.
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers – Who would have thought Pittsburgh would be battling for a wild card spot?
  11. New York Giants – They should be able to handle the fading Broncos on Thursday.
  12. Green Bay Packers – I would love them to get another shot at Minnesota in the playoffs.
  13. Jacksonville Jaguars – Let’s see if they can handle a West Coast trip and being a playoff contender.
  14. Baltimore Ravens – Huge game Sunday night against the Steelers.
  15. Tennessee Titans – Could they actually finish over .500 after starting 0-6?
  16. Atlanta Falcons – Soft remaining schedule could help their playoff run.
  17. Miami Dolphins – I am hoping it is too little, too late for the Dolphins but unfortunately it may not be.
  18. Houston Texans  – They can’t win a big game.
  19. Denver Broncos – Could they actually finish below .500 after starting 6-0?
  20. Carolina Panthers – Good news for their fledgling playoff hopes…the Jets upcoming on the schedule.

Jets vs. Panthers First Look

jake_delhommeThe Opponent: Let playing out the string commence…the Jets begin a three game streak against sub .500 teams this week with a home game against Carolina in the “Interception Bowl.” Jake Delhomme (14) and Mark Sanchez (16) have combined for 30 interceptions this season. The Panthers are coming off a 12-4 season but have disappointed in 2009 with a 4-6 record. Similar to the Jets, they can run the football and play some defense but are limited by a turnover prone quarterback. I do know this, I would be starting both Thomas Jones and DeAngelo Williams on your fantasy football team because there should be plenty of handoffs in the Meadowlands on Sunday. Last Thursday night, Carolina lost 24-17 at home to our beloved Dolphins, due to Ricky Williams running all over them…like I said it is time to hand the football off.

Key Players: Steve Smith is one of the league’s premier big play receivers but has struggled in 2009 because of inconsistent quarterback play. Fortunately, the Jets have Darrelle Revis to handle him and Carolina doesn’t have Wes Welker on the other side of him. DeAngelo Williams is their lead back and is also a big play threat with breakaway speed. Jonathan Stewart is very involved as the #2 running back with over 500 yards and 6 touchdowns. He provides a more bruising, inside running style. On defense, Julius Peppers is having another strong season with 7 sacks. Jon Beason is one of the better linebackers in football and Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall are a talented pair of corners.

Injuries: I would expect Donald Strickland, Dwight Lowery, and Vernon Gholston to miss another week. Strickland has a head injury. Lowery has a bad ankle sprain and Gholston has a hamstring/he’s not that good and the Jets coaches need an excuse to bench him issue.

Dolphins/Panthers Highlights

Grading Out The Jets/Patriots Game

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First a few updates:

1. Leigh Bodden is not a New York Jets receiver…just needed to update Mark Sanchez on that in case he happens to stumble across this website…anything I can do to help.

2. With the Jets playing out the string (something I will write about more throughout the week) I am going to move towards a little extra general NFL writing, with the discussions of the NFC/AFC playoff races, weekly picks on important games, etc. I will still have my normal amounts of coverage on the Jets because there is plenty of negative stuff to be written, but there is no reason to ignore the 16-20 teams still battling for position in January.

3. Rex Ryan’s press conference today: Donald Strickland got a concussion and will be out for awhile. Dwight Lowery has a high ankle sprain and will be out for a few weeks. Ryan said he will be more hands on in terms of monitoring Mark Sanchez and drilling into his head the importance of protecting the football. He also admitted he needs to be more hands on in general with the rest of team outside of the defense.

4. The stats and game highlights were updated…proceed with caution.

Grading Out The Jets/Patriots Game

Quarterbacks: (F) Just absolutely awful is the only to way to describe how Mark Sanchez played. The first two interceptions were bad enough but then somehow the Jets battled back to make  it 24-14 and have the ball in Patriots territory and what does Sanchez do on the first play of the drive, completely overthrow Jerricho Cotchery (or underthrow Braylon Edwards) I couldn’t even tell and is intercepted…then the Jets defense stops New England again and Sanchez scrambles around in the end-zone and when there is clearly no play to be made, instead of throwing it away he throws it right to Brandon Merriweather…awful. The guy has no respect for the football. The last interception he threw to Merriweather was comically bad, little league stuff. The worst part is that he just doesn’t seem to get it…he isn’t learning from his mistakes and he has this weird smug attitude after the game, which doesn’t seem to recognize how bad he is actually playing.

Sanchez is playing like he knows the Jets won’t pull him because they have nobody to turn to. He is stubbornly refusing to protect the football and is showing no fundamental idea of how to play quarterback at the NFL level. If he doesn’t show any improvement over the last 6 weeks, the Jets may be staring at the reality that they whiffed on two straight first round picks. Note, how I said that if he doesn’t show any improvement in the 6 last weeks…they may have to face that reality. The kid obviously has some talent but let’s see him learn and grow over the 6 last games or it could be ugly here for awhile.

Running Backs: (B) Thomas Jones is one of the few Jets who showed up to work on Sunday and put together another solid game. He is earning a new contract. Shonn Greene has been a ghost since his breakout game against Oakland.

Wide Receivers: (C-) Jerricho Cotchery played a very good game, as he usually does against the Patriots. Braylon Edwards had a big third down drop early in the game and also probably should have pulled in another deep ball. David Clowney had a drop early in the game also.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller made a few tough catches over the middle is starting to become consistently involved in the offense. There were no penalties on Ben Hartsock which is always a positive for him.

Offensive Line: (B) They put together a good all around effort. Thomas Jones ran for 100 yards and Sanchez was only sacked a couple of times.

Defensive Line: (C) Great game by Shaun Ellis. Marques Douglas forced a fumble and Mike DeVito also was active. However, Laurence Maroney still got a decent amount of yardage.

Linebackers: (C) Quiet games from Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas. David Harris did his job for the most part. I am not sure why the Jets had him in coverage in Wes Welker on some plays…yikes. Bart Scott hit Brady a couple of times but didn’t make any big plays.

APTOPIX Jets Patriots FootballSecondary: (D) Darrelle Revis is a great football player. Jim Leonhard is a tough, above average safety beyond that the Jets secondary is straight garbage. Kerry Rhodes should be benched. I would be thrilled if we could trade him to Cleveland (probably the only team who would take him) for a 3rd or 4th round pick. Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland are always banged up. Drew Coleman was helpless in the slot against Welker. Dwight Lowery is also now hurt and is an average corner even when healthy.

Special Teams: (A) Nice blocked punt by Eric Smith. David Clowney and Dwight Lowery showed something on kick returns.

Coaching: (D) They were completely out-coached by New England, who clearly adjusted to the Jets blitzing scheme. There was also no adjustment to slow down Wes Welker.

The Mark Sanchez Interception Show

8/21, 4 Interceptions, 1 Fumble

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The name of this article is the main story of the Jets 31-14 loss to New England. Mark Sanchez has regressed immensely since the first three weeks of the season. He will show flashes of being a capable NFL quarterback but since week 4 he has shown more flashes of being nowhere near ready to be in the NFL. You can’t win a football game when your quarterback turns the ball over 5 times, which obviously isn’t news to anybody. A few other quick observations:

1. I was saying all week Wes Welker would have a big game but I didn’t know he would have a season worth of stats today with 15 catches for 192 yards. Drew Coleman, Kerry Rhodes, David Harris, Marquice Cole, Lito Sheppard and everybody else they threw at him failed miserably and Rex Ryan failed to make any of the necessary adjustments to slow him down.

2. The game tape from today has value as a blooper reel for both Mark Sanchez and Kerry Rhodes. All of Sanchez’s interceptions were comically bad throws. Rhodes was repeatedly ran over, beat by receivers and out of place. Two more subpar performances for the two most overpaid players on the Jets.

3. Darrelle Revis did another good job on Randy Moss holding him to 5 catches for 34 yards on 11 targets. New England repeatedly tried to throw down the field to Moss but it never worked out. They even tried when they were up 31-14 with 25 seconds left. Moss did score a 4 yard touchdown on Moss, but overall another good game from #24.

4. Shaun Ellis, Thomas Jones, Mike DeVito, and Jerricho Cotchery all played solid games…especially Ellis who did a great job getting after Tom Brady with 2 sacks.

5. Brian Schottenheimer, really with the option on 3rd and 2? The whole stadium knew the play was coming.

6. I wonder if Mark Sanchez will finish with 30 interceptions. He currently has 18.

Jets vs. Patriots: Talking to the Enemy

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I exchanged five questions with Patriots blogger Eric Cunningham of http://Patschowder.com about tomorrow’s game, here is our conversation:

PC: I read in the Boston Globe yesterday that Braylon Edwards’ arrival in New York may be too much for the rookie quarterback to handle. It’s sort of like a mini-TO effect. They’ve gone 1-4 with him. What are your thoughts on all of this?

TOJ: I don’t agree with that assertion at all. Edwards has been a good soldier since arriving and is clearly trying to convince the Jets he is worthy of a long term contract. Sanchez and Edwards have appeared to get along very well and Edwards was one of the first players to get his back after the Buffalo game when Sanchez threw 5 INTs. He also hasn’t complained at all about the number of touches he receives, even though he probably should be getting more. Edwards main focus when talking to the press has been his desire to win. I don’t think the Jets are 1-4 in their last 5 because of Braylon, I think it is because they can’t close teams out.

PC: In my opinion, I think the Jets biggest problem is the loss of Kris Jenkins. Is this their biggest problem?

TOJ: Their biggest problem is they don’t know how to win close games. They lost four games on the last play. Their defense laid an egg with the game on the line against Miami on Monday night and against Jacksonville, Sanchez, Ben Hartsock, and their special teams choked in OT to lose to the Bills and they couldn’t finish off a game winning drive at home against Miami.

PC: Ok, let’s not beat around the bush. How do you really feel about your head coach was crying at his latest press conference?

TOJ: Well, he didn’t cry at a press conference. He cried in a meeting with the team on Monday and it was leaked to the press. I don’t have a strong opinion of it, we all knew Rex was an emotional guy when he was hired so this is part of what you get. I will love it if the Jets win on Sunday and hate it if they lose.

PC: Shonn Greene has disappeared since his big breakout game in week 7. Is he not the right fit, or are the Jets just dropping the committee and planning on Thomas Jones the rest of the way?

TOJ: Greene has ran a little timid since fumbling against Miami in week 8. Jones receives the bulk of the carries because he is playing at such a high level. However, I would still expect Greene to get his usual 8-10 touches this weekend, which is fine for a rookie learning on the job behind a pro-bowl caliber running back.

PC: Lastly, I asked my Twitter followers what they would want to know from the Jets perspective, and @mndTiiu asked “Has Mark Sanchez met, exceeded, or fallen short of your expectations?”

JETS V PATRIOTS STOJ: He has fell slightly short. He is turning the ball over more than I was hoping for and has made a few immature mistakes (eating a hot dog and running a scripted press conference). However, he has shown plenty of potential and intangibles and I still believe the Jets did the right thing by trading up for him. We will learn alot about him this weekend in the hostile conditions of New England.

TOJ: What is your opinion of Belichick’s decision on Sunday night to go for it on 4th and 2?
 
PC: I can’t honestly say that I loved the call, but I can say that I am less disappointed in the loss because of it. I love the fact that the Patriots have a coach that is willing to go out and win games as opposed to play safe and try not to lose them. In Sunday’s situation, I am pretty confident that Peyton Manning would have scored a touchdown from 60-yards out if he they had punted the ball anyway. Their best shot to win the game was to go for it by putting the ball in the hands of one of the best quarterbacks in the league and they did. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out.

TOJ: What is the biggest difference between the Pats team the Jets beat in week two and the Pats team the Jets are going to face this week?
 
PC:
The big difference is Tom Brady. That Jets game early on was his first real test. Now that we are 10 weeks into the season Brady is playing at a much higher level. Also, the linebacking core has gotten healthier with Jerod Mayo back in the middle as things have started to fall into place around him.

TOJ: Why won’t anybody in New England give Darrelle Revis any respect? Moss hasn’t done much of anything in his last four games against the Jets, especially when Revis is on him so why won’t anybody give him credit?

PC: Well, I for one will give him credit. The guy is a beast and I hate seeing him on the other side of the field. However, I think the Patriots players not giving him credit is all psychological coach talk. If Belichick can get the guys believing that he’s not good, then he isn’t good. Right?

TOJ: How do you feel about Laurence Maroney being your lead back going into the stretch run of the season? Do you think he will be phased out of the offense or remain the primary ball carrier?

PC: He makes me nervous. I was very high on Sammy Morris coming into this season. That worked for all of one game before he was banged up. What I can say about Maroney is that it has never been as big a question of whether or not he can play in the NFL, but whether or not he can stay healthy. So far, he’s healthy and the production is coming as a result of that. That being said, I would love to have a better insurance policy.

TOJ: Prediction for the game?

PC: This one is in Foxboro and the Jets are fading fast. It’s a win for the Patriots for sure, however, the margin of victory is never a big one for these two teams. I’ll say 24-17 Patriots.

Enough Talking About This Game, Let’s Go Already

Jets vs. Patriots Final Notes & Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Jim Leonhard did practice today and just may somehow find a way to play this Sunday against New England.

2. TOJ TV has been knocked out by the swine flu. My roommate/producer is out of commission with the sickness so we had to scrap the filming plans for this week.

3. Check back tomorrow for my question exchange with Pats blogger Eric Cunningham of http://patschowder.com

Jets vs. Patriots Final Notes & Prediction:

The national media already has this game sized up: the Pats are angry, the Jets are melting down, the Pats hate the Jets so that equals New England 48 Jets 10. Darrelle Revis has been running his mouth all week about shutting down Randy Moss, who is coming off a monster game against the Colts. Moss should go for about 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Let me preface my view on the game by saying that I am picking the Patriots to win 23-17. I think the Jets will find a uniquely painful way to lose this one, but this will be a close game into the fourth quarter. Randy Moss will do what he normally does against the Jets…nothing. Wes Welker will be the guy who hurts them by picking on Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery. Tom Brady will play much better than he did in week two and New England will do a decent enough job of running the football to keep the Jets honest.

On offense, Mark Sanchez will play okay but I find it hard to believe he won’t have a turnover or two. Bill Belichick is designing a scheme that will force Sanchez to beat him and with that much on his shoulders I can see a INT or two coming. The Jets will make some plays in the passing game but will struggle to run the football against a defense geared to stop Thomas Jones.

Like I said, the Jets aren’t going to lay down for anybody but they don’t know how to win close football games…so I am taking the Pats 23-17.