First a few updates:
1. The Jets fired defensive line coach Kerry Locklin and promoted Jeff Weeks to his previous position. Apparently, there were some behind the scene issues with Rex Ryan and Locklin and this was a move that was a long time coming.
2. The big guy broke down yesterday in a team meeting. It is being reported that Rex Ryan broke into tears during an emotional speech to his team when discussing the loss to Jacksonville and the upcoming games they face. According to Darrelle Revis and Damien Woody, it had a big impact on the locker room. However, as good as it sounds to have a head coach break down and his team rally behind him because they have his back, it doesn’t mean anything if the Jets can’t find a way to win a football game.
3. Jim Leonhard had the surgery on his thumb and is at least expected to miss this week. Eric Smith would step into the starting line-up.
4. The Jets fell to number 21 in the ESPN Power Rankings
AFC East Observations
New England Patriots – New England put together a great game for about 55 minutes in Indy on Sunday night but unfortunately for them they couldn’t finish what they started. There is no logical defense for Bill Belichick’s decision not to punt and the genius was finally burned by his appropriately large ego. I do know this, the Patriots are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were in week two so the Jets better get creative in their game planning.
Miami Dolphins – The mighty Dolphins edged out the 1-8 Bucs at home on a last second field goal…and yes of course most of the national media still considers them a legit playoff contender despite the fact they haven’t beat a team with a winning record yet this season. They travel to Carolina on Thursday night where they are expected to be without Ronnie Brown and Joey Porter. I have a vested fantasy football interest (DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith) and vested hate in Miami interest in that game.
Buffalo Bills – Man, Buffalo is an awful team. Man, I can’t believe the Jets lost to them at home. Man, the Jets must be a pretty bad team themselves.
TOJ Top Ten
- New Orleans Saints – It wasn’t pretty but they found a way to stay undefeated.
- Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – We all know Peyton is an all time great, but how good is Reggie Wayne?
- Minnesota Vikings – Rolling to a NFC North title.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Favorite team #2 (because of Hard Knocks) is having an unbelievable season.
- San Diego Chargers – They have a chance to take over the AFC West lead this weekend by beating the fading Broncos.
- New England Patriots – Impressive in defeat, as much as it pains me to say it.
- Arizona Cardinals – Rolling to another NFC West title and if they keep running the football they may defend their NFC crown.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Might have to settle for a wild card this year.
- Dallas Cowboys – Laid an egg in Green Bay.
- Denver Broncos – The metldown is in full swing.
Jets vs. Patriots Part II First Look
The Opponent: My, how the times have changed since the Jets beat the Patriots in week two. Since that loss, New England is 5-2 and currently has a two game lead over the Jets in the AFC East. The Jets are appropriately double digit underdogs because simply put the Patriots have been a much better team than them in the past 8 weeks. Tom Brady has shaken off the early season rust and is putting together another all-pro season, while Wes Welker has returned to the line-up giving New England the best pair of starting receivers in the league. On defense, the Patriots remain good not great but will have Jerod Mayo back at linebacker, who didn’t play in the first meeting between these two teams. The national consensus on this game is that New England is angry about blowing last week’s game to the Colts, angry about losing to the now sub .500 Jets in week 2, and the Jets are a team reeling meaning the Pats are going to hang a 60 spot on Rex Ryan’s defense and look to run it up. It reminds me of the coverage before these teams met in December of 2007 (which I will detail in tomorrow’s article).
- Quarterback: Tom Brady – 233/352, 378 yards, 19 TD’s, 6 INTs
- Running Back: Laurence Maroney – 94 carries, 378 yards, 4 TDs
- Running Back: Kevin Faulk – 37 carries, 188 yards
- Wide Receiver: Randy Moss – 58 catches, 891 yards, 7 TDs
- Wide Receiver: Wes Welker – 64 catches, 662 yards, 4 TDs
- Wide Receiver: Julian Edelman – 23 catches, 202, 1 TD
- Tight End: Ben Watson – 20 catches, 307 yards 4 TD’s
- Tight End: Chris Baker – 10 catch, 91 yards, 1 TD
- Left Tackle: Matt Light
- Left Guard: Logan Mankins
- Center: Dan Koppen
- Right Guard: Stephen Neal
- Right Tackle: Nick Kaczur
- Defensive End: Ty Warren – 3o tackles, 1 sack
- Nose Tackle: Vince Wilfork – 25 tackles
- Defensive End: Jarvis Green – 18 tackles
- Outside Linebacker: Pierre Woods – 24 tackles, 2 FF
- Inside Linebacker: Jerod Mayo – 39 tackles, 1 sack
- Inside Linebacker: Gary Guyton – 50 tackles
- Outside Linebacker: Adalius Thomas – 22 tackles, 2 sacks
- Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain – 28 tackles, 3 sacks
- Outside Linebacker: Derrick Burgess – 13 tackles, 2 sacks
- Corner: Leigh Bodden – 34 tackles, 2 INTs
- Corner: Shawn Springs – 6 tackles, 1 FF
- Safety: Brandon Merriweather – 44 tackles, 2 INTs
- Safety: Brandon McGowan – 56 tackles
- Safety: Pat Chung – 25 tackles, 2 sacks
- Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
- Punter: Chris Hanson
- Kick Return: Laurence Maroney
- Punt Return: Wes Welker
Injuries: Jim Leonhard probably won’t play for the Jets. New England has been a little banged up on the offensive line and has been without running backs Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris.
Early Story Lines: Jets in the middle of complete meltdown…How much will the Pats win by…New England is frustrated after losing last week and will take it out on their hated rivals…Can Mark Sanchez play in cold weather…Somehow the Jets would only be a game out of first place with a win
Highlights From Pats/Colts Game
Better Late, Than Never: TOJ TV Episode IX: Bye Week AC Trip