First a few updates:
1. First off, how about those Yankees? A great season from a truly great, well-rounded team. I remember standing in the rain at Camden Yards on opening day watching CC and Texiera struggle and listening to the heckles of the Baltimore fans (who were clearly just bitter they haven’t had a relevant baseball team in over a decade) and wondering if this team had the make up to be a champion or whether they’d spent all that money to just lose in the first round again. Fortunately, after some early season struggles they turned things around and were the best team in baseball for the entire summer and all the way through the playoffs. Amazing post-season from A-Rod. Jeter was Jeter. Matsui and Damon were particularly clutch in the World Series. CC was the ace we signed him to be. Mariano was Mariano…and on and on. #27 in the books.
2. A little reader appreciation on the bye week to frequent readers and people who comment often: The Iron Marshall for always posting insightful thoughts and staying optimistic, Angel who has been following my writing for a few years now and is a great writer himself over at the The Bleacher Report and The Jets Blog, Bruce Harper, Simplysimon, all the fellow Fanball bloggers who stop by, JetBo, 16, dmd13, Coach and everybody else who takes the time to visit the site.
A Few Words On The Mighty Miami Dolphins
As many people have read the humble and high character Miami Dolphins have enjoyed their share of shots on the Jets in the past few days. Joey Porter ranting on about how they were the division champs last year and the division still runs through them. Jason Taylor talking about how Giants Stadium is a “hellhole” and that unlike Giants fans, Jets fans are “asses.” We all know that Taylor has had a lifelong hatred of the Jets organization and fans and will always take a shot whenever he can. What can you say? Taylor is a probable hall of fame player but a guy who will never win a championship and a guy who has never been past the second round of the playoffs. He got there a couple of times but lost 62-7 to Jacksonville and was blown out by the Raiders another time. He left Miami last year because Bill Parcells didn’t want him because he was too worried about his Hollywood career, stunk it up in DC and then got out of his contract by refusing to participate in off-season workouts. While he was gone, Miami had their best season in years and won the division, so Jason came back this year just in time to be a part of another 6-10 Dolphins team this season. Taylor is right about one thing, he hates Jets fans and we hate him. He can enjoy another January at home this season watching the NFL playoffs, like he has done every year since 2001.
Also, another funny thing about the Dolphins is how they refer to themselves as “champions” from last year. They won the AFC East title not the Super Bowl. I have never seen a team more proud of a season that ended at home in the first round of the playoffs in a game where they were completely outclassed and embarrassed (by Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, and Marques Douglas among other people). The Dolphins talk about their 2008 season like they won a Super Bowl, yet they didn’t even win a single playoff game. Similar to how they act like they are in first place because they swept the Jets, when they are in third place and are still below .500. The entire NFL is praising the Dolphins character and toughness, yet they have enough character and toughness to blow a 21 point lead at home and lose a game where they held the ball for a record amount of time.
The Jets Will Win Ten Games
The general consensus about the Jets now is that their 2009 season is over. Rex Ryan is in over his head right now as a head coach and needs to change his personality. Mark Sanchez won’t be ready to lead a playoff team until next season. There is no way the Jets can overcome the injuries to Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington. Their second half schedule is brutal and on and on and on. It would be easy to write that article today. It is easy to bury a team who has lost four of their last five and flush the second half of the season down the toilet. Yet, I said in the beginning of the year the Jets would win ten games and still believe they will today. Will those ten wins be enough to make the playoffs? The tie breakers can be tricky but I think they got a good shot.
The Jets have a great defense. Through the first eight games of the season, they played one poor game but beyond that have been among the best in the NFL. The Jets will never get blown out because of this. When I look at the Jets losses, I see a game in New Orleans (the best team in the NFL) that was a touchdown game in the fourth quarter despite 14 points allowed by the Jets offense. I see an OT loss to Buffalo despite 5 interceptions, a botched field goal, and a crucial holding penalty in OT. I see a defensive let down the first time against Miami, which was corrected with a dominant defensive performance in the second game but the team was let down by the kick coverage unit.
Mark Sanchez won’t play any games as poorly as he did in New Orleans or against Buffalo in the second half of the season. He may struggle in some games but there won’t be any five interception performances or 14 points directly handed to the other team. I am going from what I saw in six of the Jets games, compared to two of them and how he responded to each of his bad performances. Beyond that, the Jets have found their running game in a big way. Great running game plus great defense plus decent quarterbacking that doesn’t turn the ball over equals a winning team. Do you think Mike Westoff’s kick coverage units are going to lose another game for the Jets this year? Do you think the Jets will make the mistake of making Marques Murrell, Ahmad Carroll, and Marquice Cole all inactive on the same day? I don’t.
When I look at the Jets second half schedule, I think they take care of Jacksonville and Carolina at home. I think they take care of Buffalo (aka Toronto) and Tampa Bay on the road, without much difficulty. The real question is going to be what are the Jets going to do in New England and Indy? What are they going to do at home against Atlanta and Cincy? I think the Jets/Pats game will be close, like they are every time play. I know if the Jets want a prayer at the division they better take care of business up there. I like the match-up with Atlanta because they are a playing a dome team at home in the middle of December. Obviously, Indy is going to be a tough game but by that point won’t the Colts have everything wrapped up and potentially be resting some people? In the end, the Jets could very well be hosting the Bengals on the last day of the season as a 9-6 team, needing a victory to get in the playoffs. If it comes to that, I am glad we are at home and we shall see what happens.
A quick thing about Rex Ryan, it is time for Jets fans and writers to stop flip-flopping on the guy. If you liked the swagger in week 3 and were nominating him for NFL Head Coach of the Year, don’t be calling for his job in week 8 or asking him to change his personality. This is who we hired. This attitude, this mindset, and this style is what he hired and personally I still like the direction this team is headed. I believe Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez are going to be leading this team for a long time.