Three In a Row: Jets Embarrass Bucs, Stay Alive in Playoff Race

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Three In a Row: Jets Embarrass Bucs, Stay Alive in Playoff Race

Another week, another ugly win for the Jets. It took more than half of the season but the Jets have finally found their identity over the past three games. When you look at the AFC standings, you have to be encouraged about the Jets still being very much alive heading into their final three games but feel a little disgusted looking at that three way tie at 7-6 with Jacksonville and Miami, considering the way the Jets lost games to them.

Today it was all about the defense, who completely dominated Tampa Bay. The Bucs are bad enough as is, but the Jets made them look like a division 3 team. They recorded three interceptions, including another one by Darrelle Revis who now has a INT in the past three games and is making a hell of a push for defensive player of the year consideration. David Harris picked one off on the first play of the game, setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Yes, even Kerry Rhodes got in on the fun with his third interception of the season. Calvin Pace, Donald Strickland, and James Ihedigbo all had a sack.

On offense, Kellen Clemens was okay. He started out poorly but got into a rhythm late in the third quarter, and showed some of his arm strength. Brad Smith was all over the place, finding success in the wildcat, on special teams by completing a 27 yard pass, and catching a pass. Danny Woodhead chipped in 52 total offensive yards. Thomas Jones continued to have a pro-bowl caliber season with another strong performance, finishing with 99 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.

Back From Hiatus: TOJ TV Holiday Edition, Jets vs. Bucs Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets official injury report lists Mark Sanchez, Dwight Lowery, and Robert Turner out. Wayne Hunter and Alan Faneca are listed as questionable with illnesses, and Donald Strickland has been bumped up to probable.

2. A belated thank you to Eric Mangini and the Browns for knocking off the Steelers Thursday night. Three losses in a row to the Cheifs, Raiders, and Browns? Yikes.

Back From Hiatus: TOJ TV Holiday Edition, Jets vs. Bucs Prediction

If you aren’t interested in hearing me talk about the Jets/Bucs game, fast forward to the 1:45 mark for the skit.

Jets vs. Bucs: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. Kerry Rhodes got into a shouting match with secondary coach Dennis Thurman today because of his frustration about rotating with Eric Smith. Rhodes had an attitude with reporters after practice and made it sound like he isn’t thrilled with Rex Ryan or the prospect of playing in New York again next year. My opinion? See you later Kerry, we’ll be fine without you. The guy is lucky enough to be making a start this weekend because he certainly didn’t earn his position back last week. It is time for him to shut up and perform.

2. Larry Izzo has been placed on injured reserve with a neck injury. Rex Ryan said he expected Donald Strickland to be able to play this weekened but isn’t as confident in Dwight Lowery suiting up.

3. Kellen Clemens sounded confident talking to the media yesterday. This is a big game for Clemens career. He is auditioning for a job next season with another team because I expect the Jets to move Erik Ainge into the backup role next year. Another thing on the quarterbacks, I think it is insane to think Rex Ryan is punishing Mark Sanchez for not sliding. Ryan is simply being cautious with his franchise quarterback against a 1-11 team.

4. Anybody else enjoying all the drama going on in New England the past couple of days?

Jets vs. Bucs: Game Breakdown

PhotobucketOffense: Run, Run, Run. I would expect to see plenty of the Jets heavy set, where they bring in an extra lineman as a tight end and only split out one receiver. Tampa Bay knows the Jets are going to be running and I don’t think the Jets are going to care. You can bank on Thomas Jones getting 22-25 carries and Shonn Greene getting 10-15 carries. Also, expect to see the Jets continue with the misdirection plays to Tony Richardson or Brad Smith, which they used against Buffalo. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Wildcat snaps with Smith either. Eventually, the Jets are going to have to take a shot down the field. Hopefully, Kellen Clemens can take advantage of some single coverage and an overstacked box by hitting Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, or Jerricho Cotchery for a big play. Remember that Clemens has no chemistry with Edwards, so he may look to Cotchery or Keller more.

Defense: Expect the Jets to come after Josh Freeman early and often. I don’t know if the Jets will lock Darrelle Revis on to Antonio Bryant, considering he is their top big play threat. Kellen Winslow could also be a match-up problem. Eric Smith and Kerry Rhodes will likely both take turns covering him. The reality is that the Jets defense should keep up their dominant streak against a Tampa offense that lacks big play capability and is susceptible to turnovers. This should be a healthy stat-padding game, but then again this is the Jets we are talking about. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Freeman go off and Cadillac Williams run for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Special Teams: Bucs return man Clifton Smith is out for the season. Brad Smith should continue as the Jets kick returner. He has been okay. I still would like to see Jerricho Cotchery off punt returns but it looks like he will keep the job for now.

In Honor of AI Returning to Philly…Practice?

Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 14 Viewing Guide

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First a few updates:

1. Obviously the big news of the day is that Kellen Clemens is going to start this Sunday against Tampa Bay. Sanchez didn’t practice today and Rex Ryan announced the decision at his press conference today. Apparently, Sanchez is angry with the decision but in reality this is the right move for the long run. He is a rookie and there is no reason to throw him out there at 80-85 percent with no practice. Let him get three more days of rehab over the weekend and come back at 100 percent for the final three weeks. The bottom line is that the Jets should be able to beat the 1-11 Bucs with their backup quarterback. All I know is that the Jets may set a record for rushing attempts this Sunday, Ryan can talk all he wants about having confidence in Clemens but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene both get 20 plus carries. Overall, I agree it is better to be overly cautious with your franchise quarterback…so let’s pretend it is 2007 and try to excited about Kellen Clemens taking snaps.

2. It looks like Kerry Rhodes is going to start this Sunday. I am not sure why he got his job back but apparently he is back with the base unit, although Rex Ryan insists Eric Smith will still see plenty of time. A friendly Turn On The Jets reminder to Kerry Rhodes…you need to use your arms to tackle.

3. Donald Strickland, Dwight Lowery, and Larry Izzo were all limited in practice today. I wouldn’t bank on seeing Strickland or Lowery suit up.

4. A few notes from Sanchez’s press conference today: He basically reaffirmed his belief that he could play Sunday and his frustration with the decision. However, he said understood where Ryan was coming from and that he was confident in Kellen Clemens playing well. He also said there is no doubt at all that he will play next week against Atlanta.

Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 14 Viewing Guide

For at least another week, the Jets playoff pipe dream remains alive thanks to a victory over Buffalo, a shocking Pittsburgh loss, a Baltimore loss on Monday night, and a few other somewhat favorable outcomes. Here are what games to keep an eye on this weekend and who you should be rooting for, preceded by the current AFC standings:

  1. Indianapolis (12-0)
  2. Cincinnati (9-3)
  3. San Diego (9-3)
  4. New England (7-5)
  5. Denver (8-4)
  6. Jacksonville (7-5)
  7. Miami (6-6)
  8. Baltimore (6-6)
  9. NY Jets (6-6)
  10. Pittsburgh (6-6)
  11. Houston (5-7)
  12. Tennessee (5-7)

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6) At Cleveland Browns (1-11) – If you decide to pass on watching NBC Must See TV and the trainwreck “Jersey Shore” (which completely disgraces my state and ethnicity) on Thursday night, turn in to the Steelers and Browns on the NFL Network. Can Eric Mangini and former Jets legends Eric Barton, Hank Poteat, Jason Trusnik, Chansi Stuckey, Abram Elam, CJ Mosley, and David Bowens knock off the slumping defending champs? If Pittsburgh can lose at home to Oakland to the Bruce Gradkowski/Louis Murphy connection, why can’t they lose in Cleveland? Let’s go Mangini…let’s play some consistent, fundamental football in all three phases of the game because that is always a function of winning.

New York Jets (6-6) At Tampa Bay Bucs (1-11) – Can the Jets avoid the traditional late season loss in a bad spot to a really awful team? Let’s keep it entertaining for at least another week.

Miami Dolphins (6-6) At Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) – Tough call here. I have been torn most of the week on who to root for in this game. I have decided to go with Miami. Why? Here is my scenario: the Dolphins win and the Jets win putting both of them and the Jaguars at 7-6. My man Vince Young beats the Dolphins in week 15 and the Jaguars lose to the Colts on Thursday night in football in the last game of the year Indy plays with all their starters the full game and Jacksonville continues their tailspin by losing in New England the following week. Miami beats Houston in week 16 by closes the season with a loss to Pittsburgh to finish 8-8. This allows the Jets to lose in Indy, which will inevitably happen if Peyton Manning plays into the second half and creep in with a 9-7 record if a few other things break their way…complicated? I know. The bottom line is that the best thing here would be a tie. The Jets are helped in some ways and hurt in some ways regardless of the outcome.

Detroit Lions (2-10) At Baltimore Ravens (6-6)Daunte Culpepper will be making the start in this game. I vote that he decides to throw it back to the old school, mistake Calvin Johnson for Randy Moss and lead the upset charge. One thing about the Ravens, they get called for pass interference on every other pass attempt so maybe the Lions can keep it close.

Denver Broncos (8-4) At Indianapolis Colts (12-0) – The best thing that could happen here is that Indy could run it up on the Broncos like they always seem to and throw the Broncos into a self-doubting tailspin. This tailspin carries over to the following week where they lose to sudden juggernauts Oakland Raiders, followed by another loss to the Eagles and what do you have? Another Denver December meltdown.

Carolina Panthers (5-7) At New England Patriots (7-5) – The best way to attack the Patriots is through the air. Throwing the football isn’t Carolina’s strong suit, even with Matt Moore now in at quarterback. The only way I could see this game even being close is if Steve Smith makes 5 or 6 ridiclous catches and Bill Belichick continues to refuse to kick field goals or punts on 4th down.

Kellen Clemens Starting For the Jets in 2007…Wow, I don’t miss Justin McCariens

Jets vs. Bucs First Look

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets moved up to #19 in ESPN’s Power Rankings today. They are behind Atlanta, which I don’t agree with. The Falcons looked simply awful at home last week and are decimated with injuries. Pittsburgh is also ahead of them despite losing to Oakland at home (the Jets beat Oakland 38-0 by the way).

2. It is looking like Eric Smith will start his third straight game this week. According to the beat reporters, he ran with the starters in Monday’s walk through. I don’t see any reason why Kerry Rhodes should have his job back after a somewhat weak performance against Buffalo.

3. Backup offensive lineman and extra tight end in short yardage sets Robert Turner is going to be out this week and probably the following week. Corners Donald Strickland and Dwight Lowery are improving with their respective injuries but I wouldn’t bank on either of them playing on Sunday. I would rather see them at 100 percent against Indy then rush back this weekend against the Bucs weak receivers.

4. Green Bay helped the Jets playoff cause last night by beating the Ravens 27-17. Make sure you check back tomorrow for “Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 14 Viewing Guide,” where I will discuss all the playoff scenarios and who Jets fans should be rooting for this week.

Jets vs. Bucs First Look

PhotobucketTampa Bay’s Key Players: On offense Josh Freeman has breathed some life into Tampa. However, he is coming off his worst game of the season. Freeman threw five interceptions last week in a loss to Carolina. On the season he has 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and is completing 54 percent of his passes. He is mobile in the pocket and has already racked up 134 yards rushing in a limited number of starts. Cadillac Williams is the Bucs leading rusher with 572 yards, with Derrick Ward chipping 304 yards. Neither of backs has an overly impressive yards per carry (4.0 for Williams and 3.6 for Ward). Tight End Kellen Winslow is putting together a strong season with 58 receptions for 633 yards, with 5 touchdowns. Maybe the Jets should put Darrelle Revis on him, since the top receivers for Tampa both have 27 catches. Yet, Antonio Bryant is averaging an impressive 17.6 yards per catch. Also watch out for ex-Jet fullback BJ Askew, who has 3 total  offensive yards this season.

On defense, the Bucs are very young and they struggle to stop the run (Run, TJ, Run). However, they do have some talented pass rushers. Stylez White has 5.5 sacks and Jimmy Wilkerson has 6 on the season. Barrett Ruud is a solid linebacker and leads the team in tackles. Aqib Talib is beat often at corner but does make some big plays. He currently has 5 interceptions and 11 passes defensed. Ronde Barber is still playing but doesn’t have an interception yet this season, despite having 2 sacks.

Typical Jets: How typical would it be for the Jets to go on the road and lose to the 1-11 Bucs? They got everybody excited about some type of crazy playoff run in December. They are getting help at every turn, with Oakland winning in Pittsburgh, the Dolphins losing to Buffalo and then coming back and beating New England, the Ravens losing on Monday night, the Texans melting down and on and on. Of course all these wacky playoff scenarios go to the wayside if the Jets can’t beat one of the leagues worst teams. Can we avoid the obvious loss this week and keep the pipe dream alive for another week?

NFL Week 13 Recap, Jets News and Notes

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First a few updates:

1. As you can tell from all the sweet white boxes with red x’s in the corner in my last few articles and the lack of pictures in today’s article, there are still technical problems with the site. I am trying to work them out ASAP.

Jets News and Notes

1. The Jets had an abbreviated practice today, which was closer to a walk through than anything else. However, Mark Sanchez didn’t take part. Rex Ryan said he has been going through intense rehab and that he still is optimistic about him suiting up this Sunday. I would expect him to be limited in Wednesday’s practice. If he is going to start, the Jets will want him out there for the installation of the game plan. Sanchez will be wearing a brace on both legs for the rest of the season. It will be interesting to see how he responds from his first somewhat serious injury as a pro and how the knee will affect his play.

2. Rex Ryan didn’t say if Eric Smith or Kerry Rhodes would start at safety. It would be hard to justify giving Rhodes his job back after his quiet performance against Buffalo. I don’t know who taught Rhodes how to tackle but whomever they are was incorrect in showing him that you tackle by throwing your shoulder into the ball carrier with your hands at your side.

3. The Jets caught some breaks yesterday in their bid for a playoff spot. It should be a wild final four weeks in the AFC. Everybody needs to put on their Aaron Rodgers jersey tonight and pull hard for the Packers to knock the Ravens down to 6-6. I will break down in more detail what the Jets need to happen this Sunday to help their playoff hopes in my Wednesday article, “Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 14 Viewing Guide.” It is still a long shot but the Jets are very much alive, especially if the Packers take care of business tonight.

4. The Jets are currently ranked #1 in the NFL in both rushing and total defense…usually those type of rankings equal a division lead, not a 6-6 record.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – Maybe now everybody will stop saying the Patriots are an elite team in the NFL, since the only road game they have won this season was against Tampa Bay in London. The reality is that Bill Belichick has made some stupid decisions the past few weeks, including trying to convert a 4th down against Miami instead of taking a field goal that would have put New England up by two possessions. New England is an average team this season, which makes it more of a shame that the Jets couldn’t tackle Ted Ginn Jr…or stop Jacksonville in the 4th quarter…or avoid 6 INTs against Buffalo…or tackle Ronnie Brown on Monday night…and on and on. It is going to make me sick if the Patriots go 9-7 or 10-6 and win this division.

Miami Dolphins – I hate Miami and I hate giving them credit but that was a big time win for them and a big time performance by Chad Henne. How do you get blown out by Buffalo and throw three interceptions and then come back and beat New England and play like a franchise quarterback…that is the state of the NFL and the AFC East this year. They have a huge game in Jacksonville this weekend, which at first glance is a tough game to decide who to root for if you are a Jets fan. A closer look at both team’s schedule confirms that we should be pulling for the Jags because they are likely to lose their next two after Miami (against Indy and in New England). If Miami does win, we are going to need some AFC South help from the Titans and Texans against the Fins in the following two weeks. (I find it very hard not to discuss the 200000 playoff possibilities all the time, but I am trying to save it for Wednesday).

Buffalo Bills – We can only hope they can contribute to the Patriots meltdown by beating them up in Buffalo in a few weeks, which is something I wouldn’t be shocked to see happen. The Bills should have beat New England in week one and they are always tough in their building…not in Toronto in front of 80,000 uninterested Blue Jays and Maple Leafs fans.

Other NFL Observations

Has anything more improbable this season happened than Bruce Gradkowski driving Oakland down the field in Pittsburgh with under two minutes to play to steal a victory, bizarre stuff, this is the defending champs we are talking about…Yes, I giggled like a school girl watching Brett Favre play like crap last night and throw two interceptions, hopefully this a sign of things to come…I still can’t believe Washington found a way to blow that game against the Saints…Good win for the Giants, who continued to prove that Dallas will never win an important game with Wade Phillips and Tony Romo leading the way…Good weeks for my Super Bowl picks, as the Chargers and Eagles each racked up another win…How can we convince Jim Caldwell to rest Peyton Manning against the Jets in week 16?

TOJ NFL Power Rankings (Only teams with a playoff pulse are ranked, no matter how weak that pulse is)

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (12-0) – Business like victory over the previously red-hot Titans.
  2. New Orleans Saints (12-0) – Amazing victory over Washington, keeps undefeated hopes alive.
  3. Minnesota Vikings (10-2) – Wow, they looked bad last night…was it an aberration or a sign of things to come?
  4. San Diego Chargers (9-3) – Tough games approaching on the schedule.
  5. Cincinnati Bengals (9-3) – Running away with the AFC North.
  6. Arizona Cardinals (8-4) – Don’t sleep on the defending NFC Champs…they can play with anybody.
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) – Their offense is a big play machine…huge game in the Meadowlands this Sunday night.
  8. Denver Broncos (8-4) – Fought off their 4 game losing streak with two impressive wins.
  9. Green Bay Packers ( 7-4) – We are pulling for you tonight.
  10. New York Giants (7-5) – Big plays led to big win over Dallas, who they own.
  11. Dallas Cowboys (8-4) – With upcoming games against San Diego and New Orleans…here comes the meltdown.
  12. New England Patriots (7-5) – Battling Dallas for the league’s weakest division leader.
  13. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) – Up by 4 with 5 minutes to go…thank you very much #1 ranked Jets defense.
  14. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) – Do us all a favor, and come out flat tonight and don’t give the ball to Ray Rice too often.
  15. Miami Dolphins (6-6) – Thanks for beating New England, but it is time to start losing again.
  16. New York Jets (6-6) – Have to take care of business this week and hope to continue to receive help.
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6) – You lose to Oakland…at home? Let’s go Mangini and the Browns on Thursday.
  18. Tennessee Titans (5-7) – Take care of Miami in week 15 for us.
  19. Atlanta Falcons (6-6) – Things have gone south quickly for the dirty birds.
  20. Houston Texans (5-7) – Speaking of going south quickly.
  21. San Francisco 49ers (5-7) – I said even teams with a weak playoff pulse would be ranked…case and point.
  22. Seattle Seahawks (5-7) – See 49ers.

Pats Lose to the Fins

Raiders Shock Steelers

Grading Out The Jets Thursday Night Win

Braylon 

 First a few updates:

1. The big news of the day: Mark Sanchez has a sprained PCL and should be able to play against Tampa Bay. I wouldn’t bet on him practicing until the end of the next week. Hopefully, with the proper treatment and a brace he will be close to 100 percent on December 13th in Tampa.

2. Rex Ryan continued to express his frustration with Sanchez’s decision not to slide. He said it best last night, “The kid has to grow up.” It is a little ridiculous how the Jets took the time to bring Joe Girardi in this week and Sanchez still refused to slide. I know he was being competitive and trying to get a first down but he is going to keep getting hurt if he doesn’t listen to the coaching staff.

3. The stats and game highlights section have been updated. Congratulations to Thomas Jones for another 1,000 yard season.

4. Go Oakland, Kansas City, Green Bay, Houston, and New England this weekend. It is nice to still be playing meaningful games in December.

5. I am going to Italy from December 25th to January 1st, which of course means I will be out of the country during the Jets/Colts game. I am open to all suggestions about the best way to go about viewing the game. I am thinking about buying NFL Rewind, bringing my laptop and then locking myself in the hotel room on Monday night (you have to wait 24 hours until after the game is over to watch it). It is either that or rely on somebody to tape the game and then watch it when I get back, although it would be weird to watch a game on Saturday and then gear up for Jets/Bengals right away the next day. I leaning towards the laptop so I can drop an article or two in.

Grading Out The Jets Thursday Night Win

Quarterbacks: (C) Sanchez was playing well before he left with an injury. The numbers show 7/15 for 104 yards with a touchdown but Braylon Edwards dropped a 85 yard touchdown pass on him, along with another slant over the middle. David Clowney also should have pulled in a touchdown catch from him. Sanchez did miss a wide open Jerricho Cotchery in the end-zone but overall he didn’t turn the ball over, showed good mobility and more poise in the pocket. Obviously, it is frustrating to see him get hurt but I think he will back for the Tampa game. Kellen Clemens had a nice throw on 3rd down to convert a big first down but beyond that was pretty awful. He fumbled twice and showed absolutely no pocket presence. The Jets might run the ball 55 times if Clemens has to start next week.

Running Backs: (A) Thomas Jones racked up another 100 yard effort and is now over 1,000 for the season. He is currently on pace to have a career high in yards rushing for a season. There is nothing else to say except that Jones has been great this year. Shonn Greene had his best game of the season outside of Oakland, finishing with 59 yards on 11 carries.

Wide Receivers: (C) Braylon Edwards had a brutal drop but responded with an acrobatic grab on the sideline and a touchdown reception, where he showed some toughness after the catch. Jerricho Cotchery had a solid night, highlighted by a 45 yard reception. David Clowney should have hauled in that touchdown.

Tight Ends: (C) Quiet night for Dustin Keller, who only had one catch. However, him and Ben Hartsock did a good job of blocking.

Offensive Line: (B) The pass protection was a little shaky at times but overall the Jets dominated on the ground for the second time this season against Buffalo.

Defensive Line: (A) How about the season Shaun Ellis is putting together? Marques Douglas is also having a very good year and Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha have stepped up in the absence of Kris Jenkins.

Linebackers: (A) Another sack and forced fumble for David Harris. Bart Scott had one of his better games of the season. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas were also active. Did anybody see Vernon Gholston out there, anybody?

Secondary: (A) This grade is only so high because of the Jets corners. What else can you say about Darrelle Revis? Lito Sheppard bounced back from giving up an early big play to Lee Evans to have his second strong game in a row. Kerry Rhodes, Jim Leonhard, and Eric Smith were all quiet.

Special Teams: (A) Jay Feely is quietly having a pro-bowl caliber season. Brad Smith and Jerricho Cotchery were okay on returns.

Coaching: (A) Good offensive game plan by Brian Schottenheimer who caught Buffalo off guard with some misdirections and reverses and another strong defensive effort led by Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine.

Highlights From the Jets Win

Still Breathing: Jets Beat Bills, Sanchez Hurt

Jets Bills Football

For the second week in a row the Jets won ugly but again a win is a win. Somehow, someway the Jets currently are a 1/2 game out of the wild card and still have life heading into the final fourth of the season. Obviously, the big story leaving this game is that Mark Sanchez left in the second half after injuring his leg. The early reports is that it is a sprain and we probably won’t know his availability for the Tampa Bay game for a few days. Fortunately, he has a little extra time to recover since the Jets have 10 days until their next game. The sooner he is back, the better because Kellen Clemens looked awful tonight and Sanchez actually looked pretty good before he went down. He certainly wasn’t helped by the dropped passes…cough cough, Braylon Edwards, really? However, nice job by Braylon bouncing back with a touchdown reception.

3/4 of the world is covered by water, and the other 1/4 is covered by Darrelle Revis as far as I’m concerned. Terrell Owens was completely dominated by Revis who had 5 passes defensed and an interception. Debating whether Revis is the best corner in football this season is like debating whether the sky is blue. He is the best, don’t waste your breath arguing it. Shaun Ellis also had a great game tonight with 2 sacks, including a key one on the Bills final drive. David Harris continued to have an all-pro season with 11 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. The Jets defense is reverting to early season form and is playing like an elite unit again.

Another strong game from Thomas Jones and a good effort from Shonn Greene. The two backs combined for 168 yards on the ground. Tony Richardson chipped in 36 yards and Brad Smith and David Clowney both had big plays on reverses. Brian Schottenheimer called a good game tonight.

So, what to do now? Hope Sanchez can get healthy in the next 10 days. Hope that we don’t choke on the road against the 1-10 Bucs. Hope that Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Denver lose and hope that New England and Miami beat each other up.

Jets vs. Bills Prediction

Revis 

 First a few updates:

1. This has turned out to be Darrelle Revis appreciation week from the local and national media, here is a good piece by Tim Graham of ESPN.com documenting how well #24 has played this year: http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/7246/revis-rivets-receivers-like-none-other

Jets vs. Bills Prediction

Quick predictions on the game, which is only 5 hours from kickoff. I feel good about tonight. I don’t know why, I just do. Nobody is saying the Jets are going to steamroll an improved Buffalo team. However, I think it is a nice benefit to play inside in front of a neutral crowd. Expect to see the defense build off last week and continue to play well. Buffalo has a makeshift offensive line, yet still has been taking more shots down the field in their passing game, which should open up some opportunities for the Jets pass rush. Revis vs. Owens? I predict TO has 3 catches for 20 yards.

On offense, I think Sanchez will play well. This is a big test for him on national television, going against a team who embarrassed him last time they met. The Jets offense is going to run through Thomas Jones with a little Shonn Greene and Danny Woodhead sprinkled in, but I do think they will hit a few plays down the field in their passing attack. Braylon Edwards has been a beast in primetime the past two years and I think he gets his first 100 yard game as Jet tonight.

Final Prediction: Jets – 20 Buffalo – 17

Jets vs. Bills: Game Breakdown

Bills 

 First a few updates:

1. The official injury report for tomorrow lists Lito Sheppard, Donald Strickland, and Robert Turner out. Tight End Matthew Mulligan has been moved to the active roster to replace Justin Miller, who was released last week.

2. Darrelle Revis was named AFC Defense Player of the Week for his performance against Carolina. A well-deserved honor for the league’s best cornerback.

Jets vs. Bills Game Breakdown

Jets_vs_Bills_74cfOffense: The Jets ran for over 300 yards the last time they played Buffalo so it would be a safe assumption that Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and Danny Woodhead will be very active tomorrow night. Buffalo needs to prove they can stop the run before the Jets stop turning around and handing the ball to Jones. One quick thing for Brian Schottenheimer, can we stop with the toss play? I swear the Jets run toss two times every game and lose 5 yards on it both times. Jones and Greene are north and south runners, give them the ball up the middle. After watching game tape this should be the easiest game plan Schottenheimer ever put together: Hand the ball off early and often.

When the Jets do need to throw the football, I wouldn’t mind seeing them take a couple of shots down the field. The Jets were about as conservative as possible last week and eventually Buffalo is going to put enough people in the box, where the offense is going to need to put one up for Braylon Edwards. Dustin Keller has been doing a great job in the intermediate passing game the past few weeks but with how well the Jets run the football, they should be able to make the defense pay with big plays in the passing game. Jerricho Cotchery was quiet last game, so don’t be surprised to see the Jets try to get him involved early.

Defense: There is alot of talk about the emergence of the Bills down field passing attack led by Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, the Jets got an answer for the suddenly woken up Terrell Owens and that is Darrelle Revis. I am more concerned about Lee Evans matched up with Lito Sheppard. Evans hurt the Jets in their last meeting but Sheppard is coming off his best game of the season and appears to finally be getting healthy. I would still like to see the Jets role the coverage to help against Evans. Revis can handle Owens one on one.

Fred Jackson has been moved into the starting line-up for the Bills and is a dangerous back. The Jets defensive line has played surprisingly well in the absence of Kris Jenkins and needs to keep it up against Jackson and the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a mobile quarterback who escaped a few sacks against the Jets last time. They need to bring him down when they get a chance. I would like to see Bart Scott make a few big plays. David Harris and Calvin Pace have made their share in the past few weeks, so let’s see Scott get a few. Hopefully, Kerry Rhodes will use coming off the bench in a primetime game as motivation and put together another big game.

Special Teams: I think we will see Brad Smith as the primary kick returner from now on. Jerricho Cotchery has been good on punt returns but I still worry about him getting hurt back there. Buffalo is traditionally solid on special teams and has never been averse to trick plays.

Please don’t ever think every italian guy from North Jersey is  like this…I don’t even own hair gel…I swear.