Final TOJ NFL Rankings & Other Thoughts on Regular Season/Jets vs. Bengals

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First a few updates:

Note: This terrific picture above was created by JetsFan_MD and posted on www.jetsinsider.com. Considering my two favorite things in the world are the Jets and the TV show LOST…this is about as good as it gets for me.

1. Rex Ryan didn’t sound too confident about David Harris practicing this week with his sprained ankle. He may end up being a game time decision. Ryan Fowler would step in, although he had a head injury apparently so he could be replaced by Kenwin Cummings…ut-oh.

2. Ryan didn’t say anything else too notable in his press conference. He was pretty low key and respectful of the Bengals, which is the right approach to take. However, he did affirm that the Jets goal is to make the Super Bowl and that they aren’t just happy to be in the playoffs.

3. Not too much love from Mike Francesa on WFAN today, who didn’t give the Jets much credit for last night. He did say he thought they had a decent shot to win on Saturday but he seemed more anxious to talk about Jason Bay or John Mara…you have to love how salty Giants fans are today.

4. Yes, of course there will be a playoff edition of TOJ TV coming this week. I am also trying to set up a question exchange with the Bengals FanBall blogger.

5. In case you are curious, I have insane amounts of free time on my hands this week since I am on winter break and all my friends work full time (you know because they enjoy having money, unlike me who would rather accumulate student loan debt), so yes this web-site and the facebook page will be updated so much that you will be fully convinced I have no life…oh well.

Final TOJ NFL Rankings & Other Thoughts on Regular Season/Wild-Card Weekend

Long title, right? Now, I am not one to pat myself on the back but check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/2009-nfl-predictions/):

  • I picked 5 out of 6 AFC playoff teams right, my only miss was on the Bengals winning the North (I picked Pittsburgh). My wild-card picks? Jets and Ravens.
  • I picked the Dolphins (7-9), Titans (8-8), Browns (5-11), and Jacksonville (7-9) record correctly and missed by one game on Denver, Buffalo, Chiefs, and Chargers.
  • I picked 4 out of 6 NFC playoff teams right, my only misses were on the Saints (yikes) and Cowboys. I had the G-Men (ha) and Falcons in the playoffs.
  • I picked the Cardinals (10-6) record correctly and missed by one game on the Eagles, Packers, Bears, and Lions.
  • Just for reference I picked a San Diego/Philly Super Bowl.

Just call me young Nostradamus. Better pay attention to my playoff picks.

And then check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/40-predictions-for-2009-new-york-jets-season/) and see how many Jets specific things I missed including gems on Mark Sanchez’s stats, Lito Sheppard’s INT total, Vernon Gholston’s sack total, and plenty more.

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Final TOJ NFL Rankings

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (14-2) Going into the playoffs on a 2 game losing streak (by their backups).
  2. San Diego Chargers (13-3) Going into the playoffs on a 11 game winning streak…watch out.
  3. New Orleans Saints (13-3) Going into playoffs on a 3 game losing streak…ut oh.
  4. Minnesota Vikings (12-4) You can bet I will be rooting against them.
  5. Dallas Cowboys (11-5) Need a playoff win in the worst way.
  6. Green Bay Packers (11-5) Very dangerous team.
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) They are better than they showed last week.
  8. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) Risky to sleep on them after last year.
  9. New England Patriots (10-6) Too bad about Wes Welker’s injury (and I am being serious, no matter how much I hate him and New England you never want to see anyone get hurt, especially somebody as good as him).
  10. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) Well at least they are going in with some momentum, right?
  11. Baltimore Ravens (9-7) They can run and play defense, which  means they are dangerous.
  12. New York Jets (9-7) They can run and play defense better than anybody in the NFL, which means they are dangerous.
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7) Too little, too late for the defending champs.
  14. Houston Texans (9-7) They can thank Kris Brown for missing the playoffs.
  15. Tennessee Titans (8-8) 8-2 over their last 10 games.
  16. Atlanta Falcons (9-7) Two straight winning seasons for the dirty birds.
  17. Miami Dolphins (7-9) Have fun sitting at home.
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) Not a bad year for a young team.
  19. Denver Broncos (8-8) They should be embarrassed.
  20. Carolina Panthers (8-8) Strong finish with Matt Moore at QB.
  21. New York Giants (8-8) Embarrassed themselves the past two weeks and final 11 games for that matter.
  22. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) Only .500 because they get to play the Seahawks or Rams 4 games a year.
  23. Chicago Bears (7-9) They felt worse than 7-9. Jay Cutler stunk the joint up.
  24. Cleveland Browns (5-11) Finished the season on a 4 game winning streak…go Mangini.
  25. Oakland Raiders (5-11) All they do is beat playoff teams…and lose to everyone else.
  26. Buffalo Bills (6-10) Consistently mediocre.
  27. Washington Redskins (4-12) And so ends the Jim Zorn era.
  28. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12) I guess Matt Cassell isn’t a franchise quarterback.
  29. Seattle Seahawks (5-11) The most irrelevant team in the NFL this year.
  30. Tampa Bay Bucs (3-13) Showed some fight occasionally.
  31. Detroit Lions (2-14) A two game improvement from last year.
  32. St. Louis Rams (1-15) Well then…

Some final Regular Season Observations

PhotobucketDo you think Jim Zorn just had Bruce Springsteen playing into his headset during the second half of the season?…I know the Giants fired their defensive coordinator today but when you allowed 40+ points every week, the problem goes beyond the coaching…Denver was 8-4 the past two years and both times lost out to miss the playoffs, cough cough…At least Jason Taylor can now get an early jump on next season of Dancing With the Stars…The 49ers are Texans are between 7-9 and 9-7 every year and then picked to make the jump by all the experts for the following season, only they just go 8-8 again and miss the playoffs, I look forward to this repeating again next year…My favorite non-Jets regular season games – Steelers vs. Titans opening night, Colts vs. Patriots on Sunday night, Saints vs. Patriots on Monday night, Dallas vs. Giants on Sunday night in week two, Saints vs. Redskins, Denver vs. Patriots, Ravens vs. Chargers, Titans vs. Texans on Monday night, Titans vs. Cardinals.

Bye Bye Miami

Grading Out Jets/Bengals & Other Wild-Card Weekend Updates

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First a few updates:

1. Peter King did the right thing and named Darrelle Revis his Defensive Player of the Year. Unfortunately, I don’t think #24 will take home the actual award because the media will be caught up in Charles Woodson’s stats. Nobody has played a defensive position better than Darrelle Revis has played cornerback this year…just ask Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Marques Colston, and Reggie Wayne.

2. The final regular season stats have been updated, along with the game highlights section. Congrats to Thomas Jones for cracking the 1400 yard mark and finishing third in the NFL in rushing, along with setting a franchise record with 14 touchdowns.

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3. This article by John Clayton on the AFC Playoffs is an absolute joke (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2009/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=4793153). He goes completely out of his way to avoid mentioning the Jets, when he discusses the key running backs he doesn’t mention Thomas Jones who has more rushing yards than any player in the playoffs. He doesn’t mention Rex Ryan as a coach in the playoffs or Jay Feely as an important kicker.

4. Here is one shocker, our old buddy Mike Florio gave the Jets a little credit as a dangerous team in the playoffs (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/01/04/week-17-morning-aftermath-jets-could-be-dangerous-in-postseason/).

5. Keep checking the facebook page throughout the week for an annoying amount of updates on all Jets wild-card weekend coverage.

6. Wild-Card Weekend Schedule: Jets at Bengals 4:30 PM Saturday. Philly at Dallas 8 PM Saturday. Baltimore at New England 1 PM Sunday. Green Bay at Arizona 4:30 PM Sunday. Jason Taylor and Osi Umenyiora’s tee time is also at 4 PM on Sunday.

7. David Harris rolled his ankle last night but the early reports is that he should be okay for this Saturday. We will have a better idea after Rex Ryan’s press conference today.

Grading Out Jets/Bengals

PhotobucketQuarterbacks: (B-) It is hard to give somebody who goes 8/16 for 63 yards a B- but when he doesn’t turn the ball over the Jets have a great chance to beat anybody. Sanchez made a beautiful deep throw to Braylon Edwards that he should have caught for a 45 yard touchdown. He also had some other nice throws in that short/intermediate passing game. Regardless if the Jets are going to do any damage in January, they are going to need more than 63 passing yards.

Running Backs (A) Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene kept rolling. Jones wears down the opposing defense’s front seven and is money in the red-zone and Greene gashes defense when he comes off the bench. He is averaging 5 yards per carry.

Wide Receivers (A) Brad Smith is turning into one hell of a weapon for a Jets offense that badly needs one. Jerricho Cotchery is always reliable and a weapon on punt returns. Braylon Edwards has to make that play on a deep ball.

Tight Ends (B) Can we get Dustin Keller the ball?

Offensive Line (A) As good as it gets…the Jets need D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, and Damien Woody to keep dominating.

Defensive Line (A) You can’t get more bang for your buck than the Jets are getting for Marques Douglas, Mike DeVito, and Sione Pouha.

Linebackers (A) Calvin Pace capped off a very good season with another sack. Bryan Thomas has played better as of late and Bart Scott had one of his better games. David Harris should be OK for this weekend.

Secondary (A) Revis Island claims another victim. Kerry Rhodes had one of his better games but looked awfully slow in the open field on that fumble.

Special Teams (A) Jay Feely was money. Cotchery was good on punt returns, although the coverage was a little shaky.

Coaching (A) Good game by Schotty and congrats to Rex Ryan for making the playoffs in his first season.

Jets/Bengals Highlights

Beautiful Night At The Meadowlands: Jets Heading To Playoffs

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I just got back from the Meadowlands and have finally got feeling in my hands again, allowing me to type this article. Simply put tonight was a complete and utter beatdown. The Bengals played their starters the entire first half minus Cedric Benson and were beat 27-0. Carson Palmer went 1/11 for 0 yards with an interception. Chad Ochocinco was obviously shut down by Darrelle Revis (like we didn’t see that coming) he also had two drops and was flattened by Kerry Rhodes over the middle.

I love how bitter the rest of the NFL is about the Jets making the playoffs. Bengals fans making excuses, saying Cincy lost on purpose because they wanted to avoid playing the Texans? The Texans?! You remember them right, their quarterback was nearly in tears when the Jets shredded them up back in week one. Dolphins fans are wiping their tears away over their 7-9 record (which I brilliantly predicted, along with a Jets playoff berth in the pre-season). I love how Jason Taylor left for a year, they made the playoffs, he comes back and they are back to being mediocre and sitting home in January. Steelers fans are crying, like they earned a playoff spot by losing to the Chiefs, Browns, and Raiders.

The bottom line is that Cincy tried to compete tonight in the first half and they were steamrolled by the Jets. Can I get me some Brad Smith? The Jets “tiger” formation ripped apart the Bengals, as Smith had 92 rushing yards and a touchdown. Thomas Jones added 78 more yards with two touchdowns and Shonn Greene chipped in 62 yards on 4.8 yards per carry. Their defense allowed one completion in the first half and shut down the running game, along with pulling an interception (Dwight Lowery). Mark Sanchez had only one stat that matter…zero turnovers.

You would have to be stupid to think the Bengals confidence isn’t somewhat shaken by tonight’s game. But, I really look forward to the whole world to picking Cincy to beat the Jets on Saturday…I do. They are already 4 point favorites and can I already see all the NFL experts penciling in a Bengals victory, don’t worry I will be keeping track of them all week.

It is playoff time, which means it is time to put in work around here. One article a day isn’t going to cut it, so look for two a days starting tomorrow. You are going to be able to right a thesis on the Jets/Bengals match-up by the end of the week, along with all the other wild-card games. I will be tracking all of the coverage and all the disrespect from the national media, that will hopefully be motivating the team this week and of course be doing plenty of gloating tomorrow to Giants and Dolphins fans.

In the end, the team with a rookie quarterback and rookie head coach is playoff bound. The team that lost Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington still found a way to get it done.  After the 37-0 beatdown was over, my two cousins and I walked out savoring one of the few great moments we got to enjoy as Jets fans. I drove away from the stadium still covered in confetti. It was more than likely the last game I will ever attend in Giants Stadium, a building that I have been coming to Jets games in since I was 4 years old and a building that I won a high school state championship win (LL ’05 I see you). As I took off down Route 3, I turned up the Rex Ryan press conference, looked in my rear view and saw the Empire State building brightly lit in a nice shade of Jets green, and just smiled to myself…picture me rolling.

By the way, the Jets are playing at 4:30 this Saturday in the playoffs does anyone know what time the Giants or Dolphins are playing? Anyone? I can’t seem to find this information anywhere.

It Is Good To Be Back: Jets Prepare For Win and In Sunday Night

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First a few updates (or more accurately a little background):

1. What a day. I returned from Italy at about 3 PM today. Somehow I successfully went my entire vacation without finding out a single word about the Jets/Colts game and the wait proved to be well worth it. During week 16 I happened to stumble into a bar in Venice around 9:30 PM which was playing the 4th quarter of the Ravens/Steelers game. I sat down…Houston beat Miami? New England beat Jacksonville? The Steelers were going to hold off the Ravens? The Giants lost 41-9 to Carolina? The football gods were clearly smiling on the Jets.

I somehow communicated to the bartender a question about which game was on next, he grabbed the remote and showed Jets/Colts with a 10:15 PM kickoff. I thought about it…I could sit there until 1:30 AM, scare all the Italians in the place by pacing around the bar like a maniac during the game, and likely be disappointed by a season ending loss, have to get up 6 AM the next day for touring the rest of the trip and be in a bad mood for the next 4 days. I decided against it, I left and went back to my hotel room. I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t. I tried counting hypothetical Mark Sanchez interceptions in my head, but I still toss and turned all night wondering what the hell was going on.

PhotobucketThe next day on the tour bus, somebody in our group tried to offer me an American newspaper with all the NFL scores in it. I took it…folded it up and threw out at our next stop. I instructed my family to wait it out and that nobody was allowed to find out the score…we were waiting until we made it back to Ringwood. Somehow I made it back without hearing anything. I saw a guy in a huge Colts jacket in Florence and my Dad started up a J-E-T-S chant to gauge his reaction but he kept walking, while people gawked at us.

Anyway, I got back today to a VHS copy of the game. I sat down with my family (which I is something I never do, I prefer my Jets suffering in solitude) and promised if they somehow won, dinner was on me tonight. Well it was the best 40 dollars I ever spent on some local takeout…because the Jets are playing the day after tomorrow for a playoff spot on Sunday night football…who would have thought?

It Is Good To Be Back: Jets Prepare For Win and In Sunday Night

Some scattered observations as I try to get my stuff together before unpacking and then heading off to a full day of tailgating for the Jets/Bengals game on Sunday (just bought my ticket).

1. On Jets/Colts – Very weird game. The timing of the Colts starters being benched seemed off to me. I am not sure why a 15-10 score inspired it but believe me I didn’t relax until the clock was 0:00. I was waiting for Manning to come back in down 21-15 and even 29-15 to lead a comeback and yes if a Colts starter or a fan, I would be royally pissed.

2. All the critics of the Jets (which I have caught up on the past few days) and how they have a chance to make the playoffs…cry me an ‘effin river. This is a franchise that never receives any type of break or luck and finally got one, took advantage of it and now has a chance to close out Giants Stadium the proper way (not by being humiliated by a 6-8 team by 32 points…owch G-Men). I am sorry but who deserves the AFC wild card more than the Jets? The Broncos and their 2-7 record after their 6-0 start? The Steelers and their three straight losses to the Chiefs, Browns, and Raiders? Trust me Lamar Woodley nobody is scared to play a defense that lets Bruce Gradkowski drive down the field in their building for a win. The Dolphins who choked against the Titans and Texans the past two weeks? Ha! The Jaguars who didn’t even get off the bus in New England for their week 16 game? The Texans who were embarrassed by the Jets in their building?

The Jets have the league’s #1 ranked defense and #1 ranked running game, why don’t they deserve a shot to play for a playoff spot?

3. I thought Mark Sanchez played well in a big spot. Not great…but he protected the football and made some tough throws on third downs and converted both two-point conversions. How about our other rookie Shonn Greene stepping up with 95 big yards? The Jets are obviously going to be extremely run heavy the rest of the way so Greene needs to keep it up to support TJ.

4. Brad Smith’s kick return couldn’t have come a better time. It gave the Jets the shot of the confidence they needed and obviously needed points because our offense still can only score about 10 a game. Calvin Pace is quietly putting together another very good year and Marques Douglas has been a big upgrade over Kenyon Coleman.

5. I think the back and forth between Revis and Ochocinco has been entertaining as hell. They are friends and will provide a great match-up to watch Sunday night. You think Revis is going to allow Ochocinco to do his O-C-H-O chant in our end-zone? I think not.

6. Speaking of Revis, congrats to him, Nick Mangold, and Alan Faneca for making the pro-bowl. David Harris and Brandon Moore also deserved a spot on the roster.

7. I am pretty confident New England will play their starters and beat the Texans, locking the Bengals in to the #4 seed. I wouldn’t be shocked to Cincy backups in the second half but honestly remain confident even if the Jets see their starters the whole game. Maybe that is crazy but I like the Jets on Sunday in a low scoring, defensive battle and if they do win…trust me that I am going to like them the following week in Cincy during wild-card weekend.

Photobucket8. I like how the Jets match-up with the Bengals offense, which has struggled throwing the ball all season and lacks big play capability. The front seven is good enough to slow down Cedric Benson and Revis can take care of Ochocinco. Carson Palmer isn’t very mobile which will aid the Jets pass rush and while Laveranues Coles (haven’t had to type that name in awhile) will get his catches on Lito “toast” Sheppard, he won’t kill the Jets with big plays. The Jets offense will have a tough time throwing on a strong Bengals secondary but if they lean on TJ, Greene and a short passing game that allows Braylon, Cotchery, and Keller to run after the catch they could be alright.

9. Stats and game highlights are updated…better later than never.

10. I hope to see you at the stadium on Sunday…let’s send it off the right way.

11. Only a Jets win could give me the energy to write this at 2 AM with extreme amounts of Jet lag.

We Have to Run This Town Sunday Night