First a few updates:
1. First off, today is a very happy day over here at TurnOnTheJets.com. The site was lucky enough to be honored with the 2009 Fanball Sports Network Blog of the Year Award. I honestly have to say it does feel great to have the work I put in here recognized with such an award but a special thanks needs to be given to many other people: my roommate and good friend James Corbett who puts in a ton of time on TOJ TV, all of the fellow bloggers here at Fanball, Bryan Douglass who hired me, everybody who follows and comments on facebook or twitter, all of the readers and frequent commenters most notably: The Iron Marshall, BruceHarper, Simplysimon2, my oldest friend Dan Donohue who has been fighting about sports with me since we were three years old, my good friend Sean Santagato who spends an hour a day on the phone with me talking NFL, Tom Santagato, who despite hating the Jets finds time to come on the site and comment, and of course my Dad who pays for our season tickets despite being a Giants fan, checks the site daily and comments (under Jetbo) and is a constant reminder that hard work pays off. Finally, my Grandpa who is the reason I became a Jets fan, my Uncle Mike who took me to games when I was little, and my Uncle Frankie and cousins Chris and Rob, who are the only three other Jets fan I know crazy as I am…and yes thank you too Mom.
Since I figure I will never win an Oscar, I might as well get that speech out while I can. Anyway, on to more important things like the Jets playing in the divisional round of the playoffs and Darrelle Revis being robbed of Defensive Player of the Year…
2. What the hell, NFL? Charles Woodson? I don’t care about the stats, did you watch the first round of the playoffs? This requires a whole article, which I have been meaning to write for awhile, well it is going up later in the day…forget about looking for jobs to start my career, this is a much more important issue. Rex Ryan took the time today to congratulate the people who voted for Darrelle Revis, and pointed out the Jets gave up 8 passing touchdowns all year, while Green Bay nearly gave up 8 last week against Arizona!
3. Was I the only person who turned off the TV when Mark McGwire started crying about his steroid use?
4. Braylon Edwards didn’t practice today because of a court appearance related to an incident in Cleveland when he allegedly punched one of the friends of LeBron James and Lito Sheppard missed because his wife gave birth. Shaun Ellis (knee), Howard Green (knee), Bart Scott (ankle), and David Harris (ankle) were all limited today. Donald Strickland, Dwight Lowery, and Drew Coleman all practiced full today which is great news. Steve Weatherford is expected to punt this weekend, which is also good news.
Scouting The Chargers From a Jets Perspective & Other Divisional Round Thoughts
SAN DIEGO OFFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES
- Quarterback: Philip Rivers – 317/486, 4254 yards, 28 TDs, 9 INTs, 104.4 QB Rating
- Running Back: LaDanian Tomlinson – 223 carries, 730 yards, 3.3 yards per carry, 12 touchdowns, 154 receiving yards
- Fullback: Jacob Hester – 21 carries, 74 yards, 24 receiving yards
- Fullback: Mike Tolbert – 25 carries, 148 yards, 1 touchdown, 192 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns
- Third Down Back: Darren Sproles – 93 carries, 343 yards, 3.7 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns, 497 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns
- #1 Wide Receiver: Vincent Jackson – 68 receptions, 1167 yards, 9 touchdowns
- #2 Wide Receiver: Malcom Floyd – 45 receptions, 776 yards, 1 touchdown
- #3 Wide Receiver: Legedu Naanee – 24 receptions, 242 yards, 2 touchdowns
- #4 Wide Receiver: Craig Davis – 6 receptions, 52 yards
- Tight End: Antonio Gates – 79 receptions, 1157 yards, 8 touchdowns
- Left Tackle: Marcus McNeill
- Left Guard: Kris Dielman
- Center: Nick Hardwick
- Right Guard: Louis Vasquez
- Right Tackle: Brandyn Dombrowski
SAN DIEGO DEFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES
- Defensive End: Jacques Cesaire – 26 tackles, 1 sack
- Defensive Tackle: Ogemdi Nwagbuo – 19 tackles, 1 sack
- Defensive End: Luis Castillo – 25 tackles, 2 sacks
- Outside Linebacker: Shaun Phillips – 59 tackles, 7 sacks
- Inside Linebacker: Stephen Cooper – 102 tackles
- Inside Linebacker: Kevin Burnett – 66 tackles, 2.5 sacks
- Outside Linebacker: Shawne Merriman – 36 tackles, 4 sacks
- Linebacker: Brandon Siler – 67 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
- Linebacker: Tim Dobbins – 55 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT
- Linebacker: Larry English – 36 tackles, 2 sacks
- Corner: Quentin Jammer – 58 tackles, 3 INTs
- Corner: Antonio Cromartie – 33 tackles, 3 INTs
- Corner: Antoine Cason – 41 tackles, 2 INTs
- Safety: Steve Gregory – 71 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
- Safety: Eric Weddle – 82 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs
- Safety: Kevin Ellison – 52 tackles, 1 sack
- Safety: Paul Oliver – 49 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT
- Kicker: Nate Kaeding – 32/35 FGs, 2 missed 40-49 yards, 1 missed 50+ yards
- Punter: Mike Scifers – 45 yards per punt
- Return: Darren Sproles – 24.1 yards per kickoff return, 7.0 yards per punt return, 1 touchdown
Thoughts On the Match-Up – I have confidence in Darrelle Revis on Vincent Jackson. However, I am worried about Lito Sheppard on Malcom Floyd, who has been a big play receiver this season. This is a big game for Sheppard to prove his value to the Jets and earn a chance to get a new contract from them next season. Antonio Gates is obviously going to be an issue, Kerry Rhodes has the physical talent and size to match-up with Gates but he needs to bring his A game. It is alot of pressure on two guys, Sheppard and Rhodes, who have had up and down seasons but have been playing as of late. I am not scared of Tomlinson or Sproles running the football but I am worried about Sproles in the passing game. You know the Chargers have watched the tape of Ricky Williams shredding the Jets on screen passes and they will be dialing them up to counter the Jets pass rush. Beyond that, the Jets don’t have a linebacker who could cover Sproles. I would expect to see alot of Eric Smith or Donald Strickland attempting to cover him in the flats.
On offense, I feel surprisingly good. I think this unit is finally hitting their stride and will put together another 20+ point effort. I think the Jets will be able to run the ball, chew up some clock, and consistently move the football. The success the Jets will have running the ball should open up some opportunities down the field. However, will they take another shot with Braylon Edwards or will they give the deep ball or Jerricho Cotchery or maybe even David Clowney? Edwards will likely get another shot, but my god…catch the damn ball, #17! The Chargers are likely going to over-scheme for Keller, which should open things up for Cotchery, Edwards, and maybe Brad Smith who was quiet last week.
I am worried about Sproles on returns, but I am confident we are going to see a big play from the Jets special teams this week. I don’t know if it is going to be a kick or punt return, or a fake punt at a surprising time or something…but it is on the way.
Other Quick Thoughts On Divisional Round…As of today, I am liking the Cardinals in the upset against Saints. New Orleans is coming in ice cold, and the Cardinals can go point for point with them. I am feeling a 45-42 game. If the Ravens somehow beat the Colts Saturday night, I am going to get 20 percent more confident in the Jets pulling off the upset because that would mean another thing broke their way in this odd 2009 season. I am really looking forward to Brett Favre being knocked out at home and watching him and the Vikings head into a tail spin, culminating with a 33-10 loss in week 7 at new stadium in the Meadowlands, as the Jets rack up 7 sacks and send the Minnesota to a 2-5 start in 2010 leading Favre to retire in half way through the season.
LaDanian Tomlinson Slid His Way To 3.3 Yards Pery Carry
Awesome Defense By Woodson and the Packers
Your 2009 Defensive Player of the Year