1. Great weekend…I am officially exhausted from consuming unnecessary amounts of food and alcohol and screaming happy expletives at all the people around me cheering against the Jets as Shonn Greene, Mark Sanchez, and Dustin Keller shredded the Bengals defense and Darrelle Revis put Chad Johnson on the inactive list. My favorite moment was with the entire room screaming in my face after Benson’s touchdown run cut the lead to 21-14 and the Jets faced a 2nd and 8 and the Jets responded with a 45 yard completion to Dustin Keller, which did a beautiful job of silencing the room as a bunch of Giants fans went back to figuring out how to fix their god-awful defense. Hey, at least they had those Justin Tuck and Michael Strahan Subway commercials to enjoy.
2. The early reports are that Steve Weatherford is expected to play this Sunday. The amount of confidence the Jets have in him will be shown by the amount of punters they bring in this week for workouts.
3. Rex Ryan revealed that Thomas Jones played with a knee brace on and that the cold weather hasn’t been helping his knee bruise. He said the warm weather should help Jones out and he should be near his normal 20 carries again…well not if Shonn Greene is still ripping off 6 yards a carry.
4. Bart Scott will probably be limited in practice this week with an ankle injury.
Wild-Card Weekend Reaction
1. Anybody else feeling that a change of guard in the AFC East is on the way? The Patriots look like a team with a coach and quarterback who have lost more than a few steps, no running backs, a washed up/uninterested Randy Moss, no Wes Welker until October, a fading offensive line, and a crappy defense highlighted by one of the worst secondaries in football.
2. Give the Ravens credit for sticking with the run, which the Patriots were helpless to stop. Ray Rice is one hell of a football player and Willis McGahee provides power off the bench. However, Joe Flacco must play much, much better if they want any chance at beating the Colts. They will be a confident team heading to Indy, but they will need more than 34 passing yards.
3. Can we stop debating about who the Defensive Player of the Year is now? Outside of a forced fumble, Charles Woodson played awful yesterday as a key part of a defense that allowed 51 points. 51! Larry Fitzgerald had 82 yards and 2 touchdowns on him, and Woodson missed a bunch of tackles. It will be nothing short of robbery if Darrelle Revis doesn’t win this award.
4. The Cowboys are playing better than anyone in the NFL right now, which means our old buddy Brett and the Vikings could be in trouble. I wouldn’t be shocked if both road teams in the NFC won this weekend. The Saints are ice cold and the Cardinals can go point for point with them.
First Thoughts On Jets/Chargers
I said on Saturday night that I wanted the Chargers, why?
1. The best way to attack the Jets defense is to run the football. San Diego can’t run the football. They have the league’s 32nd ranked rushing attack and don’t have a back who came near 1,000 yards. LaDanian Tomlinson averaged 3.3 yards per carry this year and Darren Sproles only averaged 3.7.
2. San Diego is not a very good defensive team, finishing 16th in the NFL in total defense. They are ranked 20th in the NFL in rush defense. You can bet on a combined 40 carries from Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene, which will work to keep Philip Rivers off the field and allow Mark Sanchez to be more comfortable.
3. Mark Sanchez should be comfortable, playing in his home state without weather being a factor.
4. The Chargers throw the ball better than anyone in the NFL, fortunately the Jets stop the pass better than anyone in the NFL.
5. Norv Turner is not a big game coach.
1. Philip Rivers is a terrific quarterback who will shred the Jets up if their pass rush can’t get to him. Rex Ryan needs to scheme like crazy this week because Rivers won’t miss all the throws that Carson Palmer did last week.
2. David Harris and Bart Scott are both dealing with ankle injuries. The Jets don’t have a linebacker who could cover Darren Sproles out of the backfield. They will likely need to keep an extra safety or corner out there to help with covering him.
3. Kerry Rhodes is going to have his hands full with Antonio Gates.
4. The Chargers have won 11 games in a row.
Overall, San Diego went 13-3 for a reason, just like the Jets went 9-7 for a reason. They are a better team than the Jets. Yet, that doesn’t mean the Jets don’t match-up well with them and don’t have a reasonable chance at pulling off the upset. If the Jets can withstand the early blows from San Diego, like they did against the Bengals and get into halftime within one possession. They just might be able to steal the game in the second half. The Chargers are going to get their yards but the key is making them settle for field goals instead of allowing them to score touchdowns. The offense is going to have to run the ball to keep San Diego’s offense on the sidelines as much as possible but also hit a big play or two.
Crazier things have happened this season for the Jets…who knows? This just might be our season after all.
The Last Season the Jets Were In the Divisional Round