Getting The Job Done: Antonio Cromartie

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When the Jets traded for Antonio Cromartie this off-season, it was a relatively controversial deal. Cromartie had floundered the past two seasons after putting together an All-Pro 2007 campaign and Jets fans saw close up in the playoffs last year what type of effort he was capable of putting forward on the field.

Nobody could question Cromartie’s raw physical skills. He might be the most gifted athlete on the Jets roster. Yet, the real question was whether he could keep his head in the game and thrive in Rex Ryan’s aggressive man to man system, which would seem to play to his physical strenghts.

Cromartie got off to a questionable start in 2010 for the Jets. He was flagged three times in the Jets opening Monday Night loss for illegal contact or pass interference and was routinely beat by Anquan Boldin. Week 2 didn’t start off much better when he was beat by Wes Welker for a 2nd quarter touchdown. However, the switch was flipped in the second half of the New England game and since then, Cromartie has been playing at a Pro-Bowl caliber level.

He rallied the defensive backs at halftime of the Jets/Patriots game to step up after Darrelle Revis suffered an injury. He then backed up his words by shutting down Randy Moss in the second half and pulling in an interception. Brandon Marshall did put together a big game on him the following week, but Cromartie bounced back by completely shutting down Lee Evans and then putting together another solid performance on Moss. Against Denver, Brandon Lloyd came into the game leading the NFL in receiving yards but Cromartie kept him to 74 yards, no scores, and without any game changing plays.

Cromartie is never going to be the shut down corner Revis was in 2009. He gets beat occasionally and is flagged more than you’d like to see. However, he has stepped up in the absence of Revis Island (which has yet to surface in 2010) and provided stability in a Jets secondary that has dealt with its share of injuries and juggled line-ups. As Revis gets back to 100 percent, I would expect ‘Cro to bag a few more interceptions in 2010 and make a strong case to be a Pro-Bowler. Considering the struggles of Kyle Wilson, Cromartie is making very hard for the Jets not to bring him back in 2011.

For The 2010 Jets, 12 Is The Number

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The Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game the hard way in 2009. They went on the road and pulled off two upsets as a wild-card, built momentum and eventually ran out of steam in the second half in Indianapolis.

We have seen wild-card teams win Super Bowls in recent years, most notably the New York Giants who ripped off three straight road victories before upsetting the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

However, considering the way the AFC looks like it is breaking so far and the 5-1 start the Jets have got themselves off to, there is no reason a minimum of 12 victories shouldn’t be the target for this team. The easiest road to the Super Bowl is getting yourself a bye and then hosting two playoff games, and this Jets team is built to do that. Look at the rest of their schedule:

Week 8 vs. Green Bay – Originally this appeared to be a much tougher match-up but the Packers have been decimated with injuries and could very well come into this game at 3-4. Beyond that, they have a long trip out to the Meadowlands off an emotional prime-time game against Brett Favre, while the Jets will be fresh off the bye week. There is no reason the Jets shouldn’t handle business against this one-dimensional offense, with Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace likely very close to, if not, 100 percent.

PhotobucketWeek 9 at Detroit – The Lions are frisky for a 1-5 team, which means this could be a dangerous game. Yet in reality, the Jets are going to be 8 – 10 point favorites and need to handle business against a team they are far superior to in the talent department. Darrelle Revis/Antonio Cromartie vs. Calvin Johnson? Should be fun to watch.

Week 10 at Cleveland – The Mangini Bowl. Cleveland can be a tough place to play, yet I think plenty of Jets will be up for this game against their former coach.

Week 11 vs. Houston – I love this match-up for the Jets. The Texans are a finesse team that does not match up well against them, as we already saw last year. Beyond that, the Jets get them at home. Yes it is a few weeks away but this feels like a nice double digit smack down.

Week 12 vs. Cincinnati – The Jets back on Thanksgiving, looking to make up for their debacle against Dallas a few years back. I am not sure why I should think the Bengals can come into the Meadowlands and win this game, considering how the Jets played them last year and the fact that Cincinnati has pretty much sucked so far this season.

Week 13 at New England – The Jets get an extra three days to prepare for this game, which will likely go a long way to determining who wins the AFC East. Prime-time. December football. It doesn’t get much better than this. Jets fans are already panicking about Danny Woodhead racking up 150 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.

Week 14 vs. Miami – Good to get Miami at home this late in the year. The Dolphins feel like a .500 team to me right now, so hopefully the Jets can do some serious damage to their playoff hopes this week.

Week 15 at Pittsburgh – Oh boy. Doesn’t this feel like a battle of a couple 11-3 or 12-2 teams for the AFC’s number one seed? Santonio Holmes coming back to Pittsburgh. A couple of powerhouse defenses. This game has to be flexed to Sunday night, right?

Week 16 at Chicago – I am already having visions of Wayne Chrebet getting flipped on his head and fumbling to clinch a killer loss. Regardless of the Bears 4-2 record, I just don’t think they are that good and will either be right at or below .500 coming into this game. What is the over/under on the number times Jay Cutler is sacked this week?

Week 17 vs. Buffalo – We should be seeing some Mark Brunell and Kellen Clemens this week.

When you look at this collection of ten games, it is hard to see the Jets not putting together at least a 7-3 record. 12-4 should be good enough for a bye week in the AFC but may not be good enough for a number one seed unless the Jets can take care of business in Pittsburgh. Does it make me a delirious homer to think there is a somewhat realistic shot the Jets could win 13 games this year?

A 13 win Jets team? Times really could be changing.

Getting The Job Done: Braylon Edwards

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One of the most encouraging stories of the Jets off-season was the reported progress wide receiver Braylon Edwards was making in the offense. He impressed the coaching staff with his level of commitment and the shape he got himself into, which had many around the organization projecting a big year for him.

There was rightfully some skepticism. Edwards has struggled with consistency his entire career and in 12 games for the Jets only pulled in 35 receptions, 541 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Most people were more excited about Dustin Keller and believed when Santonio Holmes returned, Edwards would fade into the background and make it a no brainer for the Jets to re-sign Holmes after the season and let Edwards walk.

However, despite Keller’s strong start and the return of Holmes the past two weeks. Edwards leads the Jets in receiving yards with 343 and has already piled up 4 touchdowns in 6 games. He allowed the Jets to weather the Holmes suspension by being a legitimate number one receiver and consistently providing a big play threat. Edwards already has three touchdown receptions of 30 yards or more, along with another reception over 30 yards to go with it. He is averaging an impressive 16.3 yards per catch, which is the highest of his career.

Even as Santonio Holmes becomes more acclimated to the offense, Edwards brings a needed height presence in the red zone and big play capability on the other side of the formation. He is looking like a borderline 1,000 yard receiver who could approach double digits in touchdowns in 2010, which is a level of production that most didn’t expect from him.

In terms of the off-season, it will be interesting to see if the Jets can find a way to re-sign Holmes and Edwards. The only way that would happen is if, the market for Edwards isn’t as strong as should be because of his DUI incident mixed with his previous off the field problems or if Edwards comes back to the Jets for less, considering how they stuck by him after the DUI. As of the right now, Edwards is going to have to realize that even despite his production David Harris, Antonio Cromartie (because of his pro-bowl caliber play and Kyle Wilson’s struggles), and likely Santonio Holmes will all be bigger priorities for the Jets.

This could very well be #17’s last season in New York, so it is good to see that at least on the field, he is getting the job done.

Edwards 2010 Highlights

TOJ NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

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TOJ’s week 7 edition of the NFL Power Rankings, followed by some general NFL observations…as always feel free to comment on my stupidity

The Top Two

1. New York Jets (5-1) – I am giving them the leap to number one because I believe if they played their best game against Pittsburgh’s best game right now, they’d win in a close one.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) – They should really get rolling now with Ben Rothlisberger under center but didn’t look as dominant as I expected against the Browns who were giving a rookie quarterback his first start.

Just A Cut Below

3. New England Patriots (4-1) – Impressive win against the Baltimore Ravens, who never put them away. Yet if I read one more story about how happy Deion Branch is to be back in New England and how everybody there loves him, I’m going to throw up.

4. Baltimore Ravens (4-2) – You can’t be blowing 20-10 leads that late in the game. Fortunately for them, they have a bye week this week aka they are playing Buffalo.

5. Indiannapolis Colts (4-2) – As long as Peyton Manning is under center, they are the favorite in the AFC South. Austin Collie is having one hell of a year too by the way.

Best Of NFC…I Guess

6. New Orleans Saints (4-2) – If you had to bet on one NFC team going to the Super Bowl right now, it’d probably have to be New Orleans especially if they continue to run the ball like they did last week.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) – The Eagles have a problem that many teams in the NFL wouldn’t mind having. Let’s get see if they can beat a physical Tennessee team to get some momentum going.

8. Atlanta Falcons (4-2) – Laid a complete egg against the Eagles on the road.

9. New York Giants (4-2) – They have a golden opportunity to completely bury the Dallas Cowboys this Monday night.

Looking Like A Playoff Contender

10. Tennessee Titans (4-2) – A physical (dirty) team that can play defense, run the football, and has some weapons in the passing game.

11. Houston Texans (4-2) – They are a finesse (soft) team but can put up some points and have found a way to win close games this season.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2) – They lost a couple of tough games in a row but still remain 1 1/2 games up in the AFC West, where nobody wants to win a game.

13. Washington Redskins (3-3) – You would have liked to see Donovan McNabb handle business on that final drive at home against the Colts.

14. Miam Dolphins (3-2) – Never easy to win in Green Bay. We’ll see how legitimate they are this week against the Steelers.

Not As Good As Their Record

15. Seattle Seahawks (3-2) – They actually won a road game. Perhaps with Marshawn Lynch on the roster and Mike Williams playing like he did at USC at receiver, they could find some consistency on offense.

16.. Chicago Bears (4-2) – Never a good sign when you can’t beat a mediocre Seattle team at home.

17. Green Bay Packers (3-3) – A little low? Maybe, but I am not sure they can overcome the mass of injuries they sustained. They are also playing sloppy, inconsistent football.

18. Arizona Cardinals (3-2) – They are right in the thick of things in the NFC West, then again so are the 1-5 49ers.

19. Tampa Bays Bucs (3-2) – As bad as a 3-2 team gets.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) – As bad as a 3-3 team gets.

Frisky

21. St. Louis Rams (3-3) – Impressive win against San Diego considering how they lost to Detroit the week before.

22. Minnesota Vikings (2-3) – Amazing how much they could be in it, if they can take care of Green Bay this week.

The AFC West Is Brutal…Bengals Aren’t Much Better

23. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) – A team supposed to built around their defense, that can’t stop anybody and a team that is supposed to have a high power passing attack that has a suddenly crappy quarterback.

24. Denver Broncos (2-4) – Thank you Renaldo Hill.

25. Oakland Raiders (2-4) – Just when you thought you could go an entire season without watching Kyle Boller play.

26. San Diego Chargers (2-4) – Thank you for destroying my three team tease this past weekend…and for LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie.

Bad Football Teams, Still Competitive

27. Dallas Cowboys (1-4) – They always find a way to lose.

28. San Francisco 49ers (1-5) – Still alive in the NFC West, where 7-9 just might equal a division title and home playoff game.

29. Detriot Lions (1-5) – As far as 1-5 teams go, they aren’t half bad.

30. Cleveland Browns (1-5) – Colt McCoy showed there might be hope for the future.

Cover Your Eyes

31. Carolina Panthers (0-5) – Doesn’t matter if Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen are throwing interceptions and getting sacked.

32. Buffalo Bills (0-5) – They can’t win more than 2 games this season, can they?

PhotobucketAFC East – I think the Jets are going to have a tough time pulling away from the Patriots. The December 6th match-up between the two teams is going to go a long way to determining the division winner. Prior to the season I thought Miami would be the Jets main competition, however I think they are going to catch a beat down from Pittsburgh this week and be a .500 team the rest of the season.

NFC East  – This division couldn’t be anymore wide open. The Giants always beat Dallas and will likely bury them for good this Monday night, leaving them to battle with Philadelphia and Washington. The Eagles seem like the favorite right now, with either Vick or Kolb under center but you’d like to see more consistency on both sides of the ball from them and particularly their offensive line.

AFC North  – It will be fun to watch the Steelers and Ravens slug it out for the division title down the stretch, while the other team will likely land a wild-card. I can’t take the Bengals seriously as a contender because of how bad Carson Palmer has played.  I wonder if Eric Mangini will still be the Browns coach when the Jets come into town.

NFC North – Another wide open division. It feels like the Bears will eventually fall out of it, which leaves the Packers and Vikings to fight it out. 9-7 might be good enough to take this division title.

AFC South – I am more sold on the Titans as the Colts primary competitor for a division title. Houston just isn’t physical enough to win big games in November and December.

NFC South – The Saints and Falcons will be a division race that goes right down to the wire. Tampa Bay isn’t sticking around as a competitor for the division title but could be in the wild-card mix, since you could see a 8-8 team making the playoffs in the NFC.

AFC West – Everybody is still involved in the divisional race here. I wouldn’t be shocked if Denver ended up taking it as a 9-7 team, considering they weathered the tough part of their schedule.

NFC West – Just a bunch of inconsistent, mediocre teams with questions at quarterback. At least the Rams have their franchise guy under center, but he is a rookie so it remains to be seen how he plays down the stretch.

As of right now, it really is a shame that the NFC and AFC West have to send a team to the playoffs. I am having nightmares of a wild card weekend featuring the 8-8 Bears at the 7-9 Rams, followed by the 8-8 Chiefs hosting a playoff game.

Grading Out Jets/Broncos

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Quarterback (C) – Mark Sanchez finally gave in and threw a pair of interceptions. His performance was ugly at times but most importantly he got it together and played well in the second half, leading his team to a comeback victory. He made the right decision by putting the ball up Santonio Holmes 1 on 1 on the decisive 4th and 6 and it obviously worked out. This offense has tons of potential that it still hasn’t reach yet, hopefully they will come rolling out of the bye week.

Running Back (B) – LaDainian Tomlinson brought it in the second half when it mattered the most. Shonn Greene was running hard and I would have liked to see him get more than 9 carries. Tony Richardson and John Conner are both playing very good football right now.

Wide Receivers (A) – I continue to be impressed with the season Braylon Edwards is putting together. He looks like the 1,000 yard borderline pro-bowl player the Jets were hoping when they dealt for him. As of now, he is on pace for a very strong, statistical season and he isn’t dropping passes. Santonio Holmes took another step towards getting into the rhythm of the offense, but needs to learn to tuck the ball away. Jerricho Cotchery may finish the season averaging the least yards per catch in NFL history, but he is still reliable. Brad Smith was effective with the ball in his hands, as usual.

Tight Ends (A) – Good day at the office for Keller and more solid blocking from Ben Hartsock, who is quietly a big part of the Jets offense.

Offensive Line (A) – There has really been no drop off from last season, which is a credit to the entire unit and especially Matt Slauson.

Defensive Line (B-) – The run defense was a let down and so was the pass rush. However, Sione Pouha had a nice sack and Trevor Pryce had a tackle for a loss. Big Mike DeVito almost pulled in an interception on a zone blitz.

Linebackers (C+) – David Harris was all over the field and Bart Scott was also active. A very quiet game from Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, and Jason Taylor. You’d like to see more pressure on the quarterback from these guys.

Secondary (B) – Antonio Cromartie played another terrific game. Darrelle Revis simply wasn’t himself out there. Drew Coleman had a few nice plays, including a forced fumble and a third down pass breakup. However, he was picked on most of the day. The helmet to helmet call on Jim Leonhard was bogus.

Special Teams (A) – Nick Folk is a monster. Steve Weatherford isn’t too bad either.

Coaching (B) – I wasn’t crazy about the playcalling from Brian Schottenheimer, who never seemed to get in a rhythm. The Jets were caught napping on an onsides kick.

Highlights From The Game

Initial Reaction: Best Record In The NFL? J-E-T-S

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It just wasn’t the Jets day today. Mark Sanchez was looking jittery in the pocket and throwing interceptions. Santonio Holmes was running into his own guy and fumbling. Darrelle Revis was getting beat up and down the field by Jabar Gaffney and a rookie. The running game was inconsistent. They were on the road in a raucous environment.

But, this is 2010 and all this Jets team does is win…5 in a row now.

This was a terribly officiated game but don’t feel bad about getting that last call on Santonio Holmes because unless you are blind, you saw his facemask get grabbed. The Jets never stopped fighting in the 4th quarter and Mark Sanchez showed good field awareness by putting up that final deep ball to Holmes.

As for the rest offense, LaDainian Tomlinson was productive in the second half. Shonn Greene ran with good burst and I liked how the Jets looked out of the Tiger formation. Braylon Edwards continued his strong season and Dustin Keller got back on track with a big day. It was disappointing to see Sanchez struggle and somewhat resemble his 2009 form at times but hey, he wasn’t going the whole season without an interception.

The defense is still way off their level of play from last year. The pass rush was absent today and the run defense was frustrating to watch. However, Antonio Cromartie and David Harris put together strong performances and they made enough plays to win.

It’s not easy to win games in the NFL and the Jets are one point away from being undefeated heading into their bye week. If they could handle the suddenly average Packers at home, accommodating trips to Detroit and Cleveland are on the horizon. I am not saying the Jets could be 8-1. I am saying they should be 8-1.

Jets vs. Broncos: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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1. Darrelle Revis is the only Jets player listed below probable, at questionable. He will be a game time decision. I wouldn’t bet on him playing this week.

Jets vs. Broncos: 12 Pack Of Predictions

1. Both LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene are going to run for over 100 yards, similar to the Jets week 4 match-up against the Buffalo Bills. After the pass happy game plan last week, the Jets will be focused on running the ball against a Denver defense that struggles against the run and is banged up.

2. Eddie Royal is going to have a big day for Denver. The Jets don’t have a player who matches up well with him, unless Drew Coleman can really rise to the occasion in single coverage.

3. Kyle Orton will throw at least 40 passes and will have a big day statistically. However, considering how one-dimensional the Broncos offense will be. The Jets will force him into at least two turnovers.

4. Despite leading the NFL in receiving yards, Brandon Lloyd will have a quiet game thanks to Antonio Cromartie who will continue playing at a Pro-Bowl level.

5. It is being speculated that Champ Bailey will primarily be covering Braylon Edwards, which means Santonio Holmes is going to make at least one big play down the field. After shaking off the cobwebs last week, Holmes will finish with at least 85 receiving yards and a touchdown.

6. Dustin Keller will bounce back from a quiet game last week and get back in the end-zone.

7. The Jets will turn the ball over at least once this week. They are only human, people.

8. Brad Smith is taking a kick return back to the house on Sunday.

9. The Jets will get off to a slow start as they adjust to the conditions Denver but will pick it up late in the first half and pull themselves into a bit of a shootout with the Broncos.

10. The Jets are going to win 34 – 27. Denver is going to rack up their share of passing yards and take advantage of a Jets turnover at some point. Yet, the Jets will have too much on offense in the 4th quarter and come up with a big stop late.

11. Inactives – Darrelle Revis, Joe McKnight, Kellen Clemens, Marcus Dixon, Jeff Cumberland, Vladimir Ducasse, Matt Kroul, Kenwin Cummings.

12. Jets fans will still be pissed watching a game in Denver because of bad memories from 1998.

Week 6 Picks (Lines From BetUs)

  • Chargers (-8.5) vs. Rams
  • Chiefs (+4) vs. Texans
  • Patriots (-2.5) vs. Ravens
  • Saints (-4.5) vs. Bucs
  • Falcons (+2.5) vs. Eagles
  • Lions (+10.5) vs. Giants
  • Seahawks (+6) vs. Bears
  • Steelers (-14.5) vs. Browns
  • Jets (-4) vs. Broncos
  • Raiders (+6.5) vs. 49ers
  • Vikings (-1.5) vs. Cowboys
  • Colts (-4) vs. Redskins
  • Titans (-3) vs. Jaguars

TOJ NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

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We were due for a good old-fashioned power rankings article, heading into week 6 here is what TOJ is thinking, feel free to vehemently disagree:

AFC Power Houses

1. Baltimore Ravens (4-1) – They beat the Jets on the road and Pittsburgh on the road. For some reason Cincy has the their number, yet the Ravens are a well-balanced team who can beat you in a variety of ways now.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) – Pretty damn impressive to be 3-1 without Ben Rothlisberger. They could be the most complete football with him back in the line-up.

3. New York Jets (4-1) – Offense should keep improving with Santonio Holmes getting into rhythm with Mark Sanchez and the defense will be better with Calvin Pace back full time. Maybe that Revis guy will eventually contribute also…

The Best In The NFC

4. Atlanta Falcons (4-1) – You have to go with the Dirty Birds as the NFC’s best so far, right?

Contenders Still Plenty Of Questions

5.  New England Patriots (3-1) – It will be interesting to see how their offense adapts without Randy Moss. I can’t take them serious as a major threat to the Jets until their defense improves.

6. Indinappolis Colts (3-2) – They have a ton of holes and injuries but Peyton Manning will keep them in the thick of things.

7. New Orleans Saints (3-2) – They are a few plays away from being 0-5. You can’t be losing to rookie undrafted quarterbacks in their first start.

The Best Of The Mediocre

8. Kansas City Chiefs (3-1) – Yes, I am putting them here because they remind of a certain team in 2009 who could play defense and run the football but couldn’t throw at all. Fortunately, the Jets quarterback was a rookie last year. Matt Cassel just sucks.

9. Washington Redskins (3-2) – If they didn’t choke away a huge lead to the Houston Texans, they’d be 4-1. How the hell did they lose like that to the Rams?

10. Chicago Bears (4-1) – Are they the worst 4-1 team in recent memory?

11. Green Bay Packers (3-2) – An unbelievable avalanche of injuries and a complete lack of running game will make the NFC North race very interesting.

12. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) – If Mike Vick can get back on the field and start producing the way he was, the Eagles will win the NFC East.

13. Tennessee Titans (3-2) – A physical (dirty) team that nobody is going to want to deal with down the stretch.

So Damn Confusing

14. New York Giants (3-2) – They went from looking like a 4-12 team and talk of Tom Coughlin being fired to arguably the best looking team in the NFC. Who knows what’s next? By the way, Hakeem Nicks is a beast.

15. Houston Texans (3-2) – They have been thoroughly average since beating down the Colts in week one.

16. San Diego Chargers (2-3) – The slow starts are getting tiresome. They can throw the ball to Antonio Gates, but not much else. Thank you for Antonio Cromartie and LaDainian Tomlinson by the way. Ryan Matthews is doing just a terrific job of filling in for him.

17. Tampa Bay Bucs (3-1) – I am not quite sure how this team is 3-1 but they are. It will be very interesting to see how they play New Orleans this week, in front of 129 somewhat excited fans.

18. Arizona Cardinals (3-2) – About as up and down as you can get.

19. Miami Dolphins (2-2) – You aren’t showing much as a contender in your division when you lose back to back primetime home games to your top two rivals.

20. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) – They should be 7-1 at home and 1-7 on the road.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) – This comment is blacked out.

22. Denver Broncos (2-3) – Who would have thought a Kyle Orton led team would be known only for their passing?

Laughably Disappointing

23. Dallas Cowboys (1-3) – Wade Phillips looks confused.

24. Minnesota Vikings (1-3) – Grab your elbow again, Brett.

25. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) – Carson Palmer kind of sucks these days.

Just Not Good

26. Oakland Raiders (2-3) – Kind of feisty this year, but overall they are still the Raiders.

27. St. Louis Rams (2-3) – At least they have hope for the future.

28. Detriot Lions (1-4) – They are one of the better 1-4 teams in recent memory…so they have that going for them.

29. Cleveland Browns (1-4) – Peyton Hillis has been pretty good. Good luck to Colt McCoy in Pittsburgh this week.

Just Terrible

30. San Francisco 49ers (0-5) – Everybody in San Francisco needs to shut up…you are what your record says you are.

31. Carolina Panthers (0-5) – They should abandon the forward pass.

32. Buffalo Bills (0-5) – So happy they are in the AFC East.

Jets vs. Broncos: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

 1. Darrelle Revis is going to make the trip with the team to Denver and Rex Ryan indicated he could be used in a limited role this weekend. How about this? Sit him down and make sure he is 100 percent for the final 8 games of the season. Everybody else is expected to play this weekend, including Calvin Pace.

2. ALCS/NLCS Predictions – Yankees in 5, Phillies in 6…Yes, I know I really went on a limb there.

Jets vs. Broncos: Game Breakdown

Offense: Denver is beyond banged up on defense and is currently ranked 25th in the NFL in rushing defense. I would say it is time for that Ground and Pound…How about 20 carries for Shonn Greene this week and 14-16 for LaDainian Tomlinson considering he is coming off 23 touches on a short week? Denver’s pass defense isn’t much better than their run defense and their secondary will be without Brian Dawkins, Andre Goodman, Darcel McBath, and Wesley Woodyard. Basically, what I am saying is that the Jets shouldn’t have trouble rolling up points on this defense. It will be interesting to see if this offense has matured enough to take advantage of a below average, banged up defense with the plethora of weapons they have.

Hopefully the chemistry between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes will progress and the Jets can hit a big play to him down the field. I thought Sanchez did a good job of spreading his targets around last week, but it will be interesting to see what happens in a game the Jets don’t throw the ball as much, along with how the role of each receiver ends up developing throughout the season.

Defense: Denver has the NFL’s worst rushing offense by a substantial margin and the Jets have one of the best run defenses in the league. I am thinking Josh McDaniels won’t try to outsmart himself (which he very well may) and will rely heavily on his passing attack this week. Kyle Orton has done a great job of spreading the ball around and the Broncos have a surprisingly productive collection of receivers and tight ends. Even if talented rookie Demaryius Thomas misses this week, Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal have all been good in 2010.

I would expect Antonio Cromartie to spend most of the day on Lloyd, who actually leads the NFL in receiving yards (what?). Considering his build and speed, Drew Coleman makes the most sense for Eddie Royal while Kyle Wilson or Dwight Lowery could cover Gaffney or tight end Daniel Graham. Denver is going to get their yards on the Jets, but the key will be to hit Orton early and often and hope that since he is throwing so much there are a few turnovers.

Special Teams: Royal is dangerous in the return game and Matt Prater is a very good kicker. Doesn’t it feel like we are due for a fake punt?

Good Memories From A  Bad Day In Denver

Top Five Reasons The Jets Are 4-1

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We are coming back soon…

Top Five Reasons The Jets Are 4-1

5. Corners Stepping UpDarrelle Revis has been a nonfactor the first five weeks of the 2010 season. Fortunately, Antonio Cromartie has looked the part of a legit number one corner for most of this year. Most importantly, he kept Randy Moss in check in the second half against New England in week two and against the Vikings in week five. Cromartie isn’t quite an island, but he is playing at a Pro-Bowl level. Beyond him, Drew Coleman has responded well to extra playing time and jumped the disappointing Kyle Wilson on the depth chart. Dwight Lowery and Marquice Cole have also handled their defensive reps well and are starting to make us all believers that the Jets could survive an extended period of time without Revis while he rests his hamstring.

4. Special Teams Excellence – There were a good amount of questions about the Jets special teams heading into the 2010 season. Would releasing Jay Feely to sign the inconsistent Nick Folk come back to haunt the Jets? Could Steve Weatherford hold the punting  job? How much would the Jets miss Wallace Wright? Could Tanner Purdum handle the long snapper job? Who would handle the return duties? Amazingly, all these potential problems have turned into strengths as the Jets are off to an excellent start on special teams. Nick Folk is 12/14 on field goals and was just named AFC special teams player of the week. Weatherford is consistently pinning teams deep. Purdum has been fine. Brad Smith has excelled at kick return and Jim Leonhard has been better on punt returns in year two than he was in year one. Wright hasn’t been missed on coverage units thanks to the play of guys like Eric Smith, Lance Laury, and Marquice Cole.

3. LT Glide – The Jets offense has been bolstered by LaDainian Tomlinson reaching back into the past and playing at his vintage Hall of Fame level. After two subpar seasons in 2008 and 2009, Tomlinson is currently leading the Jets with 435 rushing yards on an astounding 5.7 yards per carry. Beyond that, he already has 17 receptions and 3 touchdowns. Thomas who? After five weeks, the Jets have the NFL’s number one ranked rushing attack.

2. The Sanchize – Eight touchdowns but way more importantly ZERO turnovers. Mark Sanchez has learned how to protect football and is aggressively attacking down the field. The confidence he is playing with has opened up the running game and made the Jets far from one-dimensional on offense. The talk of the Jets not being to win a Super Bowl has quieted down awfully quick, with Sanchez posting 91.7 quarterback rating through five weeks.

1. The Turnover Margin – The Jets have one turnover in five games and have forced 12 turnovers…simply put that is winning football.