Hangovers, Brunch and Wake Up Calls From The Front Desk: 3 Weeks of College Football

Week 2

College football is a beautiful thing, made even more so by new technology. Before the expansion of cable, the choices in college games were at most 4 games throughout the day and night. Thanks to networks such as ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Versus, MSG, CBS, NBC & ABC, there were approximately 20 games I had my choice of watching last weekend. Naturally the best games are usually on ABC, CBS or the ESPN night game, but there were a few surprises, as in the USC vs. Utah game. So what made week 2 great? Great players.

Jadaveon Clowney is perhaps the only defensive end in college football that will eventually outsize Julius Peppers. In brief, he is big, fast, and stronger than most grown men. He was also the #1 high school player in the nation last year. Barring any sort of career threatening injury, Clowney already has the length and the motor to chase down even the most nimble of quarterbacks in the SEC.

If you watch his game clips from high school, you see a player that was 6’6 and 235 lbs and literally throwing off offensive lineman like they were toys. People who played against him were rumored to have gone mute, switched to defense themselves, or decided their efforts in football were pointless and thought they would be better suited to the spirit squad. Quarterbacks suddenly pulled hamstrings, got leg cramps or decided it was in their best interest to give their backup a few reps.

On Saturday the boy became the man. In the first half, there were few moments when Clowney was able to dominate offensive lineman, that is until a left guard decided to cover a blitzing linebacker and let Clowney have a 5 yard dash to Aaron Murray. That move of brilliance resulted in a strip sack and a touchdown for the South Carolina defense. It may have also cost Mark Richt a contract extension.

To say the Gamecocks are lucky to have Clowney is an understatement. To note they also had last year’s #1 RB recruit in the country Marcus Lattimore is what may get them to the SEC championship game.Lattimore is a 6’0 220 lb running back that plays like he’s always on the goal line. He finds a hole and jumps through it, very rarely getting caught trying to make a second cut. His numbers, 4.8 YPC and 1197 rush yards as a freshman, do not even speak to how good he can be. If Stephen Garcia can air it out and not grow a beard, Lattimore will get over 1500 this year, in the SEC.

So are the Gamecocks the best team in the SEC? No. That would be Alabama. As an introduction, the only thing you need to know is that 8 of the 11 defensive starters are predicted to either go in the first or second round of the 2012 draft.
If it is defense that sets the tone for Alabama, it’s going to be their running back tandem that closes games out. Trent Richardson is the sort of physical prodigy that makes linebackers and safeties look like they’ve been watching Glee and taking too many yoga classes. Trent Richardson goes to the weight room. He benches 475 and squats 600, which is better than most lineman. NFL lineman.

So if Richardson is the bruiser, what is Eddie Lacy? A clone with a spin move. Circle Button. If you looked quickly, you would think he IS Richardson. Same cut, same insane physique. Same insane ability to run over linebackers and safeties without losing any steam. Alabama will not put up big passing numbers. Neither will teams playing against them. If anyone wants to test what they’ve got, do it against Alabama, not against anyone in the PAC-12. They’re all smoke and mirrors out there anyway.

P.S. – Alshon Jeffery does look fat.

Week 3

Maryland unveiled their 2nd imitation of the Nike Pro Combat line. Normally I wouldn’t care about something like this, but the whole point of that line is to be a relevant school in a featured game of the year. Maryland will be in no featured game this year, and there will be no point in advertising mediocrity.

Trent Richardson is going to prove he is worth more than Michael Dyer. He will get more 3rd downs, while Eddie Lacey becomes the faster clone. Don’t trust Auburn’s defense, it will leave you cold and alone. Why Cam why? The defense of Auburn will keep them out of the top 10 in the final FBS rankings, and may keep them out of the top 25 by the end of the year. The SEC has no mercy for the weak, ask Tennessee and Georgia.

There is a certain trifecta of teams that I consider “old world”. Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin always seem to be of interchangeable parts. Power run. Big defensive line. Nameless quarterbacks, but it’s ok. It’s the system, and the system works in the waterless, landlocked midwest. It makes men of boys.

No one put faith in any Notre Dame quarterback. I’ve seen too many conversations between Brian Kelly and his young quarterbacks and we’re not even a quarter way through the season. They will win a few off pure luck and circumstance, but whatever Notre Dame was before I was born, it is gone and it is not going to be back any time soon. Sorry Golic, this is the age of the SEC.

Florida. Florida will finally make a return to the SEC front, bringing back many a fundamentalist flashback of the great holy ghost of Tebow. Florida defense is probably 3rd biggest in college football after LSU and Alabama. They will run through opposing quarterbacks, and halfbacks will think twice about off tackle runs.

Has anyone noticed Marcus Lattimore’s machinelike tendencies? Even when the game is getting out of hand against Navy, he stands like a statue, waiting to go 5, 8, 6, yards at a time. Gets hit, gets up, walks right back over to the huddle without saying a word. There are few things as terrifying as a running back with Lattimore’s skill set that don’t react to anything.

On the thought of South Carolina, shouldn’t they be more of a threat? Having a top 10 running back and a top 10 defensive end should scare people, right? Well Stephen Garcia is at the helm, and the ship is taking on water. You never know what you get out of Garcia, but it will make things interesting. 3 interceptions and the winning touchdown pass.

Belief in Miami? Who is Lamar Miller? Frank Gore with speed? Will he lift Miami out of the swamps of unranked teams? We all know Jacory Harris will win 2 games himself and lose 2, in no particular order.

They must be doing something right in the state of Florida, because if Florida has a big fast defense, then Florida state has the same thing, except they play with the intensity of rabid wolves. Big hits, big blocks, scary stuff.

Week 4

Penn State is beating up Eastern Michigan, who is looking like the redheaded stepchild of Michigan for another year. Even Michigan State is enduring beatdowns akin to the one Alabama gave them last year after a baffling end of season slew of losses to Auburn and LSU.

Tommy Rees is again talking to Brian Kelly, who is probably having his Proust moment (A Remembrance of Things Past) with the duo of Mardy Gilyard and Tony Pike putting ridiculous numbers up. Kelly lives in the big time now, and the clergy are waiting for him to lose his cool. Fat paychecks and the attempt to get Michael Floyd the ball keep him up very late at night. How does Kelly cope with having opposite ends of the talent spectrum at quarterback and receiver? Lord only knows.

Why the obsession with teams that don’t matter anymore? History. Penn State and Notre Dame are two of the most historic franchises that are literally running on fumes at this point. Notre Dame hasn’t done anything significant in terms of postseason play in 10 years, Brady Quinn couldn’t keep a starting job and Penn State is a semi talented coachless joke against serious competition (any team from the SEC). Notre Dame will suffer losses against USC and Stanford, while Penn State already got beat again by Alabama, and will have their offense shut down against Nebraska and Wisconsin. I will give them good marks for their defense, but they will not make it back into the top 25 this year.

Oklahoma State is being exposed as a finesse team that relies on the spectacular play of a few, although never count out the heroics of Justin Blackmon. Maybe Texas A&M will make it in the SEC after all.

Alabama is making it clear that they have the best defense in the SEC. LSU may have faster players, but Alabama is bigger, stronger, and more experienced. They are making Arkansas look silly about halfway through the 3rd quarter, holding them to one touchdown, with the possibility another looking less and less likely with every hit they put on the quarterback. 38-14 with 8 minutes left in the 4th is the mark of a team that believes they have something to prove, and Trent Richardson is yet again proving that he is faster and much stronger than most linebackers and defensive backs in college football.

As of now the SEC is beginning to look like it will yet again put a team in the national championship, Oregon looks again to be the only real contender in the PAC 12, Boise State looks like it can go undefeated, and Stanford continues to defy expectations. By the end of the night, there will be fires in Morgantown, and living rooms across West Virginia will be without seating.

Jets In Oakland: The Numbers Simply Don’t Add Up

In Oakland, Jets QB Mark Sanchez threw for 369 yards and lost while the Jets defense gave up 15 more points than their 2010 average. In two of three games the Jets have played this season, the personality on both sides of the ball has changed in comparison to that of last year’s AFC championship runner ups. The Jets might want to look at what has occurred in these areas as a warning sign. Before a brutal four game AFC stretch, three of which take place on the road takes place.

On offense, the Jets and coordinator Brian Schottenheimer came out of the gates  looking to prove to the league, themselves, their fans, and anyone else, that Mark Sanchez could throw the ball and be trusted. They have thrown it 111 times already compared to 71 rushing attempts so far. Last season though, the team amassed 534 rushing attempts compared to only 525 through the air. Sanchez’s totals have ballooned from his 205 yard per game average in 2010 to 350 yards a game passing against Dallas and Oakland. Yet the Jets are only 1-1 over those two games.

Has the switch to more passing helped in scoring? Barely. The Jets averaged 22 points a game last year in going 11-5. In the two games aforementioned (forget the Jacksonville game for obvious reasons) the Jets have only raised their scoring by a field goal (25.5). This combined with an inability to keep teams out of the end zone has left the Jets with plenty of question marks. Despite having won two of their first three contests.

Rex Ryan’s defense has allowed 58 points against teams who albeit house big play stars such as Tony Romo and Darren McFadden. That’s a 29 points per game average compared to the 19 a game they were giving up in 2010 when they were the league’s third ranked defense. They’ve also yielded 385 yards. A total that is slightly less than a hundred MORE (291 yds given up per game in 2010) yards per game than their average total last season. A reality that does NOT portray the Jets defense as a unit who opposing teams with weapons, are playing in fear of.

It is clear that the Jets Ground and Pound of 2009 has morphed into the “run and screen” game with LaDainian Tomlinson as the feature outside of the hashes. It’s also apparent that the Jets are still developing the relationship between Sanchez and his new WR corps while featuring the emerging TE Dustin Keller within it.

The problem lies in how to blend the two together.

The Jets led 17-7 into the late second quarter Sunday based on a shrewd gameplan that incorporated the screen game with a rushing attack that finally took the ball outside of the hashes. However in the second half things changed. The Jets looked downfield more often and payed for it.

When asked to protect Sanchez for longer pass routes, a makeshift offensive line that included rookie C Colin Baxter and a struggling Wayne Hunter, began to collapse. Why the sudden switch from the matriculation that was paying off? The Raiders came into the game ranked 27th against the run. Surely it seemed as though it would have been worth testing to see if they had worn down at all after getting hit hard and burned by RB Shonn Greene early on.

The reason may be twofold.

Perhaps Oakland adjusted their style on defense at halftime. If so, hats off to Raiders coach Hue Jackson and his staff.  The other scenario, a frightening one for the Jets could be that Gang Green is still trying to figure their approach out when they have the ball. Looking to find ways to spread the ball around, give Sanchez more responsibility, while regaining their running prowess, all at the same time.

Not having three time All Pro stalwart Nick Mangold certainly altered the initial offensive game plan yesterday. Still, The Jets must take the positives they see on film from Sunday in the run game and now devise a plan for how and where to attack with Greene and company.

The defense has ten returning starters from last year’s top five unit but must slow down fast teams that are scoring and gaining more than they did when they truly were the top five unit that Ryan would brag about on a weekly basis. As of right now, teams are not respecting the Jets defense in the way that they respect themselves. The numbers so far are proving that. They don’t add up.

For the Rex Ryan Jets the mantras aren’t matching the play. There is no more “Ground and Pound.” The defense has not smothered the good teams yet.

Amidst the search for consistency, the Jets still remain mentally tough. Often finding ways to win late in games as they did against the Cowboys in the opener and many times throughout 2010. Almost climbing back into the game during the waning moments in the Black Hole as well. Regardless of the need to tighten up the nuts and bolts, the Jets, as October approaches, have put themselves in position to still get where they want to go.

At 2-1, there should be no cause for panic. This solid but imperfect start in the standings should be seen a lift off point. With a little correction and adjustment time mixed in. However, if the Jets don’t keep a close eye on the guidelines and winning formula that they have set for themselves on paper over the past few years, then they may take on a personality that is truly not who they are. Or who they want to be.

Grading Out Jets/Raiders

Check out the week 3 video recap

Quarterback (B-) – One of the best statistical days of Mark Sanchez’s career (27/43, 369 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD) wasn’t one of his best overall games. He had a killer turnover and missed a few big throws, most notably a 4th and 2 slant to Plaxico Burress. He is also taking a beating behind his offensive line which continues to struggle which appears to be rattling him a little bit.

Running Backs (A) – LaDainian Tomlinson with 154 total yards and a touchdown gave one of his best performances in a Jets uniform. Shonn Greene also showed signs of life with 106 total yards. The Jets seemed to find something by running the football to the outside.

Wide Receivers (B) – Derrick Mason had his best game as a Jet with 6 receptions for 45 yards. Plaxico Burress made plays when given the chance and the offense did a poor job of getting Santonio Holmes involved as he finished with only 1 reception. Jeremy Kerley lost yardage on his first Wildcat snap of the season and Patrick Turner had a drop.

Tight Ends (D) – Jeff Cumberland and Matthew Mulligan both dropped touchdown passes. Cumberland is also now out for the year with a torn Achilles, taking away a promising part of the Jets passing attack. Dustin Keller had another solid day with 87 yards receiving.

Offensive Line (D) – Do they realize if Mark Sanchez gets hurt who the backup is? The only positive I can take away is that rookie center Colin Baxter held his own. Wayne Hunter looks clueless. Brandon Moore could still be feeling the effects of off-season hip surgery. It isn’t pretty right now.

Defensive Line (C) – A quiet day and they didn’t do enough to stop the run.

Linebackers (D) – No pressure and way too many missed tackles. Honestly, they looked slow out there and by the way Jamaal Westerman is not an adequate answer as a pass rusher.

Secondary (D) – The Cromartie curve ruins the grade for the whole unit. I know some of those penalties were awful calls but on the whole it was a terrible day for him. Darrelle Revis was himself. The safeties didn’t make an impact except in the missed tackle category.

Special Teams (D) – Cromartie curve. Considering his lung injury look for more Joe McKnight on kick return. Jeremy Kerley was terrific on punt returns.

Coaching (D) – No sufficient second half adjustments from the defense and a lack of preparation on the final drive both contributed to the loss. The Jets should have been kicking a field goal and then attempting an onside kick on the final drive, not going for it on 4th down.

Closer Look At Why The Jets Lost

Let’s rip open that wound one last time

Where did this game go wrong? A few key moments that are the reasons the Jets won’t be going 16-0 this year…

1) Untimely Turnover7-7 in the first quarter and the Jets have the ball on the 24 yard line after a beautiful punt return from Jeremy Kerley. They run a play action rollout and instead of Mark Sanchez throwing it away, he tried to force it in the endzone was intercepted. The solution? Throw the football away.

2) Dropped Touchdown – 14-7 Jets, with a 3rd and 2 on the 3 yard line. They call the same play that they scored their first touchdown of the season on against Dallas, but Dustin Keller slipped leading to Mark Sanchez scrambling and then finding Matt Mulligan in the end-zone, who dropped the pass. I am aware it was tipped but he still should have caught that pass. The solution? Catch the football.

3) Poor Contain – The Jets inability to further extend their lead in the previously mentioned opportunities, kept Oakland in striking distance when the Jets defense did a horrible job containing one of the league’s best running backs, Darren McFadden. They allowed him to bounce to the outside and then Antonio Cromartie didn’t keep contain. The solution? Tackle.

4) 4th and 2 – 17-17, the Jets defense is playing well to start the second half, forcing Oakland into consecutive punts. The Jets put a drive together and decide to go for it on 4th and 2 from Oakland’s 37 yard line. I don’t disagree with the decision or the call, a slant to Plaxico Burress, but it was a poor throw from Mark Sanchez. The solution? Be able to executive your money route, which for Mark Sanchez is the slant.

5) The Meltdown – In retrospect the Jets meltdown kicked off with the previous play. The Raiders roared back down the field and despite the Jets being prepared for two trick plays, a halfback option pass and a reverse, they failed to tackle leading to two monster plays. On the ensuing kick, Antonio Cromartie made one of the dumber plays I have ever seen. First off, not being prepared for a line drive kick after Sebastian Janikowski did it on the previous kickoff. Second, dropping the ball. Third, not falling on the football but instead trying to pick it up. The solution? Tackle and think.

The answers are simple. If you make stupid decisions and stupid mistakes, you will lose football games. The Jets must realize teams now get up to play them because of their recent success and because of how much they talk. Oakland treated yesterday like their Super Bowl and the Jets couldn’t match their intensity, especially after the momentum began to swing.

Initial Reaction: Painful One – Jets Lose Ugly In Oakland

One of the primary talks of this off-season was the need to win the AFC East, to avoid a three game road trip being the road to the Super Bowl. Today the Buffalo Bills, who must now be taken seriously as s contender knocked off the New England Patriots, giving the New York Jets an early opportunity to gain a game on them. Unfortunately, the Jets squandered that opportunity with an ugly performance in Oakland that resulted in a 34-24 loss.

After an initial punch in the mouth that put them down 7-0, they seemed to regain their balance after going ahead 17-7. Yet a huge run from Darren McFadden set the tone for the Raiders to come storming back to take a 31-17 lead. Despite a late comeback attempt, the Raiders did hold on.

Where to start? Antonio Cromartie and his bonehead play on kick return? Not only did he drop a line drive, instead of falling on the ball, he tried to pick it up resulting in a lost fumble. He left this game with injured ribs after being called for 4, yes 4 penalties. The officiating was an atrocity in this game but 4 penalties and a fumble is inexcusable. Overall it was a poor performance from the defense who allowed McFadden to run all over them, generated no pass rush, and couldn’t come up with any big plays.

The offensive line was terrible in the second half, making Mark Sanchez rattled. His stat line will look pretty in this one, as he threw for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns but this wan’t his best effort. He had another bad interception and was shaky in the pocket. The offense must also find a better way of getting their starting receivers involved. Plaxico Burress didn’t get going until late and Santonio Holmes only had 1 reception.

There was also poor coaching at the end of the game, as the Jets should have had the field goal team ready so they would have a shot for an onside kick. Instead they ran a play and Sanchez came up short on his scramble. Overall, it was just an ugly, uncharacteristic meltdown. Unfortunately there is no time for a pity party with Baltimore and New England coming up on the schedule.

Final Thoughts On Jets/Raiders

Jets Inactives – Kenrick Ellis, Rob Turner, Nick Mangold, Emmanuel Cook, Kevin O’Connell, Bilal Powell, Logan Payne

– I feel very strongly the Jets are going to put together a statement performance today. Too many people are overestimating the Raiders. They have beat nobody of significance in the past two years. Yes, they will be feisty in the their home opener and yes the Mangold injury will hurt but in the end the Jets are a substantially better team and that will shine through.

– Considering the Raiders defensive scheme and their starting corners, I’d be very surprised if Mark Sanchez doesn’t for right around 300 yards or more. Look for a big day from Plaxico Burress, who I think the Jets will finally get involved early.

– Look for Joe McKnight and Jeremy Kerley to be involved today on offense.

– Very interested to see how the Patriots/Bills game goes today. That place is going to be rocking.

TOJ Roundtable Week 3: Jets/Raiders Predictions

Joe Caporoso: Read the 12 pack

TJ RosenthalJets Win if: The makeshift line holds up long enough for Mark Sanchez to work the short passing game. Sanchez will throw for 250 plus yards on the day the Jets will offset the loss of Nick Mangold with the addition of the “Wildcat” some Joe McKnight, and more unpredictability in the Jets run game as far as the point of attack is concerned. The Jets secondary will continue their hot start with another handful of interceptions. FINAL: 23-17 JETS

Raiders Win if: The loss of Mangold becomes too much for the Jets to overcome. Backup C Colin Baxter gets beat in crucial moments. The lack of confidence and mutual trust by the makeshift O line up leads to too many false starts. QB Mark Sanchez tries to do too much, and is picked off three plus times. The ground game remains pedestrian. Darren McFadden gashes a tired Jets defense that is on the field too long too many times. FINAL: 31-20 RAIDERS

Chris Celletti: The Jets need to be careful here. West coast trip, no Nick Mangold, two BIG road games coming up after, and Oakland’s home opener? To quote the great (kidding) Mike Francesa, It will NOT be easy. I think the Jets will be able to handle the Raiders’ offense for the most part, but will struggle to run the ball without Nick Mangold at center. The Jets should be able to exploit some mismatches on the outside with Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes, as long as Brian Schottenheimer has his head on straight. I think the Jets will be able to make enough plays in the passing game to get by, and will win in a game that is decided late in the fourth quarter.

Justin Fritze: Colin Baxter is not the name you want to hear today. The Jets will be forced to test the run and play action their way to two touchdowns. I see this one going to the wire in a 21-17 penalty filled game that will finally legitimize the Jets as one of the top 5 teams in the league. Dustin Keller will have a few good catches, look for Santonio and Plaxico to get involved early with a few shots down the field.

Rob Celletti: The superstitious side of me says that it’s a bad idea to keep picking the Jets to win every week, but this is part of getting used to the Jets actually being a team that should expect to win almost every single week.  And so I’ll take the Jets in this one, 23-13.  The consensus this week seems to be that the Jets should be able to throw for a bunch of yards on the Oakland secondary, and while proclamations like this usually lead to unmet expectations, I think it’ll happen.  The matchups just seem right, though I am worried about the makeshift offensive line’s ability to protect Mark Sanchez.  I think the Jets will contain Darren McFadden for the most part and force Jason Campbell into some turnovers by not only pressuring, but also confusing the quarterback with different coverage looks.  Campbell does have a huge arm, so the Jets need to be mindful of the deep ball.  The Raiders will move the ball but mostly be forced into field goal attempts.  The Jets will kick more field goals than you’d like to see, but will do enough to secure their 3rd victory of the year.

Check out the week 3 NFL highlights and picks

TOJ Week 3 NFL Picks

Last Week: 10-6

Season Record: 19-12

Week 3 Picks (Lines courtesy of BetUS)

  • Cincinnati (-2.5) vs. San Francisco
  • Buffalo (+7) vs. New England
  • New Orleans (-4.5) vs. Houston
  • Philadelphia (-8.5) vs. Giants
  • Cleveland (-2) vs. Miami
  • Tennessee (-7) vs. Denver
  • Minnesota (+4.5) vs. Detroit
  • Carolina (-4) vs. Jacksonville
  • San Diego (-14) vs. Kansas City
  • Jets (-4) vs. Oakland
  • Baltimore (-6) vs. St. Louis
  • Atlanta (PK) vs. Tampa Bay
  • Seattle (+3.5) vs. Arizona
  • Green Bay (-4.5) vs. Chicago
  • Pittsburgh (-11.5) vs. Indianapolis
  • Washington (+3) vs. Dallas

Jets vs. Raiders: 12 Pack Of Predictions

A rainy Friday…a perfect time to take an extended lunch break with the 12 pack. Remember to check out today’s video picks and highlights.

1. Darren McFadden is going to run for less than 100 yards. The Jets run defense has been solid ever since Rex Ryan took over and regardless of how well McFadden has been playing, the Jets will keep him contained no matter how many touches the Raiders try to get him.

2. Santonio Holmes is going to have a big day, especially if Chris Johnson spends extended time covering him. As a matter of fact, there is no reason Plaxico Burress won’t have a big day either. Look for the Jets starting WRs to combine for 150 yards of receiving and at least one touchdown. Derrick Mason will also be more involved than he has been in previous weeks.

3. The Jets will have a tough time running the football up the middle, which will lead to more outside handoffs for Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. I still don’t expect a big day from the running game but they will do enough to keep Oakland’s defense honest.

4. Mark Sanchez will have another turnover but will throw for over 275 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He will also rush for at least 20 yards.

5. The Jets defense will continue their early season turnover forcing spree and come up with at least one interception and one forced fumble.

6. Antonio Cromartie won’t get the opportunity to return any kicks this week as Sebastian Janikowski will be kicking them out of the end-zone.

7. Rookie third round pick Kenrick Ellis will be active for the first time this Sunday.

8. Jason Campbell won’t throw for more than 225 yards and will be sacked at least twice. Bart Scott will continue his early season tear with another sack. Kyle Wilson will grab his first NFL sack.

9. Dustin Keller will be kept out of the end-zone for the first time this season.

10. Oakland will get off to a strong start in their first home game of the year but the Jets will weather the early blows and go into halftime with the lead.

11. Jeremy Kerley will gain some type of offensive yards this Sunday.

12. A tight game into the fourth quarter will turn into a two possession Jets victory, 27-17. Eat another hot dog, Sanchez…3-0 and heading to Baltimore.

How Can The Jets Handle The Mighty Raiders?

I am starting to wonder if the 2-0 New York Jets should even bother making the trip out to Oakland this week. With the amount of people picking against them and all the talk of the suddenly “strong” Oakland roster, how can they even stay on the same field as them?

I must have missed the part where the Raiders are 1-1, thanks to squeaking out a 3 point win over the dreadful Denver Broncos in week one and then allowed a 38 spot to lose week 2 to the Buffalo Bills. Aren’t the Jets 2-0 and coming off a 32-3 win? Weren’t the Jets 11-5 last year and in the AFC Championship Game, while the Raiders were 8-8 thanks to 8 wins against the AFC and NFC West, the two worst divisions in football? The Jets aren’t Kansas City. The Jets aren’t Seattle.

Let’s stop the hype about the Raiders being a contender that is anywhere near the Jets level. Let’s stop the chatter about their defense, since they are fresh off allowing 38 points and Fred Jackson to rush for 115 yards on 17 carries. Nobody is worried about them being extra motivated by Mark Sanchez eating a hot dog on the sideline the last time they played each other. Why shouldn’t have he ate a hot dog…did you see the effort Oakland put forth that day? If the Jets are beating them 38-0 again, I hope he eats another one.

Will the Jets miss Nick Mangold? Absolutely. It doesn’t mean that Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt can now cover Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burres. It also doesn’t mean that after the Jets stop the run, like they do every week that Jason Campbell will be able to throw on Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie with a pedestrian receiving core.

Every team is capable of laying an egg, including the Jets and that is what it would take for them to lose this game. Yet, with upcoming showdowns with Baltimore and New England, real AFC contenders like the Jets…I don’t see it happening.