New York Jets: Assessing The Situation After Yesterday’s Nightmare

Where do the Jets go from here?

Third and ten from the 1 yard line. The New York Jets held a 7-3 lead and had put together an encouraging performance so far. One ten yard out route, two missed tackles, a poor angle, and 99 yards later. The game was over. If you have watched the Jets this season, you knew at that moment they didn’t have the character or the team this year to overcome that type of play.

I remember from the Oakland game when they couldn’t bounce back from a muffed kick. I remember from the New England game when they were ripping down the field on the opening drive but had to settle for a short field goal, which they missed and couldn’t bounce back from it. I remember defenders purposely staying on blocks to avoid tackling Tim Tebow on Denver’s game winning drive. I remember last week when a Santonio Holmes fumble gave the Eagles a quick 7-0 lead and the Jets didn’t have an answer.

The 2011 New York Jets don’t have the fight they did last year. They don’t have that irrational confidence that made them such a dangerous team in Rex Ryan’s first two years. The problems started in the off-season, which we will look back on as one of Mike Tannenbaum’s worst and it has carried through with a disappointing defense and a perplexing awful offense led by the perpetually incompetent Brian Schottenheimer.

Yesterday was the final nail in Schottenheimer’s coffin. Rex Ryan can lavish all the false praise on him that he wants but this team can’t be managed through his rose colored glasses. Change is needed and the first move this off-season must be letting Schottenheimer go and putting a competent NFL offense together.

Mark Sanchez was bad yesterday…very bad, yet we need to see him with a new offensive coordinator in a system that plays to his strengths. The strategy to drop him back 65+ times and only throw 6 yard passes inside the hash marks doesn’t work. Get the guy a NFL quality right tackle and help at the skill positions, where the Jets are good but lack explosion. Forget about the Peyton Manning pipe dream rumors, you want to focus on a big move the Jets should make? Go get Maurice Jones-Drew or Matt Forte. I like Shonn Greene but can you think of one game changing play he has made all season?

The Jets offense doesn’t make big plays. Part of that is on Schottenheimer. Part of that is on Sanchez. Part of it is on their receivers not getting the necessary separation, breaking the necessary tackles and their running backs never ripping off big runs. Everything seems so hard for this offense. It is time to rebuild it.

The defense is solid but not spectacular and they won’t be until they improve at safety and linebacker. As you could imagine this will be a huge off-season for Mike Tannenbaum who needs to sit down and honestly assess the talent level on this roster, which is that of a borderline .500 team not that of a team who will win a division and host a playoff game.

It is easy to be down and throw around hysterics about Sanchez and Rex Ryan being on the hot seat. Even his biggest supporter can admit Rex came off like like an idiot yesterday and his words are starting to ring hollow. Ultimately, he is who he is but that kind of embarrassment is hard to shake off. Can Rex and his team rise off the mat? Only time will tell but you are kidding yourself if you think both Rex and Sanchez won’t be back next year and yes the year after.

Think about how awful you feel like the Jets are right now and then remember they are 8-7 and not 3-12. They aren’t that far away. Some years aren’t going to end in playoff berths and two upset playoff wins. This year hurts more because they were swept by New England and lost to the Giants and because just like it is more enjoyable to watch the Jets win because of Rex Ryan and his antics, it is more painful to watch them them lose because of Rex Ryan and his antics.

Coal In The Stocking: Jets Lose 29-14

The Jets gave their fans the Christmas gift of a 29-14 loss to the Giants

Merry Christmas Jets fans! Your team gave you the gift of inexplicably trying to throw 59 times. 59! En route to an embarrassing 29-14 loss. I am putting this loss squarely on the shoulders of the Jets offense, notably Brian Schottenheimer who called an awful game and Mark Sanchez who came up small in a big spot.

I defend Sanchez as much as anybody but he looked skittish all day and his decision making was awful. His game was summed up best by having a chance to drive 93 yards with 2 minutes to go to win the game and by taking a sack in the end-zone on the first play of that drive.

Schottenheimer thought it made sense to start every drive with a 6 yard run and then throw two incomplete passes. I am not sure if Schottenheimer and Sanchez are aware that you are allowed to throw the football outside the hashes and to your wide receivers. You don’t just have to keep throwing 6 yard hook routes to Dustin Keller or checkdowns to your running backs.

The defense had their low moments, most notably allowing a 99 yard touchdown to Victor Cruz. Yet, on the whole came with a solid effort today against a good offense.

This is not a good football team. They are going to need to take a hard look at the roster this off-season and not a look through Rex Ryan’s rose colored glasses. This is not a NFL caliber offense at the moment and until it is, the Jets will not be better than a .500 team.

If you are a hopeless optimist and think the Jets can beat a Miami team who has been much better than them the second half of the year, they would still make the playoffs if they won, Cincinnati lost, Tennessee lost, and Denver OR Oakland lost…so basically what I am saying is…Go Knicks!

Jets vs. Giants: 12 Pack Of Predictions

TOJ with 12 predictions for Jets/Giants

1. Shonn Greene will be the leading rusher in the game, finishing with over 100 yards.

2. Jason Pierre-Paul will sack Mark Sanchez twice.

3. Eli Manning will throw for over 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns but will also have a pair of turnovers.

4. Mark Sanchez will throw for a little over 200 yards, a pair of touchdowns and will have one turnover.

5. Plaxico Burress will get into the end-zone.

6. Santonio Holmes will have his first 100 yard receiving game of the season and also get into the end-zone.

7. Dustin Keller will finish with 65 yards receiving and make a handful of big third down receptions.

8. Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks will beat Antonio Cromartie for a long touchdown.

9. Darrelle Revis will have an interception and completely lock down Nicks or Cruz, when matched up on them.

10. Antonio Cromartie will return a kick for a touchdown.

11. This will be a one possession game from start to finish.

12. You thought I was going to pick the Giants? C’mon man. Jets squeak one out 27-24, by making a surprising late stand on defense.

New York Giants Fans Speak Out On The Jets

New York Giants fans give TOJ their thoughts on the Jets, followed by my rebuttal

We enjoy stirring the pot on Jets/Giants trash talk here at TOJ, so in that spirit we decided to open the forum to a handful of New York Giants fans to speak on the Jets. I asked the following individuals what they hate the most about the Jets and what they respect the most about them, after their answers I will answer the same question about the Giants

Feel free to harass these people via social media, by the way…

Jay Kranjac: Honestly I can’t stand Rex Ryan. I used to have no problem with the Jets and would root for them when the Giants were done. However his outspoken comments and his attitude in general seem to have given his players and many fans of the team an undeserved sense of accomplishment.

I would say I respect LT. The guy realizes he isn’t a top caliber running back but still has accepted his role on the team. Plus you got to love Brunell, quality 90s quarterback.

Erik Stiansen (who really, really, hates the Jets and had to watch them win wild-card weekend the past two years with me gloating the whole time): 1, Rex Ryan: thinks he’s a genius & tries to come off as a tough guy. He’s a moron. Plain & simple. What’s with that stupid sweater vest every week? Is he a bloated Jim Tressel? He should just stick to the Andy Reid snow suit with the utility belt look. And someone let him know the Jets don’t have black in their colors. 2. The fans: impossible to have a legitimate football conversation with one. Most of them are fake fans anyway. Ask most who Glen Foley is and you get no response. And come on with wearing the outdated jerseys (Favre, Vilma, Abraham) 3. Fireman Ed: was a Dolphin fan. He’s your “super fan”? Pathetic. 4. Holmes: he’s a punk. Good choice for a team captain. 5. The Jet Celebration: not much to say except annoying 6. Woody Johnson: you’re not a Mara or Rooney or even a Jerry Jones. sorry 7. The entire franchise: for the sense of entitlement & fake aura of an “elite franchise”

Things I respect about the Jets: 1. They make their fans suffer. 2. Nothing else

Scott Volpe: WOW what I hate about the Jets, I hate the fans, they are all fake and honestly have no idea who even current players ares, most of them didn’t even know Jerricho Cotchery was gone! (I can ramble all day about the fans), but I’ll say there are legit realistic fans, like yourself Mr. Joe. I also hate Joe Namath he was a “terrible quarterback” and also sounds like a lunatic drunk on the radio. Rex Ryan is just a fat (expletive), who runs his fat mouth and his antics are old. Fireman Ed is a (expletive)…cool eye black you (expletive). The stupid TD celebration is obnoxious. Santonio Holmes is an overrated (expletive). They think they run New York even know they brought nothing to the area except disappointment. The outdated player jerseys are annoying too.

The thing I do respect about the Jets is their 1998 season, and Keyshawn Johnson Wayne Cherbet, Curtis Martin and the Monday night Miracle.

Andrew Fetterman: 1) I think your coach is great but his predictions and comments I feel are unprofessional / classless when discussing Jets Giants. I hate his SB predictions. Since Rex had been in town I feel like most JETS fans act as if they’re the best team in the league and act as if going to conference championships are equivalent of winning the SB. Just shut up and play the game and when you accomplish something show some class. I also hate Joe Beaf (Ringwood, Jets fan) and Fireman Ed not sure who I hate more.

2) I respect that you have cheerleaders at your home games. Honestly makes me jealous. I respect the energy at a Jets game I think if Giants fans supported their team like Jets fans we would be a much better football team. I also respect the never giving up attitude that they’ve shown since Rex has been in town.

Ron Diaz: I’m gonna start off by saying I am a Yankees fan who doesn’t hate the Mets cause were in separate leagues and barely play etc. But as a Giants fan I’m forced to hate the jets due to what I’m guessing is just straight jealousy and bitterness from Jets fans who have watched the Gmen win 3 Superbowls in the past 25 years. So it is safe to say I hate the Jets solely because of the fans… And Mark Sanchez. I respect the hell out of Revis cause the guy is the real deal and will probably br one of the best if not the best Jet behind Namath to ever play the game. Gonna be a sick Christmas eve. Bleed blue.

Dan Deighan: I hate Rex Ryan and simply the fact that the Jets talk too much. However, I do respect their ability on the field. There’s no denying they’re a good team, just act like you’ve been there before.

James Corbett: I hate that the Jets aren’t smart about their public image and they have a lack of leadership (example Santonio Holmes), however I do respect their coach and the success he has brought them.

Sean Santagato: I hate the fans that are so up and down, and obviously Rex Ryan. Yet, in a way I do respect Ryan because he is a good coach, it is just that his mouth takes away from what he has accomplished.

Thank you Giants fans.

Let me say, what I hate the most about the Giants is their fans who look down on the Jets and in particular their fans. For every “fake” Jets fan who doesn’t know all the players on the team or wears outdated jerseys, there are two Giants fans who do the same thing. Giants fans get up and down, just like Jets fans if not even worse. Consider how they are ready to run Tom Coughlin out of town, even though he won a championship in 2007. Giants fans claim to hate Rex Ryan and the Jets trash talking ways, but love it when their players start running their mouths and if Ryan was their head coach, they’d love him. Basically, what I am saying is that Giants and Jets fans act the same way most of the time, so for Giants fans to act high and mighty and like a “classier,” more knowledge brand of fan is ridiculous.

I respect Eli Manning because he is a very good quarterback who won an incredible Super Bowl. You can never take that away from him. Jason Pierre-Paul is also one of the best defensive players in the NFL this season.

All that being said, let’s let some vicious trash talk transpire the next couple of days. Don’t let it get physical and don’t let it get personal.

Go Jets.

Battle Of New York: Jets Rushing Defense vs. Giants Rushing Offense

TOJ breaks down the Jets rushing defense vs the Giants rushing offense, with commentary from TJ Rosenthal and Chris Celletti

Part four of our series breaking down the Christmas Eve match-up between the New York Jets and New York Giants, looks at the Jets rushing defense versus the Giants rushing offense, with featured commentary from myself, Chris Celletti, and TJ Rosenthal

New York Giants Rushing Yards Per Game (86.1, 32nd in the NFL)

New York Jets Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game (112.9, 16th in the NFL)

Chris Celletti: The Giants better hope Ahmad Bradshaw gets healthy and quickly. We’ve seen the Jets struggle against fast backs like LeSean McCoy and Darren McFadden. If Bradshaw can’t go or is severly limited, the onus falls on the plodding Brandon Jacobs. The Jets’ front is built to stop a power running back, with beef up front in Sione Pouha and Muhammad Wilkerson. The Jets have the clear advantage if Jacobs gets the majority of the touches, and even if Bradshaw does go, the Jets should be able to handle him if he’s not at 100%. Advantage Jets.

TJ Rosenthal: The Jets run D has slipped this year. Last year the Jets were 3rd in the NFL, giving up just 90.9 per game. Nowadays they now rank 17th overall at 113 yds given up per game. The Giants rushing attack luckily, is dead last in the NFL. Gaining only 86.1 per game. If the Jets can stay within the parameters of 86.1 and 113, they will be successful in forcing more third down and long situations.

Unknowns include effects of the emotion that Brandon Jacobs will bring and how healthy Ahmad Bradshaw is. Bradhaaw missed practice today, resting his fractured foot. He’ll play but can he take over the game on the ground?

For the Jets the return of Mike Devito last Sunday after missing two games will certainly bolster the Jets inside run defense.

Joe Caporoso: The more Brandon Jacobs I see, the happier I will be. As Chris alluded to, the Jets frontline should stuff the slow and over the hill Jacobs. Ahmad Bradshaw could cause problems on the edge, but how healthy is he really? Let’s be blunt, the Giants are awful at running the football. It is hard to see them commit to any type of running game tomorrow, instead look for Eli Manning to drop back 35-40 times.

Battle Of New York: Jets Passing Defense vs. Giants Passing Offense

TOJ breaks down the Jets passing defense versus the Giants passing offense

Part three of our series breaking down the Christmas Eve match-up between the New York Jets and New York Giants, looks at the Jets passing defense versus the Giants passing offense, with featured commentary from myself, Chris Celletti, and Jeff Capellini

New York Giants Passing Yards Per Game – 299.0 (3rd in the NFL)

New York Jets Passing Yards Allowed Per Game – 205.1 (7th in the NFL)

Chris Celletti: The Jets have the elite cornerback duo in the AFC in Darelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. I have been quick to bash Cromartie at times, but he’s been good this season, while Revis just goes about his business being the best corner in the league by a country mile. The Giants have a lot of talent at the wide receiver position, and coupled with Eli Manning pose one of the best aerial threats in football. It will be interesting to see how the Jets choose to match up. Does Darelle Revis take the Giants’ best receiver, Hakeem Nicks, out of the game? Or does he stick on the speedy Victor Cruz, who Eli Manning has made into one of the best number twos in the league? Cromartie has a lot of success against bigger receivers, so you could see him get some time on Nicks as well. I’d expect the Jets’ corners to rotate their matchups depending on the situation, down and distance, etc.  And then there’s always Mario Manningham, so the focus there will be on Kyle Wilson primarily in a good matchup. I give the Jets a slight, SLIGHT advantage in this matchup, with their ability to be physical at the line of scrimmage and play tight man coverage. They’ve been one of the better pass defenses all year, and they can shut down the Giants’ passing game if they play to their potential

Joe Caporoso: A terrific match-up on paper, which faces off the strength of each team. Eli Manning is having his best season and has three dangerous wide receivers. Fortunately, the Jets have been built to stop teams with talent on the outside, with the cornerback trio of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson. The Giants don’t have the tight end to take advantage of the Jets safety situation and their struggles in the middle of the field. It will be interesting to see how Rex Ryan chooses to use Revis. I would expect him to spend most of the game on Hakeem Nicks, but don’t be surprised to see him get time on Victor Cruz in certain situations, particularly on third downs. Ryan must find someway to manufacture a pass rush because Manning can carve them up with too much time in the pocket. Despite the Giants immense talent in this area, all of their receivers are prone to drops and we all know Manning throws a few head scratching passes each week.

TJ Rosenthal: The Giants passing game ranks 3rd in the NFL (200 yards) and Big Blue is 1st in the NFL in average scoring (9.6 pts) in the fourth quarter of games. The Jets defense is seventh stingiest through the air at 205 yards given up per game. Big Blue only scores 23.9 a game and the Jets average giving up 22.5 per game. What does this all mean? It means that the Jets will give up yards but as long as those yards don’t translate into points that reach the high 20’s, the Jets offense which scores at 24.2 a game in 2011, will be ok. This despite no Jim Leonhard and despite struggling to cover any tight end at all. Eli Manning has been great this season but we have a feeling that the Jets secondary will be plenty motivated to rally around Revis Island and make him proud this Saturday.

Jeff Capellini offers his opinion on the Jets offense versus the Giants defense,  as a supplement to our coverage yesterday —

I honestly believe this is where the game will be decided. From where I am typing the Giants couldn’t ask for a better opponent to try to right their many wrongs. I say this because after watching the Jets for 14 games I have come to one indisputable conclusion: they do nothing really good on offense. The Jets don’t throw deep. Their passing game is largely predictable. They don’t use LaDainian Tomlinson anywhere near enough. Dustin Keller is on every opposing defensive coordinator’s radar screen. Santonio Holmes is not the deep threat he was supposed to be and that’s not of his doing. Plaxico Burress, as we’ve seen far too often this season and also out of no fault of his own, is either ignored or forced into positions where he’s ineffective.

Make no mistake, the Jets have quick-strike capability through the air but for whatever maddening reason they opt to never use it. We keep hearing about how bad the Giants’ secondary is. Well, we probably won’t find out on Saturday because come hell or high water the Jets will not try to exploit it .How does Mark Sanchez figure into all of this? The odds are we won’t find out because offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has repeatedly refused to take the reins off his quarterback, or when he has, it’s been because the scoreboard has suggested he must. I suspect the Giants can run their base defense, send JPP after Sanchez and not have to worry about anything because until the Jets finally realize they have the weapons to be explosive, they won’t be. And don’t even get me started on the pass protection, for as long as Wayne Hunter is on the field, opponents will find a way to make Sanchez’s life miserable.

I’m equally disappointed in the running game, primarily because the Jets do not run the ball effectively off the edges. Maybe Shonn Greene isn’t built that way and Tomlinson no longer has the tools to be that player. The Jets have had their moments running up the middle and using counters, but even those seem to be sporadic. The scoreboard will dictate the approach, which is often something I disagree with outside of the final 7 minutes of a fourth quarter. Schottenheimer has had his moments of balanced play-calling, but the Jets have proven time and again this season they are not comfortable as a come-from-behind team. Their entire conservative nature is thrown all out of whack and they become prone to turnovers.

To win Saturday, the Jets have to hope the defense turns back the clock and forces Eli Manning into some turnovers, or that their schemes actually work. If this game becomes a shootout I do not like the Jets’ chances, but if they do get out to some kind of a lead I do think they have enough talent on both sides of the ball to get it from the Giants and keep it long enough.

If the Jets are somehow up 21-0 in the first half I’ll probably fall down from shock. They just have no offensive identity whatsoever. This is not to say the Giants are world-beaters. Not at all. The Jets have made their beds this season and their reluctance to adapt to how winning football is played these days is the very reason why they find themselves in the position they are in.

Battle Of New York: Two Coaches Who Do It Their Own Way

TJ with respect for the differing methods of Rex Ryan and Tom Coughlin

Tom Coughlin: “Regardless of what is said. Talk is cheap, play the game. That is the way I’ve always believed.”

Rex Ryan: “That’s the old saying, ‘Talk is cheap, money buys whiskey. I understand all that and that’s the truth. But I don’t care about Tom Coughlin or anybody else. I know how I believe. I don’t care what’s acceptable in everybody’s opinion. I really don’t care. I’m worried about my opinion and this is how I feel. Quite honestly, I don’t care what anybody thinks.”

Rex Ryan was right when he remarked about the Jets/Giants border war, and how “it is on.”  Wednesday the temperature grew hotter as both sides traded fire. Giants WR Hakeem Nicks called Darrelle Revis a “decent” CB while Santonio Holmes called the Giants secondary bad tacklers and exposable. The coaches went tit for tat as well (see above) but try and put the coaches flurry of early round jabs aside for a moment and consider this. BOTH Ryan and Coughlin actually deserve some praise. For their annual ability to navigate through storms like losing streaks, and players with poor behavior in their own ways. Both teams are left for dead yearly, yet somehow get up off the mat under that duress and get back into contention. Led by their head coaches who refuse to quit.

Ryan clearly put his face on the front lines as a target this week but that was his choice. Perhaps a strategic one. His team got pummeled last Sunday in Philly, and probably needs an emotional injection.

Giants RB Brandon Jacobs alluded to this notion today and he’s not far off. Where he may be wrong though, is that the effect for Gang Green will be minimal. The Jets often rally around Ryan for sticking his neck out. They can’t play worse than they did against the Eagles anyway, so Rex might just be trying to stir it up for his own troops. To deflect talk about underachieving players and units, whether it’s the conventional approach to use or not.

It’s interesting how Ryan’s pot stirring has Giants beat writers all of a sudden taking offense to the mistreatment of Coughlin. When for the past two seasons and more, much of their fan base have gone after Coughlin directly themselves.

We guess that knocking off the undefeated Pats in the Super Bowl as a streaking road wildcard entry, one of the greatest collections of wins in Pro Football history, doesn’t mean that much anymore.

It just doesn’t seem “classy” for the Giants storied organization, to let Coughlin twist in the end every year without getting in front of the message and providing this loyal guy in season support. What message does that send? It sends the message that it’s ok to rail on the HC every time the Giants hit bumps in the road. Allows for degrading talk about perennial playoff loser Bill Cowher (albeit except one Super Bowl win by Cowher over the Seahawks who never get that far anyway) to surface every time a few losses occur in succession in the process.

Ryan has taken risks. Some of them unprovoked ones. By talking Super Bowl. By saying that New York is the Jets town. By going after who ever he goes after, as often as he does. Whenever, and for whatever reason that he chooses to.

In the end Ryan essentially answers to the Jets fan base. Some of whom DO disapprove with Ryan’s current barrage on the Giants. As others applaud Ryan’s attempt at giving THIS team the verbal swagger that it has fed off of while playing for him. None of whom will dismiss how irrelevant the club was nationally for years at a time since 1969. Even if Ryan’s high expectations leave a new found disappointment as each big time goal fall short.

Maybe one day Rex will pull it back. Reel it in. Utilize his motivational ability in a less confrontational way. Maybe he won’t.

As for Giants nation though, it’s ironic how they have chosen THIS moment, thanks in part to Ryan, to rally around a coach who has taken them to the playoffs in four out of eight seasons. While never damaging the integrity of a franchise that prides itself on integrity above all else. Even as the bullets fly towards him every year, during the season. For Coughlin, it’s taken too long for the support, and that’s not right.

Saturday’s Jets Giants matchup will be decided on the field. By the players and coaches. Not by the ones wearing Green and Blue jerseys in the stands. When it’s over, regardless of the outcome, a victory still won’t guarantee either club a postseason bid. The Jets will still have their loyalists, and the Giants will have theirs.

These aren’t the fly by night GOP straw polls of Iowa. This is the NFL. These are the Jets and Giants. Two teams with die hards, who have invested more in their love for their teams, than some media hyped weekend involving tough talking quotes from both sides, could fictitiously inflate. The truth is, Saturday provides us with a matchup between two teams whose records hardly warrant ownership of anything extended life into week 17.

How many who reside on either side of this border war, when the clock hits 0:00, will be able to step back and say that both Ryan and Coughlin have made their teams better since they arrived? Have made their teams competitive into December every year (excpet one. 2004. When Coughlin made the switch to Eli Manning as a developmental choice). Have put their teams in position to compete for the Vince Lombardi trophy ever year. The one’s that don’t have it in them to, should.

Maybe the unwilling ought to call up Browns fans. Or Dolphins fans. Or Redskins fans. Ask them if THEY would sign up for one of these guys on their sidelines going forward.

Rex Ryan and Tom Coughlin took over clubs with different histories, and have both held up a significant part of the bargain. Ryan has rebranded the Jets from their self loathing and self pitying past to a team won’t feel sorry for itself anymore. Coughlin has kept the Giants dignified.

Few expected any friendly fire in the press this week from either camp given what is at stake this weekend.  Yet when the so called “Battle for New York” ends, both coaches should get a hand. For what they’ve done, not for what they haven’t, or have said when microphones are placed in front of them.

Ryan and Coughlin not being cut from the same cloth is far from being any breaking news. One is an outspoken loudmouth who does seem to like creating extra drama for himself. The other, is a throwback to the days when discipline was priority number one. The successes that Rex Ryan and Tom Coughlin have, come from doing things in their own particular way. Whether all who follow the NFL agree with their methods, and whether or not you like them as coaches or as people too.

TOJ Week 16 NFL Picks

TOJ with his week 16 NFL picks. Who are your best bets?

Last Week: 8-8

Season Record: 108-108-5

Week 16 NFL Picks (Lines Courtesy of BetUS)

  • Houston (-7) vs. Indianapolis
  • Kansas City (-2.5) vs. Oakland
  • Denver (-3) vs. Buffalo
  • Tennessee (-7) vs. Jacksonville
  • Arizona (+4.5) vs. Cincinnati
  • New England (-10) vs. Miami
  • Baltimore (-13) vs. Cleveland
  • Minnesota (+7) vs. Washington
  • Carolina (-8.5) vs. Tampa Bay
  • San Diego (+2.5) vs. Detroit
  • Seattle (+3) vs. San Francisco
  • Philadelphia (+1.5) vs. Dallas
  • Green Bay (-13) vs. Chicago
  • New Orleans (-7) vs. Atlanta

Battle Of New York: Fear And Loathing In Green

Justin speaks the mind of a concerned Jets fans heading into Saturday

The Jets have had a great run under Rex Ryan. They’ve made it to the AFC championship two years in a row, upset favored teams and turned around an otherwise wallowing franchise in a relatively short amount of time. This weekend could change things for what was supposed to be a team on the upswing.

If the Jets fall to the Giants, all the Rex Ryan bravado from here on out will become a joke. No one will again take them seriously and they will have confidence issues going into the offseason. Coaches and players will not be safe. The need for a pass blocking tight end, an offensive tackle and a safety will create an all out panic and free agent frenzy in Florham Park. The Jets cannot afford to draft another Vladimir Ducasse.

Add this to the already strange offensive coordinator situation and potential departure of key defensive coaches, a loss to the Giants could mean at least a years work down the drain.

At this point even Rex Ryan sees the writing on the wall. He’s had two losses to the Patriots, a blowout loss to both the Ravens and Eagles, and the Jets have only dominated the Jaguars and the Chiefs. It is like Boise State beating up the Mountain West.

As someone with a relatively heavy interest in a Jets victory, I have devised a plan for both outcomes. A Jets win would create about 6 phone calls to relatives and friends after about half a bottle of Johnny Walker Black, at which point I will recreate the Miami Heat speech of not one, not two, not three. I will also call Patriots fans, who will for a brief moment be my friend via enemy of enemy. I will let them know that I singlehandedly prevented a rematch of the 2008 Super Bowl and that they should be eternally grateful. I will then send out pictures of Kate Upton to all Tom Brady fans and let them know that Tom Brady has finally lost out to Sanchez in the “how hot is my girl” contest.

As a good Giant fan friend of mine will be working until 6pm, it will allow me ample time to cover his entire vehicle in green paint, you know, the sort of stuff that teenage girls use on each others cars days before graduation. There will be expletives, bible quotes, and copious amounts of symbolism that no sane man could understand.

After all this, I will find the nearest Modells and buy a Plaxico Jersey, a helmet and a football and run into his place of work and spike the ball in the middle of his office.

Sadly, none of these things are going to happen. The Jets secondary is going to get burned by the Giants receivers and Jason Pierre Paul is going to put his stamp on a Pro Bowl year. The Jets aren’t fired up. Mark Sanchez is acting like the kid whose parents won’t let him go to the Montauk house after prom. They’ve got nothing to talk about anymore.

And because if a win is not coming I’m going to have to throw it back in the faces of every Giants fan. Yep! Right on to the Super Bowl brother! Charge through the NFC all the way to Indy. You guys really are the big brother. Just do New York proud. We’ll all be rooting for you.

True fear creates an almost comic sense of doom. Some of us in New York are already laughing.

Battle Of New York: Jets Passing Offense vs. Giants Passing Defense

A breakdown of the Jets passing game against the Giants passing defense with commentary from TJ Rosenthal, Kristine Reese, and Rob Celletti

Part two of our series breaking down the Christmas Eve match-up between the New York Jets and New York Giants, looks at the Jets passing game versus the Giants passing defense, with featured commentary from TJ Rosenthal, Kristine Reese, Rob Celletti, and yours truly.

New York Jets Passing Yards Per Game – 201.9 (21st in the NFL)

New York Giants Passing Yards Allowed Per Game – 257.5 (29th in the NFL)

TJ Rosenthal: Can the Jets avoid the never ending sack? That’s the key part to this equation. They couldn’t against the Eagles, and the Giants can be just as fierce if not more, depending on who is healthy for them up front that week. The Jets WR’s line up against better CB’s in practice. The problem is, the Jets offensive line gets to block the Jets meandering defensive line in practice too. Jason Pierre Paul frightens us. Paul combined with the notion of him lining up in the same zip code as Wayne Hunter terrifies us. If the Jets can block , they’ll be efficient through the air at best. That can  be enough, if Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson can help lead the way, and Sanchez avoids major gaffes deep in Jets territory.

Kristine Reese: The Giants secondary has been riddled with injuries all season but that isn’t the only reason they find themselves ranked 29th in the league. Opponents are averaging 257.5 passing yards per game against the GMen and the unit has given up a total of 25 passing touchdowns (near the bottom of the league).

Holmes, Plax and Keller could be in for a nice day against these corners, especially Prince Amukamara, who has struggled recently with missed assignments, blown coverage and even has some of his teammates claiming he isn’t ready for “prime time.” If the Jets can pick on Prince and catch him making a mistake, they could break off for a big play.

To be fair, Prince’s problems aren’t only his; he has simply become the poster boy for the problems of the entire unit.

Truthfully, I’m less concerned about how the Giants secondary will effect the passing game and much more concerned about the effect the Giants pass rush will have (specifically, Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck; it appears Osi Umenyiora may miss the game) on Sanchez. We have seen the offensive line struggle in pass protection against a heavy rush and last week was a reminder.

This battle between the O Line and the D Line is the most significant match-up of the football game. I firmly believe that if the offensive line can win the battle and allow Sanchez the time to make the throws, he can deliver the ball to the play-makers and capitalize.

Rob Celletti: Jets fans, we’ve read this book before, haven’t we? It seems like every other week, the Jets face an opponent where media and fans alike look at the matchup and think: “Wow, the Jets should really be able to throw the ball this week.” The harsh reality, of course, is that they haven’t.  My Twitter feed must be famous at this point for the in-game pleas for Brian Schottenheimer to open up the offense and allow Mark Sanchez to throw the ball down the field.  It hasn’t happened. Instead, the Jets, with their wealth of playmakers, limit themselves mostly to passes that travel no more than 9 yards in the air.  It’s maddening to watch

What will make this trend more even more insane will be if/when it inevitably continues this week against a Giants secondary that is utterly pathetic when it comes to stopping the aerial attack.  Big Blue’s coverage unit is rife with players who are just not very good: Aaron Ross, the biggest mouth in New York not named Rex Ryan Antrel Rolle, and not-quite-ready-for-prime-time Prince Amukamara. Couple that with regular miscommunications and breakdowns, and you have a secondary that gives up an awful lot of big plays – even to guys named Rex Grossman.

But really, the more important issue won’t be what’s happening down the field, but in the trenches. The Giants’ pass rush is, as usual, no joke.  It has 37 sacks, led by breakout star Jason Pierre-Paul, who has been nothing short of phenomenal this year (and Giant fans haven’t let us forget, with the excessive and obnoxious “You down with JPP?!” Tweets…we get it). The Jets absolutely must help Wayne Hunter, who was embarrassed last week by Jason Babin in Philadelphia.  The rest of the line needs to step up and play the way it’s capable of.  If Mark Sanchez is given time, Brian Schottenheimer has to let him throw the ball down the field, particularly to Dustin Keller and Plaxico Burress, who’s going to be itching to get after his former team.  If Sanchez is upright and given clear throwing lanes, there will be open receivers there for him.

Joe Caporoso: This entire match-up is about slowing down the Giants pass rush because if Mark Sanchez has time, the Giants secondary is awful. They simply can’t match-up with Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Dustin Keller. If Jason Pierre-Paul is anywhere near Wayne Hunter, there better an extra tight or running back there to help him out. Beyond that, the Jets must protect Sanchez through an effective rushing attack, well-time play action passing, and by moving him out of the pocket.