What New York Jets Fans Should Be Rooting For Sunday

A list of what New York Jets fans should be rooting for on Sunday

The Super Bowl is just about here. As expected, it hasn’t been the greatest two weeks to be a New York Jets fan with both the Patriots and Giants getting plenty of shots in on our team while they are down. It isn’t easy to root for the Giants and it isn’t easy to root for the Patriots. There is nothing wrong with rooting for neither but here are a few things for Jets fans to root for on Sunday –

1. A huge mistake from Steve Weatherford, who thinks he has parlayed one decent season into being a media celebrity who has the right to trash one of the league’s greatest special teams coaches. Hey Weatherford, you are a punter. I don’t care if you win a Super Bowl, you are a freakin’ punter. Westhoff’s impact on the game will still outweigh yours tenfold. Jets fans should be rooting for an untimely shank, a dropped snap, or a self-inspired fake on 4th and 18.

2. Antrel Rolle and Brandon Jacobs eating their Rex Ryan sized words after a poor performance and a loss this Sunday.

3. Tom Brady having an awful performance, continuing his streak of playoff mediocrity since 2007.

4. Most importantly, Curtis Martin getting into the Hall of Fame this Saturday night (I know it isn’t on Sunday but whatever).

5. No PepsiMax commercials featuring Rex Ryan or Mark Sanchez.

6. The most important thing to root for and maybe you disagree with this, but a blowout one way or the other. At least if there is a blowout, you have a little ammunition for the rival fanbase next year. At least let’s hope to avoid an epically, amazing game that one of the team wins on one of the luckiest plays imaginable.

Free agency and the draft, hurry up!

New York Jets: Positive Moments In A Negative Season

Despite popular belief, the Jets didn’t go 0-16 and cause world hunger this past season

I stumbled across this video today and it provided a necessary reminder. Despite a media that would love to make you think the Jets went 2-14 this year, Rex Ryan is causing world hunger, Mark Sanchez is responsible for national debt, and Santonio Holmes is the most dangerous man in America. The New York Jets were 8-8 this year and actually did a few positive things at some points. This team isn’t starting from scratch this off-season. There is talent on both sides of the ball. This isn’t the Cleveland Browns, people.

Let’s go over a few things that occurred this year that were actually positive that will never get mentioned in the blackhole of never ending criticism of this team.

– Mark Sanchez made immense improvements as a red-zone quarterback and this offense as a whole improved in the red-zone.

– Dustin Keller had the best season of his career.

– Aaron Maybin came from nowhere to demonstrate that he could be a huge weapon as a situational pass rusher

– Darrelle Revis is still Darrelle Revis.

– David Harris is still David Harris.

– Nick Mangold is still Nick Mangold.

– Joe McKnight proved not to be a bust and show that he is a very good kick returner and has potential as a third down back.

– Muhammad Wilkerson had a promising rookie season.

– Sione Pouha has developed into one of the better nose tackles in the NFL.

– Jeremy Kerley showed a ton of potential as a big play threat at wide receiver and on special teams.

– Kyle Wilson bounced back from a rough rookie season and put together a good year at nickel back.

…A few more days and this season is over, hang in there Jets fans.

New York Jets: Is Shonn Greene A Lead Back?

TOJ questions whether the Jets can continue to rely on Shonn Greene as a lead bac

I have been consistent in my support of Shonn Greene as the New York Jets lead back since he burst on the scene midway through the 2009 season. Unfortunately, after watching him finally spend a full season in that coveted lead back role it is hard to believe that the Jets offense doesn’t need to add another back to take co-ownership or full ownership of that job.

His stat line of 253 carries, 1,054 yards, and 6 touchdowns is somewhat disappointing enough. However, a closer look at his stats from Pro Football Focus paints a clearer picture of Greene’s shortcomings in 2011. They have something called an “elusive rating” which breaks down like this –

“We combine a runner’s carries and receptions to give a total ball handling opportunities figure.  We then combine the number of missed tackles that player forced against both the run and the pass to get a total missed tackles forced figure, which is then divided by the ball-handling opportunities.  This figure then gets multiplied by a player’s yards after contact per carry average (*100) to get the final Elusive Rating.  In essence the rating is a combination of how often players force missed tackles and how much yardage they generate after contact on a per carry basis.”

Greene ranked 47th in this category among halfbacks in the 2011 season and finished 24th in rushing missed tackles total. If you watched every Jets snap this season, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. I am aware of the struggles on the Jets offensive line but the bottom line is Greene simply doesn’t make enough people miss and doesn’t make enough big plays. His longest run since the 2009 playoffs is for 31 yards. He only had 4 runs of 20 yards or more this past season.

Greene is a good, not great player who some offenses could get away with being their lead back. Not this offense. Michael Lombardi made a great point the other day when discussing the Jets in 2012

“If they want Mark Sanchez to be a great quarterback, they need to have a blue-chip running back around him. If they want to be ground and pound, then you can’t be ground and pound and [tight end] Dustin Keller can’t block anybody. It’s tough to be ground and pound when everybody knows the tight end isn’t going to block anyone. So now you have to substitute to get the blocking tight end in. And, oh yeah, by the way we’re going to run now that [Matthew] Mulligan is in the game. Why don’t you just put up a red flag that you’re going to run it? I think they need to change their roster to suit that [style]. I don’t think Shonn Greene is the guy to be the blue-chip running back.”

This argument also supports potentially moving Dustin Keller. Yet focusing on running back, if the Jets want to have a dominant running game to support Sanchez, they are going to need more at running back than Greene, Joe McKnight, and Bilal Powell.

Getting a “blue-chip” player isn’t going to be an easy process. In the draft, they’d have to move up to acquire Trent Richardson. In free agency, they would have to put a mammoth offer together to acquire a franchised Matt Forte in a trade. They could also explore engaging other teams who have a surplus at running back (Carolina, New Orleans, Houston to name a few) but teams don’t just give away big time backs, it is going to cost the Jets. Mike Tannenbaum has got creative in the past and he may have to do it again.

A cheaper scenario would be the Jets adding a running back in the middle rounds and then adding a mid-level free agent, maybe a Ryan Grant or Tashard Choice. You then have the new additions compete with the current backs on the roster and find the best committee approach possible.

When you are a “Ground and Pound” team, 22nd in rushing yards per game doesn’t cut it.

Where Is Mark Sanchez?

TOJ wonders when Mark Sanchez will emerge from hiding

It hasn’t been the best few months for New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Although I suppose there are people who have it worse than running around between Kate Upton and Kim Kardashian. He has been publicly thrown under the bus by anonymous teammates, questioned by every media member in America, is dealing with Peyton Manning speculation, and hearing his team ripped to shreds by everybody who could get a word in. Beyond that, the only offensive coordinator he has ever had was fired and has since been replaced.

We have heard Rex Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, Greg McElroy, and others speak this off-season…yet not a word from Sanchez.

The only thing we have heard is that Sanchez is avoiding the Super Bowl.

You know what I would like to see? A media appearance from Sanchez when he answers his critics in the locker room, particularly the ones who called out his work ethic. I want him to welcome any challenge the Jets bring in for him at quarterback. I want him to say he is going repair his relationship with Santonio Holmes and say that he will be holding Jets West camp again and wants Holmes there in attendance, no excuses. I want to hear his thoughts on Schottenheimer and Sparano and most of all I want him to take ownership of this team, this offense and say he hears what everybody has to say right now about him and this team and he is going to make sure he fixes it.

Words only do so much. He needs to produce on the field but Sanchez needs to play with an attitude and the edge that he is playing for his life this season. You want to be a backup for the next 5 years in Seattle or do you want to be a starting quarterback in New York? Are you going to be Matt Leinart or are you going to do what Eli Manning and Drew Brees did after their third year?

Am I saying Sanchez will ever be on their level? No. But I am saying, those two guys produced at the same rate or lower than Sanchez did in their first three years and they grew up in year four and took their career to another level.

It is make or break time for Sanchez, so where is he?

New York Jets Receive Plenty Of Love At Media Day

The New York Jets received plenty of love yesterday at media day

It was a day full of sunshine and love for the New York Jets yesterday as the New York Giants and New England Patriots did everything they could to kick the Jets while they are down —

Antrel Rolle got in a few more jabs at Rex Ryan and confirmed it was the Jets who began the Giants run to the Super Bowl. Imagine if Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie could tackle? Or if Eric Smith wasn’t the slowest safety in the NFL?

Brandon Jacobs talked about Plaxico Burress wanting to be with the Giants this past year, not the Jets. Along with subliminally criticizing the Jets organization, offensive system and quarterback Mark Sanchez.

John Mara also took a shot at Rex Ryan’s personality when talking about why he liked Tom Coughlin.

Shaun Ellis talked about the Jets lack of loyalty.

Tom Brady talked about being happy for Shaun Ellis after he never went anywhere with the Jets.

It is Rex Ryan’s fault the Giants kept Victor Cruz.

Good times, right Jets fans? We will really be able to separate the bandwagoners and the real Jets fans in the coming months/season. It was easy to be a Jets fans the past two years, let’s see who sticks around after a season that is more in line with the rest of their history.