Initial Reaction – As Bad As It Gets, Awful Jets Fall To 2-2

The New York Jets embarrassed themselves in a 34-0 loss

The New York Jets put on a sorry display today at MetLife Stadium, in what was arguably the low point of Rex Ryan’s tenure as head coach. You can make a very real argument that the Jets are one of the five worst teams in the NFL right now. Not only do they lack talent across the board on both sides of the ball, they seem to have no type of coherent plan on how to best maximize what talent they do have. They were beat down by a far superior team today, who played far from their best game and actually left the door open for the Jets to remain competitive into the 3rd quarter.

Mark Sanchez was brutal, completing less than 50% of his passes for the third straight week. In today’s NFL that stat throws serious questions on whether he can be a successful quarterback for this team anymore. What also throws that into question was his demeanor in his post-game press conference, where he carried a care free attitude about his turnovers and general play. How can he still remain this careless with the football? He threw another interception at the line of scrimmage and was stripped from behind as he showed no ball security awareness.

The whole attitude of the team was generally infuriating to watch. You have Kyle Wilson repeatedly getting beat deep and then taunting the opposing receiver when he is overthrown by Alex Smith. He is a first round pick who has no concept of how to play the football in the air and should be no higher than a 4th cornerback on a quality NFL defense. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas, despite their sacks today are past their primes as capable NFL starting linebackers. David Harris, despite being the league’s highest paid linebacker could potentially lead the league in missed tackles thus far this season.

You are basically looking at a slow front seven, a shorthanded secondary and an offense that is comically understaffed. There is no team with a worse collection of skill position players in the NFL than the Jets right now. Santonio Holmes is getting a MRI tomorrow for a foot injury he sustained today and is going to miss time. Jeff Cumberland? Clyde Gates? Patrick Turner? Shonn Greene had another inspiring 11 carry, 34 yard performance. Tim Tebow brought nothing to the table. How is this team supposed to score points?

The Jets have 8 days to get their act together in some type of away before hosting Houston, the league’s best all around team in primetime. That game has the potential to be every bit as ugly as today was…except in front of the whole country. The Jets have problems that start with owner, carry down to the GM, to the quarterback and all the way through to the bottom of their roster. Will they fight or will they just say “too bad” like Sanchez did in his press conference?

Turn On The Jets Roundtable Week 4 – Jets/49ers Predictions

The Turn On The Jets staff gives their predictions for the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter!

Joe Caporoso12 Pack

Chris GrossJets 16, 49ers 9. While this will surely be one of the most difficult tasks the New York Jets have faced in recent memory, last week proved just how difficult it is to win on the road in the NFL. San Francisco looked unbeatable until they were upset in Minnesota by the Christian Ponder led Vikings last week. Conversely, the Jets went into Miami as favorites, where the ended up squeaking out an overtime victory against a Dolphins team that lost its best offensive player prior to halftime. While New York has struggled mightily to defend the run this season, Frank Gore is the type of back that this defense is built to stop. Unlike CJ Spiller and Reggie Bush, Gore is much more of a power back, rather than a speedster, which should make him relatively easy to defend for New York’s sluggish linebacker corps. Alex Smith has been extremely efficient, and the loss of Darrelle Revis will certainly hurt the Jets ability to defend the pass, however, I think Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine get more creative with their blitz packages and pressure schemes than we have ever seen before. After all, without the security blanket of Revis in the secondary, they have no choice. New York is in a kill or be killed situation when it comes to defending the pass from here on out.

Offensively, the Jets will certainly struggle in the early portion of the game. Shonn Greene will get the start at running back, but after about 8-10 carries of 3 yards or less, Tony Sparano will begin to get creative with his personnel. Expect to see more of Bilal Powell, who still may not turn heads on the stat sheet against this Patrick Willis led defense, but will certainly be more effective than Greene. Tim Tebow should get ample playing time as a ball carrier as well, and the deciding score in this game could come as a result of some trickery out of the wild cat.

New York is also hopeful that Dustin Keller will return this week, which would be a huge upgrade at Tight End, and would help Quarterback Mark Sanchez tremendously. Over the first three games, Sanchez has targeted Jeff Cumberland and Konrad Reuland a combined 15 times. Together, the tight ends have hauled in only 6 balls. Keller will provide Sanchez with some nice insurance, and will help this offense move the sticks on third down. Don’t expect either team to light up the scoreboard, but in the end, the Jets do enough to steal one from San Francisco in what turns out to be one of the most physical matchups of the 2012 season.

Mike Donnelly – The way everyone is talking about this game, you’d think the Jets shouldn’t even bother to show up. Apparently the 49ers are some kind of unbeatable powerhouse, while the first place Jets are a complete and utter joke who have no chance to win any more games this year with Darrelle Revis out. Well, I don’t quite see it that way. Nobody believes in the Jets at all and that’s when they play their best. I think the offense is going to come out throwing the ball and we are gonna see our first glimpses of an opened up Tebow package. On defense, Rex Ryan is going to show that all his talk about being the best defensive coach in the league was more than just talk, and Quinton Coples is going to make his presence felt. Plus Evan Silva called for a 20-6 49ers win and virtually everyone else in the world thinks this is a lock for the 49ers as well. Nope. Jets win, 23-20 in a nail-biter.

Chris Celletti – There are two football teams everybody is absolutely head over heels for this season, and they happen to be the Jets’ next two opponents; the 49ers and the Texans. Listen to any sports talk radio, read the papers and blogs or just talk to football fans, everybody wants to tell you how incredible both of these teams are. I think they’re both good. I don’t think either of them are unbeatable – how’s this…the 49ers lost last week to Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings. Now, I do think the 49ers present a bad matchup for the Jets. The Jets are really going to struggle to score points. They’ll try to pound the ball with should-be-benched Shonn Greene, and to no ones surprise they’ll struggle there. I think Mark Sanchez could have some success throwing short to Dustin Keller  but overall the Jets passing game is going to have a tough time out there and likely won’t hit any big plays. The bigger ifs for me come on the defensive side of the ball. Can the Jets not get run over by Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter? I still think the Jets are much more equipped to handle a north-south running attack like the Niners, so I don’t think that matchup will be as in favor of Frisco than most people think. If the Jets secondary can hold up its end of the bargain (a big, big if), I think this is game that comes down to the wire. At the end, the Nines are just too good, too tough, too well coached, too amazing….oh, screw it. Jets 21, Niners 20.

Rob Celletti – Darrelle Revis’ injury diagnosis on Monday reminded me of a similar moment in recent Jets’ history.  Two seasons ago, a few days before the 9-2 Jets traveled to New England to take on the 9-2 Patriots in what was supposed to be the Monday Night Football game of the year, the Jets lost Jim Leonhard to a broken leg suffered in practice.  The demeanor of the Jets the rest of the week told you that they simply had no chance of going into Gillette Stadium and winning that game.  While the circumstances this week are quite different, the demeanor of the Jets has been similar.  Rex Ryan delivered the news that Revis would be out for the year grimly.  Joe McKnight was moved to cornerback in a move that smacks of desperation from a team that seems to be losing its way (remember, the Jets are $8 million UNDER the salary cap; Mike Tannenbaum, somehow, still has a job), or never had a plan to begin with.

So should Jets fans be at all confident this Sunday?  No, probably not.  But this is the NFL, where every year it seems that games might as well be decided with a coin flip.  I’ve said to people, half-jokingly, that I will witness a season, before I leave this earth, where every single one of the 32 teams finishes 8-8, and playoff berths will be decided by tiebreakers, and yes, coin flips.  The parity (or is it mediocrity) is astounding.  The 49ers are an excellent team, and they’re coming in angry.  But the Jets are at home and they’re getting Dustin Keller back.  The run defense has something to prove.  I’ve essentially picked every single Jets game to be, in a word, ugly this year, so why stop now?  A tightly contested defensive battle leaves the Jets just short, as they fall 20-14.

Turn On The Jets Week 4 NFL Picks

The TOJ staff submits their week 4 NFL picks

The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday Night game. Also make sure to hit up M1-5 in NYC for unlimited drafts for $25, courtesy of Night Out this weekend! 

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Mike Donnelly (28-19-2)

2. Rob  Celletti (21-26-2)

3. Chris Celletti (20-27-2)

4. Chris Gross (19-28-2)

5. Joe Caporoso (18-29-2)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (7-8)

  • Patriots (-4) vs. Bills
  • Falcons (-7) vs. Panthers
  • 49ers (-3.5) vs. Jets
  • Kansas City (PK) vs. Chargers
  • Titans (+12) vs. Texans
  • Rams (+2.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Cardinals (-6) vs. Dolphins
  • Raiders (+6.5) vs. Broncos
  • Bengals (-1.5) vs. Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) vs. Saints
  • Redskins (+3) vs. Bucs
  • Giants (+2) vs. Eagles
  • Bears (+3.5) vs. Cowboys

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (11-4)

  • Bills +4.5
  • Jets +4.5
  • Rams +3
  • Panthers +7.5
  • Vikings +4
  • Chiefs +1.5
  • Texans -12
  • Jaguars +3
  • Raiders +7
  • Dolphins +6
  • Bucs -3
  • Packers -7.5
  • Giants +1.5
  • Bears +3.5

Rob Celletti

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patrios (-3.5) over Bills
  • Lions (-4.5) over Vikings
  • Falcons (-7) over Panthers
  • 49ers (-4) over Jets
  • Chiefs (+1.5) over Chargers
  • Texans (-12) over Titans
  • Rams (+3) over Seahawks
  • Dolphins (+5.5) over Cardinals
  • Broncos (-7) over Raiders
  • Bengals (-1.5) over Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) over Saints
  • Redskins (+3) over Buccaneers
  • Eagles (-2) over Giants
  • Cowboys (-3) over Bears

Chris Celletti

Last Week (5-10)

  • Patriots
  • Lions
  • Falcons
  • Jets
  • Chargers
  • Titans
  • Seahawks
  • Cardinals
  • Broncos
  • Bengals
  • Saints
  • Bucs
  • Giants
  • Cowboys

Chris Gross

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patriots (-3.5)
  • Lions (-4.5)
  • Falcons (-7)
  • Jets (+4)
  • Chiefs (+1.5)
  • Titans (+12)
  • Seahawks (-3)
  • Cardinals (-5.5)
  • Broncos (-7)
  • Bengals (-1.5)
  • Saints (+7.5)
  • Buccaneers (-3)
  • Giants (+2)
  • Bears (+3)

 

Turn On The Jets NFL Week 4 Best Bets

Week 3 record: 0-3-0

Season record: 3-5-1

I’m just going to go ahead and do what everybody else did who had a bad week last week and blame it on the replacement refs.

Speaking of replacement refs, on Thursday morning after the league struck the deal to bring back the real refs, I happened to be listening to Mike and Mike on my way into work (The iPod connection in my car is broken and Boomer and Carton were at a commercial, okay). They had Adam Schefter on, which should have been an big enough clue to turn the channel and spare myself, but I kept it on. The first thing Schefter did, I kid you not, was praise Steve Young and Trent Dilfer for speaking their minds about the whole Monday Night reffing debacle. This made me want to veer off the side of the road and total my car. I guess the best thing you can say is that Schefter didn’t give himself the credit for ending the ref lockout, although that’s pretty much what he was doing. “Look at us here at ESPN! We’re not just shills for our husbands, the NFL! And better yet, what we say matters!” As if at any point during the negotiations, anybody brought up anything Trent Dilfer or Steve Young said. This just in: ESPN somewhat enjoys itself.

Patriots (-4) at Bills

The Patriots can’t lose three straight and start out 1-3, right? I would love to see it happen, but I just can’t. I have to think the Pats will go into this one totally desperate. Plus, did you see how the Bills’ defense looked against the Jets? Have you seen what the Jets offense has looked like since? I suppose the Pats’ offense isn’t as dominant as it once was, but I still can’t see them struggling to score too much. They should win by a touchdown.

Falcons -7 vs. Panthers

This season is setting up so darn perfectly for Matt Ryan and the Falcons. They really are the NFL’s new version of the San Diego Chargers, and Ryan is playing the Philip Rivers role. Ryan’s done nothing since turning pro except put up good numbers, win a lot in the regular season and crap the bed in the postseason. Sound familiar? The Falcons will roll to something like 13-3 this year, get a bye, then host the Giants in the 2nd round and lose 27-13. As for this week, they’ll put up enough points at home against a woeful Carolina team to cover this spread.

Giants +1.5 at Eagles

The road team in this rivalry always seems to play well, and the Giants in general are usually steady away from home. Lincoln Financial Field is going to be all sorts boozed up for this one in a way only Philadelphians can, which is going to make it even sweeter when the Giants waltz in and pummel Michael Vick. At halftime, Eagles fans will be chanting for Nick Foles, and will then spend the entire second half on hold trying to get through to WIP’s postgame show to complain about “Andy Reid’s Awwfensive playcawwwling down thurr awn the gowl loine”.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week (Season Record 2-1)

We nailed it last week with Manchester United over Liverpool, so let’s stick with the Premier League and another big matchup between two of England’s top teams, Chelsea and Arsenal. Chelsea is in first place and has only allowed two goals in five Premier League games so far. Arsenal ha started to score a little more as of late, but started the year off by being shutout by Stoke City and Sunderland. I like Chelsea’s chances to pitch another shutout and snag a late goal, and at +235 I think it’s worth a shot.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 4 – Jets vs. 49ers

12 predictions for the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers

12 Predictions for Jets/49ers. A big thanks to Chris Gross for taking over as Editor-In-Chief while I am in Montreal on a business trip (Bachelor Party) until Sunday morning (of course taking the early flight back so I won’t miss the game). On to the predictions –

1. Bilal Powell will be the Jets leading rusher for the second week in a row, moving one step closer to taking over the starting job. He will also again average more yards per carry than Shonn Greene.

2. Santonio Holmes will be productive for the second week in a row, finishing with 5 catches for 85 yards.

3. Aaron Maybin will not have a sack or a quarterback hit for the fourth straight week, leading to most of his reps being cut in the coming weeks and a potential promotion of Ricky Sapp from the practice squad.

4. Quinton Coples will see his most extensive work of the season with Marcus Dixon no longer on the roster.

5. Newly signed running back Jonathan Grimes will receive at least one touch on offense this week.

6. Mario Manningham is going to have a big game in the slot for San Francisco, as their passing game will target and pick on Ellis Lankster.

7. Vernon Davis wil finish with at least 55 yards receiving and a touchdown.

8. Frank Gore will be the game’s leading rusher, finishing with just over 90 yards.

9. Mark Sanchez will have one interception but will also throw for over 250 yards and a touchdown.

10. Tim Tebow won’t be a major factor in the game.

11. Chaz Schilens will play well opposite Santonio Holmes, making a case to split reps with Stephen Hill when he comes back from injury.

12. The Jets will be more competitive than most will pick them to be, however won’t have enough late against the 49ers and lose 23-13 in game that is closer than the score indicates.

Turn On The Jets Week 4 Fantasy Football Preview

It has only been three weeks of fantasy football so far, and I totally understand your natural reactions to your team’s start. If you’re 3-0, you think the good times will never end, while if you’re 0-3, you’re cursing Evan Silva and the other “experts” who insisted you draft guys like Ryan Mathews and Cam Newton with top 5 picks. I get that, it’s perfectly natural to feel like that. But no matter what has happened so far, and no matter how well you drafted, you’re going to need to add some pieces off the waiver wire. The key to keeping your 3-0 team on top is going to be building solid depth for bye weeks and protect yourself against an injury. If your team looks poor now, all it takes is one big time waiver wire pick up and you’ll be right back in it.

Every year, starting players get injured and the backup steps in to take the league by storm. Some of these players single-handedly win fantasy leagues for people. Already this year we have seen a few players seemingly come out of nowhere to have monster games and are now mainstays on teams. Take a look around your fantasy league and you’ll see guys like Mikel Leshoure, CJ Spiller, Andre Brown, Christian Ponder, and Dennis Pitta already littering rosters and contributing in a big way. The key for your team going forward is to identify possible break-out candidates that are almost always running backs, stash them on your bench, and then keep your fingers crossed. Let’s identify some of these potential break through guys.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers – Readers of this column will know that I have been beating the Jacquizz drum since before the season. I think Michael Turner is absolutely useless, and you can see that the Falcons coaching staff is close to fully agreeing with me. Last week Jacquizz recorded 10 carries, 5 catches, 67 total yards, and a touchdown. In PPR leagues, he should already be on a roster in your league, but if he’s still there no matter what kind of league you are in, stop reading this now and pick him up.

RB Bilal Powell – Shonn Greene’s struggles this season have been well documented amongst Jets fans, and after last week’s game in Miami it appears as though the team is starting to lean more towards a running back by committee approach with Bilal Powell getting more and more touches. He was already the full-time 3rd down back and the preferred passing target out of the backfield, but now it seems as though he’s going to get a steady 10 carries or so a week with a chance for that number to greatly increase.

RB Kendall Hunter – The 49ers are going to remain a predominantly running team as long as Alex Smith is the quarterback, and I don’t think you can rely on starter Frank Gore all season long. The guy has a history of nagging injuries, and now that he’s getting older the team may err on the side of caution and start working Hunter in more and more, perhaps even getting a few starts.

RB Robert Turbin – The Seahawks loved the bruising RB in the preseason, and he’s the clear backup to Marshawn Lynch, who has been playing through a lingering back problem. Should Lynch break down from the 30 touches a week the Seahawks are forcing on him, Turbin would be in line for 20 or so touches a week, which makes him a real candidate to be a breakout star.

RB Lamar Miller – Jets fans everywhere are now rooting for Reggie Bush to get injured after his Darrelle Revis comments, and judging by the disgraced former Heisman winner’s history, it’s only a matter of time until he does indeed get injured. When he does, rookie Lamar Miller looks poised to take over rather than the terrible Daniel Thomas. If and when that happens, Miller could become a stud, even on a crappy Dolphins team.

RB Ronnie Hillman – Willis McGahee is a prime candidate for “starting RB who gets injured” status, and I believe rookie Ronnie Hillman will be the man to step in and get the bulk of the carries rather than Knowshon Moreno (who the coaches clearly hate), or Lance Ball (who isn’t that good).

RB Mike Goodson – If you own Darren McFadden and don’t have Mike Goodson on your bench to protect yourself, you need your head examined. If, or WHEN, McFadden suffers his yearly injury, Goodson should be in line for 15+ touches and some solid production.

WR Jeremy Kerley – Just a hunch…

WR Jerome Simpson – The Vikings are supposedly in love with Simpson and can’t wait to get him out on the field starting in week 4. He’s gotten a lot of buzz, but it’s guys like this who could end up turning your middle of the pack fantasy team into a legit contender.

WEEK 4 ONE-LINERS

“Get em in there!”

QB Christian Ponder @ Det – Few QB’s are playing better than Ponder, while few pass defenses are playing as poorly as Detroit.

QB Andy Dalton @ Jax – The Jags pass D is anemic, and AJ Green is dominating defenses.

RB Mikel Leshoure vs. Minn – The Vikings no longer have the dominant run defense they once did, and Leshoure is clearly the Lions bellcow, especially with Stafford hurting.

RB Ryan Williams vs. Mia – Yes, the Dolphins have a stout run defense, but Williams is a very talented runner and he no longer has to split reps with the useless Beanie Wells.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Car – The Panthers defense stinks, but the game could turn into a shootout where Rodgers gets lots of targets from Matt Ryan.

WR Jordy Nelson vs. NO – As a disgruntled Nelson owner, I feel your pain. But make sure you keep him active in week 4 as he catches up on 3 weeks worth of stats against that garbage Saints defense.

WR Lance Moore @ GB – I’d normally never recommend starting Moore outdoors, but this game is going to likely be a shootout, and someone has to rack up the yards.

WR Kenny Britt @ Hou – The Texans have a tough run defense, and this could be Britt’s 2012 coming out party.

WR Brandon Marshall @ Dall – I’ve seen him ranked in the late 20’s on plenty of ranking lists this week. I don’t get it at all, he’s a #1 receiver still.

TE Dennis Pitta vs. Cle – His season has not been a fluke. He’s the most targeted TE in football.

TE Martellus Bennett @ Phi – The Eagles linebackers still stink.

“Not this week”

QB Matt Stafford vs. Minn – Reports say he’s going to play. Unfortunately those reports don’t say he might just end up leaving the game after a few series.

QB Michael Vick vs. NYG – There’s a really great chance he doesn’t finish this game.

RB Frank Gore @ NYJ – I think the Jets D steps it up big time this week.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw @ Phi – Just don’t trust him to take back the job from Andre Brown quite yet.

RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis @ Jax – I’d still start him if you got him, but I wouldn’t expect the kind of production many are calling for this week.

WR Hakeem Nicks @ Phi – The Eagles are going to stick Asomugha on him and do everything they can to slow him down.

WR Marques Colston @ GB – I don’t expect Colston to rack up big numbers this week, despite the game likely turning into a shootout.

WR Dez Bryant vs Chi – The Bears cover 2 defense limits the big plays, and that takes away from Bryant’s output this week.

TOJ Staff Thursday Night Football “Race For The Steak” Picks:

Joe Caporoso – Baltimore (-12)

Chris Gross – Cleveland (+12)

Mike Donnelly – Cleveland (+12)

Chris Celletti – Cleveland (+12)

Rob Celletti – Cleveland (+12)

New York Jets Fact Or False: Week 4 Edition

As we enter the final week of the first quarter of the 2012 NFL season, we still aren’t necessarily sure who this New York Jets team is just yet. For a team striving to be built primarily through strong defense and a ground and pound offensive philosophy, the 2012 Jets have been anything but that. New York currently ranks 21st in overall defense this season, a ranking that could certainly grow worse with the loss of the team’s best overall player, CB Darrelle Revis. Offensively, the Jets rank 22nd overall, but are 29th in rushing yards per carry, with an abysmal average of 3.3. Shockingly, however, New York’s offense ranks just outside of the top ten in points scored, standing at 11th overall, only one spot behind Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, with 81 total points.

Translation? All is not lost for New York just yet, despite countless fans and media members declaring them dead without Revis lurking in the defensive secondary. For a team ranking in the bottom tier in defense and rushing offense, New York still stands at 2-1 and first in the AFC East. However, it is no secret that this team needs vast improvements in most aspects of the game, otherwise they will in fact suffer the complete landslide that everyone seems to be waiting for.

How can the Jets get back into that upper tier of teams without Revis? It begins with a few things. First, the Jets need to begin to limit Shonn Greene’s touches. By now, it is no secret that Greene is not the feature back New York thought he was going to turn into. Averaging an extremely disappointing 3.1 YPC this season, Greene has been arguably the most boring running back in the NFL this year. His lack of ability to make defenders miss and break tackles is noticeable to even the most fair weather fans. It is time Tony Sparano begins to divide his workload amongst the other backs on the Jets roster, namely Bilal Powell, who averaged 4.5 YPC last week in Miami, and (you guess it) Tim Tebow. Rex Ryan will also need to prove how great of a defensive mind he really is. Without Revis eliminating a player from opposing offenses, Ryan is going to need to show what made him such a successful defensive coordinator during his days in Baltimore. He will need to be very creative both schematically and personnel wise in order for this defense to assert itself as one of the league’s best again.

This week is sure to be a daunting test for each area of improvement for the Jets. Will New York be able to make the necessary adjustments in all phases of the game to overcome the powerhouse that is the San Francisco 49ers? Find out how it all will shake out in this week’s New York Jets Fact Or False.

Quinton Coples will register his 1st NFL sack. Fact. As good as San Francisco’s offensive line is in the running game, they have struggled so far in protecting quarterback Alex Smith this season. Smith has been sacked 10 times through the first three games this year. While Green Bay, Detroit, and Minnesota certainly have better pass rushes than the Jets, don’t be surprised to see New York’s first round selection get himself his first career sack this Sunday.

Although he has seen limited reps in his first few games, Rex Ryan proclaimed today that he expects the rookie out of North Carolina to take on a heavier workload this week. Coples has been an absolute mismatch when he’s been lined up on the inside on passing downs due to his superior athleticism against interior lineman. He has also been tremendous on the few stunts that he has run, often playing with excellent agility and leverage. Expect Ryan and Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine to get creative with their blitzes and stunts this week to confuse an offensive line that has struggled in pass protection this season. That could very well leave the door open for Coples to get to Smith for his first, of what could be many, NFL sacks.

Mark Sanchez will finish with a higher passer rating than Alex Smith. False. This is not to say that Sanchez will not play good. However in terms of passing efficiency, there have been very few who have done it better than Smith over the past year. This season alone, Smith ranks 7th in passer rating among all starting quarterbacks in the NFL with a rating of 102.7, that includes 5 touchdowns to just 1 interceptions and a completion percentage of 69.6.

Sanchez on the other hand ranks last in the league in terms of completion percentage, having completed just 50.5% of his passes with passer rating of 78.3. Of course, Sanchez has been hindered by the Jets’ lack of running ability as well as a very inexperienced group of receivers.

This is not to say that this unit will not get it together and outperform Smith and the 49ers’ passing attack this Sunday, however, the primary X-Factor in this is the absence of Darrelle Revis. Without Revis in the secondary, opposing teams are completing over 70% of their passes against New York. When facing a team like San Francisco, whose entire passing game is built on efficiency and a lack of mistakes, it will be very difficult for Sanchez to outperform his counterpart.

Frank Gore will rush for 100+ yards. Fact. Over the course of his first three games, Gore has run for 264 yards on just 45 carries, for an excellent average of 5.9 YPC. Although he has surpassed the century mark just once this season, he has yet to be given a heavy workload, with a season high of 17 carries in week 2 against Detroit.

This week, however, expect San Francisco to put the Jets 22nd ranked defense to the test. Based on the success that CJ Spiller and Reggie Bush experienced against this defense, the 49ers would be wise to give Gore the ball early and often. While New York is much better suited to defend backs like Gore, rather than Spiller or Bush, do not be surprised to see the former Miami Hurricane get anywhere from 20-25 carries, taking him over the 100 yard mark for the second time this season.

The Jets will not surpass 100 yards rushing as a team. False. Yes, the Jets have struggled to run the ball this season, but as addressed above, that is a heavy result of the inabilities of Shonn Greene. To think that New York is going to abandon its ground and pound philosophy after just three games under Sparano is utter blasphemy. New York’s inability to run the ball is undoubtedly keeping Sparano up at night, surely enough to devise a very clever game plan against one of the league’s top defenses.

Sparano and co. are likely wise enough to realize that they will struggle to pound the ball against this defense in jumbo packages. Expect New York to come out in various spread formations, and actually look to pass early to open up the running game. If Sanchez can be efficient and prove to be able to stretch the field in the first few offensive drives, San Francisco will have no choice but to unload the box, giving New York ample space to run the ball. The Jets should divide the workload amongst an abundance of ball carriers who will all collectively gain over 100 yards.

At least 4 different players will carry the ball for the Jets. Fact. As touched on above, Shonn Greene’s days as a 20-25 carry back are seemingly over. It is time for the Jets to divide his carries amongst Powell, Tebow, and possibly the newly acquired Jonathan Grimes. While Greene will likely still get around 10-12 carries this Sunday, look for Powell to cut into that load the most with about 15-17 carries. Tebow will likely chip in out of the Wildcat with somewhere around 5-7 carries, and New York would be foolish not to give the ball to the speedy Grimes, or the recently “traded” Joe McKnight a few times to attempt a home run play.

While the Shanahan approach of playing an abundance of Running Backs is not necessarily a popular one in this league, Greene has left the Jets with no choice. In order for this offense to get on track, they need to be able to run the ball, and in order to be able to run the ball, the Jets need to divide the workload, plain and simple.

Turn On The Jets Week 4 Roundtable – Jets/49ers Match-Ups

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to on Sunday

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward when the New York Jets take on the San Francisco 49ers. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter –

Joe Caporoso – Tony Sparano vs. the 49ers defense. Let’s see how crafty the new Jets offensive coordinator is against arguably the league’s best defense. Let’s hope he is smart enough not to line up with three tight ends and try to pound the ball with Shonn Greene. A smarter approach would be to spread the 49ers out with a 3 wide look and look to get the ball in the hands of the Jets speedy players, namely Jeremy Kerley and Bilal Powell. The Jets pass protection has been better than expected and as crazy as this may sound, this might be a game for Mark Sanchez to let it fly 30-35 times and attack aggressively down the field.

Chris Gross – Jets Rushing Offense vs. 49ers Run Defense – We all know who has the advantage here. San Francisco has one of the most, if not the most, stellar run defenses in the NFL. The Jets, on the other hand, have been extremely sub par in their rushing offense. Shonn Greene is averaging an embarrassing 2.8 YPC through the first three games this season. It is about time that Tony Sparano, known famously for his ground and pound approach, becomes creative in his game plan. If he is smart, he will attempt to spread San Francisco out, and use his more elusive backs like Bilal Powell, and the newly acquired Jonathan Grimes, early and often. Sparano should attempt to get them the ball in space and allow them an opportunity to make plays. If he attempts to line up in Jumbo sets and run Greene on dives, the offensive will undoubtedly be stonewalled by the likes of Patrick WIllis and Co. Sparano needs to save Greene as his downhill runner for late in the fourth quarter, where he can take advantage of a defense tired from chasing down the shiftier backs all game. The run game can either be decent Sunday, or a complete disaster. How Sparano designs his game plan both schematically and personnel wise, will be what determines the winner of this match up

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to seeing this weekend is how the Jets defensive front handles the 49ers power run game. The 49ers offense thrives on not making mistakes and beating themselves, so it’s of the utmost importance to stuff the run and get them into 3rd and long situations. Alex Smith does a lot of 3 step drops followed by short, safe passes, so I expect to see another week of no QB pressure, unfortunately. But, if the defensive line is able to hold up and not let the 49ers huge offensive line beat them up, the Jets have a chance to hang in there and win this game late.

Chris Celletti – Matchup – Jets D backs vs. Alex Smith/49ers WRs and TEs. If the Jets want to swiftly quell the doomsday attitude that’s surfaced since Darrelle Revis was ruled out for the season, their defensive backs are going to have to step up this week against the 49ers. Alex Smith is a great game manager. He’s not a great quarterback. I’m interested to see if the Jets’ secondary can keep tabs on Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Vernon Davis and force Alex Smith into some tough throws. If Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson consistently get beat and Smith has wide open receivers to throw to, it could be a really long day for the Jets.

TJ Rosenthal – The matchup we look forward to the most is Kyle Wilson vs any of the 49er receivers. Crabtree leads them with 19 receptions and Manningham has 12. Moss has 7 but who knows how Rex will play it. Ryan may put Cro on the taller guys and Wilson on Crabtree at times.. Whoever he lines up against, we are curious to see how the Jets ask him to defend. Will they allow him to break on balls, and jump routes? Wilson can be a guy who can take balls back to the house if plays are happening in front of him. We worry about balls behind him and him turning around in time, but that’s what we look forward to seeing. Has his time come? Or not?

Rob Celletti – This week, I’m really interested to see how the Jets’ now Revis-less secondary handles a 49ers passing attack that, while it’s certainly not seen as the strength of their team, could pose some problems. Alex Smith is essentially the NFL’s new Chad Pennington; dating back to the start of last season, he’s completed 63% of his passes (nearly 70% through three games this season) while throwing 22 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. The Jets, frighteningly enough, had moments where they made Ryan Tannehill look like a veteran NFL quarterback last week, and if they afford Smith openings, he will exploit them.  an Antonio Cromartie shut down Michael Crabtree, who’s caught 12 of 19 balls for first downs this year?  Will the Jets, notorious for their inability to cover tight ends, finally figure it out against Vernon Davis, who already has 4 touchdowns this year?  If Randy Moss is on the field, will the Jets feel he’s enough of a threat to line Cromartie up against him, leaving Kyle Wilson on an island against Crabtree or Mario Manningham? The Jets need to get creative and LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell need to step up, or this 49ers passing attack could resemble the one that Joe Montana used to lead.

New York Jets Defensive Film Breakdown: Week 3

Chris Gross breaks down the New York Jets defensive game film against the Miami Dolphins

For the third edition of our weekly defensive film breakdown, we unpack all of the positives and negatives from this past week’s overtime victory in Miami. While the Jets obviously did enough to win the game, their defensive effort was rather lackluster in comparison to how this unit has played in the past, particularly in the front seven. Now, with All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis out for the season with an ACL tear, it is more imperative than ever that this unit gets it together and plays the way they are capable of playing. The Jets pass rush will need to become extremely ferocious to compensate for the loss of Revis in the back end of the defense, something that they have clearly been anything but. However, for the time being, let’s breakdown last week’s game and see where and how they need to improve to remain relevant without their star player.

Just as the previous editions of this column have done, we will first start by evaluating each defensive lineman as individuals, while focusing on the linebackers and secondary as whole units.

Muhammad Wilkerson – We’ve been singing the same tune with Wilkerson for three weeks now – he needs to be more consistent. There are plays when Wilkerson looks comparable to some of the best defensive lineman in the league, while there are other plays where he looks like a glorified role player.

Against Miami, specifically, Wilkerson started out playing very hesitant. Rather than coming off of the ball fast and hard, he was demonstrating a mortal sin of defensive line play as he was playing with a tendency to stand straight up, engage the offensive lineman, and peak in the backfield for the ball carrier. Defensive linemen cannot afford to look for the ball. That is what the linebackers are for. A defensive lineman’s number one priority is to initiate the contact with the opposing offensive lineman, gain leverage, and maintain gap responsibility while reacting to the play. The only thing defensive linemen should be reading is what type of block the offensive lineman is giving them. Often times, that will take them directly to the ball.

For example, if Wilkerson is playing as a 5 technique on the outside shade of the tackle, and there is no tight end to his side, he would normally have outside contain. Now, if the ball is being run outside, the tackle will likely attempt to reach block him by getting his head to the outside of Wilkerson, and sealing him to the inside, in order to create a running lane for the back on the outside. By reading the tackle’s head, Wilkerson would realize that he is attempting to seal him to the inside, so would likely fight across his face to maintain his outside contain. This would ensure two things. First, Wilkerson is fulfilling his assignment by occupying the area that the defense is designed for him to occupy, and it would also take him directly to the ball carrier, where he would either make the play, or force it back inside to his 10 teammates in pursuit.

However, when Wilkerson does not read his opponent, but rather peaks his head into the backfield, not only does he find himself out of position, but he forfeits all leverage, allowing himself to be driven off the ball. Perhaps this had something to due with the threat of the elusive Bush, but as a defensive lineman, you must trust the defense and fulfill your role only, to the fullest extent.

Wilkerson fortunately did not make too much of a habit out of this practice in Miami. By the second half, he began to rely on his technique and instincts, rather than his eyes, to dictate his play, and it clearly showed on film. On one particular play in the third quarter, Miami ran Daniel Thomas off tackle at All-Pro Jake Long, who was matched up one on one with Wilkerson. Wilkerson came off the ball extremely fast and low, established leverage, drove Long about two yards into the backfield, shed the block, and made the play on Thomas. As you can see below, he maintains leverage on Long with his outside arm, while keeping the rest of his body free to make the play. Absolute text book play by Wilkerson.

In terms of pass rush, the Jets like to slide Wilkerson all over the line. Sometimes he will rush from a zero technique, lined up on the center, while also seeing time at both the three and five technique spots. It is certainly hard to gain some type of pass rush rhythm in constantly being moved, but clearly New York has confidence in Wilkerson’s ability to do so. He needs to develop a little more of a push and some creative hand work to improve in this area. In a four man rush, however, Wilkerson is usually the one to be doubled, so in fairness to him, opposing offensive lines certainly seem to account for him regularly.

Sione Pouha – The performance by Pouha against Miami was certainly not what Jets fans have become accustomed to. In his matchup against the Dolphin’s interior line, Pouha was flat out dominated for the better part of the game, specifically by Miami Center Mike Pouncey. Pouha, who is likely still nursing a back injury, looked hesitant, slow, and weak against the run. He struggled mightily against the double team, something he has done a tremendous job of in the past. He could not seem to gain penetration at all, even when he was single blocked, and his ability to move down the line of scrimmage in either stunts or pursuit was virtually non-existent. He served absolutely no purpose in the pass rush, as he was repeatedly stalemated at the line. Whatever Pouha’s issue may be, whether it injury or confidence, 2nd year pro Kenrick Ellis will likely begin to eat into his reps if he does not improve his play soon.

Mike DeVito – Mike DeVito is the same defensive lineman Jets fans have been watching for the past few years. Like in the previous two games this season, DeVito didn’t do anything that would warrant an exclamation point against Miami, however he remained very solid against the run. He gives a consistent effort, hardly ever gets driven off the ball, and is rarely, if ever, caught out of position. DeVito is the prototypical blue collared lineman, something that is essential to the depth of any defensive unit.

Unfortunately, that is where the praise for DeVito ends. In terms of rushing the passer, DeVito continued to show absolutely no ability to get to the Quarterback. When he is in the game on passing downs, the Jets are essentially playing a man short. Why Quinton Coples is not seeing more reps in these situations remains a mystery.

Quinton Coples – Coples, again, saw very limited action against Miami. His first few plays were somewhat irrelevant, as the ball was run to the opposite side of the field. However, what stood out most in these situations was Coples’ backside pursuit. For a player that has been criticized to have motor issues, I have yet to come across any valid evidence of such a fault.

Coples does, however, find himself lost at times. A few plays early in the game, he seemingly had no idea what his assignment was, as he would engage the opposing offensive lineman, then begin to look around as if he was unsure if he was making a mistake or not. Knowledge of the scheme could be one issue keeping the first round draft pick off of the field for now.

That being said, Coples needs to be used more on passing downs, period. The Jets cannot afford to keep arguably their most athletic defensive lineman on the sidelines on third downs while Mike DeVito continues to run straight into tackles and guards, serving virtually no purpose. Coples is extremely quick and elusive off the ball, particularly when he is on an inside stunt matched up with less athletic guards and centers. In addition to his athleticism, Coples also continues to display great strength and leverage. In his sole QB hit against Miami, Coples stunted inside, got underneath the opposing guard, and drove him into Ryan Tannehill’s face just before the Dolphins Quarterback got the ball off. 

As shown here, Coples has great position on the right guard as he continues to work up field, pushing the pocket into Tannehill’s face.

Coples finishes in the face of Tannehill with his hands in the Quarterback’s line of sight, forcing an incompletion. With the need for a pass rush even greater now with the absence of Darrelle Revis in the secondary, it would be a crime for New York to keep Coples on the sidelines in passing situations.

Kenrick Ellis – Ellis continues to play as if he is the best defensive lineman on the team. No one has been more consistent through three games than he has. Aside from showing great explosiveness and tenacity, Ellis has proved that he simply cannot be moved from the line of scrimmage. Whether it is a straight drive block, or a double team, Ellis often gains penetration into the backfield, while at the very least, maintaining his ground. His work in the passing game is miles ahead of any other interior lineman, as he continuously gets a strong push up the middle, noticeably making the quarterback uncomfortable. One specific play that stood out on Ellis, that was easily the most impressive play he has made to date, was a tackle for loss that he made after splitting a double team between Jake Long and Miami guard Richie Incognito. Like Coples, it would be a travesty for Ellis not to see more playing time. Do not be surprised one bit if he surpasses Pouha as the starter at some point in the coming weeks.

Calvin Pace – We continue to beat the same drum with Pace week in and week out. He does just about everything right technically, but he continues to show a lack of speed that is prohibiting him from being a difference maker. Like the previous two games, Pace did nothing to stand out against Miami, however there is not one instance where he made a drastic mistake. His veteran savvy is easily noticeable, and he remains one of the toughest players in the front seven. Pace will continue to be solid, but anything more than 4 sacks this year will be an over-achievement.

Aaron Maybin – Maybin continues to baffle by showing absolutely no sign of improving his pass rush moves. Week in and week out, Maybin continues his trend of sprinting upfield, out of control, more often than not past the quarterback. On one play in particular this past week, Maybin sprinted upfield past Jake Long, who simply rode him right past Tannehill into, what looked like, a chokeslam. Maybin ended up on his back, and Tannehill got rid of the ball unscathed.

The biggest concern about Maybin’s lack of improvement is the apparent lack of influence by defensive line coach Karl Dunbar. Dunbar was praised all offseason as a key piece in revitalizing this team’s pass rush woes, after his previous success in Minnesota. However, with Maybin seemingly making no changes in his game, one has to wonder exactly what Dunbar is coaching him on.

Garrett McIntyre – It was a nice story in Pittsburgh, but the Garrett McIntyre experiment has reached its peak. Miami continuously left McIntyre singled out, both on run and pass plays, and he could not break single blocking to save his life. A few times, he was even lined up over Jake Long, something the Jets should never have subjected him to. There is nothing to knock about McIntyre’s work ethic and effort, however he is simply overmatched, physically, far too often.

One play in particular that stands out, is on one of Reggie Bush’s early runs in the first quarter. Down inside the Miami 20, Bush’s run was stonewalled on the front side. The back changed directions, to meet McIntyre in the open field about two yards behind the line of scrimmage. Bush effortlessly made McIntyre look like he was on ice skates, resulting in a gain, rather than a tackle for loss. Now, in fairness to McIntyre, there aren’t many people that can get to Bush in the open field, however the seamless move made by Bush proves that McIntyre does not belong on the field in an every down, defensive role.

Marcus Dixon – Anyone who has been following this column through the first two weeks should not be surprised by the release of Dixon this week. He was certainly not the same player that he was in the past, a trend that continued in Miami, leading to his release. A class act, we can only hope Dixon finds his game and catches on somewhere else. For now, we move on.

The Linebackers – David Harris and Bart Scott were not particularly impressive this week. While they made their plays when it mattered late in the game, they each made a number of mistakes throughout the duration of the first 60 minutes. Harris, in particular, repeatedly attempted to arm tackle Reggie Bush in the first half, something that a back like Bush clearly shakes off with ease. On a 12 yard run with 3:56 left in the 1st quarter, Bush broke through to the second level. Harris, struggling to shed his block, attempted an arm tackle which Bush easily ran through. What should have been a 4-5 yard gain, resulted in a 12 yard gain due to poor tackling.

Harris and Scott also seemed out of sync on their blitzes at times. On a play in the first quarter, the two inside linebackers ran a twist stunt in their blitz that was poorly timed and led to a cluttered middle, which Bush easily averted and advanced to the Jets’ 3 yard line, setting up the first Miami touchdown.

What concerned me most about Bart Scott was his lazy technique at times. A few plays on which he was cut blocked down field, Scott, instead of shooting his hands and keeping the lineman off of his legs, merely lowered a shoulder, rendering no defense to the block whatsoever, taking him completely out of the play. For a veteran like Scott, there is no excuse for technique like this.

DeMario Davis and Josh Mauga each saw limited reps. Mauga was not impressive, and the sample of Davis was far too small to evaluate. He looked fast in his coverage breaks, however on the sole play that he was assigned to cover Tight End Anthony Fasano, Fasano fell down and was immediately overlooked by Tannehill.

The Secondary – Obviously, losing Darrelle Revis is as bad of a blow to any unit that could be imagined. Prior to the injury, Revis was the best player on the field, without question. While he was hardly thrown at, he showed a great ability to tackle in the open field on Reggie Bush, something that, as previously discussed, is no easy task. Revis will be sorely missed by this defense, but the remainder of the guys on the roster must elevate their play.

That includes Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie. Wilson looked better in man coverage this week, except for the fade caught by Fasano inside the Jets 10, where he was caught horribly out of position, as if he was not expecting Tannehill to target Fasano on the play. Cromarite played like he does. He had lapses in coverage that either led to penalties or big plays, but did enough to get it done. Both of these players are going to be very much under the gun throughout the remainder of the season, so it is imperative that they elevate their play.

Ellis Lankster filled in for Wilson as the Nickelback after the Revis injury and was not particularly impressive. On a 19 yard catch by Davone Bess in the fourth quarter, Lankster bit extremely hard on a double move, causing him to fall to the ground while Bess effortlessly ran by him and caught the ball on the sidelines. 

As you can see at the top of the screen here, Ellis is on the ground looking at Bess, who is wide open just before the 40 yard line. While Bess is no slouch, he certainly is not as good as some of the slot receivers Lankster will face throughout the remainder of the year. He will have a daunting task all season, beginning this week with 49ers’ Mario Manningham. New York will likely need to give Lankster as much help as possible.

As far as the Safeties go, both LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell played well, other than a few lapses in run defense. A few times, Bell and Landry were caught taking bad pursuit angles, none of which resulted in large gains. They did a good job covering Fasano for the most part, and Landry had the play of the day with his interception returned for a touchdown.

Eric Smith was called for two personal fouls, neither of which seemed legitimate, but when will this veteran stop putting himself in situations like this? Smith was also terribly out of position on Jorvorskie Lane’s one yard touchdown run. As shown below, Smith turns his back to the sideline in his gap, rather than staying square, and gives up an enormous running lane, which allowed the Miami fullback to walk into the endzone untouched.

Bell, the player furthest to the left of the screen, is seemingly playing outside contain and simply cannot make it back in time to make up for Smith’s mistake.

While this defensive performance was certainly nothing to write home about, there are some encouraging signs. The safety play, for the most part, was very solid, and if not for the play made by Landry, the Jets may not have won the game. Muhammad Wilkerson can absolutely be a pro bowler if he can play consistently, and Ellis and Coples show flashes of brilliance, they just need to see the field more.

With Revis out, there is no doubt that everyone on this unit needs to elevate their play. The next 13 weeks will tell us a lot about the guys on defense, as well as Rex Ryan’s coaching ability. It certainly will be a daunting task to dominate, defensively, without their best player, but make no mistake that the Jets still have the pieces to have a very good defense. The keys will be consistency, cohesion, and most importantly, a ferocious sense of urgency.

New York Jets Week 4 – Early Thoughts On Jets/49ers

Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers

A collection of thoughts on the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers. Check back later today for Chris Gross’ defensive film breakdown and our roundtable discussion on the game –

1. Underdog. Underdog. Underdog. There won’t be a single person out there who picks the New York Jets to win this game and with good cause. San Francisco was the consensus best team in the league until they were smacked by a mediocre Minnesota Vikings team last week and the Jets have just lost their best player and are coming off a poor showing, despite winning. Fortunately, they play the games for a reason and nobody picked Minnesota to beat San Francisco last week either and we all saw how that went.

2. The Jets best opportunity to pull an upset is to get an early lead. San Francisco struggles to play from behind because they aren’t built to throw the ball down the field. The more that is put on Alex Smith, the better.

3. Vernon Davis has the potential to be an absolute nightmare for the Jets defense, who has still struggled to cover the tight end. This is a game for LaRon Landry to really show his value. Rex Ryan needs to scheme up both an adequate pass rush and a coverage answer for Davis, who is the 49ers best weapon in the pass game.

4. The Jets have two defensive touchdowns and a special teams touchdown so far this season. They are going to need one this week because points are going to be very hard to come by against a loaded 49ers defense.

5. The best approach on offense is going to be running a more spread attack than usual. This is the type of game to get into the 3 wide and have Bilal Powell take the bulk of reps at running back. The Jets are delusional if they think they are going to move the ball by coming out in their three tight end and look and handing dives to Shonn Greene.

6. In general the Jets need to be getting Jeremy Kerley more involved on offense. He needs more targets in the passing game and should be involved in the running game. Use him in the Wildcat, give him pitches and reverses. Kerley is one the team’s few playmakers and needs the ball in his hands.

7. The Jets should get Dustin Keller back and he is desperately needed. He will help prevent too much coverage from being rolled to Santonio Holmes. Look for Chaz Schilens to start in place of Stephen Hill, who should be out with a hamstring injury.

8. It is time for the Jets to mix up the looks in their front seven in hopes of generating more of a pass rush. More Quinton Coples. More Demario Davis. More speed. 3 sacks in 3 weeks isn’t enough.