Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 3 – Jets vs. Dolphins

Turn On The Jets with 12 predictions for the Jets week 3 match-up against the Miami Dolphins

How about this weather in New York City? There is nothing like the autumn. It reminds me of getting ready for another breakout 3 catch, 26 yard performance at Muhlenberg as we got ready to whoop up on Union College (sorry Chris Gross). Anyway, The New York Daily News or as we call them around here, TMZ has had a fun week of stirring the quarterback controversy pot and talking about Tebow shirtless. Fortunately, we have supplied you with all the necessary football coverage…emphasis on football you need here the past five days. The Mission To Civilize continues –

On to the predictions –

1. Ryan Tannehill will have at least two turnovers and struggle to push the ball down the field to his overmatched wide receivers against the Jets secondary. He won’t top 175 yards passing.

2. Stephen Hill will get back to being a factor, finishing with at least 55 yards receiving and his third touchdown of the season.

3. Reggie Bush will be the leading rusher in this game and keep Miami competitive for about three quarters, finishing with 80 yards rushing and another 35 receiving, along with a touchdown.

4. Brian Hartline will have less than 40 yards receiving.

5. Bilal Powell will have 10 carries and average more yards per carry than Shonn Greene, who will have another disappointing effort.

6. Tim Tebow will have 40 total offensive yards and his first touchdown of the season on a short run.

7. Mark Sanchez will complete 60% of his passes or higher, finish with over 200 yards passing and not have a turnover.

8. Cameron Wake will have at least one sack.

9. Joe McKnight will see his most extensive work of the season on offense and finish with 45 total offensive yards.

10. Aaron Maybin will have his first sack of the season.

11. The Jets won’t miss a beat without John Conner. Konrad Reuland will play at FB/H-Back and play well enough to begin taking most of his reps when he returns healthy.

12. The Jets will win 23-10 in a game that will remain tight into the early fourth quarter but will get put away by a lengthly touchdown drive from the Jets offense and a shutdown Jets defense.

Turn On The Jets NFL Week 3 Best Bets

Chris Celletti submits his Best Bets for week 3 of the 2012 NFL Season

Week 2 Record: 2-0-1

Season Record: 3-2-1

For this column’s purposes, I went 2-0-1 last week. I say that because when I actually put my money where my mouth was, by Sunday morning, the Giants’ line vs. the Buccaneers had moved to -7.5. When I wrote my Week 2 piece, it was at -7. We call that a push, you guys. But as always the moral of the story goes: Don’t bet on your crosstown rival. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you need to root for a team you usually loathe, it never ends well. So that was the lesson of Week 2 for me (that and “Always buy the point, ass-clown).” As for my two straight up wins, I still cannot figure out how the Texans were only a seven point fave against a crap Jacksonville team, and I loved the Colts and Andrew Luck getting points in their home opener (FYI: Foreshadowing alert!). As Mike Francesa might so eloquently say when he’s not catatonic: Bink, bink, boom…and now we move to Week 3.

Steelers (-3.5) at Raiders

All of us here at Turn On The Jets got a first hand view at the Steelers last week. With Rashard Mendenhall out, Pittsburgh has finally gotten with the times and become a throwing team. Ben Roehtlisberger has three very good wide receivers who can stretch the field and a dependable tight end, and they look like a team who is going to put up some serious points. Big Ben totally picked apart the Jets’ secondary last week – still a talented group even without Darrelle Revis. Oakland just got their asses handed to them by Miami. Also, “The Black Hole” is the most asinine feature of any sports stadium in the world. Right, because the Steelers – world class, insanely trained professional athletes –  are scared of a bunch of mouth-breathers who treat eight Sundays a year like Halloween. I hope the Raiders go winless at home for a decade.

Colts (-3) vs. Jacksonville

This is a meshing of my Week 2 victories in one: Colts at home vs. the Jaguars. Love it, bro. Consider me on the Andrew Luck train. He’s a soccer fan who can probably name at least 15 out of the 19 MLS teams. Good on you, sir, you have that in common with me and 1% of the American male population. Home teams have been covering at a pretty high clip so far, some of which might have to do with the replacement refs. I’m not backing off my stance with the Jaguars being one of the worst teams in the league. I picked them before the season as under 5.5 wins for the year, and an 0-3 start would get that future bet off to a promising start.

Broncos (+2) vs. Texans

I think this is going to be a really tight game, and I’ll go with the home team getting points. First off, everybody talks about the Houston Texans like they’re God’s gift to football. Yeah, they’re good. They might be really good. They’re not unbeatable. The Broncos have a solid enough defense to keep the game close, and I think we might see a Peyton Manning late-game drive to set up a winning field goal. I see this as a “can go either way” type game.

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

I know, last week’s bet that the Milwaukee Brewers would take their series against the LOLMets wasn’t the boldest of calls, but hey, I told you it was free money. And when the Mets took the first game of the series, we were hot water for a second there, folks. For Week 3 we move to the other football, and on Sunday morning before the NFL kicks off we have a classic English Premier League match between Fenway Sports Group’s latest shitshow, Liverpool, against Manchester United. Winning on the road in the Premier League is pretty tough, which is why Man U is +160 on the money line to do so (when you bet on soccer, with the prospect of ties, you get scenarios in which both teams are at “plus” odds like this). Much like the Red Sox, Liverpool is a mess. They’re winless through four Premier League matches and in 17th place. Maybe after Man U goes in and thrashes the poor Reds, John Henry will plant a story in the media that Brendan Rodgers is hooked on painkillers and Steven Gerrard and Pepe Reina are having pre-match Guinnesses and Fish and Chips. There isn’t a team and fanbase in the entire world more deserving of Fenway’s swift buy-and-destroy job than Liverpool. Good riddance.

New York Jets Fact Or False: Week 3 Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False previews the Jets/Dolphins week 3 match-up

The New York Jets head into their third regular season game, a road trip to Miami, standing at 1-1, coming off of a very abysmal performance in Pittsburgh. As the Jets gear up to face the Dolphins, a seemingly must win game with San Francisco and Houston lurking afterwards, there are numerous issues to be addressed with this team. Which New York Jets will show up in Miami and in the coming weeks? Will it be the team that crushed Buffalo in the season opener led by an offensive explosion? Or will it be the team that faced the same troubles that haunted it last season – offensive woes and an inability to get the defense off the field on third down?

The Jets have come under heavy scrutiny following the loss to Pittsburgh. Mark Sanchez went from the league’s most improved Quarterback in week 1, to the scapegoat of the New York media that infatuates the Daily News more than Justin Bieber does to a teenaged girl. The mainstream media in this city has the most extreme love/hate relationship with the Jets’ fourth year quarterback. Simply put, they love to hate him.

What about the running game? What happened to that vaunted ground and pound that was preached all offseason? Tim Tebow was supposed to be a key part of Shonn Greene’s supporting cast, but so far, he has been completely irrelevant to this offense. Speaking of Greene, will he ever reveal himself to be the bell cow the Jets think he can be, or is it time to start spreading his carries out amongst New York’s stable of less than average running backs?

In terms of the defense, can the Jets prove that they can stop an elusive running back? While the run defense was fantastic last week in Pittsburgh, the Steelers’ didn’t exactly put Barry Sanders on the field. The Jets were gashed by CJ Spiller for 169 yards on opening day, continuing the trend that began last season of not being able to match up with speedy backs. Can they stop Reggie Bush, coming off of a career performance, the shifty Lamar Miller, and the rest of the Dolphins’ rushing attack this week?

Find out all of this, and much more, in this week’s New York Jets Fact Or False.

1.) Shonn Greene will average at least 4.0 YPC. False. Greene’s career high, in terms of yards per carry, against Miami came last year in the forgettable season finale, when he accumulated 55 yards on 14 carries, for a 3.9 YPC average. Now, Greene is coming off of two very sub par performances against Buffalo and Pittsburgh where he averaged 3.5 and 2.1 YPC, respectively.

Miami, on the other hand, has allowed just 3.0 YPC to Arian Foster in week 1, along with a ridiculous 2.0 YPC to Darren McFadden at home last week. To put it nicely, Miami has shut down two backs that are quite a bit more accomplished than Greene. Expect the Jets to rely on Greene for about 12-15 carries, while finally spreading the carries out amongst their other three runners in Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight, and Tim Tebow. With how Greene has played, combined with how excellent Miami’s run defense has been, there should be no reason for the Jets to believe that Greene can carry the entire rushing load on Sunday. Powell, McKnight, and Tebow have all been fair in the select time they’ve been given, so it is time to see what they can do with an expanded workload. Tony Sparano needs to get the ball to Powell and McKnight in space, via screens, sweeps, or misdirections. He should not be afraid to swing for the fences with these two on Sunday.

As for Tebow, it is time New York stop being so careful with their prolific backup quarterback. It seems as though the fear amongst the coaching staff is that if Tebow plays well in expanded minutes, they will face public pressure to insert him as the starter over Mark Sanchez, in the event that number 6 begins to truly struggle. However, if they use Tebow primarily as a runner, which they absolutely should be doing, he can be just another tool to assist the run game and take some pressure off of Greene.

However the game plan unfolds, do not expect Greene to surpass the 4.0 YPC mark. It simply is not going to happen.

Mark Sanchez will throw for 225+ yards and 2 TDs. Fact. Defensively, the Dolphins are built very much like the Buffalo Bills. They have a very above average front seven, with an extremely suspect secondary, even more so due to the recent departure of CB Vontae Davis. While the Jets running game may struggle to get going early, expect Sparano to allow Sanchez to sling the ball deep. Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, and Jeremy Kerley all have the ability to stretch the field, and when facing a secondary like Miami’s, there should certainly be free reign to do so.

The key will be for Holmes and Hill to prove they can respond to press coverage. Dolphins CB Sean Smith is a very physical player, and you can rest assured he took note of how Holmes and Hill struggled with the physicality of the Pittsburgh secondary last week. If Sparano can dial up some creative routes, and the Jets can prove to play well against this type of coverage, expect Sanchez to have a field day against this secondary.

3.) Reggie Bush will run for 100+ yards. False. While the Jets certainly have had their struggles with speed backs over the past season and two games (as previously noted), Bush will likely be their primary focus this week. In his sole contest against New York last year, the former Heisman Trophy winner picked up 71 yards on just 10 carries, for an eye-popping 7.1 YPC average. However, that was a Miami team that had a pro bowl receiver in Brandon Marshall, and a veteran quarterback in Matt Moore.

This time around, Miami brings out an offense led by a rookie at quarterback whose primary receiving option is Brian Hartline. Expect New York to key Bush early and often, and do everything they can to prevent him from getting the ball in space. Bart Scott looked quicker than he has in years last week in Pittsburgh, and although the Steelers’ backs certainly do not posses the speed of Bush, it is undoubtedly a sign of encouragement. Do not be surprised to see Rex Ryan send LaRon Landry on some Safety blitzes early in the game to introduce Bush to his hard hitting style, with the hope of rattling the 7th year pro and setting the tone from the beginning.

4.) Cameron Wake will have at least one sack. False. While Wake has established himself as one of the most ferocious pass rushers in the NFL over the past three years, he has registered just 2 sacks against the Jets in 6 contests. What’s even more surprising is the fact that he did not get to Sanchez at all over two games last year. This is likely a result of the Jets giving the recently (and thankfully) departed Wayne Hunter an abundance of help on Wake last year, something they will likely do again with Austin Howard this Sunday. While Howard is certainly an improvement over Hunter, Wake is Miami’s best defensive player and will be accounted for at all times. Sacks could still come from Miami, but Wake will likely be neutralized due to the high amount of attention the Jets will give him.

5.) The Jets will register multiple sacks. Fact. Dolphins Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 4 times over the course of his first two NFL games, including three in the opener in Houston. While the Jets’ pass rush isn’t nearly as good as the Texans’, Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine will be sure to draw up some exotic blitzes to get in position to bring the rookie to the ground. New York sacked Ben Roethlisberger 3 times last week in Pittsburgh, but realistically had opportunities to bring him down at least thrice more. Tannehill is not nearly as difficult to bring down as Big Ben, so expect the Jets to finish this week. Tannehill should have some serious grass stains on his back come Sunday afternoon.

6.) Ryan Tannehill will throw 2 interceptions. Fact. Tannehill looked promising in last week’s win against Oakland, however in his opening day start against Houston, the Texas A&M product struggled mightily, throwing 3 interceptions to start his NFL career. This was largely due to Houston Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips getting extremely creative in his coverages and blitz packages, making Tannehill extremely uncomfortable and forcing him into making bad decisions. Like Phillips, Ryan and Pettine will look to confuse the rookie from the start. Expect the Jets to do a good job of disguising coverages and sending pressure at Tannehill. If they can rattle his cage early, it would not come as a surprise to see the young QB become overwhelmed, and turn the ball over more than once.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, this guy makes his return this week.

Turn On The Jets Week 3 Fantasy Football Preview

Mike Donnelly with his fantasy football preview for week 3

One of the biggest traps people get caught up in when playing fantasy football is being enamored with a player’s name. No, I don’t mean keeping guys with funny names like LaDainian or D’Brickashaw for laughs, or even stashing guys with names that are easy to make team names out of (you can safety drop Isaiah Pead despite the catchy last name). I’m talking about seeing a guy with a big name and thinking just because he was an early draft pick or produced in the past that he will continue to help you out. On the flip side, just because a guy doesn’t have a household name and you may not even know how to spell it, doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to your team and become a fantasy force for you.

You want to stay ahead of the curve and cut bait — either by trade or stashing on the bench — with the “big names” who are duds before everyone else catches on, or you keep getting 3 point clunkers week after week. On the other hand, you want to identify the players on other teams that are off to disappointing starts and try to exploit that owner into trading you a superstar for 60 cents on the dollar. So who are these big name guys we should be making decisions on? Lets break it down..

Stay the Course if you have / Buy Low if you don’t

WR – Larry Fitzgerald – Larry has just 5 catches for 67 yards this season. That is not a misprint or his numbers from the one half of a game, those are his total numbers. Things look bleak right now after starter John Skelton appeared to shatter his leg in week 1 and the noodle-armed Kevin Kolb replaced him, but don’t worry too much. After all, Larry has been dealing with terrible quarterbacks pretty much his whole career. If the Fitz owner in your league is already making waves about how down he is on him, I’d make a low-ball offer and see if he bites. Even better, I’d wait until after week 3 against the Eagles, where Larry is again likely to be bottled up. At that point, the guy who has him in your league may be ready to cut bait.

RB – Darren McFadden – Much has been made about Run DMC’s struggles in the Raiders zone blocking scheme, but if you have him, you can’t even think about benching or trading him. He’s a supreme talent, and he’s likely to be the leading receiver on the team as well as leading rusher. Talk up his struggles and injury history to his owner in your league, and see if he takes 65 cents on the dollar.

QB – Matthew Stafford – Yes, he has underwhelmed so far this season, but he had to play a surprisingly solid Rams defense week 1 that took the Lions by surprise and the 49ers in week 2. There are better times ahead for Stafford and the Lions passing attack. Oh yeah, he also gets to throw to Calvin Johnson. That’s pretty awesome. Send out feelers to the Stafford owner in your league.

WR – Julio Jones – This one is tricky because Julio was dominant in week 1, but if you can convince the Jones owner in your league that Roddy White is still the #1 receiver in Atlanta and Julio is expendable, then you make your move. You make that move RIGHT NOW!

Don’t Cut them, But Let Them Think About Things on Your Bench

RB – Chris Johnson – As a Chris Johnson owner in one of my leagues, I think it’s already time other Chris Johnson owners and I form a support group online or something. We can all exchange horror stories about watching him rush for 1 yard per carry and his general “I don’t give a shit” attitude. I hate you, Chris Johnson, I really do. If you have him on your team, I’m sure you hate him equally as much, and if you have even a remotely decent option on your bench to replace him with, do it, until he shows he deserves to be in your lineup. My league is PPR and I’m considering starting Mikel Leshoure or Jacquizz Rodgers over him this week. It’s that bad. And if you were thinking about making the Johnson owner in your league an offer to buy low, take my advice: Don’t bother.

RB – Michael Turner – There are few less fitting nicknames in sports anymore than “Turner the Burner”. A more fitting nickname for him at this point would be “Turner the Slow”, or “Turner who looks like he runs with crap in his pants”. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but it’s definitely more fitting. Turner is a guy I was extremely low on heading into the season and he hasn’t disappointed me. He even took his crappiness off the field and got himself arrested for a DUI. If you can trick someone in your league to take him off your hands, do it now.

WR – Wes Welker – He might have another solid game this week with Aaron Hernandez suffering an injury in week 2, so he deserves a spot in your starting lineups for now. However, it’s clear that once he failed to sign his contract extension, Bill Belichick decided he was done with Wes Welker. Look at the evidence: He seems to have dropped behind Julian Edelman on the depth chart; he was relegated to being the 6th option on the offense behind Edelman, Lloyd, Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Ridley; Kellen Winslow was brought in so Welker didn’t have to play as much after Hernandez’s injury. If you have him, try to trade him now. Like, right now.

WR – Marques Colston – Have you seen Marques Colston play this season? He looks like he’s moving in slow motion, which I’m pretty sure is a bad thing for a wide receiver. I wouldn’t hesitate to get him on the bench right now, and if you were thinking about trying to “steal” him from an owner in your league, get that thought out of your head.

WEEK 3 ONE-LINERS

Players to Start

QB – Ben Roethlisberger @ Oak – The Raiders are awful. Expect Ben to throw all over them and perform as a top 8 QB.

RB – Stevan Ridley @ Balt – A very tough matchup on the surface, but this is the kind of game Belichick likes to establish the run and keep the Ravens pass rush off Brady.

RB – Andre Brown @ Car – A no-brainer here. Bradshaw is out + bad Panthers D – crybaby David Wilson in the doghouse = heavy workload for Mr. Brown and a quality RB2.

RB – Mikel Leshoure @ Tenn – If he’s active, don’t hesitate to get him in your lineup. Jim Schwartz has had nothing but great things to say about his soon-to-be workhorse RB.

RB – Jacquizz Rodgers @ SD – I’m going to keep putting him here until he produces, but this could definitely be the week with Turner’s DUI, especially in PPR formats.

WR – Brandon LaFell vs. NYG – I’ll make this one simple: Prince Amukamara stinks.

WR – Michael Crabtree @ Minn – The Vikings pass defense is awful, and Crabtree has established himself as the #1 WR in San Fran.

WR – Percy Harvin vs. SF – You should never bench Harvin, but I’ve seen people question him this week against the tough 49ers defense. Don’t.

WR – Donnie Avery vs. Jax – As long as Austin Collie remains out, start Avery with confidence, especially with a juicy matchup like this.

WR – Stephen Hill @ Mia – This is more for deeper leagues, but think more about his week 1 performance than week 2. The Dolphins pass D is comical.

WR – Ramses Barden @ Car – Another deep league play. Barden is going to be the benefactor of Nicks’s absence, not rookie Rueben Randle.

TE Dennis Pitta vs. NE – I’m not sold on the Pats defense, and the most targeted TE in the league through two weeks is a very solid start this week.

TE – Martellus Bennett @ Car – Bennett is becoming a weekly must-start. He’s a threat to score a touchdown every week.

TOJ THURSDAY NIGHT PICKS

  • Joe – Car (-2.5)
  • Rob – Car (-2.5)
  • Chris G (Car -2.5)
  • TJ (NYG +2.5)
  • Chris C (NYG +2.5)
  • Mike (NYG +2.5)

New York Media Off The Mark With Sanchez

TJ Rosenthal on the shortcomings of the New York media’s coverage of Mark Sanchez

I know I touched on a somewhat similar topic yesterday with this article but our good friend TJ Rosenthal did such a good job with this piece we wanted to publish it –

Is the local media seriously joking here folks? Is there some kind of newspaper selling conspiracy going on in New York this season, playing off some notion that any scrutiny regarding Mark Sanchez whatsoever will increase paper sales and twitter followers? It sure seems that way.

This week alone, writers from WFAN to the NY Post to the Daily News have told Jets fans to stop thinking Sanchez can be elite, have written about his failings late in Pittsburgh based off of one incompleteion, while refusing to acknowledge the real culprit, a borderline concussion laced hit from Lawrence Timmons is what truly affected the QBs play after the fact. They have asked 6 to grow a backbone with all that surrounds him, in order to finally take control of the team?

Have they also noted that Sanchez currently owns a 95.0 QB rating, percentage points ahead of Tom Brady and three points ahead of Eli Manning, with the same amount of TD passes (4) as the Giants 2 time Super Bowl MVP has? You know the answer to that, so we won’t insult your intelligence.

We are not Sanchez apologists by the way. We have been quite hard on him in the past when we saw that look in his eyes. That of a player who when he struggled for any stretch of time, would become his own biggest enemy. Throughout his first three seasons Sanchez at his worst, has lacked self confidence, pouted, and forced balls needlessly into tightly covered places.

In that time as well though, Sanchez also won four road playoff games, while working through the teams ever changing vision of him. A dizzying sight that has seen him go from handcuffed game manager, to gunslinger, and back again. Do you find that constant request for a change in personality in just three seasons confusing? If you do, imagine how it feels to be Mark Sanchez.

On top of the altering assignments in style handed down from above, 2012 has added the acquisition of uber popular Tim Tebow in March, the many baseless reports of threats to Sanchez’s starting job that followed, early summer issues at right tackle, just one veteran receiver, an entire pedestrian running back corps, and an ever emerging tight end slowed now by hamstring issues.

How’s that 95.0 rating looking now?

Sanchez responded to a scoreless summer in nonsense games, covered as if they choking losses down the stretch in December, by leading the Jets to a 48-28 blowout in week one. It was just the Bills though right? Yea right. Heading into the game, the same revisionists who now tell us how Buffalo wasn’t a true measuring stick, had already predicted Chan Gailey and Co. were  the new challengers to the Patriots throne.

It couldn’t possibly have been the play of that guy Sanchez. After all, that type of cover story doesn’t match the sensationalized one many hoped for with marquee QB crumbling under the pressure of New York as Tim Tebow take over. The fairy tale that the locals have tried to circle around like sharks since the ocean became ripe for swimming up in Cortland back in July.

Why not just tell it like it really is instead?

It’s been a small sample size, these two games, but in them, Mark Sanchez has shown more decisiveness, better accuracy, and a tougher exterior after failed drives so far in 2012. Elite or not elite, the Jets signal caller is not the one who comes to mind, when we think about Jets who absolutely must elevate their play immediately.

We will tell you who those folks are. They are as follows:

The running backs. Can Shonn Greene stay healthy for back to back games? Humor us 23. Be the workhorse for a string of games in row without limping off to the sidelines in the first half.

The Powell McKnight combo under Greene can help ease 23’s workload, but have to give the coaches a reason to be excited. We get that. The coaches however, have to find the guts to highlight their styles, which differ from Greene’s.

Hey Jets, use Powell and McKnight in other ways. They are not guys who will thrive simply by going off tackle.

The receivers. Catch the ball fellas first off. Secondly, Santonio Holmes, sorry but you have to take on more. More receptions. More yards after the catch. More leadership with the kiddie corps of  Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. More presence. You’re the guy. Make that known every week. Sure we loved the three flags last week and the TD. Build off of it.

Now Hill and Kerley have to grow up fast since GM Mike Tannenbaum decided not to bring in any 40-50 catch veterans to allow these two time to mature. This duo must figure out how to play physical against the veteran corners trying push them around. The deep ball to Hill last week deep where Ike Taylor pulled the rookie’s arm away? Push back and make that play 84

Dustin Keller needs to get healthy and finally put a big season together receptions wise. It’s time already.

Tony Sparano  and Rex Ryan need to find a few drives where Tim Tebow makes sense. Not just to aid the offense, but to ease the tension of what effect 15 will have on the entire operation. This unknown is beginning to cause waves and it doesnt need to. Tebow can help as a weapon, the Jets can’t be afraid of what his success will mean to Sanchez.

Rex needs to get this defense, one he tells us all is a top 5 unit, up to speed for four quarters.

The Jets pass rush needs to start getting to the QB, and stop talking about getting to the QB. Create three and outs and allow the offense more time to gel on the field.

Finally, the New York media needs to start moving the spotlight elsewhere. To the deserved and more current areas of concern noted above. Ones that don’t involve Sanchez directly.

Even if doing so means risking the sexier headline.

What fair is fair. The past has passed. You are always judged by what you do “now” in the NFL. Under that premise then, this tunnel vision, thisinability to see the whole field currently taking place in Florham Park, is not coming from Mark Sanchez, but more so from the ones who cover the Jets.

Turn On The Jets Week 3 Roundtable – Jets/Dolphins Match-Up

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the Jets/Dolphins game

The TOJ Staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the Jets/Dolphins game. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter to check back later in the day for this week’s Fact or False –

Joe Caporoso – The Jets wide receivers/passing game against Miami’s secondary. The Dolphins have a stout front seven, which is going to make it difficult for the Jets to move the ball on the ground with their mediocre rushing attack. However, they are extremely inexperienced and lacking in overall talent in the secondary. There is no reason Mark Sanchez shouldn’t be able to push the ball down the field to Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill similar to how they did in week 1 against Buffalo. Sanchez is already being raked over the coals by the New York media for one loss where he received no support. He could use a nice shut the hell up performance to his critics.

Chris Gross – Reggie Bush vs. Jets Run Defense – This match up could end up being the deciding factor in this game. Bush is averaging 120.5 rushing yards per game, with a fantastic 6.0 YPC average. The Jets rush defense, on the other hand, looked stout last week in Pittsburgh, much improved from the abysmal performance in week 1 when they allowed CJ Spiller to explode for 169 yards and  touchdown on just 14 carries. While New York held Pittsburgh to a mere 66 total yards on the ground, the Steelers were without their primary RB and major offensive weapon, Rashard Mendenhall. The stable of backs that Pittsburgh threw at the Jets do not even come close to Spiller or Bush in terms of athleticism. As noted earlier this week by Joe Caporoso, the Jets have had recent struggles with speed backs that posses home run ability. Stemming from last season, this team was gashed by the likes of Darren McFadden, LeSean McCoy,and now most recently Spiller. They need to find a way to neutralize Bush and not allow him to get the ball in space where he is most dangerous. Look for Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to key Bush throughout the entire game,as he is by far, Miami’s most explosive offensive weapon. If he can be shut down early,Miami will need to lean on rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to carry them to victory, a daunting task for a first year player against a Ryan led defense.

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to is seeing if the Jets can get the run game going and get Joe McKnight involved. The offense clearly lacks playmakers, so seeing how McKnight gets worked in is especially intriguing to me. While the Dolphins are arguably the worst team in the league, their defense is not all that bad. I’m hoping the Jets can start the game off with some consistent running with Greene and Powell and then mix in some Tebow and McKnight to break at least ONE big play in what should hopefully turn into a lopsided win.

Chris Celletti – I feel like the only way the Dolphins’ offense can cause the Jets’ defense any issues is if Reggie Bush goes wild. For me, the biggest matchup of the game is the Jets’ usually-stout run defense against Miami’s running game, (specifically Bush). Just like the Jets’ offense, their run defense is coming off totally polar opposite performances in Weeks 1 and 2. Last week they totally stifled the Steelers’ ground game, but against buffalo in Week 1, C.J. Spiller went for over 170 yards and busted off a couple big runs. To me, the Jets are weaker against speedy, shifty backs like Spiller and Bush, so I’ll be interested to see if they can keep him in check. If they do, the Jets should cruise to an easy win. I simply can’t see Ryan Tannehill having much success against through the air against Rex Ryan’s defense.

TJ Rosenthal – Looking forward to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine taking on rookie Ryan Tannehill. Let’s see if and how the Jets can take advantage of the rookie’s inexperience and in a big picture way, show how they can capitalize on what ought to be an edge on paper and in practice. Tannehill should be confused by the Jets looks, and off balance due to the Jets variety come blitz time. Ryan has done this for a long time. We DO expect the Dolphins QB to look uneasy back there. If not, there is a real problem with a defense that thinks of itself as elite

Rob Celletti– Mark Sanchez vs. the world – Bear with me for a minute.  I know we normally discuss on-field matchups in these roundtables, but in light of Manish Mehta’s lame attempt to undermine the Jets’ starting quarterback, along with Rex Ryan’s shortening temper with the ceaseless Tim Tebow questions, it seems as though the flames are being stoked in the media for some sort of quarterback controversy.  It’s really amazing, considering it comes on the heels of one loss, to a good team on the road; a game that all 53 players, not just one, lost.  Still, being that I tend to focus on the quarterback and am an unabashed supporter of Sanchez, I’m fascinated to see how he responds this week.  This is a mental, emotional, and physical challenge for the quarterback.  He may only be asked to throw the ball 18 or 20 times, but Sanchez needs a solid game nonetheless.  If things are going to be this hectic after one loss, I cannot imagine what it would be like after two.  Especially if that loss is to a poor Dolphins team, a division game that the Jets simply must-have before the start of a brutal stretch in their schedule.

New York Jets Defensive Film Breakdown: Week 2

Chris Gross breaks down the defensive game film from the Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

If you missed our first edition of the New York Jets Defensive Film Breakdown, a season long series devoted to evaluating the play of everyone on the defense, with a focus on the defensive line, you can check that out here. For this week, we will look at what was a rather abysmal performance from a Revis-less New York Jets defense that allowed 27 points in Pittsburgh. While the run defense was much improved from week 1, allowing only 66 total yards on the ground to a stable of less than average Steelers backs, there is still much to improve on that would make this unit far more productive. As for the secondary, obviously losing the best defensive player in football is critical. However, that is not an excuse for the poor play of both Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson. All will be touched on throughout this piece, but for now, let’s start with this column’s priority, the defensive line.

Muhammad Wilkerson – Wilkerson remains very hot and cold in his play. On some plays, he looks to be the best run stopper this defense has had in years. He is extremely fast off the ball, while his reaction time is second to none. This past week, there were numerous plays where Wilkerson clearly got a pre-snap read on the offensive lineman lined up over him, as he seemingly knew exactly what block was coming at him on that particular play, whether it was a double team, down block, drive block, pull, or pass set. On one specific play, with Wilkerson lined up as the three technique over the guard, he read the pull, got in the guard’s hip pocket, screamed down the line, and made the tackle three yards in the backfield. Textbook technique and reaction time by the second year pro out of Temple.

Wilkerson also flashes tremendous awareness at times. With 5:58 seconds to go in the first half this past Sunday, Wilkerson altered his pass rush lane after he noticed Calvin Pace jump inside of him. Rather than continuing to work upfield on the inside of the tackle, Wilkerson kept his outside arm and shoulder free, while maintaining leverage with his inside arm. This prevented Roethlisberger from being able to scramble out of the pocket, where he had would have had room to run for an easy first down. Unfortunately, this play resulted in a first down completion, but only because Pace once again struggled to close the gap on the Quarterback. An outside linebacker with any type of relative game speed would have come up with a sack in the pocket, which would have been a direct result of Wilkerson’s heads up play.

While Wilkerson certainly did a lot of good, as demonstrated by the praise above, he still has miles to go before he can be considered elite, particularly in the run game. Similar to week one, Wilkerson once again displayed a poor habit of peeking his head into another gap, causing a massive running lane to open. This past Sunday, these instances led to medium gains of 10-12 yards, but against a back like Reggie Bush, who the Jets will see this upcoming week in Miami, mistakes like this will surely lead to big gains, and possibly touchdowns, as displayed by the long runs of CJ Spiller in week 1.

As you can see below, Wilkerson begins this particular play in the opening quarter in excellent position. He maintains good leverage on the left tackle, while controlling his gap, ready to make a play if the ball comes to him, with Bart Scott sitting behind him, reading which gap the back will choose.

If Wilkerson stays home, Redman would be forced to run to the inside of the tackle. Bart Scott, reading the back, is patiently waiting to see which direction he will choose, ready to react and stop the play from either side.

However, as displayed below, once Redman steps to the inside, Wilkerson cheats and peeks his head that way, placing himself and Scott in the same gap, while leaving his unattended, resulting in a massive lane being opened, and a 13 yard gain, one that would have been much greater if facing a back with home run speed.

What should have been a gain of 1-2 yards, results in a gain of 13 and a Pittsburgh 1st down. Wilkerson cannot continue to make mistakes like this, particularly this week when facing Miami and Reggie Bush, who would have likely turned this play into a touchdown.

Marcus Dixon – Unfortunately, Wilkerson is not the only defensive lineman to practice this poor habit. Marcus Dixon was also very guilty of making the exact same mistake on Pittsburgh’s first touchdown drive. In the second quarter, with the ball at the Jets’ 13 yard line, the Jets had the opportunity to hold Pittsburgh to a field goal by stopping them in the red zone, heading into the half. However, on 1st and 10, the Steelers ran for a seven yard gain, setting up a nice 2nd and 3 from the six yard line, eventually leading to the Heath Miller touchdown. How did this happen? Take a look.

Here, just about everyone in the front seven, other than Dixon, is maintaining perfect gap leverage. However, Dixon is clearly struggling to maintain his ground. Instead of continuing to fight to his outside and hold his gap, he takes the easy route by ducking inside, in an attempt to get a cheap tackle. This opens up yet another massive running lane, leading to the seven yard gain that led to a Pittsburgh touchdown.

The closest person to making the play here is Yeremiah Bell, who, at this point, is about 12-13 yards away from the ball carrier.

Dixon remained very unimpressive in this contest. He more often then not gets knocked off the line of scrimmage, causing problems for the linebackers and creating large running lanes. Dixon has been caught out of position numerous times in the first two games, something that, if not fixed, will certainly begin to cost him playing time.

Kenrick Ellis – To me, Ellis was the most impressive defensive lineman on the field this past Sunday. He plays with unbelievable leverage, something that, when combined with his fantastic size and strength, makes him virtually immovable. Ellis proved to be technically sound, explosive, quick, and relentless. Expect him to begin to see more and more playing time as the season unfolds. A solid two man rotation at the nose tackle position could be a very dangerous weapon for this defense.

Garrett McIntyre – McIntyre, the man of the hour, delivering two sacks and a tackle for loss in his debut as a starter, certainly surprised a lot of people by his performance in Pittsburgh this past Sunday. However, take caution when anointing him the next leader of the New York Sack Exchange. Yes, McIntyre played very hard, and was certainly thrown to the wolves by having to face a Ben Roethlisberger led offense in his very first career start, but when observing the film, McIntyre hardly did anything spectacular.

His first sack was a direct result of a well designed, well timed line stunt. The Jets ran a loop with Quinton Coples, who was lined up on the interior of the defensive line. What this means is that Coples drove up field extremely hard for two steps, fooling the offensive line into thinking he was taking his normal pass rush lane, just before he bailed out to loop around to the end of the line to occupy the outside rush line. Meanwhile, McIntyre was sent like a bullet direct inside at Steelers Center Mike Pouncey, who never saw him coming as he was paying attention solely to Coples on the play. As a result, McIntyre ran Pouncey over from his blind side, and had a clear shot at Roethlisberger in the pocket. While McIntyre certainly deserves credit for coming in so aggressively, this sack was a direct result of Rex Ryan’s defensive genius and the respect commanded by Coples. Still, a sack nonetheless.

On McIntyre’s tackle for loss in the second half, he came off the edge completely unblocked and made the tackle on the back about 2-3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. To his credit, he made the offense pay for not accounting for him. However, it is not very difficult to make plays when not a single person lays a finger on you.

McIntyre’s second sack was his most impressive play of the game. He came upfield very hard on the left tackle, gaining leverage on the edge, and split the attempted chip by the back, taking him right to Roethlisberger for the takedown.

As far as coverage goes, McIntyre is a complete liability. On more than one occasion, he can be found running around in coverage like a chicken with his head cut off. He even warranted an unpleasant reaction from Kyle Wilson on one play early in the first quarter.

Based on his performance, McIntyre should not be a full time starter, however, his effort level lead to the majority of his execution. That alone, should continue to earn him some limited reps, with the hope that he continues to grow and develop into a decent contributor.

Quinton Coples – It remains a mystery as to why Coples is seeing such limited action. For a team that clearly has pass rush issues, one would think that this team would be eager to get one of their most athletic players in the game to get after the Quarterback. In this particular contest, Coples saw a fair amount of his reps on the interior, where he was a clear mismatch to the center and guards due to his superior athleticism. In order to establish a respectable pass rush, New York needs to get their first round selection on the field more.

Calvin Pace – Pace continues to be the most technically sound, disciplined player on the Jets defensive line. The veteran OLB/DE plays very, very tough, and is arguably the most consistent player the Jets have up front. However, his problem remains the same, and was displayed yet again this past week in Pittsburgh, in that he is just a step too slow at this point in his career. With his form and tenacity, if Pace had the speed and explosiveness of a 25 year old, there is a good chance he would be playing in a pro bowl due to how well he fits within the Jets’ defensive scheme. Expect him to remain solid, but not extraordinary, for the remainder of the season.

Mike DeVito – DeVito remains as one of the best run stoppers on this team, and arguably in the entire division. Time and time again this past week DeVito displayed that, although he will never jump off the stat sheet at anyone, he rarely gets caught out of position, or beaten by his opponent. He is certainly a fundamental piece up front, and his presence is surely missed when he is spelled by Marcus Dixon.

Sione Pouha – Pouha looked decent in his first start back from injury. He was very solid, as he has been in the past. He remains very strong as the anchor for the Jets in the middle of the defensive line, and his experience and knowledge of the game is very noticeable on film.  He commanded several double teams, which is certainly something to be said about a player who has been troubled by back issues. Pouha and Ellis together should give everyone else on this defensive line the ability to become playmakers due to the large amount of double teams they both command.

Aaron Maybin – Maybin was virtually non-existent yet again. He continues to show poor body control, as he repeatedly will fly upfield with no regard for where the pocket or Quarterback is. It seems as if the league may be catching onto his tactics, as the tackles in Pittsburgh, like Buffalo, used his own momentum to ride him past the Quarterback on his pass rushes. Maybin needs to display an expanded arsenal of pass rush moves and a much greater sense of awareness if he plans on building on his fairly strong 2011.

The Linebackers – David Harris was extremely solid, and remains a fundamental cornerstone of this defense. What really jumped off the tape was the athleticism and explosiveness displayed by Bart Scott. Scott was extremely impressive last week, particularly against the run. He is so fast in his reads and reaction time that his first two steps make up for whatever straight ahead speed he may have lost at this point in his career. He undoubtedly looks to be back to the Bart Scott of old.

The Secondary – The play of the Safeties was generally average and similar to week 1. Both Bell and Landry remain solid against the run, while both are still seemingly trying to get comfortable in coverage. Each of them were caught trailing the Tight Ends a few times, and Landry even came up with a couple of personal fouls.

Bell seems to play much more poised than Landry, who find himself out of control at times. He had more than one clear shot at Roethlishberger for a sack, on well designed blitzes, however, like Maybin, he came in so fast and uncontrollable, that Roethlisberger was able to easily avoid him in the pocket.

The Cornerbacks obviously took a serious hit this week, losing Darrelle Revis to injury. However, that is no excuse for how Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson played.

Cromartie in particular, displayed no ability to finish a play. Numerous times, he started out great in coverage, but would lose the receiver he was matched up on by the end of the play, as displayed by the Mike Wallace touchdown. It is quite embarrassing that an inability to finish is a critique of a veteran like Cromartie. He is much better than how he played this past Sunday, and must start playing to his potential for this defense to succeed.

Kyle Wilson, on the other hand, was no match for Antonio Brown. The Steelers went after Wilson, and rightfully so, as they knew Brown held the clear advantage in the match up. To me, Wilson is seemingly a much better zone coverage corner, than he is man coverage corner. Perhaps it is a confidence issue because one would think a former first round selection would be able to match up, athletically, with someone like Brown, a former sixth round pick.

So, the obvious question that remains from Sunday is the same one that has been prevalent since Rex Ryan took over in New York – Where was the four man pass rush? Once again, the Jets relied on scheme to get pressure on the Quarterback. Well, at least for this week, the Jets’ four man rush was schemed against to perfection by Pittsburgh. The Steelers knew that Garret McIntyre would be seeing the majority of reps filling in for Bryan Thomas, and drew their protection around this perfectly.

Most of the time, when the Jets rushed four, Pittsburgh kept an tight end or back in to help in pass pro. This resulted in the following:

By leaving in an extra blocker, Pittsburgh allowed themselves to set up two mismatches. At the right of the screen, you can see a 3 on 2 matchup with a guard, tackle, and tight end on Ellis and Wilkerson. In the middle, the center and right guard are assigned to doubling DeVito, leaving the right tackle on an island with Garrett McIntyre, a matchup they were willing to take all day. While McIntyre finished with two sacks, only one came on a straight four man rush. Pittsburgh was smart to play these odds, as they clearly paid off, displayed by the Jets lack of pass rush with a four man front.

There is certainly much to be excited about when it comes to the Jets defense. It is still extremely early in the season, and most of the issues discussed above should be ironed out as the year progresses. However, make no mistake, this defense is far from dominant. The potential is there, but there is an abundance of things that need to be worked on before reaching it.

New York Jets Week 3 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Dolphins

Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 3 match-up against the Miami Dolphins

Before we get into early thoughts on the New York Jets week 3 match-up with the Miami Dolphins, we want to offer a congratulations to Mike O’Connor who won our New York Jets mini-helmet giveaway from Gameday Goods. Get your Jets Gear at Gameday Goods and remember to enter in promo code “TurnOnTheJets” at checkout to save 10% on all purchases. 

If you are heading out to watch Thursday Night Football tomorrow or to the bar on Sunday for Jets/Dolphins. Make sure to take advantage of our partnership with Night Out who is hooking you up with this great deal at Traffic in New York City

1. This is an absolute must win for the Jets. An overstatement? Not with the best two teams in the NFL traveling to MetLife the following two weeks and a trip to New England only 4 weeks away. You cannot lose a division game to a rookie quarterback who has a number one receiver named Brian Hartline, period.

2. Reggie Bush is the only player capable on the Miami offense of giving the Jets defense a major problem. They struggle with speedy backs who are threats catching the football. Bush has been rejuvenated to his USC self since coming to the Dolphins and the Jets focus must be on building an early lead and keeping him contained. Unless Bush has a monster day, which is he capable of, this game shouldn’t be very close.

3. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve had just about enough of Shonn Greene as this team’s primary ball carrier. Simply put, I do not think he is good enough to merit 20-25 carries per game. Yes, I think he has value in the 4th quarter when defenses are worn down but his complete inability to break tackles, make people miss and contribute in the passing game means he must see less playing time. I am for more playing time for Tim Tebow because of Greene’s shortcomings, not Mark Sanchez’s. Bilal Powell played well last week and Joe McKnight looked good on his only carry. It is time for 14 carries for Greene, 10 for Powell, 8 for Tebow and 5 McKnight. Spread it around. Greene doesn’t merit that many touches.

4. Miami is solid in the front seven but borderline awful in the secondary. The Jets need to test them down the field with Santonio Holmes (let’s hope his head is on straight), Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. I wouldn’t sleep on a bomb to Clyde Gates either. He saw a good amount of playing time this past week and Sanchez has a history of completing long passes to irrelevant receivers against the Dolphins.

5. Paging Aaron Maybin. Paging Quinton Coples. Bueller? Bueller?

6. It is sounding like Darrelle Revis could be a game time decision. Obviously you want him 100% healthy for San Francisco and Houston and Miami lacks any major threats in the passing game but simply put, this defense is nowhere near the same without him.

New York Jets – The Sabotage Of Mark Sanchez

Writing against the Mark Sanchez sabotage campaign. When will the New York Jets support their quarterback?

It is no secret the New York Jets haven’t done an adequate job of developing Mark Sanchez since spending a first round pick on him in the 2009 NFL Draft. They certainly did not make a strong effort to upgrade his supporting cast heading into a critical year for his development. A week 1 point explosion against a suspect Buffalo defense temporarily shelved the debate but a disappointing loss to perennial AFC Powerhouse, Pittsburgh has the media hounds and their sources looking pin singular blame on Sanchez and reignite a non-existent quarterback debate.

The Daily News‘ Manish Mehta, he of ever diminishing credibility, published a nearly 700 word story today pinning the Jets loss to Pittsburgh on a single play. A missed throw by Mark Sanchez in the 2nd quarter. This is a play we discussed in our film and Sanchez breakdown over the past two days and yes it was a missed throw by Sanchez on a well-designed play. Yet, to spin 700 words that make Tony Sparano look like Bill Walsh and Santonio Holmes look like Jerry Rice is exceptionally excessive. It is meant to fault the loss on a single player and of course drum up that non-existent quarterback controversy. The tone of the article puts me in agreement with the thought process that there is someone within organization pulling for a Sanchez failure and a Tebow ascension.

Let’s not lose perspective of the following. On the road, against one of the league’s best teams, Mark Sanchez was supported by an underachieving number one receiver giving a lackadazical effort, a practice squad caliber tight end, a rookie number two receiver, and one of the league’s five worst starting running backs. Did he play well enough? No. But if you want to go play specific, you can equally pin the game on Jeff Cumberland for missing a block that would have sprung Bilal Powell for a touchdown. Or how about Antonio Cromartie looked completely clueless on Mike Wallace’s touchdown? Maybe Jeremy Kerley muffing a punt? Or Shonn Greene being unable to make a safety miss as he went untouched for 9 yards through the Pittsburgh defense on what should have been a big play?

Don’t fall for the mainstream media okie-doke. Don’t fall for the quarterback controversy agenda.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Jets/Steelers Review Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch reviews Jets/Steelers. Who is he buying and selling?

For about 28 minutes of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh, I felt really good about the Jets chances of winning. Then little chinks in the armor started to show up. A few missed tackles here, a 3 and out there, and then slowly but surely, those little chinks turned into gaping holes. Before you knew it the game was spiraling out of control. The team couldn’t do anything on third down on either side of the ball, Sanchez looked like a different player after clearly (and illegally) getting his bell rung by Lawrence Timmons in the 2nd quarter, the defense forgot how to tackle, and the absence of Darrelle Revis was clearly felt. Oh yeah, and my boy Shonn Greene couldn’t get anything going on the ground. Let’s start with that..

SELL: The Run Blocking – Yes, the Steelers have a stout run defense, but this run blocking issue has clearly carried over from last season, and the main issue has been the guards. Matt Slauson is a tough dude and a hard-worker, but he’s just not that talented. He’s an average player, and the coaches clearly feel as though he isn’t helping much in the run game, because in the 2nd half he rotated series with Vlad Ducasse, whom the coaches clearly feel can help in that area. Whether or not that actually happens is another story.

On the other side, Brandon Moore’s play in the run game has been in a steady decline since late in 2010 when he was banged up and needed surgery on his hip following the season. He’s still an elite pass protector, but he doesn’t provide the same push that he used to. When you couple that with the fact we still have ZERO capable blocking tight ends for SOME REASON (Tannenbaum, it’s not too late to read my letter to you), and wide receivers who can’t get open, you can see there are extra defenders in the box and why the run game is struggling. Plenty of Jets fans want to point the finger at Shonn Greene, and he’s far from perfect, but this is not just on him. In fact…

HOLD: The Run Game – Not buying or selling, despite the early mediocre results. Let’s see what this run game gets going this week in Miami before writing them off. The following two games against the 49ers and Texans are going to be tough sledding, so if the run game is ever going to get off the ground, we need to see them take advantage of a terrible Miami team. Hopefully they can get a lead, the defense can put them in good position to score, and the running backs can pound away on a Dolphins defense that leaves much to be desired. It seems as though this rush offense — and Greene in particular — get off to slow starts every year, before putting it in gear when the weather starts changing. Does that excuse the lack of production so far? No, but let’s give them a chance to get it together.

Bilal Powell looked pretty good in limited action, and you have to think Tebow and the wildcat will become more involved as well. Personally, I’d like to see Joe McKnight given the ball 5 or 6 times a game and see what he can do, since he’s our only game-breaking threat. There’s no reason he can’t be out there and used in a myriad of ways. Especially since the WR’s are struggling, which brings me to…

SELL: Mark Sanchez’s “Weapons” – Sunday was a very disappointing performance from Santonio Holmes, who was more interested in tricking the referees into throwing their flags than actually, you know, catching the passes. Stephen Hill had 0 catches, but days like that are expected from a rookie 2nd round pick with limited experience. Jeremy Kerley is a solid but unspectacular player, and Dustin Keller is injured, so where is the production supposed to be coming from? There are simply no reliable weapons for Mark Sanchez to throw the ball to, and it is killing the offense. Jeff Cumberland is useless, as is Chaz Schilens. Again, there is no reason Joe McKnight can’t be out there as a jack-of-all-trades kind of player, especially with Keller out and the WR’s struggling. Why can’t he be used like the Saints use Darren Sproles? I know he’s not as good and has his issues (fumbling, staying healthy), but it would be nice to have a player out there who could actually break a play here and there.

SELL: The Pass Rush – I said before the game that if the defense didn’t dismantle the Steelers downright crappy offensive line, I’d start to be worried. Well, they consistently got a good push against the run (more on this later), but the pass rush was pretty non-existent. Quinton Coples and Aaron Maybin hardly played, which is kind of surprising since they’re probably our two best pass rushers. Calvin Pace stinks, Po’uha and DeVito don’t offer much of a rush, so Mo Wilkerson was the only one applying pressure. I know Garrett McIntyre chipped in two sacks, but I think him leading the team in sacks is a negative rather than a good thing. I think it’s time for Rex to throw Coples into the fire and see what the kid can do, because we can’t just rely on blitzing linebackers and safeties all the time, especially since when they get near the quarterback they miss the tackle anyway.

BUY: The Run Defense – It wasn’t all bad on defense on Sunday. The Jets run D showed that week 1 was more of an aberration than anything, and they’re still very stout against the run. The return of Sione Po’uha was a welcome site, as he commanded double teams all day and allowed others to make plays. Wilkerson made several plays at — or behind — the line of scrimmage and looked good. Mike DeVito was his usual stout self, and Kenrick Ellis also played really well. What scares me, though, is that the Steelers don’t have any speedy backs, which is where the Jets really struggle. You know, guys like CJ Spiller or Reggie Bush, who the team has to face this week, for example. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas move around like my dad getting off the couch out on the field so they have trouble getting outside, and while Garrett McIntyre had a good week, he has problems setting the edge at times and nobody will ever confuse him with Usain Bolt, that’s for sure. So while the run defense looked great, and I still think they’re an elite unit, let’s see how they handle Reggie Bush this week before we get too excited over their play.