New York Jets Looking To Regain Reputation

TJ Rosenthal on how the New York Jets can regain a part of their reputation with a win this week

The last time the New York Jets visited Heinz Field they were a game away from the Super Bowl. They were also a respected team that was viewed by many as worthy of an AFC title. On Sunday Gang Green will look to recapture that reputation as a dangerous football team. One that left there the moment they walked off after a devastating 24-19 loss in the conference championship on January 23, 2011.

Since then, the Jets have endured the crash of an 8-8 season and the two year long exit of an offensive coordinator and key pieces to the early Ryan era clubs such as Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith. The team has also in that time, ushered in the idea of a more humbled media approach. This along with the high profile additions of Tim Tebow, and a host of youth and athleticism at various positions.

This Sunday’s game against the Steelers doesn’t carry along with it the same sky high stakes as the AFC championship did. What it CAN provide for the Jets though, is a bridge between THOSE Jets and these new ones. A game where a solid performance could result in the Jets once again being perceived as a viable threat in the AFC for the first time since that crushing defeat sent Mike Tomlin’s squad not Rex Ryan’s, off to face the Packers.

Prior to last Sunday’s surprising 48-28 win over the Bills, the 2012 Jets were labeled as a clown car steeped in problems on offense and mired in sideshow controversies. With more potential chemistry issues like the ones they suffered in 2011perhaps on the way.

A trip to Heinz field, a possible hornets nest given the Steelers 0-1 start and the Steel city’s passion for it’s team, might look like a disaster waiting to happen for the Jets on paper. Even despite Gang Green’s impressive week output against the Bills. Especially when factoring in the health concerns of Darrelle Revis and the return of James Harrison to to the lineup.

Can Ryan and Co. pick up on the theme of Heinz being the last place that the Jets were taken seriously as a football team? A win in week two would go a long way towards putting to rest the ghosts of 2011.

New York Jets Week 2 – Film Room Thoughts On Steelers

After breaking down week 1 film, thoughts on the Jets/Steelers match-up

A couple of quick thoughts after watching Steelers/Broncos on the All-22 tape and re-watching Jets/Bills

– The Blitz Beater – We talked earlier in the week about how Emmanuel Sanders and Heath Miller could hurt the Jets in this match-up. Their ability to hurt them goes beyond potential coverage issues with Kyle Wilson, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell. Ben Roethlisberger loves to use both players and particularly Miller as blitz beaters whenever opposing defenses aggressively come after him. Here is a first quarter 13 yard completion to Sanders. See how Roethlisberger and Sanders recognize the blitz pre-snap and he quickly delivers the ball down the seam to an open Sanders in the slot at the bottom of the screen –

Later in the game the Steelers convert a similar play for a 15 yard gain to Miller. After recognizing the blitz, Miller releases and turns to the outside, wide open, Roethlisberger quickly gets the ball out so Miller has space to run and pick up a big chunk of yardage.

Rex Ryan must do a good job of disguising his blitzes and the Jets linebackers and safeties need to quickly cover ground when left exposed in man coverage.

– Keenan Lewis – Keenan Lewis is the Steelers starting cornerback opposite Ike Taylor. The Jets would be wise to attack him early and often, particularly if he gets matched up with Santonio Holmes. Last week Lewis frequently found himself on Eric Decker, who plays the same position that Holmes plays in the Jets offense. Peyton Manning took advantage of the exceptionally large cushion Lewis was playing with in the two plays below, which went for 13 yards and 17 yards respectively. In the first play Decker and Lewis are at the bottom of the screen and on the second play, they are at the top –

– Back To The Well – We detailed here how the Jets took advantage of the wide receiver screen last week. They would be wise to keep it in the game plan after how Pittsburgh defended this 71 yard touchdown by Demaryius Thomas. Again, Peyton Manning took advantage of an excessive cushion and safety Ryan Mundy looks clueless on this play. It should be noted however that Ryan Clark will be back in the lineup instead of Mundy and it is doubtful the Steelers corners will consistently play with such a deep cushion against Mark Sanchez.

 

New York Jets Fact Or False: Week 2 Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False previews the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

The New York Jets are coming off what is arguably their most impressive victory since defeating New England in the 2010 playoffs. The week 1 effort against Buffalo revealed a team that was clicking on all cylinders, recording touchdowns through all three phases of the game in route to a record setting opening day points total. That being said, the Jets face a daunting task heading into week 2 where they will travel to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who are fresh off of an opening day loss to Peyton Manning and the newly revamped Denver Broncos. Will the Jets offense be able to duplicate the success it had it week 1? And will the defense be able to shut down Ben Roethlisberger and his surplus of offensive weapons? This week’s New York Jets Fact Or False examines these issues, and more.

Mark Sanchez and the Offensive Line will be on their toes all game. Fact. While the Offensive Line did an excellent job last week in preventing Quarterback Mark Sanchez from getting sacked against a superbly talented Buffalo pass rush, Pittsburgh will be an entirely different animal this week. Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau is one of the most experienced and creative defensive minds in all of football who is notorious for developing creative and aggressive blitz packages to make preparation an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses.

Last week against Denver, when lined up in a normal defensive formation –any formation other than goal line, special teams, two point conversions- Pittsburgh blitzed 48% of the time (24/50 total plays). Of those blitzes, 13 came from the interior, while 11 were sent off the edge, all on a variety of downs. What this means is that LeBeau and the defensive staff are very good at not revealing any tendencies. It is extremely difficult to predict when and where the blitz will be coming from, therefore the pass protection for New York must be alert and ready to go on every offensive snap. In a game that both teams will be very defensively active, one lapse in pass protection could end up being the play that determines the game.

Sanchez will go another game without being sacked. False. Although the fact that Sanchez was not sacked once in the season opener is an extremely encouraging sign for the Jets offensive line, it is extremely rare to go duplicate that success in consecutive games, particularly against a blitz happy team like Pittsburgh. LeBeau and his staff will certainly get far more creative with their blitz packages than Dave Wannstedt was last week.

One of the reasons Sanchez was so successful against Buffalo was because of how comfortable he was in the pocket. You can be certain that LeBeau took notice of this and will do everything he can to keep him from regaining a similar level of comfort. Expect him to mix it up with blitz packages all game, and to really test Jets Right Tackle Austin Howard who will be making only his second career start. Sanchez will need to be elusive and remain poised on every offensive possession.

The Jets will look to get their Wide Receivers the ball in space. Fact. Last week, Peyton Manning did an excellent job of getting the ball to his receivers in space to allow them to make plays after the catch. The most notable example was the 71-yard touchdown from Demaryius Thomas on a simple, short out route, in which Thomas made multiple players on the Steelers defense miss after the catch on his way to the end zone. Expect the Jets to try and replicate plays like this. Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, and Jeremy Kerley all have excellent run after the catch ability, so expect Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano to try and find holes in Pittsburgh’s defense that will allow his receivers to make some plays in space. As we have seen in the past, and particularly last week with Hill and Kerley, anyone of these players has the ability to break off a big gain on any particular play. It will be very interesting, again, to see what kind of game plan Sparano draws up.

Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace are the extent of the Jets defensive worries. False. While Brown and Wallace are certainly two of the most dangerous offensive weapons, not only in Pittsburgh, but in the entire NFL, Roethlisberger and Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley like to share the wealth. Last week, Roethlisberger targeted Brown and Wallace a combined 14 times, while targeting Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders and Tight End Heath Miller a combined 15 times. Roethlisberger also completed passes to 8 different targets throughout the course of the game. While defending Brown and Wallace will be imperative to this game, the Jets cannot afford to ignore the rest of Pittsburgh’s offensive weapons. Sanders in particular could cause serious problems for New York if he isn’t defended properly. He is an excellent slot receiver with great speed and elusiveness, and does an excellent job of running routes and finding holes in coverage. The Jets will need to click on all cylinders in coverage this week.

Ben Roethlisberger will try to get the ball to Heath Miller as much as possible. Fact. Roethlisberger has an undying faith in his Tight End, Heath Miller, and it showed last week in Denver, particularly on “and goal” situations. Roethlisberger repeatedly looked to Miller inside the ten yard line, often attempting to force the ball to him. On one particular play early in the game, Roethlisberger had Wide Receiver Antonio Brown open in the end zone on a post route, but never looked his way as he was locked in on Miler the entire way, leading to a bad decision, and incomplete pass. Roethlisberger eventually found Miller later in the game for a 4-yard touchdown.

It will be imperative that the Jets safeties and linebackers play well in coverage this week. With how much Roethlisberger will look to get the ball to the trustworthy Tight End, especially close to the endzone, the slightest slip up in coverage on Miller will undoubtedly hurt this defense.

The Jets will register multiple sacks on Ben Roethlisberger. Fact. Although the Jets did not register a sack in week 1, expect them to exploit some weaknesses in Pittsburgh’s offensive line. The Right Tackle position for the Steelers was attacked mightily by Denver last week, as Marcus Gilbert fills in for the injured rookie Mike Adams. Denver went after Gilbert and it showed in a very big way as they registered 5 sacks and 9 Quarterback Hits as a team, including 2 sacks from Von Miller who put on a clinic against Gilbert. Like LeBeau, Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine will get very creative with their blitz packages, and will look to exploit the weakness at Right Tackle. Expect to see multiple looks consisting of Quinton Coples, Muhammed Wilkerson, and Aaron Maybin lined up over Gilbert, with countless blitzes mixed in. For anyone who is a major proponent of defensive creativity, this game should be extremely fun to watch from both sides.

TOJ THURSDAY NIGHT STAFF PICKS

  • Joe Caporoso – Green Bay (-5)
  • Chris Gross – Chicago (+5)
  • Mike Donnelly – Chicago (+5)
  • TJ Rosenthal – Chicago (+5)
  • Rob Celletti – Green Bay (-5)
  • Chris Celletti – Green Bay (-5)

Turn On The Jets Week 2 Fantasy Football Preview

Mike Donnelly with his week 2 Fantasy Football preview

Week 1 of fantasy football is in the books, and chances are you either won big and think your team is headed for the championship, or you took a beating and already have your sights set on the 2013 season (also known as Drew From Jersey Syndrom). Whichever side of the fence you may be on heading into week 2, my advice is to not get carried away. Don’t let one week of action affect your judgment too much when it comes to your players. In fact, the next week or two are the perfect time to take advantage of that sap owner in your league who does just that.

For example, if you have someone like Alfred Morris on your team, now would be the perfect time to talk him up to your competition and then pawn him off on a running back-needy team (we’ll get to him later). It’s just the way it works: If a guy performed well, you think you have a superstar on your hands. If you’re first round pick played poorly, then you hate him and already want to send him into exile (and I do hate you very, very much, Chris Johnson). So who are the guys you should be targeting after a slow start? Who are the guys you should be selling high on? Glad you asked…

(I also suggest checking out my Pre-Season Fantasy Draft Column, which still has some relevant information about which players are due for declines, and which you may want to target. Just skip past that part where I recommend not drafting Adrian Peterson.)

Buy Low Before It’s Too Late

QB: Matt Ryan – I tried to tell you Ryan was poised to join the big boys this year as the Falcons move to an up-temp passing attack, so I hope some of you listened. He has three legit targets in Jones, White, and Gonzo, and an emerging pass-catching back in Jacquizz Rodgers. He had a huge week 1, so this could be tough, but if you treat him as a top 5 QB while the guy who has him doesn’t, you can still nab your stud QB.

QB: Mark Sanchez – Am I a homer? Perhaps. He’s not going to dominate all year like he did in week 1, but after a few rough games coming up (Pitt, SF, Houston), the schedule is littered with defenses he can absolutely exploit. I’m not saying pick him up as your starter, but if you don’t have an elite QB, playing the weekly matchups with Sanchez and one or two others is the way to go.

RB: Jacquizz Rodgers – I love Jacquizz. Michael Turner is being phased out of the Falcons offense, and Rodgers is going to see more and more time. If you’re in a PPR league, don’t wait any longer — Go get Jacquizz.

RB: Shonn Greene – Like Sanchez, Greene has some tough games coming up, but now many other backs are there that are pretty much guaranteed 20 touches per game? If he’s owned by someone who doesn’t believe in the Jets offense, you can still nab him and have your RB2 in the bag.

RB: Mikel Leshoure – Kevin Smith is 100% likely to get injured in the coming weeks. Not 50% or 75% or 99.9%. It’s 100%. When that happens, the Lions are going to lean totally on their 2nd round pick from a year ago to carry the load. Hell, even if Smith is healthy, Leshoure will get the goalline carries, and with that passing attack, will have plenty of running lanes.

RB: Trent Richardson – After watching T-Rich stumble his way to 2.1 yards per carry in the opener, while Brandon Weeden showed himself to be the worst quarterback to start a season since… well… ever, the Richardson owner in your league may already be ready to cut the cord. He (or she) won’t trade him to you for peanuts, but if you value him as a top 20 RB while they’re already discouraged, a deal can be arranged.

RB: Knowshon Moreno – Just a hunch, but I don’t see Willis McGahee lasting through the season. Take a flyer on Knowshon.

WR: Julio Jones – I was scoffed at by many after ranking Jones as my #2 WR heading into the season, but who’s laughing now?! (Ok, done patting myself on the back). This won’t be easy after Julio’s 2 TD performance on opening day, but if the Julio owner in your league only values him as a top 5 or 10 WR unlikely to keep this up, you can make your move. Think of him more like you would Calvin Johnson (yes, Julio can be that good this year) and organize your trade as such. Trust me.

WR: Antonio Brown – The results may not have totally been there in week 1, but we saw all the signs for a breakout season going forward. Big Ben targeted Brown a ton, including several attempts in the end zone. He’s clearly their #1 WR in Pittsburgh, and he’s PPR gold.

WR: Braylon Edwards – More of a deep sleeper option, but Braylon is moving up the Seattle depth chart and is going to get plenty of looks. Could be a very solid WR3 for you.

TE: Kyle Rudolph – He’s most likely on a team in your league, but if he’s a free agent, go and get him. If someone has him, value him as a top 10-12 TE and make your offer. There’s a good chance his owner in your league doesn’t think of him so highly.

Sell Now Before You Have Enron On Your hands

QB: Robert Griffin III – (Ducks) Ok, no need to throw things. I know full well what RG3 did this week, but all I’m saying is it’s not going to be that easy every week. There’s a good chance you or I could get out there and throw for 200 and 2 TD’s against the Saints. If RG3 is your backup and you can pawn him off on someone who saw his week 1 performance and considers him a top 8 or 10 QB, make the move. That’s all. (Please note, this doesn’t apply for keeper or dynasty leagues. If you are in one of those and consider trading him, please get your head examined before rejoining society. Thanks)

QB: Cam Newton – Again, I’m not saying Cam is bad or going to be a bust. He’s going to be quite good. But if you can send him away for top 5 QB value, you should look into it. I think he’s going to end the season as a fringe QB1, in the 9-11 overall range. The Panthers are going to be more competitive this year, so that will eliminate lots of the garbage time stats. Plus, they’re trying to limit his rushing attempts.

RB: Marshawn Lynch – Another guy I was very down on heading into the season, and he didn’t do much to change my opinion in week 1. His value is down, but I’d still suggest trying to move him. You won’t get his pre-draft value in return, but that’s ok because in a few weeks you won’t be getting top 20 RB value for him.

RB: Alfred Morris – If you have Alfred Morris, congratulations on picking the right Redskins RB for week 1. Unfortunately, there is no telling what week Mike “the Fantasy Football Hater” Shanahan will sour on Morris and just decide on a whim to use someone else. Trust me, you want no part of the Redskins backfield. Trade Morris now, or pray he has a solid week 2 and do it then. His value will never be higher.

RB: Kevin Smith – See Mikel Leshoure section.

RB: Michael Turner – See Jacquizz Rodgers section.

WR: Roddy White – If you can trick someone into thinking White is still an elite WR option, then do it now. Like, right now. By the end of the season, White will be more of a WR2 than the top notch player you drafted him to be. It’s Julio’s show now in Hotlanta.

WR: Pierre Garcon – Like with RG3, Garcon won’t get to torch the Saints Swiss cheese defense every week. He’s a major injury risk (already hurt his foot), he’s inconsistent, and his value will never be higher. Send some feelers out asap for a trade.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald – Poor Larry Fitzgerald. John Skelton is/was absolutely awful, but at least he knew to just throw the ball up for Larry and he’ll catch a few. Now Skelton is out, and Kevin Kolb, who never learned the “throw to Larry” lesson takes over. There are few more depressing players to own in fantasy than Larry Fitzgerald. You watch all the boring Cardinals games screaming “THROW IT TO LARRY!!”, and then when they finally do its 17 feet over his head. Sigh.

WEEK 2 START AND SITS ONE-LINERS

(Here’s my Week 1 column, so you can see whether or not you want to take my advice. Sure I sold on Flacco and Peterson, but RG3 and Ridley? Boom!)

Play ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em

QB Andrew Luck vs. Minn – Vikings Pass D is terrible while Luck gets Collie and T.Y. Hilton back.

QB Jay Cutler vs. GB – The aforementioned Green Bay defense makes Cutler a top-8 option this week

RB Stevan Ridley vs. Arz – Week 1 was no fluke; Ridley is the real deal.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Den – Look for Rodgers to play a role in this shootout.

WR James Jones vs. Chi – Greg Jennings is likely out, which means plenty of targets for Jones

WR Braylon Edwards vs. Dallas – Look for Dallas to clog up the run and give Braylon plenty of 1-on-1 opportunities.

WR Percy Harvin @ Ind – Percy is gonna go off in Indy; he’s a top 12 option.

TE Kyle Rudolph @ Ind – Harvin’s teammate is also going to go off in Indy, taking apart the middle of that Colts defense.

DEF NY Giants – Sure they didn’t look good in week 1, but they’re going to put a hurting on Josh Freeman and the Bucs.

Play ‘Em… if You Like Losing

QB Tony Romo @ Sea – Seattle is an awfully tough place to play. Wouldn’t recommend benching him, but don’t expect big results.

QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. NYJ – The Jets have perhaps the best pass defense in the NFL, and Ben is going to take an awful lot of hits behind that o-line.

RB Michael Turner vs. Den – The Falcons-Broncos game is likely to be a fast-paced shootout, and Michael Turner doesn’t factor into a game like that.

RB Marshawn Lynch vs. Dallas – Dallas will stack the line against Lynch, so he’s likely to struggle. Can you tell I’m down on Lynch this year??

WR Wes Welker vs Arz – Welker sure seems like he’s being phased out of the offense, and with a potential blowout on the horizon here, don’t expect him to play a major role.

WR Lance Moore @ Car – Quite simply, Lance Moore stinks when he plays outdoors.

TE Jacob Tamme @ Atl – A preseason favorite of many, I don’t think he’s going to put up the big numbers many expected.

DEF Baltimore Ravens – Just a hunch, but I could see the Eagles team speed giving Ray Lewis and the Ravens a ton of trouble.

Turn On The Jets Week 2 Roundtable – Jets/Steelers Match-Up

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to when Jets take on the Steelers

The Turn On The Jets staff breaks down what match-up they are most looking forward to this Sunday when the New York Jets travel to Pittsburgh. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter

Joe Caporoso – The match-up that will be the most fun to watch will be Darrelle Revis going against Antonio Brown. However, the one that will determine the game will be the Jets safeties on Heath Miller and Kyle Wilson on Emmanuel Sanders. The Jets will be fine on the outside and should be able to generate a pass rush against Pittsburgh. However, they cannot allow themselves to be torched down the middle of the field. Sanders has tremendous speed and Miller is one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL, both of them have potential to have monster days against a Jets nickel and two safeties who have questionable coverage at times.

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to seeing this week in Pittsburgh is how the Jets defensive front performs against the atrocious Steelers offensive line. After watching last week’s game against Denver, I had to check to see if the Steelers had secretly traded for Wayne Hunter and then somehow cloned him to play three different positions. They were that bad. We can expect to see the return of Sione Po’uha this week which will sure up the run defense, and then I’d like to see Quinton Coples, Mo Wilkerson, and Aaron Maybin tee off on Big Ben in 3rd and long situations. This is where the Jets can — and should — win the game.

TJ Rosenthal – The biggest matchup I can’t wait to see in all honesty is Heinz field and the reputation of the Steelers as a physically intimidating franchise against the new Jets. A team that may be able to protect a QB who may finally be figuring things out. With a defense that should Darrelle Revis be ok to play, can again act like a top five unit with ball hawking, game changing talents in the secondary. We were at that AFC championship loss two years back and can attest to what a home field advantage that game was for the Steelers. Let’s see the Jets stand tall in the face of that atmosphere.

Let’s watch Gang Green prove that last week was not just some motivated performance to prove the doubters wrong, coming against an overrated mediocre Bills team. That instead it was an improved  foundation for a franchise that so many wanted to prematurely bury only one week ago. Take this city and this team on. Smash ’em in the mouth. Knock ’em in the teeth. Don’t let em scare you. Play with no fear in Blitzburgh.

Chris Celletti – If there was one thing the Jets’ defense didn’t do in their Week 1 destruction of the Bills, it was sack the quarterback. Now, the Bills generally run short and quick passing plays, getting the ball out of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hand as soon as possible, so he’s not exactly the easiest quarterback to get to. But overall, this Jets defense still needs to prove that it can generate a good enough pass rush without having to send too many defensive backs or linebackers, and they should have a good opportunity to do so on Sunday against the Steelers, a team that has seemingly had offensive line problems for the past five years. I expect the Jets’ run defense to be solid as always and be able to contain the Steelers’ running back committee. But the Steelers have three very good wide receivers and a great tight end, and with Darrelle Revis questionable to play it would behoove the Jets to make life as miserable as possible for Ben Roethlisberger. Can Quinton Coples get his first career sack on Sunday? Will Muhammad Wilkerson show that he’s made the leap as a pass rusher? Them, and the rest of the Jets’ defensive front, should have a very good chance to make a mark.

Chris Gross – Jets Secondary vs. Pittsburgh Receiving Corps – While it remains to be seen whether or not Darrelle Revis will be cleared to play on Sunday, this will still be the most intriguing match up of the day. As a team last week, the Steelers hauled in 22 passes from Ben Roethlisberger who found 8 different receivers on the day. Conversely, the Jets defensive secondary was a nightmare for Buffalo Bills’ Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, intercepting the Harvard man three times within the first 40 minutes of play.

If Revis plays, it will be very interesting to see how Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine decide to split his reps between Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, two very productive receivers with big play ability. If Revis cannot go, it will be a very big challenge for both Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson to carry the workload. The Safety play will be vital as well, as Heath Miller is a favorite of Roethlisberger, who connected with his tight end 4 times for 50 yards and a touchdown last week in Denver. This will be one of many big challenges for Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry on the year, and is a great opportunity for them to prove that they have the ability to shut down opposing tight ends, something that has hurt the Jets defense tremendously as of late

Rob Celletti – Jets safeties and linebackers vs. Steelers RBs/TEs/slot receiversOne thing that’s certain about the Jets’ defense is the ability of its outside defenders. Sure, Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis might get beat once or twice for touchdowns this year, but that part of the field is about as well-covered as it can be in the pass-happy 2012 NFL. Where the Jets have struggled mightily for the last three seasons has been in the middle of the field, due to a variety of personnel shortcomings. Even though the week one whitewash of Buffalo is still wonderfully fresh in everyone’s mind, don’t forget that the Jets gave up huge chunks of yardage to C.J. Spiller once he relieved the injured Fred Jackson, and they were burned by Scott Chandler as well for a touchdown. The Steelers have the always-productive Heath Miller at tight end and won’t hesitate to run the ball despite the injury to Rashard Mendenhall.  Speed at linebacker and coverage ability at safety have been this team’s achilles heel since 2010, and how the Jets defend the middle of the field on Sunday will go a long way towards a second Jets W, as well as proving that these defensive issues have been addressed for the long haul.

 

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Around The NFL Week 1

Mike Donnelly with a special edition of the Stock Watch, focusing around the NFL after week 1

In case you missed my Jets Week 1 Stock Watch, you can read that here. Today I’m taking a look around the NFL and in familiar fashion will be buying and selling the comings and goings of a chaotic week 1. But since this column and site in general have a distinct Jets flavor to them, let’s start with the St. Louis Rams and their new genius offensive coordinator…

The Schotty Watch – I tweeted about this the other day, but it was wild how many people rushed to their keyboards to make some lame version of the same joke as the Jets struggled this preseason. You know, the “Ohh, Schotty must be loving watching the Jets not score down in St. Louis lol”, or “Yeah but Schotty was the problem, right?” garbage. So clever. What was even wilder is how those very people who made those knee-slapping quips hardly had anything to say when the Jets dropped 48 points on the Bills and looked sharper, more organized, and better prepared since, well, since before Schotty was the Jets offensive coordinator (Check out this breakdown of Sparano’s game plan). What’s even more curious is I haven’t seen anybody make mention of the fact that while the Jets were marching up and down the field on Sunday, the Rams offense sputtered and is currently the 31st ranked offense in the NFL, racking up a paltry 251 yards of total offense. I guess Schotty isn’t the one laughing so much anymore, huh? I am.

BUY: The Cutler to Marshall Connection – The Bears were my pre-season darling team to go from out of the playoffs to being a legit contender this year (believe it or not, I didn’t pick the Bills!). I know it was a popular pick, but the Bears could really make some noise this year. Jay Cutler looked like a new man out on the field Sunday as he got to throw pass after pass after pass to his favorite target from his Denver days in Brandon Marshall. Does this make me absolutely giddy as a Marshall fantasy owner? Yes, yes it does.

BUY: Adrian Peterson – Ohhh, that’s right. It’s Adrian Peterson and we shouldn’t have doubted him. Remind me not to make that mistake ever again.

BUY: Robert Griffin III and the Redskins – I’m not ready to anoint RG3 as a Hall of Famer already like some others, but that was quite an impressive debut. I fully expected Mike Shanahan to ruin this poor guy, but he looked spectacular. Unfortunately he won’t get to play the Saints laughable defense every week, but still.

BUY: Julio Jones – I couldn’t have been higher on Julio heading into this season, both in real life and fantasy football. I know I wasn’t alone in that camp, but last year when he was healthy, he was Matt Ryan’s favorite target, not Roddy White. Now that he’s in year 2, the sky is the limit.

BUY: Patriots Run Game – Just when it seemed like teams like the Jets may have started putting together the pieces to deal with the Patriots passing game, Belichick goes and changes his whole offense and incorporates a newfound running attack that absolutely tore up the Titans this week. Stevan Ridley to me is just a more talented and explosive version of Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and the Pats seem intent on riding him.

BUY: The 49ers – Wow, what a performance in Lambeau this week. They tore that Packers team apart in all phases of the game and quite frankly, exposed them in the process. Enough can’t be said about what a great coach Jim Harbaugh is, even if he appears to be a Grade-A lunatic.

SELL: The Packers and Saints defenses – All those years of people saying “Oh, well of course those defenses give up yards, their offenses are always so far ahead” look pretty silly right about now. It turns out their own offenses had nothing to do with it. Their defenses are just completely and utterly useless. Would it kill either of these teams to actually maybe cover someone? At one point in the Packers game, Aaron Rodgers threw an incomplete pass on 3rd down and had a look on his face like he knew they were about to be down by even more the next time he took the field. Hard to play with that kind of pressure.

SELL: Russell Wilson – I was on record as saying I didn’t understand all the Russell Wilson hype. I don’t know how it got started, I don’t know why it got started, but I sure hope it’s nearing the end of it’s run. Sure, he looked decent in the preseason against defenses that weren’t game-planning or preparing in any way, but when the lights turned on and the games counted, Wilson looked exactly like what he is: an undersized third round rookie quarterback on a bad team.

SELL: The Lions – My pick for team that stumbles form the playoffs to a 6-10 season, Detroit and their wackjob coach Jim Schwartz looked awful across the board on Sunday, as they almost lost to the Rams. The RAMS!

SELL: Drew Brees – I think the “Maybe that offense was more about Sean Payton than Drew Brees after all” whispers are going to start picking up soon. Drew Brees is the ultimate stat-padder late in games, so it may take a few weeks before people start to really realize there are problems with the Saints offense, but don’t be surprised when it happens.

New York Jets Defensive Film Breakdown: Week 1

Chris Gross breaks down the New York Jets defensive film against the Buffalo Bills

To complement our new series of offensive film breakdown from Joe Caporoso each week, this column will provide a similar insight into each week’s game from the other side of the ball. Each position will be evaluated, with a primary focus on the defensive line. For this week, let’s take a look at what the eye in the sky told us about the Jets’ week 1 defensive performance against Buffalo,and what needs to be improved upon heading into the coming weeks.

The New York Jets defensive play this past Sunday was, for the most part, a very impressive, and dominating performance. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was intercepted three times, once returned for a touchdown, all within the first 3 quarters of play. While there is certainly an abundance of reasons to be excited about the way the Jets played, defensively,there is still room for a vast amount of improvement. The ceiling for this defense is limitless, but in order to reach its’ full potential, improvements need to be made all across the board, particularly up front.

First, let’s look at each part of the defense, and evaluate based on position group. Since this series will have a primary focus on the defensive line, each player who received playing time will be evaluated individually,while the remaining defensive groups will be evaluated as a whole. We will then look at some of Buffalo’s most positive offensive plays and break down exactly what went wrong.

Defensive Line:

Muhammed Wilkerson – After a full film evaluation, there is little doubt that Buffalo game planned around the second year pro out of Temple. Wilkerson was accounted for on every single play, as he was double teamed on the majority of run plays, while the protection on passing plays was shifted to him, nearly 100% of the time. With Sione Pouha out, Buffalo recognized Wilkerson as the Jets best defensive lineman, and drew up a nice protection scheme to keep him in check, which is why he had a relatively quiet day. However, in the small sample of plays that Wilkerson saw one on one protection, he was a clear mismatch to whoever was attempting to block him, whether it was a tight end or tackle.

One particular flaw that Wilkerson displayed, however, was a tendency to peak his head inside when he was lined up outside of the tackle or tight end as the edge player. He needs to trust that his teammates will execute their assignments properly, and worry about his job on each particular play. Nothing too negative came out of this during Sunday’s game, but teams could take notice of this and attack the outside on Wilkerson, which would become a problem if this tendency persists. Still, it is obvious that Wilkerson is beginning to command respect from opposing offensive lines. The return of Pouha will likely lead to more double teams on him, and less on Wilkerson, allowing the talented defensive end to make more plays.

Quinton Coples – Coples looked very much like a rookie in his NFL debut. He did some things great, while making some mistakes that are a clear sign of inexperience. The best play he made all game was his tackle for loss on Bills running back CJ Spiller in the 2nd Quarter. Coples was lined up as a 5 technique on the outside shade of the tackle, who down blocked in an effort to get to the second level on Linebacker David Harris. Not only was Coples quick enough in his steps and reaction time to prevent the Tight End from getting down on him, but he chipped the tackle’s shoulder just enough to prevent him from getting to Harris, allowing the linebacker to go unblocked. Even if Coples had missed the tackle in the backfield, Harris was waiting right behind him to make the play, a direct result of excellent hand work by Coples. This play in particular was a textbook defense of the down block.

While this was certainly an excellent display of instinct and technique by the Jets first round draft pick, there are still a number of things he showed he needs work on if he ever wants to achieve his full potential. One aspect, in particular, is his ability to take on the double team. Coples was repeatedly lined up on the interior, either as a 3 technique on the outside shade of the guard, or as a 5 technique, with a tight end to his side. He faced a great amount of double teams when he was lined up in these positions, and did not necessarily fare too well. He needs to realize, that if he is going to be shifted all around the line, he is certainly going to see a great number of these schemes on the interior, so he needs to do a better job of expecting and preparing for it.

While Coples is superbly talented in terms of athleticism and strength, he does tend to get locked up with his blockers at times. He too often took on the entire man this past Sunday, rather than working a shade and attacking half the man. Regardless of who you are or how strong you may be, it is nearly impossible to go directly through a 300 lb man, especially in the NFL, where the game speed is at an all time high. If he can work these kinks out, Coples’ natural abilities will allow him to develop nicely.

Calvin Pace – Pace was easily the most technically sound player in the front seven this past week. He was the veteran of the bunch, and it certainly showed through flawless foot and hand work, as well as an overall instinct and feel for the game. No one on the team showed the ability to set the edge better, and Pace actually displayed the greatest arsenal of pass rush moves as well. The problem is, he is just a step too slow at this point in his career to capitalize on his excellent technique and record multiple sacks, otherwise his annual sack total would be much higher than what it has been over the past couple of seasons.

Kenrick Ellis – Ellis played very well filling in for an injured Sione Pouha. He proved to be a very immovable force as both a two gap and one gap assignment player, as he was constantly in the backfield, and could not be driven off the ball, even when double teamed. Ellis also displayed excellent lateral quickness for a player his size, something that is vital to the position he plays. When Pouha returns, the Jets are going to have a very good rotation at the Nose Tackle position.

Mike DeVito – DeVito played how anyone who has watched the Jets for the past few seasons would expect him to play. He is extremely tough and smart, and he works very hard, while hardly ever making mental mistakes. DeVito, like Ellis, could not be moved off of the ball on run plays this past week. Although he did not split double teams and gain penetration like Ellis, he did a very good job of occupying two blockers and not allowing either of them to get to the linebackers on the second level.

Marcus Dixon – Dixon did not play particularly well this past week, which could just be a sign of rust since we was just recently resigned to the team following his release at the end of the preseason. Dixon did not show any type of explosion on Sunday, and struggled mightily against the double team. Many times, particularly on some of the big runs by Buffalo, Dixon would end up 8-10 yards down the field. This cannot happen on the defensive line, and if he wants to continue to get reps, Dixon is going to have to play like he has in the past, not like he did on Sunday.

Aaron Maybin – Maybin generally played how one would have expected him to play. He is extremely fast off the ball, and relentless in his pursuit, however his lack of body control caused him to get bumped around and knocked off balance too often. Maybin can be a very effective pass rusher, as we saw last year, however if he does not get his body under control, he is going to remain as a guy who will get 4-6 sporadic sacks per seasons, rather than the 10-12 that he has the potential for.

Linebackers – David Harris played as well as he normally does. He was very disciplined and seemed to have a great feel for what was coming from Buffalo on every play. A few times, he was hindered by a defensive lineman getting blocked into him, which blocked his line of vision, thus preventing him from making a play. Harris generally did a good job of shedding his blocks, but did allow the offensive lineman to get into him a few times,before he could get separation with his hands, obviously something that he needs to be more consistent with. Still, Harris was very effective, and remains one of the best players on the defense.

Bart Scott was very up and down. He certainly brought the tenacity of the Bart Scott of old that Jets fans have grown accustomed to. However, on several plays, he was a step too slow in his run angles and pursuit, which allowed the guard or tackle to get just enough of him to prevent him from making a play, which further allowed the running back to spring into the second level. Although, on other plays, Scott did beat the lineman across his face, taking him right to the play. His play was certainly decent, but needs to improve.

Secondary – The corners played the best out of any unit on the defense, as displayed by the interceptions obtained by Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson, and Antonio Cromartie.

The Safeties played excellent against the run. Both LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell were extremely fast to come up and fill on run plays, the primary reason as to why they were involved in so many tackles. They still need to gel in coverage a bit, however. Landry did a great job of engaging the tight end on several plays, but would more often than not allow him to get a step ahead, which is why there were some plays of Scott Chandler reeling in a catchand being tackled immediately. Of the two, Landry saw much more time in the box, while Bell occupied more of a true free safety role. Once the coverage timing gets down between the two of these new additions, the Jets secondary could strike vast fear into opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks.

The Big Plays Allowed – The two biggest red flags from Sunday clearly came from CJ Spiller’s two runs of 40+ yards. These plays were caused by a number of things including missed assignments, mental breakdowns, and some defensive lineman just getting flat out beat. On Spiller’s first long touchdown run of 56 yards, the defensive line in the game consisted of Dixon, DeVito, and Coles. Dixon was double teamed and blown nearly ten yards off the ball, while DeVito,who was lined up at NT on the play, got blocked into David Harris’s line of sight, which caused the linebacker to vacate his gap in an attempt to regain his vision and make a play. Spiller did a great job of recognizing this as he hit the gap where Harris was supposed to be for a clear path to the end zone.

On the second of Spiller’s two long runs, there was seemingly a bad communication error. Buffalo ran a counter type play, with the back side guard pulling to kick out Garrett McIntyre, who was lined up at defensive end. McIntyre executed a spill technique, meaning he attacked the pulling guard’s inside shoulder with his outside shoulder, in an attempt to jam anything in the middle,and force the back to the outside. Normally, this technique is used in a cover 2 scheme, where the cornerback would remain in the flats, thus accounting for any leakage on the outside caused by a spill, or in defense where a linebacker is responsible for outside contain. Unfortunately for McIntyre, neither of the two were out there, so once Spiller hit the outside, he was alone with plenty of daylight ahead.

On the same play, Kenrick Ellis got excellent penetration in the backfield, but was tackled to the ground by the guard just before making the play, a call missed by the referee that was standing right there. Marcus Dixon was again doubled teamed, struggling mightily.

Overall this was a very solid effort by the defense. Outside of a few week 1 mistakes in technique and assignment, this unit put together a very impressive performance. Sione Pouha’s return will certainly help, as it will allow for a solid two man rotation at the nose, as well as freeing Mike DeVito from seeing time there, something he is clearly undersized to do. There is a lot to work on for the Jets defense as the season progresses, but there is also much to be excited about.

New York Jets Week 2 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Steelers

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers…stay with us all day today at TOJ as we have a roundtable discussion on the game coming later, along with new content from Mike Donnelly and Chris Gross

1. Regardless of the flaws on Pittsburgh’s offensive line and disappointing showing of their defense in week 1. This is a very tough match-up for the Jets. Heinz Field is never an easy place to play, nevermind when the Steelers are 0-1 and desperate for a victory. A win on Sunday would truly put the league on notice that the Jets are a legitimate contender in the AFC.

2. Early indications are that Darrelle Revis is going to play despite a mild concussion. The logic match-up is to put him on Antonio Brown, put Antonio Cromartie on Mike Wallace and come after Ben Roethlisberger like crazy in an attempt to take advantage of their struggling offensive line.

3. The players on Pittsburgh’s offense who have the ability to hurt the Jets the most are Emmanuel Sanders, Heath Miller and Jonathan Dwyer. We all know the history of slot receivers and tight ends taking advantage of Rex Ryan’s defense since he took over the Jets. This is a big week for Kyle Wilson and for the Jets new safeties, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, to show their ability in coverage. The reason I say Dwyer is because Pittsburgh has ran the ball down the Jets throat in their previous two meetings and Dwyer looks to be the workhorse back this week.

4. The Jets will receive a nice boost to their run defense if Sione Pouha returns to the line-up. Chris Gross will discuss this later in his film breakdown but the defense missed badly missed him last week at nose tackle. It will also be interesting to see if Eric Smith can play, as he would provide a boost to the special teams.

5. We will get a nice barometer of just how legitimate the Jets passing offense is this week. Pittsburgh has a seemingly endless collection of pass rushers and will receive Ryan Clark back at safety. Mark Sanchez played well both times the Jets went to Pittsburgh in 2010 and you know Santonio Holmes will be fired up for his return. Tony Sparano must stay aggressive in the passing game to keep balance on offense. It will be interesting to see how Stephen Hill responds to the extra attention he should likely receive now from opposing defenses.

6. If Mark Sanchez is playing like he did last week, I’d prefer even less of the Wildcat than we saw last week. Give the extra carries to Bilal Powell, particularly the edge rushes which Shonn Greene lacks the speed for.

7. What in the world would be the justification by the national media for a Jets win this week? Pittsburgh is having a down year? We won’t be impressed until they play Houston or San Francisco? Who knows…

8. It will be good to see Jerricho Cotchery again.

Turn On The Jets Film Breakdown – Jets vs. Bills

Turn On The Jets breaks down the game tape from Jets/Bills, answering your questions and giving other observations

Every week in this column we will break down the offensive game tape, both offering our observations and answering your questions submitted on Twitter. Tomorrow, our resident defensive lineman, Chris Gross, will provide a film breakdown of the other side of the ball. Thank you to everybody who sent in this week’s questions, which were aggregated into the following as many were on the same topic – 

1. How effective was Mark Sanchez at going through his progressions and making the proper reads?

The short answer is very effective and this question led me to spend most of my time breaking down the Jets passing game, which was without question the biggest surprise of the week. Tony Sparano and Mark Sanchez both did a terrific job with a game plan that was built to feature Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and Jeff Cumberland while using Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller primarily as decoys.

The first two pass plays were designed for Stephen Hill who was open on both and caught the second one on a crucial early third down. The third play was for Cumberland who was also wide open and moved the chains on a 13 yard gain. After that completion, Sanchez alternated making poor decisions/throws with terrific ones before settling down and playing a great overall game.

First, came the interception which occurred because Buffalo quickly took away his first and second read. Simply put, he should have ran out of bounds for a 3 yard gain or threw it away, as he did later in the game when the Jets tried a similar play that was defended well. He then followed up with a beautiful strike to Jeremy Kerley on a third down, where he was the first read and beat his guy immediately. Sanchez then missed a cover 2 hole shot to Holmes that could have been a touchdown, although Holmes could have got a cleaner release to help him out. Sanchez was then bailed out when he went to Hill on a 3rd and 5 and he drew pass interference, when he should have went to Holmes on a deeper out behind Hill.

Keep this play in mind because Sanchez learned from his mistake later in the game. The following pass was the Jeremy Kerley touchdown which was a well designed play by Sparano. It was meant to look like a wide receiver screen to Santonio Holmes. As Holmes works back to the ball, Kerley appears to be going to block the corner causing a slight hesitation from the man who is covering him, he then jets to the back of the end-zone and Sanchez delivered a perfectly thrown pass.

Sanchez was pretty locked in for the rest of the game from this point. He hit Holmes in a tight window to convert a third down, the Stephen Hill touchdown on his double move was an easy read and a good throw. Throughout the rest of the game, he made only three throws that weren’t on point. First he slightly overthrew Jeremy Kerley on a quick out, which was caught but forced him to extend and stumble, ending up short of the first down. Second, he just missed Holmes on a quick post, although you could argue Holmes should have made the catch. Finally, he again missed the hole shot to Holmes at the end of the half which was nearly a touchdown. This is a tough throw and they nearly executed it but missed by about an inch.

One particular play later in the game that was encouraging from Sanchez was a 3rd and 9, when instead of throwing it immediately to an open Dustin Keller in the flat (a play he absolutely would have made last year), he was patient and waited for his primary option, Jeff Cumberland (who is on the 20 yard line in this screen shot), to run his 9 yard hook route before delivering a spot on pass to convert a third down.

Finally, remember the Kerley touchdown? Tony Sparano smartly came back to the wide receiver screen to Holmes, knowing that the defense would be hesitant to jump it after getting beat earlier in the game. This was executed to perfection, thanks to a great block from Dustin Keller and went for a 17 yard gain.

A few final observations on passing game – It was striking just how often Hill, Kerley or Cumberland were the first read on passing plays. It showed immense confidence in three unproven players and all three answered the bell. The plan worked well because Buffalo was keying on Holmes and Keller, which helped get the three of them consistently open. Ironically enough it appeared the receiver Sanchez had the least chemistry with was Holmes. They just missed on three completions that all could have been big gains (two of which should have been touchdowns). If they get rolling on the same page, the Jets passing offense could be that much more effective.

2. Austin Howard/Mario Williams

Howard’s game was as good as advertised. He spend the majority of the dropbacks singled up on Mario Williams and consistently stonewalled his pass rush. Williams continually tried to bull rush him and use his power but could not get through, which gave Sanchez time to go through all the progressions outlined above. Howard showed surprising quickness and the times WIlliams looked to adjust to more of a speed rush he looked a step slow. His complaints about illegal hands to the face certainly didn’t show on the film as there were not blatant penalties missed by the officials on Howard.

3. Shonn Greene

Shonn Greene did finish with 94 yards, unfortunately it took him 27 carries to get there. Yes, there were times Greene ran very well in-between the tackles and he pushed the pile. However, the Jets need another option when running to the edge. This play below serves as a perfect example of why Greene needs a complimentary speed back with him. This play only went for 6 yards and look how well it is blocked up. Greene, again inexplicably stumbles when he receives the handoff, a recurring problem for him.

After the stumble, he gets temporarily held up behind the line here yet still there is space for a run that should net more than 6 yards. However, he simply doesn’t have enough burst to hit the seam. This is why the Jets may need to consider giving more outside handoffs to both Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight.

Check back tomorrow for Chris Gross’ film breakdown of the defense, primarily focusing on the defensive line. 

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Jets/Bills Recap Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling after the New York Jets thrashed the Buffalo Bills in week 1

You probably didn’t hear all that much about the Jets the past two days from the national media. Well, at least not as much as you did the previous four weeks anyway. Funny how that works, huh? After weeks and weeks of the media portraying the Jets as an absolute joke and pundits everywhere seemingly taking great joy in taking shots at them, the Jets went out and absolutely slaughtered the Buffalo Bills in the first game of the season that actually counted. Yep, that’s right, believe it or not those 4 preseason games actually didn’t mean crap, and the Jets not scoring a touchdown meant even less than that. When the lights came on, the Jets dropped a 48-spot on everyone’s sleeper darling team, the Buffalo Bills. It felt good. It felt damn good. Let’s break down what we saw..

BUY: Mark Sanchez – I hate to say “I told ya so”, but… Ok, I’m not going to get too carried away just yet, but that was as good as we’ve ever seen the Sanchize look. He had time in the pocket, he looked poised and confident, and he showed a newfound zip on his passes down the field. It’s amazing what a quarterback can accomplish with a legit deep threat (Hill), competent blocking on the right side (Howard + a game plan using chip blocks), and most importantly not having Brian Schottenheimer holding him back. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that in the first game without Schotty, Sanchez had arguably the best game of his career, right? Speaking of which..

BUY: Coaching Staff – This goes to all of the coaches, from top to bottom. Rex Ryan obviously used the media’s negative portrayal of the team to motivate them and lead them into the Great Buffalo Massacre of 2012. Plus, he –along with Mike Pettine– showed he can actually coach a little football and put together a defensive game plan that absolutely shut down Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills spread attack. On the other side of the ball, watching the offensive play-calling and play design was a thing of beauty. All offseason I couldn’t say enough how much better the offense would be simply by getting rid of the black sheep of the Schottenheimer family, and the early results look promising. It had been so long, I forgot that an offense could actually stick with the run throughout an entire game; I didn’t realize you could exploit mismatches on defense and attack them; I didn’t know you could throw a pass beyond 6 yards. Week 1 was an eye-opening performance by the coaching staff. By the way, I haven’t heard many “Schotty must be laughing in St. Louis!” jokes that everyone seemed to love throughout the pre-season. I wonder why?

BUY: The Wide Receivers – Santonio Holmes was mostly double-teamed throughout the game and didn’t put up big numbers, but he clearly impacted the game just by being out there. Stephen Hill, on the other hand, did put up eye-opening numbers, scoring two TD’s in his NFL debut and getting himself open repeatedly. Jeremy Kerley also chipped in 4 catches, a TD (plus a punt return TD), and put his rough pre-season beyond him. Chaz Schilens even shocked the world by not only walking onto the field without pulling his hamstring AND making a catch. What a day!

BUY: Shonn Greene Carrying the Load – Shonn Greene was handed the ball 27 times and showed he could handle the load, which is extremely important for this Jets team. He ran hard throughout the game, didn’t tire, and was breaking tackles well into the 4th quarter which is exactly what we want to see. He’s never going to be a game-breaking threat but combined with Tebow’s wildcat, he can really be a factor in Sparano’s clock control offense. That being said..

SELL: Shonn Greene’s fumbles – Greene put the ball on the ground twice on Sunday, including once at the goalline and that is absolutely unacceptable. I’m as staunch a Greene defender as anyone, and I was generally encouraged by his performance, but he can NOT be doing that. Also..

SELL: The Run Blocking – Generally the run blocking was pretty solid on Sunday, but this team still needs a Tight End who can block. Cumberland and Reuland aren’t going to cut it, and when Jason Smith comes in for that role, it kind of tips their hand as to what is going to be run.

BUY: The Secondary – A dominant performance by the defense was marred slightly by an apparent concussion for Darrelle Revis. If the Jets are going to win in Pittsburgh, we’re going to need to see a healthy #24 out there to eliminate Antonio Brown from the Steelers offense. Against the Bills, we saw Revis, Cromartie, and Wilson manhandle the Bills receivers. We saw the new safeties, Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell make big hits and actually make some plays. It was nice to see a Jets safety out there not just trailing a tight end by 5 yards while hopelessly diving for a tackle. We’re going to need a solid performance from these guys next week against a Pittsburgh team that likes to throw to Heath Miller down the middle of the field.

SELL: Depth on Defense – Perhaps this is nitpicking a little bit, but when the Jets started making some defensive substitutions late in the game, it got really brutal out there. Ellis Lankster can be a nice 4th corner, but when he was forced into a larger role he got picked apart. Isaiah Trufant should never be on the field for defense. Garrett McIntyre came in for an injured Bryan Thomas and the drop off was noticeable. Even Kenrick Ellis, who had a great preseason left a lot to be desired as Sione Po’uha’s replacement. We are going to need to see a healthy Sione this week against Pittsburgh and their crap offensive line.

SELL: The media – I wonder how some of these morons were able to recap the game on Sunday with a giant foot sticking out of their mouths. What a major disappointment Sunday had to be for the media hacks who had the Jets dead and buried before a single play that actually counted took place. I feel really bad that they had to file away their pre-written “clown” jokes since they weren’t able to use them. What a major disappointment. And did I take great joy in reminding everyone that the real “clowns” were people like Evan Silva, who called for the Jets to score a mere 6 points this week? Yes, yes I did. It was just one game and we can’t get too carried away because there’s a long way to go, but what a game it was. I have a feeling there are going to be plenty more like it.