1. A nice bounce back weekend for the 12 Pack Picks, as we went 4-0 on picking the winners and 3-1 against the spread. Here are my full predictions for Championship Weekend and a countdown of the remaining Super Bowl contenders. This weekend, I am taking Seattle (-3) and New England (+4.5) but with Denver winning the game. Also I took part in a Manning/Brady and Wilson/Kaepernick debate and finally here is an office rant from an in-house 49ers fan:
2. Any type of reaction to Rex Ryan’s “extension” is likely an overreaction. This was PR window dressing by the Jets so we aren’t swarmed with “lame duck” and “hot seat” questions all season. The contract is structured for easy outs for the Jets after this season and 2015 if the team doesn’t perform. There are no guarantees in the NFL, if Rex goes out and wins a playoff game this season, he will increase the overall value of his contract and likely guarantee being here through 2016. If he tanks out, the Jets can easily cut bait and move on.
3. What the Jets initial progression of off-season moves should be:
- Cut the fat: Release Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie (could be brought back later at reduced rate).
- Take care of your own: Resign Austin Howard and Nick Folk. Extend Muhammad Wilkerson and Jeremy Kerley.
- Attack: Be aggressive in pursuing wide receivers, outside linebackers and secondary while monitoring what the market value looks like for candidates to return like Leger Douzable, Calvin Pace and Willie Colon.
4. Just a guess – Dennis Thurman won’t be the team’s defensive coordinator next season.
5. I do think both Antonio Cromartie and Calvin Pace will be back next season on low cost, short term deals.
6. The Miami Dolphins last won a playoff game in the 2000-2001 season. The Buffalo Bills last won a playoff game in the 1995-1996 season. Just a friendly reminder.
7. This is a brilliant deep throw from Geno Smith, while getting drilled in his legs no less. Despite the nice job by David Nelson this season and on this play, it is going to be fun watching Geno throw down the field to some shiny new targets in 2014.
8. I wouldn’t spend a cent to bring Jeff Cumberland back next season. If you are a receiving tight end who has inconsistent hands and runs poor routes, the team can do without you. Zach Sudfeld is more than capable of filling his roster spot. Hopefully, tight end is further supplemented by a high draft pick and maybe a mid or low level free agent signing.
9. This pass rush move by Muhammad Wilkerson is unbelievable. I am banking on John Idzik being smart enough to lock him down long term this off-season.
10. The New York Jets have not had a 1,000 yard receiver since 2007 when Jerricho Cotchery finished with 1,130 yards. Yikes.
11. Mark Sanchez’s rookie season:
- 63.0 QB Rating
- 53.8 completion percentage
- 2,500 total yards of offense
- 15 total touchdowns
- 23 total turnovers
- 8 regular season wins
Geno Smith’s rookie season:
- 66.5 QB Rating
- 55.8 completion percentage
- 3,392 total yards of offense
- 18 total touchdowns
- 25 total turnovers
- 8 regular season wins
…And keep in mind Sanchez had the NFL’s number 1 ranked defense and rushing offense supporting him and an elite offensive line. Geno had the NFL’s number 11 ranked defense and number 6 ranked rushing offense and an average offensive line.
12. I have no problem with the Jets considering an outside linebacker in the first round if the board breaks properly for it. This defense still needs a true pass rushing threat off the edge.