Thanksgiving Ramblings On The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. My head is still hurting from national high school reunion night. I must say it is good to be back in Ringwood for the weekend and that despite being a generally anti-social person it was good to see everybody last night. I made the brilliant decision to walk home last night along the main road in our town instead of through the woods with my friends. This resulted in me nearly being by two cars, my friends thinking I got lost and a random girl offering me a ride home. I would like to thank that random girl for picking me up because I might still be walking if she didn’t.

2. I know we have been on a bit of a hiatus from Turn On The Jets TV but I can assure you Corbett and myself have some quality ideas for upcoming episodes. Don’t worry the show isn’t going to end when the Jets season ends. We will continue entertaining all our loyal viewers here and on youtube year round.

3. Kissing Suzy Kolber did another hilarious Rex Ryan story, this one with a Thanksgiving angle: http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2009/11/a-very-special-thanksgiving-with-a-very-special-surprise-guest.html#more-21696 — beware of explicit material.

4. The attractive girl of the day in Jets apparel:

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Thanksgiving Ramblings On The Jets

– Matthew Stafford threw 4 interceptions today and completed less than 50 percent of his passes…at least Mark Sanchez isn’t the only rookie quarterback struggling.

– Did anybody else find it hilarious when Hank Poteat got called for pass interference on the last play of the Browns/Lions game last week? Poor Eric Mangini looked like his head was going to explode…that’s what you get when you fill your defense with Jets castoffs.

– How about this trade offer for the off-season? Kerry Rhodes and Vernon Gholston to Cleveland for a 2nd and3rd round pick? We need draft picks, not more veterans. Obviously only Eric Mangini would be interested in Rhodes and Gholston at this point.

– So if the Giants beat the Broncos, the Ravens beat the Steelers, the Niners beat the Jaguars, the Colts beat the Texans, the Bills beat the Dolphins, and the Jets beat the Panthers, they will only be one game out of the wild-card. See, they are still in it, right? right?

– David Clowney has more twitter incidents (2) than touchdowns this season (1).

– Kerry Rhodes and I have the same amount of sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles for the Jets this season.

– Leigh Bodden was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week…Mark Sanchez making average cornerbacks pro-bowlers on a weekly basis.

– Drew Coleman just knocked at my door…he is still looking for Wes Welker. (As you can tell, I am also a part time comedian).

– Braylon Edwards better duplicate his performances against Miami a few times the rest of the season if he wants that fat, new contract from the Jets in the off-season.

– Since there has been plenty of negativity around this team, let’s shout out a few people who are having good seasons: Darrelle Revis is the best corner in football right now, Jerricho Cotchery has been very productive since returning from his injury, Shaun Ellis is still going strong, Nick Mangold is having another all-pro season, Jim Leonhard has been a good addition and showed his toughness by playing last week, Marques Douglas has been a solid upgrade over Kenyon Coleman, Tony Richardson is still a very good fullback, Thomas Jones is earning a new contract, Dustin Keller is being more consistently involved in the offense.

And now some entertainment…

How ‘Effin Funny Is The Office?

Some of Corbett and My Work Prior to Turn On The Jets

And of course the last episode of TOJ TV, for those few in America who haven’t seen it

Rex Makes Right Move By Benching Rhodes

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First a few updates:

1. Dwight Lowery and Donald Strickland will be out this week. Vernon Gholston returned to practice today from his hamstring injury.

Rex Makes Right Move By Benching Rhodes

As I am sure most Jets fans know by now, Kerry Rhodes has been benched in favor of Eric Smith. It was a bold move by Rex Ryan but a necessaryone and one that could be remembered as a key part of his development as a NFL head coach. Slowly, Ryan is starting to realize what is actually required of a head coach. He is becoming more involved in the offense and working to be in control of the full team instead of just a defensive coordinator. The decision to bench Rhodes shows that Ryan is going to hold players accountable, even when they are high-paid, big name guys. Just from following the Jets and reading fan’s opinions on Rhodes, this move should be a jolt to Rex’s popularity with people who follow the team.

08jets_1_190Let’s look at the reality of the Rhodes situation. The guy was a 5th round draft pick in 2005, came out of nowhere to be a big time playmaker in 2006 and 2007. He earned a fat, new contract and a warranted reputation as a player who didn’t receive enough attention for his play on the field. Rhodes also started becoming focused on his off the field modeling and acting career. In 2008, he had a quiet season but the blame was passed on to Eric Mangini’s schemes. This year there were high expectations for him to be a playmaker in Rex Ryan’s defense, with comparisons to Ed Reed being thrown around. The results so far? Zero interceptions, zero sacks, zero forced fumbles, and 1 tackle for a loss…yikes. Last week against New England was the final straw, as Rhodes missed countless tackles and appeared soft against receivers over the middle and the running game.

Most people seem to think Rhodes is on his way out of New York, yet I don’t know if that is a foregone conclusion. I think the intention of this move is to wake Rhodes up, sharpen his focus, and find a way to get him to reach his potential. Will the decision pay off? We will see over the next few weeks because Rhodes will still be on the field in plenty of defensive packages, as Rex Ryan made clear today. Listening to Ryan talk, it doesn’t sound like he is ready to give up on Rhodes and that he hopes this is a move that will lead to a strong response from him.

Some people will say if Ryan is holding people accountable, then how come Mark Sanchez isn’t being benched? I know I have been hard on Sanchez the past week, but the situations are completely different. There is nothing to be gained by benching Mark Sanchez right now. He needs to be on the field the last six weeks and work through his mistakes. The Jets aren’t going to the playoffs. The most important thing for the rest of the 2009 season is Sanchez taking steps in a positive direction. Kerry Rhodes was expected to be a Pro-Bowl player this year and he has been a below average safety at best. Mark Sanchez is a rookie quarterback who started 16 games in college, who has been awful at times yet the reality is that he has played well enough for the Jets to win 7 of their 10 games this season.

Rex Ryan did the right thing by benching an ineffective player who seems to be preoccupied with his off the field lifestyle. Hopefully, Kerry Rhodes wakes up and becomes the player he has the talent to be.

Insert Your Own Funny Comment

NFL Week 11 Recap/Jets vs. Panthers First Look

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First a few updates:

1. The big story being reported out of the New York media today is how Rex Ryan will be more hands on with the Jets offense and Mark Sanchez. Hopefully, a person the size of Ryan constantly in Sanchez’s ear about protecting the football will make him think twice before he launches another ball off his back foot into double coverage. Ryan also said yesterday he felt disrespected by the Pats bombing it up to Randy Moss with 30 seconds left despite being up 17. Was it a classless move? Sure it was, but what else would you expect from New England? The Jets and Pats are rivals. For all the talking the Jets have done this year, this is no time to be complaining about feeling disrespected.

2. The Jets fell to number 22 in ESPN’s Power Rankings. Remember when they were the #5 team? It is hard to believe that it was during this season.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – Unless they have a colossal meltdown, the Pats should cruise to the AFC East title. I am not sure if they are good enough right now to pull out a victory in New Orleans, but beyond that I think will roll through the rest of their schedule.

Dolphins-Patriots-Football2__1222089553_3355Miami Dolphins – Somehow, someway the Dolphins are right in the thick of the AFC wild card race. Unlike what was expected for the AFC this year, there is plenty of mediocrity battling for the #5 and #6 playoff spots. If the Dolphins can avoid a slip up against Buffalo this week, they will have a chance in upcoming games against Houston and Jacksonville to put themselves in great position to play in January. I am already having nightmares about a Miami/New England first round playoff game.

Buffalo Bills – I am fascinated to see how the NFL Network is going to promote the upcoming Jets/Bills Thursday night game, “Watch Mark Sanchez and his 19 interceptions lead the 4-7 Jets into Toronto to play Ryan Fitzpatrick and the 3-8 Buffalo Bills”…oh boy.

TOJ Top Twenty

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – I am giving them the bump up to #1 because of recent impressive victories over New England and on the road at Baltimore.
  2. New Orleans Saints – If they beat New England on Monday night, 16-0 becomes a reality.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – All I can do now is hope for a Brett Favre flameout in the playoffs.
  4. San Diego Chargers – About to run away from the suddenly hapless Broncos in the AFC West.
  5. New England Patriots – Another chance to show they are an elite team this Monday night.
  6. Arizona Cardinals – Putting together a very impressive season to follow up their NFC title.
  7. Cincinnati Bengals – A loss to Oakland? Really? Fortunately for them the Steelers couldn’t beat the Chiefs.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – They finally won a close game.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Ugly ugly win but if they can handle Oakland on Thursday, they will be 8-3 heading into a huge game against the Giants.
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers – Who would have thought Pittsburgh would be battling for a wild card spot?
  11. New York Giants – They should be able to handle the fading Broncos on Thursday.
  12. Green Bay Packers – I would love them to get another shot at Minnesota in the playoffs.
  13. Jacksonville Jaguars – Let’s see if they can handle a West Coast trip and being a playoff contender.
  14. Baltimore Ravens – Huge game Sunday night against the Steelers.
  15. Tennessee Titans – Could they actually finish over .500 after starting 0-6?
  16. Atlanta Falcons – Soft remaining schedule could help their playoff run.
  17. Miami Dolphins – I am hoping it is too little, too late for the Dolphins but unfortunately it may not be.
  18. Houston Texans  – They can’t win a big game.
  19. Denver Broncos – Could they actually finish below .500 after starting 6-0?
  20. Carolina Panthers – Good news for their fledgling playoff hopes…the Jets upcoming on the schedule.

Jets vs. Panthers First Look

jake_delhommeThe Opponent: Let playing out the string commence…the Jets begin a three game streak against sub .500 teams this week with a home game against Carolina in the “Interception Bowl.” Jake Delhomme (14) and Mark Sanchez (16) have combined for 30 interceptions this season. The Panthers are coming off a 12-4 season but have disappointed in 2009 with a 4-6 record. Similar to the Jets, they can run the football and play some defense but are limited by a turnover prone quarterback. I do know this, I would be starting both Thomas Jones and DeAngelo Williams on your fantasy football team because there should be plenty of handoffs in the Meadowlands on Sunday. Last Thursday night, Carolina lost 24-17 at home to our beloved Dolphins, due to Ricky Williams running all over them…like I said it is time to hand the football off.

Key Players: Steve Smith is one of the league’s premier big play receivers but has struggled in 2009 because of inconsistent quarterback play. Fortunately, the Jets have Darrelle Revis to handle him and Carolina doesn’t have Wes Welker on the other side of him. DeAngelo Williams is their lead back and is also a big play threat with breakaway speed. Jonathan Stewart is very involved as the #2 running back with over 500 yards and 6 touchdowns. He provides a more bruising, inside running style. On defense, Julius Peppers is having another strong season with 7 sacks. Jon Beason is one of the better linebackers in football and Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall are a talented pair of corners.

Injuries: I would expect Donald Strickland, Dwight Lowery, and Vernon Gholston to miss another week. Strickland has a head injury. Lowery has a bad ankle sprain and Gholston has a hamstring/he’s not that good and the Jets coaches need an excuse to bench him issue.

Dolphins/Panthers Highlights

Grading Out The Jets/Patriots Game

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First a few updates:

1. Leigh Bodden is not a New York Jets receiver…just needed to update Mark Sanchez on that in case he happens to stumble across this website…anything I can do to help.

2. With the Jets playing out the string (something I will write about more throughout the week) I am going to move towards a little extra general NFL writing, with the discussions of the NFC/AFC playoff races, weekly picks on important games, etc. I will still have my normal amounts of coverage on the Jets because there is plenty of negative stuff to be written, but there is no reason to ignore the 16-20 teams still battling for position in January.

3. Rex Ryan’s press conference today: Donald Strickland got a concussion and will be out for awhile. Dwight Lowery has a high ankle sprain and will be out for a few weeks. Ryan said he will be more hands on in terms of monitoring Mark Sanchez and drilling into his head the importance of protecting the football. He also admitted he needs to be more hands on in general with the rest of team outside of the defense.

4. The stats and game highlights were updated…proceed with caution.

Grading Out The Jets/Patriots Game

Quarterbacks: (F) Just absolutely awful is the only to way to describe how Mark Sanchez played. The first two interceptions were bad enough but then somehow the Jets battled back to make  it 24-14 and have the ball in Patriots territory and what does Sanchez do on the first play of the drive, completely overthrow Jerricho Cotchery (or underthrow Braylon Edwards) I couldn’t even tell and is intercepted…then the Jets defense stops New England again and Sanchez scrambles around in the end-zone and when there is clearly no play to be made, instead of throwing it away he throws it right to Brandon Merriweather…awful. The guy has no respect for the football. The last interception he threw to Merriweather was comically bad, little league stuff. The worst part is that he just doesn’t seem to get it…he isn’t learning from his mistakes and he has this weird smug attitude after the game, which doesn’t seem to recognize how bad he is actually playing.

Sanchez is playing like he knows the Jets won’t pull him because they have nobody to turn to. He is stubbornly refusing to protect the football and is showing no fundamental idea of how to play quarterback at the NFL level. If he doesn’t show any improvement over the last 6 weeks, the Jets may be staring at the reality that they whiffed on two straight first round picks. Note, how I said that if he doesn’t show any improvement in the 6 last weeks…they may have to face that reality. The kid obviously has some talent but let’s see him learn and grow over the 6 last games or it could be ugly here for awhile.

Running Backs: (B) Thomas Jones is one of the few Jets who showed up to work on Sunday and put together another solid game. He is earning a new contract. Shonn Greene has been a ghost since his breakout game against Oakland.

Wide Receivers: (C-) Jerricho Cotchery played a very good game, as he usually does against the Patriots. Braylon Edwards had a big third down drop early in the game and also probably should have pulled in another deep ball. David Clowney had a drop early in the game also.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller made a few tough catches over the middle is starting to become consistently involved in the offense. There were no penalties on Ben Hartsock which is always a positive for him.

Offensive Line: (B) They put together a good all around effort. Thomas Jones ran for 100 yards and Sanchez was only sacked a couple of times.

Defensive Line: (C) Great game by Shaun Ellis. Marques Douglas forced a fumble and Mike DeVito also was active. However, Laurence Maroney still got a decent amount of yardage.

Linebackers: (C) Quiet games from Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas. David Harris did his job for the most part. I am not sure why the Jets had him in coverage in Wes Welker on some plays…yikes. Bart Scott hit Brady a couple of times but didn’t make any big plays.

APTOPIX Jets Patriots FootballSecondary: (D) Darrelle Revis is a great football player. Jim Leonhard is a tough, above average safety beyond that the Jets secondary is straight garbage. Kerry Rhodes should be benched. I would be thrilled if we could trade him to Cleveland (probably the only team who would take him) for a 3rd or 4th round pick. Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland are always banged up. Drew Coleman was helpless in the slot against Welker. Dwight Lowery is also now hurt and is an average corner even when healthy.

Special Teams: (A) Nice blocked punt by Eric Smith. David Clowney and Dwight Lowery showed something on kick returns.

Coaching: (D) They were completely out-coached by New England, who clearly adjusted to the Jets blitzing scheme. There was also no adjustment to slow down Wes Welker.

The Mark Sanchez Interception Show

8/21, 4 Interceptions, 1 Fumble

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The name of this article is the main story of the Jets 31-14 loss to New England. Mark Sanchez has regressed immensely since the first three weeks of the season. He will show flashes of being a capable NFL quarterback but since week 4 he has shown more flashes of being nowhere near ready to be in the NFL. You can’t win a football game when your quarterback turns the ball over 5 times, which obviously isn’t news to anybody. A few other quick observations:

1. I was saying all week Wes Welker would have a big game but I didn’t know he would have a season worth of stats today with 15 catches for 192 yards. Drew Coleman, Kerry Rhodes, David Harris, Marquice Cole, Lito Sheppard and everybody else they threw at him failed miserably and Rex Ryan failed to make any of the necessary adjustments to slow him down.

2. The game tape from today has value as a blooper reel for both Mark Sanchez and Kerry Rhodes. All of Sanchez’s interceptions were comically bad throws. Rhodes was repeatedly ran over, beat by receivers and out of place. Two more subpar performances for the two most overpaid players on the Jets.

3. Darrelle Revis did another good job on Randy Moss holding him to 5 catches for 34 yards on 11 targets. New England repeatedly tried to throw down the field to Moss but it never worked out. They even tried when they were up 31-14 with 25 seconds left. Moss did score a 4 yard touchdown on Moss, but overall another good game from #24.

4. Shaun Ellis, Thomas Jones, Mike DeVito, and Jerricho Cotchery all played solid games…especially Ellis who did a great job getting after Tom Brady with 2 sacks.

5. Brian Schottenheimer, really with the option on 3rd and 2? The whole stadium knew the play was coming.

6. I wonder if Mark Sanchez will finish with 30 interceptions. He currently has 18.

Jets vs. Patriots: Talking to the Enemy

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I exchanged five questions with Patriots blogger Eric Cunningham of http://Patschowder.com about tomorrow’s game, here is our conversation:

PC: I read in the Boston Globe yesterday that Braylon Edwards’ arrival in New York may be too much for the rookie quarterback to handle. It’s sort of like a mini-TO effect. They’ve gone 1-4 with him. What are your thoughts on all of this?

TOJ: I don’t agree with that assertion at all. Edwards has been a good soldier since arriving and is clearly trying to convince the Jets he is worthy of a long term contract. Sanchez and Edwards have appeared to get along very well and Edwards was one of the first players to get his back after the Buffalo game when Sanchez threw 5 INTs. He also hasn’t complained at all about the number of touches he receives, even though he probably should be getting more. Edwards main focus when talking to the press has been his desire to win. I don’t think the Jets are 1-4 in their last 5 because of Braylon, I think it is because they can’t close teams out.

PC: In my opinion, I think the Jets biggest problem is the loss of Kris Jenkins. Is this their biggest problem?

TOJ: Their biggest problem is they don’t know how to win close games. They lost four games on the last play. Their defense laid an egg with the game on the line against Miami on Monday night and against Jacksonville, Sanchez, Ben Hartsock, and their special teams choked in OT to lose to the Bills and they couldn’t finish off a game winning drive at home against Miami.

PC: Ok, let’s not beat around the bush. How do you really feel about your head coach was crying at his latest press conference?

TOJ: Well, he didn’t cry at a press conference. He cried in a meeting with the team on Monday and it was leaked to the press. I don’t have a strong opinion of it, we all knew Rex was an emotional guy when he was hired so this is part of what you get. I will love it if the Jets win on Sunday and hate it if they lose.

PC: Shonn Greene has disappeared since his big breakout game in week 7. Is he not the right fit, or are the Jets just dropping the committee and planning on Thomas Jones the rest of the way?

TOJ: Greene has ran a little timid since fumbling against Miami in week 8. Jones receives the bulk of the carries because he is playing at such a high level. However, I would still expect Greene to get his usual 8-10 touches this weekend, which is fine for a rookie learning on the job behind a pro-bowl caliber running back.

PC: Lastly, I asked my Twitter followers what they would want to know from the Jets perspective, and @mndTiiu asked “Has Mark Sanchez met, exceeded, or fallen short of your expectations?”

JETS V PATRIOTS STOJ: He has fell slightly short. He is turning the ball over more than I was hoping for and has made a few immature mistakes (eating a hot dog and running a scripted press conference). However, he has shown plenty of potential and intangibles and I still believe the Jets did the right thing by trading up for him. We will learn alot about him this weekend in the hostile conditions of New England.

TOJ: What is your opinion of Belichick’s decision on Sunday night to go for it on 4th and 2?
 
PC: I can’t honestly say that I loved the call, but I can say that I am less disappointed in the loss because of it. I love the fact that the Patriots have a coach that is willing to go out and win games as opposed to play safe and try not to lose them. In Sunday’s situation, I am pretty confident that Peyton Manning would have scored a touchdown from 60-yards out if he they had punted the ball anyway. Their best shot to win the game was to go for it by putting the ball in the hands of one of the best quarterbacks in the league and they did. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out.

TOJ: What is the biggest difference between the Pats team the Jets beat in week two and the Pats team the Jets are going to face this week?
 
PC:
The big difference is Tom Brady. That Jets game early on was his first real test. Now that we are 10 weeks into the season Brady is playing at a much higher level. Also, the linebacking core has gotten healthier with Jerod Mayo back in the middle as things have started to fall into place around him.

TOJ: Why won’t anybody in New England give Darrelle Revis any respect? Moss hasn’t done much of anything in his last four games against the Jets, especially when Revis is on him so why won’t anybody give him credit?

PC: Well, I for one will give him credit. The guy is a beast and I hate seeing him on the other side of the field. However, I think the Patriots players not giving him credit is all psychological coach talk. If Belichick can get the guys believing that he’s not good, then he isn’t good. Right?

TOJ: How do you feel about Laurence Maroney being your lead back going into the stretch run of the season? Do you think he will be phased out of the offense or remain the primary ball carrier?

PC: He makes me nervous. I was very high on Sammy Morris coming into this season. That worked for all of one game before he was banged up. What I can say about Maroney is that it has never been as big a question of whether or not he can play in the NFL, but whether or not he can stay healthy. So far, he’s healthy and the production is coming as a result of that. That being said, I would love to have a better insurance policy.

TOJ: Prediction for the game?

PC: This one is in Foxboro and the Jets are fading fast. It’s a win for the Patriots for sure, however, the margin of victory is never a big one for these two teams. I’ll say 24-17 Patriots.

Enough Talking About This Game, Let’s Go Already

Jets vs. Patriots Final Notes & Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Jim Leonhard did practice today and just may somehow find a way to play this Sunday against New England.

2. TOJ TV has been knocked out by the swine flu. My roommate/producer is out of commission with the sickness so we had to scrap the filming plans for this week.

3. Check back tomorrow for my question exchange with Pats blogger Eric Cunningham of http://patschowder.com

Jets vs. Patriots Final Notes & Prediction:

The national media already has this game sized up: the Pats are angry, the Jets are melting down, the Pats hate the Jets so that equals New England 48 Jets 10. Darrelle Revis has been running his mouth all week about shutting down Randy Moss, who is coming off a monster game against the Colts. Moss should go for about 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Let me preface my view on the game by saying that I am picking the Patriots to win 23-17. I think the Jets will find a uniquely painful way to lose this one, but this will be a close game into the fourth quarter. Randy Moss will do what he normally does against the Jets…nothing. Wes Welker will be the guy who hurts them by picking on Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery. Tom Brady will play much better than he did in week two and New England will do a decent enough job of running the football to keep the Jets honest.

On offense, Mark Sanchez will play okay but I find it hard to believe he won’t have a turnover or two. Bill Belichick is designing a scheme that will force Sanchez to beat him and with that much on his shoulders I can see a INT or two coming. The Jets will make some plays in the passing game but will struggle to run the football against a defense geared to stop Thomas Jones.

Like I said, the Jets aren’t going to lay down for anybody but they don’t know how to win close football games…so I am taking the Pats 23-17.

Jets vs. Patriots Part II: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

revisINT_tn1. The notoriously New England biased, Jets hating Pro Football Talk (unfortunately it is still a good site worth visiting for general NFL news) has published a couple of articles working to discredit the job Darrelle Revis did on Randy Moss in week two. Revis expressed frustration with the Boston media yesterday about Moss and Bill Belichick’s claim that he had safety help over the top and that is why Moss was held to 4 catches for 24 yards. As I pointed out yesterday, Revis has owned Moss over the Jets past four meetings and as you can see in this lovely picture to the left Revis jumped over Randy Moss and pulled an interception out of his hands in week two, by himself without the supposed safety help. Do the Jets have a safety over the top in most coverages? Yes, it is very rare to run Cover 0 in the NFL. It is a safety’s job in most coverage’s to play centerfield or be responsible for half of the field. It doesn’t mean that Moss was double teamed and Revis doesn’t deserve credit for shutting him down. How come Randy Moss can have 12 catches against the Bills or 175 yards receiving against the Colts with 2 touchdowns but against the Jets is never a factor? The same reason Andre Johnson is leading the league in receiving but might as well been inactive when he played the Jets, because Darrelle Revis has been the best cover corner in NFL this season. I look forward to another 35 yard receiving performance from Moss and another slew of excuses from him, the New England coaching staff, and Pro Football Talk.

By the way, I actually love watching Randy play most weeks despite hating New England and almost always side with receivers in these type of disputes but you have to give credit due when it’s due.

2. Mark Sanchez apologized for his scripted press conference and admitted he still has plenty to learn about being a NFL quarterback…well, obviously. The key for the man formerly known was Sanchize is to protect the football this week and make the Patriots pay for stacking the box, which they no doubt will.

3. Apparently Thomas Jones took the floor at a players only meeting and gave an impassioned speech about this week being the Jets last chance and that if they lose they need to face the reality that major changes could be coming this off-season. Jones is a respected guy in the locker room and one of the few players with Super Bowl experience, so hopefully he caught everybody’s attention. Most of us didn’t expect Jones to be back next year but with Leon Washington’s injury, and the type of season he is having. I would be surprised not to see him in a Jets jersey in 2010. Speaking of Leon, he has been back around the team facility and spoke a little bit to the media stating confidence about a healthy return in 2010.

4. A few highlights from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: He cited Danny Woodhead and Justin Miller as having exceptional practices, with Woodhead imitating Wes Welker and Miller making a bunch of plays on defense. Overall, he said the team had one of its better practices in weeks. Vernon Gholston and Jim Leonhard missed practice again today. Shaun Ellis and Brad Smith were limited but expected to play. Darrelle Revis, Brad Smith, and Jerricho Cotchery have all taken reps returning punts but it remains to be seen who will actually be back there. Ryan expressed some concerns about using Cotchery or Revis in anything more than a fair catch role.

5. Yes, new Turn On The Jets TV will be coming tomorrow but make sure you check out last week’s episode down at the bottom of this article.

Jets vs. Patriots Part II: Game Breakdown

Offensive Gameplan: The Jets started out slow in the first half against the Patriots in week two with a very conservative gameplan. Mark Sanchez was only 3/5 for 15 yards in the first half and the offense struggled on the whole by only producing 3 points. However, they came out on fire in the second half with Sanchez going 11/17 for 148 yards and a touchdown en route to a half where the Jets outscored the Pats 13-0. Jerricho Cotchery led the charge in the second half with 4 catches for 87 yards, without the support of Braylon Edwards on the other side of him. The Jets did a pretty good job of running the football in week two with Leon having 14 carries for 58 yards and Thomas Jones having 14 carries for 54 yards.

Patriots Jets FootballA key for the Jets this Sunday will be to score touchdowns and not kick field goals when they get in the red-zone. They settled three times against the Patriots in week 2 and with how much better the Pats offense is playing now and how much more inconsistent the Jets defense has been, that won’t be enough for a victory this time around. Braylon Edwards should offer some support as a red-zone target that the Patriots will have a tough time matching up against. Yet, overall I expect the Jets to rely heavily on Thomas Jones and their rushing attack. The problem is that Belichick is notorious for taking away what opposing offenses do best or their best weapon, in the Jets case Thomas Jones/their offensive line/running game is their best weapon. Belichick is going to say, “Mark Sanchez you find a way to beat me, I am going to stop the run and put the game on your shoulders.”

This game will be a hell of a test for Sanchez, facing a quality defense for the second time that has obviously broken down his tendencies from their first meeting. He must protect the football but it is going to take more than that for a victory. The Jets offense has to be able to make the Patriots pay for stacking up the box and taking away Thomas Jones. Jerricho Cotchery has been a Patriots killer and for the first time he has a big time receiver on the other side of him. The Jets have an advantage over the Pats seconday with Cotchery, Edwards, and Dustin Keller but it is on Sanchez to exploit that advantage.

*Sep 20 - 00:05*Defensive Gameplan: The Jets put together one of their most impressive defensive performances of the season in week two when they held New England without a touchdown. Tom Brady was under 50 percent passing and threw an interception, while Randy Moss was invisible. However, the Pats did find some success running the football but for some reason turned away from it in the second half. It will be interesting to see if they focus on running the football with the inconsistent Laurence Maroney or if they decide to spread it out and go for the Jets throat with a downfield passing attack mixed in with their traditional quick screens.

I am never concerned about Moss when the Jets play the Pats but I am losing sleep over what Wes Welker could do this week. Lito Sheppard has been terrible this year, especially at tackling. Welker is a guy who is going to catch a screen behind the line and turn it into a 18 yard gain over and over again unless the Jets sniff it out and swarm to the ball. I would expect to see every Jets defensive back active this week and plenty of them being rotated through as blitzers and guys playing underneath coverage on Welker or Kevin Faulk.

The Jets success against New England was mainly based on getting pressure on Tom Brady. Obviously, they need to get after him because if he gets comfortable in the pocket the Jets are dead. Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas and the rest of Jets linebackers have to generate a pass rush and when corners like Donald Strickland or Drew Coleman are sent after Brady, they need to make plays.

Special Teams Breakdown: It will be interesting to see who the Jets have returning both kicks and punts. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Justin Miller get another chance deep on kick returns and a rotation of some sort at punt return. Jerricho Cotchery and Darrelle Revis can be used in situations where you are looking for a fair catch because of their good hands, also don’t be surprised to see Brad Smith or Dwight Lowery get a shot.

An Excerpt From The Speech Thomas Jones Gave, Except He Turned Old, Italian, and White

A Look At Darrelle Revis and His Punt Returning Days

Better Late Than Never: Turn On The Jets TV: Bye Week Trip to AC

The 2007 to 2009 Jets vs. Patriots Parallel

NFL-JETS-PATRIOTS

First a few updates:

1. The Rex Ryan crying story has got alot of run in the New York media, when discussing it today he made light of the situation by bringing out a box of tissues in the beginning of his press conference and a prepared statement to mock Mark Sanchez…pretty funny stuff. Ryan is a hard guy not to like and has a good self-depreciating sense of humor. I really don’t have a strong opinion on the whole issue. We will see if it leads to any different results on the field this Sunday against one of the NFL’s elite teams.

2. Other highlights from the Rex Ryan press conference: Jim Leonhard and Vernon Gholston bothmissed practice today, neither are expected to play this weekend against New England. I would expect Leonhard to miss at least 2 or 3 games while recovering from thumb surgery. Shaun Ellis and Brad Smithwere limited but are expected to play. Rex Ryan still expressed tons of confidence in his team and his belief that he will be a champion with the Jets by the end of Obama’s first term. He also said “we are going to try to whip New England…again.”

3. There is a pretty funny story circulating about Braylon Edwards buying Rihanna a $10,000 bottle of champagne at a nightclub and having the bottle sent back because she didn’t know who he was…owch.

4. A storyline out of New England is how angry the Patriots were about how the Jets were celebrating like they won the Super Bowl after their week two victory. There was a similar story with the Jets being angry about the Dolphins celebrating in a similar fashion after they beat them on Monday night. What is with all these problems about celebrating after victories in the AFC East? How can you say the Jets were celebrating like they won the Super Bowl when the overwhelming majority of people on their team haven’t been near a a Super Bowl? They don’t know how Super Bowl champions act.

The 2007 to 2009 Jets vs. Patriots Parallel

The dominant national storyline on the upcoming Jets/Patriots game is this: New England is angry. They blew a game to the Colts they should have won. They are looking for revenge on the Jets for a week two loss. The Jets are in the midst of a meltdown and now have to travel to New England as double digit underdogs. It is going to get ugly for the Jets this weekend. I have heard numerous national writers talk about the Patriots running it up, hanging a 60 spot on the Jets, and taking out all their frustration against the hapless, helpless Jets. It reminds of when me the 3-10 Jets traveled to face the 13-0 Patriots on December 16th, 2007.

If you can remember the Patriots were angry with the Jets for Spygate. Bill Belichick was going to be looking to run it up on Eric Mangini and the Jets. New England had been regularly beating teams by 30 and 40 points all season and would certainly be looking to put at least 6o up on the Jets. Everybody was gleefully picking scores like 52-14, 59-3, etc, etc. How could the Jets even manage to stay close to the Patriots in New England?

82886912Well in the middle of a dismal 2007 season, the Jets played their best game of the season and Eric Mangini probably came up with one of his best defensive game plans in his three year tenure as the Jets coach. How can I be talking positively about a 20-10 loss? Do you remember the line-up the Jets brought to New England to face a Patriots team that finished the regular season 16-0? They started Kellen Clemens at quarterback, Justin McCariens at receiver, and David Barrett at corner. Anthony Clement and Adrien Clarke were starters on the offensive line…yikes, but somehow the Jets made the score 20-17 with 2:38 left on the clock on a McCariens touchdown catch. Unfortunately, the play was reviewed and overruled (because McCariens can’t catch), Mike Nugent missed a chip shot field goal and the Pats ran out of the clock for a 20-10 win.

The Jets forced New England into their worst offensive performance of the season, by a long shot. Tom Brady went 14/27 for 140 yards with an INT and zero touchdowns. It was the only game all season he didn’t throw a touchdown pass, in a year where he threw 5o touchdowns. New England’s offense did nothing against an average Jets defense. They scored a touchdown on an interception return (which knocked Kellen Clemens out of the game) and blocked a punt that they recovered on the 1 yard line, leading to their only offensive touchdown. Somehow a offense led by Chad Pennington, who hadn’t played in 4 weeks and featured a receiving core led by a banged up Jerricho Cotchery, Justin McCariens, and Chris Baker managed more yards through the air than New England’s passing attack.

What does all this mean? It means don’t expect the Jets to lose by 30 this weekend. New England won’t be running the score up on anybody because Randy Moss won’t have 175 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns, in fact I doubt he comes anywhere near 100 yards because Darrelle Revis has owned him since that game in 2007 where he grabbed a one-handed interception over him. Including the second meeting in 2007, the stats Moss has posted in 4 meetings with the Jets are: 14 receptions, 151 yards, and 1 touchdown so I would expect Moss to have his usual 4 catches and 38 yards this week that he does against Revis, who has more interceptions in that span of games (2) than Moss does touchdowns (1).

I am not saying the Jets are going to win. Tom Brady will find a way to move the ball and the Jets will have their hands full stopping Wes Welker. It won’t be easy for Mark Sanchez to move the football against a complex Belichick game plan but if he is smart he will throw the ball often to Jerricho Cotchery who has killed the Pats over the past few years. Yet, this game won’t be over at halftime. These are two rivals who know each other well. The Jets will find a way to keep this game close and likely they will find a unique, painful way to lose at the end, like they have 4 other times this season.

Jets Beat Pats 16-9

Jets Beat Pats 34-31

Better Late Than Never – TOJ TV Episode IX: Bye Week Trip to AC

NFL Week 10 Recap/Jets vs. Patriots Part II First Look

Jets vs. Patriots

First a few updates:

1. The Jets fired defensive line coach Kerry Locklin and promoted Jeff Weeks to his previous position. Apparently, there were some behind the scene issues with Rex Ryan and Locklin and this was a move that was a long time coming.

large_rex-ryan5142. The big guy broke down yesterday in a team meeting. It is being reported that Rex Ryan broke into tears during an emotional speech to his team when discussing the loss to Jacksonville and the upcoming games they face. According to Darrelle Revis and Damien Woody, it had a big impact on the locker room. However, as good as it sounds to have a head coach break down and his team rally behind him because they have his back, it doesn’t mean anything if the Jets can’t find a way to win a football game.

3. Jim Leonhard had the surgery on his thumb and is at least expected to miss this week. Eric Smith would step into the starting line-up.

4. The Jets fell to number 21 in the ESPN Power Rankings

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – New England put together a great game for about 55 minutes in Indy on Sunday night but unfortunately for them they couldn’t finish what they started. There is no logical defense for Bill Belichick’s decision not to punt and the genius was finally burned by his appropriately large ego. I do know this, the Patriots are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were in week two so the Jets better get creative in their game planning.

Miami Dolphins – The mighty Dolphins edged out the 1-8 Bucs at home on a last second field goal…and yes of course most of the national media still considers them a legit playoff contender despite the fact they haven’t beat a team with a winning record yet this season. They travel to Carolina on Thursday night where they are expected to be without Ronnie Brown and Joey Porter. I have a vested fantasy football interest (DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith) and vested hate in Miami interest in that game.

Buffalo Bills – Man, Buffalo is an awful team. Man, I can’t believe the Jets lost to them at home. Man, the Jets must be a pretty bad team themselves.

TOJ Top Ten

  1. New Orleans Saints – It wasn’t pretty but they found a way to stay undefeated.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – We all know Peyton is an all time great, but how good is Reggie Wayne?
  3. Minnesota Vikings – Rolling to a NFC North title.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – Favorite team #2 (because of Hard Knocks) is having an unbelievable season.
  5. San Diego Chargers – They have a chance to take over the AFC West lead this weekend by beating the fading Broncos.
  6. New England Patriots – Impressive in defeat, as much as it pains me to say it.
  7. Arizona Cardinals – Rolling to another NFC West title and if they keep running the football they may defend their NFC crown.
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers – Might have to settle for a wild card this year.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Laid an egg in Green Bay.
  10. Denver Broncos – The metldown is in full swing.

Jets vs. Patriots Part II First Look

Patriots Jets FootballThe Opponent: My, how the times have changed since the Jets beat the Patriots in week two. Since that loss, New England is 5-2 and currently has a two game lead over the Jets in the AFC East. The Jets are appropriately double digit underdogs because simply put the Patriots have been a much better team than them in the past 8 weeks. Tom Brady has shaken off the early season rust and is putting together another all-pro season, while Wes Welker has returned to the line-up giving New England the best pair of starting receivers in the league. On defense, the Patriots remain good not great but will have Jerod Mayo back at linebacker, who didn’t play in the first meeting between these two teams. The national consensus on this game is that New England is angry about blowing last week’s game to the Colts, angry about losing to the now sub .500 Jets in week 2, and the Jets are a team reeling meaning the Pats are going to hang a 60 spot on Rex Ryan’s defense and look to run it up. It reminds me of the coverage before these teams met in December of 2007 (which I will detail in tomorrow’s article).

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Tom Brady – 233/352, 378 yards, 19 TD’s, 6 INTs
  • Running Back: Laurence Maroney – 94 carries, 378 yards, 4 TDs
  • Running Back: Kevin Faulk – 37 carries, 188 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Randy Moss – 58 catches, 891 yards, 7 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Wes Welker – 64 catches, 662 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Julian Edelman – 23 catches, 202, 1 TD
  • Tight End: Ben Watson – 20 catches, 307 yards 4 TD’s
  • Tight End: Chris Baker – 10 catch, 91 yards, 1 TD
  • Left Tackle: Matt Light
  • Left Guard: Logan Mankins
  • Center: Dan Koppen
  • Right Guard: Stephen Neal
  • Right Tackle: Nick Kaczur

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Ty Warren – 3o tackles, 1 sack
  • Nose Tackle: Vince Wilfork – 25 tackles
  • Defensive End: Jarvis Green – 18 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Pierre Woods – 24 tackles, 2 FF
  • Inside Linebacker: Jerod Mayo – 39 tackles, 1 sack
  • Inside Linebacker: Gary Guyton – 50 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Adalius Thomas – 22 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain – 28 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Derrick Burgess – 13 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Corner: Leigh Bodden – 34 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Corner: Shawn Springs – 6 tackles, 1 FF
  • Safety: Brandon Merriweather – 44 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Brandon McGowan – 56 tackles
  • Safety: Pat Chung – 25 tackles, 2 sacks

SPECIALS

  • Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
  • Punter: Chris Hanson
  • Kick Return: Laurence Maroney
  • Punt Return: Wes Welker

Injuries: Jim Leonhard probably won’t play for the Jets. New England has been a little banged up on the offensive line and has been without running backs Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris.

Early Story Lines: Jets in the middle of complete meltdown…How much will the Pats win by…New England is frustrated after losing last week and will take it out on their hated rivals…Can Mark Sanchez play in cold weather…Somehow the Jets would only be a game out of first place with a win

Highlights From Pats/Colts Game

Better Late, Than Never: TOJ TV Episode IX: Bye Week AC Trip