Final Thoughts On Jets/Bengals

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Let’s Get It Done

Happy Wild-Card Weekend everybody…let us all enjoy this holiday and most of all enjoy rooting for our Jets proving to the rest of the NFL that they belong in the playoffs.

1. Mark Sanchez…don’t turn the ball over.

2. Thomas Jones…keep doing what you been doing all year.

3. Darrelle Revis…show why you are the best defensive player in the league.

4. Kerry Rhodes…put a disappointing season behind you with a big playoff performance.

5. Braylon Edwards…catch the ball.

6. Rex Ryan…blitz, blitz, and blitz some more.

Get all those things done and we’ll be off to San Diego or Indy.

 

Jets vs. Bengals Prediction: TOJ TV Wild-Card Edition

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First a few updates:

1. David Harris and Donald Strickland are both listed as questionable for Saturday. I’d be shocked  if Harris didn’t start…Strickland should be involved in the Jets dime package.

2. Is anybody else looking forward to calling in to Miked Up after the Jets win and shutting up Francessa?

3. If you haven’t friended me on facebook for the purpose of becoming a Turn On The Jets fan on facebook…please do so now…I can wait, this article isn’t going anywhere.

4. Congratulations to D’Brickashaw Ferguson for being selected to the pro-bowl to fill in for an injured Jake Long.

Jets vs. Bengals Prediction: TOJ TV Wild-Card Edition

I love this match-up for the Jets…am I being biased? Maybe a little, but ever since the Jets moved to 7-6 and back into the playoff picture, I have been telling anyone who would listen that if they managed a first round game against the Bengals, they would have a hell of a chance to advance to the divisional round. For some reason, God has been smiling on the Jets ever since the Atlanta game, they caught a break against the Colts and then demolished a not fully focused Bengals team, along with every other AFC playoff contender melting down when it counted and he continues to smile on them with this match-up.

What do I expect? I expect an ugly first half, while both teams feel each other out. I think Sanchez struggles early but avoids turning the ball over, leading to a 6-3 halftime score in favor of the Bengals. I think in the locker room, the Jets are going to realize they weathered the storm of any early emotion/adrenaline the Bengals had with home field advantage (even though they can’t sell out their game…pathetic) and come out on fire in the third quarter. I think the Jets score two second half touchdowns to go up 17-6, before the Bengals respond to cut the lead to 17-13…because nothing ever comes easy for the Jets.

At this point of the game, the Jets are going to get the ball back with about 3:50 on the clock, with Cincy having two timeouts. Every Jets fan will have visions of the Bengals stopping us and then driving down the field for the game winning touchdown…however, it won’t come to that because Thomas Jones and the Jets offense will convert a pair of key first downs that take away the Bengals time outs and leaves no time on the clock.

Jets win…17-13…see you in Indy.

Other wild-card weekend picks:

Philadelphia – 27 Dallas 20: Too much pressure on Tony Romo and the whole Dallas organization. McNabb isn’t missing a wide open DeSean Jackson this week.

New England – 17 Baltimore – 14: I hate picking them but I think they find a way to win…with some help from the officials.

Green Bay – 30 Arizona – 27: High-scoring battle that the red hot Packers prevail in.

TOJ TV Wild-Card Weekend Edition

Well-Done Craig

Jets vs. Bengals Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. David Harris did practice today, although he was limited. However, from all reports he looked pretty good and should start at linebacker on Saturday. Donald Strickland was the only other player who was limited in practice and he could be a game-time decision. Steve Weatherford (who complimented my prediction skills on facebook) was practicing full and should be 100 percent for Saturday.

2. It is looking like somewhere between 10-20 degrees with a chance of flurries on Saturday at 4:30 PM…you are a long way from USC Mark Sanchez.

3. Rex Ryan continued to argue for Darrelle Revis as the Defensive Player of the Year today…you focus on the Bengals, Rex…I am going to argue for Darrelle’s cause a little later in the day.

4. Stop by (www.greenrewind.com) to check out Marty Schupak’s latest podcast, which features an appearance by yours truly along with plenty of other Jets writers/bloggers. Also check out the Fantasy Buffet radio show at (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fanball/2009/12/21/fantasy-buffet) where I will be making an appearance tomorrow around 11 AM.

5. Don’t forget to friend me on facebook and then become a fan of the Turn On The Jets page to find extra commentary, links to other Jets article, along with all the stuff you could here on this site.

6. A new episode of TOJ TV has been filmed and should be posted tomorrow afternoon or maybe even tonight if I decide to avoid being lazy.

Jets vs. Bengals Game Breakdown

Offense: The playoffs is not the time for the Jets to abandon what got them there. It is time to run the football. I have to give Brian Schottenheimer and Bill Callahan credit for their creativity with the Jets rushing attack. Teams know the Jets are going to run the ball and try to keep it out of Sanchez’s hands but they have still found a way to get the job done. Expect to see plenty of Wayne Hunter and Robert Turner off the bench, which means the Jets are going to have seven lineman in the game and are basically saying “we are running the ball, we know you know it but you can’t stop it.” You can bet on Thomas Jones getting his 20-25 carries and Shonn Greene adding on another 12-15.

The key for the Jets running game is going to be setting up third and short for Mark Sanchez, where the Jets have a reasonable option to both run and pass. One of the Jets favorite plays in a 3rd and 3 type situation is putting Jerricho Cotchery in the slot, bringing him in motion over the center and then sprinting him back out towards the slot, having Sanchez roll out and throw a quick 3 yard out to him, if you fast forward to 6:44 in this clip below, you will see a variation of this play. I don’t have the exact numbers on this play but by my count the Jets are about 10 for 10 on this play this year (they also ran it with Keller as the 2 point conversion vs the Colts, as you could see in the other clip below at the 2:46 mark and with Edwards against Jacksonville as you could see in the clip below that at the 2:59 mark). The point is that, they need to put themselves in situations where they could run this play and other ones they are comfortable with/have a high success rate with on third down.

You will also see plenty of the Jets “Tiger” formation. I don’t care how much time the Bengals spent on Brad Smith this week, NFL teams are not used to defending all the variations of option the Jets could run with Smith under center. It is a tremendous advantage that Smith can’t not only run the traditional “Wildcat” but is comfortable taking direct snaps. He has shown an ability to execute the pitch relationship with Shonn Greene and convert the pitch to him if the defensive end gets out in front of him. Also, let’s not forget Smith threw for 8,000 yards in college and I can promise you one of the first “Tiger” plays the Jets run will involve Smith throwing a pass (likely a short one to be safe) just to make the Bengals think twice every time Smith rolls out and if they hesitate, there is no reason this can’t happen again:

It would go a long way towards a Jets victory if Mark Sanchez and Braylon Edwards can convert on a big play down the field. The Jets obviously struggle scoring points and if they could grab a quick seven, it would be a huge boost in a low scoring game and soften up the Bengals defense against the Jets run. Sanchez has done a good job on deep balls this season but hasn’t always been helped by his wide receivers. Here are three clips of Sanchez throwing and connecting on a well-thrown deep ball. Finally, it has been said a thousand times but Sanchez must protect the football at all costs. If he doesn’t turn the ball over, there is no reason the Jets can’t be off to Indy or San Diego.

Sanchez to Cotchery at 3:04

Sanchez to Braylon at 0:51

Sanchez to Clowney at 2:02

Defense: The key for the Jets is to slow down Cedric Benson and the Bengals rushing attack. The Jets defensive line has overachieved all season and Marques Douglas, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Shaun Eliis need a big game. We need David Harris to continually introduce himself to Benson throughout the game and force the Bengals into third and long, and then eventually abandon their running game. The bottom line is that the Bengals can’t throw on the Jets. Darrelle Revis will do his job on Ochocinco and they have nobody else who can hurt the Jets down the field. However, it goes beyond the Jets limiting the Bengals rushing attack and preventing big plays in the passing game. The Jets need to force turnovers and sack the quarterback, to help their offense score points.

Outside of Cedric Benson, the Bengals starting offense played last week for the entire half and was completely embarrassed. Whether or not they ran a vanilla package and hid some things, don’t tell me there isn’t some doubt in their mind about their ability to move the ball on the Jets defense. It isn’t like they just had a bad half of football…a bad half is getting shut out but still gaining some yards and completing some passes. Carson Palmer was 1/11 for 0 yards with an interception and the only first down the Bengals got was on a questionable penalty on the Jets. If the Jets can get off to a fast start on defense and force a few 3 and outs, the Bengals are going to start questioning themselves and maybe trying to force some things.

Special Teams: This is going to be a low scoring game, which means a big return could swing the final results. It has to be the Jets who get good field position or a touchdown because of their special teams units, not the Bengals. One of the things I am most worried about is a big return from Bernard Scott on kickoffs. However, don’t be shocked to see a fake punt from Mike Westhoff and the Jets special teams units.

Jets vs. Bengals Position By Position Comparison

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First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan did what he does best today (except coach defense) and grabbed headlines by saying he believes the Jets should be favorites in the playoffs because of their defense and running game. This story will likely get blown out of proportion, basically Ryan was informed the Jets had the lowest odds (now 50 to 1) of any playoff team and said that he believes in his team and he would personally pick them as favorites…the guy has confidence in his team. Yes, it is crazy to think the Jets should be the favorites in these playoffs but if their head coach doesn’t believe they are going to win it all, why even bother…however that doesn’t mean he needed to say it to the press.

2. You want see Ryan’s impact on the Jets defense? Read this: (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/

kerry_byrne/01/05/ryan/index.html).

3. 11 out of 12? That is the highest I have seen them yet. (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers

/don_banks/01/06/playoff.power.rankings/index.html).

Jets vs. Bengals Position By Position Comparison

Quarterback: Carson Palmer (3094 yards, 21 TDs, 13 INTs, 83.6 QB Rating) vs. Mark Sanchez (2444 yards, 12 TDs, 20 INTs, 63.0 QB Rating) – Palmer isn’t the elite quarterback he used to be but is still a good player. This is really his first playoff game since he got hurt on the 1st play of his last playoff game. Sanchez has struggled with turnovers and consistency in his rookie year. Advantage: Jets….just kidding…Bengals.

Running Backs: Cedric Benson (1251 yards, 6 TDs, 4.2 YPC), Bernard Scott (321 yards), Brian Leonard (30 receptions) vs. Thomas Jones (1402 yards, 14 TDs, 4.2 YPC), Shonn Greene (540 yards, 2 TDs), Danny Woodhead (151 total yards) – I will take Thomas Jones over Cedric Benson any day of the week, Shonn Greene has been better than Scott this year despite not starting to play until the middle of the season. Leonard is a valuable third down back and a better player than Woodhead. Advantage: Jets.

Fullback: Tony Richardson (58 total yards) vs. Jeremi Johnson (49 total yards) – Johnson is a good player but Richardson is one of the best in the NFL. Advantage: Jets.

Wide Receivers: Chad Ochocinco (1047 yards, 9 TDs), Laveranues Coles (514 yards, 5 TDs), Andre Caldwell (432 yards, 3 TDs), Quan Cosby (4 catches, 55 yards) vs. Braylon Edwards (541 yards, 4 TDs), Jerricho Cotchery (821 yards, 4 TDs), Brad Smith (270 total yards, 1 TD), David Clowney (191 yards, 1 TD)Ochocinco is a better #1 receiver than Braylon but Cotchery is a substantially better #2 receiver than Coles. Caldwell is a better pure receiver than Brad Smith, but Smith is more of a weapon and big play threat. Clowney might not be active on Saturday. Advantage: Even.

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Tight Ends: J.P. Foschi (260 yards, 2 TDs), Daniel Coats (150 yards) vs. Dustin Keller (522 yards, 2 TDs), Ben Hartsock (1 TD), Wayne Hunter, Robert Turner – Keller isn’t used enough by the Jets but is still a much more productive and dangerous player than anyone the Bengals could line up at tight end. Advantage: Jets.

Offensive Line: Andrew Whitworth, Nate Livings, Kyle Cook, Bobbie Williams, Dennis Roland vs. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, Damien Woody – The Jets front five have started the past 32 games together and are arguably the best unit in the game. They are anchored by All-Pro center Nick Mangold. Advantage: Jets.

Defensive Line: Robert Geathers (36 tackles, 3.5 sacks), Domata Peko (23 tackles), Tank Johnson (29 tackles, 2 sacks), Jonathan Fanene (36 tackles, 6 sacks), Michael Johnson (17 tackles, 3 sacks) vs. Shaun Ellis (53 tackles, 6.5 sacks), Sione Pouha (45 tackles), Marques Douglas (64 tackles, 1.5 sacks), Mike DeVito (28 tackles) – Two underrated units who lack a big name but still get the job done. I will give the advantage to the Bengals because they do a better job of rushing the passer. Advantage: Bengals

Linebackers: Rashad Jeanty (20 tackles), Dhani Jones (113 tackles, 3.5 sacks), Keith Rivers (72 tackles, 1 sack), Brandon Johnson (58 tackles, 1.5 sacks) vs. David Harris (127 tackles, 5.5 sacks), Calvin Pace (55 tackles, 8 sacks), Bart Scott (92 tackles, 1 sack), Bryan Thomas (53 tackles, 2 sacks) – Even if Rey Maualuga didn’t get hurt, I would still give the advantage to the Jets. David Harris should be have been in the pro-bowl and if Calvin Pace didn’t miss the first four games with a suspension he might have made it also. Advantage: Jets

Corners: Leon Hall (71 tackles, 6 INTs), Jonathan Joseph (69 tackles, 6 INTs), Morgan Trent (28 tackles), David Jones (11 tackles) vs. Darrelle Revis (54 tackles, 6 INTs), Lito Sheppard (31 tackles, 1 INT), Dwight Lowery (24 tackles, 3 INTs), Donald Strickland (26 tackles, 2 sacks) – The Jets have the best overall player and better depth but the Bengals have a better starting duo. Advantage: Even.

Safety: Chris Crocker (51 tackles, 2 INTs), Chinedum Ndukwe (89 tackles, 1 INT, 2 sacks), Tom Nelson (25 tackles, 1 INT) vs. Jim Leonhard (76 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT), Kerry Rhodes (63 tackles, 3 INTs), Eric Smith (48 tackles, 1 INT), James Ihedigbo (2 sacks) – Pretty even here, although Kerry Rhodes is probably the most talented guy in the group despite having a very disappointing season. Advantage: Even.

Special Teams: Shayne Graham (23/28 FG’s), Kevin Huber (43.2 yards per punt), Bernard Scott (1 KR TD), Quan Cosby (11.9 yards per punt return) vs. Jay Feely (30/36 FGs), Steve Weatherford (42 yards per punt), Brad Smith (1 KR TD), Jerricho Cotchery (10.3 yards per punt return) – The numbers are very comparable across the board, although the Jets have pulled four successful fake punts this season. Advantage: Jets.


It's The Quarterback, Stupid

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First a few updates:

1. David Harris is the only player who didn’t practice today. However, the Star-Ledger (http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2010/01/ny_jets_lb_david_harris_is_exp.html) reported that he is going to play on Saturday and that the sprain is only mild. Rex Ryan didn’t refute that report today. Obviously, this is very good news and I think we are all looking forward to David Harris introducing himself to Cedric Benson.

2. Punter Steve Weatherford was a full participant in practice today.

3. Good article on ESPN.com by Tim Graham on the impact of the Jets pass rush on opposing quarterbacks, along with Carson Palmer’s handling of the blitz all season. (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/8743/cincy-might-consider-riot-gear-for-jets-d).

4. The latest line I have seen on the Jets/Bengals game is Cincy at 2.5 favorites. The latest odds I have seen for the Jets winning the Super Bowl is 45 to 1, which is of course the lowest out of any NFL playoff team.

It’s The Quarterback, Stupid

The primary reason for the Jets ending the season winning 5 of their last 6 games was because they finally embraced their identity as a run first offense that was going to rely on their defense to win games. Mark Sanchez’s early season success led to Brian Schottenheimer embracing a more balanced approach and putting too much in his rookie’s hands too early, leading to losses against the Saints, Bills, Jaguars, and Patriots. It has been a weird ride for Sanchez this season, culminating with a 6/12 63 yards Wing-T high school quarterback stat line. I know the Jets are built on their running game and defense but they are going to need more than 63 yards from Mark Sanchez if they want to do any damage in these playoffs. Sanchez is easily the 12th best quarterback in these playoffs but if he could somehow duplicate his early season play for stretches of games, the Jets have enough talent around him to rip off a victory or two or maybe even three? I don’t want to push it. First, let’s run through the odd 2009 season of #6:

Week 1 At Houston: 18/31, 272 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT – Arguably Sanchez’s best all-around game of the season. He was unbelievable on third down in this game and showed good movement in the pocket, poise, and confidence.

Week 2 Vs New England: 14/22, 163 yards, 1 TD – If this wasn’t his best all-around game, it was his most impressive performance since he was going against Bill Belichick and outplayed Tom Brady. He protected the ball and elevated his play in the second half, including two beautiful passes to Jerricho Cotchery and a nice touchdown pass to Dustin Keller.

Week 3 Vs Tennessee: 17/30, 171 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT – Another good performance, although ball security issues began to surface in this game with the interception and a couple of fumbles. Sanchez also added a rushing touchdown this game.

Week 4 At New Orleans: 14/27, 138 yards, 3 INTs – Oh boy…Sanchez directly hands the Saints 14 points and basically costs the Jets a victory wasting a terrific performance by their defense.

Week 5 At Miami: 12/24, 172 yards, 1 TD – A good bounce-back performance, Sanchez threw the ball well down the field in this game. If he can play like this against the Bengals, the Jets will win.

Week 6 Vs Buffalo: 10/29, 119 yards, 5 INTs – I’m not sure I have ever seen a quarterback play a worse game.

Week 7 At Oakland: 9/15, 143 yards, 1 TD – Week one of the “stay the hell out of the way Sanchez” game plan. However, he played well and added a rushing touchdown.

Week 8 Vs Miami: 20/35, 265 yards, 2 TDs – Probably his best game of the year and the second half of this game was easily the best we have seen Sanchez all season. However, this was probably a bad thing because it led the Jets to give him too much freedom the following two weeks.

Week 10 Vs Jacksonville: 16/30, 212 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs – Played a good fourth quarter but beyond that was pretty bad.

Week 11 At New England: 8/21, 136 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs – The low point for the Jets season and Sanchez who regressed back to Buffalo game.

Week 12 Vs Carolina: 13/17, 154 yards, 1 INT – The color code system begins and the Jets embrace the “stay the hell out of the way Sanchez” game plan again…if you remove the INT, the Jets could win this Saturday with these numbers from Sanchez.

Week 13 At Buffalo: 7/15, 104 yards, 1 TD – The numbers don’t show it but Sanchez was playing well this game before he got hurt…don’t forget Braylon Edwards dropped an easy 80 yard touchdown pass this game.

Week 15 At Atlanta: 18/32, 226 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs – Too many passes by Sanchez leads to too many turnovers.

Week 16 At Indy: 12/19, 106 yards – Stay out of the way Mark…although he made some key third down throws in this game.

Week 17 Vs Cincy: 6/12, 63 yards – He didn’t need to throw at all because of the Jets running all over the field…Edwards should have caught a 50 yard touchdown from him.

PhotobucketSo, what do the Jets need from Sanchez to beat the Bengals? They aren’t going to get away with 12 passes. Their offense needs to put Sanchez in third and shorts, which he has shown a decent ability to convert throughout the season. There are going to be opportunities for the Jets to hit big plays down the field and if he could hit one (and this is also on you to catch the damn ball Braylon) it will go a long way to a Jets victory. If Sanchez turns the ball over, the Jets don’t have a chance. Yes, maybe they could overcome one interception but beyond that, they aren’t good enough to win with Sanchez throwing two INTs and having a fumble. We need:

  1. A good third-down conversion rate (aided by the running game setting up third and short/medium).
  2. A big play down the field or at least some intermediate completions to soften the defense.
  3. No turnovers.

The weather is going to be crappy but if somehow Sanchez could duplicate his Monday night performance (12/24, 172 yards, 1 TD) the Jets will beat the Bengals. It may be asking too much for those numbers but the Jets could probably even survive with a 13/18, 130 yards, 1 TD type game. If Brian Schottenheimer is smart he will start Sanchez off with some quick screens to Cotchery and Edwards to get his confidence up, and then gradually move him to some slants/hitches. There is going to be a spot in this game when it is 2nd and 3 from the Bengals 47 yard line and they are going to have 8 in the box, and Sanchez is going to have hit a play down the field. When he is dropping back to throw that pass you want him to be 4/6 for 40 yards or something, not 1/7 for 2 yards with two near interceptions.

Could you imagine if Sanchez hopped in the time machine and played like he did back in weeks 1-3…that would be a scary, dangerous team in the playoffs. Why can’t he do that? Because this is the Jets and that would be too easy…instead we have to cross our fingers for a 55 completion percentage, 130 yards and no turnovers.

Mark Sanchez…Playing Like A Quarterback Who Could Win The Playoffs

Jets vs. Bengals First Look

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First a few updates:

1. David Harris and Steve Weatherford missed practice today. Harris is likely going to be a game-time decision, while I would expect Weatherford to play. James Ihedigbo left practice today with a stinger but did return. Thomas Jones and Tony Richardson were given the day off. The backup to David Harris, Ryan Fowler, was limited with a head injury and if for some reason he and Harris couldn’t play…Kenwin Cummings would start at inside linebacker.

2. Cedric Benson told the media today that he didn’t even know who David Harris was and that he doubted the Jets would struggle without him. Harris is the leading tackler on the Jets #1 ranked defense with 127 stops, along with 5.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. I wonder if Benson knows who Thomas Jones is? The guy he was drafted to replace in Chicago but could never beat out. The guy who despite being 5 years older than him finished with 151 more rushing yards and 8 more touchdowns than him this season and was able to stay healthy enough to play all 16 games, while Benson couldn’t.

3. Condolences to Jets owner Woody Johnson and his family. His daughter passed away yesterday.

4. How about Teddy Bruschi on ESPN saying that the Jets have the best chance to make the Super Bowl out of the two wild-card teams? I think he was trying to jinx them.

5. The Bengals are coming into the came 100 percent healthy with Chad Ochocinco, Chris Crocker, and Domata Peko all expected to start.

6. The Jets finished #12 in ESPN’s Power Rankings, not bad for a team that started the season as ranked #23.

7. Well we know how Jeffri Chadiha of ESPN feels about the Jets (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2009/columns/story?columnist=chadiha_jeffri&id=4795473), then again this guy is picking Tony Romo to win three playoff games, so I wouldn’t be too worried.

Jets vs. Bengals First Look

Bengals Offensive Starters/Key Reserves

  • Quarterback: Carson Palmer – 282/466, 3094 yards, 60.5 completion percentage, 21 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 83.6 QB Rating.
  • Running Back: Cedric Benson – 301 carries, 1251 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 6 TD’s.
  • Third Down Back: Bernard Scott – 74 carries, 321 yards, 4.3 yards per carry.
  • Back-Up Running Back: Larry Johnson – 46 carries, 204 yards, 4.4 yards per carry.
  • Other Third Down Back: Brian Leonard – 27 carries, 84 yards, 3.1 yards per carry, 30 receptions, 217 yards
  • Fullback: Jeremi Johnson – 4 carries, 8 yards, 6 receptions, 41 yards.
  • #1 Receiver: Chad Ochocinco – 72 receptions, 1047 yards, 9 touchdowns.
  • #2 Receiver: Laveranues Coles – 43 receptions, 514 yards, 5 touchdowns.
  • #3 Receiver: Andre Caldwell – 51 receptions, 432 yards, 3 touchdowns.
  • #4 Receiver: Quan Cosby – 4 receptions, 55 yards
  • Tight End: J.P. Foschi – 27 receptions, 260 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • #2 Tight End: Daniel Coats – 16 receptions, 150 yards
  • Left Tackle: Andrew Whitworth
  • Left Guard: Nate Livings
  • Center: Kyle Cook
  • Right Guard: Bobbie Williams
  • Right Tackle: Dennis Roland

Bengals Defensive Starters/Key Reserves

  • Defensive End: Robert Geathers – 36 tackles, 3.5 sacks
  • Defensive Tackle: Domata Peko – 23 tackles
  • Defensive Tackle: Tank Johnson – 29 tackles, 2.0 sacks
  • Defensive End: Jonathan Fanene – 36 tackles, 6.0 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Rashad Jeanty – 20 tackles
  • Middle Linebacker: Dhani Jones – 113 tackles, 3.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Keith Rivers – 72 tackles, 1 sack
  • Corner: Leon Hall – 71 tackles, 6 INTs
  • Corner: Jonathan Joseph – 69 tackles, 6 INTs
  • Safety: Chris Crocker – 51 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Chinedum Ndukwe – 89 tackles, 1 INT

Special Teams

  • Kicker: Shayne Graham – 23/28 FGs, 28/29 PATs, (1 miss from 20-29 yards, 2 misses from 30-39 yards)
  • Punter: Kevin Huber – 43.2 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: Bernard Scott – 1 return touchdown, 31.5 average
  • Punt Return: Quan Cosby – 11.9 per return.

PhotobucketOffense – The Bengals offense is built like the Jets offense, which means they live by the run. Carson Palmer isn’t an elite quarterback anymore but still had a good overall season. He can be relied on to make some plays if the running game is slowed down, yet the Bengals are weak at wide receiver. Chad Ochocinco isn’t going to be a factor this week, I can promise you that and beyond him the Bengals have nothing at receiver. Laveraneus Coles is washed up and Andre Caldwell is average. They also don’t have a pass catching threat at tight end. Cedric Benson has been very good this year and Brian Leonard has made plays for them on third downs. However, I have a tough time seeing Benson gashing the Jets defense. Honestly, I would be shocked if the Bengals scored more than 17 points unless Sanchez turns the ball over.

Defense – Cincy has been very strong against the run all season. However, they are now missing linebacker Rey Maualuga which will have a negative impact on them. The Jets are going to run the ball, regardless of how many people the Bengals put in the box. I am sure Cincy has spent plenty of time on Brad Smith this week in practice and they should expect more of him this week. The Bengals have two very good corners and talent at safety as well. Mark Sanchez has to be careful against their secondary because there isn’t going to be a ton of space for Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery to work with.

Special Teams – I am very worried about Bernard Scott ripping off a kick return touchdown against us this week. However, keep an eye on Brad Smith on our kick return unit because he has been improving all season. I think we have an advantage at the kicker position.

Well They Couldn’t Beat Oakland

Final TOJ NFL Rankings & Other Thoughts on Regular Season/Jets vs. Bengals

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First a few updates:

Note: This terrific picture above was created by JetsFan_MD and posted on www.jetsinsider.com. Considering my two favorite things in the world are the Jets and the TV show LOST…this is about as good as it gets for me.

1. Rex Ryan didn’t sound too confident about David Harris practicing this week with his sprained ankle. He may end up being a game time decision. Ryan Fowler would step in, although he had a head injury apparently so he could be replaced by Kenwin Cummings…ut-oh.

2. Ryan didn’t say anything else too notable in his press conference. He was pretty low key and respectful of the Bengals, which is the right approach to take. However, he did affirm that the Jets goal is to make the Super Bowl and that they aren’t just happy to be in the playoffs.

3. Not too much love from Mike Francesa on WFAN today, who didn’t give the Jets much credit for last night. He did say he thought they had a decent shot to win on Saturday but he seemed more anxious to talk about Jason Bay or John Mara…you have to love how salty Giants fans are today.

4. Yes, of course there will be a playoff edition of TOJ TV coming this week. I am also trying to set up a question exchange with the Bengals FanBall blogger.

5. In case you are curious, I have insane amounts of free time on my hands this week since I am on winter break and all my friends work full time (you know because they enjoy having money, unlike me who would rather accumulate student loan debt), so yes this web-site and the facebook page will be updated so much that you will be fully convinced I have no life…oh well.

Final TOJ NFL Rankings & Other Thoughts on Regular Season/Wild-Card Weekend

Long title, right? Now, I am not one to pat myself on the back but check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/2009-nfl-predictions/):

  • I picked 5 out of 6 AFC playoff teams right, my only miss was on the Bengals winning the North (I picked Pittsburgh). My wild-card picks? Jets and Ravens.
  • I picked the Dolphins (7-9), Titans (8-8), Browns (5-11), and Jacksonville (7-9) record correctly and missed by one game on Denver, Buffalo, Chiefs, and Chargers.
  • I picked 4 out of 6 NFC playoff teams right, my only misses were on the Saints (yikes) and Cowboys. I had the G-Men (ha) and Falcons in the playoffs.
  • I picked the Cardinals (10-6) record correctly and missed by one game on the Eagles, Packers, Bears, and Lions.
  • Just for reference I picked a San Diego/Philly Super Bowl.

Just call me young Nostradamus. Better pay attention to my playoff picks.

And then check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/40-predictions-for-2009-new-york-jets-season/) and see how many Jets specific things I missed including gems on Mark Sanchez’s stats, Lito Sheppard’s INT total, Vernon Gholston’s sack total, and plenty more.

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Final TOJ NFL Rankings

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (14-2) Going into the playoffs on a 2 game losing streak (by their backups).
  2. San Diego Chargers (13-3) Going into the playoffs on a 11 game winning streak…watch out.
  3. New Orleans Saints (13-3) Going into playoffs on a 3 game losing streak…ut oh.
  4. Minnesota Vikings (12-4) You can bet I will be rooting against them.
  5. Dallas Cowboys (11-5) Need a playoff win in the worst way.
  6. Green Bay Packers (11-5) Very dangerous team.
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) They are better than they showed last week.
  8. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) Risky to sleep on them after last year.
  9. New England Patriots (10-6) Too bad about Wes Welker’s injury (and I am being serious, no matter how much I hate him and New England you never want to see anyone get hurt, especially somebody as good as him).
  10. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) Well at least they are going in with some momentum, right?
  11. Baltimore Ravens (9-7) They can run and play defense, which  means they are dangerous.
  12. New York Jets (9-7) They can run and play defense better than anybody in the NFL, which means they are dangerous.
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7) Too little, too late for the defending champs.
  14. Houston Texans (9-7) They can thank Kris Brown for missing the playoffs.
  15. Tennessee Titans (8-8) 8-2 over their last 10 games.
  16. Atlanta Falcons (9-7) Two straight winning seasons for the dirty birds.
  17. Miami Dolphins (7-9) Have fun sitting at home.
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) Not a bad year for a young team.
  19. Denver Broncos (8-8) They should be embarrassed.
  20. Carolina Panthers (8-8) Strong finish with Matt Moore at QB.
  21. New York Giants (8-8) Embarrassed themselves the past two weeks and final 11 games for that matter.
  22. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) Only .500 because they get to play the Seahawks or Rams 4 games a year.
  23. Chicago Bears (7-9) They felt worse than 7-9. Jay Cutler stunk the joint up.
  24. Cleveland Browns (5-11) Finished the season on a 4 game winning streak…go Mangini.
  25. Oakland Raiders (5-11) All they do is beat playoff teams…and lose to everyone else.
  26. Buffalo Bills (6-10) Consistently mediocre.
  27. Washington Redskins (4-12) And so ends the Jim Zorn era.
  28. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12) I guess Matt Cassell isn’t a franchise quarterback.
  29. Seattle Seahawks (5-11) The most irrelevant team in the NFL this year.
  30. Tampa Bay Bucs (3-13) Showed some fight occasionally.
  31. Detroit Lions (2-14) A two game improvement from last year.
  32. St. Louis Rams (1-15) Well then…

Some final Regular Season Observations

PhotobucketDo you think Jim Zorn just had Bruce Springsteen playing into his headset during the second half of the season?…I know the Giants fired their defensive coordinator today but when you allowed 40+ points every week, the problem goes beyond the coaching…Denver was 8-4 the past two years and both times lost out to miss the playoffs, cough cough…At least Jason Taylor can now get an early jump on next season of Dancing With the Stars…The 49ers are Texans are between 7-9 and 9-7 every year and then picked to make the jump by all the experts for the following season, only they just go 8-8 again and miss the playoffs, I look forward to this repeating again next year…My favorite non-Jets regular season games – Steelers vs. Titans opening night, Colts vs. Patriots on Sunday night, Saints vs. Patriots on Monday night, Dallas vs. Giants on Sunday night in week two, Saints vs. Redskins, Denver vs. Patriots, Ravens vs. Chargers, Titans vs. Texans on Monday night, Titans vs. Cardinals.

Bye Bye Miami

Grading Out Jets/Bengals & Other Wild-Card Weekend Updates

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First a few updates:

1. Peter King did the right thing and named Darrelle Revis his Defensive Player of the Year. Unfortunately, I don’t think #24 will take home the actual award because the media will be caught up in Charles Woodson’s stats. Nobody has played a defensive position better than Darrelle Revis has played cornerback this year…just ask Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Marques Colston, and Reggie Wayne.

2. The final regular season stats have been updated, along with the game highlights section. Congrats to Thomas Jones for cracking the 1400 yard mark and finishing third in the NFL in rushing, along with setting a franchise record with 14 touchdowns.

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3. This article by John Clayton on the AFC Playoffs is an absolute joke (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2009/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=4793153). He goes completely out of his way to avoid mentioning the Jets, when he discusses the key running backs he doesn’t mention Thomas Jones who has more rushing yards than any player in the playoffs. He doesn’t mention Rex Ryan as a coach in the playoffs or Jay Feely as an important kicker.

4. Here is one shocker, our old buddy Mike Florio gave the Jets a little credit as a dangerous team in the playoffs (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/01/04/week-17-morning-aftermath-jets-could-be-dangerous-in-postseason/).

5. Keep checking the facebook page throughout the week for an annoying amount of updates on all Jets wild-card weekend coverage.

6. Wild-Card Weekend Schedule: Jets at Bengals 4:30 PM Saturday. Philly at Dallas 8 PM Saturday. Baltimore at New England 1 PM Sunday. Green Bay at Arizona 4:30 PM Sunday. Jason Taylor and Osi Umenyiora’s tee time is also at 4 PM on Sunday.

7. David Harris rolled his ankle last night but the early reports is that he should be okay for this Saturday. We will have a better idea after Rex Ryan’s press conference today.

Grading Out Jets/Bengals

PhotobucketQuarterbacks: (B-) It is hard to give somebody who goes 8/16 for 63 yards a B- but when he doesn’t turn the ball over the Jets have a great chance to beat anybody. Sanchez made a beautiful deep throw to Braylon Edwards that he should have caught for a 45 yard touchdown. He also had some other nice throws in that short/intermediate passing game. Regardless if the Jets are going to do any damage in January, they are going to need more than 63 passing yards.

Running Backs (A) Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene kept rolling. Jones wears down the opposing defense’s front seven and is money in the red-zone and Greene gashes defense when he comes off the bench. He is averaging 5 yards per carry.

Wide Receivers (A) Brad Smith is turning into one hell of a weapon for a Jets offense that badly needs one. Jerricho Cotchery is always reliable and a weapon on punt returns. Braylon Edwards has to make that play on a deep ball.

Tight Ends (B) Can we get Dustin Keller the ball?

Offensive Line (A) As good as it gets…the Jets need D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, and Damien Woody to keep dominating.

Defensive Line (A) You can’t get more bang for your buck than the Jets are getting for Marques Douglas, Mike DeVito, and Sione Pouha.

Linebackers (A) Calvin Pace capped off a very good season with another sack. Bryan Thomas has played better as of late and Bart Scott had one of his better games. David Harris should be OK for this weekend.

Secondary (A) Revis Island claims another victim. Kerry Rhodes had one of his better games but looked awfully slow in the open field on that fumble.

Special Teams (A) Jay Feely was money. Cotchery was good on punt returns, although the coverage was a little shaky.

Coaching (A) Good game by Schotty and congrats to Rex Ryan for making the playoffs in his first season.

Jets/Bengals Highlights

Beautiful Night At The Meadowlands: Jets Heading To Playoffs

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I just got back from the Meadowlands and have finally got feeling in my hands again, allowing me to type this article. Simply put tonight was a complete and utter beatdown. The Bengals played their starters the entire first half minus Cedric Benson and were beat 27-0. Carson Palmer went 1/11 for 0 yards with an interception. Chad Ochocinco was obviously shut down by Darrelle Revis (like we didn’t see that coming) he also had two drops and was flattened by Kerry Rhodes over the middle.

I love how bitter the rest of the NFL is about the Jets making the playoffs. Bengals fans making excuses, saying Cincy lost on purpose because they wanted to avoid playing the Texans? The Texans?! You remember them right, their quarterback was nearly in tears when the Jets shredded them up back in week one. Dolphins fans are wiping their tears away over their 7-9 record (which I brilliantly predicted, along with a Jets playoff berth in the pre-season). I love how Jason Taylor left for a year, they made the playoffs, he comes back and they are back to being mediocre and sitting home in January. Steelers fans are crying, like they earned a playoff spot by losing to the Chiefs, Browns, and Raiders.

The bottom line is that Cincy tried to compete tonight in the first half and they were steamrolled by the Jets. Can I get me some Brad Smith? The Jets “tiger” formation ripped apart the Bengals, as Smith had 92 rushing yards and a touchdown. Thomas Jones added 78 more yards with two touchdowns and Shonn Greene chipped in 62 yards on 4.8 yards per carry. Their defense allowed one completion in the first half and shut down the running game, along with pulling an interception (Dwight Lowery). Mark Sanchez had only one stat that matter…zero turnovers.

You would have to be stupid to think the Bengals confidence isn’t somewhat shaken by tonight’s game. But, I really look forward to the whole world to picking Cincy to beat the Jets on Saturday…I do. They are already 4 point favorites and can I already see all the NFL experts penciling in a Bengals victory, don’t worry I will be keeping track of them all week.

It is playoff time, which means it is time to put in work around here. One article a day isn’t going to cut it, so look for two a days starting tomorrow. You are going to be able to right a thesis on the Jets/Bengals match-up by the end of the week, along with all the other wild-card games. I will be tracking all of the coverage and all the disrespect from the national media, that will hopefully be motivating the team this week and of course be doing plenty of gloating tomorrow to Giants and Dolphins fans.

In the end, the team with a rookie quarterback and rookie head coach is playoff bound. The team that lost Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington still found a way to get it done.  After the 37-0 beatdown was over, my two cousins and I walked out savoring one of the few great moments we got to enjoy as Jets fans. I drove away from the stadium still covered in confetti. It was more than likely the last game I will ever attend in Giants Stadium, a building that I have been coming to Jets games in since I was 4 years old and a building that I won a high school state championship win (LL ’05 I see you). As I took off down Route 3, I turned up the Rex Ryan press conference, looked in my rear view and saw the Empire State building brightly lit in a nice shade of Jets green, and just smiled to myself…picture me rolling.

By the way, the Jets are playing at 4:30 this Saturday in the playoffs does anyone know what time the Giants or Dolphins are playing? Anyone? I can’t seem to find this information anywhere.

It Is Good To Be Back: Jets Prepare For Win and In Sunday Night

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First a few updates (or more accurately a little background):

1. What a day. I returned from Italy at about 3 PM today. Somehow I successfully went my entire vacation without finding out a single word about the Jets/Colts game and the wait proved to be well worth it. During week 16 I happened to stumble into a bar in Venice around 9:30 PM which was playing the 4th quarter of the Ravens/Steelers game. I sat down…Houston beat Miami? New England beat Jacksonville? The Steelers were going to hold off the Ravens? The Giants lost 41-9 to Carolina? The football gods were clearly smiling on the Jets.

I somehow communicated to the bartender a question about which game was on next, he grabbed the remote and showed Jets/Colts with a 10:15 PM kickoff. I thought about it…I could sit there until 1:30 AM, scare all the Italians in the place by pacing around the bar like a maniac during the game, and likely be disappointed by a season ending loss, have to get up 6 AM the next day for touring the rest of the trip and be in a bad mood for the next 4 days. I decided against it, I left and went back to my hotel room. I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t. I tried counting hypothetical Mark Sanchez interceptions in my head, but I still toss and turned all night wondering what the hell was going on.

PhotobucketThe next day on the tour bus, somebody in our group tried to offer me an American newspaper with all the NFL scores in it. I took it…folded it up and threw out at our next stop. I instructed my family to wait it out and that nobody was allowed to find out the score…we were waiting until we made it back to Ringwood. Somehow I made it back without hearing anything. I saw a guy in a huge Colts jacket in Florence and my Dad started up a J-E-T-S chant to gauge his reaction but he kept walking, while people gawked at us.

Anyway, I got back today to a VHS copy of the game. I sat down with my family (which I is something I never do, I prefer my Jets suffering in solitude) and promised if they somehow won, dinner was on me tonight. Well it was the best 40 dollars I ever spent on some local takeout…because the Jets are playing the day after tomorrow for a playoff spot on Sunday night football…who would have thought?

It Is Good To Be Back: Jets Prepare For Win and In Sunday Night

Some scattered observations as I try to get my stuff together before unpacking and then heading off to a full day of tailgating for the Jets/Bengals game on Sunday (just bought my ticket).

1. On Jets/Colts – Very weird game. The timing of the Colts starters being benched seemed off to me. I am not sure why a 15-10 score inspired it but believe me I didn’t relax until the clock was 0:00. I was waiting for Manning to come back in down 21-15 and even 29-15 to lead a comeback and yes if a Colts starter or a fan, I would be royally pissed.

2. All the critics of the Jets (which I have caught up on the past few days) and how they have a chance to make the playoffs…cry me an ‘effin river. This is a franchise that never receives any type of break or luck and finally got one, took advantage of it and now has a chance to close out Giants Stadium the proper way (not by being humiliated by a 6-8 team by 32 points…owch G-Men). I am sorry but who deserves the AFC wild card more than the Jets? The Broncos and their 2-7 record after their 6-0 start? The Steelers and their three straight losses to the Chiefs, Browns, and Raiders? Trust me Lamar Woodley nobody is scared to play a defense that lets Bruce Gradkowski drive down the field in their building for a win. The Dolphins who choked against the Titans and Texans the past two weeks? Ha! The Jaguars who didn’t even get off the bus in New England for their week 16 game? The Texans who were embarrassed by the Jets in their building?

The Jets have the league’s #1 ranked defense and #1 ranked running game, why don’t they deserve a shot to play for a playoff spot?

3. I thought Mark Sanchez played well in a big spot. Not great…but he protected the football and made some tough throws on third downs and converted both two-point conversions. How about our other rookie Shonn Greene stepping up with 95 big yards? The Jets are obviously going to be extremely run heavy the rest of the way so Greene needs to keep it up to support TJ.

4. Brad Smith’s kick return couldn’t have come a better time. It gave the Jets the shot of the confidence they needed and obviously needed points because our offense still can only score about 10 a game. Calvin Pace is quietly putting together another very good year and Marques Douglas has been a big upgrade over Kenyon Coleman.

5. I think the back and forth between Revis and Ochocinco has been entertaining as hell. They are friends and will provide a great match-up to watch Sunday night. You think Revis is going to allow Ochocinco to do his O-C-H-O chant in our end-zone? I think not.

6. Speaking of Revis, congrats to him, Nick Mangold, and Alan Faneca for making the pro-bowl. David Harris and Brandon Moore also deserved a spot on the roster.

7. I am pretty confident New England will play their starters and beat the Texans, locking the Bengals in to the #4 seed. I wouldn’t be shocked to Cincy backups in the second half but honestly remain confident even if the Jets see their starters the whole game. Maybe that is crazy but I like the Jets on Sunday in a low scoring, defensive battle and if they do win…trust me that I am going to like them the following week in Cincy during wild-card weekend.

Photobucket8. I like how the Jets match-up with the Bengals offense, which has struggled throwing the ball all season and lacks big play capability. The front seven is good enough to slow down Cedric Benson and Revis can take care of Ochocinco. Carson Palmer isn’t very mobile which will aid the Jets pass rush and while Laveranues Coles (haven’t had to type that name in awhile) will get his catches on Lito “toast” Sheppard, he won’t kill the Jets with big plays. The Jets offense will have a tough time throwing on a strong Bengals secondary but if they lean on TJ, Greene and a short passing game that allows Braylon, Cotchery, and Keller to run after the catch they could be alright.

9. Stats and game highlights are updated…better later than never.

10. I hope to see you at the stadium on Sunday…let’s send it off the right way.

11. Only a Jets win could give me the energy to write this at 2 AM with extreme amounts of Jet lag.

We Have to Run This Town Sunday Night