Jets vs. Raiders: Game Breakdown & Five Requests For Mark Sanchez

First a few updates:

1. Jerricho Cotchery, Lito Sheppard, Brad Smith, and Damien Woody remained out of practice today. I wouldn’t expect Smith or Sheppard to go on Sunday, while Cotchery remains questionable and Woody is expected to start. Donald Strickland is finally expected to return after missing the past 4 games to the nickel role on defense.

2. Rex Ryan said the Jets had an excellent practice today, which culminated with a competitive two minute drill that ended with a Mark Sanchez to Wallace Wright touchdown pass. I might be excited about that if this was training camp.

3. Turn On The Jets TV’s new episode will be airing later in the day and I can tell you in advance that it is good stuff. The production crew aka my roommate Corbett, stepped up this week.

4. A reminder that I am always open to suggestions for new content/article ideas on the site. I am constantly trying to tinker with every page and thoughts for articles. Hopefully, we will be able to put together a few more interviews and continue to update/improve all the different pages.

5. Richard Seymour predicted today that the Raiders would be making the playoffs this season. The Raiders certainly appear to be a more confident team after their upset of the Eagles. Sunday is a dangerous game for the Jets, very dangerous.

6. Let’s bring it home tonight Yanks.

Jets vs. Raiders: Game Breakdown & Five Requests For Five Jets

Jets Offensive Game Plan: Run. Run. Run. And when in doubt…run the football some more. Oakland has struggled with their rush defense and is currently ranked 29th in the league in yards allowed on the ground. They are slightly better in pass defense and are currently ranked 20th in the league in yards allowed through the air. Their secondary is filled with talented playmakers like Nnamdi Asmougha and Michael Huff, who has 3 interceptions already this season. They can also get after the passer with Richard Seymour and Greg Ellis who have combined for 8 sacks. The Raiders have 17 total sacks on the season, which is more than three times as many the Jets have (5). All this means the Jets need to go to their running game early and often and stick to it throughout the entire game. Last year Thomas Jones went off for 159 yards in Oakland and Leon Washington chipped in a rushing touchdown. There is no reason the two of them shouldn’t combine for 40-45 carries on Sunday.

When the Jets do need to pass, Brian Schottenheimer and Mark Sanchez need to keep it simple. With or without Jerricho Cotchery, the Jets need to spread the ball around because Braylon Edwards will likely be matched up with Asmougha. It is on Schottenheimer to call some receiver screens, tight end screens, and running back screens along with quick hitches and slants early in the game to get Sanchez rolling. It is on Sanchez to hit those throws and then check down to his running backs or the throw the football away on deeper throws when the primary receiver isn’t open. Oakland is going to load the box up and play man coverage, which doesn’t mean you have to bomb the ball. You can throw a quick screen to a guy like David Clowney and see if he can shake a tackle or get a block from another receiver to create a big play.

Jets Defensive Game Plan: Oakland likes to run the football on offense with Michael Bush and Justin Fargas, since Darren McFadden has been injured. Bush is a power back who is difficult to tackle 1 on 1 and Fargas has hurt the Jets in the past. It is on the Jets front seven, minus Kris Jenkins to stop Oakland on first and second down, forcing JaMarcus Russell into third and long. Russell is one of the few quarterbacks in the league who could make Mark Sanchez feel good about his stats. He has only thrown 2 touchdowns this year to 6 interceptions and has problems fumbling the football. The Jets have to get in his face to force him into quick decisions.

The Raiders best pass catching option is tight end Zach Miller, who leads the team in receptions and yards. He hurt the Jets last year so I am interested to see how Ryan chooses to cover him. Oakland is pretty weak at receiver, so this might be the type of the game where the Jets lock into man coverage and send as many people at Russell as possible. Rookie Louis Murphy is their top wide receiver but likely doesn’t merit being shadowed by Darrelle Revis on every play. Top draft pick Darius Heyward-Bey has struggled to catch the ball all season and has only recorded two receptions.

Special Teams: I still can’t believe Janikowski made that 57 yarder last year to beat us. Jay Feely hit a huge 52 yarder last year in Oakland to send the game into OT. Leon Washington has had a rough year on kick returns so far. The Jets coverage units will be without James Ihedigbo and Marques Murrell who have been placed on the inactive list for one week because of their role in a fight in last week’s game against Buffalo.

Five Requests For Mark Sanchez

1. Check the ball down. Leon Washington and Thomas Jones can make guys miss and turn short completions into key first downs.

2. If Jerricho Cotchery doesn’t start, don’t be afraid to throw the ball to David Clowney or Wallace Wright.

3. Enjoy the warm weather and play like you did at USC.

4. If your first read isn’t open and the pass rush is bearing down on you, throw the ball away. Punts are better than turnovers.

5. Get you swagger back. This franchise can’t afford to miss on the #5 overall pick in the draft.

Remember These Days? Look at the Screens! Look at the Check Downs! Look at Dustin Keller!

Turn On the Jets Interview With David Clowney

First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan has made the decision to make James Ihedigbo and Marques Murrell inactive for this week’s game against Oakland for their role in a fight with Buffalo’s Derek Fine in OT, which drew a personal foul penalty against Ihedigbo. I can’t argue with the decision because this team needs to be more disciplined and both players deserve to be punished. You can’t afford 15 yard penalties in overtime.

2. I liked Mark Sanchez’s demeanor and attitude in his press conference today. He seems to have the right mindset to get back on track. Let’s not forget he responded with a strong performance against Miami after a rough game against New Orleans. Hopefully, he can do the same thing this Sunday in the Black Hole, where at least he will be accustomed to the weather.

Turn On The Jets Interview With David Clowney

New York Jets wide receiver David Clowney has been kind enough to take the time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for me here at Turn On The Jets. Clowney has seen an increased role the past few weeks and is gradually becoming a bigger part of the Jets offense. Two weeks ago against Miami, he recorded 4 catches for 72 yards and he got his first start last week against Buffalo. Make sure to check out David’s website at www.davidclowney87.com and also make sure to stop by www.playerpress.com. Special thanks to Todd Schmerler for helping set up this interview.

JC: Does the team and yourself personally still have confidence that you can win games with Mark Sanchez under center?

DC: Without a doubt, we have confidence in all three quarterbacks we have. Mark is the future of this team so we’re going to ride with him.

JC: Were you frustrated that you played the entire game Sunday but didn’t have a single ball thrown your way despite clearly getting yourself open a few times?

DC: Anybody that plays offense would be frustrated when you don’t get the ball in your hands. I’m pretty sure the coaches want and expect guys to be upset about that. I always want to be that guy that wants to make a play, that’s the type of guy I am. When there’s a play to be made I’m always hoping to get my hands on that ball.

JC: Do you feel a sense of satisfaction and that you are proving you belong in the NFL as a full time player from the past two weeks: Having big game on Monday Night Football and then making your first career start against Buffalo?

DC: Without a doubt, I believe I did that in the preseason last year and this year. That’s like your interview, your audition. I also felt I showed it at the end of last year when I got into some games. I hope to continue showing it, because you have to if you want to have one of those 16-year careers like my coach Henry Ellard.

JC: We all know about your speed, but what is the one aspect of your game that people are overlooking?

DC: The way I block in the running game. I love blocking. I love football, so I love every aspect of the game. The running backs and linemen have to block in the passing game, in order to get a ball to the wide receiver the quarterback needs the running backs to help block. So when they’re running the ball I have to do my job by blocking, making sure the running back gets to the corner and then maybe get another block downfield to stretch the play from 10 to 20 yards.

JC: What have your learned from playing with Jerricho Cotchery the past couple of seasons?

DC: Jerricho’s a very very very humble person. He doesn’t say too much but he’s the kind of player you can learn a lot from watching. As far as football is concerned, it’s his route running. He’s one of the best route runners in the game. I try to compete with him at route running to try to do it as well as he does on a consistent basis.

David Clowney Shows Off His Moves This Past Pre-Season

What Happened to the Jets?

First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan commented that the team seemed “off” today in practice, which is certainly the last thing any of us want to hear after three straight losses. Obviously, the three straight losses are starting to weigh on everybody but this is no time for the energy level to sink.

2. Braylon Edwards has been receiving treatment for a sore quad….terrific. Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith were limited in practice, but remain questionable for this week. Ryan also said he is hopeful that corner Donald Strickland will return this week. Lito Sheppard’s status also remains up in the air.

What Happened to the Jets?

I was back home in New Jersey on Monday, which allowed me to spend the day listening to New York sports radio along with my usual reading of the daily newspaper/blog clips covering the Jets and I couldn’t help but laugh. It is amazing how in the span of three weeks Rex Ryan has become clueless as a head coach, the Jets defense became average and Mark Sanchez became a clueless rookie, and the thought of Kellen Clemens actually playing is being mentioned. It must have been 3 years ago that the Jets beat the Tennessee Titans to move their record to 3-0, right? Nope, actually it was only 3 weeks ago but maybe we can begin looking there to understand what has happened to the Jets season these past few weeks. 

We began to see some chinks in the armor during that September victory over the now 0-6 Titans. After a fast start, the Jets were outplayed the rest of the game and in reality only held on to a victory because of a crucial muffed punt by Ryan Mouton who also handed them 7 points early in the game on a fumbled kick return. The defense didn’t look elite that day. We saw Tennessee move the ball up and down the field on the Jets. We saw a lack of quarterback pressure and we saw them run the football. We also saw receivers running wide open and the problem was only masked by drops from the Titans receivers. It was also the beginning of Mark Sanchez’s ball security problems, including multiple fumbles and an interception.

Since that game, we did see the Jets defense play an excellent all around game in New Orleans and we saw Mark Sanchez protect the football in Miami. Yet, the consistency hasn’t been there and the injuries have began piling up. Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, Lito Sheppard, Brad Smith, Damien Woody, Kris Jenkins, and Donald Strickland have all now missed time with injuries.

On defense, teams watched the game tape from the Houston and New England game and have schemed ways to protect against Rex Ryan’s blitzes. Ryan hasn’t come up with something to counter these adjustments yet. He isn’t being helped by the fact that the Jets lack an elite pass rusher. Vernon Gholston isn’t that kind of player and probably never will be. The guy has played a ton of snaps this year and made zero impact plays. Calvin Pace has been slow adjusting back after his 4 game suspension and Bryan Thomas and Shaun Ellis have been quiet rushing the quarterback. Eric Smith has been invisible the past three games after being all the over field in the Jets three wins and none of the other defensive backs are getting near the quarterback on Ryan’s blitzes.

On offense, Brian Schottenheimer has got too comfortable with Mark Sanchez after his surprisingly strong start to the season. What happened to running the ball 40-45 times a game and only having your rookie quarterback throw 15-18 times? Against Buffalo Mark Sanchez threw 29 times and Thomas Jones had 22 carries, how about flipping those numbers and then giving Leon Washington three more carries, so you got Sanchez throwing 19 times, Jones with 29 carries, and Washington with 22 carries? I know those sound like insanely high rushing attempt numbers but against Buffalo it would have made sense since Jones was averaging 9 yards per carry and Washington was averaging 6 yards per carry.

Rex Ryan was absolutely right on Monday when he said that the Jets need to scale things back for Sanchez. Simplify the kid’s reads, run the football, and play the defense/field position game. The Jets are at a crossroads in their season right now. They have 2 games left until their bye week, which will mark the halfway point of the season. If they turn the ship around and head into the bye at 5-3, this three game losing streak will be a distant memory. If they lose to Oakland or get swept by Miami, it is going to be one hell of an uphill for a playoff spot in the second half of the season.

NFL Week 6 Recap/Jets vs. Raiders First Look

First a few updates:

1. As expected, the Jets added defensive tackle Howard Green back to the active roster today and Kris Jenkins was placed on the IR.

2. I sent my questions over to David Clowney yesterday and I am hoping to have his responses back by the end of the week.

3. I am glad the Jets didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline. We are already short on draft picks in what is expected to be a deep, talented 2010 draft class and we need depth on the offensive and defensive line, along with a pass rusher.

4. The game highlights, stats, and TOJ TV page have all been updated.

NFL Week 6 Recap/Jets vs. Raiders First Look

Wrapping Up Jets/Bills

Defensive Player of the Game: David Harris – Unlike his partner at inside linebacker, Harris has been productive in every single game this year. He racked up 17 tackles against Buffalo and another .5 sack. Harris currently leads the team in tackles, sacks, and is tied for the lead interceptions.

Offensive Player of the Game: Thomas Jones – We knew the addition of Braylon Edwards would open up more space for Jones, but 210 yards of space? Wow. Hopefully, TJ can keep it up this week against the Raiders who have struggled against the run.

Honorable Mentions: Darrelle Revis for solid coverage on Terrell Owens throughout the game…Dwight Lowery for his interception in OT…Leon Washington for finally ripping off a few big plays…The entire offensive line for allowing the Jets to run for 318 yards.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – The Patriots ran it up on the hapless Titans in the snow and are back in first place in the AFC East at 4-2. They should move to 5-2 after playing the equally hapless Bucs in London this Sunday.

Miami Dolphins – Anybody else got a bad feeling the Saints are due for a let down against Miami on the road this week?

Buffalo Bills – They are still terrible…the Jets were just more terrible on Sunday.

TOJ Top Five

  1. New Orleans Saints – Embarrassed the Giants and sent a statement to the rest of the league.
  2. Indianapolis Colts – They might be 30 point favorites over the Rams this weekend.
  3. Denver Broncos – Just a very good, all-around football team that looks like they are on a mission.
  4. Minnesota Vikings – Man, I hate Brett Favre.
  5. New York Giants – Got to work on that defense there Big Blue.

Jets vs. Raiders First Look AKA “The Turd Bowl”

The Opponent: Oakland is only one game worse than the Jets and is coming off an upset victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. After a strong early season start by nearly upsetting the Chargers in week one and then beating the Chiefs in week two, they put together three of the worst games anybody has ever played including a 44-7 loss to the Giants. However, as previously mentioned they knocked off Philly 13-9 at home last week, led by a strong running effort and a big day from their defense. Starting quarterback JaMarcus Russell has been under heavy criticism for his erratic play and lackadaisical practice habits. Also, #7 overall pick Darius Heyward-Bey only has 2 catches through 6 weeks. Regardless, the Jets never play well in Oakland or anywhere on the West Coast for that matter making this a dangerous game.

Oakland Raiders Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: JaMarcus Russell – 68/149, 830 yards, 2 TD’s, 6 INT’s
  • Running Back: Michael Bush – 48 carries, 179 yards, 2 TD’s
  • Running Back: Darren McFadden – 47 carries, 146 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: Justin Fargas – 46 carries, 137 yards
  • Tight End: Zach Miller – 21 receptions, 354 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Louis Murphy – 12 receptions, 174 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Darrius Heyward-Bay – 2 receptions, 36 yards
  • Left Tackle: Mario Henderson
  • Left Guard: Chris Morris
  • Center: Samson Satele
  • Right Guard: Cooper Carlisle
  • Right Tackle: Erik Pears

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Richard Seymour – 23 tackles, 4 sacks
  • Defensive Tackle: Tommy Kelly – 30 tackles
  • Defensive Tackle: Gerard Warren – 16 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive End: Greg Ellis – 16 tackles, 4 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Ricky Brown – 31 tackles, 1 FF
  • Middle Linebacker: Kirk Morrison – 58 tackles, 1 FF
  • Outside Linebacker: Thomas Howard – 39 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Corner: Nnamdi Asmougha – 11 tackles
  • Corner: Chris Johnson – 31 tackles, 1 INT
  • Safety: Michael Huff – 16 tackles, 3 INT’s
  • Safety: Tyvon Branch – 43 tackles, 4 PD’s

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski
  • Punter: Shane Lechler
  • Kick Return: Jonathon Holland
  • Punt Return: Johnnie Lee Higgns

Key Players: Zach Miller is a playmaking tight end who is easily Russell’s favorite target. Ellis and Seymour can both get after the passer. Asmougha will likely be assigned to Braylon Edwards since he is arguably the best cover corner in football (the other side of the argument of course goes to our boy Revis).

Injury Report: Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith are still battling leg injuries and remain questionable. Lito Sheppard might end up sitting out again since he clearly wasn’t 100 percent last week. Donald Strickland has been out the past 4 games.

Raiders/Eagles Highlights

Crappalicious: Grading Out the Jets/Bills Game

First a few updates:

1. As was expected, Kris Jenkins is going on the IR with a torn ACL in his left knee. The bottom line is that Jenkins is the Jets most valuable defensive player and one of most uniquely talented players in the NFL. Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito and Ropati Pitotua will be asked to pick up the slack. Regardless, it isn’t fair to not expect some type of drop off in the Jets overall defensive production, which hasn’t been strong the past two weeks anyway. You wonder at his age, if Jenks will ever make it all the way back from that type of surgery. Ryan also confirmed the Jets are planning on re-signing defensive tackle Howard Green who was released last week.

2. Mark Sanchez is only a kid but the guy needs to work on his demeanor, during and after a game. He was visibly depressed on the side-line and literally looked like a deer in the headlights. After the game, Rich Cimini summed it up best by saying he “looked like he was on the verge of tears.” He was also quoted as saying he didn’t even understand how the guys in the locker can maintain confidence in him. C’mon now, you are the quarterback of this team. Man up Mark and get your confidence back. You showed you could play at this level against Houston, New England, Tennessee, and Miami. It has been bad (Matt Ryan only threw 11 INT’s last year and Flacco threw 12, so stop the comparisons) but he has to pick himself up off the mat.

3. Rex Ryan admitted in his press conference the Jets may have to begin scaling things back on offense and changing things around to help Sanchez. I am thinking about starting both Jones and Washington on my fantasy team this week cause both might get 20 carries this Sunday.

4. An update on TOJ TV…we had some technical struggles last week and didn’t put forth our best effort. However, we got some quality stuff coming this week. We Jets fans need something entertaining to watch with our team playing like this.

Crappalicious: Grading Out the Jets/Bills Game

Quarterbacks: (F-) That was as bad of a football game as I have ever seen a quarterback play. Sanchez was 10 for 29 with 5…yes 5 interceptions. He repeatedly forced the ball to Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller who were targeted a combined 19 times, but only caught 5 passes between them. Sanchez ignored David Clowney all game, who was wide open on his final interception in overtime. Basically, it looked like Sanchez was a soccer player playing pick up football and he was forcing the ball to his best friend (Braylon Edwards) and his little brother (Dustin Keller) who was complaining from the game before about not getting the ball enough. Yuck. Sanchez has had an issue of locking on to a receiver since training camp, remember the stories about him throwing to Wallace Wright every play? He needs to do a better job of seeing the field and spreading the ball around.

Running Backs: (A+) It is shame that the effort Thomas Jones put forward will get lost in the shuffle of this loss. He was spectacular and ran like a man on a mission, racking up 210 yards at 9.5 yards per carry. He also caught 2 passes for 17 yards. Leon was back to being Leon with 15 carries for 99 yards, including a huge 33 yard run in OT. He also added 3 catches for 46 yards. Great all around day by the Jets two pro-bowl backs from last season.

Wide Receiver: (D) Edwards played a pretty good football game. He made some big catches, although he left a few plays on the field. David Clowney was ignored. Wallace Wright was ignored on his reps. Danny Woodhead received no reps.

Tight Ends: (F) Dustin Keller had a couple of drops and can’t get on the same page as Mark Sanchez. Ben Hartsock cost the Jets a game with a holding penalty.

Offensive Line: (A) 318 rushing yards, period. Wayne Hunter did a nice job filling in for Damien Woody.

Defensive Line: (C) Marques Douglas played a very good game, with 9 tackles, a TFL, and a half sack. Sione Pouha was also pretty good with 9 tackles and a TFL. Shaun Ellis didn’t make an impact and despite doing alright against the run, they still aren’t pushing the pocket enough against the pass.

Linebackers: (C) David Harris played a great game with 17 tackles and a half sack. Bart Scott has been bad the past two weeks. He gets stonewalled every time he rushes the quarterback and doesn’t make impact plays. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas were okay. Vernon Gholston has officially set a record for playing the most NFL snaps, with the least stats recorded. Give Jamaal Westerman his reps.

Secondary: (B) Darrelle Revis was very good against Terrell Owens, who is a shell of his former self. Lito Sheppard was terrible and was rightly benched for Dwight Lowery, who made a brilliant interception in OT. For all my criticism of Kerry Rhodes, he had a great all around game with 8 tackles, 1 TFL, and a pass defensed.

Special Teams: (F) Defined by the one play of Steve Weatherford dropping the snap. Still nothing from the return units.

Coaching: (F) Poor playcalling/time out use led to a rushed missed field goal at the end of the half. It was unnecessary to challenge the punt return for 6 yards in the 4th quarter. Ryan isn’t fooling anybody with his blitz schemes anymore and unfortunately he is starting to look pretty stupid with all his tough talk. However, the guy has to be who he is. He must find someway to re-energize this team.

Fans In Stadium: (F) What a weak environment for a home game. The Jets need to scrap the 4:15 games, apparently because the stadium was half-full with about 70 percent completely trashed Jets fans who were more interested in throwing ethnic slurs at Mark Sanchez than cheering for the team and 30 percent drunk Bills fans cheering against the team. I am certainly not trying to generalize the whole stadium but I heard some nasty stuff out there…let’s have a little class.

Well If Sanchez almost cried after the game, at least this girl cried for him haha

Turn Off The Jets: Comically Bad Loss to Bills Reaction

Being a season ticket holding Jets fan my entire life, I have sat through some bad football games. Today was among the worst I have ever seen. The Bills were awful. The officiating was awful. Most importantly, the Jets were awful. It was a long, painful game to watch with no rhythm or tempo. By the fourth quarter, it wasn’t a question of if the Jets were going to lose, it was how they were going to lose. They found a uniquely, cruel and unusual way to drag it out today but sure enough they did lose in the end and are now 3-3.

Paging Kellen Clemens…Paging Erik Ainge…Paging Kevin O’Connell…Just kidding, but wow Mark Sanchez was bad today. I understand he is a rookie but that can’t be an excuse to throw five interceptions. The kid looked shaken today. He was on nowhere near the same page as his receivers and repeatedly killed the Jets with turnovers. There are plenty of things to point fingers at today but the bottom line is that you aren’t going to win with 5 interceptions. We know the talent is there but how many more performances like this is Sanchez going to have this year? He has already cost the team two games.

Airing of Grievances…The early reports is that Kris Jenkins is out for the season, when it rains it pours. The Jets defense was already struggling the past few weeks but is now going to be in serious trouble without Jenkins, who is their most valuable player on that side of the ball…Before you even think about saying the Jets defense played anywhere near good today, remember they recorded 1 sack for 5 yards against an offensive line starting three rookies, Rex Ryan’s blitz schemes aren’t fooling anybody and nobody on the Jets is talented enough to beat their blocker and make a play…Ryan Fitzpatrick led a 10 point second half comeback on the road against the defense…Lito Sheppard was beat like a drum all day by Lee Evans before finally being pulled for Dwight Lowery…There is no excuse for Steve Weatherford for dropping that snap and denying Jay Feely at a chance at winning the game in OT…The amount of penalties on the Jets was astronomical, every single drive in OT started with a penalty and they had the game pulled out of their hands by the officials thanks to a holding call, after Thomas Jones ran down to the 13 yard line in OT.

More Grievances…James Ihedigbo should be cut for punching somebody on the opening kickoff in OT and costing the Jets 15 yards…Mark Sanchez also can’t keep taking 15 yard sacks, throw the ball away. Dustin Keller and Mark Sanchez look they have never been in the same room as each other and are running different offenses…Brian Schottenheimer’s playcalling still leaves something to be desired.

Welcome back to mediocrity Jets fans. We had a nice three weeks in the beginning of the year without it, but now we are back where we belong. You are kidding yourselves if you feel confident about flying out to Oakland next week and getting a win. The Jets never play well on the West Coast, particularly in Oakland and the Raiders just took care of the Eagles today, who are much better than the Jets. Also, Mark Sanchez is currently playing like JaMarcus Russell.

Jets vs. Bills: Prediction, TOJ TV Episode VI

First a few updates:

1. Injury updates: Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith are listed as questionable this weekend. Don’t expect to see either of them in the line-up. David Clowney will start opposite Braylon Edwards, with Wallace Wright technically sliding into the #3 spot. However, don’t be surprised to see alot of Dustin Keller in the three wide set and plenty more balls coming his way. Obviously we all know Cotchery’s value, but don’t underestimate Brad Smith’s value on special teams. It also limits their “Seminole” package, since he is a big part of it. Damien Woody, Shaun Ellis, and Donald Strickland are listed as questionable. I would be shocked if Woody and Ellis didn’t play and would be equally shocked if Strickland suited up. Lito Sheppard will be in the starting line-up on Sunday and is listed as probable.

2. Look for Jamaal Westerman to be active this weekend. When you only have 4 sacks on the season and a guy who has one of them isn’t active, it doesn’t make much sense. My predicted Jets inactives this week…Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, Donald Strickland, Erik Ainge, Matt Slauson, Marquice Cole, Ropati Pitoitua.

3. Make sure you check out http://greenrewind.com I recently did a podcast with Marty Schupak over there about the Jets/Bills match-up.

4. I am expecting to have an interview with David Clowney next week to post up on the site. Also, there is a potential interview with Rich Cimini of the Daily News coming in the future weeks. Finally, I am working hard to get a press pass for an upcoming game…we’ll see.

5. The Jets signed Danny Woodhead to the active roster today, which is an interesting move. We already know how short handed they are at receiver and maybe Woodhead will actually get some reps in the slot. I know he switched to #83 but somebody needs to tell the guy to switch to #80, if he is going to be playing slot receiver. The Jets also released backup defensive tackle Howard Green to make room for Woodhead.

Jets vs. Bills: Prediction, TOJ TV Episode VI

We had some technical difficulties this week, forcing me to put this up so late. We got some good stuff in the works for coming weeks and will really be trying to have these up first thing Friday mornings from now on. Here is part 1

The Song: Jason DeRulo – Riding Solo

Jets vs. Bills: Game Breakdown & Five Requests For Five Jets

First a few updates:

1. Jerricho Cotchery, Damien Woody, Brad Smith, and Shaun Ellis all sat out practice again today. Ellis and Woody are expected to start, Smith is questionable and I wouldn’t bet on Cotcherysuiting up this weekend. If both Smith and Cotchery are down, the Jets will only be carrying three receivers on Sunday: Braylon Edwards, David Clowney, and Wallace Wright. Danny Woodhead has been taking reps at receiver on the practice squad but I wouldn’t count on him playing receiver for the Jets anytime soon.

2. Obviously if the Jets are limited at receiver, there should be a greater opportunity for Dustin Keller to get involved in the passing game. Mark Sanchez admitted that he apologized to Keller after the Monday night game for not looking to him more. I am not crazy about that, Sanchez needs to go where the coverage dictates and shouldn’t be forcing himself to get the ball to anybody. Brian Schottenheimer needs to design some screens and quick passes to get Keller more involved, and allow him to run space.

3. ALCS and NLCS Predictions: Phillies in 6 over the Dodgers. Yanks in 6 over the Angels.

4. Don’t forget that new episode of TOJ TV is coming tomorrow.

5. From the mouth of Bart Scott…“(Monday night) was the one time we had this year to show the world what type of team we are, and now they believe we’re something else…. I can’t wait to hit somebody. I can’t wait to step out there and see somebody in another jersey, so I can take all this pain and all this embarrassment I’m feeling and inflict it on someone else.” Sounds good…but now actually make it happen.

Jets vs. Bills: Game Breakdown

Jets Offensive Game Plan: Buffalo isn’t a bad team defensively, but neither were the Dolphins and the Jets found a way to put 27 points up. The bad weather expected to come Friday and Saturday should be gone by Sunday at 4 PM, but it will be still be colder than Mark Sanchez is accustomed to. Regardless, the Jets have enough weapons even with an injured Jerricho Cotchery to run a balanced attack each week. Mark Sanchez is now heading into his 6th start and by all indications the training wheels are off on this offense. Expect the Bills to heavily concentrate their coverage on Braylon Edwards, who should still be targeted frequently when Sanchez needs a bail out because of his size. Also, Edwards gained Sanchez’s trust last week by going up in coverage and coming down with a few balls, which means he won’t hesitate to look down the field for him again in similar circumstances.

With all the attention on Edwards, David Clowney and Dustin Keller should be freed up in single coverage. I am sure Brian Schottenheimer is feeling a push to get Keller the ball and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a quick slant or screen thrown to him early in the game to get him involved. If Clowney is singled up consistently, it is foolish not to take a couple shots down the field to him. In the running game, the Jets did a good job getting Leon 10 carries last week but let’s see him get a few more touches on receptions out of the backfield. I got a feeling instead of seeing 12-15 carries for Thomas Jones this weekend and 3 for Shonn Greene, we will see something like 10-11 carries for Jones and 6-7 carries for Greene.

Jets Defensive Game Plan: The Bills have plenty of talent at the skill positions. Terrell Owens and Lee Evans are top flight receivers who can score on any given play. Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson are quality backs who have hurt the Jets in the past. Buffalo’s struggles have been based on their terrible offensive line play and the inconsistency of Trent Edwards. There is no excuse for the Jets not to get to the quarterback in this game. It isn’t all on Ryan to come up with blitz schemes, sometimes a player simply needs to beat his man and make a play. Four sacks is nowhere near enough for a defense with this type of talent through five games.

Lito Sheppard will be returning to the starting line-up at corner, which should help against Owens and Evans. Darrelle Revis is coming off a tough night against Miami and will certainly be looking to re-assert himself as one the league’s premier corners against two very good receivers. Like I have been saying all week, I still believe the Jets have a great defense. Four games of excellence is better proof than one game of incompetence. Buffalo only scored 3 points on a defense that features Eric Barton, Abram Elam, Hank Poteat, Kenyon Coleman, Jason Trusnik, CJ Mosley, and David Bowens last week. If the Jets minor league team can stop them last week, the real Jets better be able to stop them this week.

Five Requests For Five Jets

Leon Washington – You don’t have bigger fan or supporter of you receiving a new contract out there than  me, but I need a big play. You don’t have an offensive play longer than 19 yards this season or a touchdown, and haven’t ripped off a big kick return since week two. I am not saying you haven’t played well (4.1 yards per carry and 225 yards is respectable) but i need a big play.

Kerry Rhodes – You are one of the highest paid safeties in the league and one of the primary faces of this team. I need a sack or an interception or a forced fumble…just one of those three. Being third on the team in tackles and having 3 passes defensed is alright but below your pay grade. Start to be the playmaker you were in 2006-2007.

Braylon Edwards – Stay hungry and recognize what a golden opportunity you have in front of you. You went from irrelevancy in Cleveland, while trying to catch Derek Anderson ducks to playing in the world’s biggest media market and catching passes from Mark Sanchez. Keep playing to your potential and I can already see you and Sanchez on the cover of Sports Illustrated in their playoff preview edition.

Jerricho Cotchery – Sit out this week and get 100 percent healthy, it will do you and the team good in the long run.

Bart Scott – Play as angry as you are talking this week.

Kurt Snibbe of ESPN.com Page 2 came up with these updated NFL Logos for 16 teams, here is the link to the article http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=snibbe1/091006&sportCat=nfl

Jets…let’s get back to being this:

And Remember the Bills Are This…

If you are upset about last week’s loss…remember when things were this bad

Time to Jump Off the Jets Bandwagon?

First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan admitted he made a mistake by not using his timeouts during his conference call with media members yesterday. The big guy is guilty of being overconfident in his defense and denying his offense, which was playing very well, a chance to win the game at the end.

2. Site Updates – The newest episode of TOJ TV has been placed on the TOJ TV page, also the new commercial as been placed on the Jets Commercials page, the stats have also been updated. I got away from my normal weekly format because of the short week, but tomorrow I will be back to the usual Thursday game breakdown and Friday will have the new episode of TOJ TV with the Jets/Bills prediction.

3. Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring), Damien Woody (foot), Brad Smith (quad), and Shaun Ellis (knee) didn’t practice today. Lito Sheppard and Donald Stickland were both limited in practice. I wouldn’t bet on Cotchery playing this week.

Time To Jump Off the Jets Bandwagon?

A football season is undeniably filled with peeks and valleys. An important point often raised to players and coaches for that matter is to never get too high after a win or get too low after a loss. It is often easy to ignore this advice after a win, when the joy of victory covers the blemishes in a performance and after a loss, when the sting of defeat ignores the positives.  The point I am trying to make in relation to the Jets is that however stupid it was to consider them a Super Bowl contender at 3-0, it is equally stupid to bury them at 3-2.

Let’s reflect on the Jets first five games. In week one, they caught an average Houston team off guard in their building. Mark Sanchez played unusually well for a rookie and the Jets offensive line wore down a weak Texans front seven in the second half, springing a few big runs. Their defense spent the entire day in the face of a shell shocked quarterback who clearly didn’t know what to expect from their unit. In week two, the Jets played a poor first half but managed to keep the game close by forcing New England to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. In the second half, they came out with more energy than the Patriots and rode the momentum of opening the half with a touchdown to a victory. In the third game, the Jets played a terrific first 7 minutes, jumping out to a 14-0 lead and then were thoroughly outplayed by the Titans the rest of the way. They hung on to a victory because of a muffed punt and dropped passes by Tennessee receivers. In week 4, their defense put together a great all around effort but they were undone by rookie mistakes from their quarterback. On Monday night, the Jets defense wasn’t prepared for Miami’s Wildcat approach and had the ball ran down their throat, wasting a great performance by their offense in 31-27 loss.

So, what do we have? We have a football team that is inconsistent on both sides of the football. The past couple of weeks they haven’t been able to sync up a strong performance from their offense and defense. Yet, here a few things to remember before you step to the ledge on the Jets 2009 season:

1. Their offense is only going to get better…much better. They just added a playmaking, legit number one receiver who appears to be hungry and focused. Their quarterback is maturing with each passing week and has shown an ability to push the ball down the field, and respond to adversity. Jerricho Cotchery is banged up right now but was playing at high level through 4 weeks and when he returns to 100 percent, the Jets will have one of the better starting duo of receivers in the league. David Clowney showed he was a capable playmaker on Monday Night, hauling in a 53 yard catch and finishing the game with 4 receptions. Brad Smith has made at least one big play in every game this season except for one (15 yard run week one, 17 yard catch week three, 18 yard run week four, 19 yard catch week three). Dustin Keller has been curiously uninvolved in the offensive attack but is still a capable playmaker as demonstrated last year and against the Texans this season.

The offensive line has shown signs of improvements the past two weeks, appearing to finally get in sync after having limited work together in the pre-season. Thomas Jones does appear a step slower but Shonn Greene is slowly developing a bigger role to replace some of his carries. Leon is putting together a pretty good year and is long overdue to pop a few big plays. The bottom line is that the Jets have plenty of weapons around a rookie quarterback who should do nothing but improve in the coming weeks.

2. When it comes to our defense the proof is in the rule, not the exception. It is foolish to miscast the Jets defense as frauds because they played poorly 1 out of 5 games. Their masterful performances against the Texans, Patriots, Saints, and in the 4th quarter against the Titans don’t get erased because of one bad game. Does anybody say the Ravens had a poor defense last year because the Giants and Colts ran it up on them? No, these things happen in the NFL. The opposing team is coached and wants to win too, they are going to be better in some weeks. Obviously, the goal is to limit the number of times it happens throughout a season but a 4 to 1 ratio isn’t bad and likely equates to double digit victories.

Calvin Pace is going to get his feet back under him. Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland are eventually going to return from injuries. This unit hasn’t been perfect all season and certain players need to improve their play, Kerry Rhodes needs to become a playmaker in terms of forcing turnovers, Marques Douglas has to be better against the run, and Shaun Ellis/Bryan Thomas and Pace need to generate a pass rush, in order for the Jets to become a truly elite defense.

The Jets aren’t running away with anything this season. They will be in a battle with the Patriots and Dolphins all year for the AFC East crown. The amazing thing about the NFL is how fickle it is. It is  comedic listening to people crown Chad Henne the next Dan Marino because he played one good half of football. Remember everything you are reading right now about the Jets and Dolphins and think about how much things could change by their next meeting, which is only three weeks away. I don’t think I am going out on a limb by saying I believe the Jets will take care of business against the Bills and Raiders the next two weeks or that there is a fair chance the Dolphins will lose to New Orleans after their bye. If those three games fall into place, the Jets will be 5-2 and Miami will be 2-4, with the Monday Night loss a distant memory and the Jets being presented with an opportunity to bury the Dolphins at home.

The NFL is a funny thing because the Jets could absolutely find a way to lose to Buffalo or Oakland. However, my gut instinct tells me that they will come out motivated the next two weeks to show the first three weeks weren’t a fluke and they’ll beat up on two inferior opponents, setting the stage for a game that should feel like the Super Bowl for the defense when they face the Dolphins at home.

You want to jump off the Jets bandwagon? At least wait until they lose to Buffalo at home or Oakland, not when they lose to the defending AFC East champs on the road by a last second touchdown.

Bills/Browns Highlights…If you could call them that

Grading Out the Jets/Dolphins Debacle & NFL Week 5 Recap

First a few updates:

1. Jerricho Cotchery admitted that he was nowhere near 100 percent and probably re-aggravated his injury trying to play in a limited role last night. The smartest thing for the Jets to do would be rest Cotchery for this week and allow him to get back to 100 percent or else he will be dealing with this hamstring injury all year.

2. David Clowney only had leg cramps last night and will be fine moving forward. Brad Smith had a foot injury in the first half but was out in there second half, regardless it is still something to keep an eye on this week. Who knows when Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland will be back at this point.

3. Calvin Pace refused to respect Miami’s Wildcat offense and had some pretty stupid stuff to say after the game, which can be read here http://www.thejetsblog.com/2009/10/13/calvin-pace-clearly-not-fond-of-wildcat/. He should probably spend more time worrying about setting the edge so the Dolphins can’t run high school Wing-T Jet Sweep around him every time for 15 yards and maybe getting within 5 yards of the quarterback.

Grading Out the Jets/Dolphins Debacle & NFL Week 5 Recap

Quarterbacks: (B) Mark Sanchez did more than enough for the Jets to get a win and twice in the fourth quarter drove them down the field for go ahead touchdowns. His numbers weren’t all that impressive (12/24, 172 yards, 1 TD) but he didn’t turn the ball over and made beautiful down field throws to David Clowney (53 yard gain) and Braylon Edwards twice (34 yard gain and drawn pass interference penalty). It is good to see him bounce back from a bad performance and hopefully he can keep it going this week against Buffalo.

Running Backs: (B-) Thomas Jones is slowly turning into nothing more than a very good goal-line back. He only finished with 42 yards and a 3.2 yards per carry average and is making the Jets look smart for not extending his contract. Leon added a little juice to the running game with 10 carries for 44 yards but still doesn’t have an offensive play that has went longer than 20 yards this season. Shonn Greene didn’t get much of a chance with only 3 carries, but don’t be surprised to see him get more carries in upcoming weeks.

Wide Receivers: (A) Braylon Edwards sure looked like a legit number one receiver last night despite being in the Jets offense for only 5 days and not having a healthy Jerricho Cotchery opposite him. The one major positive from this game is the how clearly the Jets improved their offense with the Edwards trade. Cotchery played mostly as a decoy despite a hamstring injury but will be better served by resting this week and getting back to 100 percent. David Clowney stepped up in a big way with 4 catches for 72 yards, including a 53 yard bomb…expect to see alot more of “The Clown” in coming weeks. Brad Smith had a nice catch and run for 19 yards and a huge play on a fake punt, where he shook about 3 tackles.

Tight Ends: (F) Paging Dustin Keller….are you still there…paging Dustin Keller…are you still a member of this Jets offense? Obviously some of the blame falls on the playcalling but Keller also did a poor job of blocking last night.

Offensive Line: (B) A better performance by this group but they still aren’t performing at the level they did last season. We haven’t had a 100 yard rusher since week one and Sanchez was still sacked once and hit three times, including being forced into an intentional grounding penalty.

Defensive Line: (D) I thought Howard Green played pretty well off the bench and Kris Jenkins had his moments but beyond that this unit was pushed around all night and applied absolutely no pressure to the quarterback. Marques Douglas and Sione Pouha might have been pancaked about 10 times.

Linebackers: (D) Don’t be fooled by tackling stats, Bart Scott, David Harris, Bryan Thomas, and Calvin Pace were all invisible in this game when it counted. They all missed countless tackles and they all failed to apply pressure to the quarterback…wait why did I give them a D? How about a F.

Secondary: (D) Torched by Ted Ginn Jr…really, Darrelle Revis? You can cover Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, and Marques Colston but not Ted Ginn Jr? C’mon now. Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman were both exposed in big spots. Will Lito Sheppard ever recover from his quad injury? Kerry Rhodes hasn’t made a big play in seemingly 25 games. Seriously, is it so much to ask for this guy to have a sack, forced fumble, or interception?

Special Teams: (A) Steve Weatherford might soon be taking Thomas Jones job, by showing more elusiveness than Jones has did all season. Brad Smith was clutch on the other fake punt. Jay Feely is money in the bank. Leon Washington needs to improve on kick returns.

Coaching: (D) The Jets weren’t prepared to stop Miami’s offense and Rex Ryan did a poor job by not using his timeouts at the end of the game. Ryan was served a heaping dish of humble pie last night, so let’s see how his defense responds in the coming weeks.

NFL Week 5 Quick Recap

TOJ Top Five

  1. New York Giants – They finally play a NFL caliber team this weekend.
  2. Minnesota Vikings – Good test for them against the Ravens this week.
  3. Denver Broncos – When did Kyle Orton turn into one of the better QB’s in the league?
  4. New Orleans Saints – Huge game against the Giants coming up.
  5. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – They will clinch the division in about 4 weeks.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – The Pats lost the type of the game they usually don’t lose in Denver. Fortunately for them, they get the hapless Titans at home this week. Their defense is more vulnerable than it has been in years and Brady still isn’t all the way back.

Miami Dolphins – Say what you want about their gimmick offense, they can run the football. I was wrong for burying them at 0-3 but we’ll see how legit they are after these next 3 games against New Orleans, New England, and the Jets in the Meadowlands.

Buffalo Bills – I am shutting the site down if they beat the Jets this week.

Jets/Dolphins Highlights