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

Back to Reality: Jets Defense Loses Game

Well Miami shut Rex Ryan up, the Jets defense up, and of course they shut me up. Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense did everything and more for the Jets to get a win. Time and time again the Jets defense had a chance to close the deal and end the game, and time and time again they were overpowered by Miami’s offense and Chad Henne who came up with key timely throws.

Darrelle Revis was toasted by Ted Ginn Jr for a 53 yard touchdown in the 4th quarter. However, the Jets offense responded like they did all night and answered with a Thomas Jones touchdown set up by a pass interference penalty drawn by Braylon Edwards, who couldn’t have done anymore in his Jets debut to validate trading for him.

Miami got the ball with about 5 minutes on the clock down by 3 and let’s call it what it was…they drove the ball down the Jets throat and converted multiple key third and longs, as backup turned starters Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman were beaten by Greg Camarillo. With the game on the line and Miami on the 2 yard line with one play to go before they’d be forced to settle for a field goal and send the game into OT. However, Kris Jenkins, Bart Scott, David Harris, Kerry Rhodes and the rest of the loud talking Jets defense was ran over without even putting up a fight.

For the second game in a row the Jets didn’t record a sack and in reality didn’t come near touching Chad Henne all night. Where is that hyped up Rex Ryan pass rush? Where is the run defense?

The positives? Mark Sanchez played very well. Braylon Edwards was terrific, also David Clowney played a great game. There were signs of life from the Jets running game, but it still isn’t all the way back yet.

Everytime the Jets get you excited, they quickly bring you right back down to reality. The 3-0 is start is just about gone now and the Jets are now just another 3-2 team. I am guilty of both overestimating the Jets and underestimating the Dolphins, especially Chad Henne and their offensive line. Well, at least we are all used to disappointment.

Five Final Thoughts on Jets/Dolphins Monday Night Game

First a few updates:

1. Jerricho Cotchery and Damien Woody are both expected to be in the starting line-up tonight. Cotchery may not be at 100 percent, so it will be interesting to see if the Jets spell him occasionally with Brad Smith and David Clowney. On defense, the good is news is that Calvin Pace is back. The bad news is that Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland won’t be playing again…fortunately, Miami’s starting receivers are better cast as #3 and 4 receivers.

2. Peter King dropped the Jets down to #8 in his Power Rankings and picked the Dolphins to win tonight, as are more people than I expected. The Jets are only 1 point favorites despite having a 2 game better record…we shall see tonight.

3. You have to love Paplebon choking in the 9th and the Red Sox getting swept out of the playoffs, the same day the Yankees swept the Twins and the same day the Patriots lost. Watching all those depressed/confused faces in Fenway, I have to say things are starting to feel right in the sports world again.

4. Congrats to Eric Mangini for getting his first win in Cleveland, despite his quarterback going 2/17 for 23 yards with an INT. I am 90 percent confident I could have replicated those stats, if I was under center for the Browns yesterday. Chansi Stuckey must be crying himself to sleep looking at pictures of Mark Sanchez.

Five Final Thoughts on Jets/Dolphins Monday Night Game

1. Back to Basics – The Jets need to run the football tonight, early and often. Expect to see Thomas Jones and Leon Washington have their stats look similar to the way they did in the Houston game. Also, don’t be shocked to Shonn Greene get a series in each half. The Jets offensive line has something to prove tonight.

2. When We Do Throw – The Jets will take at least one shot down the field to Braylon Edwards tonight who racked up his only three 100 yard efforts last year in primetime. It will be a message to upcoming defensive coordinators about the new capabilities of this offense. I am going to predict Edwards ends up with 4 catches for 62 yards. Also keep an eye on Dustin Keller, because the Dolphins linebackers and safeties aren’t good in coverage…remember what Dallas Clark did to them a few weeks back.

3. Mismatch – I wouldn’t start Chad Henne on my fantasy team tonight. The guy is going to be in for a rough night facing a Jets pass rush bolstered by Calvin Pace and a Jets secondary that should be able to handle the Dolphins receivers even without Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland. Ronnine Brown might throw for more yards than Henne tonight.

4. It All Comes Down To – The Jets ability to stop the run. If Miami can’t move the football on the ground, they have no chance to even remain competitive tonight. However, if Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams get going the Jets could be in for a long night.

5. Bury Them – The Jets can basically bury the Dolphins with a win tonight by opening up a 3 game lead over them. I hate to pencil in victories but the Jets get the Bills and Raiders the next two weeks, which means they can open up even more space throughout October.

Turn On the Jets TV Episode V

Turn On the Jets TV New Commercial

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Midnight Miracle

Jets vs. Dolphins: Prediction, TOJ TV Episode V

First a few updates:

1. Bad news on the injury front for the Jets: Jerricho Cotchery and Damien Woody are both listed as questionable. It would be a big blow if both of those guys were out. Brad Smith and Wayne Hunter would step in respectively. Lito Sheppard apparently had a late week setback and is now listed as doubtful, which means don’t expect to see him out there. Donald Strickland will be out for the third straight game. Obviously, it will be on Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman to step up again. After getting away with no injuries last year, the Jets have been hit with a rash of them here early in the season. Fortunately, they have the depth in the secondary to cover for it, however it remains to be seen if Brad Smith and Wayne Hunter can get the job done. Also expect to see more David Clowney on offense if Cotchery can’t go.

2. There was an interesting article today on newyorkjets.com about Ryan Fowler stepping in for Jason Trusnik on special teams. Hopefully, the Jets have enough personnel where there won’t be a drop off because one guy is missing.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Prediction, TOJ TV Episode V

Song: Jay-Z – Run This Town

Jets vs. Dolphins: Game Breakdown

First a few updates:

1. According to Rex Ryan there is a chance that Jerricho Cotchery won’t play on Monday night because of a hamstring injury, which would be a big blow to the Jets passing game. Brad Smith would likely step into the starting line-up, with David Clowney seeing a substantial bump in reps. If the Jets were without Cotchery, the Dolphins would have no problem doubling Braylon Edwards and leaving the inconsistent Smith (3 catches, 22 yards) singled up. Damien Woody didn’t practice today but Ryan sounded optimistic about his chances of playing. Donald Strickland is out. Lito Sheppard will start at corner, with Dwight Lowery sliding into the slot.

2. Make sure you check out Episode V of Turn On The Jets TV tomorrow, in a special Saturday edition. I was going to post it tonight, but I kind of spent 12 hours working on a hellacious mid-term and I am about to collapse after writing this article.

3. How about those Yankees?

4. Apparently Channing Crowder and Rex Ryan squashed the beef at some point this off-season, with Crowder sending Ryan a gift basket. Leon Washington responded to Crowder’s recent trash talk by saying he eats “clam chowder for breakfast”…clever stuff.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Game Breakdown

Jets Offensive Game Plan: Expect to see the Jets get back to the ground and pound approach this Monday Night, especially if Jerricho Cotchery doesn’t suit up. The Jets may have got a little too comfortable with Mark Sanchez and forget the fact that he is a rookie, they have Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Shonn Greene, and supposedly one of the best offensive lines in the league. Regardless of Miami’s success against the run this season, it is time to give Thomas Jones his 20 carries, Leon his 15 carries, and yes even Shonn Greene his 5 carries.

An element that has been missing from the Jets offense this year is their screen game. We finally saw a successful one last week when they hit Leon Washington for 15 yards, but the Jets need to go back to it more often to all their players. What happened to the old receiver screen to Jerricho Cotchery or Dustin Keller, like we saw week one? Thomas Jones was a big part of the Jets passing game last season, and is yet to get involved so far in 2009. The screen game is a good way to get Mark Sanchez going early and pick up some easy yards against an aggressive Dolphins defense.

When the Jets do decide to go down the field, obviously an active Jerricho Cotchery would be a big plus. If he is in the game, Sanchez will have his pick of single coverage on either him or Braylon Edwards, which is obviously a positive. If Cotchery isn’t in the line-up, David Clowney obviously the speed to make the Dolphins below average secondary pay in single coverage but he is yet to have a single ball thrown his way this season. Brad Smith his a history of dropping passes, which means between him and Edwards, Sanchez might want to pull his hair out by the end of the night.

Jets Defensive Game Plan: I have confidence in Rex Ryan’s ability to stop the wildcat, based on what I saw last season. When the Dolphins are in a traditional set, expect the Jets to have just about everybody in the box. If the Jets can force Miami into third and longs, the Dolphins are in big trouble. I got news for you, Chad Henne isn’t going to have much success with the Jets pass rush, now including Calvin Pace, coming after him and receivers like his matched-up on cornerbacks like ours. I don’t understand people who are saying that Miami matches up well with the Jets, because they don’t have nearly enough talent on offense to move the ball on a defense like the Jets.

The only way the Jets can get in trouble on Monday is if they allow Ronnie Brown to get going. They were only average against the run the past two weeks, and Miami loves to hang around by holding on to the football through their running game. However, I expect the Jets to improve this week because of the return of Calvin Pace and I don’t think they are concerned about being beat through the air by the likes of Chad Henne, Ted Ginn Jr, and Devone Bess. If you can’t already tell from my writing, I am pretty damn confident in our defense against their offense.

Special Teams Breakdown: Hopefully Leon Washington will finally get a chance to return a kick. Is it me or is every kicker the Jets face have a ridiculously strong leg and boot the ball 8 yards into the end-zone? You know he is chomping at the bit. Jim Leonhard has quietly been very good on punt returns this season and Miami has below average special team units, so maybe he can break one. How about Jay Feely turning into one of the most reliable kickers in football? I am sure he will have revenge on his mind this week since the Dolphins cut him….maybe he will have a big hit on kickoff or something, or just do some extra bicep curls this week.

The Jets Will Win If…They establish the running game and slow down the Dolphins running game. Mark Sanchez doesn’t have any turnovers. Chad Henne is overwhelmed by the Jets pass rush and has a few turnovers. Calvin Pace plays like a mad man who is desperate to make up for 4 weeks in one night. The Jets play with some extra motivation coming off their first loss and jump out to an early lead, forcing Miami to throw more frequently than they like to.

The Jets Will Lose If…Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams keep the chains moving, allowing Chad Henne to simply manage the game. The Jets can’t get their running game going and Mark Sanchez tries to do too much again, leading to some easy points for Miami. Braylon Edwards is quiet in his debut and struggles because Jerricho Cotchery isn’t active.

Funny Video About Cleveland…originally posted over www.thejetsblog.com

Jets vs. Dolphins: Key Match-Ups

First a few updates:

1. Lito Sheppard has been on the practice field the past two days and is expected to start this Monday night. Damien Woody remains questionable with an ankle injury and didn’t practice today. Wayne Hunter would start in his place. Donald Stickland hasn’t been practicing and isn’t expected to play, which means Dwight Lowery would slide into the nickel role.

2. Braylon Edwards was out on the practice field and has been making good progress with the offense according to Rex Ryan. He will be in the starting line-up this Monday night.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Key Match-Ups

Tomorrow check back for an excessively comprehensive breakdown of the Jets/Dolphins game and then again on Friday for my prediction, today I am going to focus on the key individual match-ups for this Sunday’s game.

Bart Scott/David Harris/Calvin Pace/Bryan Thomas vs. Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams: The Jets linebackers need to swarm the Dolphins two talented running backs, especially Brown who is playing as well as anybody back in the league right now. He has been particularly dangerous in the wildcat formation and has allowed the Dolphins to control the clock, and protect the inexperienced Chad Henne last week. The Jets need to stop the run early and on first/second down force Henne into third and long situations. Miami simply doesn’t have the personnel to convert third and longs or consistently move the ball through their passing attack. The Jets linebackers must get to Brown and prevent him from having another 100 yard effort. As a whole, the unit needs to tackle better than they did against New Orleans. The return of Calvin Pace should be a big boost in the both pass and run defense.

Rex Ryan vs. The Wildcat: In two games against the Dolphins last year, Ryan’s defense allowed only 22 points, held Ronnie Brown to 46 rushing yards, and forced 6 turnovers. If Ryan can continue to outscheme the wildcat, the Dolphins will have no way to move the football. Let’s be real here, you think Chad Henne can drop back and pick apart the Jets defense with targets like Ted Ginn Jr, Devone Bess, and Greg Camarillo in a conventional offense? Absolutely not. The only way the Dolphins will be able to move the ball is on the ground, where a good amount of their production comes from the Wildcat. I think Ryan has been all over his defense about stopping run the this week, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see 8 guys in the box frequently this Monday night.

Mark Sanchez vs. Last Week’s Performance: All eyes will be on how Mark Sanchez responds to his first ugly NFL performance. Expect the Jets to focus on running ball and have a relatively conservative game plan this week. Regardless, there will be times when Sanchez has to make plays down the field and he needs to step up as he did during the first three weeks of the season. The most important thing is that he must protect the football. He needs to get through a game without having a fumble or interception.

Thomas Jones vs. Dolphins Run Defense: There has been alot talk about Braylon Edwards opening up space for Thomas Jones, who has struggled so far this season. Miami has one of the league’s best run defenses, so it would show something if Jones can get back on track. All of the Jets running backs and offensive line need to step up so the Jets can return to the “ground and pound” approach Ryan desires. It will be interesting to see how many reps Shonn Greene gets this week, and also if Leon Washington will get more than the four carries he got last week.

Nice to finally have a Jets player with a fantasy files commercial

More on Braylon & New York Jets: Hi Hater

First a few updates:

1. Feeling pretty good about the Yankees right now, up 6-2 in the 7th inning with CC rolling. How about the captain with that 2 run home run to tie the game up before? The Yanks are making my time between Jets game go much quicker.

2. Mark Sanchez was fined $5,000 for his hit on Jonathan Vilma. He called to apologize about the hit and VIlma made amends with him. I am sure the rookie learned his lesson and won’t be getting called for a personal foul anytime soon.

3. The Dolphins have been carrying on with the endless amounts of trash talk this week. Today something came out about Channing Crowder hating Leon Washington and saying he is going to curse out Mark Sanchez, which of course begs the question…who is Channing Crowder and does anybody care about what he has to say? The Dolphins are 1-3…1-3. They need to worry about winning some games instead of talking like they are some type of contender this season.

4. Site updates…I have updated the depth chart, reflecting the trade. Tomorrow I will write my normal Wednesday article about the key individual match-ups for the Jets/Dolphins game…Friday I will write my excessively comprehensive game breakdown AND post episode V of TOJ TV, which I know everybody is waiting on. Saturday, I will be grading out the Jets/projecting their stats through the first quarter of the season. Sunday, I will be watching football and tracking my horrible fantasy team. Monday, I will be writing on the Jets recent domination of their rivalrywith Miami, including some great video footage. Set your schedules accordingly

More on Braylon & New York Jets: Hi Hater

Wrapping up the Deal: The terms of the deal have been confirmed as Chansi Stuckey, Jason Trusnik, a conditional third round pick and a fifth round pick. Only if Edwards has an inordinate amount of catches this season, could the third rounder be bumped up to a second rounder. It appears that the Jets will likely be without their 3rd, 4th (Lito Sheppard trade), and 5th round pick in the 2010 draft. Mike Tannenbaum said there are no immediate plans to restructure Edwards’ contract. It will depend on the Collective Bargaining Agreement whether Edwards is a restricted or unrestricted free agent (similar to Leon Washington) after the season. Obviously his on field production and off the field behavior the rest of the season will determine how the Jets handle his contract this off-season, though an eventual long term deal makes sense since they sacrificed two draft picks for him.

Minor League: Final condolences to Chansi Stuckey and Jason Trusnik who are now joining the Jets AAA affiliate in Cleveland. I heard a rumor the Browns will soon be trading Joe Thomas, Shaun Rogers, and Josh Cribbs for Wayne Hunter, Mike DeVito, Wallace Wright, and Drew Coleman. How about nine former Jets currently on the Browns active roster? I always liked Stuckey but the guy is built to be a #3 receiver, while Edwards is built to be a legit #1. Trusnik is a very good special teams player with a history of injuries.

Press Conferences: Ryan sounded confident in his ability to handle Edwards, who he believes will fit right in with the rest of the team. He said Edwards “better be ready to go” as a starter this Monday night because that is what the Jets brought him in for. He also talked about his firsthand knowledge of the difficulty to cover Edwards and how he is confident the acquisition will open up the Jets offense. He didn’t offer any tantalizing soundbites on the Jets/Dolphins game but joked that Channing Crowder could find him Monday night in a white #77 jersey. Ryan also confirmed what Mike Tannenbaum said about the Jets doing a thorough background check and being confident that Edwards will stay out of legal trouble the rest of the year. I would imagine that any legal problems involving Edwards and LeBron’s entourage would result in a suspension in 2010, not this season.

Edwards press conference didn’t offer anything too noteworthy. He repeatedly expressed how excited he was to be in New York (obviously) and how the constant losing in Cleveland was beginning to wear on him. Edwards said he is comfortable with the guys in the Jets locker room, who welcomed him with some jokes about the suit he was wearing. He also discussed his excitement about working with Mark Sanchez and his belief that Jerricho Cotchery and himself could compliment each other. Interestingly enough, he even mentioned looking forward to contributing to the running game by adding some down field blocking for Thomas Jones. Edwards didn’t discuss his off the field troubles but instead talked about his desire to change the perception of himself, and the positive off the field work he has done in his career.

Hi Hater: You have to love the hate from president of the New England Patriots fan club aka Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who will find anyway to demean the Jets for this move, where if it was another team they would be praised for making a bold decision. I love how PFT writes a story about Derek Anderson being thrilled with Edwards leaving, like it is supposed to concern Jets fans. Derek Anderson? The guy has been straight awful since his 2007 season, does anybody care about his opinion? He started out the year backing up Brady Quinn, which should show how talented he is.  Also, I loved reading the Patriots and especially the Dolphins fans criticizing the moves on the ESPN message boards for the Jets. You want to hear something funny? Ted Ginn Jr has 4 career touchdown receptions…that means Braylon Edwards had 4 times as many touchdown receptions in his 2007 season than Ginn does for his whole career. You can hear the insecurity and nervousness from the Pats and Dolphins fans as the Jets clearly established themselves as the team to beat in the AFC East with this move. Yes, I just said as of right now the Jets are the team to beat in the AFC East. Not Miami, who will promptly be put in their place (TOJ TV spoiler alert) as a 4-12 team by the Jets this Monday Night and not New England, who already lost to the Jets and only has three wins because of Leodis McKlevin’s charity and insanely terrible officiating/Mark Clayton’s dropped pass in the Ravens game.

Jets/Dolphins Week: Get Fired Up

Welcome to New York Braylon

You can never rest easy with Mike Tannenbaum at GM, whether it is spending big money for Alan Faneca, Kris Jenkins, Damien Woody, and Calvin Pace or trading up Brett Favre right before the Jets first pre-season game, or trading up for Mark Sanchez in this year’s draft, or now swinging a trade for Braylon Edwards as the Jets approach week five.

The Jets have been after a big name receiver all off-season and just when it was beginning to come apparent that they may have dropped the ball by not acquiring one, they managed to get some help from our old buddy Eric Mangini in Cleveland, who appears to have an infatuation with ex-Jets players. The Browns have now acquired CJ Mosley, Eric Barton, Kenyon Coleman, Brett Ratliff, Hank Poteat, David Bowens, Jason Trusnik, and Chansi Stuckey…all Jets last season.

Over the past two weeks, it had become clear that the Jets needed another option in their passing game. Chansi Stuckeyhas three catches for 19 yards over the past two games, including a key drop on a third down against New Orleans. Brad Smith only has three catches the entire season and David Clowney is yet to have a ball thrown his way. Jerricho Cotchery has been doing above and beyond his job with no support. Cotchery currently has 23 catches for 356 yards.

Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News pointed out these stats today, which show how badly the Jets needed to make some type of move: Cotchery caught 23 of the 34 balls thrown to him (68%), while Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith and David Clowney have combined for only 14 catches out of 33 throws (42%).

Anyway on to Braylon Edwards, let’s start out with the negatives. Edwards has had multiple off the field issues, including a recent assault accusation against one of LeBron James’ friends, which is still being looked into. He has also been fined in the past for driving 120 miles per hour. Last season was a huge disappointment for Edwards, who struggled with drops on his way to having 55 catches for 873 yards, along with three touchdowns. This season he has 10 catches for 139 yards with 0 touchdowns.

The positives? Edwards is 6’3, 215 pounds. In 2007, he caught 80 passes for 1289 yards and 16…yes 16 touchdowns. Jerricho Cotchery has 14 career touchdowns in his 6 year career, Edwards had 16 in one season. He is a legitimate deep threat, who will prevent teams from double teaming Cotchery and not let teams overload the box because they have no fear of getting beat deep. His presence in the line-up will open up the Jets running game, aid in Mark Sanchez’s growth, and help the production of both Cotchery and Dustin Keller.

The trade? The Jets had to give up Stuckey and backup linebacker/special teams ace Jason Trusnik. You have to feel bad for those two guys going from the 3-1 Rex Ryan Jets to the 0-4 Eric Mangini Browns. It is also being reported the Jets gave up a 3rd and 5th round pick, although the year hasn’t been disclosed on the picks. Keep in mind, the Jets traded a conditional third round pick for Lito Sheppard, yet it remains to be seen whether he will reach the conditions necessary to make it a third round pick.

I am not sure how much Edwards will play this Monday night since he only has 5 days to pick up the offense, but I would expect to see plenty of him against the Dolphins. Brian Daboll likely took many aspects of Brian Schottenheimer’s scheme to Cleveland, so Edwards should be able to quickly pick it up. Also, the Jets can assist Edwards by tagging his routes in the play calls this week, while he acclimates to the new system.

Overall, this is a deal that can help take the Jets offense to the next level that didn’t cost them too much. In reality, you gave up a slot receiver, a backup linebacker, and two mid-round picks for a potential #1 receiver to support your franchise quarterback. On a 3-1 team that figures to be competing for an AFC East title and maybe more…the deal makes sense.

Start Getting Excited Jets Fans

NFL Week 4 Recap/Jets vs. Dolphins First Look

First a few updates:

1. The Jets actually jumped up a spot to number 5 in ESPN’s Power Rankings despite their 14 point loss to the Saints. Their defense made a strong statement to the rest of the league that they are one of the elite groups in the NFL, regardless the offense has something to prove these next few weeks.

2. The trash talking has begun this week, courtesy of Dolphins linebacker Akin Ayodele discussing the Rex Ryan/Channing Crowder feud in the off-season, “Their head coach really blew the fire even more this offseason with Channing and both of them going back and forth. How does a head coach, why would you even try and go with words, you know battle with a player. That to me doesn’t make any sense so yeah, the animosity is there, the hatred is there. You know there’s no love, It will feel great once we put that whooping on them”.

3. MLB Playoff Predictions? Twins over the Tigers tonight. Yankees over the Twins. Red Sox over the Angels. Dodgers over the Cardinals. Phillies over the Rockies.

NFL Week 4 Recap/Jets vs. Dolphins First Look

Wrapping Up Jets/Saints

Defensive Player of the Game: Darrelle Revis – Another lockdown effort by the Jets corner, who held Marques Colston without a reception when he covered him. On the day, Revis only allowed one reception for 14 yards to Devery Henderson and also collected three passes defensed along with doing a strong job in run support.

Offensive Player of the Game: Shonn Greene – Why Shonn Greene who only had 4 carries for 23 yards? The reason is because his production provided some extra motivation for Thomas Jones who started out with 6 carries for 12 yards, and then after Greene took a series from him, came back with 8 carries for 37 yards and a touchdown. Hopefully, Greene will be healthy for this week and provide another weapon for the Jets rushing attack and keep Jones on his toes.

Honorable Mentions: Jerricho Cotchery for having another strong game…Alan Faneca for some superb run blocking…Bryan Thomas for a productive, all-around game…Dwight Lowery for holding his own as the Jets starting corner the past two weeks…David Harris for racking up 12 tackles…Kerry Rhodes for piling up 8 tackles and a key pass defense.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – The Patriots scored a big victory over the undefeated Baltimore Ravens at home. They were aided by a few ridiculous roughing the passer penalties and a key drop by Mark Clayton on the Ravens final drive, but a win is a win. Also, Tom Brady appears to be looking like his normal self again. New England has another tough task this week, as they travel to Denver to face the undefeated Broncos.

Buffalo Bills – Yuck, what an embarrassing performance by the Bills in Miami who appear to be quitting on their coach. The Dolphins ran all over them and Trent Edwards and the rest of the Bills offense looked awful. The good news? They get to face Eric Mangini and the Browns this weekend.

Miami Dolphins – They got their first win of the season over Buffalo, who didn’t put up much of a fight. The Dolphins continued to run the ball successfully but let’s see what happens when a team stops the run and Chad Henne has to complete some passes for them to move the football.

TOJ Top Five

  1. New York Giants – They will roll over Oakland this weekend and head to New Orleans at 5-0.
  2. Indianapolis Colts – Their offense is scary good right now, even without Anthony Gonzalez.
  3. New Orleans Saints – Big play defense to match their big play offense.
  4. Minnesota Vikings – Let’s see how Favre holds up into November/December.
  5. Denver Broncos – Their defense is legit…chance to make statement against NE this weekend.

TOJ Bottom Five

  1. Oakland Raiders – JaMarcus Russell is terrible.
  2. Kansas City Chiefs – They showed some fight in the 2nd half against Giants but lack talent to compete.
  3. Tampa Bay Bucs – Josh Johnson at least let them be competitive on Sunday.
  4. Cleveland Browns – Good effort against the Bengals.
  5. St. Louis Rams – Wow…I think losing by less than 20 is a victory for them.

Jets vs. Dolphins First Look

The Opponent: Last year’s Cinderella story got a healthy dose of reality the first three weeks of the season with losses to the Falcons, Colts, and Chargers. They did respond with an impressive win over the hapless Bills last week, to move their record to 1-3. Chad Henne will be making his second career start against the Jets (Rex Ryan is salivating more than he does over a fresh pie of pizza). Miami relies on their rushing attack led by Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Regardless, their gimmick based offense didn’t work in playoffs against Ryan last year and the Jets defense is better than any unit they faced this season. Miami had plenty to say about Ryan and the Jets this off-season, so let’s see if they can back their words up or if they are in over their head against an opponent with more talent.

Miami Dolphins Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarerback: Chad Henne – 24/41, 207 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Running Back: Ronnie Brown – 72 carries, 369 yards, 4 TD’s
  • Running Back: Ricky Williams – 50 carries, 248 yards, 2 TD’s
  • Running Back: Patrick Cobbs – 5 carries, 37 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Ted Ginn Jr – 14 receptions, 138 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Devone Bess – 20 receptions, 157 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Greg Camarillo – 11 receptions, 86 yards
  • Wide Receiver; Brian Hartline – 6 receptions, 53 yards, 1 TD
  • Tight End: Anthony Fasasno – 4 receptions, 18 yards
  • Left Tackle: Jake Long
  • Left Guard: Justin Smiley
  • Center: Jake Grove
  • Right Guard: Donald Thomas
  • Right Tackle: Vernon Carey

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Kendall Langford – 10 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Jason Ferguson – 6 tackles
  • Defensive End: Randy Starks – 8 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive End: Phillip Merling – 8 tackles, 1 sack
  • Outside Linebacker: Joey Porter – 6 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Inside Linebacker: Channing Crowder – 14 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Akin Ayodele – 16 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Jason Taylor – 8 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Cameron Wake – 6 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Corner: Will Allen – 16 tackles, 2 INT’s – 6 tackles
  • Corner: Sean Smith – 7 tackles
  • Corner: Vontae Davis – 3 tackles, 1 INT
  • Safety: Yeremiah Bell – 28 tackles
  • Safety: Gibril Wilson – 17 tackles

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Dan Carpenter
  • Punter: Brandon Fields
  • Kick Returner: Patrick Cobbs
  • Punt Returner; Devone Bess

Key Players: Ronnie Brown is their most dangerous player on offense, especially out of the Wildcat formation. Devone Bess and Greg Camarillo are decent possession receivers. Tedd Ginn Jr has big play capability. On defense, they have a variety of pass rushers including Joey Porter, jason Taylor, and Cameron Wake.

Injuries: Joey Porter is recovering from an injury and missed last week. Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland have missed the past two weeks, but should be back. Damien Woody has a bad ankle but is expected to play.

Early Story Lines: Channing Crowder vs Rex Ryan…Mark Sanchez bouncing back from his first bad game…Jets/Dolphins rivalry…How the Jets respond to their first loss of the season…Calvin Pace returns from his suspension.

Dolphins/Bills Highlights