Still Breathing: Jets Beat Bills, Sanchez Hurt

Jets Bills Football

For the second week in a row the Jets won ugly but again a win is a win. Somehow, someway the Jets currently are a 1/2 game out of the wild card and still have life heading into the final fourth of the season. Obviously, the big story leaving this game is that Mark Sanchez left in the second half after injuring his leg. The early reports is that it is a sprain and we probably won’t know his availability for the Tampa Bay game for a few days. Fortunately, he has a little extra time to recover since the Jets have 10 days until their next game. The sooner he is back, the better because Kellen Clemens looked awful tonight and Sanchez actually looked pretty good before he went down. He certainly wasn’t helped by the dropped passes…cough cough, Braylon Edwards, really? However, nice job by Braylon bouncing back with a touchdown reception.

3/4 of the world is covered by water, and the other 1/4 is covered by Darrelle Revis as far as I’m concerned. Terrell Owens was completely dominated by Revis who had 5 passes defensed and an interception. Debating whether Revis is the best corner in football this season is like debating whether the sky is blue. He is the best, don’t waste your breath arguing it. Shaun Ellis also had a great game tonight with 2 sacks, including a key one on the Bills final drive. David Harris continued to have an all-pro season with 11 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. The Jets defense is reverting to early season form and is playing like an elite unit again.

Another strong game from Thomas Jones and a good effort from Shonn Greene. The two backs combined for 168 yards on the ground. Tony Richardson chipped in 36 yards and Brad Smith and David Clowney both had big plays on reverses. Brian Schottenheimer called a good game tonight.

So, what to do now? Hope Sanchez can get healthy in the next 10 days. Hope that we don’t choke on the road against the 1-10 Bucs. Hope that Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Denver lose and hope that New England and Miami beat each other up.

Jets vs. Bills Prediction

Revis 

 First a few updates:

1. This has turned out to be Darrelle Revis appreciation week from the local and national media, here is a good piece by Tim Graham of ESPN.com documenting how well #24 has played this year: http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/7246/revis-rivets-receivers-like-none-other

Jets vs. Bills Prediction

Quick predictions on the game, which is only 5 hours from kickoff. I feel good about tonight. I don’t know why, I just do. Nobody is saying the Jets are going to steamroll an improved Buffalo team. However, I think it is a nice benefit to play inside in front of a neutral crowd. Expect to see the defense build off last week and continue to play well. Buffalo has a makeshift offensive line, yet still has been taking more shots down the field in their passing game, which should open up some opportunities for the Jets pass rush. Revis vs. Owens? I predict TO has 3 catches for 20 yards.

On offense, I think Sanchez will play well. This is a big test for him on national television, going against a team who embarrassed him last time they met. The Jets offense is going to run through Thomas Jones with a little Shonn Greene and Danny Woodhead sprinkled in, but I do think they will hit a few plays down the field in their passing attack. Braylon Edwards has been a beast in primetime the past two years and I think he gets his first 100 yard game as Jet tonight.

Final Prediction: Jets – 20 Buffalo – 17

Jets vs. Bills: Game Breakdown

Bills 

 First a few updates:

1. The official injury report for tomorrow lists Lito Sheppard, Donald Strickland, and Robert Turner out. Tight End Matthew Mulligan has been moved to the active roster to replace Justin Miller, who was released last week.

2. Darrelle Revis was named AFC Defense Player of the Week for his performance against Carolina. A well-deserved honor for the league’s best cornerback.

Jets vs. Bills Game Breakdown

Jets_vs_Bills_74cfOffense: The Jets ran for over 300 yards the last time they played Buffalo so it would be a safe assumption that Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and Danny Woodhead will be very active tomorrow night. Buffalo needs to prove they can stop the run before the Jets stop turning around and handing the ball to Jones. One quick thing for Brian Schottenheimer, can we stop with the toss play? I swear the Jets run toss two times every game and lose 5 yards on it both times. Jones and Greene are north and south runners, give them the ball up the middle. After watching game tape this should be the easiest game plan Schottenheimer ever put together: Hand the ball off early and often.

When the Jets do need to throw the football, I wouldn’t mind seeing them take a couple of shots down the field. The Jets were about as conservative as possible last week and eventually Buffalo is going to put enough people in the box, where the offense is going to need to put one up for Braylon Edwards. Dustin Keller has been doing a great job in the intermediate passing game the past few weeks but with how well the Jets run the football, they should be able to make the defense pay with big plays in the passing game. Jerricho Cotchery was quiet last game, so don’t be surprised to see the Jets try to get him involved early.

Defense: There is alot of talk about the emergence of the Bills down field passing attack led by Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, the Jets got an answer for the suddenly woken up Terrell Owens and that is Darrelle Revis. I am more concerned about Lee Evans matched up with Lito Sheppard. Evans hurt the Jets in their last meeting but Sheppard is coming off his best game of the season and appears to finally be getting healthy. I would still like to see the Jets role the coverage to help against Evans. Revis can handle Owens one on one.

Fred Jackson has been moved into the starting line-up for the Bills and is a dangerous back. The Jets defensive line has played surprisingly well in the absence of Kris Jenkins and needs to keep it up against Jackson and the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a mobile quarterback who escaped a few sacks against the Jets last time. They need to bring him down when they get a chance. I would like to see Bart Scott make a few big plays. David Harris and Calvin Pace have made their share in the past few weeks, so let’s see Scott get a few. Hopefully, Kerry Rhodes will use coming off the bench in a primetime game as motivation and put together another big game.

Special Teams: I think we will see Brad Smith as the primary kick returner from now on. Jerricho Cotchery has been good on punt returns but I still worry about him getting hurt back there. Buffalo is traditionally solid on special teams and has never been averse to trick plays.

Please don’t ever think every italian guy from North Jersey is  like this…I don’t even own hair gel…I swear.

Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 13 Viewing Guide

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 First a few updates:

1. I missed a day yesterday because of some school commitments (aka staying up all night writing a paper and then sleeping all day), but here is a comprehensive update section to make up for the empty column space yesterday.

2. I have to say I really enjoyed watching the Patriots be completely out-classed and humiliated on Monday night by New Orleans. I love how all the NFL experts assume the Pats are an elite team in the NFL, even though they don’t have a single impressive win all season, and predicted New England to beat the Saints. The bottom line is that the Patriots will more than likely win the AFC East because of the Jets/Dolphins mediocrity, but don’t mistake them for being one of the best teams in the league because they aren’t.

3. It truly was a great week 12 for Jets fans. Obviously, we finally won a game and beyond the Pats being beatdown on national television, the mighty Miami Dolphins and their franchise quarterback lost by 17…yes 17 points in Buffalo, thanks to 3 INT’s from Chad Henne. Miami fans loved piling it on the Jets when the Bills beat them a few weeks back in OT and now they lost by 17 and fell below .500. Also, even though it didn’t help the Jets playoff hopes, I certainly didn’t mind the Giants getting the crap kicked out of them on Thanksgiving.

4. The whole Joe Girardi coming in to practice to teach Mark Sanchez how to slide was a pretty good idea by Rex Ryan…when I thought about it,  you never really have seen Sanchez slide yet this season and it is obviously an important thing for a quarterback to learn.

Bills Jets Football5. It is a shame that it took a two interception performance to receive the proper amounts of national respect for Darrelle Revis and yet he still isn’t getting it from everybody. I love how the consistently Jets-bashing Mike Florio still refers to Revis as one of the best “young corners” in football…how about one of the best corners, if not the best corner in football, period. You can drop the “young”. Also, he tries to hype up the TO/Revis battle tomorrow night and cautions that Revis could be in trouble because he had the audacity to say Randy Moss is faster than Owens, which is going to fire TO up. Obviously Florio didn’t watch what Revis did to Owens the last time these two teams met and also forgets that it doesn’t matter who you throw at Revis…he is going to shut them down. Andre Johnson? Check. Randy Moss? Double Check. Marques Colston? Check. Steve Smith? Check. Terrell Owens? About to be a double check.

6. Injury stuff – Donald Strickland and Dwight Lowery won’t play tomorrow. Mark Sanchez is going to start with a brace on his knee. Everybody else should be a go.

Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 13 Viewing Guide

The NFL is a funny thing sometimes. After the Jets lost to New England, the season was properly proclaimed over by everybody (including me) and yet here I am this week reading article after article about how the Jets are still alive if they can just take it one game at a time. What happened? Well all it took was a Jets win, a Ravens loss, a Dolphins loss, a Jaguars loss, and a Texans loss to turn the AFC wild card race into a complete wide-open mess. Here is what we are looking at right now in that race:

  1. Denver (7-4)
  2. Jacksonville (6-5)
  3. Pittsburgh (6-5)
  4. Baltimore (6-5)
  5. Miami (5-6)
  6. Jets (5-6)
  7. Houston (5-6)
  8. Tennessee (5-6)

There you have it, 8 mediocre teams battling for 2 spots. The good news is that even after watching the Jets Thursday night, there is plenty to be excited about on Sunday in terms of rooting interest. Here is a run-down:

bluejayNew York Jets (5-6) at Toronto Blue Jays (4-7): I will have the full game breakdown later in the day but obviously the Jets have to take care of business tomorrow night or much of this becomes irrelevant. The Blue Jays have been playing better lately led by Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback who actually has decided to use his wide receivers, unlike Trent Edwards.

New England Patriots (7-4) at Miami Dolphins (5-6): This is one of the those games that you could be happy either way with the result. If the Dolphins win, the Jets would only be one game out of first place (pending a Thursday victory). Yet, I would still find it hard to believe that New England would have a complete meltdown in the final four games, especially since the Jets need to finish with a better record than them because they don’t have the tie-breaker. I think it is better to root for the Patriots to bury Miami at 5-7, since we also lack a tie breaker with the Dolphins and we overall have a better chance of catching a wild-card team than the Pats. I don’t want Miami hanging around the wild-card race with their sweep of us.

Oakland Raiders (3-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5): I mean, hey the Chiefs beat the Steelers a couple of weeks ago. Why wouldn’t you have faith in Bruce Gradkowski and company heading into Heinz Field against a pissed-off Pittsburgh team? This game could get ugly real quick but you can always root for a miracle.

Denver Broncos (7-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-8): Here is a slightly more realistic upset watch. Kansas City has won 2 of their 3 past three and they are usually tough at home. Beyond that, I am not sold that Denver is all the way back yet. I think they just ran into a crappy, poorly prepared Giants team on Thursday night.

Tennessee Titans (5-6) at Indianapolis Colts (11-0): Even though a Titans win keeps them very much alive in the playoff race, I am still pulling for them against the Colts. We have the tie breaker with Tennessee anyway and beyond that if this Jets playoff pipe dream has a chance they are going to need a win against Indy in week 16 and the only way that is happening if the Colts are resting starters because they aren’t playing for anything. The only way they are playing for something is if they are going for an undefeated season. If there is one team who has a shot to end this perfect season, it is the Titans who are playing as well as anybody in the NFL right now, with Chris Johnson and Vince Young running around on that turf.

Houston Texans (5-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5): You have to be rooting for the Texans here, because if the Jets win they will have the same record as both teams. Beyond that, the Jets don’t have a tie-breaker with Jacksonville but do have one against the Texans. I just hope this game doesn’t come down to a Kris Brown field goal.

Baltimore Ravens (6-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-4): Let’s go Packers. I feel good about Green Bay winning this game at home against an inconsistent Ravens team.

They Can’t Play This Bad Again Right? Right?!

Grading Out The Jets/Panthers Game

*Nov 29 - 00:05*

First a few updates:

1. Except for Denver winning (thank you very much Giants), literally every team the Jets needed to lose yesterday, actually did lose. It was a rare day of positive outcomes for the Jets, who now somehow sit 1 game out of the AFC’s final wild card spot.

2. I don’t have a major problem with how Kerry Rhodes handled the media yesterday. The guy has been through a rough week with his well deserved benching. He said what he needed to say and left before having to answer millions of questions about whether he should get his job back (he shouldn’t yet, Eric Smith played a very good game). Hopefully, Rhodes will string together a few big games and start to resemble the player the Jets expected him to be in 2009.

3. The stats and game highlights section have been updated. It was nice to finally add some winning highlights. We are currently working on an extended holiday special version of TOJ TV to hopefully air before the Jets/Bucs game on December 13th. However, I’d like to get something up before Thursday’s game but apparently I need to devote more attention to my finals than my website’s television show. We’ll see if I end up writing my final today or instead laying in my bed, watching re-runs of LOST, and eating pretzels.

Grading Out The Jets/Panthers Game

JETS V PANTHERS SQuarterbacks: (B-) It was far from his best game of the season, but it was still a step in the right direction from the previous few games for Mark Sanchez. He was noticeably more careful with the football, showed his ability to run when his receivers are covered and displayed accuracy on a few impressive throws over the middle to Dustin Keller. Yes, the interception he threw was a bad pass and eventually he will have to press the ball down the field a little more but he played well enough for the Jets to win. It was also good to see him finally get his completion percentage well above 50.

Running Backs: (B-) A solid, workmanlike day from Thomas Jones. Shonn Greene’s fumble lowered the grade of this group. He shows some good burst but must do a better job of protecting the football. It was a smart decision by the Jets coaching staff to activate Danny Woodhead and use him in the third down role because he is a very good receiver out of the backfield. He provides a Sanchez a good outlet as a check down.

Wide Receivers: (C) It was a quiet day from this group, with Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery only combining for 4 receptions. Edwards showed a strong ability to run after the catch and it was also a good decision to throw him shorter passes to keep him involved.

Tight Ends: (C) Dustin Keller had a very good game, except for his fumble. It is good to see him becoming more consistently involved in the offense. Ben Hartsock is stringing together a few games without a penalty.

Offensive Line: (C) It wasn’t the best day for this group. Sanchez was sacked a few times and Thomas Jones couldn’t crack the 100 yard mark. D’Brickashaw Ferguson also had a holding penalty.

Defensive Line: (A) A really strong effort from this group in slowing down DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Marques Douglas and Shaun Ellis are both playing better than expected this season. Sione Pouha has also been more than competent as a replacement for Kris Jenkins.

Linebackers: (A) A sack for David Harris, Calvin Pace, and Bryan Thomas. Bart Scott was also fairly active. Was Vernon Gholston in uniform on Sunday?

112909Jets03ACNYSecondary: (A) Darrelle Revis played another terrific game on Sunday, you can add Steve Smith to the list of elite receivers who have been completely shut down by Revis. Eric Smith didn’t disappointin his promotion to the starting line-up, with a team leading 8 tackles and 2 for a loss. Aided by Jake Delhomme’s general awfulness, Kerry Rhodes pulled in his first two  interceptions of the season. Rex Ryan is looking pretty smart for at least one week.

Special Teams: (B) Jay Feely made an important kick in the 4th quarter. Brad Smith had a nice kick return. The punt coverage was a little shaky.

Coaching: (A) The benching of Kerry Rhodes brought out strong performances from both him and Eric Smith. Ryan also made the right call by challenging Steve Smith’s touchdown. It was a good game plan on both sides of the ball and the coaching staff had the team ready to play.

Highlights of the Jets 17-6 Win Over Carolina

It's About Time: Jets Beat Panthers 17-6

Panthers Jets Football

It wasn’t pretty but it was something the Jets badly needed, a victory. If the Jets could have played this type of ugly, run-dominated, conservative style a few other times this year they may not be below .500 right now. Mark Sanchez didn’t light the world on fire today with with 154 yards passing, o touchdowns, and an interception. However, he was 13/17 which is a major step in the right direction for his completion percentage. He also chipped in 27 yards rushing. The injury to his leg that required him to miss a few snaps doesn’t appear to be too serious because it didn’t look to limit him when he returned.

Turnovers still remained an issue today with fumbles from Shonn Greene and Dustin Keller, however the Jets were able to overcome it thanks to a terrific effort from their defense. Darrelle Revis continued to prove he was the best cornerback in football by holding Steve Smith to one catch for five yards and pulling in two interceptions of his own, including a bizarre one that he ran back 67 yards for a touchdown. Kerry Rhodes picked himself off the mat and recorded his first two interceptions of the year. The early returns on Rex Ryan benching him are positive because Rhodes appears to have woken up and the guy who replaced him, Eric Smith played a great game also, leading the team with 8 tackles, including 2 for a loss.

Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, and David Harris each recorded a sack and the Jets constantly applied pressure all game. It looked a little bit like the first few weeks of the season. Thomas Jones had another solid effort with 75 rushing yards and touchdown. Braylon Edwards chipped 40 yards receiving and even Danny Woodhead got into the act with 23 receiving yards and a rushing attempt.

Also, to everybody in Miami…haha.

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Rough slate of games yesterday for the NFL. I still don’t understand how the Raiders beat the Bengals and Eagles. The Giants laid a big time egg, which caught me off guard especially because of how bad Denver had been playing. Unless they get things turned around quickly, the Giants might be joining the Jets at home in January.

2. Rex Ryan press conference today: He took some time to stand up for Vernon Gholston, who will be active this week. Donald Strickland and Dwight Lowery are going to be out. He expressed frustration with how the news about Kerry Rhodes being benched got out, and reiterated that he will still be on the field in nickel and dime packages.

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

Offense: Expect a run heavy game plan from the Jets. The Panthers have struggled against the run all season and I think the game plan will work to protect Mark Sanchez. He will likely be started out with a bunch of short throws and pass plays with very basic reads. More important than the Jets winning this week, is Sanchez not turning the ball over, improving his completion percentage, and throwing a couple of touchdown passes. Regardless, I’d be shocked to see Thomas Jones have anything less than 20 carries and see Sanchez throw more than 20-23 passes.

Defense: If the Jets are smart they will stack the box to prevent DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart from beating them, leave Darrelle Revis one on one with Steve Smith and see if Jake Delhomme can beat them. This unit has been good all season and dominant at times but they struggled to create big plays. If there is a week to rack up some interceptions, forced fumbles, and sacks…this is it.

Prediction: I expect an ugly, turnover filled, low-scoring game. I am going  with Carolina 16-13.

Darrelle Revis Will Have His Hands Full

Thanksgiving Ramblings On The Jets

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

 jets_flightcrew_meredith

Thanksgiving Ramblings On The Jets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now some entertainment…

How ‘Effin Funny Is The Office?

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

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

Rex Makes Right Move By Benching Rhodes

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First a few updates:

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

Rex Makes Right Move By Benching Rhodes

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

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

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

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

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

Insert Your Own Funny Comment

NFL Week 11 Recap/Jets vs. Panthers First Look

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First a few updates:

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

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

AFC East Observations

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

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

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

TOJ Top Twenty

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

Jets vs. Panthers First Look

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

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

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

Dolphins/Panthers Highlights