Jets Must Learn To Win Close Games

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. For everybody sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to throw out their Kellen Clemens jersey and go buy a Mark Brunell one, the actual signing might not happen until tomorrow according to Rich Cimini. I am still not sold on this move, look at Brunell’s numbers the past three seasons and then tell me you’d be confident with him stepping in if Mark Sanchez got hurt.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Also you can now find TOJ contributions at www.profootballnyc.com. Also I know everybody has to love that new logo for our site, which we are working on getting into the banner.

3. Chris Paul wants to be traded and the Knicks are on top of his wish list. Can you imagine how many assists CP3 would have in Mike D’Antoni’s offense? LeBron James who? I want our own big three of Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul, and eventually Carmelo Anthony.

4. It sounds like there has been absolutely no progress on the contract talks with Darrelle Revis or Nick Mangold…let the circus at training camp begin.

Jets Must Learn To Win Close Games

A common argument against the Jets being one of the NFL’s elite teams in 2010 is they were only a 9-7 team in 2009 and made the playoffs because teams laid down against them in their final two games. This argument ignores or pays no respect to the two road, upset playoff wins the Jets pulled off. However you feel about that argument, many people forget how many games the Jets were one play away from winning last season.

PhotobucketWeek 5 – Holding a 27-24 lead with 5:05 left on the clock against the Miami Dolphins, the Jets defense allowed Miami’s offense to drive the length of the field and score the game winning touchdown with 6 seconds left. During this drive, Miami converted two key third downs, both on completions to Greg Camarillo, one of the receptions was on Drew Coleman and the other was on Dwight Lowery. For some reason, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Coleman or Lowery in this type of situation in 2010. Rex Ryan also did a poor job of not using his remaining timeouts to give the Jets offense a chance to respond.

Week 6 – The Jets lost in overtime to Buffalo 16-13, thanks mostly to Mark Sanchez’s five interceptions. However, this game was still there to be won in the extra period. Unfortunately, the Jets botched a field goal attempt to win the game and Sanchez then threw an interception after the Jets had crossed the 50 yard line on their next possession.

Week 8 –  Down 30-25 to the Miami Dolphins with a little under two minutes to go, the Jets had 1st and 10 from the Dolphins 12 yard line. Sanchez made a poor judgement call trying to run on second down,  took a sack on third down and threw the ball out of the end-zone on fourth down.

Week 10 – After taking a 22-21 lead with a little over 5 minutes left against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets defense allowed Jacksonville to drive to the one yard line and kick a game winning field goal as time expired. On the drive the Jaguars completed a key third down pass to Mike Thomas who beat Donald Strickland for 15 yards and then on the following play hit tight end Mercedes Lewis for 33 yards, who beat Kerry Rhodes down the middle of the field.

Week 15 – Despite holding a 7-3 lead with 4:06 left on the clock, the Jets allowed the Atlanta Falcons to drive down the field for a game winning touchdown. On the drive Atlanta converted a key third down to Roddy White who beat Donald Strickland for 16 yards and then after the play Strickland was called for a 15 yard facemask penalty. Atlanta was down to 4th and goal from the 6 yard line, when Rex Ryan made the mistake to switch into zone coverage when man to man on tight end Tony Gonzalez had been working all day, Gonzalez found a soft spot in the zone and scored the game winning touchdown.

These were five games the Jets easily could have won. Even if they managed to go 2-3 in these contests, they would have been 9-5 heading into their final two games and not needed victories against the Colts or Bengals to grab a playoff spot. The bottom line is that the Jets lost these games. However, consider Rex Ryan was a rookie head coach last year and Mark Sanchez was a rookie quarterback. The two of them will learn from their late game mistakes in 2009. Beyond that, players on defense who killed the Jets by coming up small in big spots last year: Donald Strickland, Kerry Rhodes, Drew Coleman, and Dwight Lowery, have been replaced by Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, and Brodney Pool.

If the Jets knew how to win close games in 2009, they could have been a 12-4 team. If they learn how to win them in 2010, they will be a 12-4 team.

TOJ TV

Jets Need Minor Moves To Supplement Major Ones

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. LaDainain Tomlinson and Mike Tannenbaum had a conference call with reporters today. There was nothing too newsworthy to come out of it. Tannenbaum was evasive about the decision to part ways with Thomas Jones and didn’t go into any details about the contract situation of either him or Tomlinson, along with how that factored into the Jets decision making. Tomlinson said the deciding factors in his decision was the familiarity with the Jets offense and a desire to play in New York. The best things to hear from Tomlinson was his comfort level in backing up  Shonn Greene, his sense of humor about Greene mocking his touchdown celebration last year, and his understanding that the Jets were a successful team without him and his goal to help push them over the top to a title.

2. In the category of big news that will likely fly under the radar, the Jets announced today that they re-signed Tony Richardson. Make no mistake, this a very smart move by the Jets. Despite his age, Richardson has been a very productive player for the Jets the past two years and is a crucial part of their running game. You can’t run the ground and pound without a quality fullback and now the Jets have one for at least one more season.

3. In the category of minor news, the Jets also signed defensive end Rodrique Wright. He was a seventh round pick in 2006 of the Miami Dolphins and in 13 games with them recorded 37 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. However, after being waived he was out of football last season.

Jets Need Minor Moves To Supplement Major Ones

Unless you are a believer in the Brandon Marshall rumors, it would seem that the Jets won’t be making any more major acquisitions the rest of the off-season. They parted ways with three starters (Kerry Rhodes, Thomas Jones, Lito Sheppard) and filled their places with Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Brodney Pool. The Patriots haven’t released Adalius Thomas yet, but considering he missed the beginning of their workouts today because “he didn’t know about them,” I would say that move is eventually coming and hopefully he will end up in New York. The Jets off-season moves so far has left them with plenty of flexibility in the draft to take the best player available at each spot because they don’t have any glaring holes, that being said here a few loose ends the Jets should tie up:

  1. Re-Sign Tony Richardson– Check, the Jets must have read my mind because they took care of this today right after I saved the first draft of this article. As I said before, a very smart move to bring him back and not leave fullback in the hands of Jason Davis, just like it was smart not to leave the third running back spot in the hands of Chauncey Washington.
  2. Re-Sign Marques Douglas – The guy was very productive last year as a 3-4 defensive end, which is hard to come by. The Jets don’t have great depth along the defensive line so why wouldn’t they bring back one of their starters from last year? Douglas is a Rex Ryan guy, who likely prefers the Jets to any of the other teams currently showing interest in him. He won’t command a huge contract but the Jets should do what it takes to bring him back.
  3. Re-Sign Jay Feely – A pipe dream? Nobody has signed him yet, so I am holding out hope. I just can’t accept Nick Folk kicking field goals next season…not now, not never. You can’t underestimate the importance of a good field goal kicker.
  4. Sign Corey Ivy – Add a little depth to the cornerback position. Ivy is a Rex Ryan guy who could play the nickel role if Dwight Lowery reverts to Indianapolis mode or whoever the Jets draft isn’t ready to contribute yet.
  5. Keep Working On Long Term Extensions For Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold – The sooner the best center and cornerback in the league are wrapped for the long term, the better.

If the Jets took care of all those moves, they would have tremendous flexibility in the draft. They could add depth to their defensive line and wide receiver core in the first two rounds, add another corner and safety to the mix in the middle rounds, and finish up by adding some developmental offensive lineman to learn from Damien Woody and Alan Faneca. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a pretty balanced, deep, and talented roster to me.

Yes, Somebody Actually Made A Jay Feely Slideshow On Youtube…95 Views and Counting

2009 Evaluations: The Quarterbacks

Photobucket

First a few…or actually alot of updates:

1. I would have wrote my normal article yesterday but my three friends from college decided to visit in the middle week for whatever reason, so instead of doing school work, blogging, and eating…my normal activities during the week, I ended up drinking, playing NBA Jam and NBA Jam related drinking games, and continuing my reign as our group of friend’s best beer pong player. Anyway, I have some catching up to do.

2. Mark Sanchez had his knee surgery yesterday and according to him everything went well…can you hear the collective sigh of relief from Jets fans everywhere? He is expected back in time for training camp.

3. The Jets worked out former Cowboys kicker Nick Folk. I had Folk last year for a little while in fantasy and let me tell you…he was terrible. I understand Jay Feely is a free agent and might be asking for a little too much money, especially since Oakland just paid Sebastian Janikowski like he was a franchise quarterback, but a team like the Jets can’t deal with a downgrade from Jay Feely to Nick “What The” Folk. I am already having nightmares about him missing 34 yard field goals in New England next year.

4. The Jets are likely headed back to Cortland for training camp next year.

5. Some delayed links that I promised: (http://southfloridajetsfanclub.wetpaint.com), check out Rob Nacarano’s site and stop by www.Thon.org to see some quality charity work being done by my fellow PVSC landscaper and other PSU students.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…I am happy to say we finally cracked 200 fans and now currently sit at 203…Now I want 300.

Photobucket7. Thoughts On Lost Season 6 Episode 4 “The Substitute” – A nice improvement from last week’s episode, “The Substitute” was a Locke-centric episode with an intriguing alternate timeline story and even better action on the island. First in the alternate reality, Locke has much a different personality. He no longer believes in destiny or miracles and seems like he is somewhat happy with his life. I enjoyed all the cross-overs with other characters (Hurley, Rose, Ben) but I am starting to wonder when the characters are going to become conscious of their history/whatever you want to call it on the island. As much as I enjoy watching Ben and Locke teach junior high school, I need to start seeing some connection to the other storyline. On the island, we got some answers and hell of alot more questions. Who is that weird kid with the bloody arms chasing around the Man in Black? Why does the Man In Black want Richard’s support? When was the Man In Black…actually a man and not the smoke monster? I thought the numbers in the cave was obviously a cool scene, but what a hell of a commute Jacob has to make every time he wants to write somebody’s name down…get some paper man. I am not sure I believe half the stuff the Man In Black told Sawyer and I am pretty sure Sawyer is looking to con him.

8. Now that the Cavs acquired Antawan Jamison…get ready for the Cleveland/L.A. series we were denied last year. By the way, the Knicks actually did something somewhat smart by getting Tracy McGrady because they are now going to be able to clear some serious cap space next season.

2009 Evaluations: The Quarterbacks 

Mark Sanchez
 
Stat Line: 196/364, 2444 yards, 12 TDs, 20 INTs, 53.8 completion percentage, 63.0 QB Rating (41/68, 539 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 60.3 completion percentage, 92.7 QB Rating in playoffs)
 
The Good: You can see the vast improvement in Sanchez’s regular season numbers to postseason numbers, which is obviously a good sign. Despite his inconsistencies, Sanchez showed he has the talent to be a very good NFL quarterback in his rookie season, whether it was during his terrific three game start, both regular season games against Miami, or during the Jets playoff run, the “it” factor the Jets drafted him for is there. Even though he was a rookie, he appeared to quickly gain the respect of his teammates as a leader on offense. Sanchez showed good mobility and a consistent ability to throw the ball well on the run. He can throw all the necessary passes in a NFL offense and has great touch/accuracy on his deep balls.
 
The Bad: Inconsistent. Sanchez was awful at times during his rookie season, mostly as a result of poor decision making and attempts to force plays when there was nothing there. He needs to improve in the 2 minute drill and his accuracy/decision making in the short/intermediate passing game. Occasionally, Sanchez tends to lock on a receiver and not look off defensive backs. He needs to learn better ball protection skills when he is in the pocket and scrambling. Also, he has to improve his sliding skills. No more hot dogs on the sideline and no more index cards at post game press conferences.
 
Best Moments: Played a great game in both the wild-card round and the AFC Championship Game…Made a clutch third down touchdown pass in the Jets Divisional Round win…Improved his play during the stretch run of the regular season by being more careful with the football.
 
Overall Grade (C+/B-) The regular season stats aren’t pretty. Yet, Sanchez found a way to get the Jets into the playoffs as a rookie and most importantly elevated his game in the post-season.
 
Kellen Clemens
 
Stat Line: 13/26, 125 yards, 62.3 QB Rating
 
The Good: He managed not to lose the game when he had to start against Tampa Bay and step in during the second half of the Buffalo game. Clemens provided a good mentor to Sanchez and never is a problem in the locker room or with the media.
 
The Bad: He lost yet another quarterback battle. He could barely get out of his own way against the Bills when he relieved Sanchez. He looked like he has regressed from a couple of years ago during his start against the Bucs.
 
Best Moments: Getting a win against Tampa…Taking a knee against the Bengals after the Jets clinched a playoff spot.
 
Overall Grade (C-) I don’t have any confidence in him as a starter, if he had to step in for an extended period of time.
 
Erik Ainge/Kevin O’Connell
 
Comments: Ainge looked pretty good in the pre-season and could be a long term answer as the team’s #2 quarterback. The Jets must think O’Connell has some type of potential since they held on to him all season.

Revisiting 40 Predictions For 2009 New York Jets Season: How Wrong Was I?

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. As you can see at the top of the page, we have a new section “2009 Highlights,” which is a collection of season highlight videos made by various people, and some of the best moments of the year from Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and more. There is enough video in there to keep any Jets fan occupied for hours.

2. Rex Ryan is in the news again, this time for changing his hockey jersey in the middle of a Carolina/Philly game he attended last night…unfortunately for him and all of America that watched Sportscenter today, his stomach popped out…maybe exploded out, is a better word.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because 186 fans isn’t enough.

Photobucket4. Lost Season 6, Episode 3 “What Kate Does” Thoughts – You will rarely hear me criticize LOST but last night’s episode was a bit of a letdown, maybe it was inevitable after such a strong premiere, but overall I was somewhat disappointed. Basically, you had Sawyer sulking, Kate chasing him, Sawyer sulking some more, Jack asking 9000 questions to Dogen (the Japanese guy in the Temple), and Dogen finding a creative way to avoid answering any of them. The alternate storyline was a little dull and far-fetched at times, although it was clear some things from Kate’s time on the island are popping back into her mind (her looking back at Jack from the taxi, her reaction to seeing the whale in Claire’s bag) and I am assuming the only reason Claire trusted Kate so much was because she felt some type of bond with her. I did like the ending and the return of the “sickness” appearing in Claire, who looks all kind of crazy on the island, and unfortunately Sayid. How much longer is Sayid going to be around if he is about to be taken over by the “darkness” the guy said? Also, it looks like after 2 seasons of being dragged through the mud, Jack is finally going to become a smart/likable character again.

Revisiting 40 Predictions For 2009 New York Jets Season: How Wrong Was I?

How smart was I back on September 7th, 2009? Let’s take a look at the 40 predictions I made for the Jets 2009 season, and my analysis of them now. I am hoping I at least cracked 50 percent.

1. David Harris will lead the Jets in sacks this season with 9. Calvin Pace will come in second despite missing the first four games, finishing with 7.5.

– It was actually Pace who led the Jets in sacks this season with 8, so at least I was just about on with his numbers. Harris was third on the team in sacks with 5.5, behind Pace and Shaun Ellis who had 6.5….so 0/1.

2. Vernon Gholston will be somewhere between slightly below average and okay during the first four games. He will begin to play better as a situational player when the season progresses, finishing with 5.5 sacks.

I think my first sentence is a pretty accurate description of Gholston’s play during the first four games, he wasn’t awful but he didn’t make any notable impact. However, I was way, way off on him beginning a situational player and recording 5.5 sacks…0/2.

3. Lito Sheppard will give up alot of plays but also make alot of plays, because of all the balls that will be thrown his way. He will start 16 games and lead the team in interceptions.

Oh boy, well at least Sheppard did give up alot of plays but he came nowhere near starting 16 games and only had 1 interception, which of course did not lead the team…0/3.

4. Darrelle Revis will be returning Hawaii. He will prove to be a top 3 CB in the NFL this season.

That is a little better, and of course by Hawaii I meant Miami in the Pro-Bowl. I don’t think anybody could argue that he is a top 3  CB in the NFL, and honestly most people now recognize him as the best overall corner in the league…1/4.

5. Howard Green will be an extremely valuable player off the bench on the Jets defensive line, providing a quality backup to Kris Jenkins.

It was actually Sione Pouha, who stepped up. Green was cut but eventually re-signed and never made a big impact..1/5.

6. Kerry Rhodes will have a much better year than he did last season but still won’t produce at his 2006 statistical level and won’t be a pro-bowler.

– He didn’t really have a better year than last season, I won’t give myself credit for saying he wouldn’t be a pro-bowler because when I wrote this I thought he would have a much better all-around year than he did…1/6.

7. Jim Leonhard will be a steady, consistent player on the Jets defense but his most important contributions will be as a punt returner.

– Damn, I couldn’t just stop at steady, consistent player on the Jets defense. He was okay on punt returns but had to give up the duty half way through the season because of a hand injury. I am giving myself a 1/2 point on this one…1.5/7.

8. The Jets will sweep the Miami Dolphins this season.

I am still bitter about this…1.5/8.

9. Thomas Jones won’t match last year’s gaudy numbers but will still finish with a solid 1175 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns.

He actually exceeded last year’s numbers and finished with 1402 yards and 14 touchdowns, my bad TJ…1.5/9.

10. Leon Washington will have at least 50 more carries this season than he did in 2008, along with 10 more catches.

Unfortunately because of a leg injury, this didn’t happen…1.5/10.

11. Leon Washington will have 1100 combined rushing/receiving yards. He had 800 last year.

See Above…1.5/11.

12. Leon Washington will have 2 kick return touchdowns this season. Jim Leonhard will take one punt back.

I really have to stop talking about Leon…1.5/12.

13. Leon Washington will have a better season than Reggie Bush (sorry, Dan).

I really, really have to stop talking about Leon Washington…1.5/13.

Photobucket14. Shonn Greene will start out the season slow but become an important part of the offense in the second half of the season.

That’s what I am talking about. Greene wasn’t a factor until week 7 but was a key part of the Jets playoff run…2.5/14.

15. Bryan Thomas will very quietly have his best season since 2006, finishing with 67 tackles and 6.5 sacks.

Not quite, Thomas finished with 53 tackles and 2 sacks…2.5/15.

16. Shaun Ellis, Marques Douglas, Mike DeVito, and Ropati Pitoitua will be a surprisingly solid defensive end rotation.

They did prove to be a good rotation, especially after Kris Jenkins went down. Ellis had 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Douglas had 64 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 TFLs, and a TD. DeVito was a good role player off the bench. Pitoitua wasn’t much of a factor…3.5/16.

17. The Jets will split with New England for the third time in four years.

Yes they did…4.5/17.

18. Somebody on the offensive line will miss a few starts this season, exposing the Jets lack of depth at the position.

Fortunately, I was wrong about this. For the second year in a row, the entire offensive line started every single game…4.5/18.

19. Tony Richardson, the ageless wonder…will start another 16 games.

He did and hopefully he will be back for another 16 next year…5.5/19.

20. Jerricho Cotchery will just barely get 1000 yards receiving and finish with 5 touchdowns.

Cotchery finished with 821 yards and 4 touchdowns. He would have been at 1000 but he missed 2 full games and a large part of another…5.5/20.

21. Brad Smith will have less than 10 catches this season.

He finished with 7 catches for 63 yards…6.5/21.

22. Dustin Keller will be joining Darrelle Revis in Hawaii, finishing with 67 catches, 850 yards, and 7 touchdowns.

PhotobucketKeller was an under-utilized part of the Jets offense, finishing the regular season with 45 catches, 522 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He did step up in the playoffs, adding a touchdown in each game…6.5/22.

23. Mark Sanchez’s stats will look very similar to Joe Flacco’s last season. The Jets high paid rookie will finish with 15 TD’s, 11 INT’s, 2980 yards passing, and a 62.0 completion percentage.

Maybe if he played the way he did during the playoffs all year this would have been true. Sanchez finished the regular season with 12 TDs, 20 INTs, 2444 yards, and a 53.8 completion percentage…6.5/23.

24. David Clowney will catch at least 2 touchdowns of 40 yards or more.

He only caught one touchdown this season, and it was for 34 yards…6.5/24.

25. Chansi Stuckey won’t have stats that will impress anybody because of his low yards per catch average, but will be a valuable 3rd down weapon for the Jets.

He was traded after week 4…6.5/25.

26. The Jets defense will give up more big plays than expected but will have more sacks, interceptions, and defensive touchdowns than in 2008.

It was actually nearly the opposite. They didn’t give up a ton of big plays but finished with 32 sacks, 17 interceptions, and 1 touchdown. In 2008, they had 41 sacks, 14 interceptions, and 3 touchdowns…6.5/26.

27. Despite having a better backup than he did last year, Kris Jenkins will start out slow because of missing most of the pre-season and will start 14 games this year, not the full 16.

He only ended up starting 6 games before sustaining a season-ending injury…6.5/27.

28. Brian Schottenheimer will be extremely conservative the first 5-6 games of this season, frustrating fans. However, as Sanchez gets more comfortable the Jets offense will begin to resemble its 2006 form.

It was almost backwards of this. The Jets offense became more conservative as the year went on…6.5/28.

29. Steve Weatherford won’t finish the season as the Jets punter….will he even finish this article as the Jets punter?

He actually did finish the year as the Jets punter…6.5/29.

30. The Jets will split with the Buffalo Bills this season.

Yes, they did…finally got one right…7.5/30.

31. Bart Scott will be a quality player and bring a nasty attitude to the Jets defense but he will be outplayed by David Harris at inside linebacker.

Two in a row? Here we go…8.5/31.

32. Thomas Jones will catch another 30 passes this season.

He only caught 10 passes this season…8.5/32.

33. Mark Sanchez’s inexperience will cost the Jets a couple of winnable games in the first half of the season. His talent level and growing comfort in the offense, will steal them a late season game they shouldn’t win.

It didn’t really work out like that…8.5/33.

34. The Jets will enter their week 9 bye as a 4-4 team and not be considered a serious playoff contender.

Yes, they did enter the week 9 bye as a 4-4 team and weren’t considered a serious playoff contender…9.5/34.

35. Similar to the 2006 team, they will rally to a 6-2 finish and end up as a 10-6 wild card team.

They rallied to finish 9-7 as a wild-card team, so I am giving myself that one…10.5/35.

36. They will either upset the Colts or Pats on the road in the second half of the season, not both. Their other second half loss will be at home to Atlanta…so yes, I am saying they win in Buffalo (aka Toronto), Tampa, and take care of the Panthers at home in the second half of the season.

Not bad…11.5/36.

37. Most Improved Player Offense – Dustin Keller.

I am not really sure who their most improved player was, but it wasn’t Dustin Keller who saw his numbers go down…11.5/37.

38. Most Improved Player Defense – Bryan Thomas, David Harris

I would probably say Sione Pouha was their most improved player…11.5/38.

39.  Pro-Bowlers – Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller, David Harris, Leon Washington (kick returner), Nick Mangold

Right about Revis and Mangold…wrong about the other three…11.5/39.

40.  The Jets won’t add another veteran receiver this season, but it will be top priority in next year’s off-season.

They added Braylon Edwards after week 4…11.5/40.

11.5 out of 40? Not pretty.

No Video Today…just check out the new “2009 Highlights Section” for all the video you need.

Super Bowl Friday Thoughts/NFL Playoffs 2010 Recap

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Rich Cimini wrote an article today discussing Chad Pennington returning to the Jets next season as a backup. He discussed it with Pennington, who admitted it would be tough but said it was a move he would definitely consider. I am all for Pennington coming back. First off, I can get some use out of his jersey that I still own in the pre-season and when he is playing mop-up duty against the Dolphins and Bills next years. Did I just say mop-up duty against teams the Jets went 1-3 against last year? Yes, I did. There isn’t going to be anymore 5 interception games or fluke Ted Ginn Jr touchdowns. Second, Pennington is an upgrade over Kellen Clemens.

2. When Leon Washington was talking about playing next season with the Jets, he discussed going back to returning kicks. Personally, I’d rather just leave Brad Smith back there and let Leon worry about offense. One thing the Jets offense missed in a big way last season was a screen game and running backs catching the ball out of the backfield in general (8 receptions for Thomas Jones or 0 for Shonn Greene during the regular season).

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…everybody is doing it…well, 183 people now are. (I told you I was putting this up with every post).

4. The Game Highlights section has been somewhat ripped apart by videos being taken down on youtube. I will be revamping that into something different next week.

Super Bowl Friday Thoughts

First off…let’s look back at the 2010 Playoffs. Personally, my two favorite weekends of the year are wild-card weekend and divisional weekend. I consider them holidays. Unfortunately, outside of our Jets most of the games were letdowns. Jets/Bengals got things started off right with an exciting 24-14 game, in which I got to watch a bunch of bitter Giants sulk in their recently purchased Chad Ochocino Johnson jerseys. I was expecting a great Saturday night game between Dallas and Philly but my Super Bowl pick decided to get completely blown out. Clearly, Andy Reid made zero adjustments from the two previous losses his team had to the Cowboys. Beyond that, nobody ever wants to see Cowboys fans happy…Maganellis.

Outside of anything Jets related, there was nothing I enjoyed more this NFL season than the first quarter of the Ravens/Patriots wild-card game. Nothing beats watching Bill Belichick be completely out-coached and standing there gawking on the side-line while Tom Brady throws interception after interception and keeps fumbling…great stuff. After the Belichick/Brady meltdown this year in a home playoff game, can we say the Pats dynasty is on the way out? I think you can, their defense isn’t good. They don’t have a running back. Wes Welker might not be back for the start of the next season and Randy Moss is a slouch. The Packers/Cardinals game was obviously very exciting, although it was pathetic how bad both defenses were. It was also frustrating to watch “Fake Defensive Player of the Year” Charles Woodson and the rest of his secondary get torched for 51 points, 379 passing yards, and 5 passing touchdowns. One last time, it was a complete joke that Darrelle Revis didn’t win that award this year.

PhotobucketDivisional weekend? Saints vs. Cardinals was a complete beatdown. On top of that, I had to watch Reggie Bush have a monster game, after ripping him all off-season and saying Leon Washington was better. One thing you have to say about Bush, is that there is a reason everybody was so “shocked” to see him play so well and run so hard…because he hasn’t been doing it his entire of NFL career. You shouldn’t decide to run hard one day, you should be doing it every game, especially when you are the #2 pick in the draft. Colts/Ravens was a disappointing game because I was obviously routing for the Ravens since I wanted a home AFC Championship Game.

On Sunday, it was nice to see Dallas remember they can’t win a big game and get blown out by the Vikings. To top it off, we got to see Keith Brooking and his stupid pre-game chant (we gonna hit them in nose, we gonna hit them in face….give me a break) leave a river of tears on the field. Of course, the late game on Sunday was just terrific and turned out to be the best overall game of the weekend. You can’t beat the defensive beatdown the Jets put on the Chargers in the second half and Shonn Greene rumbling through the Chargers secondary.

Everything about Championship Sunday was great right up until Peyton Manning got the ball back down 17-6. Fortunately, I got a little joy later that night watching Brett Favre choke away the NFC Championship Game…which brings us to Colts/Saints.

1. I think this game goes one of two ways: 1) We have an all-time game, an absolute shootout where the team with the ball last wins…something like 45-42 or 2) the Colts fall behind a little early, Manning reacts and then the Colts roll in the second half to a double-digit victory.

2. The only way the Saints are winning this game is if they find a way to out-score Manning because they aren’t stopping him.

3. My predictions:

  • Super Bowl MVP – Peyton Manning (A real stretch, I know)
  • First touchdown – Pierre Thomas
  • Final Score: Colts – 41 Saints – 30

Another Jets Highlight Tape

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Moments

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. The Jets fined Rex Ryan $50,000 for flipping off a group of hostile Miami fans over the weekend. There is no further action expected from the NFL. Hey, at least Ryan didn’t pull a Ron Artest/Stephen Jackson and run into the crowd.

2. Mark Sanchez talked about his decision to get knee surgery today. Basically, the main piece of news is that the surgery will allow him to stop wearing a brace during games.

3. Speaking of Sanchez, head over to www.nfl.com/PepsiRefresh or text his name to P-E-P-S-I, to vote for his off the field program to receive a $100,000 grant from Pepsi. Sanchez is supporting Juvenile Diabetes/Type 1 Diabetes which hits close to home here at TOJ since my little sister has the disease. You have until midnight Friday to cast your vote so take 5 seconds of your day and do it right now….then come back to read the rest of the article.

4. Great stuff here: http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/02/03/salary-cap-myths-misconceptions-faqs-part-one/ on the off-season rules for the uncapped year and how they affect the Jets.

Photobucket5. Lost Season, Episode 1/2 “LA X” Thoughts – Damn, what a premiere. I think we all kind of expected the alternate reality/reset storyline but it is weird how they have it running parallel to the castaways being shot back into 2007 because of the bomb. How are these two storylines going to converge? While I expected to see some type of reset action, I never expected to see the island at the bottom of the ocean. Clearly, setting off the bomb had larger ramifications then preventing Oceanic 815 from crashing which is also shown by the differences in some of the characters (Hurley being lucky, Desmond on the plane, No Shannon on the plane, etc). Also it definitely looked like Jack was having some deja vu on the plane and knew something might be off. It was nice to get confirmation that Locke (or the guy who took him over) is the smoke monster and finally see the Temple. However, we still got about 10000 new questions to answer now. Why does whomever Locke is now want to go home? Where is his home? How come Sayid was dead and is now alive? How did Juliet know “it worked?” And on and on. If all this sounded like Chinese to you, too bad it is the final season of Lost and I’m writing about it.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook….everybody is doing it…well at least 179 people are.

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Moments

Welcome to day three of the TOJ Awards for the 2009/2010 New York Jets season. Monday we honored the Jets best and worst players on each side of the ball. Yesterday, we looked at the best and worst games of the past season and today we will be looking at the best and worst moments/individual plays of the past year.

Offense

Top Five “Holy Sanchize, We Got A Quarterback” Moments

 Photobucket

5. Second Half Kickoff – After a 3/5 for 15 yards first half against the Patriots in week 2, Sanchez hits Jerricho Cotchery with a beautiful throw on a skinny post for a 45 yard gain on the first play of the 3rd quarter to move the Jets down to the Pats 11 yard line. Two plays later he dropped an equally impressive pass to Dustin Keller for a 9 yard touchdown to give the Jets a 10-9 lead en route to a 16-9 victory.

4. Rebound Performance – After a terrible game against the Saints in the Jets first loss of the season, Sanchez responded on Monday Night Football with 172 yards, a touchdown and no turnovers. Despite the loss, he showed an ability to push the ball down the field on a 53 yard completion to David Clowney and a 34 yard completion to the newly acquired Braylon Edwards.

3. Buckets – Returning from injury, Sanchez dropped a picture perfect pass to Braylon Edwards for a 65 yard touchdown against the Falcons to give the Jets a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. The rest of the day was ugly but that one completion was hopefully a sign of things to come for the next few years.

2. Make A Play – With the Jets trailing 7-3 in the 4th quarter of the Divisional Playoffs to the Chargers and facing a 3rd and goal from their 2 yard line, Sanchez went play action saw all of his options covered, rolled out…continued to roll out, waited and then fired a missile to Dustin Keller in the back of the end-zone for the go-ahead touchdown. A big time play in a big time spot. (I Know the video clip is from a weird angle, but look at all those Jets fans celebrating, I thought this was a San Diego home game?)

1. The Big Stage – On the road in the AFC Championship Game, Sanchez makes a statement with both his first half touchdown passes. On the first, he hits Edwards in stride for a 80 yard touchdown and more impressively on the second, he stands in the pocket, takes a monster hit and delivers a perfect throw on an option route to Dustin Keller for a touchdown, giving the Jets a 14-6 lead.

Top Five “What The Hell Is Going On Out There” Moments

Photobucket

5. Anybody But Him – Rookie running back Shonn Greene fumbles behind the line of scrimmage and the ball bounces directly to Jason Taylor who runs it back for a 48 yard touchdown, promptly forcing Jets fans everywhere to throw up.

4. Really, Another One? – Mark Sanchez throws his 5th interception of the game against the Bills on a rainy Sunday afternoon in overtime, leading to them kicking the game winning field goal in a gut-wrenching loss.

3. Face-Catch – On a prime-time Thursday night game Braylon Edwards drops a wide-open 70 yard touchdown when he lets the ball bounce of his face mask. Fortunately, he responded with a touchdown later in the half and the Jets went on to win 19-13.

2. Just Ugly – Sanchez throws a ridiculously horrible interception out of his own end-zone in New England with the Jets down 24-14 to end any chance of a comeback. He scrambles around for 10 seconds and instead of throwing it away, throws it directly to Brandon Merriweather.

1. Yes, Yes…No – Wild-Card weekend, the Jets appear poised to tie the game at 7 on a perfect 50 yard pass from Mark Sanchez to Braylon Edwards, unfortunately Edwards forgets to catch the ball.

This probably fits somewhere in this list, also…

Top Five “Ground and Pound” Moments

 Photobucket

5. Opening With A Bang – The Texans appear ready to get back in the game after scoring a touchdown to cut the Jets lead to 17-7, fortunately Thomas Jones rips off a 34 yard run to extend the Jets lead to 24-7 and puts the nail in the coffin.

4. TJ, Run Our Play – The Jets need 1 yard to clinch a Divisional Round win over the heavily favored San Diego Chargers, despite sitting for most of the 4th quarter the Jets insert Thomas Jones for a crucial 4th and 1 with the instructions to “run our play”, Jones gets the ball behind a pulling Alan Faneca and gets 2 yards…clinching a Jets win.

3. Welcome To The NFL – After a quiet 6 weeks, Shonn Greene breaks on the scene with a 144 yard, 2 touchdown performance against the Oakland Raiders.

2. Somehow, We Still Lost – Thomas Jones has a career day against the Bills, racking up 210 yards. However, somehow the Jets still manage to lose 16-13.

1. Boom – With the Jets holding on to 10-7 lead in the fourth quarter, Shonn Greene steamrolls Chargers safety Eric Weddle and rumbles for a 53 yard touchdown, capping it off with a mock LaDanian Tomlinson celebration…beautiful.

Defense

 Top Five “Revis Island” Moments

Photobucket

5. Slouch – In week 2, before the injury that apparently made Randy Moss so lazy this year, Darrelle Revis out-jumps him for a beautiful interception down the sideline…with no safety help.

4. Slouch Part 2 – After completely owning Terrell Owens all game on Thursday Night Football, Revis clinches a Jets 19-13 victory by intercepting a deep ball attempt for Owens.

3. He Deserved An Easy One – The great ones always catch a break, against the Panthers a ball bounces right off Steve Smith’s foot into the hands of Darrelle Revis who easily runs it back for a touchdown.

2. Ocho-Stinko – Change your name back to Chad Johson, after shutting down “Ochocinco” down in week 17, Revis follows up with an encore performance in the playoffs, including an acrobatic interception over Johnson down the side-line.

1. He Caught That?  – I am still not sure how Darrelle Revis came up with this interception against Vincent Jackson in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Top Five “Swaggalicious” Moments

Photobucket

5. The Whole Team Felt It – Despite an up and down season, Kerry Rhodes came up big in the Divisional playoffs with a huge sack of Phillip Rivers on a 3rd down in the fourth quarter. Rex Ryan later said, “when you hit the quarterback like that, the whole team feels it.”

4. Where Are You Going – David Harris makes a ridiculous move to sack Matt Schaub in week one, setting the tempo for the Jets defense the rest of the season.

3. End Of Game Stand – Despite struggling at the end of games most of the season, the Jets defense held firm against Tom Brady and the Patriots in week two, culminating with Dwight Lowery knocking away a fourth down pass and the whole stadium going insane.

2. For A Second I Thought We Had Him – The Jets get to the untouchable Peyton Manning two times in the first quarter of the AFC Championship game, with 2 sacks by David Harris. Unfortunately, Manning figured them out and Rex Ryan didn’t have a Plan B.

1. Momentum Swing – Jim Leonhard comes up with a huge interception against the Chargers late in the third quarter, leading to the Jets taking the lead and never looking back.

Overall

Season High Point – Calvin Pace blows up Joseph Addai, forcing a fumble deep in Colts territory with the Jets already up 14-6 against the heavily favored Colts. Tell me you didn’t think we were going to the Super Bowl after this play, yet it wasn’t meant to be cause it was all downhill from there. Other high points were going right down the field on the Bengals in week 17 to start the game because you knew we were en route a blowout and the playoffs…Beating New England in week 2…Watching Shonn Greene rumble for that 53 yard TD against the Chargers.

Season Low Point – I can’t decide between Manning giving the Colts the 20-17 lead in the AFC Championship game because you knew at that point he couldn’t be stopped or Tony Gonzalez scoring to apparently knock us out of the playoffs or the beating we took in New England that apparently knocked us out of the playoffs or watching scrub Ted Ginn Jr score on 2 kick returns.

Personal Favorite Moment – Wild-Card Weekend, I was surrounded by 12 people routing adamantly against the Jets. After the Bengals made the score 21-14, everybody was literally screaming in my face when the Jets got the ball back, yelling about how another meltdown was coming and so forth, fortunately two plays later Mark Sanchez hit Dustin Keller for a 45 yard gain, which let me turn around and give a big  “Shut the ‘Eff Up” to everybody.

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Games

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. Mark Sanchez will be getting surgery on his left knee in a couple of weeks. The expected recovery time is two months, which should make him ready to go by April. Unfortunately, he will miss the first month of the off-season program. Regardless, it is better for the long term that he gets his knee taken care of now. He will be ready for OTAs in May and June and of course by training camp.

2. There has been some talk floating around about the Jets working to get Nnamdi Asomugha since he talked about the potential of pairing up with Darrelle Revis at the Pro-Bowl (andbrought to light potential tampering chargers by mentioning he talked to Rex Ryan about it). However, I don’t think this is happening. The Jets aren’t trading multiple draft picks again. Yes, it is a nice thought to have the two best corners in the NFL on the same team but it would just cost too much for a team that needs to add depth through the draft.

3. Along similar lines, many people are talking about the Jets acquiring Julius Peppers which is another thing is almost definitelynot happening. Beyond the Jets limitations because of the Final Eight Rules, I am not crazy about signing a 30 year old to play a position he has never played before.

4. Can I get me some season 6 LOST? Big premiere tonight and yes every week I will typing some type of recap/opinion of each episode in the update section.

5. Daily reminder…follow Turn On The Jets on facebook for extra commentary and links to things you should be reading on a daily basis.

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Games

Welcome to day two of the TOJ Awards for the 2009/2010 New York Jets season. Yesterday we honored the Jets best and worst players on each side of the ball. Today, we will be looking at the best and worst games of the past season and tomorrow we will be looking at the best and worst moments/individual plays of the past year.

Best Defensive Game – October 4th At New Orleans, Loss 24-10

A loss for the best defensive game of the year? Absolutely, people always forget how well the Jets defense played in this game because of the loss but remember Mark Sanchez directly handed 14 points to the Saints. How about the Jets going into the building of the NFC Champions and holding the Saints to 10 offensive points, Drew Brees to 190 passing yards with 0 touchdowns, and Marques Colston to 33 receiving yards? Remember this is a team that scored 48 points at home against the Giants and 38 at home against the Patriots, with Drew Brees throwing for 371 yards.

Photobucket

Honorable Mentions – September 13th At Houston, Win 24-7, January 17th At San Diego, Win 17-14

The Jets shut out the Houston in their building, remember their only points came on an interception/fumble return. Beyond that, they just physically dominated them from start to finish. The Texans turned out to be a 9-7 team that had one of the league’s best offense. Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson both started in the Pro-Bowl (yes, Matt Schaub actually started in the Pro-Bowl), on this day Schaub threw for 166 yards with a INT, and Johnson had 35 receiving yards. Against the Chargers, the Jets were the first team to hold them under 20 points all season and came up with two huge INTs and 2 big sacks late in the game. This probably should have won the award, the only thing holding me back was the 344 total yards allowed, oh well…all three games were impressive as hell.

Best Offensive Game – January 9th At Cincinnati, Win 24-14

This was the game it all came together for the Jets offensively. Mark Sanchez was nearly perfect (12/15, 182 yards, 1 TD) with 2 of his 3 incompletions being dropped passes. Brian Schottenheimer called his best game of the season, with well-timed play action passes and a few good counter calls. Shonn Greene exploded for 135 yards and a touchdown. Thomas Jones chipped in 34 yards and a touchdown. Dustin Keller re-emerged with 99 yards receiving and a touchdown. Jerricho Cotchery was brilliant on third down and finished with 6 clutch catches for 67 yards. Braylon Edwards only finished with 2 catches for 15 yards, but if he rememberd to catch the football he would have finished with 65 yards and a touchdown and Sanchez would have been around 240 passing yards with 2 touchdowns.

Honorable Mention – November 1st Vs. Miami, Loss 30-25

An extremely painful loss but an all-around great game by the Jets offense. Sanchez had his best statistical game (20/35, 262 yards, 2 TDs), Thomas Jones ran for 102 yards and chipped in a 28 yard reception. Dustin Keller had 76 yards with a touchdown. Braylon Edwards had 74 yards with a touchdown. Jerricho Cotchery had 70 yards. Hopefully, this will be a nice preview of what the Jets offense could be next year with a little more Shonn Greene and Leon Washington thrown in…could be scary.

Most Painful Loss – November 1st At Miami, Loss 30-25

While we are on the topic of the second Miami game. I don’t know about you but it made me sick to see the Jets swept by an inferior Dolphins team in their own building, beyond all the offensive stats I just mentioned how about these stats for Miami on offense: Chad Henne 12/21, 121 yards and he was sacked 6 times, Ronnie Brown had 27 rushing yards, Ricky Williams had 27 rushing yards, no wide receiver on their team had more than 18 yards receiving. The Jets completely dominated this game but lost because they forgot how to cover kicks. Ted Ginn Jr is terrible 14 games a year but for reason always finds a way to make a big impact when he plays the Jets.

Honorable Mention – December 20th Vs Atlanta, Loss 10-7, January 24th At Indy, Loss 30-17

Everybody in the building on December 20th knew the three missed field goals would come back to haunt the Jets. Everybody knew Atlanta was driving down that field to win 10-7 and everybody knew on that fourth down play they were throwing to Tony Gonzalez, and yet we decided to move to zone coverage. At the time it seemed like the season was over (as Rex Ryan can attest to). Obviously, the actual season-ending loss in the AFC Championship Game hurt, especially because it felt like we were on our way after Calvin Pace caused that fumble in the 2nd quarter. However, we settled for a field goal, Peyton Manning led the Colts down the field in about 2 seconds and the rest is history.

Most Satisfying Victory – September 20th Vs New England, Win 16-9

The stadium was completely out of control in a good way on this day. It was one of the few Jets games I attended, where the crowd had a major impact on the game, forcing consecutive delay of game penalties at one point and contributing to 89 total penalty yards for the Patriots. It was the first time we beat New England at home since 2000 and showed the week one domination over Houston was no fluke. Hopefully, this will become a regular thing over the next few years as the Jets pass the Patriots as the best team in the AFC East.

Honorable Mentions – January 3rd vs. Cincinnati, Win 37-0, January 17th At San Diego, Win 17-14

I would have put beating Cincinnati to make the playoffs in the top spot because that was an awesome night at the Stadium, but I felt that win was expected. There was no way in hell the Bengals were beating the Jets that night. The New England win wasn’t expected at the time because how could you think the Jets were going to be New England when they have owned them at the Meadowlands for so long? Obviously, upsetting the Chargers and proving without a doubt we belonged in the playoffs was also a sweet day.

Most Boring Game – December 13th at Tampa Bay, Win 26-3

At one point in this game, Matt Slauson snapped the ball to Kellen Clemens who completed a pass to Matthew Mulligan, not exactly something we thought we’d see in December. Basically, the Bucs were simply awful and the Jets completed dominated which was of course fun to watch but the Jets offensive game-plan mirrored a 5th grade pop-warner one more than it even usually did. Beyond that, Kellen Clemens is just brutal to watch.

Recapping Jets GM Press Conference & Other Updates

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Chad Johnson still refuses to give Darrelle Revis credit as you can read here (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/9859/ochocinco-on-revis-child-please), this guy is crazier than I already thought.

2. Another reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook. I have a page up there that includes extra commentary and links to all the Jets coverage from other sources that you should be reading on a daily basis. We are at 171 fans right now, and I want that number doubled by the time the 2010 season starts.

3. Isn’t it great that Mark Sanchez already has more playoff wins than Tony Romo in his career? I am just saying since nobody likes those Maganelli Cowboys fans that are here in the area.

4. One of the main things I will be working on in the off-season is putting together a TOJ Podcast for the 2010 season, more details to follow.

5. Next week, I will be doing our usual updates and stuff if anything Jets related occurs. However, I will be focusing on the 2009 Season 1st Annual Turn On The Jets Awards. The best players, best moments, best games, best coaches and of course the worst players, worst moments, worst games, and wort coaches will all be recognized…so let’s hand out some hardware.

Recapping Jets GM Press Conference & Other Updates

Mike Tannenbaum (who we are a big fan of here at TOJ) took the podium today to discuss the Jets off-season, here are some highlights and analysis:

Mark Sanchez – Sanchez saw Dr. James Andrew yesterday to have his knee checked out. It sounds like he is going to have minor surgery to clean it up. The Jets haven’t made a final decision yet but Tannenbaum basically said he wanted to see Sanchez take part in some rehab and strengthen the knee, and that he would be back well before training camp if they decide to have him get surgery. Hopefully, he won’t have to miss any OTAs or mini-camp.

– Kellen Clemens  – Tannenbaum said the Jets are going to tender Kellen Clemens as a restricted free agent. I don’t know at what level he will be tendered but I would imagine it would be a very low pick (6 or 7) at the highest or maybe even without a pick. He also said just because they are going to tender him, doesn’t mean the Jets won’t look at a veteran quarterback.

Erik Ainge/Kevin O’ConnellTannenbaum said he likes both of them moving forward but the Jets would be crazy to proceed with them as the top two backups.

Thomas Jones – It certainly sounded like TJ will be back next year. The Jets are going to pay him his bonus and I am sure Jones will recognize he isn’t going to get big money anywhere else. Tannenbaum continually emphasized the importance of depth, especially at the running back position.

Leon Washington – The Jets are going to tender Leon as a restricted free agent. I would guess with a mid-round pick (2 or 3). It is hard to see any team making a big money offer to him for the Jets to match since he is coming off major knee surgery.

Braylon Edwards – Edwards will be back next year with a likely 1st and 3rd round pick tender. Tannenbaum pointed out how he was a big help in the Jets rushing game and has been a good fit in the locker room.

Kerry Rhodes – Many people have been speculating that the ongoing difference between Rhodes and the Jets is that they want him to take a pay cut. However, Tannenbaum made it clear there are no contractual issues between the two and that the key is they want Rhodes to commit to the Jets off-season program. It sounds like the organization wants more of Rhodes in the team facility and less of Rhodes posing for magazines and acting.

Vernon Gholston – Gholston is going to be back in 2010, although Tannenbaum is obviously not happy with his lack of production, they are going to give him another off-season to improve.

Secondary – Secondary was mentioned more than a few times as a key focus for the Jets off-season. Tannenbaum made it clear that Ryan loves defensive backs and he wants to give him as much depth as possible at the position. He didn’t say anything about Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland, although I’d be shocked to see either back next season.

– Thank you to reader Ret2ski, who pointed out the Jets do in fact have a 5th round pick. So to my knowledge they have a 1,2,5,6,7. Another thing about the Jets this off-season, if a player is cut by a team before his contract expires the Jets are free to sign him without restriction. Overall, I would still guess the Jets will be relatively quiet in free agency, focus on acquiring more draft picks and actively work on adding depth to the defense, especially at the defensive back position.

Nice Highlight Tape Of TJ and Shonn Greene

Grading Out The AFC Championship Game

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Of course it is raining today…when I reflect about yesterday’s game, you can’t get around the fact the Jets lost to a better team and that there was no stopping Peyton Manning yesterday, especially withDwight Lowery and Drew Coleman playing major reps at defensive back. You can look at different points of the games and different decisions, but the bottom line is that the Jets weren’t stopping Indy, period. Even if the Jets made both field goals, Shonn Greene stayed in the game, and on and on…the Colts still would have scored enough points to win.

2. There will be a few tweaks in the site for the off-season, the final stats and game highlights for the 2009 season have been put up. I switched out the 2009 schedule with the Jets 2010 opponents, and there will likely be a few other changes here and there. We are done with our in-season schedule, so there won’t be 6-7 articles a week here. I will be laying out an off-season schedule in an article in the next day or two as I finish up Jets/Colts coverage. Obviously, we will have free agency/draft coverage, reflections on the past season, individual articles grading out each player’s performance this season, and plenty of other things that I will figure out later.

3. Since a new Collective Bargaining Agreement hasn’t been figured out yet, the Jets will be under specific free agency rules. Tim Graham breaks them down here (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/9749/jets-have-29th-pick-ufa-limitations) Basically, the Jets won’t be able to sign a free agent, unless one of their free agents signs with somebody else. However, this won’t impact their ability to make trades which we all know Mike Tannenbaum loves to do. In terms of the draft, the Jets will have the 29th overall pick in the first round.  I don’t know the rest of their picks as of right now, but I am pretty sure they don’t have a 3 or 4 because of the Braylon Edwards/Lito Sheppard trades…if anybody knows exactly, please post it.

4. Shaun Ellis will be replacing Robert Mathis in the Pro-Bowl.

5. Nobody chokes in a big spot like Brett Favre…last pass as a Packer was a brutal interception in the NFC Championship Game that cost his team the game. He choked down the stretch for the Jets and now his likely last pass as a Viking was a brutal interception in the NFC Championship Game that cost his team the game. Good article by Mike Florio and Favre being delusional and thinking he went out on top: (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/01/25/favre-cant-walk-away-yet/).

Grading Out The AFC Championship Game

Quarterback (A) – Mark Sanchez played arguably his best game of the season in the biggest spot of the year, which is a good sign for the future. He stood in the pocket, took huge hits, and delivered accurate passes especially on the touchdown to Dustin Keller. Sanchez is only going to get better with another off-season in the offense and even more time to work with Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, and Jerricho Cotchery. I really believe the Jets made the right choice trading up for this guy and that their offense is on the way to catching up with their defense with Sanchez under center.

Running Back (C) – Shonn Greene is going to be the Jets feature back next season and they missed him badly after he left. However, Greene had injuries throughout his rookie season and he is going to have to find a way to stay healthy next year. Thomas Jones was clearly worn down or his knee injury was worse than the team was letting on. It will be very interesting to see if he is back next season. 

Wide Receiver (A) – Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery both stepped up with 100 yards games. They are a good duo of starting receivers for Sanchez to grow with. However, the Jets need better depth behind them. Brad Smith isn’t really a receiver. He is a more of gadget/special teams player. They need to find a quality slot guy.

Tight End (A) – Dustin Keller stepped up in the playoffs, with a touchdown reception in each game. It is good to see him and Sanchez on the same page because he has the talent to be a pro-bowl caliber type player.

 Offensive Line (B) – They were excellent in pass protection but didn’t have their best game against the run. How about this unit starting the past 35 games together?

Defensive Line (C) – Not a great overall day for this group. Ellis was clearly limited because of his hand injury and they couldn’t generate a pass rush or slow down the Colts running the ball.

Linebackers (C) – David Harris played a terrific game, racking up 11 tackles and 2 sacks. Calvin Pace made a huge play by forcing that fumble but beyond that he didn’t get to the quarterback. Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas barely played because the Jets were using so many defensive backs.

Secondary (F) – I think it is illegal in most states what Peyton Manning and Pierre Garcon did to Dwight Lowery. I don’t think you will be seeing Lowery, Drew Coleman, and Lito Sheppard in a Jets jersey next season.

Special Teams (C) – You need as many points as you can get against the Colts so the misses by Jay Feely hurt.

Coaching (C) – The Jets had no answer for Peyton Manning on defense. People have been criticizing Brian Schottenheimer but I thought overall he called a good game. The double move to Braylon was well-timed and he finally broke out the pass play for Brad Smith.

Jets/Colts Highlights

And So It Ends: Colts – 30 Jets – 17

 Photobucket

Similar to 1998, the Jets were 30 minutes away from the Super Bowl and similar to 1998 they ended up losing by 13 points. The Colts proved to be the better team today as a locked in Peyton Manning targeted and abused Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman. It wasn’t about Dallas Clark or Reggie Wayne who the Jets did a good job on, it was about Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie abusing the Jets secondary. After an early two sacks, the Jets pass rush disappeared and with no pressure in his face, Manning beat up on the Jets defense.

On offense, the Jets moved the ball well throughout the day but were victimized by two missed field goals and a 3rd quarter injury to Shonn Greene. I love Thomas Jones but he looks like he just might be about done. The major positive from the day? Our rookie quarterback going on the road and having one hell of a performance. Mark Sanchez racked up 257 passing yards and two touchdowns. He stood in the pocket all day, avoided getting sacked (major credit to the Jets offensive line) and completed an array of difficult passes. I don’t think anybody with half a brain will be comparing him to JaMarcus Russell anytime soon.

Is the future bright for this team? Absolutely. However, that doesn’t really mean much today. Beyond that, you never know what could happen in the NFL to prevent bright futures from occurring. Remember 1999?

In the end, this team put together a great year and has given us plenty to be optimistic about for the upcoming years. Let all Jets haters get their shots in the next few days because they are bitter their teams didn’t accomplish as much as the Jets this year or their futures aren’t looking as bright (unless they are Colts, Saints, or Vikings fans…well at this point, maybe not Vikings fans). The Jets will regroup, get Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington back (remember them?) improve their cornerback position, add a pass rusher, and be ready to compete for a AFC East title next year…so maybe we could be the home team in AFC Championship Game next year.

It has been a great time covering the Jets this seaon and after a few more days of Jets/Colts coverage (and a brief vacation) we will be in off-season mode.