Final Thoughts On Jets/Colts

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1. I hope everybody has really taken the time to sit back and enjoy this playoff run…the extra media coverage, the bandwagon fans, and everything this else that comes with success. However, let’s not be satisfied with making it to the AFC Championship Game. I am not buying a AFC Championship t-shirt, I want a Super Bowl t-shirt. We are past the point of everything being “gravy” or playing with house money. The Jets need to seize this opportunity by the throat tomorrow. If you think this past month has been fun, imagine what the next two weeks would be like.

2. You have to love Mayor Bloomberg renaming Manhattan, “Revis Island.” You also have to love how the Empire State Building has been green the past month. I was only 10 years old in 1998, so my memories aren’t great but I don’t think the Jets have ever had such a hold on this town before.

3. I referenced the bandwagon fans before. I am in my second semester of taking classes at Lehigh and working at Muhlenberg and I can promise you I was the only person on either campus wearing any Jets stuff first semester. Yet, the past week all of a sudden I saw about 25 Sanchez jerseys, and I am pretty sure I could see the tags hanging out the back of them. Beyond that, I keep hearing all these casual/new Jets fans talking about the team when they clearly haven’t followed them all year…if they had been, they wouldn’t be wearing a Sanchez jersey, they would be wearing a Revis/Greene/or Mangold jersey haha.

4. I am getting up bright and early tomorrow and heading down to South Jersey for a full day of tailgating before watching the game with my cousins, Uncle, and Dad. I am telling you right now, I got some butterflies but overall I feel confident. For all the bandwagon fans out there, even more haters exist who refuse to give the Jets credit.

5. I am sorry this is a little late but check out http://davissportsdeli.com/podcasts/?p=325 for the DavisSportsDeli Podcast, which I made an appearance on yesterday. Aaron Fischman does a great job with the show, so it is something worth checking out over the next few months.

6. I think the Jets receivers are going to have big games tomorrow and by big, I don’t mean necessarily huge statistical days but both Braylon and Cotchery are going to haul in a few catches each in big sports. I like how they match up with the Colts cornerbacks. I also think Kerry Rhodes is going to step up again.

Nice Jets Video Posted Over on Youtube that I Saw Linked At Barstool Sports

TOJ TV

And Of Course…Al

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Watch the new episode of TOJ TV at the top and bottom of the article.

2. Kerry Rhodes and Shaun Ellis both practiced today and will be in the starting line-ups on Sunday.

3. www.thejetsblog.com has good coverage of the pep rally in Times Square yesterday, with video and photos from the event.

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Prediction

I think the entire “NFL is a passing league and you win by throwing the ball” argument is complete BS. There is a reason Ben Rothlisberger has won more Super Bowls than Peyton Manning and Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, and Eli Manning have won the same amount. Look at the past ten 10 Super Bowl Champs: The Patriots won three when they were built on a strong defense and their running game, instead of their passing game. Do you remember the Patriots receiving core during their Super Bowl victories? Exactly. When they became a team built around a prolific passing offense, they  lost in the Super Bowl to a Giants team with a big time defense and a big time running game. The Ravens, Bucs, Steelers, and Giants all won because of their defense and running game, not because of their ability to throw the ball. Even when the Rams were the Greatest Show On Turf, they ran the ball well with Marshall Faulk.

Yes, I know the Colts did a win Super Bowl in 2006. They deserve credit, yet they took advantage of a weak AFC Playoff field (including a below average 10-6 Jets team and a weak 9-7 Chiefs team), an overachieving New England team, and a choke artist San Diego team and beat a not so memorable Chicago team in the Super Bowl. However, do you remember how poorly Peyton Manning played in those first two playoff games? He threw 5 INT’s and 1 TD and continued his crappy play into the first half of the AFC Championship Game before locking into a scary zone, playing an awesome second half and leading the Colts pass the Patriots. How did the Colts win the Super Bowl that year? They won because their defense and running game stepped up. They won because they allowed a combined 14 points in their first two playoff games and they had success running the football. They won in the Super Bowl because their top two backs combined for 190 yards.

This Colts team is carried by one thing: the excellence of Peyton Manning. Yes, they have great defensive ends and fast linebackers but overall their defense is only average (18th overall in total defense, 24th in rushing defense, and 14th in pass defense). They have the worst rushing game in the NFL. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are great players but Wayne is going to meet his match this weekend and Clark…well I hope Rex Ryan has something schemed up for Clark. The Colts are 15-0 this year when they play all their starters the full game, which is impressive as hell. Yet, this isn’t the 2007 Patriots who blew out everyone in every game (and remember how their season ended when they faced a team who could hit them in the mouth on both sides of the ball), this is a team who won 8 games that were decided by one possession or less, which is why you are crazy if you took the 7.5 points they are favored this week.

I think their magic in close games runs out this week. I think the team who runs the football and plays defense is going to the Super Bowl. I think there is something going on with this Jets team. The football gods are smiling on the smash mouth team who plays old school football and not the team who spit in the face of history by pulling their starters the final two weeks but then decided to throw a bunch of screen passes to make sure their top two receivers finished with 100 catches each. The Colts created a monster when they pulled their starters in week 16 and this week that monster is going into their building and killing their season.

Jets – 23 Colts – 20

New TOJ TV

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets practiced outside today for whatever reason. Shaun Ellis, Kerry Rhodes, David Harris, and Bart Scott were all limited in practice, while everybody else was full.

2. New episode of TOJ TV is on the way tonight and yes we went real big for the AFC Championship Game.

3. Herman Edwards and Tedy Bruschi both picked the Jets on ESPN…obviously, I am not surprised about Herm but Bruschi? I don’t know, maybe he is trying to jinx us. Speaking of Herm, how could I not throw this clip in?

4. The NFL Network is replaying Super Bowl III on Saturday night if you are looking for some historic confidence in the Jets upsetting the Colts.

5. How I have used my time so far this week: 40% Reading/Listening to Jets Coverage, 40% Working on Site, 15% Sleep/Re-watch old episodes of LOST to get ready for the new season, 5% School/Work…it has been a good week. This around the clock Jets work is messing with my dreams. Last night I had a lucid dream I was in the slot with Braylon out wide, we were running double slants, Sanchez threw it out to him, Braylon caught it, broke a tackle andwas off to the races…good sign, or am I just delusional? We will find out Sunday.

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Breakdown

PhotobucketOffense: North and South is the key this week. The Jets have to go right up the middle at the Colts defense. Brian Schottenheimer, throw out the reverses, tosses, and stretch plays because you aren’t beating this defense going sideline to sideline. It is time to work that inside running game. The Jets must repeatedlysend Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene right at the Colts defensive tackles and the defensive ends. Hopefully, the Jets can wear down Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis which will make them less effective as pass rushers. There is no need for the Tiger Formation or any option plays this week either. Teams have scouted it out and it hasn’t been effective in recent weeks so let’s not throw away yards.

I know most people would like to see Shonn Greene simply start the game, get 30 carries, andjust forget about Thomas Jones. However, Jones is the guy who wears on the defense andsoftens it up for Greene with his 15 carries. Beyondthat, it is important to keep Greene in the 20-25 range which will keep him fresh. You need a 1-2 punch in the NFL, especially with how often the Jets run the ball. Also, despite it not being a major factor in the Jets offense, Jones is a better receiver out of the backfield.

The Jets must get yards on first down to help set up manageable third downs for Mark Sanchez. There is no reason the Jets can’t successfully throw the ball in third and 4-6 situations. If the Jets can have Sanchez take short drops and get rid of the ball quickly, they have favorable match-ups on the outside and should be able to have a high conversion rate. Look for Jerricho Cotchery working that short option and intermediate comeback route often when the Jets need to throw, while Braylon Edwards has been effective on deep in routes and slants. One tendency the Jets must find a way to break is when they decide to take their deep shot to Edwards on the post route. Every game the Jets throw the ball to Edwards deep when they are around the 50 yard  line and it is 1st and 10 or 2nd and short. Teams are starting to expect it. The Jets have to mix it up when they take a shot because if they can get Edwards one on one and he decides to catch the football, they could be in great shape.

Defense: Similar to last week, the Colts are going to get their yards but it is key for the Jets to make them kick field goals instead of letting them score touchdowns. Everytime the Colts settle for 3, it will be a huge victory for the Jets. They also can’t let them get that classic touchdown before the half, which the Colts always score to take the momentum. The Jets must do a better job against the run than they did in week 16. Indy will try to counter the Jets blitz with draw plays and quick screens, which they always find a way to burn teams with. Regardless of how efficient the Colts passing game is, if the Jets can stop the run like they did against San Diego they will be in good shape by making them one-dimensional.

It has been well documented how difficult it is to sack Peyton Manning. However, the Jets must at least put some pressure on him, hit him and force him to rush a few throws. Manning does throw interceptions (he only threw 4 less than Sanchez this year, and we all know how many he threw)…and the Jets cannot, I repeat cannot, drop balls that could be intercepted. They need to take advantage if Manning throws a ball to them and run it back to set up easy points for their offense. Another key for the Jets is they need to be physical with the Colts receivers. Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, and even Donald Brown out of the backfield are all young guys and there is no reason they can’t be rattled in a big game by a few big shots over the middle.

Dallas Clark is obviously an extremely difficult match-up and the Jets did a poor job against him in week 16. I still think the Jets should occasionally slide Darrelle Revis over to Clark and then double Reggie Wayne. I am not worried about Wayne when he is one on one with Revis but you can’t be stupid enough to leave him one on one with anybody else. Kerry Rhodes is going to need to step up with another big game both in coverage and when he is sent at the quarterback. The Jets defense moves to another level when Rhodes is playing up to his potential.

Special Teams: I really think the Jets could swing the game here. I don’t know if it is going to be a fake punt, a big kick return or punt return, a blocked punt but if the Jets can steal some points here, they will be in great shape to pull off the upset.

Believe In The Upset

Jets vs. Colts Position By Position Comparison

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First a few updates:

1. The recent surge of comments has been a nice positive for the site. I knew I would be hearing plenty from “Coach” this week since he is a die-hard Colts fan who is convinced Super Bowl III was rigged. Also, I just received a breakdown of the site traffic which has been very strong over the past month…a special shout out to our international readers, including people from Denmark, France, Japan, Philippines, and Mexico.

2. Why do I have time to write back to back articles this afternoon? I have a big space between my 11 AM class and 4 PM class, what else would I do? This is Championship week, c’mon now.

3. Darrelle Revis, Bart Scott, and Mark Sanchez are talking to the media at 3:45 today.

Jets vs. Colts Position By Position Comparison

Quarterback – Peyton Manning (4500 yards, 33 TDs, 16 INTs) vs. Mark Sanchez (2444 yards, 12 TDs, 20 INTs) – Well then…at least admit you were surprised by how many interceptions Manning has thrown this year. Sanchez needs to manage the game, make a couple of plays and avoid turnovers while Manning is the single person that turns the Colts from a 6-10 team to a 14-12 team. Advantage: Colts

Running Back – Joseph Addai (828 yards, 10 TDs, 336 receiving yards), Donald Brown (281 yards, 3 TDs) vs. Thomas Jones (1402 yards, 14 TDs), Shonn Greene (540 yards, 2 TDs) – Greene is playing better than any running back in football right now. The guy is averaging 6 freaking yards per carry. Jones has been slightly phased out but still remains valuable, especially in short yardage situations and goal-line situations. Joseph Addai averaged less than 4 yards per carry this year and Brown is a talented rookie, who adds some size to the Colts offense. Advantage: Jets

Wide Receiver – Reggie Wayne (1264 yards, 10 TDs), Pierre Garcon (765 yards, 4 TDs), Austin Collie (676 yards, 7 TDs) vs. Braylon Edwards (541 yards, 4 TDs), Jerricho Cotchery (821 yards, 4 TDs), Brad Smith (270 total yards, 1 TD) – Reggie Wayne is one of the best receivers in football. Garcon is a burner who didn’t play when the Colts faced the Jets back in week 16. Collie is a rookie who is very good in the slot. While I think Garcon and Collie are good players, I do think their stats are inflated because of their quarterback. I would love to see Jerricho Cotchery’s stats if he played a year in the Colts offense. Regardless, you can’t argue who has the advantage here. Advantage: Colts

Tight End – Dallas Clark (1106 yards, 10 TDs) vs. Dustin Keller (522 yards, 2 TDs) – Keller has caught a touchdown in each of the Jets playoff games and I hope one day he becomes the type of player Dallas Clark is right now. Advantage: Colts

Offensive Line – Charlie Johnson, Ryan Lilja, Jeff Saturday, Kyle DeVan, Ryan Diem vs. Damien Woody, Brandon Moore, Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, D’Brickashaw Ferguson – The Jets have the best offensive line in the NFL. Advantage: Jets

Defensive Line – Dwight Freeney (13.5 sacks), Robert Mathis (9.5 sacks), Daniel Muir (52 tackles), Antonio Johnson (34 tackles, 1 sack), Raheem Brock (32 tackles, 3.5 sacks) vs. Shaun Ellis (53 tackles, 6.5 sacks), Marques Douglas (64 tackles, 1.5 sacks), Sione Pouha (45 tackles), Mike DeVito (28 tackles), Howard Green (23 tackles) – Freeney is the best pure pass rusher in the AFC (I am giving the NFL crown to Jared Allen right now) and Mathis is a pro-bowl caliber defensive end. Shaun Ellis will be playing with a broken hand, while Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha are coming off their best games of the season. Advantage: Colts

Linebacker – Phillip Wheeler (61 tackles, 1 sack), Gary Brackett (99 tackles, 1 sack), Clint Session (103 tackles, 2 INTs), Freddy Keiaho (38 tackles, 1 sack) vs. Calvin Pace (55 tackles, 8 sacks), David Harris (127 tackles, 5.5 sacks), Bart Scott (92 tackles, 1 sack), Bryan Thomas (53 tackles, 2 sacks) – The Colts linebackers have great speed and Gary Brackett is one hell of a player but David Harris will be the best linebacker on the field Sunday. Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas both played very well last week, while Calvin Pace is the Jets best pure pass rusher. Advantage: Jets

Corners – Jacob Lacey (85 tackles, 3 INTs), Jerraud Powers (66 tackles, 1 INT), Kelvin Hayden (50 tackles, 1 INT) vs. Darrelle Revis (54 tackles, 6 INTs), Lito Sheppard (31 tackles, 1 INT), Dwight Lowery (24 tackles, 3 INT), Donald Strickland (26 tackles, 2 sacks) – The Colts are fairly average here, meaning there will be chances for the Jets to make big plays down the field if they can pass protect. Darrelle Revis will do his thing but the pressure is on Sheppard, Strickland, and Lowery to have big games against Collie, Garcon, and Clark. Advantage: Jets

Safeties – Antoine Bethea (95 tackles, 4 INTs), Melvin Bullitt (77 tackles), Tim Jennings (57 tackles, 2 INTs) vs. Kerry Rhodes (63 tackles, 3 INTs), Jim Leonhard (76 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT), Eric Smith (48 tackles, 1 INT), James Ihedigbo (19 tackles, 2 sacks) – The Jets safeties came up huge last week against the Chargers and need another big game this week. They need to apply pressure when sent at the quarterback and find a way to contain Dallas Clark. The Colts safeties better be ready to hit or else Shonn Greene is going to make them pay (see Eric Weddle last week). Advantage: Jets

Special Teams – Matt Stover (9/11 FGs), Pat McAfee (44.3 yards per punt), TJ Rushing (5.7 per punt return), Chad Simpson (1 kick return TD) vs. Jay Feely (30/36 FGs), Steve Weatherford (42 yards per punt), Jerricho Cotchery (10.3 per punt return), Brad Smith (1 kick return TD) – I like the Jets here. Jay Feely has been money ever since the Atlanta game. Cotchery is a better punt returner than Rushing and Brad Smith already took one back 106 yards against the Colts coverage units. Advantage: Jets

Somebody Told Me The Jets Are In The AFC Championship Game, So I Should Be Working Around The Clock On The Site, This Is What I Told Them:

Ten Things I Noticed From Jets/Colts Week 16

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets are on the cover of Sports Illustrated…ut-oh. There is something you don’t see everyday. Obviously, Sanchez was going to get the cover shot and even though it is a cool picture and I will be buying three copies from Lehigh’s bookstore in an hour it would have been nice to see our defense or offensive line get the cover, since they have carried us this far. Oh well, I guess people aren’t going to buy a magazine with Brandon Moore and Damien Woody executing a down block.

2. Newsday is reporting the Jets are planning to tender Braylon Edwards as a restricted free agent next year and set his compensation at a 1st and 3rd round pick, which means #17 will be back next year and have more time to prove he deserves a long term contract.

3. If you follow the site, friend me on facebook and I will send you an invite to follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook which offers extra coverage and commentary.

4. There is going to be a rally in Times Square tomorrow from 5:30-6:30 for the Jets and a team sendoff at the Atlantic Health Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Saturday at 10:30 AM.

5. Shaun Ellis didn’t practice today because of his broken hand. Thomas Jones was held out for his normal rest. They both are going to play this Sunday. David Harris and Bart Scott were both limited with their ankle injuries. Scott’s injury is a little more serious but both are going to play this Sunday as well.

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Ten Things I Noticed From Jets/Colts Week 16

Regardless of whether you consider it irrelevant or not, the Jets played the Colts starters in Indy for 2 and 1/2 quarters less than a month ago. Since I was in Italy, I have a VHS copy of the game and decided to re-watch it last night. Here are ten things I noticed:

1. On two separate plays, the Jets went with an empty backfield and failed to have anybody (and I mean anybody) block Dwight Freeney who flew off the edge and sacked Mark Sanchez twice. I am glad they made this mistake already and hopefully they will either scrap the empty formation or find a way to properly protect their quarterback.

2. The Jets did a poor job when Joseph Addai was running the ball. They were burned on a well-timed draw call and allowed him to easily rip off a 21 yard touchdown. Beyond that, he had 5 carries for 19 yards which still is more yards per carry than you would like to allow to the league’s worst rushing offense. When Donald Brown was in with the starters he ran 12 times for 24 yards with one touchdown. The Jets had a nice stand on 4th and 1 that was negated on a tripping penalty by Bart Scott.

3. Austin Collie shredded up Lito Sheppard for 94 yards in less than a full game’s work. However, the Jets were called on three very suspect defensive pass interference/illegal contact penalties, while Braylon Edwards was completely mugged on a third down and there was a no call.

4. Darrelle Revis played Reggie Wayne pretty well overall, yet he was beat deep once but Manning over shot him. Manning also over shot Dallas Clark on what would have been an easy touchdown to put Indy up 13-0.

5. Shonn Greene had 4 carries for 30 yards in the first half and looked two steps faster on the turf. Thomas Jones also played well but the Jets have to feature Greene more than TJ in this game because of his speed.

6. Braylon Edwards had a bad drop on the Jets first drive that would have given them a first down. Beyond that, Sanchez was 2/2 for 19 yards on third down in the first half and also had a nice completion to Jerricho Cotchery for a 12 yard gain on second down.

7. The Jets did a bad job overall on Dallas Clark who racked up 57 yards in limited action. It looked like Kerry Rhodes was out of place a few times.

8. The Jets only got their hands on Peyton Manning once and were lucky a roughing the passer penalty wasn’t called when they actually hit him.

9. The blocking was amazing on Brad Smith’s kick return for a touchdown. He didn’t have to use anything but his speed.

10. The most concerning drive of the game was when the Jets were up 1o-9 and Manning led the Colts down the field on a 8 play drive to immediately give them the lead again.

Overall, this might sound negative but let me end with something encouraging. The Jets forced the Colts to punt four times in the first half and settle for a field goal in the red-zone. They also stopped Peyton Manning’s two minute drive at the end of the first half by forcing him into three straight incompletions. If Brian Schottenheimer didn’t stupidly call a reverse for David Clowney which resulted in a 14 yard loss the Jets would have likely kicked another field goal and only been down 9-6 at the half. The Colts don’t kick their field goal in the second quarter if Lito Sheppard isn’t called for a highly questionable defensive pass interference penalty. Honestly, this game was one bad call from the Jets OC and one bad call from the referee from being 6-6 at half time…so there is a little optimism for you.

Great Video From Leroy  Skywalker Off YouTube

Highlights From Week 16

Scouting The Colts From a Jets Perspective

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First a few updates:

1. Kind of a slow news day so far today, we won’t hear from Rex Ryan until tomorrow at 1:30. I caught Jerricho Cotchery’s interview on WFAN this morning and he talked about the Jets playing the LaDanian Tomlinson electric slide video on the plane ride home, which is pretty funny stuff. He also said he stayed up until 1 AM after the Falcons game, figuring out all the playoff scenarios that existed for the Jets. I remember the day after that game spending an hour on the phone with my friend Sean, who was sitting in front of the Yahoo Playoff Generator and going through every scenario that still existed for them making the playoffs and thinking it was amazing how they still had a somewhat realistic shot if they could beat Colts, and well you know the rest…

2. Bart Scott was on the NFL Network last night and was very respectful towards the Colts and didn’t say anything inflammatory. The basic gist of what he said was the Colts were a better team than the Jets but it didn’t matter if the Jets found a way to be a better team for three hours on Sunday.

3. There has been some stuff written about Jets fans/players being superstitious during our recent winning streak. Sanchez started this off in his press conference by talking about keeping his playoff beard, sticking to the same restaurants, and same clothes all week. I took a gamble wild-card weekend and watched the game in hostile territory at my friend’s house, divisional weekend I was back to my traditional spot locked away in my room back in Jersey. Looking back I have had a high amount success in Jersey, actually here is how my record breaks down this year (yes I had some free time in class)

  • Home in Jersey (6-1)
  • At the Game (2-3)
  • Apartment in Pennsylvania (2-3)
  • Friend’s House (1-0)

This weekend, I will be heading down to my cousin’s house in central jersey to watch the game surrounded by three die-hard Jets fans. We agreed if the Jets ever had a chance to make a Super Bowl in our lifetime we would gather to watch it and hence I will be off to Manalapan on Sunday morning. I wore my Revis jersey wild-card weekend. I wore my Cotchery jersey divisional weekend. I haven’t decided what to wear yet this weekend…big choice.

Scouting The Colts From a Jets Perspective

COLTS OFFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

  • Quarterback: Peyton Manning – 393/571, 4500 yards, 33 TDs, 16 INTs, 99.9 QB Rating
  • Running Back: Joseph Addai – 219 carries, 828 yards, 10 TDs, 336 receiving yards, 3 TDs
  • Running Back: Donald Brown – 78 carries, 281 yards, 3 TDs, 169 receiving yards
  • Wide Receiver: Reggie Wayne – 100 receptions, 1264 yards, 10 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Pierre Garcon – 47 receptions, 765 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Austin Collie – 60 receptions, 676 yards, 7 TDs
  • Tight End: Dallas Clark – 100 receptions, 1106 yards, 10 TDs
  • Tight End: Tom Santi – 8 receptions, 107 yards
  • Left Tackle: Charlie Johnson
  • Left Guard: Ryan Lilja
  • Center: Jeff Saturday
  • Right Guard: Kyle DeVan
  • Right Tackle: Ryan Diem

COLTS DEFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

  • Defensive End: Robert Mathis – 37 tackles, 9.5 sacks
  • Defensive Tackle: Antonio Johnson – 34 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Daniel Muir – 52 tackles
  • Defensive Tackle: Raheem Brock – 32 tackles, 3.5 sacks
  • Defensive Tackle: Eric Foster – 38 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Dwight Freeney – 24 tackles, 13.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Phillip Wheeler – 61 tackles, 1 sack
  • Middle Linebacker: Gary Brackett – 99 tackles, 1 sack
  • Outside Linebacker: Clint Session – 103 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Linebacker: Freddy Keiaho – 38 tackles, 1 sack
  • Linebacker: Ramon Humber – 32 tackles
  • Linebacker: Tyjuan Hagler – 26 tackles
  • Corner: Jacob Lacey – 85 tackles, 3 INTs
  • Corner: Jerraud Powers – 66 tackles, 1 INT
  • Corner: Kelvin Hayden – 5o tackles, 1 INT
  • Corner: Jaime Silva – 30 tackles
  • Safety: Melvin Bullitt – 77 tackles
  • Safety: Antoine Bethea – 95 tackles, 4 INTs
  • Safety: Tim Jennings – 57 tackles, 2 INTs

COLTS SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Matt Stover – 9/11 FGs
  • Punter: Pat McAfee – 44.3 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: Chad Simpson – 23.6 per kick return, 1 TD
  • Punt Return: T.J. Rushing – 5.7 per punt return

PhotobucketThoughts On Match-Up: Obviously, the Colts are scary on offense but scary in a different way than the Chargers were. San Diego had the ability to chew up huge chunks of yards and always hit the big play in the passing or screen game. The Colts have that capability but they are more likely to systematically move down the field, chew up clock, and roll off 11 play 75 yard drives at will. You can call the perfect blitz, have the perfect coverage and Manning can still thread the needle to a guy who is completely covered. Indy struggles running the football. Actually, they are ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing. Indy did run the ball well against the Jets in their last meeting, which I will cover in more detail in an article later today, which will be about what I noticed from re-watching the Jets/Colts week 16 game last night. However, if the Jets can duplicate their run defense effort from last week, they should be in good shape.

I don’t think the Jets should match-up Darrelle Revis with Reggie Wayne on every single play. I think Revis would do a great job in that situation, however the Jets defense would benefit more from moving him around. Yes, he should be on Wayne the majority of the time, especially in red-zone type situations. Yet, why not move him over to Dallas Clark on some plays or slide him into the slot on Austin Collie on a few third downs. It will keep the Colts off-guard. When you move Revis off Wayne, you put Lito Sheppard on him and give him safety help over the top so he is never left one on one. The Jets must find a way to put pressure on Peyton Manning. Rex needs to draw up some new blitzes. Kerry Rhodes needs to keep throwing back to 2006 and the defensive line needs to get pressure on plays when the Jets do not blitz.

Beyond that, let’s not ignore the fact that Manning has thrown 16 interceptions this year and considering he didn’t really play in the final two games that equates to over 1 per game. He also threw two more in about five plays last week against Baltimore. Fortunately for him, one was called back on a penalty and Ed Reed fumbled another one on the run back. Manning is going to throw some balls that the Jets will have a chance to intercept and when they do, they need to catch the ball and they need to return it to help set up easy points.

When on offense, the Jets have to run right at the Colts. Their defense is way too fast for any stretch plays, toss plays, or reverses. It needs to be Shonn Greene and Thomas Jones right up the gut. The Jets need to set up manageable third downs for Mark Sanchez, which he showed an ability to convert against San Diego. Indy is not particularly strong in the secondary, especially without Bob Sanders back there anymore. Their corners are nothing special and neither are there safeties. Braylon Edwards…you want to be a number one receiver and be paid like one, you should be making big plays against this secondary…use you athleticism and your size, which the Colts can’t match-up against and go up and get the football. Jerricho Cotchery should be able to work himself open on third downs on his option and comeback routes. The Colts linebackers have good enough speed to handle Dustin Keller.

Colts/Ravens Highlights

Final Thoughts On Divisional Weekend

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1. Shaun Ellis is going to play with a cast on his hand this weekend, that will hopefully allow him a little more grip with his fingers. Whether the Jets win or lose, he will get surgery after the AFC Championship game since the recovery time is only a week, he would have enough time to get ready for the Super Bowl. Beyond that, the Jets are 100 percent healthy heading into this week’s game. Rex Ryan didn’t say anything else too notable at his press conference today. He took a little extra time to single out praise for Jim Leonhard, who obviously came up huge yesterday.

2. Cowboys/Vikings – Big let down performance from Dallas. Was that really the best effort they could put forward? It was almost like the whole goal of their season was to get over their December woes and finally win one playoff game, then they forgot the season isn’t over when you finally accomplish those things. I also think Keith Brooking should get a tissue. It was a bush league move by the Vikings to throw for that last touchdown but you can’t show your emotion by running over and saying something to the sideline when your losing by 31 points. I really can’t stand Brett Favre but if the Jets win, I will be rooting like crazy for Minnesota because I want to take him down in the Super Bowl.

3. Cardinals/Saints – Big let down in this game and I am an idiot for picking Arizona. I forgot how good New Orleans could be, since I haven’t seen them win in a month. Yes, Reggie Bush also made me eat my words since he had a ridiculous touchdown run and a punt return for a touchdown to go with it. It is hard not to like the Saints this weekend, especially in that building, in front of those fans.

4. Ravens/Colts – A dull game that was over when Ed Reed’s two interceptions were negated, one by his own fumble and one by a penalty. Many people are pointing to this game saying the Colts will beat the Jets because they just beat a team who is just like them in Baltimore. However, I saw potential in this game. Indy only scored 20 points against a Ravens defense that isn’t as good as the Jets and is completely one dimensional on offense. Manning is Manning and their defense was impressive but the Jets have more weapons on offense than the Ravens and Sanchez has been better than the Flacco the past two weeks. The Colts are the best team in football, which is fine. You should have to beat the best team in football for a shot at the Super Bowl.

5. Norv Turner and Wade Phillips just got contract extensions today. Enjoy another few years without a Super Bowl, Dallas and San Diego.

6. It was nice to enjoy the Jets win yesterday and today but now it is time to shift the focus to Indy. Yesterday was a memorable win for the Jets franchise, since they haven’t won two playoff games in a season since 1982. However, I am not satisfied and I don’t believe this team or fanbase is either. I do believe this Jets team is good enough to win the Super Bowl .You don’t get a chance to play in the AFC Championship every year, so you have to take advantage when you are there. The Jets are the ugly stepchild of this Championship weekend. You have three teams with big name quarterbacks, big time passing games, and big time regular season records and then you have the Jets with their rookie quarterback, power rushing game, big time defense, and 9-7 regular season record. They have crashed the party and rightly believe they can keep shocking the world this Sunday.

They were joking around on the NFL Network today saying that the football Gods are smiling down on the Jets because they play the old-fashioned way. They win with defense and running and are the last link to old days of the NFL left in this 2009 season. With all those missed field goals and all the help they got in December, it does sort of seem like Lombardi, Halas, and company are looking down and smiling on the Green and White.

Grading Out The Jets Win Against The Cheap-Shot Chargers

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First a few updates:

1. Why the cheap-shot Chargers? Look at dirtbag Antonio Cromartie throw an elbow into Shonn Greene’s back after he rips off his 53 yard touchdown run in the game highlights at the bottom of this article…unbelievble (by the way, I think they are still scraping Eric Weddle off the turf back in San Diego). Beyond that, Shaun Phillips head-butted D’Brickashaw Ferguson…thank you very much for the 15 yards, Kris Wilson was flagged for a 15 yard penalty after taking a cheap shot on Wallace Wright during a punt, and Vincent Jackson was flagged 15 yards for kicking the Jets challenge flag in the 4th quarter…real classy stuff, San Diego…enjoy the off-season because your 11 game winning streak didn’t mean crap when it mattered, so enjoy all those stats you piled up while you watch the AFC Championship game next week…in the end all I have to say the Chargers is this: (beware explicit language, young TOJ readers…and yes they exist because my little cousins read this site)

2. Shockingly enough, Mike Francesa gave the Jets absolutely no credit when analyzing the game last night. He spent 20 minutes coming up with a long list of excuses why the Jets were lucky and should be thanking the gods…give up it already big guy, Rex Ryan is the most popular fat man in this city now…Francesa just sounds like another bitter, whiny Giants fan who still call the Jets a fluke and lucky and then act like they didn’t win a super bowl because their 3rd string receiver caught a ball with his helmet, in the most lucky play in NFL history…give me a break, shut up and accept the fact that your team is irrelevant right now and is the third best team in their own division…and no hiring the interim coach from a 6-10 team to coach your defense isn’t going to change that.

3. I loved John Clayton’s article today previewing the AFC Championship Game, when discussing who is going to win “This one is pretty easy, although I thought the Chargers would beat the Jets. The Colts, after letting Sanchez and the Jets get into the playoffs, will go to the Super Bowl.” Yes, it is clearly easy John…just like it was easy for you to pick the Bengals to beat the Jets wild-card weekend.

4. If you can’t tell I am somewhat agitated about the lack of respect the Jets are still getting (which I will further detail in my article later in the day)…regardless, I looooove how it is becoming clear already that nobody thinks the Jets have a chance this week.

5. Stats and Game highlights have been updated.

6. New TOJ TV is coming this week and Corbett just sent me a text that he has big plans…get ready.

7. AFC Championship = 2 article minimum per day from this site…i can taste a Super Bowl at this point, which means other things like attending class, doing homework, going to my job all take a back seat this week to the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. By the way, if the Jets win the Super Bowl I can promise you now I will be writing a book on this season and it will be better than anything of the beat writers come up with.

8. You know what I noticed yesterday? The Chargers over celebrating every tackle they made on defense  like they won the Super Bowl, clearly they were shocked when they actually stopped somebody. Also, the Vikings acting like have never won a playoff game before…did you see the way they were celebrating? Calm down man, you still have to beat the Saints…I know this, the Jets weren’t acting like the 9-7 team on Sunday, that would be the Chargers who were clearly rattled and are also clearly both choke and cheap shot artists.

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Grading Out The Jets Win Against The Cheap-Shot Chargers

Quarterbacks (C) The numbers (12/23, 100 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) bear out an ugly game for Mark Sanchez but the reality is that he did his job well enough for the Jets to win and beyond that made a huge play in a big moment. Third and goal from the two yard line…the Jets go play action…the Chargers do a great job of covering everything, Sanchez buys time, stays patient and fires a rocket into Dustin Keller…boom, 10-7 Jets, that was a big-time play in a playoff game. The interception was a bad decision but Sanchez also made a few other nice throws down the field to Braylon Edwards and converted some big third downs to Jerricho Cotchery.

Running Backs (A) Shonn Greene is a beast, period. You can’t give Mike Tannenbaum enough credit for trading up for this guy and grabbing him in the third round. The best part about Greene is that he is fresh, because he barely played the first 6 games of the season. Thomas Jones is handling losing carries to Greene with class and still came up with a few nice runs, none more important than the game-sealing 2 yard gain on fourth and 1. Tony Richardson deserves to be mentioned for having another great year at fullback and actually catching a couple of passes yesterday.

Wide Receivers (B) They weren’t asked to do all that much but they stepped up when necessary. Braylon Edwards had two big catches down the field on third downs and Jerricho  converted two big third downs as well. Unfortunately for Brad Smith it appears the tiger formation is dead.

Tight Ends (B) Good blocking all day by Keller and Hartsock. Obviously, Keller also came up huge by freeing himself in the end-zone and making a difficult catch for the go-ahead touchdown.

Offensive Line (A) Best in the NFL, week in and week out.

Defensive Line (A) Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito deserve some serious recognition for playing the game of their lives yesterday. Pouha had 5 tackles and blew up numerous run plays. He seemed two steps quicker off the ball than usual. DeVito had three tackles, 1 sack, and 1 tackle for a loss in extended reps for an injured Shaun Ellis.

Linebackers (A) Were there two players wearing #52 on the field yesterday? David Harris was everywhere, coming up with 10 tackles, one for a loss, and a pass defensed. Bryan Thomas played another really strong game and Bart Scott chipped in with 4 tackles. Somehow, Calvin Pace didn’t register a single stat.

Secondary (A) Peter King tracked Darrelle Revis all game and wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback article that Revis was thrown at 4 times, with the following results: 1 interception, 1 tackle for a 4 yard loss, 2 incompletions (1 knocked away by him)…well then, who was the Defensive Player of the Year again? It was also a great job by Rex Ryan to move Revis all over the field and have him take turns guarding Tomlinson, Gates, Floyd, and even Naanee on one play and not just leaving him on Vincent Jackson all day, who Ryan said after the game wasn’t worthy of that type of attention…owch. Kerry Rhodes aka “Mr. Redemption” played a terrific game (8 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 huge onsides kick recovery). He has won me back over and effectively shut up all his critics and how about Jimmy Leonhard? How can you not love the 5’8 guy taking out Malcom Floyd (and getting screwed out of a forced fumble), coming up with a monster interception, and adding 6 tackles? Awesome stuff. Donald Strickland had a big third down pass break-up.

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Special Teams (A) I am glad our kicker is Jay Feely and not Nate Kaeding. Brad Smith had a nice kick return to start the second half and Cotchery broke a nice punt return in the fourth quarter. The Jets coverage units were excellent, led by James Ihedigbo.

Coaching (A) Rex Ryan dialed up all the right calls and had his team properly motivated. He doesn’t look so stupid now for saying he thinks the Jets should be Super Bowl favorites, does he? Brian Schottenheimer did a great job sticking with the run, but needs to ditch the reverses and tiger formation.

Jets – 17 Cheap-Shot Chargers – 14

Awesome Video From Jets Locker Room After Game

LaDanian Should Probably Slide Himself Into Retirement

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How Sweet It Is: Jets Beat Chargers…Off To Indy

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Wow. Wow. Wow. What are they going to say now? Everybody who said the Jets didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs, everybody who said their defense was overrated, everybody who said Mark Sanchez couldn’t win a road playoff game, everybody who says this is a pass first league and you can’t win by running the football and playing defense…could do us all favor and shut the hell up. LaDanian Tomlinson said it best today after the game, “sometimes you just have to give the other guys credit. The Jets kicked our butts today.” Yes, they did LaDanian, yes they did.

Let’s start out with giving some love to the defense, who held the Chargers to 14 points and made countless big plays. Darrelle Revis made another ridiculous interception. Kerry Rhodes aka Mr. Redemption, came up with a vintage 2006 sack and a huge onsides kick recovery. Jim Leonhard turned the momentum with a huge interception. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito played the games of their lives, which helped compensate for an injured Shaun Ellis. David Harris was being all over the field. Bryan Thomas and Bart Scott put together all around solid games. Donald Strickland had a big third down pass break-up.

On offense, Mark Sanchez did enough. He bounced back from his interception and made a clutch play on a third and goal to give the Jets a 10-7 lead. Braylon Edwards made two big catches down the field. Jerricho Cotchery had a huge third down conversion late in the game. Dustin Keller made a terrific touchdown reception. Shonn Greene…man, Shonn Greene is a beast…and yes, I loved rubbing it in the Chargers face by mocking LaDanian Tomlinson’s touchdown celebration. Thomas Jones came in off the bench ice-cold, to ice the win by getting a huge yard on fourth down in the final two minutes. Jay Feely took care of business as usual on his field goal attempt, which is more than I can say for Nate “1st team all-pro” Kaeding…haha.

In the end, what else can I say except that I love it. Enjoy it Jets fans, because these are the times to remember. The town is ours for another week and if you don’t think we can take down Peyton Manning and the Colts, then don’t bother checking this site for the rest of the week.