Friday Thoughts On Jets/Chargers

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Friday Thoughts On Jets/Chargers & Divisional Weekend

1. Is anybody else on information overload for this weekend? I may have read 20,000 pages worth of material on Jets vs. Chargers this week, along with listening to another 600 hours of radio/podcasts. Honestly, I am enjoying every second of this Jets playoff run, especially with the Giants, Patriots, and Dolphins sitting at home but I need this game to get here now, the anticipation is killing me.

2. Keep an eye on Thomas Jones this weekend, something tells me he is a little frustrated about all the Shonn Greene is the Jets new number one back talk…not in a negative way but in a competitive, “hey I still ran for 1400 yards and 14 TD’s this year” kind of way. I think Jones is going to have a huge game on Sunday.

3. I love the Jets attitude heading into this game. They sound confident that they are going to be the tougher team and run the ball down the Chargers throat. My cousin reminded me of the Jets/Texans season opener, when most people were picking Houston and Rex Ryan gave a huge speech the night before the game on how the Texans were a finesse team and the Jets were going to punch them in the mouth…we all know how that turned out.

4. The AFC Playoff games are going to be interesting test for the traditional belief that you run and play defense to win championships versus the “this is now a passing league and you have to throw the ball to win”  argument being pumped up by all the national writers (how convenient that when the Jets become the best defense in the league and have the best running game in the league, neither of those things matter). You have the Jets and Ravens, two teams who are great on defense and great at running the ball versus the Colts and Chargers, two teams who can’t run the ball and have average defenses at best…let’s see who comes out on top.

5. I love the Cardinals over the Saints: 37-34…just take the over, sit back and enjoy some great offensive football.

6. I think the Ravens play the Colts extremely tough but Peyton Manning makes a big play at the end to win the game…23-19

7. Bye Bye Brett…Dallas-27 Minnesota – 21

8. You should already know my Jets pick, but if not watch this…

Jets vs. Chargers: Game Breakdown & TOJ TV Divisional Round Edition

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First a few updates:

1. Shaun Ellis was limited in practice, which is standard while everybody else practiced full…good news. Ryan also did a nice job standing up for Thomas Jones today, when reporters were trying to press him into saying Shonn Greene was the Jets #1 back and would be their #1 back next year. Don’t underestimate how important Jones still is for the Jets rushing attack.

2. There is some good stuff in the Daily News today on the Jets/Chargers match-up…worth checking out. I won’t bother to link all of them but Hank Gola does a nice job breaking down how the Jets could grab a win.

3. Congratulations to Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold for being selected to the All-Pro Team. David Harris finished second team, which was well deserved.

Jets vs. Chargers: Game Breakdown & TOJ TV Divisional Round Edition

Offense: We have heard about it all week…the Chargers struggle stopping the run and the Jets run the ball better than anyone in the NFL. Sometimes things are just simple, the Jets need to be themselves and do what they do on offense. Shonn Greene has earned the right to get 20 carries this week and Thomas Jones should be healthier this week, which will allow him to also be around 20 carries. It isn’t about ripping off huge runs, it is about pounding the Chargers average front seven, chewing up clock and wearing them down. If the Jets can put together long, time-killing drives led by their running game, it keeps them in control, keeps Philip Rivers off the field, and could lead the Chargers to start pressing on offense. The Jets have the best offensive line in the NFL and two very good running backs , so let’s ride them into the AFC Championship game.

When it gets beyond handing the ball off to #23 or #20, it would be nice to see a little more from Brad Smith and the Tiger package. The Bengals obviously weren’t going to be gashed by it two weeks in a row, but that doesn’t mean the Jets should abandon it against the Chargers. It is time for Schottenheimer to use some of that world famous creativity and come up with a few new wrinkles in the formation. It is time for Smith to fake the handoff, roll to his right and let one fly to Dustin Keller because I guarantee he will be wide open.

PhotobucketWhen the Jets throw the football, there is nothing wrong with keeping it simple. It is becoming clear what the strengths of Mark Sanchez are. He throws the ball well on the run, he does a good job on the slant route and he throws a pretty deep ball. The Chargers are going to commit to stopping the run, which is going to open the chance for Braylon Edwards to get down field again. I can’t emphasize enough how the Chargers aren’t the Bengals and how the Jets are going to need every point they can get their hands on this week, which means Braylon needs to have a big day. He is playing for a new contract and a chance to stay with the Jets, because honestly if he gives us 2 catches for 12 yards with another key drop, the Jets can’t pay for him to come back. However, if Edwards can man up and play to his talent level, give the Jets 100 yards and a touchdown in a big game, then we are talking about showing him the money next year.

Jerricho Cotchery needs to keep being Jerricho Cotchery, which means coming up big on third down conversions and running well after the catch. I am sure the Chargers spent plenty of time this week figuring out how to take Dustin Keller away, which means somebody like Brad Smith or David Clowney will have to step up and make a big play as a receiver.

Defense: I think the Jets are tired of hearing about all the weapons San Diego has and how difficult it is going to be to stop them. This is one hell of an opportunity for the defense to shut everybody up in the NFL, who won’t give the Jets credit as a great defense. You can’t say anything if they go into San Diego and hold the Chargers under 20 points, which of course is going to be a difficult task. The Jets pass rush must get to Philip Rivers early and often, while still being to defend against the screen pass. Darren Sproles has the ability to kill them if they don’t account for him coming out of the backfield. Honestly, he is player I am most worried about on the San Diego offense. I don’t know if it is going to be Donald Strickland, Dwight Lowery, or Eric Smith but the Jets need a defensive back tracking him all over the field.

Another player who is obviously a huge concern is Antonio Gates. Kerry Rhodes did a great job against Tony Gonzalez a few weeks ago when he was matched-up with him man to man. He needs to duplicate his performance against Gates. All of the inconsistency and criticism Rhodes has faced all year is completely erased if he comes up with a big time performance in this game. If Gates is held in check and Sproles doesn’t kill the Jets with a long touchdown, expect a victory. Yes, I am confident Darrelle Revis is going to do his job against Vincent Jackson who might make a play or two but won’t have a large impact in the game. Malcom Floyd is a concern but I think the Jets will roll some help towards Lito Sheppard occasionally. I am aware Floyd is a big play threat but Sheppard is a savvy veteran and I don’t think Ryan is going to leave him on an island all day with a 6 foot 5 receiver.

I hope the Chargers come out committed to running the football. They could hand off all day as far as I am concerned because that means they aren’t doing what they do best. San Diego is going to get their yards, the key is going to be holding them to field goals instead of touchdowns.

Special Teams: The Jets can’t allow a big return on kicks or punts, allowing easy points to the Chargers is suicide in this game. Their coverage units have been pretty awful all year, so yes I losing sleep over Sproles on special teams this week. If the Jets are punting around mid-field, don’t be shocked to see them attempt a fake…they are overdue for one.

TOJ TV Divisional Round Edition…Enjoy A Bunch of Jets Haters Eating Their Words During Wild-Card Weekend

Jets vs. Chargers Position By Position Comparison

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First a few updates:

1. Good news for our coaching staff: Brian Schottenheimer has turned down an interview for the Buffalo Bills head coaching job. Despite most fans having mixed feelings on Schotty, he has down a great job the past few weeks andhaving the same offensive coordinator we will be a huge help for Mark Sanchez in year two. Beyond that, why would Schotty want to deal with that mess in Buffalo? I bet Steve Spagnuolo wishes he spent another year with the Giants instead of taking a job with the Rams.

2. Braylon Edwards pleaded no contest in his court case and it is expected that he will receive a one game suspension from the NFL for the 2010 season.

3. New TOJ TV is the on the way this Friday, also friend me on facebook…not because I want to be your friend, but I because I want you to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook, where you will receive extra commentary, links to other quality Jets articles, and plenty more stuff worth looking at.

4. Thomas Jones and Tony Richardson were held out of practice for extra rest by Rex Ryan. Shaun Ellis was limited today in practice, while everybody else was a full participant.

5. Another great Darrelle Revis graphic:

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Jets vs. Chargers Position By Position Comparison

Quarterback: Philip Rivers (4254 yards, 28 TDs, 9 INTs) vs. Mark Sanchez (2444 yards, 12 TDs, 20 INTs) – Sanchez surprised everybody last week by playing one of his best games of the season in a cold-weather environment on the road. This week, he is back in his home state and facing off against an even better quarterback. Rivers has been a beast this season and makes the Chargers offense go since their running game is the worst in the NFL, Sanchez just needs to manage the game and hit a few big plays when the opportunity presents itself. Advantage: Chargers

Running Back: LaDanian Tomlinson (730 yards, 12 TDs), Darren Sproles (840 total yards, 7 TDs) vs. Thomas Jones (1402 yards, 14 TDs), Shonn Greene (540 yards, 2 TDs) – San Diego has the league’s 32nd ranked rushing attack, while the Jets have the league’s #1 ranked rushing attack. Tomlinson is a shell of his former self and only averages 3.3 yards per carry. Sproles is obviously a big play threat as a receiver, however don’t sleep on Shonn Greene who is coming on strong and has fresh legs because he didn’t start playing until week 7. Greene gashed the Bengals for 135 yards and a touchdown last week. Advantage: Jets

Wide Receiver: Vincent Jackson (1167 yards, 9 TDs), Malcom Floyd (776 yards, 1 TD), Legedu Naanee (242 yards, 2 TDs) vs. Braylon Edwards (541 yards, 4 TDs), Jerricho Cotchery (821 yards, 4 TDs), Brad Smith (270 total yards, 1 TD), David Clowney (191 yards, 1 TD) – Vincent Jackson is going to be the best receiver on the field Sunday, it is shame because there is no reason Braylon Edwards can’t be as good as him…except he can’t catch. I am sure there is ton of people who would say Floyd is better than Jerricho Cotchery but I got news for you…he isn’t. I don’t care how tall he is, Cotchery is a better receiver and in reality is the Jets #1 guy, as everybody who watched Jets/Bengals last week knows. Chargers fans have been pumping up Naanee and his 242 yards like crazy this week, and while he is a better pure receiver than Brad Smith or David Clowney, let’s not go crazy like he is some type of game breaker. I don’t know how much of factor Smith will be this week and Clowney has been invisible since the middle of the year. Advantage: Chargers, slightly because Vincent Jackson can catch and Braylon Edwards hasn’t proven he can.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates (1157 yards, 8 TDs) vs. Dustin Keller (522 yards, 2 TDs) – Despite Keller breaking out last week in the playoffs, Gates is the best in business and will be a big match-up problem for the Jets. Advantage: Chargers

Offensive Line: Marcus McNeill, Kris Dielman, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez, Brandyn Dombrowski vs. Damien Woody, Brandon Moore, Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, D’Brickashaw Ferguson – The Jets have the best offensive line in football, led by three pro-bowlers and two underrated guys in Brandon Moore and Damien Woody. Advantage: Jets

Defensive Line: Jacques Cesaire (26 tackles,  1 sack), Ogemdi Nwagbuo (19 tackles, 1 sack), Luis Castillo (25 tackles, 2 sacks), Alfonso Boone (15 tackles, 3 sacks) vs. Marques Douglas (64 tackles, 1.5 sacks), Sione Pouha (45 tackles), Shaun Ellis (53 tackles, 6.5 sacks), Mike DeVito (28 tackles) – The Chargers miss Jamal Williams and it has shown in their run defense. The Jets miss Kris Jenkins and hasn’t really shown in their run defense until last week against the Bengals. Advantage: Jets, slightly

Linebackers: Shaun Phillips (59 tackles, 7 sacks), Stephen Cooper (102 tackles), Kevin Burnett (66 tackles, 2.5 sacks), Shawne Merriman (36 tackles, 4 sacks), Brandon Siler (67 tackles, 2 sacks), Tim Dobbins (55 tackles, 1 sack), Larry English (36 tackles, 2 sacks) 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 Chargers have alot of people rolling through at linebacker, especially since Merriman and Burnett among other people haven’t been able to stay healthy. Calvin Pace put together a better statistical season than Phillips despite only playing in 12 games, while David Harris will be the best overall linebacker on the field. What else can I say? The Jets are better and more consistent here. Advantage: Jets

Corners: Quentin Jammer (58 tackles, 3 INTs), Antonio Cromartie (33 tackles, 3 INTs), Antoine Cason (41 tackles, 2 INTs) vs. Darrelle Revis (54 tackles, 6 INTs), Lito Sheppard (31 tackles, 1 INT), Dwight Lowery (24 tackles, 3 INTs), Donald Strickland (26 tackles, 2 sacks) – Revis is obviously the best player here, although I would take Jammer or Cromartie over Lito Sheppard. Cason and Lowery are both good nickel backs. It will be a nice boost for the Jets to have Strickland back, who has been productive when he has been healthy. Advantage: Jets, slightly

Safeties: Steve Gregory (71 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT), Eric Weddle (82 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs), Kevin Ellison (52 tackles, 1 sack), Paul Oliver (49 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT) vs. Jim Leonhard (76 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT), Kerry Rhodes (63 tackles, 3 INTs), Eric Smith (48 tackles, 1 INT), James Ihedigbo (19 tackles, 2 sacks) – These are very comparable groups. Rhodes is going to have his hands full covering Gates. Leonhard did a nice job last week, and will need to keep it up. I wouldn’t be shocked to see alot of Eric Smith in the Jets nickel package, also Ihedigbo has turned into a valuable blitzer for the Jets. Advantage: Even

Specials: Nate Kaeding (32/35 FGs), Mike Scifers (45 yards per punt), Darren Sproles (24.1 per kick return, 7.0 per punt return, 1 TD) vs. Jay Feely (30/36 FGs), Steve Weatherford (42 yards per punt), Brad Smith (31 per kick return, 1 TD), Jerricho Cotchery (10.3 per punt return) – The Chargers have the best kicker/punter duo in the playoffs and arguably the most explosive return guy, even though Smith and Cotchery have quietly been very good on returns and Feely is a very good kicker, you have to give the advantage to the Chargers. Advantage: Chargers

Mike Francesa Begins His One Month Crying Session Over The Jets…Man He Is Upset The Giants Were Awful This Year

Darrelle Revis: Your 2009 Defensive Player of the Year

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First a few updates:

1. A quick message from a fellow Jets fan who is attending the game this weekend and looking for people to tailgate with:  “Hey Joe– Love your site, doing great work! My friends and I are goin out to San Diego for the game and want to get a Jets tailgate together at Qualcomm. We did this for the Miami MNF game and it was awesome! I was wondering if somehow you could get the word out through your blog… I have an email account set up (JetstailgateinSD@gmail.com) andam going to send emails over the weekend with where the parties taking place! I’ve posted this on the message boards I go to and I already have a few groups in, but the more the merrier! It’s byo food, drinks, etc, but we’ll be the first ones at the stadium at want to get as many Jets fans together as possible! Thanks in advance and GO JETS! -Brandon Cohen”

Darrelle Revis: Your 2009 Defensive Player of the Year

I don’t care what the AP voted this morning, Darrelle Revis was the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year. Any doubt in my mind was erased when I watched Reviscompletely shut down Chad Johnson last week for the second straight time and Larry Fitzgerald score two times on Woodson, as a part of the Cardinals offense that scored 51 points and threw 5 touchdowns on Woodson’s defense. Keep in mind that the Jets only allowed 8 passing touchdowns in 17 games, while the Packers and Woodson just allowed 5 in a single game. Also don’t forget a few weeks back when Woodson and the Packers allowed 501 passing yards to Pittsburgh. Rex Ryan’s reaction here is right on:

http://www.newyorkjets.com/blog/posts/1457-revis-places-2nd-to-woodson-ryan-reacts

Also, look at Woodson dogging it the final ten yards as Fitzgerald scores a touchdown and look at Darrelle Revis making a ridiculous interception in these two clips.

Woodson Not Hustling at 2:33

Revis Doing What He Did All Year

Read this little excerpt from Tim Graham at ESPN (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/9112/did-revis-get-robbed-of-dpoy-honor), which emphasizes the burn percentage among corners and look where Revis ranks (#1) and where Woodson ranks (not even in the top 5). The bottom line is that 108 times, somebody has thrown on Darrelle Revis, 40 times the pass has been caught (37 percent), for 439 yards and 2 touchdowns…compared to Woodson who has 84 passes thrown at him, still allowed 40 receptions (47.6 percent), for 560 yards, and 6 touchdowns.

Here is what Darrelle Revis has done against top receivers in the league:

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Let’s take a quick look at what top receivers did against Charles Woodson and that Packers secondary:

  • Chad Ochocinco: 4 receptions, 91 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Sidney Rice: 5 receptions, 70 yards, 1 touchdown (Bernard Berrian also had 6 for 75 yards and a touchdown and 3 receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown in the second match-up)
  • Michael Crabtree: 4 receptions, 77 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Hines Ward: 7 receptions, 126 yards, Santonio Holmes: 3 receptions, 77 yards
  • Johnny Knox: 5 receptions, 83 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Larry Fitzgerald: 6 receptions, 82 yards, 2 touchdowns

Let’s also not forget that Darrelle Revis was the best player on the best defense in football. The Jets allowed 50 less passing yards per game than the Packers and over 30 total yards less per game. They have also now went further in the playoffs than the Green Bay Packers. People love to get caught up in Woodson running back interceptions for touchdowns in garbage time against the Lions and Cardinals back-ups in week 17 but the bottom line is that Revis had a greater impact on a better defense. If you didn’t watch the Revis make great receivers, might as well be inactive week in and week out then you really couldn’t appreciate what he did. Out of the 108 passes thrown at him in the regular season, he intercepted 6 of them and knocked away 31 one of them, while only allowing 40 receptions…so one more time, when you threw at Revis in 2009

  • 108 Total Passes
  • 40 Receptions by receiver
  • 31 Knocked away by Revis
  • 6 intercepted by Revis
  • 31 incomplete

Revis also elevated his play wild-card weeekend, while Woodson didn’t play a good game outside of a forced fumble. Beyond all that, Woodson doesn’t have cool graphics like the one below circulating on the Internet:

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Scouting The Chargers From a Jets Perspective & Other Divisional Round Thoughts

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First a few updates:

1. First off, today is a very happy day over here at TurnOnTheJets.com. The site was lucky enough to be honored with the 2009 Fanball Sports Network Blog of the Year Award. I honestly have to say it does feel great to have the work I put in here recognized with such an award but a special thanks needs to be given to many other people: my roommate and good friend James Corbett who puts in a ton of time on TOJ TV, all of the fellow bloggers here at Fanball, Bryan Douglass who hired me, everybody who follows and comments on facebook or twitter, all of the readers and frequent commenters most notably: The Iron Marshall, BruceHarper, Simplysimon2, my oldest friend Dan Donohue who has been fighting about sports with me since we were three years old, my good friend Sean Santagato who spends an hour a day on the phone with me talking NFL, Tom Santagato, who despite hating the Jets finds time to come on the site and comment, and of course my Dad who pays for our season tickets despite being a Giants fan, checks the site daily and comments (under Jetbo) and is a constant reminder that hard work pays off. Finally, my Grandpa who is the reason I became a Jets fan, my Uncle Mike who took me to games when I was little, and my Uncle Frankie and cousins Chris and Rob, who are the only three other Jets fan I know crazy as I am…and yes thank you too Mom.

Since I figure I will never win an Oscar, I might as well get that speech out while I can. Anyway, on to more important things like the Jets playing in the divisional round of the playoffs and Darrelle Revis being robbed of Defensive Player of the Year…

2. What the hell, NFL? Charles Woodson? I don’t care about the stats, did you watch the first round of the playoffs? This requires a whole article, which I have been meaning to write for awhile, well it is going up later in the day…forget about looking for jobs to start my career, this is a much more important issue. Rex Ryan took the time today to congratulate the people who voted for Darrelle Revis, and pointed out the Jets gave up 8 passing touchdowns all year, while Green Bay nearly gave up 8 last week against Arizona!

3. Was I the only person who turned off the TV when Mark McGwire started crying about his steroid use?

4. Braylon Edwards didn’t practice today because of a court appearance related to an incident in Cleveland when he allegedly punched one of  the friends of LeBron James and Lito Sheppard missed because his wife gave birth. Shaun Ellis (knee), Howard Green (knee), Bart Scott (ankle), and David Harris (ankle) were all limited today. Donald Strickland, Dwight Lowery, and Drew Coleman all practiced full today which is great news. Steve Weatherford is expected to punt this weekend, which is also good news.

Scouting The Chargers From a Jets Perspective & Other Divisional Round Thoughts

SAN DIEGO OFFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

  • Quarterback: Philip Rivers – 317/486, 4254 yards, 28 TDs, 9 INTs, 104.4 QB Rating
  • Running Back: LaDanian Tomlinson – 223 carries, 730 yards, 3.3 yards per carry, 12 touchdowns, 154 receiving yards
  • Fullback: Jacob Hester – 21 carries, 74 yards, 24 receiving yards
  • Fullback: Mike Tolbert – 25 carries, 148 yards, 1 touchdown, 192 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns
  • Third Down Back: Darren Sproles – 93 carries, 343 yards, 3.7 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns, 497 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns
  • #1 Wide Receiver: Vincent Jackson – 68 receptions, 1167 yards, 9 touchdowns
  • #2 Wide Receiver: Malcom Floyd – 45 receptions, 776 yards, 1 touchdown
  • #3 Wide Receiver: Legedu Naanee – 24 receptions, 242 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • #4 Wide Receiver: Craig Davis – 6 receptions, 52 yards
  • Tight End: Antonio Gates – 79 receptions, 1157 yards, 8 touchdowns
  • Left Tackle: Marcus McNeill
  • Left Guard: Kris Dielman
  • Center: Nick Hardwick
  • Right Guard: Louis Vasquez
  • Right Tackle: Brandyn Dombrowski

SAN DIEGO DEFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

  • Defensive End: Jacques Cesaire – 26 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Ogemdi Nwagbuo – 19 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive End: Luis Castillo – 25 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Shaun Phillips – 59 tackles, 7 sacks
  • Inside Linebacker: Stephen Cooper – 102 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Kevin Burnett – 66 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Shawne Merriman – 36 tackles, 4 sacks
  • Linebacker: Brandon Siler – 67 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
  • Linebacker: Tim Dobbins – 55 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT
  • Linebacker: Larry English – 36 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Corner: Quentin Jammer – 58 tackles, 3 INTs
  • Corner: Antonio Cromartie – 33 tackles, 3 INTs
  • Corner: Antoine Cason – 41 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Steve Gregory – 71 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
  • Safety: Eric Weddle – 82 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Kevin Ellison – 52 tackles, 1 sack
  • Safety: Paul Oliver – 49 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Nate Kaeding – 32/35 FGs, 2 missed 40-49 yards, 1 missed 50+ yards
  • Punter: Mike Scifers – 45 yards per punt
  • Return: Darren Sproles – 24.1 yards per kickoff return, 7.0 yards per punt return, 1 touchdown

PhotobucketThoughts On the Match-Up – I have confidence in Darrelle Revis on Vincent Jackson. However, I am worried about Lito Sheppard on Malcom Floyd, who has been a big play receiver this season. This is a big game for Sheppard to prove his value to the Jets and earn a chance to get a new contract from them next season. Antonio Gates is obviously going to be an issue, Kerry Rhodes has the physical talent and size to match-up with Gates but he needs to bring his A game. It is alot of pressure on two guys, Sheppard and Rhodes, who have had up and down seasons but have been playing as of late. I am not scared of Tomlinson or Sproles running the football but I am worried about Sproles in the passing game. You know the Chargers have watched the tape of Ricky Williams shredding the Jets on screen passes and they will be dialing them up to counter the Jets pass rush. Beyond that, the Jets don’t have a linebacker who could cover Sproles. I would expect to see alot of Eric Smith or Donald Strickland attempting to cover him in the flats.

On offense, I feel surprisingly good. I think this unit is finally hitting their stride and will put together another 20+ point effort. I think the Jets will be able to run the ball, chew up some clock, and consistently move the football. The success the Jets will have running the ball should open up some opportunities down the field. However, will they take another shot with Braylon Edwards or will they give the deep ball or Jerricho Cotchery or maybe even David Clowney? Edwards will likely get another shot, but my god…catch the damn ball, #17! The Chargers are likely going to over-scheme for Keller, which should open things up for Cotchery, Edwards, and maybe Brad Smith who was quiet last week.

I am worried about Sproles on returns, but I am confident we are going to see a big play from the Jets special teams this week. I don’t know if it is going to be a kick or punt return, or a fake punt at a surprising time or something…but it is on the way.

Other Quick Thoughts On Divisional Round…As of today, I am liking the Cardinals in the upset against Saints. New Orleans is coming in ice cold, and the Cardinals can go point for point with them. I am feeling a 45-42 game. If the Ravens somehow beat the Colts Saturday night, I am going to get 20 percent more confident in the Jets pulling off the upset because that would mean another thing broke their way in this odd 2009 season. I am really looking forward to Brett Favre being knocked out at home and watching him and the Vikings head into a tail spin, culminating with a 33-10 loss in week 7 at new stadium in the Meadowlands, as the Jets rack up 7 sacks and send the Minnesota to a 2-5 start in 2010 leading Favre to retire in half way through the season.

LaDanian Tomlinson Slid His Way To 3.3 Yards Pery Carry

Awesome Defense By Woodson and the Packers

Your 2009 Defensive Player of the Year

Grading Out Jets Wild-Card Win

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First a few updates:

1. Oh New England…talk about it all coming crashing down today…nice job by Bill Belichick being completely out-coached, Tom Brady playing like absolute garbage and Randy Moss not giving a crap…33-14? In your own building…yikes. Even the refs couldn’t save a team with no defense, no running backs and a coach who has done a poor job all season.

2. So much for my pre-season Super Bowl pick..c’mon now Philly, that was the best effort you had? Regardless, now I have to hope for Dallas to bring Brett Favre to tears next week.

3. I hope everybody takes the time to call Mike Francessa tomorrow and remind him about what he was saying the whole week leading up to the Jets/Bengals game and e-mail Bill Simmons or Mike Florio about their comments on the Jets all year.

4. Another week of heavy work here at TOJ…you should be able to write a thesis on Jets/Chargers by next Sunday…and we have more TOJ TV on the way.

5. Stats/game highlights…updated.

Grading Out Jets Wild-Card Win

PhotobucketQuarterback (A) – 12/15, 185 yards, 1 touchdown and zero turnovers. Keep in mind that of Sanchez’s three incompletions, one was a dropped 50 yard touchdown by Braylon Edwards, one was a drop by Dustin Keller and one was a batted ball…the guy played near perfect. You aren’t going to see a rookie quarterback play much better on the road in the playoffs. If Sanchez keeps this up, the Jets are going to be one hell of a tough out.

Running Backs (A) – Shonn Greene…the Jets other rookie showed why the Jets traded up for him. He hits the hole hard on every play and always falls forward when he is tackled. Thomas Jones has been dealing with a swollen knee but still showed good burst on his touchdown and was able to contribute 15 carries…regardless, the torch is slowly being passed to Greene as the Jets feature back.

Wide Receivers (B) – How about some love for Jerricho Cotchery? Nobody really seems to appreciate what a good player this guy is. He had a clutch 6 catches for 67 yards, including some unbelievable sideline grabs that converted big third downs. When the money is on the line…he is the Jets number one receiver. Braylon Edwards has unbelievable physical talent but has to concentrate, the Jets can’t afford drops like that from this point on. Quiet day for Brad Smith and the Tiger formation.

Tight Ends (A) – Dustin Keller stepped up in a big way yesterday.  He provided all the big plays in the Jets passing game and sprung Shonn Greene on his touchdown run. The Jets are going to need him to keep playing this way because he is a key weapon for their offense.

Offensive Line (A) – They are the best unit in the NFL and the Jets will go as far as they take them.

Defensive Line (C) – Not one of their best days at the office. However, Shaun Ellis played a very good all around game, recording a sack, a forced fumble and 2 tackles for losses.

Linebackers (C) – Bryan Thomas played arguably his best game of the year, leading the team with 7 tackles and a sack. His play compensated for average games by Bart Scott, David Harris, and Calvin Pace.

Secondary (A) – Darrelle Revis…the best defensive player in football this season, period. Jim Leonhard stepped up with a sack, forced fumble and four tackles. Lito Sheppard played a pretty good game. The Jets need Dwight Lowery and Donald Strickland to get healthy.

Special Teams (A) – I told you I was worried about the kick coverage…however, how about Jay Feely? Hopefully, Steve Weatherford can get healthy and medical clearance for next week but you have to appreciate Feely stepping up the way he did.

Coaching (A) – Great game plan by Brian Schottenheimer on offense…and clearly Rex Ryan has his team believing in him.

Game Highlights

See You In The Second Round: Jets Shut Up Critics, Win 24-14

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I will keep this quick because I am trying to enjoy the rest of this night:

1. How you like us now?

2. Great game by our offensive rookies, the future is looking pretty bright on that side of the ball with Shonn Greene (135 yards, 1 touchdown) and of course Mark Sanchez (12/15, 182 yards, 1 touchdown).

3. Weak game by our rush defense obviously but the pass defense was outstanding, highlighted by Darrelle Revis aka the Defensive Player of the Year, grabbing an acrobatic interception and shutting down Chad Ochocinco.

4. MVP? Dustin Keller who had a key block on the Greene touchdown, 99 yards receiving and a touchdown…and also obviously Revis.

5. Carson Palmer…completely outplayed by Mark Sanchez in his home stadium.

6. One more time…rookie coach, rookie quarterback, no Kris Jenkins, no Leon Washington…second round of the playoffs.

7. I want San Diego in round 2.

Final Thoughts On Jets/Bengals

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Let’s Get It Done

Happy Wild-Card Weekend everybody…let us all enjoy this holiday and most of all enjoy rooting for our Jets proving to the rest of the NFL that they belong in the playoffs.

1. Mark Sanchez…don’t turn the ball over.

2. Thomas Jones…keep doing what you been doing all year.

3. Darrelle Revis…show why you are the best defensive player in the league.

4. Kerry Rhodes…put a disappointing season behind you with a big playoff performance.

5. Braylon Edwards…catch the ball.

6. Rex Ryan…blitz, blitz, and blitz some more.

Get all those things done and we’ll be off to San Diego or Indy.

 

Jets vs. Bengals Prediction: TOJ TV Wild-Card Edition

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First a few updates:

1. David Harris and Donald Strickland are both listed as questionable for Saturday. I’d be shocked  if Harris didn’t start…Strickland should be involved in the Jets dime package.

2. Is anybody else looking forward to calling in to Miked Up after the Jets win and shutting up Francessa?

3. If you haven’t friended me on facebook for the purpose of becoming a Turn On The Jets fan on facebook…please do so now…I can wait, this article isn’t going anywhere.

4. Congratulations to D’Brickashaw Ferguson for being selected to the pro-bowl to fill in for an injured Jake Long.

Jets vs. Bengals Prediction: TOJ TV Wild-Card Edition

I love this match-up for the Jets…am I being biased? Maybe a little, but ever since the Jets moved to 7-6 and back into the playoff picture, I have been telling anyone who would listen that if they managed a first round game against the Bengals, they would have a hell of a chance to advance to the divisional round. For some reason, God has been smiling on the Jets ever since the Atlanta game, they caught a break against the Colts and then demolished a not fully focused Bengals team, along with every other AFC playoff contender melting down when it counted and he continues to smile on them with this match-up.

What do I expect? I expect an ugly first half, while both teams feel each other out. I think Sanchez struggles early but avoids turning the ball over, leading to a 6-3 halftime score in favor of the Bengals. I think in the locker room, the Jets are going to realize they weathered the storm of any early emotion/adrenaline the Bengals had with home field advantage (even though they can’t sell out their game…pathetic) and come out on fire in the third quarter. I think the Jets score two second half touchdowns to go up 17-6, before the Bengals respond to cut the lead to 17-13…because nothing ever comes easy for the Jets.

At this point of the game, the Jets are going to get the ball back with about 3:50 on the clock, with Cincy having two timeouts. Every Jets fan will have visions of the Bengals stopping us and then driving down the field for the game winning touchdown…however, it won’t come to that because Thomas Jones and the Jets offense will convert a pair of key first downs that take away the Bengals time outs and leaves no time on the clock.

Jets win…17-13…see you in Indy.

Other wild-card weekend picks:

Philadelphia – 27 Dallas 20: Too much pressure on Tony Romo and the whole Dallas organization. McNabb isn’t missing a wide open DeSean Jackson this week.

New England – 17 Baltimore – 14: I hate picking them but I think they find a way to win…with some help from the officials.

Green Bay – 30 Arizona – 27: High-scoring battle that the red hot Packers prevail in.

TOJ TV Wild-Card Weekend Edition

Well-Done Craig

Jets vs. Bengals Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. David Harris did practice today, although he was limited. However, from all reports he looked pretty good and should start at linebacker on Saturday. Donald Strickland was the only other player who was limited in practice and he could be a game-time decision. Steve Weatherford (who complimented my prediction skills on facebook) was practicing full and should be 100 percent for Saturday.

2. It is looking like somewhere between 10-20 degrees with a chance of flurries on Saturday at 4:30 PM…you are a long way from USC Mark Sanchez.

3. Rex Ryan continued to argue for Darrelle Revis as the Defensive Player of the Year today…you focus on the Bengals, Rex…I am going to argue for Darrelle’s cause a little later in the day.

4. Stop by (www.greenrewind.com) to check out Marty Schupak’s latest podcast, which features an appearance by yours truly along with plenty of other Jets writers/bloggers. Also check out the Fantasy Buffet radio show at (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fanball/2009/12/21/fantasy-buffet) where I will be making an appearance tomorrow around 11 AM.

5. Don’t forget to friend me on facebook and then become a fan of the Turn On The Jets page to find extra commentary, links to other Jets article, along with all the stuff you could here on this site.

6. A new episode of TOJ TV has been filmed and should be posted tomorrow afternoon or maybe even tonight if I decide to avoid being lazy.

Jets vs. Bengals Game Breakdown

Offense: The playoffs is not the time for the Jets to abandon what got them there. It is time to run the football. I have to give Brian Schottenheimer and Bill Callahan credit for their creativity with the Jets rushing attack. Teams know the Jets are going to run the ball and try to keep it out of Sanchez’s hands but they have still found a way to get the job done. Expect to see plenty of Wayne Hunter and Robert Turner off the bench, which means the Jets are going to have seven lineman in the game and are basically saying “we are running the ball, we know you know it but you can’t stop it.” You can bet on Thomas Jones getting his 20-25 carries and Shonn Greene adding on another 12-15.

The key for the Jets running game is going to be setting up third and short for Mark Sanchez, where the Jets have a reasonable option to both run and pass. One of the Jets favorite plays in a 3rd and 3 type situation is putting Jerricho Cotchery in the slot, bringing him in motion over the center and then sprinting him back out towards the slot, having Sanchez roll out and throw a quick 3 yard out to him, if you fast forward to 6:44 in this clip below, you will see a variation of this play. I don’t have the exact numbers on this play but by my count the Jets are about 10 for 10 on this play this year (they also ran it with Keller as the 2 point conversion vs the Colts, as you could see in the other clip below at the 2:46 mark and with Edwards against Jacksonville as you could see in the clip below that at the 2:59 mark). The point is that, they need to put themselves in situations where they could run this play and other ones they are comfortable with/have a high success rate with on third down.

You will also see plenty of the Jets “Tiger” formation. I don’t care how much time the Bengals spent on Brad Smith this week, NFL teams are not used to defending all the variations of option the Jets could run with Smith under center. It is a tremendous advantage that Smith can’t not only run the traditional “Wildcat” but is comfortable taking direct snaps. He has shown an ability to execute the pitch relationship with Shonn Greene and convert the pitch to him if the defensive end gets out in front of him. Also, let’s not forget Smith threw for 8,000 yards in college and I can promise you one of the first “Tiger” plays the Jets run will involve Smith throwing a pass (likely a short one to be safe) just to make the Bengals think twice every time Smith rolls out and if they hesitate, there is no reason this can’t happen again:

It would go a long way towards a Jets victory if Mark Sanchez and Braylon Edwards can convert on a big play down the field. The Jets obviously struggle scoring points and if they could grab a quick seven, it would be a huge boost in a low scoring game and soften up the Bengals defense against the Jets run. Sanchez has done a good job on deep balls this season but hasn’t always been helped by his wide receivers. Here are three clips of Sanchez throwing and connecting on a well-thrown deep ball. Finally, it has been said a thousand times but Sanchez must protect the football at all costs. If he doesn’t turn the ball over, there is no reason the Jets can’t be off to Indy or San Diego.

Sanchez to Cotchery at 3:04

Sanchez to Braylon at 0:51

Sanchez to Clowney at 2:02

Defense: The key for the Jets is to slow down Cedric Benson and the Bengals rushing attack. The Jets defensive line has overachieved all season and Marques Douglas, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Shaun Eliis need a big game. We need David Harris to continually introduce himself to Benson throughout the game and force the Bengals into third and long, and then eventually abandon their running game. The bottom line is that the Bengals can’t throw on the Jets. Darrelle Revis will do his job on Ochocinco and they have nobody else who can hurt the Jets down the field. However, it goes beyond the Jets limiting the Bengals rushing attack and preventing big plays in the passing game. The Jets need to force turnovers and sack the quarterback, to help their offense score points.

Outside of Cedric Benson, the Bengals starting offense played last week for the entire half and was completely embarrassed. Whether or not they ran a vanilla package and hid some things, don’t tell me there isn’t some doubt in their mind about their ability to move the ball on the Jets defense. It isn’t like they just had a bad half of football…a bad half is getting shut out but still gaining some yards and completing some passes. Carson Palmer was 1/11 for 0 yards with an interception and the only first down the Bengals got was on a questionable penalty on the Jets. If the Jets can get off to a fast start on defense and force a few 3 and outs, the Bengals are going to start questioning themselves and maybe trying to force some things.

Special Teams: This is going to be a low scoring game, which means a big return could swing the final results. It has to be the Jets who get good field position or a touchdown because of their special teams units, not the Bengals. One of the things I am most worried about is a big return from Bernard Scott on kickoffs. However, don’t be shocked to see a fake punt from Mike Westhoff and the Jets special teams units.