Game Balls, “Plucked”: New York Jets 30 Atlanta Falcons 28

To borrow one of my favorite Suzyn Waldman-isms, “of all the dramatic things,” (and no, Roger Clemens is not in George Steinbrenner’s box) the New York Jets are now sitting at 3-2 by virtue of a heart-pounding road win against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, in front of the nation, after most people wrote them off before the season even started. I have to be honest, I thought the likelihood that they would be able to pull this one out was slim. Yet, the Jets came ready to play and were great in all three phases. The stat of the day is 0; the amount of turnovers the Jets committed last night and the first game in which they did not hand the ball to the opposing team. Imagine what would happen if they could do that on a regular basis. While you’re doing that, lets’ paint up some Game Balls:

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A Sock Full Of Jets Observations

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C’mon now, you didn’t think I was going to avoid a foot related pun on national “just when you think anything else couldn’t happen for your team to grab headlines, it is found out your head coach and his wife make foot fetish videos and post them all over the Internet” day?

Honestly, I have nothing to comment on it, except for the following:

  1. This was the cover story on a major newspaper’s front page section, not sports section, in the biggest city in our country. What does that say about journalism in America?
  2. For everybody hating on Rex about this, save your hate for Bill Belichick who had affair and ruined two marriages in the process. So what if Rex is into his wife’s feet? A little weird? Yes…actually very weird, but whatever it is their personal life.
  3. Finally, you really put these videos on YouTube and all over the Internet, Mr. and Mrs. Ryan and expected nobody to eventually find out?

Now on to that 10-4 football team, we cover here at Turn On The Jets

  • Despite being the 5th best known linebacker on the roster. Bryan Thomas leads the Jets with 5 sacks this season. He remains an under appreciated player in the Jets system, who does the little things that helps their defense succeed and has contributed his share of big plays in 2010.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson is only 114 yards away from cracking 1,000 and has already racked up 50 receptions. Despite a slowed down second half, Tomlinson has produce enough for the Jets offense to merit his signing. For the record, he has 58 more rushing yards than Thomas Jones and is averaging 4.3 yards per carry compared to Jones’ 3.9. He also has 37 more receptions than him.
  • It is hard not be disappointed with Shonn Greene’s 696 yards and 4.0 yards per carry. Some of the blame should go to the coaching staff for not using him enough or letting him get into a rhythm. Yet, some of the blame has to go on Greene’s shoulders as well. However keep in mind Greene didn’t make his mark until the postseason last year.
  • It is pretty amazing that Santonio Holmes is only 3 receptions behind Tomlinson for the team lead, despite missing the first four games because of a suspension.
  • Braylon Edwards has been impressive this year with 46 receptions, 774 yards, and 6 TDs. He is averaging a whopping 16.8 yards per catch, making a strong argument for the Jets to find a way to bring him back in 2011.
  • David Harris has been very good as usual in 2010 but it is hard to say he has been great or complain if he doesn’t receive any post-season accolades. He currently has 93 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 TFLs, and 1 FF. You can’t say he is leading tackler on the best defense in the NFL anymore either, since the Jets defense simply isn’t the league’s best this year unlike in 2009.
  • You want to talk about filling up a stat sheet? Look at Brad Smith’s 2010 line – 221 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 4 receptions, 44 yards, 1 completion, 1 TD, 12 tackles, 29.1 yards per kick return, 2 return TDs.
  • He is still inconsistent in coverage but hard to ignore Drew Coleman’s 39 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 TFL, 4 PDs, 1 INT, and 4…yes 4 FF’s.

Anybody still trying to talk themselves into New England losing their last two and the Jets winning out to steal the AFC East? Let’s go Bills, this Sunday and then tank it for us in week 17.

One early preview for the 12 pack this week – Darrelle Revis is getting his first interception this week. Jay Cutler isn’t the kind of quarterback who is smart enough to avoid throwing at him and Revis will make him pay.

TOJ NFL Power Rankings: Week 16

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It is hard to remember a year when so much of the seeding could be shakenup in the final two weeks, and I know there has never been a year when one division has been so putrid…

1. New England Patriots (12-2) – Bill Belichick won’t let them take the foot off the gas in the final two weeks, as they face the basement dwellers of the AFC East.

2. Atlanta Falcons (12-2) – A quiet 12-2. Let’s see how they handle New Orleans this Monday Night, but either way they have all but locked up home field advantage.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) – Players like Mike Vick and Desean Jackson mean the Eagles are never out of a game.

4. Baltimore Ravens (10-4) – Impressive win over the defending champs kept their NFC North title hopes alive.

5. Chicago Bears (10-4) – How many people picked them to win the NFC North?

6. New York Jets (10-4) – The best way to shoot up in the power rankings is by beating a quality opponent in their building. Can they do it two weeks in a row?

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4) – Their offense has been inconsistent and their defense isn’t anywhere near the same without Troy Polamalu in the line-up.

8. New Orleans Saints (10-4) – They can be happy with likely playing the NFC West winner in the first round of the playoffs.

9. New York Giants (9-5) – Went from a potential number two seed to playing for their playoff lives in Lambeau this Sunday.

10. San Diego Chargers (8-6) – They’ll win out, but will they get the help needed to win the AFC West?

11. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5) – The Chiefs should be able to handle business to become the surprise winners of the AFC West.

12. Green Bay Packers (8-6) – Do or die against the Giants at home this week.

13. Indianapolis Colts (8-6) – One of the weaker Colts teams in recent memory but they will still be hosting a home playoff game, unless something strange happens.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-6) – It was only a matter of time until the Colts caught them. Who wanted to watch Jacksonville host a playoff game anyway?

15. Tampa Bay Bucs (8-6) – Nothing for this young team to hang their head about, if they fall short of the playoffs this year.

16. Oakland Raiders (7-7) – The Colts will have their hands full with the Raiders in Oakland this Sunday.

17. Dallas Cowboys (5-9) – They have played very good football since Jason Garrett has taken over.

18. Miami Dolphins (7-7) – Another mediocre season for the Dolphins, who have some major questions to answer this off-season.

19. Tennessee Titans (6-8) – Took a few weeks too long to wake up out of their mid-season funk.

20. Houston Texans (5-9) – Are you really surprised the Texans were a “disappointment” this year?

21. St. Louis Rams (6-8) – The only team in the NFC West that I have a small amount of respect for.

22. Buffalo Bills (4-10) – Way too high? I don’t think so. They play with heart and remain competitive every single week.

I have to be honest…I can’t even rank beyond this point. It is just a pile of crap, that doesn’t deserve to be sorted through. It feels like the Seahawks lose by 30 every week and yet they could still host a playoff game. The 49ers are four games under .500 and could still host a playoff game. The Vikings have clearly quit. The Browns appear to have quit. The Bengals are a disaster. The Lions…well hey, they won a road game. The Cardinals and Panthers are unwatchably awful, and of course are both playing prime-time games this week.

TOJ’s Favorite Moments Of Week 15…

Jets vs. Steelers: 12 Pack of Predictions

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It has been dark times lately for the 12 Pack, as well as the Jets…let’s see if we can turn things around —

1. Joe McKnight will have at least five offensive touches that aren’t in garbage time and will make a case for more playing time during the last couple of games. LaDainian Tomlinson’s role in the game plan will be diminished…or at least it should be.

2. Santonio Holmes is going to have a monster game, on both offense and special teams. He is an elite playmaker in the NFL and will be beyond motivated this game to bounce back from his drop last week and to prove Pittsburgh was wrong for trading him.

3. Hines Ward is going to have a big day working against Antonio Cromartie and Heath Miller, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antawan Randle El will make a few plays in the middle of the field against Dwight Lowery and Brodney Pool at safety.

4. Both teams will struggle to run the football. There won’t be a 100 yard rusher in this game, in fact I’d be surprised if there was a 70 yard rusher in this game.

5. Nick Folk won’t make a field goal that is longer than 40 yards.

6. The Jets defense is going to rise to the occasion and play one of their best games of the season, keeping this a competitive football game.

7. Mark Sanchez will play better than he did the previous two weeks, but there is no way he is getting through this game without a turnover.

8. I think we will see another quiet game from Dustin Keller and Braylon Edwards.

9. The Jets defense will force a fumble from Rashard Mendenhall and sack Ben Roethlisberger at least two times.

10. Mike Wallace will have less than 60 receiving yards and will be kept out of the end-zone by Darrelle Revis.

11. The Jets inactive players and coaches will be about 30 yards from the sideline when the Steelers return punts.

12. Despite putting up a better effort than most people expect, the Jets are going to lose their third straight, 17-10. The loss will mean the Jets will have to win in Chicago and then at home against Buffalo if they want a playoff spot.

Finding Solutions For The Jets Offense

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Instead of sulking about the Jets disgusting offensive performance yesterday, which set the game of football back about 50 years, let’s look at some practical solutions on how they can manage a few touchdowns over the last three weeks of the season.

1. Glide To The Bench – It is painfully obvious how many steps LaDainian Tomlinson has lost throughout the course of the season. There were multiple times during the game yesterday, where there were holes that should have led to 8-10 yard runs and Tomlinson was getting 2-4 yards. The fact that he received 19 carries and Shonn Greene only got 8, is inexcusable. It is time to make Greene the starter and give him 20 carries a week. Tomlinson should be the team’s third down back and that is it. Beyond that, Joe McKnight needs to become part of this offense. He has received 1 non-garbage time touch all year, so he should be plenty fresh and he has a level of speed that none of the other Jets running backs possess.

2. Keep It Simple Stupid – Enough of the shotgun, 4-wide, shift to motion, when the Jets are going to throw the football. Unfortunately, it is time to cut the field in half again for Mark Sanchez to let him slowly build his confidence back up. The Jets need to increase their use of quick receiver screens, short stop routes, and stay with the slants so the ball can get into Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller’s hands in space.

3. Bag The Wildcat – When is the last time the Jets broke a big play when Brad Smith took a direct snap? Considering Brian Schottenheimer has decided to do nothing out of this formation except either having Smith hand off to Shonn Greene up the middle or run a quick option to the wide side of the field, it is time to put it on ice for a few weeks.

4. Better Shots – It feels like when the Jets want to take a shot down the field, all they can come up with is a go route down the sideline to Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes without play action involved. The double move to Holmes that he dropped was a step in the right direction but the offensive coaching staff must find more ways to get creative when looking down the field for a big play.

5. Get The Ball To Keller – Dustin Keller is too athletic and versatile to be such a small part of the Jets game plan. If you want to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL or a quarterback in the NFL, you should be able to find a way to get the ball to a player of his talent level more consistently.

6. Just Play Better – Not all of this is on Brian Schottenheimer. Mark Sanchez missed open receivers down the field and failed to execute a number of short passes and screens. Santonio  Holmes dropped an easy touchdown pass on a double move. Jerricho Cotcherydropped a pass over the middle on the final drive that would have been a monster play. The pass blocking was inconsistent. Sanchez and Schottenheimer deserves the lion’s share of blame but everybody else on this offense needs to elevate their play.

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 2: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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Time for a bounce back from both the Jets and TOJ, who had just an awful week with the 12 pack last Monday...

1. Shonn Greene is getting 20 carries this week, going over 100 yards, and scoring his second rushing touchdown of the season. It is December. It is time to let #23 lead the charge on offense, like he did during the Jets playoff run last year.

2. Mark Sanchez may have had a bad week against the Patriots, but Chad Henne is having a bad season. Sanchez has demonstrated so far in 2010, what the majority of football analysts didn’t expect to see, that he has a better future as a franchise quarterback than Henne does. Sanchez will decidedly outplay Henne, who will be holding a clipboard somewhere next year.

3. Brandon Marshall won’t have more than 40 yards receiving on Sunday. He got a pass from Revis Island in week 3, but he won’t as lucky this meti.

4. The players who will hurt the Jets defense will be Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, and Anthony Fasano, just like in week 3. All three are going to rack up yards, the key will be for the Jets defense to bend but not break.

5. Braylon Edwards will have a bounce back performance after a shaky outing on Monday night. He has killed the Dolphins in all three of the Jets match-ups with them, since he has been traded over. He will be getting his fourth touchdown in four games against Miami this Sunday.

6. Mark Sanchez won’t throw more than 25 passes. The Jets will have a more run heavy approach than normal this season.

7. The Jets coaching staff will finally relent and give Joe McKnight a few carries that aren’t in garbage time and he will also get a shot on punt or kick returns.

8. Santonio Holmes is ripping off a big punt return of 25 yards or more.

9. Dan Carpenter is going to make all his field goal attempts, while Nick Folk will miss yet another kick he should make. Fortunately, the Dolphins offense will frequently settle for field goals instead of converting in the red-zone.

10. The Jets defense is coming up with at least two turnovers and two sacks this week.

11. The Jets aren’t a clinching a playoff spot this week. Either San Diego or Jacksonville will find a way to win.

12. The Jets are going to win 20-16. The key differences in the game will be Miami constantly settling for field goals and Sanchez outplaying Henne.

Week 14 Picks, Lines from BetUS

  • Raiders (+4) vs. Jaguars
  • Bengals (+8.5) vs. Steelers
  • Patriots (-4.5) vs Bears
  • Browns (PK) vs Bills
  • Giants (-3) vs. Vikings
  • Packers (-7.5) vs. Lions
  • Falcons (-8) vs. Panthers
  • Bucs (-3) vs. Redskins
  • Rams (+8.5) vs. Saints
  • Seahawks (+5) vs. 49ers
  • Broncos (-4) vs. Cardinals
  • Eagles (-4.5) vs. Cowboys
  • Ravens (-3.5) vs. Texans

TOJ Week 13 Rooting Guide

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A quick rooting guide for your Jet less Sunday…Gave Jimmy Leonhard the picture because we will miss him the rest of the year.

New Orleans at Cincinnati – In a game that has no impact on the Jets playoff chances, root for Ochocino and T.O to continue losing. Also more importantly root for New Orleans defense as TOJ is starting them in fantasy this week. Carson Palmer has to throw at least 2 interceptions, right?

Chicago at Detroit – If you are like me, you think Jay Cutler looks like the rich kid at the party sulking because somebody spilled beer on his 129 dollar shirt and who doesn’t hate people like that? Beyond that, the Lions deserve this one after they were screwed in week one.

San Francisco at Green Bay – I hate Mike Singletary’s press conferences and I hate that Green Bay shut the Jets out at home. I will root for the Packers because it sickens me that the 4-7 49ers are still in playoff contention.

Jacksonville at Tennessee – I don’t want the Colts in the playoffs and Jacksonville is closer to preventing that from happening, so go Jags. Hey, at least for today they have another fan…which should give them about 38.

Denver at Kansas City – Two unpopular coaches. I want the Chargers out of the playoffs, so using the same theory from the Jacksonville game, I will root for T.J. and the Chiefs.

Cleveland at Miami – Is it me or does Jake Delhomme look like a creepy guy? It must be something with those facial expressions after he is throwing all those interceptions. Obviously, I will be rooting for him, Eric Barton, Chansi Stuckey and the rest of the Jets JV team.

Buffalo at Minnesota – Very rare that you would ever root for a AFC East team against a non division opponent. However, I will be rooting for a bounce back for Steve Johnson and a win for the feisty Bills.

Washington at New York Giants – Let’s hope McNabb continues his trend of dominating the Giants.

Oakland at San Diego – Again, I’d rather not have Phillip Rivers in the playoffs with the way he is playing. So I will be pulling for the imploding Raiders.

Carolina at Seattle – I am not even sure this counts as a NFL game. I’d rather watch The George Lopez Show than this game. Enough said.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay – I’d like to see the young Bucs pull off the upset in front of the 26 people who will be at their stadium today.

St. Louis at Arizona – Derek Anderson may put his heart and soul into being the worst quarterback in the NFL but you have to root for the Rams to continue their quest to 7-9 and an improbable division title.

Dallas at Indianapolis – Go Cowboys. We don’t want Rex Ryan’s kryptonite in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore – The Jets don’t have a tie breaker with the Ravens so I will be waving the yellow towel in this game.

Jets vs. Bengals: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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A very special Thanksgiving edition of the 12 pack…

1. Enough is enough. The Jets are going to break through and finally intercept a couple of passes. I know I have said this in previous weeks, but c’mon now this is Carson Palmer we are talking about. It time for 2-3 interceptions in a single game by this secondary.

2. Inactive list – Jerricho Cotchery, Dwight Lowery, Marquice Cole, Damien Woody, Jeff Cumberland, Kellen Clemens, Marcus Dixon, Jamaal Westerman

3. Terrell Owens will have less than 35 yards receiving…and still run his mouth after the game.

4. The Jets will try to re-establish Shonn Greene’s confidence early and for the third week in a row he will finish with more carries than LaDainian Tomlinson. Greene will also score his second touchdown of the season.

5. Dustin Keller is way overdue for a touchdown. He hasn’t scored since week 4. This is the week he gets touchdown number six.

6. Mark Sanchez won’t throw for 300 yards but he will add another 2 touchdowns to his season total without producing any turnovers.

7. The Jets will spend plenty of time in their “Tiger” formation which gashed the Bengals last regular season. Brad Smith will have at least 45 total offensive yards and a big kick return.

8. Calvin Pace will record a multiple sack game and provide some hope for the Jets pass rush moving forward into December.

9. LaDainian Tomlinson will have at least 5 more receptions to add to his team leading total. Braylon Edwards will also have a big game, as Cincinnati has nobody to match-up on him since they will likely put Leon Hall on Santonio Holmes and Jonathan Joseph is hurt.

10. Chad Ochcocinco will unfortunately score a touchdown. Fortunately, it will likely be in garbage time since the Bengals spend most of their season in garbage time.

11. The Jets are getting a comfortable 30-14 win. That being said, considering the way this season is going they will probably go up 30-14, fall behind 31-30 with 8 seconds left and then complete a 90 touchdown to Patrick Turner or something like that to win.

12. Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers, followers, commenters, and anybody else who takes the time to stopt by the site, facebook page, or twitter account…you could be anywhere in the world, but you’re here with me…and I appreciate that.

Week 12 Picks (Lines From BetUS)

  • Lions (+8.5) vs. Patriots
  • Saints (-4.5) vs. Cowboys
  • Jets (-9) vs. Bengals
  • Vikings (+1) vs. Redskins
  • Bills (+8) vs. Steelers
  • Jags (+7) vs. Giants
  • Bucs (+7.5) vs. Ravens
  • Eagles (-4.5) vs. Bears
  • Falcons (-1) vs. Packers
  • Chiefs (-2.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Broncos (-4) vs. Rams
  • Chargers (+3) vs. Colts
  • I refuse to pick the MNF Game because it is so terrible the NFC West should never be featured in prime-time.

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What The Hell Is Going On Here? 2010 Jets Season Is Turning Into Something Special

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It is hard to fathom what is happening with the New York Jets on a weekly basis the past month . A franchise that is notorious for losing football games in the most painful ways possible at the most painful times has entered a bizarro world during November. We saw hints of it with how they pulled out late victories over Miami, Minnesota, and Denver earlier in the year but these past three games have been something else.

If you haven’t noticed yet, the “same old Jets” culture is long dead. Rex Ryan buried it when he came to town with his brash confidence and unwavering belief this football team would be the best in the league. Mike Tannenbaum and Woody Johnson supported it by making the bold move to trade up for the right franchise quarterback and surround him with the weapons to let him flourish.

The most encouraging trait about this Jets team is their confidence that regardless of the situation, they are going to ultimately find a way to win. It isn’t a matter of “if” but a matter of “when” somebody is going to step up to boost the Jets to yet another victory.

PhotobucketIt is time to stop being surprised when Mark Sanchez throws for 300 yards and saves his two best throws for the final minute of a game. I wrote it two weeks ago and I will write it again, the Jets have their franchise quarterback, whatever the “it” factor is that makes certain quarterbacks winners in the NFL, Sanchez has “it”.

Sanchez has no shortage of options when he drops back to pass but Santonio Holmes has taken his game to another level over the past month. There isn’t a more clutch receiver in the NFL right now and his ability to run after the catch has added a dimension to the Jets offense which hasn’t existed in my lifetime.

It isn’t just Holmes though. It is the notoriously unreliable and inconsistent Braylon Edwards, becoming reliable and consistent. It is LaDainian Tomlinson always finding a way to have big reception after big reception in the Jets two minute drill. It is an offense as a whole that scores points in every single situation they need to so far this month.

The defense? That is a story for another day (or just later today) but similar to how the offense slumped last year before rediscovering their identity for a late season playoff push, the defense is capable of doing the same thing.

November 2010 isn’t a month Jets fans will forget anytime soon. When people talk about the Jets being “lucky” it is a weak attempt to hide their disgust that Sanchez is turning into a quarterback capable of keeping this team great for a long time and that Ryan can run his mouth, while his team backs it up.

I do know this, as we head into the final stretch of the regular season: the New York Jets are the number one show in town and en route to being the number one show in the NFL.

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TOJ’s initial reaction at SB Nation http://newyork.sbnation.com/2010/11/21/1828878/at-a-loss-for-words-jets-do-it-again