Jets vs. Lions: Game Breakdown

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Offense: Hey Brian Schottenheimer, you see those two guys…#21 and #23? They are your running backs. This football team is built around their running game and defense. You have a terrific offensive line, so how about you run the game plan through them? By the way, Detroit is 27th in the NFL at stopping the run. LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene need to combine for 35-45 carries this Sunday, as the Jets get back to their formula for success since the beginning of the Rex Ryan era.

When they do throw the football, Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller need to get involved early, especially Edwards. He has been their best receiver so far this year so throw him a quick screen or hitch in the first series to make sure he is in the flow of the game. Keller wasn’t utilized enough last week and is always a threat off play action.

If the Jets are going to only run two plays out of the Tiger formation, they need to can it. It is time to expand the package of plays and come up with a few new wrinkles in it.

I don’t doubt that Jerricho Cotchery will bounce back with a strong performance this week, same with Santonio Holmes. It would be nice to see the Jets throw Holmes something besides a quick slant or an under route though.

Defense: Darrelle Revis vs. Calvin Johnson is just going to be fun to watch. I would expect Revis on him the overwhelming majority of the time, or at least he should be if he is actually 100 percent healthy. Antonio Cromartie should be able to handle Nate Burleson. However, the Lions tight ends should be a cause for concern. The Jets have struggled to defend the tight this season at times and Detroit has two good ones in Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler. Brodney Pool, Jim Leonhard, Dwight Lowery, and Eric Smith are going to need to step up their coverage to protect the middle of the field.

The Lions don’t have much of a running game (ranked 30th in the NFL) yet Jahvid Best is dangerous as a receiver out of the backfield with 36 receptions. There isn’t much speed for the Jets at linebacker so it will be interesting to see if the Jets shadow him with either Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, or maybe Dwight Lowery.

I would like to see the Jets pass rush from their outside linebackers wake up a little bit this week. It has been a very quiet couple of weeks from Calvin Pace, Jason Taylor, and Bryan Thomas. The Jets only have 15 sacks in 7 games, which isn’t enough for a team as aggressive as they are.

Special Teams: You think Steve Weatherford will think twice about taking off for a fake punt this week? The Jets should be wary of Stefan Logan in the return game. The Redskins ran a kick back for a touchdown on the Lions last week and Brad Smith has been very good as a returner this year, so the Jets might be able to pop one.

Jets vs. Packers: Game Breakdown

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Offense: The Jets should be able to take advantage of Green Bay’s struggling run defense with both LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. This would be the time of the year to start getting Greene more involved in the offense to insure that Tomlinson is fresh for the stretch run in December and January. I do hope the Jets don’t become too conservative after Mark Sanchez’s erratic performance against the Denver Broncos a few weeks ago, which is no reason to go into the week one shell.

When the Jets are throwing the ball, expect to see more reps and targets for Santonio Holmes. Green Bay’s pass defense has been in the middle of the pack and there should be chances down the field for Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, and Jerricho Cotchery. The Jets offensive line will have their hands full with the Green Bay pass rush, led by Clay Matthews. It would make sense for the Packers to predominantly send Matthews at Damien Woody instead of D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

I am still waiting to see a little more out of the Jets Tiger formation, perhaps another pass from Brad Smith or an option pass from Tomlinson.

Defense: It will be interesting to see if the Jets are even more aggressive than usual with their blitz package, considering the supposed improved health of Darrelle Revis. Aaron Rodgers certainly has the ability and weapons to make the Jets pay against the blitz so Rex Ryan is going to have to mix and match his approach and occasionally be slightly less aggressive.

The Packers haven’t really been able to run the football this season, making them one-dimensional. However, Denver also came into the Jets game unable to run the ball and had a good degree of success. The Jets are thin on the defensive line moving forward and clearly think Shaun Ellis, Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha, and Trevor Pryce can handle major reps.

It would be nice to see the Jets pass rush be a little more active this week. Calvin Pace has had two weeks to rest his foot and should be more explosive off the edge. Jason Taylor has been pretty good so far, but considering how much the Packers will likely throw this week he should be in Rodgers face all day. I would expect the Jets to rotate Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie on Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Hopefully Revis can live up this word and begin to resemble his 2009 self.

Special Teams: How about it Kyle Wilson? I am waiting to see something…anything from you on punt return. Brad Smith has quietly been excellent on kick returns and always is a threat to break one. Jordy Nelson and Tramon Williams are somewhat dangerous on returns but the Jets coverage has been solid this year. Nick Folk and Mason Crosby have been two of the top kickers in the NFL this year.

Jets vs. Broncos: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

 1. Darrelle Revis is going to make the trip with the team to Denver and Rex Ryan indicated he could be used in a limited role this weekend. How about this? Sit him down and make sure he is 100 percent for the final 8 games of the season. Everybody else is expected to play this weekend, including Calvin Pace.

2. ALCS/NLCS Predictions – Yankees in 5, Phillies in 6…Yes, I know I really went on a limb there.

Jets vs. Broncos: Game Breakdown

Offense: Denver is beyond banged up on defense and is currently ranked 25th in the NFL in rushing defense. I would say it is time for that Ground and Pound…How about 20 carries for Shonn Greene this week and 14-16 for LaDainian Tomlinson considering he is coming off 23 touches on a short week? Denver’s pass defense isn’t much better than their run defense and their secondary will be without Brian Dawkins, Andre Goodman, Darcel McBath, and Wesley Woodyard. Basically, what I am saying is that the Jets shouldn’t have trouble rolling up points on this defense. It will be interesting to see if this offense has matured enough to take advantage of a below average, banged up defense with the plethora of weapons they have.

Hopefully the chemistry between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes will progress and the Jets can hit a big play to him down the field. I thought Sanchez did a good job of spreading his targets around last week, but it will be interesting to see what happens in a game the Jets don’t throw the ball as much, along with how the role of each receiver ends up developing throughout the season.

Defense: Denver has the NFL’s worst rushing offense by a substantial margin and the Jets have one of the best run defenses in the league. I am thinking Josh McDaniels won’t try to outsmart himself (which he very well may) and will rely heavily on his passing attack this week. Kyle Orton has done a great job of spreading the ball around and the Broncos have a surprisingly productive collection of receivers and tight ends. Even if talented rookie Demaryius Thomas misses this week, Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal have all been good in 2010.

I would expect Antonio Cromartie to spend most of the day on Lloyd, who actually leads the NFL in receiving yards (what?). Considering his build and speed, Drew Coleman makes the most sense for Eddie Royal while Kyle Wilson or Dwight Lowery could cover Gaffney or tight end Daniel Graham. Denver is going to get their yards on the Jets, but the key will be to hit Orton early and often and hope that since he is throwing so much there are a few turnovers.

Special Teams: Royal is dangerous in the return game and Matt Prater is a very good kicker. Doesn’t it feel like we are due for a fake punt?

Good Memories From A  Bad Day In Denver

Jets vs. Vikings: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. Calvin Pace practiced full today and should be back in the starting line-up Monday night. Darrelle Revis was limited and his status remains somewhat in the air. The Jets should also be getting backup tackle Wayne Hunter back from a shin injury.

2. Brett Favre is taking his talents to South Beach all over Deadspin today…proceed with caution.

Jets vs. Vikings: Game Breakdown

Offense: Is do what you been doing the past three games too easy? Seriously, the Jets seem to have found a nice balance between their rushing and passing attack, along with a good division of touches between their various playmakers. Minnesota is a tough defense to run the ball on but that doesn’t mean they should shy away from having LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene combine for 35-40 touches. The Jets offense is most effective when the running game gets going, opening up the play action attack for Mark Sanchez.

The big news on this side of the ball is obviously that Santonio Holmes is returning to the line-up. It will be very interesting to see how many snaps he plays and his integration into the offense. I would imagine the smoke screens and quick receiver screens the Jets usually like throwing to Jerricho Cotchery, will now be going to Holmes. Yet, the Jets don’t want to just use Holmes run after the catch ability. He is the most complete receiver on the roster and I expect Brian Schottenheimer to be excited about his new toy, and hence take an early shot down the field to him.

I would say Minnesota will likely focus their coverage on Dustin Keller, but really how could they? If they want to consistently leave Braylon Edwards and Holmes in single coverage with their corners, then good luck. Don’t forget Lito Sheppard plays major reps for them at corner and even if he gets matched up with Jerricho Cotchery in the slot, the Jets could do some damage.

Beyond that, there is also that Brad Smith guy running around on reverses, options, and quarterback draws.

Defense: The Jets need to put this game in Brett Favre’s hands. Adrian Peterson has been a monster this season (as usual) and even though the run defense has been stout so far, he has the ability to change that quickly. Worry about stopping AP first and then let the old gunslinger (aka dongslinger as Jason Whitlock is now calling him on Twitter) take his shots on our secondary.

If Darrelle Revis does play, he shouldn’t be tracking Randy Moss all over the field. Antonio Cromartie already showed he can shut him down. Let Revis get a few shots at him to keep him off balance but for the most part let Cromartie man him up. Revis can work on Percy Harvin, while Kyle Wilson will probably primarily be matched up on Vishante Shiancoe, which he better have safety help on. Shiancoe has been banged up though and could be less than 100 percent.

Favre can take his chances on our secondary and I wouldn’t be shocked if he hit one big play to Moss. As we saw in week two, the Jets can survive one big play by Mr. Play When He Wants To. I’d be shocked if Favre didn’t throw at least one interception into the hands of Cromartie this Monday and maybe a few more to our other DBs to boot.

Special Teams: Be wary of Harvin on returns and keep Jim Leonhard going on the punt returns, he looks much better than Kyle Wilson. Nick Folk, forget that 30 yard miss from last week.

Jets vs. Bills Round 1: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have signed former Ravens defensive end, Trevor Pryce to boost their interior pass rush and overall defensive line depth. Pryce is obviously familiar with Rex Ryan’s defense and does have an ability to get after the quarterback, as evidenced by his 6.5 sacks last year and 90 sacks throughout his career. Howard Green was released as a corresponding roster move but is expected to re-sign Monday.

2. Darrelle Revis will be out Sunday, as expected. Wayne Hunter and Jamaal Westerman are both also likely to miss the Buffalo game. Calvin Pace was limited in practice but it doesn’t sound like he is going to play either. Rex Ryan hinted that Joe McKnight could be active this week…he probably got sick of hearing about Leon Washington, Chauncey Washington, and Danny Woodhead.

Jets vs. Bills Round 1: Game Breakdown

Offense: Considering Mark Sanchez has turned into Peyton Manning, I think the Jets should come out in the 4 wide hurry up and have the kid let it fly 40-50 times….More seriously, the Jets must avoid the temptation to move too far away from their running game. They have looked great throwing the ball but let’s make sure LaDainian Tomlinson is electric gliding for at least 15 carries and Shonn Greene starts building some confidence back with 12-15 carries of his own. The Jets must maintain balance on offense, even against an average defensive unit like the Bills.

When the Jets are throwing the ball, you have to think Buffalo will be concentrating their coverage on Dustin Keller which should keep things open for Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery, who has been very quiet so far this year. I am waiting for a break out game from both Cotchery and Greene. The Jets better keep Brad Smith involved in the game plan, because it seems like every time he touches the ball the Jets get at least 10 yards.

The best news? This is the last game without Santonio Holmes.

Defense: How about we get that pass rush going a little bit? I saw what Miami did to the Jets secondary, but Buffalo doesn’t a receiver in the same stratosphere as Brandon Marshall. Antonio Cromartie should take Lee Evans out of this game, while Kyle Wilson and Drew Coleman (who will be taking most of the first team reps, who would have thought?) should be able to handle Steve Johnson and Roscoe Parrish. The Jets need to come after Ryan Fitzpatrick early and often.

Buffalo does have talent at running back, but it doesn’t really seem like you can run the ball on the 2010 Jets. I am sure the Bills will play above their heads, as they usually do when they face the Jets but overall…c’mon. This Bills offense shouldn’t be able to put up more than 13 points  on this defense. They dropped 30 on a pitiful New England defense and that won’t happen this week.

Special Teams: If Joe McKnight is active, I would expect to see him get a shot on a punt return or two. Brad Smith looked great on kick returns last week, so no need to mess with that. Nick Folk? Steve Weatherford? Pro-Bowl? The Jets do have to be careful of Roscoe Parrish on returns, however.

Jets vs. Patriots Round 1: Game Breakdown

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1. Apparently the Jets didn’t have their best practice today, which led to Rex Ryan forcing players to do push ups on defense after they made a mistake and the offense to keep repeating the same play until they got it right. It is kind of hard to believe the Jets could come out with a bad practice after their performance last week but we’ll see what happens on Sunday.

2. Brodney Pool sounds like he is going to be a game time decision…I hope he doesn’t end up being Lito Sheppard part two. Calvin Pace is expected back by week 4.

3. Braylon Edwards did a good job of handling the unwarrented criticism from Joe Namath and Shonn Greene sounds like he has the right mentality heading into week two. Again…we’ll see.

Jets vs. Patriots Round 1: Game Breakdown

Offense: How about completing a pass over five yards or gaining more than a first down per quarter? In all seriousness, it will be very interesting to see the type of game plan the Jets come out with on Sunday. Are they going to re-commit to Shonn Greene and the ground and pound approach, or are they going to turn Mark Sanchez loose on a questionable Patriots secondary? Perhaps they can imitate a normal NFL offense and find a productive combination of both. I do know this, the Jets need Shonn Greene to have at least 15 carries. The less time Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and Randy Moss spend on the field, the better. Give LaDainian Tomlinson the 11 carries he had last week but supplement them with an adequate workload for Greene.

PhotobucketIn terms of the Jets passing game, Brian Schottenheimer must get Mark Sanchez going with some simple slants and hitch routes to get his confidence going. New England has traditionally had a tough time stopping Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller, so don’t hesitate to get the ball out to them on first down or take a shot down the field on a second medium or second short. Schottenheimer needs to improve his play calling and Sanchez needs to play with more confidence. Last season at home, he put together an excellent second half against the Patriots because he wasn’t scared to attack down the field to Cotchery and found a good rhythm.

The only positive thing about the Jets offense heading into this week is that there is nowhere to go but up.

Defense: Stop Wes Welker. I can’t stomach watching this guy run all over the field, converting every third down and putting together another 15 catch performance. The Jets need to move Darrelle Revis around and have him split his time between Randy Moss and Welker, while the other should be matched up on Cromartie with safety help, hopefully from Brodney Pool. Force somebody else to beat you. If Brandon Tate has a monster game or one of the rookie tight ends produces, than so be it but don’t let Welker and Moss do what Anquan Boldin did last week. New England can’t run the football on the Jets, period. They are going to be completely one dimensional, yet they can get away with it if the Jets are stubborn about blitzing 8 and manning up their three corners.

Lost in the massive overreaction to the Jets week one loss, was just how good their defense truly played. It is kind of funny how many people are just assuming New England is going to come out on the road and drop a 35 spot on the Jets. It isn’t happening. The Patriots will move the ball but the Jets defense will keep them in the game.

Speical Teams: Keep it up from last week. Nick Folk earned some confidence with a 3/3 performance and Steve Weatherford probably played his best game as a Jet. I would prefer if Jim Leonhard handled the punt return duties for now. Kyle Wilson is swimming enough on defense, without him having to worry about punt return. Brandon Tate took a kickoff back for a touchdown last week, so the Jets should proceed with caution when kicking to him.


Jets vs. Ravens: Game Breakdown

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Offense: We all know the Jets want to run the football, yet if they want to move the ball against the Baltimore Ravens it is going to make sense to throw more than usual. The Ravens are beat up in the secondary in a big way. They won’t have Ed Reed taking people’s heads off and intercepting everything in sight and will be without Dominique Foxworth and Ladarius Webb at cornerback. The bottom line is they will have a very average collection of players in their secondary and the Jets must take advantage. I’m not saying to completely ignore the ground and pound, yet the best formation for the Jets offense this week might be Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith and Dustin Keller split out with LaDainian Tomlinson in the single back or motioning out to the slot.

There isn’t a corner on Baltimore who could physically match up with Edwards, who is coming off a great off-season and will have the chance to show these first four weeks he is capable of being the Jets number one receiver. Cotchery should be able to be very effective in the slot and Keller will be a tough match-up for the Baltimore safeties, although Dawan Landry is a talented player who is athletic enough to battle with Keller.

PhotobucketObviously, left guard remains an area of concern. The Ravens will be attacking Matt Slauson and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets left the running back in to pass protect more frequently than usual. I am interested to see the division of reps between the halfbacks and fullbacks in week one. This will be Shonn Greene’s first career start, yet I wonder if he will get the chance to get around 20 carries. Tomlinson could get more reps than usual because of a more pass centric than usual game-plan and his pass protection abilities. I am sure we will see John Conner in short yardage packages but there should be plenty of Tony Richardson out there, again because of his experience in pass protection.

Defense: Ray Rice. Ray Rice. Ray Rice. Regardless of all their additions at the wide receiver position, Rice is the most dangerous player on the Ravens offense. He can kill you as a pass catcher out of the backfield and obviously has the ability to rip off huge runs at any moment. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a ton of Kyle Wilson shadowing him, if he motions out to the slot and when he is in the backfield, it will be on the linebackers and safety to contain him. Eric Smith will get the nod at safety in place of an injured Brodney Pool and will have his hands full right out of the gate. The Jets don’t have the fastest collection of linebackers, which could prove to be a problem when attempting to slow down Rice.

In the secondary, we should be seeing Revis Island matched up Anquan Boldin primarily, which leaves Antonio Cromartie to deal with Derrick Mason and Kyle Wilson to focus on Rice out of the backfield and TJ Houshmandzadeh. Todd Heap is also one of the better pass catching tight ends in the league. It will be interesting to see who the Jets match up on him. I would imagine the responsibility would fall mostly to Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard, and maybe Dwight Lowery. All in all, this will be a good test for the Jets secondary because the Ravens have a very legit five pass catching options in Boldin, Rice, Housh, Heap, and Rice.

As we saw in the playoffs last year, Joe Flacco can be pressured into making poor decisions. He does have a big arm and put together a pretty productive season in 2009, yet the Jets defense should be able to force him into a couple of turnovers. Jason Taylor has been invisible in the pre-seaosn but he will have the chance to show he can still get after the quarterback while filling in for Calvin Pace. Also don’t be surprised to see some Jamaal Westerman on certain pass rushing downs.

Special Teams: You can bet both team’s fanbases and coaching staffs will be cringing each time their kickers line up. Nick Folk and Billy Cundiff both still have to win over everybody’s confidence. Brad Smith will be the primary kick returner for the Jets, while punt return could be a combination of Jim Leonhard, Jerricho Cotchery, and Kyle Wilson. Chris Carr is a fairly explosive return man for the Ravens, but I don’t expect the Jets to do anything out of the ordinary to avoid kicking him the ball.

It’s Just About That Time