Jets vs. Eagles "Backup Bowl" – What To Watch For

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1. Mark Brunell is a whopping 5/13 for 23 yards with a lost fumble this pre-season. Why is he the primary backup to Mark Sanchez again? I have said it 1,000 times this August and I will say it again, Kellen Clemens should be the #2. I hope Clemens puts together a final push tonight and claims his rightful spot on the depth chart.

2. Considering the play of Danny Woodhead and Chauncey Washington this pre-season. Is there a chance the Jets might put Joe McKnight on the practice squad? He certainly hasn’t played like he deserves a spot on the 53 man roster and is in desperate need of a strong performance tonight.

3. Larry Taylor and David Clowney will both be battling for one of the final 53 roster spots. Clowney needs to flash on special teams, which he has been inconsistent on this pre-season. Taylor is an easy guy to root for who appears to be a favorite of special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff, which certainly doesn’t hurt his chances.

4. Vernon Gholston is going to get plenty of time tonight, including a good share of the reps at outside linebacker since Calvin Pace, Jason Taylor, and Bryan Thomas won’t be playing. Hopefully, Gholston continues his strong pre-season and can drop Mike Vick a few times.

5. Keep making those field goals, Nick Folk.

6. Santonio Holmes should be running circles around the Eagles backups tonight. Of course, he needs a quarterback who can get the ball into his hands.

7. How about Matt Slauson doesn’t allow a sack tonight? It would go a long way to making all of us feel better about Mark Sanchez’z safety in 2010.

8. I am looking for Jamaal Westerman to make a strong case that he deserves a good chunk of the reps Calvin Pace would play until he returns from injury.

New Episode Coming This Wednesday

Jets vs. Redskins: What We Need To See

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First a few updates:

1. There is a ton of buzz about the Jets depth chart, which was displayed on Hard Knocks last night. What we saw is still subject to change, especially after the upcoming two pre-season games. However, a few comments :

  • It is a joke if Kellen Clemens gets cut to keep Kevin O’Connell on the roster. It is bad enough that Mark Brunell is being handed the backup job, when he doesn’t deserve it over Clemens but to keep O’Connell on the roster over Clemens is insane. O’Connell has been awful this pre-season, while Clemens has been the Jets best second quarterback.
  • It is a wise decision by the Jets to keep Tony Richardson on the roster. He is a valuable veteran to have in the offensive huddle, especially with Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca no longer around.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets changed their mind about keeping four tight ends. It makes more sense to put a guy like Jeff Cumberland on the practice squad and keep a Danny Woodhead, Chauncey Washington, David Clowney, or Lance Laury on the active roster.
  • The Jets may have to look at roster cuts from another team to fill that sixth defensive lineman spot.

Jets vs. Redskins: What We Need To See

The third pre-season game provides the most extended look at a team’s starters, while the fourth pre-season game is for sorting out the final roster spots. Unfortunately, the Jets defense won’t really be tested tomorrow considering Donovan McNabb won’t be playing, and the geriatric collection of running backs and receivers the Redskins have. However, Washington usually runs out a solid defense, which will provide a good test for a Jets offense that needs a bounce-back performance after an ugly showing in Carolina.

PhotobucketMark Sanchez needs to demonstrate the accuracy he displayed against the Giants in the pre-season opener, while continuing to spread the ball around. It appears that Brad Smith is going to primarily be the number three receiver until Santonio Holmes returns from suspension, unless Laveranues Coles can have a head turning performance tomorrow night. Sanchez and Dustin Keller have displayed good chemistry all summer and he looks in sync with Jerricho Cotchery, like he was last season. However, Sanchez hasn’t connected with Santonio Holmes yet in a pre-seaosn game. I want to see them connect a few times in August, considering they won’t be playing together again until October 11th. Finally, the Jets haven’t hit on a deep ball. How about a downfield completion to Braylon Edwards from Sanchez, and a bomb from Mark Brunell to David Clowney?

Speaking of Brunell and Clowney, they are two players who need a strong performance tomorrow night. Clowney is on the verge of being cut and of course losing his “Mr. August” title. Brunell has done nothing to inspire confidence as being the number two quarterback. Hopefully he can actually string together a few completions and move the Jets offense a little bit.

I am interested to see the division of reps between Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. Greene has been solid this August, but I’d like to see him get 9 – 11 carries and get rolling a little bit. LT will be looking to continue to build on a strong August. Danny Woodhead and Chauncey Washington will be battling for a roster spot in the fourth quarter, while Joe McKnight continues his quest to stop every Jets fan from disliking him and wanting Leon Washington back.

I don’t buy the left guard competition anymore. Let’s just see Matt Slauson go three quarters without a holding penalty or allowing a snack.

On defense, I would like to see Kyle Wilson be tested a little bit. Yet, I don’t think Rex Grossman and Joey Galloway are up to the challenge. We can only hope that Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman build on what they did last week and aren’t beat like a drum by the Redskins reserves. Also, how about a Jason Taylor sighting? I am not sure I have heard a single word about our former enemy this August making any kind of impact on defense. Yes, Taylor is a veteran and pacing himself but at least a quarterback pressure would be nice.

Beyond that, Vernon Gholston needs to keep up his surprisingly high level of play. Kris Jenkins needs to stay healthy and I’d like to see Brodney Pool flash a little more out there.

Nick Folk…just keep pretending it is 2007.

New TOJ TV

The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets). Also now reach TOJ by e-mail at JCaporoso@fanball.com

2. A reminder the Jets will putting Weeb Ewbank, Winston Hill, Joe Klecko, Curtis Martin, Don Maynard, and Joe Namath in their Ring of Honor tonight. So stay in your seats during halftime and pass up on the 9 dollar hot dog and 7 dollar beer.

The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

It’s time for some August football, which means despite a Subway spokesperson and a reserve corner constantly expressing their jealously over the Jets, ultimately tonight’s results will be meaningless. However, that is no reason not to be excited to watch the Jets and Giants first teams battle it out in the first quarter. Well, at least the Jets first team since the Giants have continued their trend from 2009 by becoming the Mets of the NFL aka “the walking wounded.” What is in the water up there in Albany that has half of their team injured?

Anyway on to the football, there is plenty to watch for from a Jets perspective tonight:

Offense

1. Mark Sanchez – It would be encouraging to see Sanchez build on his strong postseason run tonight. The most important things are for him to protect the football and show the ability to take a hit after his off-season surgery. The Jets offense should be a little more wide-open than their strict ground and pound approach in 2009. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brian Schottenheimer dial up an early deep ball for Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes.

2. LaDainian Tomlinson – The word out of Cortland has been that Tomlinson has a little bounce in his step and looks like he is far from done. LT will be getting substantially  more pre-season work than he is used to. The Jets love his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, so look for him split out on a few plays and to be the target of a screen pass or two. It will also be interesting to see how the carries are divided up between him and Shonn Greene, along with who will get the goal-line touches.

3. Left Guard – The battle between Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse moves into a game situation tonight. Slauson has an early advantage but Ducasse should get a shot with the first offense to keep himself in the race. How much will the Jets miss Alan Faneca and his revolving door pass blocking?

4. Backup Quarterback – I’m not sold on Mark Brunell yet but apparently he has put together a strong camp. He will likely be working with Santonio Holmes, Laveranues Coles, and David Clowney at receiver, so let’s see the Jets offense move the ball against the Giants second unit.

5. Formations – The Jets are stacked with receiving options. I just can’t wait to see the different ways Schottenheimer has come up with to line up Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller.

6. Keep An Eye On – Rookie tight end Jeff Cumberland…reserve receivers Aundrae Allison and Marcus Henry…rookie running back Joe McKnight (please don’t throw up)…How many reps rookie fullback John Conner gets with the first offense.

Defense

Photobucket1. A Team Without An Island – Antonio Cromartie slides over into Darrelle Revis’ old spot and will be looking to build on a monster training camp. Rookie Kyle Wilson will start opposite him, while Dwight Lowery and Marquice Cole will be the first to work in behind the starters. It wouldn’t hurt the Jets leverage if Cromartie flashed back to 2007 and had a pick six or Kyle Wilson had a strong night in the starting lineup, while the organization could get antsy if Eli Manning is throwing all over the Jets first defense.

2. Is He Alive? – Vernon Gholston has been getting hyped up all August by the coaching staff and now even the beat writers. Will we actually notice him on the field tonight? Could he possibly pressure the quarterback or even record a sack?

3. The Cookie Monster – Kris Jenkins should see very limited reps tonight as he returns from ACL surgery. I would like to see the big fella blow up a few plays and then get on the sideline.

4. A Mirage – We get to see Jason Taylor rushing the quarterback in a Jets uniform tonight, weird. He can start winning fans over by flattening Manning tonight.

5. Mrs. Rhodes Replacement – I am anxious to see a safety next to Jim Leonhard who can tackle.

6. Keep An Eye On – Kenwin Cummings at inside linebacker…Ropati Pitoitua battling for a spot in the defensive end rotation…Donovan Warren, Brian Jackson, Drew Coleman, and Emmanuel Cook battling for a roster spot in the secondary…Bart Scott ripping the ball out of Brandon Jacobs hands again.

Special Teams

What The Folk – I won’t be able to watch tonight when Folk lines up for field goals.

No More Dearth – The Jets have a new long snapper in Tanner Purdum, everybody will remember James Dearth’s name tonight if he flubs a snap.

Return Battle – I am looking forward to see Kyle Wilson deep on punt returns and Brad Smith, Joe McKnight, Aundrae Allison, and Larry Taylor fight it out for the kick return job.

Check back tonight for instant reaction after the game

Get Yourself Pumped For Some Football

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Prediction

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Prediction

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

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

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

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

Jets – 23 Colts – 20

New TOJ TV

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

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

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Breakdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Believe In The Upset

Jets vs. Colts Position By Position Comparison

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

Jets vs. Colts Position By Position Comparison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ten Things I Noticed From Jets/Colts Week 16

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

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

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Ten Things I Noticed From Jets/Colts Week 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Video From Leroy  Skywalker Off YouTube

Highlights From Week 16

Scouting The Colts From a Jets Perspective

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

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

Scouting The Colts From a Jets Perspective

COLTS OFFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

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

COLTS DEFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

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

COLTS SPECIAL TEAMS

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

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

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

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

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

Colts/Ravens Highlights

Final Thoughts On Divisional Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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