8/21, 4 Interceptions, 1 Fumble

Jets Patriots Football

The name of this article is the main story of the Jets 31-14 loss to New England. Mark Sanchez has regressed immensely since the first three weeks of the season. He will show flashes of being a capable NFL quarterback but since week 4 he has shown more flashes of being nowhere near ready to be in the NFL. You can’t win a football game when your quarterback turns the ball over 5 times, which obviously isn’t news to anybody. A few other quick observations:

1. I was saying all week Wes Welker would have a big game but I didn’t know he would have a season worth of stats today with 15 catches for 192 yards. Drew Coleman, Kerry Rhodes, David Harris, Marquice Cole, Lito Sheppard and everybody else they threw at him failed miserably and Rex Ryan failed to make any of the necessary adjustments to slow him down.

2. The game tape from today has value as a blooper reel for both Mark Sanchez and Kerry Rhodes. All of Sanchez’s interceptions were comically bad throws. Rhodes was repeatedly ran over, beat by receivers and out of place. Two more subpar performances for the two most overpaid players on the Jets.

3. Darrelle Revis did another good job on Randy Moss holding him to 5 catches for 34 yards on 11 targets. New England repeatedly tried to throw down the field to Moss but it never worked out. They even tried when they were up 31-14 with 25 seconds left. Moss did score a 4 yard touchdown on Moss, but overall another good game from #24.

4. Shaun Ellis, Thomas Jones, Mike DeVito, and Jerricho Cotchery all played solid games…especially Ellis who did a great job getting after Tom Brady with 2 sacks.

5. Brian Schottenheimer, really with the option on 3rd and 2? The whole stadium knew the play was coming.

6. I wonder if Mark Sanchez will finish with 30 interceptions. He currently has 18.

NFL Week 10 Recap/Jets vs. Patriots Part II First Look

Jets vs. Patriots

First a few updates:

1. The Jets fired defensive line coach Kerry Locklin and promoted Jeff Weeks to his previous position. Apparently, there were some behind the scene issues with Rex Ryan and Locklin and this was a move that was a long time coming.

large_rex-ryan5142. The big guy broke down yesterday in a team meeting. It is being reported that Rex Ryan broke into tears during an emotional speech to his team when discussing the loss to Jacksonville and the upcoming games they face. According to Darrelle Revis and Damien Woody, it had a big impact on the locker room. However, as good as it sounds to have a head coach break down and his team rally behind him because they have his back, it doesn’t mean anything if the Jets can’t find a way to win a football game.

3. Jim Leonhard had the surgery on his thumb and is at least expected to miss this week. Eric Smith would step into the starting line-up.

4. The Jets fell to number 21 in the ESPN Power Rankings

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – New England put together a great game for about 55 minutes in Indy on Sunday night but unfortunately for them they couldn’t finish what they started. There is no logical defense for Bill Belichick’s decision not to punt and the genius was finally burned by his appropriately large ego. I do know this, the Patriots are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were in week two so the Jets better get creative in their game planning.

Miami Dolphins – The mighty Dolphins edged out the 1-8 Bucs at home on a last second field goal…and yes of course most of the national media still considers them a legit playoff contender despite the fact they haven’t beat a team with a winning record yet this season. They travel to Carolina on Thursday night where they are expected to be without Ronnie Brown and Joey Porter. I have a vested fantasy football interest (DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith) and vested hate in Miami interest in that game.

Buffalo Bills – Man, Buffalo is an awful team. Man, I can’t believe the Jets lost to them at home. Man, the Jets must be a pretty bad team themselves.

TOJ Top Ten

  1. New Orleans Saints – It wasn’t pretty but they found a way to stay undefeated.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – We all know Peyton is an all time great, but how good is Reggie Wayne?
  3. Minnesota Vikings – Rolling to a NFC North title.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – Favorite team #2 (because of Hard Knocks) is having an unbelievable season.
  5. San Diego Chargers – They have a chance to take over the AFC West lead this weekend by beating the fading Broncos.
  6. New England Patriots – Impressive in defeat, as much as it pains me to say it.
  7. Arizona Cardinals – Rolling to another NFC West title and if they keep running the football they may defend their NFC crown.
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers – Might have to settle for a wild card this year.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Laid an egg in Green Bay.
  10. Denver Broncos – The metldown is in full swing.

Jets vs. Patriots Part II First Look

Patriots Jets FootballThe Opponent: My, how the times have changed since the Jets beat the Patriots in week two. Since that loss, New England is 5-2 and currently has a two game lead over the Jets in the AFC East. The Jets are appropriately double digit underdogs because simply put the Patriots have been a much better team than them in the past 8 weeks. Tom Brady has shaken off the early season rust and is putting together another all-pro season, while Wes Welker has returned to the line-up giving New England the best pair of starting receivers in the league. On defense, the Patriots remain good not great but will have Jerod Mayo back at linebacker, who didn’t play in the first meeting between these two teams. The national consensus on this game is that New England is angry about blowing last week’s game to the Colts, angry about losing to the now sub .500 Jets in week 2, and the Jets are a team reeling meaning the Pats are going to hang a 60 spot on Rex Ryan’s defense and look to run it up. It reminds me of the coverage before these teams met in December of 2007 (which I will detail in tomorrow’s article).

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Tom Brady – 233/352, 378 yards, 19 TD’s, 6 INTs
  • Running Back: Laurence Maroney – 94 carries, 378 yards, 4 TDs
  • Running Back: Kevin Faulk – 37 carries, 188 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Randy Moss – 58 catches, 891 yards, 7 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Wes Welker – 64 catches, 662 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Julian Edelman – 23 catches, 202, 1 TD
  • Tight End: Ben Watson – 20 catches, 307 yards 4 TD’s
  • Tight End: Chris Baker – 10 catch, 91 yards, 1 TD
  • Left Tackle: Matt Light
  • Left Guard: Logan Mankins
  • Center: Dan Koppen
  • Right Guard: Stephen Neal
  • Right Tackle: Nick Kaczur

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Ty Warren – 3o tackles, 1 sack
  • Nose Tackle: Vince Wilfork – 25 tackles
  • Defensive End: Jarvis Green – 18 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Pierre Woods – 24 tackles, 2 FF
  • Inside Linebacker: Jerod Mayo – 39 tackles, 1 sack
  • Inside Linebacker: Gary Guyton – 50 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Adalius Thomas – 22 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain – 28 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Derrick Burgess – 13 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Corner: Leigh Bodden – 34 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Corner: Shawn Springs – 6 tackles, 1 FF
  • Safety: Brandon Merriweather – 44 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Brandon McGowan – 56 tackles
  • Safety: Pat Chung – 25 tackles, 2 sacks

SPECIALS

  • Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
  • Punter: Chris Hanson
  • Kick Return: Laurence Maroney
  • Punt Return: Wes Welker

Injuries: Jim Leonhard probably won’t play for the Jets. New England has been a little banged up on the offensive line and has been without running backs Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris.

Early Story Lines: Jets in the middle of complete meltdown…How much will the Pats win by…New England is frustrated after losing last week and will take it out on their hated rivals…Can Mark Sanchez play in cold weather…Somehow the Jets would only be a game out of first place with a win

Highlights From Pats/Colts Game

Better Late, Than Never: TOJ TV Episode IX: Bye Week AC Trip

Grading Out The Jets/Jaguars Game

Jaguars Jets Football

First a few updates:

1. Jim Leonhard is getting surgery on his thumb and it remains to be seen how long he will be out, when it rains, it pours. I would assume Eric Smith would step into the starting line-up at safety if he misses any time and Darrelle Revis will continue on punt returns.

2. I watched every snap of the Colts/Pats game last night after watching every snap of the Jets/Jags game, and the Jets are miles upon miles behind both of those teams. I know New England was without Wes Welker and Jerrod Mayo the last time they met and Brady was still rusty but after watching both those games I still don’t understand how the Jets won in week two. Also, while on the topic on the game last night what in the world was Bill Belichick thinking when he went for it? I don’t care how many Super Bowl bowls he has won and maybe he did it just because he thought “What the hell, I already have the division wrapped up this year, I am already a hall of famer, why not” but wow that was a stupid coaching decision.

3. Braylon Edwards is about the only guy who made any sense in the Jets locker room after the game with these quotes, “We’re 4-5. We’re not impressive, We’re not scaring anybody. We’re not intimidating anybody coming onto the field, so that 3-0 start is a wash, that’s over with.” Damn right.’

4. Rex Ryan refused to throw Kerry Rhodes under the bus for the back breaking Mercedes Lewis reception in the fourth quarter, the story is that there was a miscommunication between him and Jim Leonhard…whatever, Rhodes has still been below average this year.

5. I updated the stats and game highlights section.

Grading Out The Jets/Jaguars Game

Quarterbacks: (F) I give Sanchez a C- for his on field performance, which included a poorly under thrown interception and another terrible interception on a screen pass. Sanchez played well in spurts and avoided any sacks but I lower his grade to a F because of his post-game press conference. He is a 23 year old quarterback who has 12 interceptions and 9 touchdowns, leading a below .500 team…simply put he sounded foolish and immature after the game carrying on about how awesome everybody played and how proud he was for rebounding from an early mental error. Who brings notes to a post game press conference? It isn’t a good idea to take on the New York media especially when you aren’t winning.

Running Backs: (B-) Thomas Jones was good, not great. Shonn Greene was quiet except for his big time run on a fourth quarter fourth down conversion. The Jets never broke any big plays in the running game, which is where they are clearly missing Leon Washington.

Wide Receivers: (B-) Jerricho Cotchery played a very good all around game and looks to be fully recovered from his hamstring injury. Braylon Edwards is clearly a unique talent and made a real gutsy third down reception on the Jets go ahead touchdown drive. However, he needs to hold on to that two point conversion and he has to tuck the ball away. David Clowney had a clutch third down reception.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller was involved in both the passing and rushing attack, although he did record a drop. It is always a good thing when Ben Hartsock plays and doesn’t record a penalty.

Offensive Line: (B) A pretty good day running the football and they kept Sanchez on his feet for most of the day. D’Brickashaw Ferguson had a killer holding penalty.

Defensive Line: (D) For the first time since he went down, the Jets clearly missed Kris Jenkins. They seemed to be getting a good push on the pass rush but were unable to bring David Garrard down and missed plenty of tackles in the backfield on Maurice Jones-Drew.

Linebackers: (D) Too many missed tackles and not enough big plays. Bryan Thomas is starting to become invisible out there.

Jaguars Jets FootballSecondary: (C) Lito Sheppard missed another key tackle that led to a touchdown. Dwight Lowery struggled more than usual. Darrelle Revis and Jim Leonhard put together very good games. Kerry Rhodes continued his 2009 streak of making zero impact plays.

Special Teams: (B+) A good day at the office for Jay Feely and the Jets coverage units. It appears Brad Smith and Dwight Lowery will be taking over as the kick returners now.

Coaching: (D) The team came out flat and they mismanaged time outs. Sorry for the brevity of the grades today but it is starting to make me physically sick to spend time talking/writing about this team.

And Yet Another Loss

It Only Took 9 Games For The Season to Be Over: Jets Lose to Jags

Jaguars Jets Football

Well, I was able to entertain playoff hopes until 4 PM on November 15th but now even an optimistic person like myself has to admit the 2009 Jets won’t be playing any meaningful late season games or playoff games in 2009. My cousin said it best after the game, while trying to pinpoint why the Jets lost yet another close game “it is all bad.” He is right, many people like myself were under the delusion that the Jets were a good team that had caught a few bad breaks and lost a few close games, but should still be considered a contender. Here is the reality, good teams find a way to win close games and bad teams find a way to lose close games. I don’t have to tell you which category the Jets fit in.

All I know is that the Jets were winning 22-21 with under 5 minutes to play with Jacksonville on their own 17 yard. If you have a great defense, than you win the football game because your defense takes care of business. Unfortunately, Rex Ryan and his defense are frauds. They talk like a great defense but they really are only a good defense that plays terribly when the game is on the line. Jacksonville converted two key third downs and then overrated, overhyped, Mr. I never make a big play, Kerry Rhodes was beat like a drum by the immortal Mercedes Lewis for a killer reception down the middle of the field, that effectively ended the game. Way to go Kerry, you are starting to rival Vernon Gholston as the most overpaid player in a Jets uniform.

Mark Sanchez had two bad interceptions and missed open receivers on more than one occasion, leading to another day with a completion percentage barely above 50. He also took a condescending tone with the media after the game, which is a never a good idea and a sign of immaturity. In terms of on the field, Jets fans refuse to accept they have a rookie quarterback and he is going to struggle at times. The numbers aren’t going to show it at the end of the season but Sanchez has shown signs of being the quarterback the Jets drafted him to be and did enough today for them to win, like he did in their two losses to Miami. The defense is supposed to take care of their rookie but they choked today like they choked on Monday night in Miami.

I vote the Jets start Eric Smith over Kerry Rhodes from now on and that every time Rex Ryan says “I believe we have a great team,” he isn’t allowed to eat for a full day.

By the way, it could get real ugly next weekend in New England. Everybody in the Jets locker room knows the season is over and the Pats are going to be looking for revenge. I’d take the Pats and the over.

NFL Week 9 Recap/Jets vs. Jaguars First Look

JETS V EAGLES EXHIBITION

First a few updates:

1. The Jets are practicing again today but there will be no media availability. Rex Ryan said yesterday and today’s practice will be at a slower pace before they go back to full tilt tomorrow. There seemed to be a good amount of optimism around the team yesterday about making a second half playoff run. Don’t forget 2006, when the Jets were 4-4 at the bye week and finished 6-2 to clinch a wild-card spot. They are going to need an upset or two and some help to replicate that this season but it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Also, with the Patriots upcoming three games they have a better chance than they did in 2006 to catch New England in the divisional race.

2. A big story by the beat writers was Braylon Edwards desire to stay in New York and prove to the coaching staff he deserves a long term contract. Unless Edwards bombs out over these last eight games, I’d be shocked it Mike Tannenbaum didn’t lock him down for the long term. You obviously want to surround your franchise quarterback with as many weapons as possible and so far Tannenbaum has done a good job of that.

3. Leon Washington was back at the practice facility yesterday, moving around on a motorized scooter. He is expected to make a full recovery for the 2010 season. Leon was also voted the third most dangerous return man in the NFL in a recent Sports Illustrated poll behind Devin Hester and Josh Cribbs.

4. The Jets currently sit at #18 in the ESPN Power Rankings, one spot behind the Miami Dolphins and two spots behind the Green Bay Packers.

5. Lito Sheppard declared himself 100 percent for the game against Jacksonville, well it is about time there Lito. Brad Smith is also expected to return to the line-up after missing three games.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – Tom Brady and Randy Moss took advantage of a weak Dolphins secondary en route to an impressive 27-17 win at home over Miami. I am still not 100 percent sold on the Patriots as an elite team in the AFC but they will have every chance to prove me wrong the next three weeks with games in Indy and New Orleans, and a re-match at home against our Jets. For all the criticism he has taken, Laurence Maroney has put together a pretty solid year and Brady appears close to 100 percent, which will make beating the Pats a second time in one season a difficult task.

bos_a_jporter1_480Miami Dolphins – The humble and high character Dolphins were shut up by New England, especially Joey Porter who didn’t register a stat while his defense gave up nearly 30 points for the second week in a row. Miami has an easy part of their schedule coming up (TB, Car, Buf) so they may not be dead yet but the bottom line is that this team isn’t going anywhere with the way their offense is currently constructed. The Wildcat isn’t effective anymore and they have absolutely no down field passing attack. I guess Chad Henne isn’t the second coming of Dan Marino after all.

Buffalo Bills – At this point, Buffalo appears headed towards their fourth straight 7-9 season, if they are even lucky enough to win 4 games in the second half of the season.

TOJ Top Ten

  1. New Orleans Saints – Didn’t play their best football but still beat Carolina. They should roll to 10-0 before hosting the Patriots.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – Helped the Jets by beating Houston, would help them even more by beating New England on Sunday night.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – They are running away with the NFC North because of the Bears and Packers mediocrity.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – They are as real as it gets and can prove they are the AFC North’s best by winning in Pittsburgh this weekend.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – The champs are back and can seize control of their division by taking care of the Bengals at home.
  6. Dallas Cowboys – Who would have thought after week 2, they’d be in first place of the NFC East after 8 games?
  7. New England Patriots – We will see just how good they are over the next three weeks.
  8. Denver Broncos – They are coming back to Earth quickly after two rough losses.
  9. San Diego Chargers – Huge win over Giants and they are suddenly breathing down Denver’s neck.
  10. Arizona Cardinals – Slowly pulling away from the pack in the NFC West.

Jets vs. Jaguars First Look

maurice-jones-drew-new-contract-with-jaguarsThe Opponent: The Jaguars have quietly put together a decent first of the half season despite fairly low expectations heading into this year. They currently sit at 4-4, the same record as the Jets. Jacksonville’s most impressive victory was probably over Houston on the road, beyond that they have beat Tennessee (and also lost to them) Kansas City, and St. Louis. The Jaguars are a very young team, especially on defense where they have struggled this season. Their offense has been very good and is led by David Garrard at quarterback who has put together a better year than he did in a disappointing 2008 campaign. Garrard is always a threat to run. The Jaguars most explosive playmaker is Maurice Jones-Drew who is having a fantastic year and is a threat to break off a touchdown on any play from scrimmage. Jacksonville also has a good duo of starting receivers in Mike Sims-Walker and Torry Holt.

Jacksonville  Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: David Garrard – 162/266, 1867 yards, 6 TDs, 5 INTs, 38 carries, 191 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: Maurice Jones-Drew – 145 carries, 737 yards, 11 TDs
  • Running Back: Rashad Jennings – 20 carries, 97 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Mike Sims-Walker – 36 receptions, 554 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Torry Holt – 33 receptions, 461 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Mike Thomas – 19 receptions, 174 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Jarret Dillard – 5 receptions, 99 yards
  • Tight End: Mercedes Lewis – 17 receptions, 220 yards, 2 TDs
  • Left Tackle: Eugene Monroe
  • Left Guard: Vincent Manuwai
  • Center: Brad Meester
  • Right Guard: Uche Nwareni
  • Right Tackle: Eben Britton

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Attiyyah Ellison – 12 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: John Henderson – 19 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Terrence Knighton – 22 tackles, .5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Derrick Harvey – 23 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Daryl Smith – 55 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 FF
  • Middle Linebacker: Justin Durant – 54 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Clint Ingram – 25 tackles, 1 sack
  • Corner: Rashean Mathis – 22 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Corner: Derek Cox – 40 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Reggie Nelson – 41 tackles
  • Safety: Gerald Alexander – 33 tackles, 1 INT

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Josh Scobee
  • Punter: Adam Podlesh
  • Kick Returner: Brian Witherspoon

Key Players: MJD makes Jacksonville’s offense go but both Sims-Walker and Holt are big play threats. On defense, Rashean Mathis is one of the better corners in the league and Reggie Nelson is a talented player at safety. Jacksonville has struggled to get a pass rush going but outside linebacker Daryl Smith is having a strong year.

Injuries: The Jets should have both Lito Sheppard and Brad Smith back. Jacksonville shouldn’t be missing any key players this week either.

Highlights From the Jags Win Over KC Last Week

NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

 88971907BL005_NEW_YORK_JETS

NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

Wrapping Up Jets/Dolphins

Defensive Player of the Game: Bart Scott – Despite facing increasing criticism for refusing to respect the Miami Dolphins after another loss at their hands, Scott still put together his best effort in a Jets uniform on the field. He led the team in tackles with 8, with two of them going for a loss and recorded a huge fourth quarter sack. Hopefully, we will continue to see more big plays from Scott over the final half of the season.

Offensive Player of the Game: Mark Sanchez – It is games like this that make you feel pretty good about the Jets future. The Jets have assembled a collection of young talented offensive players: Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, David Clowney, Leon Washington, Shonn Greene, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson but none of that matters if you don’t have a quarterback to make it all go. Sanchez built on his progress from last week by avoiding any turnovers and racking up 3 touchdowns (1 rushing) and 265 yards passing.

Honorable Mentions: Braylon Edwards for playing like a number one receiver…Jerricho Cotchery for making a big impact in his return from injury…Sione Pouha for his best game as a pro…Thomas Jones for adding another 100 yard effort on the ground…Dustin Keller for returning in a big way to the Jets offensive gameplan…Marques Douglas for pancaking Chad Henne for a sack.

AFC East Observations

large_jets-patriots416New England Patriots –Everybody is singing the Patriots praises because of their immense accomplishments over the past three weeks, which include beating the 1-6 Titans, 0-7 Bucs, and having a bye. I think they will take care of the Dolphins at home this week but we won’t find how good they really are until they travel to Indy the following week and New Orleans in week 12. If the Jets want any hope at winning the AFC East, a win in New England on November 22nd is an absolute must.

Miami Dolphins – I said in the beginning of the year that Miami was going to be a 6-10 team, and I still stand by that statement today. They can’t play the Jets every week. As sick as it makes me, I will be rooting for them to beat the Patriots this weekend but certainly won’t lose any sleep if they can’t come through and fall to 3-5.

Buffalo Bills – It is hard to see the Bills winning more than 6 games this season. I would like to think that if Mark Sanchez can only throw 2 interceptions instead of 5, the Jets will get revenge on Thursday night football on December 3rd in Toronto.

Turn On The Jets Top Ten

  1.  New Orleans Saints – A complete football team that should roll the next 3 weeks (Carolina, St. Louis, Tampa) before a game with the Patriots, which they better win for our sakes.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – They can effectively clinch the division with a win over Houston this week.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – It looks like they will coast to the NFC North title and a bye.
  4. Denver Broncos – They were due for a loss. Huge game at home against Pittsburgh this weekend.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – They can re-establish themselves as an elite team with a win in Denver.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals – How real are they? We will see the next two weeks if they can sweep Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
  7. New England Patriots – Two weeks to prepare for the fading Wildcat should equal a win this week.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – My Super Bowl pick gave me a little joy on Sunday by shredding the Giants.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Big games in Philly and Green Bay coming up.
  10. Baltimore Ravens – I think they get revenge for an earlier loss against Cincy this week.

Jets Bye Week News and Notes

– The Jets have fell to #18 in ESPN’s Power Rankings, which is hard to argue with. They might be the best 4-4 team in football, but unfortunately you are what your record is, which means the Jets are .500 team.

– Some quotes from Mark Sanchez yesterday: “We just need to figure out a way to start winning these games instead of losing them. We need to show up in all three phases to do that…we’re on a great football team. Our record doesn’t show the type of players we have, the kind of people we have in this locker room and the kind of coaching we have. This is a great time for us to just get away, think some things over and get ready to play…A lot of people will say, “Hey, man, you’re a rookie and you’re playing really good for a rookie.” But I don’t want to play like a rookie. I want to play like a 10-year vet, a Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champion. That is the way I want to play and that’s the way I feel like I can play with this team around me.”

– Over at www.thejetsblog.com, they pulled up some interesting numbers comparing Sanchez’s first eight starts to some other recent successful quarterbacks first eight starts. He has a higher completion percentage, more yards, the same amount of TD’s, and less INT’s than Eli Manning did in his first eight NFL starts. Beyond that, his numbers are on a very similar pace to Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning. I think when this year is all said and done, Sanchez will have more TD’s than INT’s and a completion percentage in the 56-58 range (which still isn’t great but better than what he has now).

– The team is completely off the rest of the week and will return to work on Monday, with practice straight through until the Jaguars game. The coaches will be off starting Thursday until Monday.

– In terms of injuries, the Jets should be back at full strength after the bye (obviously not including Leon and Jenkins).

Ah, the good old days of week 2

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

Dolphins Jets Football

First a few updates:

1. The Game Highlights and Stats section have been updated.

2. A few things from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: He pointed out a potential problem on special teams might have been having Ahmad Carroll, Marquice Cole, and Marques Murrell inactive due to some injury situations and mentioned they may need to always have guys like them active regardless of their lack of participation on defense. Ryan also stood firm on having a “hands-off” approach on offense and special teams, and relying on the ‘expertise’ of the coordinators. He also defended giving the team 6 days off this week because of the team’s need to get away from football for a little while and then come back fresh. Something interesting he said about the bye week is that he will have the offensive coaches break down the Jets defensive tape and the defensive coaches break down the Jets offensive tape, to analyze each group tendencies and make recommendations to each other. Regardless of the criticism, Rex Ryan said he isn’t going to change his personality or his confident style of talking/coaching. Like I said yesterday, you are what you are. This is the guy the Jets hired, don’t expect him to change. If you liked him in week 3, then you should still like him now. If you thought he was too brash/cocky from the beginning, then you should obviously still feel that way now.

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

Quarterbacks: (B+) Mark Sanchez had his best game since the early weeks of the season, finishing 20/35, with 265 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over for the second week in a row. He got off to a slow start and played tight early, missing a few throws over the middle. However, he put together a great second half and led the Jets on three touchdown drives. On the final drive, he has to avoid taking a sack on third down and make a quicker decision on the fourth down play. He turned their fourth and 13 play into a hail mary, which he pretty much threw out of the end-zone. I don’t know what the play call was in that situation, but I would I think the best bet would be for him to take a 5 step drop and put up a jump ball to either Braylon Edwards or Dustin Keller and hope for them to make a play or draw pass interference.

Dolphins Jets FootballRunning Backs: (B) Thomas Jones was terrific for the third straight week, rushing for 102 yards and adding in a 28 yard reception. Shonn Greene killed the Jets with a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and appeared to run tentative after that play. The Jets are going to need Greene in the second half of the season so he needs to shake off the fumble and keep running hard.

Wide Receivers: (A) Jerricho Cotchery only had three receptions but all three were huge plays, including a 53 yarder, a third down conversion, and an impressive sideline grab during the final drive. Braylon Edwards was a beast and has earned a fat, new contract from the Jets for his two performances against Miami this season. David Clowney had three down third down catches, which were all short of the first down marker. On the first two, he did a bad job of running his route to the right depth.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller…welcome back. I don’t think Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer will be forgetting about #81 anytime soon after the game he put together yesterday. Ben Hartsock specializes in having ridiculously costly penalties and probably should be cut.

Offensive Line: (C) Alan Faneca had a rough day and let up a huge sack on the final drive. Sanchez took some monster hits this game. The running was also didn’t pop any huge plays.

Defensive Line: (A) Shaun Ellis (1.5 sacks), Marques Douglas (1 sack, 1 TFL), and Sione Pouha (5 tackles, 1 TFL) all played their best game of the season. Howard Green also chipped in with a solid effort off the bench. It is a shame that it went to waste in a loss. Hopefully, they can keep the production up in the second half of the year.

Linebackers: (A) Post-game sarcasm aside, Bart Scott played his best game as a Jet with 8 tackles, a sack, and two tackles for a loss. David Harris had a big sack and another solid overall day at the office. Bryan Thomas was beat for second half touchdown but beyond that played one of his better games of the year. Calvin Pace was somewhat quiet.

Secondary: (B) Jim Leonhard recorded a half sack and played a quality game. Darrelle Revis and Dwight Lowery didn’t give up any big plays or make any big plays. Kerry Rhodes had more contact in pre-game, than he did during the game where he only recorded 1 tackle.

Special Teams: (F-) Every Jets fan love affair with Danny Woodhead should end after this game because he blew outside contain on both kick return touchdowns. Ryan Fowler, Larry Izzo, Wallace Wright, Jay Feely, and Donald Strickland were also victims off horrible tackling/decision making on both kick return touchdowns. The quarterback lost the games against Buffalo and New Orleans. The defense lost the first game against Miami and the special teams lost this one against Miami.

Coaching: (C) The two point decisions were questionable. However, the Jets played a terrific game on defense and put up 25 points on offense, which should have been enough to win. Rex Ryan is never going to shut his mouth, even if the Jets lose their next 8 games so get used to it and either accept him as our coach or get off his bandwagon for good now. You can’t nominate him for NFL Coach of the year in week 3 and then ask for him to be fired in week 8.

As Usual For Us Jets Fans, “It is getting hard to believe things are going to get better…”

NFL Week 7 Recap/Jets vs. Dolphins Part II First Look

First a few updates:

1. The Jets signed corner Justin Miller today to replace Leon Washington as a kick returner. Miller was a pro-bowl returner for the Jets in 2006 and their second round pick in 2005. He never developed into the corner the organization hoped he would be, however he has four career return touchdowns between his time with the Jets and Raiders. Maybe Rex Ryan will be able to get something out of him as a defensive back but for now this move was done for strictly special team purposes.

2. How about those Yankees? I am using my fan bias in picking them to beat the Phillies in 7, but any baseball fan should be excited about what should be a terrific match-up.

NFL Week 7 Recap/Jets vs. Dolphins Part II First Look

Wrapping Up Jets/Raiders

Defensive Player of the Game: Calvin Pace – This was an easy choice. Mike Pettine gave Pace more pass rushing opportunities this week and he responded with 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 7 tackles. Pace had a rough game against Miami a few weeks ago and will no doubt be looking to validate his claim that the Wildcat is nothing more than a “gimmick.”

Offensive Player of the Game: Thomas Jones – I was critical of Jones early in the season and he has emphatically shut me up the past two weeks. The guy is running like a 25 year old and remains one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He is currently on pace to have a better year than he did last season, when he won the AFC rushing title. Through 7 games, Jones has 7 touchdowns.

Honorable Mentions: David Clowney for stepping up with 4 catches for 79 yards…Shonn Greene for having a monster game off the bench to replace Leon Washington…Darrelle Revis for his acrobatic interception…Dwight Lowery for being a great replacement for Lito Sheppard…Wallace Wright for recording his first two receptions of the season…The entire Jets offensive line for dominating from start to finish.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – The Patriots beat up on two of the worst teams in the NFL and every NFL analyst is giddy with excitement that the “Pats are back.” Give me a break. The Jets have a chance to pull within a half game of New England with a win this week.

Miami Dolphins – I guess we should hold off on anointing Chad Henne the next Dan Marino for another week. The Dolphins might be the best 2-4 team in the NFL…but guess what? You are what your record is, so Miami is 2-4 and in last place in the AFC East.

Buffalo Bills – The Ryan Fitzpatrick era is in full swing, as the Harvard product has led the Bills to two straight wins. I will take them seriously if they can beat the Texans this week…then again the Texans aren’t really that good either.

TOJ Top Ten

  1. New Orleans Saints – Impressive comeback win over the Dolphins made my Sunday even better than it already was.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – Didn’t even break a sweat in their win over St. Louis.
  3. Denver Broncos – Good challenge this week in Baltimore.
  4. Minnesota Vikings – Tough loss to Pittsburgh, followed by tough game in Green Bay.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – The champs appear to be back with 4 straight wins.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals – Sunday must have been sweet for Cedric Benson.
  7. New York Giants – Where is the defense? Big game against Philly this week.
  8. Dallas Cowboys – Miles Austin is making Jersey proud.
  9. New England Patriots – They racked up plenty of BCS points the past two weeks.
  10. Atlanta Falcons – Weak showing against Dallas but they will give NO a run this weekend.

Jets vs. Dolphins Part II FIrst Look

The Opponent: We all know the Dolphins story and we all hate them. Miami kicked the Jets in the mouth on national television only a few short weeks ago by running the ball down their throat and making Rex Ryan look inept against the Wildcat. Since their Monday night victory over the Jets, Miami had a bye and then choked away a 21 point lead at home to New Orleans last week. Miami can run the football as well as anybody in the league, including our Jets and will certainly be licking their chops to break out the Wildcat against a front seven that is now missing Kris Jenkins. Make no mistake, this is an absolute must win for both teams, as I will detail in tomorrow’s article.

Miami Dolphins Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarerback: Chad Henne – 62/103, 659 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs
  • Running Back: Ronnie Brown – 109 carries, 491 yards, 7 TD’s
  • Running Back: Ricky Williams – 70 carries, 396 yards, 5 TD’s
  • Wide Receiver: Ted Ginn Jr – 18 receptions, 211 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Devone Bess – 26 receptions, 188 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Greg Camarillo – 19 receptions, 174 yards
  • Wide Receiver; Brian Hartline – 10 receptions, 157 yards, 1 TD
  • Tight End: Anthony Fasasno – 11 receptions, 77 yards, 1 TD
  • Left Tackle: Jake Long
  • Left Guard: Justin Smiley
  • Center: Jake Grove
  • Right Guard: Donald Thomas
  • Right Tackle: Vernon Carey

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Kendall Langford – 14 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Jason Ferguson – 15 tackles
  • Defensive End: Randy Starks – 19 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Phillip Merling – 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Joey Porter – 10 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Inside Linebacker: Channing Crowder – 22 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Akin Ayodele – 25 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Jason Taylor – 16 tackles, 5.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Cameron Wake – 9 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Corner: Sean Smith – 11 tackles
  • Corner: Vontae Davis – 10 tackles, 1 INT
  • Safety: Yeremiah Bell – 43 tackles, 1.5 sacks
  • Safety: Gibril Wilson – 39 tackles

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Dan Carpenter
  • Punter: Brandon Fields
  • Kick Returner: Patrick Cobbs
  • Punt Returner; Devone Bess

Key Players: Everything starts and ends with stopping Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. On defense, Miami can get after the quarterback with a variety of different players led by Jason Taylor, Cameron Wake, and Joey Porter.

Injuries: Miami’s starting corner Will Allen is out for the season. On the Jets side, expect to see Jerricho Cotchery back in action but Brad Smith and Lito Sheppard miss another game.

Highlights of Miami’s Choke Job Last Week

Grading Out The Jets/Raiders Game

First a few updates:

1. As expected, Leon Washington was placed on the IR today. It will be interesting to see who the Jets add to their roster to fill that spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved Danny Woodhead back to running back and then added another defensive lineman to the roster.

2. Another thing to keep an eye on is who will return kickoffs now for the Jets, some names to look out for will be Dwight Lowery, Danny Woodhead, Wallace Wright, or David Clowney.

3. The Game Highlights, Stats, and Depth Chart pages have been updated.

Grading Out The Jets/Raiders Game

Quarterbacks: (B) Mark Sanchez wasn’t asked to do much but he did a good job with what was handed to him. You could see him making a conscious effort to protect the football by throwing passes away and checking down. He also did a better job of avoiding sacks. On third down he was 5-8 for 65 yards, re-establishing his early season ability to come up with key first down conversions. Sanchez also executed a beautiful play fake and dropped in a nice pass to David Clowney for a 35 yard touchdown. There were still some missed throws and for some reason he can’t get on the same page with Dustin Keller but yesterday was a step in the right direction.

Running Backs: (A+) Shonn Greene and Thomas Jones completely wore down the Raiders defense. There wasn’t anything flashy or fancy about the Jets running game yesterday, they went right up the gut with Jones and Greene who combined for 265 yards. Jones certainly doesn’t look like a 30 year old running back and Greene has an unbelievable burst through the hole. We are all going to miss Leon Washington, but Jones and Greene will be a handful for defenses the rest of the season.

Wide Receivers (B) They weren’t given a ton of opportunities but did a good job when their numbers were called. David Clowney stepped up in particular with 4 catches for 79 yards, including a 35 yard touchdown. He showed an ability to be more than a deep threat by breaking some tackles and catching a tough pass over the middle. Wallace Wright recorded his first two catches of the season and Braylon Edwards had a drop but also pulled in a tough catch over the middle. I would expect Jerricho Cotchery to be back in action next week, which will be a big boost.

Tight Ends: (C) Good job blocking by Dustin Keller and Ben Hartsock. Keller also did a great job selling the play fake on his 26 yard reception. He was open a couple of other times but Sanchez missed him. One of these weeks it is going to click for Keller and Sanchez, who started off the year strong but have struggled to connect recently.

Offensive Line: (A+) Awesome job by the Jets front five, there really isn’t much to say except that Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Robert Turner dominated and embarrassed Oakland’s front seven. I bet Richard Seymour is regretting saying the Raiders are going to be a playoff team…unless he meant a high school playoff team.

Defensive Line: (B) The committee approach to replace Kris Jenkins got off to a decent start. Yes, the Jets gave up a little more rushing yards than you’d like to see but overall their defensive line was active, especially Mike DeVito and Howard Green. They have a hell of a challenge coming up this week against Miami.

Linebackers: (A) Quiet games for Bart Scott and David Harris but the grade is picked up by a terrific day from Calvin Pace, who racked up 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. The Jets are going to need that type of effort from him the rest of the season because Pace is unquestionably their top pass rusher. Vernon Gholston has been demoted behind Jamaal Westerman in pass rushing situations.

Secondary: (A) Darrelle Revis is something else…that interception was ridiculous. Do you think he is fired up for this week after getting burned by Ted Ginn Jr (aka Panhands) on national television? Jim Leonhard made his first interception of the season and Dwight Lowery continues to put together a strong season in replacement of Lito Sheppard. Donald Strickland was back and always seems to be around the ball.

Special Teams: (B) Steve Weatherford might run for 100 yards this season. It is not a good sign that Jay Feely has missed two short kicks in consecutive weeks.

Coaching: (A) Mike Pettine made a nice adjustment on defense, allowing Calvin Pace more pass rushing opportunities. Brian Schottenheimer did a great job sticking with the run and Rex Ryan clearly had the troops motivated. Let’s see how they handle Miami this week.

Jets/Raiders Highlights

Thank God For Oakland: Jets Beat Raiders Initial Reaction

Thank God For Oakland: Jets Beat Raiders Initial Reaction

It didn’t come out without a steep price but the Jets took care of business today by embarrassing the hapless Oakland Raiders 38-0. The losing streak is over and the Jets now face a monster game at home against the Miami Dolphins (who are now 2-4 after choking away a 21 point lead to the Saints thanks to two Chad Henne INT’s). 5-3 wouldn’t be half bad at the bye and the chance to put Miami at 2-5 is a golden oppurtunity but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look back at today:

Running Back Talk: First off it is obviously a shame to see Leon Washington gone for the season. Everybody who reads Turn On The Jets knows about my man crush on #29 and yes I am very upset. I am sure he will rehab hard and be ready to go 100 percent for next season. Fortunately, the Jets traded a handful of draft picks to select a guy named Shonn Greene in the third round this past year who showed he is ready for the NFL today. Greene racked up 144 yards on 19 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per carry and also scored 2 touchdowns. The guy just doesn’t go down on first contact and has a great burst through the hole. Thomas Jones built on his momentum from last week finishing with 121 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown.

Some Offensive Line Love: This is the type of football the Jets are built for. They ran the ball 54 times and threw 15 times. The offensive line pushed the Raiders up and down the field and consistently created big running lanes for Greene and Jones. If the Jets are going to make a playoff push, it is going to be on the backs of their offensive line and running backs. Brandon Moore left for a little while in the second half, but his injury doesn’t appear to be serious and Robert Turner did a good job filling in.

Welcome Back Calvin: After a slow start in his first two games back, Calvin Pace finally re-established himself as the playmaking pass rusher he was last year with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Donald Stickland was also active in his return to the line-up with 3 tackles and 2 passes defensed. The secondary had a great overall game, with Darrelle Revis making a ridiculous interception and Jim Leonhard also adding an INT on a horribly thrown JaMarcus Russell pass.

The Clown: It is obviously good luck to do an interview here at Turn On The Jets, since David Clowney had his best game as a pro today and recorded his first career touchdown. It was good to see Mark Sanchez spread the ball around today and avoid any turnovers. He still has a ways to go but today was a step in the right direction.