One Down, Five To Go: Jets Win Ugly…Very Ugly

It was far from pretty but the New York Jets are alive thanks to a last second win over the Buffalo Bills

The New York Jets will never make it easy. They will make us sick at times. They will confuse us. They will make it as hard as possible on themselves. They didn’t play well today. They put themselves in a dogfight with a subpar, injured team. Yet, in the end, they fought…and they found a way to win. We’ll get to that later, but let’s start with the problems.

First off, what the hell were they thinking by putting Antonio Cromartie deep on punt return instead of Jim Leonhard? Cromartie hasn’t returned a single punt all season and you put him deep in a one touchdown game, in the windy Meadowlands? I heard the excuse about Jim Leonhard having the wind knocked out of him. I am not sure I am buying it. If that was the case, the Jets need a more sure handed backup option than Cromartie who has zero ball security skills. Put Santonio Holmes deep. Call a timeout to get Leonhard his wind back or tell him just to fair catch it.

While we are on Cromartie, he has been generally awful this year and it didn’t stop today. He let up a touchdown to Brad Smith and was beaten up and down the field by him. By Brad Smith, who is far from a quality NFL receiver. Wasn’t Cromartie supposed to be a playmaker? All I can remember from him this year is turning the football over on special teams and allowing touchdowns on defense.

Now on to the most confusing part of the day, Darrelle Revis who was beaten up and down the field by Stevie Johnson. It was bizarre to watch the eight receptions and the touchdown on him, granted they only added up to 75 yards. It was a busy day for Johnson, who cemented himself as three things: a talented wide receiver, a scumbag, and a choke artist. The imitation of Plaxico Burress shooting himself was as classes as it gets. Fortunately, everybody gets the last laugh on Johnson as he choked yet again, late in the game by dropping a potential touchdown pass. It reminded me of this one from last year.

Over to the offense. Mark Sanchez had the worst four touchdown performance you will ever see today. He was inaccurate, particularly in the first half and he continued to throw into coverage. For some reason he kept throwing the same dig route into triple coverage, fortunately it only intercepted once. There was also multiple communications with the wide receivers. Brian Schottenheimer was inconsistent again, calling too many passes and inexplicably going away from Joe McKnight when it appeared Shonn Greene was hurt. McKnight had 40 yards on 6 touches. Do the math. He needs more of them.

Turnovers. Miscommunications. Subpar Play. But still, a victory. And for that, you must give some credit to Mark Sanchez, who did improve his play in the second half and did put together yet another game winning drive that ended with a Santonio Holmes touchdown. The talent is there but the consistency needs to improve…immensely.

Plaxico Burress deserves a ton of credit for another terrific game, highlighted by a beautiful one-handed third down grab that kept the Jets game winning drive alive. He also scored his 7th touchdown of the season and never went down to Stevie Johnson’s level to respond to him.

In the end, the Jets are alive and very much in the thick of the AFC playoff picture. They need to get better…much better but they live to fight another day. Rex Ryan said in his post-game speech, “don’t let anybody rob us of our dreams”…let’s see if the Jets can prevent the Redskins from doing that next week.

Initial Reaction: Outclassed – Jets Get Smacked By New England

It was an ugly night at MetLife Stadium…

Sometimes football isn’t a very complicated game. When you miss chip shot field goals, commit stupid penalties, turn the football over, and manage the clock poorly, you aren’t going to win.

Tonight was an ugly, sloppy effort from the New York Jets at time when they could least afford it. Don’t put this one on any single individual or unit. Tonight was a team loss, that was as much about mental mistakes as it was about physical mistakes.

The sob stories will start surrounding this team again, as they blew a golden opportunity. Realistically a AFC East crown probably isn’t happening. It is now on to the dogfight for a wild-card spot. Shame on Rex Ryan for not having the team properly prepared tonight, particularly not having his defense ready for the Patriots hurry up. Shame on Joe McKnight and Donald Strickland for not being able to catch or fall on a punt. Shame on Mark Sanchez for an inconsistent performance and poor clock management. Shame on the offensive line for being abused all night, the linebackers for generating no pass rush and shame on Eric Smith for being generally awful at his job.

Fortunately, there isn’t time for the Jets to wipe up their tears. They will take the whipping in the media they deserve and hear how overrated they are yet again but the reality is that they are playing Denver in a couple of days and they badly need a win to wash the taste of tonight out of their mouth. The soft part of the schedule is here and the Jets need to tonight quick to take advantage of it.

Instant Reaction: The Swag Is Back, Jets Dominate Buffalo

The swag is back for the New York Jets, who completely dominated the Buffalo Bills in their building today

The darling of the AFC East took a hard crack to the face today from the New York Jets, who flexed their defensive muscle in a way we haven’t seen since last year. Buffalo’s offense was thoroughly dominated by Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine’s unit. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked helpless against the Jets secondary and with the pass rush constantly in his face, as he threw two interceptions and never made a big play. The performance was that much more impressive considering both Mike DeVito and Kenrick Ellis were inactive on the defensive line. It was the best performance of the year from the front seven and the secondary was terrific as usual.

On the other side of the football, the first half was maddening. The Jets moved the ball up and down the field but Mark Sanchez threw a killer end-zone interception and botched a snap. Fortunately, he rallied and actually put together one of his best games of the year finishing 20/28, with 230 yards, and 1 touchdown. Plaxico Burress caught all 5 of his targets for 79 yards, Santonio Holmes pulled in a touchdown, and Dustin Keller had 64 yards receiving. Shonn Greene had a solid 76 yards on 19 carries and LaDainian Tomlinson and John Conner both got in the end-zone.

What did we learn today? We learned the Jets are still capable of having an elite defense and that they can still physically dominate teams, especially finesse ones like Buffalo. Anybody who wrote off the Jets as AFC East contenders were crazy. New England is coming to the Meadowlands this week where the Jets will have a chance to take control of the division and extend their winning streak to 4.

The Ground and Pound is back…and yes the swag is back.

Initial Reaction: New York Jets Look Average In 24-6 Win

The New York Jets moved to .500 with an ugly 24-6 win over the Miami Dolphins, yet a win is a win.

It was good to see the New York Jets end their three game losing streak tonight with a 24-6 win. It was equally good to see how awful the Miami Dolphins truly are, as they may go 1-15 this year. However, let’s not kid ourselves. The Jets did not look like a good football team tonight. They certainly didn’t look a playoff contender.

Let’s call a spade a spade. Miami is a putrid football team who was led by a journeyman quarterback. Matt Moore missed wide open receivers all over the field and threw a bad interception to Darrelle Revis who returned it 100 yards to the house. Brandon Marshall dropped what should have been a touchdown pass on the following drive and Miami never managed to do much else on offense. However, the Jets pass rush was inconsistent and their run defense left something to be desired.

The Jets started off with four straight three and outs on offense, which is pretty hard to conceive considering how bad Miami’s defense has been. Eventually they got it going, with a touchdown drive that ended with two surprisingly savvy play calls from Brian Schottenheimer, including a touchdown run on a quarterback draw from Mark Sanchez who was okay tonight, finishing 14/25 for 201 yards and a TD.

In the second half the Jets took control and broke the game open on a pretty 38 yard touchdown reception by Santonio Holmes. It was the type of play that makes you get frustrated that Holmes doesn’t get more touches. The defense poured it on late with a few sacks and another Revis interceptions. In the end, you have a 24-6 victory with a few positives but also plenty of areas the Jets still need to improve in. Tonight’s effort won’t cut it against San Diego, Buffalo, or New England in the next three games.

Statistical Notes/Highlights

  • Calvin Pace 7 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Kyle Wilson shut down Davone Bess in the slot
  • Joe McKnight had 2 receptions for 29 yards
  • Shonn Greene: 21 carries, 74 yards…meh
  • Aaron Maybin had a sack and 2 more forced fumbles
  • Kenrick Ellis had 3 tackles and 1 for a loss

New York Jets: Your Monday Morning Vent

Your various reactions via Facebook and Twitter, my full reaction coming later this afternoon.

“We can not keep killing ourselves with these turnovers. Anybody else feel like they were watching the AFC championship game all over again? Slow start, mistakes leading to 3 of there TD’s, NO running game.”

“For the first time blame falls on Rex and Tannenbaum. How do u go into the season with such little depth at o-line. As soon as turner went down they should have brought in a veteran. They gambled and now the season is in jeopardy.”

“For the last two games i hoped for that second half awakening like last year. Sanchez played like crap on the first half but then he came back to play much better on the second one. Now it starts bad ends bad. We have to thank tony romo for the victory on week one. Other wise we would be sitting here at 1-3.”

“I was at the game and was disgusted. Jets are built to win now. Sanchez is a work in progress. Give Cinci a first rounder for Palmer. Let Sanchez learn. In 2 years when he is READY. He can take over.”

“I think.. they should get on phone with Leonard Davis.. they need beef up front on oline to push the pile… this line was the best with happened.. its not mangold cause even with him in their they couldnt run against dallas.. i dont blame the RB cause everytime he hits hole theirs 4or 5 guys waiting for him… hunter sucks… vald which is turing into a bad pick sucks, also we need beef we need athletic guys sorry but we need thugs on the dline.. look at the ravens man they were putting fear in our oline… we need intimidation on defense.. we have a good d but those players play well in system.. we need ppl to get after the qb.. other teams like pats and ravens play us agressive looking to hurt our qb but we dont have that… we are soft.. our dline is not good our lbs are getting exposed…”

“Is it me or should we trade Cro for a hard-hitting safety, a lineman & pass rusher I love Rex but this $*#% gotta stop no hits no protection for Sanchize and not to mention Cro getting burned consecutive game like WTFFFFF ?!!”

“We made fun of Namath’s comments, but are we ALL buying the hype? Do we believe this team is better than it actually is?”

“We can’t expect much this season. O-line can’t protect and Sanchez knows it. He is scared. The formula to win has been run”

“is it me or does it seem the #Jets have lost that fire they have had the last 3 years?!!”

“Where to start. Sanchez holding on to the ball way too long and locking into receivers. No ball security. O line went from one of the best to one of the worst. Add to it we cant stop the run, that surprises me since we have the same guys up front with the exeption of ellis but wilkerson seems to be doing a decent job.”

“sanchez sucks the end”

Initial Reaction: Painful One – Jets Lose Ugly In Oakland

One of the primary talks of this off-season was the need to win the AFC East, to avoid a three game road trip being the road to the Super Bowl. Today the Buffalo Bills, who must now be taken seriously as s contender knocked off the New England Patriots, giving the New York Jets an early opportunity to gain a game on them. Unfortunately, the Jets squandered that opportunity with an ugly performance in Oakland that resulted in a 34-24 loss.

After an initial punch in the mouth that put them down 7-0, they seemed to regain their balance after going ahead 17-7. Yet a huge run from Darren McFadden set the tone for the Raiders to come storming back to take a 31-17 lead. Despite a late comeback attempt, the Raiders did hold on.

Where to start? Antonio Cromartie and his bonehead play on kick return? Not only did he drop a line drive, instead of falling on the ball, he tried to pick it up resulting in a lost fumble. He left this game with injured ribs after being called for 4, yes 4 penalties. The officiating was an atrocity in this game but 4 penalties and a fumble is inexcusable. Overall it was a poor performance from the defense who allowed McFadden to run all over them, generated no pass rush, and couldn’t come up with any big plays.

The offensive line was terrible in the second half, making Mark Sanchez rattled. His stat line will look pretty in this one, as he threw for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns but this wan’t his best effort. He had another bad interception and was shaky in the pocket. The offense must also find a better way of getting their starting receivers involved. Plaxico Burress didn’t get going until late and Santonio Holmes only had 1 reception.

There was also poor coaching at the end of the game, as the Jets should have had the field goal team ready so they would have a shot for an onside kick. Instead they ran a play and Sanchez came up short on his scramble. Overall, it was just an ugly, uncharacteristic meltdown. Unfortunately there is no time for a pity party with Baltimore and New England coming up on the schedule.

Initial Reaction: Brutal Beatdown – Jets Roll 32-3

They won’t use this game film to teach offensive football, especially on the Jacksonville side but the Jets beat up on a severely inferior Jaguars team today, winning 32-3. The primary story of the day was quarterback Luke McCown’s general awfulness, along with the domination from the Jets defense, who recorded four interceptions, a safety, and two sacks. Antonio Cromartie had a hell of a bounce-back performance with two interceptions and two big kick returns. Muhammad Wilkerson recorded the safety on his first ever NFL sack.

You never felt for a second that Jacksonville had a chance in this game, despite the Jets offense being frustratingly inconsistent. After a brilliant first drive that ended in a Santonio Holmes touchdown, Mark Sanchez struggled throwing two interceptions. He did put together a nice second half drive ending in a Dustin Keller touchdown, as the Jets tight end finished with 101 yards receiving. However, you would like to see better than 17/24, 182 yards, with the 2 interceptions.

The main negative story out of this game was the Jets offensive line. Nick Mangold left in the first half with what is currently being reported as a high ankle sprain. He is expected to miss at least a few weeks. Undrafted rookie Colin Baxter came off the bench and struggled as anyone would expect him to. What was even more disconcerting, was how bad Wayne Hunter was for the second straight week. The running stats weren’t pretty again. Shonn Greene finished with 16 carries for 49 yards with a touchdown.

The Jets will now gear up for a rough three game road trip, starting in Oakland this week. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery from Nick Mangold and that the Jets front office still has Damien Woody’s number.

Initial Reaction: Still Got It – Jets Win Thrilling Opener 27-24

It was about as memorable as an opening night you could ask for, as the New York Jets pulled out a gutty, thrilling 27-24 comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys.

You can say what you want about this team but they understand how to win. They have a ton of heart and resiliency and it is foolish to ever count them out of a game.

It came from everywhere tonight. Plaxico Burress turning it on in the second half for 4 receptions for 72 yards, along with a beautiful touchdown reception. Mark Sanchez posting up 335 passing yards and distributing the ball around to Burress, Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, and LaDainian Tomlison who all also had big nights.

There was Joe McKnight coming up with a huge blocked punt that was returned for a score by Isaiah Trufant in what was the loudest I have ever heard a crowd at a Jets game. Mike DeVito forcing a Tony Romo fumble in the fourth quarter to keep the Jets alive. Darrelle Revis coming up with an interception to set up Nick Folk’s game winning field goal…and of course Folk hitting that game winning 50 yard field goal in what must have been a sweet moment of redemption, considering Dallas cut him.

It was a complete team win. The Jets are far from perfect and have plenty of issues to still work out but a win is a win and it was a hell of a way to start the season.

Initial Reaction: Jets Lose But Make Playoffs, Where Is The D?

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When you score 34 points, you are supposed to be able to win football games. Unfortunately the Jets didn’t get the memo today, as their defense no showed in Chicago en route to a 38-34 loss, in what was an exciting, back and forth game.

The positives were basically limited to the offensive side of the football. Mark Sanchez played a terrific game, going 24/37 for 269 yards with a TD and INT on a desperation final pass. I don’t think there should be any concern about his shoulder moving forward and it sounds like he won’t playing a full game or at all next week to give him extra rest just in case.

Shonn Greene made a strong case to be the Jets number one back when the playoffs start. There is no excuse for LaDainian Tomlinson to receive more carries than him. Greene had 70 yards on 12 carries, while Tomlinson only had 28 yards on 13 carries.

The Jets receiving box score looked how we anticipated it would in the pre-season. Dustin Keller had 7 receptions for 79 yards, although he had a bad drop in the end-zone. Braylon Edwards had 6 receptions for 78 yards. Santonio Holmes had 4 receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown.

The Jets defense on the other hand continued to demonstrate the problems they have had all season. No pass rush. No consistent coverage outside of Darrelle Revis. Their defense has been a major let down throughout the 2010 season and it will likely be their ultimate downfall at some point in the postseason, which is ironic considering all the concerns about Sanchez and the offense heading into the year.

Also for the record, it was a bonehead decision to fake a punt up 31-24 in the 3rd quarter at your own 40 yard line. It helped shift the momentum of the game back towards the Bears.

For now, it is looking like the Jets will rest many starters in a week 17 snooze fest against the Buffalo Bills before gearing up for a wild card trip to face the Kansas City Chiefs.

Instant Reaction: We're Not Dead Yet. Jets Upset Steelers 22-17

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I guess it was too early to write off the 2010 New York Jets. When everybody figured them for dead, the Jets turned in a big time performance on the road and gutted out a 22-17 victory.

Credit the defense for sticking it out at the end. Drew Coleman came up big with two sacks. Jason Taylor made his biggest play in a Jets uniform, with a clutch safety. Rex Ryan was more aggressive than he had been in previous weeks and kept Ben Roethlisberger on his toes.

Credit the special teams for getting it started with a Brad Smith kick return touchdown. Steve Weatheford was a huge weapon in the fourth quarter and Nick Folk didn’t miss a field goal for the second week in a row.

Credit the offense for a well called game by Brian Schottenheimer. You have to give credit where credit is due and Schotty was in playoff form on Sunday. Mark Sanchez was poised in the pocket and didn’t turn the football over. Braylon Edwards played his best game as a Jet and made countless clutch catches over the middle. LaDainian Tomlinson looked slightly rejuvenated.

Overall it was impressive team victory and showed it was time for Jets fans to step off the ledge. The Jets have improved on their win total from last year and are great position to return to the postseason.