Initial Reaction – Heart Attack. Jets Keep Stressing Us Out But Keep Winning

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A collection of thoughts from today’s 26-20 overtime win over the Cleveland Browns –

The Good:

  • Mark Sanchez – Can any talk about Sanchez holding the Jets back this year come to a stop? He played a terrific all around game, avoiding pressure countless times and making big plays down the field. Sanchez is now at the point where you have to feel very confident about this team in any close game when he has the ball in his hands.
  • The Running Game – This is what I have been talking about…20 carries for Shonn Greene who finished with 72 yards rushing, along with 3 receptions for 23 yards and 18 carries for LaDainian Tomlinson who finished with 57 yards rushing, along with 6 receptions for 53 yards. Beyond that, Brad Smith had an expanded role today with 5 carries for 39 yards and a reception for 6 yards.
  • Jerricho Cotchery – It is a shame he will now probably miss a few games but what a gutsy play in overtime to convert a key third and nine.
  • Santonio Holmes – How clutch is this guy? Two straight games he has won for us in overtime. It does wonders for your offense when you have a player who could turn a simple slant route into a game winning 37 yard touchdown.
  • The Run Defense – For all of the Peyton Hillis hype, the Jets held him to 84 yards and forced a fumble. Our defensive lineman may not be able to rush the passer but they can stop the run.
  • Drew Coleman – Just a big time play in overtime to strip Chansi Stuckey.

The Bad

  • Game Management – I absolutely hated the decision to let time run out in regulation. The Jets should always be playing aggressively for the win, especially with how well Sanchez has been playing late in games.
  • Nick Folk – Are we headed back to 2009? Folk gets a pass for one week because of his strong start in 2010 but he better get his act together back in his home stadium the next two weeks.
  • The Defense Overall – The Jets aren’t an elite defense in 2009. You can’t claim to be one and then allow a rookie quarterback to drive down the field in the final minute to tie the game. The pass rush is also way too inconsistent. Evan Moore, Darrelle Revis? Evan Moore. Eric Smith and Jim Leonhard remain major liabilities in pass coverage and tight ends are continuing to kill the Jets.

A few other thoughts…

  • Kyle Wilson played a good game today. He had a big tackle to stop a third down conversion and a nice 18 punt return. It will be interesting to see if he can settle into the nickel role.
  • Eric Mangini was awfully animated on the sideline today. Did you see him celebrating those missed field goals?
  • Braylon Edwards put together a strong game in his homecoming. He has been reliable this year and appears to have got over the drops that plagued him the previous few years.
  • Brian Schottenheimer finally seemed to find his rhythm as a play-caller today.

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Sunday Night Vent: Jets Offense Ends Winning Streak

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Leave it to the Jets for that type of buzzkill performance, right? The blame for the Jets ugly 9-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers falls on the offensive side of the football, where the play-calling and consistency from key players remain problematic. In no particular order:

1. Catch the damn football. Jerricho Cotchery and Santonio Holmes in particular. You can’t afford to leave that many plays on the field.

2. Where is Shonn Greene? Six carries?

3. I usually don’t pile on the Schottenheimer bashing bandwagon but the play-calling has been predictable and perplexing the past two games. The Jets simply aren’t getting the most out of their collection of playmakers and that falls on the offensive coordinator.

4. Mark Sanchez was erratic but received no help from his receivers. He played well enough for the Jets to win this game.

5. You aren’t going to win when you have three turnovers, especially when all three are inside the 50. Nick Folk’s missed field goal is also basically another turnover.

Overall, it is a shame the Jets wasted such a strong performance from their defense. The fake punt on 4th and 18 was obviously a poor decision. Rex Ryan’s clock management and challenge calls leave something to be desired. The Jets didn’t deserve to win today and quickly need to establish some type of identity on offense, which needs to be aided by receivers catching the football when it hits them in the hands.

Yet, let’s not act like the sky is falling. The Jets played sloppy, turnover filled bonehead football and were still in position to win the game late. Hopefully, the reaction to this loss will be similar to the reaction to the Baltimore loss, when the Jets played terrific the following three weeks especially on offense.

Take the next day or two before you turn your thoughts to Detroit and bash on Schotty, he deserves it

Initial Reaction: Best Record In The NFL? J-E-T-S

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It just wasn’t the Jets day today. Mark Sanchez was looking jittery in the pocket and throwing interceptions. Santonio Holmes was running into his own guy and fumbling. Darrelle Revis was getting beat up and down the field by Jabar Gaffney and a rookie. The running game was inconsistent. They were on the road in a raucous environment.

But, this is 2010 and all this Jets team does is win…5 in a row now.

This was a terribly officiated game but don’t feel bad about getting that last call on Santonio Holmes because unless you are blind, you saw his facemask get grabbed. The Jets never stopped fighting in the 4th quarter and Mark Sanchez showed good field awareness by putting up that final deep ball to Holmes.

As for the rest offense, LaDainian Tomlinson was productive in the second half. Shonn Greene ran with good burst and I liked how the Jets looked out of the Tiger formation. Braylon Edwards continued his strong season and Dustin Keller got back on track with a big day. It was disappointing to see Sanchez struggle and somewhat resemble his 2009 form at times but hey, he wasn’t going the whole season without an interception.

The defense is still way off their level of play from last year. The pass rush was absent today and the run defense was frustrating to watch. However, Antonio Cromartie and David Harris put together strong performances and they made enough plays to win.

It’s not easy to win games in the NFL and the Jets are one point away from being undefeated heading into their bye week. If they could handle the suddenly average Packers at home, accommodating trips to Detroit and Cleveland are on the horizon. I am not saying the Jets could be 8-1. I am saying they should be 8-1.

Initial Reaction: I Always Loved Dwight Lowery, Jets Move To 4-1

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What was that everybody was saying about the difficult start to the Jets schedule?

It was ugly at times, the weather was an issue…again, as God continues to strike the Jets with lightning whenever they host a primetime game. However, the Jets proved they were one of the elite teams in the NFL by beating a very good Minnesota Vikings team, despite playing far from their best game.

They were plagued by dropped passes on offense, questionable play calling and horrific time management at the end of the game but still ran the ball well and hit a few big plays when needed. Mark Sanchez didn’t turn the ball over. LaDainian Tomlinson continues to look great and Shonn Greene finally broke off a big touchdown run.

On defense, Darrelle Revis is clearly far from 100 percent. Antonio Cromartie played a terrific game against Randy Moss. I know he got him once but that was a perfect throw from Favre and beyond that Cromartie kept him in check despite being on an island with him on multiple deep balls. Drew Coleman played well. The run defense was good, not great…and yes TOJ favorite Dwight Lowery stepped up to make the game clinching interception.

It would have been gut wrenching to watch the Jets choke away a game they were firmly in control of on a last minute game winning drive by Brett Favre. It couldn’t have been written any better to win the game by taking one of his trademark interceptions back to the house.

The Jets just may be the best team in football right now but they will have a difficult challenge this week on the road in Denver.

Instant Reaction: 3 Up, 3 Down Jets Crush Bills, Keep Rolling Through AFC East

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Didn’t that feel a little too easy? After watching the Jets embarrass the Bills today, it doesn’t say much for Miami and New England that they beat them by one possession. Today was a completely one-sided statement from Jets, who avoided any threat of a trap game and are certainly looking like one of the elite teams in the NFL.

LaDainian Tomlinson was the primary story on offense, as he put on a show with 133 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns, including a highlight reel move on a 26 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter. I don’t think anybody expected Tomlinson to show this type of speed after the way he looked last year. Shonn Greene also finally got going with 117 yards on 22 carries, in a much needed confidence boosting performance.

Mark Sanchez has made it through 1/4 of the entire season without a single turnover. He put together an efficient performance with 166 yards and 2 more touchdowns, included a well executed double move 41 yard touchdown to Braylon Edwards. Without Santonio Holmes out the first four games, Edwards has stepped up with 3 touchdowns in 4 games.

The Bills offense is putrid, but the Jets still did the job they needed to. Shaun Ellis banged his knee up but is apparently fine. Antonio Cromartie completely took Lee Evans out of the game. Dwight Lowery and James Ihedigbo each had a sack. Bryan Thomas had a nice forced fumble. Nick Folk didn’t let us get too comfortable with him by missing a 30 yard field goal.

The most important thing is that the Jets are 3-0 in the division. Even better news, Santonio Holmes and Calvin Pace will be back next week, likely joined by Darrelle Revis. The Jets get a shot at Brett Favre and the Vikings on Monday night football and our stadium is going to be rocking. A victory is going to put all of that talk about the Jets difficult start to their schedule to rest.

Great teams beat the teams they are supposed to, and the Jets didn’t just beat Buffalo today they put an exclamation point on their first tour through the division marking themselves as the team to beat in the AFC East.

A few fun stats:

  • Dustin Keller is on pace for 20 touchdowns.
  • Mark Sanchez is on pace for 32 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson is on pace for over 1300 yards rushing.
  • Braylon Edwards is on pace for 12 touchdowns.

Instant Reaction: First Place – Resilient Jets Get Tough Win In Miami

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No Darrelle Revis. No Calvin Pace. No Santonio Holmes. A potential major distraction with the Braylon Edwards DUI. On the road, against a 2-0 Miami team. Plenty of penalties, some of them very questionable…didn’t matter, the New York Jets found a way to gut out an impressive 31-23 victory.

Was it only two weeks ago, I was listening to everybody who could talk say the Jets couldn’t win a Super Bowl with Mark Sanchez at quarterback? I don’t think we will be hearing too much of that anymore, considering through three games he has six touchdowns to zero interceptions and is completing over 60 percent of his passes. Tonight, Sanchez was 15/28 for 256 yards and three touchdowns. He looks confident and is developing a scary good connection with Dustin Keller.

This is a Jets offense loaded with playmakers. Keller is playing at an All-Pro level and racked up 98 yards and two touchdowns tonight. Braylon Edwards showed up after being benched for the first quarter and made a nice move en route to a 67 yard touchdown (nice tackling, Jason Allen). Edwards also had a huge catch on the Jets final drive. The Jets final drive to extend the lead to 8 was a thing of beauty and was led by LaDainian Tomlinson who turned in yet another strong effort with 70 yards on 15 carries and his first touchdown.

Brad Smith continues to be a dangerous weapon on offense. The offensive line needs to cut down on the penalties. Shonn Greene had a couple of nice runs late but overall they need more from him.

On defense, the secondary has serious issues without Darrelle Revis in the lineup. Kyle Wilson will be a better player in the long run because of this baptism by fire, but for right now he is struggling heavily. Antonio Cromartie missed some tackles and was beat a few times, although he did make his share of plays. The front seven was clearly gassed at times and thus the pass rush struggled a little bit. However, Jason Taylor did get his homecoming sack.

A win is a win, and with early season victories over the Patriots and Dolphins, the Jets have made it clear they are the team to beat in the AFC East…as of right now.

Even better news? Buffalo is up next on the schedule…keep resting Revis and Pace. We got a date with #4 on Monday Night in 15 days, and I’d like to have you both 100 percent for that.

Initial Reaction: Silencer – Jets Roll Pats 28-14

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Now this is what we’ve been waiting for.

Mark Sanchez…you remember him right? The guy who is the sole reason the Jets can’t win the Super Bowl this year. The worst starting quarterback in the NFL. The face of the Jets disaster area of an offense. Yes him, well he threw for three touchdowns today, along with 220 yards including a collection of legitimate big time NFL throws in between two and three defenders. He was poised, confident, and sure as hell looked like a quarterback capable of leading a team deep into January. That Brady guy? He turned the ball over three times.

Antonio Cromartie? The walking penalty. The guy claiming to be a shut down corner, actually flipped the switch and became one in the second half when he completely took Randy Moss out of the game, after Darelle Revis left with a hamstring injury. The entire Jets defense rose to the occasion today after the Revis injury…even Drew Coleman had a nice tackle.

Braylon Edwards? The guy who can’t catch or live to the hype of being a number one receiver, put the Jets on his back when they needed it down 7-0 with a huge drive and an exceptional touchdown catch. Dustin Keller? Mr. 9 yards on 4th and 10, had the best game of his career with 7 catches for 115 yards and the game sealing touchdown.

LaDainian Tomlinson looks like a man on a mission this season. I love the passion he is playing with and I love how wrong I have been about him so far in 2010. Shonn Greene had a good bounce back game and how about the production the Jets are getting out of “no names” like Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito on the defensive line.

Basically, the Jets, who took unnecessarily high amounts of criticism all week for one, one point loss responded and shut their critics up with a gutsy, resilient performance. They dealt with injuries to Darelle Revis, Nick Mangold, Brad Smith, and Jason Taylor and kept rolling. Everybody who was out there made plays and really that is what being a legit contender is all about.

Enjoy this victory, it is one worth feeling great about. The Jets were the deeper, more talented team today, like we thought they would be the entire off-season. They are going to be a tough team to beat if they can throw the ball like they did today and keep it up on the defensive side of the football. The injuries are a slight cause of concern but don’t forget we have Calvin Pace and Santonio Holmes coming back sooner rather than later.

Bring on the Dolphins.

Instant Reaction: Jets Offense Missing In Action, Lose 10-9

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And the rest of the NFL world can sleep with a smile on their face knowing the Jets lost tonight.

On opening night the Jets wasted a terrific effort by their defense and special teams, en route to an ugly 10-9 loss. I may be a damn good writer, but I can’t come up with the words to describe how awful the Jets offense was tonight. It was summed up perfectly by running the 9 yard out on 4th and 10 during one of the worst looking two minute drives in NFL history.

The Jets only lost by one point tonight but it sure didn’t feel that close. The positives? LaDainian Tomlinson still has plenty left in the tank. The Jets defense is still about as good as it gets in the NFL, despite incurring more penalties than were mentally comprehensible and playing terrible on third down. Bryan Thomas and Shaun Ellis played the game of their lives and Darrelle Revis looked like the Darrelle Revis from last year.

The negatives? A quick laundry list…

  • The Jets have no absolutely zero passing game.
  • Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson looked like Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman.
  • Kris Jenkins hurt his leg and could be out for awhile.
  • Shonn Greene mentally checked out of the game after a fumble and did nothing overall.

So, enjoy your gloating Jets haters and Jets fans throw yourself into a massive hysteria of panic. Yet, try to remember that despite playing one of the worst offensive games in recent history, racking up a 125 penalty yards, and playing terrible third down defense, the Jets just lost by 1 point to one of the five best teams in the NFL.

Although, I am already having nightmares about New England throwing the ball on us next week.