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.

Instant Reaction: Same Old Jets

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When you have 10 days to prepare for your biggest game of the year. It doesn’t say much for your organization when you are completely out coached, out schemed, out played, and out everything you can think of.

The New York Jets were exposed as frauds tonight. They were embarrassed on national television and unequivocally proven to be second class citizens in the AFC East and the AFC. Don’t talk about the Jets with the Patriots, Ravens, or Steelers anymore. They aren’t on that level or even close for that matter. They are now in the mix with the Chiefs, Jaguars, Colts, Chargers, and the rest of the mediocrity throughout the conference.

There won’t be any home playoff games this year and don’t write the Jets in as a playoff team yet. You think the team you watched tonight is going to Pittsburgh or Chicago and getting a victory?

The Jets defense was awful tonight. Not just awful, but they quit and let Tom Brady completely dice them apart. They ushered Danny Woodhead down the field so he could make us cringe, as Joe McKnight looked good in his winter jacket on the sideline. Antonio Cromartie lacked effort and forgot how to tackle. Drew Coleman…looked like, well Drew Coleman.

I can’t write enough about how pathetic the effort level was on defense. It starts with Rex Ryan, who didn’t have his team prepared tonight and did a terrible job with game management and game planning. Sorry Rex, it doesn’t make sense to challenge a quarterback sneak on your offense’s first drive, just like it doesn’t make sense to blitz the house and leave Drew Coleman one on one with Wes Welker. Where was Darrelle Revis by the way?

Offense? Mark Sanchez isn’t ready yet. He was shaken from the first possession of this game. Braylon Edwards is back to dropping passes in big spots. Dustin Keller? Where was he? At least Santonio Holmes and Shonn Greene showed up, but that was about it.

It was one thing to lose the game. It is another thing to be embarrassed. It is another thing to quit and be completely humiliated. Hell, I am embarrassed I spent 10 days writing articles previewing the game and the Jets couldn’t put up an effort.

Say it with me now…

Same. Old. Jets.

I need a day off.

Initial Reaction: Jets Take Care Of Business, Bring On The Pats

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It wasn’t the prettiest win but a 16 point margin of victory is nothing to complain about, especially this season.

This wasn’t Mark Sanchez’s night and it wasn’t the Jets overall “A’ game, especially on offense. However, it was a much needed big time performance by the Jets defense who produced 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, and a safety. It was also a reminder that you can talk about Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson, Sanchez, and Shonn Greene all you want but don’t forget about Brad Smith.

The Jets do everything wide receiver/kick returner/quarterback/running back had his finest game of the season with 200 all purpose yards and 2 electrifying touchdowns.

Beyond that, Darrelle Revis did what we all expected and shut down Terrell Owens who nearly sobbed in post game press conference. Enjoy playing meaningless football in December, yet again, T.O.

It was nice to see the Jets take care of business but it is time for the main event of the 2010 regular season. 9-2 Jets traveling to 9-2 Patriots for Monday Night Football. 11 days of hype and analysis for maybe the biggest regular season meeting ever between these two rivals. The winner will likely be taking home a #1 or #2 seed, along with all the perks that come with it. The loser will be scraping for a wild-card spot.

We already know everybody will be picking the Patriots and honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way. The Jets have the same record as the Patriots and have already beat them by 14 this season, yet they receive no respect as an elite team.

Bring ’em on.

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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.