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.

Ten Final Thoughts On Jets/Raiders

Ten Final Thoughts On Jets/Raiders

1, Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, and Lito Sheppard all won’t be playing on Sunday. In terms of wide receiver, David Clowney will make his second straight start with Wallace Wright sliding into the #3 spot. Danny Woodhead will also be available off the bench. I would expect the Jets to call some early quick passes to Clowney to get him involved. Mark Sanchez must look to other receivers beside Braylon Edwards to keep the Raiders secondary honest. Dwight Lowery will start for Lito Sheppard, which is fine since he has been better than him this year anyway. Donald Strickland is expected to return to the nickel role.

2. The Jets will be wearing their white away Titans jersey this Sunday. Hopefully, the new colors will bring some better luck and end this losing streak.

3. Rex Ryan commented that he doesn’t expect the Raiders to utilize the Wildcat often this weekend, especially with Darren McFadden out. Interestingly enough, he stated the Raiders may see a good amount of it from the Jets this weekend. With Brad Smith out, Shonn Greene is taking his usual spot in the Jets “Seminole” aka their verison of the Wildcat package. They have struggled out of it the past few weeks, so Brian Schottenheimer may need to add a few more wrinkles.

4. Interesting article on Football Outsiders here: http://footballoutsiders.com/walkthrough/2009/walkthrough-interventions which breaks down Sanchez’s struggles against the Bills. This article absolves Brian Schottenheimer of some of the blame for Sunday and also points out how the Jets have been hurt by their injuries at receiver.

5. Wide receiver Chaz Schilens is expected to return to the line-up for Oakland this weekend, potentially replacing Darius Heyward-Bey as a starter. Oakland is high on Schilens and he could be a guy the Jets need to keep their eyes on.

6. If the Jets lose to Oakland this weekend, not only will they fall behind them in the wild card race. They are going to fall two games behind New England who will beat Tampa Bay in London. They also risk falling behind Miami and Buffalo. The Saints are walking into an obvious trap game in Miami, coming off an emotional win and playing a team off a bye week. Buffalo is playing the Panthers, who have struggled about as much as they have this season.

7. I think we can all see a huge game coming for both Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. As I have said earlier this week, they should combine for 40-45 carries. However, Oakland knows how often the Jets are going to be running meaning there are going to be openings in the passing game. Mark Sanchez might only throw 15-18 passes but he needs to make them count. The potential for big plays is going to be there and guys like David Clowney and Dustin Keller need to beat single coverage to help their rookie quarterback out.

8. I know everybody loves Danny Woodhead but I wouldn’t expect to see him on offense. The guy just moved to receiver two weeks ago.

9. Bart Scott needs a big game on defense. The Madbacker has been awfully quiet the past two games and need to provide some big plays. David Harris has been an all-pro this season, while Scott has only been average.

10. This is going to be a close, hard fought, low scoring game. If the Jets can win the turnover battle, they will be in good shape to pull out a tight victory.

Turn On The Jets TV Episode 7

Jets Make Fans Suffer: TOJ TV Episode 7 – Shutting The Site Down Part 1

First a few updates:

1. Expect to see Sione Pouha, Howard Green, and Mike Devito splitting reps at Kris Jenkins old spot on Sunday. There will also be increased presure on Marques Douglas and Shaun Ellis to pick up their play against both the run and the pass.

2. We will have a post tomorrow and Saturday with some final notes on the Jets/Raiders match-up, along with a look at the rest of their scheudle to show just how important Sunday’s game is and some disturbing stats for the Jets through 6 games.

Jets Make Fans Suffer: TOJ TV Episode 7 – Shutting The Site Down Part 1

The Jets continued losing has become too much to handle for Jets fans, especially with how confident we were last Sunday heading into a home against the hapless Bills. Where does the Jets season and TOJ TV go from here? Check out part 1 of “Shutting the Site Down” (A James Corbett Production)

Jets vs. Raiders: Game Breakdown & Five Requests For Mark Sanchez

First a few updates:

1. Jerricho Cotchery, Lito Sheppard, Brad Smith, and Damien Woody remained out of practice today. I wouldn’t expect Smith or Sheppard to go on Sunday, while Cotchery remains questionable and Woody is expected to start. Donald Strickland is finally expected to return after missing the past 4 games to the nickel role on defense.

2. Rex Ryan said the Jets had an excellent practice today, which culminated with a competitive two minute drill that ended with a Mark Sanchez to Wallace Wright touchdown pass. I might be excited about that if this was training camp.

3. Turn On The Jets TV’s new episode will be airing later in the day and I can tell you in advance that it is good stuff. The production crew aka my roommate Corbett, stepped up this week.

4. A reminder that I am always open to suggestions for new content/article ideas on the site. I am constantly trying to tinker with every page and thoughts for articles. Hopefully, we will be able to put together a few more interviews and continue to update/improve all the different pages.

5. Richard Seymour predicted today that the Raiders would be making the playoffs this season. The Raiders certainly appear to be a more confident team after their upset of the Eagles. Sunday is a dangerous game for the Jets, very dangerous.

6. Let’s bring it home tonight Yanks.

Jets vs. Raiders: Game Breakdown & Five Requests For Five Jets

Jets Offensive Game Plan: Run. Run. Run. And when in doubt…run the football some more. Oakland has struggled with their rush defense and is currently ranked 29th in the league in yards allowed on the ground. They are slightly better in pass defense and are currently ranked 20th in the league in yards allowed through the air. Their secondary is filled with talented playmakers like Nnamdi Asmougha and Michael Huff, who has 3 interceptions already this season. They can also get after the passer with Richard Seymour and Greg Ellis who have combined for 8 sacks. The Raiders have 17 total sacks on the season, which is more than three times as many the Jets have (5). All this means the Jets need to go to their running game early and often and stick to it throughout the entire game. Last year Thomas Jones went off for 159 yards in Oakland and Leon Washington chipped in a rushing touchdown. There is no reason the two of them shouldn’t combine for 40-45 carries on Sunday.

When the Jets do need to pass, Brian Schottenheimer and Mark Sanchez need to keep it simple. With or without Jerricho Cotchery, the Jets need to spread the ball around because Braylon Edwards will likely be matched up with Asmougha. It is on Schottenheimer to call some receiver screens, tight end screens, and running back screens along with quick hitches and slants early in the game to get Sanchez rolling. It is on Sanchez to hit those throws and then check down to his running backs or the throw the football away on deeper throws when the primary receiver isn’t open. Oakland is going to load the box up and play man coverage, which doesn’t mean you have to bomb the ball. You can throw a quick screen to a guy like David Clowney and see if he can shake a tackle or get a block from another receiver to create a big play.

Jets Defensive Game Plan: Oakland likes to run the football on offense with Michael Bush and Justin Fargas, since Darren McFadden has been injured. Bush is a power back who is difficult to tackle 1 on 1 and Fargas has hurt the Jets in the past. It is on the Jets front seven, minus Kris Jenkins to stop Oakland on first and second down, forcing JaMarcus Russell into third and long. Russell is one of the few quarterbacks in the league who could make Mark Sanchez feel good about his stats. He has only thrown 2 touchdowns this year to 6 interceptions and has problems fumbling the football. The Jets have to get in his face to force him into quick decisions.

The Raiders best pass catching option is tight end Zach Miller, who leads the team in receptions and yards. He hurt the Jets last year so I am interested to see how Ryan chooses to cover him. Oakland is pretty weak at receiver, so this might be the type of the game where the Jets lock into man coverage and send as many people at Russell as possible. Rookie Louis Murphy is their top wide receiver but likely doesn’t merit being shadowed by Darrelle Revis on every play. Top draft pick Darius Heyward-Bey has struggled to catch the ball all season and has only recorded two receptions.

Special Teams: I still can’t believe Janikowski made that 57 yarder last year to beat us. Jay Feely hit a huge 52 yarder last year in Oakland to send the game into OT. Leon Washington has had a rough year on kick returns so far. The Jets coverage units will be without James Ihedigbo and Marques Murrell who have been placed on the inactive list for one week because of their role in a fight in last week’s game against Buffalo.

Five Requests For Mark Sanchez

1. Check the ball down. Leon Washington and Thomas Jones can make guys miss and turn short completions into key first downs.

2. If Jerricho Cotchery doesn’t start, don’t be afraid to throw the ball to David Clowney or Wallace Wright.

3. Enjoy the warm weather and play like you did at USC.

4. If your first read isn’t open and the pass rush is bearing down on you, throw the ball away. Punts are better than turnovers.

5. Get you swagger back. This franchise can’t afford to miss on the #5 overall pick in the draft.

Remember These Days? Look at the Screens! Look at the Check Downs! Look at Dustin Keller!

Turn On the Jets Interview With David Clowney

First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan has made the decision to make James Ihedigbo and Marques Murrell inactive for this week’s game against Oakland for their role in a fight with Buffalo’s Derek Fine in OT, which drew a personal foul penalty against Ihedigbo. I can’t argue with the decision because this team needs to be more disciplined and both players deserve to be punished. You can’t afford 15 yard penalties in overtime.

2. I liked Mark Sanchez’s demeanor and attitude in his press conference today. He seems to have the right mindset to get back on track. Let’s not forget he responded with a strong performance against Miami after a rough game against New Orleans. Hopefully, he can do the same thing this Sunday in the Black Hole, where at least he will be accustomed to the weather.

Turn On The Jets Interview With David Clowney

New York Jets wide receiver David Clowney has been kind enough to take the time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for me here at Turn On The Jets. Clowney has seen an increased role the past few weeks and is gradually becoming a bigger part of the Jets offense. Two weeks ago against Miami, he recorded 4 catches for 72 yards and he got his first start last week against Buffalo. Make sure to check out David’s website at www.davidclowney87.com and also make sure to stop by www.playerpress.com. Special thanks to Todd Schmerler for helping set up this interview.

JC: Does the team and yourself personally still have confidence that you can win games with Mark Sanchez under center?

DC: Without a doubt, we have confidence in all three quarterbacks we have. Mark is the future of this team so we’re going to ride with him.

JC: Were you frustrated that you played the entire game Sunday but didn’t have a single ball thrown your way despite clearly getting yourself open a few times?

DC: Anybody that plays offense would be frustrated when you don’t get the ball in your hands. I’m pretty sure the coaches want and expect guys to be upset about that. I always want to be that guy that wants to make a play, that’s the type of guy I am. When there’s a play to be made I’m always hoping to get my hands on that ball.

JC: Do you feel a sense of satisfaction and that you are proving you belong in the NFL as a full time player from the past two weeks: Having big game on Monday Night Football and then making your first career start against Buffalo?

DC: Without a doubt, I believe I did that in the preseason last year and this year. That’s like your interview, your audition. I also felt I showed it at the end of last year when I got into some games. I hope to continue showing it, because you have to if you want to have one of those 16-year careers like my coach Henry Ellard.

JC: We all know about your speed, but what is the one aspect of your game that people are overlooking?

DC: The way I block in the running game. I love blocking. I love football, so I love every aspect of the game. The running backs and linemen have to block in the passing game, in order to get a ball to the wide receiver the quarterback needs the running backs to help block. So when they’re running the ball I have to do my job by blocking, making sure the running back gets to the corner and then maybe get another block downfield to stretch the play from 10 to 20 yards.

JC: What have your learned from playing with Jerricho Cotchery the past couple of seasons?

DC: Jerricho’s a very very very humble person. He doesn’t say too much but he’s the kind of player you can learn a lot from watching. As far as football is concerned, it’s his route running. He’s one of the best route runners in the game. I try to compete with him at route running to try to do it as well as he does on a consistent basis.

David Clowney Shows Off His Moves This Past Pre-Season

What Happened to the Jets?

First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan commented that the team seemed “off” today in practice, which is certainly the last thing any of us want to hear after three straight losses. Obviously, the three straight losses are starting to weigh on everybody but this is no time for the energy level to sink.

2. Braylon Edwards has been receiving treatment for a sore quad….terrific. Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith were limited in practice, but remain questionable for this week. Ryan also said he is hopeful that corner Donald Strickland will return this week. Lito Sheppard’s status also remains up in the air.

What Happened to the Jets?

I was back home in New Jersey on Monday, which allowed me to spend the day listening to New York sports radio along with my usual reading of the daily newspaper/blog clips covering the Jets and I couldn’t help but laugh. It is amazing how in the span of three weeks Rex Ryan has become clueless as a head coach, the Jets defense became average and Mark Sanchez became a clueless rookie, and the thought of Kellen Clemens actually playing is being mentioned. It must have been 3 years ago that the Jets beat the Tennessee Titans to move their record to 3-0, right? Nope, actually it was only 3 weeks ago but maybe we can begin looking there to understand what has happened to the Jets season these past few weeks. 

We began to see some chinks in the armor during that September victory over the now 0-6 Titans. After a fast start, the Jets were outplayed the rest of the game and in reality only held on to a victory because of a crucial muffed punt by Ryan Mouton who also handed them 7 points early in the game on a fumbled kick return. The defense didn’t look elite that day. We saw Tennessee move the ball up and down the field on the Jets. We saw a lack of quarterback pressure and we saw them run the football. We also saw receivers running wide open and the problem was only masked by drops from the Titans receivers. It was also the beginning of Mark Sanchez’s ball security problems, including multiple fumbles and an interception.

Since that game, we did see the Jets defense play an excellent all around game in New Orleans and we saw Mark Sanchez protect the football in Miami. Yet, the consistency hasn’t been there and the injuries have began piling up. Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, Lito Sheppard, Brad Smith, Damien Woody, Kris Jenkins, and Donald Strickland have all now missed time with injuries.

On defense, teams watched the game tape from the Houston and New England game and have schemed ways to protect against Rex Ryan’s blitzes. Ryan hasn’t come up with something to counter these adjustments yet. He isn’t being helped by the fact that the Jets lack an elite pass rusher. Vernon Gholston isn’t that kind of player and probably never will be. The guy has played a ton of snaps this year and made zero impact plays. Calvin Pace has been slow adjusting back after his 4 game suspension and Bryan Thomas and Shaun Ellis have been quiet rushing the quarterback. Eric Smith has been invisible the past three games after being all the over field in the Jets three wins and none of the other defensive backs are getting near the quarterback on Ryan’s blitzes.

On offense, Brian Schottenheimer has got too comfortable with Mark Sanchez after his surprisingly strong start to the season. What happened to running the ball 40-45 times a game and only having your rookie quarterback throw 15-18 times? Against Buffalo Mark Sanchez threw 29 times and Thomas Jones had 22 carries, how about flipping those numbers and then giving Leon Washington three more carries, so you got Sanchez throwing 19 times, Jones with 29 carries, and Washington with 22 carries? I know those sound like insanely high rushing attempt numbers but against Buffalo it would have made sense since Jones was averaging 9 yards per carry and Washington was averaging 6 yards per carry.

Rex Ryan was absolutely right on Monday when he said that the Jets need to scale things back for Sanchez. Simplify the kid’s reads, run the football, and play the defense/field position game. The Jets are at a crossroads in their season right now. They have 2 games left until their bye week, which will mark the halfway point of the season. If they turn the ship around and head into the bye at 5-3, this three game losing streak will be a distant memory. If they lose to Oakland or get swept by Miami, it is going to be one hell of an uphill for a playoff spot in the second half of the season.

NFL Week 6 Recap/Jets vs. Raiders First Look

First a few updates:

1. As expected, the Jets added defensive tackle Howard Green back to the active roster today and Kris Jenkins was placed on the IR.

2. I sent my questions over to David Clowney yesterday and I am hoping to have his responses back by the end of the week.

3. I am glad the Jets didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline. We are already short on draft picks in what is expected to be a deep, talented 2010 draft class and we need depth on the offensive and defensive line, along with a pass rusher.

4. The game highlights, stats, and TOJ TV page have all been updated.

NFL Week 6 Recap/Jets vs. Raiders First Look

Wrapping Up Jets/Bills

Defensive Player of the Game: David Harris – Unlike his partner at inside linebacker, Harris has been productive in every single game this year. He racked up 17 tackles against Buffalo and another .5 sack. Harris currently leads the team in tackles, sacks, and is tied for the lead interceptions.

Offensive Player of the Game: Thomas Jones – We knew the addition of Braylon Edwards would open up more space for Jones, but 210 yards of space? Wow. Hopefully, TJ can keep it up this week against the Raiders who have struggled against the run.

Honorable Mentions: Darrelle Revis for solid coverage on Terrell Owens throughout the game…Dwight Lowery for his interception in OT…Leon Washington for finally ripping off a few big plays…The entire offensive line for allowing the Jets to run for 318 yards.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – The Patriots ran it up on the hapless Titans in the snow and are back in first place in the AFC East at 4-2. They should move to 5-2 after playing the equally hapless Bucs in London this Sunday.

Miami Dolphins – Anybody else got a bad feeling the Saints are due for a let down against Miami on the road this week?

Buffalo Bills – They are still terrible…the Jets were just more terrible on Sunday.

TOJ Top Five

  1. New Orleans Saints – Embarrassed the Giants and sent a statement to the rest of the league.
  2. Indianapolis Colts – They might be 30 point favorites over the Rams this weekend.
  3. Denver Broncos – Just a very good, all-around football team that looks like they are on a mission.
  4. Minnesota Vikings – Man, I hate Brett Favre.
  5. New York Giants – Got to work on that defense there Big Blue.

Jets vs. Raiders First Look AKA “The Turd Bowl”

The Opponent: Oakland is only one game worse than the Jets and is coming off an upset victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. After a strong early season start by nearly upsetting the Chargers in week one and then beating the Chiefs in week two, they put together three of the worst games anybody has ever played including a 44-7 loss to the Giants. However, as previously mentioned they knocked off Philly 13-9 at home last week, led by a strong running effort and a big day from their defense. Starting quarterback JaMarcus Russell has been under heavy criticism for his erratic play and lackadaisical practice habits. Also, #7 overall pick Darius Heyward-Bey only has 2 catches through 6 weeks. Regardless, the Jets never play well in Oakland or anywhere on the West Coast for that matter making this a dangerous game.

Oakland Raiders Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: JaMarcus Russell – 68/149, 830 yards, 2 TD’s, 6 INT’s
  • Running Back: Michael Bush – 48 carries, 179 yards, 2 TD’s
  • Running Back: Darren McFadden – 47 carries, 146 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: Justin Fargas – 46 carries, 137 yards
  • Tight End: Zach Miller – 21 receptions, 354 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Louis Murphy – 12 receptions, 174 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Darrius Heyward-Bay – 2 receptions, 36 yards
  • Left Tackle: Mario Henderson
  • Left Guard: Chris Morris
  • Center: Samson Satele
  • Right Guard: Cooper Carlisle
  • Right Tackle: Erik Pears

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Richard Seymour – 23 tackles, 4 sacks
  • Defensive Tackle: Tommy Kelly – 30 tackles
  • Defensive Tackle: Gerard Warren – 16 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive End: Greg Ellis – 16 tackles, 4 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Ricky Brown – 31 tackles, 1 FF
  • Middle Linebacker: Kirk Morrison – 58 tackles, 1 FF
  • Outside Linebacker: Thomas Howard – 39 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Corner: Nnamdi Asmougha – 11 tackles
  • Corner: Chris Johnson – 31 tackles, 1 INT
  • Safety: Michael Huff – 16 tackles, 3 INT’s
  • Safety: Tyvon Branch – 43 tackles, 4 PD’s

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski
  • Punter: Shane Lechler
  • Kick Return: Jonathon Holland
  • Punt Return: Johnnie Lee Higgns

Key Players: Zach Miller is a playmaking tight end who is easily Russell’s favorite target. Ellis and Seymour can both get after the passer. Asmougha will likely be assigned to Braylon Edwards since he is arguably the best cover corner in football (the other side of the argument of course goes to our boy Revis).

Injury Report: Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith are still battling leg injuries and remain questionable. Lito Sheppard might end up sitting out again since he clearly wasn’t 100 percent last week. Donald Strickland has been out the past 4 games.

Raiders/Eagles Highlights

Crappalicious: Grading Out the Jets/Bills Game

First a few updates:

1. As was expected, Kris Jenkins is going on the IR with a torn ACL in his left knee. The bottom line is that Jenkins is the Jets most valuable defensive player and one of most uniquely talented players in the NFL. Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito and Ropati Pitotua will be asked to pick up the slack. Regardless, it isn’t fair to not expect some type of drop off in the Jets overall defensive production, which hasn’t been strong the past two weeks anyway. You wonder at his age, if Jenks will ever make it all the way back from that type of surgery. Ryan also confirmed the Jets are planning on re-signing defensive tackle Howard Green who was released last week.

2. Mark Sanchez is only a kid but the guy needs to work on his demeanor, during and after a game. He was visibly depressed on the side-line and literally looked like a deer in the headlights. After the game, Rich Cimini summed it up best by saying he “looked like he was on the verge of tears.” He was also quoted as saying he didn’t even understand how the guys in the locker can maintain confidence in him. C’mon now, you are the quarterback of this team. Man up Mark and get your confidence back. You showed you could play at this level against Houston, New England, Tennessee, and Miami. It has been bad (Matt Ryan only threw 11 INT’s last year and Flacco threw 12, so stop the comparisons) but he has to pick himself up off the mat.

3. Rex Ryan admitted in his press conference the Jets may have to begin scaling things back on offense and changing things around to help Sanchez. I am thinking about starting both Jones and Washington on my fantasy team this week cause both might get 20 carries this Sunday.

4. An update on TOJ TV…we had some technical struggles last week and didn’t put forth our best effort. However, we got some quality stuff coming this week. We Jets fans need something entertaining to watch with our team playing like this.

Crappalicious: Grading Out the Jets/Bills Game

Quarterbacks: (F-) That was as bad of a football game as I have ever seen a quarterback play. Sanchez was 10 for 29 with 5…yes 5 interceptions. He repeatedly forced the ball to Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller who were targeted a combined 19 times, but only caught 5 passes between them. Sanchez ignored David Clowney all game, who was wide open on his final interception in overtime. Basically, it looked like Sanchez was a soccer player playing pick up football and he was forcing the ball to his best friend (Braylon Edwards) and his little brother (Dustin Keller) who was complaining from the game before about not getting the ball enough. Yuck. Sanchez has had an issue of locking on to a receiver since training camp, remember the stories about him throwing to Wallace Wright every play? He needs to do a better job of seeing the field and spreading the ball around.

Running Backs: (A+) It is shame that the effort Thomas Jones put forward will get lost in the shuffle of this loss. He was spectacular and ran like a man on a mission, racking up 210 yards at 9.5 yards per carry. He also caught 2 passes for 17 yards. Leon was back to being Leon with 15 carries for 99 yards, including a huge 33 yard run in OT. He also added 3 catches for 46 yards. Great all around day by the Jets two pro-bowl backs from last season.

Wide Receiver: (D) Edwards played a pretty good football game. He made some big catches, although he left a few plays on the field. David Clowney was ignored. Wallace Wright was ignored on his reps. Danny Woodhead received no reps.

Tight Ends: (F) Dustin Keller had a couple of drops and can’t get on the same page as Mark Sanchez. Ben Hartsock cost the Jets a game with a holding penalty.

Offensive Line: (A) 318 rushing yards, period. Wayne Hunter did a nice job filling in for Damien Woody.

Defensive Line: (C) Marques Douglas played a very good game, with 9 tackles, a TFL, and a half sack. Sione Pouha was also pretty good with 9 tackles and a TFL. Shaun Ellis didn’t make an impact and despite doing alright against the run, they still aren’t pushing the pocket enough against the pass.

Linebackers: (C) David Harris played a great game with 17 tackles and a half sack. Bart Scott has been bad the past two weeks. He gets stonewalled every time he rushes the quarterback and doesn’t make impact plays. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas were okay. Vernon Gholston has officially set a record for playing the most NFL snaps, with the least stats recorded. Give Jamaal Westerman his reps.

Secondary: (B) Darrelle Revis was very good against Terrell Owens, who is a shell of his former self. Lito Sheppard was terrible and was rightly benched for Dwight Lowery, who made a brilliant interception in OT. For all my criticism of Kerry Rhodes, he had a great all around game with 8 tackles, 1 TFL, and a pass defensed.

Special Teams: (F) Defined by the one play of Steve Weatherford dropping the snap. Still nothing from the return units.

Coaching: (F) Poor playcalling/time out use led to a rushed missed field goal at the end of the half. It was unnecessary to challenge the punt return for 6 yards in the 4th quarter. Ryan isn’t fooling anybody with his blitz schemes anymore and unfortunately he is starting to look pretty stupid with all his tough talk. However, the guy has to be who he is. He must find someway to re-energize this team.

Fans In Stadium: (F) What a weak environment for a home game. The Jets need to scrap the 4:15 games, apparently because the stadium was half-full with about 70 percent completely trashed Jets fans who were more interested in throwing ethnic slurs at Mark Sanchez than cheering for the team and 30 percent drunk Bills fans cheering against the team. I am certainly not trying to generalize the whole stadium but I heard some nasty stuff out there…let’s have a little class.

Well If Sanchez almost cried after the game, at least this girl cried for him haha