Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 14 Viewing Guide

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First a few updates:

1. Obviously the big news of the day is that Kellen Clemens is going to start this Sunday against Tampa Bay. Sanchez didn’t practice today and Rex Ryan announced the decision at his press conference today. Apparently, Sanchez is angry with the decision but in reality this is the right move for the long run. He is a rookie and there is no reason to throw him out there at 80-85 percent with no practice. Let him get three more days of rehab over the weekend and come back at 100 percent for the final three weeks. The bottom line is that the Jets should be able to beat the 1-11 Bucs with their backup quarterback. All I know is that the Jets may set a record for rushing attempts this Sunday, Ryan can talk all he wants about having confidence in Clemens but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene both get 20 plus carries. Overall, I agree it is better to be overly cautious with your franchise quarterback…so let’s pretend it is 2007 and try to excited about Kellen Clemens taking snaps.

2. It looks like Kerry Rhodes is going to start this Sunday. I am not sure why he got his job back but apparently he is back with the base unit, although Rex Ryan insists Eric Smith will still see plenty of time. A friendly Turn On The Jets reminder to Kerry Rhodes…you need to use your arms to tackle.

3. Donald Strickland, Dwight Lowery, and Larry Izzo were all limited in practice today. I wouldn’t bank on seeing Strickland or Lowery suit up.

4. A few notes from Sanchez’s press conference today: He basically reaffirmed his belief that he could play Sunday and his frustration with the decision. However, he said understood where Ryan was coming from and that he was confident in Kellen Clemens playing well. He also said there is no doubt at all that he will play next week against Atlanta.

Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 14 Viewing Guide

For at least another week, the Jets playoff pipe dream remains alive thanks to a victory over Buffalo, a shocking Pittsburgh loss, a Baltimore loss on Monday night, and a few other somewhat favorable outcomes. Here are what games to keep an eye on this weekend and who you should be rooting for, preceded by the current AFC standings:

  1. Indianapolis (12-0)
  2. Cincinnati (9-3)
  3. San Diego (9-3)
  4. New England (7-5)
  5. Denver (8-4)
  6. Jacksonville (7-5)
  7. Miami (6-6)
  8. Baltimore (6-6)
  9. NY Jets (6-6)
  10. Pittsburgh (6-6)
  11. Houston (5-7)
  12. Tennessee (5-7)

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6) At Cleveland Browns (1-11) – If you decide to pass on watching NBC Must See TV and the trainwreck “Jersey Shore” (which completely disgraces my state and ethnicity) on Thursday night, turn in to the Steelers and Browns on the NFL Network. Can Eric Mangini and former Jets legends Eric Barton, Hank Poteat, Jason Trusnik, Chansi Stuckey, Abram Elam, CJ Mosley, and David Bowens knock off the slumping defending champs? If Pittsburgh can lose at home to Oakland to the Bruce Gradkowski/Louis Murphy connection, why can’t they lose in Cleveland? Let’s go Mangini…let’s play some consistent, fundamental football in all three phases of the game because that is always a function of winning.

New York Jets (6-6) At Tampa Bay Bucs (1-11) – Can the Jets avoid the traditional late season loss in a bad spot to a really awful team? Let’s keep it entertaining for at least another week.

Miami Dolphins (6-6) At Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) – Tough call here. I have been torn most of the week on who to root for in this game. I have decided to go with Miami. Why? Here is my scenario: the Dolphins win and the Jets win putting both of them and the Jaguars at 7-6. My man Vince Young beats the Dolphins in week 15 and the Jaguars lose to the Colts on Thursday night in football in the last game of the year Indy plays with all their starters the full game and Jacksonville continues their tailspin by losing in New England the following week. Miami beats Houston in week 16 by closes the season with a loss to Pittsburgh to finish 8-8. This allows the Jets to lose in Indy, which will inevitably happen if Peyton Manning plays into the second half and creep in with a 9-7 record if a few other things break their way…complicated? I know. The bottom line is that the best thing here would be a tie. The Jets are helped in some ways and hurt in some ways regardless of the outcome.

Detroit Lions (2-10) At Baltimore Ravens (6-6)Daunte Culpepper will be making the start in this game. I vote that he decides to throw it back to the old school, mistake Calvin Johnson for Randy Moss and lead the upset charge. One thing about the Ravens, they get called for pass interference on every other pass attempt so maybe the Lions can keep it close.

Denver Broncos (8-4) At Indianapolis Colts (12-0) – The best thing that could happen here is that Indy could run it up on the Broncos like they always seem to and throw the Broncos into a self-doubting tailspin. This tailspin carries over to the following week where they lose to sudden juggernauts Oakland Raiders, followed by another loss to the Eagles and what do you have? Another Denver December meltdown.

Carolina Panthers (5-7) At New England Patriots (7-5) – The best way to attack the Patriots is through the air. Throwing the football isn’t Carolina’s strong suit, even with Matt Moore now in at quarterback. The only way I could see this game even being close is if Steve Smith makes 5 or 6 ridiclous catches and Bill Belichick continues to refuse to kick field goals or punts on 4th down.

Kellen Clemens Starting For the Jets in 2007…Wow, I don’t miss Justin McCariens

Jets vs. Bucs First Look

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets moved up to #19 in ESPN’s Power Rankings today. They are behind Atlanta, which I don’t agree with. The Falcons looked simply awful at home last week and are decimated with injuries. Pittsburgh is also ahead of them despite losing to Oakland at home (the Jets beat Oakland 38-0 by the way).

2. It is looking like Eric Smith will start his third straight game this week. According to the beat reporters, he ran with the starters in Monday’s walk through. I don’t see any reason why Kerry Rhodes should have his job back after a somewhat weak performance against Buffalo.

3. Backup offensive lineman and extra tight end in short yardage sets Robert Turner is going to be out this week and probably the following week. Corners Donald Strickland and Dwight Lowery are improving with their respective injuries but I wouldn’t bank on either of them playing on Sunday. I would rather see them at 100 percent against Indy then rush back this weekend against the Bucs weak receivers.

4. Green Bay helped the Jets playoff cause last night by beating the Ravens 27-17. Make sure you check back tomorrow for “Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 14 Viewing Guide,” where I will discuss all the playoff scenarios and who Jets fans should be rooting for this week.

Jets vs. Bucs First Look

PhotobucketTampa Bay’s Key Players: On offense Josh Freeman has breathed some life into Tampa. However, he is coming off his worst game of the season. Freeman threw five interceptions last week in a loss to Carolina. On the season he has 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and is completing 54 percent of his passes. He is mobile in the pocket and has already racked up 134 yards rushing in a limited number of starts. Cadillac Williams is the Bucs leading rusher with 572 yards, with Derrick Ward chipping 304 yards. Neither of backs has an overly impressive yards per carry (4.0 for Williams and 3.6 for Ward). Tight End Kellen Winslow is putting together a strong season with 58 receptions for 633 yards, with 5 touchdowns. Maybe the Jets should put Darrelle Revis on him, since the top receivers for Tampa both have 27 catches. Yet, Antonio Bryant is averaging an impressive 17.6 yards per catch. Also watch out for ex-Jet fullback BJ Askew, who has 3 total  offensive yards this season.

On defense, the Bucs are very young and they struggle to stop the run (Run, TJ, Run). However, they do have some talented pass rushers. Stylez White has 5.5 sacks and Jimmy Wilkerson has 6 on the season. Barrett Ruud is a solid linebacker and leads the team in tackles. Aqib Talib is beat often at corner but does make some big plays. He currently has 5 interceptions and 11 passes defensed. Ronde Barber is still playing but doesn’t have an interception yet this season, despite having 2 sacks.

Typical Jets: How typical would it be for the Jets to go on the road and lose to the 1-11 Bucs? They got everybody excited about some type of crazy playoff run in December. They are getting help at every turn, with Oakland winning in Pittsburgh, the Dolphins losing to Buffalo and then coming back and beating New England, the Ravens losing on Monday night, the Texans melting down and on and on. Of course all these wacky playoff scenarios go to the wayside if the Jets can’t beat one of the leagues worst teams. Can we avoid the obvious loss this week and keep the pipe dream alive for another week?

NFL Week 13 Recap, Jets News and Notes

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First a few updates:

1. As you can tell from all the sweet white boxes with red x’s in the corner in my last few articles and the lack of pictures in today’s article, there are still technical problems with the site. I am trying to work them out ASAP.

Jets News and Notes

1. The Jets had an abbreviated practice today, which was closer to a walk through than anything else. However, Mark Sanchez didn’t take part. Rex Ryan said he has been going through intense rehab and that he still is optimistic about him suiting up this Sunday. I would expect him to be limited in Wednesday’s practice. If he is going to start, the Jets will want him out there for the installation of the game plan. Sanchez will be wearing a brace on both legs for the rest of the season. It will be interesting to see how he responds from his first somewhat serious injury as a pro and how the knee will affect his play.

2. Rex Ryan didn’t say if Eric Smith or Kerry Rhodes would start at safety. It would be hard to justify giving Rhodes his job back after his quiet performance against Buffalo. I don’t know who taught Rhodes how to tackle but whomever they are was incorrect in showing him that you tackle by throwing your shoulder into the ball carrier with your hands at your side.

3. The Jets caught some breaks yesterday in their bid for a playoff spot. It should be a wild final four weeks in the AFC. Everybody needs to put on their Aaron Rodgers jersey tonight and pull hard for the Packers to knock the Ravens down to 6-6. I will break down in more detail what the Jets need to happen this Sunday to help their playoff hopes in my Wednesday article, “Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 14 Viewing Guide.” It is still a long shot but the Jets are very much alive, especially if the Packers take care of business tonight.

4. The Jets are currently ranked #1 in the NFL in both rushing and total defense…usually those type of rankings equal a division lead, not a 6-6 record.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – Maybe now everybody will stop saying the Patriots are an elite team in the NFL, since the only road game they have won this season was against Tampa Bay in London. The reality is that Bill Belichick has made some stupid decisions the past few weeks, including trying to convert a 4th down against Miami instead of taking a field goal that would have put New England up by two possessions. New England is an average team this season, which makes it more of a shame that the Jets couldn’t tackle Ted Ginn Jr…or stop Jacksonville in the 4th quarter…or avoid 6 INTs against Buffalo…or tackle Ronnie Brown on Monday night…and on and on. It is going to make me sick if the Patriots go 9-7 or 10-6 and win this division.

Miami Dolphins – I hate Miami and I hate giving them credit but that was a big time win for them and a big time performance by Chad Henne. How do you get blown out by Buffalo and throw three interceptions and then come back and beat New England and play like a franchise quarterback…that is the state of the NFL and the AFC East this year. They have a huge game in Jacksonville this weekend, which at first glance is a tough game to decide who to root for if you are a Jets fan. A closer look at both team’s schedule confirms that we should be pulling for the Jags because they are likely to lose their next two after Miami (against Indy and in New England). If Miami does win, we are going to need some AFC South help from the Titans and Texans against the Fins in the following two weeks. (I find it very hard not to discuss the 200000 playoff possibilities all the time, but I am trying to save it for Wednesday).

Buffalo Bills – We can only hope they can contribute to the Patriots meltdown by beating them up in Buffalo in a few weeks, which is something I wouldn’t be shocked to see happen. The Bills should have beat New England in week one and they are always tough in their building…not in Toronto in front of 80,000 uninterested Blue Jays and Maple Leafs fans.

Other NFL Observations

Has anything more improbable this season happened than Bruce Gradkowski driving Oakland down the field in Pittsburgh with under two minutes to play to steal a victory, bizarre stuff, this is the defending champs we are talking about…Yes, I giggled like a school girl watching Brett Favre play like crap last night and throw two interceptions, hopefully this a sign of things to come…I still can’t believe Washington found a way to blow that game against the Saints…Good win for the Giants, who continued to prove that Dallas will never win an important game with Wade Phillips and Tony Romo leading the way…Good weeks for my Super Bowl picks, as the Chargers and Eagles each racked up another win…How can we convince Jim Caldwell to rest Peyton Manning against the Jets in week 16?

TOJ NFL Power Rankings (Only teams with a playoff pulse are ranked, no matter how weak that pulse is)

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (12-0) – Business like victory over the previously red-hot Titans.
  2. New Orleans Saints (12-0) – Amazing victory over Washington, keeps undefeated hopes alive.
  3. Minnesota Vikings (10-2) – Wow, they looked bad last night…was it an aberration or a sign of things to come?
  4. San Diego Chargers (9-3) – Tough games approaching on the schedule.
  5. Cincinnati Bengals (9-3) – Running away with the AFC North.
  6. Arizona Cardinals (8-4) – Don’t sleep on the defending NFC Champs…they can play with anybody.
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) – Their offense is a big play machine…huge game in the Meadowlands this Sunday night.
  8. Denver Broncos (8-4) – Fought off their 4 game losing streak with two impressive wins.
  9. Green Bay Packers ( 7-4) – We are pulling for you tonight.
  10. New York Giants (7-5) – Big plays led to big win over Dallas, who they own.
  11. Dallas Cowboys (8-4) – With upcoming games against San Diego and New Orleans…here comes the meltdown.
  12. New England Patriots (7-5) – Battling Dallas for the league’s weakest division leader.
  13. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) – Up by 4 with 5 minutes to go…thank you very much #1 ranked Jets defense.
  14. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) – Do us all a favor, and come out flat tonight and don’t give the ball to Ray Rice too often.
  15. Miami Dolphins (6-6) – Thanks for beating New England, but it is time to start losing again.
  16. New York Jets (6-6) – Have to take care of business this week and hope to continue to receive help.
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6) – You lose to Oakland…at home? Let’s go Mangini and the Browns on Thursday.
  18. Tennessee Titans (5-7) – Take care of Miami in week 15 for us.
  19. Atlanta Falcons (6-6) – Things have gone south quickly for the dirty birds.
  20. Houston Texans (5-7) – Speaking of going south quickly.
  21. San Francisco 49ers (5-7) – I said even teams with a weak playoff pulse would be ranked…case and point.
  22. Seattle Seahawks (5-7) – See 49ers.

Pats Lose to the Fins

Raiders Shock Steelers

Grading Out The Jets Thursday Night Win

Braylon 

 First a few updates:

1. The big news of the day: Mark Sanchez has a sprained PCL and should be able to play against Tampa Bay. I wouldn’t bet on him practicing until the end of the next week. Hopefully, with the proper treatment and a brace he will be close to 100 percent on December 13th in Tampa.

2. Rex Ryan continued to express his frustration with Sanchez’s decision not to slide. He said it best last night, “The kid has to grow up.” It is a little ridiculous how the Jets took the time to bring Joe Girardi in this week and Sanchez still refused to slide. I know he was being competitive and trying to get a first down but he is going to keep getting hurt if he doesn’t listen to the coaching staff.

3. The stats and game highlights section have been updated. Congratulations to Thomas Jones for another 1,000 yard season.

4. Go Oakland, Kansas City, Green Bay, Houston, and New England this weekend. It is nice to still be playing meaningful games in December.

5. I am going to Italy from December 25th to January 1st, which of course means I will be out of the country during the Jets/Colts game. I am open to all suggestions about the best way to go about viewing the game. I am thinking about buying NFL Rewind, bringing my laptop and then locking myself in the hotel room on Monday night (you have to wait 24 hours until after the game is over to watch it). It is either that or rely on somebody to tape the game and then watch it when I get back, although it would be weird to watch a game on Saturday and then gear up for Jets/Bengals right away the next day. I leaning towards the laptop so I can drop an article or two in.

Grading Out The Jets Thursday Night Win

Quarterbacks: (C) Sanchez was playing well before he left with an injury. The numbers show 7/15 for 104 yards with a touchdown but Braylon Edwards dropped a 85 yard touchdown pass on him, along with another slant over the middle. David Clowney also should have pulled in a touchdown catch from him. Sanchez did miss a wide open Jerricho Cotchery in the end-zone but overall he didn’t turn the ball over, showed good mobility and more poise in the pocket. Obviously, it is frustrating to see him get hurt but I think he will back for the Tampa game. Kellen Clemens had a nice throw on 3rd down to convert a big first down but beyond that was pretty awful. He fumbled twice and showed absolutely no pocket presence. The Jets might run the ball 55 times if Clemens has to start next week.

Running Backs: (A) Thomas Jones racked up another 100 yard effort and is now over 1,000 for the season. He is currently on pace to have a career high in yards rushing for a season. There is nothing else to say except that Jones has been great this year. Shonn Greene had his best game of the season outside of Oakland, finishing with 59 yards on 11 carries.

Wide Receivers: (C) Braylon Edwards had a brutal drop but responded with an acrobatic grab on the sideline and a touchdown reception, where he showed some toughness after the catch. Jerricho Cotchery had a solid night, highlighted by a 45 yard reception. David Clowney should have hauled in that touchdown.

Tight Ends: (C) Quiet night for Dustin Keller, who only had one catch. However, him and Ben Hartsock did a good job of blocking.

Offensive Line: (B) The pass protection was a little shaky at times but overall the Jets dominated on the ground for the second time this season against Buffalo.

Defensive Line: (A) How about the season Shaun Ellis is putting together? Marques Douglas is also having a very good year and Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha have stepped up in the absence of Kris Jenkins.

Linebackers: (A) Another sack and forced fumble for David Harris. Bart Scott had one of his better games of the season. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas were also active. Did anybody see Vernon Gholston out there, anybody?

Secondary: (A) This grade is only so high because of the Jets corners. What else can you say about Darrelle Revis? Lito Sheppard bounced back from giving up an early big play to Lee Evans to have his second strong game in a row. Kerry Rhodes, Jim Leonhard, and Eric Smith were all quiet.

Special Teams: (A) Jay Feely is quietly having a pro-bowl caliber season. Brad Smith and Jerricho Cotchery were okay on returns.

Coaching: (A) Good offensive game plan by Brian Schottenheimer who caught Buffalo off guard with some misdirections and reverses and another strong defensive effort led by Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine.

Highlights From the Jets Win

Jets vs. Bills Prediction

Revis 

 First a few updates:

1. This has turned out to be Darrelle Revis appreciation week from the local and national media, here is a good piece by Tim Graham of ESPN.com documenting how well #24 has played this year: http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/7246/revis-rivets-receivers-like-none-other

Jets vs. Bills Prediction

Quick predictions on the game, which is only 5 hours from kickoff. I feel good about tonight. I don’t know why, I just do. Nobody is saying the Jets are going to steamroll an improved Buffalo team. However, I think it is a nice benefit to play inside in front of a neutral crowd. Expect to see the defense build off last week and continue to play well. Buffalo has a makeshift offensive line, yet still has been taking more shots down the field in their passing game, which should open up some opportunities for the Jets pass rush. Revis vs. Owens? I predict TO has 3 catches for 20 yards.

On offense, I think Sanchez will play well. This is a big test for him on national television, going against a team who embarrassed him last time they met. The Jets offense is going to run through Thomas Jones with a little Shonn Greene and Danny Woodhead sprinkled in, but I do think they will hit a few plays down the field in their passing attack. Braylon Edwards has been a beast in primetime the past two years and I think he gets his first 100 yard game as Jet tonight.

Final Prediction: Jets – 20 Buffalo – 17

Jets vs. Bills: Game Breakdown

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 First a few updates:

1. The official injury report for tomorrow lists Lito Sheppard, Donald Strickland, and Robert Turner out. Tight End Matthew Mulligan has been moved to the active roster to replace Justin Miller, who was released last week.

2. Darrelle Revis was named AFC Defense Player of the Week for his performance against Carolina. A well-deserved honor for the league’s best cornerback.

Jets vs. Bills Game Breakdown

Jets_vs_Bills_74cfOffense: The Jets ran for over 300 yards the last time they played Buffalo so it would be a safe assumption that Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and Danny Woodhead will be very active tomorrow night. Buffalo needs to prove they can stop the run before the Jets stop turning around and handing the ball to Jones. One quick thing for Brian Schottenheimer, can we stop with the toss play? I swear the Jets run toss two times every game and lose 5 yards on it both times. Jones and Greene are north and south runners, give them the ball up the middle. After watching game tape this should be the easiest game plan Schottenheimer ever put together: Hand the ball off early and often.

When the Jets do need to throw the football, I wouldn’t mind seeing them take a couple of shots down the field. The Jets were about as conservative as possible last week and eventually Buffalo is going to put enough people in the box, where the offense is going to need to put one up for Braylon Edwards. Dustin Keller has been doing a great job in the intermediate passing game the past few weeks but with how well the Jets run the football, they should be able to make the defense pay with big plays in the passing game. Jerricho Cotchery was quiet last game, so don’t be surprised to see the Jets try to get him involved early.

Defense: There is alot of talk about the emergence of the Bills down field passing attack led by Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, the Jets got an answer for the suddenly woken up Terrell Owens and that is Darrelle Revis. I am more concerned about Lee Evans matched up with Lito Sheppard. Evans hurt the Jets in their last meeting but Sheppard is coming off his best game of the season and appears to finally be getting healthy. I would still like to see the Jets role the coverage to help against Evans. Revis can handle Owens one on one.

Fred Jackson has been moved into the starting line-up for the Bills and is a dangerous back. The Jets defensive line has played surprisingly well in the absence of Kris Jenkins and needs to keep it up against Jackson and the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a mobile quarterback who escaped a few sacks against the Jets last time. They need to bring him down when they get a chance. I would like to see Bart Scott make a few big plays. David Harris and Calvin Pace have made their share in the past few weeks, so let’s see Scott get a few. Hopefully, Kerry Rhodes will use coming off the bench in a primetime game as motivation and put together another big game.

Special Teams: I think we will see Brad Smith as the primary kick returner from now on. Jerricho Cotchery has been good on punt returns but I still worry about him getting hurt back there. Buffalo is traditionally solid on special teams and has never been averse to trick plays.

Please don’t ever think every italian guy from North Jersey is  like this…I don’t even own hair gel…I swear.

Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 13 Viewing Guide

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 First a few updates:

1. I missed a day yesterday because of some school commitments (aka staying up all night writing a paper and then sleeping all day), but here is a comprehensive update section to make up for the empty column space yesterday.

2. I have to say I really enjoyed watching the Patriots be completely out-classed and humiliated on Monday night by New Orleans. I love how all the NFL experts assume the Pats are an elite team in the NFL, even though they don’t have a single impressive win all season, and predicted New England to beat the Saints. The bottom line is that the Patriots will more than likely win the AFC East because of the Jets/Dolphins mediocrity, but don’t mistake them for being one of the best teams in the league because they aren’t.

3. It truly was a great week 12 for Jets fans. Obviously, we finally won a game and beyond the Pats being beatdown on national television, the mighty Miami Dolphins and their franchise quarterback lost by 17…yes 17 points in Buffalo, thanks to 3 INT’s from Chad Henne. Miami fans loved piling it on the Jets when the Bills beat them a few weeks back in OT and now they lost by 17 and fell below .500. Also, even though it didn’t help the Jets playoff hopes, I certainly didn’t mind the Giants getting the crap kicked out of them on Thanksgiving.

4. The whole Joe Girardi coming in to practice to teach Mark Sanchez how to slide was a pretty good idea by Rex Ryan…when I thought about it,  you never really have seen Sanchez slide yet this season and it is obviously an important thing for a quarterback to learn.

Bills Jets Football5. It is a shame that it took a two interception performance to receive the proper amounts of national respect for Darrelle Revis and yet he still isn’t getting it from everybody. I love how the consistently Jets-bashing Mike Florio still refers to Revis as one of the best “young corners” in football…how about one of the best corners, if not the best corner in football, period. You can drop the “young”. Also, he tries to hype up the TO/Revis battle tomorrow night and cautions that Revis could be in trouble because he had the audacity to say Randy Moss is faster than Owens, which is going to fire TO up. Obviously Florio didn’t watch what Revis did to Owens the last time these two teams met and also forgets that it doesn’t matter who you throw at Revis…he is going to shut them down. Andre Johnson? Check. Randy Moss? Double Check. Marques Colston? Check. Steve Smith? Check. Terrell Owens? About to be a double check.

6. Injury stuff – Donald Strickland and Dwight Lowery won’t play tomorrow. Mark Sanchez is going to start with a brace on his knee. Everybody else should be a go.

Jets Playoff Pipe Dream: Week 13 Viewing Guide

The NFL is a funny thing sometimes. After the Jets lost to New England, the season was properly proclaimed over by everybody (including me) and yet here I am this week reading article after article about how the Jets are still alive if they can just take it one game at a time. What happened? Well all it took was a Jets win, a Ravens loss, a Dolphins loss, a Jaguars loss, and a Texans loss to turn the AFC wild card race into a complete wide-open mess. Here is what we are looking at right now in that race:

  1. Denver (7-4)
  2. Jacksonville (6-5)
  3. Pittsburgh (6-5)
  4. Baltimore (6-5)
  5. Miami (5-6)
  6. Jets (5-6)
  7. Houston (5-6)
  8. Tennessee (5-6)

There you have it, 8 mediocre teams battling for 2 spots. The good news is that even after watching the Jets Thursday night, there is plenty to be excited about on Sunday in terms of rooting interest. Here is a run-down:

bluejayNew York Jets (5-6) at Toronto Blue Jays (4-7): I will have the full game breakdown later in the day but obviously the Jets have to take care of business tomorrow night or much of this becomes irrelevant. The Blue Jays have been playing better lately led by Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback who actually has decided to use his wide receivers, unlike Trent Edwards.

New England Patriots (7-4) at Miami Dolphins (5-6): This is one of the those games that you could be happy either way with the result. If the Dolphins win, the Jets would only be one game out of first place (pending a Thursday victory). Yet, I would still find it hard to believe that New England would have a complete meltdown in the final four games, especially since the Jets need to finish with a better record than them because they don’t have the tie-breaker. I think it is better to root for the Patriots to bury Miami at 5-7, since we also lack a tie breaker with the Dolphins and we overall have a better chance of catching a wild-card team than the Pats. I don’t want Miami hanging around the wild-card race with their sweep of us.

Oakland Raiders (3-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5): I mean, hey the Chiefs beat the Steelers a couple of weeks ago. Why wouldn’t you have faith in Bruce Gradkowski and company heading into Heinz Field against a pissed-off Pittsburgh team? This game could get ugly real quick but you can always root for a miracle.

Denver Broncos (7-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-8): Here is a slightly more realistic upset watch. Kansas City has won 2 of their 3 past three and they are usually tough at home. Beyond that, I am not sold that Denver is all the way back yet. I think they just ran into a crappy, poorly prepared Giants team on Thursday night.

Tennessee Titans (5-6) at Indianapolis Colts (11-0): Even though a Titans win keeps them very much alive in the playoff race, I am still pulling for them against the Colts. We have the tie breaker with Tennessee anyway and beyond that if this Jets playoff pipe dream has a chance they are going to need a win against Indy in week 16 and the only way that is happening if the Colts are resting starters because they aren’t playing for anything. The only way they are playing for something is if they are going for an undefeated season. If there is one team who has a shot to end this perfect season, it is the Titans who are playing as well as anybody in the NFL right now, with Chris Johnson and Vince Young running around on that turf.

Houston Texans (5-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5): You have to be rooting for the Texans here, because if the Jets win they will have the same record as both teams. Beyond that, the Jets don’t have a tie-breaker with Jacksonville but do have one against the Texans. I just hope this game doesn’t come down to a Kris Brown field goal.

Baltimore Ravens (6-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-4): Let’s go Packers. I feel good about Green Bay winning this game at home against an inconsistent Ravens team.

They Can’t Play This Bad Again Right? Right?!

Grading Out The Jets/Panthers Game

*Nov 29 - 00:05*

First a few updates:

1. Except for Denver winning (thank you very much Giants), literally every team the Jets needed to lose yesterday, actually did lose. It was a rare day of positive outcomes for the Jets, who now somehow sit 1 game out of the AFC’s final wild card spot.

2. I don’t have a major problem with how Kerry Rhodes handled the media yesterday. The guy has been through a rough week with his well deserved benching. He said what he needed to say and left before having to answer millions of questions about whether he should get his job back (he shouldn’t yet, Eric Smith played a very good game). Hopefully, Rhodes will string together a few big games and start to resemble the player the Jets expected him to be in 2009.

3. The stats and game highlights section have been updated. It was nice to finally add some winning highlights. We are currently working on an extended holiday special version of TOJ TV to hopefully air before the Jets/Bucs game on December 13th. However, I’d like to get something up before Thursday’s game but apparently I need to devote more attention to my finals than my website’s television show. We’ll see if I end up writing my final today or instead laying in my bed, watching re-runs of LOST, and eating pretzels.

Grading Out The Jets/Panthers Game

JETS V PANTHERS SQuarterbacks: (B-) It was far from his best game of the season, but it was still a step in the right direction from the previous few games for Mark Sanchez. He was noticeably more careful with the football, showed his ability to run when his receivers are covered and displayed accuracy on a few impressive throws over the middle to Dustin Keller. Yes, the interception he threw was a bad pass and eventually he will have to press the ball down the field a little more but he played well enough for the Jets to win. It was also good to see him finally get his completion percentage well above 50.

Running Backs: (B-) A solid, workmanlike day from Thomas Jones. Shonn Greene’s fumble lowered the grade of this group. He shows some good burst but must do a better job of protecting the football. It was a smart decision by the Jets coaching staff to activate Danny Woodhead and use him in the third down role because he is a very good receiver out of the backfield. He provides a Sanchez a good outlet as a check down.

Wide Receivers: (C) It was a quiet day from this group, with Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery only combining for 4 receptions. Edwards showed a strong ability to run after the catch and it was also a good decision to throw him shorter passes to keep him involved.

Tight Ends: (C) Dustin Keller had a very good game, except for his fumble. It is good to see him becoming more consistently involved in the offense. Ben Hartsock is stringing together a few games without a penalty.

Offensive Line: (C) It wasn’t the best day for this group. Sanchez was sacked a few times and Thomas Jones couldn’t crack the 100 yard mark. D’Brickashaw Ferguson also had a holding penalty.

Defensive Line: (A) A really strong effort from this group in slowing down DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Marques Douglas and Shaun Ellis are both playing better than expected this season. Sione Pouha has also been more than competent as a replacement for Kris Jenkins.

Linebackers: (A) A sack for David Harris, Calvin Pace, and Bryan Thomas. Bart Scott was also fairly active. Was Vernon Gholston in uniform on Sunday?

112909Jets03ACNYSecondary: (A) Darrelle Revis played another terrific game on Sunday, you can add Steve Smith to the list of elite receivers who have been completely shut down by Revis. Eric Smith didn’t disappointin his promotion to the starting line-up, with a team leading 8 tackles and 2 for a loss. Aided by Jake Delhomme’s general awfulness, Kerry Rhodes pulled in his first two  interceptions of the season. Rex Ryan is looking pretty smart for at least one week.

Special Teams: (B) Jay Feely made an important kick in the 4th quarter. Brad Smith had a nice kick return. The punt coverage was a little shaky.

Coaching: (A) The benching of Kerry Rhodes brought out strong performances from both him and Eric Smith. Ryan also made the right call by challenging Steve Smith’s touchdown. It was a good game plan on both sides of the ball and the coaching staff had the team ready to play.

Highlights of the Jets 17-6 Win Over Carolina

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Rough slate of games yesterday for the NFL. I still don’t understand how the Raiders beat the Bengals and Eagles. The Giants laid a big time egg, which caught me off guard especially because of how bad Denver had been playing. Unless they get things turned around quickly, the Giants might be joining the Jets at home in January.

2. Rex Ryan press conference today: He took some time to stand up for Vernon Gholston, who will be active this week. Donald Strickland and Dwight Lowery are going to be out. He expressed frustration with how the news about Kerry Rhodes being benched got out, and reiterated that he will still be on the field in nickel and dime packages.

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

Offense: Expect a run heavy game plan from the Jets. The Panthers have struggled against the run all season and I think the game plan will work to protect Mark Sanchez. He will likely be started out with a bunch of short throws and pass plays with very basic reads. More important than the Jets winning this week, is Sanchez not turning the ball over, improving his completion percentage, and throwing a couple of touchdown passes. Regardless, I’d be shocked to see Thomas Jones have anything less than 20 carries and see Sanchez throw more than 20-23 passes.

Defense: If the Jets are smart they will stack the box to prevent DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart from beating them, leave Darrelle Revis one on one with Steve Smith and see if Jake Delhomme can beat them. This unit has been good all season and dominant at times but they struggled to create big plays. If there is a week to rack up some interceptions, forced fumbles, and sacks…this is it.

Prediction: I expect an ugly, turnover filled, low-scoring game. I am going  with Carolina 16-13.

Darrelle Revis Will Have His Hands Full

Thanksgiving Ramblings On The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. My head is still hurting from national high school reunion night. I must say it is good to be back in Ringwood for the weekend and that despite being a generally anti-social person it was good to see everybody last night. I made the brilliant decision to walk home last night along the main road in our town instead of through the woods with my friends. This resulted in me nearly being by two cars, my friends thinking I got lost and a random girl offering me a ride home. I would like to thank that random girl for picking me up because I might still be walking if she didn’t.

2. I know we have been on a bit of a hiatus from Turn On The Jets TV but I can assure you Corbett and myself have some quality ideas for upcoming episodes. Don’t worry the show isn’t going to end when the Jets season ends. We will continue entertaining all our loyal viewers here and on youtube year round.

3. Kissing Suzy Kolber did another hilarious Rex Ryan story, this one with a Thanksgiving angle: http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2009/11/a-very-special-thanksgiving-with-a-very-special-surprise-guest.html#more-21696 — beware of explicit material.

4. The attractive girl of the day in Jets apparel:

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Thanksgiving Ramblings On The Jets

– Matthew Stafford threw 4 interceptions today and completed less than 50 percent of his passes…at least Mark Sanchez isn’t the only rookie quarterback struggling.

– Did anybody else find it hilarious when Hank Poteat got called for pass interference on the last play of the Browns/Lions game last week? Poor Eric Mangini looked like his head was going to explode…that’s what you get when you fill your defense with Jets castoffs.

– How about this trade offer for the off-season? Kerry Rhodes and Vernon Gholston to Cleveland for a 2nd and3rd round pick? We need draft picks, not more veterans. Obviously only Eric Mangini would be interested in Rhodes and Gholston at this point.

– So if the Giants beat the Broncos, the Ravens beat the Steelers, the Niners beat the Jaguars, the Colts beat the Texans, the Bills beat the Dolphins, and the Jets beat the Panthers, they will only be one game out of the wild-card. See, they are still in it, right? right?

– David Clowney has more twitter incidents (2) than touchdowns this season (1).

– Kerry Rhodes and I have the same amount of sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles for the Jets this season.

– Leigh Bodden was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week…Mark Sanchez making average cornerbacks pro-bowlers on a weekly basis.

– Drew Coleman just knocked at my door…he is still looking for Wes Welker. (As you can tell, I am also a part time comedian).

– Braylon Edwards better duplicate his performances against Miami a few times the rest of the season if he wants that fat, new contract from the Jets in the off-season.

– Since there has been plenty of negativity around this team, let’s shout out a few people who are having good seasons: Darrelle Revis is the best corner in football right now, Jerricho Cotchery has been very productive since returning from his injury, Shaun Ellis is still going strong, Nick Mangold is having another all-pro season, Jim Leonhard has been a good addition and showed his toughness by playing last week, Marques Douglas has been a solid upgrade over Kenyon Coleman, Tony Richardson is still a very good fullback, Thomas Jones is earning a new contract, Dustin Keller is being more consistently involved in the offense.

And now some entertainment…

How ‘Effin Funny Is The Office?

Some of Corbett and My Work Prior to Turn On The Jets

And of course the last episode of TOJ TV, for those few in America who haven’t seen it