Jets vs. Jaguars: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. Vernon Gholston missed his second straight day of practice and isn’t expected to play this weekened…oh my, how are the Jets going to deal with that injury? Rex Ryan said today that he expects everybody else to be available including Brad Smith and Lito Sheppard. Smith will be a big boost to the Jets special teams units and will allow them to begin using their version of the Wildcat again.

2. Apparently the Jets secondary held a “serious” meeting over the bye weekend about getting more interceptions and making more big plays. We are all for the Jets secondary making big plays here at Turn On The Jets, especially coming from Kerry Rhodes who has one interception in his last 15 games.

05_Flatbed_1 - DECEMBER3. A funny note about the traffic on this site, which is doing very well I might add (thanks again to all the readers)…you’d be amazed how many people end up here because they are looking for a picture of Sloan from Entourage. In one article I wrote over the summer, I put a picture of her up and literally that one article has driven thousands of extra people to this site just to see a picture of her. Apparently people enjoy looking at attractive women on the Internet and apparently football fans are no exception to that, so in the interest of attracting more readers (because I know once they stop by the site, they will be hooked for life) we will begin occasionally putting up pictures of TOJ endorsed women in the update section. A few notes though: there won’t be anything too over the top since this site is officially rated PG-13. I’d also like to maintain some type of connection to the Jets so we may start with some flight crew members or other women in Jets apparel (as we start with ex Jets employee Jen Sterger. Finally, if you are  a female reader of the site and believe you belong in this new section feel free to send a picture along, but please be showing off your Jets apparel.

4. Don’t forget to check in tomorrow for a new episode of TOJ TV, we are back after a one week hiatus.

Jets vs. Jaguars: Game Breakdown

Offensive Game Plan: Jacksonville has struggled on defense this season, in both getting to the quarterback and creating turnovers. They lack an elite pass rusher so Mark Sanchez should have his share of time in the pocket when the Jets decide to throw. Regardless, they still have some playmakers in the secondary with Reggie Nelson and Rashean Mathis so Brian Schottenhiemer needs to guard against falling in love with the pass. There is no reason to go away from giving the ball to Thomas Jones who has racked up three straight 100 yard games and looks better than he ever has in a Jets uniform. Shonn Greene should also see plenty of action off the bench. If Schottenheimer is smart (which is often questioned by Jets fans) he will have at least 35 carries between Jones and Greene and attempt to keep Sanchez’s pass attempts right around 20.

It will be interesting to see if the Jets can keep Dustin Keller involved in the offense after his breakout game against Miami, while still getting enough balls thrown towards Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery. Despite Brad Smith returning from an injury, David Clowney should remain the #3 receiver for the foreseeable future because of his production over the past four games. Smith still remains a valuable weapon on reverses and occasional gimmick plays but that is probably as big as his role will get on offense. I also wonder if Ben Hartsock will see a substantial decrease in playing time because of his ability to always get a penalty at the worst possible time.

Jets Bills FootballDefensive Game Plan: The focus on defense obviously needs to be on slowing down Maurice Jones-Drew. Similar to when they held Chris Johnson in check, the Jets must swarm to the ball and try to hit Jones-Drew in the backfield before he can build up a head of steam. He has a knack for bouncing off tackles so everybody needs to wrap up and hold on until more defenders can come help. I would expect Darrelle Revis to shadow Mike Sims-Walker who has been a big play threat for the Jags this season. However, that leaves a difficult match-up for either Lito Sheppard or Dwight Lowery on Torry Holt, who is still capable of making plays. The Jags also do a good job of involving the tight end in their passing attack, so guys like Bryan Thomas and Kerry Rhodes need to step up in coverage.

David Garrard is a big, strong quarterback who is difficult to bring down. This won’t be an easy game to get sacks but the Jets must avoid letting Garrard extend the play and create plays with his feet. There has been many times this year the Jets have been in the face of the quarterback but have let him escape a would-be sack and throw the ball away. If it that happens this week, Garrard will take off and get first downs for a Jags offense that has been better than expected this season.

Special Teams: I think we will be seeing guys like Marques Murrell and Ahmad Carroll active this week to boost the coverage units. Jacksonville has struggled on returns but still the memory of those Ted Ginn Jr. touchdowns is going to haunt the Jets and their fans the rest of the season. Hopefully, Justin Miller will show a little more this week on our kick return unit, he looked a step slow against Miami. I know alot of fans are getting down on Jim Leonhard as a punt returner because he hasn’t ripped off any big ones yet, but don’t ever take for gratned a reliable returner who always catches the ball.

I don’t know why I went with this video, but it is fun to watch Miami lose 62-7

How The Jets Can Make A Playoff Run

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First a few updates:

1. Rich Cimini posted an article today which cited a few sources within the Jets organization that pinned the decision to draft Vernon Gholston on ex head coach Eric Mangini. We had been hearing this for awhile now about Mangini’s pre-draft infatuation with Gholston but regardless Mike Tannenbaum is supposed to make all final decisions on the draft so it isn’t fair for him to completely pass the buck to Mangini. The entire organization deserves blame for the Gholston pick which has not worked out at all. Gholston was drafted to sack the quarterback and in 24 NFL games, he hasn’t recorded a single sack. The reality is that Gholston should be inactive for every game in the second half of the season. Jamaal Westerman is a better reserve pass rusher on defense and Marques Murrell, Ahmad Carroll, and Westerman are all better special teams players than him.

2. Peter King gave the Jets some love in his mid-season All-Pro Team by placing Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and Nick Mangold on it.

3. The Jets reportedly have no interest in recently released Chiefs running back Larry Johnson…well duh. Who would want this washed up head case, especially with Thomas Jones and Shonn Grenne on the roster and Leon Washington coming back next year?

4. CBS has protected the Jets/Pats 4:15 game on November 22nd, preventing NBC from moving it to Sunday Night Football. At least we have our prime-time game against the Bills in Toronto to get excited about.

5. A few highlights from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: Vernon Gholston sat out practice with a hamstring injury, while Lito Sheppard and Brad Smith were both limited but still are expected to play this weekend. Ryan confirmed Sheppard would return to the starting line-up when he comes back. He also complimented Mark Sanchez for practicing without sleeves today and admitted he needs to learn how to deal with the cold weather if the Jets are going to be successful in the second half of the season.

Some Quick NFL Second Half Predictions

In my “2009 NFL Predictions” article here: http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/2009-nfl-predictions/, I predicted the AFC playoff teams would be: New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore (wild card), New York Jets (wild card). In the NFC: Philadelphia, Minnesota, Atlanta, Arizona, New York Giants (wild card), Green Bay Packers (wild card). My Super Bowl prediction was Philly vs. San Diego.

Obviously, it isn’t fair to revise picks half way through the season. However, in the AFC I’d like to trade Baltimore out and take Cincinnati in but beyond that I am feeling alright. I am thinking San Diego will win the AFC West and Denver will fade away in the second half. In the NFC, I look completely idiotic for not picking New Orleans to even make the playoffs so I need to trade the fading Giants and the mediocre Packers out to bring the Saints and Cowboys in.

I won’t bail on my Super Bowl picks because I think both teams will still be in the mix come January but if I had to switch it up now I would say we are looking at a Colts/Steelers AFC Championship Game and a Saints/Vikings NFC Championship game with the Steelers and Saints meeting in the Super Bowl.

How The Jets Can Make A Playoff Run

I have already stated my belief that the Jets are going 6-2 in the second half of the season and will find a way to sneak in the playoffs, but what do they need to do to make that happen? Let’s look at the three separate phases of the game:

large_marky-markOffense: It all starts and ends with the quarterback, if Mark Sanchez can take what he learned from the first half of the season and put together an improved second half the Jets are going to have a very good offense. He needs to continue doing what he did in the past two games, which means protecting the football, hitting big plays down the field when the defense stacks the box, and avoiding sacks by checking the ball down or throwing the ball away. Keep in mind Sanchez lost two games for the Jets in the first half of the season with amazingly bad, turnover-filled performances. I think those type of games are behind him which is going to prevent the Jets from having a let down against inferior teams like Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo. The real question is going to be can Sanchez rise up on the road in games against New England and Indy and at home against Atlanta and Cincinnati to lead the Jets to a couple of upsets.

Beyond the quarterback, Brian Schottenheimer needs to remember what the Jets identity is on offense. They need to keep running the football. I hope Thomas Jones got his rest over the bye week because the guy should be getting 22-25 carries every single week for the rest of the season. Shonn Greene needs to bounce back from a rough Miami game and become a reliable 10-12 carry guy off the bench. I know Schottenheimer is going to be tempted to air it out with a healthy Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards and a rejuvenated Dustin Keller but the Jets aren’t going anywhere throwing 35 passes a game. When teams stack the box and finally begin slowing down the Jets #1 ranked rushing attack, then they need to take advantage of single coverage on either Edwards, Cotchery, or Keller. With how well the Jets run the football, they should be able to hit big plays down the field in the passing game.

126926_featureDefense: Outside of the weak showing on Monday night against Miami, the Jets defense has been exceptional this year. Over the past two weeks, they have finally started creating turnovers and sacking the quarterback and that needs to continue. If the Jets are going to pull some of the necessary upsets to make the playoffs, it will be led by strong defensive performances that will keep games against New England, Indy, Atlanta, and Cincy close and give the Jets a chance to steal the game in the fourth quarter. On the defensive line, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Marques Douglas need to keep their elevated level of play going to fill the void of Kris Jenkins. They will be tested right out of the gate against Maurice Jones-Drew and will also have to deal with DeAngelo Williams, Michael Turner, and Cedric Benson later in the year.

At linebacker it is time to plant Vernon Gholston on the bench and let Jamaal Westerman become the primary pass rusher off the bench. In the secondary, Lito Sheppard’s return will boost the secondary by allowing Dwight Lowery, who is talented enough to be a starter, to slide into the nickel role. Kerry Rhodes also needs to get it going. The Jets are going to need some defensive touchdowns or key turnovers that give easy points to the offense, and for that to happen Rhodes to start making some big plays.

Special Teams: Tackle, Tackle, Tackle. The Jets won’t make the mistake of making Marques Murrell and Ahmad Carroll inactive in the same week again. Jay Feely has been very good this season and needs to keep it up. Steve Weatherford has been okay and you’d like to see a slight improvement from him. In the return game, hopefully Justin Miller got back up to speed over the bye week and will provide a threat on kick returns.

Who Else Could We Have Had With This Pick?

NFL Week 9 Recap/Jets vs. Jaguars First Look

JETS V EAGLES EXHIBITION

First a few updates:

1. The Jets are practicing again today but there will be no media availability. Rex Ryan said yesterday and today’s practice will be at a slower pace before they go back to full tilt tomorrow. There seemed to be a good amount of optimism around the team yesterday about making a second half playoff run. Don’t forget 2006, when the Jets were 4-4 at the bye week and finished 6-2 to clinch a wild-card spot. They are going to need an upset or two and some help to replicate that this season but it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Also, with the Patriots upcoming three games they have a better chance than they did in 2006 to catch New England in the divisional race.

2. A big story by the beat writers was Braylon Edwards desire to stay in New York and prove to the coaching staff he deserves a long term contract. Unless Edwards bombs out over these last eight games, I’d be shocked it Mike Tannenbaum didn’t lock him down for the long term. You obviously want to surround your franchise quarterback with as many weapons as possible and so far Tannenbaum has done a good job of that.

3. Leon Washington was back at the practice facility yesterday, moving around on a motorized scooter. He is expected to make a full recovery for the 2010 season. Leon was also voted the third most dangerous return man in the NFL in a recent Sports Illustrated poll behind Devin Hester and Josh Cribbs.

4. The Jets currently sit at #18 in the ESPN Power Rankings, one spot behind the Miami Dolphins and two spots behind the Green Bay Packers.

5. Lito Sheppard declared himself 100 percent for the game against Jacksonville, well it is about time there Lito. Brad Smith is also expected to return to the line-up after missing three games.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – Tom Brady and Randy Moss took advantage of a weak Dolphins secondary en route to an impressive 27-17 win at home over Miami. I am still not 100 percent sold on the Patriots as an elite team in the AFC but they will have every chance to prove me wrong the next three weeks with games in Indy and New Orleans, and a re-match at home against our Jets. For all the criticism he has taken, Laurence Maroney has put together a pretty solid year and Brady appears close to 100 percent, which will make beating the Pats a second time in one season a difficult task.

bos_a_jporter1_480Miami Dolphins – The humble and high character Dolphins were shut up by New England, especially Joey Porter who didn’t register a stat while his defense gave up nearly 30 points for the second week in a row. Miami has an easy part of their schedule coming up (TB, Car, Buf) so they may not be dead yet but the bottom line is that this team isn’t going anywhere with the way their offense is currently constructed. The Wildcat isn’t effective anymore and they have absolutely no down field passing attack. I guess Chad Henne isn’t the second coming of Dan Marino after all.

Buffalo Bills – At this point, Buffalo appears headed towards their fourth straight 7-9 season, if they are even lucky enough to win 4 games in the second half of the season.

TOJ Top Ten

  1. New Orleans Saints – Didn’t play their best football but still beat Carolina. They should roll to 10-0 before hosting the Patriots.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – Helped the Jets by beating Houston, would help them even more by beating New England on Sunday night.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – They are running away with the NFC North because of the Bears and Packers mediocrity.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – They are as real as it gets and can prove they are the AFC North’s best by winning in Pittsburgh this weekend.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – The champs are back and can seize control of their division by taking care of the Bengals at home.
  6. Dallas Cowboys – Who would have thought after week 2, they’d be in first place of the NFC East after 8 games?
  7. New England Patriots – We will see just how good they are over the next three weeks.
  8. Denver Broncos – They are coming back to Earth quickly after two rough losses.
  9. San Diego Chargers – Huge win over Giants and they are suddenly breathing down Denver’s neck.
  10. Arizona Cardinals – Slowly pulling away from the pack in the NFC West.

Jets vs. Jaguars First Look

maurice-jones-drew-new-contract-with-jaguarsThe Opponent: The Jaguars have quietly put together a decent first of the half season despite fairly low expectations heading into this year. They currently sit at 4-4, the same record as the Jets. Jacksonville’s most impressive victory was probably over Houston on the road, beyond that they have beat Tennessee (and also lost to them) Kansas City, and St. Louis. The Jaguars are a very young team, especially on defense where they have struggled this season. Their offense has been very good and is led by David Garrard at quarterback who has put together a better year than he did in a disappointing 2008 campaign. Garrard is always a threat to run. The Jaguars most explosive playmaker is Maurice Jones-Drew who is having a fantastic year and is a threat to break off a touchdown on any play from scrimmage. Jacksonville also has a good duo of starting receivers in Mike Sims-Walker and Torry Holt.

Jacksonville  Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: David Garrard – 162/266, 1867 yards, 6 TDs, 5 INTs, 38 carries, 191 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: Maurice Jones-Drew – 145 carries, 737 yards, 11 TDs
  • Running Back: Rashad Jennings – 20 carries, 97 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Mike Sims-Walker – 36 receptions, 554 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Torry Holt – 33 receptions, 461 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Mike Thomas – 19 receptions, 174 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Jarret Dillard – 5 receptions, 99 yards
  • Tight End: Mercedes Lewis – 17 receptions, 220 yards, 2 TDs
  • Left Tackle: Eugene Monroe
  • Left Guard: Vincent Manuwai
  • Center: Brad Meester
  • Right Guard: Uche Nwareni
  • Right Tackle: Eben Britton

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Attiyyah Ellison – 12 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: John Henderson – 19 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Terrence Knighton – 22 tackles, .5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Derrick Harvey – 23 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Daryl Smith – 55 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 FF
  • Middle Linebacker: Justin Durant – 54 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Clint Ingram – 25 tackles, 1 sack
  • Corner: Rashean Mathis – 22 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Corner: Derek Cox – 40 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Reggie Nelson – 41 tackles
  • Safety: Gerald Alexander – 33 tackles, 1 INT

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Josh Scobee
  • Punter: Adam Podlesh
  • Kick Returner: Brian Witherspoon

Key Players: MJD makes Jacksonville’s offense go but both Sims-Walker and Holt are big play threats. On defense, Rashean Mathis is one of the better corners in the league and Reggie Nelson is a talented player at safety. Jacksonville has struggled to get a pass rush going but outside linebacker Daryl Smith is having a strong year.

Injuries: The Jets should have both Lito Sheppard and Brad Smith back. Jacksonville shouldn’t be missing any key players this week either.

Highlights From the Jags Win Over KC Last Week

Back From Vacation, Back to Work: Make or Break Three Weeks on Horizon For Jets

*Sep 20 - 00:05*

First a few updates:

atlantic-city1. I would like to say I am feeling refreshed after taking the past three days off from the site and not having to deal with the stress of a Jets game yesterday, however I had a thoroughly exhausting reunion weekend with my college friends. The final stats on the weekend include 2 hours of sleep, large amounts of Saki and sushi consumed, a Muhlenberg football loss at Ursinus, hundreds of dollars lost in Atlantic City, thousands of insults exchanged, about 400 miles added to my car because my friend who is supposedly from Philadelphia didn’t remember how to get from his home city to our college, and a dead cell phone leading to an angered girlfriend. I do have to shout out my man Leon Washington because I hit #29 on the roulette table saving me from complete financial disaster. I spent yesterday laying in my bed recovering by watching Larry Fitzgerald and DeAngelo Williams carry my fantasy team, a despondent Joey Porter being shut up by New England (let’s see the national media come after him now for talking too much), the Giants lose their fourth straight game, and both a great Sunday night game and great Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.

2. I know everybody missed Turn On The Jets TV last weekend but don’t worry we will back this Thursday or Friday (hopefully Thursday) with a new episode documenting how I kept myself occupied during the bye week and previewing the Jets/Jags game.

3. The Jets were back to work today in preparation for the Jaguars, here a few things Rex Ryan talked about: In the category of head coach standing up for under achieving players: He continued to stand up for Vernon Gholston saying he is playing well on special teams and was making progress on defense but hasn’t played much because they haven’t needed more interior defensive lineman the past couple of weeks…He also stood up for Kerry Rhodes play and said he believes the turnovers will come for his safety. Ryan couldn’t resist looking a little ahead to New England but did give plenty to Jacksonville and said they have the same record as the Jets and the league’s #9 offense, making them a dangerous team.

Back From Vacation, Back to Work: Make or Break Three Weeks on Horizon For Jets

You could tell my rust from taking three days off by the unnecessarily, long, run-on title I came up with. Anyway, the Jets face both an uphill climb towards a wild-card spot and a division title over the next 8 weeks. In terms of the wild card, San Diego (5-3), Houston (5-4), Baltimore (4-4), Pittsburgh (5-2), and Jacksonville (4-4) remain in the mix. The Jets have a tie breaker with the Texans and I think they will fade down the stretch to their normal .500 record anyway. They have a chance to gain a tie breaker with Jacksonville this weekend and the Jaguars don’t seem capable of winning more than 7 or 8 games either. Baltimore should be in the mix but they have a tough remaining schedule and I still wouldn’t be shocked to either the Chargers or Steelers catch the Broncos and Bengals respectively which still means both wild card teams are going to have at least ten wins. I don’t know how the Jets tie breakers would shake out with San Diego, Denver, Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh but my guess is that it wouldn’t be good because of our poor divisional record.

Jets Dolphins FootballHowever, when you turn the focus to the division it becomes clear that the Jets 2009 season comes down to the next three weeks. Right now the Patriots are 6-2, while our Jets sit at 4-4, 2 games behind with 8 games each to play. The next three weeks New England travels to Indianapolis (8-0) host the Jets at home and then travel to New Orleans (8-0). In contrast, the Jets host Jacksonville (4-4), travel to New England, and then host Carolina (3-5). What does all that mean? It means it is time for the Jets to make their move if they want to win the 2009 AFC East title. The November 22nd match-up in New England is the make or break game for the Jets division hopes. New England will lose to either Indy or New Orleans, maybe both of them. The Jets need to avoid the let down and handle the inferior Jaguars and Panthers at home and they will set themselves up as the front runner in the division heading into the final five games of the season.

I am ready for anything, from the Jets running the table to the Jets losing out…from the Jets winning by 28 this weekend to Maurice Jones-Drew running for 348 yards en route to a Jacksonville blow out…from Mark Sanchez adjusting to cold weather and pulling out a victory on a November day in New England (where you know it will be hailing and snowing because Belichick controls the weather up there) to Sanchez throwing 4 INTs and weeping as he sips on a hot chocolate on the sideline…it is the Jets, so who knows, in the end they will probably get all our hopes up and then break our heart, but hey there is always that 1 percent chance that this could be year everything changes, so because of that I will be driving up to the Meadowlands this Sunday ready and excited for the second half of the season to kick off. It could be worse right? I could be a Browns fan.

The Disaster That Happens When Second Rate Cities Try to Imitate First Rate Ones, Wow This Is Bad

If You Haven’t Seen These Clips Yet of This Crazy New Mexico Women’s Soccer Player, Watch and Be Scared

The Jets Will Win Ten Games

NFL-Jets-Texans

First a few updates:

1. First off, how about those Yankees? A great season from a truly great, well-rounded team. I remember standing in the rain at Camden Yards on opening day watching CC and Texiera struggle and listening to the heckles of the Baltimore fans (who were clearly just bitter they haven’t had a relevant baseball team in over a decade) and wondering if this team had the make up to be a champion or whether they’d spent all that money to just lose in the first round again. Fortunately, after some early season struggles they turned things around and were the best team in baseball for the entire summer and all the way through the playoffs. Amazing post-season from A-Rod. Jeter was Jeter. Matsui and Damon were particularly clutch in the World Series. CC was the ace we signed him to be. Mariano was Mariano…and on and on. #27 in the books.

2. A little reader appreciation on the bye week to frequent readers and people who comment often: The Iron Marshall for always posting insightful thoughts and staying optimistic, Angel who has been following my writing for a few years now and is a great writer himself over at the The Bleacher Report and The Jets Blog, Bruce Harper, Simplysimon, all the fellow Fanball bloggers who stop by, JetBo, 16, dmd13, Coach and everybody else who takes the time to visit the site.

A Few Words On The Mighty Miami Dolphins

jason_taylor_red_rooster_strutAs many people have read the humble and high character Miami Dolphins have enjoyed their share of shots on the Jets in the past few days. Joey Porter ranting on about how they were the division champs last year and the division still runs through them. Jason Taylor talking about how Giants Stadium is a “hellhole” and that unlike Giants fans, Jets fans are “asses.” We all know that Taylor has had a lifelong hatred of the Jets organization and fans and will always take a shot whenever he can. What can you say? Taylor is a probable hall of fame player but a guy who will never win a championship and a guy who has never been past the second round of the playoffs. He got there a couple of times but lost 62-7 to Jacksonville and was blown out by the Raiders another time. He left Miami last year because Bill Parcells didn’t want him because he was too worried about his Hollywood career, stunk it up in DC and then got out of his contract by refusing to participate in off-season workouts. While he was gone, Miami had their best season in years and won the division, so Jason came back this year just in time to be a part of another 6-10 Dolphins team this season. Taylor is right about one thing, he hates Jets fans and we hate him. He can enjoy another January at home this season watching the NFL playoffs, like he has done every year since 2001.

Also, another funny thing about the Dolphins is how they refer to themselves as “champions” from last year. They won the AFC East title not the Super Bowl. I have never seen a team more proud of a season that ended at home in the first round of the playoffs in a game where they were completely outclassed and embarrassed (by Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, and Marques Douglas among other people). The Dolphins talk about their 2008 season like they won a Super Bowl, yet they didn’t even win a single playoff game. Similar to how they act like they are in first place because they swept the Jets, when they are in third place and are still below .500. The entire NFL is praising the Dolphins character and toughness, yet they have enough character and toughness to blow a 21 point lead at home and lose a game where they held the ball for a record amount of time.

The Jets Will Win Ten Games

The general consensus about the Jets now is that their 2009 season is over. Rex Ryan is in over his head right now as a head coach and needs to change his personality. Mark Sanchez won’t be ready to lead a playoff team until next season. There is no way the Jets can overcome the injuries to Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington. Their second half schedule is brutal and on and on and on. It would be easy to write that article today. It is easy to bury a team who has lost four of their last five and flush the second half of the season down the toilet. Yet, I said in the beginning of the year the Jets would win ten games and still believe they will today. Will those ten wins be enough to make the playoffs? The tie breakers can be tricky but I think they got a good shot.

20081207_zaf_cg5_080-calvin-paceThe Jets have a great defense. Through the first eight games of the season, they played one poor game but beyond that have been among the best in the NFL. The Jets will never get blown out because of this. When I look at the Jets losses, I see a game in New Orleans (the best team in the NFL) that was a touchdown game in the fourth quarter despite 14 points allowed by the Jets offense. I see an OT loss to Buffalo despite 5 interceptions, a botched field goal, and a crucial holding penalty in OT. I see a defensive let down the first time against Miami, which was corrected with a dominant defensive performance in the second game but the team was let down by the kick coverage unit.

Mark Sanchez won’t play any games as poorly as he did in New Orleans or against Buffalo in the second half of the season. He may struggle in some games but there won’t be any five interception performances or 14 points directly handed to the other team. I am going from what I saw in six of the Jets games, compared to two of them and how he responded to each of his bad performances. Beyond that, the Jets have found their running game in a big way. Great running game plus great defense plus decent quarterbacking that doesn’t turn the ball over equals a winning team. Do you think Mike Westoff’s kick coverage units are going to lose another game for the Jets this year? Do you think the Jets will make the mistake of making Marques Murrell, Ahmad Carroll, and Marquice Cole all inactive on the same day? I don’t.

thomas-jones22When I look at the Jets second half schedule, I think they take care of Jacksonville and Carolina at home. I think they take care of Buffalo (aka Toronto) and Tampa Bay on the road, without much difficulty. The real question is going to be what are the Jets going to do in New England and Indy? What are they going to do at home against Atlanta and Cincy? I think the Jets/Pats game will be close, like they are every time play. I know if the Jets want a prayer at the division they better take care of business up there. I like the match-up with Atlanta because they are a playing a dome team at home in the middle of December. Obviously, Indy is going to be a tough game but by that point won’t the Colts have everything wrapped up and potentially be resting some people? In the end, the Jets could very well be hosting the Bengals on the last day of the season as a 9-6 team, needing a victory to get in the playoffs. If it comes to that, I am glad we are at home and we shall see what happens.

A quick thing about Rex Ryan, it is time for Jets fans and writers to stop flip-flopping on the guy. If you liked the swagger in week 3 and were nominating him for NFL Head Coach of the Year, don’t be calling for his job in week 8 or asking him to change his personality. This is who we hired. This attitude, this mindset, and this style is what he hired and personally I still like the direction this team is headed. I believe Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez are going to be leading this team for a long time.

Number 27

New York Jets Mid-Term Grades: TOJ Style

51488_patriots_jets_football

First a few updates:

1. There is no Jets updates for the rest of the week because we are on the bye week, so I am going to have to use the updates section for other topics.

2. I am confident about the Yankees taking care of business tonight. It will be a high scoring battle, but I think they wrap up the World Series tonight. Even though we would have an insane pitching advantage in game 7, I don’t want it to get to that because the team would be tight after losing the past two games.

3. Recent movies I have seen: Couples Retreat, which was not worth the ten dollars I spent on the ticket,  Capitalism: A Love Story which I liked alot. I still want to see Law Abiding Citizen, which I have heard good things about but I haven’t had the time yet. In television, this season of Curb Your Enthusiasm has been very good, especially last week’s episode when Larry killed the swan. I have also been getting into Parks and Recreation on NBC and I am still working my way through the past five seasons of Lost to prep for the final season, which starts in January. There is your monthly entertainment report from Turn on The Jets.

4. I am going to do week 9 NFL picks either today or tomorrow to accompany my article but some quick NFL observations: Has anybody had a worse first eight games coaching for a team than Eric Mangini for the Browns? I know they won a Super Bowl two years ago which gives them a “5 year grace period” as coined by Bill Simmons of ESPN and supported by my friends who are fans of the team, but the Giants have been embarrassingly awful the past three weeks on defense and Eli Manning is clearly hurt or is just not that good this year. He also isn’t being helped by the dropped passes from his receivers every week. With 9 INT’s in 7 games, is it fair to say Matt Ryan is in some type of sophomore slump? DeSean Jackson is a big play machine and has to be close to breaking some type of record for 50+ yard touchdowns in a single season.

New York Jets Mid-Term Grades: TOJ Style

darrelle-revisAll-Pro

  • Darrelle Revis: (A) Revis is the definition of a lock down corner. He shut down Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Marques Colston, and Terrell Owens (even though he isn’t good anymore). On the season he has 29 tackles, 11 passes defensed, and 2 INT’s.
  • Nick Mangold: (A)  He hasn’t allowed a sack and hasn’t recorded a penalty and is the leader of the one the league’s top offensive lines. Arguably the best center in football.
  • Thomas Jones: (A) On pace for over 1400 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Jones is showing no signs of aging, with his impressive 4.7 yards per carry.
  • David Harris: (A) It would be a shame if he doesn’t earn his first pro-bowl appearance this season. Harris is the Jets most consistent linebacker and has racked up a team high 65 tackles, a team high 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception.

Very Good

  • D’Brickashaw Ferguson (A-) He has allowed only 2.5 sacks through eight games and has made leaps and bounds of progress from his rookie season.
  • Brandon Moore (A-) Most underrated player on the Jets offense. Moore is putting together another strong season.
  • Bart Scott (B+) He is earning his fat contract by providing a solid partner in crime for Harris at inside linebacker. Scott is second on the team in tackles with 51 and has racked up an impressive 7 tackles for a loss, which leads the team.
  • Jay Feely (B+) He has been reliable on field goals and provides a surprising amount of tackling on kickoffs but I couldn’t give him an A because of that line drive kick to Ted Ginn Jr.
  • Tony Richardson (B+) He isn’t given enough credit for the Jets success running the football.

pierre-thomas6jpg-689028a57d17e6d9_largeGood

  • Damien Woody (B) He has struggled with some penalties and a foot injury but on the whole has been very good and played to the value of the contract the Jets gave him two years ago.
  • Marques Douglas (B) He has quietly been a big addition to the Jets defense and been a nice upgrade over Kenyon Coleman. Douglas has 32 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2 tackles for a loss.
  • Shaun Ellis (B) He was a beast in the Miami game, which will hopefully be a good sign moving forward.
  • Sione Pouha (B) He has developed into a very good rotational player on the defensive line and stepped up his game since big 77 went down.
  • Jim Leonhard (B) A steady, consistent player on defense and don’t underestimate the importance of a punt returner who catches the ball every time.
  • Braylon Edwards (B) He has been everything the Jets hoped for when they traded for him.
  • David Clowney (B) He has developed into a reliable down field threat and a guy who demands playing time.
  • Dwight Lowery (B) Lowery has stepped in for Lito Sheppard and been a consistent starter at corner opposite Revis.
  • Shonn Greene (B) One fumble doesn’t remove the fact he is averaging 5.6 yards per carry and has shown immense potential.
  • Wayne Hunter (B) He does his job well, as an extra tight end and backup tackle.
  • Robert Turner (B) He does his job well, as an extra tight end backup guard.

OK

  • Jerricho Cotchery (B-) He has been a B+ or A- when he has been on the field but missing two full games and being a non-factor because of an injury in one has to count in his grade.
  • Dustin Keller (B-) Some of the blame goes on Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer but the Jets need for him to play well on a consistent basis in the second half of the season.
  • Mark Sanchez (B-) If you take away the New Orleans and Buffalo game, Sanchez has been exceptional for a rookie but unfortunately those games count since he is primarily responsible for two losses.
  • Bryan Thomas (B-) He has been pretty good week in and week out, although you would like to see an improvement in sack numbers.
  • Wallace Wright (B-) He is still a great special teams player and caught both balls thrown his way against Oakland.
  • Eric Smith (B-) He was the talk of the defense in the first three weeks but has been MIA since then.
  • Donald Strickland (B-) Every game that he has played in he has been good, but missed four weeks because of an ankle injury.
  • Drew Coleman (B-) He has been OK in the nickel role when called upon.
  • Jamaal Westerman (B-) I think he will become a bigger factor on defense in the second half of the season.
  • Mike DeVito (B-) He has developed into a good rotational player on the defensive line.
  • Steve Weatherford (B-) Provides some consistency to the punter position.
  • Brad Smith (B-) A great special teams player and decent contributor on offense before his injury.

large_kerry-rhodes326Needs Improvement

  • Calvin Pace (C+) He was a monster in the Oakland game but you have to factor his poor judgement that led to a four game suspension in his grade. Also, he was quiet in the first Miami game and the Buffalo game.
  • Marques Murrell (C) He is a good special teams player but his most memorable play of the season is throwing a punch against Buffalo and getting suspended for a game.
  • James Ihedigbo (C) Similar to Murrell and he also hasn’t done much on defense when given a chance.
  • Larry Izzo (C) He has to make that tackle against Ted Ginn Jr last week, because he is on this team only for special teams purposes.
  • Ryan Fowler (C-) Just an average special teams player.
  • Ahmad Carroll (C-) He has was better last year on special teams.
  • Marquice Cole (C-) Decent special teams player.
  • Howard Green (C-) He struggled early in the season but has shown signs of improvement since coming back.
  • Ropati Pitoitua (C-) Slowly becoming a bigger part of the defensive line rotation.
  • Kerry Rhodes (C-) Alot of hype…not alot of production. Zero interceptions. Zero Sacks. Zero Forced Fumbles. One Tackle For a Loss.

Failing

  • Vernon Gholston (F) The most invisible defensive player in the NFL. He has started 4 games this year and played in all 8…the stats: 11 tackles, 0 sacks.
  • Ben Hartsock (F) The penalty is on #84 of the offense.
  • Lito Sheppard (F) He has missed 5 games and was terrible in the Buffalo game.

Incomplete

  • Leon Washington (Inc) He was a little quieter than usual before his injury. We are rooting for him to get healthy and a get new contract here at TOJ.
  • Kris Jenkins (Inc) Get better big fella.
  • Danny Woodhead (Inc) Stay outside on kick coverage.
  • Justin Miller (Inc) He looked a step slow last week.

 

NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

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NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

Wrapping Up Jets/Dolphins

Defensive Player of the Game: Bart Scott – Despite facing increasing criticism for refusing to respect the Miami Dolphins after another loss at their hands, Scott still put together his best effort in a Jets uniform on the field. He led the team in tackles with 8, with two of them going for a loss and recorded a huge fourth quarter sack. Hopefully, we will continue to see more big plays from Scott over the final half of the season.

Offensive Player of the Game: Mark Sanchez – It is games like this that make you feel pretty good about the Jets future. The Jets have assembled a collection of young talented offensive players: Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, David Clowney, Leon Washington, Shonn Greene, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson but none of that matters if you don’t have a quarterback to make it all go. Sanchez built on his progress from last week by avoiding any turnovers and racking up 3 touchdowns (1 rushing) and 265 yards passing.

Honorable Mentions: Braylon Edwards for playing like a number one receiver…Jerricho Cotchery for making a big impact in his return from injury…Sione Pouha for his best game as a pro…Thomas Jones for adding another 100 yard effort on the ground…Dustin Keller for returning in a big way to the Jets offensive gameplan…Marques Douglas for pancaking Chad Henne for a sack.

AFC East Observations

large_jets-patriots416New England Patriots –Everybody is singing the Patriots praises because of their immense accomplishments over the past three weeks, which include beating the 1-6 Titans, 0-7 Bucs, and having a bye. I think they will take care of the Dolphins at home this week but we won’t find how good they really are until they travel to Indy the following week and New Orleans in week 12. If the Jets want any hope at winning the AFC East, a win in New England on November 22nd is an absolute must.

Miami Dolphins – I said in the beginning of the year that Miami was going to be a 6-10 team, and I still stand by that statement today. They can’t play the Jets every week. As sick as it makes me, I will be rooting for them to beat the Patriots this weekend but certainly won’t lose any sleep if they can’t come through and fall to 3-5.

Buffalo Bills – It is hard to see the Bills winning more than 6 games this season. I would like to think that if Mark Sanchez can only throw 2 interceptions instead of 5, the Jets will get revenge on Thursday night football on December 3rd in Toronto.

Turn On The Jets Top Ten

  1.  New Orleans Saints – A complete football team that should roll the next 3 weeks (Carolina, St. Louis, Tampa) before a game with the Patriots, which they better win for our sakes.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – They can effectively clinch the division with a win over Houston this week.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – It looks like they will coast to the NFC North title and a bye.
  4. Denver Broncos – They were due for a loss. Huge game at home against Pittsburgh this weekend.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – They can re-establish themselves as an elite team with a win in Denver.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals – How real are they? We will see the next two weeks if they can sweep Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
  7. New England Patriots – Two weeks to prepare for the fading Wildcat should equal a win this week.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – My Super Bowl pick gave me a little joy on Sunday by shredding the Giants.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Big games in Philly and Green Bay coming up.
  10. Baltimore Ravens – I think they get revenge for an earlier loss against Cincy this week.

Jets Bye Week News and Notes

– The Jets have fell to #18 in ESPN’s Power Rankings, which is hard to argue with. They might be the best 4-4 team in football, but unfortunately you are what your record is, which means the Jets are .500 team.

– Some quotes from Mark Sanchez yesterday: “We just need to figure out a way to start winning these games instead of losing them. We need to show up in all three phases to do that…we’re on a great football team. Our record doesn’t show the type of players we have, the kind of people we have in this locker room and the kind of coaching we have. This is a great time for us to just get away, think some things over and get ready to play…A lot of people will say, “Hey, man, you’re a rookie and you’re playing really good for a rookie.” But I don’t want to play like a rookie. I want to play like a 10-year vet, a Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champion. That is the way I want to play and that’s the way I feel like I can play with this team around me.”

– Over at www.thejetsblog.com, they pulled up some interesting numbers comparing Sanchez’s first eight starts to some other recent successful quarterbacks first eight starts. He has a higher completion percentage, more yards, the same amount of TD’s, and less INT’s than Eli Manning did in his first eight NFL starts. Beyond that, his numbers are on a very similar pace to Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning. I think when this year is all said and done, Sanchez will have more TD’s than INT’s and a completion percentage in the 56-58 range (which still isn’t great but better than what he has now).

– The team is completely off the rest of the week and will return to work on Monday, with practice straight through until the Jaguars game. The coaches will be off starting Thursday until Monday.

– In terms of injuries, the Jets should be back at full strength after the bye (obviously not including Leon and Jenkins).

Ah, the good old days of week 2

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

Dolphins Jets Football

First a few updates:

1. The Game Highlights and Stats section have been updated.

2. A few things from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: He pointed out a potential problem on special teams might have been having Ahmad Carroll, Marquice Cole, and Marques Murrell inactive due to some injury situations and mentioned they may need to always have guys like them active regardless of their lack of participation on defense. Ryan also stood firm on having a “hands-off” approach on offense and special teams, and relying on the ‘expertise’ of the coordinators. He also defended giving the team 6 days off this week because of the team’s need to get away from football for a little while and then come back fresh. Something interesting he said about the bye week is that he will have the offensive coaches break down the Jets defensive tape and the defensive coaches break down the Jets offensive tape, to analyze each group tendencies and make recommendations to each other. Regardless of the criticism, Rex Ryan said he isn’t going to change his personality or his confident style of talking/coaching. Like I said yesterday, you are what you are. This is the guy the Jets hired, don’t expect him to change. If you liked him in week 3, then you should still like him now. If you thought he was too brash/cocky from the beginning, then you should obviously still feel that way now.

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

Quarterbacks: (B+) Mark Sanchez had his best game since the early weeks of the season, finishing 20/35, with 265 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over for the second week in a row. He got off to a slow start and played tight early, missing a few throws over the middle. However, he put together a great second half and led the Jets on three touchdown drives. On the final drive, he has to avoid taking a sack on third down and make a quicker decision on the fourth down play. He turned their fourth and 13 play into a hail mary, which he pretty much threw out of the end-zone. I don’t know what the play call was in that situation, but I would I think the best bet would be for him to take a 5 step drop and put up a jump ball to either Braylon Edwards or Dustin Keller and hope for them to make a play or draw pass interference.

Dolphins Jets FootballRunning Backs: (B) Thomas Jones was terrific for the third straight week, rushing for 102 yards and adding in a 28 yard reception. Shonn Greene killed the Jets with a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and appeared to run tentative after that play. The Jets are going to need Greene in the second half of the season so he needs to shake off the fumble and keep running hard.

Wide Receivers: (A) Jerricho Cotchery only had three receptions but all three were huge plays, including a 53 yarder, a third down conversion, and an impressive sideline grab during the final drive. Braylon Edwards was a beast and has earned a fat, new contract from the Jets for his two performances against Miami this season. David Clowney had three down third down catches, which were all short of the first down marker. On the first two, he did a bad job of running his route to the right depth.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller…welcome back. I don’t think Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer will be forgetting about #81 anytime soon after the game he put together yesterday. Ben Hartsock specializes in having ridiculously costly penalties and probably should be cut.

Offensive Line: (C) Alan Faneca had a rough day and let up a huge sack on the final drive. Sanchez took some monster hits this game. The running was also didn’t pop any huge plays.

Defensive Line: (A) Shaun Ellis (1.5 sacks), Marques Douglas (1 sack, 1 TFL), and Sione Pouha (5 tackles, 1 TFL) all played their best game of the season. Howard Green also chipped in with a solid effort off the bench. It is a shame that it went to waste in a loss. Hopefully, they can keep the production up in the second half of the year.

Linebackers: (A) Post-game sarcasm aside, Bart Scott played his best game as a Jet with 8 tackles, a sack, and two tackles for a loss. David Harris had a big sack and another solid overall day at the office. Bryan Thomas was beat for second half touchdown but beyond that played one of his better games of the year. Calvin Pace was somewhat quiet.

Secondary: (B) Jim Leonhard recorded a half sack and played a quality game. Darrelle Revis and Dwight Lowery didn’t give up any big plays or make any big plays. Kerry Rhodes had more contact in pre-game, than he did during the game where he only recorded 1 tackle.

Special Teams: (F-) Every Jets fan love affair with Danny Woodhead should end after this game because he blew outside contain on both kick return touchdowns. Ryan Fowler, Larry Izzo, Wallace Wright, Jay Feely, and Donald Strickland were also victims off horrible tackling/decision making on both kick return touchdowns. The quarterback lost the games against Buffalo and New Orleans. The defense lost the first game against Miami and the special teams lost this one against Miami.

Coaching: (C) The two point decisions were questionable. However, the Jets played a terrific game on defense and put up 25 points on offense, which should have been enough to win. Rex Ryan is never going to shut his mouth, even if the Jets lose their next 8 games so get used to it and either accept him as our coach or get off his bandwagon for good now. You can’t nominate him for NFL Coach of the year in week 3 and then ask for him to be fired in week 8.

As Usual For Us Jets Fans, “It is getting hard to believe things are going to get better…”

Turn On The Jets TV: Episode VIII: Life Without the Jets

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Turn On The Jets TV: Episode VIII: Life Without the Jets

If you watched last week (if you didn’t shame on you and go to the TOJ TV section at the top of the site and watch Episode VII), you know my frustration reached a boiling point last week with the Jets losing to Buffalo. In this week’s episode of TOJ TV, Corbett picks up the torch for me and gets footage of me out in the wilderness trying to forget about the Jets, but can I stay away from the team?

Since I never really get around to making a prediction, I will stick to what I said when I exchanged questions in yesterday’s article…I think the Jets will win a close one 21-17 led by a strong running game and a good overall effort from Mark Sanchez. The Jets will hit a couple of big plays in the passing game and force Chad Henne into a couple of mistakes, when he does have to throw.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. David Clowney, Lito Sheppard, and Brandon Moore all returned to practice today. Clowney and Moore are expected to suit up this weekend, while Sheppard is considered a long shot. Speaking of Clowney check out www.davidclowney87.com to read about his reaction to his first touchdown. Judging from what Rex Ryan has said, I would expect everybody on the Jets to be suiting up this week except for Sheppard and maybe Brad Smith.

2. Justin Miller will be wearing #32 and be starting at kick returner this week and should also contribute on other special teams units.

111114_feature3. A Bart Scott quote on Chad Henne, “”I want to hit him and get him out of there. That’s for anybody who touches the football, period. It’s that type of game. Write it down however you want to write it down. You don’t have to do something dirty to get somebody out of there.” Across the board, all the Jets…especially on defense sound particularly fired up about this week’s match-up, you can hear the hate for the Dolphins in their words. They seem to be chatting it up a little more than they did in the previous weeks, which you might roll your eyes at since they only beat the NFL’s high school team last week (Oakland). However, you have to be who are…and if the Jets are a team that talks, then talk but you better back your words up . I have to say I do like the mindset of the team heading into this game, it reminds me of how they were before the New England game in week 2 and we all remember how that turned out.

4. Rough night for the Yanks…Cliff Lee was straight nasty. I am still feeling good about a bounce back performance tonight against the ancient Pedro Martinez.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Game Breakdown

Offensive Game Plan: The Jets have the league’s #1 rushing offense and are coming off back to back 300 yard rushing games, which is a pretty ridiculous stat if you really think about it. So yes, the Jets need to stick their identity and rely heavily on their rushing attack led by Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene to protect their rookie quarterback. There is no reason that Jones shouldn’t get his 20 carries and Greene shouldn’t be in the 13-16 carry range. However, Miami has a weak secondary. They are starting two rookie corners and both of their safeties are highly suspect in coverage. Braylon Edwards and David Clowney ate them up in the Monday night game a few weeks ago and that was with Miami’s top corner Will Allen on the field. Allen is now out for the season. Jerricho Cotchery played at about 70 percent the last time these teams met and now after taking two weeks off, should be pretty close to his normal self which gives the Jets an even bigger advantage in this match-up.

Mark-Sanchez-Jets_2353013This is going to be Mark Sanchez’s eighth career start. He has played great games (Houston, New England), good games (Tennessee, Miami, Oakland) and unspeakably awful games (New Orleans, Buffalo). It is time for him to settle down and consistently be the quarterback the Jets drafted him to be. There are going to be golden opportunities for big plays in the passing game this week and Sanchez needs to connect. After the Jets have ran the ball six straight plays, he is going to need to sell a play action fake and air the ball out to Edwards or Cotchery in single coverage. The Jets won’t be able to get by with the high school offensive game plan this week because they aren’t playing the Raiders. This week’s gameplan will be put more responsibility on Sanchez to make plays to his receivers down the field. Yes, he needs to protect the football and nobody is saying to bomb it up in double coverage. Sanchez can still check it down and avoid sacks but the handful of plays where the Jets can really gash Miami in the passing game, he needs to step up.

Defensive Game Plan: The Jets defense has played great/elite football in 4 of their 7 games this year (Houston, New England, New Orleans, Oakland) and more than good enough for the Jets to win in two other games (Tennessee, Buffalo). However, the one game this year they let the team down was against the Dolphins. They let them down in front of national television audience who was anxious to see this hyped up Jets imitation Baltimore defense and they fell flat on their face. I spent all week talking about how they were going to embarrass Chad Henne, Ted Ginn Jr and the Wildcat which was easily tamed by Rex Ryan twice last year and was of course made to look like an idiot when the Jets lost 31-27 on a game winning touchdown run by Ronnie Brown.

It still hurts to watch…I can’t lie. The Jets defense had admittedly had their pride hurt and their swagger taken away. We have seen signs of it coming back this week in the form of surprisingly confident trash talk coming out of the mouths of Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Kerry Rhodes, and Shaun Ellis but the only way it is coming all the way back is with a dominant performance this weekend. Regardless of Henne’s prolific second half against the Jets…I’m not sold on him. He didn’t play well against San Diego, New Orleans, or in the first half of the Jets game. This is his first start on the road and the Jets need to force Miami into frequent third and longs because I don’t think Henne can convert them on the road, in the swirling winds of the Meadowlands. Despite inexplicably torching Darrelle Revis, Ted Ginn Jr still isn’t good…so much so that he will be sitting the bench behind superstars like Devone Bess (who nearly averages less yards per catch than Shonn Grenne does per run), Greg Camarillo, and Brian Hartline.

110908_calvin_pace_td_fumble_return_rams_320It comes down to stopping the Wildcat. New Orleans did it last week. Ronnie Brown didn’t even crack 50 yards. The Dolphins only gained 27 yards on 14 plays out of the formation. I think the Jets defensive personnel matches up pretty well with the Saints and you can bet Rex Ryan ordered in from KFC and spent countless hours watching that game tape. However, it is all about execution. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas need to get off blocks to set the edge. Bart Scott and David Harris need to shed blockers. Kerry Rhodes and Jim Leonhard need to be a force in the box. Darrelle Revis, Dwight Lowery, and Donald Strickland need to be trusted to handle single coverage. The Jets collection of defensive lineman need to hold the line of scrimmage and help keep blockers off their linebackers.

Special Teams: Jay Feely needs to get back on track. He has struggled since breaking Pat Leahy’s record for consecutive kicks made. I am excited to see J-Mill returning kicks again and interested to see if Steve Weatherford can rip off another 20 yard run. If he does, I will officially be taping “Weatherford” over “Caporoso” on the back of my #9 Jets Jersey (worst gift I ever received by the way…there is nothing more I hate than NFL jerseys without NFL names on the back).

Fast Forward to 1:30 to see back to back Justin Miller kick return touchdowns in 2006.