New York Jets Mid-Term Grades: TOJ Style

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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

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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.

Jets Must Win Sunday

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First a few updates:

1. David Clowney, Brandon Moore, and Lito Sheppard all missed practice today. Jerricho Cotchery was limited but told reporters he would be ready to go this Sunday and apparently he looked sharp in practice. Rex Ryan basically said Sheppard was out for this week. I am not sure how severe Clowney’s injury is but hopefully he won’t miss this week because Brad Smith might not be ready to come back yet either. Moore should be good to go against Miami.

amd_kerry-rhodes2. There has already been plenty of trash talk going back and forth between the Jets and Miami. A few Jets like Kerry Rhodes and Shaun Ellis took exception to Miami reacting like they won the Super Bowl after beating the Jets a few weeks ago. Ronnie Brown basically said the Jets don’t have the playmakers on defense that Baltimore did last year in his conference call with the New York media. Rex Ryan is using a Brown quote from after Miami beat the Jets about how the Dolphins were the tougher team as a motivational tactic. Bart Scott said he will be looking to get back some unnamed Miami offensive lineman for “dirty” play in the Monday night game. At this point, we get it…these two teams hate each other. The Jets don’t respect Miami. Miami doesn’t respect the Jets. Go out and take care of business this Sunday.

3. Apparently, Ted Ginn Jr is on the outs in Miami and has been demoted to third string duty because of his inability to catch the football…an important skill for a wide receiver. Of course he remembered how to catch the football the last time the Jets played Miami…just our luck.

Jets Must Win Sunday

You hate to throw out the term “must win” for a week 8 game but let’s be real here if the Jets want to be serious playoff contenders they must beat the Miami Dolphins this Sunday. By all indications, the race for the AFC East title and the race for AFC Wild Card spots are going to be tight, so yes there is a huge difference between 5-3 and 4-4 for the Jets at the bye week.

The Jets have a golden opportunity to bury the Miami Dolphins for the 2009 season. It is going to take 10 wins and a few tie breakers to have a shot at a division title or a wild-card spot in the AFC. If Miami loses they will fall to 2-5 and need to go 8-1 over their last 9 games, with include two match-ups with New England and a game against Pittsburgh, to have a chance to be in the playoff mix. It is time to knock out Miami while you have the chance and turn the focus towards catching New England.

Speaking of the Patsies, the Jets can pull within a 1/2 game of our New England friends with a victory and be in control of their destiny since they have a game left in their season series. Even though New England has some tough match-ups left including games in Indy and New Orleans, a 1/2 is obviously easier to make up than a 1 and 1/2 games. Beyond that, divisional record could come in to play as a tie-breaker later in the season. The Jets would fall to 1-3 with a loss to Miami and need to pick up road victories against both the Patriots and Bills to salvage a .500 record.

Rex Ryan has talked about changing the culture around this organization. He has talked about making the Meadowlands a place where teams don’t want to play. The Jets have already lost a home divisional game this season and with another loss would bring them to a subpar 2-2 record in their building. You need to protect your house and rack up victories in your building if you fancy yourself a legitimate contender in the NFL.

alg_dolphins-brownFinally, Miami embarrassed the Jets on national television. The Jets ran their mouths before the game and somehow ran their mouths after the game, referring to the Wildcat as a gimmick. Everybody in the Jets organization talks about having an elite defense and yet they choked away a lead three times in the fourth quarter to their primary rival on Monday Night freakin football. The Dolphins converted two third downs on the final drive and ran the ball right down the Jets throat on the final play for the victory.

Bart Scott missed countless tackles, including one on the game winning run by Ronnie Brown. Darrelle Revis was toasted for a 50 yard touchdown by a practice squad receiver. Calvin Pace was pushed around and looked out of place all night. What am i saying is that the Jets should be watching film from this game a few weeks ago and be chomping at the bit to get on the field against the Dolphins. Rex Ryan sure made it sound like in his press conference today that both himself and his defense feel that way.

A contender would go out on their home field and prove the Monday game against Miami was a fluke. A pretender would get swept by a sub .500 divisional rival and lose consecutive home games to divisional teams who came in with a combined record of 3-8. Which one are the Jets going to be in 2009?

NFL Week 7 Recap/Jets vs. Dolphins Part II First Look

First a few updates:

1. The Jets signed corner Justin Miller today to replace Leon Washington as a kick returner. Miller was a pro-bowl returner for the Jets in 2006 and their second round pick in 2005. He never developed into the corner the organization hoped he would be, however he has four career return touchdowns between his time with the Jets and Raiders. Maybe Rex Ryan will be able to get something out of him as a defensive back but for now this move was done for strictly special team purposes.

2. How about those Yankees? I am using my fan bias in picking them to beat the Phillies in 7, but any baseball fan should be excited about what should be a terrific match-up.

NFL Week 7 Recap/Jets vs. Dolphins Part II First Look

Wrapping Up Jets/Raiders

Defensive Player of the Game: Calvin Pace – This was an easy choice. Mike Pettine gave Pace more pass rushing opportunities this week and he responded with 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 7 tackles. Pace had a rough game against Miami a few weeks ago and will no doubt be looking to validate his claim that the Wildcat is nothing more than a “gimmick.”

Offensive Player of the Game: Thomas Jones – I was critical of Jones early in the season and he has emphatically shut me up the past two weeks. The guy is running like a 25 year old and remains one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He is currently on pace to have a better year than he did last season, when he won the AFC rushing title. Through 7 games, Jones has 7 touchdowns.

Honorable Mentions: David Clowney for stepping up with 4 catches for 79 yards…Shonn Greene for having a monster game off the bench to replace Leon Washington…Darrelle Revis for his acrobatic interception…Dwight Lowery for being a great replacement for Lito Sheppard…Wallace Wright for recording his first two receptions of the season…The entire Jets offensive line for dominating from start to finish.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – The Patriots beat up on two of the worst teams in the NFL and every NFL analyst is giddy with excitement that the “Pats are back.” Give me a break. The Jets have a chance to pull within a half game of New England with a win this week.

Miami Dolphins – I guess we should hold off on anointing Chad Henne the next Dan Marino for another week. The Dolphins might be the best 2-4 team in the NFL…but guess what? You are what your record is, so Miami is 2-4 and in last place in the AFC East.

Buffalo Bills – The Ryan Fitzpatrick era is in full swing, as the Harvard product has led the Bills to two straight wins. I will take them seriously if they can beat the Texans this week…then again the Texans aren’t really that good either.

TOJ Top Ten

  1. New Orleans Saints – Impressive comeback win over the Dolphins made my Sunday even better than it already was.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – Didn’t even break a sweat in their win over St. Louis.
  3. Denver Broncos – Good challenge this week in Baltimore.
  4. Minnesota Vikings – Tough loss to Pittsburgh, followed by tough game in Green Bay.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – The champs appear to be back with 4 straight wins.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals – Sunday must have been sweet for Cedric Benson.
  7. New York Giants – Where is the defense? Big game against Philly this week.
  8. Dallas Cowboys – Miles Austin is making Jersey proud.
  9. New England Patriots – They racked up plenty of BCS points the past two weeks.
  10. Atlanta Falcons – Weak showing against Dallas but they will give NO a run this weekend.

Jets vs. Dolphins Part II FIrst Look

The Opponent: We all know the Dolphins story and we all hate them. Miami kicked the Jets in the mouth on national television only a few short weeks ago by running the ball down their throat and making Rex Ryan look inept against the Wildcat. Since their Monday night victory over the Jets, Miami had a bye and then choked away a 21 point lead at home to New Orleans last week. Miami can run the football as well as anybody in the league, including our Jets and will certainly be licking their chops to break out the Wildcat against a front seven that is now missing Kris Jenkins. Make no mistake, this is an absolute must win for both teams, as I will detail in tomorrow’s article.

Miami Dolphins Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarerback: Chad Henne – 62/103, 659 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs
  • Running Back: Ronnie Brown – 109 carries, 491 yards, 7 TD’s
  • Running Back: Ricky Williams – 70 carries, 396 yards, 5 TD’s
  • Wide Receiver: Ted Ginn Jr – 18 receptions, 211 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Devone Bess – 26 receptions, 188 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Greg Camarillo – 19 receptions, 174 yards
  • Wide Receiver; Brian Hartline – 10 receptions, 157 yards, 1 TD
  • Tight End: Anthony Fasasno – 11 receptions, 77 yards, 1 TD
  • Left Tackle: Jake Long
  • Left Guard: Justin Smiley
  • Center: Jake Grove
  • Right Guard: Donald Thomas
  • Right Tackle: Vernon Carey

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Kendall Langford – 14 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Jason Ferguson – 15 tackles
  • Defensive End: Randy Starks – 19 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Phillip Merling – 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Joey Porter – 10 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Inside Linebacker: Channing Crowder – 22 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Akin Ayodele – 25 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Jason Taylor – 16 tackles, 5.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Cameron Wake – 9 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Corner: Sean Smith – 11 tackles
  • Corner: Vontae Davis – 10 tackles, 1 INT
  • Safety: Yeremiah Bell – 43 tackles, 1.5 sacks
  • Safety: Gibril Wilson – 39 tackles

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Dan Carpenter
  • Punter: Brandon Fields
  • Kick Returner: Patrick Cobbs
  • Punt Returner; Devone Bess

Key Players: Everything starts and ends with stopping Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. On defense, Miami can get after the quarterback with a variety of different players led by Jason Taylor, Cameron Wake, and Joey Porter.

Injuries: Miami’s starting corner Will Allen is out for the season. On the Jets side, expect to see Jerricho Cotchery back in action but Brad Smith and Lito Sheppard miss another game.

Highlights of Miami’s Choke Job Last Week

Grading Out The Jets/Raiders Game

First a few updates:

1. As expected, Leon Washington was placed on the IR today. It will be interesting to see who the Jets add to their roster to fill that spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved Danny Woodhead back to running back and then added another defensive lineman to the roster.

2. Another thing to keep an eye on is who will return kickoffs now for the Jets, some names to look out for will be Dwight Lowery, Danny Woodhead, Wallace Wright, or David Clowney.

3. The Game Highlights, Stats, and Depth Chart pages have been updated.

Grading Out The Jets/Raiders Game

Quarterbacks: (B) Mark Sanchez wasn’t asked to do much but he did a good job with what was handed to him. You could see him making a conscious effort to protect the football by throwing passes away and checking down. He also did a better job of avoiding sacks. On third down he was 5-8 for 65 yards, re-establishing his early season ability to come up with key first down conversions. Sanchez also executed a beautiful play fake and dropped in a nice pass to David Clowney for a 35 yard touchdown. There were still some missed throws and for some reason he can’t get on the same page with Dustin Keller but yesterday was a step in the right direction.

Running Backs: (A+) Shonn Greene and Thomas Jones completely wore down the Raiders defense. There wasn’t anything flashy or fancy about the Jets running game yesterday, they went right up the gut with Jones and Greene who combined for 265 yards. Jones certainly doesn’t look like a 30 year old running back and Greene has an unbelievable burst through the hole. We are all going to miss Leon Washington, but Jones and Greene will be a handful for defenses the rest of the season.

Wide Receivers (B) They weren’t given a ton of opportunities but did a good job when their numbers were called. David Clowney stepped up in particular with 4 catches for 79 yards, including a 35 yard touchdown. He showed an ability to be more than a deep threat by breaking some tackles and catching a tough pass over the middle. Wallace Wright recorded his first two catches of the season and Braylon Edwards had a drop but also pulled in a tough catch over the middle. I would expect Jerricho Cotchery to be back in action next week, which will be a big boost.

Tight Ends: (C) Good job blocking by Dustin Keller and Ben Hartsock. Keller also did a great job selling the play fake on his 26 yard reception. He was open a couple of other times but Sanchez missed him. One of these weeks it is going to click for Keller and Sanchez, who started off the year strong but have struggled to connect recently.

Offensive Line: (A+) Awesome job by the Jets front five, there really isn’t much to say except that Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Robert Turner dominated and embarrassed Oakland’s front seven. I bet Richard Seymour is regretting saying the Raiders are going to be a playoff team…unless he meant a high school playoff team.

Defensive Line: (B) The committee approach to replace Kris Jenkins got off to a decent start. Yes, the Jets gave up a little more rushing yards than you’d like to see but overall their defensive line was active, especially Mike DeVito and Howard Green. They have a hell of a challenge coming up this week against Miami.

Linebackers: (A) Quiet games for Bart Scott and David Harris but the grade is picked up by a terrific day from Calvin Pace, who racked up 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. The Jets are going to need that type of effort from him the rest of the season because Pace is unquestionably their top pass rusher. Vernon Gholston has been demoted behind Jamaal Westerman in pass rushing situations.

Secondary: (A) Darrelle Revis is something else…that interception was ridiculous. Do you think he is fired up for this week after getting burned by Ted Ginn Jr (aka Panhands) on national television? Jim Leonhard made his first interception of the season and Dwight Lowery continues to put together a strong season in replacement of Lito Sheppard. Donald Strickland was back and always seems to be around the ball.

Special Teams: (B) Steve Weatherford might run for 100 yards this season. It is not a good sign that Jay Feely has missed two short kicks in consecutive weeks.

Coaching: (A) Mike Pettine made a nice adjustment on defense, allowing Calvin Pace more pass rushing opportunities. Brian Schottenheimer did a great job sticking with the run and Rex Ryan clearly had the troops motivated. Let’s see how they handle Miami this week.

Jets/Raiders Highlights

Thank God For Oakland: Jets Beat Raiders Initial Reaction

Thank God For Oakland: Jets Beat Raiders Initial Reaction

It didn’t come out without a steep price but the Jets took care of business today by embarrassing the hapless Oakland Raiders 38-0. The losing streak is over and the Jets now face a monster game at home against the Miami Dolphins (who are now 2-4 after choking away a 21 point lead to the Saints thanks to two Chad Henne INT’s). 5-3 wouldn’t be half bad at the bye and the chance to put Miami at 2-5 is a golden oppurtunity but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look back at today:

Running Back Talk: First off it is obviously a shame to see Leon Washington gone for the season. Everybody who reads Turn On The Jets knows about my man crush on #29 and yes I am very upset. I am sure he will rehab hard and be ready to go 100 percent for next season. Fortunately, the Jets traded a handful of draft picks to select a guy named Shonn Greene in the third round this past year who showed he is ready for the NFL today. Greene racked up 144 yards on 19 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per carry and also scored 2 touchdowns. The guy just doesn’t go down on first contact and has a great burst through the hole. Thomas Jones built on his momentum from last week finishing with 121 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown.

Some Offensive Line Love: This is the type of football the Jets are built for. They ran the ball 54 times and threw 15 times. The offensive line pushed the Raiders up and down the field and consistently created big running lanes for Greene and Jones. If the Jets are going to make a playoff push, it is going to be on the backs of their offensive line and running backs. Brandon Moore left for a little while in the second half, but his injury doesn’t appear to be serious and Robert Turner did a good job filling in.

Welcome Back Calvin: After a slow start in his first two games back, Calvin Pace finally re-established himself as the playmaking pass rusher he was last year with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Donald Stickland was also active in his return to the line-up with 3 tackles and 2 passes defensed. The secondary had a great overall game, with Darrelle Revis making a ridiculous interception and Jim Leonhard also adding an INT on a horribly thrown JaMarcus Russell pass.

The Clown: It is obviously good luck to do an interview here at Turn On The Jets, since David Clowney had his best game as a pro today and recorded his first career touchdown. It was good to see Mark Sanchez spread the ball around today and avoid any turnovers. He still has a ways to go but today was a step in the right direction.

Ten Final Thoughts On Jets/Raiders

Ten Final Thoughts On Jets/Raiders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turn On The Jets TV Episode 7