New York Jets Week 2 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Steelers

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers…stay with us all day today at TOJ as we have a roundtable discussion on the game coming later, along with new content from Mike Donnelly and Chris Gross

1. Regardless of the flaws on Pittsburgh’s offensive line and disappointing showing of their defense in week 1. This is a very tough match-up for the Jets. Heinz Field is never an easy place to play, nevermind when the Steelers are 0-1 and desperate for a victory. A win on Sunday would truly put the league on notice that the Jets are a legitimate contender in the AFC.

2. Early indications are that Darrelle Revis is going to play despite a mild concussion. The logic match-up is to put him on Antonio Brown, put Antonio Cromartie on Mike Wallace and come after Ben Roethlisberger like crazy in an attempt to take advantage of their struggling offensive line.

3. The players on Pittsburgh’s offense who have the ability to hurt the Jets the most are Emmanuel Sanders, Heath Miller and Jonathan Dwyer. We all know the history of slot receivers and tight ends taking advantage of Rex Ryan’s defense since he took over the Jets. This is a big week for Kyle Wilson and for the Jets new safeties, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, to show their ability in coverage. The reason I say Dwyer is because Pittsburgh has ran the ball down the Jets throat in their previous two meetings and Dwyer looks to be the workhorse back this week.

4. The Jets will receive a nice boost to their run defense if Sione Pouha returns to the line-up. Chris Gross will discuss this later in his film breakdown but the defense missed badly missed him last week at nose tackle. It will also be interesting to see if Eric Smith can play, as he would provide a boost to the special teams.

5. We will get a nice barometer of just how legitimate the Jets passing offense is this week. Pittsburgh has a seemingly endless collection of pass rushers and will receive Ryan Clark back at safety. Mark Sanchez played well both times the Jets went to Pittsburgh in 2010 and you know Santonio Holmes will be fired up for his return. Tony Sparano must stay aggressive in the passing game to keep balance on offense. It will be interesting to see how Stephen Hill responds to the extra attention he should likely receive now from opposing defenses.

6. If Mark Sanchez is playing like he did last week, I’d prefer even less of the Wildcat than we saw last week. Give the extra carries to Bilal Powell, particularly the edge rushes which Shonn Greene lacks the speed for.

7. What in the world would be the justification by the national media for a Jets win this week? Pittsburgh is having a down year? We won’t be impressed until they play Houston or San Francisco? Who knows…

8. It will be good to see Jerricho Cotchery again.

Turn On The Jets Film Breakdown – Jets vs. Bills

Turn On The Jets breaks down the game tape from Jets/Bills, answering your questions and giving other observations

Every week in this column we will break down the offensive game tape, both offering our observations and answering your questions submitted on Twitter. Tomorrow, our resident defensive lineman, Chris Gross, will provide a film breakdown of the other side of the ball. Thank you to everybody who sent in this week’s questions, which were aggregated into the following as many were on the same topic – 

1. How effective was Mark Sanchez at going through his progressions and making the proper reads?

The short answer is very effective and this question led me to spend most of my time breaking down the Jets passing game, which was without question the biggest surprise of the week. Tony Sparano and Mark Sanchez both did a terrific job with a game plan that was built to feature Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and Jeff Cumberland while using Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller primarily as decoys.

The first two pass plays were designed for Stephen Hill who was open on both and caught the second one on a crucial early third down. The third play was for Cumberland who was also wide open and moved the chains on a 13 yard gain. After that completion, Sanchez alternated making poor decisions/throws with terrific ones before settling down and playing a great overall game.

First, came the interception which occurred because Buffalo quickly took away his first and second read. Simply put, he should have ran out of bounds for a 3 yard gain or threw it away, as he did later in the game when the Jets tried a similar play that was defended well. He then followed up with a beautiful strike to Jeremy Kerley on a third down, where he was the first read and beat his guy immediately. Sanchez then missed a cover 2 hole shot to Holmes that could have been a touchdown, although Holmes could have got a cleaner release to help him out. Sanchez was then bailed out when he went to Hill on a 3rd and 5 and he drew pass interference, when he should have went to Holmes on a deeper out behind Hill.

Keep this play in mind because Sanchez learned from his mistake later in the game. The following pass was the Jeremy Kerley touchdown which was a well designed play by Sparano. It was meant to look like a wide receiver screen to Santonio Holmes. As Holmes works back to the ball, Kerley appears to be going to block the corner causing a slight hesitation from the man who is covering him, he then jets to the back of the end-zone and Sanchez delivered a perfectly thrown pass.

Sanchez was pretty locked in for the rest of the game from this point. He hit Holmes in a tight window to convert a third down, the Stephen Hill touchdown on his double move was an easy read and a good throw. Throughout the rest of the game, he made only three throws that weren’t on point. First he slightly overthrew Jeremy Kerley on a quick out, which was caught but forced him to extend and stumble, ending up short of the first down. Second, he just missed Holmes on a quick post, although you could argue Holmes should have made the catch. Finally, he again missed the hole shot to Holmes at the end of the half which was nearly a touchdown. This is a tough throw and they nearly executed it but missed by about an inch.

One particular play later in the game that was encouraging from Sanchez was a 3rd and 9, when instead of throwing it immediately to an open Dustin Keller in the flat (a play he absolutely would have made last year), he was patient and waited for his primary option, Jeff Cumberland (who is on the 20 yard line in this screen shot), to run his 9 yard hook route before delivering a spot on pass to convert a third down.

Finally, remember the Kerley touchdown? Tony Sparano smartly came back to the wide receiver screen to Holmes, knowing that the defense would be hesitant to jump it after getting beat earlier in the game. This was executed to perfection, thanks to a great block from Dustin Keller and went for a 17 yard gain.

A few final observations on passing game – It was striking just how often Hill, Kerley or Cumberland were the first read on passing plays. It showed immense confidence in three unproven players and all three answered the bell. The plan worked well because Buffalo was keying on Holmes and Keller, which helped get the three of them consistently open. Ironically enough it appeared the receiver Sanchez had the least chemistry with was Holmes. They just missed on three completions that all could have been big gains (two of which should have been touchdowns). If they get rolling on the same page, the Jets passing offense could be that much more effective.

2. Austin Howard/Mario Williams

Howard’s game was as good as advertised. He spend the majority of the dropbacks singled up on Mario Williams and consistently stonewalled his pass rush. Williams continually tried to bull rush him and use his power but could not get through, which gave Sanchez time to go through all the progressions outlined above. Howard showed surprising quickness and the times WIlliams looked to adjust to more of a speed rush he looked a step slow. His complaints about illegal hands to the face certainly didn’t show on the film as there were not blatant penalties missed by the officials on Howard.

3. Shonn Greene

Shonn Greene did finish with 94 yards, unfortunately it took him 27 carries to get there. Yes, there were times Greene ran very well in-between the tackles and he pushed the pile. However, the Jets need another option when running to the edge. This play below serves as a perfect example of why Greene needs a complimentary speed back with him. This play only went for 6 yards and look how well it is blocked up. Greene, again inexplicably stumbles when he receives the handoff, a recurring problem for him.

After the stumble, he gets temporarily held up behind the line here yet still there is space for a run that should net more than 6 yards. However, he simply doesn’t have enough burst to hit the seam. This is why the Jets may need to consider giving more outside handoffs to both Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight.

Check back tomorrow for Chris Gross’ film breakdown of the defense, primarily focusing on the defensive line. 

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Jets/Bills Recap Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling after the New York Jets thrashed the Buffalo Bills in week 1

You probably didn’t hear all that much about the Jets the past two days from the national media. Well, at least not as much as you did the previous four weeks anyway. Funny how that works, huh? After weeks and weeks of the media portraying the Jets as an absolute joke and pundits everywhere seemingly taking great joy in taking shots at them, the Jets went out and absolutely slaughtered the Buffalo Bills in the first game of the season that actually counted. Yep, that’s right, believe it or not those 4 preseason games actually didn’t mean crap, and the Jets not scoring a touchdown meant even less than that. When the lights came on, the Jets dropped a 48-spot on everyone’s sleeper darling team, the Buffalo Bills. It felt good. It felt damn good. Let’s break down what we saw..

BUY: Mark Sanchez – I hate to say “I told ya so”, but… Ok, I’m not going to get too carried away just yet, but that was as good as we’ve ever seen the Sanchize look. He had time in the pocket, he looked poised and confident, and he showed a newfound zip on his passes down the field. It’s amazing what a quarterback can accomplish with a legit deep threat (Hill), competent blocking on the right side (Howard + a game plan using chip blocks), and most importantly not having Brian Schottenheimer holding him back. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that in the first game without Schotty, Sanchez had arguably the best game of his career, right? Speaking of which..

BUY: Coaching Staff – This goes to all of the coaches, from top to bottom. Rex Ryan obviously used the media’s negative portrayal of the team to motivate them and lead them into the Great Buffalo Massacre of 2012. Plus, he –along with Mike Pettine– showed he can actually coach a little football and put together a defensive game plan that absolutely shut down Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills spread attack. On the other side of the ball, watching the offensive play-calling and play design was a thing of beauty. All offseason I couldn’t say enough how much better the offense would be simply by getting rid of the black sheep of the Schottenheimer family, and the early results look promising. It had been so long, I forgot that an offense could actually stick with the run throughout an entire game; I didn’t realize you could exploit mismatches on defense and attack them; I didn’t know you could throw a pass beyond 6 yards. Week 1 was an eye-opening performance by the coaching staff. By the way, I haven’t heard many “Schotty must be laughing in St. Louis!” jokes that everyone seemed to love throughout the pre-season. I wonder why?

BUY: The Wide Receivers – Santonio Holmes was mostly double-teamed throughout the game and didn’t put up big numbers, but he clearly impacted the game just by being out there. Stephen Hill, on the other hand, did put up eye-opening numbers, scoring two TD’s in his NFL debut and getting himself open repeatedly. Jeremy Kerley also chipped in 4 catches, a TD (plus a punt return TD), and put his rough pre-season beyond him. Chaz Schilens even shocked the world by not only walking onto the field without pulling his hamstring AND making a catch. What a day!

BUY: Shonn Greene Carrying the Load – Shonn Greene was handed the ball 27 times and showed he could handle the load, which is extremely important for this Jets team. He ran hard throughout the game, didn’t tire, and was breaking tackles well into the 4th quarter which is exactly what we want to see. He’s never going to be a game-breaking threat but combined with Tebow’s wildcat, he can really be a factor in Sparano’s clock control offense. That being said..

SELL: Shonn Greene’s fumbles – Greene put the ball on the ground twice on Sunday, including once at the goalline and that is absolutely unacceptable. I’m as staunch a Greene defender as anyone, and I was generally encouraged by his performance, but he can NOT be doing that. Also..

SELL: The Run Blocking – Generally the run blocking was pretty solid on Sunday, but this team still needs a Tight End who can block. Cumberland and Reuland aren’t going to cut it, and when Jason Smith comes in for that role, it kind of tips their hand as to what is going to be run.

BUY: The Secondary – A dominant performance by the defense was marred slightly by an apparent concussion for Darrelle Revis. If the Jets are going to win in Pittsburgh, we’re going to need to see a healthy #24 out there to eliminate Antonio Brown from the Steelers offense. Against the Bills, we saw Revis, Cromartie, and Wilson manhandle the Bills receivers. We saw the new safeties, Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell make big hits and actually make some plays. It was nice to see a Jets safety out there not just trailing a tight end by 5 yards while hopelessly diving for a tackle. We’re going to need a solid performance from these guys next week against a Pittsburgh team that likes to throw to Heath Miller down the middle of the field.

SELL: Depth on Defense – Perhaps this is nitpicking a little bit, but when the Jets started making some defensive substitutions late in the game, it got really brutal out there. Ellis Lankster can be a nice 4th corner, but when he was forced into a larger role he got picked apart. Isaiah Trufant should never be on the field for defense. Garrett McIntyre came in for an injured Bryan Thomas and the drop off was noticeable. Even Kenrick Ellis, who had a great preseason left a lot to be desired as Sione Po’uha’s replacement. We are going to need to see a healthy Sione this week against Pittsburgh and their crap offensive line.

SELL: The media – I wonder how some of these morons were able to recap the game on Sunday with a giant foot sticking out of their mouths. What a major disappointment Sunday had to be for the media hacks who had the Jets dead and buried before a single play that actually counted took place. I feel really bad that they had to file away their pre-written “clown” jokes since they weren’t able to use them. What a major disappointment. And did I take great joy in reminding everyone that the real “clowns” were people like Evan Silva, who called for the Jets to score a mere 6 points this week? Yes, yes I did. It was just one game and we can’t get too carried away because there’s a long way to go, but what a game it was. I have a feeling there are going to be plenty more like it.

Sanchez Breakdown: #6 Capable of Operating an NFL Offense

Rob Celletti provides his weekly breakdown of Mark Sanchez’s performance

Every Monday throughout the season Rob Celletti will provide a breakdown of Mark Sanchez’s performance. Also a reminder that I will breaking down the game film in a Q&A column tomorrow, if there is anything you want answered send a Tweet to the Turn On The Jets account

STAT LINE – 19/27, 266 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception – 123.4 QB Rating, 70.3 completion percentage

Watching yesterday’s beatdown of the Buffalo Bills, one thought continuously crossed my mind: “What team am I watching?”

Every single thing the Jets seemed to have trouble doing on offense last year, they got right in their 2012 opener.  Protecting the quarterback? Mark Sanchez was virtually untouched.  Third down efficiency? 10 for 14.  Getting the ball to playmakers in space?  Mark Sanchez completed passes to seven different receivers.

Regardless of the Jets’ “Ground and Pound” mentality, everyone knows that in the 2012 NFL, the quarterback is the engine that makes an offense go.  Yesterday, Sanchez had the Jets operating like a Maserati.  Here’s a closer look at the starting quarterback’s week 1 performance.

The Best: The basic stat line tells you most of what you need to know, but Sanchez also passed the eye test.  After getting over an early hiccup (more on that in a bit), every pass seemed to get out on time and with velocity.  From an accuracy standpoint, that was the best I’ve seen Sanchez throw the ball.  Receivers were running free through a suspect Buffalo secondary and Sanchez got them the ball with ease.  On his first two touchdown throws, Sanchez identified advantageous one-on-one matchups for his receivers and attacked them, opening up space with some deft pump-fakes.  In other words, the Jets looked like an effective NFL offense, something that couldn’t be said often last year.

The Worst: Obviously, the interception.  I’m steadfast in my defense of Sanchez, but my goodness, what a miserable decision he made there.  For better or worse, it seems that this is part of Sanchez’s personality as a quarterback.  He has a bit of the Tony Romo/Ben Roethlisberger tendency to not give up on a play because of his mobility, but clearly the proper decision would have been to throw the ball away or just run out of bounds.

The Key Moment: There were several, really, because it seemed as though every time the Jets needed a drive, Sanchez was able to engineer one, even in what seemed like garbage time when things got hairy at 41-28.  But for the sake of committing to one “turning point” for yesterday’s game, it has to be the drive after the interception.  A lot has been made of Sanchez’s demeanor and response to negative plays during the course of games throughout his young career.  Credit the fourth-year quarterback for bouncing right back yesterday and not allowing any hysteria involving a certain backup quarterback to ensue.  After Darrelle Revis got the ball back for the Jets at their own 39 yard line, Sanchez hooked up with Jeremy Kerley for 21 yards on third down, and then got a little help from the referees via a pass interference call on 3rd and 6 from Buffalo’s 33.  Three plays later, Kerley caught the Jets’ first touchdown on a wonderfully thrown ball to the back right corner of the endzone, and Gang Green was off to the races.

Next week’s clash in Pittsburgh is sure to provide a more stern test for Sanchez and the rest of the Jets offense, but the quarterback’s week 1 performance is still one to be very excited about.

New York Jets Week 1 Report Card – Dean’s List

A grade report for the New York Jets opening season win over the Buffalo Bills

Quarterbacks (A) – If Mark Sanchez is completing 70% of his passes and throwing 3 touchdowns on a regular basis, the Jets are going to be one of the toughest teams to beat in the NFL. Sanchez showed accuracy, poise and a short memory after a first quarter interception. He pushed the football down the field and spread it around to seven different receivers, consistently finding the proper read based on what the coverage was dictating. Yesterday’s performance confirms something we have been saying about Sanchez for a long time here, if he is protected properly he has the skills to be a very good NFL quarterback who can lead a winning team.

Tim Tebow didn’t do much with his limited reps, finishing with 11 yards on 5 carries and handing off for a few short runs. There has to be some ongoing concern about disrupting Sanchez’s rhythm by replacing him with Tebow but it wasn’t an issue yesterday. Eventually, he will be need to throw the ball out of the Wildcat to keep defenses honest. It will be interesting to see how long it takes Tony Sparano to dial one up.

Running Backs (C) – Shonn Greene ran hard for 94 yards but let’s keep perspective, it took him 27 carries to reach that total. His longest run of the day was 14 yards and he fumbled twice (losing neither). He continues to look like nothing more than a slightly above average back who lacks the ability to consistently break tackles or make people miss. Bilal Powell showed a little giddy up on a 16 yard reception and you have to wonder when the Jets will bump his carry total up. They can’t give Greene 27 carries on a weekly basis, so maybe Powell will start getting 7-10 carries a game.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends (A) – Stephen Hill had a spectacular debut, scoring 2 touchdowns including one where he smoked fellow rookie Stephon Gilmore on a double move. We knew Hill would be a vertical threat but what was really impressive was how he moved the chains on a few third downs with precise routes and tough catches in traffic. Hill has a chance to be a better version of what Braylon Edwards was for Mark Sanchez in 2009 and 2010. Santonio Holmes was productive and just missed having a ridiculous touchdown catch at the end of the half. Jeremy Kerley came up huge in the slot with a 27 yard catch and a 12 yard touchdown…hell even Chaz Schilens caught a pass for 8 yards.

Dustin Keller was quiet in the passing game but Jeff Cumberland pulled in three nice catches for 33 yards. Newcomer Konrad Reuland deserves credit for logging 17 plays after being signed just a week before the season starter.

Offensive Line (A) – Austin Howard completely shut out Mario Williams. I feel as if that needs to be typed again…Austin Howard completely shut out Mario Williams…just an unbelievable job by the Jets first year starter. The rest of the unit was excellent as well, keeping Sanchez clean all game and giving him to go through his progressions.

Defensive Line (C) – Without Sione Pouha, the Jets rushing defense struggled at times, particularly in letting CJ Spiller rip off a few monster runs. However, despite not logging any sacks they received a good push up front when the game was still in question. Muhammad Wilkerson did have a quarterback hit and Mike DeVito had 2 tackles.

Linebackers (B) – David Harris led the way with 7 tackles, Bart Scott wasn’t far behind with 5 including one for a loss. Calvin Pace hit Fitzpatrick twice  and also had 5 tackles. Bryan Thomas tweaked a hamstring and will be questionable for next week. Quiet game for Aaron Maybin.

Secondary (A) – An interception for each of the Jets top three corners. Antonio Cromartie’s was gift wrapped for him, both Darrelle Revis and Kyle Wilson made nice breaks on their respective picks. LaRon Landry seemed to be in on every tackle, finishing with 7 and a pair of quarterback hits, along with forcing a fumble on CJ Spiller. This secondary has the potential to be one of the league’s best, particularly if they keep forcing game changing turnovers.

Special Teams (A) – A beautiful punt return touchdown by Jeremy Kerley, two made field goals from Nick Folk and great distance on kickoffs…not much for Mike Westhoff to complain about. New punter Bob Malone looked very good as well.

Coaching (A) – Rex Ryan pushed all the right buttons this week by keying his team up from all the “circus” talk. His decision to publicly call out Jeremy Kerley also seems to be paying early dividends. Tony Sparano’s game plan was a refreshing break from Brian Schottenheimer ball the past 6 years.

No Huddle – New York Jets 1-0 Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the Jets dominant week 1 performance

What a great start for a team that was mocked for going scoreless all summer. That was ridiculed for signing Tim Tebow. That was seen as a publicity grabbing gadget act above being a real football team. It’s only one game, but you know the Jets 48-28 thrashing of a Bills team that so many already anointed as the real threat to the Patriots, will change the conversation. Allow us to help.

1 – 48 Points: Who Knew? Sparano did

Tony Sparano made sure to keep the Bills defense uneasy right from the start. Maybe the Jets don’t have hall of fame wideouts or Jim Brown running the ball, but the players they DO have all got involved in the first quarter. We counted seven different guys touched the ball in a first quarter that shocked anyone who was dialed in to the “Circus.”

Kerley. Hill. Holmes. Heck even Keller AND Cumberland. Greene. Powell. With a little Tebow mixed in to keep the chains moving and the clock rolling. The pass protection was stellar. That’s how you do it. Sunday was the blueprint. It won’t always result in 30 plus points and other teams will provide bigger challenges defensively in the coming weeks, but Sunday’s offense was more creative than any game was that we can remember in years. It gives us hope that the defense won’t have to carry this team. The offense will have days when it does it’s fair share.

2 – Yes Sanchize, You Proved Us Right Sunday, AND Shut Some People Up

As Mark Sanchez was lighting it up in the 2009 Rose Bowl we told a friend by phone that the Jets should move up to grab him. He was exuberant, confident, and decisive.

What has happened to him along the way has been a rocky ride perhaps due to a combination of sorts. Starting with pressure from the start as a rookie on a good defensive team. Add in coddling, a tough local media, sky high expectations in 2011, and a trust in himself that at times over three years wavered. All despite his late game heroics and playoff success.

Against the Bills, with time to throw, Sanchez got the ball out on time, on the run to receivers, and was the clear field general of the team. It’s year four. A season where many say the game slows down and makes sense to signal callers who get so much thrown at them from an X’s and O’s standpoint out of college.

How much higher the ceiling can be for Sanchez is anyone’s guess. What we do know after week one is, he CAN guide his team down the field thoughout an entire game. Let the haters try to diminsih his work yesterday by saying “hey, it was just one game.” Keep the motivation for number 6 going. We love what the doubters have helped fuel already, which is a foundation for success, and for the first time in a long time, a chance for the Jets starting QB to sleep well after a great performance.

3 – NY Post, Now It’s Time For YOU To Jump In The Clown Car

Imagine burying a team that hasn’t played a real game yet. The NY Post couldn’t wait to call the Jets training sessions in Cortland “Camp Chaos” back in July. Probably loved the drawing last week that painted Rex Ryan, Sanchez and Tebow as clowns in a clown car.

Maybe now it’s time to slap a big NY Post logo on a clown car and a bozo nose on the genius who devised the artwork above. Hey, sometimes you gotta eat crow, right? Especially when you are bold enough to be designing cartoon eulogies in August.

4 – That’s EXACTLY How To Use Tim Tebow

The big QB controversy is over. Done. Finished.

What HAS just started however, is the effect that a unique playmaker can have on a team with alot of athletes looking to grow together. Tebow was (5-11 yds) not a big ground gainer, but no carry brought any loss of yardage. All Wildcat touches from him at least kept the offense on schedule and the clock moving.

He even fielded an onsides kick as a member of the “hands team” in a two score game late in the fourth.

We wrote a pre game piece noting that the two headed monster could work if Tebow could be utilized as the “spice,” and Sanchez the “sauce.” That’s what we saw on Sunday. Who knows what the “Tebow-cat” can become down the road too. It’s only one game old.

5 – If You Are Third And Long, The Jets Secondary Can Hurt You

Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie jumped routes. Cro took his pick to the house. Laron Landry forced a fumble on CJ Spiller that set up a late FG in the first half.

If the Jets front four can keep stifling the run game as they did before CJ Spiller got loose a few times, then teams will play right into Ryan’s hands. Second and long and third long situations will allow the Jets secondary, able to play the ball more aggresively thanks to their new safeties, the chance to make BIG plays.

Scoring plays and field position plays.

All aboard…The “Clown Car” leaves for Pittsburgh in the coming days. We wonder how many newcomers will now join the bandwagon. Faces painted with bozo noses and all.

Initial Reaction – 48 Points And A Barrel Of Laughs, Jets 1-0

The New York Jets rolled to a 48-28 win…thoughts on how they handled Buffalo

While we are happy to say we told you so about the Buffalo Bills being overhyped and the New York Jets remaining the second best team in the AFC East, we certainly can’t say we saw that coming. 48 points? Special teams touchdowns? The Jets looking like a high functioning NFL offense for an entire game? Today was a fun one at MetLife Stadium. Fun, because today demonstrated just how good this team could be and just how ridiculous all the negative pre-season hype around the team was.

Let’s start at the top, with the most important positon on the field and the most important player on the Jets roster not named Darrelle Revis…Mark Sanchez. Outside of a bonehead interception in the first quarter that had Twitter ablaze with cheap shots, Sanchez was as accurate as we’ve ever seen him, consistently fitting passes into tight windows and pushing the football down the field. Credit Tony Sparano for an aggressive game plan but credit Sanchez for dropping in some gems. He effectively spread the ball around, completing passes to 7 different receivers and showing tremendous comfort with rookie Stephen Hill. When you protect Sanchez, he can make all the throws necessary to win in the NFL.

The Jets wide receivers took a beating all summer, particularly Hill who many people claimed wasn’t ready for a big time role. He silenced those critics by turning in a monster 5 catch, 89 yard, 2 touchdown performance. Hill is a faster, bigger version of Braylon Edwards who Sanchez was extremely comfortable with in 2009 and 2010. Jeremy Kerley also got himself out of Rex Ryan’s doghouse with a 4 catches for 45 yards, a receiving touchdown an electric punt return touchdown. If they can stay consistent, the Jets offense has a ceiling much higher than anybody expected.

Austin Howard deserves to be singled out for praise. Mario Williams laid a goose egg today and Buffalo’s pass rush in general did absolutely nothing. The whole line deserves credit but Howard just recently stepped into a starting role and has the most prove. He was more than up to the challenge against Buffalo’s much hyped personnel.

Defensively, it was playmaking. The Jets made Ryan Fitzpatrick look every bit the overpaid, mediocre quarterback he is by intercepting him three times and taking one back to the house (we have been waiting for that defensive TD Cro!). Yes, the running defense and the lack of sacks was a mild disappointment but ultimately when the game was still in question, the defense routinely made game changing plays. LaRon Landry seemed to be in on every tackle and there is no question the tandem of him and Yeremiah Bell are a major upgrade from last year’s safeties.

The Jets and their fans have every right to enjoy this one. It was a statement victory in the division. However, there will be an even better chance to turn some heads this week in Pittsburgh. The talent is there to win, but will the consistency be there?

Check back tomorrow for No Huddle, a full Report Card and a closer look at Sanchez’s performance

Turn On The Jets Week 1 Roundtable: Jets/Bills Prediction

The Turn On The Jets staff gives their predictions for Jets/Bills

The TOJ Staff gives their predictions for the New York Jets regular season opener against the Buffalo Bills. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter

Joe Caporoso – 12 Pack

Chris Gross – Jets 19 Bills 10 – Don’t expect this game to be very pretty in terms of offensive fire power. Each of these teams are built on defense and running the ball. The Jets play their first real game in the brand new offensive system of Tony Sparano, while Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills take on a New York defense that seems poised to rank in the top three in the league. The Jets offense will struggle to score touchdowns until it fully gels within the new system, but stellar defensive and special teams play will allow them to win the field position battle and accumulate points through field goals, with a touchdown sprinkled in. Expect either a “TebowCat” TD run from inside the ten, or a play action pass from Sanchez to Keller.

Mike Donnelly – Ahh, the Buffalo Bills. There’s not a team I’d rather see the Jets opening against. After months and months of hearing about how wonderful Buffalo is going to be this year on both sides of the ball, while the Jets are expected to show up in their clown car and just throw in the towel, we get to see both teams actually prove it on the field. WIth or without Sione Po’uha, the Jets defense is going to smother the Bills. You know damn well Rex Ryan has a few special wrinkles saved up for Chan Gailey this week, and I don’t expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to be able to handle them. The Jets offense is NOT as bad as they’ve shown this preseason, and now that the games count you better believe they’re going to open up the playbook and actually, you know, score a touchdown. They’ll do just enough on offense and unleash the hounds on poor Fitzpatrick on defense as the game slowly turns into a rout, something like 27-10. Oh, and expect this guy who wears #24 for the Jets to put all the “Stevie Johnson owns Revis” garbage to rest, once and for all. My official prediction? I’ll let Clubber Lang handle this one –

TJ Rosenthal – Jets win 23-17 if: The Front four remains as physical and quick off the bell as they were against Carolina weeks back. This will allow the  Jets to make the Bills duo of Jackson and Spiller unable to dictate terms. Sanchez will be efficient in this scenario while finding a way to make the big strike at some point. Tebow will move the chains and bring energy to Met Life with a few scintillating runs. Jets lose 27-13 if: The offense looks the way it did all preseason, tiring out a Jets D that had good intentions, but couldn’t rest properly. Eventually caving in after halftime.

Chris Celletti – This game is going to be absolutely excruciating for Jets fans. Not because I think they’ll lose, as you’ll see, but it’s not going to be pretty at all. I still don’t have a ton of confidence in this Jets’ offense. I expect Mark Sanchez to make some really nice throws, hit a few intermediate plays and try some deep throws, but I don’t expect a huge statistical output and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t throw a pick (and at what point that pick comes and the context of it is going to determine the circus factor in MetLife). Tim Tebow and the Wildcat will prove to be efficient, but since the Jets’ offensive line struggled in the preseason on standard running plays, I don’t see them opening up huge holes for Tebow to make a big play. I think both offenses will struggle, especially the Bills as I think the Jets’ D has a big day. The Jets do find a way to score a few touchdowns in a defense/field position battle, and the panic button goes away for at least a week. Jets 20, Bills 16

Rob Celletti– It’s not surprising that of the 16 games on the NFL Week 1 slate, Jets/Bills has the lowest over/under number (39, half a point lower than what promises to be an unwatchable clash between Minnesota and Jacksonville), and still, I’d take the under. It’s not going to be pretty, folks.  The Jets will run the ball, and they’ll punt.  Sanchez will take some sacks, and they’ll punt.  But the defense will not only hold, but dominate, and the Jets offense will find a rhythm at some point.  Look for the offense to score points when they start with a short field, via turnovers or an explosive special teams play.  Mark Sanchez will get this team into the endzone twice, and the Jets will win the game 20-13.  The statistics won’t be pretty, but 1-0 will be

Turn On The Jets Week 1 NFL Picks

The TOJ Staff submits their picks for week 1 of the NFL…the race for steak begins

The Turn On The Jets staff will be submitting their picks against the spread on a weekly basis. We will be tracking our weekly records so you know where to turn for your gambling advice. At the end of the season our staff will be gathering for a meal at Peter Lugers in Brooklyn, with the overall winner receiving a free meal. Let the race for steak begin! #RaceForSteak –

Joe Caporoso

Season Record: 0-1

  • Bears (-10) over Colts
  • Eagles (-9.5) over Browns
  • Jets (-3) over Bills
  • Saints (-8.5) over Redskins
  • Patriots (-5) over Titans
  • Jaguars (+3.5) over Vikings
  • Texans (-11.5) over Dolphins
  • Lions (-8.5) over Rams
  • Falcons (-3) over Chiefs
  • Packers (-5) over 49ers
  • Panthers (-3) over Bucs
  • Seahawks (-3) over Cardinals
  • Steelers (+1.5) over Broncos
  • Bengals (+6.5) over Ravens
  • Raiders (-1.5) over Chargers

Rob Celletti

Season Record: 1-0

  • Colts (+10) over Bears
  • Eagles (-9.5) over Browns
  • Jets (-3) over Bills
  • Saints (-8.5) over Redskins
  • Patriots (-5) over Titans
  • Vikings (-3.5) over Jaguars
  • Texans (-11.5) over Dolphins
  • Lions (-8.5) over Rams
  • Chiefs (+3) over Falcons
  • Packers (-5) over 49ers
  • Panthers (-3) over Buccaneers
  • Cardinals (+3) over Seahawks
  • Steelers (+1.5) over Broncos
  • Bengals (+6.5) over Ravens
  • Chargers (+1.5) over Raiders
Season Record: 0-1
  • Colts (+9.5)
  • Eagles (-9.5)
  • Jets (-3)
  • Saints (-8)
  • Patriots (-5.5)
  • Jaguars (+3.5)
  • Houston (-11.5)
  • Lions (-8)
  • Chiefs (+3)
  • 49ers (+5)
  • Panthers (-3)
  • Seahawks (-3)
  • Steelers (+1.5)
  • Ravens (-6.5)
  • Chargers (+1.5)

Season Record: 0-1

  • Chicago (-10) vs. Indianapolis
  • Philadelphia (-9.5) at Cleveland
  • Jets (-3) vs.Buffalo
  • New Orleans (-8.5) vs. Washington
  • New England (-5) at Tennessee
  • Jacksonville (+3.5) at Minnesota
  • Miami (+11.5) at Houston
  • Detroit (-8.5) vs. St. Louis
  • Kansas City (+3) vs. Atlanta
  • 49ers (+5) at Green Bay
  • Tampa Bay (+3) vs. Carolina
  • Seattle (-3) vs. Arizona
  • Pittsburgh (+1.5) at Denver
  • Cincinnati (+6.5) at Baltimore
  • San Diego (+1.5) at Oakland

Mike Donnelly 

Season Record: 0-1

  • Colts +10
  • Browns +9.5
  • Jets -3
  • Saints -8.5
  • Titans +4
  • Minnesota -3.5
  • Houston -11.5
  • St. Louis +8.5
  • KC +3
  • Packers -5
  • Bucs +3
  • Cards +3
  • Broncos -1.5
  • Ravens -6.5
  • Raiders -1.5

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 1 – Jets vs. Bills

A 12 pack of predictions for the Jets/Bills week 1 match-up

The 2012 NFL season is off to a beautiful start. Yes, the Giants beat the Jets last year and won the Super Bowl. Did that prevent you from enjoying David Wilson and Mathias Kiwanuka’s tears or the disappointed faces of the bandwagon Giants fans who just bought their jersey the day before in the bar on Wednesday? Of course not. Week 1 is here and with that comes 12 likely inaccurate predictions about the Jets first game, against the Fredo of the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills.

1. Stevie Johnson will have under 50 yards receiving and not score a touchdown. You think Darrelle Revis isn’t keyed up for this game after hearing all week how Johnson is the only receiver who has figured out how to beat him? Look for Revis to get after Johnson at the line of scrimmage and to be in his ear all game. I wouldn’t be surprised if he baited him into a personal foul at some point.

2. Shonn Greene will be the game’s leading rusher. The Jets have had Fred Jackson’s number over the past few years and it doesn’t look like many players will be running successfully on them throughout 2012. Greene should be good for 20+ carries and somewhere between 80 and 95 yards.

3. Let’s get this out of the way – Tebow: 6 carries, 34 yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 0/1 passing. After the rushing touchdown I expect to see a ray of light shining down on the swamps of North Jersey and the local sewage to smell of sweet roses.

4. Mark Sanchez – An efficient, productive game that won’t light up the stat sheet. Get used to them. 16/22, 195 yards, 1 touchdown, no turnovers.

5. CJ Spiller is the player on the Buffalo offense who is going to do the most damage, particularly catching passes out of the backfield. Look for him to rip off at least one big play that leads directly to points.

6. The Jets defense will sack Ryan Fitzpatrick three times and force a pair of turnovers, including one that results in a Jets score.

7. Mario Williams will have a sack in his debut for the Bills. However, Austin Howard will do a decent enough job to prevent him or Mark Anderson from taking the game over.

8. Stephen Hill will have 3 catches for 55 yards in his rookie debut.

9. Santonio Holmes will lead the Jets in catches and yards.

10. Dustin Keller will have a quiet game as he battles a hamstring injury. Jeff Cumberland will struggle with extended reps.

11.Bilal Powell will have less than 25 total offensive yards.

12. The Jets are going to win an ugly, defensive dominated 20-10 game. They won’t put it away until the 4th quarter behind their rushing attack and defense, which force a key late turnover.