Turn On The Jets Week 13 Roundtable – Jets/Cards Match-Ups

The TOJ staff discusses what match-ups they are most looking forward to in Jets/Cardinals

The TOJ staff discusses what match-ups they are most looking forward to in this Sunday’s game between the Jets and Cardinals. 

A quick shout out to Santonio Holmes who is running an online raffle to raise money for his Third and Long Foundation. The contest runs through this Saturday and the prize is 2 tickets to watch the Jets game this week in a suite at MetLife with Holmes. Check out http://www.monjigame.com for more information – Help support a great cause!

Joe Caporoso – The Jets vs. Our Collective Sanity – The New York Jets have just about pushed their fans to the breaking point this year. Yet, if this eternally hyped defense can’t put a hurting on Ryan Lindley and the worst offensive line in football what else is there to do but fire everybody who is associated with this organization? This is the type of game the Jets defense needs to post 5 sacks, 2 turnovers and carry the torch to an ugly 13-3 win. If the Jets manage to lose this game, they may not win the rest of the season.

Chris Gross – Jets Defensive Line vs. Cardinals Offensive Line: If Arizona had a capable quarterback, this would easily be focused on Antonio Cromartie against Larry Fitzgerald. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, however, the quarterback situation in the desert is more laughable than any team around the league (including the Jets and Kansas City). The Cardinals have given up an NFL worst 46 sacks this season, with the Jets only getting to opposing quarterbacks a mere 17 times. Something has to give, here right?

Arizona will be starting rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley for the second straight week. Despite throwing 4 interceptions against St. Louis last week, Lindley still threw for 312 yards. The talent is there at wide receiver for the Cardinals. Third year pro Andre Roberts is quietly having a decent year for Arizona with 50 receptions and 5 touchdowns, including 9 grabs in the loss to the Rams last week. While Cromartie should be able to keep Fitzgerald in check for the better part of the game, Roberts and Michael Floyd could cause problems for the rest of the Jets below average secondary.

In order to prevent a surplus of Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster miscommunications, the Jets simply need to wreak havoc on the rookie signal caller. There is no excuse for not getting to the quarterback this week. Lindley needs to be hit early and often in order for the Jets to neutralize the mismatches at WR2 and WR3. Muhammad Wilkerson should have a big game, with Quinton Coples, and one of the Jets outside linebackers contributing as well (Anybody? Bueller?? Bueller??). If the pass rush is neutralized against the poor pass blocking offensive line of the Cardinals, another home loss could be looming, particularly due to the strong defensive presence that Arizona has still maintained, despite losing 7 in a row

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to this Sunday is Quinton Coples, Mo Wilkerson, and Ricky Sapp against the Cardinals porous offensive line. I know it seems weird to include someone like Sapp in a group with 1st round picks like Coples and Wilkerson, but hear me out. If Ricky Sapp can’t get anything going this week against this Cardinals offensive line which is downright atrocious, then we know he truly is never going to help this team in any meaningful way. The Cardinals field two of the very worst offensive tackles in the NFL, and they aren’t that much better up the middle. Mo Wilkerson has been on an absolute tear lately and I’m looking forward to seeing him really put up a monster game, while this could also be Quinton Coples’s big “I’m here” game. Coples has been on the brink of busting out for a few weeks now, and if he’s given enough reps, he can really do some damage and build some momentum for himself going forward and into the 2013 season. Wins or losses are almost meaningless at this point in the season for this Jets team, so the main thing is seeing the young foundation pieces for next year improve and show what they can do.

TJ Rosenthal – The biggest matchup this weekend will be the battle for Jets mascot supremacy now that Fireman Ed has abdicated his throne. How many new challengers will emerge seeking followers of their J-E-T-S chanting lead? We expect an embarrassing competition consisting of grown ups wearing wings for arms, and mini airplanes on their heads.

You don’t actually think that we are curious about any matchup in particular between a team on a seven game skid with a practice squad quarterback, and a team with one healthy wide receiver and a franchise quarterback fresh off a near concussion. This thanks to running into his own lineman’s derrière. On national tv no less. Do you?

Chris Celletti – Mark Sanchez has to start putting some solid performances together quickly if he has any visions of staying in the NFL as a starting quarterback. And you might want to do that soon, Mark, because the Kate Uptons and Eva Longorias of the world don’t date backups.

The Jets’ schedule the remainder of the way is littered with bad teams, so it seems that the Jets’ signal caller will have his chances to put together a solid personal finish to the year. However, this Sunday’s task – going by the numbers – will be the hardest of the bunch. Despite losing seven straight games, Arizona still has a very solid defense. They’re fourth in the NFL against the pass, allowing an average of just 204 yards per game. Couple that with the fact that the Jets are the fifth-worst passing team in the league (201 yards a game, GOOD GOD) and the fact that there’s a good chance Sanchez will be throwing actual NFL passes to guys named Mardy Gilyard, Jack McSwillywiggins and Jordan White (only one of those names was made up), it could get ugly once again.

Thankfully, there will only be about 35,000 actual human beings in the stands at MetLife, so the TEEEBOOOWWW chants and boos will only be about half as loud as they normally are. Expect a similar outcome on the other side with the Jets’ pass defense and Cards’ QB Ryan Lindley, so this game really has a chance to set football back about 72 years. But at home, against a west coast team in an early Eastern time kickoff, the Jets really should win as long as Sanchez doesn’t mutilate the game.

Turn On The Jets Mailbag – Week 13 Edition

Turn On The Jets dips into the mailbag to answer your questions about the New York Jets heading into week 13

(Because aren’t you tired of pictures of Rex Ryan or Mark Sanchez at the top of these articles?) 

Welcome to the Turn On The Jets mailbag, where we will go through your questions on the New York Jets among other things. We are going to try to make this a somewhat regular thing. Questions can be sent to JoeC@TurnOnTheJets.com, on Twitter or Facebook. Let’s get into it –

John Lavin – “Do you think Mike T and Rex will be fired in a full-clean house or will Rex make the cut?” 

Personally, I think it is the right decision to fire Mike Tannenbaum and keep Rex Ryan. However, I am concerned about Woody’s personal relationship with Tannenbaum clouding his judgement. At this point and this is subject to change pending how the last five games go, Tannenbaum will likely be demoted to a more salary focused position with another football personnel guy brought in to work alongside him. Rex will probably be back in 2013 but will once again need to fire his offensive coordinator and this time find one who has a 21st century offense. And for God’s sake, could he find Sanchez a new quarterback coach?

Brandon Wood – “Do you think Mark Sanchez would play better with a team that has less pressure from the media and fans?”

I think Mark Sanchez would play better on a team with NFL caliber receivers, a capable running back and a very good line…like he did for parts of 2009 and all of 2010. Yet, it is fair to question at this point if the New York market has finally worn him down and if he wouldn’t be better served in a market like Arizona, Kansas City or something like that. Sanchez has the skill set to be a successful NFL quarterback but a change of scenery could do him good if he continues to struggle like he has this season.

J Bones “How do you rank this disaster of a season with our past disasters?” 

An interesting and painful question to contemplate. The Jets expectations weren’t that high coming into this year so few people could claim to be shocked by a 6-10 or 7-9 finish. It is really the ass-fumbling way the Jets are losing games this season that is making it feeling disastrous. That New England game was one of the three or four most embarrassing losses in recent Jets history. However, season-wise I’d say 1999 was more of a disaster after seeing a Super Bowl favorite’s season go down the drain in week 1 because of a ACL tear. The Favre meltdown was a worse disaster because you could have argued the Jets were the best team in football after beating New England and an undefeated Tennessee team on the road before going 1-4 down the stretch to miss the playoffs. The 2005 team was awful and completely devoid of talent (much like this team!) so that compares as well.

Sean L Durham – “Is it likely that the Jets dump GM Mike Tannenbaum and shake up the coaching staff but let Rex remain as HC or is everyone going to pay for the Thanksgiving Night Massacre including Rex? Also, what’s your thoughts on possibly trading players like Revis and Harris away for extra picks?”

Unfortunately the Thanksgiving Night Massacre didn’t happen late enough in the season to have the true “clean-house” effect that it should. Can’t you see the Jets winning 4 of their last 5 against their terrible competition, finishing 8-8 and the day after the season press conference opening something like this?

Woody Johnson – “You know looking at everything and after talking to Mike about it…we were 8-8, only 1 game out of the playoffs and that was without two of our best players all season. You put Revis and Holmes in there and who knows what happens? So we don’t really feel that far away. I don’t see any major changes necessary.”

Mike Tannenbaum – “Let me just hop in here and say we’re happy to have Woody’s support and feel that with a few tweaks here or there, we can be right back to being a playoff team.”

(Meanwhile Jets fans across the tri-state area break their respective laptops and televisions).

In all honesty, if I had to bet on it today – I’d say it is most likely that both Tannenbaum (in some capacity) and Rex are back.

In terms of trading away valuable players for picks, I don’t think that is a bad approach. The Jets aren’t in a great salary cap position and the Revis negotiations could get ugly. There wouldn’t be anything that crazy about trading him for a first and fourth round pick and taking the extra cap space…actually it would probably be a smart idea considering how awful this entire roster is right now. You won’t find a trading partner for Harris because he is the most overpaid player in football right now.

Jason DeBoer – “All of my coworkers are Patriots fans. How do I make it through yet another Patriots playoff season? How can I keep up with the water cooler talk?”

What god-awful place do you work at? There is nothing worse on this planet than Patriots fans or Boston fans in general. If you are living in the greater New England area, move. You don’t want your children eventually raised in such surroundings. If you don’t live in the greater New England area, where is this secret office of hellish misery? Can you put the company out of business? If you succeed, we will hire you here at TOJ (both college credits and Shake Shack gift cards offered! No 401K yet though).

Your best approach would be to remind them how the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since they were caught…you know…cheating. Also remember there is a good chance they are all no-knowledge front-runners who couldn’t tell you who the team’s quarterback was before Drew Bledsoe. If that doesn’t work, avoid the water cooler in January and watch this on repeat at your desk while laughing to yourself like a crazed maniac…that should keep them away!

Ryan Lynch – “Can you speak on how to improve in the draft. Tanny drafted well with Mangini. Why not Rex?”

The Jets need to improve their scouting and personnel department from the top to bottom. Anybody who voted to take Kyle Wilson in the first round and Vladimir Ducasse in the second round should immediately be hunted down and fired. Tannenbaum/Mangini had two very good drafts together in 2006 and 2007 yet people tend to overlook the stink bomb they dropped in 2008 when they took Vernon Gholston with the #6 overall pick and traded into the first round for Dustin Keller, who is pretty good but has never been a Pro-Bowl caliber player. After that they completed missed on Erik Ainge, Marcus Henry and Nate Garner (although he would eventually see some PT with the Dolphins). They did find Dwight Lowery in that draft but traded him for no good reason before the beginning of last year.

With Rex at his side, the 2009 and 2010 drafts are looking like complete disasters but the 2010 and 2011 drafts could still have hope of being half decent. Some of the blame goes to Rex but more goes to Tannenbaum and the personnel department, which for some reason still has Terry Bradway in a prominent role. You remember Bradway…the guy who traded a first round pick for Doug Jolley and a second round pick for Justin McCariens? The guy who traded up for Dewayne Robertson? The guy who took Mike Nugent in the second round?

My suggestion is to fire Tannebaum. Fire Bradway. Gut the personnel department and look to start stockpiling picks. No more leaving the draft with 3-5 players. Walk out with 8-10 and don’t cut 3 of them before the season starts (see: this year).

Peter – “You against drafting a guard/tackle in the first round?” 

No, not at all. Pro Football Focus rates Austin Howard as a bottom ten tackle in the league right now and Matt Slauson has been generally terrible the past year and a half. It depends on where the pick is and who is on the board. The Jets have so many holes that they should just be picking the best player available at their spot…just not a defensive lineman…for God’s sake no more defensive lineman!

New York Jets – Keller’s Emergence Continues To Hit Roadblocks

TJ Rosenthal on the New York Jets offensive system slowing down any chance for tight end Dustin Keller to emerge

Dustin Keller has entered each season as a key threat for the New York Jets. The fifth year tight end owns a skill set well suited for the new pass happy NFL. His emergence into elite status among those who play the position unfortunately, is constantly met with roadblocks.

Jet signal callers have stunted the growth of Keller. Brett Favre, Keller’s first quarterback in New York, injured his throwing arm down the stretch of 2008. A season that saw the Jets fall from an AFC East leading 8-3, to a playoff-less 9-7. Over the final four games, Keller had just eight catches (of his 48), while amassing only 75 of his 535 yearly yard total during the December swoon.

Fourth year starter Mark Sanchez has never been synonymous with accuracy, or big passing days. The Jets decision from the start to “handcuff” him while featuring the run, has tempered any thoughts of a symbiotic rise. Keller has nonetheless, been Sanchez’s favorite target since 2009.

The former USC QB finished 30th in yards per attempt in 2011 and is currently 28th among passers with a 6.7 YPA average. These numbers highlight a systemic failure by the offense to stretch the field. An issue that for Keller, leaves him both bottled up in coverages already keying on him, and unable to get downfield often enough with his own route running.

The Jets rushing attack has seen a downturn since the departure of Thomas Jones. The drop in production has put a damper on play-action; One of the most effective tools Sanchez uses well. During Rex Ryan’s first season as head coach in 2009, the Jets backfield carried the ball 607 times for a 4.5 average. Since then there has been a season decline in both number of carries (2010, 534 attempts 2011 443 attempts) and yards per carry (2010 total 4.4, 2011 total 3.8).

The dearth of talent on the outside has affected Keller’s ability to steer clear of double teams this season. Since the start of the second half, when Keller finally turned a corner on the nagging hamstring injury that kept him out of action for most of the first eight games, he has hauled in a mere 10 catches for 127 over three games. Two of those being losses in which the Jets trailed by three scores in the fourth quarter. A scenario where opposing teams often soften up underneath to allow for the trade off of modest receptions in exchange for minutes chewed up off the clock.

Jeremy Kerley, the Jets most “prolific” receiver, due much in part to the season ending loss of Santonio Holmes in week four, has had just one 100 yard receiving game. Through it all, Keller has displayed a 76 percent receiving grade when balls are thrown his way, according to Pro Football Focus. A trustworthiness that is second on paper to only Texans TE James Casey (80 percent).

Game planning approaches employed by both former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and current one Tony Sparano since Keller has been a Jet, have played off of Ryan’s desired strategy to win games on offense by running the ball. Doing so makes the ability to block well essential for Jets tight ends, even though it is not Keller’s forte. Both playcallers have also been accused of risking less through the air based on a fear of their own quarterback’s penchant for turnovers. All of which make it harder for Keller to take over certain games where matchups and circumstances could allow him to.

Keller’s role in the Jets “play it safe” offense has room for so much more versatility. Bubble screens, deep posts, and fades could and should be attempted on a more regular basis. Any wishes to see Keller line up in more creative ways seem like a pipe dream however, in this messy 4-7 season.

Too many factors appear to be in Dustin Keller’s way to clear any path towards All Pro status as a Jet. His contract expires at the end of the season. Should he exit any time soon for the lure of a fresh new start elsewhere, his case may become yet another sad one in Jets history. Where a once promising star was again, not put in a position to maximize his potential.

New York Jets Week 13 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Cardinals

Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 13 match-up against the Arizona Cardinals

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 13 match-up against the Arizona Cardinals, where the over/under shouldn’t be higher than 10 points. 

1. This has the potential to be an epically awful offensive football game. Rex Ryan’s defenses generally perform very well against rookies and inexperienced quarterbacks. Remember what they did to Andrew Luck earlier in the year. Ryan Lindley is about 1/5th the player Luck is and is coming off a 4 interception performance against St. Louis. The Cardinals also have a dreadful offensive line. Basically if the Jets can’t feast on this offense, Rex might need to hang it up.

On the other side, Arizona is strong at all three levels of their defense. They have been consistent all season and don’t forget this is a team that just intercepted Matt Ryan 5 times in a single game. Linebacker Daryl Washington is one of the league’s best. Patrick Peterson is one of the top young corners in football and Calais Campbell with be a handful up front. Ex-Jet safety Kerry Rhodes will also be looking to stick it to his old team and Rex Ryan who called him out as being “too Hollywood” in his book. (Remember when Rex Ryan could write books about his success?)

2. Antonio Cromartie going against Larry Fitzgerald should be a fun match-up to watch, except I’m not sure if Ryan Lindley can get the ball anywhere near Fitzgerald to make it interesting. He was 0-6 last week on passes attempted to him that were over 10 yards. Outside of Fitzgerald, Andre Brown is the type of mediocre receiver who will have a career day working against Finger Wag Wilson and Ellis “Let’s Leave Welker Alone In The End-Zone” Lankster.

3. The tickets for this game are going as low as $18 right now, which means they could conceivably be under $10 by kickoff. It is officially now more expensive for me to go to Shake Shack than a Jets game. IT’S GO TIME!

4. It would be nice to see Stephen Hill start building some confidence heading into next year. Hopefully, Mark Sanchez can get him a few easy catches and maybe take a shot or two down the field to him. He should see a ton of reps because it appears doubtful that either Clyde Gates or Chaz Schilens will play. Fellow rookie Jordan White could also be in line for extended reps.

5. Considering how poor Arizona’s offensive line is, how about a sack or two from Quinton Coples this week? He hasn’t had one since week 5 against the Colts.

6. If the Jets can’t win this game…against a team on a 7 game losing streak…at home…on a 10 day rest. 4-12 might be on the way.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Angry Rant Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, buying and selling on all the Jets problems

It feels like I could just copy and paste parts of this column from the last few weeks and nobody would be able to tell the difference. Week after week it’s becoming the same old stuff when it comes to this Jets team. Too many turnovers, ineffective run game, blowouts, Calvin Pace sucks, Bart Scott sucks, Kyle Wilson is a delusional finger-wagger with an incredibly false sense of accomplishment, and Tannenbaum needs to be fired. It’s all on repeat, on a continuous loops, and no matter how much we all desperately want things to change, they aren’t going to. This team just has no talent, and off the field things are going from bad to worse. Let’s examine some of our recent issues.

BUY: Fireman Ed– I was never a huge fan of the Fireman, but for him to have to “resign” due to continued harassment and threats is downright disgusting. Let me get this straight: JETS fans went to JETS games to root for the JETS and decided to harass and curse off a big JETS fan, because he wore a JETS jersey of a JETS player to support him during his struggles to hopefully help the JETS win. Got it. That makes a ton of sense. And you wonder why Jets fans have such a bad reputation. Whether you like Ed or not, there is no reason for that kind of treatment.

He made game days more enjoyable for many people, even if you didn’t like him. He continued a Jets tradition, bringing the J-E-T-S chant over from Shea Stadium, and helped give the Jets an identity. Fans of every team know the Jets chant, and it’s an positive identifiable thing for a team that’s only other trait seems to be embarrassing losses. I’ve seen a ton of kids at home games throughout the years be hilariously pumped up to do the chant and see Fireman Ed, and to think that could be over now because of a few jerks, is disgusting. If you were one of those people trying to fight Ed because he wore a Sanchez jersey, well shame on you. You can turn in your Jets fan card at the door. Thanks.

SELL: Fans Cursing off Players – I’m sure you’ve seen the video of Jets fans cursing off players as they walked to the locker room at half time last Thursday by now. Again, if you were one of those people, you don’t deserve to call yourself a fan. I’m sick of hearing “I paid my money, I can say what I want at the game”. Well next time I hope someone punches you in the face. I was there and just as mad as anybody else, but can you show just a little self-restraint maybe?

SELL: $100 Jets Hoodies – I tweeted about this when I was on my way out of the Stadium on Thursday, but where do the Jets get off trying to sell their fans $100 sweat shirts?! Are they aware of what kind of product they’re putting on the field? I guess they need to sell a few of these so they can afford to bring Jason Hill back for the 12th time this year.

SELL: Ellis Lankster – Ellis Lankster just continues to ruin my football Sundays, or in this case Thursday holidays. Sadly, most of my friends are Giants fans, and I swear most of them look forward to watching the Jets game more than the Giants game each week just so they can laugh at me and comment on things like Calvin Pace’s lack of speed, Mark Sanchez’s turnovers, Stephen Hill’s drops, etc., etc. 

But lately Ellis Lankster has become the biggest cause of jokes and pain. Most of the things they say are unsuitable for print, but I thought I was in the clear on Thanksgiving night, since I was at the game with other Jets fans and was far from their wrath. Nope. My phone received no less than 15 text messages, all laughing and taunting me about how incredibly awful Ellis Lankster is. The sad part is I can’t even defend it. Ellis Lankster is THE WORST. When I rated him 47th out of 53 on this team back in October, I was being generous. They should run a contest every week where they pick a random seat number and the winner gets to go down to the field and play nickel back for the Jets defense. I swear they couldn’t do any worse than Ellis Lankster.

BUY: Getting to play Ryan Lindley and Arizona’s Offensive Line – If the Jets defense doesn’t step up and have an absolute party on the field this week, then I give up. Arizona has the worst offensive line in the league, and the worst quarterback play in at least a decade that doesn’t involve the words Jamarcus or Russell. I expect a few turnovers and — I hope you’re sitting down — maybe even a sack!

SELL: Having to play the Arizona Defense – Sigh. The Cardinals have an excellent defense and it’s going to be really hard for the Jets to move the ball. It’s going to be completely up to the defense to score and put this offense in extremely positive situations if they’re gonna have any hope.

SELL: The Jets going on a run – Sadly, I think the Jets are going to win 3 or 4 games down the stretch, including this one, and finish probably 7-9. That will mean they don’t get a high draft pick, they might not fire Mike Tannenbaum, and we will have to deal with a lot of the same crap next year. Ahh..,the Jets. What a team!

New York Jets: Don’t Give Up on Rex Ryan Just Yet

Chris Gross on why Rex Ryan shouldn’t be the fall guy for the New York Jets struggles this year

Over the past few weeks, the New York Jets have seen their season come undone in front of their very eyes. The Jets have lost 4 out of their last 5 games, 2 of which came in blowout fashion in their home stadium. Many have attributed this to poor coaching. Analysts, fans, writers, and even casual football observers have suggested that perhaps Rex Ryan is not quite head coaching material yet, that maybe he is better served as a coordinator. The same groups of people have also suggested that the Jets need to go after a former head coach with championship pedigree, someone like Bill Cowher or John Gruden.

However, the issues with the New York Jets go far beyond the coaching staff. The front office of this franchise has put this team in hole that could likely set it up for another year of poor play and mediocrity. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum and those who work within the department have maliciously restructured and back loaded a surplus of player contracts, guaranteeing the salaries for this season and beyond to guys who would have likely been released due to their dip in performance over the past two seasons. Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, and even David Harris have all played mediocre at their best this season, and absolutely horrible at their worst. Yet, Scott and Pace, who began to slide last year, had guaranteed salaries for 2012, so they were not expendable for the Jets. Remember when Tannenbaum supposedly gave Scott permission to seek a trade this past offseason? Other teams likely laughed at the notion. Who would be foolish enough to take on the guaranteed salary of a player past his prime, clearly on the downside of his career?

Fortunately for the Jets, Scott and Pace can be released next season without any serious financial repercussions. Harris, on the other hand, is guaranteed just over $9 million for 2013; so unless the Jets can do what the Yankees did to David Justice when they traded him to Oakland, don’t expect Harris to be playing elsewhere next season. The reason these guaranteed contracts are tied into the current state of affairs with the Jets is because they limit the money that can be spent elsewhere throughout the roster. This is why you are seeing this team, who was an AFC Championship contender just two seasons ago, fall so far from grace that they are the laughing stock of the league. So poorly General Manager Mike Tannenbaum has constructed this roster, that the Jets are stuck starting players who likely would not see the field, or possibly make the active roster, on some quality teams around the league.

The Jets have lost a total of 7 games so far this season. While people continue to point to the coaching as the primary reason for these losses, many are forgetting just how depleted and shallow this roster really is. Let’s take a look at how the Jets talent compares to the teams that they have lost to this season, starting with the offensive personnel.

The information in green in the above chart represents the Jets offensive season statistics up until this point in the year. Based on the team’s depth chart, players are inserted into their proper position (Sanchez at QB, Greene at RB1, Powell at RB2, and so on and so forth). The information on the right side of the chart (in white) represents the season average of all of the Jets opponents’ statistics at their respective positions. The idea here is to give a representation of how truly overmatched the Jets have been, in terms of talent, against the teams that they have lost to this season.

Let’s start by looking at the quarterback. Mark Sanchez is performing statistically below average, in comparison to his opponents that have defeated him, in every single category. His completion percentage is nearly a full 9 points lower than the average completion percentage of that group, while his turnover ratio is much higher, touchdowns are much lower, and QBR and passer rating aren’t even comparable.

Now, the obvious argument here is that he has faced Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks who alter the average because of their inflated numbers. Well, that assertion is false. Also included in that group are two rookies in Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson, a quarterback in Alex Smith who has just been replaced in San Francisco, and Matt Schaub who is good, but is certainly not the next Joe Montana. This is an average based off of two great, one decent, and 3 below average quarterbacks. An argument could certainly be made if these numbers were somewhat close, but for the most part they aren’t even comparable. Sanchez’s QBR isn’t even half of the average of that of his opponents, and his passer rating is nearly a full 20 points lower, as well. The level that he has played at for Rex Ryan and the Jets this year, would surely render him a backup if placed on any of these teams, and possibly in a third string role in some cases (New England, San Francisco, Seattle, and perhaps even Miami). The NFL is a quarterback driven league, as everyone is well aware of, and when you’re quarterback is performing well below the average of his competition, it is a miracle that you are able to win any games, never mind four.

Onto the running back situation. It’s no surprise that Shonn Greene is below the average of opposing starting running backs. This is an assertion most people who have observed the Jets this season have come to terms with. Greene is not a feature NFL back. He would be most productive in a stable of effective backs, primarily as a downhill runner late in games, as he was in the early stages of his career.

Unfortunately, though, Greene clearly is not in a solid stable of backs with the roster currently in place in New York. Take Bilal Powell for example. Although Powell has gotten one carry less than the average of RB2 on the teams the Jets have fallen to this season, he is still well below in total rushing yards, and is averaging nearly a full yard less per carry. His 24.4 yards per game and 0 carries of 20 or more yards are just not the numbers of a solid number two back capable of spelling a solid lead runner. His 3 touchdowns are impressive by comparison, but remember two of those came by clever play calling by Tony Sparano in St. Louis. Powell can be better if given a bigger role, but he has not performed to the average of his counterparts thus far.

Joe McKnight is, not shockingly, the only back outplaying his roster spot in comparison to RB3 on teams New York has lost to. Turn On The Jets has been a McKnight advocate all season long. His 22 carries are almost 5 less than the average at his position, however he has attained over 25 more yards than the average third back has. His yardage per game is only slightly above average, but remember, as the weeks continue to pass without him getting carries, that number is out of his control. By comparison, this position is the only one on the Jets offensive depth chart that they hold an advantage to over their opponents – the third running back spot.

As far as the wide receivers on this team go, the numbers speak for themselves. First, note that Santonio Holmes, who has been inactive since week 4, is still second among this group of receivers in receiving yards, and third on the team, overall. Now, let’s break into the current depth on the active roster.

Jeremy Kerley has been solid for the Jets this year, as the only real viable option in the entire corps. Unfortunately, though, Kerley just simply isn’t a number one receiver, a role he has been forced to take on due to injury and (what do you know) a lack of depth. As the chart displays, Kerley would be a solid number 2 receiver by comparison to the average of those opponents. As a primary target, though, he is, like his teammates, well below average. With nearly ten fewer catches, over 67 fewer total receiving yards, and just about 10 fewer yards per game, Kerley is a number 2 option that has been forced into a number 1 option due to poor roster depth.

Now, observing the remaining three receiver spots, you will find that New York has three players that play to the level of the average third wide receiver on those opponents. Gates is slightly below that average, but slightly above the average of the fourth receiver, outside of yards per catch and yards per game. Schillens and Hill would both be decent third receivers at this point, which Schillens basically is, but neither are even close to being an average number 2. In other words, the Jets have one number 2 and three number 3’s or 4’s on their roster. Combine that with the QB play that is well below average by comparison, and again, it is a miracle that this team is able to accumulate any type of passing offense.

The Tight End numbers are a bit altered because of injury, with Keller missing reps and Cumberland having to fill the void of TE1, but what you’ll see is New York is, once again, far below average at the position. It his hard to judge whether or not Keller would be better, statistically, and Cumberland worse, if Keller never missed time due to injury, but the bottom line is, neither of these Tight Ends are playing up to par at their respective positions.

Offensively, this team’s lack of talent is a true display of how hard it has been for the Jets to scratch out four wins so far. You have below average starters at every position, many of whom aren’t even playing at the level of opposing backups. Look at the opponents on that list and go through their rosters position by position, comparing them to the players on the Jets. Many players on this roster would not make some of those teams – Clyde Gates (who actually didn’t make one of those teams), Cumberland, and perhaps even Dustin Keller (NE, SF). When observing this personnel and the level each player has performed at thus far, is it really surprising that the Jets have lost seven games, or is it shocking that they have won four?

Onto the defensive side of the ball – Below is a chart similar to that of the one that represents the Jets offensive personnel in comparison to the opponents that they have lost to, position by position. The numbers in the orange represent the average numbers of the top three players at each position on opponents the Jets have lost to, with the exception of defensive tackle, where the average has used the top two spots on the depth chart from each of those teams. In the green, each defensive player on the Jets is represented. The number of players used coincides with the number of players used to determine the average of the opponents, to give you an accurate representation of where each player stands.

First, let’s observe defensive end. It should come as a surprise to no one that Muhammad Wilkerson is playing far above the average of opposing defensive ends. Wilkerson is superior in every statistical category, with the exception of sacks. Coples is only slightly below in terms of tackles, but is well above in tackles for loss. Sack wise, unfortunately, is where he, like Wilkerson, is below average. DeVito, is well above the average number of tackles, but again, lacks in sacks and even tackles for loss.

At defensive tackle, Sione Pouha has performed slightly above average, despite missing time, while Kenrick Ellis has been hampered by injury, causing his numbers to be below average. Taking the two of them into account, the Jets have had fairly average to slightly below average play at the NT position this year, a position that is vital to a successful 3-4 defense.

Another vital position in this scheme is outside linebacker. Here, the play is below average in nearly every statistic, at every spot on the depth chart. As far as sacks go, it isn’t even close. The defensive line is hampered by the inability to rush the passer from the OLB position. Often times, as our film breakdowns have revealed, teams can easily block one of these player using only one lineman or back, resulting in a great amount of double teams to Wilkerson and Coples. In other words, the OLB’s inability to rush the passer is preventing the defensive line from rushing the passer. This is a vicious cycle in this scheme, but a true representation of why this team has struggled so mightily in the area.

To finish out the front seven, we move to inside linebacker. David Harris is well above average in his run support, but far behind against the pass (only 2 PD vs. the average of 4, and 0 INT vs. the average of 0.7). This should come as a surprise to no one, considering how Harris’s struggles in coverage have been noted throughout the season. Behind Harris is Bart Scott and rookie DeMario Davis. Scott is clearly a well below average LB at this point in his career, and is making a strong push for the “poor” category. Scott likely doesn’t make the active roster in San Francisco, New England, Miami, Seattle, or Pittsburgh. Davis is promising as a rookie, but clearly he hasn’t performed up to par as well. Basically, this team has four starting linebackers who would be backups at best if placed on one of these opposing teams.

In the secondary, Landry and Bell have played excellent in run support, as the numbers indicate. Landry has performed better than Bell in the coverage area, but is still slightly below average, which tells you what you need to know about Bell’s play in coverage thus far. Eric Smith has been in and out of the active lineup because of injury, but considering he is the third safety on the roster, he hasn’t played insanely bad.

As far as the corners go, the only player worthy of any type of recognition is Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie has three more passes defended than the average opponent, and nearly 2 more interceptions. His touchdown separates him from a majority of the group as well. Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster have been decent in terms of tackling, both still below average, but not necessarily horrible. However, in terms of coverage, it is rather embarrassing. Wilson has defended less than half of the average number of passes than his opponents, and he is a starter. Lankster isn’t quite as bad, but remember he has a lot more passes thrown his way when in the game, so that number is likely inflated.

In Short, this defense is solid at about 3 positions – defensive end, strong safety, and cornerback. You have about three players on the entire unit that are playing above the average of those players on opponents that have beaten the Jets. Combining this lack of talent, with the clear lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball, is a clear indication of how poorly this roster has been built.

Most people want to put the blame on Rex, and their motives are certainly justified. Rex is far from perfect as a head coach. His lack of holding players accountable, particularly Mark Sanchez, needs to be altered if he wishes to have any success as a head coach in this league. However, Tom Coughlin altered his coaching style from a pure disciplinarian, with little personal connection to his players, to more of an emotional coach, back in 2007. This slight tweak in his coaching philosophy has led to two Super Bowl wins. Now, no one here is comparing Ryan to Coughlin. Coughlin is surely the superior head coach, and will be for some time. The point is, coaches can adjust and achieve success. Rex is more than capable of this adjustment. The true question is whether or not he is willing to do it.

Aside from this flaw, Rex is the right man for this head coaching job, at least for the next year. Among the head coaches in Jets history, Ryan ranks second in winning percentage behind only Bill Parcells. Ryan also has the most playoff victories of any of these coaches. Is this more of a reflection of how poor the coaching has been in this franchise’s history? Perhaps, but the point is, when you get a guy who has shown that he can win games, you don’t kick him out the door at the first sign of struggle. All coaches struggle at some point; it is part of the business.

Now the next argument that is often made against Ryan is that he inherited a loaded roster in his first two years, which is the only reason for his early success. This is another assertion that is very narrow-minded. Remember, there were only 4 new starters from the 2008 roster during Rex’s first year. Brett Favre, who made the pro bowl in ’09, was replaced with a rookie from Southern California who had only one year of college starting experience under his belt. Braylon Edwards was brought in after the team had already won three games, and proved to be a useful weapon to the rookie Sanchez. Defensively, the only two additions that were made to the starting unit were two free agents in Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard, who happen to have been previously coached under Ryan in Baltimore. With these minor additions, Ryan propelled this defense from 16th to 1st in a year. Offensively, Ryan’s strong rushing philosophy kick started a run game that jumped from 9th in 2008 to 1st in 2009.

Most importantly, though, Ryan changed the culture of this franchise. For years, the Jets had accepted mediocrity, often hovering around .500, or sneaking into the playoffs and being bounced in the first or second round. No one in the league seriously feared the Jets, but when Ryan arrived he installed a bloodthirsty attitude throughout his team. Suddenly, the Jets went from the hunted to the hunters. In 2009 we saw a Jets team that displayed a higher sense of urgency and team bond than he had seen in years, for some of us, a lifetime.

Ryan came in and did what no other coach in the history of this franchise has been able to do – win 4 playoff games. Never mind the fact that he did this in his first two seasons; that number currently ranks first in playoff wins by a Jets head coach, as previously noted. Unfortunately for the Jets, after 2009, the personnel department slowly began to dismantle the roster, resulting in the current lack of talent and depth that we have gone over.

In 2010, the Jets drafted Kyle Wilson in the first round. Wilson has played at the level of about a 4th rounder for the majority of his career. Many people want to blame Rex for this pick, but remember this decision was made in anticipation of a Darrelle Revis holdout. The front office likely wanted to have insurance and leverage over the looming Revis extension. So while it is easy to think that Wilson was Rex’s choice, remember that Mike Tannenbaum likely wanted to cover his rear end in the event that he could not structure a new deal for Revis.

Since then, the front office has done its best to dismantle this team. They have let key pieces leave, while replacing them with far inferior players. Tannenbaum has given guaranteed contracts to players in the tale end of their careers, who haven’t lived up to their ends of the bargain. Blame Ryan all you want, but don’t forget that the General Manager has the final say in all personnel decisions. Is it a surprise that teams run by Jerry Jones and the late Al Davis have had so much trouble keeping a head coach and finding adequate talent? This isn’t to compare Tannenbaum to either of those two, but the point is that head coaches are there to coach the players given to them by their front office, and that is exactly what has happened with the Jets.

Rex Ryan, although flawed, is not at fault for the troubles of this season. He has been given a well below average roster, and has still mustered up 4 wins, while coming very close to beating two of his conference’s best teams. The 2009 and 2010 teams, although talented, did not really have any superior players, other than Darrelle Revis, and Ryan brought each of those teams within a play or two from the Super Bowl. Rex has what it takes to get this team its first championship in over 40 years, but based on the numbers and clear lack of talent, not even the best of coaches could get this team above .500.

The front office of this organization is to blame for the misfortune you have all witnessed, not the coach. Based on the information presented here, Ryan has exceeded the talent on this team, and at only four wins, that tells you all you need to know about the poor work done by the front office in recent years. The common desire is for New York to bring in a head coach with championship pedigree, like Gruden or Cowher, as mentioned above. But remember this very true statistic – no coach in the history of the NFL has ever won a Super Bowl with two different teams.

Rex has the ability to lead this team to a championship, and most importantly he has the hunger to do so, as well. Give him average talent, not even great, and this team will be able to compete for a championship. As the roster stands now, the Jets are not only below the top performers at each position, but they are well below average. No coach is winning with what Rex has to work with. Changes need to be made, but Head Coach is the one spot that needs to remain intact for the Jets to get where they want to be in the quickest manner.

 

From The Outside Looking In – Buffalo Fan On Fireman Ed

A Buffalo Bills fan gives his take on Fireman Ed stepping down

Every now and then, we like to publish an outside opinion. Today’s comes from Kevin Kelly of GET Broken Record, but more importantly of the Buffalo Bills fanbase. I was curious how somebody outside of the Jets fanbase, looked at the situation. So here it is – 

The New York Jets can learn a lot from the Buffalo Bills & the Cleveland Browns. Here’s why:

The Jets just lost their most notable fan. What’s worse, the Jets community approached this headline the same way they’ve approached every other lackluster, problem-laced gag moment of the 2012 season: Point fingers, blame someone else, then isolate the lone problem and get rid of it in attempts to bring about that Championship season everyone keeps talking about.

Take a step back. Know that it’s a true impossibility to see the forest through the trees. And stop wanting everything you want right now just because you want it right now.

Overwhelmingly, we’re New Yorkers (Jersey, Northeast, Tri-State, fine, whatever) and as a result– we want everything now. Not in five minutes. Right. Now.

We get upset when there’s a line for coffee in the morning. We curse under our breathe when we miss a train by a split second, we’ve been the bridge or hit traffic in the tunnel and thought about leaving the city for good. Forever. Starting right now. –we’ve nudged, bumped, screamed & been screamed at, pushed, pulled & prodded all in attempts to get us wherever we were going just a little bit faster. Because we’re in New York. And New York waits for no Man.

Even right now, as you’re reading these words, there’s a chance you’re probably thinking ‘Get to the point’ 

The only place in the world where people toss aside their loyalty with reckless abandon is New York City. Believe me, when the Jets are good again,  when there’s no more snow and the weather is fair, you’ll be right back to loving that team you ‘never doubted for a minute’ and ‘always knew would pull it out’, but for now–because they haven’t given you all that you’ve wanted and all you think you’re entitled to and deserve just because you watch them on Sundays, you’ve turned your back on your team. Textbook New York sports fan. Love ’em when they’re up. Hate ’em when they’re down.

Blame Woody Johnson, he brought Tebow along when we didn’t need him.

WHO WOULD’VE THOUGHT a business owner would make a move intended to generate revenue, merchandising & ticket sales.

Blame Rex Ryan, he talks way too much and won’t throw Sanchez under the army of buses Jets Nation has already rolled over him.

WHO WOULD’VE THOUGHT a Coach would stand behind his choice when the going got tougher than its ever been. A coach publicly supports his mentee (with half a season to go) and the witch-hunt warriors want both their heads. Think about morral, think about Belief. A belief in oneself is the first step in achieving greatnessAnd if it’s not, why is that phrase in so many self-help books on personal achievement (i.e. Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich, Deepak Shopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Jack Canfield’s Success Principles, all New York Times Bestsellers) A Coach’s job is to motivate, he’s not on the field. It’s a Coach’s responsibility to get the most out of the players on the field, and I think Ryan acts the way he does with this mantra in mind, however convoluted it might seem behind the smokescreen of screams and rants and raves.

For Rex to walk that back, shatters a psyche.

If Rex denounces Sanchez, then the last shred of mental composure goes out the door. When an athlete questions their ability, when they start thinking and analyzing and wondering “what if” …bad things happen. In sports, they’re called the “Yips”

Think about a kicker that misses a field goal opportunity early on in the game?

How does everyone feel the next time he’s got to go kick another one?

Yip.

Anybody remember Chuck Knoblauch in the postseason?  Yip. Rick Ankiel? Yip.

The most famous was Greg Norman. Arguably one of the greatest golfers in the world in the early 90s, in the 1996 Masters Tournament, Norman took a 6-shot lead over Nick Faldo into Sunday. He shot a 78, blew the lead and lost the Masters. It’s considered by many the greatest choke of all time.  Afterward, Norman was asked: “What happened? What went wrong” His answer?

“I turned the computer on. And couldn’t turn it off.”

Simply put, he thought way too much. We process constantly. We worry, over-think, over-analyze, create dozens (or more) of the worst possible hypotheticals. It’s poison, and it cost Greg Norman the Green Jacket.

For Rex Ryan to denounce Sanchez, someone who has heard the “amost” and “what-if” and “has to happen now” and “TEBOW” nonsense all season, would be catastrophic, and would cue the beginning of the end for #6 in a Jets uniform.

You could blame the owner. You could blame management. You could blame the Coach. You could blame the coaching staff. You could blame the players themselves. And now Jets fans, you’ve turned your sites on the FANS.  It promptly cost you one Fireman.

The point, dear Reader, is that you’re a Championship town cheering for a non-Championship team.

It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, it just means it won’t happen now. Are you the only team making blockbuster moves worth tens of millions and still end up with a losing record? The Bills aren’t good this year (as with most), but they’re not crying for Mario Williams’ head on a stick.

Yes, it sucks to be considered a second-tier team by your coworkers because they’re Giants fans… but who cares- that’s not how the rest of the country sees it. The Jets are struggling. Be a JETS fan and route for your team.

The Bills lost 4 Super Bowls in a row. Marv Levy kept his job, Scott Norwood was embraced by the Bills faithful, not rejected. Jim Kelly could run for Mayor and win. There are talks the Bills are looking to leave Buffalo, and what happened? The city rallied around their team, Jim Kelly is looking to buy it outright with a group of investors. Kelly by the way can be found in the parking lot of Ralph Wilson stadium on Game Days wearing a hoodie and tailgating with fans.

The Cleveland Browns are terrible. They’ve been terrible for a while. They were so bad, Art Modell picked them up, left the city and planted them in Baltimore calling them ‘Ravens’. Cleveland didn’t have a team for a while. But the city wanted it. The fans wanted their team. Good, bad, ugly, the fans supported their team. They have a new team now and play at a new stadium, they’re still not that good but they’re getting better. The ticket prices are just as expensive as anywhere else and any other game, the jerseys cost the same amount, the beer is expensive, the investment in time and attention among fans is identical anywhere else in the country (on average) than it is in New York but they don’t approach the field with the brashly arrogant New York attitude of “I just bought this ticket so win now or go to hell cuz YOU owe me!”.  Instead, they go out and support their team.

There is a reality oblivious to New York sports fans:  Fans, and the teams they cheer for, are really in this together. We’re happy when we win. We’re not happy when we lose. But we don’t abandon ship. The waters have been muddied with free agency but the colors on the uniform and what that stands for hasn’t gone anywhere. There is an unspoken sense of pride & community when you see someone outside of the sports arena with Jets apparel on, or find out they’re a fan in passing conversation. They are immediately closer to you. It’s a brotherhood.

Attacking itself from within is a cancer. United we stand. Divided we fall.  I’ll forgo the Gettysburg Address, but you get the point.

Players, coaches & executive personnel come and go. The undeniable constant that ties us all together is that the name on the front of the jersey is, has and will always be more important than the name on the back. Don’t ever forget that.

New York Jets – How To Handle Offense In Final Five Games

How the New York Jets should handle their offense in the final five games of the 2012 season

In case you haven’t noticed the New York Jets offense is awful. Truly, almost indescribably awful. It is the lethal combination of mediocre talent, poor coaching and a lack of organization. The result is consistent failures in short yardage and the red-zone, turnovers, penalties and of course…ass-fumbles. Yet, there is still five games left to play. Five very winnable games against similarly poor football teams. How should the New York Jets approach these games to both remain competitive and be productive for their 2013 season? Let’s take a position by position look –

Quarterback – Whether you want to accept it or not, Mark Sanchez is going to be on the roster next year because of his contract. Hopefully a competent veteran is brought in to compete with him. Tim Tebow didn’t play when he was healthy. He isn’t going to play with broken ribs. He isn’t going to be team’s quarterback next year so get the idea of him starting out of your head. The wisest course of action is to have Sanchez play out the string and hopefully take steps towards improving and building some type of momentum towards next year. The only way we are going to see Greg McElroy under center is if the Jets lose their next three games. At that point, particularly if Sanchez continues to struggle it would be wise to give him a look. Although Jets fans need to taper any kind of expectations for him, he was a seventh round pick for a reason and hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire in his pre-season opportunities.

Running Back – Unlike at quarterback, the incumbent starter isn’t going to be back next year. The Jets are going to let Shonn Greene walk in free agency because he isn’t a lead back, can’t contribute in the passing game and can’t make anybody miss. Why continue to give him 15+ carries per game? We’ve seen this movie before. Give Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight and particularly Kahlil Bell extended work. Find out if any of the three can be your 1B option next season when you go find a new starter via free agency, trade or the draft. McKnight is averaging 6 yards per carry (with a small sample size) and Bell has a career average of 4.5 yards per carry…isn’t that worth a look?

Wide Receiver – No more Clyde Gates, who shouldn’t be on a NFL roster. Jeremy Kerley should remain the primary “Z” receiver with Stephen Hill taking as many reps as he can get at split end. Yes, this contradicts what we said last week about sending him to the bench but with the playoffs now out of the question and Chaz Schilens banged up, give Hill the reps and let him build some confidence heading into next year. Throw him smoke screens. Throw him hitches. Get him going again on easy catches and yards after the catch and then take some shots down the field with him. He is likely the opening day split end next year, so why not let him work through improvements now? The slot receiver should be fellow rookie Jordan White. Give him the reps now and see if he can be a contributor next year. If Hill and White show anything these next five games, next year’s group of receivers with them, Kerley and Santonio Holmes might actually be a productive group.

Tight End – Dustin Keller’s future remains up in the air but you have to keep playing him because the Jets only have so many players who can get open. It probably wouldn’t hurt to give Hayden Smith a longer look at some point but this team likely needs to revamp this entire position in the off-season.

Offensive Line – Bench Matt Slauson and Austin Howard for Vladimir Ducasse and Jason Smith. We suggested this during the bye week and it hasn’t happened yet, so why not now? Let’s see what Ducasse and Smith can do with 100% of the reps at their respective positions. We know Slauson (who is gone after this year when his contract expires) and Howard (same thing) aren’t the long term answers, so give their backups a chance. If you don’t have confidence in Ducasse, how about playing Caleb Schlauderaff or Hayworth Hicks? They are taking up roster space, so why not use them?

Turn On The Jets Week 12 NFL Picks

The TOJ staff gives their picks for week 12 of the NFL season


The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday games –

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Rob Celletti (85-72-6)

2. Mike Donnelly (82-77-4)

3. Chris Gross (81-77-5)

4. Chris Celletti (80-78-5)

5. Joe Caporoso (67-90-6)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (7-7-2)

  • Oakland (+8) vs. Cincy
  • Pittsburgh (-1.5) vs. Cleveland
  • Buffalo (+3) vs. Indy
  • Denver (-10) vs. Kansas City
  • Tennessee (-4) vs. Jacksonville
  • Tampa (-1) vs. Atlanta
  • Seattle (-3) vs. Miami
  • Baltimore (-1) vs. San Diego
  • San Francisco (-1) vs. New Orleans
  • St. Louis (+1.5) vs. Arizona
  • Green Bay (+3) vs. Giants
  • Philadelphia (+3) vs. Carolina
  • Minnesota (PK) vs. Chicago

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (8-7-1)

  • Bengals -8
  • Steelers -1.5
  • Bills +3
  • Broncos -10
  • Jaguars +4
  • Falcons +1
  • Dolphins +3
  • Chargers +1
  • Saints +1
  • Cardinals -1.5
  • Packers +3
  • Panthers -3
  • Bears PK

Rob Celletti

Last Week (6-9-1)

  • Bengals (-8)
  • Browns (+1.5)
  • Colts (-3)
  • Chiefs (+10)
  • Jaguars (+4)
  • Falcons (+1)
  • Dolphins (+3)
  • Ravens (-1)
  • Saints (+1)
  • Cardinals (-1.5)
  • Giants (-3)
  • Panthers (-3)
  • Bears (pk)

Chris Celletti

Last Week (8-7-1)

  • Raiders
  • Steelers
  • Colts
  • Broncos
  • Jaguars
  • Falcons
  • Seahawks
  • Ravens
  • Saints
  • Cardinals
  • Packers
  • Panthers
  • Bears

Chris Gross

Last Week (6-9-1)

  • Bengals (-8)
  • Steelers (-1.5)
  • Colts (-3)
  • Broncos (-10)
  • Jaguars (+4)
  • Bucs (+1)
  • Dolphins (+2.5)
  • Ravens (pk)
  • Saints (+1)
  • Cardinals (-1.5)
  • Giants (-3)
  • Panthers (-3)
  • Chicago (PK)

Turn On The Jets Week 12 Best Bets: Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

Chris Celletti with his weekly NFL Best Bets, including a needed rant on the state of the Jets

Because anytime you can name your sports column after a MeatLoaf song, you have to do it.

Week 11 Record: 1-2

Season Record: 12-20-1

I named my column so for two reasons. The first is quite simple, that at this point I’ll take two out of three of my Best Bets picks every week for the rest of the season. If that happens, I’d finish below .500 at 24-26-1. At this point I’d take that, just like the Jets would probably sign up for a 7-9 finish to this season. Thus, we’re at my second reason for why I named my column as I did.

I had the joy of ringing in the holiday season at MetLife Stadium last night, which means that I was there to see the Jets’ 2012 season come crashing down. When the Patriots scored 21 points in less than a minute, I thought to myself that this was as bad as I’ve seen the Jets play, as an entire team, maybe in my life. Yes, that includes the 4-25 stretch under Rich Kotite, the Brooks Bollinger games, the Neil O’Donnell games. Not only are the Jets 4-7, they’ve been thoroughly outclassed five times this year. Five times! Even the Jacksonville Jaguars keep games close – they were in it late against the Packers at Lambeau and took the Texans to overtime recently. At this point, the Jets are incapable of staying in a game with a good NFL team, which is inexcusable with the way this league is structured.

I, like many Jets fans, became enamored with Rex Ryan when he took over in 2009. Even then you could criticize his boasts, his X’s and O’s, his game management, but what we all thought he did was what we have been waiting for our whole lives – he changed the culture of the Jets. We all have to admit that we were hoodwinked, and had the blindfold over our eyes in 2009 and 2010. The culture has not changed at all. These are the same New York Jets. This is Pete Carrol, this is Al Groh, this is Herm Edwards, this is Eric Mangini, and yes, this is Rich Kotite. This is, unfortunately, Same. Old. Jets.

So what do you do when your team is not only this bad but this disillusioned? You gut it, and gut it now. As far as I’m concerned, I won’t be satisfied heading into next training camp unless two out of these three people are gone: Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum. So again, here, I’ll take two out of three.

Admittedly this is unrealistic. If Woody Johnson has the stones to fire Mike Tannenbaum – something he has earned – whoever the new General Manger is would likely want to bring in his own head coach, which means that Rex Ryan would be gone, and whoever the new coach is would probably want his own quarterback, which means Sanchez would be gone. And given that Johnson apparently loves Tannenbaum and Ryan, and Sanchez is owned a ton of guaranteed money next year, chances are they’ll all be back next season. Wonderful.

On to the picks:

Raiders +8 at Bengals: The Raiders defense is awful but they do put up a lot of points. This line seems a tiny bit high for me, and I like the chances of a backdoor cover given the Raiders can hit big plays.

Falcons -1 at Buccaneers: I think the Falcons win this game, and to me, if they win it they’re going to cover a one point spread.

/Watches in dismay as the Falcons win by 1

Ravens (Pick) at Chargers: John Harbaugh vs. Norv Turner? That’s a whitewash.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week (Season Record 4-6-1)

Let’s go with an NBA Player Prop, something we haven’t done at these parts yet this season. I went on over to Bet US and looked for a Jeremy Lin prop ahead of tonight’s Knicks-Rockets game, and to my dismay there were none. I really, really wanted to take the under on anything they would have presented to me re: Lin (note: I’d be handing you free money, Bet US). Well, they’re giving me an over/under of 24.5 points for Carmelo Anthony. You know where I’m going with this one.