Turn On The Jets Roundtable Week 4 – Jets/49ers Predictions

The Turn On The Jets staff gives their predictions for the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter!

Joe Caporoso12 Pack

Chris GrossJets 16, 49ers 9. While this will surely be one of the most difficult tasks the New York Jets have faced in recent memory, last week proved just how difficult it is to win on the road in the NFL. San Francisco looked unbeatable until they were upset in Minnesota by the Christian Ponder led Vikings last week. Conversely, the Jets went into Miami as favorites, where the ended up squeaking out an overtime victory against a Dolphins team that lost its best offensive player prior to halftime. While New York has struggled mightily to defend the run this season, Frank Gore is the type of back that this defense is built to stop. Unlike CJ Spiller and Reggie Bush, Gore is much more of a power back, rather than a speedster, which should make him relatively easy to defend for New York’s sluggish linebacker corps. Alex Smith has been extremely efficient, and the loss of Darrelle Revis will certainly hurt the Jets ability to defend the pass, however, I think Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine get more creative with their blitz packages and pressure schemes than we have ever seen before. After all, without the security blanket of Revis in the secondary, they have no choice. New York is in a kill or be killed situation when it comes to defending the pass from here on out.

Offensively, the Jets will certainly struggle in the early portion of the game. Shonn Greene will get the start at running back, but after about 8-10 carries of 3 yards or less, Tony Sparano will begin to get creative with his personnel. Expect to see more of Bilal Powell, who still may not turn heads on the stat sheet against this Patrick Willis led defense, but will certainly be more effective than Greene. Tim Tebow should get ample playing time as a ball carrier as well, and the deciding score in this game could come as a result of some trickery out of the wild cat.

New York is also hopeful that Dustin Keller will return this week, which would be a huge upgrade at Tight End, and would help Quarterback Mark Sanchez tremendously. Over the first three games, Sanchez has targeted Jeff Cumberland and Konrad Reuland a combined 15 times. Together, the tight ends have hauled in only 6 balls. Keller will provide Sanchez with some nice insurance, and will help this offense move the sticks on third down. Don’t expect either team to light up the scoreboard, but in the end, the Jets do enough to steal one from San Francisco in what turns out to be one of the most physical matchups of the 2012 season.

Mike Donnelly – The way everyone is talking about this game, you’d think the Jets shouldn’t even bother to show up. Apparently the 49ers are some kind of unbeatable powerhouse, while the first place Jets are a complete and utter joke who have no chance to win any more games this year with Darrelle Revis out. Well, I don’t quite see it that way. Nobody believes in the Jets at all and that’s when they play their best. I think the offense is going to come out throwing the ball and we are gonna see our first glimpses of an opened up Tebow package. On defense, Rex Ryan is going to show that all his talk about being the best defensive coach in the league was more than just talk, and Quinton Coples is going to make his presence felt. Plus Evan Silva called for a 20-6 49ers win and virtually everyone else in the world thinks this is a lock for the 49ers as well. Nope. Jets win, 23-20 in a nail-biter.

Chris Celletti – There are two football teams everybody is absolutely head over heels for this season, and they happen to be the Jets’ next two opponents; the 49ers and the Texans. Listen to any sports talk radio, read the papers and blogs or just talk to football fans, everybody wants to tell you how incredible both of these teams are. I think they’re both good. I don’t think either of them are unbeatable – how’s this…the 49ers lost last week to Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings. Now, I do think the 49ers present a bad matchup for the Jets. The Jets are really going to struggle to score points. They’ll try to pound the ball with should-be-benched Shonn Greene, and to no ones surprise they’ll struggle there. I think Mark Sanchez could have some success throwing short to Dustin Keller  but overall the Jets passing game is going to have a tough time out there and likely won’t hit any big plays. The bigger ifs for me come on the defensive side of the ball. Can the Jets not get run over by Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter? I still think the Jets are much more equipped to handle a north-south running attack like the Niners, so I don’t think that matchup will be as in favor of Frisco than most people think. If the Jets secondary can hold up its end of the bargain (a big, big if), I think this is game that comes down to the wire. At the end, the Nines are just too good, too tough, too well coached, too amazing….oh, screw it. Jets 21, Niners 20.

Rob Celletti – Darrelle Revis’ injury diagnosis on Monday reminded me of a similar moment in recent Jets’ history.  Two seasons ago, a few days before the 9-2 Jets traveled to New England to take on the 9-2 Patriots in what was supposed to be the Monday Night Football game of the year, the Jets lost Jim Leonhard to a broken leg suffered in practice.  The demeanor of the Jets the rest of the week told you that they simply had no chance of going into Gillette Stadium and winning that game.  While the circumstances this week are quite different, the demeanor of the Jets has been similar.  Rex Ryan delivered the news that Revis would be out for the year grimly.  Joe McKnight was moved to cornerback in a move that smacks of desperation from a team that seems to be losing its way (remember, the Jets are $8 million UNDER the salary cap; Mike Tannenbaum, somehow, still has a job), or never had a plan to begin with.

So should Jets fans be at all confident this Sunday?  No, probably not.  But this is the NFL, where every year it seems that games might as well be decided with a coin flip.  I’ve said to people, half-jokingly, that I will witness a season, before I leave this earth, where every single one of the 32 teams finishes 8-8, and playoff berths will be decided by tiebreakers, and yes, coin flips.  The parity (or is it mediocrity) is astounding.  The 49ers are an excellent team, and they’re coming in angry.  But the Jets are at home and they’re getting Dustin Keller back.  The run defense has something to prove.  I’ve essentially picked every single Jets game to be, in a word, ugly this year, so why stop now?  A tightly contested defensive battle leaves the Jets just short, as they fall 20-14.

Turn On The Jets Week 4 NFL Picks

The TOJ staff submits their week 4 NFL picks

The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday Night game. Also make sure to hit up M1-5 in NYC for unlimited drafts for $25, courtesy of Night Out this weekend! 

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Mike Donnelly (28-19-2)

2. Rob  Celletti (21-26-2)

3. Chris Celletti (20-27-2)

4. Chris Gross (19-28-2)

5. Joe Caporoso (18-29-2)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (7-8)

  • Patriots (-4) vs. Bills
  • Falcons (-7) vs. Panthers
  • 49ers (-3.5) vs. Jets
  • Kansas City (PK) vs. Chargers
  • Titans (+12) vs. Texans
  • Rams (+2.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Cardinals (-6) vs. Dolphins
  • Raiders (+6.5) vs. Broncos
  • Bengals (-1.5) vs. Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) vs. Saints
  • Redskins (+3) vs. Bucs
  • Giants (+2) vs. Eagles
  • Bears (+3.5) vs. Cowboys

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (11-4)

  • Bills +4.5
  • Jets +4.5
  • Rams +3
  • Panthers +7.5
  • Vikings +4
  • Chiefs +1.5
  • Texans -12
  • Jaguars +3
  • Raiders +7
  • Dolphins +6
  • Bucs -3
  • Packers -7.5
  • Giants +1.5
  • Bears +3.5

Rob Celletti

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patrios (-3.5) over Bills
  • Lions (-4.5) over Vikings
  • Falcons (-7) over Panthers
  • 49ers (-4) over Jets
  • Chiefs (+1.5) over Chargers
  • Texans (-12) over Titans
  • Rams (+3) over Seahawks
  • Dolphins (+5.5) over Cardinals
  • Broncos (-7) over Raiders
  • Bengals (-1.5) over Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) over Saints
  • Redskins (+3) over Buccaneers
  • Eagles (-2) over Giants
  • Cowboys (-3) over Bears

Chris Celletti

Last Week (5-10)

  • Patriots
  • Lions
  • Falcons
  • Jets
  • Chargers
  • Titans
  • Seahawks
  • Cardinals
  • Broncos
  • Bengals
  • Saints
  • Bucs
  • Giants
  • Cowboys

Chris Gross

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patriots (-3.5)
  • Lions (-4.5)
  • Falcons (-7)
  • Jets (+4)
  • Chiefs (+1.5)
  • Titans (+12)
  • Seahawks (-3)
  • Cardinals (-5.5)
  • Broncos (-7)
  • Bengals (-1.5)
  • Saints (+7.5)
  • Buccaneers (-3)
  • Giants (+2)
  • Bears (+3)

 

Turn On The Jets NFL Week 4 Best Bets

Week 3 record: 0-3-0

Season record: 3-5-1

I’m just going to go ahead and do what everybody else did who had a bad week last week and blame it on the replacement refs.

Speaking of replacement refs, on Thursday morning after the league struck the deal to bring back the real refs, I happened to be listening to Mike and Mike on my way into work (The iPod connection in my car is broken and Boomer and Carton were at a commercial, okay). They had Adam Schefter on, which should have been an big enough clue to turn the channel and spare myself, but I kept it on. The first thing Schefter did, I kid you not, was praise Steve Young and Trent Dilfer for speaking their minds about the whole Monday Night reffing debacle. This made me want to veer off the side of the road and total my car. I guess the best thing you can say is that Schefter didn’t give himself the credit for ending the ref lockout, although that’s pretty much what he was doing. “Look at us here at ESPN! We’re not just shills for our husbands, the NFL! And better yet, what we say matters!” As if at any point during the negotiations, anybody brought up anything Trent Dilfer or Steve Young said. This just in: ESPN somewhat enjoys itself.

Patriots (-4) at Bills

The Patriots can’t lose three straight and start out 1-3, right? I would love to see it happen, but I just can’t. I have to think the Pats will go into this one totally desperate. Plus, did you see how the Bills’ defense looked against the Jets? Have you seen what the Jets offense has looked like since? I suppose the Pats’ offense isn’t as dominant as it once was, but I still can’t see them struggling to score too much. They should win by a touchdown.

Falcons -7 vs. Panthers

This season is setting up so darn perfectly for Matt Ryan and the Falcons. They really are the NFL’s new version of the San Diego Chargers, and Ryan is playing the Philip Rivers role. Ryan’s done nothing since turning pro except put up good numbers, win a lot in the regular season and crap the bed in the postseason. Sound familiar? The Falcons will roll to something like 13-3 this year, get a bye, then host the Giants in the 2nd round and lose 27-13. As for this week, they’ll put up enough points at home against a woeful Carolina team to cover this spread.

Giants +1.5 at Eagles

The road team in this rivalry always seems to play well, and the Giants in general are usually steady away from home. Lincoln Financial Field is going to be all sorts boozed up for this one in a way only Philadelphians can, which is going to make it even sweeter when the Giants waltz in and pummel Michael Vick. At halftime, Eagles fans will be chanting for Nick Foles, and will then spend the entire second half on hold trying to get through to WIP’s postgame show to complain about “Andy Reid’s Awwfensive playcawwwling down thurr awn the gowl loine”.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week (Season Record 2-1)

We nailed it last week with Manchester United over Liverpool, so let’s stick with the Premier League and another big matchup between two of England’s top teams, Chelsea and Arsenal. Chelsea is in first place and has only allowed two goals in five Premier League games so far. Arsenal ha started to score a little more as of late, but started the year off by being shutout by Stoke City and Sunderland. I like Chelsea’s chances to pitch another shutout and snag a late goal, and at +235 I think it’s worth a shot.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 4 – Jets vs. 49ers

12 predictions for the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers

12 Predictions for Jets/49ers. A big thanks to Chris Gross for taking over as Editor-In-Chief while I am in Montreal on a business trip (Bachelor Party) until Sunday morning (of course taking the early flight back so I won’t miss the game). On to the predictions –

1. Bilal Powell will be the Jets leading rusher for the second week in a row, moving one step closer to taking over the starting job. He will also again average more yards per carry than Shonn Greene.

2. Santonio Holmes will be productive for the second week in a row, finishing with 5 catches for 85 yards.

3. Aaron Maybin will not have a sack or a quarterback hit for the fourth straight week, leading to most of his reps being cut in the coming weeks and a potential promotion of Ricky Sapp from the practice squad.

4. Quinton Coples will see his most extensive work of the season with Marcus Dixon no longer on the roster.

5. Newly signed running back Jonathan Grimes will receive at least one touch on offense this week.

6. Mario Manningham is going to have a big game in the slot for San Francisco, as their passing game will target and pick on Ellis Lankster.

7. Vernon Davis wil finish with at least 55 yards receiving and a touchdown.

8. Frank Gore will be the game’s leading rusher, finishing with just over 90 yards.

9. Mark Sanchez will have one interception but will also throw for over 250 yards and a touchdown.

10. Tim Tebow won’t be a major factor in the game.

11. Chaz Schilens will play well opposite Santonio Holmes, making a case to split reps with Stephen Hill when he comes back from injury.

12. The Jets will be more competitive than most will pick them to be, however won’t have enough late against the 49ers and lose 23-13 in game that is closer than the score indicates.

Turn On The Jets Week 4 Fantasy Football Preview

It has only been three weeks of fantasy football so far, and I totally understand your natural reactions to your team’s start. If you’re 3-0, you think the good times will never end, while if you’re 0-3, you’re cursing Evan Silva and the other “experts” who insisted you draft guys like Ryan Mathews and Cam Newton with top 5 picks. I get that, it’s perfectly natural to feel like that. But no matter what has happened so far, and no matter how well you drafted, you’re going to need to add some pieces off the waiver wire. The key to keeping your 3-0 team on top is going to be building solid depth for bye weeks and protect yourself against an injury. If your team looks poor now, all it takes is one big time waiver wire pick up and you’ll be right back in it.

Every year, starting players get injured and the backup steps in to take the league by storm. Some of these players single-handedly win fantasy leagues for people. Already this year we have seen a few players seemingly come out of nowhere to have monster games and are now mainstays on teams. Take a look around your fantasy league and you’ll see guys like Mikel Leshoure, CJ Spiller, Andre Brown, Christian Ponder, and Dennis Pitta already littering rosters and contributing in a big way. The key for your team going forward is to identify possible break-out candidates that are almost always running backs, stash them on your bench, and then keep your fingers crossed. Let’s identify some of these potential break through guys.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers – Readers of this column will know that I have been beating the Jacquizz drum since before the season. I think Michael Turner is absolutely useless, and you can see that the Falcons coaching staff is close to fully agreeing with me. Last week Jacquizz recorded 10 carries, 5 catches, 67 total yards, and a touchdown. In PPR leagues, he should already be on a roster in your league, but if he’s still there no matter what kind of league you are in, stop reading this now and pick him up.

RB Bilal Powell – Shonn Greene’s struggles this season have been well documented amongst Jets fans, and after last week’s game in Miami it appears as though the team is starting to lean more towards a running back by committee approach with Bilal Powell getting more and more touches. He was already the full-time 3rd down back and the preferred passing target out of the backfield, but now it seems as though he’s going to get a steady 10 carries or so a week with a chance for that number to greatly increase.

RB Kendall Hunter – The 49ers are going to remain a predominantly running team as long as Alex Smith is the quarterback, and I don’t think you can rely on starter Frank Gore all season long. The guy has a history of nagging injuries, and now that he’s getting older the team may err on the side of caution and start working Hunter in more and more, perhaps even getting a few starts.

RB Robert Turbin – The Seahawks loved the bruising RB in the preseason, and he’s the clear backup to Marshawn Lynch, who has been playing through a lingering back problem. Should Lynch break down from the 30 touches a week the Seahawks are forcing on him, Turbin would be in line for 20 or so touches a week, which makes him a real candidate to be a breakout star.

RB Lamar Miller – Jets fans everywhere are now rooting for Reggie Bush to get injured after his Darrelle Revis comments, and judging by the disgraced former Heisman winner’s history, it’s only a matter of time until he does indeed get injured. When he does, rookie Lamar Miller looks poised to take over rather than the terrible Daniel Thomas. If and when that happens, Miller could become a stud, even on a crappy Dolphins team.

RB Ronnie Hillman – Willis McGahee is a prime candidate for “starting RB who gets injured” status, and I believe rookie Ronnie Hillman will be the man to step in and get the bulk of the carries rather than Knowshon Moreno (who the coaches clearly hate), or Lance Ball (who isn’t that good).

RB Mike Goodson – If you own Darren McFadden and don’t have Mike Goodson on your bench to protect yourself, you need your head examined. If, or WHEN, McFadden suffers his yearly injury, Goodson should be in line for 15+ touches and some solid production.

WR Jeremy Kerley – Just a hunch…

WR Jerome Simpson – The Vikings are supposedly in love with Simpson and can’t wait to get him out on the field starting in week 4. He’s gotten a lot of buzz, but it’s guys like this who could end up turning your middle of the pack fantasy team into a legit contender.

WEEK 4 ONE-LINERS

“Get em in there!”

QB Christian Ponder @ Det – Few QB’s are playing better than Ponder, while few pass defenses are playing as poorly as Detroit.

QB Andy Dalton @ Jax – The Jags pass D is anemic, and AJ Green is dominating defenses.

RB Mikel Leshoure vs. Minn – The Vikings no longer have the dominant run defense they once did, and Leshoure is clearly the Lions bellcow, especially with Stafford hurting.

RB Ryan Williams vs. Mia – Yes, the Dolphins have a stout run defense, but Williams is a very talented runner and he no longer has to split reps with the useless Beanie Wells.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Car – The Panthers defense stinks, but the game could turn into a shootout where Rodgers gets lots of targets from Matt Ryan.

WR Jordy Nelson vs. NO – As a disgruntled Nelson owner, I feel your pain. But make sure you keep him active in week 4 as he catches up on 3 weeks worth of stats against that garbage Saints defense.

WR Lance Moore @ GB – I’d normally never recommend starting Moore outdoors, but this game is going to likely be a shootout, and someone has to rack up the yards.

WR Kenny Britt @ Hou – The Texans have a tough run defense, and this could be Britt’s 2012 coming out party.

WR Brandon Marshall @ Dall – I’ve seen him ranked in the late 20’s on plenty of ranking lists this week. I don’t get it at all, he’s a #1 receiver still.

TE Dennis Pitta vs. Cle – His season has not been a fluke. He’s the most targeted TE in football.

TE Martellus Bennett @ Phi – The Eagles linebackers still stink.

“Not this week”

QB Matt Stafford vs. Minn – Reports say he’s going to play. Unfortunately those reports don’t say he might just end up leaving the game after a few series.

QB Michael Vick vs. NYG – There’s a really great chance he doesn’t finish this game.

RB Frank Gore @ NYJ – I think the Jets D steps it up big time this week.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw @ Phi – Just don’t trust him to take back the job from Andre Brown quite yet.

RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis @ Jax – I’d still start him if you got him, but I wouldn’t expect the kind of production many are calling for this week.

WR Hakeem Nicks @ Phi – The Eagles are going to stick Asomugha on him and do everything they can to slow him down.

WR Marques Colston @ GB – I don’t expect Colston to rack up big numbers this week, despite the game likely turning into a shootout.

WR Dez Bryant vs Chi – The Bears cover 2 defense limits the big plays, and that takes away from Bryant’s output this week.

TOJ Staff Thursday Night Football “Race For The Steak” Picks:

Joe Caporoso – Baltimore (-12)

Chris Gross – Cleveland (+12)

Mike Donnelly – Cleveland (+12)

Chris Celletti – Cleveland (+12)

Rob Celletti – Cleveland (+12)

New York Jets Week 4 – Early Thoughts On Jets/49ers

Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers

A collection of thoughts on the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers. Check back later today for Chris Gross’ defensive film breakdown and our roundtable discussion on the game –

1. Underdog. Underdog. Underdog. There won’t be a single person out there who picks the New York Jets to win this game and with good cause. San Francisco was the consensus best team in the league until they were smacked by a mediocre Minnesota Vikings team last week and the Jets have just lost their best player and are coming off a poor showing, despite winning. Fortunately, they play the games for a reason and nobody picked Minnesota to beat San Francisco last week either and we all saw how that went.

2. The Jets best opportunity to pull an upset is to get an early lead. San Francisco struggles to play from behind because they aren’t built to throw the ball down the field. The more that is put on Alex Smith, the better.

3. Vernon Davis has the potential to be an absolute nightmare for the Jets defense, who has still struggled to cover the tight end. This is a game for LaRon Landry to really show his value. Rex Ryan needs to scheme up both an adequate pass rush and a coverage answer for Davis, who is the 49ers best weapon in the pass game.

4. The Jets have two defensive touchdowns and a special teams touchdown so far this season. They are going to need one this week because points are going to be very hard to come by against a loaded 49ers defense.

5. The best approach on offense is going to be running a more spread attack than usual. This is the type of game to get into the 3 wide and have Bilal Powell take the bulk of reps at running back. The Jets are delusional if they think they are going to move the ball by coming out in their three tight end and look and handing dives to Shonn Greene.

6. In general the Jets need to be getting Jeremy Kerley more involved on offense. He needs more targets in the passing game and should be involved in the running game. Use him in the Wildcat, give him pitches and reverses. Kerley is one the team’s few playmakers and needs the ball in his hands.

7. The Jets should get Dustin Keller back and he is desperately needed. He will help prevent too much coverage from being rolled to Santonio Holmes. Look for Chaz Schilens to start in place of Stephen Hill, who should be out with a hamstring injury.

8. It is time for the Jets to mix up the looks in their front seven in hopes of generating more of a pass rush. More Quinton Coples. More Demario Davis. More speed. 3 sacks in 3 weeks isn’t enough.

Turn On The Jets Offensive Film Breakdown – Jets vs. Dolphins

Turn On The Jets offensive film breakdown from the Jets week 3 win against the Miami Dolphins

A collection of observations after watching the New York Jets offensive game film against the Miami Dolphins. We will focus on a handful of plays before breaking down key individual position group’s performance. Make sure to check back later in the day for Chris Gross defensive film breakdown –

Operation Clusterf*** – The second interception thrown on the day by Mark Sanchez which came in the end-zone during the third quarter was a complete disaster from start to finish, beginning with the play call and ending with a horrid throw. With the ball on the 7 yard line, Tony Sparano called for a smash/fan combination to the right side of the formation. Jeff Cumberland was lined up at split end and Stephen Hill was in the slot.

A smash/fan is one of the most basic route combinations in football and one of the easiest reads for a quarterback. Basically the outside receiver will run 5-7 yards and hitch back to the quarterback. The slot receiver runs a post-corner route. If the outside corner squats on the hitch route, the quarterback throws to the post corner, if the cornerback bails at all, the quarterback throws to the hitch route.

The problem with the play call on the 7 yard line is that it limits the space between the two routes, making it easier for the outside corner to play both routes at once. What is also a problem is that they had Cumberland, who isn’t accustomed to lining up at receiver, running the outside route. His inexperience would shine through on this play by pushing his route way too far into the end-zone. Basically he ran a 9 yard route instead of a 5-7 yard route, which made the outside corner’s job that much easier. In the slot, Stephen Hill rounded off his route and didn’t make a sharp plant and cut to shake his coverage. In a tight space, making a hard sell to the inside is that much more important. Hill could get away with routes like this at Georgia Tech but not in the NFL.

On to Sanchez, who showed no patience and put way too much air under his pass. Basically Sanchez pre-determined in the huddle he was throwing to Hill at the back pylon. He takes three steps and releases the ball immediately, despite having excellent protection. If he would have waited an extra half second, he would have seen how deep Cumberland pushed his route at which point he could have either threw it on a line to Hill instead of floating it or could have put more air under it and got the ball to the back pylon, where it would have been caught by Hill or went out of bounds. Finally, he also could have saw how poor the route combination broke and turned back side to a wide open Santonio Holmes, who probably catches the ball at the 2 yard line and walks into the end-zone.

Sanchez – Overall it wasn’t a pretty day for Sanchez. The positives? He showed good pocket presence, repeatedly stepping up and delivering the ball down the field. He heated up late in the game and showed terrific chemistry with Santonio Holmes…finally. What is so frustrating is that throughout this game Sanchez made every throw necessary in a NFL playbook. He hit the deep dig route, he hit the comeback route outside the numbers, he hit the deep ball in stride down the numbers. However, there is no consistency. He repeatedly missed open receivers down the field and showed a lack of patience. On his first interception of the game, he needs to recognize how poor of a route Clyde Gates ran and how Richard Marshall is ready to jump it. Beyond that, if he is going to throw it, it must be more up the field. He will make throws like this and then make textbook throws like he did on Jeremy Kerley’s 66 yard catch (we’ll get to that later). The inconsistency is incredibly frustrating.

The Wide Receivers – Santonio Holmes did a complete 180 from last week. He ran sharp, aggressive routes and did a good job working back to the football when it came to him. Richard Marshall was unable to handle Holmes from the opening snap. He has the skill set to beat up on weaker corners like him. Holmes also handled rolled coverage very well, showing patience and finding the necessary windows.

Stephen Hill was a disaster out there. He had his leg rolled up early in the game and wasn’t the same after. Hill ran tentative routes and was shoved all over the field by Sean Smith. In the end-zone, he dropped a perfectly thrown fade ball and also had a long pass down the middle of the field bounce off his hands. It is doubtful Hill will play this week because of a hamstring injury but when he returns, he should be splitting reps with Chaz Schilens. Seeing his most extended work of the season, Schilens put together an impressive game. He ran crisp routes and should have a 69 yard touchdown if Mark Sanchez didn’t throw overthrow him on a beautifully executed double move. Schilens carries himself like a confident NFL receiver. Hill gets his confidence shaken too easily.

Jeremy Kerley deserves more playing time. He continued to demonstrate his big play ability, most notably on his 66 yard catch and run which was a thing of beauty from start to finish. The play was designed to clear out the middle of the field for Kerley, who drove his route hard up the field, snapped it back and then broke to the outside on a perfectly thrown ball from Sanchez who threw it away from the corner breaking to Kerley’s inside shoulder.

Kerley then shook both the corner and safety and was off to the races. When you see plays like this, it makes the inconsistency of the Jets offense that much more frustrating. The other receiver to play major reps was Clyde Gates, who simply put doesn’t merit any playing time. He rounds off every route and has no answer for physical coverage.

Offensive Line/Tight Ends – The protection in the passing game was very impressive, particularly in the second half. Austin Howard has very quietly put together a strong start to the season. Sanchez had a well formed pocket to throw from during most of the game. The run blocking wasn’t awful but has room for improvement. There are too many instances when Matt Slauson or Brandon Moore are knocked off the ball, clogging up running lanes. There were enough lanes to average more than 2 yards per carry as Shonn Greene did but that doesn’t mean the offensive line can’t perform at a higher level.

The fact that Jeff Cumberland is starting games at tight end is an embarrassment and a direct reflection on the poor job Mike Tannenbaum did this off-season building depth. He can’t block. He shows a lack of understanding of the offense and runs generally poor routes. Konrad Reuland is a better all around player than him by a sizable margin. Reuland shows a willingness to block and clearly understands his assignment on every play.

Running Backs – I won’t beat a dead horse. When a play is blocked like this, it needs to be more than a 2 yard gain –

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Jets/Dolphins Review Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling after the Jets week 3 win against Miami

Before we jump into the negatives when it comes to this Jets team right now, I’d like to start this week off with a few positives because believe it or not, there actually were a few after re-watching the game. There weren’t many after the narrow win over the crappy Dolphins, but there are a few that are worth mentioning…

BUY: Robert Malone – That’s right, the list of positives begins with the punter! A lot of people were confused when TJ Conley was punted off the roster (Get it?!?), but as usual, Mike Westhoff was completely right. Robert Malone has been excellent this season, and he helped the Jets in the field position battle all afternoon on Sunday. He’s got a really strong leg, and he’s dropped several punts down near the goalline this year. There are no two ways about it: He’s been a major upgrade at the position.

BUY: Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley – As Mark Sanchez said, Santonio played his absolute ass off on Sunday and he deserves all the credit in the world for that performance. It can’t be easy when you’re double teamed on every play and the defense knows you are the only reliable receiver on the team, but he handled it well, played hard the entire game, and was the single biggest reason the Jets won the game (other than Dan Carptenter). If he can play like that every week, the offense won’t be too bad. As for Kerley, quite simply, he needs to get the ball more. For an offense that struggles making big plays, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be out there more often while guys like Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates watch from the sidelines.

BUY: Laron Landry – Man oh man, it sure was nice to see a safety wearing green make a play on the field for a change, wasn’t it? I had forgotten what that was like after watching Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith appear as though they were moving in slow motion on my television screen the past two years.

BUY: Shonn Greene and the Run Game – I’ve backed Greene all year, and that won’t change now! I thought he looked absolutely great out there on Sunday, making cuts, forcing missed tackles with nifty spin moves and– ahhhh ok, none of that happened at all. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t keep this charade up. Shonn Greene shouldn’t be relied upon as the “bell cow” running back any longer. I’m not saying he shouldn’t get 12 or so carries a game, because he definitely should, but we need to mix it up.

Bilal Powell looked much better against Miami and deserves to at least split touches at this point. Joe McKnight absolutely needs to be incorporated more into the offense, as does Tim Tebow. Yes, Tim Tebow 100% should be taking more snaps and running the ball to provide some kind of spark to this flat run game. Greene has always been better as a 1B type back who comes in to pound tired defenses, and that is what he should be back to doing now. Use a committee approach and let Greene seal the game at the end.  And when we get to short yardage or goal line situations, for the love of God, can we please see Tebow in there to run it right up the middle behind Mangold? Please? Just once? Speaking of which…

SELL: The Tebow Plan – It’s been three weeks and I’m starting to think the Jets didn’t actually have a plan for Tebow after all. Unless of course the plan was to make him a slot receiver who can’t actually catch, because if that was it, I take back everything I just wrote. They’re executing that one brilliantly. If Tebow isn’t in on 1st and goal from the 1 or other short yardage situations, what is the point of having him on this team? That’s a spot that he is tailor made for! And can we see him throw one pass maybe? I know they’re “saving it”, but it’s to the point now that everyone knows that’s what they’re doing anyway and it won’t even be a surprise. Ugh.

SELL: Ellis Lankster – As soon as Lankster came on the field for extended action following the Revis injury… hold on, I have to slam my head into the desk a few times thinking about that. Ok, so yeah, when Lankster came in the game, the Dolphins IMMEDIATELY targeted him. And not just once, either. I’m pretty sure if Ryan Tannehill were mic’d up for that game, we would hear him at the line just yelling out “Lankster is over there covering you! I’m throwing to you, man!” I’m serious about that too. Lankster is awful. He’s a worse version of Drew Coleman, who is perhaps my most hated Jet in recent memory. If Lankster is seriously the nickel back the rest of the way, I expect him to challenge for that title. (EDITOR’S NOTE – I love Drew Coleman. He’d be the best pass rusher on the Jets right now).

SELL: The Linebackers – Lankster was far from the only bad defender on the field on Sunday. All of the linebackers played terribly, even David Harris, who is normally terrific. I love Bart Scott, but at this point I’m starting to think he went missing sometime last year and his slower, less athletic, weaker twin brother just showed up to the facility one day, started yelling and picking fights just like Bart would do, put on the 57 jersey and nobody seemed to notice. If the fake Bart can’t blow plays up in the backfield and stuff the run like the real one used to, then there’s really no use for him on the field anymore.

As for the outside linebackers, Garrett McIntyre came off his two sack performance in Pittsburgh and once again looked like Garrett McIntyre. You know, the guy who can’t set the edge on run plays, can’t cover tight ends or running backs, and who gets no pass rush. Or more simply, he looked just like a white Calvin Pace. Thankfully, Pace is in his last season with the team, and in 2013 we won’t have to see him Frankenstein-walk his way into the backfield in another ill-fated attempt to sack a quarterback. I’m starting to really wish this team still had Aaron Maybin on the roster so he could play more and we MIGHT have a chance at a sack. Oh, what’s that? Aaron Maybin is still on the team? Could have fooled me…

Thinking about the linebackers made me think about just how many completely and totally useless players are on this roster, which 100% lays at the feet of Mike Tannenbaum, who apparently never read my letter to him and just figured he already built a roster deep enough and strong enough to compete as a defense-oriented, ground and pound unit. He was wrong. Just take a look:

2012 Useless Jets Players List

  • WR- Clyde Gates
  • WR- Chaz Schilens
  • TE- Jeff Cumberland
  • G- Vlad Ducasse
  • OLB- Calvin Pace
  • OLB- Bryan Thomas
  • OLB- Garrett McIntyre
  • S- Eric Smith

2012 Almost-Useless Jets Players List

  • MLB- Bart Scott
  • FB- John Conner
  • TE- Konrad Reuland
  • QB- Tim Tebow

And that doesn’t even get into our rookie class that we are getting NOTHING out of, or backup players who weren’t expected to contribute in the first place. This team has NO depth, and it’s becoming painfully clear. Mike Tannenbaum did a terrible job building this team, giving Mark Sanchez no receivers to throw to (amongst other terrible development strategies), the running game no blocking tight ends to open holes for them, and the defense no speed to actually tackle ball carries. I’m pretty sure that’s not the way to build a contender.

And speaking of useless people, I present the last sell of the week. In this case, I did not save the best for last.

SELL: Evan Silva – The fantasy football and NFL super-duper guru/expert/analyst had himself quite a week. Some of you may have thought I was joking two weeks ago when I unveiled my new 3-part betting strategy, but I was not. What was that strategy you ask? Here you go:

  1. Find Evan Silva’s picks and score predictions.
  2. Bet the opposite of them all.
  3. Collect $$$

After a solid 12-4 week this week for me against the spread, the results speak for themselves. I invite you all to join me on the money train in coming weeks. The season may look bleak for the Jets and us fans with Revis’s torn ACL, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a little fun along the way.

New York Jets Problems – The Running Game

A closer look at the New York Jets problems running the football

The New York Jets spent the entire off-season talking about their running game in prideful, reverential terms. Yet never made the effort to improve it. They didn’t pursue a blue-chip running back. They didn’t add a run blocking tight end. They didn’t upgrade at the fullback position. Basically, they stubbornly stuck to their average starting running back, a below average fullback, a collection of unproven backups, and a group of wide receivers playing tight end. Are we surprised they have struggled to run the football through three games?

Despite many people’s insistence at holding on to hope for Shonn Greene, the problems with the running game start with him. The film breakdown from the first two weeks (and the third week) show him consistently leaving yards on the field. The numbers support this as well. Greene has 57 carries for 157 yards, which comes out to an embarrassingly low 2.8 yards per carry. With 22 carries, backup Bilal Powell has averaged 4.0 yards per carry. The contrast was most clearly shown last week when Greene could only rack up 40 yards on 19 carries (2.1 YPC) and Powell was able to accumulate 45 yards on only 10 carries (4.5 YPC).

If Powell would have had Greene’s 19 carries, he projects to finish with a solid 85 yards on the ground. The excuse that the offensive line isn’t creating holes is simply incorrect. Are they a dominant unit? No. However, they are opening lanes on a regular enough basis for a competent NFL running back to average 4 yards per carry.

Greene is a plodding back who seems to have lost a step from last season, a harsh reality that could have him out of the league within a few years. He cannot get the edge on outside runs. He cannot make anybody miss when he gets to the second level on inside runs. He stumbles frequently when receiving handoffs and isn’t running anybody over because he can’t generate enough momentum. When you get 27 carries in a NFL game and can’t crack 100 yards as Greene couldn’t in week one, you aren’t good enough to be a starter.

We constantly hear how Greene is a slow starter in both seasons and games. Why do the Jets need to wait until week 7 for Greene to get going? How about he comes into the season down 15 pounds and looking to gain a step, instead of starting even slower than he has the previous two years? Are the Jets expected to wait until Greene’s 15th carry in every game for him to have a single run over 3 yards? I don’t think it is insane to have higher expectations of a starting running back than that. This is his contract year and he has 57 carries for 157 yards…57 carries for 157 yards!

So what is the solution? The Jets would be wise to add an option from outside the organization, whether it is Ryan Grant via free agency or Chris Ivory via trade. However, Mike Tannebaum has shown no inclination to improve the running back position so why would he start now? If the Jets are staying in house, the answer is simple – make Bilal Powell the starter, make Joe McKnight the third down back, considering he is arguably the fastest player on the offense and can catch an out route out of the backfield better than Tim Tebow could. Speaking of Tebow, make him the short yardage back from the quarterback position. In case you haven’t noticed, Greene is poor in short yardage situations as well and that is something Tebow traditionally excels at.

Outside of running back, Konrad Reuland should play above Jeff Cumberland as the backup tight end when Dustin Keller returns. He should also see more action at fullback, since anything that keeps John Conner off the field is a positive. The Jets should also incorporate Jeremy Kerley into the running game. Kerley is averaging a monstrous 23 yards per catch and has shown the ability to make things happen as a returner and runner (on reverses and out of the Wildcat last year). Have you seen how Green Bay uses Randall Cobb? That is how the Jets should use Kerley in their running game.

The New York Jets running problems will only be solved if they turn away from the ignorant 20 carries per game for Shonn Greene. It is time for a committee approach that is more creative and gives Mark Sanchez the hope of having a balanced offense.

New York Jets Week 3 Report Card – A Lost Island

The week 3 report card for the New York Jets

Quarterbacks (D) – Mark Sanchez picked up his play in the 4th quarter and overtime, leading two key drives that helped get the Jets a victory. Throughout those drives he repeatedly made big time throws, which is the only reason this grade is not a F. Sanchez must improve his accuracy and decision making. Sub 50% passing days are unacceptable at this stage of his career, regardless of how poor his supporting cast is…and they are poor. The interceptions in the end-zones simply can’t happen. He needs to play how he played in the 4th quarter and overtime throughout the entire game for the Jets to be a competitive team this season.

Running Backs (D) – Bilal Powell’s encouraging 10 carry, 45 yard performance is the only reason this isn’t a F. Shonn Greene is the worst starting running back in the NFL and does not deserve to keep his job or be anything else other than a backup/role player at this point. There is nobody who makes less people miss and leaves more yards on the field in the NFL right now than him.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends (B) – Santonio Holmes had arguably his best game in a New York Jets uniform. He took over in the second half, finishing with 9 catches for 147 yards. Jeremy Kerley continued to be big play weapon, hauling in a 66 yard catch and run and the go ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Stephen Hill looked completely lost out there. It is time for him to start splitting reps with Chaz Schilens. Konrad Reuland filled in admirably at fullback, H-Back and tight end and is a decent role player. Jeff Cumberland should be on some team’s practice squad, not a starting player in the NFL.

Offensive Line (B) – Particularly in the second half, the pass protection was very good against a strong front seven. People continue to complain about the blocking in the running game but the holes are there for Powell to average 4.5 yards per carry. The problem is Greene, not the offensive line.

Defensive Line (D) – Zero impact plays. Zero sacks. Zero tackles for a loss. Muhammad Wilkerson was solid against the run with nine tackles but when is somebody going to make a play? If Quinton Coples can’t get reps, why bother taking him in the first round?

Linebackers (D) – Disappointing effort against the run and they were exposed in coverage again. Calvin Pace is sluggish coming off the edge and this is still a unit that lacks in speed. It is time to give Demario Davis more reps, along with potentially Josh Mauga. This current unit is not getting the job done.

Secondary (B) – LaRon Landry made a game changing interception which he took back to the house. Darrelle Revis was Darrelle Revis when he was out there. Beyond that, it was a disappointing effort from Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson. Both of them need to improve their play in Revis’ absence. Yeremiah Bell has been fairly quiet over the first three games.

Special Teams (A) – Anybody notice how good Jets punter Bob Malone has been? Nick Folk has been very good this season as well. Jeremy Kerley, when he catches the ball, is one of the league’s top punt returners.

Coaching (C) – We are still waiting for that “great” defense to show up from Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine. Tony Sparano needs to make a decision on how to use Tim Tebow or not use him at all and then stick to it.

The Miami turf turned the donkey wheel and the Jets island is gone…good luck to a speedy recovery #24!