Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 3 – Jets vs. Dolphins

Turn On The Jets with 12 predictions for the Jets week 3 match-up against the Miami Dolphins

How about this weather in New York City? There is nothing like the autumn. It reminds me of getting ready for another breakout 3 catch, 26 yard performance at Muhlenberg as we got ready to whoop up on Union College (sorry Chris Gross). Anyway, The New York Daily News or as we call them around here, TMZ has had a fun week of stirring the quarterback controversy pot and talking about Tebow shirtless. Fortunately, we have supplied you with all the necessary football coverage…emphasis on football you need here the past five days. The Mission To Civilize continues –

On to the predictions –

1. Ryan Tannehill will have at least two turnovers and struggle to push the ball down the field to his overmatched wide receivers against the Jets secondary. He won’t top 175 yards passing.

2. Stephen Hill will get back to being a factor, finishing with at least 55 yards receiving and his third touchdown of the season.

3. Reggie Bush will be the leading rusher in this game and keep Miami competitive for about three quarters, finishing with 80 yards rushing and another 35 receiving, along with a touchdown.

4. Brian Hartline will have less than 40 yards receiving.

5. Bilal Powell will have 10 carries and average more yards per carry than Shonn Greene, who will have another disappointing effort.

6. Tim Tebow will have 40 total offensive yards and his first touchdown of the season on a short run.

7. Mark Sanchez will complete 60% of his passes or higher, finish with over 200 yards passing and not have a turnover.

8. Cameron Wake will have at least one sack.

9. Joe McKnight will see his most extensive work of the season on offense and finish with 45 total offensive yards.

10. Aaron Maybin will have his first sack of the season.

11. The Jets won’t miss a beat without John Conner. Konrad Reuland will play at FB/H-Back and play well enough to begin taking most of his reps when he returns healthy.

12. The Jets will win 23-10 in a game that will remain tight into the early fourth quarter but will get put away by a lengthly touchdown drive from the Jets offense and a shutdown Jets defense.

Turn On The Jets NFL Week 3 Best Bets

Chris Celletti submits his Best Bets for week 3 of the 2012 NFL Season

Week 2 Record: 2-0-1

Season Record: 3-2-1

For this column’s purposes, I went 2-0-1 last week. I say that because when I actually put my money where my mouth was, by Sunday morning, the Giants’ line vs. the Buccaneers had moved to -7.5. When I wrote my Week 2 piece, it was at -7. We call that a push, you guys. But as always the moral of the story goes: Don’t bet on your crosstown rival. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you need to root for a team you usually loathe, it never ends well. So that was the lesson of Week 2 for me (that and “Always buy the point, ass-clown).” As for my two straight up wins, I still cannot figure out how the Texans were only a seven point fave against a crap Jacksonville team, and I loved the Colts and Andrew Luck getting points in their home opener (FYI: Foreshadowing alert!). As Mike Francesa might so eloquently say when he’s not catatonic: Bink, bink, boom…and now we move to Week 3.

Steelers (-3.5) at Raiders

All of us here at Turn On The Jets got a first hand view at the Steelers last week. With Rashard Mendenhall out, Pittsburgh has finally gotten with the times and become a throwing team. Ben Roehtlisberger has three very good wide receivers who can stretch the field and a dependable tight end, and they look like a team who is going to put up some serious points. Big Ben totally picked apart the Jets’ secondary last week – still a talented group even without Darrelle Revis. Oakland just got their asses handed to them by Miami. Also, “The Black Hole” is the most asinine feature of any sports stadium in the world. Right, because the Steelers – world class, insanely trained professional athletes –  are scared of a bunch of mouth-breathers who treat eight Sundays a year like Halloween. I hope the Raiders go winless at home for a decade.

Colts (-3) vs. Jacksonville

This is a meshing of my Week 2 victories in one: Colts at home vs. the Jaguars. Love it, bro. Consider me on the Andrew Luck train. He’s a soccer fan who can probably name at least 15 out of the 19 MLS teams. Good on you, sir, you have that in common with me and 1% of the American male population. Home teams have been covering at a pretty high clip so far, some of which might have to do with the replacement refs. I’m not backing off my stance with the Jaguars being one of the worst teams in the league. I picked them before the season as under 5.5 wins for the year, and an 0-3 start would get that future bet off to a promising start.

Broncos (+2) vs. Texans

I think this is going to be a really tight game, and I’ll go with the home team getting points. First off, everybody talks about the Houston Texans like they’re God’s gift to football. Yeah, they’re good. They might be really good. They’re not unbeatable. The Broncos have a solid enough defense to keep the game close, and I think we might see a Peyton Manning late-game drive to set up a winning field goal. I see this as a “can go either way” type game.

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

I know, last week’s bet that the Milwaukee Brewers would take their series against the LOLMets wasn’t the boldest of calls, but hey, I told you it was free money. And when the Mets took the first game of the series, we were hot water for a second there, folks. For Week 3 we move to the other football, and on Sunday morning before the NFL kicks off we have a classic English Premier League match between Fenway Sports Group’s latest shitshow, Liverpool, against Manchester United. Winning on the road in the Premier League is pretty tough, which is why Man U is +160 on the money line to do so (when you bet on soccer, with the prospect of ties, you get scenarios in which both teams are at “plus” odds like this). Much like the Red Sox, Liverpool is a mess. They’re winless through four Premier League matches and in 17th place. Maybe after Man U goes in and thrashes the poor Reds, John Henry will plant a story in the media that Brendan Rodgers is hooked on painkillers and Steven Gerrard and Pepe Reina are having pre-match Guinnesses and Fish and Chips. There isn’t a team and fanbase in the entire world more deserving of Fenway’s swift buy-and-destroy job than Liverpool. Good riddance.

Turn On The Jets Week 3 Fantasy Football Preview

Mike Donnelly with his fantasy football preview for week 3

One of the biggest traps people get caught up in when playing fantasy football is being enamored with a player’s name. No, I don’t mean keeping guys with funny names like LaDainian or D’Brickashaw for laughs, or even stashing guys with names that are easy to make team names out of (you can safety drop Isaiah Pead despite the catchy last name). I’m talking about seeing a guy with a big name and thinking just because he was an early draft pick or produced in the past that he will continue to help you out. On the flip side, just because a guy doesn’t have a household name and you may not even know how to spell it, doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to your team and become a fantasy force for you.

You want to stay ahead of the curve and cut bait — either by trade or stashing on the bench — with the “big names” who are duds before everyone else catches on, or you keep getting 3 point clunkers week after week. On the other hand, you want to identify the players on other teams that are off to disappointing starts and try to exploit that owner into trading you a superstar for 60 cents on the dollar. So who are these big name guys we should be making decisions on? Lets break it down..

Stay the Course if you have / Buy Low if you don’t

WR – Larry Fitzgerald – Larry has just 5 catches for 67 yards this season. That is not a misprint or his numbers from the one half of a game, those are his total numbers. Things look bleak right now after starter John Skelton appeared to shatter his leg in week 1 and the noodle-armed Kevin Kolb replaced him, but don’t worry too much. After all, Larry has been dealing with terrible quarterbacks pretty much his whole career. If the Fitz owner in your league is already making waves about how down he is on him, I’d make a low-ball offer and see if he bites. Even better, I’d wait until after week 3 against the Eagles, where Larry is again likely to be bottled up. At that point, the guy who has him in your league may be ready to cut bait.

RB – Darren McFadden – Much has been made about Run DMC’s struggles in the Raiders zone blocking scheme, but if you have him, you can’t even think about benching or trading him. He’s a supreme talent, and he’s likely to be the leading receiver on the team as well as leading rusher. Talk up his struggles and injury history to his owner in your league, and see if he takes 65 cents on the dollar.

QB – Matthew Stafford – Yes, he has underwhelmed so far this season, but he had to play a surprisingly solid Rams defense week 1 that took the Lions by surprise and the 49ers in week 2. There are better times ahead for Stafford and the Lions passing attack. Oh yeah, he also gets to throw to Calvin Johnson. That’s pretty awesome. Send out feelers to the Stafford owner in your league.

WR – Julio Jones – This one is tricky because Julio was dominant in week 1, but if you can convince the Jones owner in your league that Roddy White is still the #1 receiver in Atlanta and Julio is expendable, then you make your move. You make that move RIGHT NOW!

Don’t Cut them, But Let Them Think About Things on Your Bench

RB – Chris Johnson – As a Chris Johnson owner in one of my leagues, I think it’s already time other Chris Johnson owners and I form a support group online or something. We can all exchange horror stories about watching him rush for 1 yard per carry and his general “I don’t give a shit” attitude. I hate you, Chris Johnson, I really do. If you have him on your team, I’m sure you hate him equally as much, and if you have even a remotely decent option on your bench to replace him with, do it, until he shows he deserves to be in your lineup. My league is PPR and I’m considering starting Mikel Leshoure or Jacquizz Rodgers over him this week. It’s that bad. And if you were thinking about making the Johnson owner in your league an offer to buy low, take my advice: Don’t bother.

RB – Michael Turner – There are few less fitting nicknames in sports anymore than “Turner the Burner”. A more fitting nickname for him at this point would be “Turner the Slow”, or “Turner who looks like he runs with crap in his pants”. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but it’s definitely more fitting. Turner is a guy I was extremely low on heading into the season and he hasn’t disappointed me. He even took his crappiness off the field and got himself arrested for a DUI. If you can trick someone in your league to take him off your hands, do it now.

WR – Wes Welker – He might have another solid game this week with Aaron Hernandez suffering an injury in week 2, so he deserves a spot in your starting lineups for now. However, it’s clear that once he failed to sign his contract extension, Bill Belichick decided he was done with Wes Welker. Look at the evidence: He seems to have dropped behind Julian Edelman on the depth chart; he was relegated to being the 6th option on the offense behind Edelman, Lloyd, Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Ridley; Kellen Winslow was brought in so Welker didn’t have to play as much after Hernandez’s injury. If you have him, try to trade him now. Like, right now.

WR – Marques Colston – Have you seen Marques Colston play this season? He looks like he’s moving in slow motion, which I’m pretty sure is a bad thing for a wide receiver. I wouldn’t hesitate to get him on the bench right now, and if you were thinking about trying to “steal” him from an owner in your league, get that thought out of your head.

WEEK 3 ONE-LINERS

Players to Start

QB – Ben Roethlisberger @ Oak – The Raiders are awful. Expect Ben to throw all over them and perform as a top 8 QB.

RB – Stevan Ridley @ Balt – A very tough matchup on the surface, but this is the kind of game Belichick likes to establish the run and keep the Ravens pass rush off Brady.

RB – Andre Brown @ Car – A no-brainer here. Bradshaw is out + bad Panthers D – crybaby David Wilson in the doghouse = heavy workload for Mr. Brown and a quality RB2.

RB – Mikel Leshoure @ Tenn – If he’s active, don’t hesitate to get him in your lineup. Jim Schwartz has had nothing but great things to say about his soon-to-be workhorse RB.

RB – Jacquizz Rodgers @ SD – I’m going to keep putting him here until he produces, but this could definitely be the week with Turner’s DUI, especially in PPR formats.

WR – Brandon LaFell vs. NYG – I’ll make this one simple: Prince Amukamara stinks.

WR – Michael Crabtree @ Minn – The Vikings pass defense is awful, and Crabtree has established himself as the #1 WR in San Fran.

WR – Percy Harvin vs. SF – You should never bench Harvin, but I’ve seen people question him this week against the tough 49ers defense. Don’t.

WR – Donnie Avery vs. Jax – As long as Austin Collie remains out, start Avery with confidence, especially with a juicy matchup like this.

WR – Stephen Hill @ Mia – This is more for deeper leagues, but think more about his week 1 performance than week 2. The Dolphins pass D is comical.

WR – Ramses Barden @ Car – Another deep league play. Barden is going to be the benefactor of Nicks’s absence, not rookie Rueben Randle.

TE Dennis Pitta vs. NE – I’m not sold on the Pats defense, and the most targeted TE in the league through two weeks is a very solid start this week.

TE – Martellus Bennett @ Car – Bennett is becoming a weekly must-start. He’s a threat to score a touchdown every week.

TOJ THURSDAY NIGHT PICKS

  • Joe – Car (-2.5)
  • Rob – Car (-2.5)
  • Chris G (Car -2.5)
  • TJ (NYG +2.5)
  • Chris C (NYG +2.5)
  • Mike (NYG +2.5)

New York Media Off The Mark With Sanchez

TJ Rosenthal on the shortcomings of the New York media’s coverage of Mark Sanchez

I know I touched on a somewhat similar topic yesterday with this article but our good friend TJ Rosenthal did such a good job with this piece we wanted to publish it –

Is the local media seriously joking here folks? Is there some kind of newspaper selling conspiracy going on in New York this season, playing off some notion that any scrutiny regarding Mark Sanchez whatsoever will increase paper sales and twitter followers? It sure seems that way.

This week alone, writers from WFAN to the NY Post to the Daily News have told Jets fans to stop thinking Sanchez can be elite, have written about his failings late in Pittsburgh based off of one incompleteion, while refusing to acknowledge the real culprit, a borderline concussion laced hit from Lawrence Timmons is what truly affected the QBs play after the fact. They have asked 6 to grow a backbone with all that surrounds him, in order to finally take control of the team?

Have they also noted that Sanchez currently owns a 95.0 QB rating, percentage points ahead of Tom Brady and three points ahead of Eli Manning, with the same amount of TD passes (4) as the Giants 2 time Super Bowl MVP has? You know the answer to that, so we won’t insult your intelligence.

We are not Sanchez apologists by the way. We have been quite hard on him in the past when we saw that look in his eyes. That of a player who when he struggled for any stretch of time, would become his own biggest enemy. Throughout his first three seasons Sanchez at his worst, has lacked self confidence, pouted, and forced balls needlessly into tightly covered places.

In that time as well though, Sanchez also won four road playoff games, while working through the teams ever changing vision of him. A dizzying sight that has seen him go from handcuffed game manager, to gunslinger, and back again. Do you find that constant request for a change in personality in just three seasons confusing? If you do, imagine how it feels to be Mark Sanchez.

On top of the altering assignments in style handed down from above, 2012 has added the acquisition of uber popular Tim Tebow in March, the many baseless reports of threats to Sanchez’s starting job that followed, early summer issues at right tackle, just one veteran receiver, an entire pedestrian running back corps, and an ever emerging tight end slowed now by hamstring issues.

How’s that 95.0 rating looking now?

Sanchez responded to a scoreless summer in nonsense games, covered as if they choking losses down the stretch in December, by leading the Jets to a 48-28 blowout in week one. It was just the Bills though right? Yea right. Heading into the game, the same revisionists who now tell us how Buffalo wasn’t a true measuring stick, had already predicted Chan Gailey and Co. were  the new challengers to the Patriots throne.

It couldn’t possibly have been the play of that guy Sanchez. After all, that type of cover story doesn’t match the sensationalized one many hoped for with marquee QB crumbling under the pressure of New York as Tim Tebow take over. The fairy tale that the locals have tried to circle around like sharks since the ocean became ripe for swimming up in Cortland back in July.

Why not just tell it like it really is instead?

It’s been a small sample size, these two games, but in them, Mark Sanchez has shown more decisiveness, better accuracy, and a tougher exterior after failed drives so far in 2012. Elite or not elite, the Jets signal caller is not the one who comes to mind, when we think about Jets who absolutely must elevate their play immediately.

We will tell you who those folks are. They are as follows:

The running backs. Can Shonn Greene stay healthy for back to back games? Humor us 23. Be the workhorse for a string of games in row without limping off to the sidelines in the first half.

The Powell McKnight combo under Greene can help ease 23’s workload, but have to give the coaches a reason to be excited. We get that. The coaches however, have to find the guts to highlight their styles, which differ from Greene’s.

Hey Jets, use Powell and McKnight in other ways. They are not guys who will thrive simply by going off tackle.

The receivers. Catch the ball fellas first off. Secondly, Santonio Holmes, sorry but you have to take on more. More receptions. More yards after the catch. More leadership with the kiddie corps of  Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. More presence. You’re the guy. Make that known every week. Sure we loved the three flags last week and the TD. Build off of it.

Now Hill and Kerley have to grow up fast since GM Mike Tannenbaum decided not to bring in any 40-50 catch veterans to allow these two time to mature. This duo must figure out how to play physical against the veteran corners trying push them around. The deep ball to Hill last week deep where Ike Taylor pulled the rookie’s arm away? Push back and make that play 84

Dustin Keller needs to get healthy and finally put a big season together receptions wise. It’s time already.

Tony Sparano  and Rex Ryan need to find a few drives where Tim Tebow makes sense. Not just to aid the offense, but to ease the tension of what effect 15 will have on the entire operation. This unknown is beginning to cause waves and it doesnt need to. Tebow can help as a weapon, the Jets can’t be afraid of what his success will mean to Sanchez.

Rex needs to get this defense, one he tells us all is a top 5 unit, up to speed for four quarters.

The Jets pass rush needs to start getting to the QB, and stop talking about getting to the QB. Create three and outs and allow the offense more time to gel on the field.

Finally, the New York media needs to start moving the spotlight elsewhere. To the deserved and more current areas of concern noted above. Ones that don’t involve Sanchez directly.

Even if doing so means risking the sexier headline.

What fair is fair. The past has passed. You are always judged by what you do “now” in the NFL. Under that premise then, this tunnel vision, thisinability to see the whole field currently taking place in Florham Park, is not coming from Mark Sanchez, but more so from the ones who cover the Jets.

Turn On The Jets Week 3 Roundtable – Jets/Dolphins Match-Up

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the Jets/Dolphins game

The TOJ Staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the Jets/Dolphins game. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter to check back later in the day for this week’s Fact or False –

Joe Caporoso – The Jets wide receivers/passing game against Miami’s secondary. The Dolphins have a stout front seven, which is going to make it difficult for the Jets to move the ball on the ground with their mediocre rushing attack. However, they are extremely inexperienced and lacking in overall talent in the secondary. There is no reason Mark Sanchez shouldn’t be able to push the ball down the field to Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill similar to how they did in week 1 against Buffalo. Sanchez is already being raked over the coals by the New York media for one loss where he received no support. He could use a nice shut the hell up performance to his critics.

Chris Gross – Reggie Bush vs. Jets Run Defense – This match up could end up being the deciding factor in this game. Bush is averaging 120.5 rushing yards per game, with a fantastic 6.0 YPC average. The Jets rush defense, on the other hand, looked stout last week in Pittsburgh, much improved from the abysmal performance in week 1 when they allowed CJ Spiller to explode for 169 yards and  touchdown on just 14 carries. While New York held Pittsburgh to a mere 66 total yards on the ground, the Steelers were without their primary RB and major offensive weapon, Rashard Mendenhall. The stable of backs that Pittsburgh threw at the Jets do not even come close to Spiller or Bush in terms of athleticism. As noted earlier this week by Joe Caporoso, the Jets have had recent struggles with speed backs that posses home run ability. Stemming from last season, this team was gashed by the likes of Darren McFadden, LeSean McCoy,and now most recently Spiller. They need to find a way to neutralize Bush and not allow him to get the ball in space where he is most dangerous. Look for Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to key Bush throughout the entire game,as he is by far, Miami’s most explosive offensive weapon. If he can be shut down early,Miami will need to lean on rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to carry them to victory, a daunting task for a first year player against a Ryan led defense.

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to is seeing if the Jets can get the run game going and get Joe McKnight involved. The offense clearly lacks playmakers, so seeing how McKnight gets worked in is especially intriguing to me. While the Dolphins are arguably the worst team in the league, their defense is not all that bad. I’m hoping the Jets can start the game off with some consistent running with Greene and Powell and then mix in some Tebow and McKnight to break at least ONE big play in what should hopefully turn into a lopsided win.

Chris Celletti – I feel like the only way the Dolphins’ offense can cause the Jets’ defense any issues is if Reggie Bush goes wild. For me, the biggest matchup of the game is the Jets’ usually-stout run defense against Miami’s running game, (specifically Bush). Just like the Jets’ offense, their run defense is coming off totally polar opposite performances in Weeks 1 and 2. Last week they totally stifled the Steelers’ ground game, but against buffalo in Week 1, C.J. Spiller went for over 170 yards and busted off a couple big runs. To me, the Jets are weaker against speedy, shifty backs like Spiller and Bush, so I’ll be interested to see if they can keep him in check. If they do, the Jets should cruise to an easy win. I simply can’t see Ryan Tannehill having much success against through the air against Rex Ryan’s defense.

TJ Rosenthal – Looking forward to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine taking on rookie Ryan Tannehill. Let’s see if and how the Jets can take advantage of the rookie’s inexperience and in a big picture way, show how they can capitalize on what ought to be an edge on paper and in practice. Tannehill should be confused by the Jets looks, and off balance due to the Jets variety come blitz time. Ryan has done this for a long time. We DO expect the Dolphins QB to look uneasy back there. If not, there is a real problem with a defense that thinks of itself as elite

Rob Celletti– Mark Sanchez vs. the world – Bear with me for a minute.  I know we normally discuss on-field matchups in these roundtables, but in light of Manish Mehta’s lame attempt to undermine the Jets’ starting quarterback, along with Rex Ryan’s shortening temper with the ceaseless Tim Tebow questions, it seems as though the flames are being stoked in the media for some sort of quarterback controversy.  It’s really amazing, considering it comes on the heels of one loss, to a good team on the road; a game that all 53 players, not just one, lost.  Still, being that I tend to focus on the quarterback and am an unabashed supporter of Sanchez, I’m fascinated to see how he responds this week.  This is a mental, emotional, and physical challenge for the quarterback.  He may only be asked to throw the ball 18 or 20 times, but Sanchez needs a solid game nonetheless.  If things are going to be this hectic after one loss, I cannot imagine what it would be like after two.  Especially if that loss is to a poor Dolphins team, a division game that the Jets simply must-have before the start of a brutal stretch in their schedule.

New York Jets Week 3 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Dolphins

Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 3 match-up against the Miami Dolphins

Before we get into early thoughts on the New York Jets week 3 match-up with the Miami Dolphins, we want to offer a congratulations to Mike O’Connor who won our New York Jets mini-helmet giveaway from Gameday Goods. Get your Jets Gear at Gameday Goods and remember to enter in promo code “TurnOnTheJets” at checkout to save 10% on all purchases. 

If you are heading out to watch Thursday Night Football tomorrow or to the bar on Sunday for Jets/Dolphins. Make sure to take advantage of our partnership with Night Out who is hooking you up with this great deal at Traffic in New York City

1. This is an absolute must win for the Jets. An overstatement? Not with the best two teams in the NFL traveling to MetLife the following two weeks and a trip to New England only 4 weeks away. You cannot lose a division game to a rookie quarterback who has a number one receiver named Brian Hartline, period.

2. Reggie Bush is the only player capable on the Miami offense of giving the Jets defense a major problem. They struggle with speedy backs who are threats catching the football. Bush has been rejuvenated to his USC self since coming to the Dolphins and the Jets focus must be on building an early lead and keeping him contained. Unless Bush has a monster day, which is he capable of, this game shouldn’t be very close.

3. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve had just about enough of Shonn Greene as this team’s primary ball carrier. Simply put, I do not think he is good enough to merit 20-25 carries per game. Yes, I think he has value in the 4th quarter when defenses are worn down but his complete inability to break tackles, make people miss and contribute in the passing game means he must see less playing time. I am for more playing time for Tim Tebow because of Greene’s shortcomings, not Mark Sanchez’s. Bilal Powell played well last week and Joe McKnight looked good on his only carry. It is time for 14 carries for Greene, 10 for Powell, 8 for Tebow and 5 McKnight. Spread it around. Greene doesn’t merit that many touches.

4. Miami is solid in the front seven but borderline awful in the secondary. The Jets need to test them down the field with Santonio Holmes (let’s hope his head is on straight), Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. I wouldn’t sleep on a bomb to Clyde Gates either. He saw a good amount of playing time this past week and Sanchez has a history of completing long passes to irrelevant receivers against the Dolphins.

5. Paging Aaron Maybin. Paging Quinton Coples. Bueller? Bueller?

6. It is sounding like Darrelle Revis could be a game time decision. Obviously you want him 100% healthy for San Francisco and Houston and Miami lacks any major threats in the passing game but simply put, this defense is nowhere near the same without him.

New York Jets – The Sabotage Of Mark Sanchez

Writing against the Mark Sanchez sabotage campaign. When will the New York Jets support their quarterback?

It is no secret the New York Jets haven’t done an adequate job of developing Mark Sanchez since spending a first round pick on him in the 2009 NFL Draft. They certainly did not make a strong effort to upgrade his supporting cast heading into a critical year for his development. A week 1 point explosion against a suspect Buffalo defense temporarily shelved the debate but a disappointing loss to perennial AFC Powerhouse, Pittsburgh has the media hounds and their sources looking pin singular blame on Sanchez and reignite a non-existent quarterback debate.

The Daily News‘ Manish Mehta, he of ever diminishing credibility, published a nearly 700 word story today pinning the Jets loss to Pittsburgh on a single play. A missed throw by Mark Sanchez in the 2nd quarter. This is a play we discussed in our film and Sanchez breakdown over the past two days and yes it was a missed throw by Sanchez on a well-designed play. Yet, to spin 700 words that make Tony Sparano look like Bill Walsh and Santonio Holmes look like Jerry Rice is exceptionally excessive. It is meant to fault the loss on a single player and of course drum up that non-existent quarterback controversy. The tone of the article puts me in agreement with the thought process that there is someone within organization pulling for a Sanchez failure and a Tebow ascension.

Let’s not lose perspective of the following. On the road, against one of the league’s best teams, Mark Sanchez was supported by an underachieving number one receiver giving a lackadazical effort, a practice squad caliber tight end, a rookie number two receiver, and one of the league’s five worst starting running backs. Did he play well enough? No. But if you want to go play specific, you can equally pin the game on Jeff Cumberland for missing a block that would have sprung Bilal Powell for a touchdown. Or how about Antonio Cromartie looked completely clueless on Mike Wallace’s touchdown? Maybe Jeremy Kerley muffing a punt? Or Shonn Greene being unable to make a safety miss as he went untouched for 9 yards through the Pittsburgh defense on what should have been a big play?

Don’t fall for the mainstream media okie-doke. Don’t fall for the quarterback controversy agenda.

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

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch reviews Jets/Steelers. Who is he buying and selling?

For about 28 minutes of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh, I felt really good about the Jets chances of winning. Then little chinks in the armor started to show up. A few missed tackles here, a 3 and out there, and then slowly but surely, those little chinks turned into gaping holes. Before you knew it the game was spiraling out of control. The team couldn’t do anything on third down on either side of the ball, Sanchez looked like a different player after clearly (and illegally) getting his bell rung by Lawrence Timmons in the 2nd quarter, the defense forgot how to tackle, and the absence of Darrelle Revis was clearly felt. Oh yeah, and my boy Shonn Greene couldn’t get anything going on the ground. Let’s start with that..

SELL: The Run Blocking – Yes, the Steelers have a stout run defense, but this run blocking issue has clearly carried over from last season, and the main issue has been the guards. Matt Slauson is a tough dude and a hard-worker, but he’s just not that talented. He’s an average player, and the coaches clearly feel as though he isn’t helping much in the run game, because in the 2nd half he rotated series with Vlad Ducasse, whom the coaches clearly feel can help in that area. Whether or not that actually happens is another story.

On the other side, Brandon Moore’s play in the run game has been in a steady decline since late in 2010 when he was banged up and needed surgery on his hip following the season. He’s still an elite pass protector, but he doesn’t provide the same push that he used to. When you couple that with the fact we still have ZERO capable blocking tight ends for SOME REASON (Tannenbaum, it’s not too late to read my letter to you), and wide receivers who can’t get open, you can see there are extra defenders in the box and why the run game is struggling. Plenty of Jets fans want to point the finger at Shonn Greene, and he’s far from perfect, but this is not just on him. In fact…

HOLD: The Run Game – Not buying or selling, despite the early mediocre results. Let’s see what this run game gets going this week in Miami before writing them off. The following two games against the 49ers and Texans are going to be tough sledding, so if the run game is ever going to get off the ground, we need to see them take advantage of a terrible Miami team. Hopefully they can get a lead, the defense can put them in good position to score, and the running backs can pound away on a Dolphins defense that leaves much to be desired. It seems as though this rush offense — and Greene in particular — get off to slow starts every year, before putting it in gear when the weather starts changing. Does that excuse the lack of production so far? No, but let’s give them a chance to get it together.

Bilal Powell looked pretty good in limited action, and you have to think Tebow and the wildcat will become more involved as well. Personally, I’d like to see Joe McKnight given the ball 5 or 6 times a game and see what he can do, since he’s our only game-breaking threat. There’s no reason he can’t be out there and used in a myriad of ways. Especially since the WR’s are struggling, which brings me to…

SELL: Mark Sanchez’s “Weapons” – Sunday was a very disappointing performance from Santonio Holmes, who was more interested in tricking the referees into throwing their flags than actually, you know, catching the passes. Stephen Hill had 0 catches, but days like that are expected from a rookie 2nd round pick with limited experience. Jeremy Kerley is a solid but unspectacular player, and Dustin Keller is injured, so where is the production supposed to be coming from? There are simply no reliable weapons for Mark Sanchez to throw the ball to, and it is killing the offense. Jeff Cumberland is useless, as is Chaz Schilens. Again, there is no reason Joe McKnight can’t be out there as a jack-of-all-trades kind of player, especially with Keller out and the WR’s struggling. Why can’t he be used like the Saints use Darren Sproles? I know he’s not as good and has his issues (fumbling, staying healthy), but it would be nice to have a player out there who could actually break a play here and there.

SELL: The Pass Rush – I said before the game that if the defense didn’t dismantle the Steelers downright crappy offensive line, I’d start to be worried. Well, they consistently got a good push against the run (more on this later), but the pass rush was pretty non-existent. Quinton Coples and Aaron Maybin hardly played, which is kind of surprising since they’re probably our two best pass rushers. Calvin Pace stinks, Po’uha and DeVito don’t offer much of a rush, so Mo Wilkerson was the only one applying pressure. I know Garrett McIntyre chipped in two sacks, but I think him leading the team in sacks is a negative rather than a good thing. I think it’s time for Rex to throw Coples into the fire and see what the kid can do, because we can’t just rely on blitzing linebackers and safeties all the time, especially since when they get near the quarterback they miss the tackle anyway.

BUY: The Run Defense – It wasn’t all bad on defense on Sunday. The Jets run D showed that week 1 was more of an aberration than anything, and they’re still very stout against the run. The return of Sione Po’uha was a welcome site, as he commanded double teams all day and allowed others to make plays. Wilkerson made several plays at — or behind — the line of scrimmage and looked good. Mike DeVito was his usual stout self, and Kenrick Ellis also played really well. What scares me, though, is that the Steelers don’t have any speedy backs, which is where the Jets really struggle. You know, guys like CJ Spiller or Reggie Bush, who the team has to face this week, for example. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas move around like my dad getting off the couch out on the field so they have trouble getting outside, and while Garrett McIntyre had a good week, he has problems setting the edge at times and nobody will ever confuse him with Usain Bolt, that’s for sure. So while the run defense looked great, and I still think they’re an elite unit, let’s see how they handle Reggie Bush this week before we get too excited over their play.

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

Breaking down the offensive game film from Jets/Steelers

Turn On The Jets broke down the offensive game film from the New York Jets week two loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A big thank you to everybody who sent in their questions on Twitter on what they specifically wanted to see broken down from the film. Make sure to check back tomorrow when Chris Gross will go through the defensive game tape –

Let’s start with something positive, since the bulk of this article is going to be a negative review of Santonio Holmes, Shonn Greene, Mark Sanchez, and Jeff Cumberland. The New York Jets opening drive on offense was a thing of beauty. Mark Sanchez was accurate and aggressive, hitting Jeremy Kerley on a 45 yard completion on a well-designed play by Tony Sparano and a beautiful, shifty route from Kerley. The touchdown to Santonio Holmes took advantage of the Jets being so run heavy in their three tight end look that Sanchez’s well-executed play action held up both linebackers and brought the free safety towards the line to stop the run. This opened a huge window to Holmes for an easy touchdown. Great tendency breaking play-call by Tony Sparano.

Unfortunately after a strong start from Holmes, he grew impatient with Pittsburgh’s aggressive, physical coverage. He showed no ability to respond to it and terrible releases and overall route-running technique. On a key third down early in the game, Sanchez was keying on him to run a whip route (similar to an out, but when you run a slant, plant your inside foot and work back to the outside), however as Sanchez rolled right, Holmes slammed into a linebacker and falls over instead of releasing to the outside. With Holmes on the ground, Sanchez ended up taking a huge shot from Lawrence Timmons after throwing it away.

Later in the game, Holmes and Sanchez again struggled to connect on a third down. Last week on a nearly identical play, we praised Sanchez for being patient and hitting Jeff Cumberland on a 3rd and 9 instead of hitting Dustin Keller in the flat. However, here on 3rd and 16 and considering the Jets field position and complete lack of offensive productivity (this play took place midway through the 3rd quarter), he should have taken Kerley in the flat. Why? It either sets up a long field goal attempt, gives you a chance to go for it on 4th and roughly 6 or maybe Kerley makes a guy miss and gets a first down.

Regardless, Sanchez decides to wait for Holmes to reach the first down marker. Unfortunately, Holmes rounds off the top of his route. Instead of driving off Ike Taylor by threatening him deep, he rounds it off too early and doesn’t make a sharp cut back to the quarterback. This doesn’t move Taylor at all who squatted on the route and easily knocked the ball down.

Later in the game, Sanchez went to Holmes on a 2nd and 10 on a hitch route. Again, instead of driving his defender off, Holmes just slams into him and looks to push off. This disrupts the timing and it is why when he turned around, he wasn’t prepared to catch the ball which he dropped.

What I have seen through two games of Santonio Holmes this season is lazy route running, poor communication with his quarterback and endless complaining to the official to bail out his poor play. I have defended Holmes time and time again on this site, however so far this season he looks like a player who received a big contract and stopped working on the little things that make wide receivers great. When you watch players like Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz in the early game and then watch Holmes, the dropoff is enormous. Here is Holmes staring down an official after he dropped yet another pass (and there was no pass interference) while childishly trapping Ike Taylor’s feet between his legs. Taylor flipped out screaming at Holmes after this play for how long he held him there.

Moving on to Shonn Greene and the problems in the Jets running game. Here we see a well-blocked play and instead of Greene hitting the hole at full speed, he comes to a complete stop behind the of scrimmage and squats extremely low to the point of stumbling…again. This went for 3 yards and easily could have been a 7-9 yard again.

Later in the game, Greene had a monster hole on a well designed play by Tony Sparano. The Jets came out in a wishbone look and gave Greene a delayed draw. He literally goes untouched for 8 yards through the Pittsburgh defense, as you can see from both angles here. He has one person to beat, safety Ryan Mundy who steps up to fill. This is where it is a running back’s job to make the safety miss and score a touchdown.

What does Greene do? He squats as low as he can, starts stumbling and basically gives himself a concussion by getting smacked by Mundy for exactly a 9 yard gain. So basically Greene didn’t receive any contact until 8 yards down the field and finished with a 9 yard gain…not good enough.

There was a clear contrast between Bilal Powell and Greene in this game. Simply put, Powell looked quicker, more explosive and showed more of an ability to make people miss. On this play, Lawrence Timmons shoots through the gap unblocked and has a clear shot at Powell. If this is Greene, it is without question a 3 yard loss. However, Powell was fast enough to beat him through the hole and turn this into a 5 yard gain.

Later in the game, Powell should have had a 34 yard touchdown run. This play was well blocked up front and Powell made a great cutback. All it took was Jeff Cumberland sealing his man and he would have been off to the races. Unfortunately, Cumberland whiffed and the run only went for 10 yards. This is what happens when you have limited depth at tight end and don’t have a player who can block at the position.

Cumberland also showed no awareness on a hot route in the second quarter. If he read the defense properly, the Jets easily convert a 3rd down and don’t have to settle for a field goal.

A few other observations –

  • Austin Howard and the pass protection held up relatively well in this game. He did allow one sack but could have received more help from Shonn Greene on a chip block. Greene struggled in pass protection throughout this entire game.
  • Tony Sparano called a terrific first half. The Jets should have had an easy touchdown to Santonio Holmes in the end-zone to take a 14-6 lead. They rolled Sanchez out, got the coverage they wanted, Santonio Holmes ran a beautiful double move but Sanchez threw it high and behind him instead of out in front. Rob detailed this play here yesterday and it was a killer miss by Sanchez.
  • The deep ball to Stephen was another clever play call and a beautiful throw from Sanchez. Ultimately, it was just played very well by Ryan Clark. It is hard to put blame on anybody on this play. Hill probably could have ran a crisper route and he did struggle to get off press coverage all day…leading to Sanchez not looking his way very often.
  • Sparano got a little too conservative in the second half but his receivers weren’t helping the cause by getting pushed around so easily.
  • The 12 yard run by Joe McKnight was very impressive. There was nothing there and he broke a tackle, made two guys miss and showed good acceleration. It is time for more McKnight, Powell and yes Tebow running the ball. Shonn Greene doesn’t merit more than 15 carries per game at this point.

Sanchez Breakdown: Jets Offense Grounded in Pittsburgh

Rob Celletti breaks down Mark Sanchez’s performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 2

Stat Line: – 10/27, 138 Yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions – 66.6 QB rating, 37.0 completion percentage (yikes)

Season Stat Line – 29/54, 404 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception – 95 QB Rating, 53.7 completion percentage

To put it as simply as possible, two good drives are never going to be enough to win an NFL game. Ditto, just two trips to the red zone, as illustrated in this fancy graphic that all the stat-heads out there will surely enjoy. The Jets had issues in all three phases of the game, and the issues on offense weren’t only a function of poor quarterback play, but this is the place we discuss Mark Sanchez, so discuss him we will.

The Best: The first drive seemed to be a continuation of the week 1 success against the Buffalo Bills. This is what I expected the Jets to do most of the game to a Pittsburgh defense that was missing two of its impact players.  Sanchez and company responded to Pittsburgh’s opening drive field goal by marching right down the field, keyed by a big 45 yard hook-up with Jeremy Kerley where Sanchez again utilized a pump-fake to send Ryan Clark the wrong way before dropping a perfect, in-stride ball over three Steelers defenders for the big gain. Three plays later, a deft play-action fake and easy pickings on a quick slant to Santonio Holmes had the Jets up 7-3.

The Worst: Pretty much everything after the first drive was troublesome.  All of a sudden, Sanchez was out of synch with his receiving corps. Notable miscues happened with Jeff Cumberland and Jeremy Kerley, and after a solid opening drive, Santonio Holmes dropped a slew of catchable passes and in the end caught just three of the 11 balls thrown his way. The chemistry issues between Holmes and Sanchez have been discussed at length, but they’re worth noting again here. This is simply something that must be solved in order for the Jets to have a successful 2012 season. For better or worse, Holmes is the most experienced playmaker the Jets have, and if he and Sanchez aren’t on the same page, the offense will continue to sputter.

After the first drive, Sanchez completed just 6 of his next 22 passes (that’s 27.2%, for those of you scoring at home). The Jets did not enter the red zone after their second drive (they got to the 19 yard line), coming closest on their final, garbage time drive which ended at Pittsburgh’s 30 yard line. Sanchez also took some legitimate hits (including a rightly-penalized blow to the head), which was to be expected against Dick LeBeau’s defense. While I don’t think he was ever downright skittish, it’s clear that Sanchez was less decisive with the ball as the game wore on and Pittsburgh’s defense asserted itself.

The Key Moment: While I would love to harp on the Jets’ lack of aggressiveness at the end of the first half, I’ll keep the discussion to Sanchez, who said after the game that running the clock out was ultimately Tony Sparano’s decision.  A colleague of mine pointed out that after Sanchez missed Holmes for a would-be touchdown on the Jets second drive, everything seemed to stall out thereafter. It’s a good point. Watching the play again, it’s a terrific play-call on 1st and 10 from the 24, and the execution is there until the throw.  Sanchez playfakes, then bootlegs to the outside, which pulls Ryan Clark up the field. Santonio Holmes gets separation from Ike Taylor and runs into a fully vacated Pittsburgh endzone.  If Sanchez lays the ball out in front of Holmes, it’s an easy touchdown the Jets grab a 14-6 lead. Instead, the throw is high and a little behind #10, and the Jets settle for the three points that would be their last of the game. Sanchez has always been praised for his ability to throw on the run, and this play put him in his sweet spot, but the quarterback simply didn’t make the throw.

So now the question is, how will Mark Sanchez respond?  The Jets return to the place where their 2011 season officially and mercilessly went up in flames. Sanchez has a spotty history and just a 2-4 career record vs. Miami. Intriguing times ahead for the Jets’ quarterback.