Final Words On Jets/Dolphins

Final words from the New York Jets before Monday Night Football kicks off

From the New York Jets themselves

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1. Pro Football Talk decided to blame the Jim Harbaugh/Jim Schwartz fight on Rex Ryan. In other news, I also heard he was responsible for World War II and world hunger.

2. Inactives — Kevin O’Connell, Logan Payne, Donald Strickland, Ropait Pitoitua, Isaiah Trufant, Bilal Powell, Colin Baxter.

3. The Jets are inducting Larry Grantham, Gerry Philbin, Freeman McNeil, and Al Toon into their Ring of Honor tonight. Toooooooooon.

Jets vs. Dolphins: 12 Pack Of Predictions

A week 6 Monday Night must win for the New York Jets…12 predictions for tonight —

1. Dustin Keller is going to get back into the end-zone for the first time since week 2. Santonio Holmes will join him, as he scores his second touchdown in as many weeks.

2. Mark Sanchez will finish with at least 225 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns. I do think a more aggressive game-plan will result in at least one turnover. I am specifically thinking about Cameron Wake rushing the passer on Wayne Hunter.

3. Jeremy Kerley will pull in at least 3 receptions in his first game as the full time slot receiver.

4. Calvin Pace, Jamaal Westerman, and Muhammad Wilkerson will all record sacks of Matt Moore.

5. Moore will have multiple turnovers tonight but will also make a few plays with his feet that prevents the Jets defense from getting off the field on third down.

6. Brandon Marshall won’t get ejected in the fist half, but will be non-factor in this game.

7. Reggie Bush will have less than 80 total offensive yards.

8. Shonn Greene will rush for more than 75 yards and score his third touchdown of the season. LaDainian Tomlinson will also be more involved than he was last week, while Joe McKnight will pull in his first reception of the season.

9. If the Jets find a way to lose this game, you can bet things will start to get very ugly in their locker room. I may also have to temporarily shut the website down out of disgust. You don’t lose to a 0-4 team in your own building on Monday Night, especially when they are starting a backup quarterback.

10. The Jets will score a touchdown on their first drive.

11. Kenrick Ellis will finally be active.

12. I am picking the Jets 30-13. A win doesn’t suffice here, the Jets need to thoroughly beat down Miami to get some confidence back.

Week 6 Sunday: NFC East Only Gives Jets A Little Help

A review of Sunday’s week 6 action, looking at what we learned about each division

Today was a weird day for New York Jets fans as they were forced to root for the New York Giants, our in-stadium rivals and the team many of our annoying friends root for and the Dallas Cowboys, who nobody likes to root for. The Giants came through with a win over the Buffalo Bills, knocking them down to 4-2 however Dallas did what Dallas does and choked late and lost a tight one in New England as the Patriots pulled to 5-1. For the Jets it is time to take care of business tomorrow night and next week at home versus San Diego. If they head into their back to back games against Buffalo and New England at 4-3, they just may have a chance to make the AFC East race somewhat interesting into December.

Here is what else we learned around the league today…

AFC East – Buffalo has an exciting offense and will be in the mix into December. However, they are very beatable because unless another quarterback throws them four interceptions, they have a tough time winning. New England isn’t quite as dominant as everybody makes them out to be, but they know how to win close games better than any team in the league.

AFC North – You could make a strong argument for Baltimore being the best team in the AFC because of how dominant their defense looks. Pittsburgh looks a level or two behind them.

AFC South – Just a weak overall division that will come down to the Titans and Texans battling it out, as their head to head match-ups loom large.

AFC West – Oakland needs to get David Garrard on the phone immediately if they have plans on keeping pace with San Diego. I am sorry but Kyle Boller won’t cut it.

NFC East – The division is wide, wide open. The Giants are playing well early in the season as they always do but it would foolish to write off Philadelphia or Dallas already because of their sub .500 records. Washington had an ugly loss today but will a contender all year as well.

NFC North – Don’t pat Jim Schwartz on the back. How about the Stan Van Gundy clone trying to break the fight up?

NFC South – Another division that is wide open, especially after Tampa Bay putting up a very impressive win today over New Orleans. The Falcons have had an ugly start but they aren’t dead yet.

NFC West – San Francisco should clinch any day now.

Five Keys For New York Jets Versus Miami Dolphins

Listen to TJ discuss the top five keys here

1-CIRCLE THE WAGONS: Namath’s comments after the Oakland loss. Receivers complain abut Schotty. Santonio Holmes calls out the O line. Mason is dealt. Holmes vs. Brandon Moore. Is this a team on the brink of implosion?

2-CLEANER PLAY FROM THE SECONDARY: Too many flags in recent weeks. Keep your hands to yourselves guys.

3-PROVE ‘EM WRONG OFFENSIVE LINE: Called out by the media, Holmes, and still readjusting after the return of the injured star Nick Mangold. This group has to prove the doubters wrong, and start giving Mark Sanchez some time to throw.

4-STRETCH THE FIELD: Defenses are playing eleven guys right up at the line. Go downfield sometimes, and create some room to run.

5-BE A TOP FIVE DEFENSE: Last week the Jets finally got some pressure on a QB in Foxboro. Kick it into gear now, certainly don’t let backup QB Matt Moore get comfortable early on.

New York Jets: No Excuses Against Pitiful Dolphins

The New York Jets have no excuses this week against the Miami Dolphins

I am aware the New York Jets recent three game losing streak has been a kick in the you know what to those who approached the season with a high amount of optimism for the team. However, there are different types of teams and different types of losses in the NFL.

In Oakland, you had a Jets team take their foot off the pedal up 17-7 and play a lackadaisical second half against a hungrier team. In Baltimore, you had a recipe for disaster going against one of the league’s best defenses with a makeshift offensive line. In New England, you had a superior team run out the clock late preventing your offense a chance to win the game.

Baltimore and New England are both playoff teams in the AFC and will both likely be division winners who receive a bye week. The Jets lost to both of them in their building. Oakland is a serious playoff contender at this point and could also very well be a division winner. The Jets also lost to them in their building. Losses to these teams is disappointing in that the Jets clearly can’t compete with the elite of their own conference at the moment, yet the Miami Dolphins are a completely different story.

At 0-4, the Dolphins are the worst team in the AFC. They have lost every game by 10 points or more except for one and are now on their backup quarterback, the thoroughly mediocre Matt Moore. Miami is a led by a lame duck coach who likely will be fired within the month, has an overpaid, underachieving starting running back in Reggie Bush and a big time receiver who doesn’t make any plays in Brandon Marshall. Their defense can’t stop the pass and doesn’t force turnovers.

There are no excuses this week as the Jets host this awful team in their building on Monday Night Football in front of the whole country. There are no moral victories. Hell, there are no normal victories. This needs to be a thorough double digit beating of your rivals in front of your angry home crowd. Kick the Dolphins while they are down and get some swagger back because you are going to need it with San Diego, Buffalo, and New England upcoming on the schedule.

Shonn Greene and Santonio Holmes…get your first 100 yard games of the season. Plaxico Burress…stop dropping the football and get back in the end-zone. Mark Sanchez…throw for 275 yards without a turnover. Dustin Keller…come out of the witness protection program you have been in the previous two weeks. Calvin Pace and Bart Scott…get back to making plays on defense and come up with a few sacks. Darrelle Revis…well you just keep doing what you been doing.

I am about as optimistic as they come but if the Jets lose this game, their season is over.

TOJ Week 5 NFL Picks

Last Week: 8-8
Season Record: 35-28
  • Philadelphia (-2 ) vs. Buffalo
  • New Orleans (-5) vs. Carolina
  • Oakland (+6.5) vs. Houston
  • Indianapolis (-1.5) vs Kansas City
  • Cincinnati (+2.5) vs. Jacksonville
  • Minnesota (-2.5) vs. Arizona
  • New York Giants (-9) vs. Seattle
  • Tennessee (+7.5) vs. Pittsburgh
  • San Francisco (PK) vs. Tampa Bay
  • San Diego (-4.5) vs. Denver
  • New York Jets (+9) vs. New England
  • Atlanta (+5.5) vs. Green Bay
  • Chicago (+6.5) vs. Detroit

Jets vs. Patriots: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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The 12 pack is ice cold right now after a strong start, very similar to the Jets. You keep reading (we had our highest month of traffic ever in September) and we keep picking. Here are 12 predictions for Jets/Pats on Sunday –

1. Mark Sanchez will not throw more than 26 passes on Sunday. He also will not turn the football over. Outside of that, I am not venturing a guess on his passing statistics.

2. Joe McKnight will have at least five offensive touches on Sunday. If he doesn’t, myself and TJ Rosenthal are protesting outside of Brian Schottenheimer’s house next week.

3. Aaron Maybin. Two weeks on the active roster. Two sacks. He will bring down Tom Brady on Sunday.

4. Tom Brady will throw for somewhere between 275 and 325 yards along with a pair of touchdowns. However he also turn the football over at least once.

5. Shonn Greene won’t crack 60 yards rushing.

6. Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski will combine for 150 yards receiving and a touchdown.

7. Joe Namath won’t approve of something he sees on the field this Sunday and tell the media about it, leading to 18 more stories on the topic of his thoughts next week.

8. Jamaal Westerman and Josh Mauga will see the bulk of the reps filling in for Bryan Thomas.

9. Dustin Keller will have at least 75 yards receiving and a touchdown.

10. Wes Welker will have less than 75 yards receiving.

11. Chad Ochocinco won’t be a factor in this game.

12. I have to do it. Patriots are going to win a tight one 27-23. Prove me wrong Jets.

NFL Week 5 Smart Bets: And The Yankees Post-Mortem

Yikes. Well my Week 4 picks didn’t go so well, thanks to two athletes who are quite similar, Tony Romo and Alex Rodriguez. We’ll get to the Week 5 NFL picks in a little bit, but if you recall one of my bets last week was the Yankees beating the Tigers in the ALDS. I also proclaimed that Jose Valverde’s consecutive saves streak would come to and end, and while it nearly did, well, it didn’t.

So what happened to the 2011 New York Yankees? We’ve had a little time to digest the Yanks’ postseason failure, and I’m going to take what will probably be a very unpopular view on this. This Yankees team actually overachieved. By a lot.

Yeah, it’s possible for a team with the highest payroll in the sport to overachieve.

Heading into the season, all the “experts” had the Red Sox winning the AL East and going to the World Series. And for good reason. Who wouldn’t have picked the BoSox with their rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, a bullpen with the second best closer in the game (I think so at least), and a lineup that is stacked with multiple MVP candidates? If in February you would have told me that the Yankees would lose Alex Rodriguez for about half the season, Mark Teixeira would hit under .250, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon (it is 2011!!!) would start 51 games combined, Derek Jeter would have a DL stint, A.J. Burnett would have an ERA in the fives and Rafael Soriano would pitch only 39 innings – and with all that the Yankees would win 97 games and win the division by six games, I probably would have told you to check into rehab immediately.

The fact of the matter is is that the Yankees were gritty and gutted their way through 162 games. Sure, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson had MVP-type seasons, with the latter putting up otherworldy numbers. Teixeria had good power numbers but let’s face it, it was a down year for him. Throw in all the Jorge Posada drama, and it wasn’t an easy task winning 97 games by any stretch. This season should go down as a good one for the Yankees. You can’t win it every year.

But in Yankees Universe we have to dissect the playoff meltdowns, and it really doesn’t get much easier than looking at the middle of the lineup. The Yankees simply needed much, much more out of their four, five and six hitters. A-Rod hasn’t been A-Rod all year, but he was vintage postseason A-Rod this year, and he’s starting to prove that his gargantuan 2009 playoff performance was an aberration. Rodriguez will be around for six more years, and thank goodness there is no salary cap in baseball. Additionally, it might be time for the Yankees to try something else in right field. Nick Swisher is a good player, seems like a great guy and teammate, and the fans like him. But man, how much more deer-in-the-headlights could you get than Swisher in the postseason?  Is it really worth the solid regular seasons if he’s going to be an automatic out in October? There are plenty of other players who could play a good right field with a solid bat and have a better approach at the plate in a big situation.

And I think Joe Girardi had a really rough time this postseason. Yanking Ivan Nova so early in Game 5 sent a message to the whole team that he was in panic mode. The Yankees can spin “forearm tightness” for Nova all they want. Girardi freaked out and pulled Nova. He also mismanaged the end of Game 2 by essentially giving away a run by bringing in Luis Ayala, a run that proved not costly but surely important. Girardi doesn’t need to be fired or anything, but he needs to learn from his poor managing the past two postseasons.

The future isn’t dark for the Yankees. Offensively they’ll be built around Cano and Granderson for the next few seasons, with Rodriguez and Teixiera of course capable of putting up big numbers. The pitching may lend itself to a youth movement, with Nova joining Sabathia and Phil Hughes in the rotation full time without the fear of being sent down (although maybe Girardi will pull him every time he gives up a few runs in the first two innings). Burnett will be back (it is what it is), and the Yankees can look to their youth with Dellin Betances or Hector Noesi for the fifth spot. The bullpen will be good as long as Rivera is around.

The Yankees are home early, and any first round loss stings. But fans should take a step back and look at the whole season, and realize that it could have been much, much worse.

And now, on to the picks –

Eagles -3 at Bills

The Eagles are a talented team and they are desperate. The Bills are a nice story, but I don’t think many people see them being a serious playoff threat. The Eagles won’t go 1-4. If they do, Andy Reid better walk around Cheesesteak Town in disguise.

Atlanta +6 vs Green Bay

I’m taking six points with Matt Ryan/Mike Smith at home. I think the Packers could very well win the game, but it will be close. One of the better games of the weekend.

Steelers -3 vs. Titans

I’ll take the Steelers at home off a bad loss. I know the Steelers are banged up, and very much like the Jets, look a little slow and old. But I think Mike Tomlin rallies the team, and at home, they don’t lose to a team quarterbacked by Matt Hasselbeck.

Saints -6.5 at Carolina

No spread is too high for the Saints these days. It could be a shootout, but I think the Saints put up a ton of points.

Non-Football Bonus Bet of the Week

NBA Playing entire season: 8-5

Yes, you can actually bet on this. Things sound a little uplifting recently, with David Stern caving a bit and offering the players close to 50% in revenue. Too much at stake for both sides, I think they get it done.

TOJ Guest Post – Belichick The Chess Master

A guest post on TOJ, looking at how Bill Belichick turns the game of football into a glorified chess match better than any coach in the NFL

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Kevin Kelly from GET Broken Record. If you are interested in contributing a guest post, send an email request with your idea to JoeC@TurnOnTheJets.com

Bill Belichick plays chess with human beings. And he’s better at this particular version of the game than any man alive.

Normal chess is man against man, mind against mind, strategy and tactical maneuvers engineered to attack while simultaneously defending.

Football is a complicated version of chess. Complicated for three reasons:

1. Only a few people realize it’s happening. Everyone else, the players included, are caught up in the excitement of the moment. 100,000 screaming fans, millions more watching at home, touchdown dances, cheerleaders, fireworks, explosions, the whole nine yards. But high atop the field watching quietly in the booth, a few select men sit quietly, studying, analyzing. They don’t see the sweat dripping off the faces of the athletes competing; they see pieces moving on a board. They watch. They look for patterns, holes, strengths and weaknesses not only in their own pieces, but also in the movements of the opponent.

2. There are multiple games being played simultaneously, and both games are using the same set of pieces. For example, the Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator both watch the game from the booth, and they play against a corresponding set of coordinators. If New York’s O.Coordinator bests New England’s defense, it means nothing if New York’s Defense gets trumped by the O.Coordinator for the Patriots. And it happens on the fly. All of this information, dozens of statistics and conditions and tangible pieces of evidence that suggest the what, where and how to succeed is then passed from the booth down to the coach.

3. This is where Belichick’s genius comes into play. He is a master at thin-slicing. He’s given an incredible amount of information and in the blink of an eye can deduce what needs to happen, to which he consistently adds resolve. Setting specific pieces into motion at certain times to evoke a reaction that butterfly effects a result two possessions or quarters or games later. It really is an incredible thing.

Rex Ryan screamed last Sunday. He screamed last Monday. On Tuesday, he probably yelled again for good measure. He talks trash. It has come to define him. But this Sunday he faces the Gridiron’s Bobby Fischer in a must-win situation. When Fischer beat the Russian Champion Boris Spassky in 1972 in a best of 7 series, Fischer didn’t show up for the first game. He intentionally took the loss. And it baffled the Russian. Without words, without doing anything at all, he planted a seed that chipped away at the best player in the world. Fischer took the series a few days later and became the first American Champion…ever.

Silence has a way of baffling the loud and outspoken. It’s a move they don’t understand, only drawing them further and further in, until it’s far too late.

If the Jets are to win on Sunday, their leaders need to shy away from the immediacy of the scream, away from the excitement of the moment and the roar of the crowd, and focus instead on the pieces on the board as Belichick has done for the last 20 years. It’s the NFL. Both sides have muscle, strength, and conditioning, top tier talent. All of that means nothing if you lose your mental, as reason walks out when emotion walks in. This is where New York needs to improve. And this is exactly what New England will look to exploit. Football is chess with living pieces. And in the immortal words of Bobby Fischer: Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent’s mind.