No Huddle – New York Jets Ugly Loss Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets 27-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers

Sure. Okay. We’ll admit it. This loss hurt. The ghosts of the AFC championship defeat were there for us and we will assume many other diehards as we watched. Many of us would have loved nothing more than having Mike Tomlin exit at 0-2.

A little payback.

That said, the Jets are 1-1, in a four way tie for first in the AFC East, and nowhere near any panic buttons that many thought they’d be pressing before heading down to Miami.

Here’s a quick look back on yesterday. A day we are disappointed about, but won’t be dwelling on for much longer.

1 – Why Can’t The Jets Tackle Ben?

Hey, Ben Rothliesberger is tough to bring down. Period. That’s why. Everyone knows that. Sunday, the Jets defense being unable to get to Ben when they had open lanes on blitzes, led to big results for Pittsburgh downfield. Being able to bring Big Ben down might have gotten the D off the field and kept the game within a score. That didn’t happen. Making it an uphill battle for the entire second half. To us this was the key issue all day.

2 -The Backbreaking Wallace TD.

The Jets were down 13-10 at halftime, and trying to tread water early in the third quarter, long enough in order to get back on track offensively. Then Mike Wallace grabbed what could have been a jump ball in the end zone. One that Antonio Cromartie foolishly overran. Even so, Wallace must have been in bounds by a blade of grass. A booth review that viewers never got a good look at to boot.

That odd play left the Jets no room for error at 20-10. Soon enough, the Steelers power running game began to roll downhill. This moment, this 50/50 ball, even with the Jets struggles on third down, and problems tackling later in the second half, is what really gave Pittsburgh control of the game.

3 – Landry’s Penalties Hurt, But We Like His Style And Aggression.

S Laron Landry had a late hit and a horse collar. Penalties that led to scores. On the flip side, the Jets new hard hitting safety is also establishing his turf and in the long run, this will bode well for the defense. The penalties hurt but we can live with them, knowing that Landry will do alot more good than bad this year. His style was sorely needed.

4 – Why Did The Jets Offense Come To A Halt? Greene Got Woozy and The Receivers Missed Their Few Shots

Shonn Greene was running with a great first step early on, and the Jets offense seemed like it was again ready to have a good day, until his head injury slowed him and the unit down. This changed the balance and overall rythym of the offense.

The young receivers failed to establish their size, and speed in space on a potentially big plays too. You hit on them you score fast. Not today. Rookie Stephen Hill got outmuscled downfield deep in a one on one matchup in the first half. Jeremy Kerley was over the middle and had a shot at a big play but seemed to cut his route short on a throw that Sanchez let loose deeper, thinking Kerley was going to head down the seem.

TE Jeff Cumberland misread a hot route that could have been a red zone first down, that instead led to just a FG.

There were also some drops.

Dustin Keller being out certainly didn’t help. With the choice to go with youth at WR though, even with Keller, these days will happen for Sanjay Lal’s corps in 2012. Hopefully less often than the ones that gave us the makings of that opening day explosion last week against the Bills.

5 – Hate To Say It, But Turn The Page On This One

The Jets are in a way four way tie in the AFC East with stars Darrelle Revis and Dustin Keller on the mend. Facing a rookie QB next week.

Things could be alot worse.

The Steelers game felt like it slipped and slithered away no doubt, but so many had the Jets 0-2 and desperately two games back by now. Instead they are still in position to accomplish their goals. Bite your tongues folks. Grin and bear it. Move on and get ready for a huge game in Miami, knowing that San Fran and Houston are waiting.

Does Sunday at Heinz leave a bad taste in the mouth? Sure. Is the “L” devastating? No. In fact it’s already time to move on and get ready for the Fish.

Turn On The Jets Week 2 Roundtable – Jets vs. Steelers Predictions

The Turn On The Jets staff gives their predictions for Jets vs. Steelers

The TOJ Staff with their predictions for Jets/Steelers 

Joe Caporoso – 12 Pack

Chris Gross – Jets 24, Steelers 17 – Since I couldn’t have been more off with my prediction last week, it’s only fitting I deliver a prediction of redemption. With so many key players, for both teams, sitting out this week, it is extremely difficult to gage where this game will go. Kyle Wilson, who will be starting opposite Antonio Cromartie with Darrelle Revis out, has a huge opportunity to prove that the Jets can rely on him to play well consistently. Wilson will likely be matched up with Antonio Brown, who has become one of Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite targets over the past year, and will certainly have his hands full. Brown has big play ability and consistently finds holes in coverage to make key grabs and keep the chains moving for Pittsburgh. Wilson has a huge task at hand, but should be excited about the opportunity to prove himself.

Pittsburgh has a below average offensive line, one that gave up five sacks to Denver last week. Expect the Jets to get to Big Ben on more than one occasion. Look for Muhammed Wilkerson, Calvin Pace, and possibly Quinton Coples to all register sacks this week. With Rashard Mendenhall out for Pittsburgh again, the Steelers will likely turn to their stable of less than average running backs, all of whom the Jets will shut down early. Look for Pittsburgh Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley to start airing it out by the second quarter, leading to 1-2 interceptions by Ben Roethlisberger.
Offensively, the Jets will look to keep that fire from Buffalo burning, especially with Pittsburgh’s two best defensive players, James Harrison and Troy Polamalu, also out with injuries. New York will try to get the run game going, but with Shonn Greene average under 4 YPC, Sparano will likely let Sanchez take control and look to get Stephen Hill, Santonio Holmes, and Jeremy Kerley the ball in space. Ultimately, this game could come down to the final possession, one that has a Sanchez game winning drive written all over it, a phenomenal way to enter Miami week with San Francisco and Houston looming afterwards.

Rob Celletti – As exhilarating as week one was, it was just that: week one. I’m an optimist (I picked the Jets to win 10 games this year, after all), but I also don’t want to start drinking the Kool-aid just because the Jets walloped a suspect football team with a mediocre quarterback at home. Sunday’s game will be a battle. Pittsburgh is a quality football team, and even though they’re banged up, I expect a motivated Steelers side that will be anxious to wash the taste of their opening week loss out of their mouths. It will be a hard-fought game in which both teams will play well.  The Jets won’t have such an easy time throwing the ball, but Sanchez will put up representative numbers. He’ll also get sacked in key spots by a Pittsburgh defense that will be more creative and active than Buffalo. Also, remember, the Jets put the ball on the ground three times against the Bills and Sanchez was intercepted once.  If they make mistakes like that in this game, Pittsburgh will capitalize.  In the end, an even game comes down to the final possession, and Pittsburgh does enough to win, 24-21.

Chris Celletti – Most people probably think this is going to be a knock down, drag ’em out kind of game. I think both teams will look and say “Hey, their best defensive player is out, let’s take a few shots here” (as long as Troy Polamalu and/or James Harrison don’t play, with Darrelle Revis already ruled out), and we could be in for a more high scoring affair than most people think. I don’t think the Steelers are nearly as tough as we’re used to them being, which isn’t to say that they’re not good. They’re still good, but in a different way with a more dynamic offense led by three very good receivers. Mark Sanchez will have more success through the air, while Shonn Greene will continue to find a way to gain three yards, no more or less, on literally every play. The game will come down to wire, with maybe a big special teams play deciding things. In a bit of an upset I’ll take Jets 31, Steelers 27

Mike Donnelly – This game is going to be a much tougher test than last week against the paper champion Buffalo Bills. The Steelers are not the powerhouse team they were a few years ago, and they’ll be without mainstays James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, and Rashard Mendenhall, but they’re still a formidable opponent — especially at Heinz Field. The Jets will be without Darrelle Revis of course as well, which is a major blow, bit I expect the defense to exploit he Steelers Swiss cheese offensive line and make up for the absence of #24, pulling out a nail biter late in the 4th quarter 23-20.

Turn On The Jets Week 2 NFL Picks

The TOJ staff submits their picks for week 2 of the NFL season….the race for steak continues

The TOJ week 1 NFL staff picks left us looking like the NFC West circa a few years ago. The Race For Steak is off to a slow start but that doesn’t mean we aren’t ready for a strong bounce back in week 2. Make sure to give everybody a follow Twitter and make sure to check out Session 73 for this great deal brought to you by our partners at Night Out. On to the picks –

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Mike “Down With Silva” Donnelly (9-8)

2. Chris “I Still Bet On Boxing” Celletti (8-9)

3. Rob “Down With Bettman” Celletti (7-10)

4. Chris “Creatine” Gross (7-10)

5. Joe “Still Handsome” Caporoso (6-11)

Joe Caporoso

Season Record: 6-11

  • Giants (-7) vs. Tampa Bay
  • New England (-13.5) vs. Arizona
  • Minnesota (-2) vs. Indiannapolis
  • New Orleans (-2.5) vs. Carolina
  • Kansas City (+3) vs. Buffalo
  • Baltimore (+2.5) vs. Philadelphia
  • Oakland (-3) vs. Miami
  • Cincinnati (-7) vs. Brandon Weeden Is Awful
  • Houston (-7) vs. Jacksonville
  • Seattle (+3.5) vs. Dallas
  • Washington (-3) vs. St. Louis
  • Jets (+5) vs. Pittsburgh
  • Tennessee (+6.5) vs. San Diego
  • San Francisco (-6.5) vs. Detroit
  • Atlanta (-3) vs. Denver

Mike Donnelly

Season Record: 9-8

  • NYG -7
  • NE -13.5
  • Minn -3
  • Car +3
  • KC +3
  • Phi -2.5
  • Mia +2
  • Cle +7
  • Jax +7
  • Sea +3.5
  • StL +3.5
  • NYJ +5
  • Tenn +7
  • SF -6.5
  • Atl -3

Chris Celletti

Season Record: 8-9

  • Giants -7
  • Pats -13
  • Colts +3
  • Panthers +2.5
  • Chiefs +3
  • Ravens +2.5
  • Raiders -2
  • Bengals -7
  • Texans -7
  • Cowboys -3.5
  • Redskins -3.5
  • Jets +5.5
  • Titans +7
  • Niners -7
  • Broncos +3

Rob Celletti

Season Record: 7-10

  • Giants (-7) over Buccaneers
  • Patriots (-13.5) over Cardinals
  • Colts (+1.5) over Vikings
  • Saints (-2.5) over Panthers
  • Bills (-3) over Chiefs
  • Ravens (+2.5) over Eagles
  • Dolphins (+3) over Raiders
  • Bengals (-7) over Browns
  • Texans (-7) over Jaguars
  • Cowboys (-3) over Seahawks
  • Redskins (-3) over Rams
  • Jets (+4.5) over Steelers
  • Chargers (-6.5) over Titans
  • 49ers (-7) over Lions
  • Broncos (+3) over Falcons

Chris Gross

Season Record: 7-10

  • Giants
  • Cardinals
  • Colts
  • Saints
  • Chiefs
  • Ravens
  • Oakland
  • Bengals
  • Texans
  • Cowboys
  • Redskins
  • Jets
  • Titans
  • 49ers
  • Broncos

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 2 – Jets vs. Steelers

12 predictions for the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

The 12 Pack is back for another week of likely incorrect predictions about the upcoming New York Jets game. Make sure you check back tomorrow for our TOJ Roundtable picks for the game and the ongoing Race For Steak. In case you haven’t heard yet, the following players are OUT for the game on Sunday: Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller, Bryan Thomas, James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Rashard Mendenhall…so yea, no big names or anything. 

Make sure to check out our deal of the week with Night Out $30 for unlimited beer and appetizers at Session 73. The TOJ staff should be in the building, will you be? 

1. We have discussed at length the problems Emmanuel Sanders and Heath Miller could cause for the Jets, those problems are only magnified now by Ellis Lankster playing nickelback and Isaiah Trufant playing in the dime. Kyle Wilson will likely spend most of the game covering Antonio Brown, a match-up Ben Roethlisberger will likely exploit and Antonio Cromartie will be on Mike Wallace. Pittsburgh is going to rack up a ton of passing yards, the question is can the Jets defense bend but not break? Roethlisberger should be good for at least 260 yards through the air on Sunday.

2. The Jets pass rush is going to break through against a suspect Pittsburgh offensive line. Todd Haley is going to get pass happy and while they will get their yards, it will also come at the cost of a few sacks. Look for Quinton Coples to record his first NFL sack and for Aaron Maybin to get on the board as well.

3. Mark Sanchez is going to play another good game in what will turn out to be a very good season for him. The Jets will pick on Keenan Lewis and Ryan Mundy and won’t be shy about attacking down the field with Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill or Jeremy Kerley. Sanchez will be good for 20+ completions and 225+ yards.

4. Shonn Greene will have 18-22 carries and finish with under 100 yards.

5. Tim Tebow will be more effective in the Wildcat this week than he was last week. He will compete his first pass of the season and run for 25-35 yards.

6. Jonathan Dwyer will be Pittsburgh’s leading rusher and finish with 50-55 yards. Pittsburgh will abandon the running game fairly early in this one.

7. Santonio Holmes will score his first touchdown of the season and it will come on a completion of over 20 yards.

8. Mark Sanchez will be sacked 2 or 3 times on Sunday. However, he will not have any turnovers this week.

9. Garret McIntyre will have a rough game in the starting line-up for Bryan Thomas. Pittsburgh will attack him in both the rushing and passing game with a good amount of success.

10. Bilal Powell will have a bigger role in the game-plan than he did last week.

11. Antonio Cromartie will have his second interception of the season.

12. This is going to be a somewhat high scoring game that will be tight all the way throughout. This one will be decided in the final 3-4 minutes. Unfortunately this is the time for my yearly disclaimer that I can’t pick the Jets to go 16-0. Yes, this is a very winnable game. However, I think Pittsburgh does enough and puts it away late for a 27-24 victory.

New York Jets – 2012: The Year of the Sanchize

Mike Donnelly on why the absence of Brian Schottenheimer will mean a career year for Mark Sanchez

Since Sunday’s offensive explosion against the Bills, I have seen many different reactions from media experts, Jets fans, Jets haters, and everyone in between (except Evan Silva, of course, who must have had far too much egg on his face to give his take on the game) in regard to the Jets offense, and Mark Sanchez in particular. Some have expressed shock, while others felt somewhat vindicated after believing in the Sanchize all along. The overriding question from everyone, though, is can Sanchez keep this going? Well, not only is he is going to keep it going and mature into the franchise quarterback many expected him to be, I’m going to show you why the writing was all over the wall heading into this season, and we should have expected a big year. I can tell you why that is the case in two simple words:

Brian. Schottenheimer.

Yes, it’s easy (and fun) to take shots at the incompetent former Jets offensive coordinator, but there is good reason for that. When you look back at his coaching career, the thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is the lack of development and overall production amongst the quarterbacks he works with. Don’t believe me? Check it out:

2001 – Brian’s dad, Marty, brought him on as the QB coach for his final season in Washington. The quarterbacks that season combined to throw for 13 touchdowns, complete 54% of their passes, and compile a 71.1 quarterback rating. NOT BAD!

2002-2005 – Brian followed his daddy to San Diego, which was likely the only way he’d get a job in the NFL. During his time in San Diego, he was charged with developing 2001 draft pick Drew Brees, who you may know as the future hall-of-famer that last season threw for the most yards in a single season ever. Over the course of four years with Schotty, we saw Brees get benched, the Chargers use the #4 overall pick in the draft to take another quarterback (yes, I know they technically had the #1 pick and traded Eli for Rivers, but for all intents and purposes, they took Philip Rivers), and Brees topped out at 3,576 yards passing in a season.

Brees was respectable his last two years in San Diego, but the team thought so little of his progression, they let him leave as a free agent. As soon as he left Brian Schottenheimer’s control and moved on to New Orleans, he went on to make 5 pro bowls in 6 years, threw for 4,418 with a 96.2 qb rating the VERY NEXT year after leaving Schotty, and just two years later threw for over 5,000 yards and 34 TD’s. Interesting. Meanwhile…

2006-2011 – Yes, meanwhile, Schotty somehow parlayed that poor stretch into the Jets offensive coordinator position. In his first two years with the Jets, Chad Pennington was the quarterback for most of the time. During that period, Chad put together an 83.3 quarterback rating. Not bad, but not great. The VERY NEXT year, in 2008 as a Miami Dolphin (being coached by Tony Sparano, who you may have heard of), Chad Pennington had a qb rating of 97.4 and finished 2nd in the MVP voting. Hmm..

Who did the Jets replace Chad with? Why, Brett Favre of course! Favre was coming off a season in which he racked up 4,155 yards, 28 TD, 15 interceptions, and a qb rating of 95.7. Seems like a slam dunk trade-up right? Well, Favre went from those numbers in 2007 to these with Schottenheimer in 2008: 3,472 yards, 22 td, 22 int, and a qb rating of 81. So he threw for approximately 700 less yards, 6 less td, and 7 more interceptions. Was it because Favre was in decline or washed up? Nope. The following season after leaving Schottenheimer, Favre returned to dominance, throwing for 4,202 yards, 33 td, 7 interceptions and a qb rating of 107.2. Very interesting.

Judging by that track record, there wasn’t a coach in the league I would have less trusted the fortunes of #5 overall pick Mark Sanchez with (that was just part of the Jets whole how NOT to develop a QB strategy), but that’s just what the Jets did. Sanchez has largely struggled through his first three seasons under Schotty, despite flashes of great play and undeniable talent. Entering this season, Sanchez finally got a chance to work with a competent offensive NFL coach: Tony Sparano. With the Dallas Cowboys in 2006, head coach Bill Parcells entrusted Sparano with “raising” young qb Tony Romo. In his first season as the starter, Romo came out of nowhere to make the Pro Bowl and take the first step toward being a top quarterback. With Sparano calling the plays, the Cowboys made the playoffs and had a top 5 offense, despite working in a young, inexperienced quarterback. Sparano clearly has a track record when it comes to helping quarterbacks play to the best of their ability.

In week 1, we saw bits and pieces of what Sparano brings to the table. The offense was organized, they exploited mismatches, and players were put in position to best use their talents. A novel concept, right? Unlike in previous seasons, the offense got off to a fast start and clearly showed they had a good game plan that they trusted. Sanchez played with confidence, looked in command of the offense, and most importantly, was put in a position to succeed, instead of being forced to repeatedly try to jam his square peg into a circle hole. Will the offense always click like it did in week 1? No, of course not. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that Mark Sanchez was due for a major increase in production this season and those of us who believed in him all along may have the last laugh. So to answer all the “experts” and pundits, no, week 1 was not a fluke, and if you were paying attention you’d see it was about to happen. So let’s buckle up and enjoy the ride this year. And we can thank Brian Schottenheimer later,  but not because he did a good job or anything. Because he left.

New York Jets Week 2 – Film Room Thoughts On Steelers

After breaking down week 1 film, thoughts on the Jets/Steelers match-up

A couple of quick thoughts after watching Steelers/Broncos on the All-22 tape and re-watching Jets/Bills

– The Blitz Beater – We talked earlier in the week about how Emmanuel Sanders and Heath Miller could hurt the Jets in this match-up. Their ability to hurt them goes beyond potential coverage issues with Kyle Wilson, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell. Ben Roethlisberger loves to use both players and particularly Miller as blitz beaters whenever opposing defenses aggressively come after him. Here is a first quarter 13 yard completion to Sanders. See how Roethlisberger and Sanders recognize the blitz pre-snap and he quickly delivers the ball down the seam to an open Sanders in the slot at the bottom of the screen –

Later in the game the Steelers convert a similar play for a 15 yard gain to Miller. After recognizing the blitz, Miller releases and turns to the outside, wide open, Roethlisberger quickly gets the ball out so Miller has space to run and pick up a big chunk of yardage.

Rex Ryan must do a good job of disguising his blitzes and the Jets linebackers and safeties need to quickly cover ground when left exposed in man coverage.

– Keenan Lewis – Keenan Lewis is the Steelers starting cornerback opposite Ike Taylor. The Jets would be wise to attack him early and often, particularly if he gets matched up with Santonio Holmes. Last week Lewis frequently found himself on Eric Decker, who plays the same position that Holmes plays in the Jets offense. Peyton Manning took advantage of the exceptionally large cushion Lewis was playing with in the two plays below, which went for 13 yards and 17 yards respectively. In the first play Decker and Lewis are at the bottom of the screen and on the second play, they are at the top –

– Back To The Well – We detailed here how the Jets took advantage of the wide receiver screen last week. They would be wise to keep it in the game plan after how Pittsburgh defended this 71 yard touchdown by Demaryius Thomas. Again, Peyton Manning took advantage of an excessive cushion and safety Ryan Mundy looks clueless on this play. It should be noted however that Ryan Clark will be back in the lineup instead of Mundy and it is doubtful the Steelers corners will consistently play with such a deep cushion against Mark Sanchez.

 

New York Jets Fact Or False: Week 2 Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False previews the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

The New York Jets are coming off what is arguably their most impressive victory since defeating New England in the 2010 playoffs. The week 1 effort against Buffalo revealed a team that was clicking on all cylinders, recording touchdowns through all three phases of the game in route to a record setting opening day points total. That being said, the Jets face a daunting task heading into week 2 where they will travel to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who are fresh off of an opening day loss to Peyton Manning and the newly revamped Denver Broncos. Will the Jets offense be able to duplicate the success it had it week 1? And will the defense be able to shut down Ben Roethlisberger and his surplus of offensive weapons? This week’s New York Jets Fact Or False examines these issues, and more.

Mark Sanchez and the Offensive Line will be on their toes all game. Fact. While the Offensive Line did an excellent job last week in preventing Quarterback Mark Sanchez from getting sacked against a superbly talented Buffalo pass rush, Pittsburgh will be an entirely different animal this week. Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau is one of the most experienced and creative defensive minds in all of football who is notorious for developing creative and aggressive blitz packages to make preparation an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses.

Last week against Denver, when lined up in a normal defensive formation –any formation other than goal line, special teams, two point conversions- Pittsburgh blitzed 48% of the time (24/50 total plays). Of those blitzes, 13 came from the interior, while 11 were sent off the edge, all on a variety of downs. What this means is that LeBeau and the defensive staff are very good at not revealing any tendencies. It is extremely difficult to predict when and where the blitz will be coming from, therefore the pass protection for New York must be alert and ready to go on every offensive snap. In a game that both teams will be very defensively active, one lapse in pass protection could end up being the play that determines the game.

Sanchez will go another game without being sacked. False. Although the fact that Sanchez was not sacked once in the season opener is an extremely encouraging sign for the Jets offensive line, it is extremely rare to go duplicate that success in consecutive games, particularly against a blitz happy team like Pittsburgh. LeBeau and his staff will certainly get far more creative with their blitz packages than Dave Wannstedt was last week.

One of the reasons Sanchez was so successful against Buffalo was because of how comfortable he was in the pocket. You can be certain that LeBeau took notice of this and will do everything he can to keep him from regaining a similar level of comfort. Expect him to mix it up with blitz packages all game, and to really test Jets Right Tackle Austin Howard who will be making only his second career start. Sanchez will need to be elusive and remain poised on every offensive possession.

The Jets will look to get their Wide Receivers the ball in space. Fact. Last week, Peyton Manning did an excellent job of getting the ball to his receivers in space to allow them to make plays after the catch. The most notable example was the 71-yard touchdown from Demaryius Thomas on a simple, short out route, in which Thomas made multiple players on the Steelers defense miss after the catch on his way to the end zone. Expect the Jets to try and replicate plays like this. Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, and Jeremy Kerley all have excellent run after the catch ability, so expect Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano to try and find holes in Pittsburgh’s defense that will allow his receivers to make some plays in space. As we have seen in the past, and particularly last week with Hill and Kerley, anyone of these players has the ability to break off a big gain on any particular play. It will be very interesting, again, to see what kind of game plan Sparano draws up.

Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace are the extent of the Jets defensive worries. False. While Brown and Wallace are certainly two of the most dangerous offensive weapons, not only in Pittsburgh, but in the entire NFL, Roethlisberger and Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley like to share the wealth. Last week, Roethlisberger targeted Brown and Wallace a combined 14 times, while targeting Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders and Tight End Heath Miller a combined 15 times. Roethlisberger also completed passes to 8 different targets throughout the course of the game. While defending Brown and Wallace will be imperative to this game, the Jets cannot afford to ignore the rest of Pittsburgh’s offensive weapons. Sanders in particular could cause serious problems for New York if he isn’t defended properly. He is an excellent slot receiver with great speed and elusiveness, and does an excellent job of running routes and finding holes in coverage. The Jets will need to click on all cylinders in coverage this week.

Ben Roethlisberger will try to get the ball to Heath Miller as much as possible. Fact. Roethlisberger has an undying faith in his Tight End, Heath Miller, and it showed last week in Denver, particularly on “and goal” situations. Roethlisberger repeatedly looked to Miller inside the ten yard line, often attempting to force the ball to him. On one particular play early in the game, Roethlisberger had Wide Receiver Antonio Brown open in the end zone on a post route, but never looked his way as he was locked in on Miler the entire way, leading to a bad decision, and incomplete pass. Roethlisberger eventually found Miller later in the game for a 4-yard touchdown.

It will be imperative that the Jets safeties and linebackers play well in coverage this week. With how much Roethlisberger will look to get the ball to the trustworthy Tight End, especially close to the endzone, the slightest slip up in coverage on Miller will undoubtedly hurt this defense.

The Jets will register multiple sacks on Ben Roethlisberger. Fact. Although the Jets did not register a sack in week 1, expect them to exploit some weaknesses in Pittsburgh’s offensive line. The Right Tackle position for the Steelers was attacked mightily by Denver last week, as Marcus Gilbert fills in for the injured rookie Mike Adams. Denver went after Gilbert and it showed in a very big way as they registered 5 sacks and 9 Quarterback Hits as a team, including 2 sacks from Von Miller who put on a clinic against Gilbert. Like LeBeau, Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine will get very creative with their blitz packages, and will look to exploit the weakness at Right Tackle. Expect to see multiple looks consisting of Quinton Coples, Muhammed Wilkerson, and Aaron Maybin lined up over Gilbert, with countless blitzes mixed in. For anyone who is a major proponent of defensive creativity, this game should be extremely fun to watch from both sides.

TOJ THURSDAY NIGHT STAFF PICKS

  • Joe Caporoso – Green Bay (-5)
  • Chris Gross – Chicago (+5)
  • Mike Donnelly – Chicago (+5)
  • TJ Rosenthal – Chicago (+5)
  • Rob Celletti – Green Bay (-5)
  • Chris Celletti – Green Bay (-5)

Turn On The Jets Week 2 Fantasy Football Preview

Mike Donnelly with his week 2 Fantasy Football preview

Week 1 of fantasy football is in the books, and chances are you either won big and think your team is headed for the championship, or you took a beating and already have your sights set on the 2013 season (also known as Drew From Jersey Syndrom). Whichever side of the fence you may be on heading into week 2, my advice is to not get carried away. Don’t let one week of action affect your judgment too much when it comes to your players. In fact, the next week or two are the perfect time to take advantage of that sap owner in your league who does just that.

For example, if you have someone like Alfred Morris on your team, now would be the perfect time to talk him up to your competition and then pawn him off on a running back-needy team (we’ll get to him later). It’s just the way it works: If a guy performed well, you think you have a superstar on your hands. If you’re first round pick played poorly, then you hate him and already want to send him into exile (and I do hate you very, very much, Chris Johnson). So who are the guys you should be targeting after a slow start? Who are the guys you should be selling high on? Glad you asked…

(I also suggest checking out my Pre-Season Fantasy Draft Column, which still has some relevant information about which players are due for declines, and which you may want to target. Just skip past that part where I recommend not drafting Adrian Peterson.)

Buy Low Before It’s Too Late

QB: Matt Ryan – I tried to tell you Ryan was poised to join the big boys this year as the Falcons move to an up-temp passing attack, so I hope some of you listened. He has three legit targets in Jones, White, and Gonzo, and an emerging pass-catching back in Jacquizz Rodgers. He had a huge week 1, so this could be tough, but if you treat him as a top 5 QB while the guy who has him doesn’t, you can still nab your stud QB.

QB: Mark Sanchez – Am I a homer? Perhaps. He’s not going to dominate all year like he did in week 1, but after a few rough games coming up (Pitt, SF, Houston), the schedule is littered with defenses he can absolutely exploit. I’m not saying pick him up as your starter, but if you don’t have an elite QB, playing the weekly matchups with Sanchez and one or two others is the way to go.

RB: Jacquizz Rodgers – I love Jacquizz. Michael Turner is being phased out of the Falcons offense, and Rodgers is going to see more and more time. If you’re in a PPR league, don’t wait any longer — Go get Jacquizz.

RB: Shonn Greene – Like Sanchez, Greene has some tough games coming up, but now many other backs are there that are pretty much guaranteed 20 touches per game? If he’s owned by someone who doesn’t believe in the Jets offense, you can still nab him and have your RB2 in the bag.

RB: Mikel Leshoure – Kevin Smith is 100% likely to get injured in the coming weeks. Not 50% or 75% or 99.9%. It’s 100%. When that happens, the Lions are going to lean totally on their 2nd round pick from a year ago to carry the load. Hell, even if Smith is healthy, Leshoure will get the goalline carries, and with that passing attack, will have plenty of running lanes.

RB: Trent Richardson – After watching T-Rich stumble his way to 2.1 yards per carry in the opener, while Brandon Weeden showed himself to be the worst quarterback to start a season since… well… ever, the Richardson owner in your league may already be ready to cut the cord. He (or she) won’t trade him to you for peanuts, but if you value him as a top 20 RB while they’re already discouraged, a deal can be arranged.

RB: Knowshon Moreno – Just a hunch, but I don’t see Willis McGahee lasting through the season. Take a flyer on Knowshon.

WR: Julio Jones – I was scoffed at by many after ranking Jones as my #2 WR heading into the season, but who’s laughing now?! (Ok, done patting myself on the back). This won’t be easy after Julio’s 2 TD performance on opening day, but if the Julio owner in your league only values him as a top 5 or 10 WR unlikely to keep this up, you can make your move. Think of him more like you would Calvin Johnson (yes, Julio can be that good this year) and organize your trade as such. Trust me.

WR: Antonio Brown – The results may not have totally been there in week 1, but we saw all the signs for a breakout season going forward. Big Ben targeted Brown a ton, including several attempts in the end zone. He’s clearly their #1 WR in Pittsburgh, and he’s PPR gold.

WR: Braylon Edwards – More of a deep sleeper option, but Braylon is moving up the Seattle depth chart and is going to get plenty of looks. Could be a very solid WR3 for you.

TE: Kyle Rudolph – He’s most likely on a team in your league, but if he’s a free agent, go and get him. If someone has him, value him as a top 10-12 TE and make your offer. There’s a good chance his owner in your league doesn’t think of him so highly.

Sell Now Before You Have Enron On Your hands

QB: Robert Griffin III – (Ducks) Ok, no need to throw things. I know full well what RG3 did this week, but all I’m saying is it’s not going to be that easy every week. There’s a good chance you or I could get out there and throw for 200 and 2 TD’s against the Saints. If RG3 is your backup and you can pawn him off on someone who saw his week 1 performance and considers him a top 8 or 10 QB, make the move. That’s all. (Please note, this doesn’t apply for keeper or dynasty leagues. If you are in one of those and consider trading him, please get your head examined before rejoining society. Thanks)

QB: Cam Newton – Again, I’m not saying Cam is bad or going to be a bust. He’s going to be quite good. But if you can send him away for top 5 QB value, you should look into it. I think he’s going to end the season as a fringe QB1, in the 9-11 overall range. The Panthers are going to be more competitive this year, so that will eliminate lots of the garbage time stats. Plus, they’re trying to limit his rushing attempts.

RB: Marshawn Lynch – Another guy I was very down on heading into the season, and he didn’t do much to change my opinion in week 1. His value is down, but I’d still suggest trying to move him. You won’t get his pre-draft value in return, but that’s ok because in a few weeks you won’t be getting top 20 RB value for him.

RB: Alfred Morris – If you have Alfred Morris, congratulations on picking the right Redskins RB for week 1. Unfortunately, there is no telling what week Mike “the Fantasy Football Hater” Shanahan will sour on Morris and just decide on a whim to use someone else. Trust me, you want no part of the Redskins backfield. Trade Morris now, or pray he has a solid week 2 and do it then. His value will never be higher.

RB: Kevin Smith – See Mikel Leshoure section.

RB: Michael Turner – See Jacquizz Rodgers section.

WR: Roddy White – If you can trick someone into thinking White is still an elite WR option, then do it now. Like, right now. By the end of the season, White will be more of a WR2 than the top notch player you drafted him to be. It’s Julio’s show now in Hotlanta.

WR: Pierre Garcon – Like with RG3, Garcon won’t get to torch the Saints Swiss cheese defense every week. He’s a major injury risk (already hurt his foot), he’s inconsistent, and his value will never be higher. Send some feelers out asap for a trade.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald – Poor Larry Fitzgerald. John Skelton is/was absolutely awful, but at least he knew to just throw the ball up for Larry and he’ll catch a few. Now Skelton is out, and Kevin Kolb, who never learned the “throw to Larry” lesson takes over. There are few more depressing players to own in fantasy than Larry Fitzgerald. You watch all the boring Cardinals games screaming “THROW IT TO LARRY!!”, and then when they finally do its 17 feet over his head. Sigh.

WEEK 2 START AND SITS ONE-LINERS

(Here’s my Week 1 column, so you can see whether or not you want to take my advice. Sure I sold on Flacco and Peterson, but RG3 and Ridley? Boom!)

Play ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em

QB Andrew Luck vs. Minn – Vikings Pass D is terrible while Luck gets Collie and T.Y. Hilton back.

QB Jay Cutler vs. GB – The aforementioned Green Bay defense makes Cutler a top-8 option this week

RB Stevan Ridley vs. Arz – Week 1 was no fluke; Ridley is the real deal.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Den – Look for Rodgers to play a role in this shootout.

WR James Jones vs. Chi – Greg Jennings is likely out, which means plenty of targets for Jones

WR Braylon Edwards vs. Dallas – Look for Dallas to clog up the run and give Braylon plenty of 1-on-1 opportunities.

WR Percy Harvin @ Ind – Percy is gonna go off in Indy; he’s a top 12 option.

TE Kyle Rudolph @ Ind – Harvin’s teammate is also going to go off in Indy, taking apart the middle of that Colts defense.

DEF NY Giants – Sure they didn’t look good in week 1, but they’re going to put a hurting on Josh Freeman and the Bucs.

Play ‘Em… if You Like Losing

QB Tony Romo @ Sea – Seattle is an awfully tough place to play. Wouldn’t recommend benching him, but don’t expect big results.

QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. NYJ – The Jets have perhaps the best pass defense in the NFL, and Ben is going to take an awful lot of hits behind that o-line.

RB Michael Turner vs. Den – The Falcons-Broncos game is likely to be a fast-paced shootout, and Michael Turner doesn’t factor into a game like that.

RB Marshawn Lynch vs. Dallas – Dallas will stack the line against Lynch, so he’s likely to struggle. Can you tell I’m down on Lynch this year??

WR Wes Welker vs Arz – Welker sure seems like he’s being phased out of the offense, and with a potential blowout on the horizon here, don’t expect him to play a major role.

WR Lance Moore @ Car – Quite simply, Lance Moore stinks when he plays outdoors.

TE Jacob Tamme @ Atl – A preseason favorite of many, I don’t think he’s going to put up the big numbers many expected.

DEF Baltimore Ravens – Just a hunch, but I could see the Eagles team speed giving Ray Lewis and the Ravens a ton of trouble.

Turn On The Jets Week 2 Roundtable – Jets/Steelers Match-Up

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to when Jets take on the Steelers

The Turn On The Jets staff breaks down what match-up they are most looking forward to this Sunday when the New York Jets travel to Pittsburgh. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter

Joe Caporoso – The match-up that will be the most fun to watch will be Darrelle Revis going against Antonio Brown. However, the one that will determine the game will be the Jets safeties on Heath Miller and Kyle Wilson on Emmanuel Sanders. The Jets will be fine on the outside and should be able to generate a pass rush against Pittsburgh. However, they cannot allow themselves to be torched down the middle of the field. Sanders has tremendous speed and Miller is one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL, both of them have potential to have monster days against a Jets nickel and two safeties who have questionable coverage at times.

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to seeing this week in Pittsburgh is how the Jets defensive front performs against the atrocious Steelers offensive line. After watching last week’s game against Denver, I had to check to see if the Steelers had secretly traded for Wayne Hunter and then somehow cloned him to play three different positions. They were that bad. We can expect to see the return of Sione Po’uha this week which will sure up the run defense, and then I’d like to see Quinton Coples, Mo Wilkerson, and Aaron Maybin tee off on Big Ben in 3rd and long situations. This is where the Jets can — and should — win the game.

TJ Rosenthal – The biggest matchup I can’t wait to see in all honesty is Heinz field and the reputation of the Steelers as a physically intimidating franchise against the new Jets. A team that may be able to protect a QB who may finally be figuring things out. With a defense that should Darrelle Revis be ok to play, can again act like a top five unit with ball hawking, game changing talents in the secondary. We were at that AFC championship loss two years back and can attest to what a home field advantage that game was for the Steelers. Let’s see the Jets stand tall in the face of that atmosphere.

Let’s watch Gang Green prove that last week was not just some motivated performance to prove the doubters wrong, coming against an overrated mediocre Bills team. That instead it was an improved  foundation for a franchise that so many wanted to prematurely bury only one week ago. Take this city and this team on. Smash ’em in the mouth. Knock ’em in the teeth. Don’t let em scare you. Play with no fear in Blitzburgh.

Chris Celletti – If there was one thing the Jets’ defense didn’t do in their Week 1 destruction of the Bills, it was sack the quarterback. Now, the Bills generally run short and quick passing plays, getting the ball out of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hand as soon as possible, so he’s not exactly the easiest quarterback to get to. But overall, this Jets defense still needs to prove that it can generate a good enough pass rush without having to send too many defensive backs or linebackers, and they should have a good opportunity to do so on Sunday against the Steelers, a team that has seemingly had offensive line problems for the past five years. I expect the Jets’ run defense to be solid as always and be able to contain the Steelers’ running back committee. But the Steelers have three very good wide receivers and a great tight end, and with Darrelle Revis questionable to play it would behoove the Jets to make life as miserable as possible for Ben Roethlisberger. Can Quinton Coples get his first career sack on Sunday? Will Muhammad Wilkerson show that he’s made the leap as a pass rusher? Them, and the rest of the Jets’ defensive front, should have a very good chance to make a mark.

Chris Gross – Jets Secondary vs. Pittsburgh Receiving Corps – While it remains to be seen whether or not Darrelle Revis will be cleared to play on Sunday, this will still be the most intriguing match up of the day. As a team last week, the Steelers hauled in 22 passes from Ben Roethlisberger who found 8 different receivers on the day. Conversely, the Jets defensive secondary was a nightmare for Buffalo Bills’ Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, intercepting the Harvard man three times within the first 40 minutes of play.

If Revis plays, it will be very interesting to see how Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine decide to split his reps between Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, two very productive receivers with big play ability. If Revis cannot go, it will be a very big challenge for both Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson to carry the workload. The Safety play will be vital as well, as Heath Miller is a favorite of Roethlisberger, who connected with his tight end 4 times for 50 yards and a touchdown last week in Denver. This will be one of many big challenges for Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry on the year, and is a great opportunity for them to prove that they have the ability to shut down opposing tight ends, something that has hurt the Jets defense tremendously as of late

Rob Celletti – Jets safeties and linebackers vs. Steelers RBs/TEs/slot receiversOne thing that’s certain about the Jets’ defense is the ability of its outside defenders. Sure, Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis might get beat once or twice for touchdowns this year, but that part of the field is about as well-covered as it can be in the pass-happy 2012 NFL. Where the Jets have struggled mightily for the last three seasons has been in the middle of the field, due to a variety of personnel shortcomings. Even though the week one whitewash of Buffalo is still wonderfully fresh in everyone’s mind, don’t forget that the Jets gave up huge chunks of yardage to C.J. Spiller once he relieved the injured Fred Jackson, and they were burned by Scott Chandler as well for a touchdown. The Steelers have the always-productive Heath Miller at tight end and won’t hesitate to run the ball despite the injury to Rashard Mendenhall.  Speed at linebacker and coverage ability at safety have been this team’s achilles heel since 2010, and how the Jets defend the middle of the field on Sunday will go a long way towards a second Jets W, as well as proving that these defensive issues have been addressed for the long haul.

 

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Around The NFL Week 1

Mike Donnelly with a special edition of the Stock Watch, focusing around the NFL after week 1

In case you missed my Jets Week 1 Stock Watch, you can read that here. Today I’m taking a look around the NFL and in familiar fashion will be buying and selling the comings and goings of a chaotic week 1. But since this column and site in general have a distinct Jets flavor to them, let’s start with the St. Louis Rams and their new genius offensive coordinator…

The Schotty Watch – I tweeted about this the other day, but it was wild how many people rushed to their keyboards to make some lame version of the same joke as the Jets struggled this preseason. You know, the “Ohh, Schotty must be loving watching the Jets not score down in St. Louis lol”, or “Yeah but Schotty was the problem, right?” garbage. So clever. What was even wilder is how those very people who made those knee-slapping quips hardly had anything to say when the Jets dropped 48 points on the Bills and looked sharper, more organized, and better prepared since, well, since before Schotty was the Jets offensive coordinator (Check out this breakdown of Sparano’s game plan). What’s even more curious is I haven’t seen anybody make mention of the fact that while the Jets were marching up and down the field on Sunday, the Rams offense sputtered and is currently the 31st ranked offense in the NFL, racking up a paltry 251 yards of total offense. I guess Schotty isn’t the one laughing so much anymore, huh? I am.

BUY: The Cutler to Marshall Connection – The Bears were my pre-season darling team to go from out of the playoffs to being a legit contender this year (believe it or not, I didn’t pick the Bills!). I know it was a popular pick, but the Bears could really make some noise this year. Jay Cutler looked like a new man out on the field Sunday as he got to throw pass after pass after pass to his favorite target from his Denver days in Brandon Marshall. Does this make me absolutely giddy as a Marshall fantasy owner? Yes, yes it does.

BUY: Adrian Peterson – Ohhh, that’s right. It’s Adrian Peterson and we shouldn’t have doubted him. Remind me not to make that mistake ever again.

BUY: Robert Griffin III and the Redskins – I’m not ready to anoint RG3 as a Hall of Famer already like some others, but that was quite an impressive debut. I fully expected Mike Shanahan to ruin this poor guy, but he looked spectacular. Unfortunately he won’t get to play the Saints laughable defense every week, but still.

BUY: Julio Jones – I couldn’t have been higher on Julio heading into this season, both in real life and fantasy football. I know I wasn’t alone in that camp, but last year when he was healthy, he was Matt Ryan’s favorite target, not Roddy White. Now that he’s in year 2, the sky is the limit.

BUY: Patriots Run Game – Just when it seemed like teams like the Jets may have started putting together the pieces to deal with the Patriots passing game, Belichick goes and changes his whole offense and incorporates a newfound running attack that absolutely tore up the Titans this week. Stevan Ridley to me is just a more talented and explosive version of Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and the Pats seem intent on riding him.

BUY: The 49ers – Wow, what a performance in Lambeau this week. They tore that Packers team apart in all phases of the game and quite frankly, exposed them in the process. Enough can’t be said about what a great coach Jim Harbaugh is, even if he appears to be a Grade-A lunatic.

SELL: The Packers and Saints defenses – All those years of people saying “Oh, well of course those defenses give up yards, their offenses are always so far ahead” look pretty silly right about now. It turns out their own offenses had nothing to do with it. Their defenses are just completely and utterly useless. Would it kill either of these teams to actually maybe cover someone? At one point in the Packers game, Aaron Rodgers threw an incomplete pass on 3rd down and had a look on his face like he knew they were about to be down by even more the next time he took the field. Hard to play with that kind of pressure.

SELL: Russell Wilson – I was on record as saying I didn’t understand all the Russell Wilson hype. I don’t know how it got started, I don’t know why it got started, but I sure hope it’s nearing the end of it’s run. Sure, he looked decent in the preseason against defenses that weren’t game-planning or preparing in any way, but when the lights turned on and the games counted, Wilson looked exactly like what he is: an undersized third round rookie quarterback on a bad team.

SELL: The Lions – My pick for team that stumbles form the playoffs to a 6-10 season, Detroit and their wackjob coach Jim Schwartz looked awful across the board on Sunday, as they almost lost to the Rams. The RAMS!

SELL: Drew Brees – I think the “Maybe that offense was more about Sean Payton than Drew Brees after all” whispers are going to start picking up soon. Drew Brees is the ultimate stat-padder late in games, so it may take a few weeks before people start to really realize there are problems with the Saints offense, but don’t be surprised when it happens.