Grading Out The Jets Thursday Night Win

Braylon 

 First a few updates:

1. The big news of the day: Mark Sanchez has a sprained PCL and should be able to play against Tampa Bay. I wouldn’t bet on him practicing until the end of the next week. Hopefully, with the proper treatment and a brace he will be close to 100 percent on December 13th in Tampa.

2. Rex Ryan continued to express his frustration with Sanchez’s decision not to slide. He said it best last night, “The kid has to grow up.” It is a little ridiculous how the Jets took the time to bring Joe Girardi in this week and Sanchez still refused to slide. I know he was being competitive and trying to get a first down but he is going to keep getting hurt if he doesn’t listen to the coaching staff.

3. The stats and game highlights section have been updated. Congratulations to Thomas Jones for another 1,000 yard season.

4. Go Oakland, Kansas City, Green Bay, Houston, and New England this weekend. It is nice to still be playing meaningful games in December.

5. I am going to Italy from December 25th to January 1st, which of course means I will be out of the country during the Jets/Colts game. I am open to all suggestions about the best way to go about viewing the game. I am thinking about buying NFL Rewind, bringing my laptop and then locking myself in the hotel room on Monday night (you have to wait 24 hours until after the game is over to watch it). It is either that or rely on somebody to tape the game and then watch it when I get back, although it would be weird to watch a game on Saturday and then gear up for Jets/Bengals right away the next day. I leaning towards the laptop so I can drop an article or two in.

Grading Out The Jets Thursday Night Win

Quarterbacks: (C) Sanchez was playing well before he left with an injury. The numbers show 7/15 for 104 yards with a touchdown but Braylon Edwards dropped a 85 yard touchdown pass on him, along with another slant over the middle. David Clowney also should have pulled in a touchdown catch from him. Sanchez did miss a wide open Jerricho Cotchery in the end-zone but overall he didn’t turn the ball over, showed good mobility and more poise in the pocket. Obviously, it is frustrating to see him get hurt but I think he will back for the Tampa game. Kellen Clemens had a nice throw on 3rd down to convert a big first down but beyond that was pretty awful. He fumbled twice and showed absolutely no pocket presence. The Jets might run the ball 55 times if Clemens has to start next week.

Running Backs: (A) Thomas Jones racked up another 100 yard effort and is now over 1,000 for the season. He is currently on pace to have a career high in yards rushing for a season. There is nothing else to say except that Jones has been great this year. Shonn Greene had his best game of the season outside of Oakland, finishing with 59 yards on 11 carries.

Wide Receivers: (C) Braylon Edwards had a brutal drop but responded with an acrobatic grab on the sideline and a touchdown reception, where he showed some toughness after the catch. Jerricho Cotchery had a solid night, highlighted by a 45 yard reception. David Clowney should have hauled in that touchdown.

Tight Ends: (C) Quiet night for Dustin Keller, who only had one catch. However, him and Ben Hartsock did a good job of blocking.

Offensive Line: (B) The pass protection was a little shaky at times but overall the Jets dominated on the ground for the second time this season against Buffalo.

Defensive Line: (A) How about the season Shaun Ellis is putting together? Marques Douglas is also having a very good year and Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha have stepped up in the absence of Kris Jenkins.

Linebackers: (A) Another sack and forced fumble for David Harris. Bart Scott had one of his better games of the season. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas were also active. Did anybody see Vernon Gholston out there, anybody?

Secondary: (A) This grade is only so high because of the Jets corners. What else can you say about Darrelle Revis? Lito Sheppard bounced back from giving up an early big play to Lee Evans to have his second strong game in a row. Kerry Rhodes, Jim Leonhard, and Eric Smith were all quiet.

Special Teams: (A) Jay Feely is quietly having a pro-bowl caliber season. Brad Smith and Jerricho Cotchery were okay on returns.

Coaching: (A) Good offensive game plan by Brian Schottenheimer who caught Buffalo off guard with some misdirections and reverses and another strong defensive effort led by Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine.

Highlights From the Jets Win

Grading Out The Jets/Patriots Game

Jets Patriots Football

First a few updates:

1. Leigh Bodden is not a New York Jets receiver…just needed to update Mark Sanchez on that in case he happens to stumble across this website…anything I can do to help.

2. With the Jets playing out the string (something I will write about more throughout the week) I am going to move towards a little extra general NFL writing, with the discussions of the NFC/AFC playoff races, weekly picks on important games, etc. I will still have my normal amounts of coverage on the Jets because there is plenty of negative stuff to be written, but there is no reason to ignore the 16-20 teams still battling for position in January.

3. Rex Ryan’s press conference today: Donald Strickland got a concussion and will be out for awhile. Dwight Lowery has a high ankle sprain and will be out for a few weeks. Ryan said he will be more hands on in terms of monitoring Mark Sanchez and drilling into his head the importance of protecting the football. He also admitted he needs to be more hands on in general with the rest of team outside of the defense.

4. The stats and game highlights were updated…proceed with caution.

Grading Out The Jets/Patriots Game

Quarterbacks: (F) Just absolutely awful is the only to way to describe how Mark Sanchez played. The first two interceptions were bad enough but then somehow the Jets battled back to make  it 24-14 and have the ball in Patriots territory and what does Sanchez do on the first play of the drive, completely overthrow Jerricho Cotchery (or underthrow Braylon Edwards) I couldn’t even tell and is intercepted…then the Jets defense stops New England again and Sanchez scrambles around in the end-zone and when there is clearly no play to be made, instead of throwing it away he throws it right to Brandon Merriweather…awful. The guy has no respect for the football. The last interception he threw to Merriweather was comically bad, little league stuff. The worst part is that he just doesn’t seem to get it…he isn’t learning from his mistakes and he has this weird smug attitude after the game, which doesn’t seem to recognize how bad he is actually playing.

Sanchez is playing like he knows the Jets won’t pull him because they have nobody to turn to. He is stubbornly refusing to protect the football and is showing no fundamental idea of how to play quarterback at the NFL level. If he doesn’t show any improvement over the last 6 weeks, the Jets may be staring at the reality that they whiffed on two straight first round picks. Note, how I said that if he doesn’t show any improvement in the 6 last weeks…they may have to face that reality. The kid obviously has some talent but let’s see him learn and grow over the 6 last games or it could be ugly here for awhile.

Running Backs: (B) Thomas Jones is one of the few Jets who showed up to work on Sunday and put together another solid game. He is earning a new contract. Shonn Greene has been a ghost since his breakout game against Oakland.

Wide Receivers: (C-) Jerricho Cotchery played a very good game, as he usually does against the Patriots. Braylon Edwards had a big third down drop early in the game and also probably should have pulled in another deep ball. David Clowney had a drop early in the game also.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller made a few tough catches over the middle is starting to become consistently involved in the offense. There were no penalties on Ben Hartsock which is always a positive for him.

Offensive Line: (B) They put together a good all around effort. Thomas Jones ran for 100 yards and Sanchez was only sacked a couple of times.

Defensive Line: (C) Great game by Shaun Ellis. Marques Douglas forced a fumble and Mike DeVito also was active. However, Laurence Maroney still got a decent amount of yardage.

Linebackers: (C) Quiet games from Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas. David Harris did his job for the most part. I am not sure why the Jets had him in coverage in Wes Welker on some plays…yikes. Bart Scott hit Brady a couple of times but didn’t make any big plays.

APTOPIX Jets Patriots FootballSecondary: (D) Darrelle Revis is a great football player. Jim Leonhard is a tough, above average safety beyond that the Jets secondary is straight garbage. Kerry Rhodes should be benched. I would be thrilled if we could trade him to Cleveland (probably the only team who would take him) for a 3rd or 4th round pick. Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland are always banged up. Drew Coleman was helpless in the slot against Welker. Dwight Lowery is also now hurt and is an average corner even when healthy.

Special Teams: (A) Nice blocked punt by Eric Smith. David Clowney and Dwight Lowery showed something on kick returns.

Coaching: (D) They were completely out-coached by New England, who clearly adjusted to the Jets blitzing scheme. There was also no adjustment to slow down Wes Welker.

The Mark Sanchez Interception Show

Jets vs. Patriots Final Notes & Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Jim Leonhard did practice today and just may somehow find a way to play this Sunday against New England.

2. TOJ TV has been knocked out by the swine flu. My roommate/producer is out of commission with the sickness so we had to scrap the filming plans for this week.

3. Check back tomorrow for my question exchange with Pats blogger Eric Cunningham of http://patschowder.com

Jets vs. Patriots Final Notes & Prediction:

The national media already has this game sized up: the Pats are angry, the Jets are melting down, the Pats hate the Jets so that equals New England 48 Jets 10. Darrelle Revis has been running his mouth all week about shutting down Randy Moss, who is coming off a monster game against the Colts. Moss should go for about 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Let me preface my view on the game by saying that I am picking the Patriots to win 23-17. I think the Jets will find a uniquely painful way to lose this one, but this will be a close game into the fourth quarter. Randy Moss will do what he normally does against the Jets…nothing. Wes Welker will be the guy who hurts them by picking on Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery. Tom Brady will play much better than he did in week two and New England will do a decent enough job of running the football to keep the Jets honest.

On offense, Mark Sanchez will play okay but I find it hard to believe he won’t have a turnover or two. Bill Belichick is designing a scheme that will force Sanchez to beat him and with that much on his shoulders I can see a INT or two coming. The Jets will make some plays in the passing game but will struggle to run the football against a defense geared to stop Thomas Jones.

Like I said, the Jets aren’t going to lay down for anybody but they don’t know how to win close football games…so I am taking the Pats 23-17.

NFL Week 10 Recap/Jets vs. Patriots Part II First Look

Jets vs. Patriots

First a few updates:

1. The Jets fired defensive line coach Kerry Locklin and promoted Jeff Weeks to his previous position. Apparently, there were some behind the scene issues with Rex Ryan and Locklin and this was a move that was a long time coming.

large_rex-ryan5142. The big guy broke down yesterday in a team meeting. It is being reported that Rex Ryan broke into tears during an emotional speech to his team when discussing the loss to Jacksonville and the upcoming games they face. According to Darrelle Revis and Damien Woody, it had a big impact on the locker room. However, as good as it sounds to have a head coach break down and his team rally behind him because they have his back, it doesn’t mean anything if the Jets can’t find a way to win a football game.

3. Jim Leonhard had the surgery on his thumb and is at least expected to miss this week. Eric Smith would step into the starting line-up.

4. The Jets fell to number 21 in the ESPN Power Rankings

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – New England put together a great game for about 55 minutes in Indy on Sunday night but unfortunately for them they couldn’t finish what they started. There is no logical defense for Bill Belichick’s decision not to punt and the genius was finally burned by his appropriately large ego. I do know this, the Patriots are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were in week two so the Jets better get creative in their game planning.

Miami Dolphins – The mighty Dolphins edged out the 1-8 Bucs at home on a last second field goal…and yes of course most of the national media still considers them a legit playoff contender despite the fact they haven’t beat a team with a winning record yet this season. They travel to Carolina on Thursday night where they are expected to be without Ronnie Brown and Joey Porter. I have a vested fantasy football interest (DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith) and vested hate in Miami interest in that game.

Buffalo Bills – Man, Buffalo is an awful team. Man, I can’t believe the Jets lost to them at home. Man, the Jets must be a pretty bad team themselves.

TOJ Top Ten

  1. New Orleans Saints – It wasn’t pretty but they found a way to stay undefeated.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – We all know Peyton is an all time great, but how good is Reggie Wayne?
  3. Minnesota Vikings – Rolling to a NFC North title.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – Favorite team #2 (because of Hard Knocks) is having an unbelievable season.
  5. San Diego Chargers – They have a chance to take over the AFC West lead this weekend by beating the fading Broncos.
  6. New England Patriots – Impressive in defeat, as much as it pains me to say it.
  7. Arizona Cardinals – Rolling to another NFC West title and if they keep running the football they may defend their NFC crown.
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers – Might have to settle for a wild card this year.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Laid an egg in Green Bay.
  10. Denver Broncos – The metldown is in full swing.

Jets vs. Patriots Part II First Look

Patriots Jets FootballThe Opponent: My, how the times have changed since the Jets beat the Patriots in week two. Since that loss, New England is 5-2 and currently has a two game lead over the Jets in the AFC East. The Jets are appropriately double digit underdogs because simply put the Patriots have been a much better team than them in the past 8 weeks. Tom Brady has shaken off the early season rust and is putting together another all-pro season, while Wes Welker has returned to the line-up giving New England the best pair of starting receivers in the league. On defense, the Patriots remain good not great but will have Jerod Mayo back at linebacker, who didn’t play in the first meeting between these two teams. The national consensus on this game is that New England is angry about blowing last week’s game to the Colts, angry about losing to the now sub .500 Jets in week 2, and the Jets are a team reeling meaning the Pats are going to hang a 60 spot on Rex Ryan’s defense and look to run it up. It reminds me of the coverage before these teams met in December of 2007 (which I will detail in tomorrow’s article).

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Tom Brady – 233/352, 378 yards, 19 TD’s, 6 INTs
  • Running Back: Laurence Maroney – 94 carries, 378 yards, 4 TDs
  • Running Back: Kevin Faulk – 37 carries, 188 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Randy Moss – 58 catches, 891 yards, 7 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Wes Welker – 64 catches, 662 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Julian Edelman – 23 catches, 202, 1 TD
  • Tight End: Ben Watson – 20 catches, 307 yards 4 TD’s
  • Tight End: Chris Baker – 10 catch, 91 yards, 1 TD
  • Left Tackle: Matt Light
  • Left Guard: Logan Mankins
  • Center: Dan Koppen
  • Right Guard: Stephen Neal
  • Right Tackle: Nick Kaczur

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Ty Warren – 3o tackles, 1 sack
  • Nose Tackle: Vince Wilfork – 25 tackles
  • Defensive End: Jarvis Green – 18 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Pierre Woods – 24 tackles, 2 FF
  • Inside Linebacker: Jerod Mayo – 39 tackles, 1 sack
  • Inside Linebacker: Gary Guyton – 50 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Adalius Thomas – 22 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain – 28 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Derrick Burgess – 13 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Corner: Leigh Bodden – 34 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Corner: Shawn Springs – 6 tackles, 1 FF
  • Safety: Brandon Merriweather – 44 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Brandon McGowan – 56 tackles
  • Safety: Pat Chung – 25 tackles, 2 sacks

SPECIALS

  • Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
  • Punter: Chris Hanson
  • Kick Return: Laurence Maroney
  • Punt Return: Wes Welker

Injuries: Jim Leonhard probably won’t play for the Jets. New England has been a little banged up on the offensive line and has been without running backs Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris.

Early Story Lines: Jets in the middle of complete meltdown…How much will the Pats win by…New England is frustrated after losing last week and will take it out on their hated rivals…Can Mark Sanchez play in cold weather…Somehow the Jets would only be a game out of first place with a win

Highlights From Pats/Colts Game

Better Late, Than Never: TOJ TV Episode IX: Bye Week AC Trip

Grading Out The Jets/Jaguars Game

Jaguars Jets Football

First a few updates:

1. Jim Leonhard is getting surgery on his thumb and it remains to be seen how long he will be out, when it rains, it pours. I would assume Eric Smith would step into the starting line-up at safety if he misses any time and Darrelle Revis will continue on punt returns.

2. I watched every snap of the Colts/Pats game last night after watching every snap of the Jets/Jags game, and the Jets are miles upon miles behind both of those teams. I know New England was without Wes Welker and Jerrod Mayo the last time they met and Brady was still rusty but after watching both those games I still don’t understand how the Jets won in week two. Also, while on the topic on the game last night what in the world was Bill Belichick thinking when he went for it? I don’t care how many Super Bowl bowls he has won and maybe he did it just because he thought “What the hell, I already have the division wrapped up this year, I am already a hall of famer, why not” but wow that was a stupid coaching decision.

3. Braylon Edwards is about the only guy who made any sense in the Jets locker room after the game with these quotes, “We’re 4-5. We’re not impressive, We’re not scaring anybody. We’re not intimidating anybody coming onto the field, so that 3-0 start is a wash, that’s over with.” Damn right.’

4. Rex Ryan refused to throw Kerry Rhodes under the bus for the back breaking Mercedes Lewis reception in the fourth quarter, the story is that there was a miscommunication between him and Jim Leonhard…whatever, Rhodes has still been below average this year.

5. I updated the stats and game highlights section.

Grading Out The Jets/Jaguars Game

Quarterbacks: (F) I give Sanchez a C- for his on field performance, which included a poorly under thrown interception and another terrible interception on a screen pass. Sanchez played well in spurts and avoided any sacks but I lower his grade to a F because of his post-game press conference. He is a 23 year old quarterback who has 12 interceptions and 9 touchdowns, leading a below .500 team…simply put he sounded foolish and immature after the game carrying on about how awesome everybody played and how proud he was for rebounding from an early mental error. Who brings notes to a post game press conference? It isn’t a good idea to take on the New York media especially when you aren’t winning.

Running Backs: (B-) Thomas Jones was good, not great. Shonn Greene was quiet except for his big time run on a fourth quarter fourth down conversion. The Jets never broke any big plays in the running game, which is where they are clearly missing Leon Washington.

Wide Receivers: (B-) Jerricho Cotchery played a very good all around game and looks to be fully recovered from his hamstring injury. Braylon Edwards is clearly a unique talent and made a real gutsy third down reception on the Jets go ahead touchdown drive. However, he needs to hold on to that two point conversion and he has to tuck the ball away. David Clowney had a clutch third down reception.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller was involved in both the passing and rushing attack, although he did record a drop. It is always a good thing when Ben Hartsock plays and doesn’t record a penalty.

Offensive Line: (B) A pretty good day running the football and they kept Sanchez on his feet for most of the day. D’Brickashaw Ferguson had a killer holding penalty.

Defensive Line: (D) For the first time since he went down, the Jets clearly missed Kris Jenkins. They seemed to be getting a good push on the pass rush but were unable to bring David Garrard down and missed plenty of tackles in the backfield on Maurice Jones-Drew.

Linebackers: (D) Too many missed tackles and not enough big plays. Bryan Thomas is starting to become invisible out there.

Jaguars Jets FootballSecondary: (C) Lito Sheppard missed another key tackle that led to a touchdown. Dwight Lowery struggled more than usual. Darrelle Revis and Jim Leonhard put together very good games. Kerry Rhodes continued his 2009 streak of making zero impact plays.

Special Teams: (B+) A good day at the office for Jay Feely and the Jets coverage units. It appears Brad Smith and Dwight Lowery will be taking over as the kick returners now.

Coaching: (D) The team came out flat and they mismanaged time outs. Sorry for the brevity of the grades today but it is starting to make me physically sick to spend time talking/writing about this team.

And Yet Another Loss

How The Jets Can Make A Playoff Run

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First a few updates:

1. Rich Cimini posted an article today which cited a few sources within the Jets organization that pinned the decision to draft Vernon Gholston on ex head coach Eric Mangini. We had been hearing this for awhile now about Mangini’s pre-draft infatuation with Gholston but regardless Mike Tannenbaum is supposed to make all final decisions on the draft so it isn’t fair for him to completely pass the buck to Mangini. The entire organization deserves blame for the Gholston pick which has not worked out at all. Gholston was drafted to sack the quarterback and in 24 NFL games, he hasn’t recorded a single sack. The reality is that Gholston should be inactive for every game in the second half of the season. Jamaal Westerman is a better reserve pass rusher on defense and Marques Murrell, Ahmad Carroll, and Westerman are all better special teams players than him.

2. Peter King gave the Jets some love in his mid-season All-Pro Team by placing Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and Nick Mangold on it.

3. The Jets reportedly have no interest in recently released Chiefs running back Larry Johnson…well duh. Who would want this washed up head case, especially with Thomas Jones and Shonn Grenne on the roster and Leon Washington coming back next year?

4. CBS has protected the Jets/Pats 4:15 game on November 22nd, preventing NBC from moving it to Sunday Night Football. At least we have our prime-time game against the Bills in Toronto to get excited about.

5. A few highlights from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: Vernon Gholston sat out practice with a hamstring injury, while Lito Sheppard and Brad Smith were both limited but still are expected to play this weekend. Ryan confirmed Sheppard would return to the starting line-up when he comes back. He also complimented Mark Sanchez for practicing without sleeves today and admitted he needs to learn how to deal with the cold weather if the Jets are going to be successful in the second half of the season.

Some Quick NFL Second Half Predictions

In my “2009 NFL Predictions” article here: http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/2009-nfl-predictions/, I predicted the AFC playoff teams would be: New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore (wild card), New York Jets (wild card). In the NFC: Philadelphia, Minnesota, Atlanta, Arizona, New York Giants (wild card), Green Bay Packers (wild card). My Super Bowl prediction was Philly vs. San Diego.

Obviously, it isn’t fair to revise picks half way through the season. However, in the AFC I’d like to trade Baltimore out and take Cincinnati in but beyond that I am feeling alright. I am thinking San Diego will win the AFC West and Denver will fade away in the second half. In the NFC, I look completely idiotic for not picking New Orleans to even make the playoffs so I need to trade the fading Giants and the mediocre Packers out to bring the Saints and Cowboys in.

I won’t bail on my Super Bowl picks because I think both teams will still be in the mix come January but if I had to switch it up now I would say we are looking at a Colts/Steelers AFC Championship Game and a Saints/Vikings NFC Championship game with the Steelers and Saints meeting in the Super Bowl.

How The Jets Can Make A Playoff Run

I have already stated my belief that the Jets are going 6-2 in the second half of the season and will find a way to sneak in the playoffs, but what do they need to do to make that happen? Let’s look at the three separate phases of the game:

large_marky-markOffense: It all starts and ends with the quarterback, if Mark Sanchez can take what he learned from the first half of the season and put together an improved second half the Jets are going to have a very good offense. He needs to continue doing what he did in the past two games, which means protecting the football, hitting big plays down the field when the defense stacks the box, and avoiding sacks by checking the ball down or throwing the ball away. Keep in mind Sanchez lost two games for the Jets in the first half of the season with amazingly bad, turnover-filled performances. I think those type of games are behind him which is going to prevent the Jets from having a let down against inferior teams like Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo. The real question is going to be can Sanchez rise up on the road in games against New England and Indy and at home against Atlanta and Cincinnati to lead the Jets to a couple of upsets.

Beyond the quarterback, Brian Schottenheimer needs to remember what the Jets identity is on offense. They need to keep running the football. I hope Thomas Jones got his rest over the bye week because the guy should be getting 22-25 carries every single week for the rest of the season. Shonn Greene needs to bounce back from a rough Miami game and become a reliable 10-12 carry guy off the bench. I know Schottenheimer is going to be tempted to air it out with a healthy Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards and a rejuvenated Dustin Keller but the Jets aren’t going anywhere throwing 35 passes a game. When teams stack the box and finally begin slowing down the Jets #1 ranked rushing attack, then they need to take advantage of single coverage on either Edwards, Cotchery, or Keller. With how well the Jets run the football, they should be able to hit big plays down the field in the passing game.

126926_featureDefense: Outside of the weak showing on Monday night against Miami, the Jets defense has been exceptional this year. Over the past two weeks, they have finally started creating turnovers and sacking the quarterback and that needs to continue. If the Jets are going to pull some of the necessary upsets to make the playoffs, it will be led by strong defensive performances that will keep games against New England, Indy, Atlanta, and Cincy close and give the Jets a chance to steal the game in the fourth quarter. On the defensive line, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Marques Douglas need to keep their elevated level of play going to fill the void of Kris Jenkins. They will be tested right out of the gate against Maurice Jones-Drew and will also have to deal with DeAngelo Williams, Michael Turner, and Cedric Benson later in the year.

At linebacker it is time to plant Vernon Gholston on the bench and let Jamaal Westerman become the primary pass rusher off the bench. In the secondary, Lito Sheppard’s return will boost the secondary by allowing Dwight Lowery, who is talented enough to be a starter, to slide into the nickel role. Kerry Rhodes also needs to get it going. The Jets are going to need some defensive touchdowns or key turnovers that give easy points to the offense, and for that to happen Rhodes to start making some big plays.

Special Teams: Tackle, Tackle, Tackle. The Jets won’t make the mistake of making Marques Murrell and Ahmad Carroll inactive in the same week again. Jay Feely has been very good this season and needs to keep it up. Steve Weatherford has been okay and you’d like to see a slight improvement from him. In the return game, hopefully Justin Miller got back up to speed over the bye week and will provide a threat on kick returns.

Who Else Could We Have Had With This Pick?

NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

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NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

Wrapping Up Jets/Dolphins

Defensive Player of the Game: Bart Scott – Despite facing increasing criticism for refusing to respect the Miami Dolphins after another loss at their hands, Scott still put together his best effort in a Jets uniform on the field. He led the team in tackles with 8, with two of them going for a loss and recorded a huge fourth quarter sack. Hopefully, we will continue to see more big plays from Scott over the final half of the season.

Offensive Player of the Game: Mark Sanchez – It is games like this that make you feel pretty good about the Jets future. The Jets have assembled a collection of young talented offensive players: Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, David Clowney, Leon Washington, Shonn Greene, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson but none of that matters if you don’t have a quarterback to make it all go. Sanchez built on his progress from last week by avoiding any turnovers and racking up 3 touchdowns (1 rushing) and 265 yards passing.

Honorable Mentions: Braylon Edwards for playing like a number one receiver…Jerricho Cotchery for making a big impact in his return from injury…Sione Pouha for his best game as a pro…Thomas Jones for adding another 100 yard effort on the ground…Dustin Keller for returning in a big way to the Jets offensive gameplan…Marques Douglas for pancaking Chad Henne for a sack.

AFC East Observations

large_jets-patriots416New England Patriots –Everybody is singing the Patriots praises because of their immense accomplishments over the past three weeks, which include beating the 1-6 Titans, 0-7 Bucs, and having a bye. I think they will take care of the Dolphins at home this week but we won’t find how good they really are until they travel to Indy the following week and New Orleans in week 12. If the Jets want any hope at winning the AFC East, a win in New England on November 22nd is an absolute must.

Miami Dolphins – I said in the beginning of the year that Miami was going to be a 6-10 team, and I still stand by that statement today. They can’t play the Jets every week. As sick as it makes me, I will be rooting for them to beat the Patriots this weekend but certainly won’t lose any sleep if they can’t come through and fall to 3-5.

Buffalo Bills – It is hard to see the Bills winning more than 6 games this season. I would like to think that if Mark Sanchez can only throw 2 interceptions instead of 5, the Jets will get revenge on Thursday night football on December 3rd in Toronto.

Turn On The Jets Top Ten

  1.  New Orleans Saints – A complete football team that should roll the next 3 weeks (Carolina, St. Louis, Tampa) before a game with the Patriots, which they better win for our sakes.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – They can effectively clinch the division with a win over Houston this week.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – It looks like they will coast to the NFC North title and a bye.
  4. Denver Broncos – They were due for a loss. Huge game at home against Pittsburgh this weekend.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – They can re-establish themselves as an elite team with a win in Denver.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals – How real are they? We will see the next two weeks if they can sweep Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
  7. New England Patriots – Two weeks to prepare for the fading Wildcat should equal a win this week.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – My Super Bowl pick gave me a little joy on Sunday by shredding the Giants.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Big games in Philly and Green Bay coming up.
  10. Baltimore Ravens – I think they get revenge for an earlier loss against Cincy this week.

Jets Bye Week News and Notes

– The Jets have fell to #18 in ESPN’s Power Rankings, which is hard to argue with. They might be the best 4-4 team in football, but unfortunately you are what your record is, which means the Jets are .500 team.

– Some quotes from Mark Sanchez yesterday: “We just need to figure out a way to start winning these games instead of losing them. We need to show up in all three phases to do that…we’re on a great football team. Our record doesn’t show the type of players we have, the kind of people we have in this locker room and the kind of coaching we have. This is a great time for us to just get away, think some things over and get ready to play…A lot of people will say, “Hey, man, you’re a rookie and you’re playing really good for a rookie.” But I don’t want to play like a rookie. I want to play like a 10-year vet, a Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champion. That is the way I want to play and that’s the way I feel like I can play with this team around me.”

– Over at www.thejetsblog.com, they pulled up some interesting numbers comparing Sanchez’s first eight starts to some other recent successful quarterbacks first eight starts. He has a higher completion percentage, more yards, the same amount of TD’s, and less INT’s than Eli Manning did in his first eight NFL starts. Beyond that, his numbers are on a very similar pace to Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning. I think when this year is all said and done, Sanchez will have more TD’s than INT’s and a completion percentage in the 56-58 range (which still isn’t great but better than what he has now).

– The team is completely off the rest of the week and will return to work on Monday, with practice straight through until the Jaguars game. The coaches will be off starting Thursday until Monday.

– In terms of injuries, the Jets should be back at full strength after the bye (obviously not including Leon and Jenkins).

Ah, the good old days of week 2

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

Dolphins Jets Football

First a few updates:

1. The Game Highlights and Stats section have been updated.

2. A few things from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: He pointed out a potential problem on special teams might have been having Ahmad Carroll, Marquice Cole, and Marques Murrell inactive due to some injury situations and mentioned they may need to always have guys like them active regardless of their lack of participation on defense. Ryan also stood firm on having a “hands-off” approach on offense and special teams, and relying on the ‘expertise’ of the coordinators. He also defended giving the team 6 days off this week because of the team’s need to get away from football for a little while and then come back fresh. Something interesting he said about the bye week is that he will have the offensive coaches break down the Jets defensive tape and the defensive coaches break down the Jets offensive tape, to analyze each group tendencies and make recommendations to each other. Regardless of the criticism, Rex Ryan said he isn’t going to change his personality or his confident style of talking/coaching. Like I said yesterday, you are what you are. This is the guy the Jets hired, don’t expect him to change. If you liked him in week 3, then you should still like him now. If you thought he was too brash/cocky from the beginning, then you should obviously still feel that way now.

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

Quarterbacks: (B+) Mark Sanchez had his best game since the early weeks of the season, finishing 20/35, with 265 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over for the second week in a row. He got off to a slow start and played tight early, missing a few throws over the middle. However, he put together a great second half and led the Jets on three touchdown drives. On the final drive, he has to avoid taking a sack on third down and make a quicker decision on the fourth down play. He turned their fourth and 13 play into a hail mary, which he pretty much threw out of the end-zone. I don’t know what the play call was in that situation, but I would I think the best bet would be for him to take a 5 step drop and put up a jump ball to either Braylon Edwards or Dustin Keller and hope for them to make a play or draw pass interference.

Dolphins Jets FootballRunning Backs: (B) Thomas Jones was terrific for the third straight week, rushing for 102 yards and adding in a 28 yard reception. Shonn Greene killed the Jets with a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and appeared to run tentative after that play. The Jets are going to need Greene in the second half of the season so he needs to shake off the fumble and keep running hard.

Wide Receivers: (A) Jerricho Cotchery only had three receptions but all three were huge plays, including a 53 yarder, a third down conversion, and an impressive sideline grab during the final drive. Braylon Edwards was a beast and has earned a fat, new contract from the Jets for his two performances against Miami this season. David Clowney had three down third down catches, which were all short of the first down marker. On the first two, he did a bad job of running his route to the right depth.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller…welcome back. I don’t think Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer will be forgetting about #81 anytime soon after the game he put together yesterday. Ben Hartsock specializes in having ridiculously costly penalties and probably should be cut.

Offensive Line: (C) Alan Faneca had a rough day and let up a huge sack on the final drive. Sanchez took some monster hits this game. The running was also didn’t pop any huge plays.

Defensive Line: (A) Shaun Ellis (1.5 sacks), Marques Douglas (1 sack, 1 TFL), and Sione Pouha (5 tackles, 1 TFL) all played their best game of the season. Howard Green also chipped in with a solid effort off the bench. It is a shame that it went to waste in a loss. Hopefully, they can keep the production up in the second half of the year.

Linebackers: (A) Post-game sarcasm aside, Bart Scott played his best game as a Jet with 8 tackles, a sack, and two tackles for a loss. David Harris had a big sack and another solid overall day at the office. Bryan Thomas was beat for second half touchdown but beyond that played one of his better games of the year. Calvin Pace was somewhat quiet.

Secondary: (B) Jim Leonhard recorded a half sack and played a quality game. Darrelle Revis and Dwight Lowery didn’t give up any big plays or make any big plays. Kerry Rhodes had more contact in pre-game, than he did during the game where he only recorded 1 tackle.

Special Teams: (F-) Every Jets fan love affair with Danny Woodhead should end after this game because he blew outside contain on both kick return touchdowns. Ryan Fowler, Larry Izzo, Wallace Wright, Jay Feely, and Donald Strickland were also victims off horrible tackling/decision making on both kick return touchdowns. The quarterback lost the games against Buffalo and New Orleans. The defense lost the first game against Miami and the special teams lost this one against Miami.

Coaching: (C) The two point decisions were questionable. However, the Jets played a terrific game on defense and put up 25 points on offense, which should have been enough to win. Rex Ryan is never going to shut his mouth, even if the Jets lose their next 8 games so get used to it and either accept him as our coach or get off his bandwagon for good now. You can’t nominate him for NFL Coach of the year in week 3 and then ask for him to be fired in week 8.

As Usual For Us Jets Fans, “It is getting hard to believe things are going to get better…”

Grading Out The Jets/Raiders Game

First a few updates:

1. As expected, Leon Washington was placed on the IR today. It will be interesting to see who the Jets add to their roster to fill that spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved Danny Woodhead back to running back and then added another defensive lineman to the roster.

2. Another thing to keep an eye on is who will return kickoffs now for the Jets, some names to look out for will be Dwight Lowery, Danny Woodhead, Wallace Wright, or David Clowney.

3. The Game Highlights, Stats, and Depth Chart pages have been updated.

Grading Out The Jets/Raiders Game

Quarterbacks: (B) Mark Sanchez wasn’t asked to do much but he did a good job with what was handed to him. You could see him making a conscious effort to protect the football by throwing passes away and checking down. He also did a better job of avoiding sacks. On third down he was 5-8 for 65 yards, re-establishing his early season ability to come up with key first down conversions. Sanchez also executed a beautiful play fake and dropped in a nice pass to David Clowney for a 35 yard touchdown. There were still some missed throws and for some reason he can’t get on the same page with Dustin Keller but yesterday was a step in the right direction.

Running Backs: (A+) Shonn Greene and Thomas Jones completely wore down the Raiders defense. There wasn’t anything flashy or fancy about the Jets running game yesterday, they went right up the gut with Jones and Greene who combined for 265 yards. Jones certainly doesn’t look like a 30 year old running back and Greene has an unbelievable burst through the hole. We are all going to miss Leon Washington, but Jones and Greene will be a handful for defenses the rest of the season.

Wide Receivers (B) They weren’t given a ton of opportunities but did a good job when their numbers were called. David Clowney stepped up in particular with 4 catches for 79 yards, including a 35 yard touchdown. He showed an ability to be more than a deep threat by breaking some tackles and catching a tough pass over the middle. Wallace Wright recorded his first two catches of the season and Braylon Edwards had a drop but also pulled in a tough catch over the middle. I would expect Jerricho Cotchery to be back in action next week, which will be a big boost.

Tight Ends: (C) Good job blocking by Dustin Keller and Ben Hartsock. Keller also did a great job selling the play fake on his 26 yard reception. He was open a couple of other times but Sanchez missed him. One of these weeks it is going to click for Keller and Sanchez, who started off the year strong but have struggled to connect recently.

Offensive Line: (A+) Awesome job by the Jets front five, there really isn’t much to say except that Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Robert Turner dominated and embarrassed Oakland’s front seven. I bet Richard Seymour is regretting saying the Raiders are going to be a playoff team…unless he meant a high school playoff team.

Defensive Line: (B) The committee approach to replace Kris Jenkins got off to a decent start. Yes, the Jets gave up a little more rushing yards than you’d like to see but overall their defensive line was active, especially Mike DeVito and Howard Green. They have a hell of a challenge coming up this week against Miami.

Linebackers: (A) Quiet games for Bart Scott and David Harris but the grade is picked up by a terrific day from Calvin Pace, who racked up 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. The Jets are going to need that type of effort from him the rest of the season because Pace is unquestionably their top pass rusher. Vernon Gholston has been demoted behind Jamaal Westerman in pass rushing situations.

Secondary: (A) Darrelle Revis is something else…that interception was ridiculous. Do you think he is fired up for this week after getting burned by Ted Ginn Jr (aka Panhands) on national television? Jim Leonhard made his first interception of the season and Dwight Lowery continues to put together a strong season in replacement of Lito Sheppard. Donald Strickland was back and always seems to be around the ball.

Special Teams: (B) Steve Weatherford might run for 100 yards this season. It is not a good sign that Jay Feely has missed two short kicks in consecutive weeks.

Coaching: (A) Mike Pettine made a nice adjustment on defense, allowing Calvin Pace more pass rushing opportunities. Brian Schottenheimer did a great job sticking with the run and Rex Ryan clearly had the troops motivated. Let’s see how they handle Miami this week.

Jets/Raiders Highlights

Crappalicious: Grading Out the Jets/Bills Game

First a few updates:

1. As was expected, Kris Jenkins is going on the IR with a torn ACL in his left knee. The bottom line is that Jenkins is the Jets most valuable defensive player and one of most uniquely talented players in the NFL. Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito and Ropati Pitotua will be asked to pick up the slack. Regardless, it isn’t fair to not expect some type of drop off in the Jets overall defensive production, which hasn’t been strong the past two weeks anyway. You wonder at his age, if Jenks will ever make it all the way back from that type of surgery. Ryan also confirmed the Jets are planning on re-signing defensive tackle Howard Green who was released last week.

2. Mark Sanchez is only a kid but the guy needs to work on his demeanor, during and after a game. He was visibly depressed on the side-line and literally looked like a deer in the headlights. After the game, Rich Cimini summed it up best by saying he “looked like he was on the verge of tears.” He was also quoted as saying he didn’t even understand how the guys in the locker can maintain confidence in him. C’mon now, you are the quarterback of this team. Man up Mark and get your confidence back. You showed you could play at this level against Houston, New England, Tennessee, and Miami. It has been bad (Matt Ryan only threw 11 INT’s last year and Flacco threw 12, so stop the comparisons) but he has to pick himself up off the mat.

3. Rex Ryan admitted in his press conference the Jets may have to begin scaling things back on offense and changing things around to help Sanchez. I am thinking about starting both Jones and Washington on my fantasy team this week cause both might get 20 carries this Sunday.

4. An update on TOJ TV…we had some technical struggles last week and didn’t put forth our best effort. However, we got some quality stuff coming this week. We Jets fans need something entertaining to watch with our team playing like this.

Crappalicious: Grading Out the Jets/Bills Game

Quarterbacks: (F-) That was as bad of a football game as I have ever seen a quarterback play. Sanchez was 10 for 29 with 5…yes 5 interceptions. He repeatedly forced the ball to Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller who were targeted a combined 19 times, but only caught 5 passes between them. Sanchez ignored David Clowney all game, who was wide open on his final interception in overtime. Basically, it looked like Sanchez was a soccer player playing pick up football and he was forcing the ball to his best friend (Braylon Edwards) and his little brother (Dustin Keller) who was complaining from the game before about not getting the ball enough. Yuck. Sanchez has had an issue of locking on to a receiver since training camp, remember the stories about him throwing to Wallace Wright every play? He needs to do a better job of seeing the field and spreading the ball around.

Running Backs: (A+) It is shame that the effort Thomas Jones put forward will get lost in the shuffle of this loss. He was spectacular and ran like a man on a mission, racking up 210 yards at 9.5 yards per carry. He also caught 2 passes for 17 yards. Leon was back to being Leon with 15 carries for 99 yards, including a huge 33 yard run in OT. He also added 3 catches for 46 yards. Great all around day by the Jets two pro-bowl backs from last season.

Wide Receiver: (D) Edwards played a pretty good football game. He made some big catches, although he left a few plays on the field. David Clowney was ignored. Wallace Wright was ignored on his reps. Danny Woodhead received no reps.

Tight Ends: (F) Dustin Keller had a couple of drops and can’t get on the same page as Mark Sanchez. Ben Hartsock cost the Jets a game with a holding penalty.

Offensive Line: (A) 318 rushing yards, period. Wayne Hunter did a nice job filling in for Damien Woody.

Defensive Line: (C) Marques Douglas played a very good game, with 9 tackles, a TFL, and a half sack. Sione Pouha was also pretty good with 9 tackles and a TFL. Shaun Ellis didn’t make an impact and despite doing alright against the run, they still aren’t pushing the pocket enough against the pass.

Linebackers: (C) David Harris played a great game with 17 tackles and a half sack. Bart Scott has been bad the past two weeks. He gets stonewalled every time he rushes the quarterback and doesn’t make impact plays. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas were okay. Vernon Gholston has officially set a record for playing the most NFL snaps, with the least stats recorded. Give Jamaal Westerman his reps.

Secondary: (B) Darrelle Revis was very good against Terrell Owens, who is a shell of his former self. Lito Sheppard was terrible and was rightly benched for Dwight Lowery, who made a brilliant interception in OT. For all my criticism of Kerry Rhodes, he had a great all around game with 8 tackles, 1 TFL, and a pass defensed.

Special Teams: (F) Defined by the one play of Steve Weatherford dropping the snap. Still nothing from the return units.

Coaching: (F) Poor playcalling/time out use led to a rushed missed field goal at the end of the half. It was unnecessary to challenge the punt return for 6 yards in the 4th quarter. Ryan isn’t fooling anybody with his blitz schemes anymore and unfortunately he is starting to look pretty stupid with all his tough talk. However, the guy has to be who he is. He must find someway to re-energize this team.

Fans In Stadium: (F) What a weak environment for a home game. The Jets need to scrap the 4:15 games, apparently because the stadium was half-full with about 70 percent completely trashed Jets fans who were more interested in throwing ethnic slurs at Mark Sanchez than cheering for the team and 30 percent drunk Bills fans cheering against the team. I am certainly not trying to generalize the whole stadium but I heard some nasty stuff out there…let’s have a little class.

Well If Sanchez almost cried after the game, at least this girl cried for him haha