Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Week 15 Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, buying and selling as the Jets head into week 15

Lots to get to in Jets Land as usual with just three games left to play, so let’s just jump right into this week’s Stock Watch.

BUY: Braylon Edwards Signing – I know lots of Jets beat writers and “expert” types rushed to their laptops and smart phones to make their very own Braylon jokes on Twitter as soon as news of the signing broke, but make no mistake about it: This was a GOOD signing. Here is a list of players that have lined up at wide receiver this season for the Jets (other than legitimate NFL options Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley): Stephen Hill, Chaz Schilens, Clyde Gates, Jason Hill, Mardy Gilyard, Jordan White and Antonio Cromartie. Seriously.

So my question to these “experts” is how is this in any way, shape, or form a bad move?  The Jets picked up a veteran receiver who has a rapport with their quarterback and a familiarity with the team, city, and locker room. If he isn’t healthy enough to contribute, then you cut him and lose nothing. If he plays bad, you cut him and lose nothing. If he says or does something stupid, then you cut him and lose nothing. More than likely though, you are getting a motivated player who knows he’s on his last chance and is going to give everything he has to this team and to this quarterback. And yes, I’m aware he called the general manager an idiot on Twitter in a moment of frustration, but so what, Mike Tannenbaum IS an idiot when it comes to building a roster. That being said..

BUY: Mike Tannenbaum – Yes, he’s done a horrible job with this offense and roster in general the past two years, but kudos to Mr. T for putting his pride to the side and doing what is clearly best for this team in signing a real NFL-caliber receiver for a change. Some people may say the organization is too soft on Sanchez and signing one of his favorite ex-receivers is another example of that, but I say it’s about time Tannenbaum threw Sanchez a bone and let him throw some passes to a player he’s comfortable with rather than needlessly dismantling the offense so they can sign 53-year-old Derrick Mason and fresh out-of-Oz, Plaxico Burress. Ehhh…

SELL: Mike Tannenbaum – Yeahhhh.. he still should probably be fired

BUY: Quinton Coples – I’ve been as big of a Coples supporter as there is out there, and I’ve been dying to see him get more playing time. (I’ve bought more stock of him in this column than I know what to do with.) This week we finally got to see him in action for extended time (although it still should have been more) and he did not disappoint. He only recorded 1 sack on the stat sheet, but he should have closed the deal on two others, and he was directly responsible for the game-ending interception as he got in Chad Henne’s face and forced a poor pass. The Quinton Coples break out is coming and he’s going to be a major force by the time 2013 rolls around. That reminds me..

SELL: Garrett McIntyre Getting So Many Snaps – There were times in the 4th quarter agains the Jaguars we saw two down linemen rushing the passer with blitzes coming from all over the place. Those two linemen were the tremendous Mo Wilkerson (who is having an All-Pro caliber season), and… Garrett McIntyre?! I know Calvin Pace is basically useless at this point in his career, so I understand him not being out there, but why not let Coples and Wilkerson feast on the Jags offensive line in those obvious passing situations?

SELL: All Corner Backs Not Named Cromartie – When Cro left the game and was headed to the locker room in the 4th quarter on Sunday, I thought this defense was toast. All of the corners on this team not named Cromartie are awful. Kyle Wilson has played a little better of late (and even stopped doing his ridiculous finger wag!), but he’s still no better than a solid 3rd corner. Ellis Lankster is a fine 3rd corner as well, as long as we’re talking about being a 3rd corner on some sort of low-grade independent football league out in the midwest or something. Aaron Berry has been hurt since the day he signed his contract with the Jets, which is unfortunate, because I was really hoping to see more of him out in the nickel spot this year.

BUY: 3-0 The Rest of the Way – The manta is “One Game at a Time” for the Jets, but I’m just a guy writing about them on the internet, so I’m allowed to look ahead. It is 100% conceivable that this team is going to go 3-0 the rest of the way with this schedule. The Titans are suffering from injuries to FOUR of their offensive linemen. Believe me, I was a Chris Johnson fantasy owner, I know how incredibly putrid this team is. It doesn’t help them that Mike Munchak looks more like a guy who should be driving a tow truck than being an NFL coach either. And speaking of comical head coaches, the Jets get to then close out the season against Norv Turner and Chan Gailey, who have both been updating their resumes for two solid months now in hopes of getting an offensive coordinator job in 2013. I don’t know if the Jets will get the necessary help to make the playoffs, but just that it’s possible is truly crazy.

BUY: Rex Ryan – That this team — with this talent — has a chance to go 9-7 really speaks to how good of a coach Rex Ryan is. I’m really tired of hearing people rip this guy and saying they want him fired. Just remember: The grass is not always greener on the other side. We have a good thing here with Rex Ryan. Just imagine how much better it can be once someone comes in here who can evaluate talent and give him the necessary pieces to become a dominant team again.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Angry Rant Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, buying and selling on all the Jets problems

It feels like I could just copy and paste parts of this column from the last few weeks and nobody would be able to tell the difference. Week after week it’s becoming the same old stuff when it comes to this Jets team. Too many turnovers, ineffective run game, blowouts, Calvin Pace sucks, Bart Scott sucks, Kyle Wilson is a delusional finger-wagger with an incredibly false sense of accomplishment, and Tannenbaum needs to be fired. It’s all on repeat, on a continuous loops, and no matter how much we all desperately want things to change, they aren’t going to. This team just has no talent, and off the field things are going from bad to worse. Let’s examine some of our recent issues.

BUY: Fireman Ed– I was never a huge fan of the Fireman, but for him to have to “resign” due to continued harassment and threats is downright disgusting. Let me get this straight: JETS fans went to JETS games to root for the JETS and decided to harass and curse off a big JETS fan, because he wore a JETS jersey of a JETS player to support him during his struggles to hopefully help the JETS win. Got it. That makes a ton of sense. And you wonder why Jets fans have such a bad reputation. Whether you like Ed or not, there is no reason for that kind of treatment.

He made game days more enjoyable for many people, even if you didn’t like him. He continued a Jets tradition, bringing the J-E-T-S chant over from Shea Stadium, and helped give the Jets an identity. Fans of every team know the Jets chant, and it’s an positive identifiable thing for a team that’s only other trait seems to be embarrassing losses. I’ve seen a ton of kids at home games throughout the years be hilariously pumped up to do the chant and see Fireman Ed, and to think that could be over now because of a few jerks, is disgusting. If you were one of those people trying to fight Ed because he wore a Sanchez jersey, well shame on you. You can turn in your Jets fan card at the door. Thanks.

SELL: Fans Cursing off Players – I’m sure you’ve seen the video of Jets fans cursing off players as they walked to the locker room at half time last Thursday by now. Again, if you were one of those people, you don’t deserve to call yourself a fan. I’m sick of hearing “I paid my money, I can say what I want at the game”. Well next time I hope someone punches you in the face. I was there and just as mad as anybody else, but can you show just a little self-restraint maybe?

SELL: $100 Jets Hoodies – I tweeted about this when I was on my way out of the Stadium on Thursday, but where do the Jets get off trying to sell their fans $100 sweat shirts?! Are they aware of what kind of product they’re putting on the field? I guess they need to sell a few of these so they can afford to bring Jason Hill back for the 12th time this year.

SELL: Ellis Lankster – Ellis Lankster just continues to ruin my football Sundays, or in this case Thursday holidays. Sadly, most of my friends are Giants fans, and I swear most of them look forward to watching the Jets game more than the Giants game each week just so they can laugh at me and comment on things like Calvin Pace’s lack of speed, Mark Sanchez’s turnovers, Stephen Hill’s drops, etc., etc. 

But lately Ellis Lankster has become the biggest cause of jokes and pain. Most of the things they say are unsuitable for print, but I thought I was in the clear on Thanksgiving night, since I was at the game with other Jets fans and was far from their wrath. Nope. My phone received no less than 15 text messages, all laughing and taunting me about how incredibly awful Ellis Lankster is. The sad part is I can’t even defend it. Ellis Lankster is THE WORST. When I rated him 47th out of 53 on this team back in October, I was being generous. They should run a contest every week where they pick a random seat number and the winner gets to go down to the field and play nickel back for the Jets defense. I swear they couldn’t do any worse than Ellis Lankster.

BUY: Getting to play Ryan Lindley and Arizona’s Offensive Line – If the Jets defense doesn’t step up and have an absolute party on the field this week, then I give up. Arizona has the worst offensive line in the league, and the worst quarterback play in at least a decade that doesn’t involve the words Jamarcus or Russell. I expect a few turnovers and — I hope you’re sitting down — maybe even a sack!

SELL: Having to play the Arizona Defense – Sigh. The Cardinals have an excellent defense and it’s going to be really hard for the Jets to move the ball. It’s going to be completely up to the defense to score and put this offense in extremely positive situations if they’re gonna have any hope.

SELL: The Jets going on a run – Sadly, I think the Jets are going to win 3 or 4 games down the stretch, including this one, and finish probably 7-9. That will mean they don’t get a high draft pick, they might not fire Mike Tannenbaum, and we will have to deal with a lot of the same crap next year. Ahh..,the Jets. What a team!

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Jets/Patriots Preview Edition

Mike Donnelly is buying and selling for his weekly Turn On The Jets Stock Watch. This week previewing Jets vs. Patriots

It’s a bit of a shame that the Jets play on a short week against the Pats this week because I would like to savor that curb-stomping Rex Ryan and his defense handed to former Jets coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s current St. Louis Rams offense just a little bit longer. After all, we haven’t had all that much to be pleased with this year, right? It sure was sweet to be on the other side of a patented Schotty game for a change. The Rams were gashing the Jets early with the run but I wasn’t worried at all. I’d seen this movie too many times and I know how it ends. Naturally, he immediately stopped calling run and a smile broke across my face. Just like we had seen for years here in New York, Schotty much preferred the 2 yard outs and 3 yard crossing patterns that repeatedly resulted in incomplete passes. It was all so very familiar, and all so gratifying to watch. Thank you, Schotty, thank you. Finally, you brought me some joy after six painful years.

Now before we sweep the Rams game under the rug, let’s touch on a few things from it before moving on into full-on Patriots Week mode…

SELL: The “Schotty’s Revenge” jokes – It was funny checking my Twitter after the Rams scored that opening touchdown, seeing all the many, many, many, many stupid and ignorant jokes put out there by so many “experts”, reporters, fans, and haters, all based around the premise that Schotty is, was, and forever will be a genius who the Jets stupidly got rid of. Ha-ha, jokes on the Jets, right? By the 2nd quarter, when Schotty was back to doing Schotty things, leading to his offense not moving the ball, I didn’t see a single thing about it. Weird how that works, huh?

SELL: The Mark Sanchez haters – It’s really gotten to the point that even when Sanchez plays well he’s going to get zero credit and zero respect, huh? Prior to the game all I read about was how the Rams defense was going to tear the Jets apart. Didn’t quite happen. Hey Jets fans, Mark Sanchez is the quarterback of the Jets. Regardless of how you feel about him, when he does well, you should be happy. I will never understand this.

BUY: Tony Sparano’s Gameplan – This was probably Sparano’s best game of the season. The use of play-actions, rollout passes, and creativity in getting the Jets’ many bad receivers open in space was great to see. What else? Glad you asked..

BUY: The Jets 3-Headed RB Attack – FINALLY! I re-watched the game tape five times just to make sure that what I thought I had seen on the TV was not a figment of my imagination: We actually had a Joe McKnight sighting on offense! It was pretty funny — and sad — watching the game and hearing the shock and disgust in the announcer’s voice when he said “That was Joe McKnight’s first catch of the season!” Tell me about it. After 10 weeks of praying to various Gods, lighting candles, begging, pleading, writing letters, and ritualistically sacrificing a few Patriots fans (ok, the last one may not have actually happened), the Jets FINALLY did what I wanted and got Joe McKnight involved in the offense, and threw him a pass. That’s all I wanted, just one pass to show me the coaches were aware it is in fact legal to throw a pass to the running back.

It was also great to see Bilal Powell get a few touches and turn them into two touchdowns. Who would have known that maximizing the various talents your running backs possess would be a better alternative than just having Shonn Greene stumble into the line 20 times a game?

SELL: Joe McKnight Inside the 5 yard line – I am all for more McKnight, but perhaps using him as a pseudo goal-line back is not the proper time. Let’s go ahead and rip that page out of the playbook and pretend it never happened, Tony.

SELL: Calvin Pace, Kyle Wilson, Ellis Lankster – Just reminding you that they still stink. This game changed nothing.

SELL: Jets Special Teams (other than Joe McKnight) – Also still very bad.

BUY: Mo Wilkerson – Big Mo has started to look like the dominant All-Pro defensive lineman Rex Ryan talked him up as prior to the season. The last few weeks have been especially impressive for the 2011 first round pick. The scary thing is that he’s only beginning to scratch the surface on what he can do on the field as well. As Quinton Coples develops next to him and an edge rusher is presumably brought in to come around the corner and clean up after Wilkerson’s disruption up the middle, he’s really going to look tremendous. Nobody gives more crap to Mike Tannenbaum and his player evaluation ability than me, but I have to give him credit for Wilkerson. Having Mo and other young talent on defense like Coples, Kenrick Ellis, and Demario Davis will set this defense up very nicely up front for years to come.

SELL: Stephen Hill being “raw” – Ok, enough praise of Tannenbaum. The Stephen Hill debacle looks worse and worse every week. All we heard about after the draft was how “raw” Hill was and how he would need time to develop. Well if that was the case, WHY THE HELL would you not bring in a reliable #2 receiver to start while the rookie developed? And not to mention, it’s always been my understand that “being raw” means he runs the wrong route from time to time, or can’t separate from the cornerback at the line of scrimmage. Being raw, to me, doesn’t include “not being able to catch”, because that seems like a pretty basic thing that all wide receivers should have learned sometime around the 6th grade. If Hill doesn’t learn to catch — and fast — he’s going to just be another in the long line of bust wide receivers who can run real fast and jump real high, but aren’t actually good at playing football — which is a pretty important thing.

Now about that little ol’ Patriots game we have coming up this week. Below are my three keys to this game. If I’m not back here next week in this very column buying all of these, there’s a really good chance I’m also going to be loading the column up with more than a few expletives because the Jets will have lost another big game and the season will more than likely be kaput.

1. Pressure Tom Brady – Mo Wilkerson is going to be double-teamed the entire game because quite frankly, Bill Belichick isn’t dumb. He knows Wilkerson can single-handily disrupt the Patriots offense by getting in Tom Brady’s face all night, just like Shaun Ellis did in the 2010 playoffs. So it’s going to be up to Quinton Coples to step up, along with Calvin Pace (doubtful) and Ricky Sapp (maybe) around the edge. Bryan Thomas has also elevated his play of late, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him turn back the clock a little bit and step up in what will likely be his last Jets-Pats game ever.

2. Stop Wes Welker – With Rob Gronkowski out and Aaron Hernandez likely to be slowed a little by his injury, stopping Wes Welker will be an even bigger key to this week’s game than usual. Typically the Jets would be able to just put him on Revis Island and forget about it, but that option isn’t available this week. And as amazing as Antonio Cromartie has been this season, moving to the slot and covering shifty guys like Welker has never been his strong suit. And that means that — sigh — it’s going to be up to guys like Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster to play as well as they possibly can (which isn’t very well, unfortunately) and slow Wes down. There’s going to be a ton of bracket coverage played, and don’t be surprised to see Demario Davis play a major role this week covering some of these short passes over the middle. Just writing this paragraph is giving me anxiety. Ugh.

3. NO TURNOVERS!! – This is the biggest one of them all. When the Jets don’t turn the ball over, they win. Mark Sanchez is unquestionably at a crossroads of his Jets career, and a big-time performance this week against the Patriots will go a long way toward building the confidence not just of himself, but all of his teammates, and the fans. We all know the Patriots defense is comically bad, but they thrive on being opportunistic and causing turnovers, so the Jets absolutely can not fall into that trap. The mission statement on offense this week is simple: Protect the ball, find the many, many soft spots in the defense, and win the game. Easier said than done, unfortunately.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Seattle Meltdown Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, buying and selling after the Jets meltdown in Seattle

There’s nothing quite like New York Jets football, is there? Just prior to the game, we as fans talk ourselves into thinking that this week will be different. This is the week the Jets will get their crap together. This is the week they turn in a solid performance, win, and turn their season around. Then kickoff comes and we spend three agonizing hours breaking down every single play, watching in horror as they find new ways to lose, break our hearts, and then it’s over. We spend the next few days running the full gamut of emotions from rage, to pain, to acceptance, to peace with the situation, and then it’s back to thinking next week will be different again.

I’m not going to get into the whole Mark Sanchez debacle this week, because thinking about how we got from him throwing 3 TD’s in Foxboro during a playoff game to…whatever the hell this is now, physically makes my head hurt. But I will get into the horrible job Mike Tannenbaum has done with this roster that helped usher in this new era of unwatchable football, so don’t worry. Also, believe it or not, there were a few positives from this week’s game, so let’s start with those.

BUY: The Defensive Line – If you just look at the stat sheet, you probably wouldn’t know it, but the defensive line played extremely well this week and has pretty much all year, despite a season-long injury to Sione Po’uha. After a slow start to the season, Mo Wilkerson has been playing like the All-Pro calibre player Rex Ryan talked him up as (which was, of course, a rare instance in which Rex was actually right about one of his guys). According to ProFootballFocus.com, in fact, he’s been the second best defensive end in the entire league this year, trailing only J.J. Watt, who you may have heard is pretty awesome. Along with Wilkerson, Quinton Coples has really started to flash the past few weeks and is good for a few “wow” plays per game. The reason the stats aren’t racking up is because there is literally ZERO pass rush from the edge. So, even though Wilkerson and Coples are pushing the pocket and causing some havoc up front, there is nobody coming around the corner to help out. It’s a good thing Mike Tannenbaum brought in zero OLB’s the past 4 years, huh?

BUY: Bart Scott – I know Bart has lost a step or three the past year or so, but he looked great against Seattle. He’s always been a force against the run, and considering the Jets are going to be facing a ton of runs as the clock gets milked against them in plenty more losses this year, we can’t throw dirt on his playing career coffin just yet. Demario Davis is the future at the position, but he’s still very raw and not ready to take over the role full-time. Plus, Bart Scott is a great veteran to have around teaching these young guys, as Marcus Dowtin referred to in his interview here on TOJ. Bart most likely won’t be back in 2013, and I must say, I’m going to miss him.

SELL: Outside Linebackers – Back to the OLB’s for a second. It blows my mind to see a Rex Ryan team have negative amounts of skill at the edge rusher spots. Calvin Pace is absolutely awful and reaffirmed my hatred of him as he repeatedly blew containment on his side against Seattle. Bryan Thomas plays hard, but at this point all he is, is a constant reminder that we should have drafted Ed Reed instead of him in 2001. Backing those two corpses up on the depth chart are Useless Garrett McIntyre — who is absolutely terrible — and Ricky Sapp, who despite some unwarranted hype prior to the Seattle game, is not the answer. In fact, the only reason I knew Sapp was even playing in that game was because he was unable to recover a fumble deep in Seattle territory that was right in his hands. That being said, I want to see him play more, because the alternatives are just so unbelievably terrible. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Also deserving more playing time is Marcus Dowtin. I don’t even care where he lines up at this point, I just want to see someone who doesn’t appear to be wearing cement sneakers out there.

Speaking of terrible, in a move that should have shocked nobody, Aaron Maybin was released today. He wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire out on the field, but I still find it hard to believe he couldn’t offer more to this team than Useless Garrett McIntyre (which should be his new official name). If this team doesn’t bring in a linebacker who doesn’t need to be timed in the 40-yard dash with a sun dial this offseason, then I give up.

SELL: Kyle Wilson & Ellis Lankster – Clearly, Pete Carroll and his coaching staff had a great big laugh watching film of the Kyle Wilson prior to this week’s game. How do I know? Because they attacked him IMMEDIATELY, on their second and third play from scrimmage, which resulted in gains of 18 and 36, the second of which of course being a touchdown. Shockingly, Wilson did not unleash his patented “Finger Wag of Doom” at that time. He waited until much later in the game to show off that nifty little taunt, when he shocked the world and actually broke up a pass. It takes a real special kind of delusional to think you should be wagging your finger in people’s faces when you’ve been worked over all game, but that’s exactly what our 2010 1st round pick does.

As for Lankster, well, the guy is just terrible and somehow manages to get worse weekly. If he’s on the field, it should only be to blitz, because when he’s in coverage it can only result in one of two things: 1) A pass interference penalty; or 2) A touchdowns. In the 3rd quarter against Seattle, he managed to achieve both those things on the same play, which was pretty impressive. Way to go! Aaron Berry must just be completely unable to grasp the playbook or something, because there’s no reason he shouldn’t be out there getting snaps in place of either of these two guys.

SELL: Mike Tannenbaum – I present to you the reason that I have so many complaints about this team… Mr. Mike Tannenbaum! I was going to list a few of the horrible things he’s done the past two years to lead us to this position here in this paragraph, but it wouldn’t be fair to Mike to just gloss over them like that. He deserves a full blown column to really detail the impressive job he’s done in managing to keep his job despite being so completely and utterly terrible at it. (Kind of like my Letter to him, or my evisceration of the roster he built, or even how he couldn’t develop a QB.) I’ll be back tomorrow with more on our wonderful GM, so be sure to check back for that.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: 2nd Half Outlook Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, providing a second half outlook for the New York Jets

After the disaster of watching the Jets get absolutely demolished by the Miami Dolphins in person at MetLife Stadium, I, like many of you, was extremely down on this team. In my head I had all kinds of ideas about who I’d be selling in my Stock Watch, what players I’d attempt to publicly complain about some more (Calvin Pace), and already start thinking about who we’d be looking at with our top 5 draft pick. But then, after the disaster of watching the Jets, another disaster hit the area (Screw you, Sandy), and I was unable to do a Stock Watch. Perhaps not being able to write that column was for the best. Now I’m back with a fresh outlook on the team, and I hope everyone out there is safe, healthy, and on their way to rebounding back after the recent disaster… kind of like our Jets. Also, please check out my Jets (and NFL) First Half Awards to get my take on the confusing first 8 games of this season. (Or even if you don’t care about my football thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think about Homeland.)

BUY: 9-7 record and Wild Card Spot – Yes, despite how incredibly down I was on this team, after careful reconsideration, I think a 6-2 record over these final 8 games is not only possible, but it’s going to happen. Every year there are teams that get totally written of and then go on a big run to make some serious noise. Don’t believe me? Ask the 2011 Giants, 2010 Packers, or even our 2009 New York Jets. And I know it’s hard to find many positives with this entire organization right now, but let’s take a look at how this playoff birth can happen.

  • BUY: @ Seattle – Remember, this is the Jets. They’re 7 point underdogs this week and everyone is writing them off. Nobody thinks they’ll be able to move the ball or stop Marshawn Lynch. Well, this is the Jets we are talking about, and they usually do things nobody expects, both good and bad.
  • SELL: @ St. Louis – And this will prove my point. After the win at Seattle, everyone will start the “Maybe the Jets can sneak in there” talk, and then they’ll take a dump all over whatever the hell the Rams call their field the next week, and lose to Brian Schottenheimer in the process. Ugh.
  • BUY: Vs. New England – And then just as we’re all ready to hate the team again, they go out and beat the Patriots at home. They should have won the last matchup in New England, and they won’t mess it up again.
  • BUY: Vs. Arizona – Normally this would be a huge letdown spot where the Jets blow an easy game after a big win, but since they have 10 days to prepare for this game, and they’ll be facing John Skelton and the Cards offensive line, they’ll pull it out. Barely.
  • BUY: @ Jacksonville – Another game that will be much harder than it should be, but the Jets will pull it out over Blaine Gabbert.
  • SELL: @ Tennessee – At this point everyone will be talking the Jets up as a playoff team, and then they’ll go into Tennessee and lose by double digits somehow. I hate this team already and this hasn’t even happened yet.
  • BUY: Vs. San Diego – Norv Turner.
  • BUY: @ Buffalo – And then just as it doesn’t look good, the Jets will go into Buffalo and absolutely drop a hammer on this Bills team that will have already thrown in the towel while Chan Gailey and Dave Wannstedt are making calls at halftime to see if any college teams will hire them.

See, it’s not so far-fetched. You have to figure the Steelers and Ravens will both make the playoffs out of the AFC North, so that leaves one other wild card spot. Nobody from the West is worth a crap besides Denver. In the South, the Colts are 5-3 and are right in the mix of things now, but they’ve been playing over their heads. Such a young team is unlikely to win the tough games down the stretch to secure a playoff spot. They have games @NE, @ Det, and two against the Texans, not to mention a Thursday night game tonight @ Jacksonville, which they will lose. They’re looking at 7-9 or 8-8 at best, and the Jets own a tiebreaker over them. The other team the Jets are competing with is the Miami Dolphins, who sit at 4-4. Unfortunately for them, they have two games against the Patriots, one @ San Francisco, and one @ Buffalo in cold November, which is never a picnic for a warm-weathered Miami team. So keep your fingers crossed. It can happen.

So, how are the Jets players going to be performing in these final 8 games to secure that 6-2 record? Glad you asked!

BUY: Shonn Greene over 1,100 yards – Greene sits at 509 yards rushing right now with 91 receiving. He also has 5 touchdowns. As we all know, Shonn Greene is a perpetual slow starter who really turns it on in the second half of the season. I think we are looking at a final stat line of 1,150 rushing yards, 8 TD’s, and 225 receiving yards. He will fall short of my preseason prediction of 1,500 total yards from scrimmage, but it won’t be by that much. Remember, he’s playing for a contract these final 8 weeks.

BUY: Mark Sanchez 8 starts – Yes, Mark Sanchez will start all 8 remaining games, so you might as well just accept it.

BUY: Mark Sanchez finishing with solid stats – His stat line this year is not quite as bad as many would have you believe, but it’s certainly not Manning-esque or anything. Right now he’s got 1,736 yards, 10 TD’s, and 8 interceptions to go with a 52.9 completion %. By the end of the season I think he’ll be looking at 3,600 yards, 22 TD, 16 interceptions, and 58% completions. Not bad.

BUY: Tim Tebow will score a Touchdown – And I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s more like 3 or 4. If the coaching staff didn’t reevaluate things this bye week and realize Tebow should be taking some carries inside the 5 yard line, then I give up.

BUY: Jeremy Kerley over 1,000 yards – Right now he has 478, and he’s getting better every week. Over 1,000 yards should be in the bag, despite defenses starting to give him more attention.

BUY: Stephen Hill over 500 yards – 196 right now, but he’s missed two games and had some rookie struggles. He’ll be inconsistent the rest of the season, but I definitely see a big game or two in his future that will easily push this number over 500. Not only that but don’t be shocked if he racks up 5 more touchdowns, pushing his total to 8, either.

SELL: Jason Hill over 5 catches – One of the burning questions for all Jets fans the rest of the way. Can the great Jason Hill get to 5 whole catches this year? He has 2 right now, so can Mike Tannenbaum’s prized free agent pickup that I can only assume he found while turning over all those stones looking for talent do it? We’ll have to wait and see! (The answer is no. Jason Hill sucks, and dropping a promising safety like Antonio Allen for him is Reason # 23,529 that Mike Tannenbaum needs to be fired)

SELL: Clyde Gates & Jeff Cumberland – Just reminding you they’re still on this team and that they still suck.

BUY: Quinton Coples over 6 sacks – He currently has 2 sacks, but probably should have 1 or 2 more that he just missed. You can see things are starting to click for the rookie first round pick, and with increased playing time, he’s going to start racking up some numbers. Finishing with 6 sacks would clearly give him the team lead, and even though it’s the Jets and he has no competition, that’s still pretty good.

SELL: Ricky Sapp over 1.5 sacks – Speaking of Coples and sacks, I really, really hope I’m wrong about this one, because Quinton sure could use some help out there. Sapp was a guy I had a lot of hope for entering the season, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy and put it all together. Please, don’t confuse my pessimism for some kind of hatred when it comes to Ricky Sapp. I 100% absolutely want to see him play and I think he deserves to be in there over washed up bums like Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, or Garrett McIntyre. (Actually, McIntyre isn’t washed up, he just moves around like he is.) It’s just that when was the last time a team promoted a guy from their practice squad in week 10 and had him solve their pass rush issues? Prove me wrong, Ricky! Please!

BUY: The Defense – Right now the defense is ranked 16th overall and a ridiculous 29th against the run. Don’t think for one second Rex Ryan doesn’t go to bed every night distraught while thinking about that. Well, that and the fact he can’t finish the second half of that large pizza he was eating because his lap band won’t allow it, but mostly the defensive numbers. There is no way, repeat: NO WAY, that this defense finishes the season allowing 141 yards per game rushing and 347 overall. I fully expect them to slowly but surely make their way into the top 10 overall and start shutting down some running attacks. Rex Ryan is too good of a coach to allow that to continue, and with the infusion of youth and speed making it’s way onto the field with players like Demario Davis, Marcus Dowtin, Quinton Coples, and even Ricky Sapp, things are going to get better before long.

Turn On the Jets Stock Watch: Patriots Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch. Buying and selling after Jets/Patriots

After the Jets crushing loss to the Patriots on Sunday, all Jets fans seemed to fit squarely into one of two categories: Either you were happy with the way the team played, showing fight, never quitting, and going toe-to-toe with the Patriots in Foxboro, OR you pulled the “there are no moral victories!” card, bashed Mark Sanchez for his costly fumble, and said a loss is a loss is a loss, no matter what. I don’t think things have to be quite so black and white, and the appropriate way to feel about this Jets team right now is somewhere in the middle.

The game was right there for the taking, and there is no question the Jets should have pulled it out if not for a curious lack off aggressiveness when it came time to step on the Patriots throat and put them away. The offense played for 3 instead of 7 and then the defense unsurprisingly was unable to hold Tom Brady when it mattered most. We all know what happened by now. It was about as painful of a regular season loss as I’ve seen from the Jets in years. HOWEVER, there is plenty to be happy about with this team and the way they played. Let’s take a look.

BUY: Mark Sanchez & Dustin Keller – It’s amazing how much better the offense looks when Dustin Keller is on the field, isn’t it? He clearly has the most rapport with Mark Sanchez out of anyone on the roster and it really shows. In fact, in the 3 games Dustin has been on the field this year, here are Mark Sanchez’s passing numbers:

58-86, 67.4%, 676 yards, 6 touchdowns, 2 interceptions

Those are excellent numbers no matter how you slice it, and it really speaks volumes. Mark Sanchez is not perfect by any stretch, but the kid is a GOOD quarterback. For the majority of the season his top targets were Jeff Cumberland and Chaz Schilens. Think about that. Nobody can thrive when put in that position, but now that Jeremy Kerley is emerging, Stephen Hill is coming along, and Dustin Keller is getting healthy, Mark is playing some of his best ball. Unfortunately, there are fans out there who won’t give #6 any form of credit no matter what he does, and that is a disgrace. (I even tweeted about this during the game.) The bottom line is this: Mark Sanchez played an excellent game on Sunday, making great throws to Keller and Kerley all over the field and all anybody wants to bring up is the fumble and the admittedly horrible interception in the end zone. Other than that, he was pretty much flawless, and when he left the field with just over a minute to play in the 4th quarter, his team had the lead. Everyone wants to pile on and trash him when he makes a bad play, but lets give him credit when it’s due.

SELL: The playcalling – We’ve been over this ad nauseam since Sunday so I won’t beat a dead Sparano, but that sequence of plays when the Jets had the ball at the Pats 4, 3rd & 1 and a half or so, you’ve got to have Tebow in the game to plow forward. The slant to Chaz Schilens is a terrible play call anywhere on the field and that situation was no different. Just had to mention this. Again.

BUY: Shonn Greene & Joe McKnight – Shonn Greene is another guy Jets fans love to hate, but his performance on Sunday was really great to see. He ran for the tough yards all day against a stout Patriots run defense, and contributed 6 big catches to move the chains and give the Patriots something else to think about on defense. And let’s be real, Shonn Greene is A MAN. There’s no other way to really describe him. After seeing him bounce back up after that crushing show from Brandon Spikes, then return to the game because the team needed him, well it was pretty awesome.

Same goes for Joe McKnight, who had his typically tremendous day in the kick return game and managed to grind out 7 carries for solid yardage after Greene’s injury, despite hobbling around on one leg and looking like he was in a great amount of pain all game. When Bilal Powell returns from injury, the Jets will have a pretty solid little trio of backs, especially when you throw Lex Hilliard into the mix. They’re not the most talented group around, but they can definitely get the job done.

SELL: Matt Slauson & Brandon Moore – Yes, our guards are now officially bad. Matt Slauson was beat several times during the course of the game and actually had me calling to see more Vlad Ducasse. Yes, that Vlad Ducasse. Brandon Moore’s struggles are tough to watch, because he’s been such an underrated and key player of this team for so long. Last year, his run blocking slipped noticeably, but was still excellent protecting the quarterback. This year, not so much. He’s still serviceable, but we are likely seeing the last few games of Moore’s very good career. Look for an overhaul at the position in the offseason as both starters are likely to be replaced.

Fortunately, Nick Mangold is as good as ever and D’Brickashaw Ferguson is looking more like the 2010 version than 2011. If Chandler Jones had been playing, I’m sure Brick would have had a much worse game, though. Oh wait, Jones did play? And he did nothing? Weird..

BUY: Mo Wilkerson & Quinton Coples – Chandler Jones may not have made a peep all game, but Quinton Coples sure did. Coples was routinely getting pressure in the Pats backfield, and should have recorded his 3rd sack of the season, but David Harris cleaned it up and got the credit. Chris will cover this more in his defensive breakdown, but there is little doubt Coples is going to be an excellent player for the Jets. As for Wilkerson, he’s really starting to come into his own as the dominant force on the defensive line we all expected this season. He was double-teamed nearly the entire game and still managed to almost single-handily disrupt the Pats run game as well as get up into Tom Brady’s face. Throw in Kenrick Ellis, and the Jets defensive line is looking like a major strength for the next few years.

BUY: Demario Davis & Antonio Allen – It was great seeing Demario Davis play so much this week and to make such an impact. When he knifed his way through the line and made a stuff in the backfield, I could hardly believe my eyes. It had been so long, I forgot a linebacker was allowed to do something like that. Davis is far from perfect, but he’s super athletic, fast, and he can lay the wood. The same goes for Allen, who played a lot in the Jets “big nickel” defense, to slow down the Pats tight ends while keeping an eye on the run game. For most of the game, it worked very well. New “hybrid” defenders like Davis and Allen, along with perhaps Marcus Dowtin, are the new breed of defenders in the NFL and will be key for the Jets going forward defending teams like the Patriots. More Davis and Allen, less Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, and Eric Smith is a great thing.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Jets vs. Colts Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling after Jets/Colts

Despite not being able to watch most of Sunday’s game live (damn you, Sunday weddings during football season!) and tweet irrational play-by-play analysis with you all, I did manage to catch enough of it to have a pretty good grasp of what went on. DVR’ing it and finally catching up on all the minor details didn’t hurt things either, and now I feel sufficiently confident and buying and selling all things New York Jets as we head into Patriots Week. Let’s get started..

BUY: Shonn Greene – YESSS!!!! FINALLY!!!!! For weeks I was the last remaining New York Jets fan defending Shonn Greene and telling everyone who would listen to not give up on this guy. It appears as though my plan to pretend to join the masses in giving up on Greene to motive him worked perfectly! Glad I could help, Shonn.

Ok, so maybe that’s not quite what happened, but it appears as though those thousands of Shonn Greene stock shares I own have just been upgraded out of Enron territory. Joe will have more on this in his offensive film breakdown, but Greene ran confidently, hit the holes hard, and didn’t even stumble over his feet that much. He even perfectly executed a spin move in the backfield to avoid a tackler and score a touchdown, which almost made me simultaneously spit out my drink and start crying out of pride and happiness. I felt like Pedro Cerrano at the end of Major League when he’s this close to giving up on Jobu, before crushing a huge home run. If Greene can run like that now that the weather is turning and the offensive line is starting to gel, we could really be on to something here.

BUY: Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller – The numbers weren’t crazy or anything, but these two guys being on the field helped open up the offense dramatically. Hill will drive us crazy all year with his inconsistent play and drops, but there’s no question that the defense has to account for his speed whenever he’s on the field. As for Keller, he didn’t do much as a receiver, but his blocking was tremendous, and it won’t be long before he gets into the swing of things catching passes.

BUY: Tebow’s 3rd and 1 run up the middle – I can’t for the life of me figure out why it took 6 weeks for the team to use Tebow for a power run up the middle in a short yardage situation. But better late than never I suppose, as they finally did it, having Tebow run right up the middle behind Nick Mangold, and — surprise, surprise– it worked! I’d like to see more of this, please.

BUY: Coaching – I know the perception of Rex Ryan is that he’s just some big bozo who runs his mouth and can’t back it up. That perception is wrong. Rex Ryan is really a very good coach, and this game was a prime example as to why. His defensive game plan was flat out brilliant, as he confused Andrew Luck for 4 quarters and managed to fix a run defense that was getting absolutely torched the past few weeks. Now, I know Vick Ballard isn’t exactly Adrian Peterson, but it was nice to see an excellent all-around defensive performance. On offense, kudos go out to Tony Sparano for staying the course and sticking with his run game while also finding ways to get borderline useless players like Jason Hill and Jeff Cumberland involved and actually put them in a position to make plays.

BUY: The Youth Movement – This wasn’t exactly planned heading into this season, but the Jets are quietly reloading and incorporating a youth movement while also managing to contend at the same time. Injuries to players such as Darrelle Revis, Santonio Holmes, Sione Po’uha and Eric Smith have forced youngsters like Kyle Wilson, Jeremy Kerley, Kenrick Ellis, Antonio Allen, and Quinton Coples into more prominent roles than they were expected to play. Throw in contributions from guys like Bilal Powell, Austin Howard, Demario Davis, and even — gasp! — Vlad Ducasse and the Jets are quietly building something very promising for 2013. And yes, I absolutely am going to expand on this for an article later this week, so be on the look out.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Jets vs. Texans Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, which is buying and selling after Jets/Texans

I know most people out there thought the Texans were going to just come into MetLife Stadium last night and blow the doors off the Jets. I wasn’t one of those people, but I was still pleased with the way the Jets played, and they exceeded my expectations. The best thing I can say right now is that the Jets aren’t going to turn into the Mets, and the second half of the season will at the very least remain watchable. We took the best team in the league right down to the wire, and there is hope! Of course, that doesn’t mean the loss didn’t hurt, since I really felt they had a chance to pull out the game. Let’s buy and sell some Jets stock based on last night’s performance and where the team is headed now.

BUY: The Onside Kick Call – I wanted to address this first. A lot of people had a problem with Rex calling for the onside kick after Joe McKnight’s kick return touchdown, but they shouldn’t. Rex was playing to win, and he knew he had to pull out all the stops to beat a team like the Texans. More importantly, it showed that Rex isn’t the delusional buffoon that many claim him to be. He knows the defense isn’t the dominant unit he claimed it was, and he didn’t have the blind faith in them to stop the Texans from running the ball down his throat in that situation. It showed guts, and I appreciate that. Plus, why not let the best unit on the team, the special teams led by Mike Westhoff, try to make another play and help win the game?

BUY: Nick Mangold – My heart dropped when I saw Mangold writhing in pain with an ankle injury and with the way this season has been going, I of course feared the worst. So it was pretty freaking awesome to see Mangold come back out on the field and play the majority of the second half. Nick Mangold is a man’s man, and I only wish this his toughness would rub off on some of his teammates. Yes, I mean Dustin Keller.

SELL: Jeff Cumberland, Jason Hill, Chaz Schilens – Not a surprise here, but these guys are absolutely terrible. TERRIBLE. There’s a reason they were all ranked so lowly in my roster run-down from last week. Schilens ran the wrong routes or messed up on more than one occasion. Jason Hill had that pitiful drop on the Tebow deep pass that proved every single Jets fan right who cursed Mike Tannenbaum for signing him, and Jeff Cumberland played like Jeff Cumberland. Even in a game Cumberland scores a touchdown, he still manages to come off looking like a disgrace.

SELL: Matt Cavanaugh – I said this months ago when I took the Jets to task for their complete and utter failure to properly develop their young quarterback, but when is this guy going to be held accountable? He has been an abject failure at every stop of his coaching career, and this is the guy we kept around to continue to mentor our struggling quarterback? I’m not saying he’s the problem here, but he’s absolutely, positively, without a doubt NOT part of a solution.

SELL: The Linebackers – My God, the linebackers on this team just fell off a cliff this year. Even David Harris, who I love as a player, has been struggling. Perhaps that’s because he has to make every single tackle since Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, and Bryan Thomas are USELESS (seriously, USELESS. That deserves mentioning twice), but he’s still not playing up to the standard that he set for himself. Garrett McIntyre also deserves special mention here for his performance, especially on the Arian Foster touchdown run where he got absolutely steamrolled. Sadly, despite all of Rex’s defensive wizardry, this unit can’t improve until these guys get their pink slips and some linebackers are brought in who can actually run, get to the outside, and generally not move around with all the grace of Tony Siragusa headed towards a toilet after a trip to Taco Bell. In the second half we saw more of Quinton Coples in 4 man fronts, Josh Mauga and Demario Davis at linebacker, and shockingly, the defense improved. That’s weird.

BUY: Jeremy Kerley – Jeremy Kerley had a great game. For a guy who was not expected to be anything more than a slot receiver this year, he’s really stepped into the #1 receiver roll and looked pretty darn good doing so. Defenses are going to start paying more attention to him, but if Dustin Keller ever gets the green light to actually play, the Jets might actually have some offensive weapons to use and we won’t have to see Cumberland and Jason Hill disgracing their family names any longer.

BUY: Antonio Cromartie – I saved the best for last this week. Antonio Cromartie played like the elite cornerback that he is this week and showed the world he wasn’t just blowing smoke when he said he feels like he’s the best corner in the league now that Revis is down. Guess what? He really might be. I never understood the irrational hatred towards Cromartie from Jets fans who were just jaded from watching Revis play. There’s only one corner in the world who doesn’t get beat. All of the others give up plays from time to time, but very few are able to cover man to man the way Antonio Cromartie does, and there aren’t 5 others in the league who can make the big plays he does either. He’s a great player, and the Jets are lucky to have him. How many other guys would be able to just take over the Revis role and follow around a guy like Andre Johnson all over the field and make it seem like the Jets defense isn’t missing a beat? If this season ends in anything but a Pro Bowl selection for Cro, it will be a travesty.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Fire Sale Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch. Where everything must go!

At this point there isn’t a whole heck of a lot left to say about the debacle of a game last week against the 49ers that hasn’t already been said by everyone. Sanchez stunk. The run game is crap. The wide receivers wouldn’t even start for the University of Alabama. The tight ends wouldn’t even MAKE the University of Alabama team. The linebackers should be put out to pasture. There is no pass rush. Kyle Wilson is yet another blemish on Mike Tannenbaum’s draft record. Ah yes, Mike Tannenbaum, the General Manager who refused to read my letter to him before the season. Perhaps he should have heeded my advice, because I warned him in that letter that the complete and utter lack of a plan on this team was going to get him fired, and it’s looking like that’s going to be the case. (Crossing my fingers.)

Rather than buy and sell, or more accurately just sell everything from last week’s performance, I’m going to run down the things I’m buying for the rest of the season and what I — and all Jets fans — should be hoping to see from here on out.

BUY: Mark Sanchez start every game – I don’t care how bad he looked last week (and even the most ardent Sanchez supporter would have to say he played poorly), he is the best option for this team at quarterback. Tim Tebow is not the solution long-term so what is the point? Greg McElroy isn’t the answer, unless the question is “Who should be the backup quarterback next season?”. Let’s see if Sanchez can make chicken salad out of chicken you-know-what. His receivers without Holmes are terrible. TERRIBLE. His right tackle is terrible. His tight ends with Keller out are terrible. Actually “terrible” isn’t even a strong enough word for Jeff Cumberland and Dedrick Epps. I’d need to combine several gross words to describe them. They’re terribawfulcrap. The run game is an embarrassment to run games. I wouldn’t even call it a “run game” because what they do isn’t running the ball as much as much as it’s just slowly falling forward each time it’s handed off. The point is, Sanchez has the worst supporting cast around him in the NFL at this point. Let’s see if he can play well despite that and earn the trust of the coaching staff and fan base going forward. I’m still a believer.

BUY: Powell, McKnight, and Grimes at RB – Nobody defended Shonn Greene more than me heading into this season, but it’s over. He’s a complementary back, and it won’t be for the Jets going forward so there’s not much of a point to seeing him plod ahead and fall down for 3 yards over and over. We know what he can do. He’s still a useful player in the right situation, and if the Jets were good still, I’d be saying he should definitely be getting plenty of touches. But the Jets aren’t good. Let’s see if Bilal Powell can be next season’s starter. Let’s FINALLY see what Joe McKnight can do — on offense, not as a cornerback. And let’s see if this Jonathan Grimes character off the Texans practice squad can offer anything at all. Why not, right?

BUY: Hill, Kerley, Schilens at WR – Could this be considered a “good” group of WR’s? No of course not. That’s a laughable thought. It’s probably the worst group in the NFL. But there certainly isn’t much of a point to bringing in Terrell Owens or Plaxico Burress is there? Could a guy like Plax help this team go from a 5 win team to a 6 win team? Perhaps, but in the long run that hurts us. Let the young guys play and hope they improve enough to be reliable contributors next season, especially Hill. It’s a good thing Mike Tannenbaum loaded this roster with #4 receivers though, isn’t it? Any time you can give your starting QB two #4 receivers, a solid slot guy, and a #142 tight end to throw to, you do it and wait for the wins to pile up!

BUY: Vlad Ducasse at Guard – Gulp. Yes, I said it. If the team is going to pretend Vlad Ducasse is a real NFL player and hope none of us notice, then let’s freaking see it. Throw the big oaf out there and let’s see if he can manage to not get any of his teammates killed. And if he trips and falls over Jeff Cumberland and knocks him out a few weeks, then at least we can say Vlad finally contributed to the team.

BUY: Quinton Coples – !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I know it’s a novel concept, but let’s play our first round pick who just happens to be our ONLY threat as a pass rusher up front. Last week the Jets had 3 pressures, which sadly is not a misprint. Anyway, Coples had 2 of them in limited action. Let’s see more 4-man fronts, and I don’t want to hear about how Coples struggles against the run for two reasons. 1) I don’t even think that’s true, and 2) Even if it is true, are Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, and Garrett McIntyre doing ANYTHING out there that would make you think they deserve snaps? Speaking of which..

BUY: Aaron Maybin – Same logic as with Coples, really. He can rush the passer, which the Jets seem to be allergic to. And sure he sucks against the run, but here’s the thing: SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE! Who cares? Maybe he’ll manage to create some havoc and get into the backfield for a change. And if he doesn’t, there’s really not much difference than the other guys.

BUY: Demario Davis at LB – It sure would be nice to see a linebacker who doesn’t need a sun dial to time his 40 yard dash, wouldn’t it? I know I’ve used that joke before, but I will continue to do so until it isn’t relevant to the Jets roster. The linebackers are ssslllloooooowwwww. If it was 1988, then having all these big, slow as crap linebackers would probably be a good thing. But it’s not 1988, and it’s definitely not a good thing.

BUY: Aaron Berry at CB – Kyle Wilson sucks. I was hoping against hope that it wasn’t true, but it is. The guy looks like he has absolutely no clue what he’s doing out there. And after watching him finger-wag Mario Manningham last week after getting absolutely torched repeatedly, he makes me think he’s the worst kind of suck too. He legitimately thinks he’s good and has a major false sense of accomplishment. Considering he’ll be out of the league in 2 years, I hope he saved up some of that big bag of money that Mike Tannenbaum gave him. Aaron Berry is a horrible human being, but he was a pretty solid cornerback for Detroit and likely will help more as a nickel back between Revis and Cromartie than Wilson ever did.

BUY: A high draft pick – Sadly, it’s looking like the team that was oh-so-close just two years ago is completely shot. The team needed to be re-tooled over the past two offseasons at several key positions like linebacker, offensive line, and running back, but it never happened. Draft busts like Kyle Wilson, Vlad Duacasse, and pretty much all the running backs that Tannenbaum loves collecting have been useless. There is no depth, no talent on offense, little talent on defense, and our star player in Darrelle Revis is injured. As a fan, it’s impossible to root against the Jets when they play on Sundays, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if this ends in 5-11 or something like that. Tannenbaum will likely be canned, veterans like Pace and Scott and their big contracts with be purged, and things will look much different next year. Hopefully all these injuries and subpar performances land us a really high draft pick for the first time since 2008 so even our pathetic scouting department can’t mess it up.

Oh wait, that year we drafted Vernon Gholston. We are doomed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012 Useless Jets Players List

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

2012 Almost-Useless Jets Players List

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

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

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

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

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

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