New York Jets: Wins Are Good, Right?

Rob Celletti wonders what it will take to keep New York Jets fans happy

It is a funny game they play in the National Football League.  Sometimes, the post-game discussion and analysis is even funnier.

This past Sunday, the New York Giants won an important home game against the upstart Buffalo Bills.  A 24-24 nailbiter turned on a late red zone interception by the Giants’ Corey Webster, setting up a game-winning field goal for Big Blue.

On Monday morning, the New York media heaped praise upon Tom Coughlin’s team, and rightfully so.  The Giants were feeling “Super” (wink, wink) at 4-2 heading into their bye week, and Eli Manning was praised as an elite quarterback, despite not throwing a touchdown pass in the Giants’ victory (and nearly being intercepted to kill the eventual game-winning drive).

On Monday night, at the very same stadium, the New York Jets won a game by 18 points, against a division opponent that always challenges and plays them close.  Similarly, this game also turned on a red zone interception, complete with a highlight film 100-yard run-back, the only moment which garnered a significant reaction from the lifeless MetLife Stadium crowd.  Darelle Revis’ goal-line interception righted the ship for the Jets, who settled in for an eventually comfortable, if imperfect 24-6 victory.

But if you picked up a newspaper, logged onto a blog, or listened to a sports-talk radio show on Tuesday, you’d have thought the Jets lost.  The main talking points hadn’t changed much from what they were when the Jets were mired in a 3-game losing streak: the quarterback was inconsistent, the running game was not explosive, the defense gave up too many yards.

Isn’t winning supposed to be fun?

I am aware that the Buffalo Bills are a much better football team than the Miami Dolphins, who are probably now considering full tank-mode so they can draft Andrew Luck.  But my point in comparing the two scenarios is to bring to light just how asinine and absurd some of the post-game analysis of the NFL truly is.

A lot of people made the point on Tuesday that if Revis’ pick-six doesn’t happen, there’s a strong chance the Jets don’t recover from a 10-0 deficit and lose the game.  First of all, there’s no way to prove that.  Secondly, how does the Giants game turn out if Webster doesn’t make his interception?  For that matter, how does any NFL game turn out if key plays don’t happen, or go the other way?  That’s what makes them key plays, right?

And really, that’s what it is all about in the NFL.  The salary cap makes it arguably the most competitive pro sports league in the world.  The “any given Sunday” cliche is one that actually holds true, especially in division games, where you always throw records out the window.  A lot of NFL games are decided by one or two plays.  The Giants were praised for theirs, the Jets were scolded.

Again, I’m under no illusions here.  I know the Dolphins are a lost cause, and that the Jets need to play much, much better football, especially at the start of games.  I’m not apologizing for what I think is a defense that has some holes personnel-wise and an offense that is being held back by their offensive coordinator.  But, the Jets won a game and are right back into their season now.  And oh yeah, they won by 18 points, thoroughly dominating their opponent in the second half.  People seem to have overlooked that.

Perhaps it’s a product of Rex Ryan’s change in the culture of the team, but it seems as though Jets fans are not satisfied with anything other than a 63-0 victory in any contest.  It has gotten a little absurd, quite frankly.  And if you think back to last year, the Jets weren’t exactly juggernauts, either, despite all of the good will an 11-5 season and a 2nd straight AFC Championship Game appearance created.  They needed 4th quarter comebacks and/or overtime to beat some below-average competition.  Their defense looked just as vulnerable last year (at times) as it does this year, especially on third downs and late in games.

People predicting a special season this year from the Jets were probably a bit misguided, which has led to an enormous amount of criticism – some justified, some not – of this .500 team so far.  But in the NFL, it often boils down to one or two plays in a close game.  The Jets aren’t currently great, but they’re probably not far off either.

Announcing TOJ “Deals”

*NEW PRODUCT…for our readers*

A little bit of PR this morning before we move into our daily coverage. We have an exciting new feature on the website housed at DEALS and conveniently linked here from our home page. If you are familiar with Groupon or Living Social, you will recognize our format, which will provide our readers with great deals on food and other services. Check it out and get in on the action, as we already have a great deal running for Wendy’s today. Remember to follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter, for updates on our running deals everyday.

Enjoy and don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail (JoeC@TurnOnTheJets.com)

TOJ Video Round-Up

Outside of constantly babbling on and on about the New York Jets. I am also a writer at Gunaxin, on “media and cultue”…I suppose that is the best way to put it. Anyway, here is a round-up of my latest work over there the past week if you are interested, if not…don’t worry the Jets/Jaguars game breakdown is coming shortly.

A Random Rant on New York City public transportation

NBA Lockout Withdrawal Videos

Toy Story Meets Dark Knight

George Brett Has An Accident

How Can She Slap

Interview With Rapper Chris Webby

2011 NFL Predictions

AFC East

  1. New York Jets: 12-4
  2. New England Patriots: 12-4 (Wild-Card)
  3. Buffalo Bills: 6-10
  4. Miami Dolphins: 5-11

AFC North

  1. Baltimore Ravens: 11-5
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers: 10-6 (Wild-Card)
  3. Cleveland Browns: 8-8
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: 3-13

AFC South

  1. Houston Texans: 11-5
  2. Tennessee Titans: 7-9
  3. Indianapolis Colts: 6-10
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-12

AFC West

  1. San Diego Chargers: 11-5
  2. Oakland Raiders: 8-8
  3. Kansas City Chiefs: 5-11
  4. Denver Broncos: 4-12

NFC East

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: 11-5
  2. Dallas Cowboys: 10-6
  3. New York Giants; 7-9
  4. Washington Redskins: 6-10

NFC North

  1. Green Bay Packers: 12-4
  2. Detroit Lions: 10-6 (Wild-Card)
  3. Minnesota Vikings: 8-8
  4. Chicago Bears: 5-11

NFC South

  1. New Orleans Saints: 12-4
  2. Atlanta Falcons: 10-6 (Wild-Card)
  3. Tampa Bay Bucs: 6-10
  4. Carolina Panthers: 4-12

NFC West

  1. St. Louis Rams: 9-7
  2. Arizona Cardinals: 6-10
  3. San Francisco 49ers: 5-11
  4. Seattle Seahawks: 5-11

AFC Championship: Jets over Patriots

NFC Championship: Saints over Eagles

Super Bowl: Jets over Saints

Offensive Player of the Year: Philip Rivers

Defensive Player of the Year: Darrelle Revis

League MVP: Drew Brees

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Julio Jones

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Marcell Dareus

Mark Sanchez: Worst Quarterback Ever?

I always find the incessant criticism of Mark Sanchez both entertaining and not surprising. He is the face of the most obnoxious, brash talking team in the NFL alongside Rex Ryan. Just like people can’t stand Ryan, people can’t stand Sanchez and refuse to credit his success while only focusing on his shortcomings.

Let’s be clear, Sanchez has been far from great in his first two years as a NFL starter. Yet, considering he started 16 games in college and he was thrown in as the starter from day one, I think he has shown enough to believe he will develop into a very good NFL quarterback.

He is constantly characterized as an “average” to “below average” player by the national media. You never hear anybody talking about him developing into a better player as the years go on, even though he took major strides in year two. However, you get people like Bill Barnwell saying Chad Henne can develop into Drew Brees. Matthew Stafford, Josh Freeman, and even the pathetic in any big spot Henne all get discussion about developing into future stars but not Sanchez, the guy with 19 regular season wins and 4 road playoff victories in two years.

The stat line on Sanchez’s first two years won’t impress anybody on paper. Yet keep in mind he threw 5 more touchdowns, 7 less interceptions, over 800 more yards, and won two more regular season games from year 1 to year 2.

I am really not concerned about the paper stats. I know that Sanchez plays better when the spot is bigger. I know he is clutch and I know he has taken every step since being drafted to becoming the leader of his team. I also know that average or below average quarterbacks don’t go into New England and go for a 16/25, 195 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs stat line while knocking Tom Brady out of the playoffs.

Other young quarterbacks get passes for being inconsistent, they also seem to get passes for not winning. Fortunately, Sanchez doesn’t even need to worry about a pass for the latter. The Jets are in good shape with their quarterback position and will be for the long term with Sanchez under center.

NFL Pre-Season Review: Last Of The Week 2 Memories

It is becoming a blur after watching week 2 of preseason football. One half of good football, strange final scores that have little to no relation to how the game went. How is one to judge a preseason football game? Do we just make the most of the first half and try and hash together some sort of highlight reel for rookies? I have found myself up at 6am watching Reggie Bush look like he did in fact deserve that Heisman trophy. I watch Cam Newton grin and smile after almost having his head torn off. I watch the Redskins look…good? No sleep can do strange things to the human mind. People can start to believe things like the Redskins winning the NFC East. Shanahan got a haircut. Anything is possible in Washington.

Game 1: Jaguars vs. Falcons

The Falcons have a serious receiving core. Matt Ryan will probably go over 4,000 yards this year. Julio Jones will run block, catch deep balls, and go over the middle without issue. The Falcons are going to need to outscore teams if they want to win in that division. They score fast. The issue with fast scoring is that if the opposing team has a good run game and can eat up clock, then that Falcons offense is going to be stuck on the sideline.

Defense is not the focal point of the Falcons, which is why they used their 1st,5th and 7th round pick on offense. The biggest star on the Falcons defense is John Abraham. Abraham is 33 years old and may not have enough left in the tank to be the dominant pass rusher of years past. Sean Weatherspoon is a solid linebacker but might not have enough of an impact to pick up the rest of the defense.

For the Jaguars, things looked better in week 2 for Blaine Gabbert, who has a serious gun and seems to look more comfortable in the pocket with every snap. This preseason will be good for Gabbert, who is going to need to feel out the offense against defenses that are trying to make him uncomfortable and rush his throws. He will learn to find his tight end, namely Mercedes Lewis when the play breaks down. 6’6 275. Just throw it to him.

Game 2:  Colts vs. Redskins

Are the Colts on the edge of missing the playoffs? Yes. Peyton Manning might miss the season opener. He did not have his usual receiver camp or practice in full pads yet, not a good thing when it is already week 2 of preseason. There will be interceptions and missed throws, possibly more than last year. It will not be pretty until week 6. That said, the Colts have enough defensive lineman to stop the run, though that linebacking core leaves much to be desired. Drake Nevis will fit right in with guys like Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis showing him the ropes.

The Colts knew last year that they needed some help at offensive line, because if Peyton goes down, the season goes down. They grabbed Anthony Castonzo in the 1st round and Ben Ijana in the 2nd round. Manning sleeps well.

The Redskins. Let me tell you a little about my relationship with the Redskins. I’m 23, so the Redskins have never been good in my lifetime. My dad is a Redskins fan. A sad, bitter, almost guilty Redskins fan. I like to occasionally call him and let him know the latest Redskins news, like when they signed Haynesworth last year and gave him a $20,000,000 check.

For some reason, he did not think this was going to end well. It did not end well, and he could only watch as his team was manhandled by Michael Vick. He actually told me that after the first touchdown, he had to turn on The Biggest Loser to stop the vein in his neck from throbbing. So recently I gave him a call, notifying him that Donovan Mcnabb had been traded to the Vikings, and that John Beck was the new starting quarterback. Not former 1st round pick Rex Grossman, but John Beck. The John Beck 99% of NFL fans have never heard of.

I thought it would be a beating. A sad event much like watching Holyfield still boxing, Jorge Posada swinging for the fences, or AJ Burnett trying not to have a nervous breakdown with bases loaded in the first inning. And then the game started.
The Redskins had holes to run through. If the Redskins get production out of Maurice Hurt, they will be able to use Roy Helu like they did at Nebraska. They have enough of a mix of veteran (Stallworth, Moss) and rookie (Paul, Robinson, Hankerson) wide receiver talent to spread the field. And the defense…a Redskins defense?

Mike Shanahan may actually crack a smile watching his defense play. They’ve got a serious linebacking core. London Fletcher is on his last legs, but Brian Orakpo is like having a corner and a D lineman on the field, while Ryan Kerrigan will get moved between defensive end and outside linebacker. If a team decides to throw the ball, they get to sort between Laron Landry, Philip Buchanon and Deangelo Hall. Big hits will be made.

As per the yearly lack of trying, the Colts scored 3 points. Curtis Painter grew his hair to surfer bro lengths, and the Colts look like they will ned another QB to replace Painter if Manning’s neck surgery takes longer than expected to heal.

Game 3: Dolphins vs. Panthers

This was the game I turned on after a night of good old fashioned debauchery, so it was more to see Sporano scream and Reggie Bush run. I wanted to see Cam sling it a bit and see how he handles blitzes, but conclusions are not always what you expect them to be. The Dolphins will rely on four players on offense. Chad Henne. Davone Bess. Reggie Bush. Brandon Marshall. That will be the magic formula. Run with Bush, pass it over the middle to Marshall, and catch Devon Bess on the sidelines.

Cam Newton will run. He will have to if he wants to demoralize safeties and cornerbacks that attempt to tackle him. He is a new breed of quarterback, whose physical attributes would put him as anything between linebacker, defensive end, and the world’s largest safety. Yet he is a quarterback, and that should make anyone under 6 feet tall nervous when he takes off to run. People will look weak and small.

Towards week 3, where the strange will get stranger, and upsets will be glorious.

Jets vs. Bengals: Plax Is Back, As Backups Answer Call

The Jets put preseason game two behind them properly Sunday night, with a 27-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals while both resting key starters and unveiling WR Plaxico Burress in a feature role.

Despite the rain that continued through the contest, Burress, in his first NFL appearance since November of 2008, looked quick, agile out of his breaks, and hungry. Number 17 capped off an impressive return (3-66-1TD) with an over the shoulder 26 yard TD grab, on a third down lob from QB Mark Sanchez.

The Bengals brought their safeties up to the line of scrimmage prior to the play, leaving Jets receivers with one on one coverage. Should this be a sign of things to come, clubs may start to think twice about consistently trying to hurry Sanchez up offense while risking secondary numbers up close to the ball.

Sanchez read the defense and simply dropped quick in order to loft the throw to the 6’5 Burress, who outran the Bengals CB on the play in order to catch up to, and land underneath the perfectly thrown ball. The result was the most exciting play so far in 2011 for the new New York Jets. A club that now features a serious scoring weapon who may help the club climb out from the t bottom of the barrel red zone ranking of 2010.

Aside from the triumphant return of Burress to the field, other notable performances came from LB Aaron Maybin, signed this week after being released by Buffalo. Maybin looked fast speed rushing outside. Although he slipped on one attempt, the third year pro caused a strip late in the fourth quarter, albeit against the Bengals second and third string unit. Should Maybin be able to provide that same speed all year long, the Jets defense will have added an extra boost in disrupting opponent’s third down and long attempts.

Safety Jim Leonhard excited the crowd in his home return from a broken leg in November of 2010 with an interception. Backup LB Brashton Satele, the player that special teams coach Mike Westhoff suggested “open a pizza joint” last Summer on HBO’s Hard Knocks, picked off a second half throw as well, and was tackled just short of the goal line.

Maligned backup offensive lineman Vlad Ducasse settled in finally, perhaps thanks to the return of All Pro C Nick Mangold, who missed the opener at Houston due to a stinger suffered in practice days prior to the trip.

As for others, rookie QB Greg McElroy looked poised for the second straight week. This time during his second half duties as Mark Brunell sat for a second straight week. McElroy capped his efforts of solid decision making with a short rollout TD pass to RB Joe McKnight, who made some nice runs of his own in the battle for the number three job with Bilal Powell. The rookie RB out of Lousiville was quiet during his attempts. RB Chris Jennings broke a long late 4th quarter run that could keep him in the mix as camp heads into the latter stages.

Last week the questions surrounding the Jets centered on Burress and the club’s depth. Those issues were lessened to a degree tonight, despite playing a Cincinnati team undergoing a transition to the future from the Carson Palmer years.

With Shonn Greene, Derrick Mason, and a few other nicked up members of Gang Green resting on the sidelines and no apparent major injuries from the game to speak of, Jets nation couldn’t ask for more out of a rainy night in mid August.

TOJ Dump Link – Keep You Entertained Edition

I have fell a little behind posting some of my other material here because of the madness of the lockout ending. Let’s catch up…and don’t panic we will have a new TOJ Roundtable and a handful of Jets analysis coming later…

Highly recommend going to see The Devil’s Double this summer

The ultimate depth chart for The Mighty Ducks, who doesn’t love these movies?

An interview with rapper Ace Hood on his upcoming album

Highly recommend checking out How To Make It In America this fall

Arguably the weakest highlight reel in sports history

Kevin Durant going off in Rucker Park for 66 points

A closer look at the end of The Sopranos

NFL Free Agency 2011: Asomugha To Jets Momentum Picking Up

Where there is smoke, there is usually fire, especially when it comes to Mike Tannenbaum making moves. Along those lines, the chatter about Nnamdi Asomugha coming to the New York Jets has picked up gradually throughout the past few days and is now to the point where it sounds like the Jets are the favorite to land him.

Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network has reported throughout the morning the Jets discussions with him are “very serious” and Albert Breer, also of the NFL Network, has corroborated the report. The Jets beat writers and other media members have reported the team is discussing restructuring contracts with current players to make a run at Asomugha and that he is their top priority right now.

The most recent news is that the San Francisco 49ers have become the Jets main competition to signing Asmougha, which is somewhat surprising considering many thought Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia would be heavily involved in pursuing him.

Yes, the 49ers can offer more money but the Jets can offer a better location, team, and a proven coaching staff and system. Nevermind the chance of forming the greatest starting duo of corners in NFL history.

Obviously, if the Jets do work something out with Asomugha, other areas of the team will feel the impact but honestly the impact may not be as bad as some make it out to be. Braylon Edwards is probably gone either way, considering how much money was spent on Holmes, same goes with Brad Smith. You don’t need Antonio Cromartie back if you sign Asomugha. Beyond that, the Jets should still be able to get Eric Smith and Trevor Pryce back to improve their defensive depth, and maybe sign somebody like Randy Moss to a short term, incentive-laden deal to replace Edwards.