Grading Out Jets/Ravens: U-G-L-Y

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First a few updates:

1. For the second straight year, Kris Jenkins will have season ending ACL surgery. You have to feel terrible for the big guy, who is one of the Jets most likable players and worked himself back into great shape for 2010. Despite how well Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito played last night, the Jets have a serious depth issue on the defensive line. Forget the Albert Haynesworth talk…it is much more likely Marques Douglas will be brought back.

2. Adalius Thomas visted with the Jets today, so there is obviously a good chance he could sign within the next 24 hours. There is also talk about a Laveranues Coles return, which certainly couldn’t hurt the offense.

Grading Out Jets/Ravens: U-G-L-Y

Quarterback: (D) – The only positive from Mark Sanchez is that he didn’t turn the ball over. Beyond that, he looked like he was lacking confidence and appeared anxious in the pocket. He certainly wasn’t helped by the Jets decision to use an unnecessarily high amount of motions and shifts, along with Brian Schottenheimer’s play calling. Regardless, 10/21 for 74 yards is a joke.

Running Backs: (C) – LaDainian Tomlinsonwas the Jets best player on offense last night, finishing with 62 yards on 11 carries and 16 more receiving yards. Shonn Greene was simply put, awful. He fumbled once and had a bad drop, along with a whopping 18 yards on 5 carries. Tony Richardson seemed to struggle more than usual with his run blocking.

Wide Receiver: (F) – All I can remember from them is a killer drop from Jerricho Cotchery and a killer penalty from Braylon Edwards. Brad Smith was the Jets second best player on offense but he did from the quarterback position, not from the receiver spot.

Tight End: (F) – 4th and 10…that is 10 yards, Dustin.

Offensive Line: (C-) – Too many penalties and shoddy pass protection in big spots. I wonder when the Jets will start considering putting Rob Turner in as the starting guard over Matt Slauson.

Defensive Line: (A) – Shaun Ellis was playing like a man possessed with 7 tackles, .5 sack and a FF. The Ravens did absolutely nothing running the ball, thanks in large part to Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito who both had 7 tackles. Matt Kroul gave some quality reps and Vernon Gholston was actually very active.

Linebackers: (A) – What got into Bryan Thomas? He was a beast last night with 9 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Jason Taylor was better than expected in run support. Bart Scott had 9 tackles. A quiet night for David Harris.

Secondary: (D) – The penalties were absolutely brutal. Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson have to learn how to play the football in the air. Darrelle Revis looked like his old self. Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith played well but are liabilities in pass coverage.

Special Teams: (A) – Great night from Nick Folk, Steve Weatherford, and Jim Leonhard.

Coaching: (F) – The Jets were completely undisciplined but the reason this is so low is because of the pathetic game plan constructed by Brian Schottenheimer. Enough with the motion and shifts and give your quarterback a chance to get in rhythm at some point. Why do we even have wide receivers?

Instant Reaction: Jets Offense Missing In Action, Lose 10-9

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And the rest of the NFL world can sleep with a smile on their face knowing the Jets lost tonight.

On opening night the Jets wasted a terrific effort by their defense and special teams, en route to an ugly 10-9 loss. I may be a damn good writer, but I can’t come up with the words to describe how awful the Jets offense was tonight. It was summed up perfectly by running the 9 yard out on 4th and 10 during one of the worst looking two minute drives in NFL history.

The Jets only lost by one point tonight but it sure didn’t feel that close. The positives? LaDainian Tomlinson still has plenty left in the tank. The Jets defense is still about as good as it gets in the NFL, despite incurring more penalties than were mentally comprehensible and playing terrible on third down. Bryan Thomas and Shaun Ellis played the game of their lives and Darrelle Revis looked like the Darrelle Revis from last year.

The negatives? A quick laundry list…

  • The Jets have no absolutely zero passing game.
  • Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson looked like Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman.
  • Kris Jenkins hurt his leg and could be out for awhile.
  • Shonn Greene mentally checked out of the game after a fumble and did nothing overall.

So, enjoy your gloating Jets haters and Jets fans throw yourself into a massive hysteria of panic. Yet, try to remember that despite playing one of the worst offensive games in recent history, racking up a 125 penalty yards, and playing terrible third down defense, the Jets just lost by 1 point to one of the five best teams in the NFL.

Although, I am already having nightmares about New England throwing the ball on us next week.

Final Thoughts On Jets/Ravens

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Quick Week 1 Thoughts –

  • You have to give New England credit, they completely smacked around an over-matched Bengals team today. I am still not sold on their running game or defense but when it comes to throwing the ball, they will be as good as anybody in the NFL.
  • Ugly, ugly game between Miami and Buffalo. Trent Edwards attempt at a two minute drive at the end of the fourth quarter was one of the ugliest things I have ever seen. The Bills are as devoid as talent as any team in the NFL. Miami certainly didn’t look like a serious contender today but a win is a win.
  • Matt Moore and Carolina’s offense isn’t a pretty sight to watch.
  • What happened to San Francisco? The NFC West is completely up for grabs. Those four teams are closer together in their mediocrity than most people thing.
  • Why couldn’t the Colts play like that last January?
  • And here comes the quarterback controversy in Philadelphia…

Final Thoughts on the game that just won’t get here

Offense – I am interested to see how much playing time Danny Woodhead or Jeff Cumberland get at the wide receiver position, considering the Jets are only carrying three actual receivers. This is a game where it makes sense to liberally use more spread formations, which means Brad Smith is going to have step up and make some plays as a receiver and not just in the Wildcat…Braylon Edwards, let’s see it. Now is the time to put those physical skills to use and show you can handle being a number one receiver…Everybody is panicked about Mark Sanchez heading into this game, yet I have hard picturing him falling flat on his face. I think he will make a concerted effort to protect the ball, yet I hope that doesn’t prevent him from taking the necessary shots down the field…I am hopeful I will be bumping this on my ride to work Tuesday morning:

Defense – I am just excited to see this unit in action. I want to see Joe Flacco on the ground early and often. The Jets sack totals were somewhat disappointing last year so I’d like to see them get a strong start tomorrow night…Regardless of his reputation, I have a hard time believing the Ravens won’t take an early shot on Darrelle Revis…Can we see some signs of life from Jason Taylor, and if not get Jamaal Westerman in the game…I am worried about Ray Rice matched up on our linebackers tomorrow night.

Special Teams – I am very anxious to see Kyle Wilson get his first punt return under his belt…I can’t relax about Nick Folk until I see him hit a 40+ yarder tomorrow night.

Let’s Get It

Jets vs. Ravens: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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A 12 pack of predictions for Monday night’s game from TOJ, along with other week one NFL predictions

1. Ray Rice is going to rack up a good amount of yards against the Jets defense. Their linebackers will struggle to stop him in space. However, I think we will see plenty of the Jets defense bending to allow yards but not breaking to allow touchdowns.

2. Anquan Boldin isn’t going to do much of anything against Darrelle Revis. I am more worried about Todd Heap and Derrick Mason in the middle of the field.

3. The Jets are going to take a shot down the field to Braylon Edwards very early in the game. It will soften up the defense and show they aren’t afraid to attack the Ravens weak cornerbacks.

4. LaDainian Tomlinson is going to play more reps than Shonn Greene, yet Greene will finish with more carries and more total touches.

5. Mark Sanchez is going to have at least one turnover but so is Joe Flacco, whichever quarterback does a better overall job of protecting the football is going to go a long way to deciding who wins this game.

6. Jamaal Westerman is going to make a strong case to take a good share of reps from Jason Taylor at outside linebacker

7.  Jerricho Cotchery is going to pull in at least 5 receptions and a few key third down conversions.

8. Kyle Wilson is going to impress both as a nickel back and a punt returner in his NFL debut.

9. Inactives – Kellen Clemens, Joe McKnight, Patrick Brown, Matthew Mulligan, Marcus Dixon, Drew Coleman, Calvin Pace, Brodney Pool

10. Eric Smith is going to make a strong case for more playing time with a solid performance filling in for Brodney Pool.

11. This game will be decided in the final four minutes. It is going to come down to which offense can break through with a timely big play or two, along with what defense can create a turnover that leads directly to points for their offense.

12. Ultimately, the Ravens will move the ball but the will Jets keep holding them to field goals and escape with a victory on a late (gulp) Nick Folk field goal, 17-16.

Other NFL Picks

  • Giants (-6) vs. Carolina
  • Miami (-4.5) vs. Buffalo
  • Atlanta (-2) vs. Pittsburgh
  • Detroit (+6.5) vs. Chicago
  • Cincinnati (+5.5) vs. New England
  • Cleveland (+3) vs. Tampa Bay
  • Jacksonville (-3) vs. Denver
  • Colts  (-3) vs. Houston
  • Oakland (+6.5) vs. Tennessee
  • Green Bay (-4) vs. Philadelphia
  • San Francisco (-4) vs. Seattle
  • Arizona (-3.5) vs. St. Louis
  • Dallas (-3.5) vs. Washington
  • San Diego (-5.5) vs. Kansas City

Jets vs. Ravens: Game Breakdown

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Offense: We all know the Jets want to run the football, yet if they want to move the ball against the Baltimore Ravens it is going to make sense to throw more than usual. The Ravens are beat up in the secondary in a big way. They won’t have Ed Reed taking people’s heads off and intercepting everything in sight and will be without Dominique Foxworth and Ladarius Webb at cornerback. The bottom line is they will have a very average collection of players in their secondary and the Jets must take advantage. I’m not saying to completely ignore the ground and pound, yet the best formation for the Jets offense this week might be Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith and Dustin Keller split out with LaDainian Tomlinson in the single back or motioning out to the slot.

There isn’t a corner on Baltimore who could physically match up with Edwards, who is coming off a great off-season and will have the chance to show these first four weeks he is capable of being the Jets number one receiver. Cotchery should be able to be very effective in the slot and Keller will be a tough match-up for the Baltimore safeties, although Dawan Landry is a talented player who is athletic enough to battle with Keller.

PhotobucketObviously, left guard remains an area of concern. The Ravens will be attacking Matt Slauson and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets left the running back in to pass protect more frequently than usual. I am interested to see the division of reps between the halfbacks and fullbacks in week one. This will be Shonn Greene’s first career start, yet I wonder if he will get the chance to get around 20 carries. Tomlinson could get more reps than usual because of a more pass centric than usual game-plan and his pass protection abilities. I am sure we will see John Conner in short yardage packages but there should be plenty of Tony Richardson out there, again because of his experience in pass protection.

Defense: Ray Rice. Ray Rice. Ray Rice. Regardless of all their additions at the wide receiver position, Rice is the most dangerous player on the Ravens offense. He can kill you as a pass catcher out of the backfield and obviously has the ability to rip off huge runs at any moment. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a ton of Kyle Wilson shadowing him, if he motions out to the slot and when he is in the backfield, it will be on the linebackers and safety to contain him. Eric Smith will get the nod at safety in place of an injured Brodney Pool and will have his hands full right out of the gate. The Jets don’t have the fastest collection of linebackers, which could prove to be a problem when attempting to slow down Rice.

In the secondary, we should be seeing Revis Island matched up Anquan Boldin primarily, which leaves Antonio Cromartie to deal with Derrick Mason and Kyle Wilson to focus on Rice out of the backfield and TJ Houshmandzadeh. Todd Heap is also one of the better pass catching tight ends in the league. It will be interesting to see who the Jets match up on him. I would imagine the responsibility would fall mostly to Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard, and maybe Dwight Lowery. All in all, this will be a good test for the Jets secondary because the Ravens have a very legit five pass catching options in Boldin, Rice, Housh, Heap, and Rice.

As we saw in the playoffs last year, Joe Flacco can be pressured into making poor decisions. He does have a big arm and put together a pretty productive season in 2009, yet the Jets defense should be able to force him into a couple of turnovers. Jason Taylor has been invisible in the pre-seaosn but he will have the chance to show he can still get after the quarterback while filling in for Calvin Pace. Also don’t be surprised to see some Jamaal Westerman on certain pass rushing downs.

Special Teams: You can bet both team’s fanbases and coaching staffs will be cringing each time their kickers line up. Nick Folk and Billy Cundiff both still have to win over everybody’s confidence. Brad Smith will be the primary kick returner for the Jets, while punt return could be a combination of Jim Leonhard, Jerricho Cotchery, and Kyle Wilson. Chris Carr is a fairly explosive return man for the Ravens, but I don’t expect the Jets to do anything out of the ordinary to avoid kicking him the ball.

It’s Just About That Time

Jets vs. Ravens: First Look

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The Opponent: Along with the Jets and the Indianapolis Colts, the Baltimore Ravens are widely being selected as a favorite in the AFC. Coming off a 9-7 season in which they grabbed a wild-card spot in the week 17, Baltimore improved their offense this off-season with the addition of wide receiver Anquan Boldin and the recent signing receiver of TJ Houshmandzadeh. However, there is some concern about their secondary, with All-World safety Ed Reed beginning the season on the PUP list and starting cornerback Dominique Foxworth out for the year with a torn ACL. Regardless, Baltimore is a team cut in a similar mold to the Jets. They want to run the football and play an aggressive style of defense. This week one match-up could very well foreshadow a future playoff game between these two teams.

Baltimore Ravens Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Joe Flacco – 63.1 completion percentage, 21 TDs, 12 INTs
  • Running Back: Ray Rice – 1339 rushing yards, 702 receiving yards, 8 TDs
  • Running Back: Willis McGahee – 544 rushing yards, 85 receiving yards, 14 TDs
  • Fullback: Le’Ron McClain – 180 rushing yards, 2 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Anquan Boldin – 84 receptions, 1024 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Derrick Mason – 73 receptions, 1028 yards, 7 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: TJ Houshmandzadeh – 79 receptions, 911 yards, 3 TDs
  • Tight End: Todd Heap – 53 receptions, 593 yards, 6 TDs
  • Left Tackle: Michael Oher
  • Left Guard: Ben Grubbs
  • Center: Matt Birk
  • Right Guard: Marshal Yanda
  • Right Tackle: Jared Gaither

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Cory Redding – 2o tackles
  • Nose Tackle: Kelly Gregg – 46 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Defensive End: Haloti Ngata – 25 tackles, 1.5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Trevor Pryce – 6.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Jarrett Johnson – 36 tackles, 6 sacks
  • Inside Linebacker: Ray Lewis – 95 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Inside Linebacker: Dannell Ellerbe – 34 tackles, 1 INT
  • Outside Linebacker: Terrell Suggs – 44 tackles, 4.5 sacks
  • Corner: Chris Carr – 38 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Corner: Fabian Washington – 34 tackles, 6 passes defensed
  • Safety: Dawan Landry – 70 tackles, 4 INTs
  • Safety: Tom Zbikowski – 24 tackles, 2 INTs

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Billy Cundiff – 12/17 FGs
  • Punter: Sam Koch – 43.7 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: Jalen Parmele – 9 KRs, 283 yards
  • Punt Return: Chris Carr – 8.2 yards per return

PhotobucketKey PlayersRunning back Ray Rice is the Ravens biggest weapon and is coming off a monster season. He is a threat to break a big play at any moment and has terrific hands out of the backfield. Rice reminds me of a younger LaDainian Tomlinson. At receiver, Anquan Boldin is a pro-bowl caliber player who will be a good early test for Darrelle Revis. Joe Flacco can be inconsistent at times but still has a big time arm. Ray Lewis remains one of the best linebackers in the NFL and the Ravens pass rush is led by Terrell Suggs and Trevor Pryce. Dawan Landry is a dangerous player at safety.

Injuries – Outside of Ed Reed, the Ravens will likely also be without corner Lardarius Webb further hurting their secondary depth. Don’t expect Jets starting safety Brodney Pool to suit on Monday, which moves Eric Smith into the starting lineup. The Jets are also without tap pass rusher Calvin Pace, who recently had foot surgery.

Key Storylines – Battle of expected AFC heavyweights…Rex Ryan going against his former team…Does Revis Island still exist?…Can Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco be consistent…Time for the Jets to put their money where their mouth is.

Highlights of Ravens Beating Down Fading AFC East Team Last Year