Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 10 – Jets vs. Seattle

12 predictions for the New York Jets week 10 match-up vs. Seattle

Gates? Greene? Howard? I’m getting the hell out of here…” – Mark Sanchez in above photo 

The Turn On The Jets 12 pack is back to kick off your weekend. Personally, I am in an extra jovial mood this Friday. Outside of the Boomer and Carton shout out, they are serving free BBQ in my office today. Anybody can order free pizza or sandwiches, but free BBQ? That is a job well done by my company. When we eventually have official TOJ offices, outside of serving the logical 12 pack to accompany the article every Friday, we will also serve BBQ. Because nothing makes for more productive afternoons than weighing employees down with massive meals and alcohol. 

While I am food ranting, the top two snack choices for TOJ this season has been Hint of Lime Tostitos and Ken’s Honey Mustard Pretzel Bites. Any recommendations to knock them out of the top two spots? 

On to the predictions

1. The New York Jets special teams is going to play a very good all-around game and will make a play that directly leads to points. Frank Isola may disagree but Mike Westhoff is a Hall of Fame coach and I can’t see his unit tanking it for two weeks in a row. Both Antonio Cromartie and Clyde Gates have the speed to make a big play on kick return. Jeremy Kerley is explosive at punt returner and is due for a big one.

That feels like a hundred years ago, right? Let’s not also forget that this is the Jets so writing off a big return from Leon Washington would be foolish.

2. Russell “The Nicest and Smartest Man To Ever Play Quarterback in the NFL According To Every Analyst” Wilson is going to struggle against the Jets defense. Seriously. have you heard analysts talk about Wilson? It is a good thing Jim Nantz isn’t calling the game this week as I could see this occurring while I vomit up the previously mentioned Hint of Lime Tostitos. “Look at Wilson’s smile…look at his charisma…look at how intelligently he holds that football…his grace reminds me of a embracingly warm April afternoon in Augusta.” Put Wilson down for under 200 yards passing and a turnover.

3. Mark Sanchez is going to be sacked at least 3 times and the Jets are going to have at least two false start penalties. The Jets offense will also have at least one turnover. Anybody curious why Matt Cavanaugh is a working coach in the NFL still, anybody? In a perfect world him, Mike Tannenbaum and Terry Bradway will be selling insurance with Mark Brunell next November.

4. Marshawn Lynch will be productive but won’t destroy the Jets. Put him down for 85-105 yards and a touchdown.

5. Dustin Keller will lead the Jets in receptions and receiving yards. The Jets wide receivers are going to have a tough time getting open and Seattle hasn’t been great against tight ends this year. Look for Keller to be as productive as he was against New England a few weeks ago.

6. Quinton Coples will have his third sack of the season. It still won’t make Jets fans feel better about not having Bruce Irvin or Chandler Jones.

7. Bilal Powell will have 5 carries and 2 catches as he returns from an injury. Shonn Greene will finish with 75 yards rushing and 2 catches.

8. That Tebow guy will have 3-5 carries and throw a pass. He will run for a first down on 2nd and 2 with 5:04 left in the 2nd quarter and flex his muscles while yelling, this will prompt Twitter to explode for calls for him to stay in the game for his demonstrated leadership. The announcers will then also remind everybody that “TEBOW IS A JUST A FOOTBALL PLAYER! HE JUST PLAYS FOOTBALL SO MUCH!”

9. Golden Tate is going to have a big day working against Kyle Wilson. I can already see Tate with 6 catches for 115 yards and then blowing by Wilson for another long completion in the 4th quarter, except he happens to drop it. Wilson will then respond by wagging his finger at the Seattle sideline while they look at him with baffled faces.

10. Stephen Hill is going to struggle against Seattle’s aggressive cornerbacks. Don’t bank on him going over 40 yards receiving. Jeremy Kerley will make some plays from the slot and have a productive day.

11. Antonio Cromartie is going to shut down Sidney Rice and record an interception of Russell Wilson.

12. The New York Jets are appropriately heavy underdogs in this game but they will put forth a scrappy effort coming off the bye week. However, I don’t think they will have enough offense to steal one late against the Seahawks. I’m taking Seattle 16-13.

Predicted Game Outcome Record (7-1) 

Turn On The Jets Week 10 Best Bets

Chris Celletti with his weekly NFL Best Bets

Week 9 Record: 2-1

Season Record: 10-16-1

Why do the Giants always look like such a good bet? It’s like every single week I look at them and I’m like “Yeah of course they’re covering that.” Look at this week, -3.5 against the Bengals? Really? I feel like the Giants win this game by four points or more 99% of the time. So am I going to go with them as one of my three highlight picks this week? Not a chance. Moral of the story is, no matter what, you just can’t rely on your rival when you need them. Not only would a Giant cover last week against the Steelers have given me a 3-0 record for the week, it would have helped out the Jets, ever so slightly, in their grave playoff hopes. So I won’t go with the Giants this week. This means the Giants will win by 17 points.

Conversely, my go-to look every week is towards the Jacksonville Jaguars. Of course they played in the useless Thursday night game, and I write my Best Bets piece for Friday, so this week I couldn’t rely on them.

That got me thinking about on these Thursday night games. This year’s full-season Thursday night slate is proof that NFL is immune to it’s own stupidity and selfishness. The Thursday night games have been AWFUL. Absolutely, horrifyingly terrible. And it’s no wonder why. Football players are supposed to have five, six days off between games, and it’s showed in almost every Thursday night game this year. On top of that, by guaranteeing every team in the league be featured, we’re consistently seeing terrible teams every Thursday.

But the immunity of the league is proven when you go on social media on Thursday nights, and of course in the television ratings. I didn’t watch a single snap of Colts-Jaguars last night. I’m admittedly not a total crazy football nut as some other people, and because of that, Colts-Jaguars does absolutely nothing for me. But when I went on Twitter last night, I saw people complaining about the game. This has been a trend every Thursday night this season. You hop on social media and see things like “Oh my god, this is horrible football!”  There’s an easy solution to this: nobody is forcing you to watch Thursday Night Football.

Don’t give me that you just love football so much that it doesn’t matter who plays or how miserable the game is, you watch it no matter what. That’s stupid. Basketball is my favorite sport to watch, I love both the NBA and college ball. The other day, Sixers-Hornets was on ESPN. I didn’t sit there and watch all 48 minutes because I love basketball. I watched Nick Young clank three contested fadeaways in a row and saw Greivis Vazquez chuck an outlet pass into the ninth row and said “Yeah, no thanks.”

So next Thursday when you sit there watching the Bills and Dolphins sling crap around on your TV for three hours, realize that you probably wasted some valuable time. You could have been doing something productive with your life, like playing video games, posting political statuses on your Facebook page, or best yet, writing a column about how bad the Thursday night NFL games are.

On to the picks:

Broncos -4 at Carolina – The Broncos did well for me last week and I like this line just right where it is, thank you.

Bears -1.5 vs. Texans – The weather could be bad on Sunday night in the Windy City, which I think favors the Bears. Their defense is just too good right now.

/Really wants to take the Giants. GAAHHHHH

Chargers +3 at Buccaneers – I really can’t explain my choice here. This is just a bad sporting event in general.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week (Season Record: 3-5-1)

Last week I didn’t believe the Knicks would beat the Heat to start their season and I was gladly wrong. I’ll take it. The Knicks have been so impressive early on. Carmelo Anthony is scoring – of course – and rebounding and playing defense. Ray Felton and Jason Kidd are helping zip the ball around on offense, finding open guys. J.R. Smith looks like the Sixth Man of the Year. Ronnie Brewer (Ronnie Brewer?!) is draining threes. Kurt Thomas is fouling the living hell out of people. God I love Kurt Thomas. Steve Novak was only 2-of-8 in the last two games. Huh? GET WITH THE PROGRAM, STEVE.

Knicks -6 vs. the Mavs? In oh-so-eloquent words of Walt Clyde Frazier: YYYYYYYYYYYup!

Five Second Half Keys For The New York Jets

TJ Rosenthal with five second half keys for the New York Jets

The 3-5 New York Jets have an embattled GM, a coaching staff searching for answers, and a fan base wondering where the talent and depth filled “Goddamn Snack” squads of 2009 and 2010 went. Gang Green must go 6-2 in order to have a probable shot at a postseason berth. Here are five keys needed in order to make it happen.

1 – The Quarterback Becomes The Leader

Mark Sanchez will be given every opportunity to remain the starter. If the Jets can’t rise on offense collectively, will Tim Tebow get the chance to elevate his teammates? The Jets desperately need leadership at the QB position in the second half.

2 – A Pass Rusher Is Found: Coples Anyone?

The Jets have to locate a pass rushing presence among it’s own front seven. Rookie Quinton Coples has recently begun to show signs of life. If he can take it to the next level, the Jets secondary can collectively settle in, and even choose to play the ball more often.

3 – Dustin Keller Emerges

This was yet again, supposed to be a breakout year for the eternally emerging tight end. A hamstring injury however, slowed him in the first six games. Keller has to become that All-Pro threat over the next eight games, in order to help open up the passing game outside.

4 – The Special Teams Unit Reawakens

What in the world has gone on with Mike Westhoff’s group over the past two games? A Jets special teams crew that has thrived under Westhoff, a true gem coaching in his final season, has suddenly gone south. Lately, monumental game changing plays have gone against a unit that is always heavily counted on. Despite their recent struggles, this area will still be a key part of the winning formula for the Jets down the stretch.

5 – 
The 2012 Jets Identity Finally Crystallizes

Who are these 2012 Jets? Good question. We hear all the time about who they want to be. They are not however, that dominant ground attack and feared defense that Ryan hoped they would turn into. Not yet at least. Add in the confusion surrounding Tim Tebow’s purpose (or lack thereof) in the offense, and you have an even bigger mystery. 

Let’s hope that the bye week helped the Jets assess who they ought to become the rest of the way based on what they truly are and can achieve. Any gadgetry and trickery that lends itself to the game plan is fine by us. A continued lack of honesty regarding this club’s identity on either side of the ball, is not.

Turn On The Jets On Boomer and Carton

Turn On The Jets gets some love on the Boomer and Carton radio show on WFAN

A little love for Turn On The Jets this morning on our favorite AM radio talk show, Boomer and Carton on WFAN. Thanks to the caller Kunal for reading and thanks to Carton for assuming we are an official New York Jets website. Considering the amount of negative press we have given their recent personnel decisions, we think they would have dropped us off the payroll a long time ago if we were. Regardless, we are now waiting for the call from Al Dukes to come in the studio and talk Jets. 

Follow the writers – Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly, Chris Celletti, TJ Rosenthal, Rob Celletti

New York Jets Playoff Pipe Dream – Week 10 Viewing Guide

The New York Jets playoff pipe dream viewing guide for week 10

The Turn On The Jets playoff pipe dream guide is back for another week. We saw a little positive progress last week as the Jets actually moved from 12th to 10th in the AFC. The beauty of inactivity! Before we get into it, we have a few more tid-bits from a former NFL personnel executive who still works in the league – 

On Mike Tannenbaum’s job security – “The GM has the owner convinced that he isn’t at fault. He will play the Revis and Holmes injury card and plus he can play the Blame Rex game. He is brilliant at that.” (Translation – as we have been saying all along, Tannenbaum isn’t going anywhere next year).

On Tim Tebow – “He commands zero value on the market. It will not be easy at all to find a team to take him off the Jets hands this off-season…including Jacksonville.”

The Current Standings

  1. Houston (7-1)
  2. Baltimore (6-2)
  3. New England (5-3)
  4. Denver (5-3)
  5. Indianapolis (5-3)
  6. Pittsburgh (5-3)
  7. San Diego (4-4)
  8. Miami (4-4)
  9. Oakland (3-5)
  10. Jets (3-5)
  11. Buffalo (3-5)
  12. Cincy (3-5)
  13. Tennessee (3-6)
  14. Cleveland (2-7)
  15. Jacksonville (1-7)
  16. Kansas City (1-7)

Week 10 Viewing Guide

Indianapolis (5-3) at Jacksonville (1-7) – Who is ready to root for Blaine Gabbert tonight? A few reasons for optimism on the upset: Jacksonville’s only win this season was against the Colts, these Thursday night games are always a little screwy and the Colts are much better at home than on the road. Have I convinced you yet?

NY Giants (6-3) at Cincinnati (3-5) – Thanks for the help last week against Pittsburgh Eli. You picked a great time to tank in the fourth quarter. The Giants can’t lose this game, can they?

Tennessee (3-6) at Miami (4-4) – Jake Locker is back in the starting line-up and we are ready to root for him. This would be a pretty crippling loss for the Dolphins with New England still on the schedule twice and a trip to San Francisco on the way.

Buffalo (3-5) at New England (5-3) – The AFC East race would be tightened with a Bills win. The Bills season would be over with a loss. Sort of a win-win. I can’t see Buffalo winning this game or even keeping it close for that matter.

San Diego (3-5) at Tampa Bay (4-4) – Go Muscle Hamster! It is hard not to like the Bucs here. Let the Chargers implosion start as soon as possible.

Oakland (3-5) at Baltimore (6-2) – Somewhat similar situation to the Buffalo/New England game. A Baltimore loss tightens the AFC and could lead to a late season slide for them. A loss for Oakland could basically eliminate them.

Houston (7-1) at Chicago (7-1) – Why would a Bears win be important? You don’t want Houston pulling away and resting starters in their late season games against the Colts, which the Jets will need them to lose.

Thursday Night TOJ Picks

  • Joe – Jax (+3)
  • Mike – Jax (+3)
  • Chris C – Ind (-3)
  • Rob – Ind (-3)
  • Chris G – Ind (-3)

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 Roundtable Week 10 – Jets vs. Seattle Match-Ups

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-ups they are most looking forward to in the Jets week 10 game vs. Seattle

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to this weekend when the New York Jets travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter –

Joe Caporoso – The Jets aren’t beating Seattle unless they do two things: slow down Marshawn Lynch (keep him somewhere in the 60-80 total rushing yards area) and don’t let the Seahawks pass rush take over the game. If this game is put into Russel Wilson’s hands to win, the Jets defense has a good shot of forcing a few mistakes and putting themselves into a position for an upset. If Mark Sanchez can stay relatively upright, he has a better chance of protecting the football and making a few plays down the stretch. This is a brutally tough match-up for the Jets and one that will require them to excel in areas they have struggled in all season.

Rob Celletti –   I’m interested in seeing how the Jets’ run defense handles Marshawn Lynch. Everyone who loves Seattle loves to praise Russell Wilson, whose career is off to a nice start, but this team’s offense starts and ends with an effective ground game.  Lynch has been stellar this year, and has gotten hot as of late, with three straight 100-yard efforts and touchdowns in his last two. He can actually eclipse the 1,000 yard mark with a 120-yard performance on Sunday.

If that happens, the Jets are toast, and the game won’t be close.  But the defensive front has improved steadily over the last month and will be bolstered by the return of Kenrick Ellis. If the Jets hold Lynch to something like 15 carries and 55 yards, that will go a long way towards keeping the game close.

TJ Rosenthal –  Energy. Seattle is a brutal place for opponents to play. The 12th man keeps the Seahawks amped up all day. Forget isolating attention on “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch. The Jets have to equal what the Seahawks energy level is. We want to see passion, and more desperation. Play like the season is on the line, because it is. Please don’t tell us about who is left on the schedule after Sunday. 3-6 is a death wish.

Chris Gross –  Marshawn Lynch vs. Jets Run Defense – “Beast Mode” currently ranks 2nd in the NFL in total rushing with 881 yards and 4 touchdowns on 185 carries, averaging just below 98 yards per game. Conversely, the Jets rank 29th in run defense, currently surrendering an average of 141.4 yards per game to opposing backs. New York can easily make Seattle’s offense one dimensional, as they have previously feasted on opposing rookie quarterbacks this season (Tannehill week 3, Luck week 6), however, the Seahawks’ rushing attack, led by Lynch, could certainly be enough to keep the Jets defense on their heals. Kenrick Ellis is set to return from injury this week, which will greatly bolster the front seven due to his ability to occupy multiple blockers at the Nose Tackle position. This should realistically give the Jets linebackers more space to avoid blockers and make plays. The key in this matchup will be tackling. We have previously discussed New York’s tackling woes in our defensive film breakdowns, and when facing a back like Lynch, who has made a name for himself in this league through his ability to accumulate yards after contact, sound tackling will be even more important. Seattle’s passing game is average at best. No receiver on the roster poses any severe threat to New York’s strong secondary, however if the Jets allow Lynch to gain extra yards after contact due to poor tackling, Seattle’s passing offense, or lack thereof, will be irrelevant. Lynch needs to be shut down or it will surely be another long Sunday for Gang Green.

Mike Donnelly – Jets Coaches vs. Themselves – The matchup I’m most looking forward to seeing isn’t necessarily one that’s going to happen between the lines, but rather on the sidelines. I want to see how Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano prepared during the by week to better use their players. There has been endless talk about Tim Tebow’s role and how it will be altered, but I’m interested in seeing how they come out and attack this very good Seattle defense. I want to see if roles will grow for players like Joe McKnight and Jeremy Kerley. On the other side of the ball, I want to see what has changed with our defense. WIll Quinton Coples play a bigger role finally? Can we see more Demario Davis and Marcus Dowtin? Will the older players like Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, and Calvin Pace finally be weeded out? Starting this week in Seattle, we’re going to have a pretty good idea of what we can expect the rest of the way.

Chris Celletti – Can the Jets prevent Beast Mode? The only chance that Gang Green has in this game is if they can keep Marshawn Lynch largely in check. I fully expect to see the Jets’ offense at its horrifying worst. Seattle’s defense is young, fast, stifling and makes things happen (or, you know, what the Jets’ defense should be with Rex Ryan as head coach), and regardless of even getting into Mark Sanchez, the Jets’ offense just isn’t very good overall. However, as long as they show up ready to play, I think the Jets’ defense will do just fine against rookie QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ receivers. It’s Lynch that could be the big problem. If he runs all over the Jets, they’ll control the clock, field position, and will probably put up points. That points to a loss for the Jets. Stop Lynch, and you may stay in this thing until the end.

New York Jets Week 10 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Seahawks

Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 10 match-up against the Seattle Seahawks

A collection of thoughts on the New York Jets week 10 match-up against the Seattle Seahawks 

1. On paper this is a terrible match-up for the Jets. Seattle has an elite defense led by a great secondary with an elite pass rush bolstered by the best homefield advantage on football. The Jets have a below average offense with an inconsistent passing game that can’t protect their quarterback. Seattle also has the league’s second leading rusher in Marshawn Lynch who is the best back after contact in the NFL right now. The Jets defense has struggled to stop the run mostly because they can’t tackle.

2. Where do the Jets find a hope for an upset? Seattle’s offense has been inconsistent and is led by a rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson. He has been much better at home than on the road. Unfortunately the Jets have to face him in his building. Regardless, he remains a rookie and we saw what the Jets defense did to Andrew Luck a few weeks back. Seattle will likely have a tough time moving the ball through the air but if the Jets can’t slow down Lynch, that won’t matter anyway.

3. Dustin Keller needs to have a big week. Their wide receivers are going to struggle against Seattle’s cornerbacks, Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, so Keller needs to be a factor in the middle of the field. The running game must also take pressure off of Mark Sanchez. Fortunately, Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight are both expected to play to help support Shonn Greene. It isn’t worth making any comments about Tim Tebow’s usage at this point until the Jets show any desire to use him more than 4 plays per game.

4. The Jets special teams needs a bounce-back in a major way. A key recipe for any upset is making big plays in that third of the game. Whether it is a big return, a turnover or a faked punt. The Jets need to get points here.

5. Ultimately this is a gut-check game for the Jets. If you want to be relevant for the second half of the season you need to pull the upset here. They had an extra week to prepare and this team should be playing with immense desperation and aggressiveness. A big upset on the road is the type of thing that can propel a 6-2 second half and a run to a playoff spot. A blowout loss is the type of thing that can propel a 5-11 season.

Seattle Memories

New York Jets – The First Half Positives (Yes, They Exist)

A collection of positives from the first half of season for the New York Jets

Here I was ready to write a feel good article about the New York Jets when they clog up my Twitter feed with foolish decisions. First and most importantly, the organization hasn’t been proactive enough about sending support to hurricane victims throughout New Jersey and New York. We have heard about the New York Giants heading to South Jersey to pitch in. Where are the Jets? Outside of Mark Sanchez who went down there today, the organization has been painfully quiet in their support of the state they play and practice in. Get your checkbook out Woody. Get your community relations and media department in order New York Jets.

Second, the Jets made yet another collection of bonehead roster decisions today by releasing rookie safety Antonio Allen and signing wide receiver Jason Hill and offensive lineman Hayworth Hicks off the Colts practice squad. Why are these foolish decisions? Antonio Allen is a promising rookie safety who fits well into the big nickel, an essential modern NFL defense. Jason Hill is a journeyman receiver who didn’t receive a single workout or claim after the Jets released him last week. Hayworth Hicks couldn’t make the Colts active roster and the Colts have a terrible offensive line. Memo to Mike Tannenbaum, you don’t find wide receivers in Jacksonville and you don’t find offensive lineman in Indianapolis.

Tannenbaum has continually been below average at his job the past few years. He actually seems to be getting perpetually worse. We can only hope that he is the fall guy this off-season…

Rant over and now to a few first half positives

Jeremy Kerley – He has developed into a better player than many imagined he could. Kerley has shown he can be more than a slot receiver, lining up all over the formation and making plays. With his crisp routes, good hands and good run after the catch ability Kerley is a building block for the future.

Demario Davis – The early returns have been good on the Jets much hyped 3rd round rookie. He brings a needed element of speed and should be a long term starter at inside linebacker.

LaRon Landry – One of the few shrewd signings of the past few years by Mike Tannenbaum. If Landry finishes the season healthy, the Jets should lock him into a long term deal. He is a strong fit in Rex Ryan’s defense and has been a major upgrade over Jim Leonhard or Eric Smith.

Antonio Cromartie – Playing the best football of his career. He deserves All-Pro consideration thus far.

Kenrick Ellis – Before he got hurt, he was the Jets best defensive lineman. He will be back against Seattle. The Jets can build around him, Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples up front.

Joe McKnight – Gutted through an ankle injury against the Patriots and seems to have turned a corner at running back. He needs more work in the second half of the season.

The Homeland Inspired NFL & Jets Mid-Season Awards

Mike Donnelly hands out his mid-season NFL and New York Jets awards, inspired by the TV hit Homeland

While watching the NFL games this past weekend, one of the biggest things that stood out to me was how impressive the Chicago Bears defense was in their dismantling of the Tennessee Titans. What also stood out was how all of the major talking heads on TV were practically jumping out of their chairs trying to tell us, the viewers, how awesome that defense is and that Charles Tillman is the most underrated player in the league. Of course, there were plenty of people saying this all year but most people were slow to catch on. Now that the Bears have clearly cemented themselves as the league’s best defense, everyone has jumped on the bandwagon and raved about the Bears.

This reminded me of when there’s a great new TV show that people aren’t watching. Slowly but surely, those that are watching start spreading the word to everyone they know. They tell their friends, they post on forums, they write blogs about it and before you know it, more and more people are watching. I’m usually one of the last people to join the “cool club” and watch shows like this, but after being told two or three dozen times that something is awesome, I usually cave in and check it out. My most recent case of this happening was with Homeland, which is indeed downright awesome. Everyone was right. It hooked me in so quickly and strongly, that I was completely torn on whether to watch the new episode Sunday night, or watch the Cowboys choke away another late night game. Anything that even made me consider not watching football must be pretty excellent, right? So excellent, in fact, that I decided to honor the show by naming my mid-season NFL awards after it. And since we are all about the Jets around here obviously, I’m handing out the league awards and also Jets team awards, all in one. Heeeere we go…

THE CARRIE MATHISON MVP AWARD

NFL: Matt Ryan (honorable mention: Peyton Manning) – Carrie may not be the greatest agent, but she gets things done, and without her, her CIA team wouldn’t be nearly as effective (although I can do without her crying every single episode). Same goes for Matt Ryan. I don’t think he will end up winning the award at the end of the season, but you can’t deny he’s had an excellent first half in leading the Falcons to the only undefeated record in the league. His stats are not particularly eye-opening, but he’s done everything right, made the big plays, and he narrowly edges out Peyton for the top spot.

JETS: Antonio Cromartie – Sadly, there isn’t even much competition here.

THE ABU NAZIR OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

NFL: Brandon Marshall – Nobody on Homeland knows how to go on the offensive or cause more damage than terrorist Abu Nazir, both mentally and physically. Brandon Marshall isn’t a terrorist or anything, but he’s been doing a ton of damage to defensive secondaries this season, and has been the best offensive player in the league. The guy has just ben an absolute monster, racking up 59 catches, 797 yards, and 7 touchdowns through 8 games. Double those numbers to project him over a full 16 game schedule and you’re looking at one of the greatest receiving seasons in the history of the NFL.

JETS: Ummm….. Nick Mangold? – A case can be made for Jeremy Kerley, who has stepped up big time since Santonio Holmes got injured, but it’s clear nobody on this offense should be getting any awards.

THE DAVID ESTES DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

NFL: J.J. Watt (honorable mention: Charles Tillman and the entire Bears Defense) – A lot of people don’t seem to like Estes, but I enjoy him and think he does a great job doing a little bit of everything in trying to defend against any and all attacks. In the NFL, nobody has done a better job doing a little bit of everything on defense or been as downright awesome as Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt. He knocks down passes better than any lineman I’ve ever seen, and he’s destroyed offensive linemen en route to a league leading 10.5 sacks. Oh, and he’s doing that as an interior lineman, which makes it all the more impressive.

JETS: Antonio Cromartie – There hasn’t been much competition here, but that doesn’t minimize Cromartie’s season in any way. The guy has been playing the best football of his career, and ever since Darrelle Revis went down with an injury, he’s been arguably the league’s best cover corner. If he doesn’t make the Pro Bowl, it will be a travesty.

THE SAUL BERENSON COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD

NFL: Bruce Arians – Yes, Mike Smith has his Falcons sitting pretty and undefeated, but no coach has done a better job than Bruce Arians this year. Just like Saul has his hands full dealing with Carrie and all the other things he’s in charge of, Bruce Arians has had to deal with more than any other coach in the league and done an excellent job throughout. After Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with cancer and had to leave the team, it would have been easy for this Colts team to feel sorry for themselves, just pack it in and go 2-14. Instead, Arians has led them to a 5-3 record and they’re right in the thick of the playoff race. Remarkable.

JETS: Dennis Thurman – Again, there’s not much competition here, but I’m giving this one to the Jets secondary coach. Hmm, Antonio Cromartie plays in the secondary, I’m starting to see a theme here with the Jets awards. Other than Cromartie having the best season of his career, the Jets safeties have performed admirably well, and even Kyle Wilson hasn’t been a complete disaster, due in large part to Thurman’s coaching.

THE AGENT QUINN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD

NFL: Andrew Luck – Yes, Doug Martin is the hot name right now, but this award belongs to Andrew Luck. Just like Agent Quinn in season 2, Luck arrived on the scene and immediately made a strong impact, making those around him better in the process. The Colts were the worst team in the league last year, but now are legitimate playoff contenders thanks to the strong play of their rookie signal-caller. He’s the real deal.

JETS: Demario Davis narrowly over Quinton Coples– Wow, these Jets awards are getting harder and harder to pick. In the long run, I absolutely think this will belong to Quinton Coples, but through the first half of the season, Davis has done a little more, and brought a whole new element to the defense: Speed. He’s also been a major special teams contributor, which gives him the nod. I’m just happy we still have a few rookies that weren’t cut almost immediately after being drafted. Thanks, Mike Tannenbaum!

THE TOM WALKER COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

NFL: Peyton Manning & Adrian Peterson (tie) – It’s nearly impossible to pick between these two. In Homeland, Walker was a forgotten man who came back out of nowhere to show that his skills were as awesome as ever. Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson did the same things this year. Manning looks as good as ever, as he is on pace for 4,800 yards, 40 TD’s, and a league best 108 QB rating. Peterson, despite tearing his ACL last December, is leading the league in rushing while running for a ridiculous 5.7 yards per carry. Cut this award in half and give it to both.

JETS: Shonn Grenee – Not many options here, so I’m giving this to the beleaguered running back, Shonn Greene. He was completely left for dead by nearly all Jets fans at the beginning of the season, but he has shown serious signs of life the last 3 or 4 games. While he’s not an ideal starting running back, he’s also proven not to be the useless slug many thought he was.

THE DANA AND VP’S SON HIT & RUN SUBPLOT THAT MAKES NO SENSE AWARD

NFL: Ray Rice & Lesean McCoy usage – Just like the out-of-nowhere subplot involving Brody’s daughter and the Vice President’s son getting involved in a bizarre hit and run incident, the usage of these two elite running backs makes NO SENSE. Why The Ravens and Eagles insist on eschewing their stud runners in favor of letting their bad quarterbacks pass the ball more is about as baffling of a coaching move as you’ll ever see. Honorable mention goes here to the Chargers and Norv Turner, who seem to think it’s a good idea to play Ronnie Brown a lot, despite him having a giant fork sticking out of his back.

JETS: Tim Tebow Usage – We’ve been over this time and time again, but the way the Jets have used Tim Tebow this year is completely and totally insane. I have never wavered on my belief that Tebow shouldn’t be the quarterback here in any way, shape, or form, but there is no way he shouldn’t be used more often, especially in short yardage situations, or as a change of pace to spark the offense. What makes it even more confusing to me is how the Jets had their best offensive game of the season in week 1 when Tebow had his most snaps, and then they just scrapped the whole thing. If you aren’t going to use him on 3rd and 1 down by the goalline, when he’s basically UNSTOPPABLE, then what the hell is the point of having him on this roster? I will never understand this. It could turn out that Dana Brody is actually an undercover 34-year-old secret terrorist from Canada plotting to assassinate Mickey Mouse and it would make more sense than Tim Tebow’s usage.

THE “WHO SLIPPED THE RAZOR BLADE?” AWARD (for Guy Most Likely Playing For the Other Team)

NFL: Matt Cassell – So who slipped the razor blade to that terrorist guard allowing him to slit his wrists and avoid further interrogation in season 1? Was it Brody? Was it Saul? Was it someone else? We may never know, but what I do know is if there was a mole in the NFL who was secretly plotting to destroy his team, it would be Matt Cassell. There are few players who could inspire their home fans to actually cheer when he gets hurt, but he managed to pull it off. I guess losing 7 fumbles and throwing 11 interceptions in 6 starts will cause fans to turn on you. Can’t say I totally blame them.

JETS: Calvin Pace – It’s hard to pick just one for this award, but I’m going with the guy who is paid $7.3 million this year to not sack the quarterback. On the bright side, he really seems to have mastered the “run into the offensive lineman, stick arms straight out, and stop” pass rush move, so there’s that.

THE NICHOLAS BRODY MOST POLARIZING FIGURE(S) AWARD

NFL: The Atlanta Falcons – Is Brody good? Is he bad? What about the Falcons? It’s rare you see a team appear to be so good, yet have so few people actually believe in them. They’re undefeated and running away with their division. They’re going to get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They have the league’s first half MVP and two superstar wide receivers. Yet if you said the Giants or Packers were going to Atlanta in the second round of the playoffs, who would you pick to win that game? Exactly.

JETS: Mark Sanchez – Pretty obvious one here. Just like with Brody, no matter how many bad things Sanchez does on the field, he still manages to do a few things all the time that make you think deep down he’s really great. Just like Brody, Sanchez was dealt a really crappy hand throughout his tenure with the Jets. Maybe he wasn’t quite kidnapped and tortured for 8 years, but he did have to spend plenty of time being taught by Brian Schottenheimer and Matt Cavanaugh, and that’s just as bad. And just like with Brody, I still believe in Mark Sanchez. Perhaps I’m a sap or I’m just hoping against hope, but in the end, I think both are going to do great things and convince a lot of people that they aren’t so bad after all.