Turn On The Jets AFC Mid-Season Power Rankings

Turn On The Jets mid-season power poll for the AFC, a conference filled with mediocrity

Nothing like an arbitrary power poll based on no system whatsoever, right? The AFC remains a conference stacked with mediocrity, however we are starting to get an idea of what the playoff race is going to look like throughout November and December. Voice your disagreements in the comments section or over on Facebook or Twitter

SUPER BOWL CONTENDER

1. Houston (7-1) – A balanced team, who can beat you in a number of ways. It is still hard to trust Matt Schaub in a big spot until he wins a few big games though. Regardless, they should cruise to the AFC South title and a bye.

2. Pittsburgh (5-3) – Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Nobody could watch the past few weeks and honestly say they haven’t looked substantially better than the banged up Ravens. Pittsburgh has a Super Bowl winning QB playing a high level and a Super Bowl winning coach, along with enough playmakers to make noise in January. Look for them to win the AFC North, despite currently being a game behind Baltimore.

3. New England (5-3) – Won’t win their regular 12-13 games but they won’t need to in the AFC East this season. Not sure if they end up getting a bye because of how soft Denver’s schedule is down the stretch and the fact that they still have to play Houston, San Francisco, Miami twice and the Jets once.

4. Denver (5-3) – Looking at their schedule, hard not to see them finishing at least 11-5 and likely getting a first round bye. You also get the feeling that Peyton Manning is only going to get better down the stretch.

NOT QUITE THERE YET

5. Baltimore (6-2) – Too many injuries. They are still going to be a playoff team in this conference but don’t expect them to finish strong enough to take the AFC North crown.

6. Indianapolis (5-3) – A feel good story. They haven’t proven they could win on the road consistently yet and they have a fairly difficult second half schedule. Regardless a 4-4 finish likely gets them enough wins to sneak in as a wild-card.

7. Miami (4-4) – A popular playoff pick for many pundits but with two games left against New England, a road trip to San Francisco and a game against Seattle still on the schedule, don’t bank on them getting there.

CRAP-TASTIC

8. San Diego (4-4) – Could very well see them losing their next 5 games (at TB, at DEN, vs. BAL, vs. CIN, at PIT) and Norv Turner getting fired after as the house cleaning starts in December.

9. New York Jets (3-5) – Their next three games are brutal before the schedule softens up. They likely dug themselves too big of a hole to make any real noise in the playoff race.

10. Cincinnati (3-5) – Outside of AJ Green, they don’t have much going for them on either side of the ball. The schedule isn’t friendly enough for them to even be a .500 team.

FIRING SQUAD

11. Oakland (3-5) – How is that Carson Palmer trade looking these days? Oakland needs to dump him and anybody who remains in the organization who thought it was a remotely good idea.

12. Buffalo (3-5) – The worst offensive contract in football belongs to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The worst defensive contract in football belongs to Mario Williams. Oh and they need a new defensive coordinator and head coach.

13. Tennessee (3-6) – What is this team’s identity? They are looking at a disappointing drop off from last year’s surprise 8-8 record.

BOTTOMING OUT

14. Cleveland (2-7) – They can build around Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon on offense. Outside of that, it is time to clean house.

15. Jacksonville (1-7) – TEEEE-BOWWWW

16. Kansas City (1-7) – Crennel and Cassel. How did anybody pick this team to win more than 4 games this year?

New York Jets – Sink or Swim In The Second Half?

Will the New York Jets sink or swim in the second half?

Have you seen the standings in the AFC at the halfway point of the season? Even the most pessimistic New York Jets fan can’t proclaim their season over yet, particularly when taking the team’s schedule into consideration.

There is no question the next three games are going to be difficult. The Jets are rightfully 6.5 point underdogs this week and will be underdogs the following two weeks on the road against St. Louis and home against New England. Their final five games are against teams that I would argue the Jets are better than, despite how awful they have looked at times this season. There is no excuse for a 4-12 or 5-11 year. This team should not win less than 7 games unless they completely tank the rest of the way.

We are going to learn a ton about Rex Ryan and how his players respond to him these last 8 weeks. Do they quit and embarrass themselves in Seattle, in primetime against New England and against the mediocre slopfest that they play weeks 13-17? Or do they keep themselves relevant in the playoff race into December by scoring an upset or two in the coming three games and handling their business against inferior teams down the stretch?

The Jets defense has steadily improved in recent weeks. Outside of facing Tom Brady, they are facing a collection of unproven and inexperienced quarterbacks the rest of the season. You want hope in Seattle? Remember what the Jets defense did to Andrew Luck a couple of weeks ago. Russell Wilson is an impressive rookie but he is still a rookie and a much less talented one than Luck. Sam Bradford and Brian Schottenheimer’s offense? You better have a shutdown performance. John Skelton. Blaine Gabbert. Jake Locker. Ryan Fitzpatrick. The ghost of Philip Rivers. How about it, Rex? Kenrick Ellis will be back on the defensive line, more playing time should be given to Demario Davis, Antonio Allen, Aaron Berry and Marcus Dowtin and this defense must round into form to give the Jets a fighting chance.

On offense, the situation at running back will improve with a healthier Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell back. But ultimately it will come down to Mark Sanchez finding some measure of consistency. He must protect the football. He must improve his accuracy. The players around him must also elevate their play. No more drops from Stephen Hill. No more matador blocking from Matt Slauson and Austin Howard. If necessary get Vladimir Ducasse and Jason Smith in the starting line-up. If Sanchez is sputtering, give Tim Tebow a full series to run the offense. Yes, even this Sanchez apologist can admit the Jets offense could use a kick in the ass with more Tebow involvement…not as a starting quarterback but as a weapon in the running game and occasional downfield passing game.

Rex Ryan needs to show he won’t lose this team for the second season in a row. There is no excuse to get blown out in Seattle. There is no excuse not to steal a road game against the Rams or to be right there with the Patriots in the fourth quarter. There is no excuse not to find a way to beat Arizona and San Diego at home or to go on the road and handle Jacksonville or Buffalo. This team is lacking talent in plenty of areas but so are all the teams remaining on their schedule.

Sink or swim. What do you think Jets fans?

No Huddle – Second Half New York Jets Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the second half of the New York Jets season

Since the Jets last left us with an abysmal showing against the Fish, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the region. By the time of Sunday’s kickoff we may even have a new Commander in Chief. So much can change in a few week’s time. In the NFL, fourteen days is an eternity. Given the opportunity to reflect during the bye week, here is where we stand on the state of the Jets.

Sandy Was A Tale Of Two Cities

So much for living breathing and eating football. How about just living, eating and breathing?

It goes without saying that being downtown near evacuation zone A during the storm was rough. No power, no heat, and dwindling supplies being sold by depleted stores was the scene right afterwards. We heard the Con Ed explosion. It happened just blocks away. Midway through the post Sandy fallout, my girlfriend and I were fortunate enough to have a place to stay up near Central Park West. What a different world.

Life was business as usual uptown. There were streets lit up unlike below 40th st and the new neighborhood “NoPo,” meaning no power. People going to and from work. Supermarkets were stocked. A stark difference from the images we began to see of places downtown and ravaged areas like New Dorp, on televised news reports.

Being across the street from Central Park, we watched the NYC Marathon drama unfold firsthand. Generators and media tents set up for Sunday,  then packed up after Mayor Bloomberg called the race odd on Friday.

The experience of seeing both NYC worlds was an unforgettable one. After so much time focusing on the Jets and their forgettable first half, the perspective on the things in life that really count, was sorely needed. We wish all the storm ravaged regions and families a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with you and more donations from our end will be on the way in the coming weeks.

The QB Nonsense

Chalk our hardened view this week of the Jets QB drama up to last week’s historic disruption caused by Sandy, but enough is enough. The Jets have to use Tim Tebow and quit being afraid of his upside.

If the effects of Tebow engineering a TD drive rattle Sanchez’s confidence, too bad. The Jets have to score now, win now, and find leadership now. If #6 can’t step up out of the role of some three point shooting role player, let someone else try. We need a general running this operation. It’s no longer about who makes what throws more consistently. It’s about a QB commanding respect and getting others to follow. We have had it.

Seattle

The young Seahawks are fast, strong, energetic, and hell to deal with at home. If the Jets plan to bring their sorry attitude from the Miami drubbing out West with them, we have a suggestion before they do.

Stay at home and save yourself a second straight embarrassment.

The AFC

After Sundays results, only the Colts and Steelers are at a wildcard leading 5-3. The Dolphins, who the Jets still  could end up winning a divisional tie breaker against, are 4-4. The Chargers, who will face the Jets in December, are also 4-4. Being a paltry 3-5 (along with Buffalo, Oakland and Cincinnati) never looked so good.

The Jets have the opportunity to put the first eight games behind them and somehow STILL reach their goals.

The question is, what have the coaches learned about their current personnel in the past eight days and what do they plan on doing about it? We will soon find out. No excuses allowed.

After all, alot of people locally right now have it alot worse and are standing tall despite the extreme conditions. The undermanned Jets would be wise to seek a little professional inspiration from them.