Monday Night Is What The Jets Drafted Sanchez For

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In week 2 of the 2009 regular season, the Jets overcame an embarassing 8 game home losing streak to the New England Patriots. It was an important moment in the then young Rex Ryan era, demonstrating the Jets would no longer be pushed around by their long superior divisional rival. Yet an even more aspect of that game was Mark Sanchez outplaying Tom Brady. The Jets rookie posted a 101.1 quarterback rating, while Brady struggled to a 53.1.

Finally, the Jets had hope at the quarterback position to duel against the Patriots eventual first ballot Hall of Famer. These hopes were severely rattled later in the 2009 regular season, when Sanchez hit a nasty mid-season slump and turned in an ugly…make that hideous 4 interception performance in New England en route to a 31-14 Jets loss.

So far in year two, the Sanchez of 2009 is nowhere to be found. The quarterback has grown by leaps and bounds and currently has an impressive 16 touchdowns to 8 interceptions, along with 2,472 yards passing. Even better, Sanchez again out dueled Brady again in a week 2 New England/New York match-up by throwing for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns compared to Brady’s 228 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.

Brady’s stat line in 2010 is All-Pro caliber, with 23 touchdowns compared to 4 interceptions (half of those against the Jets) and 2,703 yards passing. Beyond that, the guy doesn’t lose home regular season games. As a matter of fact, he has won 25 in a row. Yes, 25.

Yet, as we touched on earlier in the week, Monday night is a night for a changing of the guard in the AFC East. Part of that means, it is time for Mark Sanchez to go on the road and beat the Jets most bitter rival and their long haired, Uggz boot endorsing quarterback, who never loses in his building.

We drafted Mark Sanchez to back up Rex Ryan’s big talk on the offensive side of the football. This year he hasn’t disappointed but it would be a major step in his development if he could lead the Jets to a victory on Monday, which would take them one major step closer to becoming the new kings of the AFC East.

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Jets vs. Pats: Scary Thoughts On Patriots Tight Ends & 2010 Draft Class

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The biggest concern for the Jets this Monday night is slowing down New England’s two rookie tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. I say this because of how awful the Jets have been at defending the tight end throughout the year and how productive the two players have been, including a 100 yard performance from Hernandez in week two against the Jets.

Wes Welker is obviously dangerous in the slot, but the Jets can move Darrelle Revis over to him in key third downs or even have him track Welker for the bulk of the game. Deion Branch has been very good since coming over from Seattle but is nothing Antonio Cromartie can’t handle. It is Gronkowski and Hernandez who really have the potential to keep the New England offense on the field, chewing up yards and racking up points.

The two tight ends are part of an impressive rookie class the Patriots have assembled, which is even more disconcerting considering how the Jets 2010 draft class is looking so far.

Look at the comparison –

New England

  • Corner – Devin McCourty – 61 tackles, 5 INTs, 12 PDs
  • Tight End – Rob Gronkowski – 25 receptions, 310 yards, 6 TDs
  • Tight End – Aaron Hernandez – 36 receptions, 462 yards, 3 TDs
  • Linebacker – Brandon Spikes – 54 tackles
  • Punter – Zoltan Mesko – 43.7 yards net average
  • Linebacker – Jermaine Cunningham – 26 tackles, 1 sack

Jets

  • Corner – Kyle Wilson – 20 tackles, 4 PDs
  • Guard – Vladimir Ducasse – Inactive every week but one
  • Running Back – Joe McKnight – Normally inactive, 4 carries, 12 yards
  • Fullback – John Conner – 2 receptions, 9 yards

Let’s be honest, to this point Wilson, Ducasse, and McKnight have all been major disappointments. Drew Coleman has outplayed Wilson all season, who has struggled both at corner and punt returner. Ducasse was easily beaten out by Matt Slauson in training camp for the starting guard job and is the team’s 3rd backup OL behind Wayne Hunter and Robert Turner. McKnight…well, what can you even say about him? At least we have The Terminator leading the way for years to come at fullback.

You have to give the Patriots credit for putting together a strong group of selections in 2009. The last time I checked they have about 49 picks in the first 3 rounds next year, so we can only hope they will go back to drafting the Chad Jacksons and Laurence Maroneys of the world.

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TOJ NFL Power Rankings – Week 13

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December Football is hard to beat as is, but it should be even more interesting this year with every division race still open and tons of division games still left on the schedule. Here are the rankings heading into week 13, how stupid am I? This stupid…

1. Atlanta Falcons (9-2) – The Falcons have arguably the best home field advantage in the NFL and Matt Ryan is playing like an elite quarterback.

2. New York Jets (9-2) – Have a great opportunity to shut everybody up who refuses to give them respect this Monday Night.

3. New England Patriots (9-2) – Can hop into the driver’s seat of the AFC East by beating their rivals at home.

4. Baltimore Ravens (8-3) – They are looking for a season sweep of the Steelers, which would go a long way to locking down the AFC North.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) – Their inconsistency has been concerning but they still are in position for a bye, if they can take care of the Ravens on the road this Sunday night.

6. Chicago Bears (8-3) – Time to give them some respect.

7. New Orleans Saints (8-3) – The defending champs could end up settling for a wild-card spot with how well Atlanta is playing.

8. San Diego Chargers (6-5) – It is hard to see them not winning at least 4 of their last 5 and taking the AFC West.

9. Green Bay Packers (7-4) – They have been playing very well but somehow still sit a game behind the Bears and don’t have the tiebreaker with them, thanks to an early season loss.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (7-4) – Mike Vick and company get a quick chance to bounce back on Thursday against Houston and their awful secondary.

11. New York Giants (7-4) – A big second half comeback keeps them in good position in the crowded NFC Playoff picture.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) – Dwayne Bowe is playing out of his mind right now. I still like the Chargers in their division though.

13. Tampa Bay Bucs (7-4) – They will eventually have to beat a team with a winning record if they want to make the playoffs. How about this week against Atlanta?

14. Miami Dolphins (6-5) – Impressive win over Oakland but they are 3 games out in the AFC East…playoffs just aren’t happening.

15. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5) – They had a real chance to grab control of the AFC South but choked it away in the second half against the Giants.

16. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (6-5) – The Colts aren’t a good football team right now but are still the favorites in the turd bowl AFC South.

17. Houston Texans (5-6) – They need to beat the Eagles this Thursday on the road to keep themselves relevant in the AFC South race.

18. St. Louis Rams (5-6) – Sam Bradford just might be able to pull a division title out at 7-9.

19. Minnesota Vikings (4-7) – Only in the NFC West is 4-7 good enough to compete for a division title.

20. Oakland Raiders (5-6) – A harsh fall back to reality for the Raiders who are done if they can’t get a victory this week.

21. Washington Redskins (5-6) – Bad loss at home to Vikings just about knocked them out of playoff contention.

22. Tennessee Titans (5-6) – The Rusty Smith era isn’t looking to promising in Tennessee.

23. Dallas Cowboys (3-8) – They will be a tough opponent in the spoiler role down the stretch.

24. Cleveland Browns (4-7) – An ugly, ugly win over the Panthers.

25. Buffalo Bills (2-9) – Three OT losses? Hard not to feel bad for the Bills and yes I am saying they are better than all the following teams.

26. Denver Broncos (3-8) – You don’t see too much of Josh McDaniels pumping his fist these days.

27. Seattle Seahawks (5-6) – I don’t care if they are still probably the favorites in the NFC West…they are a terrible football team.

28. San Francisco 49ers (4-7) – Sad that they are still in the thick of the playoff race.

29. Detroit Lions (2-9) – At least they kept us interested in for 3 quarters on Thanksgiving.

30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-9) – Ren and Stimpy have an awful television show and an even worse quarterback.

31. Arizona Cardinals (3-8) – Derek Anderson is going to put Larry Fitzgerald in a mental hospital.

32. Carolina Panthers (1-10) – At least John Kasay missing that field goal kept them on track for the number 1 pick.