New York Jets: How To Distribute The Carries

How should the New York Jets distribute the workload between Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight

The New York Jets are going to need their running game to lead the way on offense if they have hopes of making a playoff run. Despite not having a true lead back (no, I am not giving Shonn Greene that status yet), they do have enough between their top three runners to put together a quality rushing attack. The key is going to be getting the most out of Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight’s skill set.

Greene is coming off a solid game against Buffalo, where he averaged 6 yards per carry. However, he is admittedly still suffering from a rib injury and looked in pain for most of the game. He only had 13 carries against the Bills. Tomlinson is returning after missing the past two games with a knee injury and should be fresh for the stretch run. Joe McKnight has gradually been becoming a bigger part of the offense and averaged 6 yards per touch against Buffalo.

If the Jets are smart, they will keep Greene in the 12-15 carry range. The rib injury isn’t going to get better with each passing week and he showed he could be effective with that amount of touches last week. Tomlinson can spell him for a few series each half, handle short yardage duties, and be the primary third down back. McKnight should be getting at least 8-10 touches as a runner and receiver. He should be the guy catching most of the screen passes and has the ability to line up out wide. On the Jets outside handoffs and tosses, he should also be the first option.

Between their three running backs, the Jets should be able to hand the ball off 30-35 times a game to keep their offense balanced and set up their play action passing attack.

Ten Preliminary Thoughts On Jets vs. Redskins

Ten preliminary thoughts on the New York Jets chances against the Washington Redskins in week 13

Ten preliminary thoughts on the New York Jets/Washington Redskins week 13 match-up —

1. The Washington pass rush has the potential to give the Jets offensive line fits. They have the third most sacks in the league, led by Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. This is the type of game that could leave Jets fans cursing Wayne Hunter yet again. However, let’s at least hope D’Brickashaw Ferguson can break out of his slump as he has struggled heavily in recent weeks against Denver and New England.

2. Fred Davis leads the Redskins in receiving and the Jets defense under Rex Ryan has struggled to stop tight ends. They must be smarter than just letting Jim Leonhard or Eric Smith single him up. It will be a long day if the coaching staff is that naive in their belief of their safety’s coverage abilities.

3. You would think Darrelle Revis will be raring for a big time comeback game. The Redskins top wide receiver is Jabar Gaffney, who actually had some success against Revis last year as a member of the Broncos.

4. LaDainian Tomlinson is expected back this Sunday. It will be interesting to see the division of carries between Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight, and Tomlinson. The Jets must get McKnight more looks, particularly in the screen game. Tomlinson should be able to spell Greene occasionally on the inside carries, especially since Greene is dealing with a rib injury.

5. Antonio Cromartie will have the opportunity to see a player just like himself on the other side of the field Sunday, with DeAngelo Hall lining up for the Redskins. Which cornerback will make the most bonehead plays…or which one will actually step up to make a play, like they are supposed to be getting paid for?

6. What quarterback isn’t going to kill their team with turnovers? I think that could end up being the deciding factor this week. We know both Rex Grossman and Mark Sanchez are capable of producing turnovers in bundles, particularly when they are going against solid defenses.

7. I don’t buy any talk of the Jets being favorites in this game or certainly of this being an “easy” win. I think this will be an ugly, low-scoring dog fight in a somewhat hostile environment. This won’t come easy and either will any other games on the Jets schedule.

8. I would like to see what the Jets can do if they avoid a killer special teams turnover. Jeremy Kerley will be back and should be splitting punt return duties with Jim Leonhard.

9. It is on Brian Schottenheimer and Sanchez to make sure Dustin Keller remains involved in the offense. If he can get on a roll, the Jets offense will be that much harder to stop. The Jets have never lost a game in which Keller has scored a touchdown.

10. I am worried about Roy Helu gashing the Jets defense on the edges and in the screen game. Calvin Pace needs a big game. Marcus Dixon and Ropati Pitoitua must step up to fill in for Mike DeVito.

Thoughts On The NFL Playoff Picture

TOJ breaks down the NFL playoff picture heading into week 13

A look at the NFL playoff picture with only five games remaining in the season…

AFC

  1. Houston (8-3)
  2. New England (8-3)
  3. Baltimore (8-3)
  4. Oakland (7-4)
  5. Pittsburgh (8-3)
  6. Cincinnati (7-4)
  7. Denver (6-5)
  8. Jets (6-5)
  9. Tennessee (6-5)

I don’t think anybody in their right mind expects Houston to stick around as the top seed or even get a first round bye with the carousel of T.J. Yates, Kellen Clemens, and Jake Delhomme at quarterback. However, they should hold on for their division title and probably even the number three seed. What a dream match-up that would be for the number six seed (certainly if it happens to be our Jets). Considering their tie-breaker advantage and how the remaining schedules look, Baltimore should win the AFC North with Pittsburgh taking the top wild-card seed. The battle for last wild-card spot should go down to the wire. The Jets have the advantage in terms of schedule, but Cincinnati is a better team right now and Denver has God on their side.

NFC

  1. Green Bay (11-0)
  2. San Francisco (9-2)
  3. New Orleans (8-3)
  4. Dallas (7-4)
  5. Chicago (7-4)
  6. Atlanta (7-4)
  7. Detroit (7-4)
  8. Giants (6-5)

I would expect the top four seeds to remain the same, just based on schedule and how those teams are trending. Atlanta is the favorite to get at least one wild-card spot as they should finish at a minimum of 10-6 with a remaining schedule of: Houston, Carolina, Jacksonville, New Orleans and Atlanta. The Giants look to be free-falling as usual. Even without Jay Cutler, Chicago should be able to reach 10 wins with Minnesota, Seattle, and Kansas City still on the schedule. Detroit still has to play New Orleans and Green Bay and looks to be falling off.

New York Jets Fans Need Attitude Adjustment

Rob Celletti on the attitude adjustment needed from New York Jets fans to help create some type of homefield advantage

It all makes sense now.

As I watched Mark Sanchez give his post-game press conference in the aftermath of Sunday’s sloppy but exhilarating win over Buffalo, the third-year Jets quarterback never once even came close to cracking a smile.  After such an emotional and important win, the quarterback exuded zero positive energy.  He said, stone-faced, that he was “thrilled” with the win, but his body language suggested otherwise.

Sanchez was certainly being self-critical, as he was well aware that outside of two drives, he didn’t play well.  But I also think he was still bristling, with a bruised ego, at the lack of support he and his teammates received from their supposed home crowd.

Jim Leonhard revealed today in an interview on WFAN that he and presumably a good number of his Jets teammates were miffed at the fact that their starting quarterback was booed by the MetLife Stadium faithful.  No, not during the game (though that happened too). BEFORE the game.  During pre-game introductions; the organized theatrics that are designed for the sole purpose of pumping up both the team and the fans for an important game.

And come to think of it, did Sanchez celebrate any one of his 4 touchdown passes on the day? There was an article earlier today noting that Sanchez was actually caught on camera in a noticeable rage after the go-ahead score, screaming at an unidentified coach/teammate.

It’s hard to articulate how infuriating, stupid, shortsighted, classless and wholly “Same Old Jets” this situation is. Yeah, I just dropped those three words.

Because this is what Jets fans did BEFORE Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and the change of culture that those two men have brought about. Before Rex, the media and fans surrounding the Jets couldn’t wait for their athletes and coaches to fail so they could release the hounds. Unlike any other fan base in sports, it seems that Jets fans particularly relish these moments.

Most notably and recently, they did it to Chad Pennington, who was guilty only of playing hard and playing hurt. Congratulations, Jets fans.  You ran Chad out of town (he went and won the division the next year, by the way). And in return, you got Kellen Clemens and Brett Favre.

But I digress. The point is that those days were supposed to be over. Those days are over. But that doesn’t mean the Jets are an invincible force. This year, they’re just another team scrapping for a playoff spot.  There’s nothing wrong with that, especially after making it to two consecutive AFC Championship games.

So why are we not proud of this team?  Why not revel in the excitement of meaningful football in November and December?  Why not cheer as loud as possible to give the Jets a boost rather than kick them while they’re down?

Why do we show up at MetLife Stadium (about 50% of us at least 15 or 20 minutes late) and boo the starting quarterback before the game starts? What does this accomplish? And what does this say about the franchise?

Perhaps because of Rex’s blustery personality and endless Super Bowl guarantees, Jets fans expect the team to go 16-0 every year. Those are unreasonable expectations. As are the expectations that Mark Sanchez will become Peyton Manning overnight just because this is supposed to be the Magical Third NFL Season. Keep in mind that Ryan and Sanchez are probably the two biggest reasons that 2009-2011 have been three of the most successful years in Jets history, even in the midst of all the most recent struggles.

The bottom line is that Jets fans need to change their attitude, or they’re going to be at least partly responsible for returning that all too familiar toxic, losing atmosphere to East Rutherford, NJ.

TOJ Tuesday Afternoon New York Jets Link Dump

TOJ with updates on Plaxico Burress, Mike DeVito, Emmanuel Cook, Mark Sanchez, MetLife Stadium and more

Green Lantern with some deserved praise for Plaxico Burress

Burress is quickly becoming one of the most popular players on the team because he is one of the few players who has been improving down the stretch. He has already earned his contract by catching seven touchdowns and it is hard to see the Jets not making a strong push to bring him back next year. He has clearly matured from his time in prison and remains a clutch player on the field.

Jim Leonhard on fans booing Mark Sanchez during introductions

This has inspired a good debate on Twitter. I tend to agree with @RobCelletti in that fans have every right to boo poor play on the field during the game, but booing your starting quarterback during introductions is uncalled for. Obviously paying fans have a right to express themselves in how they see fit but all you are doing is contributing to the ugly stereotype of Jets fans. If you are booing Mark Sanchez when he is called out to start, don’t cheer for him when he throws a game winning touchdown. Like many others, I am tired of hearing the Jets don’t have a homefield advantage because of their stadium. A stadium is a building. It is the fans who make a homefield advantage. I have seen Jets fans rise to the occasion against New England in 2009 and 2010, they just need to be more consistent.. like their team.

Why was Mark Sanchez so angry?

My best guess is that he was fired up after throwing a game winning touchdown after being booed in his own stadium and got emotional (in an angry way) on the sideline.

Emmanuel Cook released and replaced by Tracy Wilson

This does give the vibe of a sketchy situation. A few notorious rumor mongers out there are saying there was an altercation involving Cook and special teams coach Mike Westhoff. Considering Cook’s personality that doesn’t seem to make sense. He has interviewed with us here before at TOJ and we have reached out to him about the situation.

Injury Updates

Mike DeVito isn’t going to play this Sunday, which is a big loss. Fortunately, Marcus Dixon and Ropati Pitoitua have shown themselves more than capable of filling in. Jeremy Kerley is expected back, giving the Jets another guy who can hopefully avoid muffing punts. Shonn Greene is banged up with his rib injury but is expected to play, just look for more work for Joe McKnight and LaDainian Tomlinson who will be back.