Initial Reaction – Jets End Playoff Hopes In Appropriate Fashion

Initial reaction to the New York Jets season ender in Tennessee

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Tonight was another embarrassing primetime loss for the New York Jets, which formally ended their post-season hopes. They lost by 4 points despite 4 interceptions from Mark Sanchez and a botched snap. They were given opportunity after opportunity to win the game and refused to take it. The loss might be painful now but in the long run, it will be a positive thing.

This season has gone poorly enough (particularly in the national spotlight) that Woody Johnson’s personal relationship with Mike Tannenbaum won’t prevent him from firing him, like he deserves to be. Mark Sanchez, despite his guaranteed contract, has now probably played his last snap in New York. At this point, eating the money is a wiser decision than keeping him around. Tony Sparano has to be fired. Basically everything will be thoroughly re-examined from top to bottom. Let the rebuilding begin.

This team dressed six wide receivers tonight. They were consistently confused on offense and looked like a JV team in high school trying to stay organized. The defense has their shortcomings in some areas but they compete, have a sense of organization and strategy while the offense wallows in complete incompetence.

The Jets are so bad on offense right now, they are beyond rational explanation or understanding. It exists beyond the bounds of logic. Every player or coach associated with the unit (outside of a very small handful) needs to be unemployed by this team in 2013.

No playoffs for the Jets for two straight years. Changes are on the way and that is a good thing.

Turn On The Jets Roundtable, Week 15 – Jets/Titans Predictions

The TOJ staff gives their predictions for the Jets Monday Night must win against the Tennessee Tittans

Make sure to stay with us during Jets/Titans tonight, as our writing staff will be doing a live blog of the game right here on the site – 

Joe Caporoso – 12 Pack 

Chris Gross –  Jets 23, Titans 10 – You’re really beginning to see the Jets defense click on all cylinders. Muhammad Wilkerson has established himself as a top defensive lineman in this league, while Antonio Cromartie has put any doubt pertaining to his value to the Jets organization to rest. Additionally, LaRon Landry has been one of Mike Tannenbaum’s few excellent free agent acquisitions, as he has coupled with Yeremiah Bell to revamp the safety position that was such a mess a year ago. 1st round pick Quinton Coples is beginning to blossom at the right time, and schematically the Jets have been beyond impressive over the past couple of weeks.

While Chris Johnson’s elusiveness and speed could be a problem for the Jets slower linebackers, he is playing without 4 starting offensive lineman and hasn’t been very effective after contact. This means that the Jets need to hit him before he finds space, and continuously hit him throughout the game. Jake Locker should struggle reading Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine’s fronts, coverages, and blitz disguises, as most young quarterbacks have this year. Look for the Jets to dominate once again on defense, with another strong performance from Muhammad Wilkerson.

Offensively, Tennessee is young and explosive in their defensive front 7, so expect New York to counter their aggressiveness and inexperience with a variety of misdirections and play action passes. Mark Sanchez will be under the microscope on the national stage, so his performance will be highly scrutinized. If he struggles early tonight, don’t count on Rex Ryan not pulling the plug and replacing him with Tim Tebow. The Jets need to win and it is no time to worry about hurting someone’s feelings or creating Tebow hysteria. Look for the Jets to try and limit Sanchez to 15-20 pass attempts while grounding their way to their third consecutive victory.

Chris Celletti – Much like in 2009 when the Jets thought they were done and dusted, the overall mediocrity of the AFC coupled with a few key results have combined to give the Jets and incredible opportunity heading into the final weeks of the year. The Jets’ “playoffs” started a few weeks ago against Arizona, but that was just from a mathematical standpoint. Now, on Monday night in Tennessee, the Jets are truly entrenched in the playoff picture, and make no mistake about it, Monday’s game is for all intents and purposes a postseason game for Gang Green. Over the past few seasons, I suppose 2011 notwithstanding, these are the situations that have brought out the best in both Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez. I expect both of them to have big nights; the Jets defense will dial up a big performance, and Sanchez will play his best game since the Jets’ win in St. Louis. I don’t think it will be easy by any stretch because Chris Johnson can cause the Jets some problems and Jake Locker is a tricky guy to deal with, but I think the Jets get the job done. On a player-specific level, I’m predicting that Braylon Edwards catches a touchdown of over 50+ yards. That’ll be one of the few big plays the Jets make while winning 24-10.

Rob Celletti – Here we go again. The Jets once again play for their lives, and will know exactly what this game means to them when it kicks off on Monday night, as the rest of the Week 15 results will be in.  The Jets’ history isn’t littered with 5-game winning streaks, but they’re in search of one now. I think that desperation will help them as they try and navigate the final three weeks of the season.

Tennessee poses more of a threat than Arizona or Jacksonville; there’s simply more talent on the field. But the Jets will try and muck and grind their way to a win once again, asking their running game to carry the load. Still, the Jets are going to have to throw the ball more to win this week. We saw Mark Sanchez play an extremely tentative game last week, and if he tries to do that again, I don’t think the Jets can win. Often times, playing afraid of making a mistake actually leads to more mistakes. Sanchez simply needs to assert himself. If the running game is successful, there will be chances to hurt Tennessee deep on playaction. It’s a tired refrain, but only because it’s true. I think the Jets will take advantage of their opportunities, and I think the defense continues its dominant play. It’ll be close, but I think the Jets will be coming home 7-7.  Final score, 27-17.

No Huddle – New York Jets Monday Night Preview Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle to preview the New York Jets Monday Night game against the Tennessee Titans

It’s No Huddle time but before we go into “Jets vs Titans,” please kindly allow us to leave a thought on the Newtown tragedy. 

The Newtown Tragedy Must Help Propel Change

Nothing better be the same in this country again. Ever. A massacre that involves a gun once again, this time with innocent six year olds as the victims, has to be the final straw.

The right to go kindergarten, and the right for parents to feel safe about sending their kids to school, has to trump any laws designed to insure our “freedom.”

Our thoughts, prayers and tears will all be wasted if this country doesn’t use this disgusting and embarrassing moment in our history to change its ways. It’s time as Martin Luther King once said, to “be what we say we are.” It’s time to wake up America, and deal with both the Second Amendment and issues of mental health more aggressively. Now. No more waiting. No more finger pointing. No more excuses.

Now all of us at Turn On The Jets, move our attention for the time being towards Monday Night. With heavy hearts. Ready for some football and a much needed mental break from this madness.

Rex’s Magic Dust Is Working Again but…

The Steelers could have easily won Sunday and didn’t. The Colts were fighting back too. Remember the crazy finish Rex’s Jets had in 2009, when they needed Peyton Manning to sit for an entire half, and hope the following week that the Bengals would have nothing to play for? They got both, then got hot in January.

At 4-7, Gang Green needed a few collapses and a win streak just weeks ago. Right now, competitiors are teeetering on the brink of destruction as wins and beatable opponents keep coming for the Jets. The magic dust is working again but only has power going forward with a win tonight. There should be no signs of a flat Jets team in Nashville tonight.

Ground and Pound and the Defensive “The Boys Up Front.”

For the Jets to run the table, the “Ground and Pound” has to keep churning out yardage, while Mo Wilkerson rises. If Quinton Coples can add to the equation, then what the Jets will have is, the opportunity to force three and outs with the ability to keep the ball and move downfield in low-risk fashion.

A Winning Formula For This Roster

If the Jets fail to limit opposing Chris Johnson tonight, and apply modest pressure on Jake Locker, or struggle to run the ball themselves, then look out. Rex and Co. will be forced into the type of game they don’t play very well.

The Braylon Effect

Can Braylon Edwards spark the passing game and provide some calm to skittish Mark Sanchez? Let’s hope so. San Diego and Buffalo, the Jets final two opponents, appear to be defeated and ready to pack up and call it a season. Assuming that the Jets will run the ball well through December, an engine boost to third down conversions may be all that is needed to win out. A confidence boost for Sanchez is needed more than anything having to do with the Jets.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 15 – Jets vs. Titans

12 predictions for the Jets must win Monday Night game against the Tennessee Titans

The Turn On The Jets 12 pack is back with predictions for a critical Monday Night game for the New York Jets against the Tennessee Titans. If the Jets can take care of business, they are going to give themselves a somewhat realistic chance for a playoff spot in the season’s final two weeks. It has been a bizarre year, particularly in the AFC that has allowed a team currently at 6-7 and holding some shockingly embarrassing stats to remain relevant for so long. 

Yet there is no need for any apologies from the Jets. This is a team who gets criticized for beating Arizona by a single point, when a Detroit team with twice the talent as them goes out and loses to Arizona by 28. Rex Ryan has held his veteran team together, despite a lack overall talent and has prevented the 2012 season from slipping away just yet. It has slipped away in Buffalo. It has slipped away in Miami. It has slipped away in countless other NFL cities but not for the New York Jets. 

It hasn’t been a fun season for Jets fans. Think about it. How many truly enjoyable moments have there been? The week 1 rout of Buffalo was a blast but none of the other six victories have come with much excitement or celebration. Ironically, the season’s second best moment might have been recovering a fumble on a kick return late in the fourth quarter against New England…in what ultimately ended up being a losing effort.

Tonight has a chance to change that. The team and the fanbase has a primetime game to genuinely get excited about. A win in this game means the home finale next Sunday should be a packed and rowdy game as the team looks to beat up on San Diego in the final days of the Norv Turner era while scoreboard watching Kansas City/Indianapolis and Cincinnati/Pittsburgh. 

Hopefully, the Jets come out with the intensity of a team fighting for their playoff lives against the Titans team with nothing to play for. 

On to the predictions –

1. Braylon Edwards will play 15-25 snaps for the Jets offense tonight and pull in 2-3 catches for 30-45 yards, including at least one big first down.

2. Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell will combine for at least 35 carries and 150 yards. Tim Tebow won’t play on offense and Joe McKnight will contribute 3-5 offensive touches.

3. Chris Johnson will be held to under 85 yards rushing and be kept out of the end-zone.

4. Mark Sanchez will throw for under 200 yards and have one turnover, along with one touchdown pass.

5. Jake Locker will have at least 30 yards rushing and throw for around 200 yards. However, the Jets will sack him at least twice and force him into a pair of turnovers.

6. Nate Washington and Kendall Wright will make a few big plays working against Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster.

7. Jeremy Kerley will lead the Jets in receptions and receiving yards.

8. Muhammad Wilkerson will have at least one sack, continuing his All-Pro caliber season. Look for a big night from Quinton Coples as well, working against a beat-up Titans offensive line.

9. The Jets will avoid any major special teams errors and both Nick Folk and Joe McKnight will have solid games for Mike Westhoff.

10. Rookie Antonio Allen will play at least 15 snaps on defense and have a couple of quarterback pressures. Garret McIntyre will play the bulk of the reps at outside linebacker for Bryan Thomas.

11. The Jets won’t rotate Vladimir Ducasse in at guard.

12. With their season on the line, the Jets will jump out to an early lead and then hold on to it with their running game. This will be a tight one into the final minutes but look for the defense to make a big play late to ice a 16-13 victory.

Predicted Game Outcome Record: 11-2 

8 Head-Scratching New York Jets Stats

Mike Donnelly with 8 head scratching New York Jets stats heading into week 15

As the Jets gear up for their suddenly big game in Tennessee tonight, the playoffs are more than just a pipe dream. We are all familiar with the scenarios at this point, and with Pittsburgh and Indianapolis losing yesterday, a win tonight puts the Jets right in the thick of the playoff hunt with two games to go. Should that happen, it’s going to be awfully hilarious to see the outrage from other fans and media “experts” that the “garbage” Jets made it over “more deserving” teams. Just the thought of that makes me giddy.

Anyway, it’s a borderline miracle that the Jets and playoffs are even possibly going together in the same sentence with the way some of this season has gone, and Rex Ryan deserves a ton of credit for having this team in this position. The Jets roster was extremely poorly constructed as we’ve been over time and time again, and if we knew back in September that some of the Jets stats would look the way they do at this point in the season, we’d think we would be scouting who to take with our top-5 draft pick. Seriously, that the team is in position to win 9 games this year with some of the stats that they’ve produced this year will blow your mind. I present to you the top 8 head-scratching Jets stats of the 2012 season.

Tim Tebow – 87 rush yards, 3.0 yards per carry, 0 TD’s – The Jets marquee offseason transaction was brought in here to bolster the run game, help in short yardage, and give defenses a whole new wrinkle to worry about. Well, it hasn’t quite worked out like that. As the season progressed and the Jets sent Tebow out on the field less and less, it became painfully clear that Rex Ryan had about as much use for Tim Tebow as he would have for another hole in his head. Through 13 games, Tebow has amassed a whopping 29 carries and was never given any sort of consideration to be a “real” quarterback. Tebow was supposed to play a major role this year, and if you knew he’d have dressed for 12 of the 13 games and put up these stats, you’d think something was wrong.

Running Backs have 29 total catches – That’s the combined amount from all the running backs and fullbacks that have suited up in the Green and White this year — 29 through 13 games. When Mark Sanchez was at his best (and I use that term loosely), it was when he had a strong running game and an excellent receiving threat out of the backfield to check down to. First it was Leon Washington, then it was Ladainian Tomlinson, and now it’s… well, nobody. By comparison, in 2010 Tomlinson himself had 52 catches, and as a team the running backs had 76. That’s a major component of the offense that was just ripped away, and if I knew in September that we’d be at 29 at this point in the season I’d have some serious concerns.

Running Backs have 4 total plays over 20 yards – Speaking of having serious concerns about our running backs, we have a whopping FOUR plays over 20 yards, three on runs and one on a pass play. Three of them were by Shonn Greene, and one by Joe McKnight. By comparison, Adrian Peterson has 20. He’s the best back in the league, but what about lesser players you ask? Well, Chris Ivory, who plays sporadically in New Orleans, has 3 runs over 20 yards himself. Mike Goodson of the Raiders has 3, Isaac Redman has 3, Bryce Brown has 6, Joique Bell has 3. It’s simply unacceptable that the Jets have no big play capability whatsoever.

Joe McKnight averages 5.9 yards per carry, doesn’t get to play – Oh wait, the Jets do have some big play capability in their backfield, he just doesn’t play for some reason. That McKnight only has 25 touches (24 carries, 1 catch) on the season is a travesty. We can’t throw this guy some screens or swing passes? Really?

Santonio Holmes is 3rd on the team in Receiving Yards – Remember Santonio Holmes, the wide receiver who was lost for the season way back in WEEK 4? Yep, that guy is still third on the team in receiving yards with 272. Hard to believe Jason Hill, Mardy Gilyard, Chaz Schilens, and the other stud receivers brought in by Mike Tannenbaum this year haven’t been able to surpass that total, huh? Oh wait, no, that isn’t surprising at all actually.

Stephen Hill 12.0 yards per catch, Chaz Schilens 9.9 ypc – These two guys were brought in to compete for the #2 receiver job and provide the badly needed deep threat that was missing last year after Braylon Edwards was replaced by the slow-moving Plaxico Burress and 87-year-old grouch Derrick Mason. Well, it hasn’t quite worked out that way, and the Jets receiver position was in such poor shape that Jets fans everywhere acted as if Calvin Johnson was brought in when Braylon was re-signed last week. In 2009, Braylon averaged 15.5 yards per catch and in 2010 that number went up to 17.1. Now THAT is a deep threat. THAT is what this offense and Mark Sanchez were missing. If we knew Schilens was averaging single digits per catch and our running backs couldn’t break a long play to save their lives, would you think we’re in position to make the playoffs?

Dustin Keller caught 28 of 36 targets – That number just seemed high to me. It’s too bad he wasn’t healthy at all this year, because it was clear he was the only receiving threat to have any sort of chemistry with the quarterback.

Calvin Pace has 2 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, makes $7.3 million – Calvin Pace is supposed to be our best OLB, and our top threat to get to the quarterback from the edge. Well, that isn’t quite the case, because instead of actually going after the quarterback, he has decided to master the art of running 2 steps forward, extending his arms, and just standing next to the offensive tackle until the play is over. I’m no mathematician, and I would hate to go all Darren Rovell on you, but it looks like this year the Jets are paying Pace just under $2.5 million for every play he makes behind the line of scrimmage. NOT BAD!

I wish there were basic stats to show just how well Muhammad Wilkerson and Antonio Cromartie are playing, because they’ve been far and away the best players on this team, and I didn’t want it to be all negative stats. For a good look at them, you should definitely check out Chris’s Defensive Film Breakdown, or just take my word that they’re both playing really, really well this year. Unfortunately, the rest of the team hasn’t quite kept up their end of the bargain and these 8 Head-Scratching Stats should really help you appreciate the job Rex Ryan has done this year making chicken salad out of chick– well, you know what I’m saying…

Turn On The Jets Week 15 NFL Picks

The TOJ Staff gives their week 15 NFL Picks

The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday games –

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Rob Celletti (113-90-6)

2. Chris Gross (106-97-6)

3. Chris Celletti (106-98-5)

4. Mike Donnelly (103-102-4)

5. Joe Caporoso (87-116-6)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (10-6)

  • Green Bay (-3) vs. Chicago
  • Giants (+2) vs. Atlanta
  • Tampa Bay (+4) vs. New Orleans
  • Minnesota (+3) vs. St. Louis
  • Jacksonville (+7) vs. Miami
  • Denver (-3) vs. Baltimore
  • Houston (-9.5) vs. Indy
  • Carolina (+3) vs. San Diego
  • Seattle (-5.5) vs. Buffalo
  • Detroit (-6) vs. Arizona
  • Dallas (+1.5) vs. Pittsburgh
  • Oakland (-3) vs. Kansas City
  • San Francisco (+5) vs. New England
  • Redskins (PK) vs. Cleveland
  • Jets (+1.5) vs. Titans

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (8-8)

  • Packers -3
  • Falcons -1
  • Saints -3.5
  • Rams -2.5
  • Redskins +4
  • Jaguars +7.5
  • Broncos -3
  • Colts +10
  • Panthers +3
  • Bills +4.5
  • Cards +6
  • Steelers +1
  • Raiders -4
  • 49ers +4.5
  • Jets +1.5
  • Browns PK

Rob Celletti

Last Week (8-8)

  • Packers (-3) over Bears
  • Falcons (-1.5) over Giants
  • Saints (-3.5) over Buccaneers
  • Vikings (+2.5) over Rams
  • Jaguars (+7) over Dolphins
  • Ravents (+3) over Broncos
  • Colts (+10) over Texans
  • Chargers (-3) over Panthers
  • Seahawks (-4.5) over Bills
  • Lions (-6.5) over Cardinals
  • Cowboys (+1.5) over Steelers
  • Raiders (-3) over Chiefs
  • 49ers (+4.5) over Patriots
  • Redskins (PK) over Browns
  • Jets (+1.5) over Titans

Chris Celletti

Last Week (9-7)

  • Packers
  • Giants
  • Bucs
  • Rams
  • Jaguars
  • Ravens
  • Colts
  • Panthers
  • Seahawks
  • Lions
  • Steelers
  • Chiefs
  • Pats
  • Redskins
  • Jets

Chris Gross

Last Week (10-5-1)

  • Bears
  • Giants
  • Bucs
  • Vikings
  • Jaguars
  • Broncos
  • Texans
  • Panthers
  • Seahawks
  • Lions
  • Cowboys
  • Chiefs
  • 49ers
  • Jets

Turn On The Jets Week 15 Best Bets/Rants of the Week

Chris Celletti with his Best Bets and weekly rants for week 15 of the NFL Season

Week 14 Record: 1-2

Season Record: 14-26-2

When I sit down every week and scour the NFL betting lines and look to pick three games for this column, it’s sort of like when someone hands Mike D’Antoni a clipboard during the defense portion of practice.

Okay, I know what I’m doing here, right. Wait no, I DON’T. What is a ‘hedge’ again? Don’t freak out, just pretend you know what you’re doing, say it with confidence and they’ll believe you.

-I can’t tell you how beautiful it was to watch last night’s Knicks-Lakers game from a Knicks fan standpoint. And especially from someone who since Day 1 did not want D’Antoni anywhere near the Knicks and had to endure three-plus seasons of his “system”, it was almost cleansing to be on the other side of a classic D’Antoni game. Get used to it, L.A. You’re going to have first quarters where you give up 40-plus points. You’re going to have games where you fall behind by 20-plus only to claw back in but ultimately fall short. You’re going to have games where you can’t get a stop when you need it – or all freakin’ night for that matter. Last night, all of those came together and that’s what you get. Yes, when the picture-perfect only man on earth who D’Antoni can win with, Steve Nash, returns the Lakers will be better. They’re going to make the playoffs. But a 39-year-old Steve Nash, who couldn’t guard a water bottle in his prime, isn’t going to fix all the Lakers’ real problems.

-I turned 26 this week, and 26 is very odd age. I’m now on the downside of my 20’s, which is fairly depressing. I have distinct memories of when I was 16 years old and some of those don’t seem that far away. So now I’m equidistant to age 36 than I am to 16. Weird. And one thing I can’t stand is when someone my age complains about getting older, and then someone who’s like 30, or 38 or 47 goes “Oh come on! You’re 26! Please.” So just because I’m younger than you means I can’t complain about my age? Untrue. I have no problem telling someone who just turned 19 that it’s a crappy age to be. 18 is fun because you can do stupid things like buy lotto tickets, and get into “18 to party, 21 to drink” places (who goes to those?!). 19 and 20 are agonizing. 26 isn’t great. Although if I were a Jets’ starting linebacker, I’d be the young buck of the group.

-If you want to watch the Best Sporting Event of 2012, HBO is re-showing Juan Manuel Marquez’s dramatic knockout win over Manny Pacquiao tomorrow night. I advise you to watch, or if you have a social life and are going to be out, at least DVR it. It will be worth the 40 minutes or so it will take up on your DVR and the time it takes to watch it. In my opinion it’s the best sporting event of the year. Two high-level technicians, two of the absolute best in the world at what they do in their fourth fight against each other – the first three featuring 36 action-packed rounds in which about 33 of them were a total toss up – and it couldn’t have unfolded in a more jaw-dropping fashion. Off the top of my head I can’t think of anything that was better from a sports perspective this year. Of course this depends on who you root for and what sports you fancy. I would expect a Giants fan to say the Super Bowl was better, some NASCAR freak probably thought the Pennzoil 400 or whatever was scintillating. In my mind, the NHL’s Winter Classic was pretty memorable, similar to the Pacquiao-Marquez fight in the event ending dramatically and living up the hype and build-up. And yes, I love boxing so my view is skewed (but that’s what debating sports is really all about, no?), and for my money it didn’t get any better than those six rounds in 2012.

And now let’s lose some money:

Jets +1.5 at Titans – Oh yeah I did!

Patriots -5 vs. 49ers – I’m a big Colin Kaepernick fan, mostly because when he torched the Jets in the Wildcat back in Week 4, I thought to myself “Oh, this is what the Jets could have with Tim Tebow, if only Tebow was actually fast like this dude.” And then I watched as Kaepernick took over for Alex Smith, saw him throw and run an offense, and the guy’s pretty legitimate. But I don’t think the Niners have the downfield threats that you need to really hurt the Patriots’ defense. I think the Pats hold San Francisco down a bit and continue their torrid offensive play.

Colts +9.5 at Texans – I think the Texans win this game but it’s a close one throughout. Houston’s defense has been exposed a bit recently. If Chad Henne can chuck it for 400 yards on you, you may not be as dominant as everyone thinks. J.J. Watt wrecking this game scares me a bit, but I think Andy Luck and the Colts keep it close enough to cover.

(And yes, I know it’s “Andrew Luck”, but sometimes I like to pretend that athletes use the different version of their given name sometimes. Oh how different things would be if B.J. Roethlisberger were starting for the Steelers this week.)

Bonus Non-Football Bet of The Week (Season Record: 5-8-1)

Tough loss for Manchester City last week against Manchester United. Of course City fans responded gracefully to United’s late winner by pelting coins at Man U’s players, opening a nice gash over Rio Ferdinand’s eye. Not unreasonable at all for a mid-season loss. And Bart Scott wants to cry about a few fans dropping F-bombs. How soft.

Man City looks to rebound at Newcastle and I’ll hop on the 1-goal spread at +120 and roll with a 3-1 City win.

New York Jets Playoff Pipe Dream – Week 15 Viewing Guide

Your New York Jets playoff pipe dream viewing guide for week 15

Somehow, someway the New York Jets playoff pipe dream viewing guide is back. It took a pair of ugly wins over Arizona and Jacksonville and surprising upset losses for Pittsburgh and Cincinnati last week but here we are. The New York Jets are right in the mix for a AFC wild-card spot with three games left to play. Can you imagine the outrage if this team makes playoffs? I can already see the 4,000 word Grantland article documenting how they are the worst playoff team in NFL history and the 2,000 word Florio post on Pro Football Talk demanding a change to the playoff structure so teams like the Jets can’t get in. Hell, even if they lose by 30 in the first round, that would be worth the trip alone. 

THE BIG ONES

Cincinnati (7-6) at Philadelphia (4-9) – Fly Eagles Fly! This game doesn’t feel quite as helpless after watching Nick Foles and company beat Tampa Bay on the road last week. Despite having a tough outing against the Bucs, Bryce Brown is beastly at running back and can provide the big play. The main concern here is that Philadelphia’s secondary is awful and the Bengals have that AJ Green guy. Their offensive line is equally awful and Geno Atkins has been a monster upfront for Cincinnati. This is going to be a close one and an Eagles win can give every Jets fans a great start to the football weekend. Doesn’t it feel kind of natural rooting for the Eagles? They are the most comparative team/fanbase to the Jets out there.

Pittsburgh (7-6) at Dallas (7-6) – How ’bout them Cowboys? Dez Bryant’s finger injury has dimmed the optimism for this game a little but for God’s Sake the Steelers lost to the Chargers last week…at home!?! How did that happen, seriously have you watched San Diego play this season? They are an abomination. Here is something funny, our buddy Evan Silva had Ryan Matthews ranked as a top three fantasy player coming into the season. He has one touchdown this year! That is 5 less than his whipping boy Shonn Greene, 3 less than Bilal Powell and 1 less than the immortal Jeff Cumberland. Anyway, it is hard to have any faith in the Cowboys in a big spot but Romo has to win an important December game at some point, right?

Indianapolis (9-4) at Houston (11-2) – Yes, the Jets can still catch the Colts who play Houston this week on the road, then in Kansas City and then Houston again at home. Is it that unfathomable for them to get swept by the Texans and lay at least one egg against an inferior team on the road? Regardless, I think the Texans win this one comfortably after their embarrassment in New England last Monday Night.

COULDN’T HURT

Denver (10-3) at Baltimore (9-4) – You want the Broncos to win so they stay breathing down the Texans neck for the #1 seed, forcing the Texans to play their starters against the Colts in week 17.

San Francisco (9-3-1) at New England (10-3) – Root for the Patriots (vomits in mouth) same reason as above.

In a perfect world, the AFC Standings will look like this heading into week 16

  1. Houston (12-2)
  2. New England (11-3)
  3. Denver (11-3)
  4. Baltimore (9-5)
  5. Indy (9-5)
  6. Pittsburgh (7-7)
  7. Cincinnati (7-7)
  8. Jets (7-7)

TOJ Staff Thursday Night Picks

  • Joe C – PHI (+4)
  • Chris G – PHI (+4)
  • Mike D – PHI (+4)
  • Chris C – PHI (+4)
  • Rob – CIN (-4) 

Throwback Thursday – Jets at Titans, December 23, 2007

This week’s “Throwback Thursday” looks at Jets vs. Titans back in 2007, when Chad Pennington led the Jets into Tennessee for a loss

Throwback Thursday is a feature at Turn On The Jets, where we take a stroll down Jets Memory Lane and reminisce about great Jets games in the past against their upcoming opponent. (Word to not take seriously in that last sentence: “great”)

When I scoured the all-time box scores in the Jets-Titans/Oilers history, I realized that the Jets have only lost once to the Titans since they moved from Houston. Before that, the Oilers absolutely OWNED the Jets, delivering them crushing losses late in seasons and in the playoffs. I have faint memories of this season-ending debacle in 1994, where the playoff hopes of the 8-7 Jets were dashed in a 24-0 loss by backup QB Cody Carlson. In a must-win, the Jets got beat by a guy who sounds like a lax bro. So Jets.

But since they became the Tennessee Titans, it’s been almost all Jets. Remember in 2008, when Brett Favre led the 7-3 Jets into Nashville and beat the undefeated Titans, enrapturing the city in Subway Super Bowl talk? Then in 2009 the surprising 2-0 Jets, behind rookie head coach and rookie QB Mark Sanchez, beat the Titans 24-17 to improve to 3-0 as Jets fans streamed out of Giants Stadium and took to the streets proclaiming “FINALLY, WE HAVE A FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK!!!” Gee how perfectly that all worked out.

However, since we like to revel in self-pity here as Jets fans and on Throwback Thursday, I of course am going to focus on the one loss in Jets’ history against the Tennessee Titans. That came on December 23, 2007. Before we get to it, let’s set the scene…

Billboard No. 1 Song in the U.S.: “No One” by Alicia Keys. How appropriate! That is, if you watched the 12/12/12 Sandy Relief concert last night, where Alicia Keys killed a slowed-down version of this song, the weird “Put your cellphones in the aiiiiiir!” bit notwithstanding. And how about our beloved ass-fumbling QB making making an appearance in Adam Sandler’s “Hallelujah, Sandy Screw Ya” song? Vintage Sandler, by the way. If the recent epic failures of “Jack and Jill” and “That’s My Boy”, coupled with last night’s hilarious song isn’t proof that Sandler should stop making movies and go back to making comedy music albums, I don’t know what is. 

No. 1 Movie in the U.S.: “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”. Is there a bigger injustice in the world than the fact that the current “Oscar for Best Actor” count is Nicolas Cage: 1, Leonardo Di Caprio: 0?  Tell me if you can think of one, because I can’t.

Jets Record Before: 3-11

Titans Record Before: 8-5

The 2007 Jets were absolutely horrific. Injuries, instability at the quarterback position and iffy skill position players put the Jets behind the eight ball from the get-go (sound familiar?!). Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens both started eight games apiece. Despite being injured and playing on a flawed team, Pennington actually put up decent numbers. He threw for an average of 196 yards a game, completing 68% of his passes with 10 TDs and 9 INTs. Can someone please explain to me how 2007-Chad Pennington, with his right arm being held together by paper clips and twine, could throw for the same amount of yards per game than a healthy Mark Sanchez? This should be grounds for Tony Sparano’s firing in and of itself. Wait, you’re telling me that in 2008, Pennington revived his career and led the Dolphins to an 11-5 record and a division title under Sparano?! Nothing in my life makes sense anymore.

So in Week 16, Pennington led the Jets into his home state of Tennessee, hoping to hand the playoff-seeking Titans a death blow. Much like I would expect this Monday’s game to be, this one was a defensive struggle (a.k.a: lower than C-SPAN on the Excitement Meter). The first five drives of the game ended with punts. On the Jets’ third possession, Pennington was intercepted by Reynaldo Hill, giving the Titans good field position on the Jets’ 40. They converted it into the game’s first score, a four yard run by Chris Brown (the middling NFL running back, not the Worst Man in America pop star).

After a boring first quarter, Brown’s touchdown seemed to open the game up, if only for a few moments. The Jets responded with what was probably their best drive of the 2007 season. They took over on their own 23, picked up a first down and got to their own 41, setting up a 2nd-and-7. Pennington connected with Jerricho Cotchery for a 48-yard pickup, getting the Jets in scoring position. Two plays later, Pennington and Cotchery hooked up again, this time a 9-yarder for the game-tying touchdown.

Except Mike Nugent’s extra point was BLOCKED. The Titans remained up, 7-6, and Cotchery’s touchdown catch would be the Jets’ last points of the day.

Gang Green seemed poised to take the lead on their next possession, but Pennington was picked off in the end zone by Keith Bulluck. After THE NUGE missed a 51-yarder late in the second quarter, the Jets only had FOUR total possessions in the second half. Those went like this: Punt, Punt, Punt, and on their final drive, Pennington was sacked on fourth down, giving the Titans the ball and the ability to run the clock out. Somewhere along the way, Tennessee picked up a field goal so the final score read Titans 10, Jets 6.

Pennington actually had a pretty good day despite the two bad picks, finishing with 264 yards on 26-of-32 passing. 154 of those yards went to Cotchery. For some perspective, Stephen Hill has 163 yards in the last five games he’s played. But once he learns how to catch, watch out everybody.

This time around, the Jets are the ones clinging to their playoff lives and the Titans are the ones playing spoiler. If Monday’s game plays out just like the 2007 barnburner did but the Jets end up on top, Rex Ryan will be one happy man. As will all of Jets Nation.

Turn On The Jets Week 15 Roundtable – Jets/Titans Match-Ups

The TOJ staff discusses what match-ups they’re most looking forward to in the Jets week 15 Monday Night matchup against the Tennessee Titans

The TOJ staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the New York Jets Monday Night match-up against the Tennessee Titans. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter –

Joe Caporoso – If the New York Jets can slow down Chris Johnson, who has the ability to kill them in the open field, they are going to be in great shape to improve their record to 7-7. Jake Locker can be dangerous when he starts scrambling around and does have an ability to push the ball down the field. Yet, let’s not ignore that he only completes 57.5% of his passes, has thrown 9 interceptions to match his 9 touchdowns and has lost two fumbles. Locker isn’t a good enough quarterback to single-handily beat the Jets defense. Due to this, the Jets front seven must stop Johnson, not let him get to the outside and not let him catch the football in space.

TJ Rosenthal – Chris Johnson could end the Jets season. Braylon Edwards, as much as naysayers refuse to believe, may help to prolong it. What we look forward to regarding Monday night most however, is the Jets rushing attack. The Titans are tied for 23rd against the run. Tony Sparano’s ground and pound has become more creative as of late. Shonn Greene has been maximizing his “plow forward” style since the bye week. Maybe this week though, Bilal Powell will finally emerge into something more than a split carry back. With his first breakout game coming on National TV.

Chris Celletti – It’s been a disappointing overall season for Chris Johnson, but the Titans’ back is still capable of having a big game. While the Jets’ defense is coming off two excellent weeks, Johnson is the best back they’ll have faced in the past three weeks by a mile. Also, you’d expect the Titans to use a heavy dose of Johnson as the Jets’ run defense is still weaker than their pass defense (basically, expect FIREWORKS on Monday since the Jets are going to go with the same approach on offense as well). Johnson is the one player on Tennessee that can wreck the game for the Jets. If they can shut him down, they give themselves a much better chance of moving to .500.

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to seeing this week is not Braylon Edwards against the Titans secondary (although it’s a close second), but rather how Quinton Coples and Mo Wilkerson do against this Titans offensive line suffering from injuries to four of their regular starters. These two are going to be major factors for our defense for years and I want to see Wilkerson continue his superior play while Coples joins him in the “soon-to-be-stud” club. Chris Johnson is the kind of shifty running back the Jets have struggled with this year, so the ability of Coples and Wilkerson to provide pressure right up the middle will play a major roll in whether or not the Jets improve to 7-7 on Monday.

Chris Gross – Jets Defense vs. Chris Johnson – Come Monday night, Tennessee will be without 4 starting offensive lineman. The Jets have been playing lights out defense the past few weeks, so with the Titans suffering such significant loss, the easy assumption to make is that New York has a clear advantage in this matchup. However, the Jets have struggled against backs with a skill set similar to Johnson’s this year. CJ Spiller gashed this team for over 100 yards in week one, while Reggie Bush has played decently against them, as well. The key for New York will be their ability to make plays in space. Johnson needs to be hit behind the line of scrimmage early and often, but if he hits the open field, New York cannot afford to miss him for he has significant big play ability

Rob Celletti – Can the Jets defense maintain its level of dominance this week?  The Titans aren’t world-beaters, but they have a little bit more talent than the Jets last two opponents, who have scored a combined 16 points and converted only 2 of 31 third downs. The particular match-up that’s key to this game features the Jets linebackers, who simply need to put in a good performance to keep Chris Johnson in check. After becoming the guy that every fantasy football owner loved to hate, Johnson has rebounded nicely this year, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Johnson is the prototypical running back that gives the Jets a hard time, because of his speed to the outside and ability to change direction.  The Jets’ worst nightmare in this game is Johnson breaking off a long run or two early, putting the Jets in a multiple score hole, and making their offense play catch-up.