Grading Out Jets/Patriots Round 1

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 First a few updates:

1. Stay posted on the TOJ Facebook and Twitter page for reaction to Rex Ryan’s press conference today and any updates on Darrelle Revis’ hamstring, Jason Taylor’s elbow and any other injury issues the Jets currently have (Nick Mangold, Eric Smith, Brad Smith). If the Jets are smart they will rest Revis now, he should not return until he is absolutely 100 percent or his hamstring will be an issue all season. I would prefer to see him sit the next two weeks and then hopefully he can be back for Minnesota. They will have to cut Taylor’s arm off for him to miss the Miami game this week and I wouldn’t expect Calvin Pace back until the Buffalo game in week four.

2. Early line has the Jets as 1.5 underdogs to the 2-0 Dolphins.

Grading Out Jets/Patriots Round 1

Quarterbacks (A) – Probably the most complete, well-played game of Mark Sanchez’s young career. He was everything the Jets drafted him to be yesterday: confident, poised, and showing the ability to make any throw on the football field. The Jets have a ton of talent around Sanchez and if he can play like that on a consistent basis, the Jets are going to be a very, very tough team to beat.

Running Backs (A-) – LaDainian Tomlinson looks completely rejuvenated and provides a ton of energy every time he touches the football. He averaged 6.9 yards yesterday on 11 carries, along with adding 4 receptions for 26 yards. The Jets are giving him the perfect amount of touches as of right now. I just hope Tomlinson can keep it up all season long. Shonn Greene took a step in the right direction after week one, with no turnovers and 52 yards on 15 carries.

Wide Receivers (B+) – Braylon Edwards stepped up in a big way when the Jets desperately needed it in the 2nd quarter. It is about time the Jets used his height around the red zone. Jerricho Cotchery just missed on a few big plays from Sanchez but still had a nice touchdown grab, 4 receptions, and 2 carries. Brad Smith was banged up early and David Clowney stepped in to play a ton of reps, mostly as a decoy.

Tight Ends (A) – Dustin Keller played the best game of his career with 7 receptions, 115 yards, and a touchdown. He ripped the Patriots cover 2 apart and was a constant threat in the middle of the field.

Offensive Line (B-) – We are still waiting for our first 100 yard rusher of the season and New England did record 3 sacks, but overall they got the job done, particularly in the second half.

Defensive Line (B+) – The pass rush was a little sluggish at times but they were excellent against the run. Sione Pouha led the team in tackles with 6 and Mike DeVito chipped in 5 himself. Vernon Gholston added a tackle for a loss and Shaun Ellis had a big third down pressure.

Linebackers (B+) – They had occasional struggles in pass coverage but made their share of big plays, none bigger than Jason Taylor strip sacking Tom Brady out of a three-point stance in the fourth quarter. David Harris had 6 tackles and Bart Scott had a nice pass defense.

Secondary (A) – They get the “A” for stepping up in the absence of Darrelle Revis, especially Antonio Cromartie who was terrific in the second half. Brodney Pool made an impact in his first game in a Jets uniform with an INT. Kyle Wilson improved from his week one performance.

Special Teams (A) – Our kicker and punter are playing at a pro-bowl level through two weeks, who would have thought? The return game was only average.

Coaching (A) – Good bounce back game for Brian Schottenheimer and Rex Ryan made the necessary adjustments at half time to shut down New England’s offense.

Initial Reaction: Silencer – Jets Roll Pats 28-14

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Now this is what we’ve been waiting for.

Mark Sanchez…you remember him right? The guy who is the sole reason the Jets can’t win the Super Bowl this year. The worst starting quarterback in the NFL. The face of the Jets disaster area of an offense. Yes him, well he threw for three touchdowns today, along with 220 yards including a collection of legitimate big time NFL throws in between two and three defenders. He was poised, confident, and sure as hell looked like a quarterback capable of leading a team deep into January. That Brady guy? He turned the ball over three times.

Antonio Cromartie? The walking penalty. The guy claiming to be a shut down corner, actually flipped the switch and became one in the second half when he completely took Randy Moss out of the game, after Darelle Revis left with a hamstring injury. The entire Jets defense rose to the occasion today after the Revis injury…even Drew Coleman had a nice tackle.

Braylon Edwards? The guy who can’t catch or live to the hype of being a number one receiver, put the Jets on his back when they needed it down 7-0 with a huge drive and an exceptional touchdown catch. Dustin Keller? Mr. 9 yards on 4th and 10, had the best game of his career with 7 catches for 115 yards and the game sealing touchdown.

LaDainian Tomlinson looks like a man on a mission this season. I love the passion he is playing with and I love how wrong I have been about him so far in 2010. Shonn Greene had a good bounce back game and how about the production the Jets are getting out of “no names” like Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito on the defensive line.

Basically, the Jets, who took unnecessarily high amounts of criticism all week for one, one point loss responded and shut their critics up with a gutsy, resilient performance. They dealt with injuries to Darelle Revis, Nick Mangold, Brad Smith, and Jason Taylor and kept rolling. Everybody who was out there made plays and really that is what being a legit contender is all about.

Enjoy this victory, it is one worth feeling great about. The Jets were the deeper, more talented team today, like we thought they would be the entire off-season. They are going to be a tough team to beat if they can throw the ball like they did today and keep it up on the defensive side of the football. The injuries are a slight cause of concern but don’t forget we have Calvin Pace and Santonio Holmes coming back sooner rather than later.

Bring on the Dolphins.

Jets vs. Patriots Round 1: 12 Pack of Predictions

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1. Darrelle Revis’ hamstring doesn’t sound like it is going to be an issue on Sunday. Brodney Pool is listed as questionable and could be a game time decision.

Jets vs. Patriots Round 1: 12 Pack of Predictions

It wasn’t pretty for TOJ in week one in our 12 pack of predictions, let’s see if we can bounce back in week two with both our Jets and NFL picks:

1. The Jets are going to be looking to restore some confidence in Shonn Greene early in the game. I expect a heavy dose of #23 in the first quarter, as the Jets attempt to get him rolling.

2. Along a similar line, expect a couple of short, safe throws (slants or hitches) to Braylon Edwards on the first or second drive to get him into the flow of the game. He needs to get a couple of catches under his belt early to get going, if he is going to have a big game.

3. No matter what approach the Jets take towards Wes Welker, he is going to rack up catches. The key is going to be limiting his yards after the catch and not letting him consistently beat them on third down. I think the Jets defense will do a halfway decent job and hold Welker to something along the lines of 7-8 catches for 75-80 yards.

4. Inactives – Calvin Pace, Patrick Brown, Vladimir Ducasse, Kellen Clemens, Joe McKnight, Jeff Cumberland, Howard Green, Kenwin Cummings

5. Mark Sanchez will play more aggressive (there is no way he can play any less aggressive) which will benefit the Jets by producing more yards and points but hurt them because he will throw his first (and maybe second) interception of the season at some point.

6. The Jets will bring in David Clowney to send him off on a few fly routes as a decoy. If the Jets go up top, it better be to Braylon Edwards or Dustin Keller down the seam.

7. Jerricho Cotchery always…always kills the Patriots, so while I think Edwards will get going early, it will be Cotchery who is the primary go to guy throughout the game.

8. New England will recognize early they can’t run the ball on the Jets and embrace being completely one dimensional on offense. Expect a ton of spread sets with Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, and Brandon Tate getting plenty of playing time.

9. The Jets won’t be as aggressive coming after the quarterback, as they recognize the need to roll coverage wherever Darrelle Revis isn’t. You won’t be seeing a ton of Kyle Wilson in one on one situations, unless it is against Brandon Tate or one of the tight ends.

10. LaDainian Tomlinson will be productive as long as the Jets keep his touches in the 10-15 range.

11. Darrelle Revis will do what he usually does when he covers Randy Moss, yet if Moss gets a crack at Antonio Cromartie…expect to see some yellow on the field.

12. I will pick the Jets against the spread (+4.5) but I am not picking them to win this game. They didn’t show enough last week to make me believe they could score enough points to beat the Patriots. I think the defense will be up to the task for the second week in row and while I think the offense will improve, they won’t do quite enough to secure a victory. I am taking New England 20-17…prove me wrong, Sanchez. Greene and Schottenheimer.

Other NFL Picks (Lines from Bet US)

  • Kansas City (+1) vs. Cleveland
  • Green Bay (-14) vs. Buffalo
  • Baltimore (-3.5) vs. Cincinnati
  • Pittsburgh (+6) vs. Tennessee
  • Detroit (+7.5) vs. Philadelphia
  • Tampa Bay (+4) vs. Carolina
  • Atlanta (-7) vs. Arizona
  • Dallas (-7.5) vs. Chicago
  • Minnesota (-6.5) vs. Miami
  • Oakland (-3.5) vs. St. Louis
  • Seattle (+3) vs. Denver
  • Houston (-4) vs. Washington
  • San Diego (-7) vs. Jacksonville
  • Jets (+4.5) vs. New England
  • Indy (-6) vs. Giants
  • New Orleans (-7) vs. San Francisco

Some OCNN/Droid Love

TOJ recently moved into the 21st century by trading in his flip phone for a Droid, which enables me to constantly express my Jets frustration through Twitter and Facebook, hence why I have no problem with the following plug for Motorola and their work with Darrelle Revis and OCNN:

Throughout the preseason, and expected to continue throughout the regular season, Revis and the OCNN team will continue their insider coverage of hot news and tips. Being backed by Motorola, they athletes/new-age-journalists are provided with access to the latest and greatest Motorola devices starting with the wildly popular Droid X, which will allow these stars to break news across multiple platforms.  With an HD camcorder and integrated social media networks, they can go anywhere and swiftly issue high quality reports.  In addition, the DROID X will allow photo sharing on numerous online mediums which will give fans an inside perspective to wherever these players go.

Jets vs. Patriots Round 1: Game Breakdown

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1. Apparently the Jets didn’t have their best practice today, which led to Rex Ryan forcing players to do push ups on defense after they made a mistake and the offense to keep repeating the same play until they got it right. It is kind of hard to believe the Jets could come out with a bad practice after their performance last week but we’ll see what happens on Sunday.

2. Brodney Pool sounds like he is going to be a game time decision…I hope he doesn’t end up being Lito Sheppard part two. Calvin Pace is expected back by week 4.

3. Braylon Edwards did a good job of handling the unwarrented criticism from Joe Namath and Shonn Greene sounds like he has the right mentality heading into week two. Again…we’ll see.

Jets vs. Patriots Round 1: Game Breakdown

Offense: How about completing a pass over five yards or gaining more than a first down per quarter? In all seriousness, it will be very interesting to see the type of game plan the Jets come out with on Sunday. Are they going to re-commit to Shonn Greene and the ground and pound approach, or are they going to turn Mark Sanchez loose on a questionable Patriots secondary? Perhaps they can imitate a normal NFL offense and find a productive combination of both. I do know this, the Jets need Shonn Greene to have at least 15 carries. The less time Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and Randy Moss spend on the field, the better. Give LaDainian Tomlinson the 11 carries he had last week but supplement them with an adequate workload for Greene.

PhotobucketIn terms of the Jets passing game, Brian Schottenheimer must get Mark Sanchez going with some simple slants and hitch routes to get his confidence going. New England has traditionally had a tough time stopping Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller, so don’t hesitate to get the ball out to them on first down or take a shot down the field on a second medium or second short. Schottenheimer needs to improve his play calling and Sanchez needs to play with more confidence. Last season at home, he put together an excellent second half against the Patriots because he wasn’t scared to attack down the field to Cotchery and found a good rhythm.

The only positive thing about the Jets offense heading into this week is that there is nowhere to go but up.

Defense: Stop Wes Welker. I can’t stomach watching this guy run all over the field, converting every third down and putting together another 15 catch performance. The Jets need to move Darrelle Revis around and have him split his time between Randy Moss and Welker, while the other should be matched up on Cromartie with safety help, hopefully from Brodney Pool. Force somebody else to beat you. If Brandon Tate has a monster game or one of the rookie tight ends produces, than so be it but don’t let Welker and Moss do what Anquan Boldin did last week. New England can’t run the football on the Jets, period. They are going to be completely one dimensional, yet they can get away with it if the Jets are stubborn about blitzing 8 and manning up their three corners.

Lost in the massive overreaction to the Jets week one loss, was just how good their defense truly played. It is kind of funny how many people are just assuming New England is going to come out on the road and drop a 35 spot on the Jets. It isn’t happening. The Patriots will move the ball but the Jets defense will keep them in the game.

Speical Teams: Keep it up from last week. Nick Folk earned some confidence with a 3/3 performance and Steve Weatherford probably played his best game as a Jet. I would prefer if Jim Leonhard handled the punt return duties for now. Kyle Wilson is swimming enough on defense, without him having to worry about punt return. Brandon Tate took a kickoff back for a touchdown last week, so the Jets should proceed with caution when kicking to him.


Jets vs. Patriots Round 1: First Look

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1. The Jets have signed defensive tackle Howard Green, to help fill the gap left by Kris Jenkins. Green was a decent role player for the Jets last season.

2. In a somewhat surprising move, the Jets cut WR/RB Danny Woodhead and brought back David Clowney. Why would the Jets sign a vertical threat at receiver when they never throw the ball over 5 yards?

The Opponent: The defending AFC East champions and bitter rival of the Jets, New England is coming off a very, very impressive 38-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite questions about their running game and youth on defense, the Patriots are equipped to have arguably the best passing offense in the NFL. Tom Brady isn’t coming off major surgery anymore, Wes Welker looks 100 percent back from his injury, rookie tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski have been impressive, along with second year receiver Brandon Tate, and of course there is that Moss guy. However, New England can be beat through the air and did allow Carson Palmer to throw for 345 yards last week. Unfortunately, it appears the Jets haven’t mastered the forward pass yet.

New England Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Tom Brady – 25/35, 258 yards, 3 TDs
  • Running Back: Fred Taylor – 14 carries, 71 yards
  • Running Back: Kevin Faulk – 3 carries, 23 yards
  • Running Back: Sammy Morris – 1 carry, 2 yards
  • Running Back: BenJarvus Green-Ellis – 5 carries, 22 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Randy Moss – 5 receptions, 59 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Wes Welker – 8 receptions, 64 yards, 2 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Brandon Tate – 4 receptions, 36 yards
  • Tight End: Aaron Hernandez – 1 reception, 45 yards
  • Tight End: Rob Gronkowski – 1 reception, 1 yard, 1 TD
  • Left Tackle: Matt Light
  • Left Guard: Dan Connolly
  • Center: Dan Koppen
  • Right Guard: Stephen Neal
  • Right Tackle: Sebastian Vollmer

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Gerard Warren
  • Nose Tackle: Vince Wilfork – 3 tackles
  • Defensive End: Mike Wright
  • Outside Linebacker: Rob Ninkovich – 4 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Gary Guyton – 2 tackles, 1 INT
  • Inside Linebacker: Jerod Mayo – 12 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain – 2 tackles, .5 sacks
  • Corner: Devin McCourty – 5 tackles
  • Corner: Darius Butler – 8 tackles
  • Safety: Patrick Chung – 16 tackles
  • Safety: Brandon Merriweather – 7 tackles

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski – 1/3 FGs
  • Punter: Zoltan Mesko – 43 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: Brandon Tate – 46.0 per return, 1 TD
  • Punt Return: Brandon Tate – 1 for 4 yards

PhotobucketKey PlayersWes Welker has killed the Jets every time he has played against them. They might have Darrelle Revis to stop Randy Moss, but they need somebody else to stop Welker…how about a double team, Rex? Jerod Mayo is New England’s top linebacker and Vince Wilfork is a monster at nose tackle. Tom Brady is obviously Tom Brady.

Injuries – The Jets will still be without Calvin Pace, while Sione Pouha steps in the starting lineup for the rest of 2010 for Kris Jenkins. Brodney Pool should be back at safety. Julian Edelman missed week one with a foot injury.

Key Storylines – Must win for the Jets to avoid falling 0-2 and two games behind the Patriots…Darrelle Revis vs. Randy Moss…Can Mark Sanchez, Brian Schottenheimer and the Jets offense figure out how to get a first down…Who will stop Wes Welker.

Highlights of Patriots Week One Win