New York Jets Week 2 – Film Room Thoughts On Steelers

After breaking down week 1 film, thoughts on the Jets/Steelers match-up

A couple of quick thoughts after watching Steelers/Broncos on the All-22 tape and re-watching Jets/Bills

– The Blitz Beater – We talked earlier in the week about how Emmanuel Sanders and Heath Miller could hurt the Jets in this match-up. Their ability to hurt them goes beyond potential coverage issues with Kyle Wilson, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell. Ben Roethlisberger loves to use both players and particularly Miller as blitz beaters whenever opposing defenses aggressively come after him. Here is a first quarter 13 yard completion to Sanders. See how Roethlisberger and Sanders recognize the blitz pre-snap and he quickly delivers the ball down the seam to an open Sanders in the slot at the bottom of the screen –

Later in the game the Steelers convert a similar play for a 15 yard gain to Miller. After recognizing the blitz, Miller releases and turns to the outside, wide open, Roethlisberger quickly gets the ball out so Miller has space to run and pick up a big chunk of yardage.

Rex Ryan must do a good job of disguising his blitzes and the Jets linebackers and safeties need to quickly cover ground when left exposed in man coverage.

– Keenan Lewis – Keenan Lewis is the Steelers starting cornerback opposite Ike Taylor. The Jets would be wise to attack him early and often, particularly if he gets matched up with Santonio Holmes. Last week Lewis frequently found himself on Eric Decker, who plays the same position that Holmes plays in the Jets offense. Peyton Manning took advantage of the exceptionally large cushion Lewis was playing with in the two plays below, which went for 13 yards and 17 yards respectively. In the first play Decker and Lewis are at the bottom of the screen and on the second play, they are at the top –

– Back To The Well – We detailed here how the Jets took advantage of the wide receiver screen last week. They would be wise to keep it in the game plan after how Pittsburgh defended this 71 yard touchdown by Demaryius Thomas. Again, Peyton Manning took advantage of an excessive cushion and safety Ryan Mundy looks clueless on this play. It should be noted however that Ryan Clark will be back in the lineup instead of Mundy and it is doubtful the Steelers corners will consistently play with such a deep cushion against Mark Sanchez.

 

New York Jets Fact Or False: Week 2 Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False previews the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

The New York Jets are coming off what is arguably their most impressive victory since defeating New England in the 2010 playoffs. The week 1 effort against Buffalo revealed a team that was clicking on all cylinders, recording touchdowns through all three phases of the game in route to a record setting opening day points total. That being said, the Jets face a daunting task heading into week 2 where they will travel to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who are fresh off of an opening day loss to Peyton Manning and the newly revamped Denver Broncos. Will the Jets offense be able to duplicate the success it had it week 1? And will the defense be able to shut down Ben Roethlisberger and his surplus of offensive weapons? This week’s New York Jets Fact Or False examines these issues, and more.

Mark Sanchez and the Offensive Line will be on their toes all game. Fact. While the Offensive Line did an excellent job last week in preventing Quarterback Mark Sanchez from getting sacked against a superbly talented Buffalo pass rush, Pittsburgh will be an entirely different animal this week. Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau is one of the most experienced and creative defensive minds in all of football who is notorious for developing creative and aggressive blitz packages to make preparation an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses.

Last week against Denver, when lined up in a normal defensive formation –any formation other than goal line, special teams, two point conversions- Pittsburgh blitzed 48% of the time (24/50 total plays). Of those blitzes, 13 came from the interior, while 11 were sent off the edge, all on a variety of downs. What this means is that LeBeau and the defensive staff are very good at not revealing any tendencies. It is extremely difficult to predict when and where the blitz will be coming from, therefore the pass protection for New York must be alert and ready to go on every offensive snap. In a game that both teams will be very defensively active, one lapse in pass protection could end up being the play that determines the game.

Sanchez will go another game without being sacked. False. Although the fact that Sanchez was not sacked once in the season opener is an extremely encouraging sign for the Jets offensive line, it is extremely rare to go duplicate that success in consecutive games, particularly against a blitz happy team like Pittsburgh. LeBeau and his staff will certainly get far more creative with their blitz packages than Dave Wannstedt was last week.

One of the reasons Sanchez was so successful against Buffalo was because of how comfortable he was in the pocket. You can be certain that LeBeau took notice of this and will do everything he can to keep him from regaining a similar level of comfort. Expect him to mix it up with blitz packages all game, and to really test Jets Right Tackle Austin Howard who will be making only his second career start. Sanchez will need to be elusive and remain poised on every offensive possession.

The Jets will look to get their Wide Receivers the ball in space. Fact. Last week, Peyton Manning did an excellent job of getting the ball to his receivers in space to allow them to make plays after the catch. The most notable example was the 71-yard touchdown from Demaryius Thomas on a simple, short out route, in which Thomas made multiple players on the Steelers defense miss after the catch on his way to the end zone. Expect the Jets to try and replicate plays like this. Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, and Jeremy Kerley all have excellent run after the catch ability, so expect Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano to try and find holes in Pittsburgh’s defense that will allow his receivers to make some plays in space. As we have seen in the past, and particularly last week with Hill and Kerley, anyone of these players has the ability to break off a big gain on any particular play. It will be very interesting, again, to see what kind of game plan Sparano draws up.

Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace are the extent of the Jets defensive worries. False. While Brown and Wallace are certainly two of the most dangerous offensive weapons, not only in Pittsburgh, but in the entire NFL, Roethlisberger and Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley like to share the wealth. Last week, Roethlisberger targeted Brown and Wallace a combined 14 times, while targeting Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders and Tight End Heath Miller a combined 15 times. Roethlisberger also completed passes to 8 different targets throughout the course of the game. While defending Brown and Wallace will be imperative to this game, the Jets cannot afford to ignore the rest of Pittsburgh’s offensive weapons. Sanders in particular could cause serious problems for New York if he isn’t defended properly. He is an excellent slot receiver with great speed and elusiveness, and does an excellent job of running routes and finding holes in coverage. The Jets will need to click on all cylinders in coverage this week.

Ben Roethlisberger will try to get the ball to Heath Miller as much as possible. Fact. Roethlisberger has an undying faith in his Tight End, Heath Miller, and it showed last week in Denver, particularly on “and goal” situations. Roethlisberger repeatedly looked to Miller inside the ten yard line, often attempting to force the ball to him. On one particular play early in the game, Roethlisberger had Wide Receiver Antonio Brown open in the end zone on a post route, but never looked his way as he was locked in on Miler the entire way, leading to a bad decision, and incomplete pass. Roethlisberger eventually found Miller later in the game for a 4-yard touchdown.

It will be imperative that the Jets safeties and linebackers play well in coverage this week. With how much Roethlisberger will look to get the ball to the trustworthy Tight End, especially close to the endzone, the slightest slip up in coverage on Miller will undoubtedly hurt this defense.

The Jets will register multiple sacks on Ben Roethlisberger. Fact. Although the Jets did not register a sack in week 1, expect them to exploit some weaknesses in Pittsburgh’s offensive line. The Right Tackle position for the Steelers was attacked mightily by Denver last week, as Marcus Gilbert fills in for the injured rookie Mike Adams. Denver went after Gilbert and it showed in a very big way as they registered 5 sacks and 9 Quarterback Hits as a team, including 2 sacks from Von Miller who put on a clinic against Gilbert. Like LeBeau, Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine will get very creative with their blitz packages, and will look to exploit the weakness at Right Tackle. Expect to see multiple looks consisting of Quinton Coples, Muhammed Wilkerson, and Aaron Maybin lined up over Gilbert, with countless blitzes mixed in. For anyone who is a major proponent of defensive creativity, this game should be extremely fun to watch from both sides.

TOJ THURSDAY NIGHT STAFF PICKS

  • Joe Caporoso – Green Bay (-5)
  • Chris Gross – Chicago (+5)
  • Mike Donnelly – Chicago (+5)
  • TJ Rosenthal – Chicago (+5)
  • Rob Celletti – Green Bay (-5)
  • Chris Celletti – Green Bay (-5)

Turn On The Jets Week 2 Fantasy Football Preview

Mike Donnelly with his week 2 Fantasy Football preview

Week 1 of fantasy football is in the books, and chances are you either won big and think your team is headed for the championship, or you took a beating and already have your sights set on the 2013 season (also known as Drew From Jersey Syndrom). Whichever side of the fence you may be on heading into week 2, my advice is to not get carried away. Don’t let one week of action affect your judgment too much when it comes to your players. In fact, the next week or two are the perfect time to take advantage of that sap owner in your league who does just that.

For example, if you have someone like Alfred Morris on your team, now would be the perfect time to talk him up to your competition and then pawn him off on a running back-needy team (we’ll get to him later). It’s just the way it works: If a guy performed well, you think you have a superstar on your hands. If you’re first round pick played poorly, then you hate him and already want to send him into exile (and I do hate you very, very much, Chris Johnson). So who are the guys you should be targeting after a slow start? Who are the guys you should be selling high on? Glad you asked…

(I also suggest checking out my Pre-Season Fantasy Draft Column, which still has some relevant information about which players are due for declines, and which you may want to target. Just skip past that part where I recommend not drafting Adrian Peterson.)

Buy Low Before It’s Too Late

QB: Matt Ryan – I tried to tell you Ryan was poised to join the big boys this year as the Falcons move to an up-temp passing attack, so I hope some of you listened. He has three legit targets in Jones, White, and Gonzo, and an emerging pass-catching back in Jacquizz Rodgers. He had a huge week 1, so this could be tough, but if you treat him as a top 5 QB while the guy who has him doesn’t, you can still nab your stud QB.

QB: Mark Sanchez – Am I a homer? Perhaps. He’s not going to dominate all year like he did in week 1, but after a few rough games coming up (Pitt, SF, Houston), the schedule is littered with defenses he can absolutely exploit. I’m not saying pick him up as your starter, but if you don’t have an elite QB, playing the weekly matchups with Sanchez and one or two others is the way to go.

RB: Jacquizz Rodgers – I love Jacquizz. Michael Turner is being phased out of the Falcons offense, and Rodgers is going to see more and more time. If you’re in a PPR league, don’t wait any longer — Go get Jacquizz.

RB: Shonn Greene – Like Sanchez, Greene has some tough games coming up, but now many other backs are there that are pretty much guaranteed 20 touches per game? If he’s owned by someone who doesn’t believe in the Jets offense, you can still nab him and have your RB2 in the bag.

RB: Mikel Leshoure – Kevin Smith is 100% likely to get injured in the coming weeks. Not 50% or 75% or 99.9%. It’s 100%. When that happens, the Lions are going to lean totally on their 2nd round pick from a year ago to carry the load. Hell, even if Smith is healthy, Leshoure will get the goalline carries, and with that passing attack, will have plenty of running lanes.

RB: Trent Richardson – After watching T-Rich stumble his way to 2.1 yards per carry in the opener, while Brandon Weeden showed himself to be the worst quarterback to start a season since… well… ever, the Richardson owner in your league may already be ready to cut the cord. He (or she) won’t trade him to you for peanuts, but if you value him as a top 20 RB while they’re already discouraged, a deal can be arranged.

RB: Knowshon Moreno – Just a hunch, but I don’t see Willis McGahee lasting through the season. Take a flyer on Knowshon.

WR: Julio Jones – I was scoffed at by many after ranking Jones as my #2 WR heading into the season, but who’s laughing now?! (Ok, done patting myself on the back). This won’t be easy after Julio’s 2 TD performance on opening day, but if the Julio owner in your league only values him as a top 5 or 10 WR unlikely to keep this up, you can make your move. Think of him more like you would Calvin Johnson (yes, Julio can be that good this year) and organize your trade as such. Trust me.

WR: Antonio Brown – The results may not have totally been there in week 1, but we saw all the signs for a breakout season going forward. Big Ben targeted Brown a ton, including several attempts in the end zone. He’s clearly their #1 WR in Pittsburgh, and he’s PPR gold.

WR: Braylon Edwards – More of a deep sleeper option, but Braylon is moving up the Seattle depth chart and is going to get plenty of looks. Could be a very solid WR3 for you.

TE: Kyle Rudolph – He’s most likely on a team in your league, but if he’s a free agent, go and get him. If someone has him, value him as a top 10-12 TE and make your offer. There’s a good chance his owner in your league doesn’t think of him so highly.

Sell Now Before You Have Enron On Your hands

QB: Robert Griffin III – (Ducks) Ok, no need to throw things. I know full well what RG3 did this week, but all I’m saying is it’s not going to be that easy every week. There’s a good chance you or I could get out there and throw for 200 and 2 TD’s against the Saints. If RG3 is your backup and you can pawn him off on someone who saw his week 1 performance and considers him a top 8 or 10 QB, make the move. That’s all. (Please note, this doesn’t apply for keeper or dynasty leagues. If you are in one of those and consider trading him, please get your head examined before rejoining society. Thanks)

QB: Cam Newton – Again, I’m not saying Cam is bad or going to be a bust. He’s going to be quite good. But if you can send him away for top 5 QB value, you should look into it. I think he’s going to end the season as a fringe QB1, in the 9-11 overall range. The Panthers are going to be more competitive this year, so that will eliminate lots of the garbage time stats. Plus, they’re trying to limit his rushing attempts.

RB: Marshawn Lynch – Another guy I was very down on heading into the season, and he didn’t do much to change my opinion in week 1. His value is down, but I’d still suggest trying to move him. You won’t get his pre-draft value in return, but that’s ok because in a few weeks you won’t be getting top 20 RB value for him.

RB: Alfred Morris – If you have Alfred Morris, congratulations on picking the right Redskins RB for week 1. Unfortunately, there is no telling what week Mike “the Fantasy Football Hater” Shanahan will sour on Morris and just decide on a whim to use someone else. Trust me, you want no part of the Redskins backfield. Trade Morris now, or pray he has a solid week 2 and do it then. His value will never be higher.

RB: Kevin Smith – See Mikel Leshoure section.

RB: Michael Turner – See Jacquizz Rodgers section.

WR: Roddy White – If you can trick someone into thinking White is still an elite WR option, then do it now. Like, right now. By the end of the season, White will be more of a WR2 than the top notch player you drafted him to be. It’s Julio’s show now in Hotlanta.

WR: Pierre Garcon – Like with RG3, Garcon won’t get to torch the Saints Swiss cheese defense every week. He’s a major injury risk (already hurt his foot), he’s inconsistent, and his value will never be higher. Send some feelers out asap for a trade.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald – Poor Larry Fitzgerald. John Skelton is/was absolutely awful, but at least he knew to just throw the ball up for Larry and he’ll catch a few. Now Skelton is out, and Kevin Kolb, who never learned the “throw to Larry” lesson takes over. There are few more depressing players to own in fantasy than Larry Fitzgerald. You watch all the boring Cardinals games screaming “THROW IT TO LARRY!!”, and then when they finally do its 17 feet over his head. Sigh.

WEEK 2 START AND SITS ONE-LINERS

(Here’s my Week 1 column, so you can see whether or not you want to take my advice. Sure I sold on Flacco and Peterson, but RG3 and Ridley? Boom!)

Play ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em

QB Andrew Luck vs. Minn – Vikings Pass D is terrible while Luck gets Collie and T.Y. Hilton back.

QB Jay Cutler vs. GB – The aforementioned Green Bay defense makes Cutler a top-8 option this week

RB Stevan Ridley vs. Arz – Week 1 was no fluke; Ridley is the real deal.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Den – Look for Rodgers to play a role in this shootout.

WR James Jones vs. Chi – Greg Jennings is likely out, which means plenty of targets for Jones

WR Braylon Edwards vs. Dallas – Look for Dallas to clog up the run and give Braylon plenty of 1-on-1 opportunities.

WR Percy Harvin @ Ind – Percy is gonna go off in Indy; he’s a top 12 option.

TE Kyle Rudolph @ Ind – Harvin’s teammate is also going to go off in Indy, taking apart the middle of that Colts defense.

DEF NY Giants – Sure they didn’t look good in week 1, but they’re going to put a hurting on Josh Freeman and the Bucs.

Play ‘Em… if You Like Losing

QB Tony Romo @ Sea – Seattle is an awfully tough place to play. Wouldn’t recommend benching him, but don’t expect big results.

QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. NYJ – The Jets have perhaps the best pass defense in the NFL, and Ben is going to take an awful lot of hits behind that o-line.

RB Michael Turner vs. Den – The Falcons-Broncos game is likely to be a fast-paced shootout, and Michael Turner doesn’t factor into a game like that.

RB Marshawn Lynch vs. Dallas – Dallas will stack the line against Lynch, so he’s likely to struggle. Can you tell I’m down on Lynch this year??

WR Wes Welker vs Arz – Welker sure seems like he’s being phased out of the offense, and with a potential blowout on the horizon here, don’t expect him to play a major role.

WR Lance Moore @ Car – Quite simply, Lance Moore stinks when he plays outdoors.

TE Jacob Tamme @ Atl – A preseason favorite of many, I don’t think he’s going to put up the big numbers many expected.

DEF Baltimore Ravens – Just a hunch, but I could see the Eagles team speed giving Ray Lewis and the Ravens a ton of trouble.

Turn On The Jets Week 2 Roundtable – Jets/Steelers Match-Up

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to when Jets take on the Steelers

The Turn On The Jets staff breaks down what match-up they are most looking forward to this Sunday when the New York Jets travel to Pittsburgh. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter

Joe Caporoso – The match-up that will be the most fun to watch will be Darrelle Revis going against Antonio Brown. However, the one that will determine the game will be the Jets safeties on Heath Miller and Kyle Wilson on Emmanuel Sanders. The Jets will be fine on the outside and should be able to generate a pass rush against Pittsburgh. However, they cannot allow themselves to be torched down the middle of the field. Sanders has tremendous speed and Miller is one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL, both of them have potential to have monster days against a Jets nickel and two safeties who have questionable coverage at times.

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to seeing this week in Pittsburgh is how the Jets defensive front performs against the atrocious Steelers offensive line. After watching last week’s game against Denver, I had to check to see if the Steelers had secretly traded for Wayne Hunter and then somehow cloned him to play three different positions. They were that bad. We can expect to see the return of Sione Po’uha this week which will sure up the run defense, and then I’d like to see Quinton Coples, Mo Wilkerson, and Aaron Maybin tee off on Big Ben in 3rd and long situations. This is where the Jets can — and should — win the game.

TJ Rosenthal – The biggest matchup I can’t wait to see in all honesty is Heinz field and the reputation of the Steelers as a physically intimidating franchise against the new Jets. A team that may be able to protect a QB who may finally be figuring things out. With a defense that should Darrelle Revis be ok to play, can again act like a top five unit with ball hawking, game changing talents in the secondary. We were at that AFC championship loss two years back and can attest to what a home field advantage that game was for the Steelers. Let’s see the Jets stand tall in the face of that atmosphere.

Let’s watch Gang Green prove that last week was not just some motivated performance to prove the doubters wrong, coming against an overrated mediocre Bills team. That instead it was an improved  foundation for a franchise that so many wanted to prematurely bury only one week ago. Take this city and this team on. Smash ’em in the mouth. Knock ’em in the teeth. Don’t let em scare you. Play with no fear in Blitzburgh.

Chris Celletti – If there was one thing the Jets’ defense didn’t do in their Week 1 destruction of the Bills, it was sack the quarterback. Now, the Bills generally run short and quick passing plays, getting the ball out of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hand as soon as possible, so he’s not exactly the easiest quarterback to get to. But overall, this Jets defense still needs to prove that it can generate a good enough pass rush without having to send too many defensive backs or linebackers, and they should have a good opportunity to do so on Sunday against the Steelers, a team that has seemingly had offensive line problems for the past five years. I expect the Jets’ run defense to be solid as always and be able to contain the Steelers’ running back committee. But the Steelers have three very good wide receivers and a great tight end, and with Darrelle Revis questionable to play it would behoove the Jets to make life as miserable as possible for Ben Roethlisberger. Can Quinton Coples get his first career sack on Sunday? Will Muhammad Wilkerson show that he’s made the leap as a pass rusher? Them, and the rest of the Jets’ defensive front, should have a very good chance to make a mark.

Chris Gross – Jets Secondary vs. Pittsburgh Receiving Corps – While it remains to be seen whether or not Darrelle Revis will be cleared to play on Sunday, this will still be the most intriguing match up of the day. As a team last week, the Steelers hauled in 22 passes from Ben Roethlisberger who found 8 different receivers on the day. Conversely, the Jets defensive secondary was a nightmare for Buffalo Bills’ Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, intercepting the Harvard man three times within the first 40 minutes of play.

If Revis plays, it will be very interesting to see how Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine decide to split his reps between Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, two very productive receivers with big play ability. If Revis cannot go, it will be a very big challenge for both Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson to carry the workload. The Safety play will be vital as well, as Heath Miller is a favorite of Roethlisberger, who connected with his tight end 4 times for 50 yards and a touchdown last week in Denver. This will be one of many big challenges for Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry on the year, and is a great opportunity for them to prove that they have the ability to shut down opposing tight ends, something that has hurt the Jets defense tremendously as of late

Rob Celletti – Jets safeties and linebackers vs. Steelers RBs/TEs/slot receiversOne thing that’s certain about the Jets’ defense is the ability of its outside defenders. Sure, Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis might get beat once or twice for touchdowns this year, but that part of the field is about as well-covered as it can be in the pass-happy 2012 NFL. Where the Jets have struggled mightily for the last three seasons has been in the middle of the field, due to a variety of personnel shortcomings. Even though the week one whitewash of Buffalo is still wonderfully fresh in everyone’s mind, don’t forget that the Jets gave up huge chunks of yardage to C.J. Spiller once he relieved the injured Fred Jackson, and they were burned by Scott Chandler as well for a touchdown. The Steelers have the always-productive Heath Miller at tight end and won’t hesitate to run the ball despite the injury to Rashard Mendenhall.  Speed at linebacker and coverage ability at safety have been this team’s achilles heel since 2010, and how the Jets defend the middle of the field on Sunday will go a long way towards a second Jets W, as well as proving that these defensive issues have been addressed for the long haul.

 

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Around The NFL Week 1

Mike Donnelly with a special edition of the Stock Watch, focusing around the NFL after week 1

In case you missed my Jets Week 1 Stock Watch, you can read that here. Today I’m taking a look around the NFL and in familiar fashion will be buying and selling the comings and goings of a chaotic week 1. But since this column and site in general have a distinct Jets flavor to them, let’s start with the St. Louis Rams and their new genius offensive coordinator…

The Schotty Watch – I tweeted about this the other day, but it was wild how many people rushed to their keyboards to make some lame version of the same joke as the Jets struggled this preseason. You know, the “Ohh, Schotty must be loving watching the Jets not score down in St. Louis lol”, or “Yeah but Schotty was the problem, right?” garbage. So clever. What was even wilder is how those very people who made those knee-slapping quips hardly had anything to say when the Jets dropped 48 points on the Bills and looked sharper, more organized, and better prepared since, well, since before Schotty was the Jets offensive coordinator (Check out this breakdown of Sparano’s game plan). What’s even more curious is I haven’t seen anybody make mention of the fact that while the Jets were marching up and down the field on Sunday, the Rams offense sputtered and is currently the 31st ranked offense in the NFL, racking up a paltry 251 yards of total offense. I guess Schotty isn’t the one laughing so much anymore, huh? I am.

BUY: The Cutler to Marshall Connection – The Bears were my pre-season darling team to go from out of the playoffs to being a legit contender this year (believe it or not, I didn’t pick the Bills!). I know it was a popular pick, but the Bears could really make some noise this year. Jay Cutler looked like a new man out on the field Sunday as he got to throw pass after pass after pass to his favorite target from his Denver days in Brandon Marshall. Does this make me absolutely giddy as a Marshall fantasy owner? Yes, yes it does.

BUY: Adrian Peterson – Ohhh, that’s right. It’s Adrian Peterson and we shouldn’t have doubted him. Remind me not to make that mistake ever again.

BUY: Robert Griffin III and the Redskins – I’m not ready to anoint RG3 as a Hall of Famer already like some others, but that was quite an impressive debut. I fully expected Mike Shanahan to ruin this poor guy, but he looked spectacular. Unfortunately he won’t get to play the Saints laughable defense every week, but still.

BUY: Julio Jones – I couldn’t have been higher on Julio heading into this season, both in real life and fantasy football. I know I wasn’t alone in that camp, but last year when he was healthy, he was Matt Ryan’s favorite target, not Roddy White. Now that he’s in year 2, the sky is the limit.

BUY: Patriots Run Game – Just when it seemed like teams like the Jets may have started putting together the pieces to deal with the Patriots passing game, Belichick goes and changes his whole offense and incorporates a newfound running attack that absolutely tore up the Titans this week. Stevan Ridley to me is just a more talented and explosive version of Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and the Pats seem intent on riding him.

BUY: The 49ers – Wow, what a performance in Lambeau this week. They tore that Packers team apart in all phases of the game and quite frankly, exposed them in the process. Enough can’t be said about what a great coach Jim Harbaugh is, even if he appears to be a Grade-A lunatic.

SELL: The Packers and Saints defenses – All those years of people saying “Oh, well of course those defenses give up yards, their offenses are always so far ahead” look pretty silly right about now. It turns out their own offenses had nothing to do with it. Their defenses are just completely and utterly useless. Would it kill either of these teams to actually maybe cover someone? At one point in the Packers game, Aaron Rodgers threw an incomplete pass on 3rd down and had a look on his face like he knew they were about to be down by even more the next time he took the field. Hard to play with that kind of pressure.

SELL: Russell Wilson – I was on record as saying I didn’t understand all the Russell Wilson hype. I don’t know how it got started, I don’t know why it got started, but I sure hope it’s nearing the end of it’s run. Sure, he looked decent in the preseason against defenses that weren’t game-planning or preparing in any way, but when the lights turned on and the games counted, Wilson looked exactly like what he is: an undersized third round rookie quarterback on a bad team.

SELL: The Lions – My pick for team that stumbles form the playoffs to a 6-10 season, Detroit and their wackjob coach Jim Schwartz looked awful across the board on Sunday, as they almost lost to the Rams. The RAMS!

SELL: Drew Brees – I think the “Maybe that offense was more about Sean Payton than Drew Brees after all” whispers are going to start picking up soon. Drew Brees is the ultimate stat-padder late in games, so it may take a few weeks before people start to really realize there are problems with the Saints offense, but don’t be surprised when it happens.

New York Jets Week 2 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Steelers

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers…stay with us all day today at TOJ as we have a roundtable discussion on the game coming later, along with new content from Mike Donnelly and Chris Gross

1. Regardless of the flaws on Pittsburgh’s offensive line and disappointing showing of their defense in week 1. This is a very tough match-up for the Jets. Heinz Field is never an easy place to play, nevermind when the Steelers are 0-1 and desperate for a victory. A win on Sunday would truly put the league on notice that the Jets are a legitimate contender in the AFC.

2. Early indications are that Darrelle Revis is going to play despite a mild concussion. The logic match-up is to put him on Antonio Brown, put Antonio Cromartie on Mike Wallace and come after Ben Roethlisberger like crazy in an attempt to take advantage of their struggling offensive line.

3. The players on Pittsburgh’s offense who have the ability to hurt the Jets the most are Emmanuel Sanders, Heath Miller and Jonathan Dwyer. We all know the history of slot receivers and tight ends taking advantage of Rex Ryan’s defense since he took over the Jets. This is a big week for Kyle Wilson and for the Jets new safeties, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, to show their ability in coverage. The reason I say Dwyer is because Pittsburgh has ran the ball down the Jets throat in their previous two meetings and Dwyer looks to be the workhorse back this week.

4. The Jets will receive a nice boost to their run defense if Sione Pouha returns to the line-up. Chris Gross will discuss this later in his film breakdown but the defense missed badly missed him last week at nose tackle. It will also be interesting to see if Eric Smith can play, as he would provide a boost to the special teams.

5. We will get a nice barometer of just how legitimate the Jets passing offense is this week. Pittsburgh has a seemingly endless collection of pass rushers and will receive Ryan Clark back at safety. Mark Sanchez played well both times the Jets went to Pittsburgh in 2010 and you know Santonio Holmes will be fired up for his return. Tony Sparano must stay aggressive in the passing game to keep balance on offense. It will be interesting to see how Stephen Hill responds to the extra attention he should likely receive now from opposing defenses.

6. If Mark Sanchez is playing like he did last week, I’d prefer even less of the Wildcat than we saw last week. Give the extra carries to Bilal Powell, particularly the edge rushes which Shonn Greene lacks the speed for.

7. What in the world would be the justification by the national media for a Jets win this week? Pittsburgh is having a down year? We won’t be impressed until they play Houston or San Francisco? Who knows…

8. It will be good to see Jerricho Cotchery again.