New York Jets Monday Notes – Bryan Thomas Done For Season

A round-up of Jets headlines today —

1. As expected, Bryan Thomas is out for the year with a torn Achilles. It sounds like the Jets will use a committee of Jamal Westerman, Aaron Maybin, Josh Mauga, and Garret McIntyre to replace him. Thomas is a valuable player who does a lot of the dirty work on the defense, but this was likely his last year with the team anyway. Let’s hope one of these young players can step up.

2. The Jets are considering signing tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, who I will just call “Manu” from now on. They could use him as a hybrid tight end/tackle to provide extra blocking…since Wayne Hunter is pretty damn awful.

3. Rex Ryan proclaimed the Jets would return to their Ground and Pound roots from now on. Considering they have 92 carries for 284 yards this season, I will believe it when I see it. However, it should at least help keep Mark Sanchez somewhat more safe and allow their defense to keep them in games.

4. No grade report, because it is all F’s for the offense and all A’s for the defense. No final thoughts on Jets/Ravens tomorrow because this team needs to bury this game and move forward. It is New England week.

Scenes From A Horror Movie – Where Do Jets Go From Here?

Last night was about as bad it as ever got for the New York Jets in the Rex Ryan era. They were physically assaulted by the Baltimore Ravens defense to the point that Mark Sanchez could press charges against Wayne Hunter, Vladimir Ducasse, Colin Baxter, Matt Slauson, Brandon Moore, and even D’Brickashaw Ferguson. It all starts up front and the Jets offensive line is awful. Colin Baxter and Wayne Hunter are not starting caliber offensive lineman. Vladimir Ducasse is not a NFL caliber player. You are in trouble when Matt Slauson is your third best offensive lineman. When you start with the blame for last night, start with the line and then move to Mark Sanchez.

We wrote here all week how Sanchez was in need of a big time performance for the Jets to get a victory. He responded with arguably the worst game of his career. I am aware how brutal his protection was but Sanchez allowed himself to get rattled and even when he had time he was horrifically inaccurate. He is supposed to be a leader. He can’t play scared and dejected to the point he was last night. Bottom line, he needs to grow up and be better than he was the previous two years to compensate for the lack of running game the Jets have.

The world has given up on Shonn Greene and trust me I hear you. He hasn’t looked good as a feature back. He has also had nowhere to run. That being said, it is time to give Joe McKnight a bigger role on the offense. The Jets need an infusion of speed at the running back position. They very clearly struggle running up the middle, so why not attack the edges with a speedier McKnight?

While we are in blame game mode, let’s give a helping to the Jets coaching staff for the knee jerk reaction of putting Vladimir Ducasse in. Let’s also give a helping to Mike Tannenbaum and the front office for drafting Ducasse and not assembling enough depth on this offensive line. The Jets need a veteran, immediately.

You have heard it all today and all the anger is right. The Jets puff their chest out and are going to be kicked while they are down. The fans and media will overreact but honestly they have a right to be disgusted with what they saw last night.

Everything being said, this is the team we have for the rest of the year. So, let’s focus on what the necessary adjustments need to be and what positives the Jets can work from moving forward. Last time I checked they, if they win next week they are 3-2, New England is 3-2 and the Jets have the tie-breaker with 11 games to play. Hell, even if they lose next week there is still 11 games to play. Contrary to popular belief, this team will not pack up their bags and not bother to show up in New England. Where do we go from here?

1. The defense responded last night and put together a terrific performance. If you can play defense, you can compete…as long as your offense doesn’t directly allow 21 points. Aaron Maybin brought a little life to the Jets pass rush and I know it was only 1 strip sack and 1 quarterback pressure, but I loved the energy he was playing with. Muhammad Wilkerson also played his best game of the season last night and will only get better as the season goes on.

2. The special teams can still make plays. Joe McKnight returned a kick 107 yards for a touchdown, forced a fumble on kickoff and forced an interception when he played cornerback by the way. He can be a big factor moving forward.

3. On offense, the Jets need to force themselves to run the football to protect Mark Sanchez and to keep games competitive. It will take creativity because the front five isn’t getting a great push. It is going to take a combination of Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, John Conner, Joe McKnight, and maybe even some Jeremy Kerley in the Wildcat. Misdirections. Outside handoffs. The Jets must find a way to get some type of balance. They could also replace running plays by making better use of screens to all the previously mentioned players and the receivers.

4. When the Jets do take to the air, they need to max protect when looking down the field. The passing game needs to be simplified…again. It is time to dump the base formation being a three receiver look. The Jets need two tight ends on the field, if they are releasing Keller into the formation so Matthew Mulligan can stay in to block. If they are going one tight end, get John Conner on the field to stay in and pass protect.

5. Finally, show a little pride. The Jets can put their head down, walk into New England take it on the chin from an angry Patriots team who had their season ended by the Jets smacking them around and showboating all over field or they can stand up, do what they did to New England last January and show the league, their fans, and everybody else…they aren’t dead yet.

New York Jets: Your Monday Morning Vent

Your various reactions via Facebook and Twitter, my full reaction coming later this afternoon.

“We can not keep killing ourselves with these turnovers. Anybody else feel like they were watching the AFC championship game all over again? Slow start, mistakes leading to 3 of there TD’s, NO running game.”

“For the first time blame falls on Rex and Tannenbaum. How do u go into the season with such little depth at o-line. As soon as turner went down they should have brought in a veteran. They gambled and now the season is in jeopardy.”

“For the last two games i hoped for that second half awakening like last year. Sanchez played like crap on the first half but then he came back to play much better on the second one. Now it starts bad ends bad. We have to thank tony romo for the victory on week one. Other wise we would be sitting here at 1-3.”

“I was at the game and was disgusted. Jets are built to win now. Sanchez is a work in progress. Give Cinci a first rounder for Palmer. Let Sanchez learn. In 2 years when he is READY. He can take over.”

“I think.. they should get on phone with Leonard Davis.. they need beef up front on oline to push the pile… this line was the best with happened.. its not mangold cause even with him in their they couldnt run against dallas.. i dont blame the RB cause everytime he hits hole theirs 4or 5 guys waiting for him… hunter sucks… vald which is turing into a bad pick sucks, also we need beef we need athletic guys sorry but we need thugs on the dline.. look at the ravens man they were putting fear in our oline… we need intimidation on defense.. we have a good d but those players play well in system.. we need ppl to get after the qb.. other teams like pats and ravens play us agressive looking to hurt our qb but we dont have that… we are soft.. our dline is not good our lbs are getting exposed…”

“Is it me or should we trade Cro for a hard-hitting safety, a lineman & pass rusher I love Rex but this $*#% gotta stop no hits no protection for Sanchize and not to mention Cro getting burned consecutive game like WTFFFFF ?!!”

“We made fun of Namath’s comments, but are we ALL buying the hype? Do we believe this team is better than it actually is?”

“We can’t expect much this season. O-line can’t protect and Sanchez knows it. He is scared. The formula to win has been run”

“is it me or does it seem the #Jets have lost that fire they have had the last 3 years?!!”

“Where to start. Sanchez holding on to the ball way too long and locking into receivers. No ball security. O line went from one of the best to one of the worst. Add to it we cant stop the run, that surprises me since we have the same guys up front with the exeption of ellis but wilkerson seems to be doing a decent job.”

“sanchez sucks the end”

TOJ Roundtable Week 4 – Jets/Ravens Predictions

Joe Caporoso: 12 Pack

Rob Celletti: In looking at the first 35 regular season games under Rex Ryan, you’d be hard-pressed to find two in a row which featured a subpar defensive performance.  That’s a large enough sample size for me.  I think the Jets defense has a strong bounce-back performance and leads the team to a hard-fought 20-17 victory. The Jets have two reasons to play with a vengeance on Sunday night: 1) they’ll remember last year’s excruciating 10-9 opening night loss at home to the Ravens, and 2) they’ll want to make up for last week’s shocking effort on defense and prove some of their doubters wrong.

TJ Rosenthal: JETS WIN IF: They come out inspired off of both the loss to Oakland and the Joe Namath comments. The players love Rex Ryan and will play aggressively out of the gates for him to back his faith in them. The offense may not be pretty throughout but will be effective on certain drives. The defense will play their best game of the year. Ray Rice will get his yards but the Jets will have Boldin smothered on Revis Island and Antonio Cromartie will bounce back with a key interception on a deep ball intended for Torrey Smith. Jets 23-20

RAVENS WIN IF: The Jets fail to match to the Ravens physically and emotionally. Joe Flacco will pick on a banged up Antonio Cromartie and Ray Rice wears down a defense that got torched by Darren McFadden a week ago. Mark Sanchez forces a few in areas patrolled by Ed Reed. The run game struggles. Again. Ravens 27-Jets 17.

Justin Fritze: I will take heat for this, but there are overwhelming feelings that the Jets are just not up to it against the Ravens they way they are built. Without Mangold calling protections they can’t handle the blitz or get enough time to play the West Coast short passing game. They will be forced to toss it up the field and save for a few long passes to Dustin Keller over the middle, they will struggle getting it to either Holmes or Burress because of Ed Reed’s ability to chameleon his double coverage. If the Jets survive, it will be on turnovers, but I still say Ravens 21-17.

Chris Celletti: I can’t help but think this is just a bad matchup at the wrong time for the Jets. If you think about it, since Rex Ryan took over as coach, there hasn’t really been a time where “panic” has set in. I think we’re about to reach that time. The Jets were dominated by an inferior team in Oakland last week, and face a much more sound and solid team this week in Baltimore. The Jets’ defense, especially their linebackers, look slow. On top of that, this is the best defense that the Jets will have faced so far this season, so the maligned running game may have serious issues. I by no means think the Jets will get blown out, but I could see the Ravens taking a close, low-scoring game. And then? Panic ensues.

CHECK OUT WEEK 4 FANTASY AND INJURY UPDATES

TOJ Week 4 NFL Picks

Last Week: 8-8

Season Record: 27-20

Week 4 Picks

  • Dallas (-2) vs. Detroit
  • New Orleans (-8) vs. Jacksonville
  • Philadelphia (-9) vs. San Francisco
  • Washington (-2.5) vs. St. Louis
  • Tennessee (PK) vs. Cleveland
  • Cincinnati (+4) vs. Buffalo
  • Minnesota (-3) vs. Kansas City
  • Carolina (+6) vs. Chicago
  • Pittsburgh (+3.5) vs. Houston
  • Seattle (+6) vs. Atlanta
  • New York Giants (-3) vs. Arizona
  • San Diego (-7) vs. Miami
  • Denver (+13) vs. Green Bay
  • New England (-6) vs. Oakland
  • New York Jets (+3.5) vs. Baltimore
  • Tampa Bay (-10) vs. Indianapolis

Time For Sanchez To Shine Under Bright Lights

You will be hard pressed to find a bigger Mark Sanchez supporter than myself. I fully believe he is capable of leading the Jets to a Super Bowl. Whatever that “it” thing is, that quarterbacks need to be winners and successful in the NFL, he has it.

There are plenty of holes in his game and he is still suffering through frustrating growing pains. Yet, there has been a steady progression to his game with each passing year. He has already doubled his career 300 yard gams through 3 weeks this regular season and does look capable of leading an offense that is rapidly becoming more pass centric.

Sunday night is a beautiful opportunity for Sanchez to demonstrate his increasing maturation. Last year in the same spotlight, the Jets handcuffed him and he stumbled into an ugly performance in a 10-9 loss. The training wheels are fully off now and it couldn’t come a moment too soon with a questionable collection of Ravens cornerbacks coming up.

Sanchez needs to navigate away from Ed Reed prowling the middle of the field and Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata charging in his face, not an easy task. Yet, if he can manage to do that, he will have favorable match-ups on the outside where Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Mason should be able to get the best of Chris Carr, Cary Williams,  and Lardarius Webb.

Coming off their first loss of the year and facing such a strong opponent, the Jets need more than a steady, safe performance from Sanchez. They need him to step up and put up a solid 24 points on a very good Ravens defense.

It’s go time, #6.

Game Breakdown: Jets vs. Ravens

Offense: Logically it makes sense for the New York Jets to attack the Baltimore Ravens primarily through the air, particularly outside of the hashes, away from Ed Reed. The weakest spot of the Baltimore Ravens is their cornerback position. The more one on one match-ups the Jets can get for their starting receivers, the better. This isn’t a day for Dustin Keller and Derrick Mason. This is a day for Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress.

I am not saying Keller and Mason can’t have their moments contributing in the short passing game and in third down situations. Yet, if the Jets want to win this game it will be on a collection of big plays from arguably their two biggest playmakers, Holmes and Burress. I am also not saying the Jets should be completely one dimensional. A complete ignorance of the running game will only fuel the Ravens pass rush. The Jets need to keep the defense honest by occasionally hitting the edges of the Ravens defense with Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson.

This is a night for Mark Sanchez. He has put together his share of “big boy” performances and now is time for another one. Let’s see our young quarterback go on the road, in primetime, against one of the league’s best defenses and put together a 22/30, 275 yard, 2 touchdown performance without any turnovers.

Defense: Gut-check time. It has been an ugly stretch of football for the New York Jets defense against NFL opponents (sorry, I don’t count Jacksonville). How about it Rex? How about it Mike Pettine? More importantly, let’s see the linebackers and Antonio Cromartie get up off the mat after last weekend. I don’t buy any talk about this defense losing their swagger. This is still a confident unit, who is in need of a performance to hang their hat on.

The linebackers need to set the edge on Ray Rice and keep him contained, and put this game on Joe Flacco. This unit is built to man up with Darrelle Revis and Cromartie, and send the house after the quarterback. Hit Joe Flacco in the mouth, early and often and he will throw you a few interceptions. If the Jets can create a couple of sacks and turnovers, they will be in good shape to move to 3-1.

Special Teams: Always a potential x-factor with a unit as talented as the Jets have. Jeremy Kerley looked like a major weapon on punt return last week and Joe McKnight will get a shot to make a statement this week on kick return.

Roster: Nick Mangold will likely be a game time decision. It would be unbelievably impressive if he returned this quickly from his high ankle sprain. Antonio Cromartie is going to start at corner but likely won’t be used on kick return. The Jets would be wise to make both recently signed Aaron Mayin and rookie third round pick Kenrick Ellis active this Sunday. They need help on the pass rush and in stopping the run, so why not give them a shot?

TOJ Roundtable Week 4: Jets/Ravens Key Match-Up

Joe Caporoso: I am putting this on the shoulders of our quarterback Mark Sanchez taking on a star studded Baltimore Ravens defense. Despite the big names of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed, and Haloti Ngata the Ravens have been susceptible to the pass. Sanchez and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer need to find ways to attack Lardarius Webb, Chris Carr, and Cary Williams with Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Mason consistently. The pass protection has been questionable and we all know the Ravens will be coming, but the Jets need to roll out their best blitz beaters and scheme to get the ball in their hands of three veteran wide receivers in space. Sanchez needs to protect the football, while still being aggressive down the field and standing in the face of a stacked Ravens front seven.

Rob Celletti: Going with the obvious one this week: The Jets’ front-seven, which was absolutely miserable last week, vs. Ray Rice. Like Darren McFadden, Rice is an elite running back who can hurt you inside or outside of the tackles. Even more importantly than the issues that have been addressed this week such as “containment” and “setting the edge”, I want to see the Jets get back to solid fundamentals: good positioning and tackling.  Holding Rice in check is the first step towards getting back on track this Sunday.

TJ Rosenthal: The biggest matchup for the Jets will be their ability to protect Mark Sanchez and create holes for the running backs against the Ravens front seven. We expect the Jets to come out with intensity especially after the loss to Oakland where many including Broadway Joe Namath came out and questioned whether the Jets are treated with kid gloves by the coach, and too confident in themselves as well.

The Jets screen and run game worked until they went away from it last week. Maybe the Raiders forced them out of it, but this week, the protection must hold up longer in order to get the ball to key playmakers Dustin Keller, Plaxico Burres and Santonio Holmes. The jury is out as to whether they will be able to.

Chris Celletti: The most important matchup will be the Jets’ cuurently-maligned run defense against Ray Rice and the Ravens’ offensive line. Including last year’s AFC Championship game loss to the Steelers, Rex Ryan’s defense has been torn apart in three of their last four games. Two of those times, including last week’s horror show against the Raiders, the run defense has been carved up. The Jets need to bottle up Rice and make Joe Flacco beat them. If they can’t do that and allow the Ravens to control the clock, it could be a long night.

Preliminary Thoughts: Jets vs. Ravens

The New York Jets are back in primetime this week with a showdown against the Baltimore Ravens, who knocked them off in the season opener last year, 10-9. This season the Ravens are off to a 2-1 start and are coming off a 37-7 beating of the St. Louis Rams. This promises to be a physical, emotional game as Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Derrick Mason and Jim Leonhard return to their old franchise.

As we all know, Baltimore is loaded on defense led by Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata. Mark Sanchez and company will have their hands full, especially with Nick Mangold not likely to play this week. It will take a strong, smart performance from Sanchez coupled with a creative game-plan by Brian Schottenheimer to put enough points on the board to win. The Ravens can be thrown on. Let’s not forget they lost in week 2 to the Tennessee Titans, 26-13. In that game Matt Hasselbeck threw for 358 yards and a touchdown. The Jets have struggled to consistently keep their starting receivers involved, Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, but they must work the football to them early and often to take advantage of the Ravens cornerbacks.

Baltimore went to the air more than usual last week, bombing it up to rookie Torrey Smith for three first quarter touchdowns. I got news for you, with Darrelle Revis likely matched up on Anquan Boldin, there are going to be plenty of deep balls to Smith coming Antonio Cromartie’s way. A scary thought at this exact moment. You can say Smith is a rookie and only had one big quarter but keep in mind what we saw last week. It is a feast or famine with Cromartie, so you never know what you will get. Ray Rice could also be problematic for the Jets considering his speed to the outside and ability to catch the football out of the backfield. They will likely look to attack the edges in a similar way the Raiders did.

In order to pull out this road victory, the Jets will need to be on top of their game in every third of the game. Their special teams have been a major weapon so far this year, and a big Jeremy Kerley punt return or Antonio Cromartie/Joe McKnight kick return could go a long way on Sunday night.

A win in Baltimore should erase any lingering sour feelings over last week’s ugly loss and give the Jets momentum heading into New England the following week. One loss should be a little adversity but with this team everything is magnified so last week has become a huge deal, let’s see how the Jets respond on a big stage.