Turn On The Jets “Offensive” Film Breakdown – Jets vs. 49ers

A breakdown of the “offensive” game film from Jets vs. 49ers

The New York Jets didn’t play much, if any at all, NFL offense this past Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. However, that didn’t stop us from subjecting ourselves to the offensive game film. Make sure to check back later for when Chris Gross breaks down the defensive game film. Also check out our latest deal from Night Out at Tammany Hall Tavern. Make sure to take advantage for when you are watching the games this weekend –

Mark Sanchez – Without question, this was the worst game Mark Sanchez has played this season and maybe in his NFL career and he has had some bad ones. The problems started right on the first drive when the Jets had already passed the 50 by virtue of Jim Harbaugh not challenging a long completion to Chaz Schilens when Sanchez was across the line of scrimmage. Harbaugh probably knew he could afford to give up those yards with the offense he was facing all day. On a 3rd and 2, Tony Sparano makes a terrific play call that gets Santonio Holmes wide open over the middle of the field. Wide open. Open enough that if he catches it, he probably has the Jets down around the 20 yard line because of all the space behind him.

For some reason, Sanchez doesn’t even turn his head to look at Holmes, who is the primary option on the play. He holds the ball excessively long waiting for Jeff Cumberland out to the left to break open and then steps up in the pocket, still has time to get it to an open Holmes and then takes a sack. This play set the tone for the whole day for Sanchez who was skittish and not on the same page with his receivers.

Later in the half, with the Jets again driving Sanchez faced another third down. This time, the play call and the routes were not great. San Francisco had every Jets every blanketed. Sanchez has enough time to recognize this and either throw the ball away or dive forward for a short gain to set up a field goal.

We all know what happens. He shows no ball security by not tucking it away and is hit from behind for a fumble. This is a rookie level mistake and completely inexcusable. Sanchez came out in the second half and actually made his best throw of the day, a 14 yard deep out route to Chaz Schilens. This was the only time he looked like a NFL quarterback on Sunday, executing a play-action and delivering a perfectly timed bullet to him.

Tony Sparano followed this play up with a well-timed screen pass to Shonn Greene. This play was wide open and set up perfectly. Even the NFL’s slowest back, Greene, could have picked up 20-25 yards here. However, with a pass rusher in his face Mark Sanchez fades away and doesn’t put enough air under the ball. In this situation, he needs to either slide away to get Greene the football or stand tall, take the hit and get more air under it.

Of course we know he didn’t and from this point on, Sanchez was completely checked out of the game. He could not buy a completion and wasn’t even really looking down the field at all.

Receivers – The only positive praise you will see in this article is for Chaz Schilens. I mentioned this last week and it showed again, Schilens runs sharp routes and plays with confidence. He looks like a NFL receiver out there, which is saying something on this Jets offense. He can be a productive number two or number three, although he unfortunately might be stretched too thin with Santonio Holmes now hurt.

The Jets don’t ask Jeremy Kerley to do enough. He can bring more to the offense than running 4 yard option routes. He needs to be sent down the field more and worked into there Wildcat package as a runner. Patrick Turner, who is now cut, looked how you would expect him to look after not being on the roster the past few weeks.

The tight end issues remain the same. Jeff Cumberland, to his credit, caught the ball well and broke a few tackles. However, remains utterly incompetent when it comes to blocking. His route running is also inconsistent and frequently throws off the timing and rhythm of the passing game.

Running Back – Different week. Same story. There was less room than ever for the Jets running backs this week but they continued to leave yards on the field. Shonn Greene might need 500 carries this season to crack 1,000 yards. This was a disappointing game for Bilal Powell who left more yards on the field than he has in previous weeks. The Jets have signed Lex Hilliard this week and he should be starting over John Conner by this Monday night.

Offensive Line – This was the poorest effort of the season from this unit. Nick Mangold had maybe his worst game as a pro. He was thrown around the field way more than we’ve ever seen. Matt Slauson and Vlad Ducasse are basically splitting reps at this point but both are way too inconsistent and give up pressure routinely. This was a decent game for both of the Jets tackles, considering the defense they went against, it is hard to get down on Austin Howard.

New York Jets – Minor Changes Won’t Solve Problems

The New York Jets need more than minor changes to solve their long list of problems

The New York Jets losing to the San Francisco 49ers yesterday should not have surprised anybody. It does not merit a shocked or angry reaction. The approach to the game and the emphatic manner in which they lost does however merit a response. Hopefully that response is taking place among the coaching staff and front office of the organization as they take today and tomorrow to reflect on a few harsh realities.

On the game film from yesterday, the coaching staff is going to see what a legitimate Super Bowl contender looks like. The 49ers are the team Rex Ryan wants. A smash-mouth, versatile running game supported by an efficient quarterback on offense and an elite defense that can get after the quarterback and force turnovers. The New York Jets can’t be them because Muhammad Wilkerson isn’t Justin Smith. David Harris isn’t Patrick Willis. Quinton Coples isn’t Aldon Smith. Bart Scott isn’t NaVorro Bowman. Not even remotely close. Shonn Greene isn’t half the running back Frank Gore is. Dustin Keller is a very poor man’s Vernon Davis. Colin Kapernick is a fast Tim Tebow who can throw the football. And right now, Mark Sanchez isn’t anywhere near the quarterback Alex Smith is and that is saying something because Smith isn’t very good.

The Jets don’t have Super Bowl talent. The Jets have 8-8 talent with zero depth. There is no middle class on the Jets roster. There is no capable backups with bright futures. Continuing the San Francisco comparison because it really drives it home – the 49ers 3rd and 4th running backs, Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James could very well be the Jets 1st and 2nd best running backs. The 49ers 4th, 5th, and 6th wide receivers, Kyle Williams, AJ Jenkins and Ted Ginn Jr would be the Jets top three receivers this Monday night.

The lack of talent and depth gets dumped on Mike Tannebaum’s lap and it appears more analysts are finally jumping on the Mike Tannenbaum is doing an awful job train we have been driving here at TOJ the past year or so. When you have a pair of lackluster off-seasons in a row and don’t draft well it catches up to you. Unfortunately, there is no cure all trade or signing that can be made at this point. It is going to take a purging of overpriced veterans this off-season and a wise use of available cap space, something that Tannenbaum shouldn’t be given the chance to do but probably will because of his relationship with Woody Johnson.

Where does that leave the 2012 Jets right now? The problem with the game-plan against San Francisco was that the Jets approached the game like they had enough talent to compete with the 49ers. They mistakenly thought they could play their normal defensive scheme minus Darrelle Revis and stop their offense. They thought they could run a standard offensive game plan and score on the 49ers defense. They could not have been more wrong and that is on Rex Ryan’s hubris.

Similar to Tannenbaum, Ryan does a poor job of self-scouting his own talent. He overestimates the players on his roster. Hopefully, yesterday’s game tape will be a needed hard smack in the face resulting in Ryan realizing his team’s deficiencies. Against San Francisco the Jets should have been emptying the book on offense, mixing in gadget plays and new formations in hopes of catching their defense off guard. On defense, they should have been trying new formations, blitz schemes and personnel. Houston is coming to town this Monday and they are a better all-around team than San Francisco. If the Jets play straight up, they will lose by 30 points for the second week in a row.

On defense, it is time face the reality about the Jets linebackers. They have one very good inside linebacker who is having a poor year in David Harris and not much else. Bryan Thomas and Garrett McIntyre can’t play major reps on a good NFL defense. Calvin Pace and Bart Scott are slow, 2 down linebackers who are average players at best. The less linebackers on the field for the Jets, the better. We discussed in the off-season how the Jets are better built for a 4-3 or 46 and it is time for Rex to stop trying to fit square pegs in round holes in the 3-4.

Get Quinton Coples in the starting line-up and start showing more 4-3 looks. Accept the reality that Siona Pouha is hurt and give him time to heal while getting Kenrick Ellis more reps. At linebacker, more reps need to be given to Demario Davis immediately. Let him make his mistakes now and grow into the position he will hopefully be holding the next few years for the Jets. They need his speed out there. Put Aaron Maybin on the inactive list until he learns a second pass rush move and give Ricky Sapp a chance to rush the passer on third downs. In the secondary, hopefully Aaron Berry gets up to speed quickly. From a talent perspective, he could very well be starting over Kyle “I taunt the receiver when I’m beat by 10 yards” Wilson in a couple of weeks. Beyond that, you hope Antonio Cromartie and LaRon Landry continue their elevated level of play.

On offense, the solutions are going to be much harder to come by. Mark Sanchez was abysmal yesterday and the lack of supporting cast isn’t going to help him out of his slump. Tim Tebow is not the answer as a full time quarterback. He can be the answer as a shot in the arm to the offense if he is used properly, which Tony Sparano has shown no concept of doing. No more reps at H-Back. No more reps in the slot. No more reps at fullback. Get Tebow in the shotgun with Joe McKnight and Jeremy Kerley next to him and let him run option and take off up the middle on short yardage situations. Give him 10-12 carries a game. Treat him like a running back who is taking direct snaps and then pop in a deep pass on occasion to keep defenses honest.

The Jets are so bad at running back, that it wouldn’t be irrational to give recently signed Jonathan Grimes and roster ping pong ball Joe McKnight extended work. How could they be less productive than Shonn Greene? Go with a committee approach that hopefully pops a few big plays with the two of them and Bilal Powell. I mentioned Kerley in the Wildcat because he is type of player who should be getting 8-12 touches a game, especially in an offense as devoid of talent as the Jets. Use him how Green Bay uses Randall Cobb. Give him handoffs, pitches, quick screens…get the ball in his hands.

Mark Sanchez is so inconsistent that he may not be salvageable at this point. He needs to be given quick reads where he can get the ball out of his hands without too many progressions. Hopefully an improved, creative run game will open up some type of play action for him down the field. At wide receiver and tight end, you can only hope Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller get healthy and Chaz Schilens can be relied upon.

The Jets need a roster overhaul but they have 12 games left. In order to make those 12 games competitive, it is going to take creativity on both sides of the ball and a shake up of the depth chart. Hopefully Rex Ryan and his staff are smart enough to realize that.

Sanchez Breakdown: Jumping Ship?

Rob Celletti breaks down Mark Sanchez’s performance on Sunday…you could imagine how this went

Stat line: 13/29, 109 Yards, 1 interception – 39.9 QB rating, 44.8 completion percentage

Season stats: 63/128, 813 Yards, 5 touchdowns, 4 interceptions – 69.6 QB rating, 49.2 completion percentage

Last week, I joked that I wouldn’t abandon the format of this particular article.  Well today, I’m not in a joking mood.  To try and pin down individual moments in this game would be skirting a more pressing issue: the fact that Mark Sanchez might be less than a month away from his last action as a New York Jet.  Seriously. It’s time for a good, old-fashioned rant. So as The Joker once said: here…we…go!

Let’s get some things out of the way in as few words as possible. Mark Sanchez had a snowball’s chance in hell at succeeding this year. Everything the Jets did in the wake of last season’s meltdown set this quarterback up to fail. The contract extension rang hollow, because days earlier, the Jets got very publicly into the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. Then they traded for Tim Tebow.  Then, as we tore days off the calendar in March, and April, and May and June, we wondered, will the Jets address their needs? Are they really going into this season with one proven NFL weapon in Santonio Holmes? What about depth at running back and tight end? Was Wayne Hunter actually going to see another snap on Sanchez’s offensive line? Mike Tannenbaum’s negligence on the offensive side of the ball is a fireable offense.

All of that said, Mark Sanchez has been 50 shades of awful. In the modern NFL,  completing less than 50% of your passes one time is bad enough. To do it three weeks in a row is unconscionable. It was both laughable and painful watching other teams around the league executing in the passing game with such ease. The 49ers are talented defensively, but as our own Chris Gross Tweeted last night, it would be nice to root for a quarterback that fans don’t need to make excuses for every week. Brandon Weeden kept the Browns competitive, on the road, against a good defense on Thursday night. Ask yourself: could Mark Sanchez have done the same?

The Jets have absolutely no rhythm or tempo on offense.  Sanchez’s fundamentals have gone into the toilet; everything that looked picture perfect about his play in week 1 has all but evaporated. He was intercepted on a screen pass. When receivers got open (a rarity), he missed them, and not just by inches, but yards. The sack-fumble at the end of the first half is the kind of mistake that happens to a first or second year quarterback. Unfortunately, Sanchez is in his fourth season.

And really, that was the moment that changed things for me.  Look back through my archives on this website. I have defended Mark Sanchez endlessly; his triumphs were always vindicating, his failures always a result of his inexperience, or a lack of execution by his teammates. In the end, what separates truly good players from the below-average ones, at any position in any sport, is consistency. I’ve made the case that I never believed in Shonn Greene because if you look through his game logs, he has almost never played two good games in a row in his career. If you apply that logic to Mark Sanchez, you can draw the same conclusions.  The flashes of brilliance have too often been evened out, and now weighed down, by performances like Sunday’s.

Make no mistake, I am not calling for Tim Tebow (he should be released or traded immediately).  After all, the quarterback of a modern NFL team needs to be able to throw the ball consistently. He needs to be able to make his teammates better. He needs to show command of an offense. I refuse to comment on Sanchez’s demeanor; in-game, post-game, whatever. I have no idea what the man is thinking or feeling. But what he showed on Sunday was that he is simply not improving as an NFL quarterback, and that he may even be regressing. What’s my conclusion?  That the answer to the Jets’ problems at the sport’s most important position may not be on the current roster. I hope I’m proven wrong in the coming weeks, but after yesterday…

I’m officially out of excuses.

No Huddle – New York Jets Debacle Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets debacle yesterday

The Jets, despite now sitting in a four way first place AFC East tie at 2-2, are in trouble folks. They can’t tackle, and they can’t run. With Santonio Holmes hurt now, a paper thin passing attack and part thin depth chart may become invisible altogether. Led by a QB who has that “look” again. One that exudes a lack of confidence. Either in himself, his teammates, or both.

1 – The Sanchez Fumble

Down 7-0 with time winding down in the first half, the Jets had a third down inside of FG range when Mark Sanchez decided to scramble on a vicious 49ers defense. A 7-3 deficit at halftime, albeit aided by some Niner miscues to that point, could have been a moment to rally around. The fumble by the Jets “leader” ended hopes for points though. Turning a one score game into a 10-0 problem. Which became a nosedive shortly thereafter.

The play didn’t cost the Jets the game, but it ended any mutual control over it.

2 – Elite? How About “Easy To Beat”

We know Darrelle Revis is gone, but how much would he have impacted the 254 yard rushing attack the Niners had today? The Jets couldn’t stop Betty White on the ground right now. Until this sad truth changes, you can forget the defense being able to exert it’s will in any games.

Now starting CB Kyle Wilson got beat three times, but never burned, thanks to Niner QB Alex Smith being off. Matt Schaub and even rookie Andrew Luck won’t miss the mark like Smith did that often. If #20 doesn’t get it together this week, danger is on the way for the Jets downfield.

Now the defense actually kept it a game by the half, but games are 60 minutes long, not 30.

3 – Holmes Injury Exposes Management

Now Santonio Holmes is hurt. Poor Jets. They are having such bad luck so far in 2012 health wise, right? Wrong.

Players get hurt. It’s the NFL. The Jets had no contingency plan on offense for any injury to Santonio Holmes going into 2012. It was as if the front office felt that he and anyone else alongside him, could keep the offense moving through the air. Never mind some wild notion of Holmes getting hurt at any point. We hate to say it, but would the Giants have left their starters unprotected? WR Ramses Barden went off in Carolina with Hakeem Nicks out. So did no-named RB Andre Brown with Ahmad Bradshaw out.

Having no other quality experienced receivers and reasonable backups on the roster wasn’t just risky, it was dumb. Now the Jets are paying for it and will continue to pay for it.

4 – Tebow! Tebow! You Say? We say McElroy! McElroy!

If the Jets finally give in to a backup taking over at QB this year,  we all know that its Tim Tebow who will get his chance. Rightfully so.  If energy flatlines and some would say it already has on O, then Tebow may be the perfect short term injection. If Tebow goes in the tank though, how about NOT giving the ball back to Mark Sanchez but to 3rd stringer Greg McElroy instead?

Let’s see what the kid’s got. Mac may not have a gun, but like Tebow, ha swon a National Championship too, and has shown smarts and composure in limited summer time action. The former Alabama QB has that QB look to him. Just planting a seed here for the winter, should the Jets house of cards completely crumble, that’s all.

5 – Coaches If This Was YOUR Game To Win, Now What?

The Jet coaches needed a stellar disciplined plan in order to beat a better and healthier Niner team. Instead, the Jets looked unprepared and even more outmatched than it ever was on paper. Now what? If week 4 was to show us how shrewd coaches Rex Ryan and his staff could be, what is week 5 supposed to mean? We would like it to mean that the staff still has the ability to provide proof that there are still some schematic solutions to some of the problems. Obviously losing key pieces makes it  harder to achieve this, but there IS a way to show the fan base that games can still be winnable based on HOW they are being played.

We didn’t see many of those signs on Sunday. If at all.

Initial Reaction – As Bad As It Gets, Awful Jets Fall To 2-2

The New York Jets embarrassed themselves in a 34-0 loss

The New York Jets put on a sorry display today at MetLife Stadium, in what was arguably the low point of Rex Ryan’s tenure as head coach. You can make a very real argument that the Jets are one of the five worst teams in the NFL right now. Not only do they lack talent across the board on both sides of the ball, they seem to have no type of coherent plan on how to best maximize what talent they do have. They were beat down by a far superior team today, who played far from their best game and actually left the door open for the Jets to remain competitive into the 3rd quarter.

Mark Sanchez was brutal, completing less than 50% of his passes for the third straight week. In today’s NFL that stat throws serious questions on whether he can be a successful quarterback for this team anymore. What also throws that into question was his demeanor in his post-game press conference, where he carried a care free attitude about his turnovers and general play. How can he still remain this careless with the football? He threw another interception at the line of scrimmage and was stripped from behind as he showed no ball security awareness.

The whole attitude of the team was generally infuriating to watch. You have Kyle Wilson repeatedly getting beat deep and then taunting the opposing receiver when he is overthrown by Alex Smith. He is a first round pick who has no concept of how to play the football in the air and should be no higher than a 4th cornerback on a quality NFL defense. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas, despite their sacks today are past their primes as capable NFL starting linebackers. David Harris, despite being the league’s highest paid linebacker could potentially lead the league in missed tackles thus far this season.

You are basically looking at a slow front seven, a shorthanded secondary and an offense that is comically understaffed. There is no team with a worse collection of skill position players in the NFL than the Jets right now. Santonio Holmes is getting a MRI tomorrow for a foot injury he sustained today and is going to miss time. Jeff Cumberland? Clyde Gates? Patrick Turner? Shonn Greene had another inspiring 11 carry, 34 yard performance. Tim Tebow brought nothing to the table. How is this team supposed to score points?

The Jets have 8 days to get their act together in some type of away before hosting Houston, the league’s best all around team in primetime. That game has the potential to be every bit as ugly as today was…except in front of the whole country. The Jets have problems that start with owner, carry down to the GM, to the quarterback and all the way through to the bottom of their roster. Will they fight or will they just say “too bad” like Sanchez did in his press conference?

Turn On The Jets Week 4 NFL Picks

The TOJ staff submits their week 4 NFL picks

The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday Night game. Also make sure to hit up M1-5 in NYC for unlimited drafts for $25, courtesy of Night Out this weekend! 

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Mike Donnelly (28-19-2)

2. Rob  Celletti (21-26-2)

3. Chris Celletti (20-27-2)

4. Chris Gross (19-28-2)

5. Joe Caporoso (18-29-2)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (7-8)

  • Patriots (-4) vs. Bills
  • Falcons (-7) vs. Panthers
  • 49ers (-3.5) vs. Jets
  • Kansas City (PK) vs. Chargers
  • Titans (+12) vs. Texans
  • Rams (+2.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Cardinals (-6) vs. Dolphins
  • Raiders (+6.5) vs. Broncos
  • Bengals (-1.5) vs. Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) vs. Saints
  • Redskins (+3) vs. Bucs
  • Giants (+2) vs. Eagles
  • Bears (+3.5) vs. Cowboys

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (11-4)

  • Bills +4.5
  • Jets +4.5
  • Rams +3
  • Panthers +7.5
  • Vikings +4
  • Chiefs +1.5
  • Texans -12
  • Jaguars +3
  • Raiders +7
  • Dolphins +6
  • Bucs -3
  • Packers -7.5
  • Giants +1.5
  • Bears +3.5

Rob Celletti

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patrios (-3.5) over Bills
  • Lions (-4.5) over Vikings
  • Falcons (-7) over Panthers
  • 49ers (-4) over Jets
  • Chiefs (+1.5) over Chargers
  • Texans (-12) over Titans
  • Rams (+3) over Seahawks
  • Dolphins (+5.5) over Cardinals
  • Broncos (-7) over Raiders
  • Bengals (-1.5) over Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) over Saints
  • Redskins (+3) over Buccaneers
  • Eagles (-2) over Giants
  • Cowboys (-3) over Bears

Chris Celletti

Last Week (5-10)

  • Patriots
  • Lions
  • Falcons
  • Jets
  • Chargers
  • Titans
  • Seahawks
  • Cardinals
  • Broncos
  • Bengals
  • Saints
  • Bucs
  • Giants
  • Cowboys

Chris Gross

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patriots (-3.5)
  • Lions (-4.5)
  • Falcons (-7)
  • Jets (+4)
  • Chiefs (+1.5)
  • Titans (+12)
  • Seahawks (-3)
  • Cardinals (-5.5)
  • Broncos (-7)
  • Bengals (-1.5)
  • Saints (+7.5)
  • Buccaneers (-3)
  • Giants (+2)
  • Bears (+3)

 

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 4 – Jets vs. 49ers

12 predictions for the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers

12 Predictions for Jets/49ers. A big thanks to Chris Gross for taking over as Editor-In-Chief while I am in Montreal on a business trip (Bachelor Party) until Sunday morning (of course taking the early flight back so I won’t miss the game). On to the predictions –

1. Bilal Powell will be the Jets leading rusher for the second week in a row, moving one step closer to taking over the starting job. He will also again average more yards per carry than Shonn Greene.

2. Santonio Holmes will be productive for the second week in a row, finishing with 5 catches for 85 yards.

3. Aaron Maybin will not have a sack or a quarterback hit for the fourth straight week, leading to most of his reps being cut in the coming weeks and a potential promotion of Ricky Sapp from the practice squad.

4. Quinton Coples will see his most extensive work of the season with Marcus Dixon no longer on the roster.

5. Newly signed running back Jonathan Grimes will receive at least one touch on offense this week.

6. Mario Manningham is going to have a big game in the slot for San Francisco, as their passing game will target and pick on Ellis Lankster.

7. Vernon Davis wil finish with at least 55 yards receiving and a touchdown.

8. Frank Gore will be the game’s leading rusher, finishing with just over 90 yards.

9. Mark Sanchez will have one interception but will also throw for over 250 yards and a touchdown.

10. Tim Tebow won’t be a major factor in the game.

11. Chaz Schilens will play well opposite Santonio Holmes, making a case to split reps with Stephen Hill when he comes back from injury.

12. The Jets will be more competitive than most will pick them to be, however won’t have enough late against the 49ers and lose 23-13 in game that is closer than the score indicates.

Turn On The Jets Week 4 Roundtable – Jets/49ers Match-Ups

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to on Sunday

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward when the New York Jets take on the San Francisco 49ers. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter –

Joe Caporoso – Tony Sparano vs. the 49ers defense. Let’s see how crafty the new Jets offensive coordinator is against arguably the league’s best defense. Let’s hope he is smart enough not to line up with three tight ends and try to pound the ball with Shonn Greene. A smarter approach would be to spread the 49ers out with a 3 wide look and look to get the ball in the hands of the Jets speedy players, namely Jeremy Kerley and Bilal Powell. The Jets pass protection has been better than expected and as crazy as this may sound, this might be a game for Mark Sanchez to let it fly 30-35 times and attack aggressively down the field.

Chris Gross – Jets Rushing Offense vs. 49ers Run Defense – We all know who has the advantage here. San Francisco has one of the most, if not the most, stellar run defenses in the NFL. The Jets, on the other hand, have been extremely sub par in their rushing offense. Shonn Greene is averaging an embarrassing 2.8 YPC through the first three games this season. It is about time that Tony Sparano, known famously for his ground and pound approach, becomes creative in his game plan. If he is smart, he will attempt to spread San Francisco out, and use his more elusive backs like Bilal Powell, and the newly acquired Jonathan Grimes, early and often. Sparano should attempt to get them the ball in space and allow them an opportunity to make plays. If he attempts to line up in Jumbo sets and run Greene on dives, the offensive will undoubtedly be stonewalled by the likes of Patrick WIllis and Co. Sparano needs to save Greene as his downhill runner for late in the fourth quarter, where he can take advantage of a defense tired from chasing down the shiftier backs all game. The run game can either be decent Sunday, or a complete disaster. How Sparano designs his game plan both schematically and personnel wise, will be what determines the winner of this match up

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to seeing this weekend is how the Jets defensive front handles the 49ers power run game. The 49ers offense thrives on not making mistakes and beating themselves, so it’s of the utmost importance to stuff the run and get them into 3rd and long situations. Alex Smith does a lot of 3 step drops followed by short, safe passes, so I expect to see another week of no QB pressure, unfortunately. But, if the defensive line is able to hold up and not let the 49ers huge offensive line beat them up, the Jets have a chance to hang in there and win this game late.

Chris Celletti – Matchup – Jets D backs vs. Alex Smith/49ers WRs and TEs. If the Jets want to swiftly quell the doomsday attitude that’s surfaced since Darrelle Revis was ruled out for the season, their defensive backs are going to have to step up this week against the 49ers. Alex Smith is a great game manager. He’s not a great quarterback. I’m interested to see if the Jets’ secondary can keep tabs on Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Vernon Davis and force Alex Smith into some tough throws. If Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson consistently get beat and Smith has wide open receivers to throw to, it could be a really long day for the Jets.

TJ Rosenthal – The matchup we look forward to the most is Kyle Wilson vs any of the 49er receivers. Crabtree leads them with 19 receptions and Manningham has 12. Moss has 7 but who knows how Rex will play it. Ryan may put Cro on the taller guys and Wilson on Crabtree at times.. Whoever he lines up against, we are curious to see how the Jets ask him to defend. Will they allow him to break on balls, and jump routes? Wilson can be a guy who can take balls back to the house if plays are happening in front of him. We worry about balls behind him and him turning around in time, but that’s what we look forward to seeing. Has his time come? Or not?

Rob Celletti – This week, I’m really interested to see how the Jets’ now Revis-less secondary handles a 49ers passing attack that, while it’s certainly not seen as the strength of their team, could pose some problems. Alex Smith is essentially the NFL’s new Chad Pennington; dating back to the start of last season, he’s completed 63% of his passes (nearly 70% through three games this season) while throwing 22 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. The Jets, frighteningly enough, had moments where they made Ryan Tannehill look like a veteran NFL quarterback last week, and if they afford Smith openings, he will exploit them.  an Antonio Cromartie shut down Michael Crabtree, who’s caught 12 of 19 balls for first downs this year?  Will the Jets, notorious for their inability to cover tight ends, finally figure it out against Vernon Davis, who already has 4 touchdowns this year?  If Randy Moss is on the field, will the Jets feel he’s enough of a threat to line Cromartie up against him, leaving Kyle Wilson on an island against Crabtree or Mario Manningham? The Jets need to get creative and LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell need to step up, or this 49ers passing attack could resemble the one that Joe Montana used to lead.

New York Jets Week 4 – Early Thoughts On Jets/49ers

Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers

A collection of thoughts on the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers. Check back later today for Chris Gross’ defensive film breakdown and our roundtable discussion on the game –

1. Underdog. Underdog. Underdog. There won’t be a single person out there who picks the New York Jets to win this game and with good cause. San Francisco was the consensus best team in the league until they were smacked by a mediocre Minnesota Vikings team last week and the Jets have just lost their best player and are coming off a poor showing, despite winning. Fortunately, they play the games for a reason and nobody picked Minnesota to beat San Francisco last week either and we all saw how that went.

2. The Jets best opportunity to pull an upset is to get an early lead. San Francisco struggles to play from behind because they aren’t built to throw the ball down the field. The more that is put on Alex Smith, the better.

3. Vernon Davis has the potential to be an absolute nightmare for the Jets defense, who has still struggled to cover the tight end. This is a game for LaRon Landry to really show his value. Rex Ryan needs to scheme up both an adequate pass rush and a coverage answer for Davis, who is the 49ers best weapon in the pass game.

4. The Jets have two defensive touchdowns and a special teams touchdown so far this season. They are going to need one this week because points are going to be very hard to come by against a loaded 49ers defense.

5. The best approach on offense is going to be running a more spread attack than usual. This is the type of game to get into the 3 wide and have Bilal Powell take the bulk of reps at running back. The Jets are delusional if they think they are going to move the ball by coming out in their three tight end and look and handing dives to Shonn Greene.

6. In general the Jets need to be getting Jeremy Kerley more involved on offense. He needs more targets in the passing game and should be involved in the running game. Use him in the Wildcat, give him pitches and reverses. Kerley is one the team’s few playmakers and needs the ball in his hands.

7. The Jets should get Dustin Keller back and he is desperately needed. He will help prevent too much coverage from being rolled to Santonio Holmes. Look for Chaz Schilens to start in place of Stephen Hill, who should be out with a hamstring injury.

8. It is time for the Jets to mix up the looks in their front seven in hopes of generating more of a pass rush. More Quinton Coples. More Demario Davis. More speed. 3 sacks in 3 weeks isn’t enough.

New York Jets Problems – The Running Game

A closer look at the New York Jets problems running the football

The New York Jets spent the entire off-season talking about their running game in prideful, reverential terms. Yet never made the effort to improve it. They didn’t pursue a blue-chip running back. They didn’t add a run blocking tight end. They didn’t upgrade at the fullback position. Basically, they stubbornly stuck to their average starting running back, a below average fullback, a collection of unproven backups, and a group of wide receivers playing tight end. Are we surprised they have struggled to run the football through three games?

Despite many people’s insistence at holding on to hope for Shonn Greene, the problems with the running game start with him. The film breakdown from the first two weeks (and the third week) show him consistently leaving yards on the field. The numbers support this as well. Greene has 57 carries for 157 yards, which comes out to an embarrassingly low 2.8 yards per carry. With 22 carries, backup Bilal Powell has averaged 4.0 yards per carry. The contrast was most clearly shown last week when Greene could only rack up 40 yards on 19 carries (2.1 YPC) and Powell was able to accumulate 45 yards on only 10 carries (4.5 YPC).

If Powell would have had Greene’s 19 carries, he projects to finish with a solid 85 yards on the ground. The excuse that the offensive line isn’t creating holes is simply incorrect. Are they a dominant unit? No. However, they are opening lanes on a regular enough basis for a competent NFL running back to average 4 yards per carry.

Greene is a plodding back who seems to have lost a step from last season, a harsh reality that could have him out of the league within a few years. He cannot get the edge on outside runs. He cannot make anybody miss when he gets to the second level on inside runs. He stumbles frequently when receiving handoffs and isn’t running anybody over because he can’t generate enough momentum. When you get 27 carries in a NFL game and can’t crack 100 yards as Greene couldn’t in week one, you aren’t good enough to be a starter.

We constantly hear how Greene is a slow starter in both seasons and games. Why do the Jets need to wait until week 7 for Greene to get going? How about he comes into the season down 15 pounds and looking to gain a step, instead of starting even slower than he has the previous two years? Are the Jets expected to wait until Greene’s 15th carry in every game for him to have a single run over 3 yards? I don’t think it is insane to have higher expectations of a starting running back than that. This is his contract year and he has 57 carries for 157 yards…57 carries for 157 yards!

So what is the solution? The Jets would be wise to add an option from outside the organization, whether it is Ryan Grant via free agency or Chris Ivory via trade. However, Mike Tannebaum has shown no inclination to improve the running back position so why would he start now? If the Jets are staying in house, the answer is simple – make Bilal Powell the starter, make Joe McKnight the third down back, considering he is arguably the fastest player on the offense and can catch an out route out of the backfield better than Tim Tebow could. Speaking of Tebow, make him the short yardage back from the quarterback position. In case you haven’t noticed, Greene is poor in short yardage situations as well and that is something Tebow traditionally excels at.

Outside of running back, Konrad Reuland should play above Jeff Cumberland as the backup tight end when Dustin Keller returns. He should also see more action at fullback, since anything that keeps John Conner off the field is a positive. The Jets should also incorporate Jeremy Kerley into the running game. Kerley is averaging a monstrous 23 yards per catch and has shown the ability to make things happen as a returner and runner (on reverses and out of the Wildcat last year). Have you seen how Green Bay uses Randall Cobb? That is how the Jets should use Kerley in their running game.

The New York Jets running problems will only be solved if they turn away from the ignorant 20 carries per game for Shonn Greene. It is time for a committee approach that is more creative and gives Mark Sanchez the hope of having a balanced offense.