Turn On The Jets Offensive Film Breakdown – Jets vs. Pats

Turn On The Jets breaks down the offensive game film from Jets vs. Patriots

Turn On The Jets is back with another offensive film breakdown. Make sure to check back later in the day for Chris Gross’ breakdown of the defensive game tape. Today the primary focus is going to be on the passing game, which the Jets found a good amount of success with against New England. We will be looking at both “Good Sanchez” and “Bad Sanchez” and why Jeremy Kerley, Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill were so successful at getting open. 

The first two passing plays of the game were a perfect demonstration of Mark Sanchez’s inconsistency at quarterback. Tony Sparano called for a skinny post from the slot to Jeremy Kerley, which was executed to perfection. A good route from Kerley and a pinpoint throw from Sanchez in-between two defenders for a 20+ yard gain. The next play, Sparano goes right back to the well with the same play except to the opposite side with Stephen Hill in the slot. Encouragingly, Hill runs a very good route and gets himself wide open. Unfortunately, Sanchez overthrows him after just hitting a much harder throw to a much smaller target the play before. Frustrating to say the least.

The presence of Dustin Keller in the line-up made an enormous difference to the Jets passing offense. New England was forced to pay extra attention to Kerley on the outside, leaving Keller with one on one match-ups over the middle. Sanchez is extremely comfortable with Keller, particularly over the middle of the field. These are two separate 10+ yard completions, where Keller runs an option route, breaks the proper way and Sanchez correctly leads him away from the linebacker allowing him to turn up field. Expect to see a ton more of this throughout the year.

Sanchez only threw 12 incompletions throughout this game out of 38 attempts. At least five of those incompletions could be credited as drops. On the whole he was very accurate. However, Sanchez had his share of poor decisions as well. The interception was an indefensible mistake. He had two open receivers underneath, who he ignored and then floated an ugly, under-thrown pass to Stephen Hill. Later in the first half he tried to force this pass to Jeremy Kerley who is double covered and technically triple covered if you count the referee. He was lucky this didn’t turn into his second interception.

An appropriately criticized play-call was Tony Sparano’s decision to throw a slant to Chaz Schilens on 3rd and 1 near the red-zone. Regardless, the play was executed to perfection up until the ball went right through Schilens’ hands. This was a good route, a very good throw and a bad drop. Part of the reason you don’t make this call is because the Jets lack a big receiver who is reliable enough to make this play every single time.

Sanchez and Jeremy Kerley put on a clinic on how to operate the smash/fan combination in this game. Basically the Jets consistently had their outside receiver release on a short stop or in route and would send Kerley on a deep corner from the slot. The Jets completed this four times throughout the game, including this 19 yard gain where Sanchez drops a beautiful pass in all the way across the field.

We further see Sanchez’s arm strength on this touchdown pass to Dustin Keller. Look at how small that window is. Sanchez threw an absolute bullet in-between three defenders. There aren’t many people in the league capable of making this throw and I got news for you, Tim Tebow isn’t one of them.

A major point of contention towards the end of this game was Mark Sanchez taking a third down sack before the Jets go-ahead field goal. Anybody who criticized Sanchez in this situation is clueless (looking at you SNY). The Jets rolled Sanchez out and had Jeremy Kerley wide open at the 5 yard line. Sanchez cocks his arm back to fire it in to him but Kerley slips on his break so Sanchez pulls the ball back down. When he does pull the ball back down, he is immediately wrapped up. He then smartly takes the sack because if he threw the ball away, it would save New England a time-out. Yes, he added 10 yards to the field goal attempt but the Jets were so deep into field goal territory it didn’t matter at that point.

A few other player observations –

Jeremy Kerley – He is developing at such an impressive rate. Kerley runs precise routes and shows tremendous hands/toughness at consistently catching the ball in traffic. Honestly, he looks like a younger, quicker version of Santonio Holmes. Mike Tannenbaum got a steal in the fifth round.

Stephen Hill – His route running is really improving on a weekly basis. Outside of his drop, he easily played his best game as a pro. He made tough catches in traffic and did a nice job working back to the football on his routes. There is still going to be mistakes from time to time but Hill is going to be a very good NFL receiver, it is only a matter of time.

Shonn Greene – A solid effort from Greene, who picked up tough yards and somehow returned after taking an enormous shot from Brandon Spikes. Greene also deserves credit for being active in the passing game, where he made a positive impact and made a few difficult catches.

Joe McKnight – Ran very well, especially considering he played basically on one leg. When he is 100 percent healthy, it is hard to see him not being a much larger part of the offense.

OL – This was an ugly game for Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore. Shockingly, it might not be a bad idea to start giving Ducasse even more of Slauson’s reps. There is no discernible drop off between the two and Ducasse has a higher upside. D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold both played terrific, Pro-Bowl caliber games. Austin Howard was “meh” but the Jets generally do a good job of giving him help.

Sanchez Breakdown: Head Check

Rob Celletti provides his weekly breakdown of Mark Sanchez’s performance

Stat Line: 28/41, 328 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception – 90.3 QB Rating, 68.3 completion percentage

Season Stats: 116/218, 1,453 yards, 9 touchdowns, 7 interceptions – 74.6 QB Rating, 53.2 completion percentage

I’m starting to develop a love/hate relationship with this column. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing about the Jets, I love participating in the Great Ongoing Quarterback Debate, and in general, it’s been a fun exercise. But yesterday’s game – and the sport in general – is about so many more things than the play of Mark Sanchez. Anyone who places the blame for yesterday’s loss solely on the quarterback needs to have his or her head examined.

The truth is this: if Mark Sanchez plays the way he did yesterday for the rest of the season, the Jets are probably going to win at least 6 of their remaining 9 games and make the playoffs. Does this absolve him of the interception? No. But 25 quarterbacks have competed thus far in Week 7 of the NFL season, and 15 of them threw at least one interception (Joe Flacco and Eli Manning threw two apiece! Gasp!). Interceptions are part of the game, and by the way, Sanchez’s did not lead directly to points against the Jets. Was the game-ending fumble really his fault? Or do Jets fans need to suck it up and credit Rob Ninkovich for blowing through the Jets’ line and making a game-sealing play? Where was this play by a Jet linebacker moments earlier, when they had a chance to seal the game themselves? But I digress. You know how this goes…

The Best: Sanchez engineered one of the drives of his career to get the Jets within a field goal in the 4th quarter. A drive that started on the 8 yard line was set back by a false start penalty, so in reality, Sanchez drove the Jets 96 yards in 14 plays in just under 7 minutes. The 7 route he completed to Jeremy Kerley on 3rd and 3 from the 32 is just another example of an elite-level NFL throw that Sanchez executed perfectly. Even when plays broke down, Sanchez made the right decision, such as his check down to Lex Hilliard three plays after the Kerley first down to keep the chains moving. Basically, Sanchez did everything that a good NFL quarterback needs to do in a key spot. He was calm, accurate, and most importantly, he finished the drive, and did so with a flourish, throwing an absolute dart into a tight window for the Dustin Keller touchdown. The comeback was on.

The Worst: While I fall on the side of the debate that generally comes to Sanchez’s defense, I feel as though I’ve been pretty fair in my criticism of his shortcomings. He still has at least two or three head-scratching moments every game, which is difficult to explain for a fourth year quarterback. But some quarterbacks never shake these moments from their games (see Romo, Tony; Cutler, Jay) and fans will need to learn to live with them. The interception was bad for several reasons: 1) the ball was thrown way too late after Sanchez had pump-faked to the other side of the field; 2) it was severely under-thrown; 3) Sanchez had at least two other places he could have gone with the ball to pick up positive yardage. Not only did he miss a touchdown, he gave away possession cheaply.

The Jets were also unable to finish drives. Again, there is more than enough blame to go around (conservative play-calling, Stephen Hill‘s drop, etc.), but Sanchez was a damn good red zone quarterback last year, and the Jets only scored two touchdowns yesterday in their four trips inside New England’s 20. There were certainly points left on the field by Sanchez and the offense yesterday, which is immensely frustrating.

Here’s the undeniable truth: Mark Sanchez handed the Jets a 26-23 lead with 1:37 remaining in this game. I understand that he has his critics, and the debate has become a little bit like politics; no matter what is said or what happens, people have chosen which side of the fence they‘re on and have dug in to staunchly defend that position. Still, the people who blame yesterday’s loss solely on Sanchez are being unrealistic and unfair. If you’re going to bash Sanchez for his mistakes, you have that right, but credit him when he deserves it – and his second half performance yesterday deserves a ton of credit. If you want him replaced, then I’d like to ask: by whom?

Yesterday’s performance was good enough for the Jets to win. Unfortunately, the narrative surrounding this team and this quarterback has a lot of people believing otherwise.

No Huddle – Jets vs. Patriots Fallout

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the fallout after the Jets loss in New England

We have cut our No Huddle “plays” down from five to three today. We have other thoughts on the Patriotville Horror of course ,but none deserve the same stage in our minds, as this trio does.

1 – A Jet Fans Recurring Nightmare And The Fear Of A Pats Hangover

How many times have we all witnessed a gut wrenching ending to a crucial game involving the New York Jets? Countless times. A devastating loss that during so many moments, seemed as though a huge W was there waiting for Gang Green and the diehards at the finish line. This mirage of victory water in a desert of uncertainty is arguably part of the JETS DNA. Truth is, each disaster has it’s own story. Takes on it’s own personality. No two crashes on the runway are ever the same, yet somehow they always hurt the same.

Another similar trait to lose sleep over in addition to that “Same Old Jets” feeling that may be creeping back into your mind today, is the hangover that comes with tough Ls involving the Patriots since 2000. A sad track record that includes lackluster follow ups the week after.

Hey Jets: You’ve Been Warned!

Given the Jets 2012 path from injury riddled, to their collective new energy, makes losing a 3 point lead with 1:30 left even more tough to swallow. At 3-3, in an odd year for the entire sub par AFC, so much was for the taking Sunday. Namely, control of the AFC East. Unfortunately the 29-26 OT defeat to the Jets biggest enemies on planet earth comes at a time when the now upstart Jets could have used a monstrous win. Especially against the Brady and Belichick boys.

Glass half empty Jet fans just knew it though. They knew that the Stephen Hill drop was a sign. Were sure that the Patriots would win the coin toss after regulation. Would have bet the house that something would go wrong when the Jets got it back down three. After all, only the jersey names have changed, right?

The question now is, what are THESE Jets are going to do about it going forward this week.

One game back and a winnable divisional game is up ahead is no time to raise the white flag. If the Jets can learn from the pain of this latest dramatic Pats loss, then Thanksgiving night’s rematch with New England could be a real chance for a payback day.

If not, a 3-5 break into the bye week could mean bye bye AFC East. Yes, that’s how fast you go from a chase to a hopeless case in the Patriot led AFC East. Despite the fact that the Pats, a notorious regular season bully, appears vulnerable right now. Wins stack up fast up North. The Jets have to get over this defeat by mid week. It’s imperative.

2 – On Sanchez and Tebow

Let’s start with the Sanchise. Mark Sanchez didn’t win the game, but he DID NOT lose this game either. Lose that perception if you have it please. He missed some open receivers, was late to Stephen Hill deep, botched a snap, was early on a key slant to Schilens and fumbled in OT, but with it all, the Jets starting QB put the Jets in position to win. Even with the mistakes which of course do need to be cut down.

One sack by the defense (and we will further this point in a moment) on that last drive and it could have been game over too. Sanchez, what are we to expect from him? A little cleaner version of Sunday would be fine with us. He’s a mid level QB at best right now who hung in there and helped the Jets grab the lead late. Pick a few plays apart that involved him yes, but don’t hang the entire game on him. Not this game. Not this time.

Tim Tebow needs to be used on the goal line. We don’t care if he isn’t implemented in the offense anywhere else. Make him a ballcarrier or decoy inside the 3. Period. The failed TD shot to Chaz Schilens was Tebow or Shonn Greene’s ball to smash through.

Bad choice.

If the Jets alter anything on the playcall front it has to be Tebow and the goal line first.

3 – Up 3 1:30 Left: Blitz or Sit Back? The Answer Is, The Jets Need A Closer On Defense

Imagine being Rex Ryan. You are staring at a slim 3 point lead with 90 seconds left.  The great Tom Brady, Gronk, Hernandez, Welker, shifty Danny Woodhead, and more are waiting amidst a hyper no huddle offense too boot. With NO PASS RUSHER IN THE FRONT SEVEN TO BE ABLE TO COUNT ON.

So what does Rex do? Instead of losing a numbers edge on the back end, he adds more speed and hands to the secondary, a strength the Jets DO have. Then Rex hopes that somehow a negative play, just one, can occur from a penalty, a tipped pass, a lucky coverage sack, or a long FG try missed by Stephen Gostowski.

Many will argue that Ryan should have been more aggressive and blitzed to try and win the game. What they won’t envision along with this view, is what a blitz pick up that springs Wes Welker on a short reception, for 40 yards would have looked like. Or how easily that scenario might have played out too. A result that would have left the Pats inside the Jets 40 with 1 minute left and a real chance to go for 7.

Ryan chose the route of attrition. We wouldn’t have blamed the decision to attack or sit back either way. He was in a rock in a hard place. That’s because the Jets don’t have a Jason Pierre Paul. They have a young and ineffective Quinton Coples. They don’t have a Rob Ninkovich. They have Calvin Pace. They don’t have Darrelle Revis. They have Kyle Wilson.

Ryan continues to coach late in games instinctively though, as if he has a defensive “closer.” Then he remembers he is not a defensive coordinator in Baltimore anymore, with names like Ngata, Suggs and Lewis to send in for the final blow. So he drops eight Jet defenders back instead.

Ryan doesn’t have a Mariano Rivera rushing the passer and hasn’t, since he got here. He has had a bunch of Armando Benitez’s frankly. If one Jet lineman or linebacker had emerged as the blitz guy, this game ends differently yesterday.

Without one emerging the rest of the way, Rex may have to keep sitting eight back where his best defensive athletes are, and funnel the hopes of winning the game into their hands.

It’s one way or the other.

New York Jets – Ten Truths After New England Loss

Ten truths about the New York Jets through their first seven games

Yesterday’s game was arguably the most frustrating regular season loss since Rex Ryan has taken over as the New York Jets head coach. It has led to heated debates among New York Jets fans and writers about how to assess the blame for the squandering of such a golden opportunity. Despite correctly picking the winner in every Jets game so far this season and thus having their record be exactly what I expected right now, it still feels like time to search for some truths on this team after 7 games. 

1 – Mark Sanchez is ridiculously inconsistent – Sanchez played a terrific second half of football yesterday, probably as good as we’ve ever seen him play. We saw a similarly effective quarterback against Buffalo, late in the game against Miami and in spurts in other games. However, Sanchez has also played some of the worst football of his career this season and made a handful of inexcusably bad decisions and throws. He needs support around him to consistently pull out victories. You can win with an inconsistent quarterback but you better avoid too many mistakes in other areas of the game.

2 – Mark Sanchez is the starting quarterback for the rest of the season – Even if you don’t think Sanchez is the long term guy for this team, which is a valid feeling at this point, he is without question their best option for the rest of this season. If he plays like he did yesterday the rest of the year, the Jets are winning 9-10 games and making the playoffs. You could give Tim Tebow 100 opportunities and he couldn’t complete the touchdown that Sanchez did to Dustin Keller yesterday, along with any of the deep seven routes to Jeremy Kerley. Sanchez is the best option at quarterback on this roster. There was never a real quarterback controversy on this team and there isn’t now.

3 – Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano wanted no part of Tim Tebow this off-season – There was no football motivation behind this trade as the Jets came into the season with no plan on how to use him and still haven’t really figured it out. Tebow has value in short yardage and as a change of pace runner out of the Wildcat but the Jets can’t even get him on the field for 3rd and 1s instead of throwing slants to Chaz Schilens.

4 – We have a Tony Sparano problem – As soon as the Jets broke the huddle and went into a shotgun 4 wide formation on 3rd and 1 against New England yesterday, everybody in their right mind knew a poor play call was coming. The Jets had been extremely effective in third and short with Shonn Greene and should have simply handed him the ball. Beyond that, going empty and letting Tim Tebow run up the middle isn’t going to be stopped in that situation, period. You don’t throw a backside slant there unless you have an elite receiver who has good size. The Jets don’t have that player on their roster right now. Chaz Schilens certainly isn’t it. Just an awful, inexcusable play-call and it hasn’t been the first time that has happened this year. Sparano has struggled with his red-zone play-calling and getting a feel for when to be aggressive and when not to be. There are 7 games in the books now and I know there has been moving parts on offense because of injuries, but it is time to recognize what you have and take advantage of it.

5 – Jeremy Kerley is a very good wide receiver – The Jets are going to try like hell to trade Santonio Holmes this off-season but will have a tough time finding any takers because of how much guaranteed money he is owed. Kerley looks like a younger, faster version of Holmes without the baggage. There is a very real chance he could put together a 1,000 yard season this year which would give him the same amount in his career that Holmes has. Kerley’s rapid maturation has been the best story on the offensive side of the football so far for the Jets. We criticize Mike Tannenbaum all the time and will continue to do so when it is justified but it looks like the Kerley pick was a steal.

6 – The coaching staff/front office is wisely embracing a youth movement and starting to recognize some of their mistakes – Quinton Coples and Demario Davis are slowly turning into full time players. Antonio Allen and Marcus Dowtin have been brought on the active roster. Marcus Dixon was cut. Bart Scott is seeing less playing time. John Conner was cut and replaced by a much more effective Lex Hilliard. Joe McKnight is starting to play more on offense. They ignored pressure to sign a veteran big name receiver. These are baby steps but they are all steps in the right direction.

7 – When you rely on young players, mistakes are going to happen – Stephen Hill can’t drop that pass yesterday. It was a brutal mistake at the worst possible moment. Regardless, Hill has flashed enough potential this season to know that he is the opening day starting split end next season. He is going to play major reps the rest of the year and learn on the job, which is going to cost the Jets at times. You will see the same thing with Davis, Coples and Allen on defense. However, in the long term the positives will outweigh the negatives.

8 – The Jets are painfully shorthanded at outside linebacker – When you run as much 3-4 as the Jets do, you need outside linebackers who can rush the passers. The Jets have zero who can. Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas and Aaron Maybin have a combined 2 sacks between them through 7 games. Pace has value as a run stopper but that’s it. Maybin isn’t good enough to make any impact at all most weeks. Bryan Thomas is finished. Rex Ryan must find a way to manufacture a pass rush by utilizing his secondary more on blitzes.

9 – Antonio Cromartie is an All-Pro and is leading a very good secondary minus Darrelle Revis – Cromartie has played the best football of his career since Darrelle Revis went down with a season ending injury. Simply put, he has embraced and thrived in the role of being Rex’s new lockdown corner. LaRon Landry has been a very good addition and helped improve the safety play from last year. Even Kyle Wilson has been better in previous weeks. The secondary has rallied after the Revis’ injury and remains very good.

10 – The Jets are going to be in the division and playoff hunt – Anybody who classifies the Jets as an awful team or a bottom feeder isn’t paying attention. This is a team who will remain around .500 for the next few weeks and will have an opportunity to make a run late for a division title or a wild-cart spot. New England isn’t running away with anything this year (look at their schedule) and certainly nobody is pulling away in the AFC wild-card race.

Gut Punch – New York Jets Lose Heartbreaker To Patriots

The New York Jets lost a heartbreaker to their hated rivals in New England

The New York Jets lost a brutally painful game today to New England, in one that will be intensely debated about and vented over the next few days. Let’s try to go over a few key points of contention –

– Mark Sanchez finished 28/41 for 328 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Throughout the game he made impressive throws into tight windows and pushed the ball down the field, completing a large collection of passes over 20 yards. He also put the team on his back for a key 92 yard drive that got them back within 3 in the 4th quarter. Regardless, he threw an awful interception in the first half and fumbled the ball away in overtime. There will be intense criticism for those plays with a general ignorance of the 70% completion percentage and all the positive he accomplished, that is the nature of the business. However, you are kidding yourself if you think Tim Tebow should get anywhere near the starting quarterback job on this team. You are also kidding yourself if you think this loss falls 100% on Sanchez’s lap.

– The coaching left something to be desired today, to say the least. Tony Sparano calling a slant route to Chaz Schilens on a 3rd and 1 near the goal-line was just negligent considering how the Jets were running the ball in short yardage. They were content to settle for a field goal after recovering a fumble deep in Patriots territory after a kickoff return, when they could have attacked the end-zone.  Rex Ryan’s defense was also not aggressive enough on the final drive of regulation or the first drive in overtime. They repeatedly kept rushing 3 or 4, instead of mixing a blitz in. If they needed to switch personnel (which they did), they should sacrificed a timeout for it in overtime.

– You can’t allow a kick return for a touchdown to be that easy .You can’t repeatedly go offsides. You can’t get personal fouls on punts that keeps the ball in New England’s hands. You can’t drop passes. These are mistakes that happen when you go young because of injuries and other necessities but they must be avoided to beat a team like New England.

– The Jets can’t afford their traditional post-Patriots game hangover. Next week’s game against Miami is of critical importance. They cannot afford to lose a home division game to them considering how tight the division and conference is going to be.

– Yes, the division remains wide open. The Jets are a flawed team. So is New England. They aren’t a 12 win team. They might not be a 10 win team. The Jets let one get away, which is what made this loss so painful but the Patriots aren’t running away in the division race.

– Jeremy Kerley is developing into a legitimate number one receiver. Dustin Keller was terrific today. Joe McKnight deserves a ton of credit for gutting through his ankle injury and putting together a productive game. Demario Davis showed flashes of why so many Jets fans were excited about him this summer.

– Get the venting out now Jets fans, you need to. It was an emotional roller coaster today. The Jets blew a golden opportunity but must now quickly regroup to keep pace in the jumbled AFC East.

Turn On The Jets Roundtable Week 7 – Jets vs. Pats Predictions

The TOJ staff gives their predictions for Jets/Pats

Joe Caporoso – 12 Pack

Chris Gross –  Patriots 27, Jets 20- The Jets head into Foxboro coming off of a dominating performance against the young Indianapolis Colts at home. They face a New England team ranked 5th against the run with a very young and talented front 7, accompanied by an extremely explosive offensive unit. New York has been vastly improved over the past couple weeks, particularly defensively, where we have seen how creative and intelligent Rex Ryan truly is.

The keys for the Jets rely on another strong performance from the pass rush, and secure, smart play from Mark Sanchez. Defensively, if the Jets can get Quinton Coples, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Aaron Maybin in Tom Brady’s face, making him very uncomfortable, they might just have a chance to shut down New England’s high powered offensive attack. Offensively, New York needs to take advantage of every possibly opportunity they may get. The Jets cannot afford to have Sanchez miss open targets, particularly deep, or make careless turnovers.
New York will come into this game guns blazing. Rex will likely be very aggressive with the defense. Expect to see some pressure schemes designed to keep Brady off balance, accompanied by a surplus of personnel groups, including the “big nickel” package, designed to compete with the Patriots’ no huddle offense. On offense, the Jets will look to open up the run by testing New England’s secondary with a few early deep passes. Shonn Greene will get going again, but this week don’t expect another 100+ yard performance. Instead, Greene will likely get 20-25 carries for about 75-80 yards. Sanchez will play well enough to hold off Tim Tebow for another week, while the Jets keep it close all game, but ultimately fall short due to a strong 4th quarter by Brady and Co.

Mike Donnelly – While the Jets may have issues of their own this year, it’s important to keep in mind that the Patriots are not exactly THE PATRIOTS anymore. The defense is still amongst the worst in the NFL, and the offense doesn’t put up video game type numbers on offense like they used to. I expect the Jets to be outplayed, but make a few big plays throughout the game to make it more competitive than most think. Look for a healthy dose of Tebow, a big special teams play or two, and a few timely defensive plays (Tom Brady, meet Quinton Coples!) as the Jets shock the football world and pull out a 26-24 win.

Chris Celletti – If the Jets can keep Tom Brady relatively in check – eliminate big plays, get some hits on him, force a turnover or two – I think this going to be a close game throughout. The Jets are going to try and continue the success they had on the ground last week with Shonn Greene, even though there’s a much more formidable opponent in front of them this week. But I still think they’re going to be very conservative and try to get one of those “game managing, don’t lose it for us” games out of Mark Sanchez. I also expect plenty of Tim Tebow and the rest of the kitchen sink stuff we’ve seen over the past two weeks. The Jets know they need to do some of those things to beat superior teams. Unfortunately, I think Brady and Belichick outdo their counterparts by just enough, holding on late for a 24-17 win.

Rob Celletti -The Jets will play like an insulted, disrespected team on Sunday, and they should, being 10.5 point underdogs. I’m not saying the Jets are on equal footing with New England, but this is a “throw the record out” scenario.  Even if the Jets were 0-6, I’d think they would keep the game close against their arch rivals.

New England’s defense, particularly on the backend, is nothing to brag about. Mark Sanchez has had some of his best games as a pro against the Patriots and there will be places to throw the ball aggressively on Sunday. I also think the Jets will get a representative game on the ground from Shonn Greene and will hit on some creative things with Tim Tebow in the mix. The result of this game is incumbent upon the defense. The Jets can pull an upset if they hold New England to less than 24 points. If Wes Welker and the vaunted tight ends are running rampant in and around the Jets’ linebackers, a likely scenario, watch out.
In the end, the Jets battle to the end, but can’t muster anything on their final drive: New England 31, Jets 27.

Turn On The Jets Week 7 NFL Picks

The TOJ staff gives their week 7 NFL Picks

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

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Mike Donnelly (52-37-3)

2. Rob Celletti (43-44-5)

3. Chris Gross (43-45-4)

4. Chris Celletti (40-48-4)

5. Joe Caporoso (37-51-4)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (6-7-1)

  • Bills (-3) vs. Titans
  • Vikings (-6.5) vs. Cardinals
  • Browns (+2) vs. Colts
  • Ravens (+7) vs. Texans
  • Packers (-5) vs. Rams
  • Cowboys (-2) vs. Panthers
  • Redskins (+6) vs. Giants
  • Saints (-2) vs. Bucs
  • Jets (+10.5) vs. Pats
  • Jags (+4) vs. Raiders
  • Steelers (-1) vs. Bengals
  • Bears (-6.5) vs. Lions

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (9-4-1)

  • Titans +3
  • Vikings -6.5
  • Colts -2
  • Texans -7
  • Rams +5
  • Panthers +2
  • Redskins +6
  • Bucs +2
  • Jets +10.5
  • Jaguars +4
  • Bengals +1
  • Lions +6.5

Rob Celletti

Last Week (7-6-1)

  • Bills (-3) over Titans
  • Cardinals (+6.5) over Vikings
  • Browns (+2) over Colts
  • Texans (-7) over Ravens
  • Packers (-5) over Rams
  • Redskins (+6.5) over Giants
  • Saints (-2) over Buccaneers
  • Cowboys (-2) over Panthers
  • Jets (+10.5) over Patriots
  • Raiders (-4) over Jaguars
  • Steelers (-1.5) over Bengals
  • Lions (+6.5) over Bears

Chris Celletti

Last Week (8-5-1)

  • Titans
  • Cardinals
  • Colts
  • Ravens
  • Packers
  • Panthers
  • Redskins
  • Saints
  • Jets
  • Jaguars
  • Bengals
  • Bears

Chris Gross

Last Week (8-5-1)

  • Titans +3
  • Cardinals +7
  • Colts -2
  • Ravens +7
  • Packers -5
  • Cowboys -2
  • Giants -6
  • Saints -1.5
  • Jets +10.5
  • Raiders -6.5
  • Steelers -1
  • Lions +6.5

Patriots Always Measuring Stick For Rex’s Jets

TJ Rosenthal on the Patriots/Jets rivalry since Rex Ryan took over

Since Rex Ryan entered Florham Park declaring that he wasn’t here to kiss Bill Belichick rings, the Patriots have become the Jets favorite measuring stick. Knowing that beating them validates all of the hard work, while providing instant credibility around the league. That winning more regular season games over the entire season than New England allows for a more high level entry into the postseason. One containing home playoff games and some years, even first round byes. A scenario that on paper, increases any franchise’s odds of reaching the Super Bowl.

Sunday’s matchup that pits an underachieving Pats team against a Jets team that is rebranding itself after key personnel losses, will again be a gauge for this years progress to date. The big question for the Jets heading into Sunday is how far along they are adaption wise, as they adjust to what has been an ever altering roster. If the Jets collective growth shown against the Texans and Colts continues to develop on Sunday, then maybe the Jets can give the Patriots, a team that is loaded on offense and thriving in their new hyper no huddle style, a real run for their money.

Ryan’s direct challenge to Belichick from the moment he entered the scene in 2009 has this rivalry to another level. One that at times, due to the importance Ryan and his Jets always place on the meetings, has left them with a hangover that has led to more immediate losses. In November 2010 a 45-3 blowout dubbed “The Monday Night Massacre,” in a game that was for sole possesion of first place, left the Jets 9-3 and pretty embarassed. Wondering if they truly were a team who had the goods to topple their favorite enemy. A symbolic ball burying ceremony led by Ryan failed to exorcise the demons of that nationally televised ass kicking. A listless and putrid 10-6 loss to a struggling Miami club at home. best noted for the Sal Alosi and Trip Gate saga, became the fallout. Ending any hopes for a division title.

Last year’s second meeting between the two, a 37-16 Sunday night loss in yet another game for first place in the division, sent the Jets reeling. A loss days later on a Thursday in Denver dropped the Jets to 5-5. Days earlier they were 5-3 and looking to make a move in the AFC. The club never regained it’s footing, finishing at a disappointing 8-8.

On the flip side, there was no bigger franchise win, aside from Super Bowl III, than there was during the Divisional Playoff round in January of 2011. A game that saw the Jets shock and defeat a 14-2 Pats squad 28-21. Squandering home field advantage throughout the playoffs in the process. A game whose lasting impression became Bart Scott’s “Can’t Wait” interview with Sal Paolantonio.

Some questioned whether finally knocking the Patriots off and sending them home was too much for the emotional Jets one week later however, when Rex’s Jets came out flat and got too far behind the Steelers in the AFC Championship. The passing of the big Patriot test perhaps taking all of the wind out of their sails as they fell one game short of the Super Bowl in the 24-19 loss.

The Pats have won nine division titles and three Super Bowls under Belichick They are a litmus test not just for the Jets, but for all clubs who face them throughout the year. Unfortunately for Gang Green, the matchup is not some once in a while gathering, that win or lose can still provide some valuable insight. Instead, it is one that has to be dealt with head on. Twice a year, with little hopes for a home playoff game or a bye without at worst, a split during the regualr season series.

Under Ryan, everything has grown with the Jets. Their expectations. Their visibility. Their exposure. Their obsessive need to beat the Patriots amd prove to themselves that they are the better team.

A win on Sunday, as these two renew a rivaly that dates back to 1960 when the Pats were from Boston and the Jets were the Titans, would give Ryan and the Jets just cause for believing that a successful season without Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes CAN happen. What the Jets can’t allow, under any circumstance, is for a loss to linger much longer than Sunday. The way it has recently after facing the Pats. At 3-3 and in a four way tie for first place in the division, too much is still possible. Especially in a conference, the AFC, where only two teams have records better than 3-3.

As Ryan likes to say, the Jets are going to “take their swing ” at the champ this weekend. In a game whose outcome will, as it so often has in the recent past, give the Jets a clearer view of where they stand. Of how much farther they have to grow as a team in 2012, in order to earn a chance to play for the right to kiss their own rings.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 7 – Jets vs. Patriots

12 predictions for the New York Jets week 7 match-up against the New England Patriots

The 12 pack is back and rocking a 6-0 record on game picks so far this season. A big thanks to our staff for putting together another great week of coverage. Make sure you are following myself, Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly, TJ Rosenthal, Rob Celletti and Chris Celletti on Twitter. 

1. Shonn Greene will not crack 100 yards rushing. However, he won’t regress all the way back to his early season struggles. Look for him to finish with 17-20 carries and 70-85 yards, along with a touchdown.

2. Stevan Ridley will be the game’s leading rusher. New England is going to have success running the football on the Jets, who will look to force them into longer drives instead of giving up chunk plays in the passing game.

3. Stephen Hill is going to catch his 4th touchdown of the season and make an impact in the downfield passing game against New England’s shaky secondary.

4. Tom Brady will throw for over 275 yards with a pair of touchdowns and one interception. The Jets will sack him twice.

5. Mark Sanchez will throw for over 200 yards with one touchdown and one interception. New England will sack him twice as well.

6. Jonathan Grimes will get at least three carries.

7. Tim Tebow will receive zero handoffs. However, he will see his most extensive work of the season on offense. He will run 7-10 times out of the quarterback position and throw 2-4 passes.

8. Dustin Keller will be more involved in the offense, finishing with 4 catches for 48 yards.

9. Jermey Kerley will lead the Jets in receiving yards and have at least one catch over 20 yards.

10. Wes Welker will lead the Patriots in receptions but Aaron Hernandez will lead them in receiving yards. Rob Gronkowski is going to score a touchdown.

11. The Jets will rip off one big kick return, whether it is Antonio Cromartie or Joe McKnight deep on kicks.

12. The Jets are going to cover the 10.5 line but I don’t think they steal one in New England. This will be a competitive game throughout but ultimately the Patriots will make a few more big plays in the 4th quarter, en route to a 28-20 victory.

Turn On The Jets NFL Week 7 Best Bets: Changing the Approach

Chris Celletti with his weekly NFL Best Bets. Where should you put your money this weekend?

Week 6 Record: 2-1 (Respectable!)

Season Record: 7-10-1 (Getting there!)

Underdogs are killing it in the NFL this season. It started early and most chalked it up to the usual early-season parity and also those weirdos who were pretending to be refs. But funny thing is that it’s kept up. Last week, underdogs were 12-2. The only two favorites that covered? Your New York Football Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I had ’em both. Yippeee!

So this week I’m going to do something a little odd, which is pick three dogs and hope I get them right. Underdogs cover or outright win every single week in the NFL, and chances are with the way things are going that three will win this week. Hopefully I nab them. Let’s call it Changing the Approach, and I’d like to offer a little bit of advice to a billion dollar operation who should try the same thing: The New York Yankees.

The Yankees, the Bronx Bombers with all their power and all their home runs and questionable starting pitching just got swept by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. They went 3-6 in the postseason, while batting a historically-inept .188. Their starting pitching, outside of C.C. Sabathia in Game 4 against the Tigers, was incredible. Delmon Young drove in six runs in the sweep, the Yankees scored six themselves. Alex Rodriguez’s world came crashing down, Derek Jeter’s ankle exploded into 19 pieces, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson looked like they were actually trying NOT to hit the ball, and …well, you get the point.

At least the Red Sox finished last.

But this has to be the wake up call the Yankees needed. When you look back at the 2009 postseason, when the Yanks won their 27th World Series, you now have to count it as an outlier. For all the years the Yankees went into the postseason worried sick about their starting pitching, it’s almost always been the offense’s sputtering that sent them home. The theme has always been the same: horrible with runners in scoring position, no productive outs, no stealing of bases/pushing the envelope, way too dependent on the long ball, and A-Rod sucking. This season, all of that rued its collective ugly head, but it went to epic proportions. If the Yankees finally realize that they need to be a more versatile offensive team and make changes to that end this offseason, the 2012 postseason might be the best thing that ever happened to the franchise. If not, we’ll likely be saying the same thing next year.

What the Yankees need to do is change the approach. Look, A-Rod will most likely be back next season. If they can get rid of him, they will, and they should, but we’re going to assume he’s back. And that’s fine, really. He just has to be the full-time DH next season, and see if he can give the Yankees 500 healthy at bats. Nick Swisher will be gone. He’s been a good regular season player, but it’s time to move on. He somehow makes Postseason A-Rod look like Ted Williams, which is amazing.

But what the Yankees can’t do is replace Swisher with another home-run-seeking guy. They already have power in the lineup with Robinson Cano and yes, A-Rod. Russell Martin will likely be back, who will chip in 20 homers or so (he just needs to be way better as an average hitter). Where the Yankees can make big, meaningful moves towards youth and versatility is in left field/right field, third base and center field. If I’m Brian Cashman, I’m shopping Granderson this offseason. The Yankees just don’t need a guy who is going to hit 43 home runs but hit .220 and strike out 200 times. They don’t need Adam Dunn, which is what Granderson has become. Another team will take him. Guys like him have value on some teams. The Yankees aren’t one of those teams.

If I’m the Yankees in 2013, I bring back Ichiro Suzuki on a one year deal and stick him in right field. Brett Gardner plays every game in center field. I get a younger, versatile left fielder and a similar player for third base. It almost doesn’t even matter who. Just someone who can hit .270, play decent defense, bunt, steal, and most importantly, someone who isn’t just looking to mash the ball into the seats every at-bat. The rest of the infield stays the same. A rotation of Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda (who should also be brought back on a short deal), and perhaps Michael Pineda and Andy Pettitte is good enough, as was proved this October.

But if the Yanks write a blank check to Josh Hamilton and stick him in right or left field, I have a feeling that they’ll be cleaning out their lockers at about the same time next season. It’s not that Hamilton isn’t a great player, he’s just not the type of player the Yankees need. They have enough of those already. They need some more versatility, some more youth and speed, and they have ample opportunities to add that this offseason.

Now, onto the picks:

Ravens +7 at Texans

I think we can chalk this line up to ZOMG Ray Lewish is hurt the Ravens are toast! The Texans haven’t looked great for the past six quarters. The Jets did a good job against them in the second half in Week 5, and the Packers wiped them in Week 6. I guess you could say that the Texans are due to play a good game, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to have an easy time with the Ravens. This just smells like a field goal game to me. I think you take seven points with the Ravens against anyone in the NFL.

Redskins +6.5 at Giants

The Giants went 0-2 against the ‘Skins last season. They always seem to struggle with them. I could also see this being a little bit of a let-down game for the G-Men, coming off a big road win at San Francisco last week. For some reason I just have visions of RGIII running all over the place, keeping this a dogfight to the end.

Cardinals +6.5 at Vikings

Chances are this will be a really low scoring game, with two good defenses going head to head. Generally, those types of games are close all the way through. I actually like the Cards straight up in this one, so give me the 6.5 points.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week (Season Record 3-3)

Shameless plug here – I’ll be ringside this Saturday when boxing debuts at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on assignment for SBNation New York. Does that mean I probably shouldn’t make a gambling prediction for one of these fights? Yeah, but whatever. Of course, in typical boxing fashion, Saturday’s main event between super-exciting Danny Garcia and grizzled vet Erik Morales is in doubt because Morales probably failed a drug test, but there are other good fights on the card for boxing nuts. One I’m looking forward to is Randall Bailey against Devon Alexander for Bailey’s welterweight crown. Bailey pulled a shocking victory out of nowhere in his last fight against Mike Jones, flooring Jones in the 11th round after being out-boxed the previous 10. Bailey is never out of any fight, because he’s one of boxing’s toughest one-punch punchers (check YouTube for some highlights). Alexander is wildly talented but his toughness has often been put into question. The fight presents a compelling dynamic, and I’m going to say Bailey pulls the upset and retains his title. He’s at +450 to do so, so this would be another fairly big upset for Bailey.