Jets vs. Patriots: Talking to the Enemy

JetsPatslw20

I exchanged five questions with Patriots blogger Eric Cunningham of http://Patschowder.com about tomorrow’s game, here is our conversation:

PC: I read in the Boston Globe yesterday that Braylon Edwards’ arrival in New York may be too much for the rookie quarterback to handle. It’s sort of like a mini-TO effect. They’ve gone 1-4 with him. What are your thoughts on all of this?

TOJ: I don’t agree with that assertion at all. Edwards has been a good soldier since arriving and is clearly trying to convince the Jets he is worthy of a long term contract. Sanchez and Edwards have appeared to get along very well and Edwards was one of the first players to get his back after the Buffalo game when Sanchez threw 5 INTs. He also hasn’t complained at all about the number of touches he receives, even though he probably should be getting more. Edwards main focus when talking to the press has been his desire to win. I don’t think the Jets are 1-4 in their last 5 because of Braylon, I think it is because they can’t close teams out.

PC: In my opinion, I think the Jets biggest problem is the loss of Kris Jenkins. Is this their biggest problem?

TOJ: Their biggest problem is they don’t know how to win close games. They lost four games on the last play. Their defense laid an egg with the game on the line against Miami on Monday night and against Jacksonville, Sanchez, Ben Hartsock, and their special teams choked in OT to lose to the Bills and they couldn’t finish off a game winning drive at home against Miami.

PC: Ok, let’s not beat around the bush. How do you really feel about your head coach was crying at his latest press conference?

TOJ: Well, he didn’t cry at a press conference. He cried in a meeting with the team on Monday and it was leaked to the press. I don’t have a strong opinion of it, we all knew Rex was an emotional guy when he was hired so this is part of what you get. I will love it if the Jets win on Sunday and hate it if they lose.

PC: Shonn Greene has disappeared since his big breakout game in week 7. Is he not the right fit, or are the Jets just dropping the committee and planning on Thomas Jones the rest of the way?

TOJ: Greene has ran a little timid since fumbling against Miami in week 8. Jones receives the bulk of the carries because he is playing at such a high level. However, I would still expect Greene to get his usual 8-10 touches this weekend, which is fine for a rookie learning on the job behind a pro-bowl caliber running back.

PC: Lastly, I asked my Twitter followers what they would want to know from the Jets perspective, and @mndTiiu asked “Has Mark Sanchez met, exceeded, or fallen short of your expectations?”

JETS V PATRIOTS STOJ: He has fell slightly short. He is turning the ball over more than I was hoping for and has made a few immature mistakes (eating a hot dog and running a scripted press conference). However, he has shown plenty of potential and intangibles and I still believe the Jets did the right thing by trading up for him. We will learn alot about him this weekend in the hostile conditions of New England.

TOJ: What is your opinion of Belichick’s decision on Sunday night to go for it on 4th and 2?
 
PC: I can’t honestly say that I loved the call, but I can say that I am less disappointed in the loss because of it. I love the fact that the Patriots have a coach that is willing to go out and win games as opposed to play safe and try not to lose them. In Sunday’s situation, I am pretty confident that Peyton Manning would have scored a touchdown from 60-yards out if he they had punted the ball anyway. Their best shot to win the game was to go for it by putting the ball in the hands of one of the best quarterbacks in the league and they did. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out.

TOJ: What is the biggest difference between the Pats team the Jets beat in week two and the Pats team the Jets are going to face this week?
 
PC:
The big difference is Tom Brady. That Jets game early on was his first real test. Now that we are 10 weeks into the season Brady is playing at a much higher level. Also, the linebacking core has gotten healthier with Jerod Mayo back in the middle as things have started to fall into place around him.

TOJ: Why won’t anybody in New England give Darrelle Revis any respect? Moss hasn’t done much of anything in his last four games against the Jets, especially when Revis is on him so why won’t anybody give him credit?

PC: Well, I for one will give him credit. The guy is a beast and I hate seeing him on the other side of the field. However, I think the Patriots players not giving him credit is all psychological coach talk. If Belichick can get the guys believing that he’s not good, then he isn’t good. Right?

TOJ: How do you feel about Laurence Maroney being your lead back going into the stretch run of the season? Do you think he will be phased out of the offense or remain the primary ball carrier?

PC: He makes me nervous. I was very high on Sammy Morris coming into this season. That worked for all of one game before he was banged up. What I can say about Maroney is that it has never been as big a question of whether or not he can play in the NFL, but whether or not he can stay healthy. So far, he’s healthy and the production is coming as a result of that. That being said, I would love to have a better insurance policy.

TOJ: Prediction for the game?

PC: This one is in Foxboro and the Jets are fading fast. It’s a win for the Patriots for sure, however, the margin of victory is never a big one for these two teams. I’ll say 24-17 Patriots.

Enough Talking About This Game, Let’s Go Already

Jets vs. Patriots Final Notes & Prediction

cotcherytd

First a few updates:

1. Jim Leonhard did practice today and just may somehow find a way to play this Sunday against New England.

2. TOJ TV has been knocked out by the swine flu. My roommate/producer is out of commission with the sickness so we had to scrap the filming plans for this week.

3. Check back tomorrow for my question exchange with Pats blogger Eric Cunningham of http://patschowder.com

Jets vs. Patriots Final Notes & Prediction:

The national media already has this game sized up: the Pats are angry, the Jets are melting down, the Pats hate the Jets so that equals New England 48 Jets 10. Darrelle Revis has been running his mouth all week about shutting down Randy Moss, who is coming off a monster game against the Colts. Moss should go for about 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Let me preface my view on the game by saying that I am picking the Patriots to win 23-17. I think the Jets will find a uniquely painful way to lose this one, but this will be a close game into the fourth quarter. Randy Moss will do what he normally does against the Jets…nothing. Wes Welker will be the guy who hurts them by picking on Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery. Tom Brady will play much better than he did in week two and New England will do a decent enough job of running the football to keep the Jets honest.

On offense, Mark Sanchez will play okay but I find it hard to believe he won’t have a turnover or two. Bill Belichick is designing a scheme that will force Sanchez to beat him and with that much on his shoulders I can see a INT or two coming. The Jets will make some plays in the passing game but will struggle to run the football against a defense geared to stop Thomas Jones.

Like I said, the Jets aren’t going to lay down for anybody but they don’t know how to win close football games…so I am taking the Pats 23-17.

Jets vs. Patriots Part II: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

revisINT_tn1. The notoriously New England biased, Jets hating Pro Football Talk (unfortunately it is still a good site worth visiting for general NFL news) has published a couple of articles working to discredit the job Darrelle Revis did on Randy Moss in week two. Revis expressed frustration with the Boston media yesterday about Moss and Bill Belichick’s claim that he had safety help over the top and that is why Moss was held to 4 catches for 24 yards. As I pointed out yesterday, Revis has owned Moss over the Jets past four meetings and as you can see in this lovely picture to the left Revis jumped over Randy Moss and pulled an interception out of his hands in week two, by himself without the supposed safety help. Do the Jets have a safety over the top in most coverages? Yes, it is very rare to run Cover 0 in the NFL. It is a safety’s job in most coverage’s to play centerfield or be responsible for half of the field. It doesn’t mean that Moss was double teamed and Revis doesn’t deserve credit for shutting him down. How come Randy Moss can have 12 catches against the Bills or 175 yards receiving against the Colts with 2 touchdowns but against the Jets is never a factor? The same reason Andre Johnson is leading the league in receiving but might as well been inactive when he played the Jets, because Darrelle Revis has been the best cover corner in NFL this season. I look forward to another 35 yard receiving performance from Moss and another slew of excuses from him, the New England coaching staff, and Pro Football Talk.

By the way, I actually love watching Randy play most weeks despite hating New England and almost always side with receivers in these type of disputes but you have to give credit due when it’s due.

2. Mark Sanchez apologized for his scripted press conference and admitted he still has plenty to learn about being a NFL quarterback…well, obviously. The key for the man formerly known was Sanchize is to protect the football this week and make the Patriots pay for stacking the box, which they no doubt will.

3. Apparently Thomas Jones took the floor at a players only meeting and gave an impassioned speech about this week being the Jets last chance and that if they lose they need to face the reality that major changes could be coming this off-season. Jones is a respected guy in the locker room and one of the few players with Super Bowl experience, so hopefully he caught everybody’s attention. Most of us didn’t expect Jones to be back next year but with Leon Washington’s injury, and the type of season he is having. I would be surprised not to see him in a Jets jersey in 2010. Speaking of Leon, he has been back around the team facility and spoke a little bit to the media stating confidence about a healthy return in 2010.

4. A few highlights from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: He cited Danny Woodhead and Justin Miller as having exceptional practices, with Woodhead imitating Wes Welker and Miller making a bunch of plays on defense. Overall, he said the team had one of its better practices in weeks. Vernon Gholston and Jim Leonhard missed practice again today. Shaun Ellis and Brad Smith were limited but expected to play. Darrelle Revis, Brad Smith, and Jerricho Cotchery have all taken reps returning punts but it remains to be seen who will actually be back there. Ryan expressed some concerns about using Cotchery or Revis in anything more than a fair catch role.

5. Yes, new Turn On The Jets TV will be coming tomorrow but make sure you check out last week’s episode down at the bottom of this article.

Jets vs. Patriots Part II: Game Breakdown

Offensive Gameplan: The Jets started out slow in the first half against the Patriots in week two with a very conservative gameplan. Mark Sanchez was only 3/5 for 15 yards in the first half and the offense struggled on the whole by only producing 3 points. However, they came out on fire in the second half with Sanchez going 11/17 for 148 yards and a touchdown en route to a half where the Jets outscored the Pats 13-0. Jerricho Cotchery led the charge in the second half with 4 catches for 87 yards, without the support of Braylon Edwards on the other side of him. The Jets did a pretty good job of running the football in week two with Leon having 14 carries for 58 yards and Thomas Jones having 14 carries for 54 yards.

Patriots Jets FootballA key for the Jets this Sunday will be to score touchdowns and not kick field goals when they get in the red-zone. They settled three times against the Patriots in week 2 and with how much better the Pats offense is playing now and how much more inconsistent the Jets defense has been, that won’t be enough for a victory this time around. Braylon Edwards should offer some support as a red-zone target that the Patriots will have a tough time matching up against. Yet, overall I expect the Jets to rely heavily on Thomas Jones and their rushing attack. The problem is that Belichick is notorious for taking away what opposing offenses do best or their best weapon, in the Jets case Thomas Jones/their offensive line/running game is their best weapon. Belichick is going to say, “Mark Sanchez you find a way to beat me, I am going to stop the run and put the game on your shoulders.”

This game will be a hell of a test for Sanchez, facing a quality defense for the second time that has obviously broken down his tendencies from their first meeting. He must protect the football but it is going to take more than that for a victory. The Jets offense has to be able to make the Patriots pay for stacking up the box and taking away Thomas Jones. Jerricho Cotchery has been a Patriots killer and for the first time he has a big time receiver on the other side of him. The Jets have an advantage over the Pats seconday with Cotchery, Edwards, and Dustin Keller but it is on Sanchez to exploit that advantage.

*Sep 20 - 00:05*Defensive Gameplan: The Jets put together one of their most impressive defensive performances of the season in week two when they held New England without a touchdown. Tom Brady was under 50 percent passing and threw an interception, while Randy Moss was invisible. However, the Pats did find some success running the football but for some reason turned away from it in the second half. It will be interesting to see if they focus on running the football with the inconsistent Laurence Maroney or if they decide to spread it out and go for the Jets throat with a downfield passing attack mixed in with their traditional quick screens.

I am never concerned about Moss when the Jets play the Pats but I am losing sleep over what Wes Welker could do this week. Lito Sheppard has been terrible this year, especially at tackling. Welker is a guy who is going to catch a screen behind the line and turn it into a 18 yard gain over and over again unless the Jets sniff it out and swarm to the ball. I would expect to see every Jets defensive back active this week and plenty of them being rotated through as blitzers and guys playing underneath coverage on Welker or Kevin Faulk.

The Jets success against New England was mainly based on getting pressure on Tom Brady. Obviously, they need to get after him because if he gets comfortable in the pocket the Jets are dead. Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas and the rest of Jets linebackers have to generate a pass rush and when corners like Donald Strickland or Drew Coleman are sent after Brady, they need to make plays.

Special Teams Breakdown: It will be interesting to see who the Jets have returning both kicks and punts. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Justin Miller get another chance deep on kick returns and a rotation of some sort at punt return. Jerricho Cotchery and Darrelle Revis can be used in situations where you are looking for a fair catch because of their good hands, also don’t be surprised to see Brad Smith or Dwight Lowery get a shot.

An Excerpt From The Speech Thomas Jones Gave, Except He Turned Old, Italian, and White

A Look At Darrelle Revis and His Punt Returning Days

Better Late Than Never: Turn On The Jets TV: Bye Week Trip to AC

The 2007 to 2009 Jets vs. Patriots Parallel

NFL-JETS-PATRIOTS

First a few updates:

1. The Rex Ryan crying story has got alot of run in the New York media, when discussing it today he made light of the situation by bringing out a box of tissues in the beginning of his press conference and a prepared statement to mock Mark Sanchez…pretty funny stuff. Ryan is a hard guy not to like and has a good self-depreciating sense of humor. I really don’t have a strong opinion on the whole issue. We will see if it leads to any different results on the field this Sunday against one of the NFL’s elite teams.

2. Other highlights from the Rex Ryan press conference: Jim Leonhard and Vernon Gholston bothmissed practice today, neither are expected to play this weekend against New England. I would expect Leonhard to miss at least 2 or 3 games while recovering from thumb surgery. Shaun Ellis and Brad Smithwere limited but are expected to play. Rex Ryan still expressed tons of confidence in his team and his belief that he will be a champion with the Jets by the end of Obama’s first term. He also said “we are going to try to whip New England…again.”

3. There is a pretty funny story circulating about Braylon Edwards buying Rihanna a $10,000 bottle of champagne at a nightclub and having the bottle sent back because she didn’t know who he was…owch.

4. A storyline out of New England is how angry the Patriots were about how the Jets were celebrating like they won the Super Bowl after their week two victory. There was a similar story with the Jets being angry about the Dolphins celebrating in a similar fashion after they beat them on Monday night. What is with all these problems about celebrating after victories in the AFC East? How can you say the Jets were celebrating like they won the Super Bowl when the overwhelming majority of people on their team haven’t been near a a Super Bowl? They don’t know how Super Bowl champions act.

The 2007 to 2009 Jets vs. Patriots Parallel

The dominant national storyline on the upcoming Jets/Patriots game is this: New England is angry. They blew a game to the Colts they should have won. They are looking for revenge on the Jets for a week two loss. The Jets are in the midst of a meltdown and now have to travel to New England as double digit underdogs. It is going to get ugly for the Jets this weekend. I have heard numerous national writers talk about the Patriots running it up, hanging a 60 spot on the Jets, and taking out all their frustration against the hapless, helpless Jets. It reminds of when me the 3-10 Jets traveled to face the 13-0 Patriots on December 16th, 2007.

If you can remember the Patriots were angry with the Jets for Spygate. Bill Belichick was going to be looking to run it up on Eric Mangini and the Jets. New England had been regularly beating teams by 30 and 40 points all season and would certainly be looking to put at least 6o up on the Jets. Everybody was gleefully picking scores like 52-14, 59-3, etc, etc. How could the Jets even manage to stay close to the Patriots in New England?

82886912Well in the middle of a dismal 2007 season, the Jets played their best game of the season and Eric Mangini probably came up with one of his best defensive game plans in his three year tenure as the Jets coach. How can I be talking positively about a 20-10 loss? Do you remember the line-up the Jets brought to New England to face a Patriots team that finished the regular season 16-0? They started Kellen Clemens at quarterback, Justin McCariens at receiver, and David Barrett at corner. Anthony Clement and Adrien Clarke were starters on the offensive line…yikes, but somehow the Jets made the score 20-17 with 2:38 left on the clock on a McCariens touchdown catch. Unfortunately, the play was reviewed and overruled (because McCariens can’t catch), Mike Nugent missed a chip shot field goal and the Pats ran out of the clock for a 20-10 win.

The Jets forced New England into their worst offensive performance of the season, by a long shot. Tom Brady went 14/27 for 140 yards with an INT and zero touchdowns. It was the only game all season he didn’t throw a touchdown pass, in a year where he threw 5o touchdowns. New England’s offense did nothing against an average Jets defense. They scored a touchdown on an interception return (which knocked Kellen Clemens out of the game) and blocked a punt that they recovered on the 1 yard line, leading to their only offensive touchdown. Somehow a offense led by Chad Pennington, who hadn’t played in 4 weeks and featured a receiving core led by a banged up Jerricho Cotchery, Justin McCariens, and Chris Baker managed more yards through the air than New England’s passing attack.

What does all this mean? It means don’t expect the Jets to lose by 30 this weekend. New England won’t be running the score up on anybody because Randy Moss won’t have 175 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns, in fact I doubt he comes anywhere near 100 yards because Darrelle Revis has owned him since that game in 2007 where he grabbed a one-handed interception over him. Including the second meeting in 2007, the stats Moss has posted in 4 meetings with the Jets are: 14 receptions, 151 yards, and 1 touchdown so I would expect Moss to have his usual 4 catches and 38 yards this week that he does against Revis, who has more interceptions in that span of games (2) than Moss does touchdowns (1).

I am not saying the Jets are going to win. Tom Brady will find a way to move the ball and the Jets will have their hands full stopping Wes Welker. It won’t be easy for Mark Sanchez to move the football against a complex Belichick game plan but if he is smart he will throw the ball often to Jerricho Cotchery who has killed the Pats over the past few years. Yet, this game won’t be over at halftime. These are two rivals who know each other well. The Jets will find a way to keep this game close and likely they will find a unique, painful way to lose at the end, like they have 4 other times this season.

Jets Beat Pats 16-9

Jets Beat Pats 34-31

Better Late Than Never – TOJ TV Episode IX: Bye Week Trip to AC

NFL Week 10 Recap/Jets vs. Patriots Part II First Look

Jets vs. Patriots

First a few updates:

1. The Jets fired defensive line coach Kerry Locklin and promoted Jeff Weeks to his previous position. Apparently, there were some behind the scene issues with Rex Ryan and Locklin and this was a move that was a long time coming.

large_rex-ryan5142. The big guy broke down yesterday in a team meeting. It is being reported that Rex Ryan broke into tears during an emotional speech to his team when discussing the loss to Jacksonville and the upcoming games they face. According to Darrelle Revis and Damien Woody, it had a big impact on the locker room. However, as good as it sounds to have a head coach break down and his team rally behind him because they have his back, it doesn’t mean anything if the Jets can’t find a way to win a football game.

3. Jim Leonhard had the surgery on his thumb and is at least expected to miss this week. Eric Smith would step into the starting line-up.

4. The Jets fell to number 21 in the ESPN Power Rankings

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – New England put together a great game for about 55 minutes in Indy on Sunday night but unfortunately for them they couldn’t finish what they started. There is no logical defense for Bill Belichick’s decision not to punt and the genius was finally burned by his appropriately large ego. I do know this, the Patriots are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were in week two so the Jets better get creative in their game planning.

Miami Dolphins – The mighty Dolphins edged out the 1-8 Bucs at home on a last second field goal…and yes of course most of the national media still considers them a legit playoff contender despite the fact they haven’t beat a team with a winning record yet this season. They travel to Carolina on Thursday night where they are expected to be without Ronnie Brown and Joey Porter. I have a vested fantasy football interest (DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith) and vested hate in Miami interest in that game.

Buffalo Bills – Man, Buffalo is an awful team. Man, I can’t believe the Jets lost to them at home. Man, the Jets must be a pretty bad team themselves.

TOJ Top Ten

  1. New Orleans Saints – It wasn’t pretty but they found a way to stay undefeated.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – We all know Peyton is an all time great, but how good is Reggie Wayne?
  3. Minnesota Vikings – Rolling to a NFC North title.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – Favorite team #2 (because of Hard Knocks) is having an unbelievable season.
  5. San Diego Chargers – They have a chance to take over the AFC West lead this weekend by beating the fading Broncos.
  6. New England Patriots – Impressive in defeat, as much as it pains me to say it.
  7. Arizona Cardinals – Rolling to another NFC West title and if they keep running the football they may defend their NFC crown.
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers – Might have to settle for a wild card this year.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Laid an egg in Green Bay.
  10. Denver Broncos – The metldown is in full swing.

Jets vs. Patriots Part II First Look

Patriots Jets FootballThe Opponent: My, how the times have changed since the Jets beat the Patriots in week two. Since that loss, New England is 5-2 and currently has a two game lead over the Jets in the AFC East. The Jets are appropriately double digit underdogs because simply put the Patriots have been a much better team than them in the past 8 weeks. Tom Brady has shaken off the early season rust and is putting together another all-pro season, while Wes Welker has returned to the line-up giving New England the best pair of starting receivers in the league. On defense, the Patriots remain good not great but will have Jerod Mayo back at linebacker, who didn’t play in the first meeting between these two teams. The national consensus on this game is that New England is angry about blowing last week’s game to the Colts, angry about losing to the now sub .500 Jets in week 2, and the Jets are a team reeling meaning the Pats are going to hang a 60 spot on Rex Ryan’s defense and look to run it up. It reminds me of the coverage before these teams met in December of 2007 (which I will detail in tomorrow’s article).

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Tom Brady – 233/352, 378 yards, 19 TD’s, 6 INTs
  • Running Back: Laurence Maroney – 94 carries, 378 yards, 4 TDs
  • Running Back: Kevin Faulk – 37 carries, 188 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Randy Moss – 58 catches, 891 yards, 7 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Wes Welker – 64 catches, 662 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Julian Edelman – 23 catches, 202, 1 TD
  • Tight End: Ben Watson – 20 catches, 307 yards 4 TD’s
  • Tight End: Chris Baker – 10 catch, 91 yards, 1 TD
  • Left Tackle: Matt Light
  • Left Guard: Logan Mankins
  • Center: Dan Koppen
  • Right Guard: Stephen Neal
  • Right Tackle: Nick Kaczur

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Ty Warren – 3o tackles, 1 sack
  • Nose Tackle: Vince Wilfork – 25 tackles
  • Defensive End: Jarvis Green – 18 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Pierre Woods – 24 tackles, 2 FF
  • Inside Linebacker: Jerod Mayo – 39 tackles, 1 sack
  • Inside Linebacker: Gary Guyton – 50 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Adalius Thomas – 22 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain – 28 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Derrick Burgess – 13 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Corner: Leigh Bodden – 34 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Corner: Shawn Springs – 6 tackles, 1 FF
  • Safety: Brandon Merriweather – 44 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Brandon McGowan – 56 tackles
  • Safety: Pat Chung – 25 tackles, 2 sacks

SPECIALS

  • Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
  • Punter: Chris Hanson
  • Kick Return: Laurence Maroney
  • Punt Return: Wes Welker

Injuries: Jim Leonhard probably won’t play for the Jets. New England has been a little banged up on the offensive line and has been without running backs Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris.

Early Story Lines: Jets in the middle of complete meltdown…How much will the Pats win by…New England is frustrated after losing last week and will take it out on their hated rivals…Can Mark Sanchez play in cold weather…Somehow the Jets would only be a game out of first place with a win

Highlights From Pats/Colts Game

Better Late, Than Never: TOJ TV Episode IX: Bye Week AC Trip

Grading Out The Jets/Jaguars Game

Jaguars Jets Football

First a few updates:

1. Jim Leonhard is getting surgery on his thumb and it remains to be seen how long he will be out, when it rains, it pours. I would assume Eric Smith would step into the starting line-up at safety if he misses any time and Darrelle Revis will continue on punt returns.

2. I watched every snap of the Colts/Pats game last night after watching every snap of the Jets/Jags game, and the Jets are miles upon miles behind both of those teams. I know New England was without Wes Welker and Jerrod Mayo the last time they met and Brady was still rusty but after watching both those games I still don’t understand how the Jets won in week two. Also, while on the topic on the game last night what in the world was Bill Belichick thinking when he went for it? I don’t care how many Super Bowl bowls he has won and maybe he did it just because he thought “What the hell, I already have the division wrapped up this year, I am already a hall of famer, why not” but wow that was a stupid coaching decision.

3. Braylon Edwards is about the only guy who made any sense in the Jets locker room after the game with these quotes, “We’re 4-5. We’re not impressive, We’re not scaring anybody. We’re not intimidating anybody coming onto the field, so that 3-0 start is a wash, that’s over with.” Damn right.’

4. Rex Ryan refused to throw Kerry Rhodes under the bus for the back breaking Mercedes Lewis reception in the fourth quarter, the story is that there was a miscommunication between him and Jim Leonhard…whatever, Rhodes has still been below average this year.

5. I updated the stats and game highlights section.

Grading Out The Jets/Jaguars Game

Quarterbacks: (F) I give Sanchez a C- for his on field performance, which included a poorly under thrown interception and another terrible interception on a screen pass. Sanchez played well in spurts and avoided any sacks but I lower his grade to a F because of his post-game press conference. He is a 23 year old quarterback who has 12 interceptions and 9 touchdowns, leading a below .500 team…simply put he sounded foolish and immature after the game carrying on about how awesome everybody played and how proud he was for rebounding from an early mental error. Who brings notes to a post game press conference? It isn’t a good idea to take on the New York media especially when you aren’t winning.

Running Backs: (B-) Thomas Jones was good, not great. Shonn Greene was quiet except for his big time run on a fourth quarter fourth down conversion. The Jets never broke any big plays in the running game, which is where they are clearly missing Leon Washington.

Wide Receivers: (B-) Jerricho Cotchery played a very good all around game and looks to be fully recovered from his hamstring injury. Braylon Edwards is clearly a unique talent and made a real gutsy third down reception on the Jets go ahead touchdown drive. However, he needs to hold on to that two point conversion and he has to tuck the ball away. David Clowney had a clutch third down reception.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller was involved in both the passing and rushing attack, although he did record a drop. It is always a good thing when Ben Hartsock plays and doesn’t record a penalty.

Offensive Line: (B) A pretty good day running the football and they kept Sanchez on his feet for most of the day. D’Brickashaw Ferguson had a killer holding penalty.

Defensive Line: (D) For the first time since he went down, the Jets clearly missed Kris Jenkins. They seemed to be getting a good push on the pass rush but were unable to bring David Garrard down and missed plenty of tackles in the backfield on Maurice Jones-Drew.

Linebackers: (D) Too many missed tackles and not enough big plays. Bryan Thomas is starting to become invisible out there.

Jaguars Jets FootballSecondary: (C) Lito Sheppard missed another key tackle that led to a touchdown. Dwight Lowery struggled more than usual. Darrelle Revis and Jim Leonhard put together very good games. Kerry Rhodes continued his 2009 streak of making zero impact plays.

Special Teams: (B+) A good day at the office for Jay Feely and the Jets coverage units. It appears Brad Smith and Dwight Lowery will be taking over as the kick returners now.

Coaching: (D) The team came out flat and they mismanaged time outs. Sorry for the brevity of the grades today but it is starting to make me physically sick to spend time talking/writing about this team.

And Yet Another Loss

It Only Took 9 Games For The Season to Be Over: Jets Lose to Jags

Jaguars Jets Football

Well, I was able to entertain playoff hopes until 4 PM on November 15th but now even an optimistic person like myself has to admit the 2009 Jets won’t be playing any meaningful late season games or playoff games in 2009. My cousin said it best after the game, while trying to pinpoint why the Jets lost yet another close game “it is all bad.” He is right, many people like myself were under the delusion that the Jets were a good team that had caught a few bad breaks and lost a few close games, but should still be considered a contender. Here is the reality, good teams find a way to win close games and bad teams find a way to lose close games. I don’t have to tell you which category the Jets fit in.

All I know is that the Jets were winning 22-21 with under 5 minutes to play with Jacksonville on their own 17 yard. If you have a great defense, than you win the football game because your defense takes care of business. Unfortunately, Rex Ryan and his defense are frauds. They talk like a great defense but they really are only a good defense that plays terribly when the game is on the line. Jacksonville converted two key third downs and then overrated, overhyped, Mr. I never make a big play, Kerry Rhodes was beat like a drum by the immortal Mercedes Lewis for a killer reception down the middle of the field, that effectively ended the game. Way to go Kerry, you are starting to rival Vernon Gholston as the most overpaid player in a Jets uniform.

Mark Sanchez had two bad interceptions and missed open receivers on more than one occasion, leading to another day with a completion percentage barely above 50. He also took a condescending tone with the media after the game, which is a never a good idea and a sign of immaturity. In terms of on the field, Jets fans refuse to accept they have a rookie quarterback and he is going to struggle at times. The numbers aren’t going to show it at the end of the season but Sanchez has shown signs of being the quarterback the Jets drafted him to be and did enough today for them to win, like he did in their two losses to Miami. The defense is supposed to take care of their rookie but they choked today like they choked on Monday night in Miami.

I vote the Jets start Eric Smith over Kerry Rhodes from now on and that every time Rex Ryan says “I believe we have a great team,” he isn’t allowed to eat for a full day.

By the way, it could get real ugly next weekend in New England. Everybody in the Jets locker room knows the season is over and the Pats are going to be looking for revenge. I’d take the Pats and the over.

Jets vs Jags Prediction/Notes

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1. Vernon Gholston is being listed as doubtful for the game on Sunday, while Lito Sheppard, Brad Smith, Shaun Ellis, and Damien Woody are going to be listed as probable. Rex Ryan said he expects everybody but Gholston to be able to play, however Dwight Lowery will start at corner with Sheppard rotating in off the bench, in order to ease his transition back into the line-up.

2. Mike Westoff said in his press conference yesterday that he is considering letting Dwight Lowery or Brad Smith return kicks instead of Justin Miller. I wouldn’t be surprised to see all three get a shot this weekend.

3. Rex Ryan erupted at the team after Thursday’s practice due to some mistakes made by the offense. He said he is tired of excuses and that this team needs to find a way to start winning. We are all tired of excuses when it comes to the Jets. This team has the league’s #1 rushing offense and #2 ranked defense, it is time for them to start playing to their potential.

4. TOJ TV has been completely produced yet due to the some technical difficulties (my roommate’s computer breaking) I am not sure when we will be able to get the episode up.

5. Jets vs Jags prediction: I think the Jets will be able to move the ball relatively well on a young Jacksonville defense. The real question will be if after the Jags begin stacking the box to slow down Thomas Jones, can Mark Sanchez make them pay with big plays down the field in the passing game? I think he hits a few and the Jets put up a healthy 24 spot on offense. On the other side of the ball, I think Maurice Jones-Drew will spring a big play or two and David Garrard will keep a few drives alive with his feet but in the end, the Jets defense will bend not break en route to a 24-13 victory, setting up a monster game next week against the Patriots will lose a close one on Sunday night to the Colts.

Jets vs. Jaguars: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. Vernon Gholston missed his second straight day of practice and isn’t expected to play this weekened…oh my, how are the Jets going to deal with that injury? Rex Ryan said today that he expects everybody else to be available including Brad Smith and Lito Sheppard. Smith will be a big boost to the Jets special teams units and will allow them to begin using their version of the Wildcat again.

2. Apparently the Jets secondary held a “serious” meeting over the bye weekend about getting more interceptions and making more big plays. We are all for the Jets secondary making big plays here at Turn On The Jets, especially coming from Kerry Rhodes who has one interception in his last 15 games.

05_Flatbed_1 - DECEMBER3. A funny note about the traffic on this site, which is doing very well I might add (thanks again to all the readers)…you’d be amazed how many people end up here because they are looking for a picture of Sloan from Entourage. In one article I wrote over the summer, I put a picture of her up and literally that one article has driven thousands of extra people to this site just to see a picture of her. Apparently people enjoy looking at attractive women on the Internet and apparently football fans are no exception to that, so in the interest of attracting more readers (because I know once they stop by the site, they will be hooked for life) we will begin occasionally putting up pictures of TOJ endorsed women in the update section. A few notes though: there won’t be anything too over the top since this site is officially rated PG-13. I’d also like to maintain some type of connection to the Jets so we may start with some flight crew members or other women in Jets apparel (as we start with ex Jets employee Jen Sterger. Finally, if you are  a female reader of the site and believe you belong in this new section feel free to send a picture along, but please be showing off your Jets apparel.

4. Don’t forget to check in tomorrow for a new episode of TOJ TV, we are back after a one week hiatus.

Jets vs. Jaguars: Game Breakdown

Offensive Game Plan: Jacksonville has struggled on defense this season, in both getting to the quarterback and creating turnovers. They lack an elite pass rusher so Mark Sanchez should have his share of time in the pocket when the Jets decide to throw. Regardless, they still have some playmakers in the secondary with Reggie Nelson and Rashean Mathis so Brian Schottenhiemer needs to guard against falling in love with the pass. There is no reason to go away from giving the ball to Thomas Jones who has racked up three straight 100 yard games and looks better than he ever has in a Jets uniform. Shonn Greene should also see plenty of action off the bench. If Schottenheimer is smart (which is often questioned by Jets fans) he will have at least 35 carries between Jones and Greene and attempt to keep Sanchez’s pass attempts right around 20.

It will be interesting to see if the Jets can keep Dustin Keller involved in the offense after his breakout game against Miami, while still getting enough balls thrown towards Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery. Despite Brad Smith returning from an injury, David Clowney should remain the #3 receiver for the foreseeable future because of his production over the past four games. Smith still remains a valuable weapon on reverses and occasional gimmick plays but that is probably as big as his role will get on offense. I also wonder if Ben Hartsock will see a substantial decrease in playing time because of his ability to always get a penalty at the worst possible time.

Jets Bills FootballDefensive Game Plan: The focus on defense obviously needs to be on slowing down Maurice Jones-Drew. Similar to when they held Chris Johnson in check, the Jets must swarm to the ball and try to hit Jones-Drew in the backfield before he can build up a head of steam. He has a knack for bouncing off tackles so everybody needs to wrap up and hold on until more defenders can come help. I would expect Darrelle Revis to shadow Mike Sims-Walker who has been a big play threat for the Jags this season. However, that leaves a difficult match-up for either Lito Sheppard or Dwight Lowery on Torry Holt, who is still capable of making plays. The Jags also do a good job of involving the tight end in their passing attack, so guys like Bryan Thomas and Kerry Rhodes need to step up in coverage.

David Garrard is a big, strong quarterback who is difficult to bring down. This won’t be an easy game to get sacks but the Jets must avoid letting Garrard extend the play and create plays with his feet. There has been many times this year the Jets have been in the face of the quarterback but have let him escape a would-be sack and throw the ball away. If it that happens this week, Garrard will take off and get first downs for a Jags offense that has been better than expected this season.

Special Teams: I think we will be seeing guys like Marques Murrell and Ahmad Carroll active this week to boost the coverage units. Jacksonville has struggled on returns but still the memory of those Ted Ginn Jr. touchdowns is going to haunt the Jets and their fans the rest of the season. Hopefully, Justin Miller will show a little more this week on our kick return unit, he looked a step slow against Miami. I know alot of fans are getting down on Jim Leonhard as a punt returner because he hasn’t ripped off any big ones yet, but don’t ever take for gratned a reliable returner who always catches the ball.

I don’t know why I went with this video, but it is fun to watch Miami lose 62-7

How The Jets Can Make A Playoff Run

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First a few updates:

1. Rich Cimini posted an article today which cited a few sources within the Jets organization that pinned the decision to draft Vernon Gholston on ex head coach Eric Mangini. We had been hearing this for awhile now about Mangini’s pre-draft infatuation with Gholston but regardless Mike Tannenbaum is supposed to make all final decisions on the draft so it isn’t fair for him to completely pass the buck to Mangini. The entire organization deserves blame for the Gholston pick which has not worked out at all. Gholston was drafted to sack the quarterback and in 24 NFL games, he hasn’t recorded a single sack. The reality is that Gholston should be inactive for every game in the second half of the season. Jamaal Westerman is a better reserve pass rusher on defense and Marques Murrell, Ahmad Carroll, and Westerman are all better special teams players than him.

2. Peter King gave the Jets some love in his mid-season All-Pro Team by placing Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and Nick Mangold on it.

3. The Jets reportedly have no interest in recently released Chiefs running back Larry Johnson…well duh. Who would want this washed up head case, especially with Thomas Jones and Shonn Grenne on the roster and Leon Washington coming back next year?

4. CBS has protected the Jets/Pats 4:15 game on November 22nd, preventing NBC from moving it to Sunday Night Football. At least we have our prime-time game against the Bills in Toronto to get excited about.

5. A few highlights from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: Vernon Gholston sat out practice with a hamstring injury, while Lito Sheppard and Brad Smith were both limited but still are expected to play this weekend. Ryan confirmed Sheppard would return to the starting line-up when he comes back. He also complimented Mark Sanchez for practicing without sleeves today and admitted he needs to learn how to deal with the cold weather if the Jets are going to be successful in the second half of the season.

Some Quick NFL Second Half Predictions

In my “2009 NFL Predictions” article here: http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/2009-nfl-predictions/, I predicted the AFC playoff teams would be: New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore (wild card), New York Jets (wild card). In the NFC: Philadelphia, Minnesota, Atlanta, Arizona, New York Giants (wild card), Green Bay Packers (wild card). My Super Bowl prediction was Philly vs. San Diego.

Obviously, it isn’t fair to revise picks half way through the season. However, in the AFC I’d like to trade Baltimore out and take Cincinnati in but beyond that I am feeling alright. I am thinking San Diego will win the AFC West and Denver will fade away in the second half. In the NFC, I look completely idiotic for not picking New Orleans to even make the playoffs so I need to trade the fading Giants and the mediocre Packers out to bring the Saints and Cowboys in.

I won’t bail on my Super Bowl picks because I think both teams will still be in the mix come January but if I had to switch it up now I would say we are looking at a Colts/Steelers AFC Championship Game and a Saints/Vikings NFC Championship game with the Steelers and Saints meeting in the Super Bowl.

How The Jets Can Make A Playoff Run

I have already stated my belief that the Jets are going 6-2 in the second half of the season and will find a way to sneak in the playoffs, but what do they need to do to make that happen? Let’s look at the three separate phases of the game:

large_marky-markOffense: It all starts and ends with the quarterback, if Mark Sanchez can take what he learned from the first half of the season and put together an improved second half the Jets are going to have a very good offense. He needs to continue doing what he did in the past two games, which means protecting the football, hitting big plays down the field when the defense stacks the box, and avoiding sacks by checking the ball down or throwing the ball away. Keep in mind Sanchez lost two games for the Jets in the first half of the season with amazingly bad, turnover-filled performances. I think those type of games are behind him which is going to prevent the Jets from having a let down against inferior teams like Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo. The real question is going to be can Sanchez rise up on the road in games against New England and Indy and at home against Atlanta and Cincinnati to lead the Jets to a couple of upsets.

Beyond the quarterback, Brian Schottenheimer needs to remember what the Jets identity is on offense. They need to keep running the football. I hope Thomas Jones got his rest over the bye week because the guy should be getting 22-25 carries every single week for the rest of the season. Shonn Greene needs to bounce back from a rough Miami game and become a reliable 10-12 carry guy off the bench. I know Schottenheimer is going to be tempted to air it out with a healthy Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards and a rejuvenated Dustin Keller but the Jets aren’t going anywhere throwing 35 passes a game. When teams stack the box and finally begin slowing down the Jets #1 ranked rushing attack, then they need to take advantage of single coverage on either Edwards, Cotchery, or Keller. With how well the Jets run the football, they should be able to hit big plays down the field in the passing game.

126926_featureDefense: Outside of the weak showing on Monday night against Miami, the Jets defense has been exceptional this year. Over the past two weeks, they have finally started creating turnovers and sacking the quarterback and that needs to continue. If the Jets are going to pull some of the necessary upsets to make the playoffs, it will be led by strong defensive performances that will keep games against New England, Indy, Atlanta, and Cincy close and give the Jets a chance to steal the game in the fourth quarter. On the defensive line, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Marques Douglas need to keep their elevated level of play going to fill the void of Kris Jenkins. They will be tested right out of the gate against Maurice Jones-Drew and will also have to deal with DeAngelo Williams, Michael Turner, and Cedric Benson later in the year.

At linebacker it is time to plant Vernon Gholston on the bench and let Jamaal Westerman become the primary pass rusher off the bench. In the secondary, Lito Sheppard’s return will boost the secondary by allowing Dwight Lowery, who is talented enough to be a starter, to slide into the nickel role. Kerry Rhodes also needs to get it going. The Jets are going to need some defensive touchdowns or key turnovers that give easy points to the offense, and for that to happen Rhodes to start making some big plays.

Special Teams: Tackle, Tackle, Tackle. The Jets won’t make the mistake of making Marques Murrell and Ahmad Carroll inactive in the same week again. Jay Feely has been very good this season and needs to keep it up. Steve Weatherford has been okay and you’d like to see a slight improvement from him. In the return game, hopefully Justin Miller got back up to speed over the bye week and will provide a threat on kick returns.

Who Else Could We Have Had With This Pick?