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

jets_vs_rams_e096

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

Jets_vs_Rams_b88b

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

darrelle-revis-jets-saints-ddd8fed0e151185e_large

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?

NFL Week 9 Recap/Jets vs. Jaguars First Look

JETS V EAGLES EXHIBITION

First a few updates:

1. The Jets are practicing again today but there will be no media availability. Rex Ryan said yesterday and today’s practice will be at a slower pace before they go back to full tilt tomorrow. There seemed to be a good amount of optimism around the team yesterday about making a second half playoff run. Don’t forget 2006, when the Jets were 4-4 at the bye week and finished 6-2 to clinch a wild-card spot. They are going to need an upset or two and some help to replicate that this season but it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Also, with the Patriots upcoming three games they have a better chance than they did in 2006 to catch New England in the divisional race.

2. A big story by the beat writers was Braylon Edwards desire to stay in New York and prove to the coaching staff he deserves a long term contract. Unless Edwards bombs out over these last eight games, I’d be shocked it Mike Tannenbaum didn’t lock him down for the long term. You obviously want to surround your franchise quarterback with as many weapons as possible and so far Tannenbaum has done a good job of that.

3. Leon Washington was back at the practice facility yesterday, moving around on a motorized scooter. He is expected to make a full recovery for the 2010 season. Leon was also voted the third most dangerous return man in the NFL in a recent Sports Illustrated poll behind Devin Hester and Josh Cribbs.

4. The Jets currently sit at #18 in the ESPN Power Rankings, one spot behind the Miami Dolphins and two spots behind the Green Bay Packers.

5. Lito Sheppard declared himself 100 percent for the game against Jacksonville, well it is about time there Lito. Brad Smith is also expected to return to the line-up after missing three games.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – Tom Brady and Randy Moss took advantage of a weak Dolphins secondary en route to an impressive 27-17 win at home over Miami. I am still not 100 percent sold on the Patriots as an elite team in the AFC but they will have every chance to prove me wrong the next three weeks with games in Indy and New Orleans, and a re-match at home against our Jets. For all the criticism he has taken, Laurence Maroney has put together a pretty solid year and Brady appears close to 100 percent, which will make beating the Pats a second time in one season a difficult task.

bos_a_jporter1_480Miami Dolphins – The humble and high character Dolphins were shut up by New England, especially Joey Porter who didn’t register a stat while his defense gave up nearly 30 points for the second week in a row. Miami has an easy part of their schedule coming up (TB, Car, Buf) so they may not be dead yet but the bottom line is that this team isn’t going anywhere with the way their offense is currently constructed. The Wildcat isn’t effective anymore and they have absolutely no down field passing attack. I guess Chad Henne isn’t the second coming of Dan Marino after all.

Buffalo Bills – At this point, Buffalo appears headed towards their fourth straight 7-9 season, if they are even lucky enough to win 4 games in the second half of the season.

TOJ Top Ten

  1. New Orleans Saints – Didn’t play their best football but still beat Carolina. They should roll to 10-0 before hosting the Patriots.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – Helped the Jets by beating Houston, would help them even more by beating New England on Sunday night.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – They are running away with the NFC North because of the Bears and Packers mediocrity.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – They are as real as it gets and can prove they are the AFC North’s best by winning in Pittsburgh this weekend.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – The champs are back and can seize control of their division by taking care of the Bengals at home.
  6. Dallas Cowboys – Who would have thought after week 2, they’d be in first place of the NFC East after 8 games?
  7. New England Patriots – We will see just how good they are over the next three weeks.
  8. Denver Broncos – They are coming back to Earth quickly after two rough losses.
  9. San Diego Chargers – Huge win over Giants and they are suddenly breathing down Denver’s neck.
  10. Arizona Cardinals – Slowly pulling away from the pack in the NFC West.

Jets vs. Jaguars First Look

maurice-jones-drew-new-contract-with-jaguarsThe Opponent: The Jaguars have quietly put together a decent first of the half season despite fairly low expectations heading into this year. They currently sit at 4-4, the same record as the Jets. Jacksonville’s most impressive victory was probably over Houston on the road, beyond that they have beat Tennessee (and also lost to them) Kansas City, and St. Louis. The Jaguars are a very young team, especially on defense where they have struggled this season. Their offense has been very good and is led by David Garrard at quarterback who has put together a better year than he did in a disappointing 2008 campaign. Garrard is always a threat to run. The Jaguars most explosive playmaker is Maurice Jones-Drew who is having a fantastic year and is a threat to break off a touchdown on any play from scrimmage. Jacksonville also has a good duo of starting receivers in Mike Sims-Walker and Torry Holt.

Jacksonville  Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: David Garrard – 162/266, 1867 yards, 6 TDs, 5 INTs, 38 carries, 191 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: Maurice Jones-Drew – 145 carries, 737 yards, 11 TDs
  • Running Back: Rashad Jennings – 20 carries, 97 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Mike Sims-Walker – 36 receptions, 554 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Torry Holt – 33 receptions, 461 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Mike Thomas – 19 receptions, 174 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Jarret Dillard – 5 receptions, 99 yards
  • Tight End: Mercedes Lewis – 17 receptions, 220 yards, 2 TDs
  • Left Tackle: Eugene Monroe
  • Left Guard: Vincent Manuwai
  • Center: Brad Meester
  • Right Guard: Uche Nwareni
  • Right Tackle: Eben Britton

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Attiyyah Ellison – 12 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: John Henderson – 19 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Terrence Knighton – 22 tackles, .5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Derrick Harvey – 23 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Daryl Smith – 55 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 FF
  • Middle Linebacker: Justin Durant – 54 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Clint Ingram – 25 tackles, 1 sack
  • Corner: Rashean Mathis – 22 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Corner: Derek Cox – 40 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Safety: Reggie Nelson – 41 tackles
  • Safety: Gerald Alexander – 33 tackles, 1 INT

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Josh Scobee
  • Punter: Adam Podlesh
  • Kick Returner: Brian Witherspoon

Key Players: MJD makes Jacksonville’s offense go but both Sims-Walker and Holt are big play threats. On defense, Rashean Mathis is one of the better corners in the league and Reggie Nelson is a talented player at safety. Jacksonville has struggled to get a pass rush going but outside linebacker Daryl Smith is having a strong year.

Injuries: The Jets should have both Lito Sheppard and Brad Smith back. Jacksonville shouldn’t be missing any key players this week either.

Highlights From the Jags Win Over KC Last Week

Back From Vacation, Back to Work: Make or Break Three Weeks on Horizon For Jets

*Sep 20 - 00:05*

First a few updates:

atlantic-city1. I would like to say I am feeling refreshed after taking the past three days off from the site and not having to deal with the stress of a Jets game yesterday, however I had a thoroughly exhausting reunion weekend with my college friends. The final stats on the weekend include 2 hours of sleep, large amounts of Saki and sushi consumed, a Muhlenberg football loss at Ursinus, hundreds of dollars lost in Atlantic City, thousands of insults exchanged, about 400 miles added to my car because my friend who is supposedly from Philadelphia didn’t remember how to get from his home city to our college, and a dead cell phone leading to an angered girlfriend. I do have to shout out my man Leon Washington because I hit #29 on the roulette table saving me from complete financial disaster. I spent yesterday laying in my bed recovering by watching Larry Fitzgerald and DeAngelo Williams carry my fantasy team, a despondent Joey Porter being shut up by New England (let’s see the national media come after him now for talking too much), the Giants lose their fourth straight game, and both a great Sunday night game and great Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.

2. I know everybody missed Turn On The Jets TV last weekend but don’t worry we will back this Thursday or Friday (hopefully Thursday) with a new episode documenting how I kept myself occupied during the bye week and previewing the Jets/Jags game.

3. The Jets were back to work today in preparation for the Jaguars, here a few things Rex Ryan talked about: In the category of head coach standing up for under achieving players: He continued to stand up for Vernon Gholston saying he is playing well on special teams and was making progress on defense but hasn’t played much because they haven’t needed more interior defensive lineman the past couple of weeks…He also stood up for Kerry Rhodes play and said he believes the turnovers will come for his safety. Ryan couldn’t resist looking a little ahead to New England but did give plenty to Jacksonville and said they have the same record as the Jets and the league’s #9 offense, making them a dangerous team.

Back From Vacation, Back to Work: Make or Break Three Weeks on Horizon For Jets

You could tell my rust from taking three days off by the unnecessarily, long, run-on title I came up with. Anyway, the Jets face both an uphill climb towards a wild-card spot and a division title over the next 8 weeks. In terms of the wild card, San Diego (5-3), Houston (5-4), Baltimore (4-4), Pittsburgh (5-2), and Jacksonville (4-4) remain in the mix. The Jets have a tie breaker with the Texans and I think they will fade down the stretch to their normal .500 record anyway. They have a chance to gain a tie breaker with Jacksonville this weekend and the Jaguars don’t seem capable of winning more than 7 or 8 games either. Baltimore should be in the mix but they have a tough remaining schedule and I still wouldn’t be shocked to either the Chargers or Steelers catch the Broncos and Bengals respectively which still means both wild card teams are going to have at least ten wins. I don’t know how the Jets tie breakers would shake out with San Diego, Denver, Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh but my guess is that it wouldn’t be good because of our poor divisional record.

Jets Dolphins FootballHowever, when you turn the focus to the division it becomes clear that the Jets 2009 season comes down to the next three weeks. Right now the Patriots are 6-2, while our Jets sit at 4-4, 2 games behind with 8 games each to play. The next three weeks New England travels to Indianapolis (8-0) host the Jets at home and then travel to New Orleans (8-0). In contrast, the Jets host Jacksonville (4-4), travel to New England, and then host Carolina (3-5). What does all that mean? It means it is time for the Jets to make their move if they want to win the 2009 AFC East title. The November 22nd match-up in New England is the make or break game for the Jets division hopes. New England will lose to either Indy or New Orleans, maybe both of them. The Jets need to avoid the let down and handle the inferior Jaguars and Panthers at home and they will set themselves up as the front runner in the division heading into the final five games of the season.

I am ready for anything, from the Jets running the table to the Jets losing out…from the Jets winning by 28 this weekend to Maurice Jones-Drew running for 348 yards en route to a Jacksonville blow out…from Mark Sanchez adjusting to cold weather and pulling out a victory on a November day in New England (where you know it will be hailing and snowing because Belichick controls the weather up there) to Sanchez throwing 4 INTs and weeping as he sips on a hot chocolate on the sideline…it is the Jets, so who knows, in the end they will probably get all our hopes up and then break our heart, but hey there is always that 1 percent chance that this could be year everything changes, so because of that I will be driving up to the Meadowlands this Sunday ready and excited for the second half of the season to kick off. It could be worse right? I could be a Browns fan.

The Disaster That Happens When Second Rate Cities Try to Imitate First Rate Ones, Wow This Is Bad

If You Haven’t Seen These Clips Yet of This Crazy New Mexico Women’s Soccer Player, Watch and Be Scared

The Jets Will Win Ten Games

NFL-Jets-Texans

First a few updates:

1. First off, how about those Yankees? A great season from a truly great, well-rounded team. I remember standing in the rain at Camden Yards on opening day watching CC and Texiera struggle and listening to the heckles of the Baltimore fans (who were clearly just bitter they haven’t had a relevant baseball team in over a decade) and wondering if this team had the make up to be a champion or whether they’d spent all that money to just lose in the first round again. Fortunately, after some early season struggles they turned things around and were the best team in baseball for the entire summer and all the way through the playoffs. Amazing post-season from A-Rod. Jeter was Jeter. Matsui and Damon were particularly clutch in the World Series. CC was the ace we signed him to be. Mariano was Mariano…and on and on. #27 in the books.

2. A little reader appreciation on the bye week to frequent readers and people who comment often: The Iron Marshall for always posting insightful thoughts and staying optimistic, Angel who has been following my writing for a few years now and is a great writer himself over at the The Bleacher Report and The Jets Blog, Bruce Harper, Simplysimon, all the fellow Fanball bloggers who stop by, JetBo, 16, dmd13, Coach and everybody else who takes the time to visit the site.

A Few Words On The Mighty Miami Dolphins

jason_taylor_red_rooster_strutAs many people have read the humble and high character Miami Dolphins have enjoyed their share of shots on the Jets in the past few days. Joey Porter ranting on about how they were the division champs last year and the division still runs through them. Jason Taylor talking about how Giants Stadium is a “hellhole” and that unlike Giants fans, Jets fans are “asses.” We all know that Taylor has had a lifelong hatred of the Jets organization and fans and will always take a shot whenever he can. What can you say? Taylor is a probable hall of fame player but a guy who will never win a championship and a guy who has never been past the second round of the playoffs. He got there a couple of times but lost 62-7 to Jacksonville and was blown out by the Raiders another time. He left Miami last year because Bill Parcells didn’t want him because he was too worried about his Hollywood career, stunk it up in DC and then got out of his contract by refusing to participate in off-season workouts. While he was gone, Miami had their best season in years and won the division, so Jason came back this year just in time to be a part of another 6-10 Dolphins team this season. Taylor is right about one thing, he hates Jets fans and we hate him. He can enjoy another January at home this season watching the NFL playoffs, like he has done every year since 2001.

Also, another funny thing about the Dolphins is how they refer to themselves as “champions” from last year. They won the AFC East title not the Super Bowl. I have never seen a team more proud of a season that ended at home in the first round of the playoffs in a game where they were completely outclassed and embarrassed (by Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, and Marques Douglas among other people). The Dolphins talk about their 2008 season like they won a Super Bowl, yet they didn’t even win a single playoff game. Similar to how they act like they are in first place because they swept the Jets, when they are in third place and are still below .500. The entire NFL is praising the Dolphins character and toughness, yet they have enough character and toughness to blow a 21 point lead at home and lose a game where they held the ball for a record amount of time.

The Jets Will Win Ten Games

The general consensus about the Jets now is that their 2009 season is over. Rex Ryan is in over his head right now as a head coach and needs to change his personality. Mark Sanchez won’t be ready to lead a playoff team until next season. There is no way the Jets can overcome the injuries to Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington. Their second half schedule is brutal and on and on and on. It would be easy to write that article today. It is easy to bury a team who has lost four of their last five and flush the second half of the season down the toilet. Yet, I said in the beginning of the year the Jets would win ten games and still believe they will today. Will those ten wins be enough to make the playoffs? The tie breakers can be tricky but I think they got a good shot.

20081207_zaf_cg5_080-calvin-paceThe Jets have a great defense. Through the first eight games of the season, they played one poor game but beyond that have been among the best in the NFL. The Jets will never get blown out because of this. When I look at the Jets losses, I see a game in New Orleans (the best team in the NFL) that was a touchdown game in the fourth quarter despite 14 points allowed by the Jets offense. I see an OT loss to Buffalo despite 5 interceptions, a botched field goal, and a crucial holding penalty in OT. I see a defensive let down the first time against Miami, which was corrected with a dominant defensive performance in the second game but the team was let down by the kick coverage unit.

Mark Sanchez won’t play any games as poorly as he did in New Orleans or against Buffalo in the second half of the season. He may struggle in some games but there won’t be any five interception performances or 14 points directly handed to the other team. I am going from what I saw in six of the Jets games, compared to two of them and how he responded to each of his bad performances. Beyond that, the Jets have found their running game in a big way. Great running game plus great defense plus decent quarterbacking that doesn’t turn the ball over equals a winning team. Do you think Mike Westoff’s kick coverage units are going to lose another game for the Jets this year? Do you think the Jets will make the mistake of making Marques Murrell, Ahmad Carroll, and Marquice Cole all inactive on the same day? I don’t.

thomas-jones22When I look at the Jets second half schedule, I think they take care of Jacksonville and Carolina at home. I think they take care of Buffalo (aka Toronto) and Tampa Bay on the road, without much difficulty. The real question is going to be what are the Jets going to do in New England and Indy? What are they going to do at home against Atlanta and Cincy? I think the Jets/Pats game will be close, like they are every time play. I know if the Jets want a prayer at the division they better take care of business up there. I like the match-up with Atlanta because they are a playing a dome team at home in the middle of December. Obviously, Indy is going to be a tough game but by that point won’t the Colts have everything wrapped up and potentially be resting some people? In the end, the Jets could very well be hosting the Bengals on the last day of the season as a 9-6 team, needing a victory to get in the playoffs. If it comes to that, I am glad we are at home and we shall see what happens.

A quick thing about Rex Ryan, it is time for Jets fans and writers to stop flip-flopping on the guy. If you liked the swagger in week 3 and were nominating him for NFL Head Coach of the Year, don’t be calling for his job in week 8 or asking him to change his personality. This is who we hired. This attitude, this mindset, and this style is what he hired and personally I still like the direction this team is headed. I believe Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez are going to be leading this team for a long time.

Number 27

New York Jets Mid-Term Grades: TOJ Style

51488_patriots_jets_football

First a few updates:

1. There is no Jets updates for the rest of the week because we are on the bye week, so I am going to have to use the updates section for other topics.

2. I am confident about the Yankees taking care of business tonight. It will be a high scoring battle, but I think they wrap up the World Series tonight. Even though we would have an insane pitching advantage in game 7, I don’t want it to get to that because the team would be tight after losing the past two games.

3. Recent movies I have seen: Couples Retreat, which was not worth the ten dollars I spent on the ticket,  Capitalism: A Love Story which I liked alot. I still want to see Law Abiding Citizen, which I have heard good things about but I haven’t had the time yet. In television, this season of Curb Your Enthusiasm has been very good, especially last week’s episode when Larry killed the swan. I have also been getting into Parks and Recreation on NBC and I am still working my way through the past five seasons of Lost to prep for the final season, which starts in January. There is your monthly entertainment report from Turn on The Jets.

4. I am going to do week 9 NFL picks either today or tomorrow to accompany my article but some quick NFL observations: Has anybody had a worse first eight games coaching for a team than Eric Mangini for the Browns? I know they won a Super Bowl two years ago which gives them a “5 year grace period” as coined by Bill Simmons of ESPN and supported by my friends who are fans of the team, but the Giants have been embarrassingly awful the past three weeks on defense and Eli Manning is clearly hurt or is just not that good this year. He also isn’t being helped by the dropped passes from his receivers every week. With 9 INT’s in 7 games, is it fair to say Matt Ryan is in some type of sophomore slump? DeSean Jackson is a big play machine and has to be close to breaking some type of record for 50+ yard touchdowns in a single season.

New York Jets Mid-Term Grades: TOJ Style

darrelle-revisAll-Pro

  • Darrelle Revis: (A) Revis is the definition of a lock down corner. He shut down Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Marques Colston, and Terrell Owens (even though he isn’t good anymore). On the season he has 29 tackles, 11 passes defensed, and 2 INT’s.
  • Nick Mangold: (A)  He hasn’t allowed a sack and hasn’t recorded a penalty and is the leader of the one the league’s top offensive lines. Arguably the best center in football.
  • Thomas Jones: (A) On pace for over 1400 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Jones is showing no signs of aging, with his impressive 4.7 yards per carry.
  • David Harris: (A) It would be a shame if he doesn’t earn his first pro-bowl appearance this season. Harris is the Jets most consistent linebacker and has racked up a team high 65 tackles, a team high 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception.

Very Good

  • D’Brickashaw Ferguson (A-) He has allowed only 2.5 sacks through eight games and has made leaps and bounds of progress from his rookie season.
  • Brandon Moore (A-) Most underrated player on the Jets offense. Moore is putting together another strong season.
  • Bart Scott (B+) He is earning his fat contract by providing a solid partner in crime for Harris at inside linebacker. Scott is second on the team in tackles with 51 and has racked up an impressive 7 tackles for a loss, which leads the team.
  • Jay Feely (B+) He has been reliable on field goals and provides a surprising amount of tackling on kickoffs but I couldn’t give him an A because of that line drive kick to Ted Ginn Jr.
  • Tony Richardson (B+) He isn’t given enough credit for the Jets success running the football.

pierre-thomas6jpg-689028a57d17e6d9_largeGood

  • Damien Woody (B) He has struggled with some penalties and a foot injury but on the whole has been very good and played to the value of the contract the Jets gave him two years ago.
  • Marques Douglas (B) He has quietly been a big addition to the Jets defense and been a nice upgrade over Kenyon Coleman. Douglas has 32 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2 tackles for a loss.
  • Shaun Ellis (B) He was a beast in the Miami game, which will hopefully be a good sign moving forward.
  • Sione Pouha (B) He has developed into a very good rotational player on the defensive line and stepped up his game since big 77 went down.
  • Jim Leonhard (B) A steady, consistent player on defense and don’t underestimate the importance of a punt returner who catches the ball every time.
  • Braylon Edwards (B) He has been everything the Jets hoped for when they traded for him.
  • David Clowney (B) He has developed into a reliable down field threat and a guy who demands playing time.
  • Dwight Lowery (B) Lowery has stepped in for Lito Sheppard and been a consistent starter at corner opposite Revis.
  • Shonn Greene (B) One fumble doesn’t remove the fact he is averaging 5.6 yards per carry and has shown immense potential.
  • Wayne Hunter (B) He does his job well, as an extra tight end and backup tackle.
  • Robert Turner (B) He does his job well, as an extra tight end backup guard.

OK

  • Jerricho Cotchery (B-) He has been a B+ or A- when he has been on the field but missing two full games and being a non-factor because of an injury in one has to count in his grade.
  • Dustin Keller (B-) Some of the blame goes on Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer but the Jets need for him to play well on a consistent basis in the second half of the season.
  • Mark Sanchez (B-) If you take away the New Orleans and Buffalo game, Sanchez has been exceptional for a rookie but unfortunately those games count since he is primarily responsible for two losses.
  • Bryan Thomas (B-) He has been pretty good week in and week out, although you would like to see an improvement in sack numbers.
  • Wallace Wright (B-) He is still a great special teams player and caught both balls thrown his way against Oakland.
  • Eric Smith (B-) He was the talk of the defense in the first three weeks but has been MIA since then.
  • Donald Strickland (B-) Every game that he has played in he has been good, but missed four weeks because of an ankle injury.
  • Drew Coleman (B-) He has been OK in the nickel role when called upon.
  • Jamaal Westerman (B-) I think he will become a bigger factor on defense in the second half of the season.
  • Mike DeVito (B-) He has developed into a good rotational player on the defensive line.
  • Steve Weatherford (B-) Provides some consistency to the punter position.
  • Brad Smith (B-) A great special teams player and decent contributor on offense before his injury.

large_kerry-rhodes326Needs Improvement

  • Calvin Pace (C+) He was a monster in the Oakland game but you have to factor his poor judgement that led to a four game suspension in his grade. Also, he was quiet in the first Miami game and the Buffalo game.
  • Marques Murrell (C) He is a good special teams player but his most memorable play of the season is throwing a punch against Buffalo and getting suspended for a game.
  • James Ihedigbo (C) Similar to Murrell and he also hasn’t done much on defense when given a chance.
  • Larry Izzo (C) He has to make that tackle against Ted Ginn Jr last week, because he is on this team only for special teams purposes.
  • Ryan Fowler (C-) Just an average special teams player.
  • Ahmad Carroll (C-) He has was better last year on special teams.
  • Marquice Cole (C-) Decent special teams player.
  • Howard Green (C-) He struggled early in the season but has shown signs of improvement since coming back.
  • Ropati Pitoitua (C-) Slowly becoming a bigger part of the defensive line rotation.
  • Kerry Rhodes (C-) Alot of hype…not alot of production. Zero interceptions. Zero Sacks. Zero Forced Fumbles. One Tackle For a Loss.

Failing

  • Vernon Gholston (F) The most invisible defensive player in the NFL. He has started 4 games this year and played in all 8…the stats: 11 tackles, 0 sacks.
  • Ben Hartsock (F) The penalty is on #84 of the offense.
  • Lito Sheppard (F) He has missed 5 games and was terrible in the Buffalo game.

Incomplete

  • Leon Washington (Inc) He was a little quieter than usual before his injury. We are rooting for him to get healthy and a get new contract here at TOJ.
  • Kris Jenkins (Inc) Get better big fella.
  • Danny Woodhead (Inc) Stay outside on kick coverage.
  • Justin Miller (Inc) He looked a step slow last week.