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

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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

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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.

 

NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

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NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

Wrapping Up Jets/Dolphins

Defensive Player of the Game: Bart Scott – Despite facing increasing criticism for refusing to respect the Miami Dolphins after another loss at their hands, Scott still put together his best effort in a Jets uniform on the field. He led the team in tackles with 8, with two of them going for a loss and recorded a huge fourth quarter sack. Hopefully, we will continue to see more big plays from Scott over the final half of the season.

Offensive Player of the Game: Mark Sanchez – It is games like this that make you feel pretty good about the Jets future. The Jets have assembled a collection of young talented offensive players: Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, David Clowney, Leon Washington, Shonn Greene, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson but none of that matters if you don’t have a quarterback to make it all go. Sanchez built on his progress from last week by avoiding any turnovers and racking up 3 touchdowns (1 rushing) and 265 yards passing.

Honorable Mentions: Braylon Edwards for playing like a number one receiver…Jerricho Cotchery for making a big impact in his return from injury…Sione Pouha for his best game as a pro…Thomas Jones for adding another 100 yard effort on the ground…Dustin Keller for returning in a big way to the Jets offensive gameplan…Marques Douglas for pancaking Chad Henne for a sack.

AFC East Observations

large_jets-patriots416New England Patriots –Everybody is singing the Patriots praises because of their immense accomplishments over the past three weeks, which include beating the 1-6 Titans, 0-7 Bucs, and having a bye. I think they will take care of the Dolphins at home this week but we won’t find how good they really are until they travel to Indy the following week and New Orleans in week 12. If the Jets want any hope at winning the AFC East, a win in New England on November 22nd is an absolute must.

Miami Dolphins – I said in the beginning of the year that Miami was going to be a 6-10 team, and I still stand by that statement today. They can’t play the Jets every week. As sick as it makes me, I will be rooting for them to beat the Patriots this weekend but certainly won’t lose any sleep if they can’t come through and fall to 3-5.

Buffalo Bills – It is hard to see the Bills winning more than 6 games this season. I would like to think that if Mark Sanchez can only throw 2 interceptions instead of 5, the Jets will get revenge on Thursday night football on December 3rd in Toronto.

Turn On The Jets Top Ten

  1.  New Orleans Saints – A complete football team that should roll the next 3 weeks (Carolina, St. Louis, Tampa) before a game with the Patriots, which they better win for our sakes.
  2. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – They can effectively clinch the division with a win over Houston this week.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – It looks like they will coast to the NFC North title and a bye.
  4. Denver Broncos – They were due for a loss. Huge game at home against Pittsburgh this weekend.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers – They can re-establish themselves as an elite team with a win in Denver.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals – How real are they? We will see the next two weeks if they can sweep Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
  7. New England Patriots – Two weeks to prepare for the fading Wildcat should equal a win this week.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – My Super Bowl pick gave me a little joy on Sunday by shredding the Giants.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Big games in Philly and Green Bay coming up.
  10. Baltimore Ravens – I think they get revenge for an earlier loss against Cincy this week.

Jets Bye Week News and Notes

– The Jets have fell to #18 in ESPN’s Power Rankings, which is hard to argue with. They might be the best 4-4 team in football, but unfortunately you are what your record is, which means the Jets are .500 team.

– Some quotes from Mark Sanchez yesterday: “We just need to figure out a way to start winning these games instead of losing them. We need to show up in all three phases to do that…we’re on a great football team. Our record doesn’t show the type of players we have, the kind of people we have in this locker room and the kind of coaching we have. This is a great time for us to just get away, think some things over and get ready to play…A lot of people will say, “Hey, man, you’re a rookie and you’re playing really good for a rookie.” But I don’t want to play like a rookie. I want to play like a 10-year vet, a Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champion. That is the way I want to play and that’s the way I feel like I can play with this team around me.”

– Over at www.thejetsblog.com, they pulled up some interesting numbers comparing Sanchez’s first eight starts to some other recent successful quarterbacks first eight starts. He has a higher completion percentage, more yards, the same amount of TD’s, and less INT’s than Eli Manning did in his first eight NFL starts. Beyond that, his numbers are on a very similar pace to Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning. I think when this year is all said and done, Sanchez will have more TD’s than INT’s and a completion percentage in the 56-58 range (which still isn’t great but better than what he has now).

– The team is completely off the rest of the week and will return to work on Monday, with practice straight through until the Jaguars game. The coaches will be off starting Thursday until Monday.

– In terms of injuries, the Jets should be back at full strength after the bye (obviously not including Leon and Jenkins).

Ah, the good old days of week 2

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

Dolphins Jets Football

First a few updates:

1. The Game Highlights and Stats section have been updated.

2. A few things from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: He pointed out a potential problem on special teams might have been having Ahmad Carroll, Marquice Cole, and Marques Murrell inactive due to some injury situations and mentioned they may need to always have guys like them active regardless of their lack of participation on defense. Ryan also stood firm on having a “hands-off” approach on offense and special teams, and relying on the ‘expertise’ of the coordinators. He also defended giving the team 6 days off this week because of the team’s need to get away from football for a little while and then come back fresh. Something interesting he said about the bye week is that he will have the offensive coaches break down the Jets defensive tape and the defensive coaches break down the Jets offensive tape, to analyze each group tendencies and make recommendations to each other. Regardless of the criticism, Rex Ryan said he isn’t going to change his personality or his confident style of talking/coaching. Like I said yesterday, you are what you are. This is the guy the Jets hired, don’t expect him to change. If you liked him in week 3, then you should still like him now. If you thought he was too brash/cocky from the beginning, then you should obviously still feel that way now.

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

Quarterbacks: (B+) Mark Sanchez had his best game since the early weeks of the season, finishing 20/35, with 265 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over for the second week in a row. He got off to a slow start and played tight early, missing a few throws over the middle. However, he put together a great second half and led the Jets on three touchdown drives. On the final drive, he has to avoid taking a sack on third down and make a quicker decision on the fourth down play. He turned their fourth and 13 play into a hail mary, which he pretty much threw out of the end-zone. I don’t know what the play call was in that situation, but I would I think the best bet would be for him to take a 5 step drop and put up a jump ball to either Braylon Edwards or Dustin Keller and hope for them to make a play or draw pass interference.

Dolphins Jets FootballRunning Backs: (B) Thomas Jones was terrific for the third straight week, rushing for 102 yards and adding in a 28 yard reception. Shonn Greene killed the Jets with a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and appeared to run tentative after that play. The Jets are going to need Greene in the second half of the season so he needs to shake off the fumble and keep running hard.

Wide Receivers: (A) Jerricho Cotchery only had three receptions but all three were huge plays, including a 53 yarder, a third down conversion, and an impressive sideline grab during the final drive. Braylon Edwards was a beast and has earned a fat, new contract from the Jets for his two performances against Miami this season. David Clowney had three down third down catches, which were all short of the first down marker. On the first two, he did a bad job of running his route to the right depth.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller…welcome back. I don’t think Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer will be forgetting about #81 anytime soon after the game he put together yesterday. Ben Hartsock specializes in having ridiculously costly penalties and probably should be cut.

Offensive Line: (C) Alan Faneca had a rough day and let up a huge sack on the final drive. Sanchez took some monster hits this game. The running was also didn’t pop any huge plays.

Defensive Line: (A) Shaun Ellis (1.5 sacks), Marques Douglas (1 sack, 1 TFL), and Sione Pouha (5 tackles, 1 TFL) all played their best game of the season. Howard Green also chipped in with a solid effort off the bench. It is a shame that it went to waste in a loss. Hopefully, they can keep the production up in the second half of the year.

Linebackers: (A) Post-game sarcasm aside, Bart Scott played his best game as a Jet with 8 tackles, a sack, and two tackles for a loss. David Harris had a big sack and another solid overall day at the office. Bryan Thomas was beat for second half touchdown but beyond that played one of his better games of the year. Calvin Pace was somewhat quiet.

Secondary: (B) Jim Leonhard recorded a half sack and played a quality game. Darrelle Revis and Dwight Lowery didn’t give up any big plays or make any big plays. Kerry Rhodes had more contact in pre-game, than he did during the game where he only recorded 1 tackle.

Special Teams: (F-) Every Jets fan love affair with Danny Woodhead should end after this game because he blew outside contain on both kick return touchdowns. Ryan Fowler, Larry Izzo, Wallace Wright, Jay Feely, and Donald Strickland were also victims off horrible tackling/decision making on both kick return touchdowns. The quarterback lost the games against Buffalo and New Orleans. The defense lost the first game against Miami and the special teams lost this one against Miami.

Coaching: (C) The two point decisions were questionable. However, the Jets played a terrific game on defense and put up 25 points on offense, which should have been enough to win. Rex Ryan is never going to shut his mouth, even if the Jets lose their next 8 games so get used to it and either accept him as our coach or get off his bandwagon for good now. You can’t nominate him for NFL Coach of the year in week 3 and then ask for him to be fired in week 8.

As Usual For Us Jets Fans, “It is getting hard to believe things are going to get better…”

Swept By Miami: Amen for the Bye Week

Dolphins Jets Football

Swept By Miami: Amen for the Bye Week

The Jets had 23 first downs. The Dolphins had 10. The Jets had 378 yards. The Dolphins had 104 yards. Yet, despite both statistically and realistically dominating the game…the Jets lost and that is all that matters. Why? They let up two kick returns for touchdowns and a Shonn Greene fumble bounced right into Jason Taylor’s arms and he took it back for a touchdown. Sometimes football just doesn’t make any sense, unless you are a Jets fan and accustomed to this type of thing.

Reading some fans reaction, everybody has jumped off the building on the season. Everybody is blaming the loss on Rex Ryan for his two point conversion decisions and Brian Schottenheimer for his play calling. It is funny because if you read the reactions at half time, they were calling for Mark Sanchez to be benched and how would that decision look now?

Brian Schottenheimer didn’t call a bad game. The Jets offense went up and down the field in the second half. They didn’t score on the final drive because Alan Faneca was beat and Sanchez made a rookie mistake by taking a sack, leaving the Jets with little more than a prayer on 4th and 13. It is probably fair to question the two point conversion decisions, but that isn’t why the Jets lost. Rex Ryan coached a great game on defense. Did you see what the Jets defense did to Miami today without Kris Jenkins? Don’t blame Rex…blame Danny Woodhead, Ryan Fowler, Donald Strickland, Jay Feely, and everybody else on the Jets coverage unit. Blame Shonn Greene for coughing up the football.

Dolphins Jets FootballSo in the end, I think Bart Scott said it best. Miami is awesome. They clearly showed today they have a better offense and defense than the Jets. They are probably going to compete for a Super Bowl. Watch out NFL, the 3-4 Miami Dolphins are coming and they got Chad Henne who racked up 120 yards passing today and was only sacked 5 times. They got Ronnie Brown who ripped off a ridiculous 27 yards on the ground and don’t forget Ricky Williams who also added an equally insane 27 yards. Devone Bess was a beast today with 18 yards receiving, and Greg Camarillo was like a young Randy Moss out there with 15 yards. Miami also has a scary good defense that allowed 22 second half points and a rookie quarterback to rack up three second half touchdowns on them.

 Funny enough in my article here:  http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/40-predictions-for-2009-new-york-jets-season/ I said this:

“34. The Jets will enter their week 9 bye as a 4-4 team and not be considered a serious playoff contender.”

and this…

“35. Similar to the 2006 team, they will rally to a 6-2 finish and end up as a 10-6 wild card team.”

by doing this…

“36. They will either upset the Colts or Pats on the road in the second half of the season, not both. Their other second half loss will be at home to Atlanta…so yes, I am saying they win in Buffalo (aka Toronto), Tampa, and take care of the Panthers at home in the second half of the season.”

Do I still believe this? Yes, I can see it happening. If they learn how to tackle on a kick returns, why can’t they beat Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Buffalo (not factoring 5 INTs from Sanchez), or maybe the Colts with them resting their starters in week 16? I don’t know they might lose all their games, or they might win all of them (probably not). All I know, is I am exhausted and nauseous after watching the Jets lose in that fashion. It is a good time for the bye week and good time to get a little rest/mental stability away from this team.

Turn On The Jets TV: Episode VIII: Life Without the Jets

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Turn On The Jets TV: Episode VIII: Life Without the Jets

If you watched last week (if you didn’t shame on you and go to the TOJ TV section at the top of the site and watch Episode VII), you know my frustration reached a boiling point last week with the Jets losing to Buffalo. In this week’s episode of TOJ TV, Corbett picks up the torch for me and gets footage of me out in the wilderness trying to forget about the Jets, but can I stay away from the team?

Since I never really get around to making a prediction, I will stick to what I said when I exchanged questions in yesterday’s article…I think the Jets will win a close one 21-17 led by a strong running game and a good overall effort from Mark Sanchez. The Jets will hit a couple of big plays in the passing game and force Chad Henne into a couple of mistakes, when he does have to throw.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Talking to the Enemy

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First a few updates:

1. Lito Sheppard is listed as doubtful. Jerricho Cotchery, David Clowney, Brad Smith, Shaun Ellis, and Bart Scott are all listed as questionsable. However, Ryan said he expects everyone to play except Sheppard.

2. Ryan reiterated today how the Monday night loss to Miami was an embarrassmentto his defense and himself. In particular, he said he was upset with how well they let Chad Henne played against them. Also going on in “How The Jets/Dolphins Turn” Joey Porter criticized Ryan for not being sympathetic about Will Allen’s season ending surgery and said he is looking to put Mark Sanchez on the sideline with an ice pack. Ryan also again today referred to Ronnie Brown’s quote about the Dolphins being a tougher team than the Jets.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Talking to the Enemy

Steve Sheiner of http://www.blogwithaporpoise.com and I exchanged five questions each on the upcoming Jets/Dolphins game, as you will be able to read we don’t exactly see eye to eye on Chad Henne, Mark Sanchez, the two team’s running games, the Jets receivers or just about anything pertaining to this week’s game:

JC: Do you get the feeling that the Dolphins have a lack of respect for the Jets? Also, along those same lines do you think that Monday night win was a little extra sweet for them as some Jets are claiming they reacted like they won the Super Bowl?

SS: The feeling in South Florida regarding the Jets has always been one of disdain and disrespect. The Jets could rip off 38 straight wins and 2 consecutive Super Bowl titles and the Dolphins and their fans would still say they suck. The Jets have a 21-14 edge in the series since 1992, but Miami has won the last two. Those wins are always extra sweet. The rivalry gives every game between these two a pseudo-playoff atmosphere. I can’t speak for most Dolphins fans, but I, for one, was surprised at how well the Dolphins played, given that I expected the Jets to come in and steamroll them. As for the Super Bowl: I think it’s going to be a long wait for both of these teams.

JC:I have to be honest, I am not that impressed with Chad Henne. I thought he played a great second half against the Jets but beyond that has looked below average at best…can you convince me otherwise?

SS: No, I don’t think I can. Hennehas played with tremendous poise and has been impressive in the face of steady pressure behind an offensive line that excels in run blocking, but struggles in pass protection. He hasn’t made those game-killing mistakes, throwing an interception in just two of his four starts. But he’s also thrown just three touchdowns during that same span and is averaging a mere 165 passing yards per game since taking over for Chad Pennington. The Jets are a top-10 pass defense and I expect another average day from Henne. He’s being asked to manage the game, to not make any mistakes, and let the running game carry the offense; a role he fills well. But he has great arm strength and the gumption to go downfield regularly. He just needs time to earn the trust of his coaches and learn to utilize his weapons effectively.

JC: How concerned are you about the secondary for the rest of the season?

58621259SS: Very. The loss of CB Will Allen is a significant one. This ensures the Dolphins will be starting two rookie cornerbacks from here on out. Sean Smith has already been seeing starting action, but now Vontae Davis gets the start opposite him. Dolphins fans should feel very good about the future at cornerback, but for now, it’s a concern. Let’s face it: they’re both rookies. They will make mistakes and can be abused by veteran receivers and experienced quarterbacks. Fortunately the Jets down have any of those. FS Gibril Wilson is also a concern. He’s been a major disappointment since his free agent signing, missing more tackles than he makes (or so it seems). SS YeremiahBell is the only stud in this secondary who excels in both run support and coverage over the top. This is a weakness for the Dolphins, without question. I just don’t know if the Jets have the weapons to exploit it this week.

JC: Do you believe this an absolute must win for Miami or do you think they would be able to dig themselves out of a 2-5 hole?

SS: If there ever was a ‘must win’, this is it. Falling to 2-5 is not an easy hole to climb out of. The Dolphins don’t have the passing attack or the defense to fire off a long line of wins. But there is a glimmer of hope should the Dolphins fail to get a win in New York. With games coming up against the Bucs, Panthers, Bills, Jags, and Titans, the Dolphins could still win seven or eight games on the year. It won’t be enough to make the playoffs, but if they finish ahead of the Jets in the final standings, it’ll be a silver lining on a disappointing year to Dolphins fans.

JC: Do you believe this an absolute must win for Miami or do you think they would be able to dig themselves out of a 2-5 hole?

Dolphins_vs_Jets_19a9SS: The Dolphins running game and their Wildcat mastery has proven to be too much for teams to handle. They had their Week 7 game against the Saints in the bag, but they don’t have the defense to contend with a powerful passing attack like New Orleans boasts. Fortunately, they won’t have to worry about that with the Jets and their 29th ranked passing offense. If the Dolphins continue to run the ball as effectively as they have, they win. And as the network’s Dolphins blogger, I will support my team and predict a Dolphins win, 31-21, and a sweep of the season series.

SS:This is one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL. Mark Sanchez got his first taste a few weeks ago in Miami. Does the golden boy, with just 6 TDs to 10 INTs, have what it takes to lead the Jets to victory in Round 2?

JC:I think he played more than well enough for them to win in Round 1. Sanchez has had two very ugly games this season but in the other five has been a quality quarterback. If you take away the Saints and Bills game, he has 6 TD’s to 2 INT’s. Obviously, you can’t do that and he has to be held accountable for awful outings on those days. However, I think he took a step in the right direction last week and that he will be confident because he played well against Miami last time.

SS: Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams rushed for 142 combined yards in the first meeting. With the loss of NT Kris Jenkins, what do you make of the Jets’ chances of slowing the top running game in the NFL?

JC: Actually, if you go by statistics the Jets have the top running game in the NFL and are coming off back to back 300+ yard performances. It certainly won’t be easy to slow down Miami since they are already struggled in the first meeting with Jenkins. Last week, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Howard Green all played well so hopefully they can keep it up this week. Yet, I would expect Rex Ryan to look long and hard at that Saints tape from this week and try to employ some of the techniques they used in slowing down the Wildcat.

SS: Speaking of running games: Thomas Jones has been on quite a tear of late. Do you think he can continue his recent success against the Dolphins 4thranked run defense? What does the loss of Leon Washington mean to the offense moving forward? And did Shonn Greene’s impressive outing against the Raiders (*snicker) earn him more playing time?

large_thomas-jones-jets-mvpJC:You will see plenty of Shonn Greene on Sunday. I would expect him to have 13-16 carries to go along with TJ’s usual 20. Jones hasn’t shown any signs of aging, although this week will be a much bigger challenge against a solid Miami front seven. He will get every oppurtunity to keep his recent hot streak going though as the Jets will look to protect Sanchez. Also, don’t be surprised to see some Danny Woodhead on offense, taking some of Washington’s plays on outside runs and screens.

SS: What kind of backlash would you expect if the Jets fall to their most hated rival twice in a three week span? Do you foresee any changes coming if Miami leaves New York with a win, leaving the Jets at 4-4?

JC:I am sure there would be plenty of dissapointment around the fan base and organization for being swept by a hated rival. However, I wouldn’t expect any major changes because of a 4-4 record. The Jets are built to run the football and play defense. They aren’t going to change their identity because they went .500 in the first half of the season.

SS: Prediction for the game?

JC: I like the Jets mindset heading into this game and home field will swing another close game to their advantage this time, 21-17

If you couldn’t tell from my picture selection, I was surprised by Steve’s lack of respect for the Jets passing game after what Braylon Edwards did to his secondary, here is another reminder:



Jets vs. Dolphins: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. David Clowney, Lito Sheppard, and Brandon Moore all returned to practice today. Clowney and Moore are expected to suit up this weekend, while Sheppard is considered a long shot. Speaking of Clowney check out www.davidclowney87.com to read about his reaction to his first touchdown. Judging from what Rex Ryan has said, I would expect everybody on the Jets to be suiting up this week except for Sheppard and maybe Brad Smith.

2. Justin Miller will be wearing #32 and be starting at kick returner this week and should also contribute on other special teams units.

111114_feature3. A Bart Scott quote on Chad Henne, “”I want to hit him and get him out of there. That’s for anybody who touches the football, period. It’s that type of game. Write it down however you want to write it down. You don’t have to do something dirty to get somebody out of there.” Across the board, all the Jets…especially on defense sound particularly fired up about this week’s match-up, you can hear the hate for the Dolphins in their words. They seem to be chatting it up a little more than they did in the previous weeks, which you might roll your eyes at since they only beat the NFL’s high school team last week (Oakland). However, you have to be who are…and if the Jets are a team that talks, then talk but you better back your words up . I have to say I do like the mindset of the team heading into this game, it reminds me of how they were before the New England game in week 2 and we all remember how that turned out.

4. Rough night for the Yanks…Cliff Lee was straight nasty. I am still feeling good about a bounce back performance tonight against the ancient Pedro Martinez.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Game Breakdown

Offensive Game Plan: The Jets have the league’s #1 rushing offense and are coming off back to back 300 yard rushing games, which is a pretty ridiculous stat if you really think about it. So yes, the Jets need to stick their identity and rely heavily on their rushing attack led by Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene to protect their rookie quarterback. There is no reason that Jones shouldn’t get his 20 carries and Greene shouldn’t be in the 13-16 carry range. However, Miami has a weak secondary. They are starting two rookie corners and both of their safeties are highly suspect in coverage. Braylon Edwards and David Clowney ate them up in the Monday night game a few weeks ago and that was with Miami’s top corner Will Allen on the field. Allen is now out for the season. Jerricho Cotchery played at about 70 percent the last time these teams met and now after taking two weeks off, should be pretty close to his normal self which gives the Jets an even bigger advantage in this match-up.

Mark-Sanchez-Jets_2353013This is going to be Mark Sanchez’s eighth career start. He has played great games (Houston, New England), good games (Tennessee, Miami, Oakland) and unspeakably awful games (New Orleans, Buffalo). It is time for him to settle down and consistently be the quarterback the Jets drafted him to be. There are going to be golden opportunities for big plays in the passing game this week and Sanchez needs to connect. After the Jets have ran the ball six straight plays, he is going to need to sell a play action fake and air the ball out to Edwards or Cotchery in single coverage. The Jets won’t be able to get by with the high school offensive game plan this week because they aren’t playing the Raiders. This week’s gameplan will be put more responsibility on Sanchez to make plays to his receivers down the field. Yes, he needs to protect the football and nobody is saying to bomb it up in double coverage. Sanchez can still check it down and avoid sacks but the handful of plays where the Jets can really gash Miami in the passing game, he needs to step up.

Defensive Game Plan: The Jets defense has played great/elite football in 4 of their 7 games this year (Houston, New England, New Orleans, Oakland) and more than good enough for the Jets to win in two other games (Tennessee, Buffalo). However, the one game this year they let the team down was against the Dolphins. They let them down in front of national television audience who was anxious to see this hyped up Jets imitation Baltimore defense and they fell flat on their face. I spent all week talking about how they were going to embarrass Chad Henne, Ted Ginn Jr and the Wildcat which was easily tamed by Rex Ryan twice last year and was of course made to look like an idiot when the Jets lost 31-27 on a game winning touchdown run by Ronnie Brown.

It still hurts to watch…I can’t lie. The Jets defense had admittedly had their pride hurt and their swagger taken away. We have seen signs of it coming back this week in the form of surprisingly confident trash talk coming out of the mouths of Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Kerry Rhodes, and Shaun Ellis but the only way it is coming all the way back is with a dominant performance this weekend. Regardless of Henne’s prolific second half against the Jets…I’m not sold on him. He didn’t play well against San Diego, New Orleans, or in the first half of the Jets game. This is his first start on the road and the Jets need to force Miami into frequent third and longs because I don’t think Henne can convert them on the road, in the swirling winds of the Meadowlands. Despite inexplicably torching Darrelle Revis, Ted Ginn Jr still isn’t good…so much so that he will be sitting the bench behind superstars like Devone Bess (who nearly averages less yards per catch than Shonn Grenne does per run), Greg Camarillo, and Brian Hartline.

110908_calvin_pace_td_fumble_return_rams_320It comes down to stopping the Wildcat. New Orleans did it last week. Ronnie Brown didn’t even crack 50 yards. The Dolphins only gained 27 yards on 14 plays out of the formation. I think the Jets defensive personnel matches up pretty well with the Saints and you can bet Rex Ryan ordered in from KFC and spent countless hours watching that game tape. However, it is all about execution. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas need to get off blocks to set the edge. Bart Scott and David Harris need to shed blockers. Kerry Rhodes and Jim Leonhard need to be a force in the box. Darrelle Revis, Dwight Lowery, and Donald Strickland need to be trusted to handle single coverage. The Jets collection of defensive lineman need to hold the line of scrimmage and help keep blockers off their linebackers.

Special Teams: Jay Feely needs to get back on track. He has struggled since breaking Pat Leahy’s record for consecutive kicks made. I am excited to see J-Mill returning kicks again and interested to see if Steve Weatherford can rip off another 20 yard run. If he does, I will officially be taping “Weatherford” over “Caporoso” on the back of my #9 Jets Jersey (worst gift I ever received by the way…there is nothing more I hate than NFL jerseys without NFL names on the back).

Fast Forward to 1:30 to see back to back Justin Miller kick return touchdowns in 2006.

Jets Must Win Sunday

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First a few updates:

1. David Clowney, Brandon Moore, and Lito Sheppard all missed practice today. Jerricho Cotchery was limited but told reporters he would be ready to go this Sunday and apparently he looked sharp in practice. Rex Ryan basically said Sheppard was out for this week. I am not sure how severe Clowney’s injury is but hopefully he won’t miss this week because Brad Smith might not be ready to come back yet either. Moore should be good to go against Miami.

amd_kerry-rhodes2. There has already been plenty of trash talk going back and forth between the Jets and Miami. A few Jets like Kerry Rhodes and Shaun Ellis took exception to Miami reacting like they won the Super Bowl after beating the Jets a few weeks ago. Ronnie Brown basically said the Jets don’t have the playmakers on defense that Baltimore did last year in his conference call with the New York media. Rex Ryan is using a Brown quote from after Miami beat the Jets about how the Dolphins were the tougher team as a motivational tactic. Bart Scott said he will be looking to get back some unnamed Miami offensive lineman for “dirty” play in the Monday night game. At this point, we get it…these two teams hate each other. The Jets don’t respect Miami. Miami doesn’t respect the Jets. Go out and take care of business this Sunday.

3. Apparently, Ted Ginn Jr is on the outs in Miami and has been demoted to third string duty because of his inability to catch the football…an important skill for a wide receiver. Of course he remembered how to catch the football the last time the Jets played Miami…just our luck.

Jets Must Win Sunday

You hate to throw out the term “must win” for a week 8 game but let’s be real here if the Jets want to be serious playoff contenders they must beat the Miami Dolphins this Sunday. By all indications, the race for the AFC East title and the race for AFC Wild Card spots are going to be tight, so yes there is a huge difference between 5-3 and 4-4 for the Jets at the bye week.

The Jets have a golden opportunity to bury the Miami Dolphins for the 2009 season. It is going to take 10 wins and a few tie breakers to have a shot at a division title or a wild-card spot in the AFC. If Miami loses they will fall to 2-5 and need to go 8-1 over their last 9 games, with include two match-ups with New England and a game against Pittsburgh, to have a chance to be in the playoff mix. It is time to knock out Miami while you have the chance and turn the focus towards catching New England.

Speaking of the Patsies, the Jets can pull within a 1/2 game of our New England friends with a victory and be in control of their destiny since they have a game left in their season series. Even though New England has some tough match-ups left including games in Indy and New Orleans, a 1/2 is obviously easier to make up than a 1 and 1/2 games. Beyond that, divisional record could come in to play as a tie-breaker later in the season. The Jets would fall to 1-3 with a loss to Miami and need to pick up road victories against both the Patriots and Bills to salvage a .500 record.

Rex Ryan has talked about changing the culture around this organization. He has talked about making the Meadowlands a place where teams don’t want to play. The Jets have already lost a home divisional game this season and with another loss would bring them to a subpar 2-2 record in their building. You need to protect your house and rack up victories in your building if you fancy yourself a legitimate contender in the NFL.

alg_dolphins-brownFinally, Miami embarrassed the Jets on national television. The Jets ran their mouths before the game and somehow ran their mouths after the game, referring to the Wildcat as a gimmick. Everybody in the Jets organization talks about having an elite defense and yet they choked away a lead three times in the fourth quarter to their primary rival on Monday Night freakin football. The Dolphins converted two third downs on the final drive and ran the ball right down the Jets throat on the final play for the victory.

Bart Scott missed countless tackles, including one on the game winning run by Ronnie Brown. Darrelle Revis was toasted for a 50 yard touchdown by a practice squad receiver. Calvin Pace was pushed around and looked out of place all night. What am i saying is that the Jets should be watching film from this game a few weeks ago and be chomping at the bit to get on the field against the Dolphins. Rex Ryan sure made it sound like in his press conference today that both himself and his defense feel that way.

A contender would go out on their home field and prove the Monday game against Miami was a fluke. A pretender would get swept by a sub .500 divisional rival and lose consecutive home games to divisional teams who came in with a combined record of 3-8. Which one are the Jets going to be in 2009?