Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Eyes On The AFC East

The TOJ 12 pack looks at the moves made in the AFC East that should get the New York Jets attention

In case you haven’t noticed, all three of the New York Jets division rivals have been fairly active this off-season. Today’s 12 pack is dedicated to examining which of those moves will have the biggest impact. I can promise you the Jets will be a consensus pick to battle for last place with Miami this year while Buffalo will be everybody’s sweetheart pick to challenge New England and grab a playoff spot. To that I say…good. I am glad this team is back to playing with low expectations and in more of an underdog role.

12. Watch Him – Under the radar signing, corner/safety Richard Marshall going to Miami. He is a good, versatile player who will be a nice addition to that defense.

11. Bit Pieces – New England made a handful of minor moves on their defense by signing Jonathan Fanene, Bobby Carpenter, and ex-Jet Marquice Cole. These are the kind of transactions that don’t get much press but then you see all three of them making impact plays for the Patriots.

10. Mid-Round Steals – Credit Buffalo for getting great value in the second and third round of the NFL Draft. Cordy Glenn has a good chance to start immediately at tackle and I wouldn’t be surprised to see wide receiver T.J. Graham starting by the end of the year.

9. Quiet Secondary – New England didn’t make any major splashes in improving their consistently awful secondary this off-season. However, keep an eye on free agent Steve Gregory and second round pick Tavon Wilson to make immediate impacts at the safety position.

8. We Want An Island – Buffalo selected highly touted cornerback Stephon Gilmore in the first round to help sure up the back end of their secondary. He has the skill set to make an immediate impact on a defense that allowed Mark Sanchez to throw four touchdowns against it last season in a single game.

7. No Law Firm – New England decided to let BenJarvus Green-Ellis leave for Cincinnati in a somewhat surprising move. They will be relying heavily on Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen to step up to fill the void. Personally, I am happy to see Green-Ellis go. He was a savvy, hard running and productive back. I wouldn’t be surprised if New England added Joseph Addai in the coming weeks.

6. Light On Receivers – Miami surprisingly shipped wide receiver Brandon Marshall off to Chicago in a trade, leaving them thin at the wide receiver position unless you consider Brian Hartline and Davone Bess major threats.

5. Linebacker Nation – New England drafted two players in the first round to boost their pass rush and linebacker play, by grabbing Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower. Jones will line up all over New England’s formation and Hightower should be an instant upgrade at inside linebacker.

4. If It Ain’t Broke, Or Was It? – Buffalo decided to continue to roll with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their quarterback and Stevie Johnson as their top wideout. One thing that everybody forgets when discussing the Bills as a contender is that Ryan Fitzpatrick, outside of a few early season flashes…kind of sucks. Johnson has a weird ability to get open on Darrelle Revis on short and intermediate routes but is also an idiot and a loose cannon who frequently hurts his team more than he helps it.

3. Receivers On Receivers – New England had depth issues at wide receiver last year…not anymore. They added Brandon Lloyd, who is a viable deep threat and one of the more productive receivers in the league the past few years, along with Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Gonzalez, and Donte Stallworth. So long Ochocinco.

2. Miami Drafts Tannehill – The Dolphins finally decided to take a quarterback in the first round, not the second round. It is hard to imagine a scenario where Tannehill doesn’t start at some point this season, with apologies to the immortal Matt Moore and David Garrard. Opinions were mixed on him coming out of college, so he could be a boom or bust prospect. However, we do know there were not mixed opinions on his wife.

1. Buffalo Gets After The Quarterback – The biggest free agent signing of the NFL off-season not involving Peyton Manning was the Buffalo Bills getting Mario Williams to lead the improvement of their stagnant pass rush. They supplemented the move by bringing in Mark Anderson who had 10.5 sacks last season for New England. The popular line of thought is that Buffalo has the best front seven in football now, we’ll see about that. Either way, Tony Sparano has his work cut out for him with Wayne Hunter, Vlad Ducasse and Caleb Schlauderaff all potential parts of the line.

New York Jets: Ready To Rise In Wide Open AFC?

Now is the time for the New York Jets to rise to the top of a wide open AFC

Oh, how a few weeks can change things in the NFL.

Remember a few weeks ago after the New England Patriots beat the New York Jets 29-21? It was crazy to think the Jets were even in the discussion of contending for a division title in the AFC East. They had no offensive line. They couldn’t run the football. The defense had fell off a cliff. They’d be lucky to reach .500 with two games still left against the mighty Buffalo Bills, the San Diego Chargers and still having to play New England again.

The three game losing streak had given the legions of New York Jets haters all the ammunition they needed. Everybody got ready to watch Rex Ryan and his over-hyped team go down in flames.

Unfortunately for them, the AFC East and the rest of the conference, it appears the Jets have rediscovered their defense and running game, which is their winning formula. They have smacked around two finesse teams in a row who were supposed to be serious contenders in their conference and now have a chance to send the New England Patriots into a three game losing streak.

The beauty of the Jets turnaround is that while they are getting better every week and thriving in their identity, the rest of the conference appears to be crumbling around them. The AFC West is a joke of mediocre of teams trying to out-lose each other to miss the playoffs. The AFC South has the Texans who are still a finesse team that I feel comfortable predicting will lose the home playoff game they host. Pittsburgh and Baltimore are who they always have been, but just a little more inconsistent than usual. Cincinnati? I’m not sold yet. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them go 0-4 against the Ravens and Steelers.

The AFC East? Buffalo is about ready for their swoon. The Jets just wrote the book on how to stop their gimmicky offense and their defense is soft. New England has an awful, I repeat an awful defense and immortal Tom Brady looked pretty damn average yesterday.

Now is the time for the New York Jets to put their foot on the throat of the Patriots and send them to 5-4 to begin the process of creating separation from them at the top of the division. Denver, Buffalo, Kansas City, and Washington are upcoming on the schedule, which is a golden opportunity for the Jets to rack up wins while the Patriots could start a mid-season tailspin.

Sunday is the night for the Jets to start their march not just to the top of the division but to the top of the conference. A home playoff game is the goal and it is looking more attainable than ever.

NFL Draft: How Will Jets Rivals Handle Round One?

Despite not winning the division, the New York Jets have been the AFC East team to go the furthest in the playoffs the past two years. So yes, I would say New England and certainly Buffalo and Miami are chasing them. Here is a quick look at where the Jets divisional rivals are picking in round one and what type of talk has been surrounding those picks —

Buffalo Bills – #3

There is plenty of speculation about the Bills drafting their quarterback of the future, whether it ends up being Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert depending on how the board breaks. Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller has also frequently been tied to the Bills. I have a tough time seeing them pass on a quarterback. This franchise badly needs a shot in the arm and either Newton or Gabbert could supply that.

Miami Dolphins – #15

Running back Mark Ingram was a popular pick for awhile but there are now questions about whether he is really a first round talent. The more recent speculation has been that Miami will officially end the Chad Henne era by taking a quarterback, specifically Ryan Mallett. If they decide to ignore their skill positions, center Mike Pouncey would be a safer pick and would help boost their inconsistent offensive line.

New England Patriots #17 and #28

We know New England won’t hesitate to move around the first round but if they stay put, their defensive and offensive lines have been rumored to be the target areas. Cameron Jordan, a defensive end from California and Boston College offensive tackle, Anthony Castonzo have been popular picks. There has always been some chatter lately about them targeting Mark Ingram if the Dolphins decide to pass on him.

Jets Season At A Crossroads

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A little dramatic in the title?

I don’t think so.

The reality of the situation is this, the Jets season is going to head in to two very different directions depending on the result of Monday night’s game.

A win equals a 2 game lead on the Patriots with 4 games left to play. Unless the Jets meltdown in the last quarter of the season, they are looking at a #1 or #2 seed, a first round bye and a home playoff game in the divisional round of the playoffs. You can’t ask for a better road to the Super Bowl and the organization is way overdue on hosting a playoff game.

A loss? The Jets fall to the all too familiar position of chasing New England. They could have 1 or 2 games to make up depending on how the rest of the division schedule plays out, but realistically it would be very unlikely for the Jets to catch the Patriots, which means a trip back into the wild card.

The road to the Super Bowl then likely involves a first round trip to either Indianapolis or San Diego. Do you want to deal with Peyton Manning  in the first round? I don’t. Beyond that, a victory will result in a trip to either New England, Pittsburgh, or Baltimore.

Yes, it is a little dangerous to put all your eggs in the basket of a week 13 game and yes it would absolutely to be an exaggeration to say the Jets 2010 season was in major trouble with a loss. However, the opportunity is there to jump in the driver’s seat of not just the AFC East but of the entire conference and great teams take advantage of those opportunities.

So for once, can the Jets avoid doing it the hard way?

TOJ NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

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TOJ’s week 7 edition of the NFL Power Rankings, followed by some general NFL observations…as always feel free to comment on my stupidity

The Top Two

1. New York Jets (5-1) – I am giving them the leap to number one because I believe if they played their best game against Pittsburgh’s best game right now, they’d win in a close one.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) – They should really get rolling now with Ben Rothlisberger under center but didn’t look as dominant as I expected against the Browns who were giving a rookie quarterback his first start.

Just A Cut Below

3. New England Patriots (4-1) – Impressive win against the Baltimore Ravens, who never put them away. Yet if I read one more story about how happy Deion Branch is to be back in New England and how everybody there loves him, I’m going to throw up.

4. Baltimore Ravens (4-2) – You can’t be blowing 20-10 leads that late in the game. Fortunately for them, they have a bye week this week aka they are playing Buffalo.

5. Indiannapolis Colts (4-2) – As long as Peyton Manning is under center, they are the favorite in the AFC South. Austin Collie is having one hell of a year too by the way.

Best Of NFC…I Guess

6. New Orleans Saints (4-2) – If you had to bet on one NFC team going to the Super Bowl right now, it’d probably have to be New Orleans especially if they continue to run the ball like they did last week.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) – The Eagles have a problem that many teams in the NFL wouldn’t mind having. Let’s get see if they can beat a physical Tennessee team to get some momentum going.

8. Atlanta Falcons (4-2) – Laid a complete egg against the Eagles on the road.

9. New York Giants (4-2) – They have a golden opportunity to completely bury the Dallas Cowboys this Monday night.

Looking Like A Playoff Contender

10. Tennessee Titans (4-2) – A physical (dirty) team that can play defense, run the football, and has some weapons in the passing game.

11. Houston Texans (4-2) – They are a finesse (soft) team but can put up some points and have found a way to win close games this season.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2) – They lost a couple of tough games in a row but still remain 1 1/2 games up in the AFC West, where nobody wants to win a game.

13. Washington Redskins (3-3) – You would have liked to see Donovan McNabb handle business on that final drive at home against the Colts.

14. Miam Dolphins (3-2) – Never easy to win in Green Bay. We’ll see how legitimate they are this week against the Steelers.

Not As Good As Their Record

15. Seattle Seahawks (3-2) – They actually won a road game. Perhaps with Marshawn Lynch on the roster and Mike Williams playing like he did at USC at receiver, they could find some consistency on offense.

16.. Chicago Bears (4-2) – Never a good sign when you can’t beat a mediocre Seattle team at home.

17. Green Bay Packers (3-3) – A little low? Maybe, but I am not sure they can overcome the mass of injuries they sustained. They are also playing sloppy, inconsistent football.

18. Arizona Cardinals (3-2) – They are right in the thick of things in the NFC West, then again so are the 1-5 49ers.

19. Tampa Bays Bucs (3-2) – As bad as a 3-2 team gets.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) – As bad as a 3-3 team gets.

Frisky

21. St. Louis Rams (3-3) – Impressive win against San Diego considering how they lost to Detroit the week before.

22. Minnesota Vikings (2-3) – Amazing how much they could be in it, if they can take care of Green Bay this week.

The AFC West Is Brutal…Bengals Aren’t Much Better

23. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) – A team supposed to built around their defense, that can’t stop anybody and a team that is supposed to have a high power passing attack that has a suddenly crappy quarterback.

24. Denver Broncos (2-4) – Thank you Renaldo Hill.

25. Oakland Raiders (2-4) – Just when you thought you could go an entire season without watching Kyle Boller play.

26. San Diego Chargers (2-4) – Thank you for destroying my three team tease this past weekend…and for LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie.

Bad Football Teams, Still Competitive

27. Dallas Cowboys (1-4) – They always find a way to lose.

28. San Francisco 49ers (1-5) – Still alive in the NFC West, where 7-9 just might equal a division title and home playoff game.

29. Detriot Lions (1-5) – As far as 1-5 teams go, they aren’t half bad.

30. Cleveland Browns (1-5) – Colt McCoy showed there might be hope for the future.

Cover Your Eyes

31. Carolina Panthers (0-5) – Doesn’t matter if Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen are throwing interceptions and getting sacked.

32. Buffalo Bills (0-5) – They can’t win more than 2 games this season, can they?

PhotobucketAFC East – I think the Jets are going to have a tough time pulling away from the Patriots. The December 6th match-up between the two teams is going to go a long way to determining the division winner. Prior to the season I thought Miami would be the Jets main competition, however I think they are going to catch a beat down from Pittsburgh this week and be a .500 team the rest of the season.

NFC East  – This division couldn’t be anymore wide open. The Giants always beat Dallas and will likely bury them for good this Monday night, leaving them to battle with Philadelphia and Washington. The Eagles seem like the favorite right now, with either Vick or Kolb under center but you’d like to see more consistency on both sides of the ball from them and particularly their offensive line.

AFC North  – It will be fun to watch the Steelers and Ravens slug it out for the division title down the stretch, while the other team will likely land a wild-card. I can’t take the Bengals seriously as a contender because of how bad Carson Palmer has played.  I wonder if Eric Mangini will still be the Browns coach when the Jets come into town.

NFC North – Another wide open division. It feels like the Bears will eventually fall out of it, which leaves the Packers and Vikings to fight it out. 9-7 might be good enough to take this division title.

AFC South – I am more sold on the Titans as the Colts primary competitor for a division title. Houston just isn’t physical enough to win big games in November and December.

NFC South – The Saints and Falcons will be a division race that goes right down to the wire. Tampa Bay isn’t sticking around as a competitor for the division title but could be in the wild-card mix, since you could see a 8-8 team making the playoffs in the NFC.

AFC West – Everybody is still involved in the divisional race here. I wouldn’t be shocked if Denver ended up taking it as a 9-7 team, considering they weathered the tough part of their schedule.

NFC West – Just a bunch of inconsistent, mediocre teams with questions at quarterback. At least the Rams have their franchise guy under center, but he is a rookie so it remains to be seen how he plays down the stretch.

As of right now, it really is a shame that the NFC and AFC West have to send a team to the playoffs. I am having nightmares of a wild card weekend featuring the 8-8 Bears at the 7-9 Rams, followed by the 8-8 Chiefs hosting a playoff game.

Instant Reaction: First Place – Resilient Jets Get Tough Win In Miami

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No Darrelle Revis. No Calvin Pace. No Santonio Holmes. A potential major distraction with the Braylon Edwards DUI. On the road, against a 2-0 Miami team. Plenty of penalties, some of them very questionable…didn’t matter, the New York Jets found a way to gut out an impressive 31-23 victory.

Was it only two weeks ago, I was listening to everybody who could talk say the Jets couldn’t win a Super Bowl with Mark Sanchez at quarterback? I don’t think we will be hearing too much of that anymore, considering through three games he has six touchdowns to zero interceptions and is completing over 60 percent of his passes. Tonight, Sanchez was 15/28 for 256 yards and three touchdowns. He looks confident and is developing a scary good connection with Dustin Keller.

This is a Jets offense loaded with playmakers. Keller is playing at an All-Pro level and racked up 98 yards and two touchdowns tonight. Braylon Edwards showed up after being benched for the first quarter and made a nice move en route to a 67 yard touchdown (nice tackling, Jason Allen). Edwards also had a huge catch on the Jets final drive. The Jets final drive to extend the lead to 8 was a thing of beauty and was led by LaDainian Tomlinson who turned in yet another strong effort with 70 yards on 15 carries and his first touchdown.

Brad Smith continues to be a dangerous weapon on offense. The offensive line needs to cut down on the penalties. Shonn Greene had a couple of nice runs late but overall they need more from him.

On defense, the secondary has serious issues without Darrelle Revis in the lineup. Kyle Wilson will be a better player in the long run because of this baptism by fire, but for right now he is struggling heavily. Antonio Cromartie missed some tackles and was beat a few times, although he did make his share of plays. The front seven was clearly gassed at times and thus the pass rush struggled a little bit. However, Jason Taylor did get his homecoming sack.

A win is a win, and with early season victories over the Patriots and Dolphins, the Jets have made it clear they are the team to beat in the AFC East…as of right now.

Even better news? Buffalo is up next on the schedule…keep resting Revis and Pace. We got a date with #4 on Monday Night in 15 days, and I’d like to have you both 100 percent for that.

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Predicted 53 Man Roster

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have signed quarterback Mark Brunell. I tend to agree with the opinion held in the Jets locker room as reported by Manish Mehta (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/2010/07/jets-to-work-out-mark-brunell.html)

2. There will be a preview of Hard Knocks on HBO tonight at 11 PM tonight.

3. Get yourself hyped up for some AFC East football in 2010, with our new episode of TOJ TV –

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (Turn On The Jets). Also a heads up to all season ticket holders that the tickets will be mailed out August 2nd.

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Predicted 53 Man Roster

It is time for our annual prediction of the Jets final 53 man roster before training camp starts and by annual I mean this is the second time we have done it, since it is only my second training camp at Turn On The Jets. Let’s hope I improve on last season when I picked Jehuu Caulcrick, Mario Urrutia, Jack Simmons, and TJ Conley to make the team.

Quarterback

  1. Mark SanchezLet’s hope he builds on his performance in the playoffs.
  2. Mark Brunell – I disagree with the decision to bring him in, let’s hope Sanchez stays healthy.
  3. Kevin O’Connell – He was working ahead of Ainge in the spring and the Jets wouldn’t have traded a pick for him if they didn’t think he had potential.

Running Back

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  1. Shonn Greene – He steps into the lead back role after a very impressive end to his rookie season.
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Looking to prove he isn’t over the hill.
  3. Joe McKnight – Hopefully he will be groomed into Leon Washington 2.0
  4. Tony Richardson – Despite his advance age, one of the better fullbacks in the NFL.
  5. John Conner – Fullback of the future, should primarily play special teams this season.

Tight End

  1. Dustin Keller – Another player hoping to build on a strong run of games in the playoffs.
  2. Ben Hartsock – Holding! Hartsock gets his share of flags but he is a good blocker.
  3. Tanner Purdum – The new long snapper, if he botches one in camp let’s get James Dearth on the phone.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jerricho Cotchery – Can’t wait to see how many third downs he converts this season.
  2. Braylon Edwards – Coming off a very good off-season.
  3. Santonio Holmes – See you in week five.
  4. Brad Smith – Hope the Jets don’t forget about the Tiger formation.
  5. David Clowney – He will have a chance in the first four games to make an impact on offense and will need to step on specials.

Offensive Line

  1. C: Nick MangoldThe best in the business, now pay the man.
  2. LG: Vladimir Ducasse – He has big shoes to fill.
  3. RG: Brandon Moore – Quietly, one of the better guards in the NFL.
  4. LT: D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Just got his new contract.
  5. RT: Damien Woody – Let’s hope he did well in the weight loss contest
  6. G/T: Robert Turner – He sees action in the Jets short yardage packages.
  7. T: Wayne Hunter – Another guy who sees action in the short yardage packages.
  8. G/C: Matt Slauson– “Battling” with Ducasse for the starting job.

Defensive Line

  1. DE: Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet, likely in his final season with the team.
  2. NT: Kris Jenkins – Returning from ACL surgery.
  3. DE: Mike DeVito – Stepping into the starting line-up for Marques Douglas.
  4. DT: Sione Pouha – Had a very good 2009 filling in for Jenkins.
  5. DE: Vernon Gholston – New position, hopefully new results.
  6. DE: Ropati Pitoitua – Will have a chance to become a bigger part of the rotation in 2010.
  7. DL: Matt Kroul – Spent last season on the practice squad, should jump up this year.

Linebacker

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  1. ILB: David Harris – One of the best in the business, despite not getting the proper recognition.
  2. ILB: Bart Scott – The vocal leader of the defense.
  3. OLB: Calvin Pace – Poised for a double digit sack season.
  4. OLB: Bryan Thomas – The first and second down linebacker.
  5. OLB: Jason Taylor – Brought in to provide a pass rush.
  6. ILB: Lance Laury – Brought in for his special teams ability.
  7. OLB: Jamaal Westerman – Impressive rookie season for the UDFA and he can also play inside.
  8. ILB: Kenwin Cummings – Coaches have raved about him this off-season.
  9. OLB: Kevin Basped – His athleticism and long term potential grab him a roster spot.

Cornerback

  1. Darrelle Revis – Pay The Man.
  2. Antonio Cromartie – Alcrotraz joins Revis Island.
  3. Kyle Wilson – The Jets first round pick.
  4. Dwight Lowery – Could also see some time at safety.
  5. Marquice Cole – Looker for a bigger role on special teams and defense than in 2009.
  6. Drew Coleman – Hopefully he is safely inactive in most games.

Safety

  1. Jim Leonhard – Solid and steady.
  2. Brodney Pool – New addition to replace Mrs. Rhodes
  3. Eric Smith – Will be used all over the place by Rex Ryan off the bench.
  4. James Ihedigbo – Good role player who is often used on blitzes.
  5. Donovan Warren – I am guessing Rex Ryan’s love of defensive backs will lead him to keep UDFA Warren, who was a corner in college but will now play safety.

Special Teams

  1. K: Nick Folk – Let’s hope he can find what made him an All-Pro in the past.
  2. P: Steve Weatherford – Nobody runs a fake punt better than big #9.

Notes: The last three I put on the roster were Drew Coleman, Donovan Warren, and Kevin Basped. I am thinking the Jets will decide they can survive with four active receivers in weeks 1 – 4. However, if they do keep an extra receiver over one of the defensive players I selected, I think it would be Danny Woodhead or Aundrae Allison. I wasn’t hesitant about the 11 defensive backs because of  Ryan’s professed love of collecting them for his roster.

New Turn On The Jets TV – “Take Over”

Post-Draft AFC Power Poll

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First a few updates:

1. What a let down from the Heat only taking one game from the Celtics…all the more reason for D-Wade to throw on the blue and orange in New York next year. Even the Knicks have more help for him than the Heat did this past year, did you see who Wade was trying to win with last night? Their starter with the second most points was Carlos Arroyo with a whopping 8…Carlos Arroyo. Well at least we get to watch LeBron steamroll the Celtics out of the playoffs now. How about those Milwaukee Bucks by the way? How the hell did the Knicks pass on Brandon Jennings?

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

3. Kerry Rhodes…Jay Feely…Alan Faneca…The Cardinals are turning into the NFC Jets, which is better than being the Minor League Jets aka the 2009 Cleveland Browns.

Post-Draft AFC Power Poll

It was feeling like that time to put together another power poll, especially with the draft over and most major transactions taken care of. Most teams are ready to head into the 2010 season with their roster constructed the way it is today. Hopefully, I won’t be looking back in January and see the 12-16 teams in this poll still playing.

Tier 1 – The Favorites – The division favorites who should be jockeying for a first round bye. All these teams should have a double digit win total and potentially be in the 11-5 to 13-3 range.

1. Indianapolis Colts – They were basically undefeated last year during the regular season and reached the Super Bowl where they lost a tight game to the Saints. They are number one until somebody knocks them off and as long as Peyton Manning continues to be an absolute beast behind center. I don’t care about the rest of their roster, Manning makes them the team to beat.

Photobucket2. New York Jets – Yes, the AFC’s runner up last year stays in the number two spot. They were already going to be better this year because of Mark Sanchez’s continued development and the defense getting more comfortable in Rex Ryan’s scheme and that was before they added Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, Brodney Pool, Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes, and Kyle Wilson.

3. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens had a good run last year despite having a weak receiving core and Joe Flacco struggling down the stretch. Now they have added Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth at receiver and Flacco should be improved. Beyond that, they just stole Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody in the second round of the draft to add to their defense.

4. San Diego Chargers – They are still loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and play in a crappy division. If they can’t go 5-1 in the AFC West than shame on them.

Tier 2 – The Contenders – The teams who should battle for a division title and be anywhere from around .500 to 10-6/11-5.

5. Cincinnati Bengals – Most people seem to think the Bengals are going to struggle this season but I am not sure why. They added a legit number two receiver in Antonio Bryant, drafted a quality pass catching tight end in Jermaine Gresham, and still should be solid on defense and running the football.

6. New England Patriots – They didn’t do much in free agency but had a pretty good overall draft. Brady and Belicheat will keep them competitive, and of course the referees will always be there to help them with roughing the passer penalties.

7. Houston Texans – Everybody loves them every year and every year they go 8-8 (okay, they went 9-7 last year but you get the point). They are a talented team but when will they win a big game?

8. Miami Dolphins – Brandon Marshall was a much needed addition to their offense, while Karlos Dansby and Jared Odrick will improve their defense. Even though I have the Patriots ranked higher, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Dolphins be the primary challenge to the Jets for a division title.

Tier 3 – The Question Marks – Teams with major questions surrounding them who could go anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers – Outside of their starting quarterback being suspended six games and trading away their best receiver for nothing, they had a pretty good off-season.

10. Tennessee Titans – Vince Young is always a question mark and now they have to deal with Chris Johnson holding out. However, they could be dangerous next year if Young gets rolling, especially if Kenny Britt continues to develop into a legit number one receiver.

11. Denver Broncos – I am not sure if they have improved at all this off-season. Yet, they are in a crappy division so they could hover around .500 again.

12. Jacksonville Jaguars – They added some pieces on defense but I am not sure how far David Garrard can carry them. Beyond that, they are in a tough division.

13. Oakland Raiders – Yes, the Raiders. Keep in mind they were 5-11 last year with a defensive tackle playing quarterback the majority of the time. With Jason Campbell under center, they  might actually get somewhat near .500.

Tier 4 – The Basement Dwellers – Teams who shouldn’t be planning on playing meaningful games in December next year.

14. Cleveland Browns – They had a good off-season so far and improved on both sides of the ball but how is that offense going to score points? Nobody is worried about Jake Delhomme throwing to Chansi Stuckey.

15. Kansas City Chiefs – Anytime you give Matt Cassel that much money, you are probably going to struggle for a few seasons.

16. Buffalo Bills – Trent Edwards vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Brian Brohm…with no offensive line…sorry Buffalo.

Yes, We Are Pretty Good At Corner

Final TOJ NFL Rankings & Other Thoughts on Regular Season/Jets vs. Bengals

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First a few updates:

Note: This terrific picture above was created by JetsFan_MD and posted on www.jetsinsider.com. Considering my two favorite things in the world are the Jets and the TV show LOST…this is about as good as it gets for me.

1. Rex Ryan didn’t sound too confident about David Harris practicing this week with his sprained ankle. He may end up being a game time decision. Ryan Fowler would step in, although he had a head injury apparently so he could be replaced by Kenwin Cummings…ut-oh.

2. Ryan didn’t say anything else too notable in his press conference. He was pretty low key and respectful of the Bengals, which is the right approach to take. However, he did affirm that the Jets goal is to make the Super Bowl and that they aren’t just happy to be in the playoffs.

3. Not too much love from Mike Francesa on WFAN today, who didn’t give the Jets much credit for last night. He did say he thought they had a decent shot to win on Saturday but he seemed more anxious to talk about Jason Bay or John Mara…you have to love how salty Giants fans are today.

4. Yes, of course there will be a playoff edition of TOJ TV coming this week. I am also trying to set up a question exchange with the Bengals FanBall blogger.

5. In case you are curious, I have insane amounts of free time on my hands this week since I am on winter break and all my friends work full time (you know because they enjoy having money, unlike me who would rather accumulate student loan debt), so yes this web-site and the facebook page will be updated so much that you will be fully convinced I have no life…oh well.

Final TOJ NFL Rankings & Other Thoughts on Regular Season/Wild-Card Weekend

Long title, right? Now, I am not one to pat myself on the back but check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/2009-nfl-predictions/):

  • I picked 5 out of 6 AFC playoff teams right, my only miss was on the Bengals winning the North (I picked Pittsburgh). My wild-card picks? Jets and Ravens.
  • I picked the Dolphins (7-9), Titans (8-8), Browns (5-11), and Jacksonville (7-9) record correctly and missed by one game on Denver, Buffalo, Chiefs, and Chargers.
  • I picked 4 out of 6 NFC playoff teams right, my only misses were on the Saints (yikes) and Cowboys. I had the G-Men (ha) and Falcons in the playoffs.
  • I picked the Cardinals (10-6) record correctly and missed by one game on the Eagles, Packers, Bears, and Lions.
  • Just for reference I picked a San Diego/Philly Super Bowl.

Just call me young Nostradamus. Better pay attention to my playoff picks.

And then check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/40-predictions-for-2009-new-york-jets-season/) and see how many Jets specific things I missed including gems on Mark Sanchez’s stats, Lito Sheppard’s INT total, Vernon Gholston’s sack total, and plenty more.

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Final TOJ NFL Rankings

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (14-2) Going into the playoffs on a 2 game losing streak (by their backups).
  2. San Diego Chargers (13-3) Going into the playoffs on a 11 game winning streak…watch out.
  3. New Orleans Saints (13-3) Going into playoffs on a 3 game losing streak…ut oh.
  4. Minnesota Vikings (12-4) You can bet I will be rooting against them.
  5. Dallas Cowboys (11-5) Need a playoff win in the worst way.
  6. Green Bay Packers (11-5) Very dangerous team.
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) They are better than they showed last week.
  8. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) Risky to sleep on them after last year.
  9. New England Patriots (10-6) Too bad about Wes Welker’s injury (and I am being serious, no matter how much I hate him and New England you never want to see anyone get hurt, especially somebody as good as him).
  10. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) Well at least they are going in with some momentum, right?
  11. Baltimore Ravens (9-7) They can run and play defense, which  means they are dangerous.
  12. New York Jets (9-7) They can run and play defense better than anybody in the NFL, which means they are dangerous.
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7) Too little, too late for the defending champs.
  14. Houston Texans (9-7) They can thank Kris Brown for missing the playoffs.
  15. Tennessee Titans (8-8) 8-2 over their last 10 games.
  16. Atlanta Falcons (9-7) Two straight winning seasons for the dirty birds.
  17. Miami Dolphins (7-9) Have fun sitting at home.
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) Not a bad year for a young team.
  19. Denver Broncos (8-8) They should be embarrassed.
  20. Carolina Panthers (8-8) Strong finish with Matt Moore at QB.
  21. New York Giants (8-8) Embarrassed themselves the past two weeks and final 11 games for that matter.
  22. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) Only .500 because they get to play the Seahawks or Rams 4 games a year.
  23. Chicago Bears (7-9) They felt worse than 7-9. Jay Cutler stunk the joint up.
  24. Cleveland Browns (5-11) Finished the season on a 4 game winning streak…go Mangini.
  25. Oakland Raiders (5-11) All they do is beat playoff teams…and lose to everyone else.
  26. Buffalo Bills (6-10) Consistently mediocre.
  27. Washington Redskins (4-12) And so ends the Jim Zorn era.
  28. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12) I guess Matt Cassell isn’t a franchise quarterback.
  29. Seattle Seahawks (5-11) The most irrelevant team in the NFL this year.
  30. Tampa Bay Bucs (3-13) Showed some fight occasionally.
  31. Detroit Lions (2-14) A two game improvement from last year.
  32. St. Louis Rams (1-15) Well then…

Some final Regular Season Observations

PhotobucketDo you think Jim Zorn just had Bruce Springsteen playing into his headset during the second half of the season?…I know the Giants fired their defensive coordinator today but when you allowed 40+ points every week, the problem goes beyond the coaching…Denver was 8-4 the past two years and both times lost out to miss the playoffs, cough cough…At least Jason Taylor can now get an early jump on next season of Dancing With the Stars…The 49ers are Texans are between 7-9 and 9-7 every year and then picked to make the jump by all the experts for the following season, only they just go 8-8 again and miss the playoffs, I look forward to this repeating again next year…My favorite non-Jets regular season games – Steelers vs. Titans opening night, Colts vs. Patriots on Sunday night, Saints vs. Patriots on Monday night, Dallas vs. Giants on Sunday night in week two, Saints vs. Redskins, Denver vs. Patriots, Ravens vs. Chargers, Titans vs. Texans on Monday night, Titans vs. Cardinals.

Bye Bye Miami