Chris Gross – Jets 19 Bills 10 – Don’t expect this game to be very pretty in terms of offensive fire power. Each of these teams are built on defense and running the ball. The Jets play their first real game in the brand new offensive system of Tony Sparano, while Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills take on a New York defense that seems poised to rank in the top three in the league. The Jets offense will struggle to score touchdowns until it fully gels within the new system, but stellar defensive and special teams play will allow them to win the field position battle and accumulate points through field goals, with a touchdown sprinkled in. Expect either a “TebowCat” TD run from inside the ten, or a play action pass from Sanchez to Keller.
Mike Donnelly – Ahh, the Buffalo Bills. There’s not a team I’d rather see the Jets opening against. After months and months of hearing about how wonderful Buffalo is going to be this year on both sides of the ball, while the Jets are expected to show up in their clown car and just throw in the towel, we get to see both teams actually prove it on the field. WIth or without Sione Po’uha, the Jets defense is going to smother the Bills. You know damn well Rex Ryan has a few special wrinkles saved up for Chan Gailey this week, and I don’t expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to be able to handle them. The Jets offense is NOT as bad as they’ve shown this preseason, and now that the games count you better believe they’re going to open up the playbook and actually, you know, score a touchdown. They’ll do just enough on offense and unleash the hounds on poor Fitzpatrick on defense as the game slowly turns into a rout, something like 27-10. Oh, and expect this guy who wears #24 for the Jets to put all the “Stevie Johnson owns Revis” garbage to rest, once and for all. My official prediction? I’ll let Clubber Lang handle this one –
TJ Rosenthal – Jets win 23-17 if: The Front four remains as physical and quick off the bell as they were against Carolina weeks back. This will allow the Jets to make the Bills duo of Jackson and Spiller unable to dictate terms. Sanchez will be efficient in this scenario while finding a way to make the big strike at some point. Tebow will move the chains and bring energy to Met Life with a few scintillating runs. Jets lose 27-13 if: The offense looks the way it did all preseason, tiring out a Jets D that had good intentions, but couldn’t rest properly. Eventually caving in after halftime.
Chris Celletti – This game is going to be absolutely excruciating for Jets fans. Not because I think they’ll lose, as you’ll see, but it’s not going to be pretty at all. I still don’t have a ton of confidence in this Jets’ offense. I expect Mark Sanchez to make some really nice throws, hit a few intermediate plays and try some deep throws, but I don’t expect a huge statistical output and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t throw a pick (and at what point that pick comes and the context of it is going to determine the circus factor in MetLife). Tim Tebow and the Wildcat will prove to be efficient, but since the Jets’ offensive line struggled in the preseason on standard running plays, I don’t see them opening up huge holes for Tebow to make a big play. I think both offenses will struggle, especially the Bills as I think the Jets’ D has a big day. The Jets do find a way to score a few touchdowns in a defense/field position battle, and the panic button goes away for at least a week. Jets 20, Bills 16
Rob Celletti– It’s not surprising that of the 16 games on the NFL Week 1 slate, Jets/Bills has the lowest over/under number (39, half a point lower than what promises to be an unwatchable clash between Minnesota and Jacksonville), and still, I’d take the under. It’s not going to be pretty, folks. The Jets will run the ball, and they’ll punt. Sanchez will take some sacks, and they’ll punt. But the defense will not only hold, but dominate, and the Jets offense will find a rhythm at some point. Look for the offense to score points when they start with a short field, via turnovers or an explosive special teams play. Mark Sanchez will get this team into the endzone twice, and the Jets will win the game 20-13. The statistics won’t be pretty, but 1-0 will be
Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 1 match-up against the Buffalo Bills
A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 1 match-up against the Buffalo Bills, make sure you check back later in the day for Mike Donnelly’s Stock Watch. Also if you are planning to head out in NYC tomorrow for the NFL opener or Sunday for Jets/Bills, we have partnered with Night Out to hook you up with a discount at Traffic East in Midtown.
1. It sounds like Sione Pouha is 50/50 to play this Sunday. Pouha is obviously one of the Jets top defenders and his presence would be missed. However, the team is well equipped to handle his absence this week for two main reasons. First off, because of Buffalo’s spread attack, the Jets will spend more time in their nickel and sub packages, which would equal less playing time for him anyway. Second, Kenrick Ellis has been terrific this pre-season and is a capable stop-gap for a week or two. It might be better to exercise caution with Pouha and make sure he is 100 percent for week 2 in Pittsburgh.
2. The Jets haven’t had this low of expectations since prior to the 2006 season, which is a good thing. In the past decade, they have performed better in seasons where the expectations weren’t high. Most “experts” are ignoring the reality of how strong the Jets defense will be and how soft their schedule is, particularly when it comes to playing inexperienced quarterbacks and quarterbacks Rex Ryan has had success against.
3. Speaking of quarterbacks Ryan has had success against, Ryan Fitzpatrick is 0-4 in his last 4 starts against Rex Ryan’s Jets with an average QB rating of 70.3.
4. A few more fun Buffalo stats against the Jets since Chan Gailey took over
Average margin of defeat – 18.75 points
Average points per game – 14 points
5. An overhyped storyline coming into this week will be Stevie Johnson’s “success” against Darrelle Revis, stemming from the “monster” 8 catch, 75 yard, 1 touchdown game he had against him last year. Of course most people neglect Revis was supposed to have underneath help on Johnson’s touchdown and that 8 catches for 75 yards wasn’t enough for a win that day. I am sure everybody in the Jets building is hoping Buffalo comes after Revis early and often with Johnson.
6. If Buffalo was smart, they’d make CJ Spiller a large part of their game plan on Sunday, particularly in the passing game. The more you can force the Jets linebackers into coverage, the better chance you have to move the football on their defense. Buffalo lacks a tight end who can exploit the middle of the field so Spiller is their best bet to take advantage of the softest spot of the Jets defense.
7. The best way to neutralize Mario Williams and Mark Anderson is for the Jets to establish Shonn Greene early and often, and then work the play action passing game off him. It doesn’t matter how highly touted rookie Stephon Gilmore is, he is still a rookie. If the Jets can get Santonio Holmes on him 1 on 1, they have to go after him.
8. You hate to say week 1 games are must wins but look at the Jets schedule, look at what everybody has been saying about Buffalo this off-season…this is a must win. The Jets can burst the early bubble on the Buffalo hype train, build momentum heading into a tough week two game on the road, get a crucial division win and avoid the embarrassment of feeding into pundits by losing in their own building to the supposed “up and coming” AFC East team.
Chris Gross on why the recent criticism of Aaron Maybin has been unwarranted
In an article published to BuffaloNews.com, columnist Tim Graham observed recent comments made by New York Jets OLB Aaron Maybin. Graham, like many fans and analysts out there, has taken a very negative view of what Maybin has said, declaring him as egotistical and “delusional.” However, when looking at Maybin’s thoughts and comments, with bias aside, there is certainly another way to interpret what the former first round draft choice was preaching. Let’s take a look at each quote while observing how people are interpreting it, along with an alternate translation.
“Me and that slow-down button don’t get along too well, but I’m learning.”
This quote was used as an example to demonstrate how Aaron Maybin’s ego has been refueled in New York. However, finishing the quote by saying “but I’m learning,” tells me something else. Maybin seemingly realizes that he plays completely out of control at times. Although he accumulated 6 sacks over 12 games last season, anyone who knows anything about rushing the passer can tell you that he probably would have reached double digits in sacks if he played with any type of control. Maybin’s high motor is certainly one of the positives to his game, however, getting to the quarterback is an art. Not only do you need to be extremely fast and explosive off of the line of scrimmage, but you also need to have the awareness to slow it down just at the right moment, or you will find yourself running right past the quarterback as he steps up into the pocket, something Maybin did countless times last season. So, while some wish to consider him egotistical for praising his own motor, it is actually a case of Maybin seemingly poking fun at himself, while making the clear assertion that he needs to be more under control to build on his success from last year.
“It is hard to say that you are satisfied, but I am saying this is probably the most fun I’ve had in a training camp in my career.”
Apparently this has been interpreted as Maybin taking a shot at the Bills. People have criticized this comment because Maybin has only been in about 2.5 training camps, if you take his rookie hold out and the fact that he was released twice last season into account. So, because he doesn’t quite have three full training camps under his belt, he isn’t allowed to have fun? Graham makes the argument that he speaks as if he has experience similar to that of Pro Football Hall of Famers.
I’m just not sure what to make of this. Yes, Maybin certainly does not have the most experience in the NFL. However, he simply declared, in comparison to his prior experience, this is the most fun he has had in camp during his short career. Putting any Jets or Bills bias aside, it is fair to say that the more significant role you have on the team, the more enjoying practice will be. This can be related to any field of work. Who do you think has more fun at ESPN every day, Adam Schefter or the night cleaning crew? Who has more fun at the Tonight Show, Jay Leno, or the people collecting tickets at the door? No disrespect to anyone, but work is simply more enjoyable when you have a prominent role in your company, regardless of what field you are in. Maybin finally has a significant role, in an elite defense mind you, so to him, it is exciting to get out there and work towards improving himself and the team every day.
As far as his statement declaring that it is hard to stay satisfied, there is no doubt that anyone associated with sports at any level knows that the best ones never are. Do you think Kobe Bryant is content with five NBA championships? Is Tom Brady happy with his three Super Bowls? Is LeBron James all set now that he has finally won a single Championship? If they were, what would be the point of playing the game? The great ones are never satisfied, regardless of the amount of success they have had. Peyton Manning would already be in discussion as the greatest Quarterback to ever play the game if he were to retire today, however he has worked himself back from a very serious neck injury to continue his career. I can assure you his motivation was not financially related. Any of these players are perfectly fine in that area. Instead, it is that competitive drive, the lifeblood that has propelled each of their careers since the day they began playing their respective sports. Is it a coincidence that players like Brett Favre, Jerry Rice, and Michael Jordan had such a difficult time walking away from the game?
For the most part, anyone who has made it to the professional level, possesses or has possessed that drive at some point during their careers. Maybin struggled early, but because of his hunger, worked himself to a notable season last year. Now, he has simply tasted how sweet personal success is, and he wants more. Maybin is hungry to bring further success not only to himself, but to his team as well. So, while he is being criticized for being cocky, it is simply a matter of the mindset of a professional athlete, the desire to be the best of the best, the need for success and nothing else. Some have it, others don’t, and that can be the difference between good and outstanding when it comes to sports. Maybin is being condemned for speaking about his drive, but he should instead be praised for his continued work ethic to build on his strong 2011.
The final point to be made is the hypocritical title of Graham’s article, since it was posted to a Bills biased news source. Graham entitled his article “Aaron Maybin pretends he has veteran perspective.”
Again, Graham, like everyone else, is entitled to their own opinion and interpretation of quotes. However, Graham claims that Maybin is “a tad delusional about his brief NFL tenure.” This is an interesting choice of words considering how most people closely associated with the Bills seem more than a tad delusional about their complete lack of success over the past two decades. The last time the Bills even appeared in the post season, they fell to Tennessee in what is today known as the Music City Miracle. Yet, Buffalo had a strong offseason and everyone is ready to crown them as the number two team in the division with an almost guaranteed wild card spot. To talk about another team or player having an undeserving sense of entitlement, is beyond hypocritical of anyone associated with Buffalo, considering the franchise’s extensive stretch of below average play.
Turn On The Jets compares the teams of the AFC East to the Corleone children from The Godfather
This is the time of the NFL season where it is important to do things like compare AFC East teams to the Corleone children in The Godfather. If you didn’t comprehend that first sentence, go watch all three movies…thank me…and then come back to read this article. The original inspiration for this article came from a group of Buffalo Bills fans referring to themselves as #BillsMafia on Twitter, where I couldn’t help but respond by calling them the Fredo of the AFC East as they promptly lost 8 of their last 9 games. Let’s fill out the rest of the family heading into the 2012 NFL season –
New England Patriots – Michael Corleone – The head of the family and the head of the division. Sneaky, ruthless and willing to do whatever it takes to maintain power. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady came out of nowhere to run the AFC East, just like Michael came out of nowhere to run the family. Belichick is notoriously paranoid about every piece of information surrounding his team, while Michael was paranoid enough to kill his own brother. We know that Belichick back-stabbed the Jets by resigning from their head coaching position and Michael was never shy to back-stab anybody on his rise to the top. The Patriots have the media (Peter King, Pro Football Talk) in their pocket just like the Corleone’s did under Michael’s leadership. Beyond that, couldn’t you see Belichick showing up at the Spygate hearings in the NFL office with a member of the family of anybody who was going to testify against him?
New York Jets – Sonny Corleone – Hotheaded and a little too outspoken for their own good at times. Rex and the Jets had a short reign at the top after knocking New England out of the playoffs in 2010 before coming crashing down from their brash words and actions in 2011. Sonny got hit on the causeway because Carlo gave him up. Who is Carlo? I am going with Brian Schottenheimer and his atrocious playcalling throughout the 2011 season, most notably dropping Mark Sanchez back over 60 times against the Giants pass rush in a game that all but ended their playoff hopes.
Buffalo Bills – Fredo Corleone – Always looking for respect when they have done nothing to deserve it. Every year they are hyped up as a contender but are then “stepped over” in the division by the Patriots and Jets. Buffalo can’t compete with their brothers, considering their combined record against the Pats and Jets since 2009 is 2-10. Yes, we hear everybody saying they can handle things in 2012 and will be a contender but we think they will be stepped over yet again.
Miami Dolphins – Connie Corleone – Not taken seriously. Connie is a floozy bouncing in and out relationships, while still being financially dependent on her brothers. The Dolphins put tarps over their seats, sell Jets apparel in their gift shop and will have David Garrard throwing passes to Chad Johnson Ochocinco Johnson this season. Hysterical…
Unfortunately, the New York Giants have to currently be Don Corleone since they are the reigning champs and their cloud hangs over the Patriots and Jets. Yes, it isn’t always being a Jets fan but “this is the business we have chosen”
Chris Gross goes Fact or False on the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, who are battling to be New England’s main competitor in the AFC East
With all of the hype surrounding the Buffalo Bills this offseason, particularly as the favorites to challenge the Patriots for the top of the AFC East this year, it seems as if many have forgotten that the Jets still play in the division. Since the Bills made the big splash this offseason in signing free agent defensive end Mario Williams, coupled with the Jets 8-8 season last year, most people have written New York off, and have proclaimed the Bills as the best team behind New England in the East. However, when comparing the Jets and the Bills, there are several things to consider before handing Buffalo two easy victories this season. This week’s New York Jets Fact Or False focuses on what to believe, and what not to believe, when it comes to the Jets vs. the Bills.
Fred Jackson will be an elite level RB this season.False.While Jackson surely experienced the greatest success of his career last season, the clock unfortunately struck midnight on his Cinderella story in week 11 when he suffered a fractured fibula against the Miami Dolphins. Now Jackson, on the wrong side of 30, will try to bounce back from the leg injury while battling father time, which just so happens to be horribly unkind to NFL Running Backs. In fact, last season there were only two backs that ranked in the top 30 in the NFL in rushing yards over the age of 30, Willis McGahee, who had just turned 30 in October of 2011, and Jackson. While it would certainly make for a nice story, it will be extremely difficult for Jackson to establish an elite level of production this season when considering all of these factors. Of course, crazier things in the NFL certainly have happened, however don’t forget that Jackson has had only just a single 1,000-yard season during his five years in the NFL. To expect him to surpass that less than a year removed from a broken leg at age 31 would be asinine.
Mark Sanchez is a better quarterback than Ryan Fitzpatrick.Fact.We can talk numbers all we want here, but there is only one number that matters in this debate: 4. That’s the number of playoff wins that Sanchez has over Fitzpatrick. In fact, Sanchez has won each of those games on the road against two good quarterbacks in Carson Palmer and Phillip Rivers, along with arguably the two greatest of all time in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. While Sanchez has yet to take the leap and lead his team to the Superbowl, Fitzpatrick has yet to take his team into the post season.
While staying on the topic of postseason success, consider this: Sanchez has done all of this at the ripe age of 25. With only one collegiate season as a full time starter, before his very young 3 years in the NFL, it would be completely ignorant to think his best years aren’t ahead of him. Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, started two seasons at Harvard before his 6 seasons in the league, and will turn 30 by midseason this year. Sure, the argument can be made that he is finally starting to blossom, but realistically Fitzpatrick has likely maxed his ceiling for success in the NFL. Not many players in this league turn the corner after the age of 30.
The Bills’ top offensive weapons are enough to overcome the Jets defense.False. I’m sure everyone associated with the Bills will argue this until the cows come home, and for good reason. Buffalo certainly has some talent on the offensive side of the ball. However, when matched up with the Jets, the Bills’ 4 best offensive weapons have not exactly performed at a level that would produce an abundance of victories. Here’s a look at how Jackson, RB CJ Spiller, WR Stevie Johnson, and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick have fared against Gang Green over the span of their careers in Buffalo.
Jackson – 77 carries, 268 yards, 1 Touchdown, 3.4 YPC. While Jackson certainly has elite talent level, his career high in yards against New York is a mere 82. The Jets have repeatedly shut down the efforts of Jackson over the five year span that he has been in the division, and in comparison with how he has played against the rest of the NFL, the argument could certainly be made that the Jets have his number.
Spiller – In Spiller’s four career games against the Jets, he has amassed the stat line of 26 carries for 76 yards and no touchdowns. This number could certainly be regarded as misleading due to the fact that Spiller hasn’t necessarily gotten a heavy workload during his four games against the Jets, however after the injury to Jackson last season, Spiller was forced to take over as the full time back in Buffalo. Against the Jets in week 12, Spiller was given a sizeable workload with 19 carries, but amassed just 55 yards for a 2.9 YPC average. These are not exactly numbers that will cause Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to circle number 28 on the scouting report.
Johnson – While all of the Revis haters will undoubtedly argue that Johnson owns DR, a notion which we have already dispelled at Turn On The Jets, his career numbers against New York tell the truth. Over a span of six career games, Johnson has 22 catches for 283 yards and 3 Touchdowns. Those numbers average out to 3.7 receptions for 37 yards and .5 Touchdowns per game. Considering Johnson is Buffalo’s primary passing option, it is fair to assume that he will not be carrying the Bills to any victories over New York in the near future.
Fitzpatrick – One thing that cannot be denied about Fitzpatrick is that his most recent game against the Jets was easily his most successful. During their 2011 week 12 matchup, Fitz threw for 264 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. However, when looking a bit deeper, Fitzpatrick has struggled against the Jets more often than not. Since becoming a Bill in 2009, Fitzpatrick has thrown a total of 145 passes, while completing just 72 of them, resulting in a completion percentage of 49.6. To gauge what a good completion percentage in the NFL is, consider this: Blaine Gabbert completed 50.8% of his passes last season. While it could certainly be said that Fitzpatrick is finally starting to get comfortable against the Jets after playing them for three years, a similar argument could be made that he took advantage of the Jets poor defensive effort that day, causing his awful 49.6 career completion percentage against New York to actually be inflated. Most people would presumably take the latter.
Rex Ryan is a better Coach than Chan Gailey.Fact.This is one that surely is not up for argument. Gailey is 28-36 as an NFL Head Coach, while Ryan is 28-20. Gailey is 0-2 in the post season, while Rex is 4-2. Ryan’s biggest coaching accomplishment is winning a Super Bowl as the Defensive Line Coach for the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. Gailey’s greatest coaching accomplishment is winning a Division II NCAA National Championship in 1984 as the Head Coach of Troy. What else is there to debate?
Mario Williams will dominate the Jets in every contest.False. Based on his ability alone, it is certainly easy to assume that Williams is going to come into the AFC East and wreak havoc across the division. If healthy, Williams will undoubtedly have a great impact not only on the Bills, but against everyone he lines up against. Williams has played against the Jets just twice in his career, getting to Sanchez twice, both coming in their most recent matchup in 2010. However, Williams has never beaten Gang Green in his career, and when observing his surrounding talent in Houston, it is seemingly much better than what he has joined in Buffalo. Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans, two All-Pros, each played in both of Williams’ matchups against the Jets. The proclaimed “Super Mario” now joins a Buffalo defense that has just one former All-Pro in Shawn Merriman, who hasn’t exactly been “Lights Out” as of late. While there is surely an abundance of young potential in Buffalo’s front seven, let’s not crown Williams the sack king just yet. He will likely face a great amount of double teams until that young talent proves itself worthy of respect.
The Bills are still the Fredo of the AFC East.Fact.This notion has been looked at time and time again here at Turn On The Jets, yet it never seems to get old. When observing both characters here, the Buffalo Bills and Fredo Corleone (The infamous brother of Michael Corleone in The Godfather films, most known for going against the family), the similarities are uncanny. Both want to be the top dog, but just don’t have what it takes to garner any real respect. Fredo was overlooked to take over as head of the Family after Sonny was shot at the causeway because no one truly believed he had it in him to be the Boss of the long respected Corleones. Similarly, no one truly believes the Bills have it in them to overtake both the Jets and Patriots as the Boss of the long respected AFC East Division. The Bills want to be good, they really do, but like Fredo, they have a long history of never having quite enough in them to succeed. When Buffalo tried to act like the big dogs, they lost 4 consecutive Super Bowls. When Fredo tried acting like the big dog…well we all know how that ended.
Mike Donnelly’s weekly TOJ Stock Watch is buying Jets West and selling on Evan Silva’s rankings
It is a bit of a dead period in the sports world right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of stuff going on that I can make jokes about and sell for profit in our fantasy land stock market. And after last week’s bear market where I sold any and all things, I’ll even recommend a few buys this week. Let’s dive in..
BUY: Jets West Camp – Last year with the lockout going on, it was harder for the Jets players to organize “Jets West” properly. Rookies couldn’t get their playbooks from the team or speak to coaches, and then there was the little issue of not even knowing who was going to be on the team. Santonio Holmes was a free agent, Braylon Edwards was in limbo, Jeremy Kerley was a rookie, and Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason were, well… Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason.
This year, Mark Sanchez got the band back together and just about all of the offensive skill position players are expected to be in attendance. Even bad guy Santonio Holmes is there and already causing major problems, as this Twitter photo he posted shows. By making that X with his chop sticks, he’s obviously conveying his hatred for his quarterback. Oh wait, sorry, I was doing my Mike Florio impression there and didn’t warn you, nevermind. Not only is Santonio there, but he’s going to be a major positive influence on players like Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. Despite what the media would have you believe Santonio is actually a very good teammate and teacher to the young wide receivers. Speaking of the media, this year Mark has decided to close the camp to the public, which is a great idea, since the mythical figure that is Tim Tebow will be there. People can make all the jokes they want, but this 5 day camp out in California is going to be a major positive.
BUY: Spending a Month at Cortland – And if you think the few day “Jets West” is going to be a major step in the right direction, just wait until the team heads off to Cortland for four weeks. Everyone underestimated just how much of an impact the lockout had last year, not just with the rule changes and having to cram 6 months worth of activity into about 6 weeks, but it precluded teams like the Jets from going away to training camp. On a team with so many big personalities (to put it kindly), that bonding time is extremely important. In 2009 and 2010, many players spoke of how important that time bunked up in dorm rooms with only each other to lean on was. Well, it’s back this year, and I suspect it’s going to help solve a lot of the turmoil that may be carried over from last season. Plus, Vladimir Ducasse will get a chance to defend his King Ugly crown. That’s very important, too.
SELL: Evan Silva ranking the Jets 27th in the NFL in Power Rankings – I was going to break this one into 2 different sells, because Evan Silva deserves his own. That guy is just the worst. The. Worst. He got his foot in the door of the NFL world by being the guy who copies what beat writers post on Twitter, and pasting it (usually incorrectly) onto RotoWorld.com, a fantasy football site. He’s probably the guy at the office who makes inappropriate Tim Tebow jokes repeatedly and creeps out all his co-workers. Somehow all of that qualified him to be an NFL analyst and post nonsense like this.
I’ve been over this before, but just for fun, let’s show Mr. Silva one more time why the Jets won’t finish as the 27th best team in the NFL:
Top 5 defense, arguably #1
Great backup QB, so an injury won’t cripple the season
Coming off a very disappointing year in which they still won 8 games
They dumped Brian Schottenheimer, major addition by subtraction there
Games vs. the awful Dolphins (twice), the hilariously overrated Bills (twice), the Colts, the Rams, the Seahawks, the Cardinals, the Titans, the Jaguars, and the Chargers at home in December. They’ve also got the Texans and 49ers at home, the declining Steelers on the road, and a hopeful split against the Patriots.
Not only will the Jets not finish in the bottom 6 teams of the NFL with 5 or fewer wins, they won’t even finish with an under .500 record. You’ve been put on notice, Silva. I’m going to call you on your crap all year, both Jets related and your horrible fantasy football advice.
And now, this week’s edition of “Why the Bills Hype is Wrong”…
SELL: The Bills – While many in the media are tripping over themselves to fit Ryan Fitzpatrick for his Super Bowl ring, I’d just like to remind everyone of a few things:
The 2011 Eagles – Signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a mega-deal, and also added Cullen Jenkins, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. They finished 8-8 in hilarious fashion, and they were FAR more talented than this Bills team.
The 2009 Redskins – Signed Albert Haynesworth for $100 and two years later he is out of the league, while the Redskins are a perennial laughingstock. In fact, the Redskins make huge splashes all the time and are the winners of the offseason. Then they’re the losers on the field. Take notes, Buffalo.
The Chargers, Cowboys, Redskins– Every year they are the offseason darlings and paper champions. How’s that working out?
The “Chic” Pick– Every year there’s a team that the media drools over heading into the season for various reasons–strong finish to the last season, great draft, big free agent, whatever it may be. And it NEVER works out. In 2010 it was the 49ers, last year it was the Rams and Cardinals. This year it’s obviously the Bills, despite the fact they lost 8 of their last 9 games, have Ryan Fitzpatrick as their QB, and just gave the largest contract to a defender in NFL history to a guy coming off serious surgery and whose team improved last year after he got injured. They’re more likely to win 6 games again than they are to win 10. (Add the Lions to the Chic Pick teams that are going to fall on their faces this year).
BUY: BIlly King and the Brooklyn Nets! – Just as I’ve been saying for weeks, there’s a method to Billy King’s madness and he’s going to build a powerhouse. Ok, I’ve actually been mocking him relentlessly and selling Billy King stock like it was the plague, but whatever. If the proposed Dwight Howard trade goes through, the Nets will officially be a powerhouse and I will apologize for all the terrible things I said about Bill along the way. I still think the Gerald Wallace contract is terrible and was unnecessary, but the way he brilliantly handled the Mirza Teletovic contract–not giving him the full mid-level exception–can not be overstated, and opened the door for a potential Howard trade. Now, if the Howard trade doesn’t go through, they’re still stuck fighting for a 5 seed every year and suddenly he doesn’t look so smart anymore. But I’m pulling for him.
SELL: Tony LaRussa not starting R.A. Dickey in the All-Star Game – In the B.S. move of the week, Tony LaRussa reminded everyone why we hated him all these years, and he decided to start Matt Cain over Dickey for strategic reasons in an ALL-STAR GAME, despite Dickey being better than Cain in literally EVERY SINGLE STATISTICAL CATEGORY. I can not stress enough how terrible I think this is. Dickey is 37-years-old and has been the story of baseball this year. He earned this. He deserve the start, especially since he likely won’t have another opportunity like this in his career. And I don’t want to hear about the “strategy”. To say it’s better to bring him and his knuckleball in during the middle innings to throw the opposing hitters off is dumb, because with all the substitutions, they likely won’t even be the same hitters who faced the fireballing Cain earlier.
A case against Buffalo being ranked as the second best team in the AFC East
An ongoing narrative this off-season in the NFL has been a love affair with the Buffalo Bills, who have been crowned by many as New England’s biggest threat in the AFC East and a sleeper Super Bowl contender. The consensus seems to be that the New York Jets window has closed and the Bills are ready to overtake them in the divisional standings. Where does the logic of this thinking come from?
Apparently Buffalo is going to have an elite defense this year despite finishing 26th in team defense last season. The reason? They signed Mario Williams and Mark Anderson to boost their defensive line and drafted corner Stephon Gilmore in the first round.
The problem is that Williams received the largest contract in NFL history for a defensive player despite having his tackles, sacks and forced fumbles decline every single year since 2008, while his missed games increased simultaneously.
2010 – 28 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble (missed 3 games due to injury)
2011 – 11 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble (missed 11 games due to injury)
Mark Anderson had 10 sacks last season for the New England Patriots but the red flag is that in the five seasons before he totaled 13.5 sacks. Kind of sounds like a one year Belichick wonder, no? Gilmore is a rookie and even Darrelle Revis, the best corner in the NFL didn’t have an enormous impact in his rookie season…certainly not enough to carry a defensive unit from 26th to the top five.
You can excuse my hesitance in crowning the Bills as an elite defense, especially when comparing them to the Jets. In case you were under some other misconception, the Jets finished 5th in the NFL in total defense last season and they added Yeremiah Bell, LaRon Landry, Quinton Coples in the first round and Demario Davis in the third round. They are also coached by Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine who have a bit more of an impressive defensive pedigree in the NFL than Dave Wannstedt, the Bills current defensive coordinator.
Logic says the Jets will have a better defense than the Buffalo Bills. So the Bills must have a clear advantage on offense, right? Funny enough, everybody talks about the questions the Jets have at quarterback while ignoring the glaring question mark Buffalo has. Here are two sets of stats –
Shouldn’t there be more questions about quarterback 1 than quarterback 2? Ryan Fitzpatrick’s career highlights are playing 3 good games in September last season and he is considered a sure thing at quarterback? I’ll take Mark Sanchez, who didn’t just out-perform Fitzpatrick statistically last season but beat him twice head to head and has four road playoff wins to boot.
Surrounding Fitzpatrick, Buffalo has an average group of receivers, and an offensive line that doesn’t have anybody near Nick Mangold or D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s caliber of talent, and a very good duo of running backs in Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller who have durability issues.
On the whole, everybody is falling in love with a team who lost 8 of their last 9 games last season, hasn’t had a winning record since 2004, went 1-5 against the AFC East last season and is led by a Head Coach who has never won a playoff game. Buffalo is 2-10 over the past two years in the division and they are supposed to pressure New England this season?
If you remove the anti-Sanchez/I hate Rex Ryan because he talks too much bias, there is no logical reason to pick Buffalo to finish ahead of the Jets this season. The Jets project to have a better defense, a better quarterback, a better offensive line, a better group of receivers and to play better in the division.
TOJ grades out the Jets last minute win over the Buffalo Bills
Quarterback (C) – Yes, a “C” for a 4 touchdown performance and a last minute comeback victory. The inaccuracy and inconsistency shown by Mark Sanchez was too much to ignore. Why does he continue to throw the dig route into triple coverage? Why isn’t he on the same page as the receivers? He is capable of playing much better than he did yesterday, as he showed glimpses of late in the fourth quarter.
Running Back (B+) – Shonn Greene averaged 6 yards per carry but still looks a little banged up. Joe McKnight did very well with limited touches and needs more work down the stretch, particularly in the screen game.
Wide Receiver (A) – Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes were the heroes yesterday, especially Burress who might have saved the team’s season with a ridiculous one-handed grab on the final drive. Holmes reminded us of how clutch he could be, with yet another game winning grab. Patrick Turner made a big catch on the final drive for a key first down.
Dustin Keller (A) – Dustin Keller can score touchdowns when given the opportunity…and no penalties on Matthew Mulligan, wow.
Offensive Line (A) – Zero sacks on Mark Sanchez and a good push in the running game. However, let’s keep in mind how weak Buffalo’s defensive front is. Washington will provide a much stiffer test.
Defensive Line (A) – Solid against the run as usual. Muhammad Wilkerson played one of his better games and Marcus Dixon did a nice job picking up the slack for an injured Mike DeVito.
Linebackers (C) – Zero defensive stats for Bart Scott and another lackluster performance from Calvin Pace. Fortunately, Aaron Maybin picked up the slack with two sacks. David Harris continued to add on to his great season, with 8 tackles and a sack.
Secondary (D) – The worst game of Darrelle Revis career, was allowing 75 yards and a touchdown, which is a testament to how good he has been. Antonio Cromartie continued to have a subpar season. Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard, and Brodney Pool were average at best.
Special Teams (C) – Another turnover…
Coaching (C) – The playcalling remains inconsistent and the team didn’t really play with the desperation of their season being on the line.
TOJ hopes the Jets will play with the necessary desperation this Sunday
Rex Ryan was 100 percent correct when he said the playoffs start now for the New York Jets. Fortunately for them their first round opponent is going to be the Buffalo Bills, a team who has been outscored 106-26 in their last three games. A team whose best player, running back Fred Jackson, won’t be playing this week. A team who has been besieged with injuries across the board and recently put two starters on IR, wide receiver Donald Jones and cornerback Terrence McGee. A team who is 1-4 on the road this season and is basically in a complete free fall.
Let’s not beat around the bush, it is an absolute joke if the New York Jets cannot win this football game. Sadly enough when my friend asked me this week if he should take the Jets in his survivor pool, I had to hesitate and not give an emphatic yes. How could I, after watching how this offense has played the past two weeks? The negative Jets fan inside of me is having visions of C.J. Spiller having his coming out party against the Jets defense and Mark Sanchez throwing three interceptions, with two returned for touchdowns.
In reality, we know the Jets are a better football team than the Buffalo by a substantial margin. We saw it a few weeks ago and the circumstances play more into the Jets favor this week than they did in the previous meeting. They are a better football team than the Denver Broncos and still found a way to lose but the desperation level on this team should be much higher this week, nevermind they have had 10 days to rest and prepare.
The Jets season is over if they lose this Sunday, some coaches and players season’s should also be over if they lose. Let’s hope they play with the necessary urgency and win in the fashion that they should.