Depressing New York Jets Statistics

TOJ with a collection of depressing New York Jets statistics

The most depressing statistic of all for the New York Jets is of course their 5-5 record. I give them passes for losses in Baltimore and New England because those are both quality, playoff teams. They were also shorthanded in Baltimore without Nick Mangold. Beyond that, the other three losses were complete embarrassments, particularly the past two.

However, when you look at their current stat sheet, a few things jump off the page…in a bad way.

Shonn Greene – 573 yards in 10 games. I am sorry but 57 yards a game isn’t lead back production. He is on pace to finish with 915 yards and 4 touchdowns with under 4 yards per carry. Greene has been better as of late until his injury in Denver but he needs a strong finish or the Jets may have to look elsewhere for their number one back.

Santonio Holmes – 472 receiving yards…similarly to Greene, 42 yards a game isn’t cutting it for a number one receiver. Some of that blame falls on Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer but not all of it. If I would have told you before the year that Victor Cruz would be more of a big play threat than Holmes, production-wise, wouldn’t that have made you sick?

Dustin Keller – He hasn’t caught a touchdown since week 2. This is a bizarre ongoing trend with Keller who always starts off the season with high touchdown production and then completely falls off a cliff.

Calvin Pace – The Jets paid him like an elite pass rusher and he is proving not to be one. He has 4 sacks in 10 games.

Rushing Yards – 96.6 yards a game, which is good for 26th in the league.

Opponent Rushing Yards – 116.9 yards a game, which is good for 17th in the league. Isn’t this team supposed to be physical?

New York Jets Defense Needs Immediate Improvement

TOJ on the immediate improvement needed from the New York Jets defense if they are going to contend this season

The New York Jets defense, Rex Ryan’s pride and joy, has been maddeningly inconsistent this season. They dominated in the second half against San Diego, the entire Buffalo game, and then for the first 29 minutes of the New England game. Since then they were embarrassed on a two minute drive, the entire second half against the Patriots, and after handling the Tim Tebow circus for 56 minutes, laid an egg on the final drive.

There are parts of this defense seriously lacking in athleticism and speed. Bart Scott has been a major liability all season and is consistently either missing a tackle, getting knocked down or moved out of place. Calvin Pace is supposed to be the team’s top pass rusher but has 4 sacks in 10 games, 2 of which came against Miami when Matt Moore was receiving his first start and they still hadn’t won a game yet. He doesn’t disrupt the passer enough. Between the two of them and the subpar platoon at Bryan Thomas’ old spot, it has been painful at times to watch the Jets linebackers lumbering around the field.

At safety, we all know what the problem is. Rex Ryan can try to cover for him all he wants in his press conferences but Eric Smith has been terrible this season. Blowing contain on Tim Tebow’s game winning touchdown provided a nice illustration of what he has brought to the defense this year. He can’t cover. He misses too many tackles for a guy supposed to be known for his run defense and has a knack for untimely penalties. Jim Leonhard is an average player at safety, who can’t afford to be complimented by a below average player.

These are all issues the Jets will have to coach around for the rest of the season. They managed to do it last year, but can they pull it off again? A healthy Brodney Pool wouldn’t hurt. Antonio Cromartie playing with some heart and more physicality (not dancing to avoid tackles) would help as well. There are positives on the defense, namely the development of the line, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and the growth of Kyle Wilson. Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine are good defensive minds but they need to push this unit to the next level immediately to support an increasingly incompetent offense.

The Jets have 12 upcoming quarters to feast on the fading Ryan Fitzpatrick, Rex Grossman, and Tyler Palko. Can they take advantage or will they disappoint us like they did in the final minutes of Thursday night?

Rex’s Pride and Joy Needs To Lead Way On Sunday

It is always about the defense. Ever since Rex Ryan has taken over, he really hasn’t made much of an effort to hide his biased love for that side of the football. The offense is his ugly stepchild who he will occasionally make an effort to give some affection to but in reality his pride and joy, his baby, is his defense.

It will be on that pride and joy to lead the way to a Jets victory Sunday. Starting with a Rex Ryan/Mike Pettine game plan that can slow down Tom Brady and his legion of wide receivers, scatbacks, and tight ends. Similar to the playoff game, it will take a mix of zone and heavy pressure combined with getting the most value out of the Jets top player on that side of the football, Darrelle Revis.

Revis needs to be everywhere on Sunday. I would guess he will spend the bulk of his time on Wes Welker, but there will be times to slide him over to either Deion Branch or one of the Patriots tight ends.  On the whole the Jets secondary needs to be physical, extremely physical. Welker, Deion Branch, and Chad Ochocinco need to be pushed around, jammed and drilled when they come over the middle.

It is all hands on deck in the secondary. Brodney Pool, Kyle Wilson, and Donald Stickland are going to spend the majority of the game on the field, not on the bench.  I don’t trust anybody outside of Revis to cover either Welker or Rob Gronkowski one on one, so the Jets better be ready to double whomever he isn’t on.

In the front seven, the Jets can’t go crazy sending 7 or 8 man blitzes because Brady will target away from Revis and dice up man coverage. Calvin Pace and newly acquired Aaron Maybin need to take advantage of their pass rush opportunities. Muhammad Wilkerson needs to build off last week and continue to get a push up front.

Brady can be susceptible to interceptions. He threw four against Buffalo a couple of weeks ago and we all remember how David Harris picked him off in the playoffs, along with the two times the Jets intercepted him in week 2 of the regular season last year. The Jets will need a turnover or two and to keep their offense reasonably in check. In both of their victories over New England last season, the Jets offense scored 28 points The Patriots averaged 17.5 points in those two games.

I would say if the Jets allow 24 points or less, they are giving the team a reasonable shot at a victory. Let’s hope Rex and his baby are up to the challenge.

Game Breakdown: Jets vs. Raiders

Offense: The Oakland Raiders are going to show plenty of man to man looks against the Jets defense and work to prevent them from running the football, which hasn’t been a difficult task so far against their offense. I don’t see any chance of Nick Mangold playing this week, so the Jets are going to need to protect rookie center Colin Baxter. The way to do this is to work the outside rushing attack and find ways to have the short passing game replace the running game. Instead of plunging Shonn Greene into the middle repeatedly for 1 and 2 yard gains, throw quick slants, hitches, and screens to Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress. The Jets should also look to get their screen game going with LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight out of the backfield.

Their collection of tight ends should also come in valuable this week, as Dustin Keller and Jeff Cumberland are reliable weapons in the short to intermediate passing game. The Jets are going to want to avoid longer drops for Mark Sanchez with Baxter at center and Wayne Hunter struggling at right tackle. It is time to work the 3 step passing game and again let those short passes replace the running game.

We have seen limited trickery from the Jets so far on offense, with Antonio Cromartie running a reverse last week being the only sign of it. I am still waiting for them to unleash Jeremy Kerley or break out a toss pass from LaDainian Tomlinson who has history of creating big plays when given the chance to throw the ball.

Defense: Stop Darren McFadden. Oakland’s offense begins and ends with McFadden’s production. If the Jets can slow him down rushing the football and put this game in Jason Campbell’s hands, they will be in very good shape. The Jets secondary is more than equipped to slow down the Raiders receivers and tight ends. McFadden is a threat out of the backfield as a receiver and I am sure Oakland will find a way to use him in the screen game. The Jets must tackle well in space and I wouldn’t be surprised if they went with a three safety look on many downs, getting Brodney Pool on the field to replace Bryan Thomas.

If McFadden isn’t creating big plays, Oakland will struggle heavily to get receivers open down the field which will feed into a pass rush that has been better than expected this season. Calvin Pace had three sacks back in 2009 when the Jets came to Oakland and is off to a strong start this year. Let’s hope he can continue to lead the way along with Bart Scott who already has more sacks this year than he had all of last season.

Special Teams: Nick Folk hasn’t missed a field goal yet this season and TJ Conley has been surprisingly solid. I wonder if will begin to see teams start kicking away from Antonio Cromartie, although with Sebastian Janikowski at kicker, he might not get any chances this week.

Final Thoughts On Jets/Jaguars

A few final thoughts on Jets/Jaguars…

Game MVP – It has to be Antonio Cromartie, who bounced back from being last week’s Goat in this article. Cromartie came up with 2 interceptions and 2 big kick returns, demonstrating his big play potential.

Game Goat – I will go with Wayne Hunter, who has given Jets fans no reason to believe the right tackle position is in good hands moving forward without Damien Woody.

Play of the Game – The first quarter touchdown strike from Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes, ending the team’s first quarter touchdown drought, showing Sanchez’s accuracy and that Holmes was healthy.

Trending Up

  • Dustin Keller – Back to back big games, as he finished with 101 yards and another touchdown.
  • Muhammad Wilkerson – First career NFL sack went for a safety.
  • Bart Scott – Second straight week with a sack. Scott looks poised for a big year.
  • Nick Folk – 3/3 on field goal attempts.

Trending Down

  • Nick Mangold – Will likely be out 3-4 games with a high ankle sprain.
  • Wayne Hunter – Badly in need of a steady performance against Oakland.
  • Derrick Mason – Still hasn’t found his niche in the offense.
  • Mark Sanchez – Two ugly interceptions. He must protect the football better.

1. Calvin Pace and Scott have been consistently getting pressure on the quarterback, which is limiting the need for the Jets to blitz as much. This is an encouraging trend moving forward. It will also help if Muhammad Wilkerson can continue to get after the quarterback.

2. Colin Baxter should be living at the Jets facility the next month. After Oakland, he has Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork headed his way. Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson need to step up to help him out.

3. Regardless of double teams and his mature attitude on the situation. The Jets must do a better job of getting Plaxico Burress involved in the offense, in the first half. Throw the guy a quick hitch or slant and let him get in the flow of the game.

TJ Rosenthal reviews his top 5 keys from the game

Jets vs. Jaguars: 12 Pack Of Predictions

Nothing is better than the cold weather and a 12 pack along with it. It feels like football outside today, which is a beautiful thing.

1. Joe McKnight will receive at least three touches on offense, as the Jets reward him for his game changing special teams play last week. What he does with those plays will determine how much of a role he starts to have moving forward. Also look for John Conner to play more reps this week and a catch a pass out in the flat. His hands are an underrated part of his game.

2. After this game, still nobody will know who the hell Jason Hill is.

3. Luke McCown is going to have a rough time against the Jets defense. He will throw for less than 175 yards, be sacked at least 2 times, and have at least one turnover.

4. Maurice Jones-Drew will have a solid day at the office but won’t rip off the big run that will kill the Jets. He will finish with 22 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown.

5. Mark Sanchez won’t turn the football over this week and will throw somewhere between 25 and 30 passes.

6. Santonio Holmes and Eric Smith are both questionable to play this Sunday. Both will suit up but will have a more limited role than usual. Look for more action from both Derrick Mason and Jeremy Kerley on offense and for more Brodney Pool on defense than last week.

7. Plaxico Burress will have another big game, finishing with over 70 yards receiving and another touchdown. He will also be more involved in the first half.

8. For the first time in just about forever, the Jets will score a first quarter touchdown.

9. Antonio Cromartie will have a much better performance than last week, recording an interception and ripping off a big kick return.

10. Shonn Greene will rush for less than 80 yards but will have an improved yards per carry from last week. LaDainian Tomlinson will have at least 4 receptions.

11. Calvin Pace will record a sack for the second straight week.

12. The New York Jets won’t pull away in this one until the fourth quarter but will ultimately win 24-13. Hello 2-0.

New York Jets: Pass Rush Needs To Shine Sunday Night

Rex Ryan prides himself on his defense, in particular he prides himself on the ability to confuse and get after the quarterback. On Sunday night, he will be facing a quarterback who missed the majority of last season with an injury and an offensive line starting two rookies and a center with one career NFL start.

If Ryan wants to stop hearing questions about his pass rush. If Calvin Pace wants to stop hearing about when he will finally break through and put up a double digit sack season. If Jamaal Westerman wants to answer the skepticism about him being the team’s designated pass rusher…Sunday is a hell of an opportunity to make a statement.

There is no excuse for the Jets to not constantly be in the face on Tony Romo and knocking him to the ground. Despite being a playmaker, Romo is prone to making a handful of poor decisions a game that can result in turnovers. The pass rush should be able to both sack him and force a few passes that should be intercepted.

The top two pass rushers on the team are supposed to be Pace and Westerman. This is the first time in two years Pace will be on the field week one and he can get a jump on a breakout season by turning in a big performance Sunday night. Westerman has proven nothing as a defensive player at this level and needs to make a few plays to demonstrate he has the ability to be a pass rush specialist on this defense. Ryan will also be sending his defensive backs at the quarterback as usual, so players like Kyle Wilson, Donald Strickland, and Eric Smith need to take advantage of their blitzes.

A great defense takes advantage of an offensive line with such a lack of experience. Let’s see if the Jets will take a first step towards being that great defense this year.

New York Jets: Linebackers Need to Make Plays

The New York Jets have a solid, veteran group of starting linebackers. Calvin Pace, David Harris, Bart Scott, and Bryan Thomas are now entering their third year together as the 4 in Rex Ryan’s 3-4, and while the group has been instrumental in the defense’s success the past two years, it would be nice to see them increase their playmaking ability in 2011.

Scott and Thomas have roles that are more conducive to doing the dirty work and making plays that don’t always show up on the stat sheet, so it is more on Pace and Harris to come up with the game changing plays.

Pace was signed to a monster contract before the 2008 season and has been productive, but still hasn’t put together that one big season for the Jets. The past two years he has missed the first four games, once because of a suspension and once because of a foot injury. On the current depth chart, he is the guy most likely to pull in double digit sacks and now needs to put together a full 16 game season where he produces like he is being paid.

Harris is now one of the highest paid linebackers in the NFL, and after playing at an All-Pro/Pro-Bowl level in 2009, took a minor step back in 2010, coming up with less tackles, sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles. Rex Ryan’s scheme is designed to free Harris up to make plays and he needs to take advantage of that. There is no reason he shouldn’t be able to match his 2009 production (127 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 INTs) on a consistent basis.

Even though backup linebackers like Josh Mauga have shown potential in the pre-season, it is especially important that this group stays healthy this year. The depth behind them is extremely young and inexperienced. A full, healthy season from all of them with a bump in plays made from Pace and Harris could propel the Jets back to being the NFL’s number one defense.

New York Jets: Roster Just About Done?

The New York Jets appear to be done making major moves to their 2011-2012 roster. Unless there is a major injury or surprising turn of events, the week one staters/key reserves are already in place.

On offense, improvement will be found by young players taking the necessary next step in their development, most notably quarterback Mark Sanchez who now enters his third year. He has clearly established himself as the unquestioned leader of the offense but now must find a higher level of consistency and accuracy on the field. A great season from Sanchez is going to mean the Jets offense will improve, regardless of the turnover at wide receiver.

Shonn Greene and Dustin Keller are two other players who need to fully realize their potential. Similar to Sanchez, Greene is also entering his third year. He failed to become the lead back the Jets drafted him to be last year but now with LaDainian Tomlinson a year older must become the workhorse to lead the “Ground and Pound.” We have seen what Greene is capable of when he gets going and if he can consistently receive 18-22 carries each week, there is no reason he can’t be a 1200 yard back.

We have heard about Dustin Keller’s potential since the day he was drafted, yet have never seen him put together a full season of being consistently productive. With Tom Moore now helping out on offense and the flux at the wide receiver position, Keller needs to become the Dallas Clark type weapon he is capable of being. He should develop into Sanchez’s security blanket and needs to become a bigger factor near the red-zone.

A higher level of productivity from Sanchez, Greene, and Keller will allow Plaxico Burress more time to get acclimated to the NFL again and put less pressure on Derrick Mason as he picks up the intricacies of playing slot receiver in the Jets offense. There is also the hope that Joe McKnight can become another weapon out of the backfield and promising rookie Jeremy Kerley can offer a few big plays at wide receiver.

On defense, the turnover hasn’t been significant. The biggest question mark is on the defensive line where first round pick Muhammad Wilkerson will immediately step into the starting line-up to replace Shaun Ellis.

Yes, I think the Jets did an awful job by letting Ellis walk to the New England Patriots and would like to see them bring back Trevor Pryce as a veteran mentor to Wilkerson. However, it doesn’t appear that is going to happen so Wilkerson must quickly become a key part of a largely no name and somewhat inexperienced defensive line rotation along with third round pick Kenrick Ellis, Ropati Pitoitua, and Marcus Dixon. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito are quality blue-collar players who can lead up front and should help keep the Jets stingy against the run.

At linebacker, it is about time for Calvin Pace to give the Jets a 16 game season and become a 10 sack player. There is no excuse for him not to be in this scheme with his talent level. A contribution from Jamaal Westerman to the pass rush would be nice but Pace is still the team’s pass rusher and needs to produce like it.

In the secondary, Kyle Wilson will have the chance to grab the nickel back role and hopefully develop into the playmaker Drew Coleman was last year. If he can’t, Donald Strickland and maybe Marquice Cole provide good insurance.

On most teams you would be concerned about the turnover on special teams the Jets have seen this off-season, yet with Mike Westhoff leading the way, it is hard to see them not being one the league’s better units again.

Here we are, one week out from the opening pre-season game. Do the Jets still look like a Super Bowl contender to you? They do to me, but only time will tell if the way Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets front office handled this off-season properly.

TOJ Roundtable: This Year’s Breakout Player?

TOJ Roundtable: where a collection of our writers offer a quick opinion on a pressing Jets question of the day.

Who will be this year’s breakout player on the New York Jets?

Joe Caporoso: I have faith in Rex Ryan finding ways to get after the quarterback so when he names a player his “Designated Pass Rusher” as he did yesterday with Jamaal Westerman, I tend think we could see a major leap in production from him this year. The Jets need Westerman to fill Jason Taylor’s role from last year and hopefully at least give them 5-7 sacks and create a few big plays. I think he steps up and becomes a valuable part of their defense after being a special teams player the past two seasons.

Rob Celletti: I don’t want to jinx him, but I’m going to go ahead and say Muhammad Wilkerson.  After the abject failure that was Vernon Gholston, I think the Jets would be very, very careful about speaking too highly of rookie front-7 players.  Considering the heaps of praise from Rex Ryan as well as the New York media in the first few days of camp, early returns on Wilkerson seem to be very good.  The Jets need to find ways other than all-out blitzes to generate a pass rush, so maybe Wilkerson will be the guy to help them achieve that.

TJ Rosenthal: Joe McKnight. We see him as the a Jamaal Charles type. If a game presents itself where there is ground to gain outside, he may break out and become a serious part of the rotation. Another breakout player, Calvin Pace, It’s time. The Jets have waited since he arrived to take over as a pass rushing threat. Now more than ever, the Jets could use one as the defense inches closer towards completion. Pace CAN have that breakout year, provided that he finally can stay healthy over a full season.

Chris Celletti: Is it possible to be one of the highest paid players in the league at your position and be eligible as a breakout player? Well, for Calvin Pace, it is now or never. He’s never had double digits in sacks in his career, and the only area the Jets are really lacking is consistently pressuring the quarterback. Pace needs to be the one doing so and I think (and hope) he will this year. I think in 2011 he finally reaches the double-digit sack plateau.