NFL Free Agency Madness: Early Updates

NFL free agency has started fast and furious, particularly in the AFC East

As expected, NFL free agency is roaring out the gate, particularly in the AFC East where the New York Jets primary competitors are either making major moves or are on the cusp of making them. Mike Tannenbaum has been quiet so far. Let’s round up the early chatter. Make sure you are following Turn On The Jets on Twitter and Facebook.

– Miami and Chicago made the biggest splash right out of the gate with the Dolphins trading Brandon Marshall for two third round picks to the Bears, reuniting Marshall with Jay Cutler. Jets fans should be concerned that this move was a prerequisite to signing Peyton Manning who reportedly wanted no part of playing with Marshall. However, there is also the chance the Dolphins new coaching staff wanted a more reliable number one receiver, regardless of their QB. The move cleared over 5 million in cap space for the Dolphins.

– The Buffalo Bills are hosting visits with Mario Williams and Robert Meachem tonight. They are expected to make a monster offer to Williams, if he accepts, it should be a large kick in the rear end to the Jets to add a tackle immediately. Meachem is a speedy receiver who would provide a needed downfield threat for the Buffalo offense, while limiting the Jets options in free agency.

– New England is expected to pursue and eventually land Brandon Lloyd.

– The Jets have already inquired about Chad Henne but he is currently visiting Jacksonville, where he is expected to receive more money than the Jets are willing to offer. Early reports are making it sound like the Jets want Henne but the feeling isn’t mutual.

– In other free agency battles with Jacksonville, the Jets have expressed interest in Laurent Robinson but he is also meeting with the Jaguars. You would hope the Jets and Mark Sanchez’s reputation hasn’t fallen far enough that a receiver would pick Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars over them.

– Two linebacker options off the market: Tavares Gooden to San Francisco and Curtis Lofton to Tampa Bay. Gooden was a former Raven who could have fit in the Jets defense well.

– Pierre Garcon has signed with the Redskins.

– Jason Campbell is expected to sign with the Chicago Bears.

– The Jets will be competing with the Indianapolis Colts for outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.

Stay with us people…@TurnOnTheJets

Epitaph To The 2011 New York Jets Season

The New York Jets had a hell of a run this season, an emotional roller coaster that peeked when they hit the 2-0 mark, but came to an abrupt halt with a 34-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders. The loss ended a season that was supposed to see Rex Ryan’s team finally get over the hump to reach that elusive Super Bowl title, which has avoided the franchise since 1969. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case as the organization, fans, and local media members are forced to ponder where it went wrong before the season went down in flames in the Black Hole.

Joe Namath, the face of the franchise, has called out Rex Ryan and his lackadaisical preparation. The coach’s message clearly is falling on deaf ears in the locker room. The 2-1 record is a clear demonstration of that fact. Mark Sanchez, has regressed to a point that even Chad Henne is now considered more talented to him, after the division rival quarterback led his team to a brilliant 0-3 start. The defense is done. The running game is dead. Bury the Ground and Pound with the football they buried after the 45-3 New England loss last year and get ready for plenty of more games like that in the coming years.

This Jets team can’t compete in the stacked AFC anymore. In their own division, they are the third best team behind a Buffalo Bills team that hasn’t lost since the Jets beat them 38-7 in the final game of the 2010 regular season. Since then they have strung together a record breaking 3 game winning streak, winning in dominant fashion the past two weeks. The New England Patriots, who have lost 2 of the last 4 times they took the field in a game that matters, including once to the Jets in their own building to end their season, are also light years ahead of a bumbling Gang Green.

The season can’t go on. Nobody wants to suffer through watching the Jets lie down and take beatings the next four weeks. How could the Jets find a way past the Ravens who managed to get smacked around by a dominant Tennessee Titans team 9 days ago? Why bother to fly to New England, where the Jets haven’t won since the last time they went there? Miami owns the Jets and features Drew Brees Jr. aka Chad Henne under center. The San Diego Chargers never lose in the first half of the year and never lose to the Jets, except in 2009 when the Jets ended their season.

This team has never proven to have character since Rex Ryan has taken over. They don’t fight back. Remember in 2009, after they lost 6 of 7 to fall to 4-6 on the season. What happened? They gave up to finish with a 9-7 record, make the playoffs and win two road playoff games…pathetic.

How about last year after that brutal beat-down in New England, followed by an ugly loss to Miami? Remember how they went into Pittsburgh and won to basically clinch a playoff spot? They actually then had the audacity to end both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady’s season in their own buildings. No heart, no character, no fight. Those comeback victories in Denver, Detroit, Cleveland, and at home versus Houston in 2010…textbook same old Jets.

You would be a fool to think this team has the ability to get up off the mat after such a devastating week 3 regular season loss, where they were so thoroughly outplayed and manhandled that they looked like a Big East team. They only managed a 10 point lead at one point in the contest and were smashed around on a dropped kick return, a broken halfback option pass and reverse, and pass interference penalties.

Rex and the Jets had a nice run but all that is over now. Hand the crown over the Giants in New York. Let New England and Buffalo battle for the crown in the AFC East. Let the Ravens, Steelers, Chargers, Patriots, and Bills fight it out for a AFC Championship.

When it is over, it is over and after that Oakland loss…it is over.

Miami Dolphins Heading In Wrong Direction, Makes Us Smile

The AFC East will likely end up being a two team race this season between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. For the past couple of seasons the Miami Dolphins have hung around but ultimately flamed out late in the season to finish at 7-9. It would seem this upcoming year they are closer to competing with the Buffalo Bills to stay out of last place than they are at coming near the Patriots or Jets.

Am I aware that the Dolphins have beat the Jets, three out of their last four meetings? Yes, it is one of the ugliest stats of the Rex Ryan era but hey in 2009 Ted Ginn Jr was solely responsible for both Miami wins and the Jets improved to a split last year with him gone. With the direction the Dolphins are moving and the direction the Jets are moving, I am calling for the sweep this year.

What direction is it that Miami is moving in? They flirted with hiring Jim Harbaugh long enough to be their head coach that made it clear they didn’t really want Tony Sparano back, but were then forced to bring him back. They then went on to make the same mistake with the quarterback position by flirting with Kyle Orton long enough to make it clear they weren’t confident in Chad Henne being their quarterback, and now they are stuck with him, as Dolphins fans chant “We Want Orton” everyday at training camp. I suppose they could always turn to Matt Moore, one of the few worse quarterbacking options in the league than Henne.

I can’t say I don’t think Reggie Bush could be a valuable player for them but it sounds like are expecting an awful lot out of a specialty back coming off an injury. They can talk up rookie Daniel Thomas all they want but the bottom line is that he is a rookie who had no work with any of the coaches all off-season up until now.

In the end, this is a positive trend for the Jets to have Miami move closer to being a 5-11 Buffalo type team instead of a team who hovers around .500, especially if the Jets can help our collective sanity by stopping the losses to an inferior Miami team.

They are a team stuck in limbo with a coach they don’t really want or a quarterback they don’t really want, which isn’t how competitive teams are built.

The Sanchez vs. Henne Debate

A seemingly never ending “debate”, particularly on ESPN.com is the question of who has been better so far in their NFL career, Mark Sanchez or Chad Henne.

I am aware Chad Henne has thrown for more yards, has a higher completion percentage, and a higher quarterback rating. I am also aware of the following…

Mark Sanchez has more touchdown passes and five more rushing touchdowns.

Mark Sanchez’s regular season record as a starter is 29-12. Henne’s is 14-14 (counting a win over Tennessee last year when he came in after one series for an injured Chad Pennington).

In his second full year as a starter, Henne threw 3 more touchdowns than he did the previous year and 5 more interceptions. In his second full year as a starter, Sanchez threw 5 more touchdowns than he did the previous year, and 8 less interceptions.

Mark Sanchez has two winning seasons, two playoff appearances, and four playoff wins (all on the road). Chad Henne has two 7-9 seasons, zero playoff appearances and zero playoff wins.

Where I really put Sanchez above Henne, is performance in big games and big spots. For Sanchez, it isn’t hard to pick out the big games…

  • 139.4 QB Rating on the road in a wild-card victory over Cincinnati in 2009.
  • 93.3 QB Rating on the road in a AFC Championship Game loss to Indianapolis in 2009.
  • 127.3 QB Rating on the road in a AFC Divisional Game win over New England in 2010.
  • 102.2 QB Rating on the road in a AFC Championship Game loss to the Pittsburgh in 2010.

For Henne, it is a little more difficult. In 2009, Miami was 7-6 with a very good chance for the playoffs. Here is what Hennedid in their next two games, both losses…

  • 3 interceptions, 66.3 QB Rating in a loss to Tennessee.
  • 1 interception, 78.0 QB Rating in a loss to Houston.

Miami would also lose in week 17, to finish 7-9.

In 2010, the Dolphins were 4-3 and a had big mid-season game against the Ravens. Henne threw zero touchdowns and three interceptions before being benched the following week. A few weeks later, the Dolphins were 6-5, still in playoff contention and Henne was back under center. He threw three interceptions against Cleveland and the Dolphins lost again. Henne did beat the Jets the following week, despite going 5/18 for 55 yards and being sacked five times.

For the second year in a row, this left Miami at 7-6 and with a shot for the playoffs. Similar to 2009, they lost out to finish 7-9. In this stretch of games, Henne threw 2 touchdowns to 4 interceptions.

So yes, the past two years Henne’s record between weeks 15-17 is 0-6.

In 2010, Sanchez led the Jets to four 4th quarter comeback wins. In 2010, Henne led the Dolphins to zero fourth quarter comeback wins.

The bottom line is that Sanchez took a step forward in 2010, while Henne took a step back. Sanchez has proven himself to be a winner, who plays better in big spots. Henne hasn’t proven anything yet and has not consistently played better in big spots.

I don’t know if KC Joyner’s metrics account for any of that, but if you needed to win a big game…you are taking Mark Sanchez over Chad Henne every single time.

12 Pack Of Jets Off-Season Thoughts: Edition #8

The 12 pack is back with a very special Thursday edition, for the the very special reason that I will be in New Orleans for the weekend and don’t plan on having the laptop out on Bourbon Street tomorrow afternoon. However, the site will still be updated throughout the weekend, make sure you are following the Facebook and Twitter page.

1. My thoughts on the report about Mark Sanchez leading the league in dropped interceptions this past season…Yes, we all saw defensive backs dropping balls that could have been intercepted and yes we all know Sanchez needs to improve his accuracy (his completion percentage shows that). However, it is foolish to try to argue that he didn’t take major strides forward in his second year. The bottom line is that he threw 5 more touchdowns and 7 less interceptions, won two more games, was substantially more consistent and routinely clutch in big games. I will take Sanchez and his dropped interceptions any day over Chad Henne, who threw the ball so accurately at the other team’s defensive backs that only one “dropped” one all season.

2. I have harped on this all off-season and will continue to do so until he is  in a Jets jersey for 2011. This team needs to find a way to bring Antonio Cromartie back next year. When you play the type of aggressive man to man coverage the Jets do, you need a big time corner opposite Darrelle Revis, especially when you have a weak pass rush. Nnamdi Asomugha isn’t coming here and the Jets aren’t spending a first round pick on a corner. If you think Kyle Wilson, Dwight Lowery, or Drew Coleman can handle being a full time starter in this system right now, you need a head examination.

3. You have to be encouraged by the reports of the work Vladimir Ducasse is doing this off-season. Hopefully, he will grab the starting right tackle job by the throat this summer because if he can’t beat out Wayne Hunter, his long term future with the team will start to become fairly cloudy. Let’s hope Joe McKnight follows Ducasse’s lead these next few months.

4. If I had to guess today who the Jets will end up with in April’s draft, I would go with either Baylor’s Phil Taylor or Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson. Both defensive lineman have a good shot of being available at #30. I am also intrigued by potentially taking safety UCLA safety Rahim Moore, just because I am anxious to see Rex Ryan finally get a play-making safety here in New York.

5. “I’d rather beat the Patriots, than maybe go to heaven” — That’s why we love you Mike Westhoff.

6. Speaking of our friends up north, Randy Moss recently said he’d be interested in returning to the Patriots. Somehow, I don’t think they will be interested. Personally, if Braylon Edwards ends up leaving I wouldn’t mind if the Jets could get Moss on a cheap, one year deal to provide a vertical threat and some size at split end.

7. It is going to take more than the draft to improve the Jets defensive line depth. Let’s hope either Marcus Dixon, Ropati Pitoitua, or Matt Kroul can step up and become a quality rotation player this year, similar to how Mike DeVito did a couple of years back and eventually worked his way to being a starter.

8. Can we not forget the Jets need to address the backup quarterback position this off-season? Mark Brunell isn’t the answer and is better suited to being the #3. Clearly the coaching staff has no confidence in Kellen Clemens. It is either time to find somebody in free agency or draft a developmental backup to be a long term solution.

9. I am very anxious to see how Shonn Greene handles this season, which is really a make or break year for him as a lead back. It sounds like he will get the amount of carries necessary to show he can be a 1,200 yard type guy, let’s see if he can protect the football, stay healthy, and bring the consistency that is needed to put up those kind of numbers.

10. If you haven’t been able to tell, I am trying to be optimistic that an injunction will be ruled on April 6th and we will have football games this year.

11. As you know, we like to get off topic occasionally here — so here is wishing good luck to St. John’s in the NCAA tourney tonight and hoping the Knicks wake up sometime soon because they have looked like garbage the past week.

12. Weekend Video Clips – Assorted Highlight Tapes Edition

12 Pack of Jets Off-Season Thoughts – Edition #5

Over the hump – Are you surprised that in the slowest part of the NFL calendar year, Rex Ryan has managed to make two Super Bowl guarantees for the Jets in the past two weeks? I know I’m not. Rex is going to be Rex. The big talk, the confidence, the swagger…all of that isn’t going to stop anytime soon. He was a half away from the Super Bowl in 2009 and a series away from it last season. What is it going to take for the Jets to get over the hump?

It certainly wouldn’t hurt to win the division and get a home playoff game as a start. The Jets are going to need Mark Sanchez to keep improving, the defense to get younger and faster, and certain players on offense like Dustin Keller and Shonn Greene to take their game to the next level. I am scared of this team turning into the Philadelphia Eagles of the AFC. I can’t stomach any more Championship Game losses.

CSI – I have mixed feelings about Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum appearing on CSI: New York. It is nice they performed so well on Hard Knocks that they have made the step to standard cable. However, it was a bad omen when Eric Mangini appeared on a certain popular television show.

Mr. T – Considering this off-season is going to be unlike anything the NFL has seen in awhile, I am glad Mike Tannenbaum is steering the ship on the Jets personnel and salary cap decisions. The guy has always shown an ability to be creative and work around difficult situations. I don’t know when this CBA madness is going to be settled but I know the Jets will be prepared for whatever arises in the coming months.

#81 – An issue that is frequently being ignored when people talk about either Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes leaving or the importance of keeping them both, is how Dustin Keller is more than capable of picking up the production of whomever leaves the team. Don’t forget in the four games last season when Holmes was suspended, Keller had 19 receptions, 254 yards, and 5 touchdowns. This is a major reason I have argued for bringing Antonio Cromartie back before bringing both receivers back.

Rumors – There has been some chatter about both Vernon Gholston and Jason Taylor being released before March 4th. I don’t think any of us expect either back next year, so the sooner the better I suppose. The Jets still need to find a long term replacement for Bryan Thomas and a guy who can provide some type of consistent pass rush.

Better Every Day – As you have been able to see AJ has kicked off our NFL Draft coverage with an in-depth look at a couple of potential prospects for the Jets in the first round. If there are any specific prospects you would like to see covered, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at JCaporoso@gmail.com and we’ll see what we can do. Also another shout out is needed to Randy Yaws for designing our new banner, which is a major improvement over our old one (sorry, Fanball). Finally, I hope you are enjoying the occasional linkage to my work at SB Nation and Gunaxin, which steps outside the world of the Jets and NFL from time to time.

Winning Them Over – A player who wasn’t very popular with fans prior to the 2010 season but who they now seem to be desperately clinging to, is wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Despite his early season DUI, Edwards won the fan base over with his tough and consistent play throughout the entire year. His numbers don’t jump off the page but if you watched every Jets snap this year, you know how well he played. I hope Mike Tannenbaum can work magic and get him back on the team alongside Santonio Holmes.

Defensive Questions – Regardless of what their end of the year numbers were, it felt like the Jets defense took a step back in 2010. We saw what they were capable of against the Colts and Patriots in the playoffs but they need to play at that level more consistently. It is going to be up to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to continue to break their own tendencies and mix up the Jets defensive approach more frequently. Beyond that, Mike Tannenbaum needs to find a couple of players who can contribute immediately to the defense and players like Kyle Wilson need to grow up fast.

Easy Dealings – David Harris signed his franchise tender without any resistance as expected. He never complained about his contract last year and never made an issue of it during the season or in the past few weeks. I hope the Jets do the right thing and eventually give him the long term deal he deserves.

BT – Even though the Jets do need a long term replacement for him and more of a pass rush. Bryan Thomas did put together a pretty good overall year in 2010. He led the team in sacks with 6 and fits well in the scheme. He isn’t a flashy guy but don’t underestimate his value.

Holding My Breath – What is the over/under on number of days until the next scandal involving a Jets player or coach occurs?

Weekend Video Clips – Glad this isn’t our quarterback edition

12 Pack of Jets Off-Season Thoughts – Edition #3

The 12 pack is back with our third off-season edition, read it, comment on it, disagree with it, print it out and give it to your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day

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1. Early 2011 Procrastinating – The early talk on the 2011 season seems to place the New England Patriots as the favorite to come out of the AFC and make a Super Bowl appearance. I suppose this makes sense considering their collection of talented young players and all the off-season hardware collected by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  However, the Patriots have now lost three straight playoff games when they were considered heavy favorites, including two in a row at home where they were smacked around pretty badly. Also remember, the reality of them not having a good defense, at all. It may be better for the Jets if New England is the consensus favorite to win the AFC East, as you know Rex Ryan won’t hesitate to use it as motivation considering the Jets have beat the Patriots in two of their past three meetings.

2. AFC East Quarterbacking – We know Tom Brady and Mark Sanchez aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Yet, it will be interesting to see how the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills handle their quarterback situations this off-season. The Bills could be content with Ryan Fitzpatrick who played well for most of last year, however they are a franchise in desperate need of a shot in the arm so I wouldn’t be stunned if they went quarterback with their number three overall pick. Cam Newton would be very intriguing for them. Miami has to decide whether to stick with Chad Henne. Maybe they will draft another quarterback in the second round, considering how well that has worked out for them. Those debates about Sanchez and Henne last off-season certainly sound funny now. The primary difference between the two is that when the spot gets bigger, Sanchez plays better and Henne plays worse…oh and that whole, being a winner thing. Remember Henne hasn’t won a single game of any importance yet in his NFL career.

3. Assistant Scorn – In the past month, the Jets have denied defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman the chance to interview for the Oakland defensive coordinator position, Bill Callahan the chance to interview for the Tennessee offensive coordinator position, and offensive line coach Mike Devlin the chance to interview for a few undisclosed positions. You have to wonder if frustration will start to build among the staff members. Callahan could have received assurance that he will take over for Brian Schottenheimer after his contract expires next year and there could be a thought that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will get hired as a head coach after next season if the defense keeps playing well, and Thurman will take over.

4. Quick Hitters – Brandon Moore underwent successful hip surgery and is expected back for training camp, whenever that ends up being…Kicker Nick Novak was signed out of the UFL, where he won special team player of the year. It will be good to provide Nick Folk with a little competition, if the Jets decide to bring him back…Despite my dismissal of the Mark Sanchez’s off the field drama, the guy does need to remember who he is, where he plays, and use better judgment.

5. Maybe Next Time – It was a shame to see Curtis Martin not make it into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Martin handled it graciously as expected and mentioned the possibility of being inducted with Bill Parcells next year, which would be interesting considering their history together. It is only a matter of time for him, considering his qualifications.

6. Scary Stats – Mark Sanchez’s completion percentage was under 55 this year, for the second straight time in his NFL career…Dustin Keller scored five touchdowns in the Jets first four games, and didn’t score a single one after that…Jerricho Cotchery led the team in dropped passes this season…Shonn Greene only received more than 20 carries in one game this season.

7. TOJ Housekeeping – In the next week, we will be starting coverage of the 2011 NFL Draft with the assistance of a new writer…Remember to check out the new “TiqIq” widget on the right side of the page and the “Buy Tickets” page on the navigation bar for the best prices to local sporting events…we are still (and always) looking for more advertisers…TOJ is also still looking for assistance in designing a new banner for the site, e-mail me if you are interested…I hope everybody is enjoying TOJ’s contributions at SB Nation New York and Gunaxin…Finally, make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

8. Free Agent Talk – It looks like Cleveland is giving up on being the JV Jets by releasing Kenyon Coleman, Eric Barton, and David Bowens. They also released Shaun Rogers, which had some fans excited. However, Rogers has already visited Washington and there is talk Rob Ryan will go after him hard to join Dallas. I wouldn’t mind seeing Kenyon Coleman added back to the Jets defensive line rotation, as a depth player.

9. CBA – Not looking good so far…it is a scary thought to imagine next autumn without football. Beyond that, we can’t even enjoy the off-season the way we normally would because of all the negativity flowing around the negotiations. It would be a lie, if I said I knew anywhere near all the details of what is being discussed. Yet, everything I have heard or read, indicates the owners are being grossly selfish. Beyond that, it would be insanity to have an 18 game regular season. Did you see the type of injuries endured by the players this year?

10.  No to Ocho – Does anybody think it would be a good idea to target Chad Ochocinco, instead of focusing on getting the Jets own receivers back? Sorry Darrelle, I can’t agree with you on this one.

11. Franchise, Yes – Glad to hear the Jets are planning to use their franchise tag on David Harris, until they can negotiate a long term deal with him. It isn’t worth the risk of him hitting the market as a free agent, he is too important to their defense.

12. Random Video Clips – Enjoy your weekend

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 2: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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Time for a bounce back from both the Jets and TOJ, who had just an awful week with the 12 pack last Monday...

1. Shonn Greene is getting 20 carries this week, going over 100 yards, and scoring his second rushing touchdown of the season. It is December. It is time to let #23 lead the charge on offense, like he did during the Jets playoff run last year.

2. Mark Sanchez may have had a bad week against the Patriots, but Chad Henne is having a bad season. Sanchez has demonstrated so far in 2010, what the majority of football analysts didn’t expect to see, that he has a better future as a franchise quarterback than Henne does. Sanchez will decidedly outplay Henne, who will be holding a clipboard somewhere next year.

3. Brandon Marshall won’t have more than 40 yards receiving on Sunday. He got a pass from Revis Island in week 3, but he won’t as lucky this meti.

4. The players who will hurt the Jets defense will be Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, and Anthony Fasano, just like in week 3. All three are going to rack up yards, the key will be for the Jets defense to bend but not break.

5. Braylon Edwards will have a bounce back performance after a shaky outing on Monday night. He has killed the Dolphins in all three of the Jets match-ups with them, since he has been traded over. He will be getting his fourth touchdown in four games against Miami this Sunday.

6. Mark Sanchez won’t throw more than 25 passes. The Jets will have a more run heavy approach than normal this season.

7. The Jets coaching staff will finally relent and give Joe McKnight a few carries that aren’t in garbage time and he will also get a shot on punt or kick returns.

8. Santonio Holmes is ripping off a big punt return of 25 yards or more.

9. Dan Carpenter is going to make all his field goal attempts, while Nick Folk will miss yet another kick he should make. Fortunately, the Dolphins offense will frequently settle for field goals instead of converting in the red-zone.

10. The Jets defense is coming up with at least two turnovers and two sacks this week.

11. The Jets aren’t a clinching a playoff spot this week. Either San Diego or Jacksonville will find a way to win.

12. The Jets are going to win 20-16. The key differences in the game will be Miami constantly settling for field goals and Sanchez outplaying Henne.

Week 14 Picks, Lines from BetUS

  • Raiders (+4) vs. Jaguars
  • Bengals (+8.5) vs. Steelers
  • Patriots (-4.5) vs Bears
  • Browns (PK) vs Bills
  • Giants (-3) vs. Vikings
  • Packers (-7.5) vs. Lions
  • Falcons (-8) vs. Panthers
  • Bucs (-3) vs. Redskins
  • Rams (+8.5) vs. Saints
  • Seahawks (+5) vs. 49ers
  • Broncos (-4) vs. Cardinals
  • Eagles (-4.5) vs. Cowboys
  • Ravens (-3.5) vs. Texans

New York Jets: We Have Our Franchise QB, Standing Up For Sanchez

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It isn’t easy to find a consistent opinion on Mark Sanchez. Yet, for the most part you will find negative perceptions on his future as a franchise quarterback for the New York Jets. There are always questions surrounding his development, his demeanor, his set of physical skills. When there are discussions about young quarterbacks in the league, most analysts would rather take a Matthew Stafford or a Chad Henne for the next ten years than Sanchez.

The Sanchez/Henne debate was a popular one this off-season and from what I read, it was usually Henne who came out on top. Everybody loved his arm strength and overall set of physical tools. The Dolphins owner was already throwing out Dan Marino comparisons. Personally, I didn’t get it. What did Henne do last year to inspire so much confidence? His numbers weren’t impressive and more importantly when his team was 7-6 and in position to make a run for the playoffs, Miami went 0-3 and tanked out at 7-9, thanks in large part to Henne.

Nobody is saying Sanchez lit the world on fire in 2009. His regular season statistics were ugly. Yet, anybody who watched every snap he played last year knew the potential was there. His statistics were destroyed by a few horrific games but overall there were enough strong performances to be optimistic about the future. Then in the playoffs, Sanchez truly gave reason for hope by playing a great game on the road in the wild-card round, a strong fourth quarter in the divisional round, and maybe his best game of the year in the AFC Championship Game on the road.

How many rookie quarterbacks in recent years have won 2 road games in the playoffs?

In 2010, Sanchez has clearly demonstrated progress since his rookie campaign. He protects the football and is hitting the big play down the field with more frequency. Yes, his completion is still lower than you’d like to see but he has two come from behind wins in the 4th quarter already and most importantly has his team off to a 6-2 start.

I can’t define what the “it” factor is with quarterbacks that make them winners and keepers as franchise quarterbacks, but Sanchez has it. He has it because he plays better in bigger spots. He has it because he lived in the Jets training facility this off-season and organized a “Jets West” camp for his receivers. He has it because he has the emotion and swagger that fit Rex Ryan’s team. He has it because you can tell that football is the most important thing in his life and he genuinely wants to be a great player for this franchise.

Chad Henne can have all the arm strength in the world but he comes up small in big spots and doesn’t win football games as well as Mark Sanchez, which is why he is headed to the bench. The great deep ball quarterback in Henne has Brandon Marshall averaging 11.9 yards per catch, while Braylon Edwards is pulling in 18.1 yards per catch from Sanchez.

Sanchez may be inconsistent at times but don’t believe the BS for a second that the Jets can’t win a Super Bowl with him, this season. They were 20 minutes from winning one with him last year and he is already a much better player than he was in January. We have our quarterback of the future. Miami? Chad Henne can join John Beck in the category of failed attempts to find their quarterback of the future.

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Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: 12 Pack of Predictions

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First a few updates:

1. Jason Taylor and Nick Mangold both practiced today and are expected to start Sunday night. Mangold is playing with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and if he encounters too much, Rob Turner will be subbed in. Backup tackle Wayne Hunter won’t be making the trip, which means Vladimir Ducasse will be active for the first time in his NFL career and will be the extra tackle in the Jets jumbo package.

2. Wide receiver Patrick Turner has been moved to the active roster and will likely be a game captain, considering Rex Ryan’s love of making players game captains when they are facing their former teams. Offensive tackle Patrick Brown was waived in a corresponding move.

3. After hearing what Mike Francesa said this week about the Jets organization and how he treated Peter Schwartz…there is no other conclusion to reach except that he is a disrespectful, hypocritical, bitter individual who is lacking knowledge on major issues in the NFL. It is okay when the Giants start Kareem McKenzie in 2008 two days after a DUI. Francesa even let Tom Coughlin on his show to defend the decision. It is okay when the Dolphins don’t suspend Ronnie Brown for a DUI in March. Francesa even let Tony Sparano on his show this week and didn’t challenge him on the issue. It is okay for Francesa to question the character of Mike Tannenbaum, who was always respectful to him but not Bill Parcells who allowed Lawrence Taylor to be a coked up maniac, as long as it didn’t get in the way of the Giants winning. All I can advise Jets fans to do is enjoy how much every victory for Rex Ryan and crew will bother Francesa and inspire pathetic, twisted excuses from him. Keep hating Mike, the Jets are the number one story in this town right now, not your Giants (not even close), not even your Yankees. I just can’t wait until December when the Giants are out of playoff contention and the Jets are battling for a division title to hear how he divides up discussion time on the show, when nobody from the Jets organization will go near him for good reason.

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: 12 Pack of Predictions

1. I think the Jets will hold Braylon Edwards out the entire first quarter. After he is subbed in during the second quarter, he will do what he did to the Dolphins secondary last year. They simply don’t have somebody who can match up with him.

2. Miami is going to be focusing their coverage on Dustin Keller, which means Jerricho Cotchery needs to step up in a big way. Sanchez and him just missed on a few big plays last week, so hopefully they can get on the same page for Sunday night.

3. Shonn Greene will get more than the 15 carries he got last week, while LaDainian Tomlinson will be in the 14-16 total touches range.

4. Either Brad Smith or LaDainian Tomlinson will throw a pass tomorrow night.

5. The Jets will do something tricky on special teams. Mike Westhoff has had this game circled on his calendar after the way Miami embarrassed the Jets special team unit last year in their second meeting.

6. Antonio Cromartie will hold Brandon Marshall under 65 yards receiving. Kyle Wilson will play his best game as a pro, considering the drop in competition he is facing after the first two weeks.

7. Mark Sanchez won’t have the gaudy stat line he did from week two, but will put together an efficient, turnover free performance.

8. Even though he has struggled so far this season, Ricky Williams will have a few big plays, like he always does against the Jets.

9. If he frequently gets matched up with Drew Coleman or Dwight Lowery, Davone Bess will put together a strong performance in the slot.

10. Chad Henne will push the ball down the field more than he has so far this season, resulting in a few big plays but also a turnover or two.

11. Jason Taylor will have at least one sack. Nick Mangold is going to have to come out at some point because of pain in his shoulder, yet Rob Turner will hold his own.

12. The Jets are going to have a gut-check performance, playing without Darrelle Revis, Calvin Pace, Kris Jenkins and a banged up Nick Mangold, along with dealing with the Braylon Edwards drama. They will scratch out a hard fought, close victory, thanks to a trick play or two, along with a big turnover created by their defense. I am taking the Jets 17-13.

Other NFL Picks (Lines from BetUs)

  •  Titans (+3) vs. Giants
  • Bills (+16) vs. Patriots
  • Browns (+11.5) vs. Ravens
  • Steelers (-4.5) vs. Bucs
  • Bengals (-4.5) vs. Panthers
  • Falcons (+4) vs. Saints
  • Chiefs (+4.5) vs. 49ers
  • Lions (+10.5) vs. Vikings
  • Texans (-3) vs. Cowboys
  • Redskins (-4.5) vs. Rams
  • Eagles (-4.5) vs. Jaguars
  • Colts (-7) vs. Denver
  • Chargers (-6.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Raiders (+4.5) vs. Cardinals
  • Jets (+2) vs. Dolphins
  • Packers (-4.5) vs. Bears

Some DirectTV Love

Are you a JETS fan living outside the NY/NJ area?  Do you sit at home on Sundays praying for your local CBS or FOX affiliate to show Revis and the Jets? If you are, and you want to go to the Super Bowl in Dallas to meet your favorite player from the Jets, then you have to prove it to DIRECTV. 
 
For the third year in a row DIRECTV is seeking to find America’s most die-hard displaced NFL Fan and award them a trip for two to Dallas, two tickets to the Super Bowl, and a radio interview tour with a player from their team.  All you need to do is submit a video, essay and/or photo to
www.ultimatedisplacedfan.comand show why you are America’s most die-hard displaced NFL Fan.  In 2008, the DIRECTV Ultimate Displaced Fan winner was a Cowboys fan who recreated a replica Old Texas Stadium in his two car garage.   Last year’s winner was a Steelers fan who created a music video about his death and return as a zombie. With a little bit of creativity, or just straight passion, you may be able to live every fan’s dream and watch the Super Bowl live. Here is an example of exactly what you can WIN if you are declared America’s Ultimate Displaced Fan, an honorable mention, or vote for your favorite submission on the UDF site.
 
So let’s go displaced Jets fans. It’s time to show that we are the most widespread and the most passionate!