New York Jets Fact Or False: Preseason Week 2 Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False previews the New York Jets pre-season game against the New York Giants

Chris Gross is back with his weekly Fact or False, this week previewing the upcoming Jets/Giants pre-season game. Make sure to give Chris a follow on Twitter and for God’s sake get yourselves a TOJ shirt before we sell out to current Jets players –

For this week’s New York Jets Fact Or False, we preview the preseason edition of the Battle of New York. Although the Giants remain the victor in this rivalry until the next regular season match-up, Jets fans still have much to watch for in Battle of NY Lite.

A Jets win will help forget about 12/24/2011. False.

Unfortunately for Jets fans, even if Gang Green beats their cross town rival in blowout fashion, the image of Victor Cruz’s 99 yard touchdown catch on Christmas Eve will remain burned in their memories until the next regular season match-up between the two clubs. The Jets would certainly love to take the game, and at least have some sense of pride in the city, however the Giants and their fans will hold bragging rights until the Jets take Big Blue down in the regular season, or until they win a Superbowl, whicever comes first. Until then, the Giants remain the Kings of New York.

Victor Cruz will dominate. False.

Anyone familiar with either of these two teams knows that Victor Cruz has had his way with the Jets over the course of his young career. Cruz became well known to both Jets and Giants fans when he torched Gang Green for 6 receptions for 145 yards and 3 Touchdowns in their 2010 preseason match-up. Cruz seemed to hold onto that flame in last year’s Christmas Eve game when he hauled in 3 balls for 164 yards and a touchdown, including the infamous 99 yard touchdown reception that all but ended the Jets’ 2011 campaign. However, with Hakeem Nicks out, and Mario Manningham now playing in San Fransisco, Cruz will likely play as the team’s primary option at wide receiver, meaning he will be matched up on All-Pro Darrelle Revis. While this is an excellent opportunity for Cruz to even further showcase his skills and dominance of the Jets, chances of anyone getting off of Revis Island are extremely slim.

Revis has been clashing with Stephen Hill in practice throughout all of training camp. After the rookie had his way with the league’s best defensive back earlier this week, Revis had reportedly buckled down and blanketed Hill in the week’s later practices. Revis has been practicing against great speed throughout training camp, something Cruz has plenty of. However, this will be nothing new to what Revis has seen in practice thus far, and I would expect him to come out on a mission, considering Cruz’s past success against the Jets.

The Offensive Line will struggle to get Sanchez protection early. Fact.

Although the Jets Offensive Line has vowed to improve upon their abysmal performance in Cincinnati, there is still a very serious issue at Right Tackle. Although Austin Howard held his own, and has earned praise from the coaching staff, the Giants defensive front is among the best in all of football, if not the best. Last year, Defensive Ends Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul combined for 3 sacks and 4 quarterback hits on Sanchez, leading the team’s total of 5 sacks and 6 QB hits. Although part of the blame for these numbers can be placed on former Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who called for an idiotic 60 plus passing plays, the offensive line will have their work cut out for them. Expect Giants Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell to attack the right side of the line with combinations of Tuck, Pierre-Paul, and Osi Umenyiora to get pressure on Sanchez. The task will be extremely tough for the guys up front come Saturday night.

The Jets will be able to run the ball effectively. Fact.

Although the Giants pass rush is a cause for concern, their run defense isn’t exactly stellar. The interior defensive line has been harped by early injuries, and the linebacking corps is average, at best. Last year, the Jets ran for 105 yards against them, on only 25 carries, for an average of 4.2 YPC. I would expect the Jets to try to pound the ball in the middle, while running a great number of draws in an attempt to take advantage of the Giants’ aggressive pass rush. For the first time, we could get an early glimpse of the Tebow package, as this makes great philosophical sense against a pass rush like the Giants’.

Eli Manning will throw for multiple touchdowns. False.

Other than the fact that he will hardly play past the first quarter, Manning actually struggled the last time he faced the Jets, contrary to popular belief. Other than the 99 yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz, which was more of Cruz burning the defense after the catch, Manning completed only 8 passes for 126 yards and an interception against the Jets last season. Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine did a good job of keeping him in check by disguising coverages and mixing up blitz packages. Manning will also be going up against the most talented secondary he will likely face all season long. While he is among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, taking these facts, plus limited playing time into account, it is very unlikely that Manning tosses even a single touchdown pass, let alone multiple.

Quinton Coples still has a lot to prove. Fact.

Although Coples looked fantastic in his preseason debut for the Jets (5 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 Sack, 1 FF, 1 PD), he has taken a lot of heat recently. Following the Jets 17-6 loss in Cincinatti last Friday, Coples was still criticized as the majority of his statistics came against the Bengals’ second and third strings. Earlier this week, both Calvin Pace and Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine questioned Coples’ practice habits, basically stating that they want to see the effort that he put into the game equate the effort that he practices with.

Coples has been under the microscope since the Jets selected him with the 16th overall pick in this years draft. Many have questioned the decision to pass on coveted OLB Melvin Ingram for Coples, leaving the rookie out of UNC with a lot to prove. Now, Coples needs to prove that he can make plays against the starters, while also continuing to prove that he has the proper mindset to improve day to day. Expect him to come out with a heavy chip on his shoulder yet again.

History Looks Favorably On Mark Sanchez’s Development

A look at recent Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks early in their career, paints a promising picture for Mark Sanchez’s future

The acquisition of Tim Tebow by the New York Jets has led many to question the amount of faith the organization has in starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. Many fans and league analysts have come out and publicly stated that they do not feel as though Sanchez is the right quarterback for this team now or in the future. Some have even said that Tebow chose to come to the Jets because he believes he can take over as the starting quarterback at some point during the season. However, anyone who feels this way has clearly not taken the time to look at the facts.

There are no excuses to make for Sanchez and his inconsistent play in the final three weeks of the season last year. But those three weeks should not define Sanchez’s career thus for, nor should they write his future. If history tells us anything, it is that most, if not all, elite NFL quarterbacks take time to develop to that level. In observing Sanchez’s numbers through his first three seasons in comparison with the three previous Super Bowl winning quarterbacks in their first three years in the league, it is obvious that this kid has not only over achieved for his age, but more than likely has a future destined for greatness as well.

First, let’s look at games started. In his first three seasons with the Jets, Sanchez has started 47 out of 48 games (Remember, he missed the Tampa Bay game in 2009 after injuring his knee against the Bills in Toronto). Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Eli Manning started 28, 0, and 41 games, respectively. Now, it is hard to argue any numbers Rodgers had in his first three seasons due to the fact that he was sitting behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Brett Favre. However, this also means that Rodgers had ample time to learn, and his growing pains came about on the practice field, rather than under the spotlight of New York as Sanchez’s have. That being said, Rodgers’ and Sanchez’s numbers in the first three years of their careers cannot be compared because there is not a high enough sample of Rodgers’ production during that time.

So let’s focus on Brees and Manning. In Brees’ first three seasons, he completed 540 of his 909 pass attempts for a completion percentage of 59.4. During that span, he threw for 5,613 yards, 29 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. He also rushed for 1 touchdown over those three years. Other than an inflated completion percentage due to only 27 attempts in his rookie season, Brees’ numbers in his first three years show he was anything but a franchise quarterback. Even his own team didn’t believe he was the future, and selected Eli Manning with the first overall pick in the 2004 draft, before trading him to the Giants for Phillip Rivers. However, unlike with Sanchez, no one really seemed too concerned with how Brees’ feelings would be affected. Brees went on to have two breakout seasons in 2004 and 2005 before the Chargers let him walk as a free agent and sign with the Saints in 2006. We all know the rest.

Similarly, Eli Manning’s first three seasons were anything but extraordinary. The incumbent Super Bowl MVP completed 690 of 1,276 passes, while accumulating a 54.0 completion percentage, 8,049 yards, and 54 touchdowns. Manning also threw 44 interceptions during those three years. Again, not exactly numbers that scream elite NFL quarterback, and anyone that lives in New York knows that the majority of fans and writers alike were calling for Peyton’s little brother to be shipped out of town. So, how did Manning respond? By coming out the next season and pulling off the greatest upset in Super Bowl history. Now he is the Giants’ Golden Boy.

Finally, on to the Sanchise. In Sanchez’s first three seasons, he has completed 782 of his 1,414 pass attempts for a completion percentage of 55.3, more than a full point higher than Manning’s, and very close to Brees’s inflated 59.4. Sanchez has also thrown for 9,209 yards, 55 touchdowns, and 51 interceptions. Although his turnover rate is higher than the other two quarterbacks, his yards and touchdowns are higher as well. He’s also rushed for 12 touchdowns throughout those three seasons. In that same time frame, Sanchez has won four of six playoff games on the road, while neither Brees nor Manning could win one between the two of them.

So here we sit at this awkward point in Sanchez’s career. This is the point where Sanchez has done enough to win over the coherent fans, but has made one too many young mistakes to force the media and fair weather fans to call for his head. Whether people realize it or not, this happens everywhere. Brees was run out of town, and Manning was at the cusp of getting his pink slip as well. The non-believers in these two, now elite, NFL quarterbacks looked plenty foolish while Manning and Brees were busy breaking NFL records and winning Super Bowl rings.

So is Sanchez next? Although no one can predict the future, if history tells us anything, it is that most quarterbacks in this league need time to grow and develop. Sanchez’s early success makes him an easy target anytime he struggles the slightest bit. However, just remember that he is not the only one who faced downtimes early in his career. The best of them have and were able to overcome it, while coming out on top, laughing at their critics.

Is Eli Manning Elite?…Who Cares?

Chris Celletti questions the logic of attaching the word “elite” to Eli Manning

Eli Manning is good.

He’s won a Super Bowl. He’s put up some very gaudy statistics. He’s also thrown a boatload of interceptions. His most recent triumph was leading the Giants to two late touchdown drives against the New England Patriots for a big victory in Foxboro. Earlier this season, ever since Michael Kay asked Manning if he considered himself “elite” – among Tom Brady and his older brother Peyton as current NFL quarterbacks – and he answered some version of “yes”, the media and fans have been so obsessed with asking the question to themselves.

Is Eli Manning “elite”?

The Giants themselves played into this ridiculous vernacular,  when Justin Tuck said after the win over the Patriots that you can’t spell “elite” without “Eli. Thanks, Justin.

While the rest of the world asks this silly question, (and most are answering yes at this point), I’ll ask another:

Who cares?

Do we even have a frame of reference as to what “elite” means? We don’t. It is a completely dramatized phrase that seems to be the go-to word for sports fans these days when discussing their team against another. If you say your team or a player is elite, you’re dressing them in some sort of teflon coating. For some reason, the word “elite” holds more meaning than simply saying a player is “great”. But what the hell makes someone elite? What’s the cutoff? If you’re a top-5 QB, are you elite? Don’t dare be ranked number six! You sir, not elite.

What exactly did Manning do against the Patriots that made him elite as compared to past weeks? He actually had a terrible quarterback rating in the game, one of the lowest this season against New England’s horrible defense. He threw what could have been a back-breaking interception in the end zone, and took advantage of a few pass interference calls to complete the comeback. The Giants’ win was as much about how bad the Pats’ passing defense is, and how well the Giants defense played against Brady than it was about Manning.

This is in no way to disparage Manning, in any way whatsoever. I happen to think he is playing at a very high level this season. He’s probably the main reason the Giants sit atop the NFC East at 6-2. Why can’t it just be about exactly this? It’s actually possible that we can talk about Manning’s play, his statistics, the good things, the bad things, wins and losses without needing to attach a specific term to it.

What happens if Manning does something like this next week at San Francisco: 25/37, 310 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 1 fumble in a 24-16 49ers win? What will we do then? Will Eli have fallen off the elite pedestal?

No, because there is no such thing as the elite pedestal. We live in a football world where everything needs to be ranked and compared. Last night on television (I can’t remember who or what show exactly, although I believe it was Dan Patrick on Football Night in America), this was uttered in the transition from the Packers-Chargers highlight to the Saints-Bucs highlight: “Drew Brees is no Aaron Rodgers, but…” Why do we even have to make a comparison like that? Last time I checked its Super Bowl rings: Brees – 1, Rodgers – 1. They’re both star QBs for their teams and will be for years to come – just like Eli Manning.

Can’t we just let that be?

The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets). Also now reach TOJ by e-mail at JCaporoso@fanball.com

2. A reminder the Jets will putting Weeb Ewbank, Winston Hill, Joe Klecko, Curtis Martin, Don Maynard, and Joe Namath in their Ring of Honor tonight. So stay in your seats during halftime and pass up on the 9 dollar hot dog and 7 dollar beer.

The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

It’s time for some August football, which means despite a Subway spokesperson and a reserve corner constantly expressing their jealously over the Jets, ultimately tonight’s results will be meaningless. However, that is no reason not to be excited to watch the Jets and Giants first teams battle it out in the first quarter. Well, at least the Jets first team since the Giants have continued their trend from 2009 by becoming the Mets of the NFL aka “the walking wounded.” What is in the water up there in Albany that has half of their team injured?

Anyway on to the football, there is plenty to watch for from a Jets perspective tonight:

Offense

1. Mark Sanchez – It would be encouraging to see Sanchez build on his strong postseason run tonight. The most important things are for him to protect the football and show the ability to take a hit after his off-season surgery. The Jets offense should be a little more wide-open than their strict ground and pound approach in 2009. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brian Schottenheimer dial up an early deep ball for Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes.

2. LaDainian Tomlinson – The word out of Cortland has been that Tomlinson has a little bounce in his step and looks like he is far from done. LT will be getting substantially  more pre-season work than he is used to. The Jets love his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, so look for him split out on a few plays and to be the target of a screen pass or two. It will also be interesting to see how the carries are divided up between him and Shonn Greene, along with who will get the goal-line touches.

3. Left Guard – The battle between Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse moves into a game situation tonight. Slauson has an early advantage but Ducasse should get a shot with the first offense to keep himself in the race. How much will the Jets miss Alan Faneca and his revolving door pass blocking?

4. Backup Quarterback – I’m not sold on Mark Brunell yet but apparently he has put together a strong camp. He will likely be working with Santonio Holmes, Laveranues Coles, and David Clowney at receiver, so let’s see the Jets offense move the ball against the Giants second unit.

5. Formations – The Jets are stacked with receiving options. I just can’t wait to see the different ways Schottenheimer has come up with to line up Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller.

6. Keep An Eye On – Rookie tight end Jeff Cumberland…reserve receivers Aundrae Allison and Marcus Henry…rookie running back Joe McKnight (please don’t throw up)…How many reps rookie fullback John Conner gets with the first offense.

Defense

Photobucket1. A Team Without An Island – Antonio Cromartie slides over into Darrelle Revis’ old spot and will be looking to build on a monster training camp. Rookie Kyle Wilson will start opposite him, while Dwight Lowery and Marquice Cole will be the first to work in behind the starters. It wouldn’t hurt the Jets leverage if Cromartie flashed back to 2007 and had a pick six or Kyle Wilson had a strong night in the starting lineup, while the organization could get antsy if Eli Manning is throwing all over the Jets first defense.

2. Is He Alive? – Vernon Gholston has been getting hyped up all August by the coaching staff and now even the beat writers. Will we actually notice him on the field tonight? Could he possibly pressure the quarterback or even record a sack?

3. The Cookie Monster – Kris Jenkins should see very limited reps tonight as he returns from ACL surgery. I would like to see the big fella blow up a few plays and then get on the sideline.

4. A Mirage – We get to see Jason Taylor rushing the quarterback in a Jets uniform tonight, weird. He can start winning fans over by flattening Manning tonight.

5. Mrs. Rhodes Replacement – I am anxious to see a safety next to Jim Leonhard who can tackle.

6. Keep An Eye On – Kenwin Cummings at inside linebacker…Ropati Pitoitua battling for a spot in the defensive end rotation…Donovan Warren, Brian Jackson, Drew Coleman, and Emmanuel Cook battling for a roster spot in the secondary…Bart Scott ripping the ball out of Brandon Jacobs hands again.

Special Teams

What The Folk – I won’t be able to watch tonight when Folk lines up for field goals.

No More Dearth – The Jets have a new long snapper in Tanner Purdum, everybody will remember James Dearth’s name tonight if he flubs a snap.

Return Battle – I am looking forward to see Kyle Wilson deep on punt returns and Brad Smith, Joe McKnight, Aundrae Allison, and Larry Taylor fight it out for the kick return job.

Check back tonight for instant reaction after the game

Get Yourself Pumped For Some Football

10 New York Football Predictions

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook, Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and YouTube.

2. Exactly 2 months until Jets and Ravens kick off on Monday Night Football.

10 New York Football Predictions

Ten assorted predictions related to the two teams who will be sharing the New Meadowlands Stadium this fall.

Photobucket Shonn Greene will run for more yards than Brandon Jacobs Yes, the Jets second year back and first year starter will finish the season with more total rushing yards than Jacobs who is entering his sixth year. Every durability question you can ask about Greene, you can ask about Jacobs. The difference is Greene is younger, has fresher legs, will be running behind a better offensive line, and is in an offense more committed to running the football. Don’t buy any talk about LaDainian Tomlinson challenging for the starting job, Shonn Greene is the team’s starting back. Instead of having an aging back on the down side of his career backing him up, Jacobs has a younger, more explosive back behind him, chomping at the bit to take away his carries, in Ahmad Bradshaw. In the end, Jacobs, his tip-toeing behind the line and his 3.7 yards per carry won’t match Greene’s production in 2010.

– Steve Smith will lead all New York receivers in receptions and yards – Despite Hakeem Nicks late season surge, Steve Smith is the unquestioned number one receiver on a Giants offense that is much more pass happy than the Jets. Eli Manning has excellent chemistry with Smith and he should duplicate, if not exceed his numbers from last season. Considering the Jets “ground and pound” mentality, the likely continued growing pains of Mark Sanchez, and the division of receptions between Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller, it is hard to picture any single Jets receiver having 107 receptions or 1220 yards.

Brodney Pool will have more interceptions than Antrel Rolle – Despite Rolle being the Giants biggest off-season addition and Pool being the Jets lowest profile one, the Jets safety will finish with more interceptions and more total big plays. Look at their numbers from last season:

  • Pool – 4 INTs, 10 PDs, 1 sack
  • Rolle – 4 INTs, 8 PDs, 1.5 sacks

Then remember that Rolle played four more games than Pool last season. If he can stay healthy, which is a fair question, Pool will excel in Rex Ryan’s defense the way everybody thought Kerry Rhodes was going to. He will benefit from having arguably the best trio of corners in the NFL and be able to roam/ball hawk more than Rolle will be able to.

– Eli Manning will have more touchdowns, yards, a higher completion percentage, and a higher QB rating that Mark Sanchez – I’m not really going out on a limb with this one. You have to give Manning his props, he has improved every year of his NFL career and is on the cusp of being a legit Pro-Bowl quarterback. I hope Mark Sanchez’s can develop into a guy throwing for 4,021 yards with a 93.1 quarterback rating.

– Kyle Wilson will have a better overall season than Jason Pierre-Paul – Both players will be entering the season as backups, yet Wilson will have a bigger role as the Jets nickel back and primary punt returner. Honestly, Pierre-Paul can do all the back flips he wants but I think he has Vernon Gholston type bust written all over him. I’m sorry if I’m not confident in a guy who played 1 year of major college football and only recorded 6.5 sacks at South Florida. Considering how much Rex Ryan loves to blitz his defensive backs, I wouldn’t even be shocked if Wilson had more sacks than Pierre-Paul this season.

Both teams will have winning records but the Jets will finish with a better record – It is going to be a good year for New York football. The Jets are a 11-5 or 12-4 team in my mind, who are the favorite to win their division based on how they finished last season and their off-season. Even though the Giants own them, Dallas is the favorite in the NFC East. The Giants owned them in 2009 and Dallas still won the division. I think the G-Men will be 9-7 or 10-6 and battling for that last wild-card spot in the NFC, even with their scrap heap collection of linebackers.

Photobucket– Ahmad Bradshaw will have more yards than LaDainian Tomlinson by a substantial margin but Tomlinson will have more touchdowns – Tomlinson’s greatest value to the Jets will be as a pass catcher out of the backfield and a goal-line back. He won’t rack up big yardage totals, that will be up to Shonn Greene. I expect Bradshaw to push Jacobs for the bulk of the carries by the end of the season and to match or exceed his 778 yards last season.

Dustin Keller will have more touchdown receptions than Kevin Boss – I know the Boss Man has 6 more touchdowns than Keller over the past two seasons but Keller is going to build on his playoff production (3 touchdowns in 3 games) to become the Jets primary red-zone target and leader in touchdown receptions. Boss won’t exceed his 5 touchdowns from last season as Travis Beckum and Hakeem Nicks both get more looks than they did in 2009.

Tony Richardson will have more receptions than Madison Hedgecock – Yes, I know Hedgecock beat Richardson by 1 last year in the battle of blocking fullbacks. However, Richardson still looks much smoother catching the ball than Hedgecock, who makes catching a football look more difficult than still liking LeBron James.

Kris Jenkins will be the heaviest player in New York – Don’t worry about that weight loss contest G-Men, Jenkins will stay safely above any of you in the weight category.

TOJ TV

Turn On The Jets: The Podcast Episode 2

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(http://web.me.com/turnonthejets/Site/Podcast/Entries/2010/5/31_TOJ_-_The_Podcast_-_Episode_2.html)

Joe Caporoso and Dan Donohue talk New York football as they go through the Jets and Giants 2010 schedule and predict the record of both teams. Will the Jets meet their lofty expectations? Can the Giants make the playoffs in the always competitive NFC East? The strengths and weaknesses of each team after this off-season are also discussed. At the 30 minute mark, the conversation shifts to the NBA as we debate where LeBron James will end up. Can the Knicks recruit him or is he a better fit with the New Jersey Nets?

(http://web.me.com/turnonthejets/Site/Podcast/Entries/2010/5/31_TOJ_-_The_Podcast_-_Episode_2.html)

NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

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NFL Week 8 Recap/Jets Bye Week News and Notes

Wrapping Up Jets/Dolphins

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

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

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

AFC East Observations

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

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

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

Turn On The Jets Top Ten

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

Jets Bye Week News and Notes

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, the good old days of week 2

Jets Training Camp Wrap Up: August 5th

First a few updates:

1. Big weekend coming up, starting tomorrow night with the Jets Green and White Scrimmage and of course, the beginning of a huge 4 game series between the Yankees and Red Sox. As of right now, it looks like the Yanks will head into the series with a 2.5 game lead in the standings, which means this series really gives them a chance to put some distance between them and Boston over the weekend.

2. A complaint from a frustrated New York sports talk radio listener – Due to my long commute to Newark everyday, I spend alot of time listening to both 660 and 1050 AM and I can’t tell you freakin’ tired I am of hearing about the Mets. The Yankees are in first place in the best division in baseball, the Jets and Giants are both in training camp, and yet all I hear is discussion about the Mets, a fourth place team who is 5 games under .500, enough, nobody cares, their season is over. We all understand how awful they are and how many injuries they have, now spend some more time talking about my Yankees and Jets. (Sorry for another Mets bashing paragraph, Mandy, but I can’t help myself).

3. A quick comment on the New York Football Giants – Congrats to Eli for signing his fat new contract. The guy won a Super Bowl, he earned it. The G-Men are arguably the best team in the NFC this year despite their pedestrian receiving core that is counting on the likes of Domenick Hixon, Mario Manningham, and Sinorce Moss to handle major reps. The only thing that bothers me about the Giants is how much they talk about being disrespected and flying under the radar, it isn’t two seasons ago guys, everybody respects you and realizes you are a good team.

Jets Training Camp Wrap Up: August 5th

Story of the Day: Good day for the rookie…Mark Sanchez slightly outperformed Kellen Clemens today and did a good job with his extended reps with the first team. This battle is basically even right now, with a maybe a slight tilt towards Clemens. However, Kellen struggled today, taking too many sacks and throwing another interception into the hands of Kerry Rhodes. Sanchez showed good pocket presence in practice and had a better two minute drill than Clemens, who went three and out. Tomorrow is a big day for Sanchez who will get to go head to head versus Clemens in the Green and White Scrimmage. If he wants more reps with the first team, tomorrow is the day to make a statement.

More Quarterback Daily News: Rex Ryan said he wants to name a starter before the Jets third pre-season game against the Giants. You would have to think he will let Clemens and Sanchez start a game a piece before then and hope one of them seizes the job. The third pre-season game is when the starters see extended work, meaning whomever gets the nod in that game will be in good shape to start the regular season against Houston.

Secondary Love: Ryan talked at length today about how good he believes the Jets secondary is. Dwight Lowery continued his strong camp by knocking down three passes in practice today and Drew Coleman also flashed a few times, with an interception and a pass defensed, drawing praise from Ryan who thinks his skill set fits well with the Jets new scheme on defense. Ryan’s also complimented Donald Strickland’s versatility to play corner, nickle, and safety. James Ihedigbo looks like he will have a bigger role on the defense this season and could be active in nickle and dime packages. Darrelle Revis? He is the best corner in football according to Ryan and you won’t get much of an argument from me, although Asomugha on Oakland is probably still #1.

Tight End Issues: First off, condolences to Kareem Brown who lost a close friend in a car accident, which is why he missed the first few Jets practices. Many of the beat writers dedicated articles in today’s paper to the Jets lack of depth at tight end. Unless Jack Simmons, Brown, or the newly signed Kevin Brock really picks things up in the next week or two, the Jets are going to have bring in a veteran. Right now, reserve tackle Wayne Hunter is working as the primary backup. Hopefully, somebody will make a few plays tomorrow in the scrimmage and then in the first pre-season game to distinguish themselves.

Injury News: Shaun Ellis, Kris Jenkins, Shonn Greene, Tony Richardson and Donald Strickland are all nursing minor injuries and should be back soon. I don’t know if any of them will play tomorrow, but it would be nice to see Greene out there since he is a rookie. There is no need to rush veterans like Ellis, Richardson or Jenkins back.

Receiver Transaction: The Jets released Mario Urrutia (what kind of person would pick this guy to make the 53 man roster and think he was an under the radar guy to watch in camp…ooops) and got Aundrae Allison off waivers from the Vikings. Allison is a speedy guy, who has experience as a kick returner. He also has 18 career catches for 231 yards, which is nothing to scoff at when guys like David Clowney (1 career catch) and Wallace Wright (6 career receptions) are competing for major playing time.

Good Camp/Bad Camp: Good Camp – Wallace Wright, Chansi Stuckey, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Bart Scott, Dwight Lowery, Howard Green, Jim Leonhard….Bad Camp (Or Quiet Camp) – David Clowney, J’Nathan Bullock, Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha, Jason Trusnik, Huey Whittaker, Marcus Henry

Tomorrow: Morning Session closed to the media and Green and White Scrimmage at 6 PM (Live play by play audio on www.newyorkjets.com, I know I’ll be listening).

5 Guys to Watch For in Tomorrow’s Scrimmage:

1. Mark Sanchez – Duh, big chance for the rookie to make some plays and a make a move in the QB battle.

2. David Clowney – He has been quiet all camp, can he make a few big plays?

3. Vernon Gholston – See above.

4. Jehuu Caulcrick/Shonn Greene – Who? Caulcrick will be the starting fullback with T-Rich out with injury. If Greene plays, he should be in line for some short yardage carries.

5. Kareem Brown/Jack Simmons/J’Nathan Bullock – Somebody could get a leg up in battle for the #2 TE spot.