New York Jets Fact Or False: Week 1 Edition

Chris Gross Fact or False previews the Jets/Bills week 1 match-up

With the 2012 NFL season finally just a couple of days away, Turn On The Jets brings you the very first regular season edition of New York Jets Fact Or False. For the duration of the season, each week’s F or F will be previewing the upcoming Jets game for each particular week. During the bye week, we will have another edition of the ever so popular “Tweeter’s Choice,” where readers can send in topics for analysis via twitter. For now, let’s look at some keys to the game for this Sunday’s season opener against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium.

Fred Jackson will surpass 100 yards rushing. False.

While Fred Jackson is certainly a very effective running back, who seems to be aging like a fine wine, he has never surpassed 100 yards rushing against the Jets over his entire career. Jackson is coming off of a season ending leg injury from 2011, and being on the wrong side of 30 is a cause for serious concern for one of Buffalo’s most highly touted offensive weapons. Still, Jackson will likely turn out a productive season. That being said, don’t expect him to light up the stat sheet this Sunday.

Jackson’s career rushing high against New York came in their most recent meeting last season, a game in which he amassed just 82 yards on the ground. With the way the Jets’ defense has looked this preseason, particularly against the run, don’t expect Jackson to do much better than that. The Jets have added some youth and speed to their front seven to couple with veterans like Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, and David Harris. This defense should be fun to watch this season, and it will start by shutting Jackson down this Sunday.

Darrelle Revis will keep Stevie Johnson in check. Fact. 

We all expected the hype surrounding this issue coming into this game. The Bills and their fan base like to believe that Stevie Johnson is the only wide receiver in the league to have success against Darrelle Revis. Comparatively speaking, they surely propose a fair argument. In their last match up, Johnson caught 8 balls for 75 yards and a touchdown, numbers that are certainly more respectable than those of his counterparts around the league when facing New York’s All-Pro cornerback. However, following this matchup,the claim has been made that Johnson actually has Revis’s number. Unlike the prior argument, this holds no water.

Throughout his career, Johnson has faced Revis in six games. Over the course of those games, he has amassed 22 catches for 283 yards and 3 touchdowns, averaging out to about 3.7 receptions for 37 yards and .5 touchdowns per game. Considering the fact that Johnson is Buffalo’s number one receiving option, and one of their best offensive playmakers, these numbers do not quite scream domination. You can bet your last dollar that Darrelle Revis has been listening to all of the hype from the fanbase and media alike about Johnson’s success against him, which will likely cause him to take this matchup more personal than any other. Expect Revis Island to be at high tide this Sunday.

The outcome of this game will come down to whichever Quarterback makes the least mistakes. Fact.

The Jets and Bills are both built somewhat similar. Each team relies heavily on their defense and rushing attack to stay competitive in games, hoping that their respective quarterbacks can take that next step to propel them toward permanent contender status. This game will surely provide plenty of quality defense and could remain close for the greater part of 60 minutes.

Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick have each shown signs of quality quarterback play in the past, but each have struggled heavily at times as well, both becoming scapegoats for holding their teams back at some point in their careers. When speaking of each of these teams, the consesus for predicting their success seems to be the same – if the quarterback position can provide consistent, quality play, the team can do great things. That notion could not be more on point for this Sunday. While there will surely be plenty of plays made on the defensive side of the ball, as well as in the running game for each team, the quarterbacks will likely determine the outcome. Who is going to make the plays when they count the most? Who will choke under pressure and cost their team a victory with a vital mistake?

Mark Sanchez will be sacked less than 3 times. False. 

While Sanchez should certainly have better protection now that Wayne Hunter is off of the team and in St. Louis, Austin Howard is making his first career start against one of the most prolific pass rushers in all of football in Mario Williams. Williams inked a record setting deal with Buffalo this offseason, and one would think that he is going to be playing to prove his worth after Houston allowed him to depart as a free agent this spring. Combine that with the rest of Buffalo’s very talented defensive line, and Howard and Co. should have a very busy day this Sunday. Again, the line does look improved with Howard replacing Hunter, however Sanchez was sacked 4 times in the season opener last year, so if New York can limit Buffalo to 3, it is still an improvement.

Mark Sanchez will complete more than 58% of his passes. Fact.

One thing that Sanchez has shown this preseason, particularly in the Carolina game, is a much better command of the offense. In fact, over the course of the entire preseason, he posted a completion percentage of 68.6. While the offense may not be built for Sanchez to put up monstrous numbers, there is no reason for him to be inefficient. Ball security and efficiency are going to be key to the success of the offense this year, and Sanchez, now heading into his fourth professional season, needs to demonstrate each of these components. Considering Buffalo’s young secondary, Sanchez should be able to complete more than half of his passes this Sunday, if he is provided adequate blocking. If the offensive line struggles to protect him, however, all bets are off.

The “TebowCat” will be used on at least one scoring drive. Fact.

Everyone has been eagerly waiting to see what the Jets have planned, offensively, for Tim Tebow. The “TebowCat,” as this package is now being referred to as, will likely make its debut at MetLife Stadium this Sunday, and for good reason. As previously discussed, Buffalo has a very good, ferocious defensive line, that will likely play very aggressively. New York can slow that unit down by rolling out the Tebow-led package and running some draws and misdirections to keep Mario Williams and Co. on their toes. Expect this formation to be used on at least one scoring drive this weak, particularly inside the 20.

Jets Face November Must Win

TOJ hopes the Jets will play with the necessary desperation this Sunday

Rex Ryan was 100 percent correct when he said the playoffs start now for the New York Jets. Fortunately for them their first round opponent is going to be the Buffalo Bills, a team who has been outscored 106-26 in their last three games. A team whose best player, running back Fred Jackson, won’t be playing this week. A team who has been besieged with injuries across the board and recently put two starters on IR, wide receiver Donald Jones and cornerback Terrence McGee. A team who is 1-4 on the road this season and is basically in a complete free fall.

Let’s not beat around the bush, it is an absolute joke if the New York Jets cannot win this football game. Sadly enough when my friend asked me this week if he should take the Jets in his survivor pool, I had to hesitate and not give an emphatic yes. How could I, after watching how this offense has played the past two weeks? The negative Jets fan inside of me is having visions of C.J. Spiller having his coming out party against the Jets defense and Mark Sanchez throwing three interceptions, with two returned for touchdowns.

In reality, we know the Jets are a better football team than the Buffalo by a substantial margin. We saw it a few weeks ago and the circumstances play more into the Jets favor this week than they did in the previous meeting. They are a better football team than the Denver Broncos and still found a way to lose but the desperation level on this team should be much higher this week, nevermind they have had 10 days to rest and prepare.

The Jets season is over if they lose this Sunday, some coaches and players season’s should also be over if they lose. Let’s hope they play with the necessary urgency and win in the fashion that they should.

Scouting The AFC East: Buffalo Bills

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and check out our new logo for TOJ:

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2. You may want to get rid of that Kellen Clemens jersey you prematurely bought after his starts against the Redskins and Steelers in 2007 because after Mark Brunell joins the team tomorrow morning, he won’t around much longer.

Scouting The AFC East: Buffalo Bills

Our final look at the teams who share the division with the Jets and how they match up with them heading into 2010:

7/19 – http://turnonthejets.com/2010/07/19/scouting-the-afc-east-new-england-patriots-2/

7/20 – http://turnonthejets.com/2010/07/20/scouting-the-afc-east-miami-dolphins-2/

Today – Buffalo Bills

Offense – You know there is a problem with your offense when Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Brian Brohm are battling for the starting quarterback job. You know there is a bigger problem when you have a patch work offensive line that was awful in 2009 and didn’t receive any substantial improvements this off-season. Beyond that, if Buffalo’s quarterback actually does get a pass off before being flattened, they will be throwing to Lee Evans because there may not be another NFL quality receiver on their roster right now.

PhotobucketOn the bright side, the Bills have one of the best collection of running backs in the NFL. Fred Jackson is coming off a very good year and Marshawn Lynch has been a 1,000 yard back in the past. Buffalo also took the electric CJ Spiller in the first round of the draft, although it remains to be seen if he has any space to actually run. Unless Mark Sanchez confuses the Jets and Bills jersey colors again as he did in their first 2009 meeting, I am not sure how Buffalo can move the ball against the Jets.

Defense – The Bills actually have a good collection of talent on the defensive side of the football, especially in the secondary. Jairus Byrd should have been the rookie of the year in 2009. Terrence McGee, Leodis McKlevin, and Drayton Florence have the potential to be one of the better trio of corners in the NFL. Paul Posluszny had a very good season in 2009 and should be a long term piece for the Bills to build around. It doesn’t sound like Aaron Schobel is going to play next season, which is a relief for Jets fans because he has tormented them in in the past. Overall, the Bills usually play over their heads in divisional games which means their defense will be tough to work against, especially considering the talent they have in place.

Special Teams – Buffalo has a reputation for having one of the best special team units year in and year out. Rian Lindell and Brian Moorman are a quality kicker and punter, respectively. Fred Jackson, Terrence McGee, Roscoe Parrish, and Leodis McKlevin all have the ability to be dangerous return men.

Overall – The Bills are widely expected to be the basement dwellers in the AFC East and for good reason. However, they always give the Jets a hard time. There is no easy wins against the Bills and I can’t say I’d be shocked if the Jets let one slip away in one of their two match-ups.

Jets vs Bills 2009 Highlights

Interesting AFC East Thoughts And Questions

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…I have been hovering near 300 fans on Facebook for awhile without getting over it, so let’s go now. I know you want that news feed filled with Jets links and witty commentary on your favorite team.

2. A recent SportsNation poll on ESPN.com that asked Jets fans to select what games they thought their team would win this regular season resulted in fans projecting a 15-1 season for the team. I like the optimism because I was getting tired of the post draft negativity, but 15-1 may be…just may be…a stretch. Right now I would project the Jets as a 11-5 or 12-4 team, which scares me because I have never projected them to be that good. It is a little weird to have such high expectations.

Photobucket 3. Thoughts on Lost Final Season, Episode 14 “The Candidate” – Wow…that is what I am talking about. When Lost is on it’s game like that, there isn’t a better show on TV…not even close. I am glad we can end any debate about Locke being the bad guy now. He clearly never had any intention to get off the island but his plan was rather based around getting the candidates to all kill each other. I can’t blame Sawyer for not trusting Jack after he got Juliet killed last season but c’mon now you have to listen to the chosen one (which Sayid confirmed Jack was before sacrificing himself). I will miss Sayid, who was undoubtedly my favorite Iraqi torturer. The Jin/Sun death was obviously sad but we can get along fine without them considering how their characters have been used the past 2 seasons. It was kind of funny how nobody mentioned Frank dying…how about some love for the pilot, who went out with the funny line before getting smashed with a door and drowning. The sideways stuff is getting better, especially with Jack and Locke switching roles. Next week should be crazy good as well, with the backstory of Jacob and the MIB.

4. Do you think Nick Mangold noticed the contract Jahari Evans just got from the Saints? Do you think David Harris noticed the contract Patrick WIllis just got from the 49ers? The Jets better be ready to offer up the money to keep the cornerstones of their offense and defense…okay maybe Revis is the cornerstone on defense but he is about to be a free agent too.

Interesting AFC East Thoughts And Questions

#2 Quarterback in the Division? – Tim Graham of ESPN.com addressed this question in his AFC East blog and properly selected Mark Sanchez as the second best quarterback in the division over Chad Henne. Here is a key part of his argument:

“While Sanchez got better as games became more meaningful down the stretch, Henne struggled. Heading into Week 15, the Dolphins had a wonderful shot at securing a wild-card berth. They finished with three straight losses. Henne threw three touchdowns and five interceptions.”

PhotobucketI couldn’t agree more. I am always amazed how much people talk up Henne as this player who is going to jump into greatness next year, while they are quick to question Sanchez as the Jets biggest potential problem in 2010. Yes, Sanchez struggled heavily at times last year but it was the guy’s rookie year and he was thrown right into the fire. In the end, he came out  of it to lead the Jets from 4-6 to the AFC Championship Game. Henne had a year to learn behind Chad Pennington and turned in a very average season last year. Stop talking about Henne like he lit the league on fire last season. He threw 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions and had a QB rating of 75.2. Beyond that, he had his team at 7-6 and lost out to three teams who missed the playoffs to finish 7-9.

Sanchez’s performance against the Bengals in the wild-card round on the road, in the fourth quarter against the Chargers in the divisional round on the road, and in the AFC Championship Game on the road are all more impressive than anything Henne has done in his career.

Well, at least we can’t debate Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the division and Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, or Brian Brohm are the worst.

Just How Bad Is Buffalo – Unfortunately for those upstate New York football fans, it is hard to see Buffalo winning more than 5 games this season. No quarterback. No offensive line. A questionable defense. A questionable hire at head coach and GM. Three other quality teams in the division. This is the recipe for a rough season. Yet, I am still terrified of the Jets traveling up there in week 4.

PhotobucketWhere Are Your Running Backs The AFC East is stacked with quality running backs. Even the previously mentioned Bills have two 1,000 yard rushers and the 9th overall pick in the draft, with Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Dolphins have Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. The Jets have rising star (I hope not to jinx him) Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson in the proper backup role, and Joe “Tums” McKnight. But what about the Patriots? Laurence  Maroney isn’t a #1 back. Fred Taylor is 650 years old and can’t stay healthy. Sammy Morris is 575 years old and can’t stay healthy. This normally wouldn’t be a problem in New England’s spread offense, but with an injured Wes Welker, their passing offense just isn’t that scary anymore. I could only say that because I know Darrelle Revis can take Randy Moss out of the game 1 on 1, and I like…make that love, matching up Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson on Julian Edeleman, Sam Aiken, or the old version of Torry Holt.

For No Particular Reason, Receiver Rankings

  1. Brandon Marshall
  2. Randy Moss
  3. Santonio Holmes
  4. Braylon Edwards
  5. Jerricho Cotchery
  6. Lee Evans

PhotobucketThis is obviously very, very debatable. I really hate putting Braylon in front of Cotchery but his physical talent is too hard to ignore…the guy had 17 touchdowns only a few season ago. What about Edwards and Cotchery in front of Lee Evans? The guy only had 44 receptions for 612 yards last year. I know his quarterbacks were crappy but Cotchery’s quarterbacks were crappy in 2007 and he had 1130 yards. Then again Evans had 1000 yards in 2008 with crappy quarterbacking and Cotchery didn’t with Favre back there…but then again Favre stunk the second half of the season. Evans is more physically gifted and more of a big play threat but Cotchery is more consistent…I don’t know, they are interchangeable. I feel good about 1-4, what is interesting is how sharp the drop off is after these 6. Look at this collection of players:

  • Torry Holt
  • Julian Edeleman
  • Sam Aiken
  • Brad Smith
  • David Clowney
  • Steve Johnson – That is Buffalo’s listed other started right now by the way.
  • Roscoe Parrish
  • James Hardy
  • Brian Hartline
  • Devone Bess
  • Greg Camarillo

How do you rate those guys? Holt has the best pedigree obviously, but how much does he have left in the tank? Brad Smith isn’t really a true receiver. Edeleman and Hartline showed flashes last year. Bess and Camarillo are steady guys, who are decent fits as #3 options. Everybody else is a journeyman.

And Yet Another Well-Made Highlight Video

Jets vs. Bills: Game Breakdown & Five Requests For Five Jets

First a few updates:

1. Jerricho Cotchery, Damien Woody, Brad Smith, and Shaun Ellis all sat out practice again today. Ellis and Woody are expected to start, Smith is questionable and I wouldn’t bet on Cotcherysuiting up this weekend. If both Smith and Cotchery are down, the Jets will only be carrying three receivers on Sunday: Braylon Edwards, David Clowney, and Wallace Wright. Danny Woodhead has been taking reps at receiver on the practice squad but I wouldn’t count on him playing receiver for the Jets anytime soon.

2. Obviously if the Jets are limited at receiver, there should be a greater opportunity for Dustin Keller to get involved in the passing game. Mark Sanchez admitted that he apologized to Keller after the Monday night game for not looking to him more. I am not crazy about that, Sanchez needs to go where the coverage dictates and shouldn’t be forcing himself to get the ball to anybody. Brian Schottenheimer needs to design some screens and quick passes to get Keller more involved, and allow him to run space.

3. ALCS and NLCS Predictions: Phillies in 6 over the Dodgers. Yanks in 6 over the Angels.

4. Don’t forget that new episode of TOJ TV is coming tomorrow.

5. From the mouth of Bart Scott…“(Monday night) was the one time we had this year to show the world what type of team we are, and now they believe we’re something else…. I can’t wait to hit somebody. I can’t wait to step out there and see somebody in another jersey, so I can take all this pain and all this embarrassment I’m feeling and inflict it on someone else.” Sounds good…but now actually make it happen.

Jets vs. Bills: Game Breakdown

Jets Offensive Game Plan: Buffalo isn’t a bad team defensively, but neither were the Dolphins and the Jets found a way to put 27 points up. The bad weather expected to come Friday and Saturday should be gone by Sunday at 4 PM, but it will be still be colder than Mark Sanchez is accustomed to. Regardless, the Jets have enough weapons even with an injured Jerricho Cotchery to run a balanced attack each week. Mark Sanchez is now heading into his 6th start and by all indications the training wheels are off on this offense. Expect the Bills to heavily concentrate their coverage on Braylon Edwards, who should still be targeted frequently when Sanchez needs a bail out because of his size. Also, Edwards gained Sanchez’s trust last week by going up in coverage and coming down with a few balls, which means he won’t hesitate to look down the field for him again in similar circumstances.

With all the attention on Edwards, David Clowney and Dustin Keller should be freed up in single coverage. I am sure Brian Schottenheimer is feeling a push to get Keller the ball and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a quick slant or screen thrown to him early in the game to get him involved. If Clowney is singled up consistently, it is foolish not to take a couple shots down the field to him. In the running game, the Jets did a good job getting Leon 10 carries last week but let’s see him get a few more touches on receptions out of the backfield. I got a feeling instead of seeing 12-15 carries for Thomas Jones this weekend and 3 for Shonn Greene, we will see something like 10-11 carries for Jones and 6-7 carries for Greene.

Jets Defensive Game Plan: The Bills have plenty of talent at the skill positions. Terrell Owens and Lee Evans are top flight receivers who can score on any given play. Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson are quality backs who have hurt the Jets in the past. Buffalo’s struggles have been based on their terrible offensive line play and the inconsistency of Trent Edwards. There is no excuse for the Jets not to get to the quarterback in this game. It isn’t all on Ryan to come up with blitz schemes, sometimes a player simply needs to beat his man and make a play. Four sacks is nowhere near enough for a defense with this type of talent through five games.

Lito Sheppard will be returning to the starting line-up at corner, which should help against Owens and Evans. Darrelle Revis is coming off a tough night against Miami and will certainly be looking to re-assert himself as one the league’s premier corners against two very good receivers. Like I have been saying all week, I still believe the Jets have a great defense. Four games of excellence is better proof than one game of incompetence. Buffalo only scored 3 points on a defense that features Eric Barton, Abram Elam, Hank Poteat, Kenyon Coleman, Jason Trusnik, CJ Mosley, and David Bowens last week. If the Jets minor league team can stop them last week, the real Jets better be able to stop them this week.

Five Requests For Five Jets

Leon Washington – You don’t have bigger fan or supporter of you receiving a new contract out there than  me, but I need a big play. You don’t have an offensive play longer than 19 yards this season or a touchdown, and haven’t ripped off a big kick return since week two. I am not saying you haven’t played well (4.1 yards per carry and 225 yards is respectable) but i need a big play.

Kerry Rhodes – You are one of the highest paid safeties in the league and one of the primary faces of this team. I need a sack or an interception or a forced fumble…just one of those three. Being third on the team in tackles and having 3 passes defensed is alright but below your pay grade. Start to be the playmaker you were in 2006-2007.

Braylon Edwards – Stay hungry and recognize what a golden opportunity you have in front of you. You went from irrelevancy in Cleveland, while trying to catch Derek Anderson ducks to playing in the world’s biggest media market and catching passes from Mark Sanchez. Keep playing to your potential and I can already see you and Sanchez on the cover of Sports Illustrated in their playoff preview edition.

Jerricho Cotchery – Sit out this week and get 100 percent healthy, it will do you and the team good in the long run.

Bart Scott – Play as angry as you are talking this week.

Kurt Snibbe of ESPN.com Page 2 came up with these updated NFL Logos for 16 teams, here is the link to the article http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=snibbe1/091006&sportCat=nfl

Jets…let’s get back to being this:

And Remember the Bills Are This…

If you are upset about last week’s loss…remember when things were this bad

NFL Week 1 Recap/Jets vs. Pats: First Look

First a few updates:

1. The Jets released cornerback Marquice Cole to make room for Shaun Ellis who is now reinstated and will be back in the starting line-up when the Jets play the Pats this Sunday.

2. The Jets made a nice little jump in ESPN’s Power Rankings from #23 to #16, giving them the week’s biggest improvement.

3. A few non-Jets things: The Yankees should be clinching that AL East title any day now and yes I believe they are the team to beat in the playoffs…Last week’s Entourage was a bit of a let down…But you have to be fired up about that new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm starting up this Sunday.

NFL Week 1 Recap

Wrapping Up Jets/Texans

Defensive Player Of The Game: David Harris/Darrelle Revis – It is impossible not to recognize both of them, which is why Rex Ryan gave them both game balls. Harris was all over the field and Revis shutdown arguably the best receiver in the NFL.

Offensive Player Of The Game: Mark Sanchez – Another easy pick, Sanchez looked like a seasoned veteran in his first career start. The tests only get tougher with the Patriots and Titans coming to town.

Honorable Mentions: Jerricho Cotchery for being clutch on third downs and looking like a running back after the catch…Donald Strickalnd for making two impact plays in a limited role…Sione Pouha/Mike DeVito for filling for Shaun Ellis and not letting the D-Line miss a beat…Leon Washington for 120 total yards…The Jets offensive line…Steve Weatherford for bringing some stability to the punting position.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – Was it just me or did the Patriots look nothing like an elite team last night? I’m pretty sure I saw Buffalo physically dominate them for 58 minutes and then choke away the game in a manner that only the Bills could. Give Tom Brady credit for a strong finish and leading the game winning drive and to Randy Moss/Ben Watson for having big time nights. However, let’s be honest the Pats defense didn’t look good, they had no running game, and Brady looked a little shaky in the pocket. How often you think Rex Ryan will be sending the house next week?

Miami Dolphins – Welcome to reality Miami fans aka your 2009 season. I have been saying this for months, Miami has 6-10 written all over them, last year’s magical run is over and it is time for a tough schedule and a lack of talent to catch up with them. Chad Pennington won’t finish the season as their starter, and they will be 0-2 after losing to Indy this Monday night.

Buffalo Bills – Smart play, Leodis McKlevin…just brilliant. You really showed everybody what a game breaker you were last night by taking the ball out of the end-zone with your hands team blocking for you and then trying to fight for extra yards after getting lit up by Brandon Merriweather…awesome, real smart football. Beyond that, Buffalo was impressive and should be 1-0. How do you bench Fred Jackson when Marshawn Lynch comes back?

Five Teams That Impressed Me

  1. Philadelphia Eagles– Steam rolled the Panthers in their building, but better hope McNabb gets back quickly.
  2. Oakland Raiders – Put up a fight on Monday Night Football when everyone expected them to lose by 30.
  3. Buffalo Bills – See above.
  4. San Francisco 49ers – Big opening day win against the defending NFC West champs.
  5. New York Giants – Dominated the Redskins, don’t let the score fool you.

Five Teams That Looked Like Garbage

  1. St. Louis Rams – Absolutely no fight from this team, are they really that bad?
  2. Cleveland Browns – They are going to average about 10 points a game this year.
  3. Carolina Panthers – They aren’t going anywhere with Jake Delhomme, who looks like his confidence is shot after last year.
  4. Arizona Cardinals – What happened to that offense from last season?
  5. Miami Dolphins – The first of many losses for them this year.

Other Observations

Let’s see if the Vikings can win when somebody stops the run (if it is possible to stop AP)…At least on Sunday night I was happy we didn’t trade for Jay Cutler, 4 picks owch…The poor Bengals, they had become my 2nd favorite team after Hard-Knocks and they lose like that? (By the way, Laveranues had 1 catch and 2 drops)…Good effort by a young Jacksonville team to nearly upset the Colts…I’d still take Darren Sproles over LaDanian Tomlinson, regardless of what anyone says about him having some type of big bounce back year…Reggie Bush: 7 carries for 14 yards, glad we got #29.

Jets vs. Patriots First Look

The Opponent: Everybody’s pick to win the AFC East, Las Vegas’s favorite to win the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots are the team that every analyst and expert loves to love. The Pats were 11-5 last year without All-Pro quarterback Tom Brady who has now returned. New England looked less than impressive as they escaped with a week one victory because the Buffalo Bills choked in the final minutes. Regardless, they have won their last eight games in the Meadowlands against the Jets and have one of the league’s most potent offenses. Despite questions on defense, the Pats will be consensus favorites to beat the Jets this week as the media hypes up Rex Ryan’s quote that he won’t “kiss Bill Bellicheck’s rings.” If the Jets want to be considered serious AFC contenders, a win at home against the Pats would be a good place to start.

New England Patriots Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Tom Brady – 39/53, 378 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT
  • Running Back: Laurence Maroney – 10 carries, 32 yards
  • Running Back: Fred Taylor – 9 carries, 25 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: Kevin Faulk – 3 carries, 7 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Randy Moss – 12 catches, 141 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Wes Welker – 12 catches, 93 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Joey Galloway – 0 catches
  • Tight End: Ben Watson – 6 catches, 77 yards 2 TD’s
  • Tight End: Chris Baker – 1 catch, 7 yards
  • Left Tackle: Matt Light
  • Left Guard: Logan Mankins
  • Center: Dan Koppen
  • Right Guard: Stephen Neal
  • Right Tackle: Nick Kaczur

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Ty Warren
  • Nose Tackle: Vince Wilfork
  • Defensive End: Jarvis Green
  • Outside Linebacker: Pierre Woods – 4 tackles, 2 FF
  • Inside Linebacker: Jerod Mayo
  • Inside Linebacker: Gary Guyton – 4 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Adalius Thomas – 1 sack, 5 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain – 2 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Derrick Burgess – 1 sack
  • Corner: Leigh Bodden – 5 tackles, 1 pass defense
  • Corner: Shawn Springs – 6 tackles, 1 FF
  • Safety: Brandon Merriweather – 8 tackles,
  • Safety: James Sanders – 4 tackles

SPECIALS

  • Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
  • Punter: Chris Hanson
  • Kick Return: Laurence Maroney
  • Punt Return: Wes Welker

Key Players: Obviously Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker are the Pats best weapons on offense. They have a deep group of running backs led by Laurence Maroney and their offensive line is consistently solid. On defense, they have a strong rotation at outside linebacker who all contribute to their pass rush. Brandon Merriweather is a rising star in the secondary.

Injuries: The Jets appear to be 100 percent healthy heading into this game, nobody will be inactive because of an injury. Pats middle linebacker Jerod Mayo was hurt last night and is questionable to play this week.

Early Story Lines: Pats have won 8 straight in the Meadowlands…Rex Ryan “kiss the rings” quote…Battle for early lead in AFC East…Darrelle Revis vs Randy Moss…The Jets defense getting after Tom Brady…Mark Sanchez vs Bill Bellicheck’s defensive scheme.

Good Luck Blocking Kris Jenkins