TOJ Divisional Round Picks

TOJ with his divisional round picks

Wild Card Weekend: 2-2

TOJ Divisional Round Picks

New Orleans (-4.5) vs. San Francisco – Thoroughly exhausted of hearing about this game being outside. The weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow and unless a rain storm hits, I am more confident in the Saints taking care of business than the inexperienced 49ers pulling the upset in their first playoff game under John Harbaugh. New Orleans has enough of a running game to keep a balanced approach against a tough 49ers defense and San Francisco’s offense simply won’t make enough big plays to win this game.

Denver (+13.5) vs. New England – New England has a way of being disappointing in home playoff games as of late. Can Tebow really win this game? I’m not sure but he will do enough to keep this under the massive 13.5 point spread.

Baltimore (-7.5) vs. Houston – Sometimes these games get over-analyzed when things should come down to something simple like: do you think rookie T.J. Yates is going into Baltimore, where the Ravens were 8-0 this year, and doing enough to beat that defense? I certainly don’t.

Green Bay (-7.5) vs. Giants – This has been a week filled with everybody comparing this Giants team to the 2007 team, talking up the Giants as the only team who can knock off the Packers, Jason Pierre-Paul making guarantees, Antrel Rolle yapping as usual…and not much chatter coming from the defending champions who went 15-1 this year. This is Aaron Rodgers, having one of the best years in NFL history, not Brett Favre. Green Bay isn’t blowing this game.

Why The Jets Are The Real Deal

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As the NFL season inevitably inches closer, more and more skepticism about the chances of the Jets having a successful season are becoming present. Fans of the team are reverting back to their usual pessimism. NFL analysts are nitpicking reasons to avoid picking the Jets as a serious contender. Giants fans can’t understand why nobody is talking about their team, leading to them arguing the Jets will be a let-down, have a tough schedule, can’t win with Sanchez, can’t overcome losing Faneca and Jones and on and on. Patriots and Dolphins fans feel the same way. Everybody in New England thinks the world is sleeping on Brady and Belichick, as if that was possible. All the fans in Miami are convinced Chad Henne is the next Dan Marino after the epic run he took the team on last season. I guess it was an impressive 7-9 season.

Anyway, you may hate the confidence the Jets carry themselves with. You might be tired of hearing Rex Ryan talk or seeing Darrelle Revis in those Nike commercials. Unfortunately for you though, the Jets have the talent to back up their words and outside of the team with Peyton Manning under center, they are the favorites to win the AFC. Here is why the Jets are the real deal:

PhotobucketLet’s start with the easiest part, the Jets have the best defense in NFL. They had the best defense in 2009 and substantially improved it over the off-season. You can start in the secondary where the two weak links of the league’s number one ranked passing defense (by 30 yards I might add), were replaced. Antonio Cromartie will take over for Lito Sheppard opposite Darrelle Revis, giving the Jets arguably the best pair of starting corners in the NFL. Kerry Rhodes is now gone and Brodney Pool will take his place. Anytime you can replace a matador with somebody who can tackle, it helps the situation. Dwight Lowery has been moved into the number four cornerback spot, with rookie first round pick Kyle Wilson now becoming the nickel back.

Outside of the improvements in the secondary, Jason Taylor was signed from Miami to enhance the Jets pass rush. The Jets did occasionally struggle against the run in 2009. However the return of All-Pro nose tackle Kris Jenkins should provide help, along with having the previously mentioned Rhodes now doing photo shoots and missing tackles in Arizona. Beyond that, the Jets will now be in the second year of Rex Ryan’s system. Calvin Pace, David Harris, Bryan Thomas, Darrelle Revis, Eric Smith, Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha, Shaun Ellis, and anybody else who played a substantial role in their first year of Ryan’s defense in 2009 will be that much more comfortable this season.

When you look at the additions and subtractions made to the Jets defensive depth chart and their familiarity with the system in year two, it is hard to argue the unit won’t be better in 2010. This should be a scary thought for the rest of the NFL, considering how good they were in 2009.

On offense, you could question Mark Sanchez all you want. His regular season statistics justify thequestioning. However, don’t ignore that he won two road playoffs games in his rookie year and played a terrific game on the road in the AFC Championship Game. Also, consider if the Jets could manage an AFC Championship Game trip with him throwing 20 interceptions to 12 touchdowns, what they could do if he makes the likely year two improvements.

PhotobucketThe Jets have questions at running back. Shonn Greene has to prove he is a lead back but he certainly looked the part down the stretch in the regular season and in the playoffs. At worst LaDainian Tomlinson can catch the ball out of the backfield and be a quality goal-line back. Outside of that, the Jets offense is stacked. Even without Alan Faneca, who was awful in pass protection last year by the way, they still have a top five offensive line in the NFL. At receiver, they have three guys capable of being a number one. They have an athletic tight end, who can stretch the field and is a mismatch against most defenses.

What about the competition in the AFC East? What did New England do to make sure they aren’t run off the field by teams like Baltimore again in 2010? Who is their lead running back? Is there defense any good? Who is filling for Wes Welker until he comes back? Will Welker get back to 100 percent this season?

Is Brandon Marshall enough to improve Miami from a 7-9 team that was two Ted Ginn Jr led victories against the Jets away from being 5-11? Can Ronnie Brown ever play a full season? Can Chad Henne win a late season game? Who is going to catch passes for the Dolphins when Marshall is safely locked away on Revis Island?

Yes, I think the Jets talent backs up their words. They do have the best corner and center in the NFL, along with one of the best tackles (D’Brickashaw Ferguson), guards (Brandon Moore), defensive tackles (Kris Jenkins), and linebackers (David Harris). It is always a good sign when people like Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and Antonio Cromartie are in your second tier of talented players. It is also positive when you can sign players like Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson be backups.

You can make excuses about why the Jets won’t be good in 2010 or you can just accept that they are going to be one of the best teams in the NFL and right in the mix for a Super Bowl. It would probably be better to make up your mind now instead of changing your story mid-season.

“DARRELLE REVIS!”

Final TOJ NFL Rankings & Other Thoughts on Regular Season/Jets vs. Bengals

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First a few updates:

Note: This terrific picture above was created by JetsFan_MD and posted on www.jetsinsider.com. Considering my two favorite things in the world are the Jets and the TV show LOST…this is about as good as it gets for me.

1. Rex Ryan didn’t sound too confident about David Harris practicing this week with his sprained ankle. He may end up being a game time decision. Ryan Fowler would step in, although he had a head injury apparently so he could be replaced by Kenwin Cummings…ut-oh.

2. Ryan didn’t say anything else too notable in his press conference. He was pretty low key and respectful of the Bengals, which is the right approach to take. However, he did affirm that the Jets goal is to make the Super Bowl and that they aren’t just happy to be in the playoffs.

3. Not too much love from Mike Francesa on WFAN today, who didn’t give the Jets much credit for last night. He did say he thought they had a decent shot to win on Saturday but he seemed more anxious to talk about Jason Bay or John Mara…you have to love how salty Giants fans are today.

4. Yes, of course there will be a playoff edition of TOJ TV coming this week. I am also trying to set up a question exchange with the Bengals FanBall blogger.

5. In case you are curious, I have insane amounts of free time on my hands this week since I am on winter break and all my friends work full time (you know because they enjoy having money, unlike me who would rather accumulate student loan debt), so yes this web-site and the facebook page will be updated so much that you will be fully convinced I have no life…oh well.

Final TOJ NFL Rankings & Other Thoughts on Regular Season/Wild-Card Weekend

Long title, right? Now, I am not one to pat myself on the back but check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/2009-nfl-predictions/):

  • I picked 5 out of 6 AFC playoff teams right, my only miss was on the Bengals winning the North (I picked Pittsburgh). My wild-card picks? Jets and Ravens.
  • I picked the Dolphins (7-9), Titans (8-8), Browns (5-11), and Jacksonville (7-9) record correctly and missed by one game on Denver, Buffalo, Chiefs, and Chargers.
  • I picked 4 out of 6 NFC playoff teams right, my only misses were on the Saints (yikes) and Cowboys. I had the G-Men (ha) and Falcons in the playoffs.
  • I picked the Cardinals (10-6) record correctly and missed by one game on the Eagles, Packers, Bears, and Lions.
  • Just for reference I picked a San Diego/Philly Super Bowl.

Just call me young Nostradamus. Better pay attention to my playoff picks.

And then check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/40-predictions-for-2009-new-york-jets-season/) and see how many Jets specific things I missed including gems on Mark Sanchez’s stats, Lito Sheppard’s INT total, Vernon Gholston’s sack total, and plenty more.

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Final TOJ NFL Rankings

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (14-2) Going into the playoffs on a 2 game losing streak (by their backups).
  2. San Diego Chargers (13-3) Going into the playoffs on a 11 game winning streak…watch out.
  3. New Orleans Saints (13-3) Going into playoffs on a 3 game losing streak…ut oh.
  4. Minnesota Vikings (12-4) You can bet I will be rooting against them.
  5. Dallas Cowboys (11-5) Need a playoff win in the worst way.
  6. Green Bay Packers (11-5) Very dangerous team.
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) They are better than they showed last week.
  8. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) Risky to sleep on them after last year.
  9. New England Patriots (10-6) Too bad about Wes Welker’s injury (and I am being serious, no matter how much I hate him and New England you never want to see anyone get hurt, especially somebody as good as him).
  10. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) Well at least they are going in with some momentum, right?
  11. Baltimore Ravens (9-7) They can run and play defense, which  means they are dangerous.
  12. New York Jets (9-7) They can run and play defense better than anybody in the NFL, which means they are dangerous.
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7) Too little, too late for the defending champs.
  14. Houston Texans (9-7) They can thank Kris Brown for missing the playoffs.
  15. Tennessee Titans (8-8) 8-2 over their last 10 games.
  16. Atlanta Falcons (9-7) Two straight winning seasons for the dirty birds.
  17. Miami Dolphins (7-9) Have fun sitting at home.
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) Not a bad year for a young team.
  19. Denver Broncos (8-8) They should be embarrassed.
  20. Carolina Panthers (8-8) Strong finish with Matt Moore at QB.
  21. New York Giants (8-8) Embarrassed themselves the past two weeks and final 11 games for that matter.
  22. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) Only .500 because they get to play the Seahawks or Rams 4 games a year.
  23. Chicago Bears (7-9) They felt worse than 7-9. Jay Cutler stunk the joint up.
  24. Cleveland Browns (5-11) Finished the season on a 4 game winning streak…go Mangini.
  25. Oakland Raiders (5-11) All they do is beat playoff teams…and lose to everyone else.
  26. Buffalo Bills (6-10) Consistently mediocre.
  27. Washington Redskins (4-12) And so ends the Jim Zorn era.
  28. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12) I guess Matt Cassell isn’t a franchise quarterback.
  29. Seattle Seahawks (5-11) The most irrelevant team in the NFL this year.
  30. Tampa Bay Bucs (3-13) Showed some fight occasionally.
  31. Detroit Lions (2-14) A two game improvement from last year.
  32. St. Louis Rams (1-15) Well then…

Some final Regular Season Observations

PhotobucketDo you think Jim Zorn just had Bruce Springsteen playing into his headset during the second half of the season?…I know the Giants fired their defensive coordinator today but when you allowed 40+ points every week, the problem goes beyond the coaching…Denver was 8-4 the past two years and both times lost out to miss the playoffs, cough cough…At least Jason Taylor can now get an early jump on next season of Dancing With the Stars…The 49ers are Texans are between 7-9 and 9-7 every year and then picked to make the jump by all the experts for the following season, only they just go 8-8 again and miss the playoffs, I look forward to this repeating again next year…My favorite non-Jets regular season games – Steelers vs. Titans opening night, Colts vs. Patriots on Sunday night, Saints vs. Patriots on Monday night, Dallas vs. Giants on Sunday night in week two, Saints vs. Redskins, Denver vs. Patriots, Ravens vs. Chargers, Titans vs. Texans on Monday night, Titans vs. Cardinals.

Bye Bye Miami

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Rough slate of games yesterday for the NFL. I still don’t understand how the Raiders beat the Bengals and Eagles. The Giants laid a big time egg, which caught me off guard especially because of how bad Denver had been playing. Unless they get things turned around quickly, the Giants might be joining the Jets at home in January.

2. Rex Ryan press conference today: He took some time to stand up for Vernon Gholston, who will be active this week. Donald Strickland and Dwight Lowery are going to be out. He expressed frustration with how the news about Kerry Rhodes being benched got out, and reiterated that he will still be on the field in nickel and dime packages.

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

Offense: Expect a run heavy game plan from the Jets. The Panthers have struggled against the run all season and I think the game plan will work to protect Mark Sanchez. He will likely be started out with a bunch of short throws and pass plays with very basic reads. More important than the Jets winning this week, is Sanchez not turning the ball over, improving his completion percentage, and throwing a couple of touchdown passes. Regardless, I’d be shocked to see Thomas Jones have anything less than 20 carries and see Sanchez throw more than 20-23 passes.

Defense: If the Jets are smart they will stack the box to prevent DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart from beating them, leave Darrelle Revis one on one with Steve Smith and see if Jake Delhomme can beat them. This unit has been good all season and dominant at times but they struggled to create big plays. If there is a week to rack up some interceptions, forced fumbles, and sacks…this is it.

Prediction: I expect an ugly, turnover filled, low-scoring game. I am going  with Carolina 16-13.

Darrelle Revis Will Have His Hands Full

Back From Vacation, Back to Work: Make or Break Three Weeks on Horizon For Jets

*Sep 20 - 00:05*

First a few updates:

atlantic-city1. I would like to say I am feeling refreshed after taking the past three days off from the site and not having to deal with the stress of a Jets game yesterday, however I had a thoroughly exhausting reunion weekend with my college friends. The final stats on the weekend include 2 hours of sleep, large amounts of Saki and sushi consumed, a Muhlenberg football loss at Ursinus, hundreds of dollars lost in Atlantic City, thousands of insults exchanged, about 400 miles added to my car because my friend who is supposedly from Philadelphia didn’t remember how to get from his home city to our college, and a dead cell phone leading to an angered girlfriend. I do have to shout out my man Leon Washington because I hit #29 on the roulette table saving me from complete financial disaster. I spent yesterday laying in my bed recovering by watching Larry Fitzgerald and DeAngelo Williams carry my fantasy team, a despondent Joey Porter being shut up by New England (let’s see the national media come after him now for talking too much), the Giants lose their fourth straight game, and both a great Sunday night game and great Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.

2. I know everybody missed Turn On The Jets TV last weekend but don’t worry we will back this Thursday or Friday (hopefully Thursday) with a new episode documenting how I kept myself occupied during the bye week and previewing the Jets/Jags game.

3. The Jets were back to work today in preparation for the Jaguars, here a few things Rex Ryan talked about: In the category of head coach standing up for under achieving players: He continued to stand up for Vernon Gholston saying he is playing well on special teams and was making progress on defense but hasn’t played much because they haven’t needed more interior defensive lineman the past couple of weeks…He also stood up for Kerry Rhodes play and said he believes the turnovers will come for his safety. Ryan couldn’t resist looking a little ahead to New England but did give plenty to Jacksonville and said they have the same record as the Jets and the league’s #9 offense, making them a dangerous team.

Back From Vacation, Back to Work: Make or Break Three Weeks on Horizon For Jets

You could tell my rust from taking three days off by the unnecessarily, long, run-on title I came up with. Anyway, the Jets face both an uphill climb towards a wild-card spot and a division title over the next 8 weeks. In terms of the wild card, San Diego (5-3), Houston (5-4), Baltimore (4-4), Pittsburgh (5-2), and Jacksonville (4-4) remain in the mix. The Jets have a tie breaker with the Texans and I think they will fade down the stretch to their normal .500 record anyway. They have a chance to gain a tie breaker with Jacksonville this weekend and the Jaguars don’t seem capable of winning more than 7 or 8 games either. Baltimore should be in the mix but they have a tough remaining schedule and I still wouldn’t be shocked to either the Chargers or Steelers catch the Broncos and Bengals respectively which still means both wild card teams are going to have at least ten wins. I don’t know how the Jets tie breakers would shake out with San Diego, Denver, Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh but my guess is that it wouldn’t be good because of our poor divisional record.

Jets Dolphins FootballHowever, when you turn the focus to the division it becomes clear that the Jets 2009 season comes down to the next three weeks. Right now the Patriots are 6-2, while our Jets sit at 4-4, 2 games behind with 8 games each to play. The next three weeks New England travels to Indianapolis (8-0) host the Jets at home and then travel to New Orleans (8-0). In contrast, the Jets host Jacksonville (4-4), travel to New England, and then host Carolina (3-5). What does all that mean? It means it is time for the Jets to make their move if they want to win the 2009 AFC East title. The November 22nd match-up in New England is the make or break game for the Jets division hopes. New England will lose to either Indy or New Orleans, maybe both of them. The Jets need to avoid the let down and handle the inferior Jaguars and Panthers at home and they will set themselves up as the front runner in the division heading into the final five games of the season.

I am ready for anything, from the Jets running the table to the Jets losing out…from the Jets winning by 28 this weekend to Maurice Jones-Drew running for 348 yards en route to a Jacksonville blow out…from Mark Sanchez adjusting to cold weather and pulling out a victory on a November day in New England (where you know it will be hailing and snowing because Belichick controls the weather up there) to Sanchez throwing 4 INTs and weeping as he sips on a hot chocolate on the sideline…it is the Jets, so who knows, in the end they will probably get all our hopes up and then break our heart, but hey there is always that 1 percent chance that this could be year everything changes, so because of that I will be driving up to the Meadowlands this Sunday ready and excited for the second half of the season to kick off. It could be worse right? I could be a Browns fan.

The Disaster That Happens When Second Rate Cities Try to Imitate First Rate Ones, Wow This Is Bad

If You Haven’t Seen These Clips Yet of This Crazy New Mexico Women’s Soccer Player, Watch and Be Scared