Initial Reaction – Return Of Ground And Pound, Jets Back To .500

The New York Jets got back to .500 by steamrolling the Indianapolis Colts behind a power running game

The New York Jets played the type of football game today that they talked about playing all summer. Behind a smash-mouth rushing attack and a suffocating defense, they steamrolled the overmatched Indianapolis Colts 35-9. Without question the story of this game was the much maligned (especially from this site) Shonn Greene having a career day with 32 carries, 161 yards and 3 touchdowns. Joe McKnight also chipped in a 61 yard run to help boost the Jets rushing total on the day to a gaudy 253 yards.

It didn’t leave much for the passing game to do. Mark Sanchez was an efficient 11/18 for 82 yards with 2 touchdowns and no turnovers. It was good to see rookie Stephen Hill back out there and contributing, as he caught his third touchdown of the season and had three receptions. The Jets used Tim Tebow in a sensible way, allowing him to convert a third and short from an empty formation and letting him run a few read options with Greene. He also converted another fake punt, his third of the season, hitting Nick Bellore for a 24 yard completion.

On defense, we finally saw signs of a pass rush. Quinton Coples finished with 1.5 sacks, the first of his career. Rookie safety Antonio Allen also had a sack in his Jets debut and Muhammad Wilkerson had a strip sack, his first of the season. Antonio Cromartie continued his All-Pro caliber season, keeping Reggie Wayne in check and recording his third interception of the season. The Colts were never able to establish a running game, finishing with only 41 yards on 17 carries.

It was an encouraging, confidence building win for the Jets against an inferior team. People who write off the Jets as one of the league’s worst teams and talk like their season is over, forget their ability to dominate teams like the Colts on their schedule and there are more like them on the way. They aren’t on the way this upcoming week though, as the Jets will travel to New England in a battle for first place in the AFC East. It will be a difficult task as always to slow down New England’s high power offense.

Regardless, the AFC is bunched together and it is going to stay that way. The Jets are 3-3. 2-0 in their division and 3-2 in the AFC. Their season is far from over and if they continue to improve, have the ability to be a factor in the AFC playoff race.

…And now it is Patriots week.

New York Jets – No Room For Error Against Colts

The New York Jets are facing a must win at home this week against the Colts

In the NFL it is often a foolhardy task to look down the schedule, even in-season and try to predict wins and losses. This is a week to week league and so many things can change in the course of seven days. It was less than a month ago you were probably ready to purchase your Super Bowl tickets after the Jets 48-28 trouncing of the Buffalo Bills, right? Regardless, with the Jets sitting at 2-3 and teetering on the brink of a lost season and a quarterback change, let’s take a quick look down the road.

As of today, the only teams left on the Jets schedule that they have definitively looked better than are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills. They should be solid favorites as of now in all those games. The Jets have looked on a comparable level to three other teams left on their schedule, the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and this week’s opponent, the Indianapolis Colts.

If the Jets want to stay around .500 and keep themselves relevant in the playoff race into December, they need to win games like this week against the Colts. Yes, Indianapolis is better than expected and yes they had an emotional win over Green Bay last week. However, it is logical to assume a letdown after such an emotional win for a young team. The Colts are also much tougher in their dome than on the road. They are also dealing with their own injuries. Starting running back Donald Brown won’t play this week and either will Pro Bowl pass rusher Robert Mathis who is out with a knee injury.

The Colts are feisty because of how talented Andrew Luck is at quarterback and how Reggie Wayne is having a career year as his number one target. Similar to the Jets, they struggle running the ball and now will be starting a rookie fifth rounder at running back (although he very well may be better than Shonn Greene, because who isn’t these days?). The Colts have an inexperienced offensive line and a defense with a suspect secondary. Indy is averaging allowing 27.5 points per game and opposing quarterbacks to throw for 242 yards per game.

Nobody is saying this is a “gimme” game because it certainly isn’t. The Jets don’t have those anymore with their talent level. Regardless this a sharp decline from San Francisco and Houston and will be the worst defense they faced since week 1 by a wide margin. If Mark Sanchez cannot put together a statistically respectable performance and lead the Jets to a win here, he deserves to lose his job and that is coming from somebody who is an unabashed Sanchez apologist. At 2-4 and heading into New England it would be officially be panic time and it would shock nobody if Tim Tebow was inserted as the starter even if it defies logic, considering Tebow was killed in both meetings against them and Sanchez has beat Belichick and company three times.

Regardless, the Jets must stay on track to get into their bye week at 4-4 and set themselves up for relevance heading into November and December. The offense will only get better. There were positive signs this past Monday night and with Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill both back in the line-up this week, the improvement should continue. On defense, Rex Ryan must build on the second half against Houston, where we finally saw signs of a good defense as they contained the Texans to 6 points, despite playing on a short field after an onside kick.

You hate saying games are must-wins because which ones aren’t? It is cliche. It is probably over-exaggerated but Sunday is a must win for the Jets and a must strong performance from Mark Sanchez if he has any of hope of remaining the starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.

NFL Week 1 Review

It is too early to throw around Power Rankings, so here are 5 observations from week 1 of the NFL

1. The Colts are a one man organization. They haven’t drafted well in recent years. They have done nothing in free agency in recent years. The competency of their coaching staff, including Jim Caldwell, is questionable. When you latch all your success on to one individual it is poor management. Peyton Manning is gone and isn’t coming back this year. It looks like the Colts are ready to tuck their tail between their legs and become a 4-12 team. It sure wouldn’t hurt to have a guy like Rex Ryan being your head coach in their situation to put a little fire into that lifeless bunch who was whipped by Houston.

2. Nobody likes poking fun at our uptight neighbors more than me, but the New York Giants were truly awful in week one. When are they going to improve their special teams? How will they overcome their injuries on defense with such questionable depth? Is Eli Manning really good enough to carry a team with mediocre surrounding talent? The Giants need to take advantage of an easy start to their schedule, beginning with their home opener versus the Steven Jackson-less Rams or they will be looking at a 5-11 season.

3. It isn’t very often you see the Pittsburgh Steelers manhandled the way they were on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how each team responds to such a surprising week one outcome. I would still bet they will be battling for the AFC North title into the final weeks of the season. One other comment on Pittsburgh, it is a little sad to see Jerricho Cotchery still injured and eventually coming back into a #5 receiver role on the Steelers behind Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antonio Brown.

4. I won’t go crazy with Buffalo hype because I don’t think Kansas City is good. Yet, the Bills will be a fun team to watch and should flirt with a .500 record this season. The Jets two games against them this year won’t be gimmes by any stretch of the imagination. New England and Miami set defensive football back about 100 years on Monday night. Then again, the Jets did almost allow 400 yards, so I shouldn’t say too much. Yet, seriously New England…you are going to let Chad Henne throw for over 400 yards on you?

5. A few games to look forward to this week –

  • Philadelphia at Atlanta – The Mike Vick show comes back home, while the Falcons badly need a win.
  • San Diego at New England – Good barometer for the Chargers early in the year
  • Green Bay at Carolina – Should be fun to watch Cam Newton off his 400 yard performance against the Champs.

Initial Thoughts On Jets/Colts – Time For Revenge

Photobucket

We say it all the time here at Turn On The Jets, when it comes to our team…it is never easy. Instead of getting to face the inexperienced Kansas City Chiefs in the first round, the Jets are now slated to travel into Indianapolis to face Peyton Manning, the same site where their season ended only a year ago.

The best player on the field this Saturday night will be Manning and he has the ability to completely take over a game, as we know all too well. However, the Jets are a better team than they were last year when the Colts knocked them out and the Colts aren’t as good of a team. Mark Sanchez should be heading into this game with tons of confidence, considering how well he played in Indianapolis in last year’s playoffs. I’d like to see the Jets have plenty of Shonn Greene heading north and south on the Colts defense, which is built on speed not size, which will also help keep Peyton Manning off the field.

A run first approach should open up down the field play action passing to Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, who will both have favorable match-ups on the outside. In terms of the Jets defense, they are catching a huge break with Austin Collie and Dallas Clark being out of the line-up. However, Jacob Tamme is still a threat and the Colts seem to have an ability to roll receivers through and still get production. Antonio Cromartie should handle Pierre Garcon better than Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery did in the past and Darrelle Revis should match-up with Reggie Wayne.

The road to the Super Bowl is going to require beating the two best quarterbacks in the NFL, in their building. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but hey for the second year in a row, when the playoffs come around…this is a Jets town.

Reaction To Super Bowl Announcement, And Speaking Of The Super Bowl…

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. The Jets have hired former Appalachian State receiver coach Lance Taylor as an offensive assistant.

2. The Jets have the day off from OTAs tomorrow but we will back on Thursday with full media availability. There was some released statements from players on the team, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan on the Super Bowl announcement and obviously everybody was excited. It is a nice moment for the organization.

Reaction To Super Bowl Announcement, And Speaking Of Super Bowl…

As expected, the new Meadowlands Stadium was awarded the Super Bowl in 2014. Over the last few days it had become relatively apparent this was going to happen and the announcement didn’t take anyone by surprise. Personally as a North Jersey native, I am very pumped about the Super Bowl taking place 20 minutes from my house. I know everybody refers to it as the New York Super Bowl but keep in mind it is beautiful East Rutherford, New Jersey that will be hosting the game. It is being estimated the game, being held in 2014, will generate approximately $550 million for the local economy.

PhotobucketI could only hope that gives the state enough money to either knock down Xanadu or actually some functioning stores in it. We are all getting tired of looking at that empty, bizarrely colored building which is an ugly sign of recent economic problems in the area. The announcement should help sell the naming rights to the stadium, which is currently just being called The New Meadowlands Stadium.

I think the concern over cold weather is overrated. Is there anything better than a good snow game? If you disagree…stop being so soft, football is supposed to be played in the elements. However, if the Jets happen to make the 2014 Super Bowl and the weather negatively impacts them, then I reserve the right to change my mind. Seriously though, I hope this starts a trend of occasionally having the game in cold weather locations and by that I mean I hope this isn’t the only time it ends up in this stadium. The only other cold weather stadium that could have a shot would be New England but let’s be real it is no New York up there so that probably won’t happen.

PhotobucketAnyway since we are talking about the Super Bowl, what are your expectations for the Jets in 2010? Is anything short of a Super Bowl appearance considered a disappointment? You would think when a team is winning in the second half of the AFC Championship Game the previous season, the logical next step and expectation should be a Super Bowl appearance. While it is bizarre to expect a team who hasn’t won a AFC Championship since 1969 to do it this season, that is the reality for the Jets in 2010. Nobody is going to be happy with a divisional title. Nobody is going to be satisfied with a couple of playoff wins. We saw that last year. The talent is in place and the Jets have talked the talk since the season ended, so now it is time to walk the walk.

There are no certainties in the NFL. There may not even be a season in 2011. If there is, the Jets are going to have to make some difficult roster decisions. No, it isn’t as bad as some writers make it out to be. There isn’t going to be a need to blow up the team. Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson will get their money from the Jets but some of the recent additions could be moving on (Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson) along with certain veterans like Shaun Ellis and Damien Woody.

The point is that while the Jets should still be a good team past this season, they are in the best position they have been in a long time to reach a Super Bowl. The roster is loaded on both sides of the ball. The Patriots are down. The Dolphins have plenty of question marks. The Jets showed they can handle the Chargers and we’ll see how they match-up with the Ravens in week one. Obviously the top team in the conference is still the Colts but the Jets have spent the entire off-season building themselves to beat them, by adding Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Kyle Wilson, and Brondey Pool.

A successful season for the Jets in 2010 equals an appearance in the Super Bowl and in reality nobody is satisfied with a loss in the big game, so yes it is championship or bust in 2010 for the New York Jets.

Go Shonn, Go