Aging Defense Jets Primary Off-Season Concern & Super Bowl Reaction

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. Gary Myers of the Daily News officially waited one day with an attempt to jinx the Jets for next year by picking them to win the AFC, in his article today.

2. Darrelle Revis did an interview with the The Big Lead the other day and offered a few interesting thoughts, including his belief that the Jets biggest off-season need is a corner, Jerricho Cotchery is their most underrated player (agreed), and he also gave the impression that Vernon Gholston won’t be back next year (we can only hope so).

3. The 2009 highlights section has been changed around, since most of the game highlights are being taken off youtube by the NFL. However, I am working on putting together all the various highlight tapes people have made of the Jets past season, as you can currently see in the section.

Super Bowl Reaction

1. The Colts…choking as heavy Super Bowl favorites since 1969.

Photobucket2. Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in NFL but his legacy took a hit last night. If he completes that drive and leads the Colts to a win in OT, most people are saying he is the greatest QB ever or he is at least in the top 2/3 of the discussion, he has 2 Super Bowl rings, 2 Super Bowl MVPs, passes Tom Brady as the best QB of this generation, and spends the entire off-season being praised effusively by everybody associated with football. Yet, since he threw that interception he will spend the whole off-season hearing about his 9-9 playoff record, how despite dominating in the regular season for so long, only has 1 ring to show for it with a win over a mediocre Bears team, and how he was outplayed handily by Drew Brees in the Super Bowl. People are now wondering whether he is heading back to his choking ways of the past…talk about one play changing perspective.

3. Honestly, you had to root for the Saints last night. They were a more emotional/fun team to follow. They had a better story, and on and on which is why about 85 percent of the stadium was Saints fans last night. The Colts come off a little robotic…maybe that is just because their coach hasn’t changed his facial expression once the entire season.

4. Give to credit to Dwight Freeney for putting up a hell of an effort on his bad ankle last night.

5. The commercials? Disappointing, at best. Even the Tim Tebow supposedly “controversial” ad was boring.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook….because 185 other people are, and why wouldn’t you want to be one of them?

Aging Defense Jets Primary Off-Season Concern & Super Bowl Reaction

The Jets defense carried them to the AFC Championship Game this past year. Despite the offense coming on late in the season, the 2009/2010 Jets were about defensive football, finishing with the league’s #1 overall ranking. It was a constant storyline from the beginning of training camp how far ahead the defense was of the offense, yet moving forward into this off-season and likely the few following it, the Jets need to focus on their defense instead of their offense.

On the offensive side of the football, the Jets have a good, young core that should be in place for awhile as we will get to in another article on another day. On defense, the front office is going to have some work to do.

The main focus of this off-season will likely be the secondary. Darrelle Revis will be getting a monster contract either this year or next year. #24 isn’t going anywhere, so feel free to buy yourself his jersey, maybe even an authentic one if you have some money. Jim Leonhard is only 27 years old and will be around for awhile, especially with Rex Ryan in charge of the defense. Beyond that, there is nothing but question marks. Lito Sheppard won’t be back next year. Donald Strickland is also likely going to be released and even if he sticks around, he can’t be relied on to stay healthy. Drew Coleman doesn’t belong on an active NFL roster. Dwight Lowery should be a #4 corner/specials teamer and Marquice Cole is a strictly specials guy. Kerry Rhodes is rumored to be on the trading block, although I think when everything is said and one, he will be back next season. If Rhodes can play to his potential, it will alleviate many potential problems on their defense. They will have a pair of good, 27 year old safeties in place for the forseeable future withtwo quality backups in Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo.

Smith and Ihedigo are good options as #3 and #4 safeties but would be miscast as starters or even as guys splitting starting time. If the Jets can’t work things out with Rhodes, they better find a way to fill his spot before trading him for a middle-round draft pick or else they are only creating another hole to fill. They already need a long term starter opposite Darrelle Revis at corner and a reliable nickel-back, who could also provide depth if Revis (scary to think about) or the eventual starter got hurt. We can’t have Dwight Lowery one snap away from playing starters minutes next season.

PhotobucketAt linebacker, the Jets aren’t necessarily old but they aren’t young either and they lack depth. Similar to Revis, David Harris is going to be around for a long time and will be a lynch pin of the defense hopefully for another 7-8 years. Bart Scott is going to turn 30 this year but should pair inside with Harris for a few more years. The top backup at inside linebacker is Ryan Fowler, who has some starting experience but is much better suited as a special teams player. Past him, I wouldn’t expect Larry Izzo back and Kenwin Cummings has never played an NFL snap. Calvin Pace also turns 30 this year and similar to Scott will likely play out the huge contract the Jets gave him as a productive starter (or at least we hope so). Bryan Thomas turns 31 this year and since the Vernon Gholston completely flamed out, has remained a starter longer than many in the organization probably wanted to see. Thomas has been okay the past two years, but the Jets need to upgrade to a more dynamic pass rusher. Unfortunately, because of the Gholston bust, their depth is also weak. Marques Murrell might not back next year after spending plenty of time on the inactive list last season. Jamaal Westerman has potential as a back-up at both positions, but disappeared after a strong start as a pass rusher last year.

On the defensive line, Kris Jenkins is turning 31 and coming off major surgery. I would be thrilled if we could get 2 more seasons out of him at 2008 level and then have him still be productive in a somewhat lesser role after that but even that might be asking too much. Sione Pouha just turned 31 but is only entering his 6th season next year, so hopefully he could remain a key part of the defensive line rotation for a few years. I don’t know if Howard Green will be back next year. Marques Douglas and Shaun Ellis both turn 33 this season so even though both are coming off good years, the Jets need to start thinking about long term replacements at defensive end. Mike DeVito is only 25 but is best used in a reserve role. Ropati Pitoitua hasn’t been able to earn any major reps the past two years.

So in retrospect, yes the Jets had a very good defense last year and yes they should be even better in 2010 with Jenkins returning and another year in the system. However, they still need two corners, an upgrade at outside linebacker, long term answers at defensive end, and better depth at the linebacker position.

In The Category Of Random Related Videos To The Jets Defense

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Moments

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. The Jets fined Rex Ryan $50,000 for flipping off a group of hostile Miami fans over the weekend. There is no further action expected from the NFL. Hey, at least Ryan didn’t pull a Ron Artest/Stephen Jackson and run into the crowd.

2. Mark Sanchez talked about his decision to get knee surgery today. Basically, the main piece of news is that the surgery will allow him to stop wearing a brace during games.

3. Speaking of Sanchez, head over to www.nfl.com/PepsiRefresh or text his name to P-E-P-S-I, to vote for his off the field program to receive a $100,000 grant from Pepsi. Sanchez is supporting Juvenile Diabetes/Type 1 Diabetes which hits close to home here at TOJ since my little sister has the disease. You have until midnight Friday to cast your vote so take 5 seconds of your day and do it right now….then come back to read the rest of the article.

4. Great stuff here: http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/02/03/salary-cap-myths-misconceptions-faqs-part-one/ on the off-season rules for the uncapped year and how they affect the Jets.

Photobucket5. Lost Season, Episode 1/2 “LA X” Thoughts – Damn, what a premiere. I think we all kind of expected the alternate reality/reset storyline but it is weird how they have it running parallel to the castaways being shot back into 2007 because of the bomb. How are these two storylines going to converge? While I expected to see some type of reset action, I never expected to see the island at the bottom of the ocean. Clearly, setting off the bomb had larger ramifications then preventing Oceanic 815 from crashing which is also shown by the differences in some of the characters (Hurley being lucky, Desmond on the plane, No Shannon on the plane, etc). Also it definitely looked like Jack was having some deja vu on the plane and knew something might be off. It was nice to get confirmation that Locke (or the guy who took him over) is the smoke monster and finally see the Temple. However, we still got about 10000 new questions to answer now. Why does whomever Locke is now want to go home? Where is his home? How come Sayid was dead and is now alive? How did Juliet know “it worked?” And on and on. If all this sounded like Chinese to you, too bad it is the final season of Lost and I’m writing about it.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook….everybody is doing it…well at least 179 people are.

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Moments

Welcome to day three of the TOJ Awards for the 2009/2010 New York Jets season. Monday we honored the Jets best and worst players on each side of the ball. Yesterday, we looked at the best and worst games of the past season and today we will be looking at the best and worst moments/individual plays of the past year.

Offense

Top Five “Holy Sanchize, We Got A Quarterback” Moments

 Photobucket

5. Second Half Kickoff – After a 3/5 for 15 yards first half against the Patriots in week 2, Sanchez hits Jerricho Cotchery with a beautiful throw on a skinny post for a 45 yard gain on the first play of the 3rd quarter to move the Jets down to the Pats 11 yard line. Two plays later he dropped an equally impressive pass to Dustin Keller for a 9 yard touchdown to give the Jets a 10-9 lead en route to a 16-9 victory.

4. Rebound Performance – After a terrible game against the Saints in the Jets first loss of the season, Sanchez responded on Monday Night Football with 172 yards, a touchdown and no turnovers. Despite the loss, he showed an ability to push the ball down the field on a 53 yard completion to David Clowney and a 34 yard completion to the newly acquired Braylon Edwards.

3. Buckets – Returning from injury, Sanchez dropped a picture perfect pass to Braylon Edwards for a 65 yard touchdown against the Falcons to give the Jets a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. The rest of the day was ugly but that one completion was hopefully a sign of things to come for the next few years.

2. Make A Play – With the Jets trailing 7-3 in the 4th quarter of the Divisional Playoffs to the Chargers and facing a 3rd and goal from their 2 yard line, Sanchez went play action saw all of his options covered, rolled out…continued to roll out, waited and then fired a missile to Dustin Keller in the back of the end-zone for the go-ahead touchdown. A big time play in a big time spot. (I Know the video clip is from a weird angle, but look at all those Jets fans celebrating, I thought this was a San Diego home game?)

1. The Big Stage – On the road in the AFC Championship Game, Sanchez makes a statement with both his first half touchdown passes. On the first, he hits Edwards in stride for a 80 yard touchdown and more impressively on the second, he stands in the pocket, takes a monster hit and delivers a perfect throw on an option route to Dustin Keller for a touchdown, giving the Jets a 14-6 lead.

Top Five “What The Hell Is Going On Out There” Moments

Photobucket

5. Anybody But Him – Rookie running back Shonn Greene fumbles behind the line of scrimmage and the ball bounces directly to Jason Taylor who runs it back for a 48 yard touchdown, promptly forcing Jets fans everywhere to throw up.

4. Really, Another One? – Mark Sanchez throws his 5th interception of the game against the Bills on a rainy Sunday afternoon in overtime, leading to them kicking the game winning field goal in a gut-wrenching loss.

3. Face-Catch – On a prime-time Thursday night game Braylon Edwards drops a wide-open 70 yard touchdown when he lets the ball bounce of his face mask. Fortunately, he responded with a touchdown later in the half and the Jets went on to win 19-13.

2. Just Ugly – Sanchez throws a ridiculously horrible interception out of his own end-zone in New England with the Jets down 24-14 to end any chance of a comeback. He scrambles around for 10 seconds and instead of throwing it away, throws it directly to Brandon Merriweather.

1. Yes, Yes…No – Wild-Card weekend, the Jets appear poised to tie the game at 7 on a perfect 50 yard pass from Mark Sanchez to Braylon Edwards, unfortunately Edwards forgets to catch the ball.

This probably fits somewhere in this list, also…

Top Five “Ground and Pound” Moments

 Photobucket

5. Opening With A Bang – The Texans appear ready to get back in the game after scoring a touchdown to cut the Jets lead to 17-7, fortunately Thomas Jones rips off a 34 yard run to extend the Jets lead to 24-7 and puts the nail in the coffin.

4. TJ, Run Our Play – The Jets need 1 yard to clinch a Divisional Round win over the heavily favored San Diego Chargers, despite sitting for most of the 4th quarter the Jets insert Thomas Jones for a crucial 4th and 1 with the instructions to “run our play”, Jones gets the ball behind a pulling Alan Faneca and gets 2 yards…clinching a Jets win.

3. Welcome To The NFL – After a quiet 6 weeks, Shonn Greene breaks on the scene with a 144 yard, 2 touchdown performance against the Oakland Raiders.

2. Somehow, We Still Lost – Thomas Jones has a career day against the Bills, racking up 210 yards. However, somehow the Jets still manage to lose 16-13.

1. Boom – With the Jets holding on to 10-7 lead in the fourth quarter, Shonn Greene steamrolls Chargers safety Eric Weddle and rumbles for a 53 yard touchdown, capping it off with a mock LaDanian Tomlinson celebration…beautiful.

Defense

 Top Five “Revis Island” Moments

Photobucket

5. Slouch – In week 2, before the injury that apparently made Randy Moss so lazy this year, Darrelle Revis out-jumps him for a beautiful interception down the sideline…with no safety help.

4. Slouch Part 2 – After completely owning Terrell Owens all game on Thursday Night Football, Revis clinches a Jets 19-13 victory by intercepting a deep ball attempt for Owens.

3. He Deserved An Easy One – The great ones always catch a break, against the Panthers a ball bounces right off Steve Smith’s foot into the hands of Darrelle Revis who easily runs it back for a touchdown.

2. Ocho-Stinko – Change your name back to Chad Johson, after shutting down “Ochocinco” down in week 17, Revis follows up with an encore performance in the playoffs, including an acrobatic interception over Johnson down the side-line.

1. He Caught That?  – I am still not sure how Darrelle Revis came up with this interception against Vincent Jackson in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Top Five “Swaggalicious” Moments

Photobucket

5. The Whole Team Felt It – Despite an up and down season, Kerry Rhodes came up big in the Divisional playoffs with a huge sack of Phillip Rivers on a 3rd down in the fourth quarter. Rex Ryan later said, “when you hit the quarterback like that, the whole team feels it.”

4. Where Are You Going – David Harris makes a ridiculous move to sack Matt Schaub in week one, setting the tempo for the Jets defense the rest of the season.

3. End Of Game Stand – Despite struggling at the end of games most of the season, the Jets defense held firm against Tom Brady and the Patriots in week two, culminating with Dwight Lowery knocking away a fourth down pass and the whole stadium going insane.

2. For A Second I Thought We Had Him – The Jets get to the untouchable Peyton Manning two times in the first quarter of the AFC Championship game, with 2 sacks by David Harris. Unfortunately, Manning figured them out and Rex Ryan didn’t have a Plan B.

1. Momentum Swing – Jim Leonhard comes up with a huge interception against the Chargers late in the third quarter, leading to the Jets taking the lead and never looking back.

Overall

Season High Point – Calvin Pace blows up Joseph Addai, forcing a fumble deep in Colts territory with the Jets already up 14-6 against the heavily favored Colts. Tell me you didn’t think we were going to the Super Bowl after this play, yet it wasn’t meant to be cause it was all downhill from there. Other high points were going right down the field on the Bengals in week 17 to start the game because you knew we were en route a blowout and the playoffs…Beating New England in week 2…Watching Shonn Greene rumble for that 53 yard TD against the Chargers.

Season Low Point – I can’t decide between Manning giving the Colts the 20-17 lead in the AFC Championship game because you knew at that point he couldn’t be stopped or Tony Gonzalez scoring to apparently knock us out of the playoffs or the beating we took in New England that apparently knocked us out of the playoffs or watching scrub Ted Ginn Jr score on 2 kick returns.

Personal Favorite Moment – Wild-Card Weekend, I was surrounded by 12 people routing adamantly against the Jets. After the Bengals made the score 21-14, everybody was literally screaming in my face when the Jets got the ball back, yelling about how another meltdown was coming and so forth, fortunately two plays later Mark Sanchez hit Dustin Keller for a 45 yard gain, which let me turn around and give a big  “Shut the ‘Eff Up” to everybody.

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Players

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. I made a mistake when discussing restricted free agents in my last article. If you look at the comments section under the article, two people corrected me with the actual rules on RFA’s and the options the Jets have on players like Leon Washington and Kellen Clemens. Here is what they are eligible to do (pulled from comment by SBS0311, thanks to you and DEK for the heads up) –

Your tender suggestions on Clemens and Washington aren’t permitted under the CBA. There’s five distinctions:

No compensation

Draft Round compensation (ex. Clemens 2nd, Leon 4th).

2nd Round Compensation

1st Round

1st and Third

It would actually cost the Jets the same exact money to tender Clemens at a 2nd round level as it would to tender him at no compensation.

With Leon, the Jets will have to tender him at $1.545 M for 2nd round and then at increasing salaries for the 1st and then the 1st and 3rd.

Anyway, bad job by me with the mistake and thanks again for the corrections.

2. My thoughts on the whole Rex Ryan middle finger at Miami fans – I am sure Rex was prompted by excessive amounts of heckling (as was pointed out in this PFT article http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/01/31/rex-ryan-faced-extreme-provocation-before-firing-middle-finger/) However, as much as we all hate Dolphins fans and all enjoyed Rex calling out us sweeping them next year, giving the middle finder is something he just can’t do. I am sure he will pay a fine, which is deserved and hopefully that is the end of this issue. I don’t want Rex to change his personality but when he is out in public, he is going to have to contain the obscene gestures.

3. Nick Mangold discussed getting a long-term deal at the Pro-Bowl and honestly there is no reason the Jets shouldn’t act on it during this off-season. They are already limited at signing UFAs because of the “Final Eight” rules in the CBA agreement so why not take care of their own? Mangold is the best center in the NFL and has without question earned a long-term, big money deal from the franchise.

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Players

Welcome to day one of the TOJ Awards for the 2009/2010 New York Jets season. Today we will be honoring the Jets best and worst players on each side of the ball. Tomorrow, we will be looking at the best and worst games of the past season and on Wednesday we will be looking at the best and worst moments/individual plays of the past year.

Best Overall Player – Darrelle Revis, Cornerback – 54 tackles, 31 Passes Defensed, 6 INTs, 1 TD (2 INTs in Playoffs)

Revis had one of the best seasons in Jets history, at any position and was robbed of the Defensive Player of the Year Award. After his first pro-bowl season in 2008, Revis established himself as the league’s best cover corner and maybe the only  legit “shutdown” corner currently in the NFL. By the end of the year, Revis was getting the league-wide recognition he deserved all year for the job he did shutting down receivers like Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Randy Moss,  Marques Colston, Terrell Owens, and on and on. He was the cornerstone of the Jets defense and allowed them to play as aggressively as they did because of his man to man cover skills. Hopefully, being snubbed for the DPOY Award will inspire him to come back even better next year, which should be a scary thought to the rest of the league. The highlights say it all:

Best Offensive Player – Nick Mangold, Center

It was between him and Thomas Jones but in the end I decided to give it to the best lineman on the league’s best offensive line, which led the way for the league’s #1 ranked rushing attack. Darrelle Revis is the best in the league at his position and so is Nick Mangold, which is why he is deserving of that long-term contract he desires. Despite only being a fourth year player, Mangold quarterbacks a largely veteran offensive line that runs complex blocking schemes drawn up by Brian Schottenheimer and Bill Callahan which had to counter defenses loading up the box.

 Photobucket

Best Defensive Player – David Harris, Linebacker – 127 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 FFs, 2 INTs

I am not going to double up on any awards which took Revis out of the running for this one. However, Harris deserves recognition for putting together an All-Pro caliber year as the top tackler in the league’s top defense. An all-around threat, Harris consistently made big plays for the Jets all season and then after bouncing back from an ankle injury finished the year with monster games against San Diego and Indy in the playoffs. He is only entering his 4th year and should be the heart of Rex Ryan’s defense for years to come.

 Photobucket

Most Underrated: Offense – Jerricho Cotchery, Receiver – 57 receptions, 821 yards, 4 TDs/Brandon Moore, Guard

Cotchery’s numbers won’t blow anybody away but if he didn’t basically miss three complete games (Buffalo, Oakland, and Miami where he barely played because of ankle injury) he would have been a 1000 yard receiverwith a rookie quarterback. Most people forget how well Cotchery played in the first four games of the year before Braylon Edwards was acquried and before an ankle injury slowed him down for a few weeks (90 yards week one, 87 yards week two, 108 yards 1 TD week three, 71 yards week four). Cotchery also stepped up in a big way during the Jets post-season run, routinely making clutch third down receptions along the sideline.

Brandon Moore is the least talked about guy on the Jets offensive line and the only player who isn’t a former first round draft pick. However, he has been a consistent player for them the past few years and is very good in both the running and passing game. His level of play isn’t too far below Alan Faneca’s.

Photobucket 

Most Underrated: Defense – Marques Douglas, Defensive End – 64 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 FF, 4 TFLs, 1 TD

Sione Pouha stepped up a big way after the Kris Jenkins injury, however I decided to go with Marques Douglas an unheralded off-season acquisition who proved to be a major upgrade over Kenyon Coleman and provided energy and some playmaking ability to the Jets defensive line. There were questions about whether Douglas could handle being a full-time starter and he answered them by playing a ton of reps in a defensive line rotation that for the most part only had four players getting serious reps.

 Photobucket

Biggest Disappointment: Lito Sheppard, Corner – 31 tackles, 8 Passes Defensed, 1 INT, Vernon Gholston, Linebacker – 17 tackles

It was hard to decide between these two so I decided they both deserved criticism. Sheppard couldn’t stay healthy and was extremely inconsistent when he was on the field, proving that he wasn’t the answer to the Jets #2 corner problem. Gholston made no impact in the first four games of the year when he had the chance to start and was a below average special teams player the rest of the season, who probably shouldn’t have even been active in most weeks.

Biggest Offensive Playmaker: Shonn Greene, Running Back – 540 yards, 2 TDs (304 yards, 2 TDs in Playoffs)

Even though Greene didn’t become a factor until week 7 with a breakout game against Oakland and was then relatively quiet for most of year, he exploded when it counted during the Jets last two regular season games and playoff run. Greene averaged 5.0 yards per carry in the regular season and bumped that up to 5.6 in the playoffs, including a long TD run in both the Cincinnati and San Diego game. Greene had some nagging injuries throughout his rookie year but if he can stay healthy next season, it is scary to imagine what his numbers could be.

Biggest Defensive Playmaker: Calvin Pace, Linebacker – 55 tackles, 8 sacks, 7 TFLs, 3 FFs

Keep in mind Pace only played in 12 regular season games, which means he likely would have been a double digit sack guy if he hadn’t been suspended the first month of the season. He remains the Jets best pass rusher until they hopefully upgrade the position. After a quiet first two games of the playoffs, Pace had a big day against Indy in a losing effort including a forced fumble deep in Colts territory.

 The Get Me The Damn Ball Award – Dustin Keller, Tight End – 45 receptions, 522 yards, 2 TDs (3 TDs in the playoffs)

The Jets did a poor job of using Dustn Keller enough throughout the season, some of the blame goes to Mark Sanchez and some goes to Brian Schottenheimer but they must find a way to get more targets to Keller. For an offense that is so reliant on the run, play action to the tight end should be a big part of the offense. Keller finally became more involved in the post-season and responded with 12 catches, 181 yards, and 3 touchdowns in 3 games…tempting me to draft him again in fantasy football, even after a disappointing statistical season.

 Photobucket

The Stop Talking, Start Tackling Award – Kerry Rhodes, Safety – 63 tackles, 3 INTs, 13 passes defensed

Kerry Rhodes is clearly a talented player but he is guy who is starting to wear thin on the organization according to multiple sources. He didn’t improve his play until he was benched and he doesn’t play nearly physical enough. I am not ready to give up on him yet like most people seem to be, because he showed his potential in a big spot against the Chargers during Divisional Weekend. However, he needs to cut back the media appearances and have a big off-season, which will hopefully translate into a better, more consistent 2010-2011 season.

Photobucket
 

The Other Guys Who Deserve Positive Recognition Awards – Thomas Jones for putting together a career season and being a terrific short yardage/goal-line back…Jim Leonhard for being tough enough to play through his injured hand, and elevate his play during the playoff run…Damien Woody, Alan Faneca, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson for rounding out the best offensive line in football…Mike DeVito for developing into a quality role player off the bench.

Another Good Highlight Tape Of Jets Season

Recapping Jets GM Press Conference & Other Updates

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Chad Johnson still refuses to give Darrelle Revis credit as you can read here (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/9859/ochocinco-on-revis-child-please), this guy is crazier than I already thought.

2. Another reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook. I have a page up there that includes extra commentary and links to all the Jets coverage from other sources that you should be reading on a daily basis. We are at 171 fans right now, and I want that number doubled by the time the 2010 season starts.

3. Isn’t it great that Mark Sanchez already has more playoff wins than Tony Romo in his career? I am just saying since nobody likes those Maganelli Cowboys fans that are here in the area.

4. One of the main things I will be working on in the off-season is putting together a TOJ Podcast for the 2010 season, more details to follow.

5. Next week, I will be doing our usual updates and stuff if anything Jets related occurs. However, I will be focusing on the 2009 Season 1st Annual Turn On The Jets Awards. The best players, best moments, best games, best coaches and of course the worst players, worst moments, worst games, and wort coaches will all be recognized…so let’s hand out some hardware.

Recapping Jets GM Press Conference & Other Updates

Mike Tannenbaum (who we are a big fan of here at TOJ) took the podium today to discuss the Jets off-season, here are some highlights and analysis:

Mark Sanchez – Sanchez saw Dr. James Andrew yesterday to have his knee checked out. It sounds like he is going to have minor surgery to clean it up. The Jets haven’t made a final decision yet but Tannenbaum basically said he wanted to see Sanchez take part in some rehab and strengthen the knee, and that he would be back well before training camp if they decide to have him get surgery. Hopefully, he won’t have to miss any OTAs or mini-camp.

– Kellen Clemens  – Tannenbaum said the Jets are going to tender Kellen Clemens as a restricted free agent. I don’t know at what level he will be tendered but I would imagine it would be a very low pick (6 or 7) at the highest or maybe even without a pick. He also said just because they are going to tender him, doesn’t mean the Jets won’t look at a veteran quarterback.

Erik Ainge/Kevin O’ConnellTannenbaum said he likes both of them moving forward but the Jets would be crazy to proceed with them as the top two backups.

Thomas Jones – It certainly sounded like TJ will be back next year. The Jets are going to pay him his bonus and I am sure Jones will recognize he isn’t going to get big money anywhere else. Tannenbaum continually emphasized the importance of depth, especially at the running back position.

Leon Washington – The Jets are going to tender Leon as a restricted free agent. I would guess with a mid-round pick (2 or 3). It is hard to see any team making a big money offer to him for the Jets to match since he is coming off major knee surgery.

Braylon Edwards – Edwards will be back next year with a likely 1st and 3rd round pick tender. Tannenbaum pointed out how he was a big help in the Jets rushing game and has been a good fit in the locker room.

Kerry Rhodes – Many people have been speculating that the ongoing difference between Rhodes and the Jets is that they want him to take a pay cut. However, Tannenbaum made it clear there are no contractual issues between the two and that the key is they want Rhodes to commit to the Jets off-season program. It sounds like the organization wants more of Rhodes in the team facility and less of Rhodes posing for magazines and acting.

Vernon Gholston – Gholston is going to be back in 2010, although Tannenbaum is obviously not happy with his lack of production, they are going to give him another off-season to improve.

Secondary – Secondary was mentioned more than a few times as a key focus for the Jets off-season. Tannenbaum made it clear that Ryan loves defensive backs and he wants to give him as much depth as possible at the position. He didn’t say anything about Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland, although I’d be shocked to see either back next season.

– Thank you to reader Ret2ski, who pointed out the Jets do in fact have a 5th round pick. So to my knowledge they have a 1,2,5,6,7. Another thing about the Jets this off-season, if a player is cut by a team before his contract expires the Jets are free to sign him without restriction. Overall, I would still guess the Jets will be relatively quiet in free agency, focus on acquiring more draft picks and actively work on adding depth to the defense, especially at the defensive back position.

Nice Highlight Tape Of TJ and Shonn Greene

Quick Thoughts/Updates On Jets Off-Season

Photobucket

1. Mike Tannenbaum is holding a press conference at 2 PM tomorrow. He has a rare talent for avoiding giving answers to questions and giving out no useful information but that is fine with me as long as keeps doing things like trading up for Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Shonn Greene, Mark Sanchez etc…regardless, we’ll have coverage if he does let anything interesting slip.

2. Really good article here about how the new free-agency rules affect the Jets (http://www.nyjetscap.com/2010finaleight.html), fortunately I think Tannenbaum is really built for this type of thing and will be smart enough to navigate the Jets through this off-season with some improvements at necessary areas.

3. Alot of people have been talking about moving Dwight Lowery to safety as a potential replacement for Kerry Rhodes, if he is traded. It is not an easy transition to go from corner to safety because it is a completely different mentality and type of game you have to play. Beyond that, I don’t think Lowery is the physical replacement Ryan would be looking for if Rhodes isn’t around. Speaking of Rhodes, he is supposed to make an announcement about his future tonight on SNY, so we’ll see what he has to say. Regardless, I still think the Jets are better off with Rhodes in 2010 unless they get a trade offer that blows them away. There is no need to create another hole in the secondary.

4. I am all for the Jets cutting ties with Vernon Gholston. There is an article in the Daily News today about the Jets considering it, which also quotes one of his teammates saying Gholston has shown no passion for the game. This isn’t the first time somebody has questioned his love of football, which is a bad sign. Gholston was also on record saying he is perfectly happy being a special teams player, even though he is a below average one at best. Has anybody ever noticed him get excited about anything on the field, even in pre-season games? It was clearly a huge mistake to draft him and it is now time to cut your losses.

5. With the limits on the Jets in free agency, they better hit on their 1st and 2nd round picks. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Tannenbaum trade down and try to end up with three 2nd round picks, or maybe pick up a third-rounder. The Jets need to add some young bodies to their offensive and defensive lines, which they won’t be able to do if they are concentrating on improving their secondary with their top picks (remember the Jets don’t have a 3, 4, or 5 as of right now).

6. Mel Kiper Jr. currently has the Jets taking Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate with their first roundpick. With Braylon, Cotchery, Keller, and Leon coming back, getting a slot receiver isn’t a top need for the Jets. Yes, it would be nice to have a productive #3 WR but Keller andhopefully Leon could fill that role if the Jets don’t add anybody. There is no need to spend a first round pick for one. Jason Avant is a free agent and could be an interesting option especially considering Assistant GM Scott Cohen’s ties to the Eagles.

7. Final list of the Jets in the Pro-Bowl: Darrelle Revis, Shaun Ellis, Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, D’Brickashaw Ferguson…will anyone be watching? They are down to the 5th alternate at most positions because of injuries andpeople on the Colts/Saints not being able to play. Revis and Mangold obviously deserved to go as All-Pro players. Faneca had a very good year but is there on name recognition. Even though D’Brick got in as an alternate, I think he has a legit claim as a Pro-Bowl caliber player. Ellis is a bit of stretch but the guy has been productive for a such long time, I am glad he made it back this year.

8. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Tony Richardson comes back for another year. It is not easy to find a quality fullback like T-Rich. The Jets rushing game would take a serious hit without him.

Darrelle Revis Making A Sick Interception In Last Year’s Pro-Bowl

Preliminary Look At Jets Off-Season

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan ruffled some feathers yesterday by saying the Jets were going to be the best show in town next season. I listened to the press conference and think most people are taking it the wrong way as some big time shot at the Giants. Basically, Ryan said when the Jets were playing at home it was going to be Jets Stadium and when they were playing at home, they were going to be the biggest show in town. Giants fans really got their panties in a bunch yesterday on the local radio shows after hearing the press conference, which was pretty laughable. If they are so confident they are still the number one team in town (which they are until the Jets win or at least get to a Super Bowl) why are they so insecure about what a Jets coach says in a press conference? Maybe it is because their team quit on them the last two weeks of the year, has one of the NFL’s worst defenses, and is heading into 2010 as the third best team in their own division.

2. I am surprised the line is so high on the Super Bowl…the last I saw it was at 5.5 in favor of the Colts. I would imagine the Saints will be able to exploit the Colts secondary. However, I guess Peyton Manning is playing so well right now that nobody wants to bet against them. I will be pulling for the Saints, not out of bitterness but because they have never won one before and the Colts just got one in 2006.

3. I am still trying to find out where all the Jets draft picks are for April. Unless what I have read online is wrong (which is a definite possibility) the Jets only have a 1st round (#29 overall), 2nd, round, 6th round, and 7th round pick. They lost their 3, 4, and 5 from the Braylon Edwards and Lito Sheppard trades. This might be a year to trade down and stockpile some more picks.

4. Non-Jets Related Off-Season Talk – LOST premieres in a week and yes i am very excited about that, you want to fill your free time in the off-season go rent the DVDs and catch up…I was watching the Knicks before the AFC Championship Game and not only were they wearing ridiculously ugly orange socks, they also lost by 50 freakin’ points, it was like watching Marist play Syracuse, I mean c’mon now, we aren’t convincing LeBron to come play for a team that bad…Has anybody had a worse off-season in baseball than the Mets? Even though the Yankees won the World Series, they still did much more to improve their team. Have you seen their line-up and pitching rotation for 2010? Wow.

Preliminary Look At Jets Off-Season

There is nothing like the dead period from when your team is eliminated from the playoffs until the start of free agency (March 5th, my birthday by the way), plenty of time to enjoy mid-season NBA and NHL, and college basketball and off course look at all the potential things the Jets could do to improve in 2010. Make no mistake, the Jets have work to do this off-season. The playoff run was terrific. They found their identity. The future is bright. However, they only won nine games in the regular season. It is time to take the next step, which means becoming a 11-12 win division winner who is hosting playoff games and hopefully getting a bye. What are the issues facing the Jets this off-season and where could they improve? Let’s take a look:

Defense

PhotobucketThe early reports coming from the organization is that the Jets will be looking to revamp their secondary after it was torn to shreds by Peyton Manning. Rex Ryan didn’t sound too confident in Kerry Rhodes coming back in his press conference yesterday. Basically, he said he wasn’t going to beg anybody to come back who didn’t really want to be here and that he wants committed players on his defense. Ryan refused to give details about a discussion him and Rhodes had considering his future with the team. Personally, I think Rhodes improved after his benching and would be crazy to want to leave New York. I am not sure if a guy like him wants to move out of the biggest market in the country and what defensive player wouldn’t want to play for Rex Ryan? The Jets owe Rhodes a roster bonus in March and will likely explore trade options but I am not sure how big the market is going to be for him. Obviously, the Jets minor league team (Cleveland) will be interested but unless the Jets are getting good value back and have plan to replace him, I don’t want to see Rhodes go. The secondary isn’t improving by trading Rhodes for a 5th round pick and then having James Ihedigbo and Eric Smith split reps at safety.

Lito Sheppard is a goner. There is no way the Jets are paying him a roster bonus in March. It is also being reported that Jets are likely going to part ways with nickel back Donald Strickland, who was productive when healthy this past year but always seemed to be banged up. I’d also be shocked to see Drew Coleman back next year.

Remember the Jets are limited in free agency because of the rules under the old CBA. They can only sign the same number of free agents that they lose. Regardless, Mike Tannenbaum is a creative guy with trades and with Strickland, Sheppard, and potentially Rhodes all likely ending up with new teams the Jets will have some room to operate.

Remember the Jets spent all three draft picks on offense last year, so you can bet Rex Ryan will be pushing for defensive help in the first two rounds of the draft. The Jets need a corner to pair with Darrelle Revis and a guy to compete for nickel reps. You have to expect at least one of their draft picks to be on a defensive back and trade options to be explored. The cornerback market isn’t loaded with talent although there are some quality guys (Richard Marshall, Carlos Rogers, Fabian Washington). If the Jets get rid of Rhodes, Roman Harper, Nick Collins, and Antoine Bethea are all free agents.

Outside of the secondary, the Jets need a pass rusher. Everybody knows this but finding a big time pass rusher isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. If the Jets don’t spend their first round pick on a corner, it will be on on outside linebacker/defensive end pass rushing prospect. Vernon Gholston will likely be cut this year and even if he isn’t, he has proven to be a bust. The Jets are pretty old along the defensive front, so don’t be surprised to see more than one new face added through the draft, free agency, or a trade.

Offense

PhotobucketDespite the defense carrying the Jets this past season, it needs more help than the offense does. The Jets are young at key positions and have a talented core to build around (Sanchez, Greene, Washington, Edwards, Keller, Mangold, Ferguson, Cotchery, Smith). Braylon Edwards is going to be given the highest tender as a restricted free agent, so he will be back. Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller are a pretty good trio of targets for Sanchez to grow with. However, the Jets could still use a slot receiver. Brad Smith is a valuable offensive weapon but isn’t a wide receiver and David Clowney is no better than a number 4/5. Chansi Stuckey would really be the perfect guy to fill this role but unfortunately the Jets had to give him up to acquire Edwards. The Jets could also use a better #2 tight end. Ben Hartsock is a good blocker but is no threat as a receiver and has too many costly penalties called on him.

On the offensive line, the Jets need to start thinking about their long term replacements for Alan Faneca and Damien Woody. I am confident the Jets will pay Faneca his roster bonus in February because he has started every game since signing his contract and maintained a high level of play. Yet, the Jets could really only bank on one or maybe if they are lucky two more seasons from the Faneca/Woody combination before they break down or their level of play falls off. Hopefully, guys like Matt Slauson, Robert Turner, and Wayne Hunter are developing into potential starters but it wouldn’t hurt to spend another late round pick on an offensive lineman.

Running back will be an interesting thing to keep an eye on. Will Tony Richardson want to come back for another year? If not, the Jets will have a big hole to fill at fullback. I think it is the right call to bring Thomas Jones back for the final year of his contract. You don’t know how Leon Washington is going to respond from his injury and Shonn Greene was banged up alot this year. With the way the Jets run their offense, there is no problem with having three backs getting carries. Hopefully, Jones can accept becoming option 1B, since Greene should clearly be the Jets 1A option at running back next year. Despite having a great regular season, there won’t be a huge market for Jones because of his age and because of how his production fell off in the playoffs so it makes sense for both sides to have Jones return.

The Jets also need a veteran backup at quarterback. Kellen Clemens is gone and they would be crazy to go into the year with Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell as their top backups. How about Chad Pennington? Seriously, who would be a better mentor for Sanchez and be better equipped to manage the Jets ground and pound if Sanchez was hurt?

Overall

If I had to list the Jets off-season needs as right of now it would look something like this:

  1. Secondary (#2 and #3 corner, potentially safety to replace Rhodes)
  2. Defensive Line/Outside Linebacker (Pass Rusher, Youth on defensive line)
  3. Veteran Backup Quarterback
  4. Offensive Line (Eventual replacements for Faneca/Woody)
  5. #3 Receiver
  6. #2 Tight End

Final Thoughts On Jets/Colts

 Photobucket

1. I hope everybody has really taken the time to sit back and enjoy this playoff run…the extra media coverage, the bandwagon fans, and everything this else that comes with success. However, let’s not be satisfied with making it to the AFC Championship Game. I am not buying a AFC Championship t-shirt, I want a Super Bowl t-shirt. We are past the point of everything being “gravy” or playing with house money. The Jets need to seize this opportunity by the throat tomorrow. If you think this past month has been fun, imagine what the next two weeks would be like.

2. You have to love Mayor Bloomberg renaming Manhattan, “Revis Island.” You also have to love how the Empire State Building has been green the past month. I was only 10 years old in 1998, so my memories aren’t great but I don’t think the Jets have ever had such a hold on this town before.

3. I referenced the bandwagon fans before. I am in my second semester of taking classes at Lehigh and working at Muhlenberg and I can promise you I was the only person on either campus wearing any Jets stuff first semester. Yet, the past week all of a sudden I saw about 25 Sanchez jerseys, and I am pretty sure I could see the tags hanging out the back of them. Beyond that, I keep hearing all these casual/new Jets fans talking about the team when they clearly haven’t followed them all year…if they had been, they wouldn’t be wearing a Sanchez jersey, they would be wearing a Revis/Greene/or Mangold jersey haha.

4. I am getting up bright and early tomorrow and heading down to South Jersey for a full day of tailgating before watching the game with my cousins, Uncle, and Dad. I am telling you right now, I got some butterflies but overall I feel confident. For all the bandwagon fans out there, even more haters exist who refuse to give the Jets credit.

5. I am sorry this is a little late but check out http://davissportsdeli.com/podcasts/?p=325 for the DavisSportsDeli Podcast, which I made an appearance on yesterday. Aaron Fischman does a great job with the show, so it is something worth checking out over the next few months.

6. I think the Jets receivers are going to have big games tomorrow and by big, I don’t mean necessarily huge statistical days but both Braylon and Cotchery are going to haul in a few catches each in big sports. I like how they match up with the Colts cornerbacks. I also think Kerry Rhodes is going to step up again.

Nice Jets Video Posted Over on Youtube that I Saw Linked At Barstool Sports

TOJ TV

And Of Course…Al

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Prediction

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. Watch the new episode of TOJ TV at the top and bottom of the article.

2. Kerry Rhodes and Shaun Ellis both practiced today and will be in the starting line-ups on Sunday.

3. www.thejetsblog.com has good coverage of the pep rally in Times Square yesterday, with video and photos from the event.

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Prediction

I think the entire “NFL is a passing league and you win by throwing the ball” argument is complete BS. There is a reason Ben Rothlisberger has won more Super Bowls than Peyton Manning and Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, and Eli Manning have won the same amount. Look at the past ten 10 Super Bowl Champs: The Patriots won three when they were built on a strong defense and their running game, instead of their passing game. Do you remember the Patriots receiving core during their Super Bowl victories? Exactly. When they became a team built around a prolific passing offense, they  lost in the Super Bowl to a Giants team with a big time defense and a big time running game. The Ravens, Bucs, Steelers, and Giants all won because of their defense and running game, not because of their ability to throw the ball. Even when the Rams were the Greatest Show On Turf, they ran the ball well with Marshall Faulk.

Yes, I know the Colts did a win Super Bowl in 2006. They deserve credit, yet they took advantage of a weak AFC Playoff field (including a below average 10-6 Jets team and a weak 9-7 Chiefs team), an overachieving New England team, and a choke artist San Diego team and beat a not so memorable Chicago team in the Super Bowl. However, do you remember how poorly Peyton Manning played in those first two playoff games? He threw 5 INT’s and 1 TD and continued his crappy play into the first half of the AFC Championship Game before locking into a scary zone, playing an awesome second half and leading the Colts pass the Patriots. How did the Colts win the Super Bowl that year? They won because their defense and running game stepped up. They won because they allowed a combined 14 points in their first two playoff games and they had success running the football. They won in the Super Bowl because their top two backs combined for 190 yards.

This Colts team is carried by one thing: the excellence of Peyton Manning. Yes, they have great defensive ends and fast linebackers but overall their defense is only average (18th overall in total defense, 24th in rushing defense, and 14th in pass defense). They have the worst rushing game in the NFL. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are great players but Wayne is going to meet his match this weekend and Clark…well I hope Rex Ryan has something schemed up for Clark. The Colts are 15-0 this year when they play all their starters the full game, which is impressive as hell. Yet, this isn’t the 2007 Patriots who blew out everyone in every game (and remember how their season ended when they faced a team who could hit them in the mouth on both sides of the ball), this is a team who won 8 games that were decided by one possession or less, which is why you are crazy if you took the 7.5 points they are favored this week.

I think their magic in close games runs out this week. I think the team who runs the football and plays defense is going to the Super Bowl. I think there is something going on with this Jets team. The football gods are smiling on the smash mouth team who plays old school football and not the team who spit in the face of history by pulling their starters the final two weeks but then decided to throw a bunch of screen passes to make sure their top two receivers finished with 100 catches each. The Colts created a monster when they pulled their starters in week 16 and this week that monster is going into their building and killing their season.

Jets – 23 Colts – 20

New TOJ TV

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Breakdown

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. The Jets practiced outside today for whatever reason. Shaun Ellis, Kerry Rhodes, David Harris, and Bart Scott were all limited in practice, while everybody else was full.

2. New episode of TOJ TV is on the way tonight and yes we went real big for the AFC Championship Game.

3. Herman Edwards and Tedy Bruschi both picked the Jets on ESPN…obviously, I am not surprised about Herm but Bruschi? I don’t know, maybe he is trying to jinx us. Speaking of Herm, how could I not throw this clip in?

4. The NFL Network is replaying Super Bowl III on Saturday night if you are looking for some historic confidence in the Jets upsetting the Colts.

5. How I have used my time so far this week: 40% Reading/Listening to Jets Coverage, 40% Working on Site, 15% Sleep/Re-watch old episodes of LOST to get ready for the new season, 5% School/Work…it has been a good week. This around the clock Jets work is messing with my dreams. Last night I had a lucid dream I was in the slot with Braylon out wide, we were running double slants, Sanchez threw it out to him, Braylon caught it, broke a tackle andwas off to the races…good sign, or am I just delusional? We will find out Sunday.

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Breakdown

PhotobucketOffense: North and South is the key this week. The Jets have to go right up the middle at the Colts defense. Brian Schottenheimer, throw out the reverses, tosses, and stretch plays because you aren’t beating this defense going sideline to sideline. It is time to work that inside running game. The Jets must repeatedlysend Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene right at the Colts defensive tackles and the defensive ends. Hopefully, the Jets can wear down Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis which will make them less effective as pass rushers. There is no need for the Tiger Formation or any option plays this week either. Teams have scouted it out and it hasn’t been effective in recent weeks so let’s not throw away yards.

I know most people would like to see Shonn Greene simply start the game, get 30 carries, andjust forget about Thomas Jones. However, Jones is the guy who wears on the defense andsoftens it up for Greene with his 15 carries. Beyondthat, it is important to keep Greene in the 20-25 range which will keep him fresh. You need a 1-2 punch in the NFL, especially with how often the Jets run the ball. Also, despite it not being a major factor in the Jets offense, Jones is a better receiver out of the backfield.

The Jets must get yards on first down to help set up manageable third downs for Mark Sanchez. There is no reason the Jets can’t successfully throw the ball in third and 4-6 situations. If the Jets can have Sanchez take short drops and get rid of the ball quickly, they have favorable match-ups on the outside and should be able to have a high conversion rate. Look for Jerricho Cotchery working that short option and intermediate comeback route often when the Jets need to throw, while Braylon Edwards has been effective on deep in routes and slants. One tendency the Jets must find a way to break is when they decide to take their deep shot to Edwards on the post route. Every game the Jets throw the ball to Edwards deep when they are around the 50 yard  line and it is 1st and 10 or 2nd and short. Teams are starting to expect it. The Jets have to mix it up when they take a shot because if they can get Edwards one on one and he decides to catch the football, they could be in great shape.

Defense: Similar to last week, the Colts are going to get their yards but it is key for the Jets to make them kick field goals instead of letting them score touchdowns. Everytime the Colts settle for 3, it will be a huge victory for the Jets. They also can’t let them get that classic touchdown before the half, which the Colts always score to take the momentum. The Jets must do a better job against the run than they did in week 16. Indy will try to counter the Jets blitz with draw plays and quick screens, which they always find a way to burn teams with. Regardless of how efficient the Colts passing game is, if the Jets can stop the run like they did against San Diego they will be in good shape by making them one-dimensional.

It has been well documented how difficult it is to sack Peyton Manning. However, the Jets must at least put some pressure on him, hit him and force him to rush a few throws. Manning does throw interceptions (he only threw 4 less than Sanchez this year, and we all know how many he threw)…and the Jets cannot, I repeat cannot, drop balls that could be intercepted. They need to take advantage if Manning throws a ball to them and run it back to set up easy points for their offense. Another key for the Jets is they need to be physical with the Colts receivers. Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, and even Donald Brown out of the backfield are all young guys and there is no reason they can’t be rattled in a big game by a few big shots over the middle.

Dallas Clark is obviously an extremely difficult match-up and the Jets did a poor job against him in week 16. I still think the Jets should occasionally slide Darrelle Revis over to Clark and then double Reggie Wayne. I am not worried about Wayne when he is one on one with Revis but you can’t be stupid enough to leave him one on one with anybody else. Kerry Rhodes is going to need to step up with another big game both in coverage and when he is sent at the quarterback. The Jets defense moves to another level when Rhodes is playing up to his potential.

Special Teams: I really think the Jets could swing the game here. I don’t know if it is going to be a fake punt, a big kick return or punt return, a blocked punt but if the Jets can steal some points here, they will be in great shape to pull off the upset.

Believe In The Upset

Scouting The Colts From a Jets Perspective

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Kind of a slow news day so far today, we won’t hear from Rex Ryan until tomorrow at 1:30. I caught Jerricho Cotchery’s interview on WFAN this morning and he talked about the Jets playing the LaDanian Tomlinson electric slide video on the plane ride home, which is pretty funny stuff. He also said he stayed up until 1 AM after the Falcons game, figuring out all the playoff scenarios that existed for the Jets. I remember the day after that game spending an hour on the phone with my friend Sean, who was sitting in front of the Yahoo Playoff Generator and going through every scenario that still existed for them making the playoffs and thinking it was amazing how they still had a somewhat realistic shot if they could beat Colts, and well you know the rest…

2. Bart Scott was on the NFL Network last night and was very respectful towards the Colts and didn’t say anything inflammatory. The basic gist of what he said was the Colts were a better team than the Jets but it didn’t matter if the Jets found a way to be a better team for three hours on Sunday.

3. There has been some stuff written about Jets fans/players being superstitious during our recent winning streak. Sanchez started this off in his press conference by talking about keeping his playoff beard, sticking to the same restaurants, and same clothes all week. I took a gamble wild-card weekend and watched the game in hostile territory at my friend’s house, divisional weekend I was back to my traditional spot locked away in my room back in Jersey. Looking back I have had a high amount success in Jersey, actually here is how my record breaks down this year (yes I had some free time in class)

  • Home in Jersey (6-1)
  • At the Game (2-3)
  • Apartment in Pennsylvania (2-3)
  • Friend’s House (1-0)

This weekend, I will be heading down to my cousin’s house in central jersey to watch the game surrounded by three die-hard Jets fans. We agreed if the Jets ever had a chance to make a Super Bowl in our lifetime we would gather to watch it and hence I will be off to Manalapan on Sunday morning. I wore my Revis jersey wild-card weekend. I wore my Cotchery jersey divisional weekend. I haven’t decided what to wear yet this weekend…big choice.

Scouting The Colts From a Jets Perspective

COLTS OFFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

  • Quarterback: Peyton Manning – 393/571, 4500 yards, 33 TDs, 16 INTs, 99.9 QB Rating
  • Running Back: Joseph Addai – 219 carries, 828 yards, 10 TDs, 336 receiving yards, 3 TDs
  • Running Back: Donald Brown – 78 carries, 281 yards, 3 TDs, 169 receiving yards
  • Wide Receiver: Reggie Wayne – 100 receptions, 1264 yards, 10 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Pierre Garcon – 47 receptions, 765 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Austin Collie – 60 receptions, 676 yards, 7 TDs
  • Tight End: Dallas Clark – 100 receptions, 1106 yards, 10 TDs
  • Tight End: Tom Santi – 8 receptions, 107 yards
  • Left Tackle: Charlie Johnson
  • Left Guard: Ryan Lilja
  • Center: Jeff Saturday
  • Right Guard: Kyle DeVan
  • Right Tackle: Ryan Diem

COLTS DEFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

  • Defensive End: Robert Mathis – 37 tackles, 9.5 sacks
  • Defensive Tackle: Antonio Johnson – 34 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Daniel Muir – 52 tackles
  • Defensive Tackle: Raheem Brock – 32 tackles, 3.5 sacks
  • Defensive Tackle: Eric Foster – 38 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Dwight Freeney – 24 tackles, 13.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Phillip Wheeler – 61 tackles, 1 sack
  • Middle Linebacker: Gary Brackett – 99 tackles, 1 sack
  • Outside Linebacker: Clint Session – 103 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Linebacker: Freddy Keiaho – 38 tackles, 1 sack
  • Linebacker: Ramon Humber – 32 tackles
  • Linebacker: Tyjuan Hagler – 26 tackles
  • Corner: Jacob Lacey – 85 tackles, 3 INTs
  • Corner: Jerraud Powers – 66 tackles, 1 INT
  • Corner: Kelvin Hayden – 5o tackles, 1 INT
  • Corner: Jaime Silva – 30 tackles
  • Safety: Melvin Bullitt – 77 tackles
  • Safety: Antoine Bethea – 95 tackles, 4 INTs
  • Safety: Tim Jennings – 57 tackles, 2 INTs

COLTS SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Matt Stover – 9/11 FGs
  • Punter: Pat McAfee – 44.3 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: Chad Simpson – 23.6 per kick return, 1 TD
  • Punt Return: T.J. Rushing – 5.7 per punt return

PhotobucketThoughts On Match-Up: Obviously, the Colts are scary on offense but scary in a different way than the Chargers were. San Diego had the ability to chew up huge chunks of yards and always hit the big play in the passing or screen game. The Colts have that capability but they are more likely to systematically move down the field, chew up clock, and roll off 11 play 75 yard drives at will. You can call the perfect blitz, have the perfect coverage and Manning can still thread the needle to a guy who is completely covered. Indy struggles running the football. Actually, they are ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing. Indy did run the ball well against the Jets in their last meeting, which I will cover in more detail in an article later today, which will be about what I noticed from re-watching the Jets/Colts week 16 game last night. However, if the Jets can duplicate their run defense effort from last week, they should be in good shape.

I don’t think the Jets should match-up Darrelle Revis with Reggie Wayne on every single play. I think Revis would do a great job in that situation, however the Jets defense would benefit more from moving him around. Yes, he should be on Wayne the majority of the time, especially in red-zone type situations. Yet, why not move him over to Dallas Clark on some plays or slide him into the slot on Austin Collie on a few third downs. It will keep the Colts off-guard. When you move Revis off Wayne, you put Lito Sheppard on him and give him safety help over the top so he is never left one on one. The Jets must find a way to put pressure on Peyton Manning. Rex needs to draw up some new blitzes. Kerry Rhodes needs to keep throwing back to 2006 and the defensive line needs to get pressure on plays when the Jets do not blitz.

Beyond that, let’s not ignore the fact that Manning has thrown 16 interceptions this year and considering he didn’t really play in the final two games that equates to over 1 per game. He also threw two more in about five plays last week against Baltimore. Fortunately for him, one was called back on a penalty and Ed Reed fumbled another one on the run back. Manning is going to throw some balls that the Jets will have a chance to intercept and when they do, they need to catch the ball and they need to return it to help set up easy points.

When on offense, the Jets have to run right at the Colts. Their defense is way too fast for any stretch plays, toss plays, or reverses. It needs to be Shonn Greene and Thomas Jones right up the gut. The Jets need to set up manageable third downs for Mark Sanchez, which he showed an ability to convert against San Diego. Indy is not particularly strong in the secondary, especially without Bob Sanders back there anymore. Their corners are nothing special and neither are there safeties. Braylon Edwards…you want to be a number one receiver and be paid like one, you should be making big plays against this secondary…use you athleticism and your size, which the Colts can’t match-up against and go up and get the football. Jerricho Cotchery should be able to work himself open on third downs on his option and comeback routes. The Colts linebackers have good enough speed to handle Dustin Keller.

Colts/Ravens Highlights