Jets vs. Pats: Scary Thoughts On Patriots Tight Ends & 2010 Draft Class

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The biggest concern for the Jets this Monday night is slowing down New England’s two rookie tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. I say this because of how awful the Jets have been at defending the tight end throughout the year and how productive the two players have been, including a 100 yard performance from Hernandez in week two against the Jets.

Wes Welker is obviously dangerous in the slot, but the Jets can move Darrelle Revis over to him in key third downs or even have him track Welker for the bulk of the game. Deion Branch has been very good since coming over from Seattle but is nothing Antonio Cromartie can’t handle. It is Gronkowski and Hernandez who really have the potential to keep the New England offense on the field, chewing up yards and racking up points.

The two tight ends are part of an impressive rookie class the Patriots have assembled, which is even more disconcerting considering how the Jets 2010 draft class is looking so far.

Look at the comparison –

New England

  • Corner – Devin McCourty – 61 tackles, 5 INTs, 12 PDs
  • Tight End – Rob Gronkowski – 25 receptions, 310 yards, 6 TDs
  • Tight End – Aaron Hernandez – 36 receptions, 462 yards, 3 TDs
  • Linebacker – Brandon Spikes – 54 tackles
  • Punter – Zoltan Mesko – 43.7 yards net average
  • Linebacker – Jermaine Cunningham – 26 tackles, 1 sack

Jets

  • Corner – Kyle Wilson – 20 tackles, 4 PDs
  • Guard – Vladimir Ducasse – Inactive every week but one
  • Running Back – Joe McKnight – Normally inactive, 4 carries, 12 yards
  • Fullback – John Conner – 2 receptions, 9 yards

Let’s be honest, to this point Wilson, Ducasse, and McKnight have all been major disappointments. Drew Coleman has outplayed Wilson all season, who has struggled both at corner and punt returner. Ducasse was easily beaten out by Matt Slauson in training camp for the starting guard job and is the team’s 3rd backup OL behind Wayne Hunter and Robert Turner. McKnight…well, what can you even say about him? At least we have The Terminator leading the way for years to come at fullback.

You have to give the Patriots credit for putting together a strong group of selections in 2009. The last time I checked they have about 49 picks in the first 3 rounds next year, so we can only hope they will go back to drafting the Chad Jacksons and Laurence Maroneys of the world.

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Thanksgiving Antipasto: Assorted Thoughts On Jets

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Yes, it is a cheesy name for the article but c’mon now, who doesn’t love a good antipasto? You can bet I do and I will be shoveling it down my gullet tomorrow as I root for the Lions to upset the Patriots. Anyway, here are some assorted Jets thoughts for you before our usual 12 pack of predictions on Thanksgiving day tomorrow:

– You have to just laugh at Terrell Owens, who finds a way to insult other players around the league on a weekly basis. This week it was calling Darrelle Revis an “average” corner and saying Ben Roethlisberger was “soft” on his and Ochocinco’s weekly TV show. It is truly comical to watch a player on arguably the worst team in football (okay, fine that is Carolina but the Bengals are close) still run his mouth. In terms of Revis, we all saw how he embarrassed Owens last year and basically forced him to quit in both games. I expect nothing less tomorrow night.

– Are the Jets ever going to get an interception again? They are going on five games strong now without one. Considering they are playing Carson Palmer this week, I think this would be a good week to end the slump.

– We were all excited about the Santonio Holmes addition but I don’t think anybody could have anticipated just how good he has been. I love the way Braylon Edwards has played this year but if it comes down to choosing one in the off-season, it has to be Holmes who brings a dynamic to the Jets offense that has rarely existed in their franchise history. Hopefully, something can be worked out for both players but unless Edwards is willing to take a little less to stay in New York, it probably won’t.

– Why has the Jets defense been disappointing in 2010? Some ideas…

  • New additions Jason Taylor and Brodney Pool have been average and made a minimal amount of impact plays.
  • The already questionable defensive line depth took a major hit with season ending injuries to Kris Jenkins and Ropati Pitoitua.
  • Calvin Pace missed 4 games due to a foot injury and hasn’t looked himself since returning.
  • Eric Smith and Jim Leonhard have consistently been exposed as liabilities in pass coverage.
  • Rookie Kyle Wilson hasn’t been anywhere near the contributor to this point that everybody around the team expected.
  • Teams have poured over the film from last year and are no longer surprised by the Jets exotic blitz packages and that is on Rex Ryan to find a counter.

– It is awfully hard not to look ahead to the Monday night showdown in New England for first place, isn’t it?

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Initial Reaction – Heart Attack. Jets Keep Stressing Us Out But Keep Winning

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A collection of thoughts from today’s 26-20 overtime win over the Cleveland Browns –

The Good:

  • Mark Sanchez – Can any talk about Sanchez holding the Jets back this year come to a stop? He played a terrific all around game, avoiding pressure countless times and making big plays down the field. Sanchez is now at the point where you have to feel very confident about this team in any close game when he has the ball in his hands.
  • The Running Game – This is what I have been talking about…20 carries for Shonn Greene who finished with 72 yards rushing, along with 3 receptions for 23 yards and 18 carries for LaDainian Tomlinson who finished with 57 yards rushing, along with 6 receptions for 53 yards. Beyond that, Brad Smith had an expanded role today with 5 carries for 39 yards and a reception for 6 yards.
  • Jerricho Cotchery – It is a shame he will now probably miss a few games but what a gutsy play in overtime to convert a key third and nine.
  • Santonio Holmes – How clutch is this guy? Two straight games he has won for us in overtime. It does wonders for your offense when you have a player who could turn a simple slant route into a game winning 37 yard touchdown.
  • The Run Defense – For all of the Peyton Hillis hype, the Jets held him to 84 yards and forced a fumble. Our defensive lineman may not be able to rush the passer but they can stop the run.
  • Drew Coleman – Just a big time play in overtime to strip Chansi Stuckey.

The Bad

  • Game Management – I absolutely hated the decision to let time run out in regulation. The Jets should always be playing aggressively for the win, especially with how well Sanchez has been playing late in games.
  • Nick Folk – Are we headed back to 2009? Folk gets a pass for one week because of his strong start in 2010 but he better get his act together back in his home stadium the next two weeks.
  • The Defense Overall – The Jets aren’t an elite defense in 2009. You can’t claim to be one and then allow a rookie quarterback to drive down the field in the final minute to tie the game. The pass rush is also way too inconsistent. Evan Moore, Darrelle Revis? Evan Moore. Eric Smith and Jim Leonhard remain major liabilities in pass coverage and tight ends are continuing to kill the Jets.

A few other thoughts…

  • Kyle Wilson played a good game today. He had a big tackle to stop a third down conversion and a nice 18 punt return. It will be interesting to see if he can settle into the nickel role.
  • Eric Mangini was awfully animated on the sideline today. Did you see him celebrating those missed field goals?
  • Braylon Edwards put together a strong game in his homecoming. He has been reliable this year and appears to have got over the drops that plagued him the previous few years.
  • Brian Schottenheimer finally seemed to find his rhythm as a play-caller today.

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TOJ Mid-Season Awards

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Here we are half way through the 2010 regular season already. The Jets sit at 6-2 and are on pace for the 12-4 record that many predicted for them. It hasn’t always been pretty but overall it is hard to complain at this point. Out of the final 8 games, only 3 are against teams who are currently under .500, so the Jets still have plenty of work to do. However, here is what our awards are looking like heading into week 10 –

Offense

MVP – Mark Sanchez – Yes, you can make a strong case for LaDainian Tomlinson but I am going with our quarterback who has taken major strides in the right direction so far in year two. At this time last year, the Jets were 4-4 and Sanchez had 8 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, currently the Jets are 6-2 and he has 10 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. Beyond that, he has led the team to two late comeback victories, something he never did in 2009.

Make TOJ Look Like An Idiot – LaDainian Tomlinson – I predicted before the season that Tomlinson would only have 900-1,000 yards of total offense for the Jets and be a clear cut #2 to Shonn Greene…whoops. Tomlinson already has 790 yards of total offense, 5 touchdowns, and is clearly the Jets #1 back. However, he has slowed the previous few weeks and I still believe Greene needs a bigger role in the offense.

C’mon Man – Shonn Greene, Jerricho Cotchery, Brian Schottenheimer – Shonn Greene got off to a slow start but has looked better as of late. Yet, he still isn’t being given enough touches by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer who has been inconsistent at best with his playcalling this year and downright infuriating at worst. Jerricho Cotchery leads the team in drops and really who could have saw that coming. He is also only averaging 10.5 yards per catch, en route to a weak 272 receiving yards.

Make TOJ Look Smart – Braylon Edwards- I did predict Braylon Edwards would lead the team in receiving yards and put together a better than expected year and so far he is making me look good with a team leading 453 yards, along with 5 touchdowns.

Pleasant Surprise – Matt Slauson – Slauson has been very good so far at left guard and made sure none of us miss Alan Faneca all that much.

Pro-Bowl CaliberBrandon Moore, Dustin Keller (447 yards, 5 TD’s), D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Nick Mangold are all putting together excellent years so far.

Getting The Job Done – Ben Hartsock and Tony Richardson aren’t pro-bowl caliber but they are getting the job done also at their respective positions. Brad Smith remains a valuable, versatile weapon for the Jets.

Defense

PhotobucketMVP – David Harris – Most people have been saying Antonio Cromartie, but I am going with the Jets middle linebacker who never gets any respect. Harris has been rock solid in the middle and is a huge part of why the Jets are 4th in rushing yards allowed. He leads the team in tackles and is tied for the lead in tackles for a loss, along with recording a sack and having 2 passes defensed.

Make TOJ Look Like An Idiot – Brodney Pool – I spent plenty of time in the off-season hyping up Pool as quietly being the Jets best addition this off-season…um, what? After missing week one, Pool has been average at best for the Jets alongside Jim Leonhard at safety. So far through 8 games he has recorded 19 tackles, 0 sacks, 5 passes defensed, and 1 INT.

C’mon Man – Jim Leonhard, Jason Taylor, Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson – I know the Island is back now but you can’t let him off the hook for contributing nothing the first 6 weeks of the season. Jim Leonhard has been a liability in pass coverage and hasn’t made any impact plays yet. Jason Taylor had a pretty good start but has been invisible the past few weeks. Kyle Wilson apparently doesn’t know how to find the football in the air or when to turn around, which isn’t good for a first round draft pick. He doesn’t even play on defense anymore, as the immortal Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery jumped him on the depth chart.

Make TOJ Look Smart – Sione Pouha – I have always loved the big fella and he is putting together a great all-around season. He is 4th on the team with 32 tackles, recorded a sack, and somehow has 3 passes defensed.

Pleasant Surprise – Mike DeVito – DeVito has shown that without question he is capable of being a full time starting defensive end. He has also racked up 32 tackles, along with 3 tackles for a loss and is a huge reason the Jets are 4th in rushing yards allowed.

Pro-Bowl Caliber – David Harris and Antonio Cromartie have both played at a Pro-Bowl level to this point of the season, although Cromartie’s lack of big plays could keep him from getting the national respect.

Getting The Job Done – I don’t know if he will ever be a pro-bowler but Pouha has been terrific this year. Shaun Ellis, Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas have been steady as usual. Dwight Lowery has been good in his role so far in 2010.

Special Teams

Just a paragraph to offer high praise to this entire unit. Nick Folk has been unbelievably consistent this year, especially considering how he played in 2009. Steve Weatheford, fake punt aside, has been booming the football and great at pinning teams inside their 20. Brad Smith has developed into a quality kick returner. Eric Smith, Lance Laury, and Marquice Cole have led the way on the coverage units.

First Half Highlights

Jets vs. Packers: Game Breakdown

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Offense: The Jets should be able to take advantage of Green Bay’s struggling run defense with both LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. This would be the time of the year to start getting Greene more involved in the offense to insure that Tomlinson is fresh for the stretch run in December and January. I do hope the Jets don’t become too conservative after Mark Sanchez’s erratic performance against the Denver Broncos a few weeks ago, which is no reason to go into the week one shell.

When the Jets are throwing the ball, expect to see more reps and targets for Santonio Holmes. Green Bay’s pass defense has been in the middle of the pack and there should be chances down the field for Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, and Jerricho Cotchery. The Jets offensive line will have their hands full with the Green Bay pass rush, led by Clay Matthews. It would make sense for the Packers to predominantly send Matthews at Damien Woody instead of D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

I am still waiting to see a little more out of the Jets Tiger formation, perhaps another pass from Brad Smith or an option pass from Tomlinson.

Defense: It will be interesting to see if the Jets are even more aggressive than usual with their blitz package, considering the supposed improved health of Darrelle Revis. Aaron Rodgers certainly has the ability and weapons to make the Jets pay against the blitz so Rex Ryan is going to have to mix and match his approach and occasionally be slightly less aggressive.

The Packers haven’t really been able to run the football this season, making them one-dimensional. However, Denver also came into the Jets game unable to run the ball and had a good degree of success. The Jets are thin on the defensive line moving forward and clearly think Shaun Ellis, Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha, and Trevor Pryce can handle major reps.

It would be nice to see the Jets pass rush be a little more active this week. Calvin Pace has had two weeks to rest his foot and should be more explosive off the edge. Jason Taylor has been pretty good so far, but considering how much the Packers will likely throw this week he should be in Rodgers face all day. I would expect the Jets to rotate Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie on Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Hopefully Revis can live up this word and begin to resemble his 2009 self.

Special Teams: How about it Kyle Wilson? I am waiting to see something…anything from you on punt return. Brad Smith has quietly been excellent on kick returns and always is a threat to break one. Jordy Nelson and Tramon Williams are somewhat dangerous on returns but the Jets coverage has been solid this year. Nick Folk and Mason Crosby have been two of the top kickers in the NFL this year.

Jets vs. Broncos: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

 1. Darrelle Revis is going to make the trip with the team to Denver and Rex Ryan indicated he could be used in a limited role this weekend. How about this? Sit him down and make sure he is 100 percent for the final 8 games of the season. Everybody else is expected to play this weekend, including Calvin Pace.

2. ALCS/NLCS Predictions – Yankees in 5, Phillies in 6…Yes, I know I really went on a limb there.

Jets vs. Broncos: Game Breakdown

Offense: Denver is beyond banged up on defense and is currently ranked 25th in the NFL in rushing defense. I would say it is time for that Ground and Pound…How about 20 carries for Shonn Greene this week and 14-16 for LaDainian Tomlinson considering he is coming off 23 touches on a short week? Denver’s pass defense isn’t much better than their run defense and their secondary will be without Brian Dawkins, Andre Goodman, Darcel McBath, and Wesley Woodyard. Basically, what I am saying is that the Jets shouldn’t have trouble rolling up points on this defense. It will be interesting to see if this offense has matured enough to take advantage of a below average, banged up defense with the plethora of weapons they have.

Hopefully the chemistry between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes will progress and the Jets can hit a big play to him down the field. I thought Sanchez did a good job of spreading his targets around last week, but it will be interesting to see what happens in a game the Jets don’t throw the ball as much, along with how the role of each receiver ends up developing throughout the season.

Defense: Denver has the NFL’s worst rushing offense by a substantial margin and the Jets have one of the best run defenses in the league. I am thinking Josh McDaniels won’t try to outsmart himself (which he very well may) and will rely heavily on his passing attack this week. Kyle Orton has done a great job of spreading the ball around and the Broncos have a surprisingly productive collection of receivers and tight ends. Even if talented rookie Demaryius Thomas misses this week, Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal have all been good in 2010.

I would expect Antonio Cromartie to spend most of the day on Lloyd, who actually leads the NFL in receiving yards (what?). Considering his build and speed, Drew Coleman makes the most sense for Eddie Royal while Kyle Wilson or Dwight Lowery could cover Gaffney or tight end Daniel Graham. Denver is going to get their yards on the Jets, but the key will be to hit Orton early and often and hope that since he is throwing so much there are a few turnovers.

Special Teams: Royal is dangerous in the return game and Matt Prater is a very good kicker. Doesn’t it feel like we are due for a fake punt?

Good Memories From A  Bad Day In Denver

Jets vs. Vikings: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. Calvin Pace practiced full today and should be back in the starting line-up Monday night. Darrelle Revis was limited and his status remains somewhat in the air. The Jets should also be getting backup tackle Wayne Hunter back from a shin injury.

2. Brett Favre is taking his talents to South Beach all over Deadspin today…proceed with caution.

Jets vs. Vikings: Game Breakdown

Offense: Is do what you been doing the past three games too easy? Seriously, the Jets seem to have found a nice balance between their rushing and passing attack, along with a good division of touches between their various playmakers. Minnesota is a tough defense to run the ball on but that doesn’t mean they should shy away from having LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene combine for 35-40 touches. The Jets offense is most effective when the running game gets going, opening up the play action attack for Mark Sanchez.

The big news on this side of the ball is obviously that Santonio Holmes is returning to the line-up. It will be very interesting to see how many snaps he plays and his integration into the offense. I would imagine the smoke screens and quick receiver screens the Jets usually like throwing to Jerricho Cotchery, will now be going to Holmes. Yet, the Jets don’t want to just use Holmes run after the catch ability. He is the most complete receiver on the roster and I expect Brian Schottenheimer to be excited about his new toy, and hence take an early shot down the field to him.

I would say Minnesota will likely focus their coverage on Dustin Keller, but really how could they? If they want to consistently leave Braylon Edwards and Holmes in single coverage with their corners, then good luck. Don’t forget Lito Sheppard plays major reps for them at corner and even if he gets matched up with Jerricho Cotchery in the slot, the Jets could do some damage.

Beyond that, there is also that Brad Smith guy running around on reverses, options, and quarterback draws.

Defense: The Jets need to put this game in Brett Favre’s hands. Adrian Peterson has been a monster this season (as usual) and even though the run defense has been stout so far, he has the ability to change that quickly. Worry about stopping AP first and then let the old gunslinger (aka dongslinger as Jason Whitlock is now calling him on Twitter) take his shots on our secondary.

If Darrelle Revis does play, he shouldn’t be tracking Randy Moss all over the field. Antonio Cromartie already showed he can shut him down. Let Revis get a few shots at him to keep him off balance but for the most part let Cromartie man him up. Revis can work on Percy Harvin, while Kyle Wilson will probably primarily be matched up on Vishante Shiancoe, which he better have safety help on. Shiancoe has been banged up though and could be less than 100 percent.

Favre can take his chances on our secondary and I wouldn’t be shocked if he hit one big play to Moss. As we saw in week two, the Jets can survive one big play by Mr. Play When He Wants To. I’d be shocked if Favre didn’t throw at least one interception into the hands of Cromartie this Monday and maybe a few more to our other DBs to boot.

Special Teams: Be wary of Harvin on returns and keep Jim Leonhard going on the punt returns, he looks much better than Kyle Wilson. Nick Folk, forget that 30 yard miss from last week.

Thoughts On Jets First Quarter

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Some assorted thoughts on the first quarter of the Jets season, along with a few statistical projections:

Mark ‘Freakin Sanchez – What a sharp turnaround over the past three games. Mark Sanchez seems to be progressing into the quarterback all of us hoped he would be. After four games in 2009, here were Sanchez’s stats followed by his stats so far this year:

  • 2009 – 63/110, 4 TDs, 5 INTs, 2 fumbles lost
  • 2010 – 60/103, 8 TDs, 0 INTs, 0 fumbles lost

Wow. What a change. The bottom line is that if Mark Sanchez protects the football and keeps playing at the level he did weeks 2-4, the Jets will be going 3-1 or 4-0 in the next three quarters of the season.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Revived

  • Who would have thought that after four games, LaDainian Tomlinson would be on pace for this season:
  • 224 carries, 1364 yards, 12 touchdowns, 48 receptions, 328 yards

The Jets have to somewhat limit his number of touches so he doesn’t burn out, which is why Shonn Greene’s recent performance against the Bills was so encouraging. Greene is on pace for 208 carries for 892 yards. Could the Jets end up with two 1,000 yard rushers if Greene continues to pick it up?

Receivers

Dustin Keller has stolen the show and established himself as the Jets top receiving target. He has on pace for 76 receptions, 1016 yards, and 20 (yes 20 touchdowns). Obviously, as teams begin to key on him and with the return of Santonio Holmes those numbers likely won’t carry out. Yet, there is no reason Keller shouldn’t be in double digits for touchdowns and flirt with 1,000 yards.

Braylon Edwards is on pace for 48 receptions, 908 yards, and 12 touchdowns. His yards per catch is extremely impressive at 18.9. There is no reason he can’t continue to be a big play threat and a red-zone target with the return of Holmes. I wouldn’t be stunned if his numbers didn’t fall too short of those projections.

Jerricho Cotchery is off to a slow start and is only on pace for 44 receptions, 360 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Many things the Jets do with Cotchery (namely the quick smoke screens) will likely fall to Holmes now. It will be interesting to see if the Jets can find a way to keep him involved in the offense. Maybe, with him fully embracing the slot receiver role, he can become a big time third down weapon.

Brad Smith is on pace for 316 rushing yards and is averaging 9.9 yards per carry. He also has a touchdown pass, a reception, and is probably the Jets overall best special teams player.

Defense

On defense, Shaun Ellis is on pace for 12 sacks. Let’s hope he can get back healthy next week. David Harris is leading the way with a pace for 92 tackles, with Bart Scott close behind en route to 84. Neither of them have recorded a sack yet but both have 2 tackles for a loss.

The Jets are on pace for 32 sacks in 2010. They had 32 sacks in 2009.

The Jets are on pace for 16 interceptions in 2010. They had 17 in 2009.

Unofficially, Kyle Wilson is on pace to allow 5,000 receiving yards and be called for 200 pass interference penalties.

Turning Point

In week 2, the Jets were getting beat up and down the field by the New England Patriots. They fell behind 7-0 on a Wes Welker touchdown in the second quarter and it felt like 0-2 could be on the way. However, the offense responded with a 12 play, 77 yard drive that ended in a Braylon Edwards touchdown. They haven’t looked back since.

Favorite Plays From Weeks 1 – 4

  • Shaun Ellis and Bryan Thomas demolishing Joe Flacco on the first defensive snap of the season.
  • Jason Taylor’s strip sack of Tom Brady to clinch a victory against New England.
  • Dustin Keller beating Yeremiah Bell on a fade for a first quarter touchdown against the Dolphins.
  • Drew Coleman’s game sealing interception against the Dolphins.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson breaking out the juke move for a 26 yard touchdown against the Bills.
  • Braylon Edwards smoking Leodis McKlevin for a 41 yard touchdown.

Look at LT Go

Grading Out Jets/Bills Round 1

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1. The Jets resigned defensive lineman Howard Green today, along with releasing wide receivers David Clowney and Patrick Turner to make room for Santonio Holmes on the active roster. Welcome back, #10. Good luck to Clowney moving forward.

2. It sounds like Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace are on track to come back for this Monday’s game. Obviously, their progress throughout the week will be closely monitored, but I’d be shocked not to see Pace out there and Revis out there, even if it is with limited reps.

3. A reminder to recruit 5 new Facebook fans for Turn On The Jets and e-mail me their names at JCaporoso@fanball.com to become eligible to win a OCNN shirt, a Jets hat, or a Joe Namath Book/DVD.

4. The “Stats” section has been updated, and we will have an article coming later tonight with some overall observations on the first quarter of the season, along with statistical projections.

5. Who is rooting for a scoreless tie tonight?

Grading Out Jets/Bills Round 1

Quarterback (A) – An efficient performance from Mark Sanchez, who took what the defense gave him, threw the ball well off of play action and hit the big play when it was available. Considering the way Sanchez played at times last year, it is pretty amazing that he has zero turnovers through four games. The bottom line is that he has been one of the most improved players in the NFL through the first quarter of the season.

Running Backs (A+) – LaDainian Tomlinsonwas the best player on the field yesterday. He looked fast and displayed his trademark shiftiness that is going to make him a first ballot hall of famer. Tomlinson averaged 7 yards a carry en route to 133 yards, also adding 3 receptions for 22 yards. Shonn Greene had his first big game of 2010, with 117 yards on 22 carries. If the Jets can get this type of 1-2 punch going consistently, they are going to be one hell of a tough team to beat.

Wide Receivers (A) – Braylon Edwards put together a very good game, with 86 yards and a touchdown. He has been the big play threat the Jets needed during the Santonio Holmes suspension. Jerricho Cotchery has been quiet all season, yet I wonder if a full time move into the slot with Santonio Holmes back will bump up his production. Brad Smith is just a terrific all-around football player.

Tight Ends (A) – Dustin Keller is playing better than any tight end in the NFL right now, not named Antonio Gates. Ben Hartsock and Matt Mulligan continue to be reliable blockers.

Offensive Line (A+) – They physically dominated the Bills all game long, running the ball down their throat and keeping Mark Sanchez on his feet. Also, they finally avoided the killer penalties that had plagued them the first 3 weeks.

Defensive Line (A) – Shaun Ellis sprained his knee but there is a chance he could be back for this Monday night. Let’s hope, the Jets are already thin enough on the defensive line. Trevor Pryce was quiet in his debut.

Linebackers (A) – David Harris led the way with 6 tackles and a nice shot on Ryan Fitzpatrick that nearly forced a fumble. Bryan Thomas had a forced fumble, recovered by Jason Taylor. This unit should receive a big boost from the return of Calvin Pace this week.

Secondary (A) – Antonio Cromartie completely took Lee Evans out of the game. Drew Coleman held his own at the other starting spot. Dwight Lowery and James Ihedigbo both had sacks. Kyle Wilson? He still doesn’t understand the concept of turning around when the ball is in the air.

Special Teams (B) – Nick Folk finally missed an easy one…let’s hope he got it out of his system. Steve Weatherford continues to play well. Jim Leonhard looks much better than Wilson on punt returns.

Coaching (A) – Great job by Rex Ryan having his team ready to go and avoid the trap game. Brian Schottenheimer’s game-plan was solid and kept the Bills off balance.

Jets/Bills Highlights

Jets vs. Bills Round 1: First Look

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First a few updates:

1. It sounds like there is a decent chance Calvin Pace could play this week and an outside chance Darrelle Revis could suit up. Personally, I think the Jets should be resting Revis until after the bye week. Give him the full six weeks to recover from the hamstring injury, so he is 100 percent for the second half of the season. He needs to be 100 percent for Green Bay and Detroit coming out of the bye. The Jets can survive against Buffalo, Minnesota, and Denver without him. All three teams lack a big time receiver and depth at the position…and yes, I do think Kyle Wilson will eventually learn to turn around when the ball is in the air.

2. Jamaal Westerman is also now banged up and could miss this week, which equals more Vernon Ghoslton at outside linebacker. Wayne Hunter will likely miss his second straight game.

Final Thoughts on Week 3:

Offensive MVP – Dustin Keller – Keller has been rolling since the playoffs started last year, if you count those games he has 6 touchdowns in his last 6 games. It sure looks like he will be the Jets leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns unless Santonio Holmes plays outside of his mind for 12 straight games.

Defensive MVP – Brodney Pool – He was quiet all night but made two huge plays in the final minute to clinch the Jets victory, by chasing down Brandon Marshall and reading Miami’s final play to knock the ball away from Anthony Fasano.

They Deserve Some Love Too – Mark Sanchez…The guy has looked like a legit franchise quarterback the past two weeks…LaDainian Tomlinson…Carrying the Jets running game and providing a viable receiving option out of the backfield…Braylon Edwards…On the football field, he blocked very well and made two huge catches…Eric Smith…The Jets best special teams player and currently leads the team in tackles…Brad Smith…Every time he touches the ball, it seems like the Jets get a big play.

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: First Look

The Opponent: Those poor, poor Buffalo Bills. The AFC East’s whipping boy is off to a 0-3 start and has already cut the quarterback who won their off-season competition. Regardless, the Bills tend to play above their talent level in AFC East games and were very much in their games against Miami and New England. Ryan Fitzpatrick will take shots down the field at quarterback and the Bills have a quality collection of running backs. We all remember what their secondary did to Mark Sanchez last year.

Buffalo Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick – 20/28, 247 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
  • Running Back: Marshawn Lynch – 33 carries, 156 yards
  • Running Back: Fred Jackson – 17 carries, 66 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: CJ Spiller – 12 carries, 38 yards, 11 receptions, 41 yards, 1 TD
  • Fullback: Corey McIntyre – 1 carry, 2 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Lee Evans – 9 receptions, 88 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Steve Johnson – 9 receptions, 137 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Roscoe Parrish – 9 receptions, 152 yards, 1 TD
  • Tight End: Jonathan Stupar – 5 receptions, 41 yards
  • Tight End: David Nelson – 3 receptions, 22 yards
  • Left Tackle: Demetrius Bell
  • Left Guard: Andy Levitre
  • Center: Geoff Hangartner
  • Right Guard: Eric Wood
  • Right Tackle: Cornell Green

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Marcus Stroud – 13 tackles
  • Nose Tackle: Kyle Williams – 14 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive End: Dwan Edwards – 15 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Chris Kelsay – 19 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Andra Davis – 21 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Keith Ellison – 16 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Akin Ayodele – 7 tackles
  • Corner: Terrence McGee – 9 tackles
  • Corner – Leodis McKlevin – 12 tackles
  • Corner: Drayton Florence – 17 tackles
  • Safety: Jairus Byrd – 11 tackles
  • Safety: Donte Whitner – 21 tackles
  • Safety: George Wilson – 9 tackles
  • Safety: Bryan Scott – 14 tackles, 1 sack

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Rian Lindell – 4/6 FGs
  • Punter: Brian Moorman – 43.3 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: CJ Spiller – 31.2 yards per return, 1 TD
  • Punt Return: Roscoe Parrish – 6.6 per punt return

Key PlayersMarshawn Lynch has been Buffalo’s most productive back. CJ Spiller is explosive on offense and special teams. Roscoe Parrish is a big play threat at receiver. Terrence McGee and Leodis McKlevin are athletic corners who can make big plays.

Injuries – Paul Posluszny has been banged up and could miss this game. Calvin Pace could suit up for the Jets and play a somewhat limited role. Darrelle Revis will likely be out for the second straight week, along with Wayne Hunter.

Key Storylines – Can the Jets avoid the trap game? Seeing if the secondary can play better against an average offense. Can Shonn Green finally get going? Calvin Pace’s potential return to the lineup.

Highlights of Bills week three loss

In the coming days, keep an eye out for some TOJ give-a-away contests for the following items and more –

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