Grading Out Jets/Bengals & Other Wild-Card Weekend Updates

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First a few updates:

1. Peter King did the right thing and named Darrelle Revis his Defensive Player of the Year. Unfortunately, I don’t think #24 will take home the actual award because the media will be caught up in Charles Woodson’s stats. Nobody has played a defensive position better than Darrelle Revis has played cornerback this year…just ask Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Marques Colston, and Reggie Wayne.

2. The final regular season stats have been updated, along with the game highlights section. Congrats to Thomas Jones for cracking the 1400 yard mark and finishing third in the NFL in rushing, along with setting a franchise record with 14 touchdowns.

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3. This article by John Clayton on the AFC Playoffs is an absolute joke (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2009/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=4793153). He goes completely out of his way to avoid mentioning the Jets, when he discusses the key running backs he doesn’t mention Thomas Jones who has more rushing yards than any player in the playoffs. He doesn’t mention Rex Ryan as a coach in the playoffs or Jay Feely as an important kicker.

4. Here is one shocker, our old buddy Mike Florio gave the Jets a little credit as a dangerous team in the playoffs (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/01/04/week-17-morning-aftermath-jets-could-be-dangerous-in-postseason/).

5. Keep checking the facebook page throughout the week for an annoying amount of updates on all Jets wild-card weekend coverage.

6. Wild-Card Weekend Schedule: Jets at Bengals 4:30 PM Saturday. Philly at Dallas 8 PM Saturday. Baltimore at New England 1 PM Sunday. Green Bay at Arizona 4:30 PM Sunday. Jason Taylor and Osi Umenyiora’s tee time is also at 4 PM on Sunday.

7. David Harris rolled his ankle last night but the early reports is that he should be okay for this Saturday. We will have a better idea after Rex Ryan’s press conference today.

Grading Out Jets/Bengals

PhotobucketQuarterbacks: (B-) It is hard to give somebody who goes 8/16 for 63 yards a B- but when he doesn’t turn the ball over the Jets have a great chance to beat anybody. Sanchez made a beautiful deep throw to Braylon Edwards that he should have caught for a 45 yard touchdown. He also had some other nice throws in that short/intermediate passing game. Regardless if the Jets are going to do any damage in January, they are going to need more than 63 passing yards.

Running Backs (A) Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene kept rolling. Jones wears down the opposing defense’s front seven and is money in the red-zone and Greene gashes defense when he comes off the bench. He is averaging 5 yards per carry.

Wide Receivers (A) Brad Smith is turning into one hell of a weapon for a Jets offense that badly needs one. Jerricho Cotchery is always reliable and a weapon on punt returns. Braylon Edwards has to make that play on a deep ball.

Tight Ends (B) Can we get Dustin Keller the ball?

Offensive Line (A) As good as it gets…the Jets need D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, and Damien Woody to keep dominating.

Defensive Line (A) You can’t get more bang for your buck than the Jets are getting for Marques Douglas, Mike DeVito, and Sione Pouha.

Linebackers (A) Calvin Pace capped off a very good season with another sack. Bryan Thomas has played better as of late and Bart Scott had one of his better games. David Harris should be OK for this weekend.

Secondary (A) Revis Island claims another victim. Kerry Rhodes had one of his better games but looked awfully slow in the open field on that fumble.

Special Teams (A) Jay Feely was money. Cotchery was good on punt returns, although the coverage was a little shaky.

Coaching (A) Good game by Schotty and congrats to Rex Ryan for making the playoffs in his first season.

Jets/Bengals Highlights

How The Jets Can Make A Playoff Run

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First a few updates:

1. Rich Cimini posted an article today which cited a few sources within the Jets organization that pinned the decision to draft Vernon Gholston on ex head coach Eric Mangini. We had been hearing this for awhile now about Mangini’s pre-draft infatuation with Gholston but regardless Mike Tannenbaum is supposed to make all final decisions on the draft so it isn’t fair for him to completely pass the buck to Mangini. The entire organization deserves blame for the Gholston pick which has not worked out at all. Gholston was drafted to sack the quarterback and in 24 NFL games, he hasn’t recorded a single sack. The reality is that Gholston should be inactive for every game in the second half of the season. Jamaal Westerman is a better reserve pass rusher on defense and Marques Murrell, Ahmad Carroll, and Westerman are all better special teams players than him.

2. Peter King gave the Jets some love in his mid-season All-Pro Team by placing Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and Nick Mangold on it.

3. The Jets reportedly have no interest in recently released Chiefs running back Larry Johnson…well duh. Who would want this washed up head case, especially with Thomas Jones and Shonn Grenne on the roster and Leon Washington coming back next year?

4. CBS has protected the Jets/Pats 4:15 game on November 22nd, preventing NBC from moving it to Sunday Night Football. At least we have our prime-time game against the Bills in Toronto to get excited about.

5. A few highlights from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: Vernon Gholston sat out practice with a hamstring injury, while Lito Sheppard and Brad Smith were both limited but still are expected to play this weekend. Ryan confirmed Sheppard would return to the starting line-up when he comes back. He also complimented Mark Sanchez for practicing without sleeves today and admitted he needs to learn how to deal with the cold weather if the Jets are going to be successful in the second half of the season.

Some Quick NFL Second Half Predictions

In my “2009 NFL Predictions” article here: http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/2009-nfl-predictions/, I predicted the AFC playoff teams would be: New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore (wild card), New York Jets (wild card). In the NFC: Philadelphia, Minnesota, Atlanta, Arizona, New York Giants (wild card), Green Bay Packers (wild card). My Super Bowl prediction was Philly vs. San Diego.

Obviously, it isn’t fair to revise picks half way through the season. However, in the AFC I’d like to trade Baltimore out and take Cincinnati in but beyond that I am feeling alright. I am thinking San Diego will win the AFC West and Denver will fade away in the second half. In the NFC, I look completely idiotic for not picking New Orleans to even make the playoffs so I need to trade the fading Giants and the mediocre Packers out to bring the Saints and Cowboys in.

I won’t bail on my Super Bowl picks because I think both teams will still be in the mix come January but if I had to switch it up now I would say we are looking at a Colts/Steelers AFC Championship Game and a Saints/Vikings NFC Championship game with the Steelers and Saints meeting in the Super Bowl.

How The Jets Can Make A Playoff Run

I have already stated my belief that the Jets are going 6-2 in the second half of the season and will find a way to sneak in the playoffs, but what do they need to do to make that happen? Let’s look at the three separate phases of the game:

large_marky-markOffense: It all starts and ends with the quarterback, if Mark Sanchez can take what he learned from the first half of the season and put together an improved second half the Jets are going to have a very good offense. He needs to continue doing what he did in the past two games, which means protecting the football, hitting big plays down the field when the defense stacks the box, and avoiding sacks by checking the ball down or throwing the ball away. Keep in mind Sanchez lost two games for the Jets in the first half of the season with amazingly bad, turnover-filled performances. I think those type of games are behind him which is going to prevent the Jets from having a let down against inferior teams like Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo. The real question is going to be can Sanchez rise up on the road in games against New England and Indy and at home against Atlanta and Cincinnati to lead the Jets to a couple of upsets.

Beyond the quarterback, Brian Schottenheimer needs to remember what the Jets identity is on offense. They need to keep running the football. I hope Thomas Jones got his rest over the bye week because the guy should be getting 22-25 carries every single week for the rest of the season. Shonn Greene needs to bounce back from a rough Miami game and become a reliable 10-12 carry guy off the bench. I know Schottenheimer is going to be tempted to air it out with a healthy Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards and a rejuvenated Dustin Keller but the Jets aren’t going anywhere throwing 35 passes a game. When teams stack the box and finally begin slowing down the Jets #1 ranked rushing attack, then they need to take advantage of single coverage on either Edwards, Cotchery, or Keller. With how well the Jets run the football, they should be able to hit big plays down the field in the passing game.

126926_featureDefense: Outside of the weak showing on Monday night against Miami, the Jets defense has been exceptional this year. Over the past two weeks, they have finally started creating turnovers and sacking the quarterback and that needs to continue. If the Jets are going to pull some of the necessary upsets to make the playoffs, it will be led by strong defensive performances that will keep games against New England, Indy, Atlanta, and Cincy close and give the Jets a chance to steal the game in the fourth quarter. On the defensive line, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Marques Douglas need to keep their elevated level of play going to fill the void of Kris Jenkins. They will be tested right out of the gate against Maurice Jones-Drew and will also have to deal with DeAngelo Williams, Michael Turner, and Cedric Benson later in the year.

At linebacker it is time to plant Vernon Gholston on the bench and let Jamaal Westerman become the primary pass rusher off the bench. In the secondary, Lito Sheppard’s return will boost the secondary by allowing Dwight Lowery, who is talented enough to be a starter, to slide into the nickel role. Kerry Rhodes also needs to get it going. The Jets are going to need some defensive touchdowns or key turnovers that give easy points to the offense, and for that to happen Rhodes to start making some big plays.

Special Teams: Tackle, Tackle, Tackle. The Jets won’t make the mistake of making Marques Murrell and Ahmad Carroll inactive in the same week again. Jay Feely has been very good this season and needs to keep it up. Steve Weatherford has been okay and you’d like to see a slight improvement from him. In the return game, hopefully Justin Miller got back up to speed over the bye week and will provide a threat on kick returns.

Who Else Could We Have Had With This Pick?

New York Jets Mid-Term Grades: TOJ Style

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First a few updates:

1. There is no Jets updates for the rest of the week because we are on the bye week, so I am going to have to use the updates section for other topics.

2. I am confident about the Yankees taking care of business tonight. It will be a high scoring battle, but I think they wrap up the World Series tonight. Even though we would have an insane pitching advantage in game 7, I don’t want it to get to that because the team would be tight after losing the past two games.

3. Recent movies I have seen: Couples Retreat, which was not worth the ten dollars I spent on the ticket,  Capitalism: A Love Story which I liked alot. I still want to see Law Abiding Citizen, which I have heard good things about but I haven’t had the time yet. In television, this season of Curb Your Enthusiasm has been very good, especially last week’s episode when Larry killed the swan. I have also been getting into Parks and Recreation on NBC and I am still working my way through the past five seasons of Lost to prep for the final season, which starts in January. There is your monthly entertainment report from Turn on The Jets.

4. I am going to do week 9 NFL picks either today or tomorrow to accompany my article but some quick NFL observations: Has anybody had a worse first eight games coaching for a team than Eric Mangini for the Browns? I know they won a Super Bowl two years ago which gives them a “5 year grace period” as coined by Bill Simmons of ESPN and supported by my friends who are fans of the team, but the Giants have been embarrassingly awful the past three weeks on defense and Eli Manning is clearly hurt or is just not that good this year. He also isn’t being helped by the dropped passes from his receivers every week. With 9 INT’s in 7 games, is it fair to say Matt Ryan is in some type of sophomore slump? DeSean Jackson is a big play machine and has to be close to breaking some type of record for 50+ yard touchdowns in a single season.

New York Jets Mid-Term Grades: TOJ Style

darrelle-revisAll-Pro

  • Darrelle Revis: (A) Revis is the definition of a lock down corner. He shut down Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Marques Colston, and Terrell Owens (even though he isn’t good anymore). On the season he has 29 tackles, 11 passes defensed, and 2 INT’s.
  • Nick Mangold: (A)  He hasn’t allowed a sack and hasn’t recorded a penalty and is the leader of the one the league’s top offensive lines. Arguably the best center in football.
  • Thomas Jones: (A) On pace for over 1400 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Jones is showing no signs of aging, with his impressive 4.7 yards per carry.
  • David Harris: (A) It would be a shame if he doesn’t earn his first pro-bowl appearance this season. Harris is the Jets most consistent linebacker and has racked up a team high 65 tackles, a team high 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception.

Very Good

  • D’Brickashaw Ferguson (A-) He has allowed only 2.5 sacks through eight games and has made leaps and bounds of progress from his rookie season.
  • Brandon Moore (A-) Most underrated player on the Jets offense. Moore is putting together another strong season.
  • Bart Scott (B+) He is earning his fat contract by providing a solid partner in crime for Harris at inside linebacker. Scott is second on the team in tackles with 51 and has racked up an impressive 7 tackles for a loss, which leads the team.
  • Jay Feely (B+) He has been reliable on field goals and provides a surprising amount of tackling on kickoffs but I couldn’t give him an A because of that line drive kick to Ted Ginn Jr.
  • Tony Richardson (B+) He isn’t given enough credit for the Jets success running the football.

pierre-thomas6jpg-689028a57d17e6d9_largeGood

  • Damien Woody (B) He has struggled with some penalties and a foot injury but on the whole has been very good and played to the value of the contract the Jets gave him two years ago.
  • Marques Douglas (B) He has quietly been a big addition to the Jets defense and been a nice upgrade over Kenyon Coleman. Douglas has 32 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2 tackles for a loss.
  • Shaun Ellis (B) He was a beast in the Miami game, which will hopefully be a good sign moving forward.
  • Sione Pouha (B) He has developed into a very good rotational player on the defensive line and stepped up his game since big 77 went down.
  • Jim Leonhard (B) A steady, consistent player on defense and don’t underestimate the importance of a punt returner who catches the ball every time.
  • Braylon Edwards (B) He has been everything the Jets hoped for when they traded for him.
  • David Clowney (B) He has developed into a reliable down field threat and a guy who demands playing time.
  • Dwight Lowery (B) Lowery has stepped in for Lito Sheppard and been a consistent starter at corner opposite Revis.
  • Shonn Greene (B) One fumble doesn’t remove the fact he is averaging 5.6 yards per carry and has shown immense potential.
  • Wayne Hunter (B) He does his job well, as an extra tight end and backup tackle.
  • Robert Turner (B) He does his job well, as an extra tight end backup guard.

OK

  • Jerricho Cotchery (B-) He has been a B+ or A- when he has been on the field but missing two full games and being a non-factor because of an injury in one has to count in his grade.
  • Dustin Keller (B-) Some of the blame goes on Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer but the Jets need for him to play well on a consistent basis in the second half of the season.
  • Mark Sanchez (B-) If you take away the New Orleans and Buffalo game, Sanchez has been exceptional for a rookie but unfortunately those games count since he is primarily responsible for two losses.
  • Bryan Thomas (B-) He has been pretty good week in and week out, although you would like to see an improvement in sack numbers.
  • Wallace Wright (B-) He is still a great special teams player and caught both balls thrown his way against Oakland.
  • Eric Smith (B-) He was the talk of the defense in the first three weeks but has been MIA since then.
  • Donald Strickland (B-) Every game that he has played in he has been good, but missed four weeks because of an ankle injury.
  • Drew Coleman (B-) He has been OK in the nickel role when called upon.
  • Jamaal Westerman (B-) I think he will become a bigger factor on defense in the second half of the season.
  • Mike DeVito (B-) He has developed into a good rotational player on the defensive line.
  • Steve Weatherford (B-) Provides some consistency to the punter position.
  • Brad Smith (B-) A great special teams player and decent contributor on offense before his injury.

large_kerry-rhodes326Needs Improvement

  • Calvin Pace (C+) He was a monster in the Oakland game but you have to factor his poor judgement that led to a four game suspension in his grade. Also, he was quiet in the first Miami game and the Buffalo game.
  • Marques Murrell (C) He is a good special teams player but his most memorable play of the season is throwing a punch against Buffalo and getting suspended for a game.
  • James Ihedigbo (C) Similar to Murrell and he also hasn’t done much on defense when given a chance.
  • Larry Izzo (C) He has to make that tackle against Ted Ginn Jr last week, because he is on this team only for special teams purposes.
  • Ryan Fowler (C-) Just an average special teams player.
  • Ahmad Carroll (C-) He has was better last year on special teams.
  • Marquice Cole (C-) Decent special teams player.
  • Howard Green (C-) He struggled early in the season but has shown signs of improvement since coming back.
  • Ropati Pitoitua (C-) Slowly becoming a bigger part of the defensive line rotation.
  • Kerry Rhodes (C-) Alot of hype…not alot of production. Zero interceptions. Zero Sacks. Zero Forced Fumbles. One Tackle For a Loss.

Failing

  • Vernon Gholston (F) The most invisible defensive player in the NFL. He has started 4 games this year and played in all 8…the stats: 11 tackles, 0 sacks.
  • Ben Hartsock (F) The penalty is on #84 of the offense.
  • Lito Sheppard (F) He has missed 5 games and was terrible in the Buffalo game.

Incomplete

  • Leon Washington (Inc) He was a little quieter than usual before his injury. We are rooting for him to get healthy and a get new contract here at TOJ.
  • Kris Jenkins (Inc) Get better big fella.
  • Danny Woodhead (Inc) Stay outside on kick coverage.
  • Justin Miller (Inc) He looked a step slow last week.

 

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

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First a few updates:

1. The Game Highlights and Stats section have been updated.

2. A few things from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: He pointed out a potential problem on special teams might have been having Ahmad Carroll, Marquice Cole, and Marques Murrell inactive due to some injury situations and mentioned they may need to always have guys like them active regardless of their lack of participation on defense. Ryan also stood firm on having a “hands-off” approach on offense and special teams, and relying on the ‘expertise’ of the coordinators. He also defended giving the team 6 days off this week because of the team’s need to get away from football for a little while and then come back fresh. Something interesting he said about the bye week is that he will have the offensive coaches break down the Jets defensive tape and the defensive coaches break down the Jets offensive tape, to analyze each group tendencies and make recommendations to each other. Regardless of the criticism, Rex Ryan said he isn’t going to change his personality or his confident style of talking/coaching. Like I said yesterday, you are what you are. This is the guy the Jets hired, don’t expect him to change. If you liked him in week 3, then you should still like him now. If you thought he was too brash/cocky from the beginning, then you should obviously still feel that way now.

Grading Out The Jets/Dolphins Game

Quarterbacks: (B+) Mark Sanchez had his best game since the early weeks of the season, finishing 20/35, with 265 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over for the second week in a row. He got off to a slow start and played tight early, missing a few throws over the middle. However, he put together a great second half and led the Jets on three touchdown drives. On the final drive, he has to avoid taking a sack on third down and make a quicker decision on the fourth down play. He turned their fourth and 13 play into a hail mary, which he pretty much threw out of the end-zone. I don’t know what the play call was in that situation, but I would I think the best bet would be for him to take a 5 step drop and put up a jump ball to either Braylon Edwards or Dustin Keller and hope for them to make a play or draw pass interference.

Dolphins Jets FootballRunning Backs: (B) Thomas Jones was terrific for the third straight week, rushing for 102 yards and adding in a 28 yard reception. Shonn Greene killed the Jets with a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and appeared to run tentative after that play. The Jets are going to need Greene in the second half of the season so he needs to shake off the fumble and keep running hard.

Wide Receivers: (A) Jerricho Cotchery only had three receptions but all three were huge plays, including a 53 yarder, a third down conversion, and an impressive sideline grab during the final drive. Braylon Edwards was a beast and has earned a fat, new contract from the Jets for his two performances against Miami this season. David Clowney had three down third down catches, which were all short of the first down marker. On the first two, he did a bad job of running his route to the right depth.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller…welcome back. I don’t think Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer will be forgetting about #81 anytime soon after the game he put together yesterday. Ben Hartsock specializes in having ridiculously costly penalties and probably should be cut.

Offensive Line: (C) Alan Faneca had a rough day and let up a huge sack on the final drive. Sanchez took some monster hits this game. The running was also didn’t pop any huge plays.

Defensive Line: (A) Shaun Ellis (1.5 sacks), Marques Douglas (1 sack, 1 TFL), and Sione Pouha (5 tackles, 1 TFL) all played their best game of the season. Howard Green also chipped in with a solid effort off the bench. It is a shame that it went to waste in a loss. Hopefully, they can keep the production up in the second half of the year.

Linebackers: (A) Post-game sarcasm aside, Bart Scott played his best game as a Jet with 8 tackles, a sack, and two tackles for a loss. David Harris had a big sack and another solid overall day at the office. Bryan Thomas was beat for second half touchdown but beyond that played one of his better games of the year. Calvin Pace was somewhat quiet.

Secondary: (B) Jim Leonhard recorded a half sack and played a quality game. Darrelle Revis and Dwight Lowery didn’t give up any big plays or make any big plays. Kerry Rhodes had more contact in pre-game, than he did during the game where he only recorded 1 tackle.

Special Teams: (F-) Every Jets fan love affair with Danny Woodhead should end after this game because he blew outside contain on both kick return touchdowns. Ryan Fowler, Larry Izzo, Wallace Wright, Jay Feely, and Donald Strickland were also victims off horrible tackling/decision making on both kick return touchdowns. The quarterback lost the games against Buffalo and New Orleans. The defense lost the first game against Miami and the special teams lost this one against Miami.

Coaching: (C) The two point decisions were questionable. However, the Jets played a terrific game on defense and put up 25 points on offense, which should have been enough to win. Rex Ryan is never going to shut his mouth, even if the Jets lose their next 8 games so get used to it and either accept him as our coach or get off his bandwagon for good now. You can’t nominate him for NFL Coach of the year in week 3 and then ask for him to be fired in week 8.

As Usual For Us Jets Fans, “It is getting hard to believe things are going to get better…”

Crappalicious: Grading Out the Jets/Bills Game

First a few updates:

1. As was expected, Kris Jenkins is going on the IR with a torn ACL in his left knee. The bottom line is that Jenkins is the Jets most valuable defensive player and one of most uniquely talented players in the NFL. Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito and Ropati Pitotua will be asked to pick up the slack. Regardless, it isn’t fair to not expect some type of drop off in the Jets overall defensive production, which hasn’t been strong the past two weeks anyway. You wonder at his age, if Jenks will ever make it all the way back from that type of surgery. Ryan also confirmed the Jets are planning on re-signing defensive tackle Howard Green who was released last week.

2. Mark Sanchez is only a kid but the guy needs to work on his demeanor, during and after a game. He was visibly depressed on the side-line and literally looked like a deer in the headlights. After the game, Rich Cimini summed it up best by saying he “looked like he was on the verge of tears.” He was also quoted as saying he didn’t even understand how the guys in the locker can maintain confidence in him. C’mon now, you are the quarterback of this team. Man up Mark and get your confidence back. You showed you could play at this level against Houston, New England, Tennessee, and Miami. It has been bad (Matt Ryan only threw 11 INT’s last year and Flacco threw 12, so stop the comparisons) but he has to pick himself up off the mat.

3. Rex Ryan admitted in his press conference the Jets may have to begin scaling things back on offense and changing things around to help Sanchez. I am thinking about starting both Jones and Washington on my fantasy team this week cause both might get 20 carries this Sunday.

4. An update on TOJ TV…we had some technical struggles last week and didn’t put forth our best effort. However, we got some quality stuff coming this week. We Jets fans need something entertaining to watch with our team playing like this.

Crappalicious: Grading Out the Jets/Bills Game

Quarterbacks: (F-) That was as bad of a football game as I have ever seen a quarterback play. Sanchez was 10 for 29 with 5…yes 5 interceptions. He repeatedly forced the ball to Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller who were targeted a combined 19 times, but only caught 5 passes between them. Sanchez ignored David Clowney all game, who was wide open on his final interception in overtime. Basically, it looked like Sanchez was a soccer player playing pick up football and he was forcing the ball to his best friend (Braylon Edwards) and his little brother (Dustin Keller) who was complaining from the game before about not getting the ball enough. Yuck. Sanchez has had an issue of locking on to a receiver since training camp, remember the stories about him throwing to Wallace Wright every play? He needs to do a better job of seeing the field and spreading the ball around.

Running Backs: (A+) It is shame that the effort Thomas Jones put forward will get lost in the shuffle of this loss. He was spectacular and ran like a man on a mission, racking up 210 yards at 9.5 yards per carry. He also caught 2 passes for 17 yards. Leon was back to being Leon with 15 carries for 99 yards, including a huge 33 yard run in OT. He also added 3 catches for 46 yards. Great all around day by the Jets two pro-bowl backs from last season.

Wide Receiver: (D) Edwards played a pretty good football game. He made some big catches, although he left a few plays on the field. David Clowney was ignored. Wallace Wright was ignored on his reps. Danny Woodhead received no reps.

Tight Ends: (F) Dustin Keller had a couple of drops and can’t get on the same page as Mark Sanchez. Ben Hartsock cost the Jets a game with a holding penalty.

Offensive Line: (A) 318 rushing yards, period. Wayne Hunter did a nice job filling in for Damien Woody.

Defensive Line: (C) Marques Douglas played a very good game, with 9 tackles, a TFL, and a half sack. Sione Pouha was also pretty good with 9 tackles and a TFL. Shaun Ellis didn’t make an impact and despite doing alright against the run, they still aren’t pushing the pocket enough against the pass.

Linebackers: (C) David Harris played a great game with 17 tackles and a half sack. Bart Scott has been bad the past two weeks. He gets stonewalled every time he rushes the quarterback and doesn’t make impact plays. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas were okay. Vernon Gholston has officially set a record for playing the most NFL snaps, with the least stats recorded. Give Jamaal Westerman his reps.

Secondary: (B) Darrelle Revis was very good against Terrell Owens, who is a shell of his former self. Lito Sheppard was terrible and was rightly benched for Dwight Lowery, who made a brilliant interception in OT. For all my criticism of Kerry Rhodes, he had a great all around game with 8 tackles, 1 TFL, and a pass defensed.

Special Teams: (F) Defined by the one play of Steve Weatherford dropping the snap. Still nothing from the return units.

Coaching: (F) Poor playcalling/time out use led to a rushed missed field goal at the end of the half. It was unnecessary to challenge the punt return for 6 yards in the 4th quarter. Ryan isn’t fooling anybody with his blitz schemes anymore and unfortunately he is starting to look pretty stupid with all his tough talk. However, the guy has to be who he is. He must find someway to re-energize this team.

Fans In Stadium: (F) What a weak environment for a home game. The Jets need to scrap the 4:15 games, apparently because the stadium was half-full with about 70 percent completely trashed Jets fans who were more interested in throwing ethnic slurs at Mark Sanchez than cheering for the team and 30 percent drunk Bills fans cheering against the team. I am certainly not trying to generalize the whole stadium but I heard some nasty stuff out there…let’s have a little class.

Well If Sanchez almost cried after the game, at least this girl cried for him haha

Time to Jump Off the Jets Bandwagon?

First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan admitted he made a mistake by not using his timeouts during his conference call with media members yesterday. The big guy is guilty of being overconfident in his defense and denying his offense, which was playing very well, a chance to win the game at the end.

2. Site Updates – The newest episode of TOJ TV has been placed on the TOJ TV page, also the new commercial as been placed on the Jets Commercials page, the stats have also been updated. I got away from my normal weekly format because of the short week, but tomorrow I will be back to the usual Thursday game breakdown and Friday will have the new episode of TOJ TV with the Jets/Bills prediction.

3. Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring), Damien Woody (foot), Brad Smith (quad), and Shaun Ellis (knee) didn’t practice today. Lito Sheppard and Donald Stickland were both limited in practice. I wouldn’t bet on Cotchery playing this week.

Time To Jump Off the Jets Bandwagon?

A football season is undeniably filled with peeks and valleys. An important point often raised to players and coaches for that matter is to never get too high after a win or get too low after a loss. It is often easy to ignore this advice after a win, when the joy of victory covers the blemishes in a performance and after a loss, when the sting of defeat ignores the positives.  The point I am trying to make in relation to the Jets is that however stupid it was to consider them a Super Bowl contender at 3-0, it is equally stupid to bury them at 3-2.

Let’s reflect on the Jets first five games. In week one, they caught an average Houston team off guard in their building. Mark Sanchez played unusually well for a rookie and the Jets offensive line wore down a weak Texans front seven in the second half, springing a few big runs. Their defense spent the entire day in the face of a shell shocked quarterback who clearly didn’t know what to expect from their unit. In week two, the Jets played a poor first half but managed to keep the game close by forcing New England to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. In the second half, they came out with more energy than the Patriots and rode the momentum of opening the half with a touchdown to a victory. In the third game, the Jets played a terrific first 7 minutes, jumping out to a 14-0 lead and then were thoroughly outplayed by the Titans the rest of the way. They hung on to a victory because of a muffed punt and dropped passes by Tennessee receivers. In week 4, their defense put together a great all around effort but they were undone by rookie mistakes from their quarterback. On Monday night, the Jets defense wasn’t prepared for Miami’s Wildcat approach and had the ball ran down their throat, wasting a great performance by their offense in 31-27 loss.

So, what do we have? We have a football team that is inconsistent on both sides of the football. The past couple of weeks they haven’t been able to sync up a strong performance from their offense and defense. Yet, here a few things to remember before you step to the ledge on the Jets 2009 season:

1. Their offense is only going to get better…much better. They just added a playmaking, legit number one receiver who appears to be hungry and focused. Their quarterback is maturing with each passing week and has shown an ability to push the ball down the field, and respond to adversity. Jerricho Cotchery is banged up right now but was playing at high level through 4 weeks and when he returns to 100 percent, the Jets will have one of the better starting duo of receivers in the league. David Clowney showed he was a capable playmaker on Monday Night, hauling in a 53 yard catch and finishing the game with 4 receptions. Brad Smith has made at least one big play in every game this season except for one (15 yard run week one, 17 yard catch week three, 18 yard run week four, 19 yard catch week three). Dustin Keller has been curiously uninvolved in the offensive attack but is still a capable playmaker as demonstrated last year and against the Texans this season.

The offensive line has shown signs of improvements the past two weeks, appearing to finally get in sync after having limited work together in the pre-season. Thomas Jones does appear a step slower but Shonn Greene is slowly developing a bigger role to replace some of his carries. Leon is putting together a pretty good year and is long overdue to pop a few big plays. The bottom line is that the Jets have plenty of weapons around a rookie quarterback who should do nothing but improve in the coming weeks.

2. When it comes to our defense the proof is in the rule, not the exception. It is foolish to miscast the Jets defense as frauds because they played poorly 1 out of 5 games. Their masterful performances against the Texans, Patriots, Saints, and in the 4th quarter against the Titans don’t get erased because of one bad game. Does anybody say the Ravens had a poor defense last year because the Giants and Colts ran it up on them? No, these things happen in the NFL. The opposing team is coached and wants to win too, they are going to be better in some weeks. Obviously, the goal is to limit the number of times it happens throughout a season but a 4 to 1 ratio isn’t bad and likely equates to double digit victories.

Calvin Pace is going to get his feet back under him. Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland are eventually going to return from injuries. This unit hasn’t been perfect all season and certain players need to improve their play, Kerry Rhodes needs to become a playmaker in terms of forcing turnovers, Marques Douglas has to be better against the run, and Shaun Ellis/Bryan Thomas and Pace need to generate a pass rush, in order for the Jets to become a truly elite defense.

The Jets aren’t running away with anything this season. They will be in a battle with the Patriots and Dolphins all year for the AFC East crown. The amazing thing about the NFL is how fickle it is. It is  comedic listening to people crown Chad Henne the next Dan Marino because he played one good half of football. Remember everything you are reading right now about the Jets and Dolphins and think about how much things could change by their next meeting, which is only three weeks away. I don’t think I am going out on a limb by saying I believe the Jets will take care of business against the Bills and Raiders the next two weeks or that there is a fair chance the Dolphins will lose to New Orleans after their bye. If those three games fall into place, the Jets will be 5-2 and Miami will be 2-4, with the Monday Night loss a distant memory and the Jets being presented with an opportunity to bury the Dolphins at home.

The NFL is a funny thing because the Jets could absolutely find a way to lose to Buffalo or Oakland. However, my gut instinct tells me that they will come out motivated the next two weeks to show the first three weeks weren’t a fluke and they’ll beat up on two inferior opponents, setting the stage for a game that should feel like the Super Bowl for the defense when they face the Dolphins at home.

You want to jump off the Jets bandwagon? At least wait until they lose to Buffalo at home or Oakland, not when they lose to the defending AFC East champs on the road by a last second touchdown.

Bills/Browns Highlights…If you could call them that

Grading Out the Jets/Dolphins Debacle & NFL Week 5 Recap

First a few updates:

1. Jerricho Cotchery admitted that he was nowhere near 100 percent and probably re-aggravated his injury trying to play in a limited role last night. The smartest thing for the Jets to do would be rest Cotchery for this week and allow him to get back to 100 percent or else he will be dealing with this hamstring injury all year.

2. David Clowney only had leg cramps last night and will be fine moving forward. Brad Smith had a foot injury in the first half but was out in there second half, regardless it is still something to keep an eye on this week. Who knows when Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland will be back at this point.

3. Calvin Pace refused to respect Miami’s Wildcat offense and had some pretty stupid stuff to say after the game, which can be read here http://www.thejetsblog.com/2009/10/13/calvin-pace-clearly-not-fond-of-wildcat/. He should probably spend more time worrying about setting the edge so the Dolphins can’t run high school Wing-T Jet Sweep around him every time for 15 yards and maybe getting within 5 yards of the quarterback.

Grading Out the Jets/Dolphins Debacle & NFL Week 5 Recap

Quarterbacks: (B) Mark Sanchez did more than enough for the Jets to get a win and twice in the fourth quarter drove them down the field for go ahead touchdowns. His numbers weren’t all that impressive (12/24, 172 yards, 1 TD) but he didn’t turn the ball over and made beautiful down field throws to David Clowney (53 yard gain) and Braylon Edwards twice (34 yard gain and drawn pass interference penalty). It is good to see him bounce back from a bad performance and hopefully he can keep it going this week against Buffalo.

Running Backs: (B-) Thomas Jones is slowly turning into nothing more than a very good goal-line back. He only finished with 42 yards and a 3.2 yards per carry average and is making the Jets look smart for not extending his contract. Leon added a little juice to the running game with 10 carries for 44 yards but still doesn’t have an offensive play that has went longer than 20 yards this season. Shonn Greene didn’t get much of a chance with only 3 carries, but don’t be surprised to see him get more carries in upcoming weeks.

Wide Receivers: (A) Braylon Edwards sure looked like a legit number one receiver last night despite being in the Jets offense for only 5 days and not having a healthy Jerricho Cotchery opposite him. The one major positive from this game is the how clearly the Jets improved their offense with the Edwards trade. Cotchery played mostly as a decoy despite a hamstring injury but will be better served by resting this week and getting back to 100 percent. David Clowney stepped up in a big way with 4 catches for 72 yards, including a 53 yard bomb…expect to see alot more of “The Clown” in coming weeks. Brad Smith had a nice catch and run for 19 yards and a huge play on a fake punt, where he shook about 3 tackles.

Tight Ends: (F) Paging Dustin Keller….are you still there…paging Dustin Keller…are you still a member of this Jets offense? Obviously some of the blame falls on the playcalling but Keller also did a poor job of blocking last night.

Offensive Line: (B) A better performance by this group but they still aren’t performing at the level they did last season. We haven’t had a 100 yard rusher since week one and Sanchez was still sacked once and hit three times, including being forced into an intentional grounding penalty.

Defensive Line: (D) I thought Howard Green played pretty well off the bench and Kris Jenkins had his moments but beyond that this unit was pushed around all night and applied absolutely no pressure to the quarterback. Marques Douglas and Sione Pouha might have been pancaked about 10 times.

Linebackers: (D) Don’t be fooled by tackling stats, Bart Scott, David Harris, Bryan Thomas, and Calvin Pace were all invisible in this game when it counted. They all missed countless tackles and they all failed to apply pressure to the quarterback…wait why did I give them a D? How about a F.

Secondary: (D) Torched by Ted Ginn Jr…really, Darrelle Revis? You can cover Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, and Marques Colston but not Ted Ginn Jr? C’mon now. Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman were both exposed in big spots. Will Lito Sheppard ever recover from his quad injury? Kerry Rhodes hasn’t made a big play in seemingly 25 games. Seriously, is it so much to ask for this guy to have a sack, forced fumble, or interception?

Special Teams: (A) Steve Weatherford might soon be taking Thomas Jones job, by showing more elusiveness than Jones has did all season. Brad Smith was clutch on the other fake punt. Jay Feely is money in the bank. Leon Washington needs to improve on kick returns.

Coaching: (D) The Jets weren’t prepared to stop Miami’s offense and Rex Ryan did a poor job by not using his timeouts at the end of the game. Ryan was served a heaping dish of humble pie last night, so let’s see how his defense responds in the coming weeks.

NFL Week 5 Quick Recap

TOJ Top Five

  1. New York Giants – They finally play a NFL caliber team this weekend.
  2. Minnesota Vikings – Good test for them against the Ravens this week.
  3. Denver Broncos – When did Kyle Orton turn into one of the better QB’s in the league?
  4. New Orleans Saints – Huge game against the Giants coming up.
  5. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – They will clinch the division in about 4 weeks.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – The Pats lost the type of the game they usually don’t lose in Denver. Fortunately for them, they get the hapless Titans at home this week. Their defense is more vulnerable than it has been in years and Brady still isn’t all the way back.

Miami Dolphins – Say what you want about their gimmick offense, they can run the football. I was wrong for burying them at 0-3 but we’ll see how legit they are after these next 3 games against New Orleans, New England, and the Jets in the Meadowlands.

Buffalo Bills – I am shutting the site down if they beat the Jets this week.

Jets/Dolphins Highlights

Grading Out the Jets/Saints Game

First a few updates:

1. Damien Woody left the game in the second half with an ankle injury and was replaced by Wayne Hunter. Apparently it isn’t that serious and Woody absolutely expects to play this Monday night. There is no question that the Jets offensive line is off to slow start, which could be attributed to the missed time of many of the starters in the pre-season or maybe Woody and Alan Faneca are getting a step slower at their age.

2. Shonn Greene also has an ankle injury that isn’t considered serious, but if it wasn’t that bad why didn’t the Jets use him in the second half after such a strong showing on his first four carries? Obviously the status of Woody and Greene will be something to keep an eye on all week, but at least they have an extra day to get healthy since the Jets are playing on Monday night.

3. I’d be shocked if Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland weren’t ready to go this week.

4. The Jets bumped down to #6 Peter King’s weekly power rankings and Darrelle Revis climbed to #4 on his MVP watch list, after another strong showing.

5.  Site Updates – The new episode of TOJ TV has been uploaded to the “TOJ TV” page and Jets/Saints highlights have been added to the “Game Highlights” section. The stats have also been updated.

Grading Out the Jets/Saints Game

Quarterbacks: (F) It was about as bad as it could get for Mark Sanchez yesterday. He directly handed the Saints 14 points off turnovers, including a telegraphed interception and a fumble in the end-zone where he held on to the ball for too long. There were also two more late interceptions on forced passes as the Jets attempted a desperation comeback. We’ll learn about the rookie this Monday night by seeing how he responds to his first poor performance in a nationally televised game on the road against a hated division rival. Give Sanchez credit for taking the blame after the loss but he needs to learn from his mistakes and start immediately protecting the ball better. He also needs to stop getting personal fouls for taking out people’s legs on his interceptions.

Running Backs: (C) Thomas Jones got off to another sluggish start but looked substantially better after Shonn Greene began taking his reps. Greene tweaked his ankle after only four carries and wasn’t used in the rest of the game after his strong start (4 carries, 23 yards). Leon Washington wasn’t involved with only 4 carries. The Seminole package looked good but the Jets still aren’t a anywhere near where they were last year running the football.

Wide Receivers: (C) Jerricho Cotchery had another good effort (5 catches, 71 yards) but did have a key dropped pass on a third down. Chansi Stuckey was invisible for the second week in a row. Brad Smith made an impact with a big run in the Seminole package and also registered a reception. David Clowney was active but still hasn’t had a pass thrown his way in four weeks. Somebody needs to step up to support Cotchery.

Tight Ends: (C) Dustin Keller had a big grab down the seam but the Jets need more out of him than 31 yards receiving. Since week one, his yardage totals have been extremely low and he hasn’t been the consistent impact player he was during stretches of time last year.

Offensive LIne: (D) Another sub-par effort by this unit, who just hasn’t looked right this season. I don’t know if it is because of age or because they didn’t play together alot in the pre-season but they aren’t producing. Mark Sanchez can’t be sacked four times and the ground game can’t keep struggling like this if the Jets are going to be serious contenders.

Defensive Line: (B) Good all around effort up front, especially in the short yardage situations. Sione Pouha (3 tackles) and Marques Douglas (5 tackles, 1 TFL) were particularly active. Kris Jenkins played well but had a killer offsides penalty on a fourth and short situation.

Linebackers: (A-) David Harris racked up 12 tackles and Bart Scott had a pair of tackles for a loss and a quarterback hit. Bryan Thomas had his best game of the season. Vernon Gholston registered one tackle and failed to record a sack in any of his four starts. Fortunately, the Jets best pass rusher, Calvin Pace is returning from suspension this week.

Secondary: (A) Despite being without Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland for the second straight week, the unit had a very good effort. Darrelle Revis knocked down 3 passes and held Marques Colston without a reception. Both of his catches came with Drew Coleman on him, who still played a pretty good game as the nickle back. Dwight Lowery was solid and made a great play on a deep ball to Robert Meachem. Kerry Rhodes saved a touchdown on the first drive of the game by knocking away a pass intended for Reggie Bush and had 8 tackles. Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith had quiet games.

Special Teams: (B) Jay Feely is putting together a very good season. Steve Weatherford had a bad shank but responded with a 56 yard punt. Leon Washington never got a chance to get going because the Saints forced him into a touchback every time but once.

Coaching: (C) Some questionable play calling in short yardage situations. The defense did their job and had a strong all around game plan but the offense let the entire team down. Let’s see how this staff will respond to their first loss and how they can motivate their team against inferior opponents the next four weeks.

Jets/Saints Game Highlights

Grading Out the Jets/Titans Game

First a few updates:

1. Your 2009 AL East Champs…The New York Yankees.

2. I review the weekend for the AFC East and entire NFL tomorrow, but just as a preface: The Jets aren’t looking so stupid for trading Chad Pennington anymore are they? It didn’t take a genius to see what was coming this year for the Dolphins who are well on their way to a 4-12 season. Pennington has never put together back to back healthy seasons in his career. Their schedule is substantially harder and they generally lack talent (especially in an overhyped, overrated linebacker core). Enjoy beginning to play out the string in October Jason Taylor, Channing Crowder, and the rest of Dolphins nation. I do feel bad for Chad, who I always liked and I hope he gets healthy soon but how can I not enjoy the Dolphins being 0-3?

3. I actually felt bad for Eric Mangini watching his press conference yesterday. The Browns actually might go 0-16. It sounds like there isn’t a more hated coach in the league right now, since at least five of his players are filing grievances with the NFL about his fines. I thought Favre was more to blame than Mangini last year but I don’t understand why it appears that he didn’t learn anything from the mistakes he made with the Jets.

4. Speaking of those 3-0 Jets, I saw on ESPN that they are early 6.5 point underdogs to the Saints. This will be the third time in four games the Jets are underdogs.

5. Peter King ranked the Jets #4 is his weekly Power Rankings and put Darrelle Revis #5 on his MVP watch list.

6. Site Updates – The new episode of TOJ TV has been uploaded to the “TOJ TV” page and Jets/Titans highlights have been added to the “Game Highlights” section. The stats have also been updated.

Grading Out the Jets/Titans Game

Quarterbacks: (B-) Sanchez came out of the gate on fire, then turned into the rookie he is supposed to be, and then finished strong enough for the Jets to get a win. It was an up and down for “The Sanchise,” who finished 17/30 for 171 yards, with 2 touchdowns and an interception. The positives? He showed his toughness by barreling over Michael Griffin in the end-zone, had a beautiful play fake on his touchdown pass to Ben Hartsock, and showed his arm strength/accuracy on a picture perfect 46 yard connection down the side-line to Jerricho Cotchery. The negatives? He needs to work on his ball handling. The rain led to the ball slipping out of his hands a few times, and he was also stripped because he kept the ball too low. Also, don’t pile all the interception blame on Chansi Stuckey because Sanchez sailed that pass.

Running Backs: (D) Not a pretty day for Thomas Jones, who finished with 20 yards on 14 carries. Leon Washington had slightly better luck (12 carries, 46 yards) but still averaged less than 4 yards per carry. We are still waiting for Leon to rip off his first big run of the season and Jones looked a step slow to the hole, even though he wasn’t aided by the offensive line, who struggled. Don’t be surprised if Shonn Greene slowly begins to be worked into the offense next week. The Jets didn’t draft him to sit on the bench all season.

Wide Receivers: (A) Jerricho Cotchery played a terrific game and is turning me into a believer that he could be a legit number one receiver. He is catching every thing that comes near him and showed his speed on his 46 yard over the shoulder grab and his toughness on his touchdown catch. Brad Smith finally registered a couple of catches, including an impressive 16 yard grab as he a took a huge hit. Chansi Stuckey was quiet and David Clowney was inactive, which wasn’t surprising considering the conditions.

Tight Ends: (B) How great was Ben Hartsock’s prototypical white guy who has never scored a touchdown celebration? It consisted of him jumping straight up and down while holding up the #1 sign and then having an awkward timed jump into D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Dustin Keller had a leaping 18 yard catch on the first drive but was quiet after. I’d like to see the Jets get him more involved (probably because I have him on my fantasy football team).

Offensive Line: (D) You have to expect better than 83 rushing yards and three allowed sacks from an offensive line with this much talent. They also need to cut back on the penalties.

Defensive Line: (B) Great games by Kris Jenkins (2 TFL’s) and Shaun Ellis (.5 sack, 1 TFL). Sione Pouha and Marques Douglas were also active up front. The unit did a good job keeping Chris Johnson under 100 yards and was constantly pushing the pocket on Kerry Collins.

Linebackers: (A) Bart Scott was all over the field and David Harris keeps making big plays. Bryan Thomas has quietly put together a strong three games to start the season. Vernon Gholston looks like he is actually improving. I was somewhat surprised to Jamaal Westerman end up being inactive.

Secondary: (B) They were defintley some breakdowns and Kerry Collins threaded the needle on them a few times. However, Drew Coleman stepped up and had a great game as the nickel back. I still can’t believe this is the same Eric Smith from the past three years. He is all over the field and has turned into one of the Jets top playmakers on defense (6 tackles, 2 passes defensed, and an interception). Jim Leonhard always seems to be around the ball. Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes didn’t have their best days. Dwight Lowery was okay as a replacement for Lito Sheppard.

Special Teams (A+) Forced two key turnovers that were the reason the Jets won on Sunday. Great all around play by Jason Trusnik on fumble during the kick return. Brad Smith made a smart play by wrapping up Ryan Mouton to prevent him from recovering his muffed punt and Larry Izzo hustled down to make the recovery. Jay Feely has now made 19 straight field goals. Steve Weatherford had one bad shank but beyond that had a decent day.

Coaching: (B) It was a good decision to come out with the no-huddle, passing attack which caught the Titans off guard. Rex Ryan started out with a less aggressive scheme but with the game on his line, went back to what the Jets do best, blitz the hell out of the quarterback. The bottom line is that the Jets avoided a natural let-down game and found a way to win without having their “A” game.

Jets/Titans Game Highlights

Grading Out the Jets/Texans Game

First a few updates:

1. A bunch of the Jets talked about Rex Ryan’s pre-game speech before their beatdown of the Texans. According to Jay Feely, Ryan used the f-word about 52 times. The general gist of the speech was that the Texans were a soft, finesse team and the Jets were going to kick the crap out of them, and sure enough they did. Ryan sent a message to Houston right away by deferring after winning the coin toss, showing he wasn’t scared of their hyped up offense. Kris Jenkins joked that Ryan should be banned by the NFL as performance enhancing drug because of how motivated he had the team…I hope he has a strong encore performance for this week’s game.

2. The Jets don’t have permanent captains but their game captains for Houston were Kris Jenkins, Alan Faneca, Howard Green, and James Dearth.

3. After being presented with the game ball by Kerry Rhodes, Rex Ryan turned and flipped it over to Woody Johnson for giving him the chance to be a head coach in the NFL, before getting a little emotional in the locker room. I wonder if Eric Manginishowed any emotion in his opening game with the Browns?

4. Shonn Greene was inactive because the Jets wanted to carry an extra linebacker because they were concerned about Bryan Thomas having a sore leg, so Jason Trunsik was active over Greene who is now 100 percent healthy.

5. Across the top of the page, you can now find “Jets Stats” which has their updated leaders in all major statistical categories. I also added the Jets/Texans highlights to the “Game Highlights” section, don’t be confused by the lettering on the video that says “Colts vs Jaguars,” it is the Jets/Texans highlights. Also the first episode of TOJ TV is archived under the “TOJ TV” page.

Grading Out the Jets/Texans Game

Quarterbacks: (A-) I’m not sure you could have asked for a better performance by Mark Sanchez in his first career start. Yes, he threw a costly interception and nearly had two others picked off but he dominated third down going 12/15 for 191 yards and a touchdown, showing his clutch ability. He also moved tremendously well in the pocket, avoiding sacks and keeping multiple plays alive. People love to talk about the “it” factor at quarterback, I’m not sure it is reasonable to assess a trait that can’t clearly be defined to somebody but it sure as hell looks like Sanchez has “it.” He plays with a ton of energy and acts like a leader on the field, sprinting out to break up a fight after Jay Feely knocked through a field goal. Would Brett Favre have been out there last year, trying to prevent a penalty?

Running Backs: (A-) 19 touches for Leon Washington? It is about damn time. Washington averaged 4 yards per carry and provided a consistent performance. He also chipped in 4 catches and a key pass breakup on a near interception. Thomas Jones started with 14 carries for 16 yards and finished with 20 carries for 107 yards, which is why you stick with the running game. Tony Richardson was excellent, providing a crushing block on safety Nick Ferguson that sprung Jones 38 yard touchdown run. I am going to keep harping on this…the closer Jones/Washington get to 40 touches a game, the more likely the Jets are to win. They combined for 39 against Houston, with a near perfect split of Jones having 20 and Washington having 19.

Wide Receivers: (B+) Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey’s ability to run after the catch converted a handful of key third downs for the Jets. After dropping his first pass, Cotchery caught the next 6 thrown to him. If they can play like this on a weekly basis, people won’t think twice about Laveranues Coles or any other veteran receiver for a long time. Brad Smith had a nice run on a reverse but also had a drop and a holding penalty. David Clowney wasn’t targeted at all.

Tight Ends: (A) Dustin Keller led the Jets in receiving yards with 94 and had two key third down conversions, including the biggest catch of the game, a 40 yard catch and run when the Jets faced a crucial 3rd and 3 with a 17-7 lead. He is going to be a nightmare match-up for defenses all season. Ben Hartsock played very well for somebody who just joined the team a week ago, providing steady blocking and playing a bunch of reps.

Offensive Line: (A) Whenever you allow zero sacks and have 190+ yards of rushing, you get an A. The only negative was three false start penalties. D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Damien Woody more than held their own against Mario Williams.

Defensive Line: (A) It was comical watching Kris Jenkins throw Texans center Chris Myers around like a rag doll all day. Jenkins didn’t have a big day statistically but anybody who watched the game knows how well he played. Mike DeVito had a big fumble recovery, thanks to his hustle down the field. Marques Douglas had a TFL…oh yea, Steve Slaton only ran for 17 yards.

Linebackers: (A) The A’s are getting redundant, but trust me I’m not getting tired typing them. David Harris was a beast with 11 tackles, a sack, and a pass defensed. He also knocked Andre Davis into another planet when he tried to come over the middle. Bart Scott set the tone early with a crushing blow on Matt Schaub, who played scared the rest of the game. Vernon Gholston had 3 tackles, a TFL and held his own for the entire day which is a step in the right direction for him. Jamaal Westerman continues to look like a UDFA steal, as he recorded his first NFL sack.

Secondary (A) Outside of Nnamdi Asomugha, who is a better corner than Darrelle Revis in the NFL? He is straight lockdown, period. Andre Johnson might as well stayed in the locker room because it was hard to notice he was even out there. Kerry Rhodes and Jim Leonhard were both active around the line of scrimmage. Donald Strickland had a great game with 3 tackles, a key forced fumble, and a QB pressure that led to an INT. Lito Sheppard was strong in run support and also had an interception. Eric Smith had a big 4th down pass break up and had a surprisingly active day.

Special Teams (A) Jay Feely made all his kicks. Steve Weatherford punted well and the Jets allowed zero return yards on punts. Leon Washington and Jim Leonhard were solid on returns.

Coaching (A) Rex Ryan had the Jets motivated and came up with a game plan that had Matt Schaub and Gary Kubiak’s head spinning. Brian Schottenheimer did a great job using Leon Washington and throwing some well timed screens to keep Houston off balance.

Highlights of the Jets Week One Win Over Houston