Ten Preliminary Thoughts On Jets/Dolphins

Ten preliminary thoughts on the Jets week 17 match-up against the Miami Dolphins

Ten preliminary thoughts on the New York Jets week 17 match-up against the Miami Dolphins. Can they at least give themselves a shot to make the playoffs?

1. The sad reality of this game is that since these two teams met back in week 6, Matt Moore has been a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez, Reggie Bush has been a better running back than Shonn Greene, Brandon Marshall has been a better wide receiver than Santonio Holmes, and the Dolphins defense has been better than the Jets defense as a whole. The Jets are rightfully underdogs in this game and if they again play below their supposed talent level, they are going to get smacked around.

2. This will be Jason Taylor’s last NFL game. You want an embarrassing stat? He has 7 sacks this year in extremely limited time. There isn’t a single player on the Jets defense with more than 6 sacks.

3. Reggie Bush is exactly the type of back the Jets have struggled with all season, considering his speed and ability on the edges. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry in their previous match-up and you can bet the Dolphins will be going to him early and often.

4. Common sense would dictate that the Jets will rely heavily on their ground game after last week’s disaster. Shonn Greene is 1 yard away from a 1,000 on the season and there is no reason he shouldn’t get 20-25 carries this week. You know what would be nice? To see him break a big run and score a touchdown…something he hasn’t done since the San Diego playoff game in 2009.

5. Mark Sanchez is under the heaviest criticism of his NFL career right now, with many calling for the Jets to look in a different direction next year. Let’s see how he responds and if he can take advantage of a Miami secondary that does give up big plays.

6. I think we are going to know right out of the gate what type of game this is going to be. Are the Jets going to come out with their heads down and get rolled over by a Miami team who’d love nothing more than to end their season, or will they come out with some fight considering what a joke and disappointment they are considered at the moment?

7. This could very well be LaDainian Tomlinson’s last NFL game. He has been productive with the touches he has received all season. You almost feel like the Jets didn’t go to him enough down the stretch. Let’s hope he finishes on a high note.

8. Brian Schottenheimer deserves to be fired but one good play call he had last week was motioning Joe McKnight out of the backfield out wide, where he ran a stop and go on the linebacker who went to cover him. McKnight flew by him and was wide open for a 85 yard touchdown. Unfortunately, Mark Sanchez completely missed the throw. The Jets must continue to take their shots down the field and Sanchez must hit them when they are there.

9. Darrelle Revis is coming off a terrific game, where he completely shut down Hakeem Nicks. It will be interesting to see him battle against Brandon Marshall, as they went at it pretty good in the previous match-up this season. Matt Moore won’t shy away from attacking Revis, which will hopefully lead to a big play for the Jets.

10. End the season with some pride…playoffs or not…

Grading Out Jets/Dolphins

TOJ grades out the Jets 24-6 win over the Miami Dolphins

Quarterback (B-) 14/25, 201 yards, a rushing touchdown, and a passing touchdown. It wasn’t a great performance from Mark Sanchez but he improved as the game went on. The slow start falls on him and Brian Schottenheimer as he needs to come out in better rhythm. The lapses of accuracy remain concerning but Sanchez still has a way of making big plays when everything breaks down around him.

Running Backs (C) – Shonn Greene remains thoroughly average. LaDainian Tomlinson had a little giddy-up in his step, as you know he is licking his chops thinking about this week’s game against San Diego. I do think the Jets need to consider shifting more carries to Tomlinson and Joe McKnight, who made a few nice receptions split out at wide receiver.

Wide Receivers (C) – Santonio Holmes was electric when he was able to get the football in his hands. Plaxico Burress looked sluggish and disinterested, which should be a cause for concern moving forward. Jeremy Kerley had a nice third down conversion but also had a dropped pass.

Tight Ends (B) – A pair of big plays from Dustin Keller, who still needs to be more involved in the passing game. Matthew Mulligan had good contributions in the running game.

Offensive Line (B+) – Very good pass protection but the push in the running game is still lacking. It is nice to see improvement from Wayne Hunter, who had his best game of the season.

Defensive Line (B-) – The run defense could have been better but it looks like Kenrick Ellis has the potential to be a very good player alongside Muhammad Wilkerson moving forward.

Linebackers (B+) – 2 sacks from Calvin Pace, 2 forced fumbles from Aaron Maybin and a huge hit on Matt Moore from David Harris that forced an interception…an overdue night of playmaking from the Jets linebackers.

Secondary (A) – The “A” is all for Darrelle Revis, who put on a show last night. He came up with a 100 yard interception return for a touchdown when it looked the Jets season may be on the brink. Kyle Wilson also had a hell of a night in the slot covering Davone Bess.

Special Teams (D) – I am dropping them all the way down because of the muffed kick return…that is two this year, c’mon man. Nick Folk and TJ Conley are both quietly having very good years.

Coaching (C) – A win is a win but let’s beat San Diego before saying things are turned around. Also what was that play call with LaDainian Tomlinson attempting a pass to Mark Sanchez? Really?

Initial Reaction: New York Jets Look Average In 24-6 Win

The New York Jets moved to .500 with an ugly 24-6 win over the Miami Dolphins, yet a win is a win.

It was good to see the New York Jets end their three game losing streak tonight with a 24-6 win. It was equally good to see how awful the Miami Dolphins truly are, as they may go 1-15 this year. However, let’s not kid ourselves. The Jets did not look like a good football team tonight. They certainly didn’t look a playoff contender.

Let’s call a spade a spade. Miami is a putrid football team who was led by a journeyman quarterback. Matt Moore missed wide open receivers all over the field and threw a bad interception to Darrelle Revis who returned it 100 yards to the house. Brandon Marshall dropped what should have been a touchdown pass on the following drive and Miami never managed to do much else on offense. However, the Jets pass rush was inconsistent and their run defense left something to be desired.

The Jets started off with four straight three and outs on offense, which is pretty hard to conceive considering how bad Miami’s defense has been. Eventually they got it going, with a touchdown drive that ended with two surprisingly savvy play calls from Brian Schottenheimer, including a touchdown run on a quarterback draw from Mark Sanchez who was okay tonight, finishing 14/25 for 201 yards and a TD.

In the second half the Jets took control and broke the game open on a pretty 38 yard touchdown reception by Santonio Holmes. It was the type of play that makes you get frustrated that Holmes doesn’t get more touches. The defense poured it on late with a few sacks and another Revis interceptions. In the end, you have a 24-6 victory with a few positives but also plenty of areas the Jets still need to improve in. Tonight’s effort won’t cut it against San Diego, Buffalo, or New England in the next three games.

Statistical Notes/Highlights

  • Calvin Pace 7 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Kyle Wilson shut down Davone Bess in the slot
  • Joe McKnight had 2 receptions for 29 yards
  • Shonn Greene: 21 carries, 74 yards…meh
  • Aaron Maybin had a sack and 2 more forced fumbles
  • Kenrick Ellis had 3 tackles and 1 for a loss

Jets vs. Dolphins: 12 Pack Of Predictions

A week 6 Monday Night must win for the New York Jets…12 predictions for tonight —

1. Dustin Keller is going to get back into the end-zone for the first time since week 2. Santonio Holmes will join him, as he scores his second touchdown in as many weeks.

2. Mark Sanchez will finish with at least 225 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns. I do think a more aggressive game-plan will result in at least one turnover. I am specifically thinking about Cameron Wake rushing the passer on Wayne Hunter.

3. Jeremy Kerley will pull in at least 3 receptions in his first game as the full time slot receiver.

4. Calvin Pace, Jamaal Westerman, and Muhammad Wilkerson will all record sacks of Matt Moore.

5. Moore will have multiple turnovers tonight but will also make a few plays with his feet that prevents the Jets defense from getting off the field on third down.

6. Brandon Marshall won’t get ejected in the fist half, but will be non-factor in this game.

7. Reggie Bush will have less than 80 total offensive yards.

8. Shonn Greene will rush for more than 75 yards and score his third touchdown of the season. LaDainian Tomlinson will also be more involved than he was last week, while Joe McKnight will pull in his first reception of the season.

9. If the Jets find a way to lose this game, you can bet things will start to get very ugly in their locker room. I may also have to temporarily shut the website down out of disgust. You don’t lose to a 0-4 team in your own building on Monday Night, especially when they are starting a backup quarterback.

10. The Jets will score a touchdown on their first drive.

11. Kenrick Ellis will finally be active.

12. I am picking the Jets 30-13. A win doesn’t suffice here, the Jets need to thoroughly beat down Miami to get some confidence back.

Five Keys For New York Jets Versus Miami Dolphins

Listen to TJ discuss the top five keys here

1-CIRCLE THE WAGONS: Namath’s comments after the Oakland loss. Receivers complain abut Schotty. Santonio Holmes calls out the O line. Mason is dealt. Holmes vs. Brandon Moore. Is this a team on the brink of implosion?

2-CLEANER PLAY FROM THE SECONDARY: Too many flags in recent weeks. Keep your hands to yourselves guys.

3-PROVE ‘EM WRONG OFFENSIVE LINE: Called out by the media, Holmes, and still readjusting after the return of the injured star Nick Mangold. This group has to prove the doubters wrong, and start giving Mark Sanchez some time to throw.

4-STRETCH THE FIELD: Defenses are playing eleven guys right up at the line. Go downfield sometimes, and create some room to run.

5-BE A TOP FIVE DEFENSE: Last week the Jets finally got some pressure on a QB in Foxboro. Kick it into gear now, certainly don’t let backup QB Matt Moore get comfortable early on.

Game Breakdown: Jets vs. Dolphins

TOJ breaks down the Jets week 6 match-up with the Miami Dolphins

Offense: This New York Jets offense needs a confidence boosting performance in the worst way. It can’t be only Ground and Pound and it can’t only be Chuck and Duck. The Jets need to run the football effectively to keep balance but take more than a handful of shots down the field against a suspect Miami Dolphins secondary. The main thing I want to see out of this game is zero turnovers from Mark Sanchez, similar to last week but a more aggressive game plan and style of play from him.

Santonio Holmes has been running his mouth the past couple of weeks, so it would be nice if the Jets called for a few big plays down the field for him and he came through on them. Rex Ryan has always said the player he feared most in Baltimore was Holmes, so let’s use him. Plenty of eyes will also be on Jeremy Kerley as he fully assumes an expanded a role. We also wonder if this will be the week when Joe McKnight gets to truly become part of the offense.

Overall, 20 points doesn’t work this week. This offense has too much talent not to drop a 30 spot on the Dolphins defense and honestly they need to before Jeff Capellini and company lead a revolution at Florham Park.

Defense: Come after Matt Moore from the first snap of the game until the final seconds. This shouldn’t be any different than what the Jets did to Luke McCown in week 2. This entire unit should have an awful taste in their mouth based on how last game ended. Jamaal Westerman needs to build on his 2 sacks last week and keep rolling as he hopefully develops into a consistent contributor. Aaron Maybin was quiet last week so it’d be nice to see him get back into the action this week.

Reggie Bush isn’t an every down back but he is dangerous out of the backfield as a receiver. The Jets must shadow him with a safety or Kyle Wilson. I’d be worried about Brandon Marshall but we have that Revis guy and it sounds like Marshall will be gone by halftime anyway. If Miami scores 17 points on Monday night, the Jets defense underachieved.

Special Teams: Joe McKnight may take over punt return duties along with his kick return duties with Jeremy Kerley now playing more on offense. The more he can touch the football, the better. The Jets special teams have been their one constant this season and I don’t expect that to change this week, especially since Ted Ginn Jr isn’t on Miami anymore.

New York Jets: No Excuses Against Pitiful Dolphins

The New York Jets have no excuses this week against the Miami Dolphins

I am aware the New York Jets recent three game losing streak has been a kick in the you know what to those who approached the season with a high amount of optimism for the team. However, there are different types of teams and different types of losses in the NFL.

In Oakland, you had a Jets team take their foot off the pedal up 17-7 and play a lackadaisical second half against a hungrier team. In Baltimore, you had a recipe for disaster going against one of the league’s best defenses with a makeshift offensive line. In New England, you had a superior team run out the clock late preventing your offense a chance to win the game.

Baltimore and New England are both playoff teams in the AFC and will both likely be division winners who receive a bye week. The Jets lost to both of them in their building. Oakland is a serious playoff contender at this point and could also very well be a division winner. The Jets also lost to them in their building. Losses to these teams is disappointing in that the Jets clearly can’t compete with the elite of their own conference at the moment, yet the Miami Dolphins are a completely different story.

At 0-4, the Dolphins are the worst team in the AFC. They have lost every game by 10 points or more except for one and are now on their backup quarterback, the thoroughly mediocre Matt Moore. Miami is a led by a lame duck coach who likely will be fired within the month, has an overpaid, underachieving starting running back in Reggie Bush and a big time receiver who doesn’t make any plays in Brandon Marshall. Their defense can’t stop the pass and doesn’t force turnovers.

There are no excuses this week as the Jets host this awful team in their building on Monday Night Football in front of the whole country. There are no moral victories. Hell, there are no normal victories. This needs to be a thorough double digit beating of your rivals in front of your angry home crowd. Kick the Dolphins while they are down and get some swagger back because you are going to need it with San Diego, Buffalo, and New England upcoming on the schedule.

Shonn Greene and Santonio Holmes…get your first 100 yard games of the season. Plaxico Burress…stop dropping the football and get back in the end-zone. Mark Sanchez…throw for 275 yards without a turnover. Dustin Keller…come out of the witness protection program you have been in the previous two weeks. Calvin Pace and Bart Scott…get back to making plays on defense and come up with a few sacks. Darrelle Revis…well you just keep doing what you been doing.

I am about as optimistic as they come but if the Jets lose this game, their season is over.

NFL Week 2 Review

1. With the amount of praise being lavished on the New England Patriots the first two weeks of the season, you would think they already have the Super Bowl wrapped up. I am not going to question how impressive their offense has been because it looks like a machine. Yet, if you watched their game against San Diego, you know how many opportunities the Chargers had to win that football game. If Mike Tolbert had his head on straight, they could have very well stolen that game and it isn’t like they ran the pathetic Miami Dolphins off the field the week before either. New England has the best offense in the league. Their defense is average. They are a beatable football team and we know the New York Jets know that better than anybody.

2. Kansas City Chiefs Todd Haley might soon be working for a Canadian online pharmacy with how unpopular he is becoming and how awful his team is performing. The Chiefs are a lifeless bunch who has been humiliated the past two weeks. How is it possible that this team won the AFC West last year? With superstar running back Jamaal Charles now out for the season and an upcoming game with San Diego, it is hard to see an improvement on the horizon.

3. Unbelievable how the Tennessee Titans could go from losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars to beating the Baltimore Ravens the following week. It was pretty apparent the Ravens were still hungover from their stomping of Pittsburgh the week before. However, the Titans could be a sneaky contender in the AFC South, considering how wide open that division is. Kenny Britt is playing as well as any wide receiver in the NFL right now. Matt Hasselbeck has the ability to win big games at quarterback and overall their defense is solid. They do still need to find a way to get Chris Johnson going however.

4. Drew Brees. Matt Ryan. Josh Freeman. Cam Newton. The NFC South is going to be fun to watch for a long, long time. It is truly remarkable how quickly Newton has become such a dynamic NFL player. Freeman is a younger Ben Roethlisberger, who is incredibly clutch. Brees is Brees. Ryan is coming off an impressive comeback win and is one of the league’s best young quarterbacks.

5. Week 3 games to look forward to –

  • New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles – Always an entertaining rivalry, let’s hope Mike Vick finds his way back to the field so we can see this game at full strength.
  • New England at Buffalo – Let’s see how much of a contender Buffalo really is.
  • Green Bay at Chicago – A rematch of the NFC Championship Game.

NFL Week 1 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miami Dolphins Heading In Wrong Direction, Makes Us Smile

The AFC East will likely end up being a two team race this season between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. For the past couple of seasons the Miami Dolphins have hung around but ultimately flamed out late in the season to finish at 7-9. It would seem this upcoming year they are closer to competing with the Buffalo Bills to stay out of last place than they are at coming near the Patriots or Jets.

Am I aware that the Dolphins have beat the Jets, three out of their last four meetings? Yes, it is one of the ugliest stats of the Rex Ryan era but hey in 2009 Ted Ginn Jr was solely responsible for both Miami wins and the Jets improved to a split last year with him gone. With the direction the Dolphins are moving and the direction the Jets are moving, I am calling for the sweep this year.

What direction is it that Miami is moving in? They flirted with hiring Jim Harbaugh long enough to be their head coach that made it clear they didn’t really want Tony Sparano back, but were then forced to bring him back. They then went on to make the same mistake with the quarterback position by flirting with Kyle Orton long enough to make it clear they weren’t confident in Chad Henne being their quarterback, and now they are stuck with him, as Dolphins fans chant “We Want Orton” everyday at training camp. I suppose they could always turn to Matt Moore, one of the few worse quarterbacking options in the league than Henne.

I can’t say I don’t think Reggie Bush could be a valuable player for them but it sounds like are expecting an awful lot out of a specialty back coming off an injury. They can talk up rookie Daniel Thomas all they want but the bottom line is that he is a rookie who had no work with any of the coaches all off-season up until now.

In the end, this is a positive trend for the Jets to have Miami move closer to being a 5-11 Buffalo type team instead of a team who hovers around .500, especially if the Jets can help our collective sanity by stopping the losses to an inferior Miami team.

They are a team stuck in limbo with a coach they don’t really want or a quarterback they don’t really want, which isn’t how competitive teams are built.