Joe Caporoso and Dan Donohue talk New York football as they go through the Jets and Giants 2010 schedule and predict the record of both teams. Will the Jets meet their lofty expectations? Can the Giants make the playoffs in the always competitive NFC East? The strengths and weaknesses of each team after this off-season are also discussed. At the 30 minute mark, the conversation shifts to the NBA as we debate where LeBron James will end up. Can the Knicks recruit him or is he a better fit with the New Jersey Nets?
First a few updates:
1. The Jets have hired former Appalachian State receiver coach Lance Taylor as an offensive assistant.
2. The Jets have the day off from OTAs tomorrow but we will back on Thursday with full media availability. There was some released statements from players on the team, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan on the Super Bowl announcement and obviously everybody was excited. It is a nice moment for the organization.
Reaction To Super Bowl Announcement, And Speaking Of Super Bowl…
As expected, the new Meadowlands Stadium was awarded the Super Bowl in 2014. Over the last few days it had become relatively apparent this was going to happen and the announcement didn’t take anyone by surprise. Personally as a North Jersey native, I am very pumped about the Super Bowl taking place 20 minutes from my house. I know everybody refers to it as the New York Super Bowl but keep in mind it is beautiful East Rutherford, New Jersey that will be hosting the game. It is being estimated the game, being held in 2014, will generate approximately $550 million for the local economy.
I could only hope that gives the state enough money to either knock down Xanadu or actually some functioning stores in it. We are all getting tired of looking at that empty, bizarrely colored building which is an ugly sign of recent economic problems in the area. The announcement should help sell the naming rights to the stadium, which is currently just being called The New Meadowlands Stadium.
I think the concern over cold weather is overrated. Is there anything better than a good snow game? If you disagree…stop being so soft, football is supposed to be played in the elements. However, if the Jets happen to make the 2014 Super Bowl and the weather negatively impacts them, then I reserve the right to change my mind. Seriously though, I hope this starts a trend of occasionally having the game in cold weather locations and by that I mean I hope this isn’t the only time it ends up in this stadium. The only other cold weather stadium that could have a shot would be New England but let’s be real it is no New York up there so that probably won’t happen.
Anyway since we are talking about the Super Bowl, what are your expectations for the Jets in 2010? Is anything short of a Super Bowl appearance considered a disappointment? You would think when a team is winning in the second half of the AFC Championship Game the previous season, the logical next step and expectation should be a Super Bowl appearance. While it is bizarre to expect a team who hasn’t won a AFC Championship since 1969 to do it this season, that is the reality for the Jets in 2010. Nobody is going to be happy with a divisional title. Nobody is going to be satisfied with a couple of playoff wins. We saw that last year. The talent is in place and the Jets have talked the talk since the season ended, so now it is time to walk the walk.
There are no certainties in the NFL. There may not even be a season in 2011. If there is, the Jets are going to have to make some difficult roster decisions. No, it isn’t as bad as some writers make it out to be. There isn’t going to be a need to blow up the team. Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson will get their money from the Jets but some of the recent additions could be moving on (Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson) along with certain veterans like Shaun Ellis and Damien Woody.
The point is that while the Jets should still be a good team past this season, they are in the best position they have been in a long time to reach a Super Bowl. The roster is loaded on both sides of the ball. The Patriots are down. The Dolphins have plenty of question marks. The Jets showed they can handle the Chargers and we’ll see how they match-up with the Ravens in week one. Obviously the top team in the conference is still the Colts but the Jets have spent the entire off-season building themselves to beat them, by adding Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Kyle Wilson, and Brondey Pool.
A successful season for the Jets in 2010 equals an appearance in the Super Bowl and in reality nobody is satisfied with a loss in the big game, so yes it is championship or bust in 2010 for the New York Jets.
Go Shonn, Go
Another beautiful overcast day here in Whitehall, Pennsylvania and since I am looking for an excuse to procrastinate on filling out job applications, let’s get to some Saturday afternoon thoughts on the Jets rivals.
Patriots – Could this be the year the Patriots finally fall off? I amazed when people talk up the off-season they had and discuss them as a top 5 or 6 team in the league. I am pretty sure I saw a team that was falling off as the 2009 season ended, capped with a blowout loss in their building in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Yes, they still have Brady and Belichick which means they are going to be competitive week in and week out but beyond that, what else has New England done this off-season to make you think they are improving on their 10-6 record from last year, instead of getting worse?
Don’t underestimate how much the Patriots will miss Wes Welker on offense. Any Jets fan saw the difference between New England’s offense with Welker and without him when comparing week 2 to week 11 last year. The Patriots still don’t have a number one running back but have instead decided to collect aging, injury-proned players and stay with perpetual disappointment Laurence Maroney. On defense, New England struggled heavily in 2009 and outside of drafting Devin McCourty in the first round, what have they done to improve? The Patriots look like an 8-8 team to me this season.
Dolphins – After acquiring Brandon Marshall, I am starting to think the Dolphins will be the Jets main competition for an AFC East title in 2010. Yes, they still have some questions on their defense but Karlos Dansby and Jared Odrick will help them, and you know they can run the football. Marshall finally gives them a legitimate weapon in the passing game and Brian Hartline should develop into a decent number two receiver. The whole world seems ready to pronounce Chad Henne a franchise quarterback but let’s wait and see if he can win a big game first. I am pretty sure when the Dolphins had a chance to make the playoffs last season, he went 0-3.
Giants – Brandon Jacobs recently grabbed some headlines by claiming New York is still the Giants city because they won a Super Bowl recently. First off, Jacobs might want to worry about improving that ugly stat line from last season before he gets shipped out of New York, but second you can’t say that he doesn’t have a point. If I was a Giants fan or player, I would tire of reading about the Jets every single day considering they haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1969 or a division title since 2002. Yet, the NFL and the mainstream media is a what have you done for me lately business and the last thing in everybody’s memory is the Giants quitting and being embarrassed the last 2 games of the 2009 season, while the Jets had a run to the AFC Championship Game, followed by the Jets having a better off-season. Personally, I don’t root against the Giants the way I used to when I was younger and outside of annoying my friends who are all Giants friends, I don’t really concern myself with what they do. The two teams don’t impact each other this year, unless they are going to meet in a Super Bowl, which would be terrific.
Other TOJ Updates
– Keep the Facebook fans coming…we are at 356 right now and I’d like to hit 500 by week 1 of the pre-season. Unlike a site like The Jets Blog, TOJ is a one man show so I basically use the Facebook page as my version of The Jets Blog. I use it to aggregate everything a Jets fan should be reading on a daily basis, along with quick commentary on each links. I will also throw up some non-Jets related things occasionally, if the situation calls for it. Keep in mind I am also a Yankees and Knicks fan, and watch massive amounts of television and movies….because you know, I am an unemployed college student (at least for a few more months). You can also follow TOJ on Twitter (Turn On The Jets) and on the ESPN Jets Message Boards (WR09CB), Digg, and Ballhype (all the account information is in the “About The Author” section of the web site).
– Remember the other links at the top of the page…Turn On The Jets TV, 2009 Highlights, 2010 Schedule, 2010 Depth Chart, 2009 Stats, The Podcast which can be accessed here (http://web.me.com/turnonthejets/Site/Podcast/Podcast.html).
– We should have a new Podcast up in the next week or two.
– As we head into the Lost finale tomorrow, which means you will never have to deal with reading about the show at TOJ again, I leave you with my favorite scene from each season:
Season 1 – The Opening
Season 2 – Down The Hatch
Season 3 – We Have To Go Back
Season 4 – I Always Have A Plan
Season 5 – Jacob?
Season 6 – The Timelines Merge
The Jets Journey To Relevancy
Today I was talking to a friend from Philadelphia about how big of a following the Flyers have in the city with their recent Cinderella run in the playoffs. He assured me the Flyers were a big deal within the city and had a rabid following that didn’t trail the Eagles or Phillies by as much as you’d expect. I thought about the New York sports market, where the Rangers, Devils, and Islanders are irrelevant topics on the back pages of newspapers, sports talk radio, and mainstream websites. The only buzz around the Knicks and Nets is associated with the prayer’s chance of recruiting LeBron James. Football and baseball dominate the town. The Yankees are the number one story and you would normally put the Giants and Mets right behind them with the Jets a distant fourth.
I remember December 30th, 2007 sitting in the pouring rain at a half empty stadium watching the 3-12 Jets play the 4-11 Chiefs. It was an ugly and depressing game as I watched Kellen Clemens struggle through a 13/25, 115 yard performance. The Giants were headed to the playoffs. The Patriots had just completed an undefeated regular season. Little did I know that both were headed for an epic Super Bowl, which had one of the best fourth quarters and plays in league history. There you had it, the team the Jets shared the city with and their biggest rival battling on the world’s biggest stage while the Jets couldn’t be any more irrelevant. It was just another low point in the difficult life of being a New York Jets fan.
Yet today, when I was talking with my friend I had to put the Jets as the number two story in the New York sports market behind the defending champion Yankees. The Mets are slowly fading into their usual oblivion and somehow the Jets have become a better, more entertaining team and a bigger story than the New York Giants, a team who won arguably the greatest Super Bowl game ever played a little over 2 years ago.
How did this happen?
It started with an uncharacteristically aggressive off-season headed into the 2008 regular season. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum learned from his mistake heading into the 2007 season, when he incorrectly believed his 10-6 team was only a few minor tweaks away from being a Super Bowl contender. The Jets were a fun story in 2006 but they caught the league off-guard with a wild-card appearance thanks to a soft schedule, a surprisingly productive season from Chad Pennington, and career years from journeyman players like Victor Hobson, Cedric Houston, Anthony Clement, Chris Baker, Bryan Thomas, Hank Poteat, Erik Coleman, Justin Miller, and Andre Dyson.
The Jets did add Thomas Jones but thought they could get by another year with Clement on the line and Adrien Clarke stepping in for Pete Kendall at guard and made no major free agent additions to their defense. However, Tannenbaum did strike gold in the draft by trading up for future All-Pro defenders Darrelle Revis and David Harris. Regardless, Pennington succumbed to another injury and Kellen Clemens struggled heavily behind a terrible offensive line and the Jets disappointed with a 4-12 season.
With owner Woody Johnson’s blessing the Jets began a trend of recruiting and landing big time free agents. They broke the bank for perennial pro-bowler Alan Faneca and brought in veteran Damien Woody to complement him at tackle. They outbid Miami for Calvin Pace and swung a trade for Kris Jenkins. They also solidified their running game by adding fullback Tony Richardson and blocking tight end Bubba Franks. Despite Eric Mangini’s stringent ways and the organization operating under the New England state of mind, they were still able to recruit big name players to rebuild the roster.
Tannenbaum didn’t finish his off-season until he shocked the football world by swinging a trade for Brett Favre. I know in the end, the Favre experiment didn’t work out considering the Jets failed to make the playoffs and his struggles down the stretch. However, the fact that Favre joined the Jets demonstrated to the rest of the league that the team was moving in the right direction. The pieces were being put into place to build a contender on both sides of the ball and they had a GM and owner who would aggressively pursue putting together a winner regardless of the cost.
The Jets could have faded back into irrelevancy into 2009 when they decided to cut ties with Favre and head coach Eric Mangini. Breaking with his personal characteristics and the Bill Parcells mindset he was groomed with, Mike Tannenbaum went for the boisterous, confident Rex Ryan. Mangini was a good football mind but had suffocated the life out of the organization. Ryan provided the shot of energy necessary to overcome the hangover from the disastrous end to the 2009 season and Favre’s departure. The bold moves from the previous off-season carried over into the months heading into 2009, starting with Ryan and his recruitment of former Baltimore Ravens, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, and Marques Douglas.
Yet, the most important decision came during the 2009 NFL Draft. The Jets weren’t making the playoffs with Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff at quarterback and everybody knew it. They needed a franchise quarterback to wash the bad taste out of everybody’s mouth that Favre had left. Working with their former head coach Mangini, they moved up to acquire USC’s Mark Sanchez.
The team had successfully moved out of the Mangini/Favre era with an exciting new head coach and quarterback. However, they retained the quality players acquired during Mangini’s two winning seasons in three years. The pieces were in place for a team with cautiously high expectations heading into the 2009 season.
In a rare occurrence, the football gods smiled on the ugly stepchild of New York City. A 7-7 team that appeared to be out of the playoffs was handed the backups of the best team in the league and took advantage. The victory positioned them to close out the stadium they had embarrassingly been tenants in, with a playoff berth in front of the whole country on Sunday Night Football. The Big Brother New York Giants had packed up their bags a few weeks too early and left with an ugly loss to the Carolina Panthers, leaving the Jets to fill the void as the team the New York sports market could get behind. Regardless of who the Bengals played or didn’t play, the Jets thrived for their fans and the city with a 37-0 victory.
Any questions about the Jets validity as a playoff team were answered with subsequent road victories over the Bengals and heavily favored San Diego Chargers. The momentum carried right into the second quarter of the AFC Championship Game, when the Jets were up 17-6. Unfortunately, an immortal quarterback rose to the top of his game and ended their run.
Despite the loss, the Jets had arrived. Their head coach whose ability to entertain and grab headlines was matched by his ability to design an elite defense and motivate his players, had claimed the Jets would be the number one show in town when the new Meadowlands began hosting NFL games and it was hard not to believe him. Tannenbaum didn’t back off. He must have remembered the off-season heading into 2007 again because he added Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, and Santonio Holmes to a team that was 28 minutes away from a Super Bowl.
Here we are today, with HBO knocking down the Jets door to feature them on Hard Knocks. Relevancy doesn’t equal success but any Jets fan will tell you it is refreshing to be the most hyped up team in the area. Giants fans will say they enjoy flying under the radar and I don’t blame them. They shouldn’t concern themselves with the attention being paid to a team who hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1969, when they have won 3 since then. However, the Jets don’t have to ignore the spotlight being shined on them. Yes, they bring the attention to themselves with the boasting of their head coach, big name acquisitions, and posturing of their owner but there is substance behind the hype around the team.
There is a system of playing defense and running the football, which is a familiar formula for playoff teams. The Jets have the ability to run the ball because they have assembled one of the best offensive lines in football and found a running back by trading up to get a guy that inexplicably slipped through the cracks to the third round. They have the ability to play defense because they drafted the best corner in the NFL, an All-Pro inside linebacker, and surrounded them with quality free agent additions. Yet, if you follow the NFL these days you know it takes more than running the ball and defense to win a championship, which is why the Jets have surrounded their franchise quarterback with one of the best three wide sets in the NFL, a pass-catching tight end, and one of better receiving running backs in NFL history.
Somehow, someway the Jets have navigated themselves into relevancy. The owner, GM, coach, and roster is finally in place to turn that relevancy into success. By success, I mean the one thing that could actually put the Jets on the same level of the Giants as a NFL organization and make sure the new stadium doesn’t turn into “Giants Stadium Part 2,” and that is win a Super Bowl.
Now Some Other Updates:
1. We have been locked at 315 fans on Facebook for 2 days now and that is getting me a little anxious. I need as many fans as possible to throw at the Jets media relations guy when I working on getting a press pass…so follow it on Facebook, tell you friends to follow it on Facebook and do the same for the Twitter account (TurnOnTheJets).
2. Remember we have other tabs on this site beyond the home page…we also have just added a tab for the Podcast, which links you to the site with the TOJ Podcasts.
3. (http://www.youhaveiwant.com/home.html) – Worth checking out, especially if you are looking to get your hands on New York area sports tickets.
4. Jets minor roster moves…they added offensive tackle Aaron Kia and released receiver S.J. Green and offensive tackle Matt Stommes. The depth chart has been updated accordingly.
5. Tough break for the New Jersey Nets last night. I can’t say that I wasn’t happy since I am a Knicks fan first and a Wizards fan second…yes I have a second favorite basketall team. How can I justify that? First off, the Knicks have been god awful the past decade, second I lived in DC for 6 months, attended some games at the Phone Booth when the Wizards were pretty good and became a big Agent Zero fan…before he decided to start bringing guns into the locker room. So, yea I broke out the John Wall dance in my Arenas shirt last night after they got the number one pick.
6. Thoughts On Lost Final Season, Episode 16 “What They Died For” –We ended our one episode break in 23 A.D. with glowing caves and terrible kid actors by getting back to our main characters with a very, very good episode. Everybody kind of saw it coming with Jack replacing Jacob, but it almost seemed like it happened too easy. I have a feeling when it is all said and done, Jack won’t be taking the job as island protector. I liked the sideways action…Desmond is well on his way to putting together the greatest reunion concert ever. Instead of breaking down all the details of last night’s episode, here are my predictions for the finale and you can trust I have avoided all spoilers this season:
- Richard and Lapidus aren’t dead yet.
- Sawyer will die on the island.
- Juliet is Jack’s ex-wife in the sideways timeline.
- Jack will cure Locke in the sideways but find a way to kill him on the island.
- Ben is pulling a long con on Locke and will end up being a good guy at the end…and the new island protector.
- Desmond is going into the yellow cave…and I don’t know what happens from there.
- I still have no idea how they merge both timelines.
- Rose and Bernard helped Desmond out of the well.
- Final scene? It was all the dog’s dream.
First a few updates:
1. I have to recommend everybody finds a way to get down to Austin, Texas at some point in their life. The place is completely out of control. I thought I would have a more laid back spring break after going to Cancun the previous two years but I was absolutely, 100 percent wrong. Good times. Anyway, I have been a little late writing this article about the Jets officially signing LaDainian Tomlinson and Coin-Flip Gate but I have a valid excuse. Here has been my last few days:
- Saturday Night – Out on 6th street, go to bed at 8 AM.
- Sunday Morning – Up at 9 AM.
- Go to airport in Austin…find out I lost my credit card.
- During flight, guy next to me throws up in a bag three times.
- Fly to airport in Minnesota…find out flight is delayed 3 hours.
- Look around for Tomlinson Vikings jersey…don’t see any.
- Land in Newark at 9 PM, received 10 texts about Tomlinson signing being official.
- Arrive back in Ringwood at 10:30 PM
- Write 8 page paper on the European Union, finish at 8 AM
- Drive back to Pennsylvania
- Go to class from 11-12:30
- Sleep from 1 PM until 9 PM.
So there you go. Anyway, despite currently running on nothing but coffee I have get my opinions out there, before going to bed for another 12 hours.
2. There are still some rumors swirling around about the Jets being interested in Brandon Marshall. I don’t see it happening but honestly you never know with Mike Tannenbaum. At this point, I like the way the Jets offense is constructed and would rather not deal with the sideshow Marshall would bring to town. I don’t care how talented he is. He was the target of a gang hit, hit his girlfriend, and made a huge scene in Denver last year.
3. I am glad to hear Rex Ryan is doing well after his surgery and that his first question after waking up was “Did we sign LT yet?” How can you not love this guy as your football coach?
Was Signing Tomlinson The Right Move? & Coin Flip Madness
Ironically enough, I spent a good amount of article space before and after the Jets/Chargers divisional round playoff game ripping not just Antonio Cromartie but also LaDainain Tomlinson. Sure enough, both players are now members of the Jets. I have already said my piece on Cromartie’s arrival over the past couple of weeks but now what about Tomlinson? First off, I would have still rather have Thomas Jones for next season. There is a bunch of different information being thrown around about the contracts of Tomlinson and Jones but it appears that Tomlinson’s is overall worth more money but Jones will be making more this upcoming season, and the Jets will be able to cut ties with Tomlinson with minimal cap damage after this year if he flames out. Regardless, I still would have rather paid TJ more money next season. He was substantially more productive last year. He was a veteran leader in the locker room and clearly everybody around the organization thought highly of him, as shown by this ad taken out in a Kansas City paper by the team:
However, when it became apparent that Jones wasn’t coming back next year, the Jets were faced with a hole in their backfield. Chauncey Washington couldn’t be counted on to take consistent carries. The free agent market was extremely thin and the Jets didn’t want to be forced to spend another mid-round pick on a running back, after doing so last year and in 2006. I would have never thought they would look towards Tomlinson but when you consider a few things, it begins to make more sense.
First off, he is familiar with the Jets offense and is comfortable with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Second, he provides a veteran presence at a position that desperately needs it. Third, he is a great receiving running back and is steady in pass protection. Shonn Greene sure as hell can run but he has worse hands than Troy Williamson. Obviously, Leon Washington can catch but he is coming off major surgery so it remains to be seen how effective he will be next year. Fourth, Tomlinson is still a very good short yardage back. Washington isn’t built for that type of role and Greene was never used in short yardage or goal-line situations last year. Finally, we all know Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum like to make a splash with big names.
Tomlinson is done as a feature back in my mind. Yes, I think he would be more productive in that role with the Jets than he was with San Diego because of the Jets dominant offensive line but he won’t be asked to be option 1A. What do the Jets need from him next year? I would think Shonn Greene will be looking at 17-21 carries a game. Leon will get his touches on third downs, gimmick plays, and as a pass catching target. Tomlinson needs to be an effective short yardage and goal-line back, be able to spell Shonn Greene for a series or two per half, and be a pass catching threat out of the backfield on screens and other short routes. You have to admit, it will be tough to defend the Jets screen game when they line up both Washington and Tomlinson in the backfield.
Tomlinson is in the green and white now so I am trying to look at the positives. I couldn’t stand him watching from the side-lines in playoff games in previous years with his jacket on and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him be made to look like an old lady last year by the Jets defense. Yet, with the help of the best offensive line in football, Shonn Greene, and Leon Washington maybe Tomlinson can carve himself a nice role on the Jets offense. At worst, he provides depth and veteran leadership. At best, he will pile up short-yardage touchdowns and become a game-changer as a change of pace back/receiver out of the backfield. The most likely scenario is that he ends up somewhere in the middle of those two. I will be happy if he can give us 7-9 carries a game, a few receptions, and a high success rate on short-yardage downs. Welcome to New York, LaDainain…I am sure you won’t have trouble getting #21 from Dwight Lowery.
Coin Flip – On to this whole coin-flip issue, which has now been settled by the NFL with a secret flip that resulted in a Giants victory (shocking). The news is that the Giants will open the stadium on Sunday afternoon of week 1 and then the following day, the Jets will host the Monday Night Football opener. Honestly, that is fine with me. Jets owner Woody Johnson is furious because there was no transparency in the coin toss (representatives of neither team were invited) and it is probably likely Roger Goodell just picked the Giants, because despite being 50/50 partners on the new stadium, there is still a view among some people that this new building will also be Giants Stadium. I could see Jets fans getting real worked up about this but in the end it isn’t a big deal. All I know is I am pumped that the Jets are hosting the week 1 Monday Night game. My early predicted opponent? I will either say Minnesota, New England, or Miami. Let the Giants play on Sunday, they probably can’t wait the extra day to start the season considering they lost their final two games by a combined score of 85-16. I can wait until Monday Night with the rest of the nation to watch the league’s #1 defense, #1 offensive line, most entertaining coach, up and coming franchise quarterback and running back, LaDainain Tomlinson, the return of Leon Washington, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and the rest of the #1 show in town next season.
Welcome to New York
They Could Have Settled The Home Opener, With A Bat Fight
First a few updates:
1. The 2010 Draft Section is now up and running, as you can see at the top of the page. You can head over there to see a run down of the Jets picks, draft rankings from Scout.com and a list of potential 1st round targets for the Jets from www.thejetsblog.com, along with links to their articles which include highlights/scouting reports.
2. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 96 fans away from 300.
3. How about that cover of the Daily News today? Every Knicks fan better be rooting for the Cavs to somehow be upset in the first round so LeBron is more anxious to come to New York. C’mon LeBron, how much longer do you really want to play in Cleveland? Look at these two videos and you tell me where you would honestly rather play.
Can The Jets Be The #1 Show In Town?
In his season ending press conference Rex Ryan ruffled some feathers when he said the following quote:
- “Let’s play this game in front of our fans and our stadium, the new Jets stadium. I can’t wait. We get our own stadium and we are not visitors in our stadium. This is our stadium. We are the biggest show in town, and that’s what it’s going to be.”
Giants fans and Mike Francesa reacted like Ryan personally insulted all of their mothers and sisters. However, I don’t know if Ryan was really taking a shot at the Giants. I think he sometimes just says things with the intent to fire up his team and build some excitement around the Jets, but you know what? It is going to be nice for the Jets to be out of Giants Stadium. They were visitors in that building and I don’t think that will be the case from now on. Hopefully, the Jets will now have more of a home-field advantage and they won’t have to deal with seeing a Jets banner sloppily stuck on the wall around the stadium and field covering up the Giants logo.
For a few weeks in December and January, the Jets were the biggest show in town. Can this continue in the foreseeable future? The reality is that the Yankees are the biggest show in town and when baseball comes to an end, the Giants remain the biggest show in town until the Jets can win a Super Bowl. The Giants just won a dramatic Super Bowl in 2007, in the one of the most sickening years imaginable for Jets fan. Since then, things have improved drastically for the Jets and things have gradually declined for the Giants, since there is obviously nowhere to go but down after being Super Bowl champs. Regardless, the G-Men did have a particularly ugly season this past year, finishing the season 3-8 after a 5-0 start and finishing the season by being embarrassed twice.
Of course it was enjoyable to poke fun at Giants fans during this past post-season run, but in the end who really cares who the biggest show in town is? I think the Jets will probably be a better team than the Giants next season and as of right now might have a better looking future but those things can change in an instant. All I am worried about is avoiding a let down after this past season. I want to see the Jets beat New England and Miami and move to becoming a division champ with a home playoff game. If the Giants are also good, which certainly a strong possibility, then good for them and good for the New York sports market.
I would love to see Dallas, Philadelphia, New England, and Miami fans all sulking as both the Jets and Giants won division titles next year. Both the Jets and Giants should be good football teams in 2010. They will both likely have plenty of prime-time games to show off the new stadium. The Jets will enjoy moving out of Giants Stadium for obvious reasons and the Giants will enjoy the improvement from arguably the league’s worst stadium to arguably the league’s nicest stadium. Giants fans don’t need to get salty about Rex being Rex. He only cares about continuing to build confidence in and around his team. Last year in a rare turn of events, the Jets were the number 1 show in town, now let’s string together a few years of that and get a Super Bowl along the way.
First a few updates:
1. The Jets released cornerback Marquice Cole to make room for Shaun Ellis who is now reinstated and will be back in the starting line-up when the Jets play the Pats this Sunday.
2. The Jets made a nice little jump in ESPN’s Power Rankings from #23 to #16, giving them the week’s biggest improvement.
3. A few non-Jets things: The Yankees should be clinching that AL East title any day now and yes I believe they are the team to beat in the playoffs…Last week’s Entourage was a bit of a let down…But you have to be fired up about that new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm starting up this Sunday.
NFL Week 1 Recap
Wrapping Up Jets/Texans
Defensive Player Of The Game: David Harris/Darrelle Revis – It is impossible not to recognize both of them, which is why Rex Ryan gave them both game balls. Harris was all over the field and Revis shutdown arguably the best receiver in the NFL.
Offensive Player Of The Game: Mark Sanchez – Another easy pick, Sanchez looked like a seasoned veteran in his first career start. The tests only get tougher with the Patriots and Titans coming to town.
Honorable Mentions: Jerricho Cotchery for being clutch on third downs and looking like a running back after the catch…Donald Strickalnd for making two impact plays in a limited role…Sione Pouha/Mike DeVito for filling for Shaun Ellis and not letting the D-Line miss a beat…Leon Washington for 120 total yards…The Jets offensive line…Steve Weatherford for bringing some stability to the punting position.
AFC East Observations
New England Patriots – Was it just me or did the Patriots look nothing like an elite team last night? I’m pretty sure I saw Buffalo physically dominate them for 58 minutes and then choke away the game in a manner that only the Bills could. Give Tom Brady credit for a strong finish and leading the game winning drive and to Randy Moss/Ben Watson for having big time nights. However, let’s be honest the Pats defense didn’t look good, they had no running game, and Brady looked a little shaky in the pocket. How often you think Rex Ryan will be sending the house next week?
Miami Dolphins – Welcome to reality Miami fans aka your 2009 season. I have been saying this for months, Miami has 6-10 written all over them, last year’s magical run is over and it is time for a tough schedule and a lack of talent to catch up with them. Chad Pennington won’t finish the season as their starter, and they will be 0-2 after losing to Indy this Monday night.
Buffalo Bills – Smart play, Leodis McKlevin…just brilliant. You really showed everybody what a game breaker you were last night by taking the ball out of the end-zone with your hands team blocking for you and then trying to fight for extra yards after getting lit up by Brandon Merriweather…awesome, real smart football. Beyond that, Buffalo was impressive and should be 1-0. How do you bench Fred Jackson when Marshawn Lynch comes back?
Five Teams That Impressed Me
- Philadelphia Eagles– Steam rolled the Panthers in their building, but better hope McNabb gets back quickly.
- Oakland Raiders – Put up a fight on Monday Night Football when everyone expected them to lose by 30.
- Buffalo Bills – See above.
- San Francisco 49ers – Big opening day win against the defending NFC West champs.
- New York Giants – Dominated the Redskins, don’t let the score fool you.
Five Teams That Looked Like Garbage
- St. Louis Rams – Absolutely no fight from this team, are they really that bad?
- Cleveland Browns – They are going to average about 10 points a game this year.
- Carolina Panthers – They aren’t going anywhere with Jake Delhomme, who looks like his confidence is shot after last year.
- Arizona Cardinals – What happened to that offense from last season?
- Miami Dolphins – The first of many losses for them this year.
Let’s see if the Vikings can win when somebody stops the run (if it is possible to stop AP)…At least on Sunday night I was happy we didn’t trade for Jay Cutler, 4 picks owch…The poor Bengals, they had become my 2nd favorite team after Hard-Knocks and they lose like that? (By the way, Laveranues had 1 catch and 2 drops)…Good effort by a young Jacksonville team to nearly upset the Colts…I’d still take Darren Sproles over LaDanian Tomlinson, regardless of what anyone says about him having some type of big bounce back year…Reggie Bush: 7 carries for 14 yards, glad we got #29.
Jets vs. Patriots First Look
The Opponent: Everybody’s pick to win the AFC East, Las Vegas’s favorite to win the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots are the team that every analyst and expert loves to love. The Pats were 11-5 last year without All-Pro quarterback Tom Brady who has now returned. New England looked less than impressive as they escaped with a week one victory because the Buffalo Bills choked in the final minutes. Regardless, they have won their last eight games in the Meadowlands against the Jets and have one of the league’s most potent offenses. Despite questions on defense, the Pats will be consensus favorites to beat the Jets this week as the media hypes up Rex Ryan’s quote that he won’t “kiss Bill Bellicheck’s rings.” If the Jets want to be considered serious AFC contenders, a win at home against the Pats would be a good place to start.
New England Patriots Starters/Key Reserves
- Quarterback: Tom Brady – 39/53, 378 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT
- Running Back: Laurence Maroney – 10 carries, 32 yards
- Running Back: Fred Taylor – 9 carries, 25 yards, 1 TD
- Running Back: Kevin Faulk – 3 carries, 7 yards
- Wide Receiver: Randy Moss – 12 catches, 141 yards
- Wide Receiver: Wes Welker – 12 catches, 93 yards
- Wide Receiver: Joey Galloway – 0 catches
- Tight End: Ben Watson – 6 catches, 77 yards 2 TD’s
- Tight End: Chris Baker – 1 catch, 7 yards
- Left Tackle: Matt Light
- Left Guard: Logan Mankins
- Center: Dan Koppen
- Right Guard: Stephen Neal
- Right Tackle: Nick Kaczur
- Defensive End: Ty Warren
- Nose Tackle: Vince Wilfork
- Defensive End: Jarvis Green
- Outside Linebacker: Pierre Woods – 4 tackles, 2 FF
- Inside Linebacker: Jerod Mayo
- Inside Linebacker: Gary Guyton – 4 tackles
- Outside Linebacker: Adalius Thomas – 1 sack, 5 tackles
- Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain – 2 sacks
- Outside Linebacker: Derrick Burgess – 1 sack
- Corner: Leigh Bodden – 5 tackles, 1 pass defense
- Corner: Shawn Springs – 6 tackles, 1 FF
- Safety: Brandon Merriweather – 8 tackles,
- Safety: James Sanders – 4 tackles
- Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
- Punter: Chris Hanson
- Kick Return: Laurence Maroney
- Punt Return: Wes Welker
Key Players: Obviously Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker are the Pats best weapons on offense. They have a deep group of running backs led by Laurence Maroney and their offensive line is consistently solid. On defense, they have a strong rotation at outside linebacker who all contribute to their pass rush. Brandon Merriweather is a rising star in the secondary.
Injuries: The Jets appear to be 100 percent healthy heading into this game, nobody will be inactive because of an injury. Pats middle linebacker Jerod Mayo was hurt last night and is questionable to play this week.
Early Story Lines: Pats have won 8 straight in the Meadowlands…Rex Ryan “kiss the rings” quote…Battle for early lead in AFC East…Darrelle Revis vs Randy Moss…The Jets defense getting after Tom Brady…Mark Sanchez vs Bill Bellicheck’s defensive scheme.
Good Luck Blocking Kris Jenkins