Ten Preliminary Thoughts On Jets/Eagles

TOJ with ten preliminary thoughts on the New York Jets week 15 match-up with the Philadelphia Eagles

Ten preliminary thoughts on the New York Jets week 15 match-up against the Philadelphia Eagles.

1. Philadelphia’s speed on offense is a major concern for the Jets. LeSean McCoy is capable of breaking a big run at any moment. The Jets must be extremely disciplined on the edges, most notably Calvin Pace and Jamaal Westerman at linebacker. On the defensive line, Mike DeVito is a long shot to play so the Jets will need a big game from Muhammad Wilkerson and for Marcus Dixon to step up again.

2. Mike Vick’s ability to scramble is always an issue for opposing defenses but he has been turning the ball over like crazy this year. This is a big game for Aaron Maybin who has the most speed of any Jet in the front seven by far and has forced four fumbles this year. Vick will also throw a few up for grabs. Isn’t Antonio Cromartie do for an interception?

3. Considering DeSean Jackson’s general attitude and demeanor this year, I believe Darrelle Revis has a great opportunity to get into his head early and completely take him out of this game. Beyond that, Revis has the size and strength to toss him around at the line of scrimmage.

4. Two guys who have the ability to really hurt the Jets on Sunday are Brent Celek and Jason Avant. This defense always struggles with tight ends and slot receivers. It will be on Brodney Pool to step up with his coverage of Celek and Kyle Wilson to have a big game in the slot on Avant.

5. Shonn Greene and the rest of the Jets rushing attack should be licking their chops against Philadelphia’s front seven. The Eagles have been soft up the middle all year and have major question marks at linebacker. There is no reason for Greene not to have another 20+ carry, 100+ yard performance.

6. Plaxico Burress always killed the Eagles during his time with the Giants. He has been quiet the past two weeks and seems due for a big game. While the Eagles corners have big names and big play potential, they have given up a ton of big plays this season.

7. Speaking of their corners, you can bet Rex Ryan will be reminding his team how Nnamndi Asomugha spurned them to join Philadelphia this off-season. Asomugha has been a let down all season and I don’t expect the Jets to be shy about going after him. Antonio Cromartie should have also have a little extra motivation this Sunday.

8. Joe McKnight should be back in the line-up this week, providing a nice boost to the Jets kick return and their screen game on offense.

9. Philadelphia is the complete opposite of the Jets in the following regard: they start fast and finish poorly. The Jets have consistently risen up in the fourth quarter under Rex Ryan for comeback wins, while the Eagles have fell apart all season in crunch time. If this game is tight in the fourth quarter, Jets fans should be confident.

10. Mark Sanchez on the road…in Pennsylvania…week 15…Jets fans should remember how well he played in Pittsburgh last year at this exact time of the season.

Could The New York Jets Make The Playoffs At 10-6?

Could the New York Jets make the playoffs at 10-6?

Maybe I have lost some of my optimism, but I believe it is worth considering the possibility of the New York Jets not running the table, and maybe winning just 2 of their final 3. Does that scenario leave them a realistic chance of being the AFC’s number six seed? It just might…

They have built a one game lead over Oakland, Tennessee, and Cincinnati. We already know they don’t have the tie-breaker with Oakland and as of now they don’t have it with Tennessee or Cincinnati based on conference record, although that could change.

Let’s start with Oakland, who would only need to lose one more game to keep the Jets safe at 10-6. They play Detroit, at Kansas City, and home against San Diego. Right now Detroit and San Diego are better teams than Oakland and Kansas City has already beat them this year 28-0 this season. I think it is a safe assumption that Oakland will lose one, if not two more games.

Tennessee plays at Indianapolis, home versus Jacksonville, and then finishes at Houston. The assumption all along has been that Houston will be resting starters in week 17. As of now, that won’t be the case because they could very well be playing for a bye. Beyond that, they could want to get as much work for T.J. Yates as possible before the playoffs start. Considering that Houston beat the Titans 41-7 in their last match-up, if the Texans don’t rest anybody they should be able to handle Tennessee. Outside of week 17, Indianapolis just might show a little pride at home this week to avoid going 0-16 and there is a good chance Jake Locker will be making the first start of his career on Sunday. Hey, you never know right? Jacksonville also has upset potential because of their running game, defense, and the fact that they beat Tennessee earlier in the year.

Cincinnati travels to St. Louis this week before hosting Arizona and Baltimore to end the season. Again, many people were assuming Baltimore would be resting starters in week 17. However, considering they have the same record as Pittsburgh and they could potentially drop from a 1 to a 5 seed if they lose the AFC North, resting starters wouldn’t be an option as of right now. On top of that, if Pittsburgh falls out of contention for the division title, they are still battling Houston and New England for the 1 and 2 seed. If Baltimore does happen to rest their starters, Arizona is 6-7 and will be far from a walkover for banged up Bengals team.

Of course, it would be much easier if the Jets just took care of their own business and won their last three. However, it remains a very real possibility that they could still sneak in, even at 10-6.

Did New York Jets Find Winning Formula In Time?

TOJ on if the New York Jets have found their winning formula in time

When the New York Jets were sitting at 5-5, it was fairly clear they would need to win their final six games to make the playoffs. When looking at their upcoming schedule, the first three games appeared to be easier than the final three games. The hope was that they could build up momentum and iron out their winning identity in time for the schedule’s difficulty picking up.

After 7 and a half quarters of mediocre football, the switch was flipped. Ever since Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes on a slant and go late in the fourth quarter against Washington for the go ahead touchdown, the New York Jets have been rolling.

Are they ready to handle the daunting task of winning in Philadelphia, beating the Giants, and then finishing the season with a win in Miami?

There was plenty of talk of getting back to the “Ground and Pound” on offense but it has only become a reality in recent weeks. Shonn Greene is playing his best football since the 2009 playoffs and is looking like a complete, lead back who is ready to take 25 touches each week. LaDainian Tomlinson is healthy and ready to be a weapon on third downs and in the screen game. On top of that, Joe McKnight should be back for the final three games and is finally beginning to get acclimated as a part of the offense.

Mark Sanchez isn’t racking up gaudy statistics but he is protecting the football, making timely throws, and producing points. Over the Jets recent three game winning streak, he has accounted for nine touchdowns (seven passing, two rushing) and only one turnover. The Jets offense is averaging 33 points per game during that same span. Sanchez looks to be playing angrier the past three weeks. We saw him yelling on the sideline after tossing a game winner against Buffalo and you can see it in his press conferences, the constant torching from the media and the boos in his home stadium have him heated and that isn’t a necessarily a bad thing.

If Sanchez isn’t turning the football over, the Jets are tough to beat but more importantly the offense needs to keep up the point production. Philadelphia and the Giants are going to put up points. You can’t bank on winning those games 16-13. Rex Ryan can scheme with the best of them but this defense still has holes in it and will give up some plays. The question will be if they can force turnovers and come up with key stops late in the game.

Having a linebacker with the speed of Aaron Maybin will help against Philadelphia and you hope that Bart Scott and Calvin continued their improved play from the past two weeks. On paper, the Jets are going to have some match-up issues with both the Eagles and Giants but then again on paper they should have had issues with the Colts and Patriots this past January and we remember how that ended.

Grading Out Jets/Chiefs

TOJ grades out the New York Jets 37-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs

A quick grade report for the New York Jets 37-10 drubbing of the Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback (A) – Mark Sanchez did everything you could have asked for yesterday, producing four touchdowns (two on the ground and two through the air) and protecting the football. The running game was rolling so Sanchez was able to thrive off play action and work the short to intermediate passing game.

Running Backs (A) – Shonn Greene is getting better with each passing week, finishing with a career high in total yards produced from scrimmage (187). He has improved substantially as a receiving back and is running aggressively north and south. LaDainian Tomlinson looked ready to become a major impact player in the offense again with 2 receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Wide Receivers (C) – They didn’t play much of a role in this game. Santonio Holmes did grab his 7th touchdown of the year.

Tight Ends (A) – Dustin Keller was a big factor in the first half when the game was still in question. Josh Baker had a nice grab over the middle on a well designed play. Matthew Mulligan didn’t have any penalties so that is always a win.

Offensive Line (B) – Very good push in the running game, questionable protection in the passing game at times. They will need to be more consistent in this area moving forward with much better pass rushes on the horizon.

Defensive Line (A) – Dominant. Marcus Dixon did a very nice job filling in for Mike DeVito, finishing with 4 tackles and .5 sacks. Sione Pouha had a sack as well. Muhammad Wilkerson finished with 5 tackles.

Linebackers (A) – Bart Scott sack. David Harris sack. Calvin Pace half sack. They were all over the field yesterday. Scott and Pace have been much better as of late.

Secondary (A) – Jim Leonhard’s injury put a grey cloud over this win. It will be up to Brodney Pool and Eric Smith to pick up the slack.

Special Teams (A) – No turnovers was a nice thing to see. Jeremy Kerley will be the primary punt returner moving forward and showed his explosiveness yesterday. But, can he be trusted to catch the ball in a big spot?

Coaching (A-) – I can’t give them an “A” because of the time out before the first play of the game. Yet, Brian Schottenheimer (with Tom Moore’s assistance I’m sure) put together one of his best game plans of the year. Give Rex Ryan credit for having his team ready to go and bury an inferior opponent quickly out of the gates.

Recapping A Successful Jets Sunday: We’re Going Streaking!

TOJ on the Jets prospects for continuing their steak to an improbable playoff spot

Sometimes you just have one of those Sundays where everything breaks the right way. Today was one of those days for the New York Jets. Left for dead at 5-5, the Jets have put together three straight wins and received the necessary help along the way to make the following reality: win their last three games and make the playoffs. It took an unbelievable comeback from Houston and a last second stop from New Orleans, but the help was given.

The next three games won’t be nearly as easy as the last three, but the opportunity is there and the road starts next Sunday in Philadelphia. Here are the current AFC standings, with the tie-breakers:

Yes, the Jets might be able to get in as a 10-6 team but considering how their tie-breakers are looking, it isn’t likely. It is probably coming down to the Jets continuing to streak…all the way to six straight wins to put themselves in the postion of being the AFC’s final wild card team, which as of right now would put them in New England in the first round. How about that match-up?

Do they have three more wins in them?

Halfway There: Jets Destroy Chiefs, Move Closer To Playoffs

The New York Jets destroyed the Kansas City Chiefs and thanks to some help moved much closer to a playoff spot

The real drama so far today didn’t take place inside MetLife Stadium where the New York Jets steamrolled the Kansas City Chiefs, 37-10. It took place in Cincinnati, where T.J. Yates produced a game winning touchdown drive in the final seconds to give Houston a victory and in Tennessee where the Saints defense held at the end of the game, to escape with a 22-17 win. The Jets took care of their business and received the help they need. It will only take either a Green Bay win over Oakland (they are up 14-0 as I type this) or a Chicago win over Denver to control their playoff destiny.

Let’s talk about that business that the Jets handled today. Offense? They went right down the field on the first drive for a touchdown and tacked on three more in the first half to make this one a laugher by the time the teams hit the locker room after the second quarter. It is December, when the games matter more, so you know Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene were bringing their “A” game. Sanchez went 13/21 for 181 yards with 2 touchdowns and also tacked on 2 rushing touchdowns for good measure. Greene continued his recent tear, rushing for 129 yards on 24 carries with another touchdown. He also added 58 yards receiving.

You have to give Brian Schottenheimer credit for the game plan today, which made good use of the screen game and his running backs as receivers. LaDainian Tomlinson added 50 receiving yards and a touchdown. Dustin Keller was involved early with 4 first half receptions and Santonio Holmes caught his 7th touchdown of the season. The only complaint could be on a pair of first half sacks allowed. The offensive line must be more consistent, with the Eagles and Giants pass rush on the horizon.

On defense. There isn’t much to it. The Jets completed dominated an inept Kansas City offense. They finished with five sacks, a safety and an interception. Unfortunately, the interception came at the price of liking losing safety Jim Leonhard to an ankle injury for the rest of the season. This will be a difficult injury to overcome, considering how reliable he is on punt return and his knowledge of the defense at safety. It will be on Jeremy Kerley to step up as a punt returner and not muff any kicks and on Brodney Pool and Eric Smith to handle an extended roll on defense.

Thanks to a timely 3 game winning streak. The Jets are a 6-1 team at home and will now very likely sit in complete control of their destiny when it comes to making the playoffs. What else can you ask for at this point of the year, considering some of the losses they have suffered this season?

New York Jets Fans: Week 14 Rooting Guide

Who should Jets fans be rooting for this Sunday?

There is no way around this reality: We are going to know if the New York Jets are a very realistic playoff contender or a long shot pipe dream by the end of the day Sunday. Sadly, this season is at the point where I am nauseous worrying if the Jets will even have the chance be in the driver’s seat for the #6 seed in the AFC. That driver’s seat includes a daunting 3 game finish in Philadelphia, home versus the Giants, and then at Miami, all three games I could see the Jets losing. Oh well, here is the help they need next week to gain control of their destiny…

Houston (9-3) at Cincinnati (7-5) – Yates. Yates. Yates. Somehow Houston has kept winning despite all the injuries they have sustained, thanks to a power running game and a great defense. The Bengals are coming off a beating at the hands of the Steelers and have dealt with their own rash of injuries. After this game, Cincinnati plays St. Louis and Arizona, before closing the season with the Ravens in a game that could be meaningless for them. So yes, the Jets badly need Houston to take care of business here.

New Orleans (9-3) at Tennessee (7-5) – The Saints have been on absolute fire the past two weeks but this game concerns me. They will be outside, in a cold-weather city, and could be up for a let-down. After this game, the Titans have the Colts, Jaguars, and the Texans in what also could be a meaningless game for them, so similar to needing Houston to take of business, the Jets need the Saints to avoid a let down on the road.

Oakland (7-5) at Green Bay (12-0) – The Raiders looked awful last week and now run into the Green Bay buzzsaw. It looks Tebow Nation just might win the AFC West.

Chicago (7-5) at Denver (7-5) – It certainly doesn’t hurt if Denver loses…

New York Giants (6-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-5) – Yes, I’d love to watch the Giants lose 5 in a row and have their season basically end in week 14.

Jets vs. Chiefs: 12 Pack Of Predictions

12 predictions for the Jets do or die week 14 game against the Kansas City Chiefs

This is the week that could very well make or break the Jets playoff hopes. Will they hold up their end of the bargain? Let’s see what the 12 pack thinks…

1. Mark Sanchez is going to throw for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He will be sacked at least once and have one turnover.

2. Tyler Palko won’t throw for more than 150 yards against the Jets defense. They will also force him into at least two turnovers.

3. Thomas Jones will have a touchdown in his return to New York.

4. Shonn Greene will have his second 100 yard rushing game of the season.

5. Aaron Maybin will have another sack.

6. Antonio Cromartie will have one big kick return, replacing Joe McKnight.

7. Bilal Powell will be active but won’t see any offensive snaps. Brandon Moore will start. Mike DeVito won’t play. Joe McKnight won’t play.

8. Dwayne Bowe will have less than 40 yards receiving.

9. Plaxico Burress will score his 8th touchdown of the season and finish with over 65 yards receiving.

10. LaDainian Tomlinson will get back in the end-zone with a receiving touchdown.

11. This will be a one possession game into the fourth quarter.

12. Ultimately, the Jets will win another sloppy game, 20-10. This won’t require the last second heroics but it won’t be pretty either.

New York Jets: What Does More Moore Mean?

What does Tom Moore’s “promotion” mean for the New York Jets offense the rest of the year?

The talk of this week has been the decision of the New York Jets to keep offensive consultant Tom Moore with the team full time the rest of the season. Moore had originally been working part time, only occasionally showing up for practices and games, including an appearance in the booth last week versus Washington.

As you would expect, the coaching staff and players talk in reverential terms of Moore’s presence and the speculation is swarming about Brian Schottenheimer’s job security.

What should we really make of this decision?

Personally, I think this is simply an all hands on deck situation. The Jets need to run the table, so why not make sure you are going to get the absolute most out of all your assets? At this point of the year, Moore won’t be touching any of the play-calling duties. You don’t switch the chain of command like that at this point. However, you hope that he is playing a more active part in constructing the game plan and designing specific plays to help jumpstart the Jets passing game, particularly by getting better use out of tight end Dustin Keller.

For the long term, it is hard to get a read on Schottenheimer’s job status. We all know his contract runs for two more seasons but that certainly doesn’t mean the Jets can’t fire him. If this team doesn’t make the playoffs, they are going to need shake something up and Schottenheimer is the sensible fall guy. I don’t think Moore is taking over as a full time coordinator at this point of his career but he could weigh in on the hiring process while remaining in a consultant role.

For the immediate future, I would hope to see more Dustin Keller and better creativity in certain situations (maybe some more down field shots) but ultimately this is stil Schottenheimer’s offense, so expect the same inconsistencies and frustrations.

TOJ Week 14 NFL Picks – Extended Edition

TOJ with his week 14 NFL Picks…an extended edition, with a rant for Giants fans

Last Week: 5-10 (yikes)

Season Record: 94-90-5

  • A very important update. Last week a bitter Giants fan who couldn’t stomach some good-natured trash talk about his team’s 4 game losing streak pointed out that between week 10 and 11, the numbers on my season picks were incorrect. After he took the time to organize photographic evidence, it does appear to be true. I accidentally typed a “5” instead of a “6” in front of my losses one week. The number is corrected now. Contrary to some thinking out there from the previously mentioned bitter Giants fan, there was no conspiracy to enhance my record, which is ultimately meaningless, just a simple typo. Why this individual decided to wait until his team lost their fourth straight game to mention this random typo, when he could have mentioned it in our comments section or Facebook Page or Twitter account in the prior 4 weeks is beyond me. So I apologize to anybody out there who was feverishly tracking my record for any reason. There is no grassy knoll assassin, just a typo.

While on the topic of Giants fans, as the trash talking heats up in the holiday season with both teams fighting for their playoff lives and a Christmas Eve showdown on the horizon —

Why do they love referring back to Denver loss? Isn’t it less embarrassing to lose to Tebow on the road on a 3 day week, who is blessed by God and is 6-1 as a starter, than to lose at home to Vince Young and Charlie Whitehurst in the same year?

You want to criticize Rex for making guarantees he hasn’t kept. Fair enough, but know your team does the same thing. Antrel Rolle guaranteed the playoffs last year and they didn’t make it. He did it again this year and the Giants are 6-6.

The Giants haven’t won a game in 32 days.

We can only hope as the trash talks picks up in the coming weeks. People keep it to the teams, and don’t make it personal, although we are anticipating plenty of holidays being ruined at MetLife Stadium on Christmas Eve.

On the to picks…

Pittsburgh (-14.5) vs. Cleveland – Too important for Pittsburgh to slip up…

Indianapolis (16.5) vs. Baltimore – The Colts will lose, but I give them the cover.

Houston (+3) vs. Cincinnati – Considering the direction these two teams have been trending.

Green Bay (12.5) vs. Oakland – 13-0.

Kansas City (+10) vs. Jets – Not comfortable giving the Jets double digits.

Tennessee (+4.5) vs. New Orleans – Jets fans sweat out a scary tight win for the Saints.

Miami (-3) vs. Philadelphia – Two teams going in different directions.

New England (-9.5) vs. Washington – Line should be higher.

Carolina (+3) vs. Atlanta – Upset written all over it.

Arizona (+4.5) vs. San Francisco – They are due for a let-down, right?

Denver (-4) vs. Chicago – One step closer to AFC West title.

San Diego (-7) vs. Buffalo – #BillsMafia

Dallas (-3) vs. Giants – 5 in a row…

Seattle (-5.5) vs. St. Louis – This is really a Monday night game?

Tampa Bay (PK) vs. Jacksonville – zzzz

Minnesota (+8) vs. Detroit – The Lions woes continue.