Jets vs. Jaguars: 12 Pack Of Predictions

Nothing is better than the cold weather and a 12 pack along with it. It feels like football outside today, which is a beautiful thing.

1. Joe McKnight will receive at least three touches on offense, as the Jets reward him for his game changing special teams play last week. What he does with those plays will determine how much of a role he starts to have moving forward. Also look for John Conner to play more reps this week and a catch a pass out in the flat. His hands are an underrated part of his game.

2. After this game, still nobody will know who the hell Jason Hill is.

3. Luke McCown is going to have a rough time against the Jets defense. He will throw for less than 175 yards, be sacked at least 2 times, and have at least one turnover.

4. Maurice Jones-Drew will have a solid day at the office but won’t rip off the big run that will kill the Jets. He will finish with 22 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown.

5. Mark Sanchez won’t turn the football over this week and will throw somewhere between 25 and 30 passes.

6. Santonio Holmes and Eric Smith are both questionable to play this Sunday. Both will suit up but will have a more limited role than usual. Look for more action from both Derrick Mason and Jeremy Kerley on offense and for more Brodney Pool on defense than last week.

7. Plaxico Burress will have another big game, finishing with over 70 yards receiving and another touchdown. He will also be more involved in the first half.

8. For the first time in just about forever, the Jets will score a first quarter touchdown.

9. Antonio Cromartie will have a much better performance than last week, recording an interception and ripping off a big kick return.

10. Shonn Greene will rush for less than 80 yards but will have an improved yards per carry from last week. LaDainian Tomlinson will have at least 4 receptions.

11. Calvin Pace will record a sack for the second straight week.

12. The New York Jets won’t pull away in this one until the fourth quarter but will ultimately win 24-13. Hello 2-0.

Jets Fans Hate Blue And Gold Jerseys

It was announced today that the Jets will be wearing their blue and gold New York Titans throwbacks this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, here is some reaction via Facebook and Twitter –

@TurnOnTheJets: Jets wearing Blue and Gold New York Titans jerseys this week, thoughts?

@P_Rut5: i hate whenever the Jets wear anything other than Green at home, and this includes when they wear their normal whites at home

@CMSexton: Please no.

@Chrisp2213: Screw the old Titans jerseys. Give me some 80’s retro kelly green. Looks silly. Fan base with green, team blue/gold.

@JetsFanFlorida: DESPISE throwback Jerseys. Coming to game from Florida this weekend and GangGreen won’t be GREEN = Stupid! No one likes!

@ChrisMitro: no no no no no no yuck

@Chris_Leach_NYC: doesn’t make any sense…save it for the bills or something.. If so, go white jersey gold pants…

@ZazzyJets: As long as the offensive line improves, and we win, they can wear pink for all I care.

Initial Reaction: Still Got It – Jets Win Thrilling Opener 27-24

It was about as memorable as an opening night you could ask for, as the New York Jets pulled out a gutty, thrilling 27-24 comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys.

You can say what you want about this team but they understand how to win. They have a ton of heart and resiliency and it is foolish to ever count them out of a game.

It came from everywhere tonight. Plaxico Burress turning it on in the second half for 4 receptions for 72 yards, along with a beautiful touchdown reception. Mark Sanchez posting up 335 passing yards and distributing the ball around to Burress, Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, and LaDainian Tomlison who all also had big nights.

There was Joe McKnight coming up with a huge blocked punt that was returned for a score by Isaiah Trufant in what was the loudest I have ever heard a crowd at a Jets game. Mike DeVito forcing a Tony Romo fumble in the fourth quarter to keep the Jets alive. Darrelle Revis coming up with an interception to set up Nick Folk’s game winning field goal…and of course Folk hitting that game winning 50 yard field goal in what must have been a sweet moment of redemption, considering Dallas cut him.

It was a complete team win. The Jets are far from perfect and have plenty of issues to still work out but a win is a win and it was a hell of a way to start the season.

Top Five Keys For Jets/Cowboys

It is finally here. A game that so many have circled on their calendars from the minute that the 2011 NFL schedules became official. The Jets and America’s team. On the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy. Sunday night football on the first Sunday of the season. It doesn’t get any better than this in September. Here are our top five keys for the Jets as they take on the Dallas Cowboys.

SANCHEZ, YEAR THREE BEGINS: It seems obvious and easy to choose the Jets QB as the top key for any game. We do it here though to make a statement on the entire season. This is Mark Sanchez’s team now. He will be judged according to where the Jets end up. This week we’ll see how the “Sanchise” pulls together a WR corps that was revamped on the fly this summer. With the Jets it starts on the ground but it will only end up in Indianapolis if Sanchez takes the next step in 2011.

KEEP ROMO CONTAINED: Cowboys QB Tony Romo is most dangerous when his blocking breaks down. It is then that he breaks free, begins to improvise, and ultimately devastate. The Jets pass rush up front has provided little pressure this preseason. What they can’t do is compound that by allowing Romo to escape the pocket where he likes to sling it Brett Favre style, often times with downfield success. Even worse for the Jets, Romo has Jason Witten. The 2010 Jets had problems covering tight ends.

CROMARTIE VS BRYANT AND AUSTIN: You can already predict what Revis Island will look like on Sunday night. Barren. Deserted. The other side of the field though, will be the opposite. Balls will be flying like Juy 4th fireworks in CB Antonio Cromartie’s work area.

With the game breaking combo of Dez Bryant and Miles Austin coming to town, “Cro” can ill afford a night like the one he had last year in week one against the Ravens. A performance that featured constant holding and illegal contact calls, when he wasn’t getting beat. Cromartie can give up catches in front of him. He just can’t become an EZ pass toll booth for the Cowboys to race past at will.

KELLER AND WITTEN: Jason Witten is the template for how an All Pro tight end should perform and be employed in the passing game. Keller has been “emerging” since his rookie year. It is time for number 81 to be that weapon that the Jets don’t make excuses about anymore.

It ia always the same response from Gang Green regarding Keller’s lack of activity. The one that reads “Keller draws attention and therefore it is hard to force feed him the ball.” Does that mean that Witten grabs a hundred balls a year because he doesn’t draw attention? Hardly. The Jets need to stop talking about why Keller gets bottled up, and start making him the threat he has the ability to be.

SCHOTTY VS ROB RYAN: How entertaining and charming are the big loud Ryan brothers? We love them, they are great for football. We wish only the best for their father Buddy, who will be in attendance despite battling cancer for a second time.

Beyond their brothers natural media abilities, the Ryans are no nonsense on that field. The Cowboys new defensive coordiantor Rob made the Browns, that’s right the Browns defense, respectable last year.

Jets embattled offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has been, despite the clubs two straight trips to the AFC title game, the target of may die hards anger. This for his lack of faith in Sanchez and a seemingly lack of creativity in finding ways to get the Jets in position to score more points. Those complaints are not all warranted, yet can all be put to rest finally, if the offense begins to click consistently.

Schotty has weapons galore. The new personnel offense hasn’t gelled yet due to such limited time with each other, but the names on the backs of the jerseys are big ones. High profile ones. Potentially explosive ones. Coordinating means putting it all together. That is Schotty’s responsibility, one that will include an even greater scrutiny should the Jets stumble often on offense this season, like they have in the previous two.

We can guarantee what a Ryan run defense will bring. A Schotty offense? The Jets offensive “guru” has had to overcome game calling for a young, and often times mistake prone QB, on a team with an excellent defense that doesn’t need a scoreboard to light up in order to win. However, it is time to brand this unit. Time to blend the run game with what ought to be an emerging passing game.

For now two key questions remain: When if ever, will the veil come off of Sanchez? When does that blind mutual trust between OC and QB truly begin?  A stalemate in this one on one battle of the headsets will keep the Jets in the game. Anything less may leave the Jets at 0-1 and prepping for Jacksonville.

TOJ Week 1 Roundtable: Jets/Cowboys Picks

Joe Caporoso: See the 12 pack

Justin Fritze: This game will start slow as each offense will try and guess what the defense is going to do. We know one thing about the Dallas front 7. DeMarcus Ware is coming. John Conner will be put to the test. LT will not stop Ware in run blocking. The Jets got lucky that the secondary of Dallas is decimated, as Sanchez can air it out with less fear. You can’t run a Ryan defense without good corners, and Rob Ryan’s bluster will be put to the test. The Jets will try to run the ball, but we know Dallas is going to stop the run first. I see Holmes and Burress having big catches, and Dustin Keller finally getting some long deserved passes over the middle.  Romo will have a touchdown pass and Felix Jones will take it in from the goal line. I take Jets 21-17.

Rob Celletti: The Jets get off the ground, winning 24-16.  I think the defense will come up with a big performance highlighted by an interception or two of Tony Romo and the offense will do just enough, adjusting as the game progresses and scoring 17 of their 24 points in the second half. Santonio Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson (receiving) and Shonn Greene will score touchdowns for Gang Green.

TJ Rosenthal: Not a big fan of predicting games or seasons because we all know that one injury to a key player can change the complexion of how two teams play. That said, the matchup right now can go in two directions. If the Cowboys new offensive line struggles in their first game together, if the Dallas secondary, banged up and struggling has communication issues, the Jets have an edge in a 24/27 to-13/17 type of game. On the other hand if the Jets can’t stop Tony Romo from escaping the pocket to find TE Jason Witten, and Mark Sanchez and the new WR corps aren’t on the same page yet, the Cowboys have the edge in a 21/24-13 type of game.

Chris Celletti: I think it is a very close game that comes down to the last possession.The Jets will have some success throwing the ball, but I think Jason Witten and Miles Austin will have big games for the Cowboys as well. The Jets have a slight edge in the running game, with the inexperience of the Cowboys’ offensive line showing through. Plaxico Burress hauls in his first TD since being in the slammer, and Nick Folk makes a field goal in the 4th quarter to put the Jets up. The Jets get a stop on a 4th and long late in the game to seal a 23-20 win.

Time For Jets To Air It Out On Sunday

I am normally a major advocate of the New York Jets not drifting too far away from their “Ground and Pound” approach. However, in this week’s regular season opener it is time for the Jets to spread the field and attack a suspect Dallas Cowboys secondary with their array of weapons in the passing game.

Dallas starting corner Terrence Newman is out with a groin injury. The other starter, Michael Jenkins, will likely play but has missed a ton of time this pre-season and is still banged up with a shoulder injury, which means the Jets should see plenty of Orlando Scandrick, Alan Ball, and Bryan McCann at corner. Beyond that, the Cowboys are starting Abram Elam and Gerald Sensabaugh at safety. Time to take advantage of that Mark Sanchez.

There is no way Dallas should be able to handle Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason, Dustin Keller, and LaDainian Tomlinson as a receiver out of the backfield. The Jets must be aggressive early and often, while looking to take advantage of any one on one match-ups. Holmes, Burress, or Mason singled up Jenkins, Ball, or McCann is a major advantage to the Jets. Keller singled up on Elam or Sensabaugh is a major advantage to the Jets. Schottenheimer needs to call the plays and Sanchez needs to put the ball up to take advantage of those mismatches.

I am normally not a huge advocate of Sanchez throwing 25 or more times in a game. Yet, it is year three now for him now. The match-ups will be there. Put the ball up and let’s see a 21/30, 275 yard, 2 touchdown performance. The training wheels are off.

50 Predictions For New York Jets 2011 Season

50 predictions for the upcoming Jets season, let’s get right to it –

1. Playing a full 16 game season for the first time since 2008, Calvin Pace will lead the Jets with 10.5 sacks.

2. Jamaal Westerman will develop into a solid role player off the bench and finish with 6 sacks.

3. David Harris is going to put together a season comparable to the one he had in 2009, when he finished with 127 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions.

4. Despite Jim Leonhard providing a boost to the secondary by coming back healthy, the defense will still struggle to defend the tight end and slot receivers.

5. Along those lines, Kyle Wilson will continue to struggle in the slot, leading to Donald Strickland and Marquice Cole seeing more reps as the season goes on.

6. Darrelle Revis will continue to be the unquestioned best cornerback in the NFL and finish with 3 interceptions in 2011 after recording none last year.

7. Antonio Cromartie will remain an occasional liability opposite of Revis, giving up his share of big plays but also creating more big plays on defense in 2011 than he did in 2010. He will finish with 5 interceptions this season and also chip in a kick return for a touchdown.

8. Brodney Pool will see a substantial amount of reps in passing situations and be splitting the starting job with Eric Smith by the end of the season.

9. Bart Scott will remain steady as he did the past two seasons in New York, while not providing many big plays, he will remain a key part of their run defense.

10. Bryan Thomas will end the season with 4 sacks and 35 tackles. The team will look at adding a new outside linebacker either in round one of the draft or in free agency next off-season.

11. As they did the past two years, the New York Jets will split with the New England Patriots.

12. The Jets will sweep the Miami Dolphins this year, who will end up in the AFC East’s basement.

13. They are due for one. The Jets will lose in Buffalo this season and split with them on the season.

14. Taking advantage of starting out at home for two straight weeks, the Jets will begin the season at 2-0.

15. The team will head into their week 8 bye at 5-2.

16. TJ Conley won’t finish the season as the Jets punter.

17. Nick Folk will finish the season as the Jets kicker and show signs of improvement in year two with the team.

18. The kick and punt return jobs will be a carousel all year, with Jeremy Kerley, Mardy Gilyard, Joe McKnight, Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson all receiving opportunities.

19. Emmanuel Cook, Marquice Cole, Josh Mauga, and Logan Payne (when he comes back) will be the top players on the Jets special teams coverage units.

20. We will continue to never hear Tanner Purdum’s name…which is a good thing.

21. Mark Sanchez will continue to improve in year three, finishing with 3,850 yards passing, a 57% completion percentage, 23 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.

22. Despite the insane risk they are taking with keeping Mark Brunell and Kevin O’Connell as the top backups at quarterback, Sanchez will make it through the year healthy.

23. Sanchez will add four rushing touchdowns this season and five lost fumbles.

24. Shonn Greene will finish with 1,1150 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 4.3 yards per carry.

25. LaDainian Tomlinson will see a substantial decrease in his role on the offense and finish with 950 total yards of offense, with 5 total touchdowns.

26. Joe McKnight will gradually see more time as the season goes on, finishing with 350 rushing yards and 250 receiving yards.

27. Jeff Cumberland will not be a major factor in the Jets passing game this year.

28. Jeremy Kerley will be a valuable weapon on offense…not to the extent that Brad Smith was last year but he will make his share of plays in the Wildcat, on special teams, and at receiver. He will finish with 250 total yards of offense and have one return touchdown.

29. Bilal Powell won’t see any significant action this year.

30. John Conner will become a valuable short yardage weapon and be a factor as a receiver out of the backfield, catching 19 passes.

31. The Jets will roll in the AFC West, going 4-0 in that portion of their schedule despite having difficult cross country trips to Denver and Oakland.

32. The Jets will go 3-1 against the NFC East and no that loss isn’t going to come against the Giants.

33. For the second year in a row, the Jets will lose to Rex Ryan’s old team, the Baltimore Ravens.

34. The Jets will go 7-2 after their bye week, finishing at 12.4.

35. 12-4 will be enough for the Jets to win their first AFC East title since 2002, as they will beat the Patriots in a tie-breaker who will finish an identical 12-4.

36. The number of controversies surrounding the team will drop substantially this year from last year… mathematically that has to happen, right?

37. Muhammad Wilkerson will finish his rookie season with 30 tackles, 2 sacks, and and 3 tackles for a loss. He will show enough promise to be encouraged about his rookie campaign.

38. Kenrick Ellis will be a solid role player and finish with 14 tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss in his limited role off the bench.

39. Ropati Pitoitua will push Wilkerson for playing time throughout the season and have 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 tackles for a loss.

40. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito will both put together solid years with comparable stat lines to last year.

41.Santonio Holmes will finish with 78 receptions for 1,175 yards and 9 touchdowns, while continuing to be unbelievably clutch.

42. Plaxico Burress will miss 3 games due to injury but still finish with 45 receptions, 675 yards, and 6 touchdowns. He will begin to come on strong towards the end of the season, heading into the playoffs.

43. Dustin Keller will have a very good all around season and finish with 61 receptions, 775 yards and 5 touchdowns.

44. Derrick Mason will be a reliable safety valve all season and despite not putting up big numbers, will come up with a number of clutch catches.

45. The Jets Pro-Bowlers will be Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, David Harris, and Darrelle Revis…Mangold, Revis, and Harris will also receive All-Pro honors.

46. Wayne Hunter will be a step down from Damien Woody but will be serviceable enough that the number of times Mark Sanchez is sacked won’t increase substantially.

47. In general, the Jets will throw the football more than they did last year..continuing to move away from the Ground and Pound.

48. The defense will move up from 40 sacks to 45 this year, and move from 12 interceptions to 18.

49. The Jets 12-4 record and AFC East title, will reward them with a bye and a long overdue home playoff game.

50. Yes, yes…I am picking the New York Jets to get over the hump and both make it to and win the Super Bowl this year…Let’s get it.

Thoughts On Jets Final 53 Man Roster

A run through the Jets roster as it appears to stand heading into week one —

Quarterback – Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunell, Kevin O’Connell

It is disappointing to hear that Greg McElroy will have to spend the season on IR, as he showed promise in the pre-season as the Jets long term backup. It made sense for the Jets to bring O’Connell back considering his familiarity with the offense. Yet, the Jets still have a terrible situation on their hands if Mark Sanchez gets hurt.

Running Back – Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell, John Conner (Fullback)

No surprises here. If John Conner can’t go week one, the Jets can bring Tony Richardson back.

Wide Receiver – Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason, Jeremy Kerley, Logan Payne, Mardy Gilyard

The Jets picked up Gilyard off waivers from the St. Louis Rams, who gave up on him after only year after spending a fourth round pick on him. He has big play potential and could contribute as a returner. I am surprised the Jets decided to keep Payne despite his injury. Clearly, they are very high on his potential, especially as a special teams player.

Tight End – Dustin Keller, Matthew Mulligan, Jeff Cumberland

I am excited about the potential of Cumberland and wonder if he will get a chance to be active this season.

Offensive Line – Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, Matt Slauson, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Wayne Hunter, Robert Turner, Colin Baxter, Vladimir Ducasse, Caleb Schlauderaff

The Jets have brought in a veteran in Sclauderaff and also added a true center to backup Nick Mangold in Baxter, but their depth is still questionable. It will improve when Robert Turner comes back from an injury. One of the biggest disappointments in camp was how Vladimir Ducasse failed to progress.

Defensive Line – Sione Pouha, Muhammad Wilkerson, Mike DeVito, Ropati Pitoitua, Kenrick Ellis, Marcus Dixon

I am excited to see these group develop in the coming years. Pitoitua, Dixon, and Ellis are all coming off strong pre-season and Wilkerson will step right into the starting lineup as a rookie first round pick.

Linebackers – Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, David Harris, Bart Scott, Jamaal Westerman, Garrett McIntyre, Josh Mauga, Nick Bellore

The Jets are very young behind their starters and will be relying on Jamaal Westerman to provide a pass rush. Josh Mauga had an excellent pre-season and McIntyre and Bellore are both nice stories.

Secondary – Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Jim Leonhard, Eric Smith, Kyle Wilson, Brodney Pool, Emmanuel Cook, Donald Strickland, Marquice Cole, Andrew Sandejo

Arguably the Jets deepest position. Sandejo likely won’t stick around as the Jets just picked him up from Dallas to pick his brain for week one. Cook had an inconsistent pre-season but should be a quality special teams player.

Specials – TJ Conley, Nick Folk, Tanner Purdum

Conley is the only newcomer.

New York Jets Roster Still Needs Work

The Jets are putting the finishing touches on the final 53 man roster today and if everything shakes out as expected, they are still going to have work to do.

You can’t go into the regular season with your backup offensive lineman being Vladimir Ducasse, Matt Kroul, Robby Felix and an injured Robert Turner not coming back until mid-season. It is time to sign a veteran.

You also have to weigh the value of holding 3 roster spots for Turner, Logan Payne and Greg McElroy when all are injured. McElroy is the backup of the future so he isn’t going anywhere and if Turner could really make it back by October then it is worth keeping him off IR. Yet, I can’t see the sense in holding that space for Logan Payne on a 8 week injury, when his roster spot can be given to somebody else.

The Jets may also look to make a move in their secondary, where there is chatter that Brodney Pool is on the trading block. Finally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets took a long look at the list of punters available and considered moving on one of them to replace TJ Conley.