Final Words On Jets/Dolphins

Final words from the New York Jets before Monday Night Football kicks off

From the New York Jets themselves

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1. Pro Football Talk decided to blame the Jim Harbaugh/Jim Schwartz fight on Rex Ryan. In other news, I also heard he was responsible for World War II and world hunger.

2. Inactives — Kevin O’Connell, Logan Payne, Donald Strickland, Ropait Pitoitua, Isaiah Trufant, Bilal Powell, Colin Baxter.

3. The Jets are inducting Larry Grantham, Gerry Philbin, Freeman McNeil, and Al Toon into their Ring of Honor tonight. Toooooooooon.

TOJ Roundtable Week 6 – Jets/Dolphins Predictions

The TOJ writers put in their picks for Monday Night Football. Will the Jets losing streak come to an end?

Joe Caporoso: 12 Pack

Justin Fritze: I have nothing left to believe in at this point, the long awaited circus is upon us. The Dolphins will try their best but it will be their defense that does it. It gets a little out of hand as Sanchez literally crumbles into a ball after 6 man pass rush all day.  He throws 3 picks and the running game gets stopped at the line, leading to a few heroic shots down the field. Jets get a few turnovers themselves , maybe 4 in some sort of emotional last second manner.

Rob Celletti: The Jets fan consensus seems to be that the 2011 season will be a lost cause if the Jets can’t find a way to win on Monday night.  I tend to agree with that.  The Dolphins are an absolutely miserable football team that already has one eye on Andrew Luck.  The Jets have certainly had a bad week, but they can assuage a lot of doubts (internal and external) with a solid performance.  I expect the offensive line to play with a chip on its shoulder after being buried this week by the media and one of its own captains.  If they play well, the Jets should be able to come at the Dolphins with a balanced offensive attack that must include taking some shots down the field in the passing game. This is also the type of game, that if it’s close, the Jets might try something like a fake punt or other type of gadget play.  In the end, I think the Jets get it done.  It won’t be pretty, but I expect the defense to give Matt Moore some major problems and the offense will show some signs of life.  Jets win 20-10.

TJ Rosenthal: Jets Win if: They shut up and play ball. The Jets swagger has turned into chatter. Too much of it. Too much defending themselves from Joe Namath’s comments. Too much infighting. Too much concern about Schotty, from the fans to the players. This team simply needs to go out there and win one on one battles right from the center snap up front. This way, Mark Sanchez will have time to stretch the field and the run game will have room to maneuver. The defense has to be relentless. Smother Matt Moore and a Dolphins ground game that may feature a banged up RB in Daniel Thomas. Play desperate. Play physically. Play together. If they do, the Jets will go to 3-3.

Jets lose if: They start slow on offense and begin to worry about each other. They lose if the Defense allows QB Matt Moore the time to get comfortable in a game that in this scenario, would remain winnable into the late third quarter early fourth. The Jets have to take control with a two score lead in the second half. Otherwise the Dolphins will begin to take alot of interest in ruining the Jets season.

Chris Celletti: I think the Jets right a lot of wrongs this week thanks to the competition. Let’s be honest, the Dolphins area bad, bad football team with Matt Moore running the show at quarterback (although, they’re pretty bad with Chad Henne as is). This is a must-win for the Jets if they have any serious playoff contention hopes, and I don’t want to hear about how the Dolphins are dangerous because A) It’s a division game and B) They’re desperate for their first win. The Jets are a better team plain and simple. New York’s defense should be able to dictate the game against Moore, and I think the offense has its best and most consistent day of the season. I see Mark Sanchez having about 250 yards throwing with a couple TDs, including a long score (finally). The running game also shows some more progress, and the Jets roll to a 31-10 victory. And then all is right in JetsLand again…until next week at least.

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.

New York Jets: An Offense Against Itself Can’t Stand

A poor captaincy choice is leading to division in the Jets locker room, as Brandon Moore took an appropriate stance against Santonio Holmes

Santonio Holmes hasn’t been shy about expressing his frustration with the New York Jets offensive line in recent weeks. Veteran Brandon Moore took a stand today against Holmes, clearly stating his anger with his commentary and the freedom he is receiving from the organization’s hierarchy to come after Moore and his peers on the line. Red flags are flying up everywhere as most people see the Jets quickly disintegrating into a circus that is coming apart at the seams. There is no question that turmoil is present when analyzing the current state of the locker room.

Holmes is a competitor and we love that about him. He is a clutch playmaker who is accustomed to winning. With that being said, the decision to make him a captain was somewhat head turning. He has a reputation for immaturity and occasional selfishness. Rex Ryan put the “C” on his chest after only logging 12 regular season games for the Jets last year because of a suspension. The decision could be looked at as a mildly juvenile one. Hey, we just convinced this big time receiver to come back with us long term and I think he is our biggest playmaker, let’s throw a captaincy his way.

In reality, a captaincy likely would have made more sense for one of your All-Pro offensive lineman, Nick Mangold or D’Brickashaw Ferguson. A pair of players who were drafted by the team in 2006 and have been a major part of the organization’s winning ways since then. Actually, it probably would have made even more sense for Brandon Moore who is the longest tenured player on the offense. A player who joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2002, starting out as a defensive lineman before moving to guard to start 110 consecutive games and counting for the Jets. Moore has consistently been one of the better guards in football and represents the organization well off the field as the player’s union rep, furthering his knowledge by taking management courses at Harvard.

Put yourself in Moore’s shoes, hearing your work criticized in public by a player who has been in your organization for less than two full seasons. Your offensive line has carried your unit to the AFC Championship Game in back to back years and now you have to read tabloids from your receiver questioning your ability. Moore, Ferguson, Mangold, Matt Slauson, and Wayne Hunter do the dirty work that allows Holmes to put himself on the highlights reels.

I have never been inside in the Jets locker room but I venture a safe guess that Moore is more respected than Holmes because of his tenure and the way he carries himself. Holmes is a captain for the first time in his life and maybe is still struggling to sort out what kind of voice that gives him. A “C” on your chest is only a letter, it doesn’t mean anything if your teammates don’t follow or respect you. Part of the blame falls on Ryan for making Holmes a captain when he may have not deserved it and you can cut Holmes some slack since he is new to the role. Yet, he needs to look in the mirror and ask himself what he thinks he is gaining by calling out his offensive line to the New York media.

Talk to Moore and your linemen as teammates behind closed doors. Better yet, think twice to criticize them when you are struggling because I don’t recall you praising them when you were scoring touchdowns and the team was winning.

Losing is an ugly thing, especially in a team sport like football. It is a virus that infects the entire environment of an organization. You can only rise above it as a team, never as an individuals.

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.

Waiting For Godot: The New York Jets Defense

TOJ looks at the sobering realities of the New York Jets defense

Since Rex Ryan has taken over, the New York Jets have had anywhere from a very good to great defense. This season they have been maddeningly inconsistent. The pass rush isn’t there. The coverage breakdowns keep happening. An offense can now run the football on the front seven.

What happened? A lack of talent is what happened. The gaps were there last year but the Jets were able to coach around it for the most part. They couldn’t compensate for it in the beatdown at New England in the regular season or in the first half of the AFC Championship Game. Let’s also not forget this glorified defense couldn’t even give their offense a shot to carry the Jets to the Super Bowl last year, as they let Pittsburgh run out the clock.

So yes, Bart Scott they take a lot of slack.

The reality of the Jets defense is this. They are slow at linebacker and lack an elite pass rusher. Their starting safeties are average at best and below average in coverage. Their defensive line is pretty good but still lacks a difference maker. Their #2 and #3 corner have tons of talent but are still inconsistent.

You have the best corner in football in Darrelle Revis and a borderline pro-bowl linebacker in David Harris. Outside of that, you have a few slightly above average starters (Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, and Antonio Cromartie) and then a collection of average to below average players.

What is the remedy? Long term it is finding a pass rusher and a better safety to pair with Jim Leonhard, who is okay but can’t be relied on to be the top guy at the position. Short term, it is scheme and development. The coaching staff needs to flash the creativity and brilliance that stymied Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the playoffs last year more consistently. For development, young players like Jamaal Westerman, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Kyle Wilson have to grow into big time contributors.

We can’t count on a top ten defense this year but we can hope for a unit that strings together a few great performances and can be good enough to keep the Jets competitive on a weekly basis.

The Optimist – New York Jets Chance At The Playoffs

TOJ breaks down what the Jets road back to playoffs looks like

Is 2-3 the death sentence that many are making it out to be for the New York Jets playoff hopes? There is no question the Jets have put themselves in a serious hole in the AFC East, being already two games behind both Buffalo and New England and they haven’t helped themself in the wild-card race. Yet, let’s look at a realistic way they could climb to 10-6…a record that won’t guarantee a playoff spot but will give them a puncher’s chance to get in.

Out of their remaining 11 games, the following needs to occur

  • Take 2 out of 3 from their remaining NFC East opponents. This isn’t an easy task but certainly a doable one, considering the Giants inconsistencies (they just lost to Seattle at home), the Eagles awful start and Redskins being a good, but far from great team.
  • Beat both Kansas City and Denver. They get Kansas City at home and Denver on the road in primetime on a short week. However, these are both teams that shouldn’t win more than 5 or 6 games this year.
  • Sweep Miami. The Dolphins are arguably the worst team in the AFC this year…no letdowns.
  • Split with Buffalo. The Bills are a feisty but beatable bunch as we saw in their loss to Cincinnati.
  • Split with New England/San Diego combo. The Jets have both of them at home, including a primetime showdown with the Pats. You have to get one.

This outcome probably won’t lead to a division title and but should be enough to sneak the Jets in as a wild-card, where they have done some damage the previous two years.

Five Remedies To The New York Jets Offense

Relax and take notes Brian Schottenheimer before people start picketing in front of your home…

1. More McKnight, More Screens – The New York Jets always had an issue using Leon Washington enough back from 2006-2009. Not surprisingly, Brian Schottenhiemer has done a poor job of incorporating Joe McKnight into the Jets offense. Wasn’t he drafted because of his ability to spread out as a receiver, along with be a running back. Can we split him out and get a mismatch on a linebacker? Can we throw the guy a screen pass in some space, since he is ripping off a monster kick return a week right now? One carry isn’t enough, he should be getting 6-10 touches on offense and on the whole the Jets need to use more screens to him, LaDainian Tomlinson, Dustin Keller, and their starting wide receivers.

2. Look Deep Early – Teams load up to prevent the Jets running game and short/intermediate passing “attack.” They need to take a shot deep early in the game to loosen up the opposing defense. How about a slant and go, since the Jets throw about 8 slants a game? I recall the Jets running that route once under Schottenheimer and it going for a 80 yard touchdown.

3. Where Are You Dustin? – The Jets offense always seems to operate at a better rate when Dustin Keller is actively involved in the offense. He has been MIA the past few weeks after a big start. The excuse that teams are doubling him doesn’t work. He has the ability to move around all over the formation. The Jets need to get creative about getting him involved.

4. The Happy Medium – You don’t have to either be an all out Ground and Pound or a pass happy, chuck and duck attack. There could be a gray area or a happy medium. You run the football to help protect Mark Sanchez but don’t hold him back if the opportunities are available down the field.

5. More Of This – Back shoulder fades to Plaxico Burress…LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene in the same backfield…The Wildcat with Jeremy Kerley and Joe McKnight in the backfield…A vertical pass to Santonio Holmes.

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.