Trying To Make Sense Out Of A Senseless NFL

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Parity is a beautiful thing in the NFL. It helps makes the slate of games every week unpredictable and always throw you an “are you ‘effing kid me” game or two each weekend. It is a large part of why a Jaguars/Titans turd fest on Monday Night Football, featuring Trent Edwards at quarterback could easily get higher rating than the Yankees and Rangers in the ALCS. I do know that through seven weeks, it is nearly impossible to see where this season is headed, particularly in the NFC.

You get a team like the Giants who look ready for 6-10 and a coaching change after back to back early losses and now they are the consensus top team in the NFC. Dallas, Green Bay, and New Orleans were easily the top three picks to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl heading into season, yet could anybody pick any of those three teams with any type of confidence now? Dallas could end up with the first pick in the draft the way they are headed. The Saints can’t even keep it close against the Cleveland Browns in their own building.

The Colts have more holes than ever around Peyton Manning and keep dropping like flies. The Broncos go toe to toe with the Jets and then make the Raiders look like a a juggernaut by allowing a 59 spot to them. The Bengals and Chargers have been major disappointments.

Here is what I am thinking moving forward –

Despite the Chiefs and Seahawks looking capable of pulling away with their division, every team is alive in the AFC and NFC West with the exception of the teams in the London Bowl this week. The 49ers are completely incapable of winning a close game and are delusional with their perception of their team’s talent level and I don’t think Denver can recover from the whooping they took last week.

As much as it feels like time to bury Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings (and trust me I’d love to), they are far from out of it. The Bears are probably the worst 4-3 team I have ever seen in my life. They aren’t going to be in the mix for a playoff spot when it comes down to it. Green Bay isn’t healthy or consistent enough to pull away. In the NFC South, I do think Atlanta has the ability to pull away from the Saints if they don’t get their heads on straight now. Tampa Bay is a tough, young team who will stay around .500 and will probably amazingly stay in the wild-card race.

There are three teams across the entire NFC, I would feel confident saying are playoff teams right now: Atlanta, the Giants, and the Eagles. Yes, I saw Philadelphia lose to Tennessee last week but I think when Vick gets back and gets rolling again, they will be right there with the Giants for the NFC East title. Everything else is a crap shoot, in a conference filled with mediocrity.

Back in the AFC where things are a little clearer, the Patriots and Jets are going down to the wire for the division title and are both playoff teams. Miami is nothing more than a 8-8 team. Pittsburgh and Baltimore are going down to the wire for their division title and are both playoff teams. Cincinnati is a 6-10 team. I don’t trust the Texans and think the South will come down to the Titans and Colts, with the other team battling it out for the Ravens for that last wild card spot.

Jets New DL Jarron Gilbert

Jets vs. Packers: First Look

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The Opponent: The Green Bay Packers were one of the most popular Super Bowl picks heading into the 2010 season. However, an unbelievable rash of injuries, along with inconsistent and undisciplined play has led to a somewhat disappointing 4-3 start. Green Bay is coming off a gutsy win over the Vikings on Sunday Night football, which could be to the Jets advantage. The Packers can rush the passer and throw the football but can’t stop the run or run the football. This game will be a good test to see if Revis Island has actually returned to the map alongside Alcrotraz and would be a good week to let Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson combine for 38 – 42 carries.

Green Bay Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers – 150/235, 1841 yards, 12 TDs, 9 INTs
  • Running Back: Brandon Jackson – 80 carries, 363 yards, 2 TDs
  • Running Back: John Kuhn – 41 carries, 154 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Greg Jennings – 26 receptions, 390 yards, 5 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Donal Driver – 28 receptions, 307 yards, 3 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: James Jones – 19 receptions, 284 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Jordy Nelson – 17 receptions, 184 yards, 0 TD
  • Tight End: Andrew Quarless – 7 receptions, 90 yards, 1 TD
  • Left Tackle: Chad Clifton
  • Left Guard: Daryn Colledge
  • Center: Scott Wells
  • Right Guard: Josh Sitton
  • Right Tackle: Bryan Bulaga

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Ryan Pickett – 8 tackles
  • Nose Tackle: B.J. Raji – 22 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Cullen Jenkins – 12 tackles, 4 sacks
  • Defensive End – C.J. Wilson – 13 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Clay Matthews – 22 tackles, 8.5 sacks
  • Inside Linebacker: A.J. Hawk – 60 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Outside Linebacker: Brad Jones – 27 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Desmond Bishop – 35 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT
  • Corner: Charles Woodson – 45 tackles, 1 INT
  • Corner: Tramon Williams – 28 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 sack
  • Corner: Perrish Cox – 17 tackles, 1 INT
  • Safety: Nick Collins – 31 tackles, 1 INT
  • Safety: Charlie Peprah – 22 tackles

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Mason Crosby – 9/12 on FGs
  • Punter: Tim Masthay – 43.2 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: Jordy Nelson – 23.4 per kick return
  • Punt Return: Tramon Williams – 9.1 per punt return

PhotobucketKey Players: Aaron Rodgers is one of the top quarterbacks in the league and is always capable of putting up some monster numbers. Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are a formidable duo at receiver and will be a big test for Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis. Clay Matthews leads the NFL in sacks and Charles Woodson is a playmaker in the secondary.

Injuries: The Jets should finally be 100 percent for this one. Ryan Pickett and Cullen Jenkins could join the long list of Packers who will be sitting this one out.

Key Storylines: Is Darrelle Revis really 100 percent? How will the Jets look coming off their bye week? Can the Jets find a way to block Clay Matthews?

TOJ NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

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Your NFL Power Rankings heading into week 8…feel free to argue, criticize, and call me names

1. New York Jets (5-1) – A healthy Darrelle Revis could push their defense closer to their 2009 production, which means their winning streak could extend well beyond 5 if you look at their upcoming schedule.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1) – They didn’t play their best game and received a little help from the referees but ultimately gutted out a nice road win against Miami.

3. New England Patriots (5-1) – They keep finding ways to win. This past week they were benefited by San Diego’s complete incompetence at winning big games or coming up with a play in a big spot. Their secondary needs to gear up for Randy Moss, who will likely have one of his “I wanna play” days in New England.

4. Tennessee Titans (5-2) – They were more impressive in knocking off the Eagles than the Ravens were in squeaking one out at home against the pitiful Bills.

5. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) – What happened to that defense? Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like Peyton Manning carving them up.

6. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) – Why can’t anybody on this team stay healthy? Fortunately, they still have their only player that matters and now they have a chance to avenge their week 1 loss to the Texans.

7. New York Giants (5-2) – Don’t cry Giants fans, you lost to both the Titans and Colts hence you are behind them. However, the G-Men have established themselves as the NFC’s top team at least for now.

8. Atlanta Falcons (5-2) – In the AFC, they’d be struggling to make the playoffs. In the NFC, they could looking at a bye week.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) – The Chiefs are looking more and more like they will roll to a AFC West crown. Glad to see Thomas Jones still getting the job done, as always.

10. Houston Texans (4-2) – A win in Indianapolis this week would go a long way to cementing them as a legit contender in 2010.

11. Seattle Seahawks (4-2) – Big win over the Cardinals as Seattle looking capable of running away with arguably the worst division in football.

12. Green Bay Packers (4-3) – Impressive win over the Vikings but let’s see how they compete against the Jets on the road.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) – Mike Vick has his job back now and has the ability to avoid the Giants lethal pass rush in their two huge remaining games.

14. Miami Dolphins (3-3) – You kind of need to win a home game at some point to be considered a contender in a top heavy AFC.

15. Washington Redskins (4-3) – That was an ugly, ugly win over Chicago.

16. New Orleans Saints (4-3) – What a humbling loss at home to rookie quarterback Colt McCoy and the Cleveland Browns.

17. Tampa Bay Bucs (4-2) – The Bucs are finding a way to beat the inferior teams on their schedule but you’d like to see them at least compete against the better teams on their schedule.

18. Oakland Raiders (3-4) – That was the Raiders most impressive win…since, well I can’t remember when.

19. Chicago Bears (4-3) – I don’t care that they are a game better than Oakland. The Bears have looked awful the past few weeks.

20. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) – Max Hall came back to reality in a harsh way this past week. The Cardinals will likely stay in the mix for the NFC West crown though.

21. St. Louis Rams (3-4) – Tough last second loss for a gutsy young team. They are headed in the right direction.

22. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) – Plenty of big names and potential with no results and on field discipline.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) – It looks like things are about to get ugly in a hurry for Jack Del Rio and the Jags.

24. Minnesota Vikings (2-4) – When you watch that video of Brett Favre singing “Pants on the Ground” from last year’s playoffs, you can’t help but laugh at the irony.

25. Cleveland Browns (2-5) – Eric Mangini is always good for an upset or two every year. Unfortunately that means his teams are usually way under .500.

26. San Diego Chargers (2-5) – They have no idea how to win and are beyond banged up.

27. Denver Broncos (2-5) – I guess they were still hungover from their last second loss to the Jets.

28. Detroit Lions (1-5) – At 1-5 and down to their third string quarterback, at least the Lions play with heart.

29. Dallas Cowboys (1-5) – At 1-5, the Cowboys play with no heart and are an embarrassment to themselves.

30. Carolina Panthers (1-5) – They will play hard for John Fox the rest of the season.

31. San Francisco 49ers (1-6) – Looking forward to when the 49ers are 1-10 and people around their team are still talking about making the playoffs.

32. Buffalo Bills (0-6) – Great effort from Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills last week

Ten Post Bye Thoughts On The Jets

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1. Darrelle Revis is claiming to be 100 percent coming out of the bye week…we’ll see on Sunday. I would expect to see the Jets mix and match Revis and Antonio Cromartie on the opposing team’s best receiver in the following weeks. Obviously a truly healthy Revis would provide a major boost to the Jets defense, which hasn’t been it dominant self yet in 2010. There will be plenty of chances to for Revis to show the Island is back, with Greg Jennings, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens all upcoming.

2. I think coming out of the bye week, you will see Santonio Holmes and Shonn Greene both become bigger parts of the Jets offense. Holmes is too talented to only be playing 25 – 30 reps a game and Brian Schottenheimer has to find a way to get the ball in his hands more. Greene needs to help insure LaDainian Tomlinson is fresh for the stretch run in December and January.

3. The Jets need to keep rolling in their next five games and by that I mean anything less than 4-1 is unacceptable. Their final six games include tough road trips to New England, Pittsburgh, and Chicago along with a home match-up against Miami. It doesn’t look like the Patriots are going to let the Jets run away with this division title, which means they want to be at 9-2 or 10-1 (it is very possible if you look at the upcoming schedule) heading into December.

4. We are overdue for some trickery. I don’t know if it is going to be fake punt or field goal. A LaDainian Tomlinson option pass. Another Brad Smith pass…but something should be on the way after the bye week.

5. I am sure Rex Ryan has been beating into the heads of his defensive players how average their rankings are so far. He knows it would make a nice little statement to shut down a powerhouse offense like Green Bay this week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Jets be even more aggressive than usual, especially if Revis is genuinely 100 percent.

6. It will be interesting to see how Mark Sanchez responds to his first turnovers of the year this week. If he can finish the regular season with single digits in interceptions, it would be a tremendous accomplishment considering the amount he threw last season. I have loved Sanchez’s aggressiveness down the field and hopefully he can connect on a few more over the next few weeks.

7. Post-Bye Offensive Predictions – Both LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene will finish with over 1,000 yards…Both Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller will have at least 8 touchdowns…Mark Sanchez will crack 20 touchdown passes…Santonio Holmes will finish with 50 receptions.

8. Jason Taylor is going to end up leading the Jets in sacks. There should be a boost to his production as Calvin Pace gets closer and closer to 100 percent and Taylor’s reps become a little more limited.

9. I wonder if we will see Kyle Wilson play a significant role on the defense at any point the rest of the 2010 season. It doesn’t seem like it right now. Yet, you never know with Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery.

10. This nonsense with Cablevision and FOX better be settled by Sunday.

How The Jets Can Get The Most Out Of Their Offense

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It is hard to spend too much time complaining about the Jets offense through their first six games. They have made tremendous strides since last season, starting with quarterback Mark Sanchez who finally appears to understand the value of the football and isn’t giving it away at every chance possible. Braylon Edwards is playing to his potential. LaDainian Tomlinson has found the fountain of youth and has been a revelation. Dustin Keller is playing like the Pro-Bowl tight end the Jets drafted him to be.

Yet, this doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

The Jets have no shortage of weapons and skill position players who play meaningful reps on their offense. Consider they have Tomlinson and Shonn Greene splitting reps at halfback, Tony Richardson and John Conner splitting reps at fullback. Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Jerricho Cotchery, three wide receivers who have all been number one guys at some point in their careers. Keller at tight end, with Ben Hartsock, Matthew Mulligan, and Wayne Hunter all involved as blocking tight ends. Beyond that, they have Brad Smith playing receiver and quarterback.

It isn’t an easy task for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to mix and match up personnel groups and come up with ways to get the most out of this collection of players. We have all seen his inconsistencies and struggles attempting to do this. Coming out of the bye week, the Jets can do a better job with their division of reps, more clearly dividing roles in their offense, while still not becoming too predictable and tipping off their tendencies.

Nobody is a bigger fan of Jerricho Cotchery than me, he is a gritty player who has a terrific understanding of how to run routes and great hands. However in this offense, he would be most effective as primarily the number three receiver/slot guy. Cotchery can give this offense what they need from him in 25 – 35 reps a game. He can be a big time weapon for the Jets on third downs and in the slot, matched up on team’s third or fourth best corners.

Santonio Holmes needs to be on the field more than the 25 – 35 reps he has been. Simply put, he is a more dynamic overall receiver than Cotchery and puts more pressure on the defense opposite Braylon Edwards. He can make a defense pay more for leaving him in single coverage and should be the guy getting the quick receiver screens instead of Cotchery. Holmes can force defenses to roll coverage over to him, which will open up things for Edwards who has been on top of his game this season.

At running back, the Jets need to mix up their tendencies more often. You can’t just bring in Shonn Greene when you want to run the football. He has to be out there occasionally on passing downs and be involved in the screen game. A better mix between Tomlinson and Greene will open up more running lanes for both of them. On top of that, the Jets must start getting Greene more overall touches particularly over the next five games. Tomlinson needs to be fresh for the final five games of the regular season heading into the playoffs, most notably against New England, Miami, and Pittsburgh.

Tomlinson has 43 touches over the past two weeks compared to Greene only having 19 touches, which isn’t a good enough division by Schottenheimer. The Jets can’t risk running Tomlinson into the ground and with the way Greene has been running the past few weeks, he has shown he is more than capable of taking on more carries. He is averaging 4.8, 5.7, and 5.3 yards per carry over the last three games, respectively.

When the Jets move into their “Tiger” formation, I’d like to see them get more out of it. They have rarely been using the extra player coming in motion to hold the defense on the fake reverse. Despite his recent fumble, Holmes is a big threat coming around the end. It would also be nice to get Brad Smith on the edge a little more and let him throw another pass to keep defenses honest. Also don’t forget LaDainian Tomlinson’s career passing numbers (8/12, 143 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INTs). How about an option pass?

Nobody is saying Brian Schottenheimer has an easy job, but the Jets could certainly be getting more out of their offense considering their collection of weapons.

For The 2010 Jets, 12 Is The Number

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The Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game the hard way in 2009. They went on the road and pulled off two upsets as a wild-card, built momentum and eventually ran out of steam in the second half in Indianapolis.

We have seen wild-card teams win Super Bowls in recent years, most notably the New York Giants who ripped off three straight road victories before upsetting the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

However, considering the way the AFC looks like it is breaking so far and the 5-1 start the Jets have got themselves off to, there is no reason a minimum of 12 victories shouldn’t be the target for this team. The easiest road to the Super Bowl is getting yourself a bye and then hosting two playoff games, and this Jets team is built to do that. Look at the rest of their schedule:

Week 8 vs. Green Bay – Originally this appeared to be a much tougher match-up but the Packers have been decimated with injuries and could very well come into this game at 3-4. Beyond that, they have a long trip out to the Meadowlands off an emotional prime-time game against Brett Favre, while the Jets will be fresh off the bye week. There is no reason the Jets shouldn’t handle business against this one-dimensional offense, with Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace likely very close to, if not, 100 percent.

PhotobucketWeek 9 at Detroit – The Lions are frisky for a 1-5 team, which means this could be a dangerous game. Yet in reality, the Jets are going to be 8 – 10 point favorites and need to handle business against a team they are far superior to in the talent department. Darrelle Revis/Antonio Cromartie vs. Calvin Johnson? Should be fun to watch.

Week 10 at Cleveland – The Mangini Bowl. Cleveland can be a tough place to play, yet I think plenty of Jets will be up for this game against their former coach.

Week 11 vs. Houston – I love this match-up for the Jets. The Texans are a finesse team that does not match up well against them, as we already saw last year. Beyond that, the Jets get them at home. Yes it is a few weeks away but this feels like a nice double digit smack down.

Week 12 vs. Cincinnati – The Jets back on Thanksgiving, looking to make up for their debacle against Dallas a few years back. I am not sure why I should think the Bengals can come into the Meadowlands and win this game, considering how the Jets played them last year and the fact that Cincinnati has pretty much sucked so far this season.

Week 13 at New England – The Jets get an extra three days to prepare for this game, which will likely go a long way to determining who wins the AFC East. Prime-time. December football. It doesn’t get much better than this. Jets fans are already panicking about Danny Woodhead racking up 150 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.

Week 14 vs. Miami – Good to get Miami at home this late in the year. The Dolphins feel like a .500 team to me right now, so hopefully the Jets can do some serious damage to their playoff hopes this week.

Week 15 at Pittsburgh – Oh boy. Doesn’t this feel like a battle of a couple 11-3 or 12-2 teams for the AFC’s number one seed? Santonio Holmes coming back to Pittsburgh. A couple of powerhouse defenses. This game has to be flexed to Sunday night, right?

Week 16 at Chicago – I am already having visions of Wayne Chrebet getting flipped on his head and fumbling to clinch a killer loss. Regardless of the Bears 4-2 record, I just don’t think they are that good and will either be right at or below .500 coming into this game. What is the over/under on the number times Jay Cutler is sacked this week?

Week 17 vs. Buffalo – We should be seeing some Mark Brunell and Kellen Clemens this week.

When you look at this collection of ten games, it is hard to see the Jets not putting together at least a 7-3 record. 12-4 should be good enough for a bye week in the AFC but may not be good enough for a number one seed unless the Jets can take care of business in Pittsburgh. Does it make me a delirious homer to think there is a somewhat realistic shot the Jets could win 13 games this year?

A 13 win Jets team? Times really could be changing.

Your 2010 Guide To Jets Haters

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The New York Jets are arguably the most talked about team in the NFL heading into the 2010 season. Without argument being necessary, they have talked more than any team in the NFL heading into the 2010 season. Rex Ryan is a brash and confident individual, who hasn’t toned down his personality since becoming a head coach and his mentality has trickled down to the entire organization to an extent.

The result is that you either love him or hate him, along with either loving or hating the 2010 Jets. Fans obviously admire the swagger and confidence brought to an organization desperately in need of it, while other players or coaches have praised his approach. Defending Super Bowl champion head coach, Sean Payton, has repeatedly complimented the mentality Ryan has brought to the Jets and how he runs his team. Adam Schefter reported players were texting their agents how badly they wanted to play for Rex Ryan after watching Hard Knocks.

However, Rex Ryan and the Jets have brought out a particular vitriolic hate out of some individuals heading into the season. You can already picture them huddled around the TV screen tomorrow, anxiously waiting for the Giants to get a first down on the Jets defense so they could get out of a few nasty comments on Rex Ryan and the overrated, overhyped Jets. You can allow these haters to get under your skin or you can realize Rex and the Jets are having a good time, and they’re just trying to ruin it. Sit back and enjoy your 2010 New York Jets because they are going to be good and they aren’t going to be shy about letting you know it. However, here is a guide to those who will be stammering and twisting their face with each Jets victory this year:

Mike Francesa – The iconic radio personality from WFAN can’t stand Rex Ryan and really since Bill Parcells left, can’t stand the New York Jets. Francesa has been particularly vicious with the Jets lately because nobody from their organization will go on his show after he spent all of December and January ripping them apart, despite their playoff run. He also nearly fell out of his chair after watching the first episode of Hard Knocks. Francesa tore into the “classless” Jets and their “bumbling” head coach, while Giants fans called in so they could all shake their heads in shame together and wonder why the Jets couldn’t be more dignified like the New York Giants. How could Rex Ryan curse like that? How could he? You would think the guy was beating up small children on national television, instead of using expletives when talking to his football team at 10 PM on premium cable. Clearly, no other coaches have ever cursed in NFL history.

Francesa will find any possible way to avoid giving the Jets credit when they win football games. He has completely sided with Darrelle Revis in his contract dispute and is calling the New Meadowlands “Giants Stadium 2.” If the Jets start the season 6-0, Francesa will attribute it to luck. Remember he knows more about football than Rex Ryan, regardless of how good the Jets defense in in 2010.

New York Giants Fans – A quick aside for Giants fans, stop calling into the local radio shows and acting like the best teams in your history weren’t led by a linebacker fueled by cocaine and hookers. The word “classless” is thrown around so easily as a shot at Ryan and the Jets it is ridiculous. The Jets don’t have to take the same approach as the Giants to football. You can hate on Rex Ryan all you want but his team didn’t quit on him the final two games of the regular season last year. Worry about your own team. I am aware your organization has a much better history and has won substantially more, yet at this moment the Jets are a better team and deserve more headlines.

Mike Florio – Every other article Florio has written this off-season has been about the Jets. Mike Tannenbaum is on the hot seat. Rex Ryan is overweight. LaDainian Tomlinson is washed up. Braylon Edwards is a jerk and can’t catch. Mark Sanchez isn’t going to be a good quarterback in the NFL. Joe Namath shouldn’t be in the hall of fame. Darrelle Revis is right in his contract dispute. New York smells bad (yes he wrote an article deriding the smell of the city as part of the news on his site). The Jets won’t go back to the playoffs in 2010. NBC, I’m in the same company. Give me a commercial during Sunday Night Football in a fancy suit in front of a laptop on a cell phone, like you did for Florio. I can call people names and pick on the teams I don’t like, while passing it off as news. I promise I will never report that Terry Bradshaw died when he didn’t and won’t use the same stale jokes referencing The Office and Seinfeld.

Armando Salguero – Dolphins beat writer who constantly wags his finger at the Jets for lacking class, neglecting the parade of Dolphins who have recently been arrested and the way GM Jeff Ireland conducts business.

Message Board/Website Trolls – I always love hearing from the Dolphins and Patriots fans who take the time to visit the Jets ESPN Message Board to express their displeasure with the team. I also thoroughly enjoy the derogatory comments they leave for me here at TOJ, which I have the ability to erase since I do run the site and all. So please, keep visiting the site, giving me hits, taking the time to curse me out and calling me elaborate slurs (greasy Jets loving meatball was my favorite)…we appreciate the support. Also, keep waking up in the morning and saying “man Rex Ryan makes me so mad, I am going on the Jets message board instead of my own team’s to talk about how much I hate him. That will show those Jets fans.”

Easy responses to common Jets bashing

“Rex Ryan is a bumbling idiot” – He is a head coach in the NFL, what do you do?

“Mark Sanchez is terrible” – He won two playoff games his rookie year, how many playoff games did your quarterback win his rookie year?

“Their defense isn’t elite” – It was ranked number one in the NFL last year, hence it is elite.

“LaDainian Tomlinson is washed up” – Good thing we have Shonn Greene.

“They can’t survive without Alan Faneca” – Good thing we still have Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Brandon Moore, and Damien Woody.

“You haven’t won anything” – Only the Saints and Colts had a better season than us last year, and nobody has won anything yet this year.

“What about Darrelle Revis” – Shut up.

In Rex We Trust

Jets Week 2 Training Camp Wrap-Up

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1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets). Also, you can now reach us via e-mail at JCaporoso@fanball.com…we are getting official over here.

Jets Week 2 Training Camp Wrap-Up

Two weeks are in the books in Cortland, New York for the Jets as they are now preparing for their pre-season opener against the suddenly chatty New York Giants tomorrow night. Here is a review of the highlights of the week, along with a recap of  how the rest of the AFC East did in their first pre-season game:

New York Jets

The Jets are going into tomorrow’s game nearly 100 percent healthy. Only reserve linebackers Josh Mauga and Brashton Satele wont’t play. Of course that Revis guy also won’t be on the field. We can only hope the Jets are doing an elaborate PR stunt and he will come running out of the tunnel with the defensive starters. Peter King will be writing about the Revis situation extensively in his MMQB column tomorrow so keep an eye out for that. I think Revis will end up signing before the third pre-season game. He won’t be able to take too many more episodes of Hard Knocks and the Jets won’t be able to stomach watching anybody catch a pass on their starting corners, without thinking “well if Revis was here…” Remember the Jets open the season with Anquan Boldin, Randy Moss, and Brandon Marshall.

On offense, the Jets have released guard Marion Davis and replaced him with Chet Teofilo. Matt Slauson will begin the game as the starting left guard. Vladimir Ducasse should also get a shot with the first offense, which is expected to play the entire first quarter and maybe a series into the second quarter. It sounds like it is a foregone conclusion Slauson will end up being the starting guard, unless he craps the bed tomorrow night. Rex Ryan said Slauson has the potential to be the long term answer at LG, which could mean Ducasse could start being groomed to replace Damien Woody at right tackle.

The Jets have begun expanding their “Wildcat” package past Brad Smith to include LaDainian Tomlinson under center in the “Wild Horn Frog.” It sounds like Tomlinson will be the running back to open the game tomorrow night, which doesn’t really much. Shonn Greene is going to be the guy who is taking the majority of the carries when the regular season kicks off. I am interested to see how Tomlinson, who everyone has been raving about this August, looks tomorrow night. Also, if the Jets get into a goal-line situation, who will get the carries?

Judging from everything I read since camp started, Aundrae Allison and Marcus Henry have put together a better two weeks than David Clowney and Laveranues Coles. Clowney and Coles will have the first shot tomorrow to work behind the Jets big three at receiver, but they could use a little production before Allison and Henry start really pushing for their roster spots. Finally, I have a feeling Brian Schottenheimer is going to be dialing up an early deep ball to either Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards tomorrow.

PhotobucketOn defense, Kyle Wilson has continued to impress at cornerback while Dwight Lowery has been tumbling down the depth chart. Marquice Cole has been seeing extended action with the first and second team, on both the outside and in the slot. Ryan is also high on rookie UDFA, corner Brian Jackson. New acquisitions, Jason Taylor and Brodney Pool, have began to flash more in practice, while UDFA safety Donovan Warren has been struggling heavily. With the injuries to Mauga and Satele, inside linebackers Kenwin Cummings and Lance Laury should see a ton of reps behind David Harris and Bart Scott tomorrow. Rex Ryan has continued to effusively praise Vernon Gholston at defensive end, let’s see if he can make an impact in a game situation.

Buffalo Bills

Poor Buffalo. Their top two running backs, Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson are going to miss the rest of the pre-season, and in Jackson’s case maybe a little more. Buffalo took a healthy 42-17 whipping from the Washington Redskins the other night. Trent Edwards played relatively well and has all but locked down the starting quarterback position.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins beat the Tampa Bay Bucs in their rainy, pre-season opener. However, their first defense did allow the Bucs to score on them. Considering Tampa’s talent level on offense, that can’t be an encouraging sign for the Dolphins defense. Chad Henne went 5/11 for 19 yards, while Brandon Marshall dropped two passes. Miami had a punt blocked.

New England Patriots

The Patriots have lost defensive lineman Ty Warren for the season with a hip injury. Julian Edelman looked good in the Patriots opener against the Saints, with 6 receptions for 90 yards. BenJarvus Green-Ellis started at running back for New England. Torry Holt has been placed on injured reserve with a leg injury. Rookie Devin McCourty started at corner opposite Leigh Bodden.

Jets Fans: Stop The Pity Party

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Do you remember December 30th 2007? I do. I was sitting in the pouring rain watching the 3-12 New York Jets play the 4-11 Kansas City Chiefs. The Jets won the game 13-10. I left the stadium frustrated because we hurt our draft position, ultimately falling to number six where the team would select Vernon Gholston. Our quarterback of the future, Kellen Clemens, had just played one of his better games of the 2007 season: 13/25, 115 yards, TD. Our newly signed starting running back, Thomas Jones, scored his second touchdown of the season. The offensive line was in shambles. The defense prominently featured players like Dewayne Robertson, Victor Hobson, David Barrett, and Erik Coleman.

Fast forward to January 20th, 2008. The New York Giants upset the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, sending the Jets in-stadium rivals to face their division rivals, the New England Patriots (coming off a perfect regular season) in the Super Bowl. The Giants and Patriots went on to play one of the most memorable championship games in league history, while the Jets wallowed in complete and utter irrelevancy.

Do you remember those days? They weren’t too long ago. Do you remember gearing up for a broken down Chad Pennington/Kellen Clemens quarterback battle? What about the few months of the Kellen Clemens/Brett Ratliff/Erik Ainge battle? How about heading into training camp with Brad Smith/David Clowney/Chansi Stuckey fighting it out for a starting receiver spot? At cornerback, do you recall players like Hank Poteat, Drew Coleman, and Barrett rotating in a starting spot? The Jets offensive line used to feature players like Anthony Clement and Adrien Clarke.

Yes, the Darrelle Revis holdout sucks. There really isn’t a better way to put it. Revis was a player our organization was savvy enough to trade up to select, who developed in front of our eyes into the league’s best cornerback and arguably best defensive player. The entire league took notice. We got to see one of our players featured in Nike commercials and constantly be talked about on the NFL Network and ESPN. Everybody was looking forward to his encore performance to an epic 2009 season. Bring on Brandon Marshall. Bring on Randy Moss. Bring on Chad Ochocinco Johnson. Bring on Andre Johnson. Send every diva, big-name receiver at our defense and watch him disappear.

PhotobucketIt now looks like that may not happen. Before you bury the Jets organization, before you bury Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan, remember this: Tannenbaum brought this team back to relevancy with the resources provided to him by Johnson. He got us Mark Sanchez so we didn’t have to watch Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff one-hop curl routes. He beefed up the defense by trading for Kris Jenkins and Antonio Cromartie, hitting on David Harris in the second round, and signing Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, and Jim Leonhard. On offense, he collected an impressive arsenal of weapons for his franchise quarterback.

Rex Ryan may have hurt the Jets bargaining position by showing too much love for his player to the media. However, that is Ryan’s personality. Don’t talk about loving all the swagger and confidence he brought to the organization and then get mad when he gives due praise to a player. I will take the negative impact on negotiations Rex Ryan brings, in exchange for all the positives he has brought the Jets, which shouldn’t have to be listed.

Don’t talk yourself into hating Revis either. The Jets organization approached him about re-negotiating his contract and after hearing everything they said about him, he expects to be compensated at a substantially higher level in 2010 (currently scheduled to be the eight highest paid defensive back on the Jets). Yes, he should understand that Al Davis is clinically insane and gave Nnamdi Asomugha an aberration of a contract and yes he has three years left on his deal but this is a business. The Jets botched the Leon Washington situation to an extent, which has burned a scary image into the heads of current players. Who wants to shipped off to the rain in Seattle to play for Pete Carroll without a new contract?

There is plenty of blame to go around. The Jets organization gets a little. Darrelle Revis gets a little. Al Davis can have a little. Leon Washington’s injury is a factor. Yet, there is no reason to spend all pre-season pouting and looking for somebody to blame.

PhotobucketGuess what? Even without Darrelle Revis, the Jets are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. They are still the favorite in the AFC East. They are being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. They have knocked the Giants and yes even the Yankees off the back page. We aren’t playing in Giants Stadium anymore. The Jets are playing in primetime in weeks 1, 3, and 5 to start off the season, along with Thanksgiving night and a December Monday night showdown in New England. Beyond that, there is still a relatively good chance Revis will join the team at some point before the regular season starts, despite all of Woody Johnson’s posturing today.

So relax Jets fans, life is good, enjoy the ride in 2010. We are the team everybody loves to hate and really what is better than that in sports?

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The AFC East Is Going To Be One Hell Of A Race

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I don’t have a problem saying the Jets are the favorite to win the AFC East. The Jets finished the season much stronger than the Patriots and Dolphins, along with having a better overall off-season than both teams. When you look at the roster of all three teams, the Jets have the most overall talent. Yet, that is obviously no reason to write off the defending AFC East Champs, New England, along with their Hall of Fame coach and quarterback or a talented, improved Miami team. The AFC East should be a three team horse race that isn’t sorted out until December, sorry Buffalo.

Let’s look at the arguments of the three contenders for a division title in 2010, along with what could hold them back.

New York Jets – The argument for the Jets starts with their defense. They have the best one in the division and the best one in the NFL. Whenever you play defense the way this team does, you are going to be competitive week in and week out. Last year’s defensive depth chart has been supplemented by Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Jason Taylor, Brodney Pool, and a healthy Kris Jenkins, which is a scary thought for opposing offenses. On their offense, Mark Sanchez made strides in last year’s playoffs and should carry that over into his second year. He will have better chemistry with Braylon Edwards after having a whole off-season to work with him and he was given another major weapon with the addition of Santonio Holmes. Regardless of how much they contribute running the football, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight will provide good pass catching options out of the backfield to help Sanchez.

The questions about the Jets start with the two second year players they will be relying on to carry their offense, Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene. Sanchez needs to make the previously mentioned strides so he isn’t throwing 20 interceptions to 12 touchdowns. Greene still has to prove he can be a lead back for an entire season. The Jets may miss Thomas Jones in a big way, especially if LaDainian Tomlinson is as washed up as he looked in 2009. They will need a young player to step in for the departed Alan Faneca at left guard and it remains to be seen if/when Darrelle Revis will join the team.

Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins are built in a similar mold to the Jets. They want to run the football and play an aggressive, physical defense. Their defense was inconsistent and struggled heavily against the pass in 2009 but they are banking on their young secondary improving and new additions to their front seven to lead to improvements. Karlos Dansby will boost the linebacker core. They expect Cameron Wake and rookie Koa Misi to lead their pass rush. First round pick Jared Odrick should be a quality addition to their defensive line rotation. On offense, Miami finally added a number one receiver by trading for Brandon Marshall, who is one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Chad Henne has the arm strength to push the ball down the field, which should create more running space for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams,

PhotobucketThe Dolphins young corners still have to prove they can slow down opposing passing offenses, especially when they are facing players like Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Santonio Holmes. They have already loss Phillip Merling for the season, which hurt their defensive line depth and they are going to miss Joey Porter and Jason Taylor to an extent. On offense, Ronnie Brown is never healthy and they don’t have a number two receiver to put opposite Marshall. Despite the world being ready to send him to Canton, Henne still has to prove he can lead a team to the playoffs and throw more touchdowns than interceptions in a season.

New England Patriots – Brady and Belichick, which means the Patriots always have a shot. Randy Moss and Wes Welker (who it appears will miraculously be ready for the start of the season) aren’t half bad either. The Patriots passing game will be able to put points on the board consistently and Belichick will get the most out of what they have on defense. New England’s defense still has quality talent at all three levels with Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Brandon Merriweather.

The Patriots lack of a running game could hold them back in 2010. Simply put, they don’t have a number one back. They will also be relying on a bunch of young players in their passing game outside of Moss and Welker, like Brandon Tate, Aaron Hernandez, Taylor Price, and Julian Edeleman. Their secondary has question marks and will also be relying on a collection of young, unproven players. Overall, their defense isn’t an elite unit anymore. The Patriots are coming off an absolute woodshed beating from the Ravens in their building to end the 2009 season, it will be interesting to see how they bounce back from that.

AFC East Battle