TOJ’s 32 Thoughts On 32 Teams

A quick thought on each team in the NFL, as the lockout hopefully nears a conclusion —

New England Patriots – I’ll go with this picture

Miami Dolphins – You aren’t confident in your quarterback if there are rumors of signing Matt Moore to compete with him.

Buffalo Bills – I think they will improve to around a .500 team this season, with a decent collection of young talent on both sides of the ball.

Pittsburgh Steelers – If only Antonio Brown would have dropped that pass on third down..

Baltimore Ravens – I think Jimmy Smith has a good chance to be Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Cincinnati Bengals – Apparently, Carson Palmer doesn’t want to play for them…in case you haven’t heard. I would guess Andy Dalton starts week one.

Cleveland Browns – There whole season is already cursed by having Peyton Hillis end up on the Madden Cover.

Houston Texans – I have an irrational hate for them because of all the hype they receive every year and how they never live up to it.

Tennessee Titans – Somewhere Kenny Britt was just arrested again…

Indiannapolis Colts – 1 reception for 1 yard by Reggie Wayne in the playoffs against the Jets last year.

Jacksonville Jaguars – I wonder if the Blaine Gabbert era will start by week two when they play the Jets?

Oakland Raiders – The division is wide open this year, so maybe they finally get over the hump.

Kansas City Chiefs – There is no way I see them back in the playoffs this year.

San Diego Chargers – If they can stay healthy, they will be handful as usual…looking forward to LaDainian Tomlinson getting a shot at them.

Denver Broncos – You have to start Tebow, right?

Philadelphia Eagles – It sounds like they are going to do some major damage in free agency.

New York Giants – Whoops…

Dallas Cowboys – Can’t wait to see Rex Ryan blitz the hell out of Tony Romo in week one.

Washington Redskins – How much did they pay Albert Haynesworth again?

Green Bay Packers – They have enough young talent to have a great shot at defending the belt.

Chicago Bears – How the hell did this team make it to the NFC Championship Game?

Detriot Lions – For once, they seem to be moving in the right direction.

Minnesota Vikings – Still can’t believe how high they selected Christian Ponder.

Atlanta Falcons – I am not sure if they have a draft pick for another five years…let’s see if Julio Jones is worth it.

Carolina Panthers – Can you blame Steve Smith for wanting to leave town?

New Orleans Saints – Marshawn Lynch is still breaking tackles…

Tampa Bay Bucs – Raheem Morris is the man

San Francisco 49ers – I am going to miss Mike Singletary press conferences.

Seattle Seahawks – Sounds like they aren’t going to bring Matt Hasselbeck back…not sure why.

St. Louis Rams – Ask Will…

Arizona Cardinals – Can we find somebody to throw Larry Fitzgerald the ball?

New York Jets – Look up, down, left and right.

Lockout Blues: Ways For Jets Fans To Pass The Time

What can you say? The NFL Lockout sucks. It has been an endless cycle of litigation and mediation, which has now been delayed again until a June 3rd hearing. It is becoming more of a reality with each passing day that part of training camp and probably even the regular season will be lost, which is a damn tragedy. The NFL was so popular last year that it could have put the Cardinals and Panthers in prime-time against a championship game in another major sport and destroyed it in the ratings. Unfortunately, greed and money have a way of ruining even the best of things.

Here at Turn On The Jets, we will keep writing as if there will be a 2011 season and will never run out of the topics to discuss on this team, even if I am forced to break down the battle for the third tight end spot or write a feature length story on long snapper Tanner Purdum’s background.

Regardless, here are a few ways for Jets fans to pass the time while we wait for this lockout to finally come to an end —

  • Read Rex Ryan’s book

A quick, easy, and entertaining read for any Jets fan. There is no shortage of smack and snack talk.

  • Channel your Dolphins hate to the Heat

Let’s go Bulls!

  • Remember how foolish you are capable of acting when you are rooting for the Jets
  • Join a touch football or softball league

One Day At A Time: Why Football Is A Drug And Why Love Is Not The Answer

If you are reading this, you probably like football. That or you are a fan of actual aircraft ignition sequences. I am guessing those people are few and far between. I too like football, but it is not because I am what most call a football “fan”, I am a football freak. I fall asleep to SEC Network replays of Auburn vs. Georgia or Alabama vs. LSU. Why the SEC you ask? Because they are the only conference that has actual games worth watching over and over and over until you can literally recite the entire game blindfolded play for play…And they are the only one that lets you watch for free.

Why don’t I watch NFL Replay you ask? Because it costs money, and the NFL ownership group as a whole may be some of the most greedy, white glove jerks I have ever seen in my life. Next to Senators of course. Oh sure, they’ll come to training camp and dance around and have real cute conversations with various coaches and first round draft picks, but have you ever seen an owner flying coach at an airport? Or refinancing their house because of the impending lockout? Let’s not get sidetracked here, on to the beauty of the game:

I like finesse in sports and I like size, which are essentially the two ways football can be broken down. Peyton Manning and Julius Peppers: that’s a little size and finesse, Kris Jenkins has the size…Darrelle Revis has the finesse. So what is so intriguing about football? 22 people on the field, each relying on each other to make either a defensive stand or move the ball down the field. Why am I actually breaking this down? This is not football 101. Go to Wikipedia for that…

Football can suck you in, you start to analyze the basics…quarterback…running back…receivers….but then, as you look closer, it all opens up:

To compare to another sport, basketball only has 10 people on the court and people score left and right, anybody can put up points at some point in the season, not ANYBODY can score a touchdown. And no single player “scores” a touchdown. Football players are, for the most part, specialists, basketball players have offensive and defensive duties. You can’t change your basic lineup, going small or big like they can do in basketball. Danny Woodhead would not last 3 minutes on the Lakers. In football, if the defense struggles, the offense has to lift them up and vice versa. Football players are held to a smaller set of responsibilities yet you live and die by them. It is very hard to be the Knicks in football.

The intricacies of offense and defense in football are so vast that trying to analyze one pre snap formation with a team like the Jets could leave you scratching your head, especially when you have 4 or 5 guys switching POSITIONS (Kris Jenkins at linebacker!), audibles and counter-audibles, but that is what we call the “technical stuff.”

Football, for the literary amongst us, is 21st century theatre, Broadway sucks despite what Sanchez says, and football is as good of a narrative as any imaginable. With the amount of coverage given to football via ESPN, NFL Network and the Internet, it is dissected more minutely than postmodern novels. There are analysts who make statements and analysis of analysts statements which are the analysis of the players statements, it’s like an Italo Calvino novel. You are on a train. You are a character in a novel taking place on a tran, etc…

One of the overwhelming reasons I love football is because it is not built for the elite, models don’t go to football games, and if they do, they aren’t showing up in a miniskirt and heels. Unless you count those degenerates in suites and “coach’s clubs”. (As a sidenote, if Rex Ryan could handpick people for his coaches club, I doubt 15 people in badly tailored suits would be first on the list). People don’t show up 40 minutes after kickoff to a Giants game, unless they are talking their way out of an arrest or so drunk that they had to stop to puke every 15 feet from the shuttle to the entrance.

It unites the strange and the straight laced, it turns friends to enemies and enemies to friends, it creates debaters and theorists, dreamers and detractors:

Amongst the working class, there is not much to look forward to on a given week. Life, in general, is a series of mundane events highlighted by orgasms, credit card debt, and free shots of tequila. So to be part of something that you know millions of people are part of, to hear the screams from adjacent apartment buildings and to be walking by a bar downtown and hear the roar after a touchdown or an interception, is indescribable.

I would argue that most football people, if given the choice between a beach in LA or a sports bar in Manhattan during football season, would gladly stand for 6 hours nursing the same warm beer in a bar that smells like piss and desperation, and leave the beaches for out of work actors to “contemplate their life choices.”

Maybe we are spoiled in Manhattan to have both the Jets and the Giants…but don’t question the passion both teams create, and remember this, they’re rooting on Park Avenue and they’re rooting in Harlem. The stockbrokers have jerseys on and drug dealers have jerseys on.

We’re all a part of it, whether we are in a bar, at the stadium, or as I prefer to watch, on the rooftop of an East Village duplex, with beautiful women cooking Fillet Mignon and pouring unnecessarily strong mixed drinks, even in December.

Top Ten Head Coaches In NFL?

ESPN continued through their positional power rankings yesterday by ranking the top ten coaches in the NFL, here is what their list looked like:

  1. Bill Belichick
  2. Mike Tomlin
  3. Andy Reid
  4. Mike McCarthy
  5. Sean Payton
  6. Tom Coughlin
  7. Rex Ryan
  8. Love Smith
  9. Mike Smith
  10. Mike Shanahan/John Harbaugh

Personally, I think the panelists did a fairly good job. A key question when ranking head coaches is does winning a Super Bowl automatically place you above all your peers who have not. Clearly, the panelists didn’t feel that way by placing Andy Reid at number three and having Rex Ryan ahead of Mike Shanahan (even though it has been over a decade since he won his).

With a list like this, the question of who would you want coaching your team next year and moving forward needs to be factored in, not just who has the best lifetime resume. I would bump Sean Payton up to three on the  list, considering his Super Bowl victory and how the Saints, an organization that has traditionally struggled, have found consistent success under him. He is also one of the brightest offensive minds in the game, if not the brightest. I would put McCarthy ahead of Andy Reid as well, especially with his recent playoff victory over Reid’s team in mind and of course Green Bay’s Super Bowl victory last year.

You can see the ongoing debate between Tom Coughlin and Rex Ryan I am involved in but I think Reid belongs somewhere in the 5-7 range with both of them. I would also absolutely have John Harbaugh higher than Mike Smith. In the last three years, Harbaugh has won multiple playoff games and taken his team to the AFC Championship Game, Smith is yet to win a single playoff game despite being the home team twice.

To even have Rex in the discussion for being a top 5-7 coach in the league after only two years on the job is encouraging and has to make you excited about his potential in the coming years. However, it will ultimately take a Super Bowl title for Rex to become one of the league’s elite coaches.

12 Pack Of Jets Off-Season Thoughts – Edition #7

The 12 pack is back with a very special Decertification Edition

We are actually going to take a slightly different approach today with the 12 things TOJ will miss the most about the New York Jets if there is an extended lockout/legal battles/whatever is about to happen with these CBA negotiations, in no particular order…

1. Rex Quotes – My favorite television shows of all-time are Lost, The Wire, The Sopranos, and…Rex Ryan’s Press Conference. The first three are already off the air, and now I have to deal with the fourth going away? I don’t know about you but I will miss a Super Bowl guarantee every other day, excessive praise for Jets players, and of course wigs.

2. Game Ending Heroics —

3. Bizarre Breakfasts – How many random mornings were made more entertaining by a bizarre Jets headline this past year? Who is making foot fetish videos? Who is sleeping with a 17 year old? Who has cursed out Tom Brady on the front of the Daily News? Now we have to read about legal proceedings every morning…

4. Waiting for another interview like this

5. Bashing Schotty – If there is no games, there is no reason to write five paragraphs trying to explain why Brian Schottenheimer called a reverse to Jerricho Cotchery on 2nd and 1 that went for a 9 yard loss.

6. The LT Glide

7. The Progress – The last two years have been major steps in the right direction for the New York Jets organization. It would figure that when they are on the precipice of being a Super Bowl team this type of legal mess would occur.

8. The Smack Talk – You can’t run your mouths to Patriots fans if the two teams aren’t playing and you can’t run your mouths to Giants fans if Eli Manning isn’t throwing four interceptions every game because he isn’t on the field.

9. Eating A Goddamn Snack

10. Free Agency Madness – This time of the year is usually reserved for constant refreshing of the computer to see what big name the Jets have signed or traded for.

11. Talking Football With All Of You, Not Legal Matters – Debating, yelling, arguing, cursing with all of you about the Jets and the NFL is a hell of a lot more fun that talking about decertification and appeal courts.

12. Just a sad day for all us NFL fans.

TOJ NFL Power Rankings: Week 17 – Extended Edition

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Our final installment of the NFL Regular Season Power Rankings…don’t shed a tear on me. Don’t worry, the show doesn’t stop in the playoffs, but here is a very special edition of TOJ NFL Power Rankings…

The Favorite

1. New England Patriots (13-2) – There is no way around it, New England is the team to beat heading into the 2010 playoffs. How many hours are going to be spent pouring over the game tape from when Cleveland beat them way back on November 7th? They are the best but not unbeatable because of a sometimes shaky defense and young players in many key spots.

The Top Contenders

2. New Orleans Saints (11-4) – They know what it takes to win in the playoffs and regardless of likely being a wild-card, their road to the Super Bowl isn’t looking too intimidating. Big win over Atlanta last week in their building, showed they are still the team to beat in the NFC.

3. Baltimore Ravens (11-4) – The team I am most confident can knock off the Patriots in the playoffs. However, they will likely have to get by Peyton Manning first which will be no easy task.

Super Bowl Capable

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) – They need to handle business against the Browns or Sunday or risk falling all the way to a #6 seed. It would be a tall task for any wild-card team to come into Heinz Field and get a victory.

5. Atlanta Falcons (12-3) – The road to the Super Bowl still goes through Atlanta in the NFC but they now have it in their head that New Orleans can beat them in their building. Beyond that, the Falcons simply aren’t a dominant team who could be knocked off by any playoff team in their conference.

6. Chicago Bears (11-4) – Clinched a bye thanks to Philadelphia laying an egg last night. If Jay Cutler plays like he did against the Jets, they will be a tough out. It will be interesting to see how they handle the Green Bay game on Sunday, which is meaningless to them.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (10-5) – I know, I know…they looked awful last night but Mike Vick makes them a scary match-up for anybody in the NFC. They will have to beat Chicago at some point, however, who banged them up earlier in the year.

Dangerous

8. Kansas City Chiefs (10-5) – 7-0 at home and they are peeking at the right time. However, it remains to be seen how the key young players on their team handle their first playoff action.

9. Green Bay Packers (9-6) – Chicago would be doing the rest of the conference a favor by doing everything in their power to keep them out of the playoffs.

10. Indianapolis Colts (9-6) – It doesn’t matter how banged up they are, Peyton Manning makes them capable of reaching February.

11. New York Jets (10-5) – If they remember how to play defense and to give Shonn Greene the football, they could roll off a few wins in January especially if Mark Sanchez stays hot. After all the talk, a one and done showing would be a major disappointment.

Just Kill Them Already

12. Tampa Bay Bucs (9-6) – The young Bucs exceeded everybody’s expectations this year and are going to be a serious contender for a long time. However, it is doubtful they will receive enough help to reach the playoffs this time around.

13. New York Giants (9-6) – There is no overcoming the meltdown they had against the Eagles, which looks like it will take them from a potential #2 seed to having a new head coach.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7) – They had every chance in the world to take advantage of the Colts struggles but failed to do so.

If Only They Were in the NFC West

15. Oakland Raiders (7-8) – Not a bad year for the Raiders, who helped the Jets out just a little by not being their usual 4-5 win selves which would have resulted in a top 10 pick for the Patriots in next year’s draft.

16. San Diego Chargers (8-7) – Inexcusable let down in Cincinnati ended their playoff hopes. Oh well, they weren’t going to win a playoff game anyway.

Pulling For You Sunday Night

17. St. Louis Rams (7-8) – Is there anybody who would rather see the pitiful Seahawks in the playoffs than the young, surprising Rams led by Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson?

A Moment to Laugh

18. Washington Redskins (6-9) – For the way they handled the Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb situation, along with thinking they could be a playoff team by starting Joey Galloway at receiver.

19. Miami Dolphins (7-8) – For thinking Chad Henne was a franchise quarterback and to everybody (I am looking you Bill Williamson) who argued they’d rather have him than Mark Sanchez.

20. Minnesota Vikings (6-9) – To how much better they would have been starting Joe Webb all along.

21. Dallas Cowboys (5-10) – To people like me who thought they were a Super Bowl contender.

22. Detroit Lions (5-10) – To them throwing the ball on third down when the Jets had no timeouts with Drew Stanton way back in November.

Deserve Some Respect

23. Buffalo Bills (4-11) – They have fought hard every week and are a handful of plays away from being a 7 win team despite lacking talent on both sides of the ball.

24. Cleveland Browns (5-10) – Fought hard all year but then dropped some winnable games late in the season that will likely cost Eric Mangini his job.

Deserve No Respect

25. Tennessee Titans (6-9) – Completely meltdown and quit in the second  half of the year…kind of like Vince Young when he gets taken out of games.

26. Houston Texans (5-10) – Kind of funny to think about what everyone was saying about them after they beat the Colts in week one.

Just Awful

27. Seattle Seahawks (6-9) – If you haven’t been able to tell yet this year, it absolutely disgusts me that Seattle can still make the playoffs. Over the last 9 games, Seattle has lost by 30, 34, 15, 18, 19, 16, and 23 and beaten the Cardinals and Panthers aka a pair of college teams. Just disgusting that we have to watch them on Sunday night.

28. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11) – It would have been real interesting to watch how their season would have went without T.O. and Ochocinco.

29. Denver Broncos (4-11) – At least they have Tebow to look forward to next year.

30. San Francisco 49ers (5-10) – Mike Singletary was always entertaining.

31. Arizona Cardinals (5-10) – Funny to see Kerry Rhodes run his mouth on Twitter about the Jets as he is a key part of one of the NFL’s worst defenses.

32. Carolina Panthers (2-13) – Should be in last place for a long, long time in the NFC South.

TOJ NFL Power Rankings: Week 16

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It is hard to remember a year when so much of the seeding could be shakenup in the final two weeks, and I know there has never been a year when one division has been so putrid…

1. New England Patriots (12-2) – Bill Belichick won’t let them take the foot off the gas in the final two weeks, as they face the basement dwellers of the AFC East.

2. Atlanta Falcons (12-2) – A quiet 12-2. Let’s see how they handle New Orleans this Monday Night, but either way they have all but locked up home field advantage.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) – Players like Mike Vick and Desean Jackson mean the Eagles are never out of a game.

4. Baltimore Ravens (10-4) – Impressive win over the defending champs kept their NFC North title hopes alive.

5. Chicago Bears (10-4) – How many people picked them to win the NFC North?

6. New York Jets (10-4) – The best way to shoot up in the power rankings is by beating a quality opponent in their building. Can they do it two weeks in a row?

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4) – Their offense has been inconsistent and their defense isn’t anywhere near the same without Troy Polamalu in the line-up.

8. New Orleans Saints (10-4) – They can be happy with likely playing the NFC West winner in the first round of the playoffs.

9. New York Giants (9-5) – Went from a potential number two seed to playing for their playoff lives in Lambeau this Sunday.

10. San Diego Chargers (8-6) – They’ll win out, but will they get the help needed to win the AFC West?

11. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5) – The Chiefs should be able to handle business to become the surprise winners of the AFC West.

12. Green Bay Packers (8-6) – Do or die against the Giants at home this week.

13. Indianapolis Colts (8-6) – One of the weaker Colts teams in recent memory but they will still be hosting a home playoff game, unless something strange happens.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-6) – It was only a matter of time until the Colts caught them. Who wanted to watch Jacksonville host a playoff game anyway?

15. Tampa Bay Bucs (8-6) – Nothing for this young team to hang their head about, if they fall short of the playoffs this year.

16. Oakland Raiders (7-7) – The Colts will have their hands full with the Raiders in Oakland this Sunday.

17. Dallas Cowboys (5-9) – They have played very good football since Jason Garrett has taken over.

18. Miami Dolphins (7-7) – Another mediocre season for the Dolphins, who have some major questions to answer this off-season.

19. Tennessee Titans (6-8) – Took a few weeks too long to wake up out of their mid-season funk.

20. Houston Texans (5-9) – Are you really surprised the Texans were a “disappointment” this year?

21. St. Louis Rams (6-8) – The only team in the NFC West that I have a small amount of respect for.

22. Buffalo Bills (4-10) – Way too high? I don’t think so. They play with heart and remain competitive every single week.

I have to be honest…I can’t even rank beyond this point. It is just a pile of crap, that doesn’t deserve to be sorted through. It feels like the Seahawks lose by 30 every week and yet they could still host a playoff game. The 49ers are four games under .500 and could still host a playoff game. The Vikings have clearly quit. The Browns appear to have quit. The Bengals are a disaster. The Lions…well hey, they won a road game. The Cardinals and Panthers are unwatchably awful, and of course are both playing prime-time games this week.

TOJ’s Favorite Moments Of Week 15…