Initial Reaction – New York Jets Pop Warner Offense Gets Blown Out

The New York Jets offense no showed in a 28-7 blowout loss to Seattle

The New York Jets defense came to play today. This isn’t the most talented unit and they are lacking in many key areas. Regardless, they put forth a respectable effort and gave their team every chance to be competitive and win.

The offense? Putrid. Embarrassing. Pop Warner quality. The Jets had two weeks to prepare and their major revelation was bringing Tim Tebow in the game to throw a swing pass to Jeremy Kerley. The Jets actually ran it four separate times. There was mass confusion. Poor play calling. Terrible blitz pick up. Wide receivers who couldn’t get open. Dustin Keller false starting and dropping passes all over the field. And of course awful quarterbacking.

This game turned on a brutal red-zone interception from Mark Sanchez. Just an inexcusably terrible pass. And how many times have I written that sentence this season? Everything around Sanchez on offense is not good enough. Austin Howard and Matt Slauson aren’t capable starting NFL lineman. They are average at running back. They are below average at wide receiver (outside of Jeremy Kerley). However, Sanchez doesn’t get a pass for playing this mediocre. He is showing no signs of progressing and continually makes way too many mistaks. Simply put, he isn’t playing well enough to keep his job.

If the Jets had any other backup quarterback, the change would have been made by now. Clearly Rex Ryan and the rest of the staff has no faith in Tim Tebow to run their offense and they know once they switch with him, they are stuck with him for the rest of the year. Regardless to keep credibility in the locker room at this point Rex needs to make the switch. You can’t keep trotting Sanchez out there and scoring zero points every single week. Tebow isn’t the long term answer but at this point how much worse could the Jets offense get?

What we are watching now is unacceptable. Tony Sparano should be fired. Mike Tannenbaum should be fired. Fire everybody on the damn offense outside of Mangold, Ferguson and Kerley. Firesale time for the Jets.

Turn On The Jets Week 10 Roundtable – Jets vs. Seahawks Predictions

The Turn On The Jets staff gives their predictions for Jets vs. Seattle

Joe Caporoso – 12 Pack 

Chris Gross – Prediction: Seahawks 23 Jets 13 – The Jets enter week 10 heading into a hostile environment at CenturyLink Field. Seattle utilizes their 12th man like no other team in the NFL, making CenturyLink a nightmare for opposing teams. In order to keep it close, the Jets must be able tune out the roaring crowd, a daunting task for a team that has shown little mental toughness all season long. Offensively, Seattle will look to attack New York’s vulnerable run defense, and based on the play of this unit over the past few weeks, coupled with the fact that NT Kenrick Ellis is out yet again this week, there is no reason to believe that the Seahawks won’t be able to get Marshawn Lynch and company going for 130+ yards. Lynch will be keyed, allowing for Russell Wilson to take some shots deep. There is no serious threat to the Jets secondary in Seattle’s receiving corps, but look for the Seahawks to use a lot of play action, particularly if Lynch is ripping off anywhere between 4-5 yards per carry. If New York can slow “Beast Mode,” they should be able to keep Seattle’s offense in check throughout the game. However, with the way Lynch has been running, don’t expect this sub par run defense to be able to contain him for 60 minutes.

The key for New York’s offense once again lies with Mark Sanchez. Will Sanchez finally show some consistent leadership and tenacity, or will he come out petrified of Seattle’s vaunted pass rush forcing him to avoid stepping into his throws, missing target after target? The offensive line will need to be at its best and the Jets will likely provide help in pass blocking schemes, leaving an extra tight end or back in on anything greater than a 3 step drop. Shonn Greene will struggle to get going for anything more than 3.1-3.3 yards per carry, as he has a very limited supporting cast once again, so the play of Sanchez, his receivers, and the offensive line is crucial.
The Jets will do enough to keep it close for about 2 and a half quarters, with Seattle pulling away with a touchdown about half way through the fourth quarter. Sanchez will have opportunity to put the Jets in a position for a late comeback, however New York’s fate will ultimately be sealed by number 6 committing a turnover within 5 minutes left to play.

Mike Donnelly –  I touched on what I expect the Jets to do in my 2nd Half Preview Stock Watch. I think the Jets are going to play their best game of the season and win 20-16. Coming off their bye, these players and coaches know how important this game is if they’re going to make any kind of run in the second half of the season. I expect Mark Sanchez to play a very efficient — if unspectacular — game. The defense is where this game will be won, however. I’ve never been much of a believer in Russell Wilson and that hasn’t changed. The Jets are going to load up to stuff the run and come after Wilson in a big way. I have full confidence in Rex Ryan and his staff that he was able to fix some issues during their week off and add some new wrinkles that will make this defense start to look more like the dominant unit we all expected at the start of the season. Jets pull this one out, make everyone think they’re good again, then lose in comical fashion the following week. It’s all a very Jets thing to do.

Rob Celletti –  I’m not going to beat anyone over the head with logic or reason here. Instead, I’m going with my gut: I like the Jets to win this game.  I’m a believer in “due” and Seattle hasn’t lost a home game yet this season. NFL teams are usually energized after a bye week, so I expect a much better start from the Jets compared to what we saw two weeks ago. Russell Wilson is a rookie and I think the Jets have a good chance to force him into some mistakes, like they did to Andrew Luck (a better quarterback, in my opinion) a few weeks ago. I think the final score is close and the Jets pull it out, 19-16.

Chris Celletti – As I mentioned in our roundtable earlier this week, the most important matchup of this game, to me, is whether or not the Jets can keep Marshawn Lynch from running wild. You would think with some extra rest off the bye week the Jets’ defense should be fresh, but personally I just think that matchup favors the Seahawks too heavily and is going to prove to be too meaningful to this game. Although, I do fully expect the Jets’ pass defense to shut down Seattle’s passing attack with rookie QB Russell Wilson. If they can’t, it’s game over. Offensively, I don’t see how the Jets are going to put up too many points. This seems like a game where Mark Sanchez will struggle in, most quarterbacks do in Seattle. The Jets will need a big play or two on special teams in order to stay in this one late. Either way, I think Seattle defends their home, winning 23-16.

Turn On The Jets Week 10 NFL Picks

The Turn On The Jets staff gives their picks for week 10 of the NFL season

The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday Night game –

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Mike Donnelly (70-60-3)

2. Rob Celletti (69-59-5)

3. Chris Gross (66-63-4)

4. Chris Celletti (61-68-4)

5. Joe Caporoso (57-72-4)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (9-5)

  • New England (-11) vs. Buffalo
  • Giants (-3.5) vs. Bengals
  • Tampa Bay (-3) vs. San Diego
  • Carolina (+4) vs. Denver
  • Titans (+6) vs. Dolphins
  • Raiders (+8) vs. Ravens
  • Falcons (-2.5) vs. Saints
  • Lions (-2) vs. Vikings
  • Jets (+6) vs. Seattle
  • Eagles (+2) vs. Dallas
  • 49ers (-11) vs. Rams
  • Bears (-1.5) vs. Texans
  • Steelers (-11.5) vs. Chiefs

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (3-11!)

  • Patriots -12
  • Giants -3.5
  • Bucs -3
  • Panthers +4
  • Titans +6
  • Raiders +7.5
  • Falcons -2.5
  • Lions -2.5
  • Jets +6
  • Cowboys -2
  • 49ers -11.5
  • Texans +1.5
  • Steelers -11.5

Rob Celletti

Last Week (8-6)

  • Patriots (-11)
  • Bengals (+3.5)
  • Bucs (-3)
  • Broncos (-4)
  • Titans (+6)
  • Ravens (-8)
  • Saints (+2.5)
  • Vikings (+2)
  • Jets (+6)
  • Cowboys (-2)
  • Rams (+11)
  • Bears (-1.5)
  • Steelers (-11.5)

Chris Celletti

Last Week (8-6)

  • Bills
  • Giants
  • Chargers
  • Broncos
  • Titans
  • Ravens
  • Falcons
  • Vikings
  • Seahawks
  • Cowboys
  • Rams
  • Bears
  • Chiefs

Chris Gross

Last Week (9-5)

  • Patriots (-12)
  • Giants (-3.5)
  • Chargers (+3)
  • Broncos (-4)
  • Titans (+6)
  • Ravens (-7.5)
  • Saints (+2.5)
  • Vikings (+2.5)
  • Seahawks (-6)
  • Eagles (+2)
  • 49ers (-11.5)
  • Bears (-1.5)
  • Chiefs (+11.5)

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 10 – Jets vs. Seattle

12 predictions for the New York Jets week 10 match-up vs. Seattle

Gates? Greene? Howard? I’m getting the hell out of here…” – Mark Sanchez in above photo 

The Turn On The Jets 12 pack is back to kick off your weekend. Personally, I am in an extra jovial mood this Friday. Outside of the Boomer and Carton shout out, they are serving free BBQ in my office today. Anybody can order free pizza or sandwiches, but free BBQ? That is a job well done by my company. When we eventually have official TOJ offices, outside of serving the logical 12 pack to accompany the article every Friday, we will also serve BBQ. Because nothing makes for more productive afternoons than weighing employees down with massive meals and alcohol. 

While I am food ranting, the top two snack choices for TOJ this season has been Hint of Lime Tostitos and Ken’s Honey Mustard Pretzel Bites. Any recommendations to knock them out of the top two spots? 

On to the predictions

1. The New York Jets special teams is going to play a very good all-around game and will make a play that directly leads to points. Frank Isola may disagree but Mike Westhoff is a Hall of Fame coach and I can’t see his unit tanking it for two weeks in a row. Both Antonio Cromartie and Clyde Gates have the speed to make a big play on kick return. Jeremy Kerley is explosive at punt returner and is due for a big one.

That feels like a hundred years ago, right? Let’s not also forget that this is the Jets so writing off a big return from Leon Washington would be foolish.

2. Russell “The Nicest and Smartest Man To Ever Play Quarterback in the NFL According To Every Analyst” Wilson is going to struggle against the Jets defense. Seriously. have you heard analysts talk about Wilson? It is a good thing Jim Nantz isn’t calling the game this week as I could see this occurring while I vomit up the previously mentioned Hint of Lime Tostitos. “Look at Wilson’s smile…look at his charisma…look at how intelligently he holds that football…his grace reminds me of a embracingly warm April afternoon in Augusta.” Put Wilson down for under 200 yards passing and a turnover.

3. Mark Sanchez is going to be sacked at least 3 times and the Jets are going to have at least two false start penalties. The Jets offense will also have at least one turnover. Anybody curious why Matt Cavanaugh is a working coach in the NFL still, anybody? In a perfect world him, Mike Tannenbaum and Terry Bradway will be selling insurance with Mark Brunell next November.

4. Marshawn Lynch will be productive but won’t destroy the Jets. Put him down for 85-105 yards and a touchdown.

5. Dustin Keller will lead the Jets in receptions and receiving yards. The Jets wide receivers are going to have a tough time getting open and Seattle hasn’t been great against tight ends this year. Look for Keller to be as productive as he was against New England a few weeks ago.

6. Quinton Coples will have his third sack of the season. It still won’t make Jets fans feel better about not having Bruce Irvin or Chandler Jones.

7. Bilal Powell will have 5 carries and 2 catches as he returns from an injury. Shonn Greene will finish with 75 yards rushing and 2 catches.

8. That Tebow guy will have 3-5 carries and throw a pass. He will run for a first down on 2nd and 2 with 5:04 left in the 2nd quarter and flex his muscles while yelling, this will prompt Twitter to explode for calls for him to stay in the game for his demonstrated leadership. The announcers will then also remind everybody that “TEBOW IS A JUST A FOOTBALL PLAYER! HE JUST PLAYS FOOTBALL SO MUCH!”

9. Golden Tate is going to have a big day working against Kyle Wilson. I can already see Tate with 6 catches for 115 yards and then blowing by Wilson for another long completion in the 4th quarter, except he happens to drop it. Wilson will then respond by wagging his finger at the Seattle sideline while they look at him with baffled faces.

10. Stephen Hill is going to struggle against Seattle’s aggressive cornerbacks. Don’t bank on him going over 40 yards receiving. Jeremy Kerley will make some plays from the slot and have a productive day.

11. Antonio Cromartie is going to shut down Sidney Rice and record an interception of Russell Wilson.

12. The New York Jets are appropriately heavy underdogs in this game but they will put forth a scrappy effort coming off the bye week. However, I don’t think they will have enough offense to steal one late against the Seahawks. I’m taking Seattle 16-13.

Predicted Game Outcome Record (7-1) 

Turn On The Jets Week 10 Best Bets

Chris Celletti with his weekly NFL Best Bets

Week 9 Record: 2-1

Season Record: 10-16-1

Why do the Giants always look like such a good bet? It’s like every single week I look at them and I’m like “Yeah of course they’re covering that.” Look at this week, -3.5 against the Bengals? Really? I feel like the Giants win this game by four points or more 99% of the time. So am I going to go with them as one of my three highlight picks this week? Not a chance. Moral of the story is, no matter what, you just can’t rely on your rival when you need them. Not only would a Giant cover last week against the Steelers have given me a 3-0 record for the week, it would have helped out the Jets, ever so slightly, in their grave playoff hopes. So I won’t go with the Giants this week. This means the Giants will win by 17 points.

Conversely, my go-to look every week is towards the Jacksonville Jaguars. Of course they played in the useless Thursday night game, and I write my Best Bets piece for Friday, so this week I couldn’t rely on them.

That got me thinking about on these Thursday night games. This year’s full-season Thursday night slate is proof that NFL is immune to it’s own stupidity and selfishness. The Thursday night games have been AWFUL. Absolutely, horrifyingly terrible. And it’s no wonder why. Football players are supposed to have five, six days off between games, and it’s showed in almost every Thursday night game this year. On top of that, by guaranteeing every team in the league be featured, we’re consistently seeing terrible teams every Thursday.

But the immunity of the league is proven when you go on social media on Thursday nights, and of course in the television ratings. I didn’t watch a single snap of Colts-Jaguars last night. I’m admittedly not a total crazy football nut as some other people, and because of that, Colts-Jaguars does absolutely nothing for me. But when I went on Twitter last night, I saw people complaining about the game. This has been a trend every Thursday night this season. You hop on social media and see things like “Oh my god, this is horrible football!”  There’s an easy solution to this: nobody is forcing you to watch Thursday Night Football.

Don’t give me that you just love football so much that it doesn’t matter who plays or how miserable the game is, you watch it no matter what. That’s stupid. Basketball is my favorite sport to watch, I love both the NBA and college ball. The other day, Sixers-Hornets was on ESPN. I didn’t sit there and watch all 48 minutes because I love basketball. I watched Nick Young clank three contested fadeaways in a row and saw Greivis Vazquez chuck an outlet pass into the ninth row and said “Yeah, no thanks.”

So next Thursday when you sit there watching the Bills and Dolphins sling crap around on your TV for three hours, realize that you probably wasted some valuable time. You could have been doing something productive with your life, like playing video games, posting political statuses on your Facebook page, or best yet, writing a column about how bad the Thursday night NFL games are.

On to the picks:

Broncos -4 at Carolina – The Broncos did well for me last week and I like this line just right where it is, thank you.

Bears -1.5 vs. Texans – The weather could be bad on Sunday night in the Windy City, which I think favors the Bears. Their defense is just too good right now.

/Really wants to take the Giants. GAAHHHHH

Chargers +3 at Buccaneers – I really can’t explain my choice here. This is just a bad sporting event in general.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week (Season Record: 3-5-1)

Last week I didn’t believe the Knicks would beat the Heat to start their season and I was gladly wrong. I’ll take it. The Knicks have been so impressive early on. Carmelo Anthony is scoring – of course – and rebounding and playing defense. Ray Felton and Jason Kidd are helping zip the ball around on offense, finding open guys. J.R. Smith looks like the Sixth Man of the Year. Ronnie Brewer (Ronnie Brewer?!) is draining threes. Kurt Thomas is fouling the living hell out of people. God I love Kurt Thomas. Steve Novak was only 2-of-8 in the last two games. Huh? GET WITH THE PROGRAM, STEVE.

Knicks -6 vs. the Mavs? In oh-so-eloquent words of Walt Clyde Frazier: YYYYYYYYYYYup!

Five Second Half Keys For The New York Jets

TJ Rosenthal with five second half keys for the New York Jets

The 3-5 New York Jets have an embattled GM, a coaching staff searching for answers, and a fan base wondering where the talent and depth filled “Goddamn Snack” squads of 2009 and 2010 went. Gang Green must go 6-2 in order to have a probable shot at a postseason berth. Here are five keys needed in order to make it happen.

1 – The Quarterback Becomes The Leader

Mark Sanchez will be given every opportunity to remain the starter. If the Jets can’t rise on offense collectively, will Tim Tebow get the chance to elevate his teammates? The Jets desperately need leadership at the QB position in the second half.

2 – A Pass Rusher Is Found: Coples Anyone?

The Jets have to locate a pass rushing presence among it’s own front seven. Rookie Quinton Coples has recently begun to show signs of life. If he can take it to the next level, the Jets secondary can collectively settle in, and even choose to play the ball more often.

3 – Dustin Keller Emerges

This was yet again, supposed to be a breakout year for the eternally emerging tight end. A hamstring injury however, slowed him in the first six games. Keller has to become that All-Pro threat over the next eight games, in order to help open up the passing game outside.

4 – The Special Teams Unit Reawakens

What in the world has gone on with Mike Westhoff’s group over the past two games? A Jets special teams crew that has thrived under Westhoff, a true gem coaching in his final season, has suddenly gone south. Lately, monumental game changing plays have gone against a unit that is always heavily counted on. Despite their recent struggles, this area will still be a key part of the winning formula for the Jets down the stretch.

5 – 
The 2012 Jets Identity Finally Crystallizes

Who are these 2012 Jets? Good question. We hear all the time about who they want to be. They are not however, that dominant ground attack and feared defense that Ryan hoped they would turn into. Not yet at least. Add in the confusion surrounding Tim Tebow’s purpose (or lack thereof) in the offense, and you have an even bigger mystery. 

Let’s hope that the bye week helped the Jets assess who they ought to become the rest of the way based on what they truly are and can achieve. Any gadgetry and trickery that lends itself to the game plan is fine by us. A continued lack of honesty regarding this club’s identity on either side of the ball, is not.

Turn On The Jets On Boomer and Carton

Turn On The Jets gets some love on the Boomer and Carton radio show on WFAN

A little love for Turn On The Jets this morning on our favorite AM radio talk show, Boomer and Carton on WFAN. Thanks to the caller Kunal for reading and thanks to Carton for assuming we are an official New York Jets website. Considering the amount of negative press we have given their recent personnel decisions, we think they would have dropped us off the payroll a long time ago if we were. Regardless, we are now waiting for the call from Al Dukes to come in the studio and talk Jets. 

Follow the writers – Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly, Chris Celletti, TJ Rosenthal, Rob Celletti

New York Jets Fact Or False: Week 10 Edition

Chris Gross with his weekly Fact or False breaking down the Jets week 10 match-up in Seattle

The New York Jets begin the second half of their 2012 schedule with what will be a daunting task. The Jets head into Seattle to take on the 5-4 Seahawks, a franchise that has exceeded expectations up until this point through a variety of talent, tenacity, energy, youth, and passion. Pete Carroll has injected a positive influence over his team that is reflected by the Seahawks’ fierce competitive nature.

New York, on the other hand, is on the verge of watching their 2012 season slip through their fingers. The Jets have lost 4 of their last 5 and are coming off of their worst loss of the season, prior to the bye week, a 30-9 embarrassing loss at home to AFC East foe, Miami Dolphins.

This team’s fan base is seemingly on the brink of revolting against the front office, starting at the top with owner Woody Johnson and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, and rightfully so. The Jets have been down right embarrassing this season. 2 of their 3 wins have come against inferior ball clubs at home, games that no one expected them to lose. But when will the Jets win a game that they aren’t “supposed” to? Does this team have the mental makeup to pull of an upset, in a hostile environment, on the road? A win in Seattle this week would surely be a step in the right direction, as New York currently stands as a 7 point underdog. However, this will  be no easy task. Seattle is dominant in two areas that the Jets have failed to respond to all season long – running the ball and rushing the passer.

Will New York dig deep to shutdown Marshawn Lynch? Will the offensive line step up and provide a spark to a running game that absolutely must be ignited in order to win? Will that same unit be able to hold off a tenacious Seattle pass rush and give Mark Sanchez time and room to get comfortable? Will Sanchez be able to tune out the 12th man and stay poised, or will we see him express that look of a frightened turtle, eager to hide in his shell, that we have all become much too familiar with? Find out all of this and more in this week’s New York Jets Fact Or False.

Marshawn Lynch will run for 100+ yards and 1 touchdown. Fact. New York’s run defense has been laughable all season long as a shell of what this unit once was. The Jets currently rank 29th in run defense, surrendering an average of 141.4 yards per game to opposing offenses. Lynch, on the other hand, ranks second to only Adrian Peterson in rushing yards this season, as he has already compiled 881 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground. “Beast Mode” has surpassed the century mark in 5 of his team’s 9 games this year, including a 103 yard performance against the league’s second ranked defense in week 7 at San Francisco. The Jets will surely look to key Lynch, as he poses much more of a threat to their defense than rookie QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ aerial attack. Kenrick Ellis is set to return from injury which will greatly bolster the front 7, but expect Seattle to realize the glaring weakness in the Jets defense by feeding Lynch 25-30 times. With a season average of 4.8 yards per carry, that will be ample opportunity for Lynch to amass 100 yards on the ground, an opportunity he will surely take advantage of.

Russell Wilson will not throw a single interception. False. While Seattle will likely lean heavily on Lynch to carry the offense, they are still going to need to pass the ball at times. The Jets have fared very well against rookie quarterbacks this season. In two complete games against rookies (Tannehill week 3, Luck week 6), New York has yet to surrender a touchdown pass, while forcing 3 interceptions, and holding the young quarterbacks to a combined completion percentage of just 47.5. Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine will surely throw some exotic looks at Wilson, who will commit at least one turnover by interception this Sunday.

Mark Sanchez will be sacked 3 times. Fact. Seattle ranks third in the NFL in sacks with 25 total, including 7 from Chris Clemons and 5 from rookie Bruce Irvin. You think these guys are licking their chops at the though of lining up against Austin Howard this week? The noise of the 12th man, and the thought of Clemons and Irvin slamming him to the ground, will surely affect Sanchez’s mentality on Sunday. Look for number 6 to try and get the ball out as quickly as possible. However, with what will likely become a pedestrian effort to run the football by New York, the Jets are poised to be stuck in some third and long situations, forcing Sanchez into 5 and 7 step drops, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Clemons, Irvin, and Co. will be pinning their ears back and coming at Sanchez like bulls chasing a matador. New York will likely give as much help to the offensive line through protection schemes as it can, but don’t expect Sanchez to be able to avert a hat trick of sacks by the Seahawks’ defense.

Tendencies of Rex Ryan’s Jets on the West Coast will come into play this weekend. False. Why, you ask? Because the Ryan led Jets have yet to develop any type of pattern when traveling across the country. Ryan is 2-2 on the west coast. He has a blow out victory (2009 at Oakland), a close victory (2010 at Denver), an embarrassing defeat (2011 at Oakland), and a Tebowed defeat (2011 at Denver) all under his belt. Sanchez has also yet to develop any type of pattern when returning to his home time zone either, as his career numbers on the west coast (77/130, 59.2 completion percentage, 962 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs), are very…well, Sanchez-esque. With this group, the cross country trip will likely have no impact on the outcome of this game. As for the hostility of Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, that is an entirely different issue.

Mark Sanchez will remain the starting quarterback next week, despite how he performs on Sunday. False. Many are convinced that Sanchez is safe for the remainder of the year no matter how poorly he may play down the stretch. There is certainly good reason for this popular belief. Sanchez is due a large amount of guaranteed dollars next year, and Tim Tebow is a highly unlikely long term replacement for the position. However, has everyone forgotten how big Rex Ryan’s ego is? This is the same guy who guaranteed Super Bowl victories prior to each of his first three seasons in New York, despite the Franchise’s inability to even return to the big game since Super Bowl III. It has to be absolutely killing him that his team is on the verge of a total collapse and that his starting quarterback could seemingly care less, considering how comfortable he has become with his job security. It will take a lot, but if Sanchez comes out and lays an egg the way he did against San Francisco and Miami, there is a good chance Rex finally snaps and gives 15 the nod in week 11 at St. Louis.

Think about it. At 3-6, the chances of making the playoffs, when looking at the remainder of the schedule, are extremely slim. Why not see what you have in your polarizing backup quarterback? Could things possibly get any worse? Oh, and incase you forgot, the Jets travel to St. Louis in week 11, where Sanchez’s former mentor Brian Schottenheimer happens to be on staff as the team’s current offensive coordinator. Can you imagine the detailed report Schotty could give to St. Louis’s defensive staff regarding Sanchez’s weaknesses? It may come in more volumes than the Harry Potter novels. It will have to be disastrous performance by Sanchez, but this is the New York Jets we are discussing, and much crazier things have happened throughout the history of this franchise.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: 2nd Half Outlook Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, providing a second half outlook for the New York Jets

After the disaster of watching the Jets get absolutely demolished by the Miami Dolphins in person at MetLife Stadium, I, like many of you, was extremely down on this team. In my head I had all kinds of ideas about who I’d be selling in my Stock Watch, what players I’d attempt to publicly complain about some more (Calvin Pace), and already start thinking about who we’d be looking at with our top 5 draft pick. But then, after the disaster of watching the Jets, another disaster hit the area (Screw you, Sandy), and I was unable to do a Stock Watch. Perhaps not being able to write that column was for the best. Now I’m back with a fresh outlook on the team, and I hope everyone out there is safe, healthy, and on their way to rebounding back after the recent disaster… kind of like our Jets. Also, please check out my Jets (and NFL) First Half Awards to get my take on the confusing first 8 games of this season. (Or even if you don’t care about my football thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think about Homeland.)

BUY: 9-7 record and Wild Card Spot – Yes, despite how incredibly down I was on this team, after careful reconsideration, I think a 6-2 record over these final 8 games is not only possible, but it’s going to happen. Every year there are teams that get totally written of and then go on a big run to make some serious noise. Don’t believe me? Ask the 2011 Giants, 2010 Packers, or even our 2009 New York Jets. And I know it’s hard to find many positives with this entire organization right now, but let’s take a look at how this playoff birth can happen.

  • BUY: @ Seattle – Remember, this is the Jets. They’re 7 point underdogs this week and everyone is writing them off. Nobody thinks they’ll be able to move the ball or stop Marshawn Lynch. Well, this is the Jets we are talking about, and they usually do things nobody expects, both good and bad.
  • SELL: @ St. Louis – And this will prove my point. After the win at Seattle, everyone will start the “Maybe the Jets can sneak in there” talk, and then they’ll take a dump all over whatever the hell the Rams call their field the next week, and lose to Brian Schottenheimer in the process. Ugh.
  • BUY: Vs. New England – And then just as we’re all ready to hate the team again, they go out and beat the Patriots at home. They should have won the last matchup in New England, and they won’t mess it up again.
  • BUY: Vs. Arizona – Normally this would be a huge letdown spot where the Jets blow an easy game after a big win, but since they have 10 days to prepare for this game, and they’ll be facing John Skelton and the Cards offensive line, they’ll pull it out. Barely.
  • BUY: @ Jacksonville – Another game that will be much harder than it should be, but the Jets will pull it out over Blaine Gabbert.
  • SELL: @ Tennessee – At this point everyone will be talking the Jets up as a playoff team, and then they’ll go into Tennessee and lose by double digits somehow. I hate this team already and this hasn’t even happened yet.
  • BUY: Vs. San Diego – Norv Turner.
  • BUY: @ Buffalo – And then just as it doesn’t look good, the Jets will go into Buffalo and absolutely drop a hammer on this Bills team that will have already thrown in the towel while Chan Gailey and Dave Wannstedt are making calls at halftime to see if any college teams will hire them.

See, it’s not so far-fetched. You have to figure the Steelers and Ravens will both make the playoffs out of the AFC North, so that leaves one other wild card spot. Nobody from the West is worth a crap besides Denver. In the South, the Colts are 5-3 and are right in the mix of things now, but they’ve been playing over their heads. Such a young team is unlikely to win the tough games down the stretch to secure a playoff spot. They have games @NE, @ Det, and two against the Texans, not to mention a Thursday night game tonight @ Jacksonville, which they will lose. They’re looking at 7-9 or 8-8 at best, and the Jets own a tiebreaker over them. The other team the Jets are competing with is the Miami Dolphins, who sit at 4-4. Unfortunately for them, they have two games against the Patriots, one @ San Francisco, and one @ Buffalo in cold November, which is never a picnic for a warm-weathered Miami team. So keep your fingers crossed. It can happen.

So, how are the Jets players going to be performing in these final 8 games to secure that 6-2 record? Glad you asked!

BUY: Shonn Greene over 1,100 yards – Greene sits at 509 yards rushing right now with 91 receiving. He also has 5 touchdowns. As we all know, Shonn Greene is a perpetual slow starter who really turns it on in the second half of the season. I think we are looking at a final stat line of 1,150 rushing yards, 8 TD’s, and 225 receiving yards. He will fall short of my preseason prediction of 1,500 total yards from scrimmage, but it won’t be by that much. Remember, he’s playing for a contract these final 8 weeks.

BUY: Mark Sanchez 8 starts – Yes, Mark Sanchez will start all 8 remaining games, so you might as well just accept it.

BUY: Mark Sanchez finishing with solid stats – His stat line this year is not quite as bad as many would have you believe, but it’s certainly not Manning-esque or anything. Right now he’s got 1,736 yards, 10 TD’s, and 8 interceptions to go with a 52.9 completion %. By the end of the season I think he’ll be looking at 3,600 yards, 22 TD, 16 interceptions, and 58% completions. Not bad.

BUY: Tim Tebow will score a Touchdown – And I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s more like 3 or 4. If the coaching staff didn’t reevaluate things this bye week and realize Tebow should be taking some carries inside the 5 yard line, then I give up.

BUY: Jeremy Kerley over 1,000 yards – Right now he has 478, and he’s getting better every week. Over 1,000 yards should be in the bag, despite defenses starting to give him more attention.

BUY: Stephen Hill over 500 yards – 196 right now, but he’s missed two games and had some rookie struggles. He’ll be inconsistent the rest of the season, but I definitely see a big game or two in his future that will easily push this number over 500. Not only that but don’t be shocked if he racks up 5 more touchdowns, pushing his total to 8, either.

SELL: Jason Hill over 5 catches – One of the burning questions for all Jets fans the rest of the way. Can the great Jason Hill get to 5 whole catches this year? He has 2 right now, so can Mike Tannenbaum’s prized free agent pickup that I can only assume he found while turning over all those stones looking for talent do it? We’ll have to wait and see! (The answer is no. Jason Hill sucks, and dropping a promising safety like Antonio Allen for him is Reason # 23,529 that Mike Tannenbaum needs to be fired)

SELL: Clyde Gates & Jeff Cumberland – Just reminding you they’re still on this team and that they still suck.

BUY: Quinton Coples over 6 sacks – He currently has 2 sacks, but probably should have 1 or 2 more that he just missed. You can see things are starting to click for the rookie first round pick, and with increased playing time, he’s going to start racking up some numbers. Finishing with 6 sacks would clearly give him the team lead, and even though it’s the Jets and he has no competition, that’s still pretty good.

SELL: Ricky Sapp over 1.5 sacks – Speaking of Coples and sacks, I really, really hope I’m wrong about this one, because Quinton sure could use some help out there. Sapp was a guy I had a lot of hope for entering the season, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy and put it all together. Please, don’t confuse my pessimism for some kind of hatred when it comes to Ricky Sapp. I 100% absolutely want to see him play and I think he deserves to be in there over washed up bums like Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, or Garrett McIntyre. (Actually, McIntyre isn’t washed up, he just moves around like he is.) It’s just that when was the last time a team promoted a guy from their practice squad in week 10 and had him solve their pass rush issues? Prove me wrong, Ricky! Please!

BUY: The Defense – Right now the defense is ranked 16th overall and a ridiculous 29th against the run. Don’t think for one second Rex Ryan doesn’t go to bed every night distraught while thinking about that. Well, that and the fact he can’t finish the second half of that large pizza he was eating because his lap band won’t allow it, but mostly the defensive numbers. There is no way, repeat: NO WAY, that this defense finishes the season allowing 141 yards per game rushing and 347 overall. I fully expect them to slowly but surely make their way into the top 10 overall and start shutting down some running attacks. Rex Ryan is too good of a coach to allow that to continue, and with the infusion of youth and speed making it’s way onto the field with players like Demario Davis, Marcus Dowtin, Quinton Coples, and even Ricky Sapp, things are going to get better before long.

Turn On The Jets NFC Mid-Season Power Rankings

Chris Gross with a power poll for the NFC at the halfway point of the season

Yesterday, Turn On The Jets brought you their mid-season AFC power rankings. Tonight, we breakdown how the NFC stacks up heading into the final half of the 2012 NFL season. Categorically, these rankings hold the same idea, with a slight variation. We will divide the 16 NFC teams into 4 separate categories, placing each team where we see them fitting at this point in the season. Explanations for each category will precede the respective rankings.

Contenders

The following teams have proved to be the real deal up until this point. All have a very realistic chance to win their respective division, and barring any unlikely second half meltdowns, all will earn trips to the postseason.

1.) Chicago Bears (7-1) – Yes, the 8-0 Atlanta Falcons continue to get very little respect as the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. The Falcons have played great football, make no mistake, but Chicago is playing with all the intangibles necessary for a deep postseason, possible championship, run. Defensively, the Bears made history in Tennessee last week as they became the first NFL team to return 7 interceptions for touchdowns through their first 8 games. In fact, Chicago’s defense has 28 total takeaways (17 INTs, 11 Fumble Recoveries), resulting in a league best 3.5 takeaways per game, with an astounding league high +2.0 turnover differential. While the Bears statistically rank 6th in overall defense, they stand behind only San Francisco in points allowed per game, surrendering just 15 each week. Led by a strong veteran presence in the front 7 in Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Julius Peppers, Chicago ranks 3rd in the league in sacks with 25 total, helping propel them to a league best +116 point differential, which is by far the highest in the conference (SF +86).

Offensively, Chicago may not be jumping off any stat sheets, outside of Brandon Marshall who is putting together one of the greatest seasons you will ever see by an NFL wide receiver, but Chicago has the necessary weapons in place to complement their dominant defense, making them arguably the most balanced team in the entire league. While Jay Cutler is certainly sporadic at times, he has the tools and mental tenacity to take this team deep into the post season. Matt Forte is undoubtedly one of the most balanced backs in the NFL, and role players like Michael Bush and Alshon Jeffrey have contributed nicely at times. If the Bears’ continue to play at the level they have been playing at, they will likely nudge Atlanta for the coveted #1 playoff seed.

2.) Atlanta Falcons (8-0) – Although Atlanta has yet to face defeat all season, they are still partially untested, having beaten only one team with a winning record. However, while they currently rank behind the Bears here, the Falcons are certainly not pretenders. Matt Ryan has put together a fantastic first half, throwing for 17 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. With a surplus of offensive weapons in Roddy White, Julio Jones, Michael Turner, and Tony Gonzalez, just to name a few, Atlanta certainly has the offensive fire power to compete with any defense, not only in the NFC, but in the entire league. To edge out the Bears as the top team in the NFC, Atlanta needs to win some games more convincingly, meaning not winning nail biters against Carolina, Oakland, and Dallas (combined 8-16 record) at home.

3.) New York Giants (6-3) – While the Giants surely disapointed this past week at home, most people are making this loss out to be a far greater upset than it actually is. The league seems to have fallen asleep on the Pittsburgh Steelers, despite the fact that they have a two-time Super Bowl Champion quarterback, and a Super Bowl coach, along with a defense that still has the pieces in place to dominate on any given Sunday. New York is surely notorious for poor play in the month of November, but Eli Manning has played MVP caliber football, despite going cold in recent weeks. What stands out about the Giants, and separates them from the teams that fall behind them here, is their ability to come up big in big spots. New York already has a very convincing 26-3 road victory, against an excellent team (SF) under their belts. Although they have struggled to defend the pass and have been relatively mediocre running the ball, New York excels in areas necessary for a championship team – quarterback play and rushing the passer.

4.) San Francisco 49ers (6-2) – The 49ers, aka Rex Ryan’s idols, are winning with the same formula that propelled them to the NFC Championship game last season – dominant defense and a strong rushing offense, ranking 2nd and 1st in the entire league, respectively. Like the Jets in the early days of the Rex Ryan era, though, San Francisco’s only handcuff may be the quarterback position. Can Alex Smith take that next step and lead his team to a Super Bowl? Probably not, but the way the rest of this team is playing, all he has to do is avoid preventing them from taking him there.

5.) Green Bay Packers (6-3) – While Green Bay started somewhat rocky, the Packers have rattled off four straight victories, a streak that began with a dominant road win over the AFC’s best Houston Texans. Aaron Rodgers seems to be finding that MVP form that helped win this team 15 games last season, despite losing top target Greg Jennings to injury.

Sink or Swim

These teams have been relatively up and down all season, and at the halfway point, will either take the step into the upper echelon of teams, or will sink to the bottom of the barrel.

6.) Seattle Seahawks (5-4) – Seattle has been a great story this season, led by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, one of the greatest underdogs in sports today. The Seahawks, or as we call them “San Francisco Lite” posses a very talented, young, and fast defense, coupled with a dominant rushing offense, led by “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch. Pete Carroll seems to have gotten his guys to buy into his high energy philosophy, and this team has suddenly become fun to watch. However, like San Francisco, Seattle will ultimately end up being hampered by the play at the quarterback position. While Russell Wilson is surely a great story, and has played relatively above average, he is still a rookie whose inexperience will cause his physical limitations to be exposed down the road. If Seattle can overcome this, they too may be poised for a postseason run.

7.) Minnesota Vikings (5-4) – The Vikings have been a reflection of their young quarterback up until this point – the epitome of inconsistency. After an early season 3 game win streak, which began with a dominant defeat of the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota has dropped 3 of their last 4, and quarterback Christian Ponder’s play has dipped dramatically. However, the Vikings still have Adrian Peterson at the helm of their 5th best rushing attack, along with players like Jared Allen who make their defense competitive each week.

8.) Detroit Lions (4-4) – Despite leading the league in passing yards per game (307.3), Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson have hooked up for a score just once this season. The defense has been average, and seems to have lost that nasty edge that it had last year. In a division that is all but sure to place at least two teams in the playoffs, Detroit will need to have an extremely strong second half to return to the postseason.

9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4) – 2-2 on the road, 2-2 at home. The Bucs have been a very average team thus far. However, they may have found lightning in a bottle, or a muscle hamster, last week, after rookie RB Doug Martin exploded onto the scene for 251 yards and 4 touchdowns. Quarterback Josh Freeman is very quietly putting together an excellent season, having already thrown 16 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. Tampa ranks 1st in the NFL in run defense, surrendering just 77.3 yards per game, and despite being only .500, have an average margin of defeat of just 5.5 points. The Bucs have won convincingly in three of their last four games, and could very well be poised to turn the corner as the season enters the final furlong.

10.) New Orleans Saints (3-5) – After an uncharacteristic 0-4 start, New Orleans has responded by winning 3 of their last 4, setting themselves up to make a second half postseason push. Despite the struggles, Drew Brees has still played at an elite level having completed over 61% of his passes for 2,549 yards and 22 touchdowns. Although the NFC South is likely lost to Atlanta at this point, the Saints could certainly find some fire down the stretch and steal a wild card spot. The world knows the NFL is a quarterback driven league, and New Orleans still has one of the best.

Free Falling

These teams had high expectations after starting the year hot, but have fell down a slippery slope as of late. While none are mathematically dead, the odds of any of these teams making the playoffs at this point are about the same as Mike Tannenbaum telling the truth about…well, anything.

11.) Arizona Cardinals (4-5) – After starting the year with 4 straight wins, Arizona has seemingly fallen into the abyss of the losers by dropping 5 in a row. The quarterback situation in the desert is more laughable than that of the Jets, and the Cardinals rank dead last in rushing offense, averaging a putrid 76.2 yards per game. Ken Whisenhunt is surely feeling the flames on his backside these days.

12.) Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) – There was once a time when this team was proclaimed “The Dream Team,” and Nnamdi Asomugha was viewed as an equal to Darrelle Revis. My, how the mighty have fallen. The Eagles have become the biggest disappointment in Philadelphia since Rocky Balboa was KO’d by Clubber Lang at the Spectrum in ’81. The defense has been horrible, resulting in the firing of Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo, and the offensive line has seemingly been persuaded by PETA to let opposing defensive lineman tee off on Michael Vick. There is really no sign of any possible reconciliation in Philly, which will likely result in a complete regime overhaul this offseason, starting with Vick and Head Coach Andy Reid.

13.) Dallas Cowboys (3-5) – After an eye opening road victory against the defending Super Bowl Champions on opening night, Dallas has completely fallen apart. Tony Romo, for some reason, has the longest leash of any player in league history, as he continues to get a public backing from GM/Owner/Dictator Jerry Jones, despite throwing three more interceptions than touchdowns this season. Jason Garrett looks lost on the sidelines most of the time, and the entire offense seems to have no cohesion or continuity whatsoever. One bright spot has been Rob Ryan’s fifth ranked defense, but even Rex’s brother himself cannot save the Cowboys from their ultimate destiny of hardship.

14.) Washington Redskins (3-6) – The skins have dropped 3 straight after finishing the first 6 weeks at .500. Rookie sensation Robert Griffin III has looked magnificent at times, but has certainly shown his human side as well. Washington has a promising future ahead, but Mike Shanahan and co. do not quite posses the pieces to make a serious run this year.

Bottom of the Barrel 

These teams have already started planning their January vacations.

15.) St. Louis Rams (3-5) – The Rams have one of the most promising defensive front sevens in all of football led by emerging stars Chris Long, James Laurinatis, and Robert Quinn. However, Sam Bradford cannot stay off of his back, and Brian Schottenheimer is their offensive coordinator. Need I say more?

16.) Carolina Panthers (2-6) – Has the league caught on to Cam Newton? It sure seems that way based on the reigning offensive rookie of the year’s rather pedestrian play this season. Newton has thrown for just 6 touchdowns thus far, and has yet to surpass the 2,000 yard mark. General Manager Matt Hurney has already been dismissed of his duties, and more pink slips could certainly trickle down by the end of the year, including one to second year head coach Ron Rivera.