The Jets have been victim to inconsistent quarterback play throughout all of Rex Ryan’s tenure with the team. Mark Sanchez had four years to lock down the job and failed to do so, leading the team to select Geno Smith in the second round of this years NFL draft. Smith, much like many rookie quarterbacks, has had highs and lows all season. It is quite clear he has an NFL caliber arm and above average mobility to make plays, but his decision making and ball security issues have haunted him. While those are the obvious aspects, he has also been put in an erratic environment. Continue reading “Breaking Down The Play: Geno Smith vs. Oakland”
Mike Nolan grades and discusses the New York Jets’ offensive line. Here is his Week 14 look at their performance and a preview for Week 15.
Each week I will be reviewing the coaches’ tape from the previous week’s game and grading out the performance of the New York Jets Offensive Line. This grading process is the same one I use to grade the offensive linemen I have coached at the college and high school levels. To see how I grade click here. To see previous Big Man Reports, click here. Let’s see how the big guys performed in week 14 and take a look at what is waiting for them in week 15.
The Oakland Raiders come into Metlife Stadium on Sunday to face the skidding New York Jets. Both teams have relatively young players starting in key positions, leading to inconsistent play all season. As the Jets playoff hopes continue to fade due to an anemic offense, Oakland is struggling to create a blueprint for their future. Both teams have struggled with inconsistent quarterback play and secondary problems all season, which is often a recipe for disaster. Let’s break down what to watch for in this Sunday afternoon match up. Continue reading “Jets vs Raiders: The Spotlight”
Mike Nolan with an in-depth look at recently signed New York Jets Running Back Mike Goodson.
The New York Jets had a hell of a run this season, an emotional roller coaster that peeked when they hit the 2-0 mark, but came to an abrupt halt with a 34-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders. The loss ended a season that was supposed to see Rex Ryan’s team finally get over the hump to reach that elusive Super Bowl title, which has avoided the franchise since 1969. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case as the organization, fans, and local media members are forced to ponder where it went wrong before the season went down in flames in the Black Hole.
Joe Namath, the face of the franchise, has called out Rex Ryan and his lackadaisical preparation. The coach’s message clearly is falling on deaf ears in the locker room. The 2-1 record is a clear demonstration of that fact. Mark Sanchez, has regressed to a point that even Chad Henne is now considered more talented to him, after the division rival quarterback led his team to a brilliant 0-3 start. The defense is done. The running game is dead. Bury the Ground and Pound with the football they buried after the 45-3 New England loss last year and get ready for plenty of more games like that in the coming years.
This Jets team can’t compete in the stacked AFC anymore. In their own division, they are the third best team behind a Buffalo Bills team that hasn’t lost since the Jets beat them 38-7 in the final game of the 2010 regular season. Since then they have strung together a record breaking 3 game winning streak, winning in dominant fashion the past two weeks. The New England Patriots, who have lost 2 of the last 4 times they took the field in a game that matters, including once to the Jets in their own building to end their season, are also light years ahead of a bumbling Gang Green.
The season can’t go on. Nobody wants to suffer through watching the Jets lie down and take beatings the next four weeks. How could the Jets find a way past the Ravens who managed to get smacked around by a dominant Tennessee Titans team 9 days ago? Why bother to fly to New England, where the Jets haven’t won since the last time they went there? Miami owns the Jets and features Drew Brees Jr. aka Chad Henne under center. The San Diego Chargers never lose in the first half of the year and never lose to the Jets, except in 2009 when the Jets ended their season.
This team has never proven to have character since Rex Ryan has taken over. They don’t fight back. Remember in 2009, after they lost 6 of 7 to fall to 4-6 on the season. What happened? They gave up to finish with a 9-7 record, make the playoffs and win two road playoff games…pathetic.
How about last year after that brutal beat-down in New England, followed by an ugly loss to Miami? Remember how they went into Pittsburgh and won to basically clinch a playoff spot? They actually then had the audacity to end both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady’s season in their own buildings. No heart, no character, no fight. Those comeback victories in Denver, Detroit, Cleveland, and at home versus Houston in 2010…textbook same old Jets.
You would be a fool to think this team has the ability to get up off the mat after such a devastating week 3 regular season loss, where they were so thoroughly outplayed and manhandled that they looked like a Big East team. They only managed a 10 point lead at one point in the contest and were smashed around on a dropped kick return, a broken halfback option pass and reverse, and pass interference penalties.
Rex and the Jets had a nice run but all that is over now. Hand the crown over the Giants in New York. Let New England and Buffalo battle for the crown in the AFC East. Let the Ravens, Steelers, Chargers, Patriots, and Bills fight it out for a AFC Championship.
When it is over, it is over and after that Oakland loss…it is over.
In Oakland, Jets QB Mark Sanchez threw for 369 yards and lost while the Jets defense gave up 15 more points than their 2010 average. In two of three games the Jets have played this season, the personality on both sides of the ball has changed in comparison to that of last year’s AFC championship runner ups. The Jets might want to look at what has occurred in these areas as a warning sign. Before a brutal four game AFC stretch, three of which take place on the road takes place.
On offense, the Jets and coordinator Brian Schottenheimer came out of the gates looking to prove to the league, themselves, their fans, and anyone else, that Mark Sanchez could throw the ball and be trusted. They have thrown it 111 times already compared to 71 rushing attempts so far. Last season though, the team amassed 534 rushing attempts compared to only 525 through the air. Sanchez’s totals have ballooned from his 205 yard per game average in 2010 to 350 yards a game passing against Dallas and Oakland. Yet the Jets are only 1-1 over those two games.
Has the switch to more passing helped in scoring? Barely. The Jets averaged 22 points a game last year in going 11-5. In the two games aforementioned (forget the Jacksonville game for obvious reasons) the Jets have only raised their scoring by a field goal (25.5). This combined with an inability to keep teams out of the end zone has left the Jets with plenty of question marks. Despite having won two of their first three contests.
Rex Ryan’s defense has allowed 58 points against teams who albeit house big play stars such as Tony Romo and Darren McFadden. That’s a 29 points per game average compared to the 19 a game they were giving up in 2010 when they were the league’s third ranked defense. They’ve also yielded 385 yards. A total that is slightly less than a hundred MORE (291 yds given up per game in 2010) yards per game than their average total last season. A reality that does NOT portray the Jets defense as a unit who opposing teams with weapons, are playing in fear of.
It is clear that the Jets Ground and Pound of 2009 has morphed into the “run and screen” game with LaDainian Tomlinson as the feature outside of the hashes. It’s also apparent that the Jets are still developing the relationship between Sanchez and his new WR corps while featuring the emerging TE Dustin Keller within it.
The problem lies in how to blend the two together.
The Jets led 17-7 into the late second quarter Sunday based on a shrewd gameplan that incorporated the screen game with a rushing attack that finally took the ball outside of the hashes. However in the second half things changed. The Jets looked downfield more often and payed for it.
When asked to protect Sanchez for longer pass routes, a makeshift offensive line that included rookie C Colin Baxter and a struggling Wayne Hunter, began to collapse. Why the sudden switch from the matriculation that was paying off? The Raiders came into the game ranked 27th against the run. Surely it seemed as though it would have been worth testing to see if they had worn down at all after getting hit hard and burned by RB Shonn Greene early on.
The reason may be twofold.
Perhaps Oakland adjusted their style on defense at halftime. If so, hats off to Raiders coach Hue Jackson and his staff. The other scenario, a frightening one for the Jets could be that Gang Green is still trying to figure their approach out when they have the ball. Looking to find ways to spread the ball around, give Sanchez more responsibility, while regaining their running prowess, all at the same time.
Not having three time All Pro stalwart Nick Mangold certainly altered the initial offensive game plan yesterday. Still, The Jets must take the positives they see on film from Sunday in the run game and now devise a plan for how and where to attack with Greene and company.
The defense has ten returning starters from last year’s top five unit but must slow down fast teams that are scoring and gaining more than they did when they truly were the top five unit that Ryan would brag about on a weekly basis. As of right now, teams are not respecting the Jets defense in the way that they respect themselves. The numbers so far are proving that. They don’t add up.
For the Rex Ryan Jets the mantras aren’t matching the play. There is no more “Ground and Pound.” The defense has not smothered the good teams yet.
Amidst the search for consistency, the Jets still remain mentally tough. Often finding ways to win late in games as they did against the Cowboys in the opener and many times throughout 2010. Almost climbing back into the game during the waning moments in the Black Hole as well. Regardless of the need to tighten up the nuts and bolts, the Jets, as October approaches, have put themselves in position to still get where they want to go.
At 2-1, there should be no cause for panic. This solid but imperfect start in the standings should be seen a lift off point. With a little correction and adjustment time mixed in. However, if the Jets don’t keep a close eye on the guidelines and winning formula that they have set for themselves on paper over the past few years, then they may take on a personality that is truly not who they are. Or who they want to be.
TJ Rosenthal: Jets Win if: The makeshift line holds up long enough for Mark Sanchez to work the short passing game. Sanchez will throw for 250 plus yards on the day the Jets will offset the loss of Nick Mangold with the addition of the “Wildcat” some Joe McKnight, and more unpredictability in the Jets run game as far as the point of attack is concerned. The Jets secondary will continue their hot start with another handful of interceptions. FINAL: 23-17 JETS
Raiders Win if: The loss of Mangold becomes too much for the Jets to overcome. Backup C Colin Baxter gets beat in crucial moments. The lack of confidence and mutual trust by the makeshift O line up leads to too many false starts. QB Mark Sanchez tries to do too much, and is picked off three plus times. The ground game remains pedestrian. Darren McFadden gashes a tired Jets defense that is on the field too long too many times. FINAL: 31-20 RAIDERS
Chris Celletti: The Jets need to be careful here. West coast trip, no Nick Mangold, two BIG road games coming up after, and Oakland’s home opener? To quote the great (kidding) Mike Francesa, It will NOT be easy. I think the Jets will be able to handle the Raiders’ offense for the most part, but will struggle to run the ball without Nick Mangold at center. The Jets should be able to exploit some mismatches on the outside with Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes, as long as Brian Schottenheimer has his head on straight. I think the Jets will be able to make enough plays in the passing game to get by, and will win in a game that is decided late in the fourth quarter.
Justin Fritze: Colin Baxter is not the name you want to hear today. The Jets will be forced to test the run and play action their way to two touchdowns. I see this one going to the wire in a 21-17 penalty filled game that will finally legitimize the Jets as one of the top 5 teams in the league. Dustin Keller will have a few good catches, look for Santonio and Plaxico to get involved early with a few shots down the field.
Rob Celletti: The superstitious side of me says that it’s a bad idea to keep picking the Jets to win every week, but this is part of getting used to the Jets actually being a team that should expect to win almost every single week. And so I’ll take the Jets in this one, 23-13. The consensus this week seems to be that the Jets should be able to throw for a bunch of yards on the Oakland secondary, and while proclamations like this usually lead to unmet expectations, I think it’ll happen. The matchups just seem right, though I am worried about the makeshift offensive line’s ability to protect Mark Sanchez. I think the Jets will contain Darren McFadden for the most part and force Jason Campbell into some turnovers by not only pressuring, but also confusing the quarterback with different coverage looks. Campbell does have a huge arm, so the Jets need to be mindful of the deep ball. The Raiders will move the ball but mostly be forced into field goal attempts. The Jets will kick more field goals than you’d like to see, but will do enough to secure their 3rd victory of the year.
The term “must win” is thrown around far too often in the NFL, yet I am going to take the same liberty many others take with it and proclaim the Jets “must” win their upcoming week 3 road game against the Oakland Raiders.
We aren’t blind, the following two games are on the road against the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots. Nobody is more confident in this team than myself but coming off a long trip to Oakland, I think any realistic person would sign up for a split of those games. A win in Oakland would allow the Jets to come out of their most difficult three game stretch with a 4-1 record facing two home games, a bye week, and a very manageable final nine games that includes games against the Chiefs, Broncos, Giants, Dolphins, and two games against the Bills. (Yes, I am aware Buffalo is better this year but the Jets will appropriately be favorites in both of their match-ups).
Oakland is an improved football team but let’s not go crazy. They are a substantial cut below the Ravens and Patriots. They beat the Broncos in a tight game to start the season and then blew a large second half lead against Buffalo. Darren McFadden is a beast but the Jets know a thing or two about stopping the run and Jason Campbell doesn’t have the weapons in the passing game to handle Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Oakland’s defense is tough on the run but highly susceptible to the pass, as they were shredded apart by Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. If you can’t cover Stevie Johnson and David Nelson, you can’t cover Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller, never mind Plaxico Burress.
If the Jets consider themselves an elite team in this league they will handle business this week. If you want to win the AFC East there is no room for losses at Oakland. It is going to take 12 or maybe even 13 wins to take the AFC East this year, which makes the margin for error razor thin. It is time for this team to win their division, get a bye and a host a playoff game. You want that to become a reality? Don’t lay an egg to the Raiders this week.
First a few updates:
1. Jets safety Eric Smith signed his one-year tender today as a restricted free agent. Smith is expected to compete with Brodney Pool, James Ihedigbo, and any other player the Jets may add at the safety position through the draft or free agency for the starting role opposite Jim Leonhard. Smith has grown on me but I still don’t think he has the skill set to be a full time starter. He is a better fit as a role player on defense, like being used as a blitzer and in coverage on tight ends or running backs in certain packages. Smith is also a pretty good special teams player.
2. Some thoughts on other NFL moves– I am not sure what Pete Carroll and the Seahawks see in Charlie Whitehurst but I can’t believe what they gave up to acquire him and how much they are paying him, considering he has never played an NFL snap…I don’t know who has a worse quarterback battle this year, the Browns (Jake Delhomme vs Seneca Wallace vs Brett Ratliff) or the Bills (Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Trent Edwards vs Brian Brohm), who remembers the days of Chad Pennington vs Patrick Ramsey vs Kellen Clemens vs Brooks Bollinger?…I find it funny that Chad Henne, who has started 13 career NFL games and has 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, along with a career 75.2 QB Rating, thinks he is qualified to say that Tim Tebow isn’t a NFL quarterback…I think Anquan Boldin is going to have a monster year for the Ravens…Derek Anderson will be starting by week five over Matt Leinart…Hey Oakland, you have a problem with your franchise quarterback when you are bragging about him “slimming down” to 271 pounds.
3. The Jets off-season program begins on Monday, apparently there is some concern about Braylon Edwards showing up since he hasn’t signed his tender yet. All I know is that Edwards better get to Florham Park, find a jugs machine and get to work. Couldn’t you see Mike Tannenbaum findng out Edwards didn’t show up, and working out a trade for Brandon Marshall in about an hour?
4. The talk about Laveranues Coles returning to the Jets has quieted down for a few days, yet it is still a move I wouldn’t mind seeing the Jets make. As long as Coles can swallow his pride and accept his role, he would be a perfect fit as a #3/slot receiver.
5. Remember there are other sections to the website besides the home page. We have the “2010 Draft” Section, which includes a comprehensive list of players the Jets could target (courtesy of www.thejetsblog.com), a list of all their draft picks, and the top five players at each position. We have the “2009 highlights” Section, which includes multiple highlight tapes of the Jets past season. We have also have the updated depth chart, statistics from last year, the Jets 2010 opponents…and of course, the About The Author page.
6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 75 fans away from 300.
Why The Jets Must Be On Hard Knocks
I have always been a big fan of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which documents a NFL team’s training camp experience. It is a fascinating and highly entertaining look inside the dynamics of a NFL roster and coaching staff. After watching every episode covering the Bengals last year, all I could think throughout this past wild Jets season was how perfect they would be for Hard Knocks. Sure enough, it was recently reported the Jets are a serious candidate for the show, which makes sense for so many reasons that it would be a crime to the entertainment industry if they weren’t chosen.
First off, look at all the television shows you are getting rolled into one by featuring the Jets (please have a sense of humor and don’t criticize me for being insensitive, obviously TOJ is pulling for Rex to get healthier, etc):
- The Biggest Loser – Rex Ryan is an overweight NFL coach attempting to lose weight, so much so that he decided to have lap band surgery this past off-season. Watch Ryan fight the temptations as the players around him stuff massive amounts of food down their throat in-between practices, couldn’t you see a distraught Ryan after the offense scores on his defense during a two-minute drill racing up to his emergency stash of KFC, while Mike Pettine and Brian Schottenheimer attempt to hold him back?
- Entourage – Instead of having a bunch of east coast guys follow their friend out to the west coast, we could watch a bunch of west coast guys follow their friend (Mark Sanchez, of course) out to the east coast. This is an even better fit since Sanchez looks exactly like Vinny Chase. The only problem is that the Jets hold training camp in Cortland and Sanchez’s hometown buddies likely won’t be accompanying him to upstate New York. Regardless, it would still be entertaining to watch Sanchez, Erik Ainge (as Johnny Drama), Dustin Keller (as E), and Braylon Edwards (as Turtle) enjoy that Cortland night life and sweep upstate New York ladies off their feet,
- Antonio Cromartie Plus 8 – Since TLC cancelled Jon and Kate plus eight for various reasons, Antonio Cromartie and his seven kids could step up to fill the void. Yes, I know I put plus 8 but considering Cromartie’s rate of procreating, bumping the number up to 8 is a safet bet.
- The Late Show With Bart Scott – Scott runs his mouth enough to carry on a monologue for an entire hour…no guests would even be needed.
- Iron Chef 77 – We all know Big Jinx loves to cook and who is going to be brave enough to tell him he didn’t put together the best meal?
Second, look at all the terrific plot lines you have going on with the Jets team this upcoming season, there will be more going on than an episode of LOST and no time travel, alternate time lines, smoke monster, 4 toed statues, or polar bears would even be needed:
- Braylon Edwards dealing with irony of being a wide receiver who can’t catch…The camera could watch him in front of the jugs machine taking one off the nose every 5 minutes.
- LaDainian Tomlinson attempting to handle not being the most popular running back on his team anymore…The camera could watch him sulk to himself as Shonn Greene and Leon Washington rack up big plays against the Jets defense in practice and then in pre-season games.
- Vernon Gholston standing at 6 foot 3, 265 pounds, running a 4.4 forty, being able to bench 675 pounds…yet not being capable of recording a single sack or meaningful tackle, the audience could watch in awe as he aimlessly runs around the field and collects 6 million dollars from the Jets.
- Dwight Lowery watching and re-watching footage of the AFC Championship Game as he slowly drives himself insane, while muttering “Garcon” to himself.
Beyond all of this the Jets have the best corner in football. The work of Darrelle Revis should be documented for all defensive backs to learn from. The same thing goes for Nick Mangold, who is the best center in football and of course could also throw in an advertisement for the shampoo he uses to keep that long hair going strong. You have Washington and Jenkins battling back from injury, a 82 year old fullback named Tony Richardson who is still a beast lead blocker, Calvin Pace giving advice on what supplements to take, and Shaun Ellis running a D.A.R.E. program.
How could you not choose the Jets? C’mon now, HBO.
Get Rex On Camera
Ten Final Thoughts On Jets/Raiders
1, Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, and Lito Sheppard all won’t be playing on Sunday. In terms of wide receiver, David Clowney will make his second straight start with Wallace Wright sliding into the #3 spot. Danny Woodhead will also be available off the bench. I would expect the Jets to call some early quick passes to Clowney to get him involved. Mark Sanchez must look to other receivers beside Braylon Edwards to keep the Raiders secondary honest. Dwight Lowery will start for Lito Sheppard, which is fine since he has been better than him this year anyway. Donald Strickland is expected to return to the nickel role.
2. The Jets will be wearing their white away Titans jersey this Sunday. Hopefully, the new colors will bring some better luck and end this losing streak.
3. Rex Ryan commented that he doesn’t expect the Raiders to utilize the Wildcat often this weekend, especially with Darren McFadden out. Interestingly enough, he stated the Raiders may see a good amount of it from the Jets this weekend. With Brad Smith out, Shonn Greene is taking his usual spot in the Jets “Seminole” aka their verison of the Wildcat package. They have struggled out of it the past few weeks, so Brian Schottenheimer may need to add a few more wrinkles.
4. Interesting article on Football Outsiders here: http://footballoutsiders.com/walkthrough/2009/walkthrough-interventions which breaks down Sanchez’s struggles against the Bills. This article absolves Brian Schottenheimer of some of the blame for Sunday and also points out how the Jets have been hurt by their injuries at receiver.
5. Wide receiver Chaz Schilens is expected to return to the line-up for Oakland this weekend, potentially replacing Darius Heyward-Bey as a starter. Oakland is high on Schilens and he could be a guy the Jets need to keep their eyes on.
6. If the Jets lose to Oakland this weekend, not only will they fall behind them in the wild card race. They are going to fall two games behind New England who will beat Tampa Bay in London. They also risk falling behind Miami and Buffalo. The Saints are walking into an obvious trap game in Miami, coming off an emotional win and playing a team off a bye week. Buffalo is playing the Panthers, who have struggled about as much as they have this season.
7. I think we can all see a huge game coming for both Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. As I have said earlier this week, they should combine for 40-45 carries. However, Oakland knows how often the Jets are going to be running meaning there are going to be openings in the passing game. Mark Sanchez might only throw 15-18 passes but he needs to make them count. The potential for big plays is going to be there and guys like David Clowney and Dustin Keller need to beat single coverage to help their rookie quarterback out.
8. I know everybody loves Danny Woodhead but I wouldn’t expect to see him on offense. The guy just moved to receiver two weeks ago.
9. Bart Scott needs a big game on defense. The Madbacker has been awfully quiet the past two games and need to provide some big plays. David Harris has been an all-pro this season, while Scott has only been average.
10. This is going to be a close, hard fought, low scoring game. If the Jets can win the turnover battle, they will be in good shape to pull out a tight victory.
Turn On The Jets TV Episode 7