The Reality Of Peyton Manning To The New York Jets

TOJ on the reality of Peyton Manning to the New York Jets

We might as well get this out of the way now. Let’s talk about Peyton Manning and the New York Jets by starting with a few clear realities –

1. Peyton Manning isn’t going back to Indianapolis.

2. It remains up in the air whether or not Manning is going to be healthy enough to play this year or ever again.

3. If Manning is medically cleared for the 2012 season, the New York Jets will absolutely explore the option of signing him.

You are kidding yourself if you think Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan aren’t going to do their due diligence on Manning if he is available and healthy. It would be negligent for them not to.

Before we even examine if it is smart for the Jets to sign Manning. First, you have to answer if he would even want to come here. From what we have heard Arizona, Miami, and Washington are all viable options for him as well. Arizona offers warm weather, Larry Fitzgerald, and a team that played very well down the stretch last year. Miami also offers warm weather and a team that played very well down the stretch, along with a new head coach who will embrace a pass heavy system. Washington has a Super Bowl winning head coach and a very capable defense. I would say the Jets have an equal or maybe slightly lower, and definitely not higher chance of getting Manning than either of those three teams.

The outside perception of the Jets right now is that they are in complete disarray in the locker room. I doubt that scares Manning entirely off but does he really want to come to a cold weather team and share New York with his little brother? Could he handle being paired with a personality like Rex Ryan? What about new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, who wants to predominantly run the football?

From the Jets side of things, if you don’t think there is a recipe for potential disaster in signing a quarterback of Manning’s age with neck issues you haven’t been watching the past 40 years. Beyond that, forget Ground and Pound or anything Sparano wanted to implement, this becomes Manning’s offense, which means you now have dueling philosophies between Manning and Ryan.

For as great as Manning has been, he hasn’t played in a full season. It would be silly to assume he will come back and immediately be 100 percent of the player he used to be.

You will also be saying good-bye to Mark Sanchez. The Jets won’t be sitting on his salary alongside Manning’s and by bringing in Manning they are throwing in the towel on Sanchez as their franchise quarterback. He isn’t going from starting for three years to sitting on the bench on a first round draft pick’s salary to serve as an apprentice under Manning. So if Manning injuries himself or does the Favre one and done, you are back to square one in finding a quarterback.

Ultimately, everything I wrote above is to point the ignored the negatives in the hysteria of potentially adding one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. In reality, I’d say Manning to the Jets has about a 5% chance of happening. If it does happen and he is healthy, would I be excited about the potential of it? You are damn right I would be. Yet, we would not know the answer on whether or not it was the right decision until Manning got through a whole season and took the Jets to and past the AFC Championship Game and that is a hell of an if.

For whatever Mark Sanchez and the Ground and Pound is, it has gotten the Jets within a few plays of the Super Bowl two of the last three years. If Manning Ball can’t get them past that, then it will always be viewed as the wrong decision.

What I want to see is the Jets front office making football decisions, not media decisions. It was a media decision to sign Brett Favre and it failed. It was a media decision to bring in Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason, while letting Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery walk and it failed. The chase of Nnamdi Asomugha was a media decision and it failed while hurting the Jets off-season last year. Football decisions this year would seem to be based around building a stronger offensive line, rushing attack, and split end option for Mark Sanchez coupled with a ball hawking safety and a pass rusher for the defense. A media decision would seem to be adding Manning at all costs, so you could see why I am skeptical.

TOJ NFL Power Rankings – Wild Card Weekend

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Finally, the NFL playoffs are here…here is how TOJ sees the 12 teams ranking heading into Wild-Card Weekend, along a few more thoughts on Jets/Colts and the other match-ups –

1. New England Patriots – The unquestioned favorite to win the Super Bowl, New England couldn’t be any hotter at the moment. I have to think the Patriots would love to see the Jets coming back into their building and will be hoping to avoid the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round.

2. Atlanta Falcons – The other number one seed will have a tough road to reach the Super Bowl, likely starting with either New Orleans or Green Bay.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers – A much needed week off for them to rest injured players. You have to wonder if their offensive line can hold up for a Super Bowl run.

4. Chicago Bears – The least talked about team with a bye as a serious Super Bowl contender. However, Chicago will be tough to beat in their building if Jay Cutler is on his game and their pass rush remains active.

5. Baltimore Ravens – Ray Rice has picked it up over the last month and they will need him leading the way on offense, if they want to win the road games necessary to reach the Super Bowl.

6. New Orleans Saints – The defending champs won’t have their home field advantage from a year ago but are still a team nobody in the NFC wants to see coming into their building.

7. Philadelphia Eagles – Everybody is a little down on the Eagles from the previous few weeks but they are too explosive on offense to ignore as a very legitimate Super Bowl contender.

8. Green Bay Packers – They are playing well at the right time and are going to be a handful for any team they face. Yet, being so one dimensional on offense could haunt them this time of the year.

9. Indianapolis Colts – Nobody in the AFC South took advantage of a down year from the Colts who still found a way to 10 wins and a division title.

10. New York Jets – They actually are a lower seed than they were a year before despite having 2 more wins.

11. Kansas City Chiefs – All the makings of a one and done team.

12. Seattle Seahawks – 7-9, yuck.

New Orleans at Seattle – You could talk about the long trip New Orleans has to take and how loud Seattle’s crowd is all you want but at the end of the day, the Saints are a significantly better team in every way imaginable. It is honestly hard to see this game even being entertaining into the second half. However, this is the NFL and crazier things have happened than a 7-9 team potentially led by Charlie Whitehurst knocking off Drew Brees and the defending champs.

Jets at Indianapolis – It is nice to see the early overwhelming confidence of the football world in the Colts. The Jets fit better into the underdog role anyway. This match-up isn’t sitting as badly with me as it did a few weeks ago, especially after watching the Colts against the Titans yesterday. It would be a big step in Rex Ryan’s coaching career if he could knock off Peyton Manning in playoff game. I do know this, one and done is absolutely considered a failure for the Jets season with all the hype around the team.

Baltimore at Kansas City – I have a very tough time seeing the Chiefs being ready to knock off an experienced team like Ravens, despite being at home. It is too easy to picture Ray Rice having a big day and Baltimore’s defense rising to the occasion to limit Jamal Charles and Dwayne Bowe’s production.

Green Bay at Philadelphia – It is between this and Jets/Colts as the best game of the weekend. This should be a fun one, where there won’t be a shortage of points. I could really see this going either way, especially if Green Bay’s blitz gets after Mike Vick early and often.

Initial Thoughts On Jets/Colts – Time For Revenge

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We say it all the time here at Turn On The Jets, when it comes to our team…it is never easy. Instead of getting to face the inexperienced Kansas City Chiefs in the first round, the Jets are now slated to travel into Indianapolis to face Peyton Manning, the same site where their season ended only a year ago.

The best player on the field this Saturday night will be Manning and he has the ability to completely take over a game, as we know all too well. However, the Jets are a better team than they were last year when the Colts knocked them out and the Colts aren’t as good of a team. Mark Sanchez should be heading into this game with tons of confidence, considering how well he played in Indianapolis in last year’s playoffs. I’d like to see the Jets have plenty of Shonn Greene heading north and south on the Colts defense, which is built on speed not size, which will also help keep Peyton Manning off the field.

A run first approach should open up down the field play action passing to Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, who will both have favorable match-ups on the outside. In terms of the Jets defense, they are catching a huge break with Austin Collie and Dallas Clark being out of the line-up. However, Jacob Tamme is still a threat and the Colts seem to have an ability to roll receivers through and still get production. Antonio Cromartie should handle Pierre Garcon better than Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery did in the past and Darrelle Revis should match-up with Reggie Wayne.

The road to the Super Bowl is going to require beating the two best quarterbacks in the NFL, in their building. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but hey for the second year in a row, when the playoffs come around…this is a Jets town.

Who Is The Team To Beat In The AFC?

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Also subscribe to the newly created YouTube page. I am happy to say our comment issue has been resolved as you can see, so any comment you leave on an article will be promptly posted.

2. Just a reminder that the Jets rookies report to training camp on July 29th in Cortland, New York. The veterans report on August 1st. The first episode of Hard Knocks is August 11th. The first pre-season game is August 16th against the Giants.

Who Is The Team To Beat In The AFC?

As training camp rapidly approaches let’s look at the four divisions in the AFC and what teams are most likely to come out of them and compete for a playoff spot and a Super Bowl.

AFC East

Favorite – I know it is shocking that the writer for Turn On The Jets is going to say the Jets are the favorite to win the AFC East, yet at the end of last season they were the best team in the division and they had the best overall off-season. Nobody is saying they are going to run away with this thing. It is going to be a dog fight with both the Dolphins and Patriots (likely more with the Dolphins). However, the Jets have the most overall talent on their roster and were less than a half away from a Super Bowl appearance last season. The addition of Antonio Cromartie, Brodney Pool, Jason Taylor, Kyle Wilson, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Santonio Holmes is only going to help that cause, along with the continued growth of Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene. Their defense will also improve from the familiarity the eight returning starters will now have with Rex Ryan’s system.

Primary Competitor – I am going with the Dolphins over the Patriots in this spot. Brandon Marshall will help give them some much needed balance on offense and a legit big play threat. Karlos Dansby and Jared Odrick were solid additions to their defense. However, I’m still not sold on their defense as an overall unit yet and I don’t know if Ronnie Brown can stay healthy or if Ricky Williams has another year like last season left in him. They also lack a proven option opposite Marshall at receiver, so when he loses himself on Revis Island, who will Miami turn to?

In The Mix – I am not counting out Tom Brady and Bill Belichick but the Patriots are looking like a 8-8 or 9-7 team to me right now. What did they do this off-season to make sure they don’t catch a swift beatdown from teams like the Ravens in 2010? Maybe I am putting too much stock in one game but I am not exactly worried about the additions of Torry Holt or Alge Crumpler. They have some young players with potential on offense who could step up but their defense isn’t what it used to be and is lacking on overall talent. Also, their offensive line isn’t the brick wall it used to be and they still don’t have anybody who is anything near being called a lead running back.

Circling The Wagons…In Basement – Trent Edwards. Brian Brohm. Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 2010 Buffalo Bills, everybody. I am sorry but who are their receivers beside Lee Evans and who is going to block for their UFL collection of quarterbacks and actually high quality trio of running backs?

AFC North

Favorite – The Baltimore Ravens have the potential to be scary good this season, if Joe Flacco can play more consistently and take advantage of the additions of Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth. Ray Rice is a superstar in the making and you know their defense will be good. So yes, week 1 is going to be a hell of a test for the Jets and a potential preview of the AFC Championship Game.

Primary Competitor – Don’t sleep on the Cincinnati Bengals this year. Many people are picking them as the team least likely to return to the playoffs but they can run the ball, play defense, and had a good off-season. Antonio Bryant is a major upgrade over Laveranues Coles at receiver opposite Chad Ochocinco Johnson and the selection of Jermaine Gresham in the draft gives them a much needed pass catching tight end. They also swept the Ravens last year.

In The Mix – Let’s see what kind of job Byron Leftwich does holding the fort down until Ben Rothlisberger returns and how quickly Rothlisberger can get acclimated after he returns. Pittsburgh can survive the subtraction of Santonio Holmes because Mike Wallace is going to be a very good player but is their defense going to improve from last season, especially at the end of games?

Fun Times In Cleveland Again – Those poor Cleveland fans. I can’t imagine having to root for the Indians, Browns, and Cavs for the next few years.

AFC South

PhotobucketFavorite – The Colts are the favorite for the division and the conference until somebody knocks them off. Peyton Manning might complete 80 percent of his passes this year with Antony Gonzalez returning to support Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, and Dallas Clark. You can ask the same questions we always ask about their defense and running game but chances are they are going to be right there competing for a first round bye again.

Primary Competitor – I hate drinking the Texans kool-aid because everybody hypes them up every season and they never seriously challenge for a division title or make the playoffs. This roster has plenty of talent and maybe if their kicker can make a meaningful attempt this year, they can finally break through and play football in January.

In The Mix – Chris Johnson is the most electric playmaker in the NFL and Vince Young is always capable of making his share of big plays. Beyond that, Jeff Fisher is a great coach which means the Titans will be right in the mix for a playoff spot in 2010. I don’t know if they can make the jump to compete with the Colts for a AFC South title though.

Actually Not That Bad – The Jaguars somewhat exceeded expectations last year and added a few quality pieces to their defense. They are far from the doormat the Bills, Browns, and Chiefs and should be competitive in the division. They will likely finish last but could still win 7 or 8 games.

AFC West

Favorite – The Chargers should take advantage of playing in a weak division and roll to another division title. Hopefully, they bring their run defense into the New Meadowlands for a playoff battle against the Jets.

Primary Competitor – They don’t really fit the category as a competitor but I think the Oakland Raiders will end up in second place in this muddled division. Jason Campbell will bring much needed stability to the quarterback position and Michael Bush has the potential to be a quality lead back. Their defense has talent at all three levels with Richard Seymour, Rolando McClain, and Nnamdi Asomugha. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the NFL’s punchline win 8 games this year.

In The Mix – I am not really sold on any moves the Denver Broncos made this off-season and don’t see how they improved from the 8-8 team they were last season.

Poor Thomas Jones – I still wish Thomas Jones was on board with the green and white this season instead of playing for the Chiefs, who likely struggle to win 5 games this season.

As of today, if I had to list the order of probability of AFC teams making the playoffs (not a power ranking, just the likelihood of team making playoffs):

  1. Colts
  2. Chargers
  3. Ravens
  4. Jets
  5. Bengals
  6. Dolphins
  7. Patriots
  8. Texans
  9. Titans
  10. Steelers
  11. Raiders
  12. Jaguars
  13. Broncos
  14. Browns
  15. Chiefs
  16. Bills

And So It Ends: Colts – 30 Jets – 17

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Similar to 1998, the Jets were 30 minutes away from the Super Bowl and similar to 1998 they ended up losing by 13 points. The Colts proved to be the better team today as a locked in Peyton Manning targeted and abused Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman. It wasn’t about Dallas Clark or Reggie Wayne who the Jets did a good job on, it was about Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie abusing the Jets secondary. After an early two sacks, the Jets pass rush disappeared and with no pressure in his face, Manning beat up on the Jets defense.

On offense, the Jets moved the ball well throughout the day but were victimized by two missed field goals and a 3rd quarter injury to Shonn Greene. I love Thomas Jones but he looks like he just might be about done. The major positive from the day? Our rookie quarterback going on the road and having one hell of a performance. Mark Sanchez racked up 257 passing yards and two touchdowns. He stood in the pocket all day, avoided getting sacked (major credit to the Jets offensive line) and completed an array of difficult passes. I don’t think anybody with half a brain will be comparing him to JaMarcus Russell anytime soon.

Is the future bright for this team? Absolutely. However, that doesn’t really mean much today. Beyond that, you never know what could happen in the NFL to prevent bright futures from occurring. Remember 1999?

In the end, this team put together a great year and has given us plenty to be optimistic about for the upcoming years. Let all Jets haters get their shots in the next few days because they are bitter their teams didn’t accomplish as much as the Jets this year or their futures aren’t looking as bright (unless they are Colts, Saints, or Vikings fans…well at this point, maybe not Vikings fans). The Jets will regroup, get Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington back (remember them?) improve their cornerback position, add a pass rusher, and be ready to compete for a AFC East title next year…so maybe we could be the home team in AFC Championship Game next year.

It has been a great time covering the Jets this seaon and after a few more days of Jets/Colts coverage (and a brief vacation) we will be in off-season mode.

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Watch the new episode of TOJ TV at the top and bottom of the article.

2. Kerry Rhodes and Shaun Ellis both practiced today and will be in the starting line-ups on Sunday.

3. www.thejetsblog.com has good coverage of the pep rally in Times Square yesterday, with video and photos from the event.

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Prediction

I think the entire “NFL is a passing league and you win by throwing the ball” argument is complete BS. There is a reason Ben Rothlisberger has won more Super Bowls than Peyton Manning and Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, and Eli Manning have won the same amount. Look at the past ten 10 Super Bowl Champs: The Patriots won three when they were built on a strong defense and their running game, instead of their passing game. Do you remember the Patriots receiving core during their Super Bowl victories? Exactly. When they became a team built around a prolific passing offense, they  lost in the Super Bowl to a Giants team with a big time defense and a big time running game. The Ravens, Bucs, Steelers, and Giants all won because of their defense and running game, not because of their ability to throw the ball. Even when the Rams were the Greatest Show On Turf, they ran the ball well with Marshall Faulk.

Yes, I know the Colts did a win Super Bowl in 2006. They deserve credit, yet they took advantage of a weak AFC Playoff field (including a below average 10-6 Jets team and a weak 9-7 Chiefs team), an overachieving New England team, and a choke artist San Diego team and beat a not so memorable Chicago team in the Super Bowl. However, do you remember how poorly Peyton Manning played in those first two playoff games? He threw 5 INT’s and 1 TD and continued his crappy play into the first half of the AFC Championship Game before locking into a scary zone, playing an awesome second half and leading the Colts pass the Patriots. How did the Colts win the Super Bowl that year? They won because their defense and running game stepped up. They won because they allowed a combined 14 points in their first two playoff games and they had success running the football. They won in the Super Bowl because their top two backs combined for 190 yards.

This Colts team is carried by one thing: the excellence of Peyton Manning. Yes, they have great defensive ends and fast linebackers but overall their defense is only average (18th overall in total defense, 24th in rushing defense, and 14th in pass defense). They have the worst rushing game in the NFL. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are great players but Wayne is going to meet his match this weekend and Clark…well I hope Rex Ryan has something schemed up for Clark. The Colts are 15-0 this year when they play all their starters the full game, which is impressive as hell. Yet, this isn’t the 2007 Patriots who blew out everyone in every game (and remember how their season ended when they faced a team who could hit them in the mouth on both sides of the ball), this is a team who won 8 games that were decided by one possession or less, which is why you are crazy if you took the 7.5 points they are favored this week.

I think their magic in close games runs out this week. I think the team who runs the football and plays defense is going to the Super Bowl. I think there is something going on with this Jets team. The football gods are smiling on the smash mouth team who plays old school football and not the team who spit in the face of history by pulling their starters the final two weeks but then decided to throw a bunch of screen passes to make sure their top two receivers finished with 100 catches each. The Colts created a monster when they pulled their starters in week 16 and this week that monster is going into their building and killing their season.

Jets – 23 Colts – 20

New TOJ TV

Scouting The Colts From a Jets Perspective

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First a few updates:

1. Kind of a slow news day so far today, we won’t hear from Rex Ryan until tomorrow at 1:30. I caught Jerricho Cotchery’s interview on WFAN this morning and he talked about the Jets playing the LaDanian Tomlinson electric slide video on the plane ride home, which is pretty funny stuff. He also said he stayed up until 1 AM after the Falcons game, figuring out all the playoff scenarios that existed for the Jets. I remember the day after that game spending an hour on the phone with my friend Sean, who was sitting in front of the Yahoo Playoff Generator and going through every scenario that still existed for them making the playoffs and thinking it was amazing how they still had a somewhat realistic shot if they could beat Colts, and well you know the rest…

2. Bart Scott was on the NFL Network last night and was very respectful towards the Colts and didn’t say anything inflammatory. The basic gist of what he said was the Colts were a better team than the Jets but it didn’t matter if the Jets found a way to be a better team for three hours on Sunday.

3. There has been some stuff written about Jets fans/players being superstitious during our recent winning streak. Sanchez started this off in his press conference by talking about keeping his playoff beard, sticking to the same restaurants, and same clothes all week. I took a gamble wild-card weekend and watched the game in hostile territory at my friend’s house, divisional weekend I was back to my traditional spot locked away in my room back in Jersey. Looking back I have had a high amount success in Jersey, actually here is how my record breaks down this year (yes I had some free time in class)

  • Home in Jersey (6-1)
  • At the Game (2-3)
  • Apartment in Pennsylvania (2-3)
  • Friend’s House (1-0)

This weekend, I will be heading down to my cousin’s house in central jersey to watch the game surrounded by three die-hard Jets fans. We agreed if the Jets ever had a chance to make a Super Bowl in our lifetime we would gather to watch it and hence I will be off to Manalapan on Sunday morning. I wore my Revis jersey wild-card weekend. I wore my Cotchery jersey divisional weekend. I haven’t decided what to wear yet this weekend…big choice.

Scouting The Colts From a Jets Perspective

COLTS OFFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

  • Quarterback: Peyton Manning – 393/571, 4500 yards, 33 TDs, 16 INTs, 99.9 QB Rating
  • Running Back: Joseph Addai – 219 carries, 828 yards, 10 TDs, 336 receiving yards, 3 TDs
  • Running Back: Donald Brown – 78 carries, 281 yards, 3 TDs, 169 receiving yards
  • Wide Receiver: Reggie Wayne – 100 receptions, 1264 yards, 10 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Pierre Garcon – 47 receptions, 765 yards, 4 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Austin Collie – 60 receptions, 676 yards, 7 TDs
  • Tight End: Dallas Clark – 100 receptions, 1106 yards, 10 TDs
  • Tight End: Tom Santi – 8 receptions, 107 yards
  • Left Tackle: Charlie Johnson
  • Left Guard: Ryan Lilja
  • Center: Jeff Saturday
  • Right Guard: Kyle DeVan
  • Right Tackle: Ryan Diem

COLTS DEFENSIVE STARTERS/KEY RESERVES

  • Defensive End: Robert Mathis – 37 tackles, 9.5 sacks
  • Defensive Tackle: Antonio Johnson – 34 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive Tackle: Daniel Muir – 52 tackles
  • Defensive Tackle: Raheem Brock – 32 tackles, 3.5 sacks
  • Defensive Tackle: Eric Foster – 38 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Defensive End: Dwight Freeney – 24 tackles, 13.5 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Phillip Wheeler – 61 tackles, 1 sack
  • Middle Linebacker: Gary Brackett – 99 tackles, 1 sack
  • Outside Linebacker: Clint Session – 103 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Linebacker: Freddy Keiaho – 38 tackles, 1 sack
  • Linebacker: Ramon Humber – 32 tackles
  • Linebacker: Tyjuan Hagler – 26 tackles
  • Corner: Jacob Lacey – 85 tackles, 3 INTs
  • Corner: Jerraud Powers – 66 tackles, 1 INT
  • Corner: Kelvin Hayden – 5o tackles, 1 INT
  • Corner: Jaime Silva – 30 tackles
  • Safety: Melvin Bullitt – 77 tackles
  • Safety: Antoine Bethea – 95 tackles, 4 INTs
  • Safety: Tim Jennings – 57 tackles, 2 INTs

COLTS SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Matt Stover – 9/11 FGs
  • Punter: Pat McAfee – 44.3 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: Chad Simpson – 23.6 per kick return, 1 TD
  • Punt Return: T.J. Rushing – 5.7 per punt return

PhotobucketThoughts On Match-Up: Obviously, the Colts are scary on offense but scary in a different way than the Chargers were. San Diego had the ability to chew up huge chunks of yards and always hit the big play in the passing or screen game. The Colts have that capability but they are more likely to systematically move down the field, chew up clock, and roll off 11 play 75 yard drives at will. You can call the perfect blitz, have the perfect coverage and Manning can still thread the needle to a guy who is completely covered. Indy struggles running the football. Actually, they are ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing. Indy did run the ball well against the Jets in their last meeting, which I will cover in more detail in an article later today, which will be about what I noticed from re-watching the Jets/Colts week 16 game last night. However, if the Jets can duplicate their run defense effort from last week, they should be in good shape.

I don’t think the Jets should match-up Darrelle Revis with Reggie Wayne on every single play. I think Revis would do a great job in that situation, however the Jets defense would benefit more from moving him around. Yes, he should be on Wayne the majority of the time, especially in red-zone type situations. Yet, why not move him over to Dallas Clark on some plays or slide him into the slot on Austin Collie on a few third downs. It will keep the Colts off-guard. When you move Revis off Wayne, you put Lito Sheppard on him and give him safety help over the top so he is never left one on one. The Jets must find a way to put pressure on Peyton Manning. Rex needs to draw up some new blitzes. Kerry Rhodes needs to keep throwing back to 2006 and the defensive line needs to get pressure on plays when the Jets do not blitz.

Beyond that, let’s not ignore the fact that Manning has thrown 16 interceptions this year and considering he didn’t really play in the final two games that equates to over 1 per game. He also threw two more in about five plays last week against Baltimore. Fortunately for him, one was called back on a penalty and Ed Reed fumbled another one on the run back. Manning is going to throw some balls that the Jets will have a chance to intercept and when they do, they need to catch the ball and they need to return it to help set up easy points.

When on offense, the Jets have to run right at the Colts. Their defense is way too fast for any stretch plays, toss plays, or reverses. It needs to be Shonn Greene and Thomas Jones right up the gut. The Jets need to set up manageable third downs for Mark Sanchez, which he showed an ability to convert against San Diego. Indy is not particularly strong in the secondary, especially without Bob Sanders back there anymore. Their corners are nothing special and neither are there safeties. Braylon Edwards…you want to be a number one receiver and be paid like one, you should be making big plays against this secondary…use you athleticism and your size, which the Colts can’t match-up against and go up and get the football. Jerricho Cotchery should be able to work himself open on third downs on his option and comeback routes. The Colts linebackers have good enough speed to handle Dustin Keller.

Colts/Ravens Highlights

Off to Italy: Jets vs. Colts/Week 16 Predictions

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First off, Merry Christmas everybody. I am about to head off to the airport for 7 nights back in the old homeland where my forefathers likely rooted for the worst soccer team in the country and passed that tradition down to me as a Jets fan when my family came to America. If you never see this blog updated again, it is likely I pulled a Michael Corleone found my Apollonia and will be settling down as a simple grape farmer in the hills of Italy, with no concerns about rookie quarterbacks, graduate school, playoff scenarios, or student loans. However, in the more likely case I will return a week from today to write about Jets/Colts which I will be viewing on DVD and the upcoming Jets/Bengals game.

I don’t expect to be coming home for a meaningful week 17 game but I can keep up some bizarre hope the next 7 days. I will be rocking my brand new white Titans Darrelle Revis jersey as a final show of support on the plane today. What do I think will happen in week 16 while I am paddling down the canals of Venice?

1. I think the Jets will put a good fight but ultimately fall short to the Colts 27-17. I expect most of the Colts key players to play the bulk of the game and that should be enough for them to get a victory. The defense will play well but in the end Peyton Manning will be too much and Mark Sanchez won’t make enough plays for the Jets to get a victory.

2. I think the Miami Dolphins will beat the Houston Texans fairly easily and set themselves up to be playing for a playoff spot in week 17…yuck.

3. I think the Titans will knock off the Chargers tonight to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

4. I think the Steelers will win a close one over the Ravens, muddling the AFC playoff picture even further.

5. I think New England will beat Jacksonville and wrap up the AFC East.

6. I think the Bengals will beat Kansas City and wrap up the AFC North.

7. I think Dallas will hold off Washington and the Giants will beat Carolina keeping the NFC race interesting for another week.

And with that…I’m off to Italy.

Jets vs. Colts: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets announced their team awards today: Darrelle Revis was the team MVP (no-brainer), Thomas Jones won the Dennis Byrd Award for most inspirational player, D’Brickashaw Ferguson won the Marty Lyons Award for his off the field work, and David Harris won the Ed Block Courage Award.

2. The Jets appear to be 100 percent healthy heading into the Colts game, with backup offensive lineman/tight end Robert Turner returning from injury.

3. How about those Knicks? 11-17? They have been bad enough the past ten years that I am excited about a 11-17 record. Quick shout out to my friend Dan who is still an adamant Nets fan despite them just losing to the Timberwolves to fall to 2-28…yikes. Don’t worry Dan, you can keep voting for Brook Lopez for the all-star game 28 times a day to counter all those losses. At least the Cowboys will probably choke and allow the Giants to get in the playoffs so you can watch me suffer through another year of watching them playing in January, while the Jets head off on their yearly vacation.

4. Here’s hoping Santa brings the following to the Jets: Better hands for Shonn Greene and Braylon Edwards, the ability to read a defense for Mark Sanchez, the ability to compose an intelligent game-plan for Brian Schottenheimer, the ability to impersonate Darrelle Revis for Lito Shepppard and Donald Strickland, the ability to become a NFL player for Vernon Gholston, and the ability to become a holder for Kellen Clemens.

Jets vs. Colts: Game Breakdown

Offense: The Jets need to hold the ball and gain a significant advantage in time of possession. Thomas Jones and the Jets running game needs to prove they are the league’s best rushing attack by chewing up clock and taking the pressure off Mark Sanchez. However, Sanchez is going to have to protect the football, as in zero turnovers and convert some short throws to keep the chains moving. Can the Jets complete a screen pass? Thomas Jones has 9 catches this season and Shonn Greene has zero. Dustin Keller hasn’t caught a screen since week one. The Jets need to find a short passing game that can substitute for a running game occasionally.

I don’t want Sanchez taking shots down the field. The Colts have an opportunistic defense and will make big plays. I want to see Sanchez go 14/18 for 150 yards with zero turnovers. Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene will have to do the heavy lifting and be the guys who put the ball in the end-zone. You would figure for the Jets to have a chance they are going to need at least 24 points and some of those are going to probably have to come from their defense or special teams.

PhotobucketDefense: The league’s #1 ranked defense, who can’t seem to find a stop when it matters most is going to have to play the game of their lives. I have faith in Darrelle Revis to do his job on Reggie Wayne. I have faith in the Jets front seven in slowing down the Colts anemic running game. What I am worried about is Lito Sheppard, Donald Strickland, and Kerry Rhodes matching up with Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, and of course Dallas Clark. Beyond that, I am worried about the Jets getting to Peyton Manning. The Jets are a defense that need to blitz to get pressure and Manning is the type of quarterback who makes teams pay for coming after him.

The Jets need sacks and turnovers to win this game. They need a defensive touchdown or the defense to at least set up easy points for the offense. Manning has to be hit early and often. They need to have Jim Caldwell considering pulling Manning because he is hitting the turf too many times.

Special Teams: The Jets must win this third of the game. They need to make all their field goals, create a big play with a return or fake punt and avoid allowing the Colts any cheap big plays on special teams.

I Think A Major Upset Over the Colts Every 40 Years Is Reasonable

NFL Week 15 Recap/Jets vs. Colts First Look

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First a few updates:

1. I really enjoyed Rex Ryan completely changing his tune in his Monday press conference…pretty funny stuff going from the “we are completely done..we suck” to the “hey are probably we going to the playoffs and we are going to fight like hell” attitude.

2. The game highlights section has been updated.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – I have had enough of hearing the Tom Brady/Randy Moss/New England storylines. Why does the 10thbest team in the NFL get the most coverage? Randy Moss didn’t dominate on Sunday, he had 70 yards receiving. Tom Brady went 11/23 for 115 yards with a INT…wow pro bowl stuff right there. The only reason New England won’t be one and done in the playoffs is because the NFL has already penciled them in to the Saturday night wild card game and they are planning to dump 19 feet of snow on the field. I can already see something like Jacksonville vs New England on Saturday night in a blizzard with the Pats running it up.

Miami Dolphins – Tough loss for the Dolphins who have decided to join the Jets in mediocrity at 7-7, thanks to their quarterback throwing three interceptions. I don’t see Miami getting in the playoffs, but if they do and play in New England in the first round, I will be watching LOST re-runs instead of that game.

Buffalo Bills – Why waste article space on this horrific franchise?

Other NFL Observations

How does Denver lose a game of that importance at home to Oakland? They are like the Jets with the December meltdowns…I am thinking Kansas City is regretting that Matt Cassell trade…Watch out, the Cleveland Browns are on a two game winning streak…The Giants/Redskins game was one of the least competitive football games I have ever seen…Yes, I am really enjoying the meltdown Minnesota is about to have, they are going to play themselves right into a first round exit, nice.

TOJ NFL Power Rankings (Only teams with a playoff pulse are ranked, no matter how weak that pulse is)

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (14-0) – Rest is always a good decision Jim Caldwell.
  2. San Diego Chargers (11-3) – Looking forward to that Colts/Chargers AFC title game.
  3. New Orleans Saints (13-1) – Still can’t believe they lost to Dallas.
  4. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) – Desean Jackson is a beast.
  5. Minnesota Vikings (11-3) – I guess Favre is the coach and the quarterback now, which will make it double sweet when their playoff run flames out.
  6. Arizona Cardinals (9-5) – Life is easy in the NFC West.
  7. Green Bay Packers (9-5) – Where Defensive POY Charles Woodson during those 503 passing yards?
  8. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5) – Better effort than I expected in San Diego.
  9. Dallas Cowboys (9-5) – Biggest win of Tony Romo’s career last Saturday night.
  10. New England Patriots (9-5) – Another AFC East title.
  11. Baltimore Ravens (8-6) – Huge game coming up in Pittsburgh.
  12. Tennessee Titans (7-7) – Won 7 of their last 8.
  13. New York Giants (8-6) – Still breathing in the NFC wild card race.
  14. Denver Broncos (8-6) – Lost to Oakland…really? About to lose in Philly.
  15. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7) – Don’t see them winning in New England.
  16. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7) – Huge game versus Ravens.
  17. Miami Dolphins (7-7) – Should handle Houston at home.
  18. New York Jets (7-7) – Received all the help in the world and couldn’t capitalize.
  19. Houston Texans (7-7) – The bottom of all the 7-7 teams.

Jets/Colts First Look

This whole thing comes down to how much the Colts starters will play. I expect the Jets to blitz the crap out of Manning in the first quarter and try to get some shots on him to convince Jim Caldwell to pull him, yet Manning coaches the team anyway so it might not matter. Can’t you see the Jets beating the Colts backups 20-10 in the fourth quarter, running their mouths like they always do, pissing Peyton Manning off who then decides to check himself back in and lead his team to a 24-20 victory? I can. Realize this, if the Colts starters play the whole game, the Jets can’t win.