New York Jets Week 2 – Film Room Thoughts On Steelers

After breaking down week 1 film, thoughts on the Jets/Steelers match-up

A couple of quick thoughts after watching Steelers/Broncos on the All-22 tape and re-watching Jets/Bills

– The Blitz Beater – We talked earlier in the week about how Emmanuel Sanders and Heath Miller could hurt the Jets in this match-up. Their ability to hurt them goes beyond potential coverage issues with Kyle Wilson, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell. Ben Roethlisberger loves to use both players and particularly Miller as blitz beaters whenever opposing defenses aggressively come after him. Here is a first quarter 13 yard completion to Sanders. See how Roethlisberger and Sanders recognize the blitz pre-snap and he quickly delivers the ball down the seam to an open Sanders in the slot at the bottom of the screen –

Later in the game the Steelers convert a similar play for a 15 yard gain to Miller. After recognizing the blitz, Miller releases and turns to the outside, wide open, Roethlisberger quickly gets the ball out so Miller has space to run and pick up a big chunk of yardage.

Rex Ryan must do a good job of disguising his blitzes and the Jets linebackers and safeties need to quickly cover ground when left exposed in man coverage.

– Keenan Lewis – Keenan Lewis is the Steelers starting cornerback opposite Ike Taylor. The Jets would be wise to attack him early and often, particularly if he gets matched up with Santonio Holmes. Last week Lewis frequently found himself on Eric Decker, who plays the same position that Holmes plays in the Jets offense. Peyton Manning took advantage of the exceptionally large cushion Lewis was playing with in the two plays below, which went for 13 yards and 17 yards respectively. In the first play Decker and Lewis are at the bottom of the screen and on the second play, they are at the top –

– Back To The Well – We detailed here how the Jets took advantage of the wide receiver screen last week. They would be wise to keep it in the game plan after how Pittsburgh defended this 71 yard touchdown by Demaryius Thomas. Again, Peyton Manning took advantage of an excessive cushion and safety Ryan Mundy looks clueless on this play. It should be noted however that Ryan Clark will be back in the lineup instead of Mundy and it is doubtful the Steelers corners will consistently play with such a deep cushion against Mark Sanchez.

 

New York Jets Fact Or False: Week 2 Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False previews the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

The New York Jets are coming off what is arguably their most impressive victory since defeating New England in the 2010 playoffs. The week 1 effort against Buffalo revealed a team that was clicking on all cylinders, recording touchdowns through all three phases of the game in route to a record setting opening day points total. That being said, the Jets face a daunting task heading into week 2 where they will travel to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who are fresh off of an opening day loss to Peyton Manning and the newly revamped Denver Broncos. Will the Jets offense be able to duplicate the success it had it week 1? And will the defense be able to shut down Ben Roethlisberger and his surplus of offensive weapons? This week’s New York Jets Fact Or False examines these issues, and more.

Mark Sanchez and the Offensive Line will be on their toes all game. Fact. While the Offensive Line did an excellent job last week in preventing Quarterback Mark Sanchez from getting sacked against a superbly talented Buffalo pass rush, Pittsburgh will be an entirely different animal this week. Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau is one of the most experienced and creative defensive minds in all of football who is notorious for developing creative and aggressive blitz packages to make preparation an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses.

Last week against Denver, when lined up in a normal defensive formation –any formation other than goal line, special teams, two point conversions- Pittsburgh blitzed 48% of the time (24/50 total plays). Of those blitzes, 13 came from the interior, while 11 were sent off the edge, all on a variety of downs. What this means is that LeBeau and the defensive staff are very good at not revealing any tendencies. It is extremely difficult to predict when and where the blitz will be coming from, therefore the pass protection for New York must be alert and ready to go on every offensive snap. In a game that both teams will be very defensively active, one lapse in pass protection could end up being the play that determines the game.

Sanchez will go another game without being sacked. False. Although the fact that Sanchez was not sacked once in the season opener is an extremely encouraging sign for the Jets offensive line, it is extremely rare to go duplicate that success in consecutive games, particularly against a blitz happy team like Pittsburgh. LeBeau and his staff will certainly get far more creative with their blitz packages than Dave Wannstedt was last week.

One of the reasons Sanchez was so successful against Buffalo was because of how comfortable he was in the pocket. You can be certain that LeBeau took notice of this and will do everything he can to keep him from regaining a similar level of comfort. Expect him to mix it up with blitz packages all game, and to really test Jets Right Tackle Austin Howard who will be making only his second career start. Sanchez will need to be elusive and remain poised on every offensive possession.

The Jets will look to get their Wide Receivers the ball in space. Fact. Last week, Peyton Manning did an excellent job of getting the ball to his receivers in space to allow them to make plays after the catch. The most notable example was the 71-yard touchdown from Demaryius Thomas on a simple, short out route, in which Thomas made multiple players on the Steelers defense miss after the catch on his way to the end zone. Expect the Jets to try and replicate plays like this. Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, and Jeremy Kerley all have excellent run after the catch ability, so expect Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano to try and find holes in Pittsburgh’s defense that will allow his receivers to make some plays in space. As we have seen in the past, and particularly last week with Hill and Kerley, anyone of these players has the ability to break off a big gain on any particular play. It will be very interesting, again, to see what kind of game plan Sparano draws up.

Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace are the extent of the Jets defensive worries. False. While Brown and Wallace are certainly two of the most dangerous offensive weapons, not only in Pittsburgh, but in the entire NFL, Roethlisberger and Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley like to share the wealth. Last week, Roethlisberger targeted Brown and Wallace a combined 14 times, while targeting Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders and Tight End Heath Miller a combined 15 times. Roethlisberger also completed passes to 8 different targets throughout the course of the game. While defending Brown and Wallace will be imperative to this game, the Jets cannot afford to ignore the rest of Pittsburgh’s offensive weapons. Sanders in particular could cause serious problems for New York if he isn’t defended properly. He is an excellent slot receiver with great speed and elusiveness, and does an excellent job of running routes and finding holes in coverage. The Jets will need to click on all cylinders in coverage this week.

Ben Roethlisberger will try to get the ball to Heath Miller as much as possible. Fact. Roethlisberger has an undying faith in his Tight End, Heath Miller, and it showed last week in Denver, particularly on “and goal” situations. Roethlisberger repeatedly looked to Miller inside the ten yard line, often attempting to force the ball to him. On one particular play early in the game, Roethlisberger had Wide Receiver Antonio Brown open in the end zone on a post route, but never looked his way as he was locked in on Miler the entire way, leading to a bad decision, and incomplete pass. Roethlisberger eventually found Miller later in the game for a 4-yard touchdown.

It will be imperative that the Jets safeties and linebackers play well in coverage this week. With how much Roethlisberger will look to get the ball to the trustworthy Tight End, especially close to the endzone, the slightest slip up in coverage on Miller will undoubtedly hurt this defense.

The Jets will register multiple sacks on Ben Roethlisberger. Fact. Although the Jets did not register a sack in week 1, expect them to exploit some weaknesses in Pittsburgh’s offensive line. The Right Tackle position for the Steelers was attacked mightily by Denver last week, as Marcus Gilbert fills in for the injured rookie Mike Adams. Denver went after Gilbert and it showed in a very big way as they registered 5 sacks and 9 Quarterback Hits as a team, including 2 sacks from Von Miller who put on a clinic against Gilbert. Like LeBeau, Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine will get very creative with their blitz packages, and will look to exploit the weakness at Right Tackle. Expect to see multiple looks consisting of Quinton Coples, Muhammed Wilkerson, and Aaron Maybin lined up over Gilbert, with countless blitzes mixed in. For anyone who is a major proponent of defensive creativity, this game should be extremely fun to watch from both sides.

TOJ THURSDAY NIGHT STAFF PICKS

  • Joe Caporoso – Green Bay (-5)
  • Chris Gross – Chicago (+5)
  • Mike Donnelly – Chicago (+5)
  • TJ Rosenthal – Chicago (+5)
  • Rob Celletti – Green Bay (-5)
  • Chris Celletti – Green Bay (-5)

Turn On The Jets Week 2 Roundtable – Jets/Steelers Match-Up

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to when Jets take on the Steelers

The Turn On The Jets staff breaks down what match-up they are most looking forward to this Sunday when the New York Jets travel to Pittsburgh. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter

Joe Caporoso – The match-up that will be the most fun to watch will be Darrelle Revis going against Antonio Brown. However, the one that will determine the game will be the Jets safeties on Heath Miller and Kyle Wilson on Emmanuel Sanders. The Jets will be fine on the outside and should be able to generate a pass rush against Pittsburgh. However, they cannot allow themselves to be torched down the middle of the field. Sanders has tremendous speed and Miller is one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL, both of them have potential to have monster days against a Jets nickel and two safeties who have questionable coverage at times.

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to seeing this week in Pittsburgh is how the Jets defensive front performs against the atrocious Steelers offensive line. After watching last week’s game against Denver, I had to check to see if the Steelers had secretly traded for Wayne Hunter and then somehow cloned him to play three different positions. They were that bad. We can expect to see the return of Sione Po’uha this week which will sure up the run defense, and then I’d like to see Quinton Coples, Mo Wilkerson, and Aaron Maybin tee off on Big Ben in 3rd and long situations. This is where the Jets can — and should — win the game.

TJ Rosenthal – The biggest matchup I can’t wait to see in all honesty is Heinz field and the reputation of the Steelers as a physically intimidating franchise against the new Jets. A team that may be able to protect a QB who may finally be figuring things out. With a defense that should Darrelle Revis be ok to play, can again act like a top five unit with ball hawking, game changing talents in the secondary. We were at that AFC championship loss two years back and can attest to what a home field advantage that game was for the Steelers. Let’s see the Jets stand tall in the face of that atmosphere.

Let’s watch Gang Green prove that last week was not just some motivated performance to prove the doubters wrong, coming against an overrated mediocre Bills team. That instead it was an improved  foundation for a franchise that so many wanted to prematurely bury only one week ago. Take this city and this team on. Smash ’em in the mouth. Knock ’em in the teeth. Don’t let em scare you. Play with no fear in Blitzburgh.

Chris Celletti – If there was one thing the Jets’ defense didn’t do in their Week 1 destruction of the Bills, it was sack the quarterback. Now, the Bills generally run short and quick passing plays, getting the ball out of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hand as soon as possible, so he’s not exactly the easiest quarterback to get to. But overall, this Jets defense still needs to prove that it can generate a good enough pass rush without having to send too many defensive backs or linebackers, and they should have a good opportunity to do so on Sunday against the Steelers, a team that has seemingly had offensive line problems for the past five years. I expect the Jets’ run defense to be solid as always and be able to contain the Steelers’ running back committee. But the Steelers have three very good wide receivers and a great tight end, and with Darrelle Revis questionable to play it would behoove the Jets to make life as miserable as possible for Ben Roethlisberger. Can Quinton Coples get his first career sack on Sunday? Will Muhammad Wilkerson show that he’s made the leap as a pass rusher? Them, and the rest of the Jets’ defensive front, should have a very good chance to make a mark.

Chris Gross – Jets Secondary vs. Pittsburgh Receiving Corps – While it remains to be seen whether or not Darrelle Revis will be cleared to play on Sunday, this will still be the most intriguing match up of the day. As a team last week, the Steelers hauled in 22 passes from Ben Roethlisberger who found 8 different receivers on the day. Conversely, the Jets defensive secondary was a nightmare for Buffalo Bills’ Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, intercepting the Harvard man three times within the first 40 minutes of play.

If Revis plays, it will be very interesting to see how Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine decide to split his reps between Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, two very productive receivers with big play ability. If Revis cannot go, it will be a very big challenge for both Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson to carry the workload. The Safety play will be vital as well, as Heath Miller is a favorite of Roethlisberger, who connected with his tight end 4 times for 50 yards and a touchdown last week in Denver. This will be one of many big challenges for Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry on the year, and is a great opportunity for them to prove that they have the ability to shut down opposing tight ends, something that has hurt the Jets defense tremendously as of late

Rob Celletti – Jets safeties and linebackers vs. Steelers RBs/TEs/slot receiversOne thing that’s certain about the Jets’ defense is the ability of its outside defenders. Sure, Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis might get beat once or twice for touchdowns this year, but that part of the field is about as well-covered as it can be in the pass-happy 2012 NFL. Where the Jets have struggled mightily for the last three seasons has been in the middle of the field, due to a variety of personnel shortcomings. Even though the week one whitewash of Buffalo is still wonderfully fresh in everyone’s mind, don’t forget that the Jets gave up huge chunks of yardage to C.J. Spiller once he relieved the injured Fred Jackson, and they were burned by Scott Chandler as well for a touchdown. The Steelers have the always-productive Heath Miller at tight end and won’t hesitate to run the ball despite the injury to Rashard Mendenhall.  Speed at linebacker and coverage ability at safety have been this team’s achilles heel since 2010, and how the Jets defend the middle of the field on Sunday will go a long way towards a second Jets W, as well as proving that these defensive issues have been addressed for the long haul.

 

New York Jets Week 2 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Steelers

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 2 match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers…stay with us all day today at TOJ as we have a roundtable discussion on the game coming later, along with new content from Mike Donnelly and Chris Gross

1. Regardless of the flaws on Pittsburgh’s offensive line and disappointing showing of their defense in week 1. This is a very tough match-up for the Jets. Heinz Field is never an easy place to play, nevermind when the Steelers are 0-1 and desperate for a victory. A win on Sunday would truly put the league on notice that the Jets are a legitimate contender in the AFC.

2. Early indications are that Darrelle Revis is going to play despite a mild concussion. The logic match-up is to put him on Antonio Brown, put Antonio Cromartie on Mike Wallace and come after Ben Roethlisberger like crazy in an attempt to take advantage of their struggling offensive line.

3. The players on Pittsburgh’s offense who have the ability to hurt the Jets the most are Emmanuel Sanders, Heath Miller and Jonathan Dwyer. We all know the history of slot receivers and tight ends taking advantage of Rex Ryan’s defense since he took over the Jets. This is a big week for Kyle Wilson and for the Jets new safeties, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, to show their ability in coverage. The reason I say Dwyer is because Pittsburgh has ran the ball down the Jets throat in their previous two meetings and Dwyer looks to be the workhorse back this week.

4. The Jets will receive a nice boost to their run defense if Sione Pouha returns to the line-up. Chris Gross will discuss this later in his film breakdown but the defense missed badly missed him last week at nose tackle. It will also be interesting to see if Eric Smith can play, as he would provide a boost to the special teams.

5. We will get a nice barometer of just how legitimate the Jets passing offense is this week. Pittsburgh has a seemingly endless collection of pass rushers and will receive Ryan Clark back at safety. Mark Sanchez played well both times the Jets went to Pittsburgh in 2010 and you know Santonio Holmes will be fired up for his return. Tony Sparano must stay aggressive in the passing game to keep balance on offense. It will be interesting to see how Stephen Hill responds to the extra attention he should likely receive now from opposing defenses.

6. If Mark Sanchez is playing like he did last week, I’d prefer even less of the Wildcat than we saw last week. Give the extra carries to Bilal Powell, particularly the edge rushes which Shonn Greene lacks the speed for.

7. What in the world would be the justification by the national media for a Jets win this week? Pittsburgh is having a down year? We won’t be impressed until they play Houston or San Francisco? Who knows…

8. It will be good to see Jerricho Cotchery again.

NFL Week 1 Review

It is too early to throw around Power Rankings, so here are 5 observations from week 1 of the NFL

1. The Colts are a one man organization. They haven’t drafted well in recent years. They have done nothing in free agency in recent years. The competency of their coaching staff, including Jim Caldwell, is questionable. When you latch all your success on to one individual it is poor management. Peyton Manning is gone and isn’t coming back this year. It looks like the Colts are ready to tuck their tail between their legs and become a 4-12 team. It sure wouldn’t hurt to have a guy like Rex Ryan being your head coach in their situation to put a little fire into that lifeless bunch who was whipped by Houston.

2. Nobody likes poking fun at our uptight neighbors more than me, but the New York Giants were truly awful in week one. When are they going to improve their special teams? How will they overcome their injuries on defense with such questionable depth? Is Eli Manning really good enough to carry a team with mediocre surrounding talent? The Giants need to take advantage of an easy start to their schedule, beginning with their home opener versus the Steven Jackson-less Rams or they will be looking at a 5-11 season.

3. It isn’t very often you see the Pittsburgh Steelers manhandled the way they were on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how each team responds to such a surprising week one outcome. I would still bet they will be battling for the AFC North title into the final weeks of the season. One other comment on Pittsburgh, it is a little sad to see Jerricho Cotchery still injured and eventually coming back into a #5 receiver role on the Steelers behind Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antonio Brown.

4. I won’t go crazy with Buffalo hype because I don’t think Kansas City is good. Yet, the Bills will be a fun team to watch and should flirt with a .500 record this season. The Jets two games against them this year won’t be gimmes by any stretch of the imagination. New England and Miami set defensive football back about 100 years on Monday night. Then again, the Jets did almost allow 400 yards, so I shouldn’t say too much. Yet, seriously New England…you are going to let Chad Henne throw for over 400 yards on you?

5. A few games to look forward to this week –

  • Philadelphia at Atlanta – The Mike Vick show comes back home, while the Falcons badly need a win.
  • San Diego at New England – Good barometer for the Chargers early in the year
  • Green Bay at Carolina – Should be fun to watch Cam Newton off his 400 yard performance against the Champs.

TOJ Meets 1/16th of the Head Coaches in the NFL

If you follow Turn On The Jets on Twitter…which you should be, you’d know that I spent the previous four days in New Orleans. I wish I could say TOJ sent me down there to cover the league meetings, but since I own the website and I’m our only full time employee (AJ is still at intern status and working for college credits), there is nobody to send me and I actually went to visit a friend who was their for work. However, the timing did work out well to mix a little business into my vacation.

Last night, I was out at a club right off Bourbon Street when my friend Nick came over to me and pointed my attention to the end of the bar. You can imagine my excitement when I saw Omar Epps, since I have always been a huge House fan. Okay, it was actually Mike Tomlin. I also noticed he was with somebody else, who I knew was “somebody” but I couldn’t get a great view and my mind was a little mushy from three nights without sleep. Funny enough, it didn’t seem like many people outside of the three of us recognized Tomlin.

To make a long story short, we approached them and met Tomlin, who was polite but a little short with us. I congratulated him on ruining my dreams this past January, but he didn’t seem very concerned. The better part was the other person he was with happened to be Raheem Morris, the head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Morris was thrilled nobody was recognizing him and claimed that’s why he went out with Tomlin, since he would grab all the attention. (Sure enough, once word spread that Tomlin was there, “Black and Yellow” was blasting from the DJ booth with a big shout out…personally, I thought it would have been funnier if they played the “Green and Yellow” remix by Li’l Wayne).

Morris bought us all drinks and talked with us for a good thirty minutes. Similar to TOJ and friends, he is from North Jersey. He grew up about ten minutes from where my friend Eric and myself used to landscape in the summer. (Brick City, baby). All I can say is that he was a great guy, with a good sense of humor. You could tell he genuinely loves the team he has right now in Tampa and believes big things are on the way for them.

Not surprisingly, he confirmed they just left Rex Ryan who was out on the town with John Fox but surprisingly, he said Tom Coughlin didn’t go straight to bed after the day’s meetings and was actually a good time to hang with. My friend Nick (who is a big Giants fan) was convinced Coughlin would have ate off the early bird menu and had the lights out by 8:30.

Yes, I spent the next hour running all over Bourbon Street looking for Rex and asking if anybody saw him. Unfortunately, I couldn’t track him down. Oh well, still a fun night in the NOLA.

Post-Draft AFC Power Poll

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First a few updates:

1. What a let down from the Heat only taking one game from the Celtics…all the more reason for D-Wade to throw on the blue and orange in New York next year. Even the Knicks have more help for him than the Heat did this past year, did you see who Wade was trying to win with last night? Their starter with the second most points was Carlos Arroyo with a whopping 8…Carlos Arroyo. Well at least we get to watch LeBron steamroll the Celtics out of the playoffs now. How about those Milwaukee Bucks by the way? How the hell did the Knicks pass on Brandon Jennings?

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

3. Kerry Rhodes…Jay Feely…Alan Faneca…The Cardinals are turning into the NFC Jets, which is better than being the Minor League Jets aka the 2009 Cleveland Browns.

Post-Draft AFC Power Poll

It was feeling like that time to put together another power poll, especially with the draft over and most major transactions taken care of. Most teams are ready to head into the 2010 season with their roster constructed the way it is today. Hopefully, I won’t be looking back in January and see the 12-16 teams in this poll still playing.

Tier 1 – The Favorites – The division favorites who should be jockeying for a first round bye. All these teams should have a double digit win total and potentially be in the 11-5 to 13-3 range.

1. Indianapolis Colts – They were basically undefeated last year during the regular season and reached the Super Bowl where they lost a tight game to the Saints. They are number one until somebody knocks them off and as long as Peyton Manning continues to be an absolute beast behind center. I don’t care about the rest of their roster, Manning makes them the team to beat.

Photobucket2. New York Jets – Yes, the AFC’s runner up last year stays in the number two spot. They were already going to be better this year because of Mark Sanchez’s continued development and the defense getting more comfortable in Rex Ryan’s scheme and that was before they added Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, Brodney Pool, Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes, and Kyle Wilson.

3. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens had a good run last year despite having a weak receiving core and Joe Flacco struggling down the stretch. Now they have added Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth at receiver and Flacco should be improved. Beyond that, they just stole Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody in the second round of the draft to add to their defense.

4. San Diego Chargers – They are still loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and play in a crappy division. If they can’t go 5-1 in the AFC West than shame on them.

Tier 2 – The Contenders – The teams who should battle for a division title and be anywhere from around .500 to 10-6/11-5.

5. Cincinnati Bengals – Most people seem to think the Bengals are going to struggle this season but I am not sure why. They added a legit number two receiver in Antonio Bryant, drafted a quality pass catching tight end in Jermaine Gresham, and still should be solid on defense and running the football.

6. New England Patriots – They didn’t do much in free agency but had a pretty good overall draft. Brady and Belicheat will keep them competitive, and of course the referees will always be there to help them with roughing the passer penalties.

7. Houston Texans – Everybody loves them every year and every year they go 8-8 (okay, they went 9-7 last year but you get the point). They are a talented team but when will they win a big game?

8. Miami Dolphins – Brandon Marshall was a much needed addition to their offense, while Karlos Dansby and Jared Odrick will improve their defense. Even though I have the Patriots ranked higher, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Dolphins be the primary challenge to the Jets for a division title.

Tier 3 – The Question Marks – Teams with major questions surrounding them who could go anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers – Outside of their starting quarterback being suspended six games and trading away their best receiver for nothing, they had a pretty good off-season.

10. Tennessee Titans – Vince Young is always a question mark and now they have to deal with Chris Johnson holding out. However, they could be dangerous next year if Young gets rolling, especially if Kenny Britt continues to develop into a legit number one receiver.

11. Denver Broncos – I am not sure if they have improved at all this off-season. Yet, they are in a crappy division so they could hover around .500 again.

12. Jacksonville Jaguars – They added some pieces on defense but I am not sure how far David Garrard can carry them. Beyond that, they are in a tough division.

13. Oakland Raiders – Yes, the Raiders. Keep in mind they were 5-11 last year with a defensive tackle playing quarterback the majority of the time. With Jason Campbell under center, they  might actually get somewhat near .500.

Tier 4 – The Basement Dwellers – Teams who shouldn’t be planning on playing meaningful games in December next year.

14. Cleveland Browns – They had a good off-season so far and improved on both sides of the ball but how is that offense going to score points? Nobody is worried about Jake Delhomme throwing to Chansi Stuckey.

15. Kansas City Chiefs – Anytime you give Matt Cassel that much money, you are probably going to struggle for a few seasons.

16. Buffalo Bills – Trent Edwards vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Brian Brohm…with no offensive line…sorry Buffalo.

Yes, We Are Pretty Good At Corner

AFC Power Rankings: Where Do the Jets Fit?

First a few updates:

1. It’s officially training camp week, with the Jets opening up this Friday in Cortland, New York. Later in the day, I will be posting an extended, comprehensive (two big time adjectives there) training camp preview. Also, I will finish up my positional analysis this week, with a look at the team’s linebackers and special teams. You can look back through the archives for my breakdown of all the other positions on the roster.

2. I will be appearing on a podcast on our site tomorrow around 11:30 to discuss the Jets, the link is http://ownersedge.fanball.com/fantasy_buffet.php

3. By the end of the week, I plan on making additions to both the TOJ Hall of Fame and TOJ Hall of Shame…thrilling stuff for everybody, I know. Also, I am stuck with the 5th pick in upcoming fantasy football draft and I am open to suggestions on who I should pick…Brees, Fitzgerald, Jones-Drew, Westbrook, Brad Smith, Wallace Wright?

AFC Power Rankings: Where Do the Jets Fit?

I don’t like to rank teams from 1-16, but instead separate them into different levels. With training camps starting up this week, here is how I see the AFC breaking down:

The Favorites

Pittsburgh Steelers – The defending champions are returning all of their major parts and should be right back at the top of the AFC North. Their defense should be one of the league’s best and if they can get something out of Rashad Mendenhall and Limas Sweed this year, their offense could be even more dynamic.

New England Patriots – They have the best coach in the NFL, a good defense, and potentially the best offense in football if Tom Brady is back at 100 percent. If the Jets want to win the AFC East, the road goes through New England (sorry Dolphins fans).

Indianapolis Colts – They were playing as well as anyone in football last year before getting bounced in the wild-card round to the Chargers. Even without Tony Dungy, they still have a quality defense and tons of weapons on offense, including first round pick Donald Brown, who should flourish in their system.

San Diego Chargers – They have as much talent as anyone in football, but can they put it together? Fortunately for them, the AFC West is a weak division and they shouldn’t have any trouble repeating as champs.

The Contenders

Baltimore Ravens – A great defense, a young quarterback who is only going to get better, and a dominant running game should equal another double-digit win total for the Ravens.

Tennessee Titans – I think they will take a big step down from last year’s win total. They sure didn’t feel like a 13-3 team last year, but maybe that’s just because I watched the Jets embarrass them in their home building. They got a shot for revenge in the Meadowlands in week 3, though.

Question Marks

Miami Dolphins – They have 6-10 written all over them this season and I’m not saying that as a biased Jets fan. The Wildcat won’t fool anybody this year and Chad Pennington has never put together two healthy, productive seasons in a row. Yet, they have a good defense and running game which will keep them competitive.

Buffalo Bills – There is a ton of talent at the skill positions but can Trent Edwards stay healthy and take his game to the next level? Can Dick Jauron get out of his own way?

New York Jets – I expect a great defense and a great running game but there is still question marks at quarterback, receiver, tight end, and depth on both lines.

Houston Texans – Every year everybody picks them to make a big jump but it never seems to happen. If Matt Schaub can stay healthy, their offense will be scary good with Steve Slaton and Andre Johnson making plays but they still have question marks on defense, as usual. The Texans will be a good test for the Jets in week one.

Bigger Question Marks

Denver Broncos – You don’t improve from 8-8 by going from Jay Cutler to Kyle Orton at quarterback.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Torry Holt will help them on offense, but unless David Garrard goes back to his 2007 form, the Jaguars aren’t going to be any better than they were last season.

The Basement Dwellers

Oakland Raiders – There is obviously talent on offense and some pieces on defense, but hasn’t that been the case on Oakland for the past few years? I’m sure they will go 5-11 but still find a way to beat the Jets.

Kansas City Chiefs – Matt Cassell isn’t going to look so good without Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and one of the best offensive lines in football.

Cincinnatti Bengals – If Carson Palmer can play a full 16 games, they could improve a few games from last season but that would only put them in the 6-7 win range.

Cleveland Browns – Have fun Eric Mangini, but hey they said the same thing about your Jets in 2006 and look what happened.

Jets Highlight of the Day: After spending another weekend of arguing with my friend’s about Leon Washington’s talent level, I decided to throw up some of his highlights, Give 29 a new contract: