Two Down, Four To Go: Jets Roll Late, Beat Washington 34-19

The New York Jets are still breathing after another come from behind victory in the 4th quarter

We have seen this movie before. The New York Jets play sloppy and inconsistent in all three phases of the game for 3 and a 1/2 quarters, yet when it comes down to the final minutes, they step up with a clutch performance led by their quarterback.

It happened all over again today in Washington. It was hard not be furious with the Jets offense, for horrible clock management, questionable and conservative play calling, along with another weak showing from the passing attack. It was hard not to be furious with the defense for allowing Washington to waltz right down the field on the opening drive before settling down into an overall strong performance. It was hard not to be furious with the special teams for muffing yet another kick (this time Jeremy Kerley was the culprit).

With a little under 5 minutes to go, the Jets trailed by 3 points. Finally, they decided to take advantage of running more slant routes than any team in the NFL by calling for a slant and go, which was perfectly executed by both Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez. Another clutch hook up for those two to add to the laundry list they have accumulated in the past two years.

The defense then responded to their reputation for not being able to close by coming up with a strip sack of Rex Grossman. Aaron Maybin continued his unbelievable season by coming up with that sack, his sixth of the season. Shonn Greene then put the game on the ice with a touchdown run and added another one in garbage time for good measure.

The Jets aren’t a great football team, they have flaws which we cover here all the time but hey…they know how to win close football games. We have seen them do damage once they get into the playoffs the past two years and the hope of getting back there this year remains alive, especially with losses from Cincinnati and Oakland today.

There won’t be any easy games the rest of the way, this team isn’t consistent enough yet to say there will be, but for now the Jets are still breathing…

Depressing New York Jets Statistics

TOJ with a collection of depressing New York Jets statistics

The most depressing statistic of all for the New York Jets is of course their 5-5 record. I give them passes for losses in Baltimore and New England because those are both quality, playoff teams. They were also shorthanded in Baltimore without Nick Mangold. Beyond that, the other three losses were complete embarrassments, particularly the past two.

However, when you look at their current stat sheet, a few things jump off the page…in a bad way.

Shonn Greene – 573 yards in 10 games. I am sorry but 57 yards a game isn’t lead back production. He is on pace to finish with 915 yards and 4 touchdowns with under 4 yards per carry. Greene has been better as of late until his injury in Denver but he needs a strong finish or the Jets may have to look elsewhere for their number one back.

Santonio Holmes – 472 receiving yards…similarly to Greene, 42 yards a game isn’t cutting it for a number one receiver. Some of that blame falls on Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer but not all of it. If I would have told you before the year that Victor Cruz would be more of a big play threat than Holmes, production-wise, wouldn’t that have made you sick?

Dustin Keller – He hasn’t caught a touchdown since week 2. This is a bizarre ongoing trend with Keller who always starts off the season with high touchdown production and then completely falls off a cliff.

Calvin Pace – The Jets paid him like an elite pass rusher and he is proving not to be one. He has 4 sacks in 10 games.

Rushing Yards – 96.6 yards a game, which is good for 26th in the league.

Opponent Rushing Yards – 116.9 yards a game, which is good for 17th in the league. Isn’t this team supposed to be physical?

New York Jets: Can We Throw This Guy A Pass?

The New York Jets need to get the ball to their playmakers to score points

He isn’t half bad when given the chance.

How about a deep ball…and by deep I mean in the air for over 40 yards to this guy?

What about a screen to him?

If you want points, get the ball to your playmakers…

New York Jets Offense: They Can Do It All

TOJ on why there is no reason for the New York Jets offense not to have a monster game this Sunday night

The New York Jets offense has seemed like a perpetual work in progress the past couple of years. In the past few games, we have seen steps in the right direction. The shift to a greater focus on the running game with a play action passing attack working off it has given the Jets back the identity they have thrived in.

There was a reason behind the chest puffing from members of the offense in the pre-season. There is a high talent level on this unit, enough talent to consistently put up around 30 points on a weekly basis. You have a legitimate number one, slot receiver, a split end who is rounding into form as a big time target over the middle and in the red-zone, a tight end with the ability to stretch the field and an improving rookie slot receiver. In the backfield, you have a good north/south runner who fits in well behind a very good offensive line, complimented by a more than capable third down back and a potentially electric change of pace back.

The quarterback is still developing, still prone to occasional bonehead mistakes but on the whole is continuing to improve and is more than capable of putting together big games, particularly in big spots.

WIth the defense they are facing this week, there is no reason the Jets can’t do it all and play to their true potential. The running game should absolutely take the lead but don’t handcuff Mark Sanchez. When New England starts stacking the box, their personnel has no chance of matching up with Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Dustin Keller. Take the play action shot down the field.

Brian Schottenheimer needs to be able to find the mix of exploiting New England’s secondary, while still allowing his running game to keep rolling. Shonn Greene can get his 20 carries with Sanchez still taking his shots down the field.

The Jets put up 21 in New England back in week 5. Considering their progress since then, there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to put 31 this time around.

Is Santonio Holmes Happy?

TJ tries to decipher if Santonio Holmes is truly happy on the New York Jets

Daily News Jets columnist Manish Mehta reported that Santonio Holmes discussed whether he was happy with his role yesterday. Here’s what Holmes “said.” We attempt to translate what he “meant.”

Holmes: “We’re here to win ballgames”

Translation: The Jets top WR has his priorities in order even though he’d like to be doing better statistically.

Holmes: “We can’t worry about how many catches and yards and touchdowns we put up each game. We just know that we have to do what we have to do week in and week out to help this team continue stacking wins on top of wins.”

Translation: Holmes appears to be putting on his captain’s hat straight by saying that winning comes first. This after his captaincy was questioned by lineman Brandon Moore a short time ago. Holmes had publicly noted the offensive line as being a prime culprit for the offensive struggles in October.

At the same time, “can’t worry” doesn’t mean that Santonio doesn’t worry, or want to be more involved. He does.

Holmes: (Three) touchdowns on the season, I think. I think that’s a pretty good ratio. 22 catches. (Three) touchdowns. Fits well in my book right now.”

Translation: Holmes is using the notion of “ratio” kindly, to allude to the fact that given the Jets modest productivity through the air to date, he has done what has been asked of him.

It is a stat invented by Holmes maybe for the purpose of stiff arming any portrayal of his work so far as having produced an underachieving level of output. Plaxico Burress was the target of media scrutiny for the lack of contribution, prior to a three touchdown breakout game against the Chargers.

The Jets might want to capitalize on an extra motivation that Holmes may now be building up internally due to being under a microscope since his comments made in Baltimore a month back, by sending a few extra balls HIS way on Sunday

New York Jets: It Feels Like Home

Rex Ryan talking big? Underdogs at home? It finally feels like a normal week for the New York Jets

Rex Ryan getting ripped to pieces in the media for an arrogant comment?

The New York Jets underdogs in their own building?

Somebody from outside the locker room (Kris Jenkins), criticizing the players on the team as being catty, selfish and more concerned with self-promotion than winning?

It finally feels like a normal week for the Rex Ryan led New York Jets. This team needs the headlines, controversy and doubt to play to their potential. Think about it –

In 2009, they started off with low expectations with a new coach and a rookie quarterback. They rip off three straight wins to start the season, including a stunner over New England. The praise and complacency start to come and they lose 6 out of 7.

At 4-6 they are written off in a similar way to they are being now. They respond by winning 4 out of 5 and making the playoffs. Yet, they still receive criticism and a lack of respect for how they got in. Rex Ryan outlandishly calls the Jets the Super Bowl favorites before the playoffs start, everybody thinks he is crazy until they win two straight on the road and are up by 11 in Indianapolis in the AFC Championship Game.

It falls apart but everybody takes the Jets seriously as a Super Bowl contender heading into the 2010 season. They drop a stink bomb in week one, leading to everybody questioning everything about the team, particularly Ryan and Mark Sanchez. In response, the Jets win 9 of their next 10 and are arguably the best team in the league at 9-2 heading into New England. Too much confidence, too much praise, too much complacency and the Jets lose two straight and make themselves underdogs heading into Pittsburgh. They win a surprising game that ultimately propels them to the playoffs, where nobody picks them to beat Peyton Manning or Tom Brady but they do.

Finally everybody hops on the bandwagon, the trash talking disappears and they lose in the AFC Championship Game.

It seems to me that the Jets only respond as an underdog. They find ways to run their mouths and win games in ways that piss people off. Let’s hope history repeats itself the next 3 games when the Jets will likely be underdog in every single match-up, starting this week versus San Diego.

Final Words On Jets/Dolphins

Final words from the New York Jets before Monday Night Football kicks off

From the New York Jets themselves

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1. Pro Football Talk decided to blame the Jim Harbaugh/Jim Schwartz fight on Rex Ryan. In other news, I also heard he was responsible for World War II and world hunger.

2. Inactives — Kevin O’Connell, Logan Payne, Donald Strickland, Ropait Pitoitua, Isaiah Trufant, Bilal Powell, Colin Baxter.

3. The Jets are inducting Larry Grantham, Gerry Philbin, Freeman McNeil, and Al Toon into their Ring of Honor tonight. Toooooooooon.

New York Jets: An Offense Against Itself Can’t Stand

A poor captaincy choice is leading to division in the Jets locker room, as Brandon Moore took an appropriate stance against Santonio Holmes

Santonio Holmes hasn’t been shy about expressing his frustration with the New York Jets offensive line in recent weeks. Veteran Brandon Moore took a stand today against Holmes, clearly stating his anger with his commentary and the freedom he is receiving from the organization’s hierarchy to come after Moore and his peers on the line. Red flags are flying up everywhere as most people see the Jets quickly disintegrating into a circus that is coming apart at the seams. There is no question that turmoil is present when analyzing the current state of the locker room.

Holmes is a competitor and we love that about him. He is a clutch playmaker who is accustomed to winning. With that being said, the decision to make him a captain was somewhat head turning. He has a reputation for immaturity and occasional selfishness. Rex Ryan put the “C” on his chest after only logging 12 regular season games for the Jets last year because of a suspension. The decision could be looked at as a mildly juvenile one. Hey, we just convinced this big time receiver to come back with us long term and I think he is our biggest playmaker, let’s throw a captaincy his way.

In reality, a captaincy likely would have made more sense for one of your All-Pro offensive lineman, Nick Mangold or D’Brickashaw Ferguson. A pair of players who were drafted by the team in 2006 and have been a major part of the organization’s winning ways since then. Actually, it probably would have made even more sense for Brandon Moore who is the longest tenured player on the offense. A player who joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2002, starting out as a defensive lineman before moving to guard to start 110 consecutive games and counting for the Jets. Moore has consistently been one of the better guards in football and represents the organization well off the field as the player’s union rep, furthering his knowledge by taking management courses at Harvard.

Put yourself in Moore’s shoes, hearing your work criticized in public by a player who has been in your organization for less than two full seasons. Your offensive line has carried your unit to the AFC Championship Game in back to back years and now you have to read tabloids from your receiver questioning your ability. Moore, Ferguson, Mangold, Matt Slauson, and Wayne Hunter do the dirty work that allows Holmes to put himself on the highlights reels.

I have never been inside in the Jets locker room but I venture a safe guess that Moore is more respected than Holmes because of his tenure and the way he carries himself. Holmes is a captain for the first time in his life and maybe is still struggling to sort out what kind of voice that gives him. A “C” on your chest is only a letter, it doesn’t mean anything if your teammates don’t follow or respect you. Part of the blame falls on Ryan for making Holmes a captain when he may have not deserved it and you can cut Holmes some slack since he is new to the role. Yet, he needs to look in the mirror and ask himself what he thinks he is gaining by calling out his offensive line to the New York media.

Talk to Moore and your linemen as teammates behind closed doors. Better yet, think twice to criticize them when you are struggling because I don’t recall you praising them when you were scoring touchdowns and the team was winning.

Losing is an ugly thing, especially in a team sport like football. It is a virus that infects the entire environment of an organization. You can only rise above it as a team, never as an individuals.

Five Remedies To The New York Jets Offense

Relax and take notes Brian Schottenheimer before people start picketing in front of your home…

1. More McKnight, More Screens – The New York Jets always had an issue using Leon Washington enough back from 2006-2009. Not surprisingly, Brian Schottenhiemer has done a poor job of incorporating Joe McKnight into the Jets offense. Wasn’t he drafted because of his ability to spread out as a receiver, along with be a running back. Can we split him out and get a mismatch on a linebacker? Can we throw the guy a screen pass in some space, since he is ripping off a monster kick return a week right now? One carry isn’t enough, he should be getting 6-10 touches on offense and on the whole the Jets need to use more screens to him, LaDainian Tomlinson, Dustin Keller, and their starting wide receivers.

2. Look Deep Early – Teams load up to prevent the Jets running game and short/intermediate passing “attack.” They need to take a shot deep early in the game to loosen up the opposing defense. How about a slant and go, since the Jets throw about 8 slants a game? I recall the Jets running that route once under Schottenheimer and it going for a 80 yard touchdown.

3. Where Are You Dustin? – The Jets offense always seems to operate at a better rate when Dustin Keller is actively involved in the offense. He has been MIA the past few weeks after a big start. The excuse that teams are doubling him doesn’t work. He has the ability to move around all over the formation. The Jets need to get creative about getting him involved.

4. The Happy Medium – You don’t have to either be an all out Ground and Pound or a pass happy, chuck and duck attack. There could be a gray area or a happy medium. You run the football to help protect Mark Sanchez but don’t hold him back if the opportunities are available down the field.

5. More Of This – Back shoulder fades to Plaxico Burress…LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene in the same backfield…The Wildcat with Jeremy Kerley and Joe McKnight in the backfield…A vertical pass to Santonio Holmes.

New York Jets: What Is A Reasonable Offensive Gameplan?

What is a reasonable offensive game plan for the New York Jets to put together this Sunday?

The big talk of the week for the New York Jets is the return of the “Ground and Pound.” It is a sensible move to pull back the passing offense, which has created too many turnovers and moved the Jets away from a successful identity. However, there needs to be some type of happy medium in the offensive game-plan. The running game needs to set up the passing game, hence there still needs to be an existence of some type of passing game. Mark Sanchez does need to throw more than 12 passes on Sunday.

Ideally, he will throw roughly 25 times, which is the number he has averaged in his three career victories over New England. You would like to see Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight (who needs to be involved on offense) combine for about 32-35 carries. That type of consistency in the running game will open up play action attempts down the field, even if the runs are only going for 2-3 yards a pop. When Sanchez does go play action he should find favorable match-ups for Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Dustin Keller.

The Jets also need to expand their screen game. A good way to get Sanchez’s confidence going early is to set up a few screens for Tomlinson and McKnight, along with their receivers. Let him get a few completions under his belt and get into the rhythm of the game before pushing the football down the field. One other comment on the passing game, where is the back shoulder fade to Plaxico Burres down the sideline? In single coverage, that pass is an indefensible way to gain a quick 15 yards. It needs to be worked into the Jets playbook.

In the running game, the Jets need to press the edges and consider giving the Wildcat a few snaps. Jeremy Kerley can be a weapon in the open field, especially if he is working in tandem with McKnight.

Brian Schottenheimer receives his share of criticism but he has come up with a few clutch game-plans in his day. Most notably, playoff victories over Cincinnati and New England in previous years. He needs to come up with another one on Sunday.