Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Jets vs. Colts Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling after Jets/Colts

Despite not being able to watch most of Sunday’s game live (damn you, Sunday weddings during football season!) and tweet irrational play-by-play analysis with you all, I did manage to catch enough of it to have a pretty good grasp of what went on. DVR’ing it and finally catching up on all the minor details didn’t hurt things either, and now I feel sufficiently confident and buying and selling all things New York Jets as we head into Patriots Week. Let’s get started..

BUY: Shonn Greene – YESSS!!!! FINALLY!!!!! For weeks I was the last remaining New York Jets fan defending Shonn Greene and telling everyone who would listen to not give up on this guy. It appears as though my plan to pretend to join the masses in giving up on Greene to motive him worked perfectly! Glad I could help, Shonn.

Ok, so maybe that’s not quite what happened, but it appears as though those thousands of Shonn Greene stock shares I own have just been upgraded out of Enron territory. Joe will have more on this in his offensive film breakdown, but Greene ran confidently, hit the holes hard, and didn’t even stumble over his feet that much. He even perfectly executed a spin move in the backfield to avoid a tackler and score a touchdown, which almost made me simultaneously spit out my drink and start crying out of pride and happiness. I felt like Pedro Cerrano at the end of Major League when he’s this close to giving up on Jobu, before crushing a huge home run. If Greene can run like that now that the weather is turning and the offensive line is starting to gel, we could really be on to something here.

BUY: Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller – The numbers weren’t crazy or anything, but these two guys being on the field helped open up the offense dramatically. Hill will drive us crazy all year with his inconsistent play and drops, but there’s no question that the defense has to account for his speed whenever he’s on the field. As for Keller, he didn’t do much as a receiver, but his blocking was tremendous, and it won’t be long before he gets into the swing of things catching passes.

BUY: Tebow’s 3rd and 1 run up the middle – I can’t for the life of me figure out why it took 6 weeks for the team to use Tebow for a power run up the middle in a short yardage situation. But better late than never I suppose, as they finally did it, having Tebow run right up the middle behind Nick Mangold, and — surprise, surprise– it worked! I’d like to see more of this, please.

BUY: Coaching – I know the perception of Rex Ryan is that he’s just some big bozo who runs his mouth and can’t back it up. That perception is wrong. Rex Ryan is really a very good coach, and this game was a prime example as to why. His defensive game plan was flat out brilliant, as he confused Andrew Luck for 4 quarters and managed to fix a run defense that was getting absolutely torched the past few weeks. Now, I know Vick Ballard isn’t exactly Adrian Peterson, but it was nice to see an excellent all-around defensive performance. On offense, kudos go out to Tony Sparano for staying the course and sticking with his run game while also finding ways to get borderline useless players like Jason Hill and Jeff Cumberland involved and actually put them in a position to make plays.

BUY: The Youth Movement – This wasn’t exactly planned heading into this season, but the Jets are quietly reloading and incorporating a youth movement while also managing to contend at the same time. Injuries to players such as Darrelle Revis, Santonio Holmes, Sione Po’uha and Eric Smith have forced youngsters like Kyle Wilson, Jeremy Kerley, Kenrick Ellis, Antonio Allen, and Quinton Coples into more prominent roles than they were expected to play. Throw in contributions from guys like Bilal Powell, Austin Howard, Demario Davis, and even — gasp! — Vlad Ducasse and the Jets are quietly building something very promising for 2013. And yes, I absolutely am going to expand on this for an article later this week, so be on the look out.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Jets vs. Texans Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, which is buying and selling after Jets/Texans

I know most people out there thought the Texans were going to just come into MetLife Stadium last night and blow the doors off the Jets. I wasn’t one of those people, but I was still pleased with the way the Jets played, and they exceeded my expectations. The best thing I can say right now is that the Jets aren’t going to turn into the Mets, and the second half of the season will at the very least remain watchable. We took the best team in the league right down to the wire, and there is hope! Of course, that doesn’t mean the loss didn’t hurt, since I really felt they had a chance to pull out the game. Let’s buy and sell some Jets stock based on last night’s performance and where the team is headed now.

BUY: The Onside Kick Call – I wanted to address this first. A lot of people had a problem with Rex calling for the onside kick after Joe McKnight’s kick return touchdown, but they shouldn’t. Rex was playing to win, and he knew he had to pull out all the stops to beat a team like the Texans. More importantly, it showed that Rex isn’t the delusional buffoon that many claim him to be. He knows the defense isn’t the dominant unit he claimed it was, and he didn’t have the blind faith in them to stop the Texans from running the ball down his throat in that situation. It showed guts, and I appreciate that. Plus, why not let the best unit on the team, the special teams led by Mike Westhoff, try to make another play and help win the game?

BUY: Nick Mangold – My heart dropped when I saw Mangold writhing in pain with an ankle injury and with the way this season has been going, I of course feared the worst. So it was pretty freaking awesome to see Mangold come back out on the field and play the majority of the second half. Nick Mangold is a man’s man, and I only wish this his toughness would rub off on some of his teammates. Yes, I mean Dustin Keller.

SELL: Jeff Cumberland, Jason Hill, Chaz Schilens – Not a surprise here, but these guys are absolutely terrible. TERRIBLE. There’s a reason they were all ranked so lowly in my roster run-down from last week. Schilens ran the wrong routes or messed up on more than one occasion. Jason Hill had that pitiful drop on the Tebow deep pass that proved every single Jets fan right who cursed Mike Tannenbaum for signing him, and Jeff Cumberland played like Jeff Cumberland. Even in a game Cumberland scores a touchdown, he still manages to come off looking like a disgrace.

SELL: Matt Cavanaugh – I said this months ago when I took the Jets to task for their complete and utter failure to properly develop their young quarterback, but when is this guy going to be held accountable? He has been an abject failure at every stop of his coaching career, and this is the guy we kept around to continue to mentor our struggling quarterback? I’m not saying he’s the problem here, but he’s absolutely, positively, without a doubt NOT part of a solution.

SELL: The Linebackers – My God, the linebackers on this team just fell off a cliff this year. Even David Harris, who I love as a player, has been struggling. Perhaps that’s because he has to make every single tackle since Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, and Bryan Thomas are USELESS (seriously, USELESS. That deserves mentioning twice), but he’s still not playing up to the standard that he set for himself. Garrett McIntyre also deserves special mention here for his performance, especially on the Arian Foster touchdown run where he got absolutely steamrolled. Sadly, despite all of Rex’s defensive wizardry, this unit can’t improve until these guys get their pink slips and some linebackers are brought in who can actually run, get to the outside, and generally not move around with all the grace of Tony Siragusa headed towards a toilet after a trip to Taco Bell. In the second half we saw more of Quinton Coples in 4 man fronts, Josh Mauga and Demario Davis at linebacker, and shockingly, the defense improved. That’s weird.

BUY: Jeremy Kerley – Jeremy Kerley had a great game. For a guy who was not expected to be anything more than a slot receiver this year, he’s really stepped into the #1 receiver roll and looked pretty darn good doing so. Defenses are going to start paying more attention to him, but if Dustin Keller ever gets the green light to actually play, the Jets might actually have some offensive weapons to use and we won’t have to see Cumberland and Jason Hill disgracing their family names any longer.

BUY: Antonio Cromartie – I saved the best for last this week. Antonio Cromartie played like the elite cornerback that he is this week and showed the world he wasn’t just blowing smoke when he said he feels like he’s the best corner in the league now that Revis is down. Guess what? He really might be. I never understood the irrational hatred towards Cromartie from Jets fans who were just jaded from watching Revis play. There’s only one corner in the world who doesn’t get beat. All of the others give up plays from time to time, but very few are able to cover man to man the way Antonio Cromartie does, and there aren’t 5 others in the league who can make the big plays he does either. He’s a great player, and the Jets are lucky to have him. How many other guys would be able to just take over the Revis role and follow around a guy like Andre Johnson all over the field and make it seem like the Jets defense isn’t missing a beat? If this season ends in anything but a Pro Bowl selection for Cro, it will be a travesty.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Fire Sale Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch. Where everything must go!

At this point there isn’t a whole heck of a lot left to say about the debacle of a game last week against the 49ers that hasn’t already been said by everyone. Sanchez stunk. The run game is crap. The wide receivers wouldn’t even start for the University of Alabama. The tight ends wouldn’t even MAKE the University of Alabama team. The linebackers should be put out to pasture. There is no pass rush. Kyle Wilson is yet another blemish on Mike Tannenbaum’s draft record. Ah yes, Mike Tannenbaum, the General Manager who refused to read my letter to him before the season. Perhaps he should have heeded my advice, because I warned him in that letter that the complete and utter lack of a plan on this team was going to get him fired, and it’s looking like that’s going to be the case. (Crossing my fingers.)

Rather than buy and sell, or more accurately just sell everything from last week’s performance, I’m going to run down the things I’m buying for the rest of the season and what I — and all Jets fans — should be hoping to see from here on out.

BUY: Mark Sanchez start every game – I don’t care how bad he looked last week (and even the most ardent Sanchez supporter would have to say he played poorly), he is the best option for this team at quarterback. Tim Tebow is not the solution long-term so what is the point? Greg McElroy isn’t the answer, unless the question is “Who should be the backup quarterback next season?”. Let’s see if Sanchez can make chicken salad out of chicken you-know-what. His receivers without Holmes are terrible. TERRIBLE. His right tackle is terrible. His tight ends with Keller out are terrible. Actually “terrible” isn’t even a strong enough word for Jeff Cumberland and Dedrick Epps. I’d need to combine several gross words to describe them. They’re terribawfulcrap. The run game is an embarrassment to run games. I wouldn’t even call it a “run game” because what they do isn’t running the ball as much as much as it’s just slowly falling forward each time it’s handed off. The point is, Sanchez has the worst supporting cast around him in the NFL at this point. Let’s see if he can play well despite that and earn the trust of the coaching staff and fan base going forward. I’m still a believer.

BUY: Powell, McKnight, and Grimes at RB – Nobody defended Shonn Greene more than me heading into this season, but it’s over. He’s a complementary back, and it won’t be for the Jets going forward so there’s not much of a point to seeing him plod ahead and fall down for 3 yards over and over. We know what he can do. He’s still a useful player in the right situation, and if the Jets were good still, I’d be saying he should definitely be getting plenty of touches. But the Jets aren’t good. Let’s see if Bilal Powell can be next season’s starter. Let’s FINALLY see what Joe McKnight can do — on offense, not as a cornerback. And let’s see if this Jonathan Grimes character off the Texans practice squad can offer anything at all. Why not, right?

BUY: Hill, Kerley, Schilens at WR – Could this be considered a “good” group of WR’s? No of course not. That’s a laughable thought. It’s probably the worst group in the NFL. But there certainly isn’t much of a point to bringing in Terrell Owens or Plaxico Burress is there? Could a guy like Plax help this team go from a 5 win team to a 6 win team? Perhaps, but in the long run that hurts us. Let the young guys play and hope they improve enough to be reliable contributors next season, especially Hill. It’s a good thing Mike Tannenbaum loaded this roster with #4 receivers though, isn’t it? Any time you can give your starting QB two #4 receivers, a solid slot guy, and a #142 tight end to throw to, you do it and wait for the wins to pile up!

BUY: Vlad Ducasse at Guard – Gulp. Yes, I said it. If the team is going to pretend Vlad Ducasse is a real NFL player and hope none of us notice, then let’s freaking see it. Throw the big oaf out there and let’s see if he can manage to not get any of his teammates killed. And if he trips and falls over Jeff Cumberland and knocks him out a few weeks, then at least we can say Vlad finally contributed to the team.

BUY: Quinton Coples – !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I know it’s a novel concept, but let’s play our first round pick who just happens to be our ONLY threat as a pass rusher up front. Last week the Jets had 3 pressures, which sadly is not a misprint. Anyway, Coples had 2 of them in limited action. Let’s see more 4-man fronts, and I don’t want to hear about how Coples struggles against the run for two reasons. 1) I don’t even think that’s true, and 2) Even if it is true, are Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, and Garrett McIntyre doing ANYTHING out there that would make you think they deserve snaps? Speaking of which..

BUY: Aaron Maybin – Same logic as with Coples, really. He can rush the passer, which the Jets seem to be allergic to. And sure he sucks against the run, but here’s the thing: SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE! Who cares? Maybe he’ll manage to create some havoc and get into the backfield for a change. And if he doesn’t, there’s really not much difference than the other guys.

BUY: Demario Davis at LB – It sure would be nice to see a linebacker who doesn’t need a sun dial to time his 40 yard dash, wouldn’t it? I know I’ve used that joke before, but I will continue to do so until it isn’t relevant to the Jets roster. The linebackers are ssslllloooooowwwww. If it was 1988, then having all these big, slow as crap linebackers would probably be a good thing. But it’s not 1988, and it’s definitely not a good thing.

BUY: Aaron Berry at CB – Kyle Wilson sucks. I was hoping against hope that it wasn’t true, but it is. The guy looks like he has absolutely no clue what he’s doing out there. And after watching him finger-wag Mario Manningham last week after getting absolutely torched repeatedly, he makes me think he’s the worst kind of suck too. He legitimately thinks he’s good and has a major false sense of accomplishment. Considering he’ll be out of the league in 2 years, I hope he saved up some of that big bag of money that Mike Tannenbaum gave him. Aaron Berry is a horrible human being, but he was a pretty solid cornerback for Detroit and likely will help more as a nickel back between Revis and Cromartie than Wilson ever did.

BUY: A high draft pick – Sadly, it’s looking like the team that was oh-so-close just two years ago is completely shot. The team needed to be re-tooled over the past two offseasons at several key positions like linebacker, offensive line, and running back, but it never happened. Draft busts like Kyle Wilson, Vlad Duacasse, and pretty much all the running backs that Tannenbaum loves collecting have been useless. There is no depth, no talent on offense, little talent on defense, and our star player in Darrelle Revis is injured. As a fan, it’s impossible to root against the Jets when they play on Sundays, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if this ends in 5-11 or something like that. Tannenbaum will likely be canned, veterans like Pace and Scott and their big contracts with be purged, and things will look much different next year. Hopefully all these injuries and subpar performances land us a really high draft pick for the first time since 2008 so even our pathetic scouting department can’t mess it up.

Oh wait, that year we drafted Vernon Gholston. We are doomed.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Jets/Dolphins Review Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling after the Jets week 3 win against Miami

Before we jump into the negatives when it comes to this Jets team right now, I’d like to start this week off with a few positives because believe it or not, there actually were a few after re-watching the game. There weren’t many after the narrow win over the crappy Dolphins, but there are a few that are worth mentioning…

BUY: Robert Malone – That’s right, the list of positives begins with the punter! A lot of people were confused when TJ Conley was punted off the roster (Get it?!?), but as usual, Mike Westhoff was completely right. Robert Malone has been excellent this season, and he helped the Jets in the field position battle all afternoon on Sunday. He’s got a really strong leg, and he’s dropped several punts down near the goalline this year. There are no two ways about it: He’s been a major upgrade at the position.

BUY: Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley – As Mark Sanchez said, Santonio played his absolute ass off on Sunday and he deserves all the credit in the world for that performance. It can’t be easy when you’re double teamed on every play and the defense knows you are the only reliable receiver on the team, but he handled it well, played hard the entire game, and was the single biggest reason the Jets won the game (other than Dan Carptenter). If he can play like that every week, the offense won’t be too bad. As for Kerley, quite simply, he needs to get the ball more. For an offense that struggles making big plays, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be out there more often while guys like Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates watch from the sidelines.

BUY: Laron Landry – Man oh man, it sure was nice to see a safety wearing green make a play on the field for a change, wasn’t it? I had forgotten what that was like after watching Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith appear as though they were moving in slow motion on my television screen the past two years.

BUY: Shonn Greene and the Run Game – I’ve backed Greene all year, and that won’t change now! I thought he looked absolutely great out there on Sunday, making cuts, forcing missed tackles with nifty spin moves and– ahhhh ok, none of that happened at all. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t keep this charade up. Shonn Greene shouldn’t be relied upon as the “bell cow” running back any longer. I’m not saying he shouldn’t get 12 or so carries a game, because he definitely should, but we need to mix it up.

Bilal Powell looked much better against Miami and deserves to at least split touches at this point. Joe McKnight absolutely needs to be incorporated more into the offense, as does Tim Tebow. Yes, Tim Tebow 100% should be taking more snaps and running the ball to provide some kind of spark to this flat run game. Greene has always been better as a 1B type back who comes in to pound tired defenses, and that is what he should be back to doing now. Use a committee approach and let Greene seal the game at the end.  And when we get to short yardage or goal line situations, for the love of God, can we please see Tebow in there to run it right up the middle behind Mangold? Please? Just once? Speaking of which…

SELL: The Tebow Plan – It’s been three weeks and I’m starting to think the Jets didn’t actually have a plan for Tebow after all. Unless of course the plan was to make him a slot receiver who can’t actually catch, because if that was it, I take back everything I just wrote. They’re executing that one brilliantly. If Tebow isn’t in on 1st and goal from the 1 or other short yardage situations, what is the point of having him on this team? That’s a spot that he is tailor made for! And can we see him throw one pass maybe? I know they’re “saving it”, but it’s to the point now that everyone knows that’s what they’re doing anyway and it won’t even be a surprise. Ugh.

SELL: Ellis Lankster – As soon as Lankster came on the field for extended action following the Revis injury… hold on, I have to slam my head into the desk a few times thinking about that. Ok, so yeah, when Lankster came in the game, the Dolphins IMMEDIATELY targeted him. And not just once, either. I’m pretty sure if Ryan Tannehill were mic’d up for that game, we would hear him at the line just yelling out “Lankster is over there covering you! I’m throwing to you, man!” I’m serious about that too. Lankster is awful. He’s a worse version of Drew Coleman, who is perhaps my most hated Jet in recent memory. If Lankster is seriously the nickel back the rest of the way, I expect him to challenge for that title. (EDITOR’S NOTE – I love Drew Coleman. He’d be the best pass rusher on the Jets right now).

SELL: The Linebackers – Lankster was far from the only bad defender on the field on Sunday. All of the linebackers played terribly, even David Harris, who is normally terrific. I love Bart Scott, but at this point I’m starting to think he went missing sometime last year and his slower, less athletic, weaker twin brother just showed up to the facility one day, started yelling and picking fights just like Bart would do, put on the 57 jersey and nobody seemed to notice. If the fake Bart can’t blow plays up in the backfield and stuff the run like the real one used to, then there’s really no use for him on the field anymore.

As for the outside linebackers, Garrett McIntyre came off his two sack performance in Pittsburgh and once again looked like Garrett McIntyre. You know, the guy who can’t set the edge on run plays, can’t cover tight ends or running backs, and who gets no pass rush. Or more simply, he looked just like a white Calvin Pace. Thankfully, Pace is in his last season with the team, and in 2013 we won’t have to see him Frankenstein-walk his way into the backfield in another ill-fated attempt to sack a quarterback. I’m starting to really wish this team still had Aaron Maybin on the roster so he could play more and we MIGHT have a chance at a sack. Oh, what’s that? Aaron Maybin is still on the team? Could have fooled me…

Thinking about the linebackers made me think about just how many completely and totally useless players are on this roster, which 100% lays at the feet of Mike Tannenbaum, who apparently never read my letter to him and just figured he already built a roster deep enough and strong enough to compete as a defense-oriented, ground and pound unit. He was wrong. Just take a look:

2012 Useless Jets Players List

  • WR- Clyde Gates
  • WR- Chaz Schilens
  • TE- Jeff Cumberland
  • G- Vlad Ducasse
  • OLB- Calvin Pace
  • OLB- Bryan Thomas
  • OLB- Garrett McIntyre
  • S- Eric Smith

2012 Almost-Useless Jets Players List

  • MLB- Bart Scott
  • FB- John Conner
  • TE- Konrad Reuland
  • QB- Tim Tebow

And that doesn’t even get into our rookie class that we are getting NOTHING out of, or backup players who weren’t expected to contribute in the first place. This team has NO depth, and it’s becoming painfully clear. Mike Tannenbaum did a terrible job building this team, giving Mark Sanchez no receivers to throw to (amongst other terrible development strategies), the running game no blocking tight ends to open holes for them, and the defense no speed to actually tackle ball carries. I’m pretty sure that’s not the way to build a contender.

And speaking of useless people, I present the last sell of the week. In this case, I did not save the best for last.

SELL: Evan Silva – The fantasy football and NFL super-duper guru/expert/analyst had himself quite a week. Some of you may have thought I was joking two weeks ago when I unveiled my new 3-part betting strategy, but I was not. What was that strategy you ask? Here you go:

  1. Find Evan Silva’s picks and score predictions.
  2. Bet the opposite of them all.
  3. Collect $$$

After a solid 12-4 week this week for me against the spread, the results speak for themselves. I invite you all to join me on the money train in coming weeks. The season may look bleak for the Jets and us fans with Revis’s torn ACL, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a little fun along the way.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Around The NFL Week 1

Mike Donnelly with a special edition of the Stock Watch, focusing around the NFL after week 1

In case you missed my Jets Week 1 Stock Watch, you can read that here. Today I’m taking a look around the NFL and in familiar fashion will be buying and selling the comings and goings of a chaotic week 1. But since this column and site in general have a distinct Jets flavor to them, let’s start with the St. Louis Rams and their new genius offensive coordinator…

The Schotty Watch – I tweeted about this the other day, but it was wild how many people rushed to their keyboards to make some lame version of the same joke as the Jets struggled this preseason. You know, the “Ohh, Schotty must be loving watching the Jets not score down in St. Louis lol”, or “Yeah but Schotty was the problem, right?” garbage. So clever. What was even wilder is how those very people who made those knee-slapping quips hardly had anything to say when the Jets dropped 48 points on the Bills and looked sharper, more organized, and better prepared since, well, since before Schotty was the Jets offensive coordinator (Check out this breakdown of Sparano’s game plan). What’s even more curious is I haven’t seen anybody make mention of the fact that while the Jets were marching up and down the field on Sunday, the Rams offense sputtered and is currently the 31st ranked offense in the NFL, racking up a paltry 251 yards of total offense. I guess Schotty isn’t the one laughing so much anymore, huh? I am.

BUY: The Cutler to Marshall Connection – The Bears were my pre-season darling team to go from out of the playoffs to being a legit contender this year (believe it or not, I didn’t pick the Bills!). I know it was a popular pick, but the Bears could really make some noise this year. Jay Cutler looked like a new man out on the field Sunday as he got to throw pass after pass after pass to his favorite target from his Denver days in Brandon Marshall. Does this make me absolutely giddy as a Marshall fantasy owner? Yes, yes it does.

BUY: Adrian Peterson – Ohhh, that’s right. It’s Adrian Peterson and we shouldn’t have doubted him. Remind me not to make that mistake ever again.

BUY: Robert Griffin III and the Redskins – I’m not ready to anoint RG3 as a Hall of Famer already like some others, but that was quite an impressive debut. I fully expected Mike Shanahan to ruin this poor guy, but he looked spectacular. Unfortunately he won’t get to play the Saints laughable defense every week, but still.

BUY: Julio Jones – I couldn’t have been higher on Julio heading into this season, both in real life and fantasy football. I know I wasn’t alone in that camp, but last year when he was healthy, he was Matt Ryan’s favorite target, not Roddy White. Now that he’s in year 2, the sky is the limit.

BUY: Patriots Run Game – Just when it seemed like teams like the Jets may have started putting together the pieces to deal with the Patriots passing game, Belichick goes and changes his whole offense and incorporates a newfound running attack that absolutely tore up the Titans this week. Stevan Ridley to me is just a more talented and explosive version of Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and the Pats seem intent on riding him.

BUY: The 49ers – Wow, what a performance in Lambeau this week. They tore that Packers team apart in all phases of the game and quite frankly, exposed them in the process. Enough can’t be said about what a great coach Jim Harbaugh is, even if he appears to be a Grade-A lunatic.

SELL: The Packers and Saints defenses – All those years of people saying “Oh, well of course those defenses give up yards, their offenses are always so far ahead” look pretty silly right about now. It turns out their own offenses had nothing to do with it. Their defenses are just completely and utterly useless. Would it kill either of these teams to actually maybe cover someone? At one point in the Packers game, Aaron Rodgers threw an incomplete pass on 3rd down and had a look on his face like he knew they were about to be down by even more the next time he took the field. Hard to play with that kind of pressure.

SELL: Russell Wilson – I was on record as saying I didn’t understand all the Russell Wilson hype. I don’t know how it got started, I don’t know why it got started, but I sure hope it’s nearing the end of it’s run. Sure, he looked decent in the preseason against defenses that weren’t game-planning or preparing in any way, but when the lights turned on and the games counted, Wilson looked exactly like what he is: an undersized third round rookie quarterback on a bad team.

SELL: The Lions – My pick for team that stumbles form the playoffs to a 6-10 season, Detroit and their wackjob coach Jim Schwartz looked awful across the board on Sunday, as they almost lost to the Rams. The RAMS!

SELL: Drew Brees – I think the “Maybe that offense was more about Sean Payton than Drew Brees after all” whispers are going to start picking up soon. Drew Brees is the ultimate stat-padder late in games, so it may take a few weeks before people start to really realize there are problems with the Saints offense, but don’t be surprised when it happens.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Regular Season Preview Edition

Mike Donnelly’s Stock Watch previews the New York Jets 2012 regular season

After months of back and forth debating that in many cases turned into all-out fighting and arguing about the Jets, the season is finally here. I know if you watch ESPN, NFL Network, or whatever other stations full of “experts” there are out there, you’ll get the impression the Jets have no chance to compete this year, but I’m a much more optimistic lad. Call me crazy, but I’m downright giddy about the Jets chances this year and I think their offensive woes have been blown way out of proportion. To prove that point, I’m going to be dedicating this week’s stock watch to buying and selling made-up statistical props for the Jets players in 2012. Let’s start with the quarterback who will be leading the Jets this year and prove all the doubters wrong..

BUY: TIM TEBOW

Just kidding..

BUY: Mark Sanchez over 60% completions – With Brian Schottenheimer and his baffling offensive system out of town, look for Mark to thrive under Tony Sprarano. He won’t put up eye-popping statistics, but you can bet his completion percentage will improve a great deal as the team runs the ball with more consistency and actually works off that with some play-actions which were mysteriously absent from Schotty’s playbook.

BUY: Mark Sanchez under 15 interceptions – With a less-confusing offense that better suits his skills, Mark’s interception total is going to go down to around the 12-13 area instead of the 18 he threw last year. Unfortunately, I don’t see him approaching the 26 touchdowns through the air from a year ago this season either, though.

BUY: Shonn Greene over 1500 yards from scrimmage – Yes, Shonn Greene is going to eclipse 1,500 yards from scrimmage this year. Many Jets fans, including some on this very site, are extremely down on the former third round pick, but I am not one of them. I expect the offensive line to get their crap together and for Greene to really hit his stride on the ground this season as he’s fed the ball repeatedly. And I can’t stress this enough: Shonn Greene is entering his contract year. He’s going to bust his ass to put up numbers and get paid. This is a lock.

BUY: Santonio Holmes over 70 Catches and 10 TD’s – Well he had 8 TD’s and 51 catches last year and it can’t get much worse than the year he had, right? Look for the Jets to force the ball to Holmes early in the season to get him involved and keep him happy. Plus, he’s the only reliable receiver on the team, so throwing to him early and often makes a ton of sense.

SELL: Chaz Schilens over 10 catches – The way it’s looking now, I’d probably sell if the over was 0.5 catches. Ugh. Hope I’m wrong about this one.

SELL: Austin Howard over 4.5 starts at RT – Another one I hope I’m wrong about, because having Howard become a legit starting RT would be a major boon for the offense. Plus, it would cause Mike Tannenbaum to nearly collapse in joy at the thought of finding his own diamond in the rough to appease his “Next Victor Cruz” obsession. And that’s not to mention some Jets bloggers who shall remain nameless that have already made plans to attend Austin Howard’s Hall of Fame induction in the year 2034. That being said, I just don’t think Howard is going to last, and Jason Smith will be the man on the right side before long.

BUY: Coples and Wilkerson combined over 10.5 sacks – Considering these are both interior pass rushers, over 10 sacks combined might be a little bit of a lofty goal. BUT,these two guys are incredibly talented and athletic and are going to cause major havoc in opposing backfields. Even if they fall a little short of this number combined, they’ll be directly responsible for about a dozen other sacks that will fall into the laps of Calvin Pace and Aaron Maybin on the outside. Unfortunately this won’t stop plenty of yahoo Jets fans who will look at the sack numbers, not see double digits each and call both of them busts. Sigh.

SELL: Aaron Maybin over 10 sacks – I think Maybin will lead the team in sacks this year, but I don’t think he will crack double digits. Think 7-9 for him and that will be just fine when combined with our young studs on the line. Defenses are going to pay more attention to him this yearf, so cracking 10 could be tough.

SELL: Darrelle Revis over 0.5 TD’s allowed – Ok let’s see here. We’re witnessing perhaps the greatest defensive back of all time at the age of 27. He’s in his absolute athletic peak. He gave up one touchdown last year and people have dogged him about it since, saying Stevie Johnson now owns him. He’s playing for a new contract that will likely make him the highest paid non-quarterback in the history of the NFL. Umm, yeah I’m gonna go ahead and say we’re about to see some kind of historic season from Number 24. Oh, and Stevie Johnson, if you’re reading this (and why wouldn’t you be?) you’re screwed this week. SCREWED.

BUY: Nick Folk over 30 FG’s made this year – Folk has had an excellent off-season, beating out Josh Brown, and we all know how much Tony Sparano loves his field goals.

BUY: Jets over 8.5 wins this year – I’ve been over this time and time again (like in my AFC East Preview), but this is a lock. With that schedule and that defense, 9 wins should be an afterthought. I’m thinking 10 or 11 and a deep playoff run. I’m getting excited just thinking about this team’s potential.

So forget the haters. Forget Evan Silva and Mike Florio. The hell with Merrill Hoge and Gary Myers and Mike Francesa. Ignore the Tim Tebow disciples like Skip Bayless. This team has a real chance to give us a special season that we’ll remember for a long time. Let’s sit back and enjoy the ride.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Pre-Season Week 3 Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling after the New York Jets third pre-season game

I hope enough Jets fans out there managed to avoid jumping off the ledge after they again failed to score a touchdown on Sunday night, and are still around to read this column. It’s easy to be down on the offense after their preseason performances, but I saw enough silver linings this week that lead me to believe hings are going to come together soon. By soon, I mean I pray it will be week 1 against Buffalo and their crappy defense led by the hilariously bad Dave Wannstedt. Let’s get on with it…

BUY: The Jason Smith Trade – GOOD-BYE WAYNE HUNTER! I seriously can’t see any downside to this trade at all. What’s the worst that can happen, Jason Smith comes in and is awful? That’s STILL an upgrade over Wayne Hunter. Jason Smith is a former #2 overall pick, so he clearly has talent and at one time had a ton of potential. Sometimes guys like that just need a change of scenery before they start to realize some of that potential, and I hope that is the case here. But again, even if he sucks, what did we lose? Oh that’s right, we lost the $1.5 million that Smith makes more than Hunter this year. But again, so what? Everyone complained for weeks now that Tannenbaum hasn’t spent money on upgrades, and now he spent a mere $1.5 million of the approximately $6 million they were under the cap to get a player with the potential to be much better than Hunter. Any pickups Mr. T could make between now and the start of the season are going to be low-cost pick-ups, not star players, so dropping $1.5 of the nest egg on Smith is not a big deal at all. Maybe Tannenbaum did read my letter to him after all and realized he needed to do something. Ok, probably not, but still, at least he did something. 

SELL: The Rams and Brian Schottenheimer– When I heard about that Wayne Hunter was traded, I broke out into a big smile. When I found out it was to the Rams, I started laughing out loud. How hilarious is the idea of whoever-the-hell the Rams GM is asking Schottenheimer about Hunter, and Schotty getting all excited and saying “WE GOTTA GET HUNTER!”, then running down the hall to find Matt Mulligan and tell him he’s getting the old band back together with a big fist pump? Even better, how great is the next Rams practice going to be with Wayne Hunter as a 3rd-string tackle and Matt Mulligan as the 3rd-string tight end combining forces to block 5th-string defensive end Vernon Gholston as Brian Schottenheimer looks on proudly? Needless to say, I’m going to enjoy the 2012 St. Louis Rams.

BUY: Mark Sanchez – I tweeted this during the game on Sunday and it was retweeted something like 18 times (a new record for me!), so I guess at least a few people agree with me, but if you watched that game and came away thinking Mark Sanchez is the problem on this offense then you aren’t paying attention. In fact, if that’s what you think, then that’s all I need to know about you as a fan: You just hate Mark Sanchez and will blame him for anything. Considering he’s working with a makeshift line, zero blocking tight ends, no receivers, I think he played really well. When Holmes, Kerley, and Keller get fully healthy and Stephen Hill learns to catch, things will only get better.

SELL: The Tight End Position – When Dustin Keller got injured in the first quarter the other night, we really saw how pathetically weak the tight end position is. Jeff Cumberland, who is useless, was already out with yet another injury, so we were down to some guy named Epps, who failed miserably on several blocking attempts which got runs stuffed in the backfield. Mike Tannenbaum, for the love of God, please get a tight end!

BUY: Shonn Greene – Greene’s stock is at an all-time low with Jets fans, but I implore you all to have some faith. No, he’ll never be the big time superstar running back, nor will he be a game-breaking threat. But for the clock-control offense the Jets are going to run, he’s going to have a very good year. The offense was extremely vanilla, the offensive line always seems to start the year slowly, and we’ve yet to see the wildcat packages. When the season gets rolling, Greene is going to get a ton of carries, and he’s going to play very well. I’ve said it plenty of times now, but don’t forget: Shonn is playing for a contract this year. Expect big things.

BUY: The defense – We’re going to see a special defense this season. Mo Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis have both taken major steps forward in their second seasons, and Quinton Coples looks like a big-time player (I wonder if Peter Schwartz of WFAN still thinks if you look up his name in the weird dictionary he uses, you’ll see a picture of Vernon Gholston?). When you throw in Revis, Harris, Cromartie, the new safeties, Aaron Maybin, and Bart Scott looking rejuvenated, this defense alone could win them 10 games this year. That being said, though…

SELL: Kyle Wilson – I was a staunch supporter of Kyle Wilson the past two seasons despite his struggles, but now it’s year 3 and he should really look better than he has. I’m getting awfully concerned that maybe Kyle Wilson just isn’t all that good and we’re going to have a problem against slot receivers this year. I guess training and hanging out with Darrelle Revis doesn’t make you Darrelle Revis after all. Darn.

 

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Pre-Season Week 2 Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling New York Jets after their first pre-season game

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and to check back in later for a feature on New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller and Fact or False from Chris Gross, previewing Jets/Giants –

I know everyone was sorely disappointed that the Stock Watch did not come out yesterday as per usual, and I apologize for ruining everyone’s Tuesdays out there. I hope you can all find it in your hearts to forgive me. To make it up to you, I’m going to be giving you a bonus edition of Stock Watch on Friday to kick off our fantasy football coverage, free of charge! Talk about a good deal. Be sure to check back for some top notch fantasy advice if you have a draft coming up, and if you didn’t start your league yet, what are you waiting for? Read these 8 Easy Steps for the Perfect Fantasy League right here and get the ball rolling.

SELL: Peter Schwartz of WFAN- Many of you probably don’t know who Peter Schwartz is, and you should consider yourselves fortunate. That means that unlike me, you don’t listen to WFAN far too often, and you aren’t subjected to this guy’s completely ridiculous take on the Jets. You’d think a guy who watches the team every day would have a slight clue about what he’s talking about, but alas, it doesn’t seem as if he does. Last Friday before the Jets preseason game, Schwartz was on the radio with the worst host on the station, Marc Malusis. When asked about Quinton Coples, Schwartz replied thusly: “If you look up a picture of Quinton Coples in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Vernon Gholston.. a bust!”.

Now besides the obvious question of what dictionary does Peter Schwartz use that gives you definitions of people’s names, you’d think an NFL “reporter” would wait until a rookie first round pick plays ONE GAME, just ONE preseason game at least before even mentioning Gholston or throwing around the bust label. But not Mr. Schwartz, he confidently told all 14 listeners of Malusis’s show that Coples is the second coming of Gholston and will be a bust. Then, Coples went out and dominated the Bengals and drew rave reviews from everyone. When myself and a few others called Peter Schwartz out about this on Twitter, he simply blocked everyone rather than owning up to it. I’m selling Peter Schwartz’s already low stock, and I encourage everyone else out there to ask him about his Coples guarantee on Twitter. And then see how long it takes to get blocked.

BUY: Quinton Coples – I should have known right when Peter Schwartz called him a Gholston that I could start preparing for his trip to Canton in 2030, but I was very pleasantly surprised to see him play so well against the Bengals. With his size and athletic ability, combined with Mo Wilkerson, the Jets are going to be very, very good up front this year.

BUY: Patrick Turner – In last week’s Stock Watch I mentioned one of the big things to watch during the preseason was to see if one of the receivers on the roster could step up and make an impact with Santonio Holmes and many others out with injuries. Well, Patrick Turner is the one who appears to have made the most of his opportunity so far. Don’t forget, Turner played with Mark Sanchez at USC and was a highly regarded prospect coming out of college. He clearly has a rapport with Sanchez, and he’s earned his spot on the team with good special teams play and very good blocking. Now it looks like he will have the opportunity to get some serious playing time on offense, and he’s making the most of it.

SELL: Bart Scott’s Playing Time – I’m a big Bart Scott fan and I think he gets a bad rap from a lot of fans, but seeing Benjarvus Green-Ellis, who is not exactly “fast”, toast Bart on a crossing pattern for a big gain was painful to see. Whether Bart likes it or not, Demario Davis is going to see a lot of action in passing situations while he’s standing next to Rex Ryan watching.

SELL: The Offensive Line – My God that was painful to watch last Friday. And that was without the human turnstile Wayne Hunter playing. It appears as though the line is in midseason form and quite intent on getting Mark Sanchez killed on the field this season. There was constant pressure in the backfield and little to no running room opened up for the backs. Now, Cincinnati has a pretty solid defense, but if the line plays like that against the Giants this week, I hope Mark Sanchez fakes an injury before the game rather than play and suffer a real one.

That’s it for this week. Be sure to check back on Friday for the first Fantasy Football column of the season so you can kick the crap out of all your friend son the fantasy gridiron this year!

 

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Pre-Season Opener Edition

Mike Donnelly’s stock watch is buying and selling for the New York Jets pre-season opener this Friday

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. If you missed it earlier today, check out his piece on fantasy football. Chris Gross also had a great read on Aaron Maybin and yours truly looked at the Jets lack of depth on offense. Yes, we are getting after it here…and yes you should be celebrating the return of Jets football in 3 days by rocking this new shirt –  

With the Jets first preseason game a mere three days away, fans everywhere have been stricken with a major case of Jets-fever. No matter where you look, whether its the TV, Twitter, Jets forums, the radio, this website, or wherever else, people want to discuss all of the ins and outs of the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. This week’s Stock Watch is going to focus on the players and storylines that I’m looking forward to in these preseason games.

BUY: Bilal Powell – The second-year RB was written off by virtually everyone heading into the season, but has by all accounts shown some great ability during training camp. Despite being held down on the ground in last week’s green and white scrimmage (3 offensive linemen were out and he was facing arguably the league’s top D), he did still manage to score a touchdown on a short pass from Mark Sanchez. I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles reps with the first team against some live competition.

SELL: The WR Situation – This has been discussed a ton lately, including on this very site, but it bears watching. The wide receiver situation right now is downright abysmal. With 3 projected top receivers Santonio Holmes, Chaz Schilens, Jeremy Kerley all suffering from injuries we are looking at Stephen Hill and Patrick Turner as the #1 and #2 receivers heading into these pre-season games. Look for a veteran to be brought in after the first wave of cuts around the league, but for now, this position is not looking too strong to say the least.

BUY: Jordan White – All that being said about the WR position being so weak is definitely true, but if there’s a silver lining it is that young players such as 7th round pick Jordan White will get a chance to shine. Our very own Chris Gross was extremely high on this prospect and we’re going to see just how right (or horribly, horribly wrong) he was in projecting White’s talents.

SELL: Austin Howard – With Wayne Hunter banged up, you have to figure Austin Howard is going to get extended looks with the first team unit. Mike Tannenbaum has been talking Howard up for months now, but at this point it’s hard to take him seriously when it comes to these bottom of the roster players. I just don’t think Austin Howard is that good, and I don’t want to see him in there blocking for The Sanchize.

BUY: Quinton Coples – Coples has apparently come alive in a big way the past few days, first with a solid performance in the Green & White Scrimmage, and then again the day of the Brawl to End All Brawls, as he managed to sack quarterback Tim Tebow twice. I am very excited to see our first round pick in some live action.

BUY: Kenrick Ellis – Ellis is definitely going to get extended playing time throughout the preseason and I’m very excited to see how the massive nose tackle has developed heading into year 2. He has the natural ability to be a major contributor on the defensive line, and a strong preseason could really springboard him into more playing time once the games count for real.

BUY: Ricky Sapp – We’ve been talking him up here for months, and doubled down on buying his stock recently, and I for one am very excited about seeing him in action. I think he is going to really play well against the second and third stringers that he will be up against this week and earn himself some more reps with the big boys in coming weeks. He has a lot of potential and could end up playing a key role for the defense before too long.

BUY: The Safeties (Except Eric Smith, obviously) – I’m sure I’m not the only one excited to see our new safety corps in action, particularly LaRon Landry. I know after watching Jets safeties last year, it seems as though ANYBODY would be an upgrade, but this new duo of Landry and Yeremiah Bell could actually be considered very good if they stay healthy and play up to their potential. I’m also very excited to see impressive rookie Antonio Allen in action. We have potentially gone from zero good safeties to 3 or 4. That is very encouraging.

SELL: Injuries – Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed that the Jets don’t suffer any more injuries this preseason. We’ve been fortunate enough to not witness anything too serious yet, and let’s hope it stays that way.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 7/31 – One Week In Cortland Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, focusing on the first week of training camp for the New York Jets

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. This week’s edition focuses on the first week of training camp in the books in Cortland. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and if you haven’t had the chance yet check out our brand new Turn On The Jets shirts

There’s a lot to get to this week with Jets Camp opening, so I won’t waste time coming up with an intro, other than to say FOOTBALL IS BACK!

BUY: Rex Ryan – Check back later in the week for my full take on Rex Ryan and why the Jets are lucky to have him, but for now I’m buying some Sexy Rexy stock. He got himself in the headlines this week by proclaiming himself the best defensive coach in the NFL (he’s right), but the more I see out of Rex this offseason the more I love it. He’s dialed back on the Super Bowl talk publicly, he’s lost a ton of weight, and the big thing is he’s holding his players accountable, as we saw with him calling out Jeremy Kerley. I also loved his comments telling Santonio Holmes to basically shut up, and that the best players will play. This is a big year for Rex and I expect him to answer the bell.

BUY: Aaron Maybin and Ricky Sapp – All of the reports out of camp so far are that Aaron Maybin looks absolutely awesome. For years now the Jets have lacked a dominant pass rusher, and it’s looking like Maybin might step into that role this year and finally give us a double digit sack man. There’s even talk that his role in the base defense will grow, which will give him even more opportunity to rush the passer. Maybin stock is on the rise. Big time.

As for Sapp, I would say he’s almost guaranteed a roster spot if he keeps up the good work like he has this week, which would really justify my Buy of him way back in the inaugural Stock Watch. According to the beat writers (Check back tomorrow for our new rankings) he racked up several nice tackles and even a few sacks. With Bryan Thomas up there in age and Calvin Pace seemingly entering his last year, the opportunity is there for Sapp to earn himself a spot on the team not just this year, but going forward as well.

BUY: Bilal Powell – The Running Back Who Was Left For Dead a few weeks ago (I had him in my initial Sell list as well) has been turning heads so far in camp and is a legit threat to Joe McKnight to take over the 3rd down back role. While he may not have the speed or elusiveness of the shifty McKnight, Powell has the ability to handle a bigger workload and could end up as one of the biggest sleepers on the entire roster.

SELL: Jeremy Kerley – Camp couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start for the man many expected would be the slot receiver in 2012. As if things weren’t bad enough when he injured himself and had to sit out for a week to start camp, they sure did get a whole lot worse when Rex Ryan — REX RYAN! — called him out publicly, and Rex NEVER has a bad word to say about his guys to the media. He said he was disappointed in Jeremy the whole offseason, and that’s definitely not a good sign. Now there’s talk that Holmes could be the predominant slot receiver with Hill and Schilens on the outside. Not a good start to 2012 for Mr. Kerley

SELL: Brian Schottenheimer Era – Plenty has been said about the pitiful former offensive coordinator, but Santonio Holmes had even more to say this week, and he really brought the laughs. During a radio interview with ESPN, Holmes was praising new OC Tony Sparano and pretty much threw Schotty directly under the proverbial bus when he said that the new coach actually “knows how to coach players”. Ouch. And you wonder why I’m so high on Sanchez now that he’s been freed from that buffoon’s shackles.