Are The Jets The Team To Beat In The AFC East?

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…for some reason we lost 2 fans in the past 2 days. I don’t think I offended anybody recently but who knows, all I know is we need somebody to make up for those 2 and we need to add a few more this week.

2. Good post today by Rich Cimini on who the Jets may be interested in for this year’s draft. #29 is a hard spot to project but Jared Odrick of Penn State has been a popular choice because of the Jets age and lack of depth on the defensive line. Yet, if Dez Bryant somehow falls to #29 or in the near proximity of it, it is hard not to see Mike Tannenbaum grabbing such a big name guy with such big time potential. Personally, I would rather see them take Odrick or another defensive lineman/outside linebacker instead of a receiver but you have to admit Bryant is an exciting possibility…and please, no Taylor Mays…we don’t need Vernon Gholston 2.0 at safety.

3. Nice quote from Calvin Pace in a Sporting News interview about playing for the Jets and their fans:

“When I signed with the Jets two years ago, I thought about that, and if that would help me do well. The people here are passionate, and you get really excited playing for the tem. That J-E-T-S chant gets you pumped up. It’s 24-hour football for these fans.”

4. As you can see at the bottom of the article, we have a new episode of TOJ TV. Our producer got a new camera and thought it would be fun to put together a movie trailer documenting how I began working for the site. I am saving all my football analysis for the upcoming Podcasts, which will world premiere on April 15thwith a draft preview, off-season review edition. TOJ TV can now fully embrace its role as entertaining videos related to being a Jets fan instead of a spot for analysis.

Are The Jets The Team To Beat In The AFC East?

PhotobucketA popular topic this off-season has been debating the question of whether the Jets or Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC East in 2010. On November 22nd 2009, this question would have been a no-brainer. New England took advantage of an awful Mark Sanchez performance and whipped the Jets 31-14. It seemed like the Patriots would be rolling to another division title and run at a Super Bowl while the Jets were headed to another year without the playoffs. However, over the last 6 weeks the Jets finished strong with a 5-1 record, while New England only went 3-3 down the stretch. In the wild-card round of the playoffs, the once mighty Patriots were completely humiliated on their home field by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14, while the Jets pulled out a gutsy win on the road against the Bengals 24-14. The Jets then followed that performance up with a 17-14 upset in San Diego, before eventually falling to the Colts by 13 in the AFC Championship Game. Is the torch ready to be passed?

So far this off-season, the Jets have had more than turnover than the Patriots. They added Antonio Cromartie to replace the ineffective Lito Sheppard, signed LaDainian Tomlinson to back up Shonn Greene instead of giving the job to the recently more effective Thomas Jones, and replaced the underachieving Kerry Rhodes with Brodney Pool. They let special teamers like Wallace Wright and Marques Murrell walk but recently signed special teams standout Lance Laury to help fill the gap left by them. It also appears Jay Feely and Marques Douglas won’t be back and the Jets are yet to fill the holes left by them…I don’t count Nick Folk and Mike DeVito as filling their spots properly.

New England has concentrated primarily on hanging on to their own players. They have brought back Leigh Bodden, Vince Wilfork, and Tully Banta-Cain on defense. On offense, they did let Chris Baker and Ben Watson walk at tight end but recently signed Alge Crumpler to fill the spot and also brought back Kevin Faulk and Stephen Neal.

Where does that leave the two teams right now? On offense, New England probably isn’t getting back Wes Welker until sometime in October and who knows when he will be back to 100 percent. Make no mistake, Welker is the Patriots most dangerous playmaker and important receiver, not Randy Moss who appears to be in decline. Also, spare me with the Julian Edeleman can be just as good as Welker in New England’s offense talk because regardless of Edeleman’s stats when Welker was out, here is what Tom Brady did without Welker in the lineup:

  • Vs Baltimore – 23/42, 154 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs
  • Vs Jets – 23/47, 216 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
  • Vs Atlanta – 25/42, 277 yards, 1 TD

PhotobucketOutside of a good game against a crappy Atlanta secondary, Brady could barely complete 50 percent of his passes without Welker in the lineup and had two of his worst games of the year when he didn’t have him as a safety valve. New England is still currently thin at receiver because Edeleman is injury prone (he missed 4 games last year) and Sam Aiken or Isaiah Stanback can’t handle major reps. They also have questions at running back because after a big rookie year, Laurence Maroney has been a bust who can’t hold on to the football. Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris are both ancient and can’t stay healthy and Kevin Faulk is nothing more than a third down back, although a good one at that. Beyond that, Tom Brady didn’t have his best year last season but considering the injury he was coming back from was still very good, until he had a meltdown in the playoffs. New England’s offensive line isn’t what it used to be but still remains one of the better units in the league.

On defense, the Patriots were pretty good last year. They finished #11 in total defense but laid an egg in the playoffs and were embarrassed a few times, including a dreadful performance on Monday Night against the Saints and when they choked away a big lead to the Colts in a Sunday Night game (no shame in that because the Colts also shredded up the Jets in the AFC Championship game and came back from a double digit deficit). Jerod Mayo was a disappointmentin his second year and they remain very average in the secondary. If you take Leigh Bodden’s stats away from the second Jets game when Sanchez gift wrapped him three interceptions, I don’t see how you could claim he is a legit number one corner and the rest of their corners are journeyman unless Darius Butler develops. New England’s front still has talent but you could run on them.

When I look at the Jets compared to the Patriots, I think they compare very favorably. The Jets have a superior offensive line, substantially more talent at running back, a better tight end, and a better #2 receiver until Welker makes it back to 100 percent. Yes, I would take Jerricho Cotchery over Julian Edeleman, Sam Aiken or anybody else they currently have to trot out there. The Jets don’t have somebody at receiver with the talent of Randy Moss but fortunately when we play them, we have Darrelle Revis to completely take him out of the game. Obviously, the Patriots have an advantage at quarterback but Brady is going to struggle against the Jets pass rush or any defense with a quality pass rush without Welker as a safety valve and a good running game to rely on. The Jets have a better all-around defense right now than New England. They are better at corner, linebacker, and with Jenkins back compare well with them on the defensive line.

They also have the benefit of playing the second place schedule instead of the first place schedule next year. Basically, that means they get the Texans and Broncos instead of the Colts and Chargers, yes it is only 2 games but in a likely close race, that could help the Jets. It would remiss not to mention the Patriots are set up much better for the draft than the Jets. New England has three second round picks, a higher first round pick than the Jets, and five seventh round picks. We have to wait and see how the Patriots could improve through the draft since they have missed more than a few recent selections.

PhotobucketRight now, I do think the Jets are the team to beat in the AFC East. By the end of the season, they were the best team in the division and I think when you factor in the return of Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington, their roster has improved from last year. Even though he is showing signs of slipping from his untouchable genius ways, Bill Belichick will still have New England in contention next year, and they remain the Jets primary challenge for the division title. What about Miami, you ask? Karlos Dansby was a nice addition even though they overpaid for him, but I don’t think they have done enough yet to move from a 7-9 team who was a Danny Woodhead keeping his outside contain on kickoff and Bart Scott tackle away from being 5-11. (Can you tell I am still bitter about those losses?) What about Buffalo? I don’t know let me see who wins the quarterback battle between Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm, and Ryan Fitzpatrick and then I will let you know.

TOJ Movie Trailer

Randy Moss Is A Slouch While On Revis Island

Grading Out The Jets/Patriots Game

Jets Patriots Football

First a few updates:

1. Leigh Bodden is not a New York Jets receiver…just needed to update Mark Sanchez on that in case he happens to stumble across this website…anything I can do to help.

2. With the Jets playing out the string (something I will write about more throughout the week) I am going to move towards a little extra general NFL writing, with the discussions of the NFC/AFC playoff races, weekly picks on important games, etc. I will still have my normal amounts of coverage on the Jets because there is plenty of negative stuff to be written, but there is no reason to ignore the 16-20 teams still battling for position in January.

3. Rex Ryan’s press conference today: Donald Strickland got a concussion and will be out for awhile. Dwight Lowery has a high ankle sprain and will be out for a few weeks. Ryan said he will be more hands on in terms of monitoring Mark Sanchez and drilling into his head the importance of protecting the football. He also admitted he needs to be more hands on in general with the rest of team outside of the defense.

4. The stats and game highlights were updated…proceed with caution.

Grading Out The Jets/Patriots Game

Quarterbacks: (F) Just absolutely awful is the only to way to describe how Mark Sanchez played. The first two interceptions were bad enough but then somehow the Jets battled back to make  it 24-14 and have the ball in Patriots territory and what does Sanchez do on the first play of the drive, completely overthrow Jerricho Cotchery (or underthrow Braylon Edwards) I couldn’t even tell and is intercepted…then the Jets defense stops New England again and Sanchez scrambles around in the end-zone and when there is clearly no play to be made, instead of throwing it away he throws it right to Brandon Merriweather…awful. The guy has no respect for the football. The last interception he threw to Merriweather was comically bad, little league stuff. The worst part is that he just doesn’t seem to get it…he isn’t learning from his mistakes and he has this weird smug attitude after the game, which doesn’t seem to recognize how bad he is actually playing.

Sanchez is playing like he knows the Jets won’t pull him because they have nobody to turn to. He is stubbornly refusing to protect the football and is showing no fundamental idea of how to play quarterback at the NFL level. If he doesn’t show any improvement over the last 6 weeks, the Jets may be staring at the reality that they whiffed on two straight first round picks. Note, how I said that if he doesn’t show any improvement in the 6 last weeks…they may have to face that reality. The kid obviously has some talent but let’s see him learn and grow over the 6 last games or it could be ugly here for awhile.

Running Backs: (B) Thomas Jones is one of the few Jets who showed up to work on Sunday and put together another solid game. He is earning a new contract. Shonn Greene has been a ghost since his breakout game against Oakland.

Wide Receivers: (C-) Jerricho Cotchery played a very good game, as he usually does against the Patriots. Braylon Edwards had a big third down drop early in the game and also probably should have pulled in another deep ball. David Clowney had a drop early in the game also.

Tight Ends: (B) Dustin Keller made a few tough catches over the middle is starting to become consistently involved in the offense. There were no penalties on Ben Hartsock which is always a positive for him.

Offensive Line: (B) They put together a good all around effort. Thomas Jones ran for 100 yards and Sanchez was only sacked a couple of times.

Defensive Line: (C) Great game by Shaun Ellis. Marques Douglas forced a fumble and Mike DeVito also was active. However, Laurence Maroney still got a decent amount of yardage.

Linebackers: (C) Quiet games from Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas. David Harris did his job for the most part. I am not sure why the Jets had him in coverage in Wes Welker on some plays…yikes. Bart Scott hit Brady a couple of times but didn’t make any big plays.

APTOPIX Jets Patriots FootballSecondary: (D) Darrelle Revis is a great football player. Jim Leonhard is a tough, above average safety beyond that the Jets secondary is straight garbage. Kerry Rhodes should be benched. I would be thrilled if we could trade him to Cleveland (probably the only team who would take him) for a 3rd or 4th round pick. Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland are always banged up. Drew Coleman was helpless in the slot against Welker. Dwight Lowery is also now hurt and is an average corner even when healthy.

Special Teams: (A) Nice blocked punt by Eric Smith. David Clowney and Dwight Lowery showed something on kick returns.

Coaching: (D) They were completely out-coached by New England, who clearly adjusted to the Jets blitzing scheme. There was also no adjustment to slow down Wes Welker.

The Mark Sanchez Interception Show

8/21, 4 Interceptions, 1 Fumble

Jets Patriots Football

The name of this article is the main story of the Jets 31-14 loss to New England. Mark Sanchez has regressed immensely since the first three weeks of the season. He will show flashes of being a capable NFL quarterback but since week 4 he has shown more flashes of being nowhere near ready to be in the NFL. You can’t win a football game when your quarterback turns the ball over 5 times, which obviously isn’t news to anybody. A few other quick observations:

1. I was saying all week Wes Welker would have a big game but I didn’t know he would have a season worth of stats today with 15 catches for 192 yards. Drew Coleman, Kerry Rhodes, David Harris, Marquice Cole, Lito Sheppard and everybody else they threw at him failed miserably and Rex Ryan failed to make any of the necessary adjustments to slow him down.

2. The game tape from today has value as a blooper reel for both Mark Sanchez and Kerry Rhodes. All of Sanchez’s interceptions were comically bad throws. Rhodes was repeatedly ran over, beat by receivers and out of place. Two more subpar performances for the two most overpaid players on the Jets.

3. Darrelle Revis did another good job on Randy Moss holding him to 5 catches for 34 yards on 11 targets. New England repeatedly tried to throw down the field to Moss but it never worked out. They even tried when they were up 31-14 with 25 seconds left. Moss did score a 4 yard touchdown on Moss, but overall another good game from #24.

4. Shaun Ellis, Thomas Jones, Mike DeVito, and Jerricho Cotchery all played solid games…especially Ellis who did a great job getting after Tom Brady with 2 sacks.

5. Brian Schottenheimer, really with the option on 3rd and 2? The whole stadium knew the play was coming.

6. I wonder if Mark Sanchez will finish with 30 interceptions. He currently has 18.

Jets vs. Patriots: Talking to the Enemy

JetsPatslw20

I exchanged five questions with Patriots blogger Eric Cunningham of http://Patschowder.com about tomorrow’s game, here is our conversation:

PC: I read in the Boston Globe yesterday that Braylon Edwards’ arrival in New York may be too much for the rookie quarterback to handle. It’s sort of like a mini-TO effect. They’ve gone 1-4 with him. What are your thoughts on all of this?

TOJ: I don’t agree with that assertion at all. Edwards has been a good soldier since arriving and is clearly trying to convince the Jets he is worthy of a long term contract. Sanchez and Edwards have appeared to get along very well and Edwards was one of the first players to get his back after the Buffalo game when Sanchez threw 5 INTs. He also hasn’t complained at all about the number of touches he receives, even though he probably should be getting more. Edwards main focus when talking to the press has been his desire to win. I don’t think the Jets are 1-4 in their last 5 because of Braylon, I think it is because they can’t close teams out.

PC: In my opinion, I think the Jets biggest problem is the loss of Kris Jenkins. Is this their biggest problem?

TOJ: Their biggest problem is they don’t know how to win close games. They lost four games on the last play. Their defense laid an egg with the game on the line against Miami on Monday night and against Jacksonville, Sanchez, Ben Hartsock, and their special teams choked in OT to lose to the Bills and they couldn’t finish off a game winning drive at home against Miami.

PC: Ok, let’s not beat around the bush. How do you really feel about your head coach was crying at his latest press conference?

TOJ: Well, he didn’t cry at a press conference. He cried in a meeting with the team on Monday and it was leaked to the press. I don’t have a strong opinion of it, we all knew Rex was an emotional guy when he was hired so this is part of what you get. I will love it if the Jets win on Sunday and hate it if they lose.

PC: Shonn Greene has disappeared since his big breakout game in week 7. Is he not the right fit, or are the Jets just dropping the committee and planning on Thomas Jones the rest of the way?

TOJ: Greene has ran a little timid since fumbling against Miami in week 8. Jones receives the bulk of the carries because he is playing at such a high level. However, I would still expect Greene to get his usual 8-10 touches this weekend, which is fine for a rookie learning on the job behind a pro-bowl caliber running back.

PC: Lastly, I asked my Twitter followers what they would want to know from the Jets perspective, and @mndTiiu asked “Has Mark Sanchez met, exceeded, or fallen short of your expectations?”

JETS V PATRIOTS STOJ: He has fell slightly short. He is turning the ball over more than I was hoping for and has made a few immature mistakes (eating a hot dog and running a scripted press conference). However, he has shown plenty of potential and intangibles and I still believe the Jets did the right thing by trading up for him. We will learn alot about him this weekend in the hostile conditions of New England.

TOJ: What is your opinion of Belichick’s decision on Sunday night to go for it on 4th and 2?
 
PC: I can’t honestly say that I loved the call, but I can say that I am less disappointed in the loss because of it. I love the fact that the Patriots have a coach that is willing to go out and win games as opposed to play safe and try not to lose them. In Sunday’s situation, I am pretty confident that Peyton Manning would have scored a touchdown from 60-yards out if he they had punted the ball anyway. Their best shot to win the game was to go for it by putting the ball in the hands of one of the best quarterbacks in the league and they did. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out.

TOJ: What is the biggest difference between the Pats team the Jets beat in week two and the Pats team the Jets are going to face this week?
 
PC:
The big difference is Tom Brady. That Jets game early on was his first real test. Now that we are 10 weeks into the season Brady is playing at a much higher level. Also, the linebacking core has gotten healthier with Jerod Mayo back in the middle as things have started to fall into place around him.

TOJ: Why won’t anybody in New England give Darrelle Revis any respect? Moss hasn’t done much of anything in his last four games against the Jets, especially when Revis is on him so why won’t anybody give him credit?

PC: Well, I for one will give him credit. The guy is a beast and I hate seeing him on the other side of the field. However, I think the Patriots players not giving him credit is all psychological coach talk. If Belichick can get the guys believing that he’s not good, then he isn’t good. Right?

TOJ: How do you feel about Laurence Maroney being your lead back going into the stretch run of the season? Do you think he will be phased out of the offense or remain the primary ball carrier?

PC: He makes me nervous. I was very high on Sammy Morris coming into this season. That worked for all of one game before he was banged up. What I can say about Maroney is that it has never been as big a question of whether or not he can play in the NFL, but whether or not he can stay healthy. So far, he’s healthy and the production is coming as a result of that. That being said, I would love to have a better insurance policy.

TOJ: Prediction for the game?

PC: This one is in Foxboro and the Jets are fading fast. It’s a win for the Patriots for sure, however, the margin of victory is never a big one for these two teams. I’ll say 24-17 Patriots.

Enough Talking About This Game, Let’s Go Already

Jets vs. Patriots Part II: Game Breakdown

jets2

First a few updates:

revisINT_tn1. The notoriously New England biased, Jets hating Pro Football Talk (unfortunately it is still a good site worth visiting for general NFL news) has published a couple of articles working to discredit the job Darrelle Revis did on Randy Moss in week two. Revis expressed frustration with the Boston media yesterday about Moss and Bill Belichick’s claim that he had safety help over the top and that is why Moss was held to 4 catches for 24 yards. As I pointed out yesterday, Revis has owned Moss over the Jets past four meetings and as you can see in this lovely picture to the left Revis jumped over Randy Moss and pulled an interception out of his hands in week two, by himself without the supposed safety help. Do the Jets have a safety over the top in most coverages? Yes, it is very rare to run Cover 0 in the NFL. It is a safety’s job in most coverage’s to play centerfield or be responsible for half of the field. It doesn’t mean that Moss was double teamed and Revis doesn’t deserve credit for shutting him down. How come Randy Moss can have 12 catches against the Bills or 175 yards receiving against the Colts with 2 touchdowns but against the Jets is never a factor? The same reason Andre Johnson is leading the league in receiving but might as well been inactive when he played the Jets, because Darrelle Revis has been the best cover corner in NFL this season. I look forward to another 35 yard receiving performance from Moss and another slew of excuses from him, the New England coaching staff, and Pro Football Talk.

By the way, I actually love watching Randy play most weeks despite hating New England and almost always side with receivers in these type of disputes but you have to give credit due when it’s due.

2. Mark Sanchez apologized for his scripted press conference and admitted he still has plenty to learn about being a NFL quarterback…well, obviously. The key for the man formerly known was Sanchize is to protect the football this week and make the Patriots pay for stacking the box, which they no doubt will.

3. Apparently Thomas Jones took the floor at a players only meeting and gave an impassioned speech about this week being the Jets last chance and that if they lose they need to face the reality that major changes could be coming this off-season. Jones is a respected guy in the locker room and one of the few players with Super Bowl experience, so hopefully he caught everybody’s attention. Most of us didn’t expect Jones to be back next year but with Leon Washington’s injury, and the type of season he is having. I would be surprised not to see him in a Jets jersey in 2010. Speaking of Leon, he has been back around the team facility and spoke a little bit to the media stating confidence about a healthy return in 2010.

4. A few highlights from Rex Ryan’s press conference today: He cited Danny Woodhead and Justin Miller as having exceptional practices, with Woodhead imitating Wes Welker and Miller making a bunch of plays on defense. Overall, he said the team had one of its better practices in weeks. Vernon Gholston and Jim Leonhard missed practice again today. Shaun Ellis and Brad Smith were limited but expected to play. Darrelle Revis, Brad Smith, and Jerricho Cotchery have all taken reps returning punts but it remains to be seen who will actually be back there. Ryan expressed some concerns about using Cotchery or Revis in anything more than a fair catch role.

5. Yes, new Turn On The Jets TV will be coming tomorrow but make sure you check out last week’s episode down at the bottom of this article.

Jets vs. Patriots Part II: Game Breakdown

Offensive Gameplan: The Jets started out slow in the first half against the Patriots in week two with a very conservative gameplan. Mark Sanchez was only 3/5 for 15 yards in the first half and the offense struggled on the whole by only producing 3 points. However, they came out on fire in the second half with Sanchez going 11/17 for 148 yards and a touchdown en route to a half where the Jets outscored the Pats 13-0. Jerricho Cotchery led the charge in the second half with 4 catches for 87 yards, without the support of Braylon Edwards on the other side of him. The Jets did a pretty good job of running the football in week two with Leon having 14 carries for 58 yards and Thomas Jones having 14 carries for 54 yards.

Patriots Jets FootballA key for the Jets this Sunday will be to score touchdowns and not kick field goals when they get in the red-zone. They settled three times against the Patriots in week 2 and with how much better the Pats offense is playing now and how much more inconsistent the Jets defense has been, that won’t be enough for a victory this time around. Braylon Edwards should offer some support as a red-zone target that the Patriots will have a tough time matching up against. Yet, overall I expect the Jets to rely heavily on Thomas Jones and their rushing attack. The problem is that Belichick is notorious for taking away what opposing offenses do best or their best weapon, in the Jets case Thomas Jones/their offensive line/running game is their best weapon. Belichick is going to say, “Mark Sanchez you find a way to beat me, I am going to stop the run and put the game on your shoulders.”

This game will be a hell of a test for Sanchez, facing a quality defense for the second time that has obviously broken down his tendencies from their first meeting. He must protect the football but it is going to take more than that for a victory. The Jets offense has to be able to make the Patriots pay for stacking up the box and taking away Thomas Jones. Jerricho Cotchery has been a Patriots killer and for the first time he has a big time receiver on the other side of him. The Jets have an advantage over the Pats seconday with Cotchery, Edwards, and Dustin Keller but it is on Sanchez to exploit that advantage.

*Sep 20 - 00:05*Defensive Gameplan: The Jets put together one of their most impressive defensive performances of the season in week two when they held New England without a touchdown. Tom Brady was under 50 percent passing and threw an interception, while Randy Moss was invisible. However, the Pats did find some success running the football but for some reason turned away from it in the second half. It will be interesting to see if they focus on running the football with the inconsistent Laurence Maroney or if they decide to spread it out and go for the Jets throat with a downfield passing attack mixed in with their traditional quick screens.

I am never concerned about Moss when the Jets play the Pats but I am losing sleep over what Wes Welker could do this week. Lito Sheppard has been terrible this year, especially at tackling. Welker is a guy who is going to catch a screen behind the line and turn it into a 18 yard gain over and over again unless the Jets sniff it out and swarm to the ball. I would expect to see every Jets defensive back active this week and plenty of them being rotated through as blitzers and guys playing underneath coverage on Welker or Kevin Faulk.

The Jets success against New England was mainly based on getting pressure on Tom Brady. Obviously, they need to get after him because if he gets comfortable in the pocket the Jets are dead. Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas and the rest of Jets linebackers have to generate a pass rush and when corners like Donald Strickland or Drew Coleman are sent after Brady, they need to make plays.

Special Teams Breakdown: It will be interesting to see who the Jets have returning both kicks and punts. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Justin Miller get another chance deep on kick returns and a rotation of some sort at punt return. Jerricho Cotchery and Darrelle Revis can be used in situations where you are looking for a fair catch because of their good hands, also don’t be surprised to see Brad Smith or Dwight Lowery get a shot.

An Excerpt From The Speech Thomas Jones Gave, Except He Turned Old, Italian, and White

A Look At Darrelle Revis and His Punt Returning Days

Better Late Than Never: Turn On The Jets TV: Bye Week Trip to AC

The 2007 to 2009 Jets vs. Patriots Parallel

NFL-JETS-PATRIOTS

First a few updates:

1. The Rex Ryan crying story has got alot of run in the New York media, when discussing it today he made light of the situation by bringing out a box of tissues in the beginning of his press conference and a prepared statement to mock Mark Sanchez…pretty funny stuff. Ryan is a hard guy not to like and has a good self-depreciating sense of humor. I really don’t have a strong opinion on the whole issue. We will see if it leads to any different results on the field this Sunday against one of the NFL’s elite teams.

2. Other highlights from the Rex Ryan press conference: Jim Leonhard and Vernon Gholston bothmissed practice today, neither are expected to play this weekend against New England. I would expect Leonhard to miss at least 2 or 3 games while recovering from thumb surgery. Shaun Ellis and Brad Smithwere limited but are expected to play. Rex Ryan still expressed tons of confidence in his team and his belief that he will be a champion with the Jets by the end of Obama’s first term. He also said “we are going to try to whip New England…again.”

3. There is a pretty funny story circulating about Braylon Edwards buying Rihanna a $10,000 bottle of champagne at a nightclub and having the bottle sent back because she didn’t know who he was…owch.

4. A storyline out of New England is how angry the Patriots were about how the Jets were celebrating like they won the Super Bowl after their week two victory. There was a similar story with the Jets being angry about the Dolphins celebrating in a similar fashion after they beat them on Monday night. What is with all these problems about celebrating after victories in the AFC East? How can you say the Jets were celebrating like they won the Super Bowl when the overwhelming majority of people on their team haven’t been near a a Super Bowl? They don’t know how Super Bowl champions act.

The 2007 to 2009 Jets vs. Patriots Parallel

The dominant national storyline on the upcoming Jets/Patriots game is this: New England is angry. They blew a game to the Colts they should have won. They are looking for revenge on the Jets for a week two loss. The Jets are in the midst of a meltdown and now have to travel to New England as double digit underdogs. It is going to get ugly for the Jets this weekend. I have heard numerous national writers talk about the Patriots running it up, hanging a 60 spot on the Jets, and taking out all their frustration against the hapless, helpless Jets. It reminds of when me the 3-10 Jets traveled to face the 13-0 Patriots on December 16th, 2007.

If you can remember the Patriots were angry with the Jets for Spygate. Bill Belichick was going to be looking to run it up on Eric Mangini and the Jets. New England had been regularly beating teams by 30 and 40 points all season and would certainly be looking to put at least 6o up on the Jets. Everybody was gleefully picking scores like 52-14, 59-3, etc, etc. How could the Jets even manage to stay close to the Patriots in New England?

82886912Well in the middle of a dismal 2007 season, the Jets played their best game of the season and Eric Mangini probably came up with one of his best defensive game plans in his three year tenure as the Jets coach. How can I be talking positively about a 20-10 loss? Do you remember the line-up the Jets brought to New England to face a Patriots team that finished the regular season 16-0? They started Kellen Clemens at quarterback, Justin McCariens at receiver, and David Barrett at corner. Anthony Clement and Adrien Clarke were starters on the offensive line…yikes, but somehow the Jets made the score 20-17 with 2:38 left on the clock on a McCariens touchdown catch. Unfortunately, the play was reviewed and overruled (because McCariens can’t catch), Mike Nugent missed a chip shot field goal and the Pats ran out of the clock for a 20-10 win.

The Jets forced New England into their worst offensive performance of the season, by a long shot. Tom Brady went 14/27 for 140 yards with an INT and zero touchdowns. It was the only game all season he didn’t throw a touchdown pass, in a year where he threw 5o touchdowns. New England’s offense did nothing against an average Jets defense. They scored a touchdown on an interception return (which knocked Kellen Clemens out of the game) and blocked a punt that they recovered on the 1 yard line, leading to their only offensive touchdown. Somehow a offense led by Chad Pennington, who hadn’t played in 4 weeks and featured a receiving core led by a banged up Jerricho Cotchery, Justin McCariens, and Chris Baker managed more yards through the air than New England’s passing attack.

What does all this mean? It means don’t expect the Jets to lose by 30 this weekend. New England won’t be running the score up on anybody because Randy Moss won’t have 175 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns, in fact I doubt he comes anywhere near 100 yards because Darrelle Revis has owned him since that game in 2007 where he grabbed a one-handed interception over him. Including the second meeting in 2007, the stats Moss has posted in 4 meetings with the Jets are: 14 receptions, 151 yards, and 1 touchdown so I would expect Moss to have his usual 4 catches and 38 yards this week that he does against Revis, who has more interceptions in that span of games (2) than Moss does touchdowns (1).

I am not saying the Jets are going to win. Tom Brady will find a way to move the ball and the Jets will have their hands full stopping Wes Welker. It won’t be easy for Mark Sanchez to move the football against a complex Belichick game plan but if he is smart he will throw the ball often to Jerricho Cotchery who has killed the Pats over the past few years. Yet, this game won’t be over at halftime. These are two rivals who know each other well. The Jets will find a way to keep this game close and likely they will find a unique, painful way to lose at the end, like they have 4 other times this season.

Jets Beat Pats 16-9

Jets Beat Pats 34-31

Better Late Than Never – TOJ TV Episode IX: Bye Week Trip to AC

Grading Out the Jets/Pats Game

First a few updates:

1. Apparently the 49ers are threatening the Jets with tampering charges for still unsigned receiver Michael Crabtree. I don’t know what the Jets could have done except maybe reach out to their agent for preliminary discussions about him for the 2010 draft, since it looks like that is where he is headed. The Broncos were threatening charges about Brandon Marshall and nothing came of it, so as of now I wouldn’t be too worried about this.

2. Some injury concerns from yesterday: Lito Sheppard has a quad injury, which could be trouble considering his history, Donald Strickland who has been sensational off the bench twisted his ankle, and Kris Jenkins had the wind knocked out of him late in the game (that’s alot of wind). In terms of Sheppard and Strickland you have to hope they will be back to 100 percent for the Saints game the week after next. I think Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman can hold the fort down against the Titans.

3. You have to love the excuses and lack of credit coming out of New England. First off, Randy Moss commenting that Darrelle Revis didn’t shut him down and that he always had help over the top, which is just laughable because anybody who watched the game knows Revis was one on one with Moss 90 percent of the time. Moss was held to 4 catches for 24 yards, was out jumped by Revis for an interception and appeared to give up on some of his routes because #24 gave him no room to breathe. Also, Boston talk radio today and the Patriots message board yesterday and today can’t seem to recognize the reality that the Jets out-played and out-coached them yesterday. If I was a New England player, fan, or media member I would stop crying about the Jets trash talk, mocking of them by making Kevin O’Connell, Larry Izzo, and Damien Woody captains and focus on upcoming games against Atlanta and Baltimore. How does 1-3 sound New England?

4. Peter King ranked the Jets #4 in his power rankings and put Darrelle Revis on his MVP watch list. I will say that it is nice to see some national media members (John Clayton also singled him out in his column) finally talking about Revis as arguably the best corner in the league.

5. Site Updates – I added the Jets/Pats highlights to the “Game Highlights” section, added the new episode of TOJ TV to the “TOJ TV” section, updated the stats and the depth chart.

6. The Yankees better take care of business against the Angles the next three games. I don’t want to be heading into the Boston series up 3 games or less.

7. Eric Mangini…yikes. How does 2-14 sound?

8. My fantasy team? Yikes…how does 2-11 sound? My top two quarterbacks (McNabb and Hassleback) are already down.

Grading Out the Jets/Pats Game

Quarterbacks: (B) It was a slow start for Mark Sanchez, who couldn’t move the offense in the first half and nearly had a disastrous fumble on his first play from scrimmage. Yet, the kid came out slinging in the second half. His two most impressive throws were the laser to Jerricho Cotchery to kick off the second half and the touch he displayed on his touchdown pass to Dustin Keller, just two plays later. 14/22 for 163 yards with a touchdown and zero interceptions is enough for the Jets to win with this season. How about the rookie doubling Tom Brady’s quarterback rating? The best part about Sanchez is that he is only going to get better as the season progresses.

Running Backs: (B-) Leon Washington had a killer fumble that directly led to three points for New England and a dropped pass but beyond that put together a strong, productive game on offense. His 19 yard run in the fourth quarter was something else and he had a huge third down conversion on a reception over the middle. Thomas Jones was steady but was never able to break through to the second level. Jones and Washington combined for 31 touches (14 carries each, Washington had 2 receptions, and Jones had 1). I’d like to see that number closer to 40 but Brian Schottenheimer is still doing a great job of balancing their touches and using Leon Washington more.

Wide Receivers: (B) After being invisible in the first half, Jerricho Cotchery looked like a legit number one receiver in the second half. He did a great job staying on his feet and turning a 15 yard catch into a 45 yard gain and went down to make two other tough catches for Mark Sanchez, including one that converted a big third down. Cotchery looks like a 1200 yard receiver right now. Chansi Stuckey was productive with 4 catches, including a gutsy grab when getting leveled by 2 Pats defenders. Brad Smith had his standard one reverse, this time picking up seven yards. David Clowney still hasn’t had a ball thrown his way.

Tight Ends (B+) Dustin Keller stepped up in the red-zone, which will be key for the Jets this season. He did have a holding penalty but overall did a solid job with his blocking. Ben Hartsock played less than he did last week.

Offensive Line (A-) Another strong effort by this unit, who only allowed Sanchez to be sacked twice and opened enough holes in the running game. Alan Faneca may have been beat for a sack but had a heads up play by covering up the ball after everybody else seemed to stop, thinking it was an incomplete pass.

Defensive Line (B) These guys must be exhausted, since only four of them were active. Sione Pouha provided quality reps off the bench. Kris Jenkins appeared to be himself in the middle and Shaun Ellis had a huge stop on a 3rd and 1. Overall, the Pats ran the ball a little better than I expected them to but like the rest of the unit, the defensive line bent but never broke.

Linebackers (A) Was there two David Harris’ and Bart Scotts on the field yesterday? The Jets inside linebackers were constantly in Tom Brady’s face. Scott had 2 tackles for a loss and Harris had 3 hits on the quarterback. Bryan Thomas was also very active with 4 tackles and a few near sacks. Vernon Gholston didn’t play that much and when he was on the field didn’t have an impact. Imagine this defense when Calvin Pace comes back? Wow.

Secondary (A) Rex Ryan was smart to have 10 defensive backs active since the Patriots spent the whole game in 3 and 4 wide sets. Darrelle Revis was Darrelle Revis, the best corner in the NFL right now. Kerry Rhodes backed his words up with 8 tackles, a QB hit, and a PD. Jim Leonhard is always around the football. Donald Strickland was having the game of his life before leaving with an ankle injury. Dwight Lowery was excellent off the bench and could be seeing more playing time the next couple of weeks with the injuries to Strickland and Lito Sheppard.

Special Teams (A) A great game of kick returning by Leon Washington. Another good coverage day for the Jets punt and kick units. Jay Feely was 3/3 on kicks.

Coaching (A+) Rex Ryan can do no wrong right now. You can say his voice message to fans was cheesy but it worked. I have never seen the stadium like that in my life. In only a few months he has completely changed the culture around this team. I love how the Jets defer when they win the coin toss. I love how he made the ex-Pats the game captains and I love how he out adjusted Bill Belichick at half-time.

Enjoy the Highlights One Last Time

Ain't It Beautiful: Jets Beat Pats, Initial Reaction

Is it just me or is it all of a sudden alot more fun to be a Jets fan? I just got back from the Meadowlands and I will say the fans game ball from Rex Ryan was well deserved. In my 18 years of going to Jets games, I have never seen a crowd like I saw it today. There was no sitting, just non-stop jumping, cheering, “Brady sucks” chants, “Defense” chants, “Boston Sucks” chants, and all that other good stuff. The fans were on their game today and fortunately so was Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez, and of course the Jets defense which is yet to allow a touchdown through 2 games.

Sorry Bill…You were out-coached today, the Pats were in control at halftime up 9-3 and you were out-adjusted by Rex Ryan at halftime as the Jets outscored you 13-0 in the second half. Your team was undisciplined, coming up with 11 penalties for 89 yards and not surprisingly you couldn’t even look Rex Ryan in the face and barely shake his hand after the game. You might have traded away one too many players on that defense. which simply isn’t on the same level as the Jets.

Sorry Tom…You look rattled and scared in the pocket, we could smell you crapping your pants from the Jets pass rush all the way up in Section 313. 23/47? I am not math whiz, but isn’t that below 50 percent? Back to back delay of game penalties? I thought Mark Sanchez was the rookie. Zero touchdowns and an interception? Yikes. I don’t know, that Patriots offense doesn’t look like anything too special to me.

How About…That Jets defense, I can’t talk enough about them. Darrelle Revis is the best corner in the NFL right now. Who else shuts down Andre Johnson (who by the way had 149 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns against all-pro corner Cortland Finnegan today) and Randy Moss in back to back weeks? Donald Strickland and Lito Sheppard both played very well and hopefully their injuries aren’t serious even though Dwight Lowery, Eric Smith, and Drew Coleman all stepped up off the bench…Mark Sanchez protecting the football and coming up huge in the second half with two big strikes to Jerricho Cotchery, a beautiful touchdown pass to Dustin Keller, and a huge third down conversion to Chansi Stuckey. The best is that he is only going to get better…The previously mentioned receivers, all stepping up and providing another good game, especially Cotchery who had 87 yards receiving, all in the second half.

Much more to come tomorrow, right now my throat hurts, my legs are killing me, but damn we just held Tom Brady to 0 touchdowns, below 50 percent passing, out-coached Bill Belichick, and cheered the Pats into 4 delay of game penalties.

Enjoy it Jets Nation, you are 2-0, have a defense that hasn’t allowed a touchdown in 2 games, just beat New England, and you may have finally found the right coach and right quarterback. If you weren’t at the game today, find a way to get to a home game this season because that was place was rocking today, and if the Jets keep playing this way it is going to be rocking all season.

Jets vs. Patriots: Prediction, TOJ TV Episode II

Enjoy episode II of Turn on The Jets TV, where I recap week 1 in the NFL, predict the Jets/Patriots game and go over my anguish of watching the Jets lose to New England at home the last 8 years.

This Week’s Song: The Game – We Stand Alone

Jets vs. Patriots: Game Breakdown

First a few updates:

1. Check out http://web.me.com/greenrewind.com where I recently did an interview on Marty Schupak’s program to discuss the Jets/Pats game.

2. The New England locker room is likely buried in bulletin board material this week, since Kerry Rhodes didn’t hold back in an interview with Gary Myers of the Daily News. Rhodes stated, “You go out from the first quarter on, from the first play on, and try to embarrass them. Not just go out there and try to win, try to embarrass them. Try to make them feel bad when they leave here. We don’t want to just beat them. We want to send a message to them, ‘We’re not backing down from you and we expect to win this game, and it’s not going to be luck, it’s not going to be a mistake.” He also promised the Jets will hit Brady more than six times, which is how many hits the Bills got on him. Well at least we know the Jets aren’t lacking confidence heading into this game.

3. Kris Jenkins, Sione Pouha, Wallace Wright, and Damien Woody were all limited at practice today.

4. Check back tomorrow for Episode II of “Turn On the Jets” TV, where I ramble about my frustration with the Jets/Pats rivalry, review week one of the NFL, preview week two and make a pick for the Jets/Pats game.

Jets vs. Patriots: Game Breakdown

Jets Offensive Game Plan: The Jets need to build on what they did last week against the Houston Texans. There shouldn’t be any type of excessively conservative play calling because Mark Sanchez is a rookie and is facing Bill Bellicheck. Obviously, a large portion of the Jets game plan will revolve around Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, and potentially Shonn Greene running the football and I still believe Jones/Washington need to be at or around 40 touches for the Jets to win but the Jets can’t be afraid to spread it out and throw the football. They have the personnel to attack the Patriots. I will say this again, don’t confuse New England’s defense with the Ravens or Steelers, this isn’t one the elite units in the league, especially without Jerod Mayo.

I have watched Jerricho Cotchery repeatedly kill the Pats secondary since 2006, and they even used to have better corners than they do now. Dustin Keller snagged 8 passes last November when the Jets won in New England. The Jets should be comfortable in their three wide set with Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey, and Keller with Leon Washington in the backfield. Also, they shouldn’t shy away from using their “Seminole” package with Leon Washington or Brad Smith working from the shotgun. I will also be real interested to see if the Jets take a home run shot to David Clowney some time in the first half to keep New England off balance.

The bottom line is that the Jets can’t go into a shell because they are playing the big, bad Patriots who usually push them around in their building. Thomas Jones and Leon Washington still need their carries but the Jets shouldn’t hesitate to take their shots to Dustin Keller down the seam or David Clowney down the side-line.

Jets Defensive Game Plan: Tackle, tackle, and tackle. The Patriots always kill the Jets with a barrage of short passes and screens to Wes Welker and Kevin Faulk. It is the entire defense’s responsibility to recognize the play, swarm to the football, and wrap these guys up. Darrelle Revis will prevent the big play from Randy Moss over the top, which means it is on guys like Lito Sheppard, Donald Strickland, Kerry Rhodes, and Jim Leonhard to keep Welker and Faulk in front of them and tackle them at first contact.

The Patriots also have a deep collection of running backs, led by Fred Taylor and Laurence Maroney. They couldn’t move the ball on the ground against Buffalo but don’t expect them to abandon the running game against the Jets. The run defense  starts with Kris Jenkins who is nursing a sore back, despite being boosted by the return of Shaun Ellis, guys like Howard Green and Sione Pouha need to step up and provide quality reps for Jenkins off the bench.

I am expecting a blitz happy scheme from Rex Ryan, which will test Brady under pressure early and often. This will make the secondary’s task even more difficult but Ryan seems to have total confidence in Revis, Sheppard, Leonhard, and Rhodes. David Harris & co need to stay in Brady’s face all day, because if Brady has time to stand back there, he is lethal.

Special Teams Breakdown: Leon Washington took a kick back for a touchdown the last time these two teams met, so keep an eye on #29 as usual. Wes Welker is always dangerous on punt returns and Maroney is a pretty good kick returner himself. Hopefully, Steve Weatherford can continue his strong punting.

The Jets Will Win If…Mark Sanchez protects the football. Brian Schottenheimer catches New England off guard by coming out in the spread offense and showing confidence in his rookie quarterback. Thomas Jones/Leon Washington do their usual work with their 40 combined touches. The Jets get points either on special teams or because of a defensive turnover. The pass rush stays in Tom Brady’s face all day, keeping him uncomfortable in the pocket. New England can’t run the football, making their offense one-dimensional and opening Brady up to more hits.

The Jets Will Lose If…Tom Brady has all day in the pocket and picks apart the Jets with short passes to his tight ends, Wes Welker, and Kevin Faulk. Mark Sanchez is confused by Bellicheck and throws a couple of costly interceptions, forcing the Jets to be conservative on offense. Thomas Jones starts out with 16 yards on 14 carries but never gets the chance to have a big finish like he did versus Houston. The Jets fall behind early and the crowd/team fall into the normal New England depression/losing attitude.

Help Rex Out