TOJ Week 17 NFL Gambling Advice and Picks

This is a sad day as the NFL regular season comes to a close. No more fantasy football, no more tons of games to bet on every week, and for most fans, no more watching your favorite team play for the next nine months. But that doesn’t mean we can’t end this season with a bang and make some money right? Let’s get to it… Continue reading “TOJ Week 17 NFL Gambling Advice and Picks”

RIP Season: Sanchez, Holmes Awful in 19-17 Loss

The New York Jets had a fitting end to their season today

I have spent plenty of time defending Mark Sanchez this season and the previous two ones he has been the Jets quarterback. Yet, his three consecutive awful performances, culminating with one of the worst of his career today has me fully off the bandwagon. He gets next season with a new offensive coordinator and a new system but next year is a complete make or break season for him. And you honestly can’t even be sure at this point that he will get that chance. Crazier things have happened.

Brian Schottenheimer and his playcalls were particularly bad again. Yet, today the blame is on the Jets quarterback who threw three horrid interceptions thanks to his incessant obsession with throwing check down after check down. It was scared, pathetic, incompetent quarterbacking at its finest. He has brought all the off-season speculation about Peyton Manning and every other quarterback on himself.

We have a long off-season to go through what a failure this season has been on just about every level and we will get after it starting tomorrow. But for now, know that this offense needs to be completely destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. You want a good summary of how messed up this team was by the end of the year? Captain Santonio Holmes spent the last 2 minutes of the game while the Jets attempted a comeback sitting on the bench without a helmet and not watching the game, sulking.

TOJ Week 17 NFL Picks

TOJ with his week 17 NFL picks. Who are your best bets?

Last Week: 6-8

Season Record: 114-116-5

Week 17 Picks

  • Philadelphia (-9.5) vs. Washington
  • Atlanta (-13) vs. Tampa Bay
  • San Francisco (-11) vs. St. Louis
  • Minnesota (-1.5) vs. Chicago
  • Green Bay (+3.5) vs. Detroit
  • Giants (-3.5) vs. Dallas
  • New Orleans (-8.5) vs. Carolina
  • Houston (+3) vs. Tennessee
  • Baltimore (-2) vs. Cincinnati
  • Jacksonville (-3.5) vs. Indianapolis
  • New England (-10.5) vs. Buffalo
  • Oakland (-3) vs. San Diego
  • Kansas City (+3) vs. Denver
  • Seattle (+2) vs. Arizona

Ten Preliminary Thoughts On Jets/Dolphins

Ten preliminary thoughts on the Jets week 17 match-up against the Miami Dolphins

Ten preliminary thoughts on the New York Jets week 17 match-up against the Miami Dolphins. Can they at least give themselves a shot to make the playoffs?

1. The sad reality of this game is that since these two teams met back in week 6, Matt Moore has been a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez, Reggie Bush has been a better running back than Shonn Greene, Brandon Marshall has been a better wide receiver than Santonio Holmes, and the Dolphins defense has been better than the Jets defense as a whole. The Jets are rightfully underdogs in this game and if they again play below their supposed talent level, they are going to get smacked around.

2. This will be Jason Taylor’s last NFL game. You want an embarrassing stat? He has 7 sacks this year in extremely limited time. There isn’t a single player on the Jets defense with more than 6 sacks.

3. Reggie Bush is exactly the type of back the Jets have struggled with all season, considering his speed and ability on the edges. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry in their previous match-up and you can bet the Dolphins will be going to him early and often.

4. Common sense would dictate that the Jets will rely heavily on their ground game after last week’s disaster. Shonn Greene is 1 yard away from a 1,000 on the season and there is no reason he shouldn’t get 20-25 carries this week. You know what would be nice? To see him break a big run and score a touchdown…something he hasn’t done since the San Diego playoff game in 2009.

5. Mark Sanchez is under the heaviest criticism of his NFL career right now, with many calling for the Jets to look in a different direction next year. Let’s see how he responds and if he can take advantage of a Miami secondary that does give up big plays.

6. I think we are going to know right out of the gate what type of game this is going to be. Are the Jets going to come out with their heads down and get rolled over by a Miami team who’d love nothing more than to end their season, or will they come out with some fight considering what a joke and disappointment they are considered at the moment?

7. This could very well be LaDainian Tomlinson’s last NFL game. He has been productive with the touches he has received all season. You almost feel like the Jets didn’t go to him enough down the stretch. Let’s hope he finishes on a high note.

8. Brian Schottenheimer deserves to be fired but one good play call he had last week was motioning Joe McKnight out of the backfield out wide, where he ran a stop and go on the linebacker who went to cover him. McKnight flew by him and was wide open for a 85 yard touchdown. Unfortunately, Mark Sanchez completely missed the throw. The Jets must continue to take their shots down the field and Sanchez must hit them when they are there.

9. Darrelle Revis is coming off a terrific game, where he completely shut down Hakeem Nicks. It will be interesting to see him battle against Brandon Marshall, as they went at it pretty good in the previous match-up this season. Matt Moore won’t shy away from attacking Revis, which will hopefully lead to a big play for the Jets.

10. End the season with some pride…playoffs or not…

Wait It Out: A Brief Explanation Of The New 49ers

Justin with a look at the NFC playoff picture, in particular the 49ers

I put in a call to a cousin in Vegas yesterday to see the odds on the 49ers winning the Super Bowl. After wearing out welcomes on both coasts he settled, as it were, at the doorstep of hell.

He was stuttering, trying to get the words out like a man with serious terror closing in from all sides. “The front office boys are saying 9 to 1, but anyone with a real pulse on the thing know its realistically somewhere around 20 to 1. Alex Smith is rumored to be seeing between one and three psychoanalysts at any given time. He’s made of glass…he’s gonna finally crack if they make the playoffs…Harbaugh hedged his bets on a jumpy horse and the thunderclouds are rolling in”.

And so that’s how its gonna go down. NFC championship. Packers vs. 49ers. It’s gonna come down to a game winning drive. 4th and goal to get to the Super Bowl. Here it is. Alex Smith in search of his ultimate redemption. And then it happens. The whole defense blurs into one yellow and green streak. He stands up, staring at the crowd. Finally, exhausted, he drops to his knees and gets down into the act of worship. The last drop of water falls onto the head of the tortured man. Too much. Too soon.

Screw it. At least they’re gonna get there. That’s after Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith send Matthew Stafford to the hospital for the 3rd time in 3 years. That’s right. Most people like to think about the Montana/Rice 49ers. Those people also like to eat fig newtons and read the sunday newspaper.

We don’t have time for that in the new NFL. We want to see people get hit. We want to see quarterbacks and running backs get plastered every time they get into a power run formation. Or spread em out, no protection. That way no one’s going to even attempt a half hearted chop block on a double inside blitz.

Go watch the tape from the 49ers/Steelers game. That’s what defense should look like. Slot killing safeties, Pro Bowler on the defensive line, and two of the most freakish linebackers in pro football. Aldon Smith has a 7’2 wingspan and Patrick Willis lifts weights until they close the gym.

John Harbaugh, to put it bluntly, is the kick in the balls the 49ers have needed for about 5 years. Putting all these ex 85 Bears players in head coaching gigs is assuming they’ll all become these defensive gurus just like Buddy Ryan. It didn’t work. Leslie Fraser is in the middle of a meltdown in Minnesota, Singletary is out of a job, Ron Rivera is the a few bad Cam Newton performances away from being a lame duck head coach and Jack Del Rio is further evidence of the defensive coach as head coach gone awry.

Harbaugh’s philosophy as a head coach was not exactly evident at Stanford, where he arguably had the best quarterback in the country. After examining a season full of 49ers highlights though, a few things are evident.

Harbaugh wants his defense to rely on the linebackers for pressure and the defensive backs to ballhawk, knowing full well most throws are going to get rushed. Theres not too many DB blitzes or zone blitzes. Keep it simple.

On offense it’s a steady mix of running plays,(counters, dives, off tackle) a cross between a spread and a west coast offense. Nothing too predictable. Nothing repeated. Let the other team take risks and make a short field.. Stop the run. Easy in theory. However, no rushing touchdowns allowed in 14 games speaks for itself.

NFL Playoff Picture: Week 17

TOJ with a look at the NFL playoff picture heading into week 17

Down to the final week of the NFL season, there are only a few things left to be shuffled out before wild-card weekend, most of which is seeding. Every single team below, outside of Green Bay, is playing in a game with some kind of playoff implications this weekend –

AFC

  1. New England (12-3)
  2. Baltimore (11-4)
  3. Houston (10-5)
  4. Denver (8-7)
  5. Pittsburgh (11-4)
  6. Cincinnati (9-6)
  7. Oakland (8-7)
  8. Tennessee (8-7)
  9. Jets (8-7)

New England needs to win to wrap up the number one seed. Baltimore needs to beat Cincinnati to avoid sliding from a number two seed all the way to down to a number five seed. By all reports, Houston is going to play all out this weekend to avoid going into the playoffs on a three game losing streak and to keep divisional rival Tennessee out (good news for the Jets). Denver plays Kansas City and Oakland plays in San Diego in two games that are complete toss-ups, if both teams win or lose, Denver takes the AFC West. Pittsburgh will play hard against Cleveland, as they actually still have an outside shot at the number one seed. The Jets need to win and hope three separate teams help them.

NFC

  1. Green Bay (14-1)
  2. San Francisco (12-3)
  3. New Orleans (12-3)
  4. Giants (8-7)
  5. Detroit (10-5)
  6. Atlanta (9-6)
  7. Dallas (8-7)

Winner of Giants/Dallas takes the number four seed. If Detroit loses and Atlanta wins, they will drop to the number six seed and a likely first round beatdown at the hands of New Orleans, who can only move up to number two if San Francisco slips up this week against St. Louis.

TOJ NFL Power Rankings: Week 17 – Extended Edition

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Our final installment of the NFL Regular Season Power Rankings…don’t shed a tear on me. Don’t worry, the show doesn’t stop in the playoffs, but here is a very special edition of TOJ NFL Power Rankings…

The Favorite

1. New England Patriots (13-2) – There is no way around it, New England is the team to beat heading into the 2010 playoffs. How many hours are going to be spent pouring over the game tape from when Cleveland beat them way back on November 7th? They are the best but not unbeatable because of a sometimes shaky defense and young players in many key spots.

The Top Contenders

2. New Orleans Saints (11-4) – They know what it takes to win in the playoffs and regardless of likely being a wild-card, their road to the Super Bowl isn’t looking too intimidating. Big win over Atlanta last week in their building, showed they are still the team to beat in the NFC.

3. Baltimore Ravens (11-4) – The team I am most confident can knock off the Patriots in the playoffs. However, they will likely have to get by Peyton Manning first which will be no easy task.

Super Bowl Capable

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) – They need to handle business against the Browns or Sunday or risk falling all the way to a #6 seed. It would be a tall task for any wild-card team to come into Heinz Field and get a victory.

5. Atlanta Falcons (12-3) – The road to the Super Bowl still goes through Atlanta in the NFC but they now have it in their head that New Orleans can beat them in their building. Beyond that, the Falcons simply aren’t a dominant team who could be knocked off by any playoff team in their conference.

6. Chicago Bears (11-4) – Clinched a bye thanks to Philadelphia laying an egg last night. If Jay Cutler plays like he did against the Jets, they will be a tough out. It will be interesting to see how they handle the Green Bay game on Sunday, which is meaningless to them.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (10-5) – I know, I know…they looked awful last night but Mike Vick makes them a scary match-up for anybody in the NFC. They will have to beat Chicago at some point, however, who banged them up earlier in the year.

Dangerous

8. Kansas City Chiefs (10-5) – 7-0 at home and they are peeking at the right time. However, it remains to be seen how the key young players on their team handle their first playoff action.

9. Green Bay Packers (9-6) – Chicago would be doing the rest of the conference a favor by doing everything in their power to keep them out of the playoffs.

10. Indianapolis Colts (9-6) – It doesn’t matter how banged up they are, Peyton Manning makes them capable of reaching February.

11. New York Jets (10-5) – If they remember how to play defense and to give Shonn Greene the football, they could roll off a few wins in January especially if Mark Sanchez stays hot. After all the talk, a one and done showing would be a major disappointment.

Just Kill Them Already

12. Tampa Bay Bucs (9-6) – The young Bucs exceeded everybody’s expectations this year and are going to be a serious contender for a long time. However, it is doubtful they will receive enough help to reach the playoffs this time around.

13. New York Giants (9-6) – There is no overcoming the meltdown they had against the Eagles, which looks like it will take them from a potential #2 seed to having a new head coach.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7) – They had every chance in the world to take advantage of the Colts struggles but failed to do so.

If Only They Were in the NFC West

15. Oakland Raiders (7-8) – Not a bad year for the Raiders, who helped the Jets out just a little by not being their usual 4-5 win selves which would have resulted in a top 10 pick for the Patriots in next year’s draft.

16. San Diego Chargers (8-7) – Inexcusable let down in Cincinnati ended their playoff hopes. Oh well, they weren’t going to win a playoff game anyway.

Pulling For You Sunday Night

17. St. Louis Rams (7-8) – Is there anybody who would rather see the pitiful Seahawks in the playoffs than the young, surprising Rams led by Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson?

A Moment to Laugh

18. Washington Redskins (6-9) – For the way they handled the Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb situation, along with thinking they could be a playoff team by starting Joey Galloway at receiver.

19. Miami Dolphins (7-8) – For thinking Chad Henne was a franchise quarterback and to everybody (I am looking you Bill Williamson) who argued they’d rather have him than Mark Sanchez.

20. Minnesota Vikings (6-9) – To how much better they would have been starting Joe Webb all along.

21. Dallas Cowboys (5-10) – To people like me who thought they were a Super Bowl contender.

22. Detroit Lions (5-10) – To them throwing the ball on third down when the Jets had no timeouts with Drew Stanton way back in November.

Deserve Some Respect

23. Buffalo Bills (4-11) – They have fought hard every week and are a handful of plays away from being a 7 win team despite lacking talent on both sides of the ball.

24. Cleveland Browns (5-10) – Fought hard all year but then dropped some winnable games late in the season that will likely cost Eric Mangini his job.

Deserve No Respect

25. Tennessee Titans (6-9) – Completely meltdown and quit in the second  half of the year…kind of like Vince Young when he gets taken out of games.

26. Houston Texans (5-10) – Kind of funny to think about what everyone was saying about them after they beat the Colts in week one.

Just Awful

27. Seattle Seahawks (6-9) – If you haven’t been able to tell yet this year, it absolutely disgusts me that Seattle can still make the playoffs. Over the last 9 games, Seattle has lost by 30, 34, 15, 18, 19, 16, and 23 and beaten the Cardinals and Panthers aka a pair of college teams. Just disgusting that we have to watch them on Sunday night.

28. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11) – It would have been real interesting to watch how their season would have went without T.O. and Ochocinco.

29. Denver Broncos (4-11) – At least they have Tebow to look forward to next year.

30. San Francisco 49ers (5-10) – Mike Singletary was always entertaining.

31. Arizona Cardinals (5-10) – Funny to see Kerry Rhodes run his mouth on Twitter about the Jets as he is a key part of one of the NFL’s worst defenses.

32. Carolina Panthers (2-13) – Should be in last place for a long, long time in the NFC South.