New York Jets – Minor Changes Won’t Solve Problems

The New York Jets need more than minor changes to solve their long list of problems

The New York Jets losing to the San Francisco 49ers yesterday should not have surprised anybody. It does not merit a shocked or angry reaction. The approach to the game and the emphatic manner in which they lost does however merit a response. Hopefully that response is taking place among the coaching staff and front office of the organization as they take today and tomorrow to reflect on a few harsh realities.

On the game film from yesterday, the coaching staff is going to see what a legitimate Super Bowl contender looks like. The 49ers are the team Rex Ryan wants. A smash-mouth, versatile running game supported by an efficient quarterback on offense and an elite defense that can get after the quarterback and force turnovers. The New York Jets can’t be them because Muhammad Wilkerson isn’t Justin Smith. David Harris isn’t Patrick Willis. Quinton Coples isn’t Aldon Smith. Bart Scott isn’t NaVorro Bowman. Not even remotely close. Shonn Greene isn’t half the running back Frank Gore is. Dustin Keller is a very poor man’s Vernon Davis. Colin Kapernick is a fast Tim Tebow who can throw the football. And right now, Mark Sanchez isn’t anywhere near the quarterback Alex Smith is and that is saying something because Smith isn’t very good.

The Jets don’t have Super Bowl talent. The Jets have 8-8 talent with zero depth. There is no middle class on the Jets roster. There is no capable backups with bright futures. Continuing the San Francisco comparison because it really drives it home – the 49ers 3rd and 4th running backs, Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James could very well be the Jets 1st and 2nd best running backs. The 49ers 4th, 5th, and 6th wide receivers, Kyle Williams, AJ Jenkins and Ted Ginn Jr would be the Jets top three receivers this Monday night.

The lack of talent and depth gets dumped on Mike Tannebaum’s lap and it appears more analysts are finally jumping on the Mike Tannenbaum is doing an awful job train we have been driving here at TOJ the past year or so. When you have a pair of lackluster off-seasons in a row and don’t draft well it catches up to you. Unfortunately, there is no cure all trade or signing that can be made at this point. It is going to take a purging of overpriced veterans this off-season and a wise use of available cap space, something that Tannenbaum shouldn’t be given the chance to do but probably will because of his relationship with Woody Johnson.

Where does that leave the 2012 Jets right now? The problem with the game-plan against San Francisco was that the Jets approached the game like they had enough talent to compete with the 49ers. They mistakenly thought they could play their normal defensive scheme minus Darrelle Revis and stop their offense. They thought they could run a standard offensive game plan and score on the 49ers defense. They could not have been more wrong and that is on Rex Ryan’s hubris.

Similar to Tannenbaum, Ryan does a poor job of self-scouting his own talent. He overestimates the players on his roster. Hopefully, yesterday’s game tape will be a needed hard smack in the face resulting in Ryan realizing his team’s deficiencies. Against San Francisco the Jets should have been emptying the book on offense, mixing in gadget plays and new formations in hopes of catching their defense off guard. On defense, they should have been trying new formations, blitz schemes and personnel. Houston is coming to town this Monday and they are a better all-around team than San Francisco. If the Jets play straight up, they will lose by 30 points for the second week in a row.

On defense, it is time face the reality about the Jets linebackers. They have one very good inside linebacker who is having a poor year in David Harris and not much else. Bryan Thomas and Garrett McIntyre can’t play major reps on a good NFL defense. Calvin Pace and Bart Scott are slow, 2 down linebackers who are average players at best. The less linebackers on the field for the Jets, the better. We discussed in the off-season how the Jets are better built for a 4-3 or 46 and it is time for Rex to stop trying to fit square pegs in round holes in the 3-4.

Get Quinton Coples in the starting line-up and start showing more 4-3 looks. Accept the reality that Siona Pouha is hurt and give him time to heal while getting Kenrick Ellis more reps. At linebacker, more reps need to be given to Demario Davis immediately. Let him make his mistakes now and grow into the position he will hopefully be holding the next few years for the Jets. They need his speed out there. Put Aaron Maybin on the inactive list until he learns a second pass rush move and give Ricky Sapp a chance to rush the passer on third downs. In the secondary, hopefully Aaron Berry gets up to speed quickly. From a talent perspective, he could very well be starting over Kyle “I taunt the receiver when I’m beat by 10 yards” Wilson in a couple of weeks. Beyond that, you hope Antonio Cromartie and LaRon Landry continue their elevated level of play.

On offense, the solutions are going to be much harder to come by. Mark Sanchez was abysmal yesterday and the lack of supporting cast isn’t going to help him out of his slump. Tim Tebow is not the answer as a full time quarterback. He can be the answer as a shot in the arm to the offense if he is used properly, which Tony Sparano has shown no concept of doing. No more reps at H-Back. No more reps in the slot. No more reps at fullback. Get Tebow in the shotgun with Joe McKnight and Jeremy Kerley next to him and let him run option and take off up the middle on short yardage situations. Give him 10-12 carries a game. Treat him like a running back who is taking direct snaps and then pop in a deep pass on occasion to keep defenses honest.

The Jets are so bad at running back, that it wouldn’t be irrational to give recently signed Jonathan Grimes and roster ping pong ball Joe McKnight extended work. How could they be less productive than Shonn Greene? Go with a committee approach that hopefully pops a few big plays with the two of them and Bilal Powell. I mentioned Kerley in the Wildcat because he is type of player who should be getting 8-12 touches a game, especially in an offense as devoid of talent as the Jets. Use him how Green Bay uses Randall Cobb. Give him handoffs, pitches, quick screens…get the ball in his hands.

Mark Sanchez is so inconsistent that he may not be salvageable at this point. He needs to be given quick reads where he can get the ball out of his hands without too many progressions. Hopefully an improved, creative run game will open up some type of play action for him down the field. At wide receiver and tight end, you can only hope Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller get healthy and Chaz Schilens can be relied upon.

The Jets need a roster overhaul but they have 12 games left. In order to make those 12 games competitive, it is going to take creativity on both sides of the ball and a shake up of the depth chart. Hopefully Rex Ryan and his staff are smart enough to realize that.

Initial Reaction – As Bad As It Gets, Awful Jets Fall To 2-2

The New York Jets embarrassed themselves in a 34-0 loss

The New York Jets put on a sorry display today at MetLife Stadium, in what was arguably the low point of Rex Ryan’s tenure as head coach. You can make a very real argument that the Jets are one of the five worst teams in the NFL right now. Not only do they lack talent across the board on both sides of the ball, they seem to have no type of coherent plan on how to best maximize what talent they do have. They were beat down by a far superior team today, who played far from their best game and actually left the door open for the Jets to remain competitive into the 3rd quarter.

Mark Sanchez was brutal, completing less than 50% of his passes for the third straight week. In today’s NFL that stat throws serious questions on whether he can be a successful quarterback for this team anymore. What also throws that into question was his demeanor in his post-game press conference, where he carried a care free attitude about his turnovers and general play. How can he still remain this careless with the football? He threw another interception at the line of scrimmage and was stripped from behind as he showed no ball security awareness.

The whole attitude of the team was generally infuriating to watch. You have Kyle Wilson repeatedly getting beat deep and then taunting the opposing receiver when he is overthrown by Alex Smith. He is a first round pick who has no concept of how to play the football in the air and should be no higher than a 4th cornerback on a quality NFL defense. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas, despite their sacks today are past their primes as capable NFL starting linebackers. David Harris, despite being the league’s highest paid linebacker could potentially lead the league in missed tackles thus far this season.

You are basically looking at a slow front seven, a shorthanded secondary and an offense that is comically understaffed. There is no team with a worse collection of skill position players in the NFL than the Jets right now. Santonio Holmes is getting a MRI tomorrow for a foot injury he sustained today and is going to miss time. Jeff Cumberland? Clyde Gates? Patrick Turner? Shonn Greene had another inspiring 11 carry, 34 yard performance. Tim Tebow brought nothing to the table. How is this team supposed to score points?

The Jets have 8 days to get their act together in some type of away before hosting Houston, the league’s best all around team in primetime. That game has the potential to be every bit as ugly as today was…except in front of the whole country. The Jets have problems that start with owner, carry down to the GM, to the quarterback and all the way through to the bottom of their roster. Will they fight or will they just say “too bad” like Sanchez did in his press conference?

Turn On The Jets Week 4 NFL Picks

The TOJ staff submits their week 4 NFL picks

The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday Night game. Also make sure to hit up M1-5 in NYC for unlimited drafts for $25, courtesy of Night Out this weekend! 

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Mike Donnelly (28-19-2)

2. Rob  Celletti (21-26-2)

3. Chris Celletti (20-27-2)

4. Chris Gross (19-28-2)

5. Joe Caporoso (18-29-2)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (7-8)

  • Patriots (-4) vs. Bills
  • Falcons (-7) vs. Panthers
  • 49ers (-3.5) vs. Jets
  • Kansas City (PK) vs. Chargers
  • Titans (+12) vs. Texans
  • Rams (+2.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Cardinals (-6) vs. Dolphins
  • Raiders (+6.5) vs. Broncos
  • Bengals (-1.5) vs. Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) vs. Saints
  • Redskins (+3) vs. Bucs
  • Giants (+2) vs. Eagles
  • Bears (+3.5) vs. Cowboys

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (11-4)

  • Bills +4.5
  • Jets +4.5
  • Rams +3
  • Panthers +7.5
  • Vikings +4
  • Chiefs +1.5
  • Texans -12
  • Jaguars +3
  • Raiders +7
  • Dolphins +6
  • Bucs -3
  • Packers -7.5
  • Giants +1.5
  • Bears +3.5

Rob Celletti

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patrios (-3.5) over Bills
  • Lions (-4.5) over Vikings
  • Falcons (-7) over Panthers
  • 49ers (-4) over Jets
  • Chiefs (+1.5) over Chargers
  • Texans (-12) over Titans
  • Rams (+3) over Seahawks
  • Dolphins (+5.5) over Cardinals
  • Broncos (-7) over Raiders
  • Bengals (-1.5) over Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) over Saints
  • Redskins (+3) over Buccaneers
  • Eagles (-2) over Giants
  • Cowboys (-3) over Bears

Chris Celletti

Last Week (5-10)

  • Patriots
  • Lions
  • Falcons
  • Jets
  • Chargers
  • Titans
  • Seahawks
  • Cardinals
  • Broncos
  • Bengals
  • Saints
  • Bucs
  • Giants
  • Cowboys

Chris Gross

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patriots (-3.5)
  • Lions (-4.5)
  • Falcons (-7)
  • Jets (+4)
  • Chiefs (+1.5)
  • Titans (+12)
  • Seahawks (-3)
  • Cardinals (-5.5)
  • Broncos (-7)
  • Bengals (-1.5)
  • Saints (+7.5)
  • Buccaneers (-3)
  • Giants (+2)
  • Bears (+3)

 

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 4 – Jets vs. 49ers

12 predictions for the New York Jets week 4 match-up against the San Francisco 49ers

12 Predictions for Jets/49ers. A big thanks to Chris Gross for taking over as Editor-In-Chief while I am in Montreal on a business trip (Bachelor Party) until Sunday morning (of course taking the early flight back so I won’t miss the game). On to the predictions –

1. Bilal Powell will be the Jets leading rusher for the second week in a row, moving one step closer to taking over the starting job. He will also again average more yards per carry than Shonn Greene.

2. Santonio Holmes will be productive for the second week in a row, finishing with 5 catches for 85 yards.

3. Aaron Maybin will not have a sack or a quarterback hit for the fourth straight week, leading to most of his reps being cut in the coming weeks and a potential promotion of Ricky Sapp from the practice squad.

4. Quinton Coples will see his most extensive work of the season with Marcus Dixon no longer on the roster.

5. Newly signed running back Jonathan Grimes will receive at least one touch on offense this week.

6. Mario Manningham is going to have a big game in the slot for San Francisco, as their passing game will target and pick on Ellis Lankster.

7. Vernon Davis wil finish with at least 55 yards receiving and a touchdown.

8. Frank Gore will be the game’s leading rusher, finishing with just over 90 yards.

9. Mark Sanchez will have one interception but will also throw for over 250 yards and a touchdown.

10. Tim Tebow won’t be a major factor in the game.

11. Chaz Schilens will play well opposite Santonio Holmes, making a case to split reps with Stephen Hill when he comes back from injury.

12. The Jets will be more competitive than most will pick them to be, however won’t have enough late against the 49ers and lose 23-13 in game that is closer than the score indicates.

Turn On The Jets Week 4 Roundtable – Jets/49ers Match-Ups

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to on Sunday

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward when the New York Jets take on the San Francisco 49ers. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter –

Joe Caporoso – Tony Sparano vs. the 49ers defense. Let’s see how crafty the new Jets offensive coordinator is against arguably the league’s best defense. Let’s hope he is smart enough not to line up with three tight ends and try to pound the ball with Shonn Greene. A smarter approach would be to spread the 49ers out with a 3 wide look and look to get the ball in the hands of the Jets speedy players, namely Jeremy Kerley and Bilal Powell. The Jets pass protection has been better than expected and as crazy as this may sound, this might be a game for Mark Sanchez to let it fly 30-35 times and attack aggressively down the field.

Chris Gross – Jets Rushing Offense vs. 49ers Run Defense – We all know who has the advantage here. San Francisco has one of the most, if not the most, stellar run defenses in the NFL. The Jets, on the other hand, have been extremely sub par in their rushing offense. Shonn Greene is averaging an embarrassing 2.8 YPC through the first three games this season. It is about time that Tony Sparano, known famously for his ground and pound approach, becomes creative in his game plan. If he is smart, he will attempt to spread San Francisco out, and use his more elusive backs like Bilal Powell, and the newly acquired Jonathan Grimes, early and often. Sparano should attempt to get them the ball in space and allow them an opportunity to make plays. If he attempts to line up in Jumbo sets and run Greene on dives, the offensive will undoubtedly be stonewalled by the likes of Patrick WIllis and Co. Sparano needs to save Greene as his downhill runner for late in the fourth quarter, where he can take advantage of a defense tired from chasing down the shiftier backs all game. The run game can either be decent Sunday, or a complete disaster. How Sparano designs his game plan both schematically and personnel wise, will be what determines the winner of this match up

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to seeing this weekend is how the Jets defensive front handles the 49ers power run game. The 49ers offense thrives on not making mistakes and beating themselves, so it’s of the utmost importance to stuff the run and get them into 3rd and long situations. Alex Smith does a lot of 3 step drops followed by short, safe passes, so I expect to see another week of no QB pressure, unfortunately. But, if the defensive line is able to hold up and not let the 49ers huge offensive line beat them up, the Jets have a chance to hang in there and win this game late.

Chris Celletti – Matchup – Jets D backs vs. Alex Smith/49ers WRs and TEs. If the Jets want to swiftly quell the doomsday attitude that’s surfaced since Darrelle Revis was ruled out for the season, their defensive backs are going to have to step up this week against the 49ers. Alex Smith is a great game manager. He’s not a great quarterback. I’m interested to see if the Jets’ secondary can keep tabs on Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Vernon Davis and force Alex Smith into some tough throws. If Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson consistently get beat and Smith has wide open receivers to throw to, it could be a really long day for the Jets.

TJ Rosenthal – The matchup we look forward to the most is Kyle Wilson vs any of the 49er receivers. Crabtree leads them with 19 receptions and Manningham has 12. Moss has 7 but who knows how Rex will play it. Ryan may put Cro on the taller guys and Wilson on Crabtree at times.. Whoever he lines up against, we are curious to see how the Jets ask him to defend. Will they allow him to break on balls, and jump routes? Wilson can be a guy who can take balls back to the house if plays are happening in front of him. We worry about balls behind him and him turning around in time, but that’s what we look forward to seeing. Has his time come? Or not?

Rob Celletti – This week, I’m really interested to see how the Jets’ now Revis-less secondary handles a 49ers passing attack that, while it’s certainly not seen as the strength of their team, could pose some problems. Alex Smith is essentially the NFL’s new Chad Pennington; dating back to the start of last season, he’s completed 63% of his passes (nearly 70% through three games this season) while throwing 22 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. The Jets, frighteningly enough, had moments where they made Ryan Tannehill look like a veteran NFL quarterback last week, and if they afford Smith openings, he will exploit them.  an Antonio Cromartie shut down Michael Crabtree, who’s caught 12 of 19 balls for first downs this year?  Will the Jets, notorious for their inability to cover tight ends, finally figure it out against Vernon Davis, who already has 4 touchdowns this year?  If Randy Moss is on the field, will the Jets feel he’s enough of a threat to line Cromartie up against him, leaving Kyle Wilson on an island against Crabtree or Mario Manningham? The Jets need to get creative and LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell need to step up, or this 49ers passing attack could resemble the one that Joe Montana used to lead.