TOJ’s Know Your Opponent: New York Jets v. Tennessee Titans

The Jets are trying to avoid going 0-4 for the 3rd straight season. On tap for today is a banged-up Titans team that the Jets have no excuses to not be competitive against.
Coaching: Mike Vrabel has made the playoffs his last 2 years in Tennessee and had a winning record every year. However, he has struggled to field a competent defense since Dean Peas left after the 2019 season. Todd Downing is the OC who replaced Arthur Smith, was one of the best play callers the past 2 seasons, and it remains to be seen if Downing can maintain the high standards Smith set.

Offense: Ryan Tannehill has undergone a late-career renaissance in Tennessee as he has been one of the most efficient QBs in the NFL the past 2 years and has kept that up this season. Derrick Henry remains one of the best running backs in the league and will no doubt be featured heavily today. AJ Brown and Julio are two of the 10 best WRs in the NFL, in my opinion, and would decimate our corner group but thankfully both will not play today. The Titans OL is not what it used to be and what was once a dominant unit has become the middle of the pack.

Defense:  The Titans defense is bad. Like lol bad. They tried retooling it this off-season by adding Bud Dupree for their pass rush and getting younger at corner with First-rounder Caleb Farley and 3rd rounder Elijah Molden, but Farley and Dupree are both hurt. Jeffrey Simmons is one of the best defensive tackles in the league and he can wreck a game especially when the Jets continue to start the Chuckle Brothers that are Mcogvern and Van Rotten.

Weaknesses: As previously mentioned the Titans are dealing with injuries at key spots: let me reiterate that they are missing their two best WRs, starting edge rusher and cornerback. Their OL is also dealing with nagging injuries. Chandler Jones and Arizona destroyed this OL week 1 and the Jets DL will be the best one the Titans have faced since so they should be poised to take advantage.

Matchup: With Brown and Julio out This offense is all on Derrick Henry. If the Jets can limit Henry and keep Tannehill in 3rd and long all game they should have great success with their pass rush. Let’s be clear: WR1 Josh Reynolds isn’t scaring anyone. The Jets offense has been abysmal and it still remains to be seen if they can take advantage of a weak defense. The Titans are 31st against play-action passes so hopefully, Lafleur is dialing those up early and often.

Prediction: if the Jets are the frisky 6-7 win team we thought they were this game has to be competitive. I think it will be and I think we will see Zach Wilson’s best day in a Jets uniform and a turnover-free day. A back and forth game that ends with Zach Wilson completing a 2 min drill TD.
Jets 21, Titans 20
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TOJ’s Know Your Opponent: Week 2 v New England Patriots

We all know this team.  We all hate this team.  But this team is not Tom Brady’s Patriots anymore.

Coaching- Bill Bellicheck has been at the top of  the game for 20 years. He still runs the defense for the Pats and that unit is always well coached and aggressive. Josh McDaniels runs the offense and, while he has the reputation for being a good offensive mind, his non-Tom Brady offenses have not been good at all.

Offense: Mac Jones was efficient in his debut and is an accurate QB, but he is still a rookie making his first road start.  The Patriots OL is excellent: Isaiah Wynn is one of the better LTs in the game and both Shaq Mason and Michael Onwenhu are ass-kickers at guard.  Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are good tight ends and Damien Harris is a solid running back, but this offense really lacks the playmakers to make explosive plays.

Defense: Even without Stephon Gilmore, this defense is very good.  After opting out of 2020 Dont’a Hightower is back and he is still one of the best linebackers in the game.  The Patriots have the most edge talent  they have had in years  with a solid veteran in Matt Judon and exciting ascending players like Josh Uche and Chase Winnovich.  JC Jackson is a ball hawking corner who Zach Wilson should avoid targeting as much as possible.

Weaknesses- Due to the Stephon Gilmore injury, Jalen Mills has to start and he is terrible.  Zach Wilson’s favorite target should be whoever Mills has to cover on the given play.  Mac Jones is a rookie making his first road start so he is going to make mistakes. With Trent Brown out, the Jets’ DL has the ability to really pressure Mac and force a couple of turnovers.

Matchup- Seeing how bad the Jets OL played in week 1 this Pats defense should scare you, especially with no Mekhi Becton.  Belicheck is the best in the league at designing creeper pressures and stunts and that can really destroy an OL who has massive communication issues.  The Jets corners were frisky week 1 and I do not think the Pats have the WRs or the QB who can really take advantage of this inexperienced group. The Pats want to run the ball and that plays into the Jets strength with their DL.  Bill Belicheck has a great record against rookie QB’s at 21-6 but he is only 8-6 vs. them on the road  so I think if Zach continues his play from last week this team can score points.

Prediction: Patriots 20 Jets 16. I do not think the Patriots offense can make explosive plays and can blow teams out.  I think the Jets keep it close but ultimately the OL lets them down again and the Pats win a close back and forth game.

Know Your Opponent: Carolina Panthers

Michael Meegan gives a preview of the Jets-Panthers matchup.

Week 1 the Jets find themselves in a game filled with outside narratives.  They head to Carolina to face Sam Darnold their former QB who they traded away in April which kick started the Zach Wilson Era.  Now with the Jets 5 point road underdogs lets dive into Sunday’s matchup.

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TOJ’s Year In Preview: New York Jets QBs

As we head towards the start of the regular season, the TOJ team will be previewing every position group for the New York Jets. Our own Michael Meegan takes a crack at the QB position.

Quarterback is the most important position in sports.  It is a position the Jets have struggled with my entire life.  In 2021 Jets fans should be hoping that QB is a position no longer a question mark.

Depth Chart: Zach Wilson, Mike White

Zach Wilson: Was the Jets’ number 2 overall pick in the draft this year and Jets fans should be optimistic, for the upcoming year and going forward, given Wilson’s physical tools and his impressive preseason performance that he can be the franchise QB we have been waiting decades for.

Mike White: Is not good and I have no idea why he is on the team.

Veterans Available: Blake Bortles, Ben Dinucci, Nick Foles (Trade)

Former Jaguars QB Blake Bortles: is not good but in a funny way, not in a pathetic way like Mike White, so I guess that is progress?

Former Cowboys QB Ben Dinucci- Terrible QB but Sopranos memes/clips always slap, so would be a welcome addition.

Current Chicago Bears QB Nick Foles- trading any compensation for him is silly, but Ryan Pace is dumb. Unless the Bears attach a pick to this trade, no reason to do this.

Upgrade/Downgrade: Upgrade 1000000000000%

Sam Darnold was the 38th best QB in the league last year: for context, there are only 32 teams in the NFL.  This, coupled with not having to follow Jordan Palmer on Instagram anymore and watch QB throwing drills at the beach, is more than enough evidence to declare Wilson as a substantial upgrade to the Jets 2020 QB’s.

Best Case Scenario: Wilson Balls out

It’s no secret that Zach Wilson’s performances matter more than the Jets 2021 record.  If he is legit good from the jump, it elevates the Jets in 2021 and years to come.  If we are sitting here 12 months from now and have not had to read a million pieces about Zach taking the 2nd year leap because he was already good as a rookie, it’s a home run for the Jets and positions them to be a team that can make noise in the playoffs in 2022 and hopefully every year after that.

Worst Case Scenario: We have to see any QB not named Zach Wilson start a game or more.

Sam Darnold missed time each of his 3 years: in all those games, the Jets were essentially unwatchable and they lost every game.  I would much rather see Wilson take his lumps as a rookie and learn from them playing 17 games than having to miss three to four games and go into 2022 with durability questions.

Prediction: Zach Wins OROY and Mike White does not make me want to shove scissors in my eyes.

Wilson is going to be very good this year and it starts with shutting up the Darnold apologists week 1. Then he collects his OROY trophy posting a 25 TD, 7 INT, 65% comp, 3890-yard season.  Mike White never touches the field and we can forget he existed in 2022.

 

TOJ Pod: 53 Man Roster Thoughts

Zach Wilson Signs His Rookie Contract

Michael Meegan reacts to Zach Wilson signing with the Jets.

Our long 2 day nightmare is over!!!!

Zach Wilson finally signed his rookie contract today around 1pm, where the Jets got their offset language and Zach got his 22.9 million signing bonus paid within 15 days.  This is exactly the structure Sam Darnold had and I do not know why it took 3 months to find this “compromise” given that there was an obvious precedent set with Sam, but the Johnson’s never know how to get out of their own way so I’m not really surprised.

Anyway the Jets really needed Zach in camp as James Morgan and Mike White are not good and it was hurting the whole team not being there.  The offense cannot build continuity without Zach and it does not help the defense when they’re not being tested by QB’s who are NFL level players.  Now with fans in attendance on Saturday, we get to see launch Zach  missiles all over the field for the rest of camp and be ready for preseason which is only 16 days away. The good vibes are finally back and hope they are here to stay.

UDFA Spotlight Kenny Yeboah

Michael Meegan analyzes UDFA TE Kenny Yeboah.

The Jets needed to add to their TE room and they decided to wait until after the draft and snagged Ole Miss TE Kenny Yeboah as a UDFA.  With the mercurial Chris Herndon and blocking TE Tyler Kroft as the only real players on the depth chart, Yeboah has a legit shot to make this roster.

Yeboah is an athletic TE who really blossomed under Lane Kiffin during his last year at Ole Miss.  Yeboah put up an impressive 29 catches for 524 yards and 6 TD’s in just 7 games.  Yeboah’s best game came against National Champion Alabama where he went for 7 catches 181 yards and 2 scores.

Yeboah is best as a WR when he can attack the seams.  He has really solid hands and a surprisingly  nuanced route tree. Yeboah needs work as a blocker but he displays a lot of effort while blocking and with the right coaching he can really grow.  Zach Wilson has struggled for consistency in attacking the middle of the field and a weapon like Yeboah can really be helpful for him as he tries to improve in that part of his game.

I will never give up on Chris Herndon but I really do hope Yeboah can make this roster because as a tandem I think they can be really exciting.  I think Yeboah is way too talented to have not been drafted and has a clear path to be a guy who can make an impact on this roster.

Michael Meegan’s First Round Mock

The Most accurate mock you will read  barring a material change out of my control.  So lets get going!

Pick 1 Jacksonville JaguarsTrevor Lawrence, QB Clemson

Urban Left the Fox Desk for one reason to coach this Long Haired Gazelle galloping football alien.

Pick 2 New York Jets -Zach Wilson QB BYU

The Apple of Joe Douglas eye since January.  The 2nd best QB in the AFC East as we live and breathe.  As the Great Julius Randle says “New York We Here”.

Pick 3 San Francisco 49ersTrey Lance QB NDSU

Mac Jones is a social experiment I refuse to acknowledge.  Lance is 20 years old  with elite  running ability and an absolute cannon.  He is a ball of clay that Kyle Shannhan can make into this generations Steve McNair and that should terrify everyone in the NFL.

Pick 4 Atlanta FalconsJustin Fields QB  Ohio State

The Georgia kid comes home and he is coming home with a chip on his shoulder.  The most accurate QB in CFB will continue to be accurate and dominate the NFL

Pick 5 Cincinnati Burrow’s Ja”Marr Chase WR LSU

This franchise will do whatever it takes to make sure Joe Burrow does not end up like Carson Palmer and take his favorite target in college.

Pick 6 Miami DolphinsKyle Pitts TE Florida

As a Jets fan fuck this pick.

Pick 7  Detroit Lions – Penei Sewell OT Oregon

Best OT in the draft as the Lions continue to make competent moves.

Pick 8 Carolina Panthers Mac Jones QB Alabama

If Mac Jones had Sam Darnold’s  body he would likely be a franchise QB. If Sam Darnold had Mac Jones mind he would likely be a franchise QB.  So lets get wacky!

Pick 9 Denver BroncosRashawn Slater OT Northwestern

The Broncos continue to build a great infrastructure for a QB and Drew Lock will continue to be bad.

Pick 10 Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain Jr. CB Alabama

Safe player at a premium position of need and Dallas continues its run of great drafting.

Pick 11 New York GiantsMicah Parsons LB Penn State

Gettleman just can’t help himself.

Pick 12 Philadelphia EaglesJaycee Horn CB South Carolina

Eagles reach on another player in the first and water is still wet.

Pick 13 LA Chargers – Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama

Justin Herbert is good and deserves nice things!!!!

Pick 14 Minnesota VikingsJaelen Phillips Edge Miami

Phillips and Danielle Hunter  good luck blocking that.

Pick 15 New England PatriotsZaven Collins LB Tulsa

Baby Dante Hightower goes to play with the original and I cry deeply inside.

Pick 16 Arizona Cardinals Devonta Smith WR Alabama

DHOP, Devonta, Kyler if Kliff can’t make the playoffs with that trio he is going to be looking for a new job.

Pick 17 Las Vegas RaidersTeven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State

Trent Brown out Jenkins in and they do not skip a beat.

Pick 18 Miami Dolphins – Jamin Davis LB Kentucky

Grier gonna Grier.

Pick 19 Washington Football TeamChristian Darrisaw OT VA Tech

Washington will have the perfect team in place when they trade for Matt Ryan next season.

Pick 20 Chicago Bears Alijah Vera-Tucker OG USC

If your going all in AD14 go all in on AD14.

Pick 21 Indianapolis ColtsGreg Newsome CB Northwestern

Ballard in the best in the game and he continues to prove it.

Pick 22 Tennessee TitansElijah Moore WR Ole Miss

AJ Brown Elijah Moore ForEVERRR>>>>>>>>

Pick 23 New York JetsKwity Paye Edge Michigan

Jets won’t be good in 2021 but they will be fun to watch and that is a step in the right direction.

Pick 24 Pittsburgh SteelersCreed Humphrey OC Oklahoma

Smart and practical The Steelers Way for the past 50 years.

Pick 25 Jacksonville JaguarsTrevon Moehrig S TCU

Massive need fantastic player Jags will be good sooner then most think.

Pick 26 Cleveland BrownsChristian Barmore DT Alabama

Andrew Berry continues his ascent to an elite GM.

Pick 27 Baltimore RavensTerrace Marshall WR LSU

Lamar Jackson was Throwing to DEZ FLIPPING BRYANT IN A PLAYOFF GAME IN 2020?????? Enough Decosta–get the man some weapons!

Pick 28 New Orleans Saints – Caleb Farley CB VA Tech

Life, Death, Taxes, Mickey Loomis going all in. Marshon Lattimore CB2 in NOLA from this point on.

Pick 29 Green Bay PackersRashod Bateman WR  Minnesota

Rashod Batemen and Devantae Adams running routes on the same team? Football porn baby!

Pick 30 Buffalo Bills – Travis Etienne RB Clemson

Team foolishly thinks  a RB will fix their rushing woes while they continue to have below average guards on the roster, Rinse, Repeat.

Pick 31 Baltimore RavensJoe Tryon Edge Washington

Ravens getting 5 years productive years out of Tryon let him walk as a team overpays him him in FA and they get a 3rd round comp pick is Destiny.

Pick 32 Tampa Bay BuccaneersJayson Oweh Edge Penn State

Freak athlete that  Todd Bowles is going to turn into an absolute menace.

 

Meegan’s Top 10 WR Big Board

Chris Hogan started games for the Jets at wide receiver  in 2020.  Yes the same Chris Hogan who recently declared his candidacy for  the Premier Lacrosse League Draft.  Outside of Denzel Mims this position group needs a massive overhaul and the Jets should be aggressive in free agency as well as the draft.  After “Grinding” the film here are my top 10 WR’s for the 2021 draft.

#1: Devonta Smith – WR, Alabama | Age 22 | Pro Comparison: Marvin Harrison

Smith is 6″1 175 lbs. He is not a burner with 4.3 speed but he all he does is get open.  Smith has the best hands in the class can play both in the slot and outside and he can run every route.  When the famous Alabama Four all played together in 2019 Smith outproduced Jeudy and Ruggs with 1256 yards and 14 TD’s went back to school and finished with 1856 yards 23 TD’s in 2020.  I do not think Smith has the highest ceiling of the top WR’s in this class but I am confident 15 years from now when his career is over he is just going to be a guy who racks up 10,000 plus career yards and 50+ TDs.

#2: Ja’Marr Chase – WR, LSU | Age 21 | Pro Comparison: AJ Brown

Chase dominated college football in 2019 during LSU’s going for 1780 yards and 20 TD’s.  He is so physical as a WR constantly bullying opposing corners and dominating at the catch point.  He is great after the catch and constantly breaks tackles like a power RB would.  Chase is a bona fide WR1 at the next level and is going to be really good for a really long time.

#3: Jaylen Waddle – WR, Alabama | Age 22 | Pro Comparison: Santanna Moss

Waddle is a dynamic WR.  He has real 4.2 speed and his shiftiness and ability to change direction made him impossible to cover in college.   He is the most dangerous WR in this class with the ball in his hands consistently eliminating angles on defenders and leaving them in the dust.  If Waddle can put together a full route tree there is no one with a higher ceiling in this class.

 

#4: Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota | Age 21 | Pro Comparison: Allen Robinson

Bateman has the most extensive route tree and the best releases off the line of any WR in this class.  He has got ideal size at 6’2 210 lbs. and can consistently win on the outside as well as in the slot.   Bateman has more juice after the catch then he gets credit for.  Bateman is going to be a high level X WR at the next level and should hit the ground running from day 1.

 

#5: Elijah Moore – WR, Ole Miss | Age 21 | Pro Comparison: Brandin Cooks

Moore exploded this year with Lane Kiffins arrival in Oxford going for 1193 yards and 8 TDs in just 8 games.  Moore can consistently win at all 3 levels, is amazing after the catch, and is really good at contested catch situations especially for a smaller WR at 5″9 185.  I love Moore  and will be tweeting non stop for the Jets to take him on Day 2 as he is perfect for this offense and would pair excellently with Denzel Mims.

#6: Rondale Moore – WR, Purdue | Age 20 | Pro Comparison: Steve Smith

Moore might be the biggest wildcard in this whole class.  He exploded as a true freshmen in 2018 going for 1471 yards from scrimmage and 14 TDs but soft tissue injuries limited him to only 7 games the following 2 years.  Moore is a freak athlete with 4.3 speed and incredible play strength inside a 5″9 185 pound body.   He was used in a mostly gadget role at Purdue with a majority of his targets coming within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage.  He is dynamic after the catch with tremendous burst and agility making him a threat to score every time he touches the ball.  The injuries are concerning and Moore needs to diversify his route tree a little more but he can a really exciting skill player at the next level for any team.

 

#7: Dyami Brown – WR, UNC | Age 21 | Pro Comparison: Michael Gallup

Brown is a pure vertical threat in every sense of the world.  He ran an almost exclusive vertical route tree at UNC averaging 20 yards a catch and going for over 1000 yards in 2019 and 2020.  Brown does not have the typical top end speed deep threats have but he does a fantastic job tracking the ball and winning at the catch point for a smaller WR at 6 FT 185 lbs.  I think Brown was unfairly put in a box at UNC as he is a really willing blocker in the run game and showed some real juice after the catch when given the opportunity.  At the next level his ability to win vertically is always going to be a threat and I think that is going to make it easier for him to snap off intermediate routes and Brown will be a really good WR who can win at all 3 levels.

 

#8: Terrace Marshall Jr – WR, LSU | Age 21 | Pro Comparison: DJ Chark

Terrance Marshall is your carbon copy height, weight, speed WR.  At 6″3 200 lbs. Marshall can fly and really blossomed as a number one option in 2020 after being a secondary player on the 2019 LSU championship team.  Marshall is a real position less  WR as he can play X, Z, or in the slot at the next level.  Marshall has a real nose for the end zone as he reeled in 23 TDs the past 2 seasons where 24 percent of his total receptions were TDs.   Marshall is just a rock solid WR prospect whose versatility is going to be very attractive to a lot of NFL teams.

#9: Kadarius Toney – WR, Florida | Age 22 | Pro Comparison: Santonio Holmes

Toney finally broke out as a senior at Florida going for 1145 yards from scrimmage.  Toney is a human joystick his acceleration and shiftiness make him an absolute nightmare to deal with when he has got the ball in his hands.    Toney was used in a gadget role at Florida and he is going to have to expand his route tree to be impactful at the next level.  Toney needs some polish to his game but if he straighten that out he is going to be a fun one to watch for a long time.

 

#10: Tylan Wallace – WR, Oklahoma State | Age 21 | Pro Comparison: Jarvis Landry

Wallace rebounded nicely from his 2019 knee injury and showed everyone that he had not lost anything in 2020.  Wallace is explosive off the line of scrimmage creating separation early and often.  He is really good at contested catches especially being only 5’11 190 lbs. which just exemplifies the toughens he plays with at every snap.  Wallace needs to be more dynamic with the ball in his hands in his hands  as he is going to be a guy who works primarily in the short/ intermediate game but if he can improve on that he is going to be a really nice WR2-WR3 at the next level.