TOJ Roundtable Week 3: Jets/Raiders Key Match-Up

What is the most crucial match-up in the Jets/Raiders game?

Joe Caporoso: I will go with the Jets defensive front seven versus Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. If the Jets can slow down Oakland’s running game, Jason Campbell doesn’t have the ability to beat them through the air, especially with their blitz in his face. Bart Scott is off to a terrific start and Muhammad Wilkerson had a big game last week, let’s hope them and the rest of the front seven can bring it again on Sunday.

Rob Celletti: Originally, I was going to say that the Jets’ offensive line versus the Raiders defensive line was the key matchup, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it is Mark Sanchez versus Oakland’s secondary.  Of course, Sanchez’s success will be predicated on good pass protection, but this is a game where the Jets should be able to make a lot of things happen through the air.  It was interesting to watch Sanchez on Sunday; a lot of people are focusing on the interceptions, but he also completed 17 of 24 passes.  After harping on the guy’s completion percentage all off-season, it seems as though the third-year quarterback has begun to make some strides in terms of his accuracy and decision-making, interceptions notwithstanding.  What you’d like to see more of in this game is the pass offense picking up big chunks of yardage with completions down the field to wide receivers.  It is on Sanchez to make that happen against a suspect Oakland secondary.

TJ Rosenthal: The Jets C Colin Baxter, FB John Conner vs Raiders DT’s Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelley and MLB Rolando McClain:

Provided that Nick Mangold is out, backup center Colin Baxter will have his hands full with a sixty minute task ahead of him. Add to it, the pressure of having to keep the status quo for the injured three time All Pro center in Nick Mangold. A player who has raised the bar sky high for Jets linemen. FB John Conner will have to provide consistent protection in the passing game and start to finally plow holes for the struggling Shonn Greene in order to ease the heat off of Baxter, QB Mark Sanchez, and the entire passing game. Raiders MLB Rolando McLain was all over the field last week against Buffalo. He will often match up against emerging TE Dustin Keller on pass routes. A one on one battle that the Jets must win a few times downfield on Sunday. Seymour and Kelley have already combined for three sacks on the year. The duo could feast on any confusion Baxter and Connor undergo regarding assignments.

Chris Celletti: The most crucial matchup will be the Jets patchwork offensive line against the defensive front of the Raiders, especially in the running game. The Jets have yet to run the ball effectively, and the Raiders did not do a good job defensively against the Buffalo Bills last week. The Jets need to start getting some consistency out of their running game to open things up in the passing game and keep some sort of offensive rhythm. If the Jets can break off some big runs and have a high yards-per-carry, it will go a long way towards them going to 3-0.

Justin Fritze: There are a few things to watch for in the wasteland that is Oakland. The first being Denarius Moore, although I have a strong belief that both Cromartie and Revis will be switching up between him and the guy with three names. McFadden had fun running on the Bills, as did the jets with their 3rd string running back last year. If the Raiders think they are going to get into a ground war, this will get lopsided like it did last time. I think the raiders will get into play action, a few deep shots over the middle and ultimately dink and dunk their way to 17. Jets win by 4. And the Bills beat the Patriots by a field goal as riots begin in the Great North country.

Final Thoughts On Jets/Jaguars

A few final thoughts on Jets/Jaguars…

Game MVP – It has to be Antonio Cromartie, who bounced back from being last week’s Goat in this article. Cromartie came up with 2 interceptions and 2 big kick returns, demonstrating his big play potential.

Game Goat – I will go with Wayne Hunter, who has given Jets fans no reason to believe the right tackle position is in good hands moving forward without Damien Woody.

Play of the Game – The first quarter touchdown strike from Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes, ending the team’s first quarter touchdown drought, showing Sanchez’s accuracy and that Holmes was healthy.

Trending Up

  • Dustin Keller – Back to back big games, as he finished with 101 yards and another touchdown.
  • Muhammad Wilkerson – First career NFL sack went for a safety.
  • Bart Scott – Second straight week with a sack. Scott looks poised for a big year.
  • Nick Folk – 3/3 on field goal attempts.

Trending Down

  • Nick Mangold – Will likely be out 3-4 games with a high ankle sprain.
  • Wayne Hunter – Badly in need of a steady performance against Oakland.
  • Derrick Mason – Still hasn’t found his niche in the offense.
  • Mark Sanchez – Two ugly interceptions. He must protect the football better.

1. Calvin Pace and Scott have been consistently getting pressure on the quarterback, which is limiting the need for the Jets to blitz as much. This is an encouraging trend moving forward. It will also help if Muhammad Wilkerson can continue to get after the quarterback.

2. Colin Baxter should be living at the Jets facility the next month. After Oakland, he has Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork headed his way. Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson need to step up to help him out.

3. Regardless of double teams and his mature attitude on the situation. The Jets must do a better job of getting Plaxico Burress involved in the offense, in the first half. Throw the guy a quick hitch or slant and let him get in the flow of the game.

TJ Rosenthal reviews his top 5 keys from the game

TOJ Week 2 Roundtable: Jets/Jaguars Key Match-Up

What is the key match-up in the Jets/Jaguars game?

Joe Caporoso: I am going to say the New York Jets linebackers against Maurice Jones-Drew. With Mercedes Lewis likely out, Jones-Drew is the only person who you have to worry about gashing the Jets defense. It is key the Jets keep him contained and force Luke McCown to make some throws to keep the game competitive and considering the Jaguars wide receivers versus the Jets secondary, I doubt that will happen.

TJ RosenthalGround and Pound vs Jags run defense: The Jaguars come into the game second in the NFL against the run. We know. It has only been one week and a rusty Chris Johnson had a mere nine carries last week for the Titans. However, the Jets come into the game still searching for their rushing attack. The Cowboys took the run away from the Jets. The Jags have a slew of free agents that were added to Jack Del Rio’s unit. It is time for Shonn Greene to get it going early in a season.

Rob Celletti: The key match-up this week – and it is one I think the Jets will ace – is their front seven vs. the Jags rushing attack (Maurice Jones-Drew).  To me, MJD is the only person that can really hurt the Jets and make this game close if he has a huge day. The Jets got some great play from Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha and Bart Scott in week 1, so if those same guys contribute again and are joined by the rest of the bigs up front, the Jets will stuff the run and – absent some truly boneheaded plays on offense and special teams – be on their way to a win.

Final Thoughts On Jets/Cowboys

A few final thoughts on Jets/Cowboys…

Game MVP – It is hard to nail down a specific one, as so many individuals made plays in crucial times. I will go with Plaxico Burress, who came to life in the second half and brought some much needed energy to the offense. He finished the game with 4 receptions for 72 yards.

Game Goat – Antonio Cromartie had a rough night at the office, getting beat for two touchdowns, including one where Miles Austin pulled the ball away from him.

Play of the Game – I am taking the blocked punt. I have never heard the stadium louder.

Trending Up

  • LaDainian Tomlinson – 6 receptions, 73 yards
  • Jeff Cumberland – First career NFL reception went for 33 yards
  • Bart Scott – 8 tackles, 2 for a loss and a sack
  • Mike DeVito – Key strip sack in the 4th quarter

Trending Down

  • Shonn Greene – 10 carries, 26 yards
  • Wayne Hunter – Beat like a drum by DeMarcus Ware all night
  • Jeremy Kerley – 1 offensive play logged
  • Derrick Mason – Didn’t seem on the same page as Sanchez and dropped a touchdown pass

1. Greene needs to show more as the starting running back or we will start to see more and more LaDainian Tomlinson, who already played an equal amount of snaps to him last week. Joe McKnight will likely also get a shot at some point on offense and Bilal Powell always remains an option off the bench if Greene continues to struggle.

2. Jamaal Westerman didn’t record a stat last week, hopefully he can get going as a pass rush threat in the coming weeks. It was good to see Calvin Pace finally on the field in week one and coming up with a sack.

3. Very encouraging performances by TJ Conley and Nick Folk in week one, should calm some of the nerves about the Jets special teams.

TJ Rosenthal reviews his five keys from the game

1. SANCHEZ, YEAR THREE BEGINS: We said “This is Mark Sanchez’s team now. He will be judged according to where the Jets end up.”

27-24. Late comeback. Again. It didn’t start out so rosy but winners grind and losers find ways to lose. Sanchez is a winner, who also put up 335 yards. Enough said

2. KEEP ROMO CONTAINED: We said “The Jets pass rush up front has provided little pressure this preseason. What they CAN’T do is compound that by allowing Romo to escape the pocket where he likes to sling it Brett Favre style. Often times with downfield success. Even worse for the Jets, Romo has Jason Witten.”

So much for that. The Jets couldn’t stop Romo. He stopped himself. Twice in the fourth quarter. Witten killed the Jets all night.

3. CROMARTIE VS BRYANT AND AUSTIN: We said: “Balls will be flying like Juy 4th fireworks in CB Antonio Cromartie’s work area.With the game breaking combo of Dez Bryant and Miles Austin coming to town, “Cro” can ill afford a night like the one he had LAST year in week one against the Ravens.”

Whew. Cro almost had a repeat of that dismal night. Two TD’s on his watch and the ‘Boys were aiming for a third. Just got out of dodge with that matchup.

4. KELLER AND WITTEN: We said: “ Jason Witten is the template for how an All Pro tight end should perform and be employed in the passing game.Keller has been “emerging” since his rookie year. It’s time For number 81 to be that weapon that the Jets don’t make excuses about anymore.

Keller was a force with five catches and a TD that brought the Jets back to 10-7. Witten was not only a force, he was a threat. Still, the play of Keller helped stave off Dallas.

5. SCHOTTY VS ROB RYAN: We said: “A stalemate in this one on one battle of the headsets will keep the Jets in the game. Anything less may leave the Jets at 0-1 and prepping for Jacksonville.”

Ryan owned the Jets for three quarters. Schotty adjusted to the screen game and a tiring secondary late. Call it a stalemate if you want because one big quarter can nullify three solid quarters and it did Sunday night.

Interviews With Mark Sanchez & Darrelle Revis

TJ Rosenthal made the trip out to Bryant Park yesterday and had the opportunity to interview both Mark Sanchez and Darrelle Revis.

TJ interviews Mark Sanchez about utilizing Dustin Keller more

TJ talks with Darrelle Revis on Kyle Wilson’s development

Check out www.profootballnyc.com for further coverage of yesterday.