Tag:49ers
Posted on: January 8, 2009 2:27 pm
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New York Jets 2008 End of Season Review

What a difference six months makes.  The Jets were heading into the 2008 season with a handful of offseason acquisitions that were brought here to improve on a disastrous 2007 season which say the team go 4-12.  The Jets made the most noise in the off-season with the signings of Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Calvin Pace, Bubba Franks, Tony Richardson and the trade for Kris Jenkins.  Faneca and Woody were brought here to sure up the offensive line that already consisted of budding stars Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson, attempting to protect injury prone quarterback Chad Pennington.  Jenkins was brought in to anchor a 3-4 defense that was missing a true nose tackle.  Pace was brought in to establish a better pass rush.  Coming into training camp in late July, things were looking better for the Jets and they were looking like a 8-8 or 9-7 team, much better than the 2007 season.  Then on August 6th the whole landscape of the franchise changed.

On that day it was announced that the Jets had traded for future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.  Favre was brought in to try to revive a franchise that was only going so far on the shoulder of Pennington.  Favre was coming off a solid season in Green Bay in which he threw 28 touchdowns, passed for over 4,000 yards and took the Packers to the NFC Championship game.  So with Favre came bigger expectations for Gang Green.  The Jets finally had a QB that could hang with Tom Brady and keep the team in the race for a division title.  So Favre had about 4 weeks to learn a totally new offense and try to get the Jets into the playoffs.

Going into week 1 against the Dolphins, the Jets were looking like a possible 10-6 or 11-5 team with Favre and the new acquisitions leading the way and then Tom Brady got hurt.  With Brady out for the season, everyone was saying the division was the Jets for the taking.  So after the Jets win in week 1, the talk was now of the Jets possibly going 12-4 with their pretty weak schedule.  The team must have believed the hype because Matt Cassell, playing in place of Brady and making his first career start in the NFL, came into the Meadowlands and beat the overconfident Jets.  They then headed out west to play the 0-2 Chargers and got blown out.  So with all the high expectations the Jets were at 1-2 at this point in the season.

They came home to a must win game against the Arizona Cardinals.  The offense really took off in this game.  Favre set a personal record high in throwing for 6 touchdowns in the game.  The Jets put up 56 points, but their passing defense was really exposed in the game.  They gave up over 400 yards passing to Kurt Warner with most of that coming in the second half of the game.  The Jets then had their bye week early and welcomed in the Bengals in week 6.  New York won the game but the offense was not on point as it was against Arizona.  So the Jets were at 3-2 heading out to play the awful Oakland Raiders.  The Jets struggled all day on offense and eventually lost the game in overtime to a Sebastian Janikowski 57 yard field goal. 

So the 3-3 Jets came home to play one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs.  The Jets had a lead late in the 4th quarter until Favre threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and gave the Chiefs a 24-21 lead.  Favre then put together a drive, in the two minute offense, that led to a touchdown catch by Laveranues Coles and a Jets win.  From this point, the team really started to take off.  They followed up the game against the Chiefs with relatively easy wins over the Bills and Rams over the next two weeks.  This set up a battle for first place in the AFC East against the Patriots.  Both teams were sitting at 6-3 with the winner taking a one game lead in the division. 

The Jets jumped out to a huge lead by the end of the first half, 24-6.  The offense and defense both looked great and the team was rolling.  Then came the second half.  The huge lead was gone and Cassell hit Randy Moss in the end zone for a last second touchdown to tie the game.  On the first drive of overtime, Favre led the Jets down the field to setup the game winning field goal by Jay Feely.  The Jets took over first place and headed out to play the 10-0 Tennessee Titans in Tennessee.  The Titans had a very good defense and had been getting solid play from QB Kerry Collins.  Everyone figured this is where the Jets four game winning streak would end and the Titans would remain unbeaten.  Well they were all wrong.  The Jets went down there and totally dominated the Titans on offense and defense and came out of the game with a 34-13 win.  New York found itself at 8-3, two games behind the Titans for the #1 seed in the AFC and tied with the Steelers for the #2 seed.  The Jets looked like a force to be reckoned with in the NFL and the sky was the limit.  Unfortunately, this was about as good as it would get for the 2008 Jets.

The Jets came home at 8-3 to face the 6-5 Denver Broncos.  Again, the Jets must have really started to believe the hype that they were an elite team, because they played like the total opposite.  They laid an egg against Denver and lost 34-17.  No big deal right?  They would get back on track in the next game against the 49ers right?  Well that didn't happen either.  They went out to San Francisco and could not get out of their own way.  They let another team with an inexperienced quarterback get the best of them in a game that they should have won easily. 

So they came home with a record of 8-5 to take on the Buffalo Bills.  Buffalo ran all over the Jets and nearly pulled off the win, if not for the poor play calling by Buffalo.  All they had to do was run out the clock with under two minutes remaining.  Instead, J.P. Losman fumbled and Shaun Ellis returned it for a touchdown and the Jets won a must win game.  With the win, the Jets controlled their own destiny at 9-5 to make the playoffs.  Win their last two games and they were in.  So they hit the road again to play the Seattle Seahawks who, at the time, held a record of 3-11.  The snow was falling and so were the Jets.  They were outplayed in snowy Seattle and lost 13-3.  Not only did they lose the game, they no longer controlled their own destiny with the Dolphins and Patriots both winning that week. 

Coming into the last week, the Jets would need to beat Chad Pennington and the Dolphins and hope for some help from other teams.  If the Dolphins win, they win the division.  You could not have written a better script for this game.  A must win against a former teammate.  The game was tight in the first half and the Jets were on the losing end at the time.  But they took the lead in the beginning of the third quarter, 17-14.  And it was all over after that.  Pennington took apart the Jets with the dink and dunk passes and gave the Dolphins a lead they would keep.  The Dolphins won 24-17 and won the AFC East in the process.  The Jets finished the season at 9-7 and were officially eliminated from the playoffs with the loss.

Back in August, it looked like this may be a special season for the New York Jets and it turned out to be what all us Jets fans are used to, a big disappointment.  The Jets loaded up in the offseason to try and right the ship from a forgettable 2007 season.  When they were at 8-3 in late November, it looked as though all those moves were the right ones.  But in the end it was not enough to get the Jets over the hump.  For a team that was on such a roll, winning five straight games to get to 8-3, to lose four of their last five and not make the playoffs is very disappointing on so many levels.  Now the Jets stand without a coach and a quarterback who will keep everyone in limbo on whether or not he will return in 2009.  The team has a lot of questions to answer in the offseason, but it may only take a few key moves to get this team on the right track again next season.  2008 was filled with a lot of memorable moments and tons of hope.  Unfortunately, it ended the way that it did.  But we will stick by our Jets next season and beyond, and hope that one day this franchise will figure it out and get back to the Super Bowl.

Posted on: December 11, 2008 2:26 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2008 2:27 pm
 

Jets v. Bills: Week 15 (Time to Step It Up)

Thirteen down, three to go.  That's all that's left for the Jets to prove themselves, right the ship and get themselves into the playoffs.  Right now the Jets are reeling after consecutive loses to two average teams, the 49ers and Broncos.  Now they are down to the final three games and none of them are going to be easy, despite what their records are.  This week the Jets welcome the Buffalo Bills to the Meadowlands with a chance for the Bills to play the role of playoff spoiler. 

During the Jets five game winning streak last month, the offense was averaging about 32 points per game.  That has dropped to 17 over the past two games.  Brett Favre has not found the end zone over the past two games with the exception of a rushing touchdown last week.  Buffalo has a decent pass defense so this week will not be easy for Favre.  They only give up about 200 yards per game in the air.  The Jets and Favre have done a horrible job of getting the ball to their top two receivers in Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles over the past few weeks.  During the past two games, Coles has a total of 3 catches for about 7 yards.  That is just totally unacceptable.  New York has to get these two back in the offensive game plan once again.  It seems that if they can not get them the ball in the first quarter then they quit trying for the rest of the game.  Dustin Keller, who had been emerging as a huge threat during the month of November, was also shut down by San Francisco last week.  If this keeps happening, the Jets will not win another game this season.  In the beginning of the season, it seemed like the Jets used more play action and threw the ball deep.  Now, it is all about the dink and dunk over the middle.  If the Jets can re-establish the deep threat then the offense will be fine.

The running game has been solid all season.  Thomas Jones is still the AFC leader in rushing and he should have another good game this week.  The Bills run defense is in the middle of the pack, giving up about 110 yards per game on the ground.  Last week Jones only got 56 rushing yards, but that's what happens when you only get 10 carries.  Jones is the Jets workhorse and needs to get around 20 carries per game.  Nine times out of tem, when he gets 20 carries he will get 100 yards.  On the flip side, Leon Washington seems to be getting less carries out of the backfield.  Leon is the team's spark plug.  When he gets the ball, good things seem to happen for the Jets.  He is always a threat as a receiver but needs to get some carries as well.  He always has the ability to break off a 30-40 yard run from time to time with his limited action out of the backfield.  He needs to get the ball at least 10-15 times per game between rushing and receiving.  If they can get the running game going early, then they should be able to move the ball with the passing game.

New York's still one of the best at stopping the run.  They are currently ranked 4th in the league, giving up about 83 yards per game.  After their worst performance of the season two weeks ago, they bounced back last week by not allowing any back more than 52 yards on the ground.  The last time they faced the Bills, they held Marshawn Lynch to a career low 16 yards.  I expect them to step it up this week again and hold Lynch under 75 yards.  The pass rush was better in getting two sacks on Shaun Hill last week, but it has lacked over the past month or so.  The Jets are still 4th in the NFL with 37 sacks, but not too many of them have come over the past four weeks.  J.P. Losman is likely to start for the Bills and the Jets need to get pressure on him and keep it on.  Force him to make bad throws and cause some turnovers.

The Jets pass defense can now be considered a joke.  And that's hard to say with two possible Pro Bowlers in the secondary in Kerry Rhodes and Darrelle Revis.  Even with the two of them out there the Jets have managed to have the 31st ranked pass defense in the NFL, giving up 251 yards per game in the air.  Over the past four games they have given up 400 yards to Matt Cassell, 243 yards to Kerry Collins, 375 to Jay Cutler and 285 to Shaun Hill.  That's 1300 yards over four games with an average of 325 per game.  That's just pathetic.  If this is not improved over the next three games, then say goodbye to the playoffs.  David Harris had a nice return last week and led the team with 13 tackles and a sack.  Hopefully his continued presence on the field will help out with the passing defense, but only time will tell and the Jets are running out of time fast.

Three weeks ago, New York was considered the best team in the AFC.  Now they may not even make the playoffs.  Like I've said before, this team will only go as far as Favre will take them.  Mangini has to stop with the dink and dunk offense and all the trick plays and just let Favre do his thing.  The clock is ticking and the Jets season may be coming to a premature close.  A season that once looked so promising has done a huge u-turn and now no one knows where it will lead us.  It's time for the Jets to step up and show everyone what kind of team they are.  The team that beat the Patriots and Titans or the team that lost to the Raiders and the 49ers.  I guess we will find out over the next three weeks, starting with Sunday against the Bills.  Jets take a close one 24-20.  That's all they need right now.  A little confidence can go a long way.

Posted on: December 8, 2008 3:17 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2008 3:31 pm
 

Jets v. 49ers: Recap (Slipping Away)

49ers 24.  Jets 14.  So the Jets, who just two weeks ago were 8-3 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC East, now find themselves at 8-5 and tied for first place with the Dolphins and Patriots.  My how things have changed over the past two weeks.  All those thoughts of a subway Super Bowl are long gone.  And if the Jets keep playing the way they have been over the past two weeks, then their playoff hopes may be long gone as well.

In my blog last week I said there were four things the Jets had to do to win this game:  The keys for Gang Green this week is A) tighten up the secondary; B) get Leon Washington more touches; C) get the ball to your top wide receivers; and D) pressure the QB.  So lets break down what the did and did not do in regards to my list.

A)  Tighten up the secondary; This is something that they definitely did not do on Sunday.  This has been the Jets achilles heal all season and it was their downfall on Sunday as well.  Shaun Hill, starting his 6th game this season, torched the Jets secondary for 285 yards and two touchdowns.  He also managed to complete 28 of his passes on 39 attempts.  Not only that, he completed passes to 10 different receivers.  That stat alone shows that the Jets have absolutely no pass defense.  Isaac Bruce led the 49ers with 6 receptions for 70 yards on the day.  New York is currently ranked 31st in the league in pass defense.  They seem to make every young inexperienced quarterback look like Dan Marino.  That is something that will either leave them out of the playoffs or get them knocked out in their first game.

Jumping ahead to D) Pressure the QB; This is yet another thing the Jets managed not to do on Sunday.  The run defense rebounded nicely from last week's game against the Broncos as I expected they would.  They were able to hold San Francisco's bruising back Frank Gore to just 52 yards rushing, while allowing a total of 100 yards to 4 different players.  The defensive line is too good to have two bad weeks in a row.  They again showed why they are one of the best in the NFL at stopping the run.  As for the quarterback pressure, there was not all that much.  They were only able to sack Hill twice while forcing him to throw one interception.  Otherwise, Hill was able to hang in the pocket to make his 28 completions.  During the Jets five game winning streak, which seems like ages ago, they were able to keep constant pressure on the quarterback, forcing to make bad decisions.  Not so much over the past two games.  When they have the pressure up front it allows the secondary to capitalize on mistakes.  On the flip side, when there is no pressure, it exposes the secondary as the worst unit the Jets have.

B) Get Leon Washington more touches; While he was able to have six receptions for 31 yards, the Jets managed to get him one carry form the backfield.  That's right; you read it correctly, ONE.  Leon Washington always seems to make plays when he has the ball and that is hard to do when he gets only one carry on the day.  Thomas Jones, who had been on fire lately, was only able to get 10 carries himself for a grand total of 56 yards.  This was another reason why the Jets lost this game.  Not establishing a running game against a poor run defense.  During the winning streak, the Jets were able to control the game clock by running the ball.  Yesterday, the 49ers controlled the ball for nearly double what the Jets were able to, 39:49 to 20:11.  Jones, who still leads the AFC in rushing, needs to get at least 20 carries per game.  When he rushes for 100 yards, the Jets usually manage to win the game.  For a team that had been in the top 10 in rushing, to only get 11 carries is a big problem.  This needs to be addressed next week in a big way.

C) Get the ball to your top Wide Receivers; Another thing the Jets did not do on Sunday.  Laveranues Coles, who is your number one receiver, was able to grab one catch on the afternoon for a grand total of 5 yards.  That followed up the performance of two catches for two yards last week.  The 49ers were without their top defensive back Nate Clements, were still able to shut down the Jets passing game.  Brett Favre was limited to 137 passing yards and for the second straight week he did not throw a touchdown, although he did get himself a rushing touchdown.  On the day, Favre was 20-31 with one interception.  Chansi Stuckey led the team with 43 yards receiving on Sunday, while Coles, Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller were held to 4 catches for a total of 29 yards.  Not quite the numbers you want from your top three targets in your passing game. 

The Jets played a horrible game on both sides of the ball on Sunday.  The two stats the jump out at you were the Jets getting killed on the time of possession and the fact that they were 1-10 on third down, while the 49ers were 8-15.  The Jets are a very talented team and the good news is that they are still tied for first place in the AFC East.  But when they can not run the ball and control the clock, they are just not the same team.  And that's when a lot of their weaknesses are exposed.  They have only 3 games remaining to try to right the ship and not have this season go down the drain.  What was looking like something special only two weeks ago is heading in a downward spiral and needs to be fixed starting on Sunday against the Bills.

Posted on: December 4, 2008 5:02 pm
 

Jets v. 49ers: Week 14 (Battle by the Bay)

The Jets head out west this week for the 4th time this season to take on the San Francisco 49ers (4-8).  They will try to put a horrible performance against the Denver Broncos last week behind them and look to pad their lead in the AFC East.  Currently they are one game ahead of the Patriots and Dolphins for the division lead.  This would seem like the perfect scenario for the Jets coming off that loss last week.  The 49ers are one of the league's worst teams, and on paper it looks like the Jets should run away with a "W" this week.  But after last week, you never can tell.

Lately, the Jets have not been airing it out like they were earlier in the season.  This is the time to let Brett Favre be Brett Favre.  San Francisco currently is ranked 28th in the league in passing yards allowed.  That all sounds well and good, but then again the Broncos were ranked 27th and the Jets did nothing against them in the air.  The Jets game plan has been calling for Favre to dink and dunk his was to managing a game.  It was working great during their five game winning streak, but Favre was brought here for two reasons.  One, he knows how to win and win big games.  Two, he has a better arm then Chad Pennington.  The conditions will be a lot better this week than last.  The weather in the Bay area calls for 61 degrees with a 10% chance for rain.  This will probably be the Jets warmest game the rest of the season, unless they get to Tampa on February 1st. 

The Jets best receiver over the past 3 weeks has been Dustin Keller.  He has become Favre's favorite target in the "dink and dunk" offense.  The Broncos did a good job taking Laveranues Coles out of the game plan last week and limiting Jerricho Cotchery to 40 yards on four catches.  The Jets and Favre need to get them the ball this week to re-establish the passing game.  Keller has been becoming a threat over the middle of the field as of late, but that will be tougher this week against the 49ers outstanding second year linebacker Patrick Willis who will be out there waiting for him.  Keller will probably still end up with 5-6 catches, but Willis will be on him so Coles and Cotchery need to get some distance from the corners and make some plays.

The Jets ground attack continues to improve with each passing week.  Thomas Jones, who leads the AFC in rushing with 1,088 yards and is 4th in the NFL, had another big day last week running the ball.  He tore up the Broncos for 138 yards and two touchdowns, and should have another big game this week.  The 49ers give up about 108 yards per game on the ground.  Jones should be able to rack up another 100 yard game with the way the offensive line has been playing.  One main key for the Jets is to get Leon Washington more touches.  Last week he only touched the ball 5 times on offense.  He may be the team's MVP to this point this year, and he needs to get at least 10-12 touches a game.  That would still give Jones about 20 which should get him his 100 yards.

New York's run defense had its worst game of the season last week, giving up 129 yards to rookie running back Peyton Hillis.  He was the first 100 yard rusher the Jets defensive line has allowed this season.  They will have a tough task this week against power back Frank Gore, but I think they will rebound.  They are still ranked 4th in the league in rushing, giving up 82 yards per game.  The Jets do need to step up the pass rush this week.  Last week was only the second time this season they had zero sacks in a game.  They are still ranked 5th in the NFL with 35 sacks, but most of those came over the first 9 weeks of the season.  They need to establish the pass rush and force the 49ers to make mistakes. 

If they are sticking with their recent pattern, the pass defense should have a good game this week.  Last week, Jay Cutler threw for 357 yards against the secondary in the Broncos 34-17 win.  This week the Jets will face Shaun Hill.  He has thrown for over 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns in only 5 games this season.  He led the 49ers to a 10-3 win over the Bills in Buffalo last week.  His numbers do not jump out at you, but the Jets secondary has been making young inexperienced quarterbacks look like All-Pro's this season.  It looks like the Jets will get a boost this week with the potential return of linebacker David Harris.  With him back in the middle, it should allow the safeties to play back and help out the corners. 

There are only four games remaining for the Jets to get to the playoffs.  I believe the Jets will only go as far as Favre can take them.  When he is on, the Jets can hang with anyone in the league.  But when he is off, a lot of other weaknesses are exposed.  The keys for Gang Green this week is A) tighten up the secondary; B) get Leon Washington more touches; C) get the ball to your top wide receivers; and D) pressure the QB.  If the Jets can manage this, then they will win this game.  If not, then they may be scratching and crawling their way to January.  Jets win 27-13.

Posted on: December 1, 2008 3:03 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2008 6:31 pm
 

Jets v. Broncos: Recap (Bump in the Road)

Well I think we can all see now that the Jets are not the team to beat in the AFC.  Not only was the Jets major weakness exposed in the sloppy loss to the Denver Broncos, their major strength was also knocked down a few pegs as well.  The weather in the Meadowlands was bad as was the showing of the Jets defense yesterday.  The Broncos, who are an average team in a horrible division, came into the Jets house and basically had their way with them.

I have to start with the defense today.  The other day I said that the Jets need to tighten up their passing defense in a major way because that has been their achilles heal this season.  So what happens?  Jay Cutler picks them apart for 357 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  The two men I said the Jets needed to watch out for, Brandon Stokley and Tony Scheffler, each had big games for the Broncos on Sunday.  Stokley has always been a threat going back to his days on the Colts.  He was able to grab two balls for 44 yards and a touchdown.  He is a good slot receiver and needs to be watched at all times when on the field.  Scheffler grabbed 7 catches for 90 yards, a very nice day for the Broncos tight end.  The Jets showed how much they miss LB David Harris in the middle of the field, after missing his 5th straight game with a groin injury.  In total, Denver had four receivers with over 55 yards.  If the Jets plan to make any noise in the playoffs, then this problem needs to be fixed.  Otherwise, it will be one and done for the Jets in January.

The one Jets strength, the run defense, had by far its worst game of the season.  They were ranked 3rd in the NFL against the run coming into Sunday, but rookie full back turned running back Peyton Hills was able to chalk up 129 yards on 22 carries and added a touchdown as well.  Hillis is the first back this season to gain 100 yards against the Jets defensive line.  The Broncos game plan kept the Jets off balance all afternoon, never allowing them to get into any sort of comfort zone.  As a result, the Jets were not able to get to Cutler at all, totaling zero sacks on the day.  The defensive line, which has been one of the best all season in the NFL, was due for a bad week.  I believe they got it out of their system and will be solid over the last four weeks heading into the playoffs. 

Brett Favre had an up and down game of his own yesterday.  He threw for 247 yards but also ended up with zero touchdowns on the day.  Denver never allowed Favre to get into any type of groove.  They did a very good job of taking Laveranues Coles out of the game plan for the Jets, limiting him to just two catches for two yards.  They were also able to hold down Jerricho Cotchery who had only four catches for 40 yards.  Cotchery ended up being involved in a very bizarre play in the first half.  Brad Smith lined up under center and took the snap and tried to hand off to Cotchery and he fumbled the ball.  Jerricho then jumped on the ball and somehow the ball squirted loose after he was touched and the officials called it a fumble.  The ball was picked up by Denver and returned for a touchdown.  They deemed it not reviewable by the Jets after Mangini threw the challenge flag, a very strange play to say the least.

There were two bright spots for the Jets however.  One was their running game.  Thomas Jones was able to gain 138 yards rushing on the afternoon on just 16 carries.  He also added two touchdowns to up his total on the season to a career high 11.  One touchdown came on the longest run of his career which was 59 yards and the other was a 29 yard run.  Jones was also to eclipse the 1000 yard mark for the fourth consecutive season.  He now has 1088 yards for the Jets this year.  The other bright spot for the Jets was the continued emergence of rookie tight end Dustin Keller.  He was able to haul in 7 more receptions for 77 yards.  He has become Favre's favorite target over the last 4 games.  He is really looking to have a very bright future in this league and should be a fixture for the Jets for years to come.

Hopefully this was just a bump in the road for the Jets.  They were going to lose another game this season, and hopefully this will be the last loss for a while.  The game was not a total loss though. With the Patriots losing to the Steelers on Sunday, the Jets maintain their one game lead in the division for at least another week.  They now head out to the west coast for the 3rd time this season to face the 49ers.  San Francisco is coming off a win in Buffalo and will be a tough task for Gang Green.  They will not be laying down for anyone so the Jets have their work cut out for them next week.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com