Posted on: January 8, 2009 2:27 pm

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: October 28, 2008 3:55 pm

Jets v. Chiefs: Week 8 Recap (Ugly Win)

You know what they say, "A win is a win". And Sunday's win against the Chiefs is about as ugly as you can get. The offense looked good at times as did the defense. But the 2008 New York Jets are a two headed monster, because they sure looked bad at times on both sides of the ball. You know things are strange when Brett Favre is getting booed one minute and cheered two minutes later. It was that kind of day for Gang Green on Sunday. So let's break it down.

First off...the offense. We had a little bit of good Brett and bad Brett. The Jets got off to a good start in the game with a 73 yard opening drive where Favre found Leon Washington for an 18 yard touchdown reception that gave them a 7-0 lead on the Chiefs. It was the Jets first opening drive touchdown since December 2nd last season. Favre was inconsistent on Sunday, not really getting into a groove all day. Good Brett had 2 td's including the game winner (never should have been that close) while bad Brett had 3 picks (almost 4) one that was returned for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter. Jerricho Cotchery had a good game with 9 catches for 102 yards. But it was Laveranues Coles who ended up with the game winning touchdown with 1 min to go in the game. Dustin Keller was the starting tight end, with Chris Baker and Bubba Franks out with injuries, and he ended up with 4 catches for 38 yards.

The defense was mediocre once again. Letting a third string QB, leading a 1-6 team, hang around all game and almost stealing a win from the Jets. Tyler Thigpen, starting for KC, matched Brett Favre in almost every category except interceptions. He ended up throwing for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns but he had no interceptions. He gave the Chiefs all they could ask for on Sunday. The defensive line did their job once again limiting the Chiefs to only 80 yards rushing. The Jets rushing defense is still one of the tops in the NFL. The passing defense still needs a lot of help, giving up 250 yards in the air. The Jets did manage to get four sacks but had no interceptions. While the Chiefs sacked Favre only once, they did pick him off three times (one for a score).

The one thing I did not understand was the play calling by Mangini and Schottenheimer.  The Jets ran the ball great last week against the Raiders and the Chiefs were giving up 207 yards per game coming into the game.  So what do the Jets do....pass the ball 40 times and only run it 24 times.  It was very bizarre.  This should have been a game where Thomas Jones and Leon Washington could have each gotten 100 yards on the ground.  But instead they had Favre throwing the ball over and over again.  Again, it was very strange.

But on the bright side, a win is a win and the Jets need them any way they can get them.  I know Mangini changes up the game plan from week to week to adjust to that week's opponent, but Favre will never be able to get into a comfortable groove any time soon with all the changes.  It seems like the coaching staff over plans for each game and from a fan's point of view, they look very confused.  It should have not been that hard to beat the Bengals and Chiefs.  And they should have beaten the Raiders two weeks ago.  Being a Jets fan is always an adventure so this season apparently will be no different.  They have a stiff test this weekend up in Buffalo where the Bills will be looking to get back on track after coming off a loss to the Dolphins

Posted on: October 20, 2008 12:45 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2008 4:01 pm

Jets v. Raiders: Recap (New QB...Same Old Jets)

Here we go again Jets fans.  The Jets managed to go to Oakland and find a way to lose to a 1-4 Raiders team, a team that quit for their interim coach last week in New Orleans.  A team that was ripe for the picking.  The Jets forgot to show up.  With the exception of the Jets running game, the rest of the team took a week off in week 7. 

Let's start with the offense.  What happened to Brett Favre.  Last week against the Bengals, he did not have a great game by his standards, but he managed the game and got a win.  This week you would think he would have a bounce back week against a sub-par team.  Not so much.  Favre was 21/38 for a 197 yards and 2 interceptions.  He was just not able to get into a groove yesterday.  The Raiders did a good job of taking away the deep threats, leaving Favre to look over the middle for open receivers.  Chris Baker had a great opening drive for the Jets with 4 receptions and then disappeared, having only one reception after that.  He led the team with 5 catches.  Favre now has 4 interceptions in the last 2 games with 1 TD pass.  We all know what you get with Brett, but you would think with the teams the Jets have played the last 2 weeks (Bengals, Raiders), he would have more TD's then picks.  On a positive note, the Jets running game finally showed up.  Thomas Jones had his best running game for the Jets, running for 159 yards on 24 carries.  He also managed some long runs as well, busting one run for 31 yards and another for 20 yards.  This is something the Jets have been lacking from Jones, big gains from the backfield.  As a team the Jets ran for 242 yards, their best performance in recent memory.

Defensively, the Jets had two sides as well.  The rushing defense, which was third in the league giving up 69 yards per game, got lit up for 153 yards, their worst performance of the season so far.  The Jets, who are one of the league leaders in sacks as well, were only able to manage to sack JaMarcus Russell one time.  The Jets were just not able to get enough pressure on the young quarterback yesterday.  The defense did keep him in check for the most part until the game got to overtime.  Russell was able to get two big plays in OT that sealed the game for the Raiders.  On the Raiders third drive of OT, Russell was able to hit Javon Walker for a 16 yard gain and Zach Miller for a 27 year gain, that set up the game winning field goal.  Kerry Rhodes went in on a safety blitz and was clipped buy his own teammate on the way in, allowing Russell to hit Miller on a 27 yard pass to get inside the Jets 40 yard line.  This allowed Sebastian Janikowski to hit a career best 57 yard field goal in OT to give the Raiders the win.

This was a tough one to swallow.  This game was a must win for the Jets, who have a tougher part of their schedule quickly approaching.  Favre needs to cut down on the mistakes and get this team in the end zone more.  This is why the Jets got him, to win these kinds of games.  The good news is the running game finally took off, but that was about the only highlight for Gang Green this week.  The Chiefs come into town this weekend in what has turned out to be a must win for the Jets.  A win will put them over .500 when the head up to Buffalo in 2 weeks.  As long as Brett Favre is back there, I have faith that they will pull this together and sting together some big wins the next few weeks.  But is has to start on Sunday against Kansas City.  Otherwise, this season will be like many others in the past.  With the Jets on vacation come January.

Posted on: October 13, 2008 5:00 pm

Jets v. Bengals: Week 6 Recap

Week six is over with the Jets pulling out a victory over the Bengals 26-14.  This was not an easy win in any way.  After blowing out the Cardinals two weeks ago, the Jets played "down" to the Bengals on Sunday, until securing the win late in the fourth quarter thanks to Thomas Jones third touchdown of the day.  The offense looked average and the defense looked solid in the win. 

Let's start with the offense.  Brett Favre was not vintage Favre yesterday by any means.  Brett "The Jet" fumbled about a minute into the game which was recovered by the Bengals and ran in for a touchdown.  7-0 Cincinnati.  But he then led the Jets on a 53 yard scoring drive to tie the game 7-7.  Favre was average, throwing for 189 yards with 1 TD and 2 picks.  The running game was not that effective either.  Thomas Jones had only 65 rushing yards, but did have 2 rushing TD's and 1 receiving TD.  The first 3 TD game of his career.  Jericho Cotchery and Laveraneus Coles each had 8 catches for a total of 146 yards.  Dustin Keller was a non-factor in the game this week.  He did have a touchdown in the first quarter but it was negated by a Jets penalty. 

The defense looked very good against a mediocre offense that was missing its star quarterback.  The run defense, anchored by Kris Jenkins, got the job done again.  Limiting the Bengals to 43 rushing yards.  Calvin Pace followed up his effort against the Cardinals with another strong game Sunday.  He had 4 tackles and a forced fumble.  The secondary put in a solid effort all around yesterday.  Limiting both Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh to less then 60 yards receiving.  Overall the defense only game up 1 offensive TD so it was a good "team" effort on Sunday.

The MVP of the game was Leon Washington.  He gave the Jets solid field position all day on his returns.  Washington had 142 return yards and their average starting field position was around their own 45 yard line.  The Jets also started 5 drives in Bengals territory.  This game could have gone either way.  The Bengals secondary took away any deep threats the Jets had so Favre had to manage all day with short passes.  It was not his best game so far this season, but like he said after the game "A win is a win".  So the Jets will head out to Oakland to face the Raiders next week at 3-2.  This is right where we all thought they would be at this point.  It was not a great day for the offense by any means, but they won.  And that's all it comes down to, wins.

Posted on: October 9, 2008 12:33 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2008 12:37 pm

Jets v. Bengals: Week 6 Preview

<p>Welcome back Jets fans.  The Jets are back from the bye week after beating down the Arizona Cardinals for 56 points 2 weeks ago.  We are basically right where we figured we would be when the season started, 2-2 coming out of the bye week.  Now the question is, do the Jets take off from here?  NY headed into the bye week with an offensive explosion courtesy of Brett Favre throwing for a career high 6 touchdowns, tying the Jets record held by Joe Namath.  With all that being said the Jets opportunity to make a dent in the AFC starts now.  The 0-5 Cincinnati Bengals come rolling into town this week.  They are very banged up at the moment, but they did give the Cowboys a scare last week.  The Jets can not take this game lightly.</p>

<p>First off the Bengals are banged up.  Carson Palmer hurt his elbow against the Giants 3 weeks ago.  Sat out the next week, and then was on limited practice leading up to the game in Dallas last week.  He played and played well (217 yards 2 TD's).  Overall though, he is not having a typical Palmer season.  3 TD's, 4 picks and a QB rating of 69 are not the numbers we've some to expect from Carson Palmer over the last few years.  The running game for the Bengals has been average.  Chris Perry is the leading rusher on the season with 239 yards on 85 carries.  That is just 2.8 YPC.  The receiving corps have not been lighting it up with the exception of T.J. Houshmandzadeh.  He has 31 receptions through 5 games for 351 yards.  Chad Johnson has really been a non factor with the bad shoulder.  I'd say he is more of a decoy right now but teams are realizing that the shoulder may be bothering him more then he leads on.</p>

<p>I would expect the Jets to have a good ground attack this week.  The Bengals have the 4th worst rushing defense in the league giving up 171 YPG.  Thomas Jones has been solid running the ball so far and should have a big game on Sunday.  This is how the Jets need to attack the Bengals right now because oddly enough the Bengals have the 6th ranked passing defense in the NFL, giving up 167 YPG.  If the running game is solid on Sunday then I expect Favre to have good numbers and manage the game effectively.  I see him with something around 230 yards and 2 TD's.  The passing game has been really improving with each passing week.  And i'm sure more progress was made during the bye week.  Favre is hooking up with Coles and Cotchery with more regularity and finally Dustin Keller has been more involved in the offense.  This week though, we need Thomas Jones to pound the ball all day.</p>

<p>As for the defense, it's a two headed monster at this point.  The run defense is ranked 5th in the NFL, giving up 75 YPG (thank you Kris Jenkins).  He is one of the main reasons for this improvement from last season.  Along with Calvin Pace, who had his best game so far this season against the Cardinals.  Then there is the passing defense.  Which ranks 2nd to last, giving up 265 YPG.  This had to be addressed during the bye week.  If the Jets are going to go anywhere this season this has to be fixed ASAP.  Based on the stats so far I think that David Barrett should replace Eric Smith this week while he serving his suspension.  Either way, the secondary has to be on the Bengals WR's like glue this week.  </p>

<p>The Bengals gave the Cowboys a scare last week, but they are still 0-5 and not a very good "Team" right now.  The Jets need to pound the ball with the run and blitz Palmer a lot so he can not get the ball to T.J. or Ocho Cinco.  Jets take this one on Sunday 31-17 and head off to Oakland at 3-2.  It sould be a good week in the NFL as usual.</p>

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