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 31, 2008 1:24 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2008 11:51 am

Jets v. Bills: Week 9 (Jekyll or Hyde)

Dr. Jekyll (Good Brett) or Mr. Hyde (Bad Brett).  Who will be circling the wagons in Orchard Park on Sunday?  This is a big test for the Jets this week.  Either they will make a statement and finally beat a team with a winning record under Eric Mangini, or fall to 4-4 and be on pace for a .500 season.  Lately, the Jets have had tough times playing in Buffalo the last 3 years.  Dick Jauron has had Mangin's number the last few seasons.  The Jets have only averaged 10 ppg over the last three games versus the Bills.

The main key for the Jets this week is stopping the turnovers.  Mangini preached all week (to Favre) about not turning over the football.  That it is ok to take the sack or throw it away.  Look, we all know that Brett Favre brings three things with him no matter what.  Win's, touchdowns and interceptions.  And right now Favre leads the league with 11 interceptions and is second in the league with 15 touchdowns.  The Jets talent is capable of winning this game, but they need to win the turnover battle.  The Bills and the Jets both only have 10 turnovers on defense for the season.  If Favre and Shotty play it safe, like Chad Pennington did last week, and they pick their spots to go deep, then the Jets should limit the picks on Sunday.

Last week Pennington was able to complete 22 passes for 314 yards against the Bills secondary.  If Favre cuts down on the picks he should be able to put up similar numbers.  The running game has been better as of late but the Bills have a good (not great) rushing defense, giving up around 100 yards per game.  The Jets need to try to establish the running game on Sunday.  Thomas Jones is quietly having a good season with 532 yards so far.  But I expect Leon Washington to get a few more touches this week.  He had a great game against the Chiefs last week with 274 all purpose yards.  He has been one of the Jets MVP's so far this season.  He has been amazing on special teams and seems to always be in the middle of all of the teams scoring drives this season.  Jones should still get at least 20 carries per game but Washington deserves a few more as well.  Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery should be healthier this week then they were last week which will help the passing game.  Chansi Stuckey was a little more involved last week after being a non-factor for a few weeks.  This gives Brett three legitimate receivers out there and you never know where Washington will pop up. 

The rushing defense is still one of the NFL's best giving up 82 ypg.  They should be able to limit Marshawn Lynch and make Trent Edwards beat them in the air.  But with the way the pass defense has played the past three weeks, he may be able to do it.  Edwards manages a game very well and does not put the Bills in bad situations all that often.  The Jets passing defense need to play better for this team to go anywhere this season.  The first half against the Cardinals back in September they were almost perfect.  They got a few turnovers and had a shutout going.  Then they gave up almost 400 yards in the second half and have not improved since.  If they do not step it up this week then Edwards will pick them apart.

This will be a tough test for the Jets after going 2-1 over the past three games against three sub-par teams.  If the Jets can grab a win up in Buffalo and the Colts take care of the Patriots, then the Jets will be tied for the division lead.  It's not that far fetched.  But in order for that to happen, they need to cut down of the turnovers and tighten up in the secondary.  And maybe the Jets can also find out if they are a passing team or a rushing team because they seem to be stuck in the middle somewhere.  I think the 5.5 spread on this game is big and I think the Jets will be in it till the end.  Maybe squeaking out a 16-13 win on a last second field goal.

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>

Posted on: September 30, 2008 12:30 pm

Jets v. Cardinals: Week 4 Recap

Welcome to New York Brett Favre.  I guess there are no more questions about the offense.  That is what we've all been waiting for Jets fans.  I'm sure we all figured we would beat the Cardinals, but putting up 56 points?  Good game for the offense.  Let's start with Favre.  Looks like he has the playbook down pretty good at this point.  He was 24-34 for 289 yards and completed passes to eight different receivers.  Looks like Laveranues Coles is passing Jericho Cotchery as Favre's favorite target.  Coles had 8 catches for 105 yards and 3 scores (first time in his career).  All 3 of the Jets tight ends (Keller, Baker and Franks) had catches in the game.  The running game looked good as well.  Thomas Jones and Leon Washington ran for a combined 72 yards.  This freed up the recievers in the passing game.  And you know Favre will find the open receiver almost every time.  Other than the pick that Favre threw in the 1st quarter, off his back foot and across the field, he managed the game very well.  Congratulations to Brett on throwing 6 TD's in a game for the first time in his career.

There were 2 sides to the defense in this game.  The 1st half defense (which shut out the Cardinals) and the 2nd half defense (which gave up 35 points to them).  The first half defense was almost perfect.  Causing Kurt Warner to fumble 3 times and throw 2 interceptions, one returned for a touchdown.  The defense kept Warner to 100 yards in the first half.  And the run defense shut down the Cardinals running game the whole afternoon (15 attempts for 42 yards).  The Kris Jenkins trade is turning out to be a great move for Gang Green.  He is a monster up the middle against the run.  He also broke through the line in the 1st quarter to block a field goal attempt.  Calvin Pace also had a big game.  4 solo tackles and caused a fumble that he recovered.  I know its only week 4, but the Jets have the 4th best rushing defense in the NFL, giving up about 75 yards a game.  The passing game was great in the 1st half.  They were missing in the second half.  With the lack of a running game, Warner threw the ball 57 times completing 42 passes.  The 100 yards in the first half turned into 372 yards in the 2nd.  I know the Cardinals have good receivers, but was it that or the defense not getting good reads.  Either way they were torched in the 3rd and 4th quarter.  The Cardinals ended up with three 120 yard receivers.  This must be addressed during the bye week this week. 

So the Jets head into the bye week at 2-2 with a "soft" schedule for the next 3 weeks after that.  They get the Bengals at home, the Raiders on the road and the Chiefs at home.  If the Jets want to make the playoffs, they have to win these games.  Buffalo is the next game after the Chiefs game, and they are showing no signs of letting up.  Other than the passing defense in the second half on Sunday, the Jets played a very good game.  With an extra week of practice this week, Favre should have the playbook down for the rest of the season.  If they keep this kind of scoring up, it could be a good year for Gang Green.

Category: NFL
Tags: Cardinals, Jets, NFL
Posted on: September 26, 2008 1:17 pm

Jets v. Cardinals....A Must Win???

Well just as everyone predicted, the Jets are 1-2 after the first 3 weeks.  No one predicted that Tom Brady would have missed the Patriots game and the Jets should be 2-1, but that's over now.  They are 1-2 with the 2-1 Arizona Cardinals coming into the Meadowlands on Sunday.  It may be a little to early to say it's a must win game, but it kind of is.  If the Jets win, the will head into the bye week at 2-2 with a pretty soft schedule until the second week of November. 

Brett Favre seems to be getting the playbook down a little better as the weeks pass.  He did throw 2 picks (and should have had 4) but he did throw 3 td's and did complete 30 passes.  He hooked up more with Coles on Monday night, so that is a positive sign.  Another good thing for Gang Green is that Dustin Keller was more involved in the offense last week.  He did grab 4 catches for 41 yards and was thrown to about 7 or 8 times in the game.  The special teams, led by Leon Washington, looked very good as well. 

The key for the defense is the run blocking.  If Kris Jenkins is not playing or is limited, then the run defense will not be sharp.  The Chargers were able to run the ball effectively on Monday night after Jenkins left the game.  Edgerrin James is on the down side of his career, but is still capable of breaking off 100 yards in a game.  And if Arizona is able to establish the run, then Boldin and Fitzgerald will end up having huge games.  Warner can still throw the deep ball effectively and will find the 2 tall receivers down the field.

The bottom line for the Jets is stopping the run.  If they can do that, then they should be able to keep Warner and the passing game somewhat in check.  The offense broke out last week putting up 29 points on the Chargers.  So that should not be a problem.  Jenkins should be playing so this is doable for the Jets.  I think the Jets pull out the game, something like 28-17.
Category: NFL
Tags: Cardinals, Jets, NFL
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