Posted on: November 3, 2008 2:29 pm

Jets v. Bills: Recap (All About The "D")

So the Jets went up to Buffalo this weekend with first place potentially on the line and they pull out their biggest win of 2008.  And they did it with a great defensive performance.  And thanks to the Colts for taking care of the Patriots, the Jets see themselves in a three way tie for first place at 5-3.  The defense played great and the offense did enough to win the game. 

I have to start with the defense this week.  Kris Jenkins, the Jets defensive MVP this season, led a defensive line that gave up only 30 rushing yards on the afternoon.  They were able to keep Marshawn Lynch in check for only 16 rushing yards.  He did have three receptions for 52 yards, but got about 40 of those yards on one play on the opening drive.  Jenkins not only shut down the running game, he also had two sacks and forced Trent Edwards to make a pass that was picked off by Abram Elam and taken 92 yards to the house for a touchdown.  One of the biggest plays of the day was on the ensuing drive for the Bills when they got down to the Jets 8 yard line and had 4th and 1.  Jenkins and Kerry Rhodes were able to stuff Fred Jackson for no gain.  Darrelle Revis also had a huge day for the Jets.  He sacked Edwards in the first quarter, forcing a fumble that he also recovered leading to a Jets field goal.  He then ended the game with an Interception in the end zone.  Revis is becoming one of the best cover corners in the NFL.  He now has 4 int's on the season, 2 of them were game enders.  Overall the Jets defense ended up 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and sacked Edwards 5 times.

The offense managed the game effectively and cut down on the mistakes.  Brett Favre was not spectacular but got the job done.  After talking with Eric Mangini this week about cutting down on mistakes, he only made one on this day, which was an interception that was returned for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.  That made the score at the time 23-17 Jets.  The key drive was the one that came after the interception.  Favre was able to lead the Jets on a 14 play 65 yard drive that ate up over eight minutes of the game clock, ending with another Jets field goal.  The Jets went up 26-17 and never looked back.  On the day, Favre was 19-28 for 201 yards and one interception.  One key for cutting down on the turnovers was the pass protection because Favre was not sacked at all.  The offensive played a very solid game on Sunday.  You could tell that Favre was not trying to force any passes because on the first two possessions in the red zone, the Jets were running the ball and ended up with two field goals. 

Another key play for the Jets was late in the third quarter.  Leon Washington fielded a kickoff after a Bills field goal while he was out of bounds, giving the Jets the ball on the Bills 40 yard line.  He had one foot out of bounds and grabbed the ball which was going to stay in bounds.  If he did not do this, the Jets would have gotten the ball inside the Bills 10 yard line.  A very smart play for another potential Jets team MVP this season.  Leon also ended up with 13 rushing yards and 42 receiving yards.  He does a little bit of everything for the Jets and always seems to be doing something big whenever he is on the field.

The offense was not flashy by any means on Sunday.  But the managed the game well and did enough to get the Jets a win.  The story was the defense.  That was a huge performance on the road against a division rival.  The Jets do have a trap game coming up this week against the Rams.  This is a big game because they could get a game up on the Bills or Patriots since they are playing each other this week in New England.  Since the Jets play the Patriots four days after they plays the Rams, they can not over look St. Louis.  If they can beat the Rams then they will be heading up to New England at 6-3 with the hopes of taking over the division lead.  But that's too far away right now to worry about that, but it all starts on Sunday at the Meadowlands. 

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 23, 2008 12:43 pm

Jets v. Chiefs: Week 8 (Time to Put Up)

You would not believe it after last week's performance, but this is the perfect situation for the Jets this weekend with the Chiefs coming into town.  The Jets are home, where they are 2-1 on the season.  The Chiefs will be starting their 3rd sting QB, Tyler Thigpen, who will be making his second career start.  And Larry Johnson will be serving his one game team imposed suspension.  This game has the writing of a Jets blow out all over it.  They need to put the loss to the Raiders as well as the Favre fiasco this week behind them and focus on destroying Kansas City on Sunday.

First off, Brett Favre needs to play better.  He has four interceptions in the last two games and eight in the last five.  I know the picks come with Favre, but he needs to limit them in big spots.  That being said, Eric Mangini and Brian Schottenheimer need to turn him loose and stop playing so conservative.  You don't go out and get a big arm quarterback and have him throw 10 yard slants into the slot.  If that's what they want then they should have kept Chad Pennington.  The Jets need more big plays incorporated into the offense this week.  The Chiefs are giving up about 200 yards passing per game on defense.  Favre and the coaching need to expose this and basically go nuts on Sunday.  It may be a little tough though.  Laveranues Coles has a slight head injury from last week and Jerricho Cotchery has a shoulder injury but still should play. 

The Jets running game showed up last week in Oakland, with Thomas Jones running for a season best 159 yards.  Expect to see a similar performance against the Chiefs.  Kansas City's defense gives up an average of 207 yards per game on the ground.  The Jets also had a Brad Smith sighting last week.  He ran four times for 59 yards and had 4 catches for 29 yards.  I think he well be in the game plan for Sunday, even if it is just to keep the Chiefs on their heels.  Dustin Keller has disappeared since weeks 3 and 4.  But he may be more involved this week since Bubba Franks is banged up and is questionable this week.

The Jets defense had another solid game last week until the game got to overtime, when they gave up the two big plays that led to the game winning 57 yard field goal.  With a third string QB and no Larry Johnson to deal with, I don't see the Chiefs scoring a lot.  Kolby Smith, one of Johnson's back-up's, saw a majority of the carries last week and probably will this week as well.  The Jets who still have one of the league's top rush defense's should be able to contain the running game.  The pass defense was better against the Raiders but needs to continue to improve if they want to be there at the end of the season. 

This seems like a good game for the Jets to get back on track.  They need to win this game with the Bills and improved Rams coming up on the schedule.  The Jets play good at home and I'm sure the Meadowlands will be rocking come Sunday.  The Jets are also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Super Bowl III champions.  With Broadway Joe and so many other great Jets of the past in attendance, I expect the Jets to come out firing on all cylinders and win this game big.  35-10 Gang Green.  No let down this week.  Jets take it running away and stick it to Herm Edwards.  A battle of two original AFL teams, but this is not the 1960's anymore.

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