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Tag:Elam
Posted on: December 15, 2008 5:20 pm
 

Jets v. Bills: Recap (Hey...It's a Win)

Jets 31.  Bills 27.  This game should be called the Miracle at the Meadowlands Part 2.  The Jets were able to escape a sure loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday thanks to some defensive heroics late in the 4th quarter.  The Jets can also thank Bills quarterback J.P. Losman for being J.P. Losman.  Overall, the Jets had another poor performance, especially on defense.  This time however, they managed to get a win that the desperately needed.

The offense showed up early in this game.  On the opening drive of the game, Brett Favre was able to get the Jets down the field for a touchdown.  This is something that the Jets did pretty consistently during their five game winning streak.  He came out on fire, leading the Jets to scores on their first two drives.  He had a better first half then he did in the second, but overall he was 17-30 for 207 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.  On the plus side he was able to complete nine of his passes to Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery.  Coles pulled in 5 receptions for 82 yards, all in the first half.  That is more catches then he has had the previous two weeks combined.  Dustin Keller also hauled in three balls for 35 yards.  After last weeks game, it was good to see the Jets top 3 receivers getting 12 catches between them.

The running game was solid once again.  On the day, Jones had 78 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown.  The touchdown turned out to be a little bit of Jets history.  It was his 15th of the season, which is now a Jets team record for rushing touchdowns in a season.  Jones is continuing his great season and is still the AFC leader in rushing yards.  Last week I said that Leon Washington needs to get more touches because you never know what he will do when he gets the ball.  On Sunday, he had one carry that went 47 yards for a touchdown, another solid game for the Jets ace in the hole.  All around the offensive line was solid.  They did not allow Favre to get sacked in the game as well as letting the offense rush for 165 yards on the ground.

The defense was all around shaky on Sunday.  The one strength the Jets have had all season is their run defense.  They had allowed only one rusher to gain 100 yards against them all season.  Well on Sunday, Marshawn Lynch was number two.  He ran all over the Jets defensive line for a total of 127 yards on only 21 carries.  A different story then a month ago when he only gained 16 yards against the Jets in Buffalo.  On the day the defensive line allowed a season high 187 rushing yards.  They also allowed backup running back Fred Jackson to score in the 4th quarter on an 11 yard run while dragging four defenders into the end zone with him.  Jets linebacker David Harris has now been back for two games and the defense has not improved.  The 49ers gained 100 yards on the Jets last week on the ground with a couple of different backs.  Now this week they gave up almost 200 yards, not acceptable.

While the run defense suffered, the pass defense had an improved game over what we have seen lately.  Losman was only able to throw for 148 yards and one touchdown.  Buffalo really did not need to throw with the running game going so well.  The pass rush was finally allowed to get some pressure on a QB and sacked Losman three times.  They also had three interceptions and a forced fumble.  With the Jets trailing 27-24 with 2 minutes to go in the game, the Jets sent Abram Elam in on a blitz and he was able to strip the ball from Losman causing one of the fumbles.  Shaun Ellis picked up the ball and ran it in for the game winning touchdown.  If you watched the game, the defense was nothing spectacular, but they did cause four turnovers.  If you have to look for a plus, there it is.

The Jets got lucky in this game.  Currently, they are still tied with the Patriots and Dolphins for the division lead.  They may have won the game on Sunday, but it was very sloppy all around for the Jets.  Favre is under throwing the receivers, the defensive line looks tired, and Mangini looks confused on the side lines.  Obviously the Jets needed the win and will take it anyway they can get it.  But the truth is, they only have two games left to try to get back on track and get into the playoffs with a little momentum on their side.  They have another tough week coming up against the Seahawks in Seattle.  They are 0-3 on the West coast this season, and they can not afford to lay another egg out there with the Dolphins coming up in two weeks.

Posted on: November 9, 2008 11:01 pm
 

Jets v. Rams: Recap (A Complete Game)

Jets 47.  Rams 3.  Now that's what Eric Mangini has been talking about all season, a complete game.  The offense was almost perfect, scoring on their first eight possessions.  The defense was just as good getting five turnovers against the Rams with one defensive touchdown.  The Jets did not get caught up in a potential "trap game" with a trip to New England looming this coming Thursday.  And with the Patriots coming up, this was a perfect tune up with 1st place on the line in Foxborough.

Thomas Jones was one of the main factors on offense Sunday.  He had his second 3 touchdown game of he season while also adding 149 yards rushing.  Jones, who coming into the game was the AFC's 2nd leading rusher, is really proving this season that last season was just bad season on a bad team.  He now has 750 rushing yards on the season and is on pace for over 1300 yards.  He also had 8 touchdowns on the ground and is also on pace for about 15 this season.  I know it's tough to say that he will get to 15, but it's a whole lot better than last season when he only had one rushing touchdown.  Dustin Keller was also a big part of the offense on Sunday.  The Jets second pick in this year's draft, 30th overall, had by far his best game of the season with 6 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.  His biggest catch of the day came on the Jets second possession when Brett Favre went over the top to hit him for a 54 yard reception that led to a Jets field goal and a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.  New York has been waiting for him to break out and be a threat in the offense.  Hopefully this will lead to bigger things for the young tight end.

For the second straight week, Brett Favre managed the Jets offense, this time to perfection.  He ended up going 14-19 for 167 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers.  Not flashy by any means but it got the job done.  Since the game got out of hand early, the Jets relied on the run.  They rushed 43 times for a total of 206 yards.  The Rams had one of the worst rushing defenses coming into the game, so the Jets took full advantage.  In addition to the 149 yards from Jones, Leon Washington added another 54 yards on the ground.  The offensive line continues to improve for the Jets.  For the second straight week they allowed zero sacks.  Favre has been getting excellent protection which has led to him having only one turnover the past two weeks, a major improvement over the first seven weeks of the season. 

The defense was a major factor to Sunday's win as well.  Eric Barton had a huge game for the Jets.  He contributed with 10 tackles and a half a sack.  He had constant pressure on the quarterback all day.  Calvin Pace, one of the Jets big free agent acquisitions in the off-season, also had a big play early in the game.  On the Rams second possession of the day, Marc Bulger was pressured and fumbled the ball.  Pace picked it up off one bounce and took it 50 yards to the house for the touchdown.  The fumble was caused by Abram Elam, who last week had a touchdown of his own after an interception against the Buffalo's Trent EdwardsKerry Rhodes also had one of his better games of the season on Sunday.  He had one interception which led to a touchdown and a fumble recovery which led to a field goal.  Overall, the Jets defense had five turnovers against the Rams which led to 27 points.

The Jets defensive line had another solid afternoon, only surrendering 80 rushing yards on 21 attempts.  The Jets rushing defense will remain one of the top four in the NFL after this performance.  The passing defense really stepped up this week.  They gave up only 135 yards in the air and gave the Rams receivers headaches all day.  St. Louis ended up playing both Marc Bulger and Trent Green, only to get no where with either of them. Bulger had only 6 completions while Green only had 5.  The pass defense is the weakest part of the Jets defense and they really stepped it up on Sunday.  This unit has continued to improve as the weeks have gone by.

This was a huge win for the Jets.  With a short week ahead, they needed to keep their momentum going before heading up to New England.  Both the offense and defense has improved each week over the last month or so.  With the exception of the loss in Oakland three weeks ago, the Jets have managed to win five of their last six games.  They now see themselves at 6-3, tied with the Patriots, heading up to Foxborough on Thursday to face them.  This is the first time in a while the Jets see themselves in first place this late in a season.  If they can play on Thursday the way they did against the Rams, then they will be in the drivers seat for a potential AFC East title this season.  It's still a long way to go, but they have put themselves in a very good position.  This was a good win in a game they had to win.  Next up is payback against the Patriots.

Posted on: November 6, 2008 4:24 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2008 11:26 am
 

Jets v. Rams: Week 10 (Playing the Trap)

Here we go Jets fans.  The New York Jets v. the St. Louis Rams on Sunday in the ultimate "trap" game.  Looking at the remaining schedule for the Jets, this game is very important if the Jets have a shot to make the playoffs.  They get a 2-6 Rams team that is banged up and could be possibly missing their best offensive player in Steven Jackson.  After the Rams, they get the Patriots in New England four days later.  They then follow that up with a road game in Tennessee versus the Titans.  So with those two brutal road games looming ahead it makes the St. Louis game on Sunday huge.

The offense played a very conservative game this past Sunday against the BillsBrett Favre managed the game and did not make too many high risk passes.  Eric Mangini had him throwing underneath all day.  It was enough to grab a win up in Buffalo.  The running game looked good with about 100 total yards against a goof Bills defense.  Thomas Jones is currently the second leading rusher in the AFC.  The Rams rushing defense is the fourth worst in the NFL, giving up 155 yards per game.  And with the way the Jets offensive line has played in recent weeks, they should be able to expose this.  They can not do what they did against the Chiefs two weeks ago.  Kansas City had one of the worst run defenses and the Jets came out of the gate throwing 40 times.  The Rams also have the fifth worst passing defense in the NFL as well, so this also bodes well for New York.  The Rams are surrendering almost 30 points and 400 yards a game on defense.  The Jets should be able to expose this with a balanced offensive attack of rushing and passing.

Although Favre managed the game last week effectively, he still managed to throw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.  He also did not throw a touchdown last week.  As long as he can be accurate with the receivers, you should see a few more plays down field this week than last.  He has kept his passes to his top two receivers pretty even with Laveranues Coles having 40 catches and Jerricho Cotchery having 42.  It would be nice to see the Jets get their tight ends more involved this week.  Chris Baker started last week but recorded no catches.  With Bubba Franks still hurting the Jets need to get Baker and Dustin Keller a little more involved this week to be able to open up the deep pass for Coles and Cotchery.

The Jets defense looked great last week.  The defensive line only gave up 30 yards rushing to the Bills thanks to Kris Jenkins 350 lb. frame plugging up the holes.  He may not have a lot of sacks this season, but what he has done for that defense has been amazing.  The Jets run defense the past few years has been a joke.  With Jenkins, the run defense is one of the tops in the NFL.  And with Jenkins getting all the attention, Shaun Ellis is quietly having a pro bowl season.  He leads the Jets with seven sacks on the season.  The most he has had this far into a season since 2004.  One problem for the Jets is going to be the absence of linebacker David Harris.  The Jets leading tackler will be out of action for 2-3 weeks after having groin surgery the other day.  I think they will get by fine this week without him, but it will be tougher against the Patriots and Titans.

The passing defense was very good in Buffalo as well.  Darrelle Revis who had a pick, a sack, a forced fumble and fumble recovery last week will probably be matched up against Donnie Avery.  He leads the Rams with 363 yards and is averaging 15.8 yards per catch.  Revis is having an excellent season and should be able to shut down the Rams number one receiver this season.  Abram Elam who had an interception return for a touchdown will be starting again this week in place of Eric Smith, who is still suffering from post concussion syndrome.  The Jets pass defense has played better but still needs improvement.  Marc Bulger is still a very good quarterback and will find openings in the secondary if the Jets give him the opportunity.

The matchups are all there for the Jets, now they just have to execute.  This is pretty much a must win because after this game the Jets have the hardest schedule of any AFC East team the rest of the way.  They are tied with the Patriots and Bills, who are playing each other this week, and the much improved Dolphins are only a game back.  If the Jets can beat the Rams and they split the games with the Patriots and Titans, then the will be 7-4 with five games left and in a good position to win the division.  It can be done, but they can not take St. Louis lightly.  Otherwise it will turn into the Raiders game from a few weeks ago.  I think the defense is jelling and will shut down the Rams offense this week.  Especially since Steven Jackson may not be able to go, and if he does he will not be 100%.  Jets take it 31-10 and head to Foxborough at 6-3 with a showdown with the Patriots.

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. 

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