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Tag:Hill
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.

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