Tag:Keller
Posted on: October 1, 2009 4:06 pm
 

Jets v. Saints: Week 4 (Big "O" v. Big "D")

So what's more important, a good defense or a good offense?  That's the question that will be answered this Sunday when the New York Jets bring their revamped defense down to the Big Easy to take on the high powered offense of the New Orleans Saints. Everyone says that defense wins championships, but the Saints are trying to prove that a very good offense can get you to a championship.  Both units will be put to the test on Sunday. 

New York's defensive unit will face its biggest test of the 2009 season so far, going up against QB Drew Brees and the Saints offense.  Brees has been off the charts over the past two seasons.  In 2008, Brees threw for 5069 yards and 34 touchdowns.  So far, three weeks into this season, he has 841 yards and 9 touchdowns.  Brees' career has really taken off in New Orleans and the Saints have all the tools around him to make a successful run at the playoffs in 2009.

Brees' number one target in the passing game is WR Marques Colston.  So far this season he only has 195 yards receiving through three games, but he has 15 receptions with 3 of them going for touchdowns.  He will be matched up with Jets Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis.  All Revis has been able to do this season has been shutting down Andre Johnson, Randy Moss and Justin Gage in successive weeks.  The key for Revis will be keeping Colston out of the end zone.   

The Jets are hurting a little in the secondary with Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland still nursing injuries and are questionable for Sunday.  Revis and S Kerry Rhodes are also a little banged up, but they will be in the lineup on Sunday.  The Jets have to do their best to take away the receivers and make the Saints beat them in other ways. 

That's where the defensive line comes in.  Last week against in Buffalo, the Bills held Brees to only 172 yards passing.  The flip side to that was that the Saints ran the ball for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The Jets run defense is ranked 9th in the NFL giving up 82 yards per game on the ground.  If the secondary is able to keep the receivers quiet, then the defensive line will have their hands full with RB's Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. 

The front seven of the Jets defense will need to keep pressure on Drew Brees and the running backs.  It will be tough but I'm sure Rex Ryan has a good game plan in place.  

One player that could end up having a good game is Saints TE Jeremy Shockey.  So far this season, he been able to haul in 14 catches in the first three games.  The Jets gave up some yards last week to Titans TE Alge Crumpler, so Shockey could be a huge factor in this game.  Expect the Saints to use short passes to Shockey and quick screens to Bush to help them control the clock. 

On the other side of the ball is the Jets offense led by rookie QB Mark Sanchez.  Sanchez is having a good year by rookie standards so far with 606 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He has only thrown two interceptions through three games, but does have 4 fumbles.  Sanchez, the NFL's offensive rookie of the month in September, has been working on protecting the ball better in the pocket.  As expected, he has made a few mistakes this season, but not when it counts.  He has been very solid during the important moments of the games so far.   

The Saints secondary is ranked 22nd in the NFL against the pass, giving up 245 yards per game through the air.  Sanchez will have to try to expose this so he can open things up for the running game.  He does have the luxury of passing to WR Jerricho Cotchery, who is currently 3rd in the NFL with 285 yards.  Throw in TE Dustin Keller and WR Chansi Stuckey with Sanchez' pocket presence and the Jets should be successful through the air on Sunday. 

A main key for New York is to get the ground game going to control the game clock.  Last week against the Titans, RB Thomas Jones was only able to get 20 yards on 14 carries.  The Saints running defense is currently ranked 5th in the league, giving up 67 yards on the ground per game.  Jones and Leon Washington got plenty of carries last week but could not get the yards against Tennessee.  New Orleans defense has really improved since last season and may have a good day against the Jets running backs.   

They key on offense this week for Gang Green is try to establish the running game against the Saints.  If they can do this, then the passing lanes will open up even more on a poor Saints secondary.  They have to establish the run and keep Drew Brees and Co. off the field.  The key on defense is to keep the pressure on Brees.  Get him confused and try to force him into a mistake.  But do not over do it on the blitz or he will burn you.  The Saints offense is too talented and will find ways to score.   

I have confidence that the Jets can win this game.  As long as they can keep the Saints offense some what in check, then I believe their offense can do enough to win.  But they are going to have to put some points on the board.  Jets head down south and take it 28-24. 

Posted on: September 28, 2009 9:08 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2009 9:18 pm
 

Jets v. Titans: Recap

So, if you would have told me three weeks ago that the Jets would start the season 3-0, I would have thought you were crazy.  So I guess we're all a little crazy right now.  The New York Jets have gotten off to a 3-0 start by beating the high powered offense of the Texans.  The team they never could seem to beat in the Patriots.  And a team that finished 13-3 a year ago with the best record in the AFC, the Titans.  The Jets are doing it on both sides of the ball, while letting their quarterback learn on the fly.

QB Mark Sanchez led the Jets out of the gates on Sunday in a hurry.  He led the Jets on a 10 play 73 yard scoring drive which was capped off by Sanchez' 14 yard touchdown run.  New York opened up the passing game on the opening drive going into a no-huddle offense right off the bat.  He was able to hit WR Jerricho Cotchery and TE Dustin Keller for a few long passes while getting down to the Titans 14 yard line.  Then on 3rd and 10 from the Tennessee 14, Sanchez took off and plowed his way into the end zone for the Jets first score of the day.

After recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Sanchez led the Jets on another scoring drive, capping it off with a 2 yard touchdown to TE Ben Hartsock.  Before the Titans offense even took the field, the Jets were up 14-0.  After a lackluster performance by the offense in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, New York was able to capitalize on another Titans turnover.  Sanchez hit Cotchery for a 6 yard touchdown late in the 3rd quarter.  Overall on the afternoon, Sanchez was 17-30 for 171 yards, throwing for two touchdowns while running for another.  He did have one interception and one fumble, but in the end he protected the ball when he needed to and was able to help the Jets to another victory. 

Jerricho Cotchery is emerging as a reliable number one receiver in the NFL.  Not many thought he could be a number one, but he is proving the doubters wrong in a hurry.  On Sunday, he reeled in 8 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown.  Dustin Keller had 2 receptions for 24 yards.  They had the bulk of the Jets receiving yards.

The Jets running game was never able to get going against a very good Titans defensive line.  RB Thomas Jones was only able to rack up 20 yards on 14 carries.  His lowest total yards in 2 seasons.  Leon Washington was a little more sucessful, getting 46 yards on 12 carries.  Tennessee was able to clog up the middle forcing Sanchez to beat them through the air.  Sanchez did not light it up against the Titans pass defense, which was the worst ranked group in the NFL coming into the game.  He did however do enough to win.

The Jets defense looked suspect in the 1st half of the game.  They stayed back in coverage early in the game letting Titans QB Kerry Collins get comfortable in the pocket.  Trailing 14-0, Collins was able to bring the Titans back into the game by scoring on 3 of their 5 possessions.  Collins and the Titans completely dominated the Jets in the 2nd quarter.  They scored 10 points and out gained the Jets on offense 157 to -3.  Collins kept the ball out of the Jets hands and got the Titans to within 14-10.

Titans RB Chris Johnson was able to help out the offense by running for 97 yards on 22 carries.  The Jets were not going to be able to stop Johnson, but they had to keep him in check.  He gained the yards but did not find the end zone.  RB LenDale White was able to do that in the 2nd quarter.  He was the first player to score an offensive touchdown against the Jets defense this season.  His score pulled Tennessee to within 14-7.  In the end, the Jets rush defense gave up 127 yards on the ground.  Not their best performance, but the made the stops when it counted. 

The Jets secondary did not allow a receiver to top the 59 yard receiving mark in the game.  Collins was able to dink and dunk to WR's Kenny Britt and Justin Gage, as well as TE Alge Crumpler.  But he was never able to get the big play downfield. 

The defense stepped up huge in the 4th quarter.  They were able to hold Collins to 0-13 over his last 13 pass attempts.  Jets LB David Harris was the star of the game with his defensive play in the 4th quarter.  On Tennessee's 2nd to last possession of the game, Harris was able to stop a Titans drive with an interception.  Then on their last possession, Harris had an sack on Collins for -8 yards to help preserve the Jets 24-17 win.  He gets the defensive game ball in this one.

It was not a pretty win for the Jets but it was still a win.  The defense showed some soft spots in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but really stepped it up when it counted in the 4th quarter.  The really started bringing the blitz in the 4th quarter, keeping Collins and the Titans offense guessing.  Good teams find ways to win when they are down and thats what the Jets did on Sunday.  The jumped out to a quick lead, lost it, regained it and held strong for the win. 

So the Jets stand at 3-0 on the season, leading the AFC East by a game over the Patriots.  The road does not get any easier this week with a trip down to New Orleans to play the high powered offense of the Saints.  But with the way Rex Ryan has this team believing they can win every game, don't be surprised if the Jets are standing at 4-0 next Monday.
Posted on: September 21, 2009 4:08 pm
 

Jets v. Patriots: Recap ("D" is for Dominating)

So it looks as if the New York Jets are not all talk.  The New England Patriots showed up at the Meadowlands on Sunday to teach the Jets a lesson and were punched in the face by a fast and smart Jets defense.  This was the first time the Jets have beaten the Patriots at home since the 2000 season.  The Jets came out swinging from the opening kickoff and did not let up during the game.  In the process, they sent a message to the league that they should not be overlooked.

We have to start this off by talking about the defense.  What a performance by Rex Ryan's bunch, holding the Patriots without a touchdown in a game for the first time since December 2006.  The defensive line held strong all afternoon, limiting to the Patriots to 83 rushing yards.  Laurence Maroney and Fred Taylor only ran the ball 14 times in the game for a total of 69 yards.  The defensive line, with the return of Shaun Ellis, was able to shut down the run and keep pressure on Tom Brady as well.  Kris Jenkins and Shaun Ellis are looking as strong as they did midway through last season when the Jets had one of the most solid defensive lines in the NFL.  Not only are they plugging the holes for the running backs, they are creating openings for the line backers to bring the blitz.  The line is looking very good to start the season.

The secondary also looked great on Sunday.  With the defensive line taking away the running game, Brady was forced to pass the ball 47 times.  Darrelle Revis is becoming one of the top three cornerbacks in the NFL.  He was matched up with WR Randy Moss and was able to hold Moss to 4 catches for 24 yards.  Late in the first quarter, Brady threw to Moss on a streak down the right side and Revis took the ball out of Moss' hands for the interception.  Last week, Revis held Andre Johnson to 4 catches for 35 yards.  Just to be noted, in week 2 against the Titans, Johnson hauled in 10 catches for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

The rest of the secondary is playing great also.  Jets CB Lito Sheppard, who was flagged in the second quarter for interference, followed up the penalty on the next play by knocking the ball away from a Patriots receiver in the back of the end zone.  New England had to settle for a field goal.  The only negative on the secondary was the coverage on Patriots rookie WR Julian Edelman.  Edelman was filling in for injured WR Wes Welker, who did not play due to a sore knee.  Edelman was able to 98 yards on 8 catches, mostly out of the slot position.  Other than that, the secondary was as good as advertised.

The offense was able to manage the game for the second week in a row.  Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez again started off a little shaky but rebounded in the 2nd half to lead the Jets to the win.  It did not start off that well for Sanchez though.  He was sacked on the first play from scrimmage for the Jets and fumbled the ball.  The Jets were able to recover the ball on their own 3 yard line avoiding serious damage.  New York was unable to get anything going in the 1st half.  Sanchez only had 15 yards passing in the 1st half of the game, but they came out firing in the 2nd half. 

The Jets received the ball to start the 2nd half and made an impact right away.  After starting on their own 44 yard line, Sanchez hit WR Jerricho Cotchery down the middle for a gain of 45 yards.  Two plays later, Sanchez hit TE Dustin Keller for a 9 yard touchdown in the back of the end zone.  On the next possession, Sanchez hit WR Chansi Stuckey for an 8 yard touchdown, but the score was called back on a challenge by New England.  The Jets settled for a field goal.  Overall on the day, Sanchez was 14-22 for 163 yards and a touchdown.  He is not making stupid mistakes and is protecting the ball very well so far.

The running game was solid although no one stood out in particular.  Jets RB Thomas Jones was able to gain 54 yards on 14 carries, while RB Leon Washington gained 58 yards on 14 carries.  Neither, Jones or Washington was able to break off any huge plays from the line of scrimmage.  They did do their best to control the game clock.  Both teams controlled the game clock for about 30 minutes a piece. 

The Jets talked trash all week leading up to the game and backed it up in a big way.  They were able to keep Brady on his toes all day.  He was never able to get into a groove, constantly looking at the defense trying to read the blitzes.  Jets S Kerry Rhodes said that the Jets wanted to "Embarrass" the Patriots.  They didn't embarrass them, but they did hang with them.  And in the end they were the better team on Sunday.  It was the first time since 2003 that the Jets defense has gone two games without allowing an offensive touchdown.  It was also the first time in 2 years that Tom Brady completed under 50% of his passes.  The last time that happened was against Rex Ryan's Baltimore Ravens defense. 

Its only week two in the NFL, but the Jets look good.  As long as the defense keeps playing like they are, then rookie QB Mark Sanchez will not have to do more than just manage the game for the time being.  The running will be better than is was against New England and the defense will continue to improve.  With the addition of LB Calvin Pace in three weeks, this defense will be very scary.  The win against the Patriots was huge, but there are still 14 games remaining.  And after last season, its never good to get too excited too early.

Posted on: September 14, 2009 1:51 pm
 

Jets v. Texans: Week 1 Recap

So the Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan era finally began this past Sunday and it did not disappoint.  The Jets went down to Houston and totally dominated a Texans team that many have said are ready to have a break out season.  New York's defense was as good as advertised on Sunday and the Jets walked out of Reliant Stadium with a very impressive 24-7 win.

Mark Sanchez seemed to be the real deal on Sunday.  The rookie quarterback looked like a seasoned vet with all the poise he showed.  On the afternoon, Sanchez was 18-31 for 272 yards with a touchdown and an interception.  A very solid performance for the rookie quarterback.  But the most impressive stat were his third down numbers.  On third down, Sanchez was 12-18 for 191 yards.  The Jets offensive line also did a great job as Sanchez was not sacked in the game.  The rookie looked very comfortable in the pocket too, not letting the pressure get to him.

Thomas Jones picked up right where he left off last season, where he led the AFC in rushing.  Jones racked up 107 yards on 20 carries.  He also added 2 touchdowns to his stat line.  And after the Texans pulled to within 17-7, Jones broke off a 38 yard touchdown run to put the game away with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.  The running game started off slow, but really came on in the second half.  Leon Washington also added 60 yards on 15 carries.  Rex Ryan has been saying since he became the head coach that he wanted to get Leon more touches per game.  He did that by having him run the ball 15 times as opposed to last season where he ran the ball about 5 times per game.  If the Jets want to win, they need to get Washington the ball at least 12 times per game.  Sunday was a good start.

The Jets, who flirted with the idea of acquiring Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall, showed that their receivers will be just fine on their own.  Jerricho Cotchery led the team with 6 receptions on Sunday for a total of 90 yards.  Chansi Stuckey also added 4 receptions of his own for 64 yards and a touchdown.  His touchdown was a key moment of the game as Sanchez hit Stuckey on 3rd down for a 30 yard touchdown reception.  Dustin Keller, who is becoming one of the best young tight ends in the NFL, continued his growth with 4 receptions for 94 yards.  His 40 yard reception in the 4th quarter set up Thomas Jones' 38 yard touchdown run.  Keller will be relied upon to be a top target for Sanchez and seemed up to the task in this game.

Rex Ryan proved that his defense is not all talk after the game in Houston.  The defense, led by Bart Scott and Kris Jenkins, totally shut down the Texans offense.  Steve Slaton was held to just 17 yards on 9 carries.  Slaton was coming off a rookie season that saw him gain almost 1300 yards, could not get it going against the Jets defensive line.  Kris Jenkins was a beast on Sunday.  He would not allow Slaton to get anything going and basically had his way with the Texans offensive line.  Linebackers Bart Scott and David Harris had constant pressure on Houston's quarterback Matt Schaub.  The Jets defense may have only had two sacks on the day, but they were constantly in Schaub's face. 

New York's secondary took a big step forward compared to last years unit.  They shut down pro bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson, allowing him only 35 yards on four catches.  Johnson was primarily matched up with Darrelle Revis most of the day.  Revis continued his pro bowl form by shutting down Johnson.  Playing opposite Revis was the Jets new acquisition, Lito Sheppard.  Sheppard had a solid game himself and capped off his Jets debut with an interception. 

There were two key stats in this game that led to a Jets win.  The first was the time of possession.  The Jets had the ball for over 38 minutes while the Texans only had it for 21 minutes.  The other key stat, and it was the big one, was the Jets out-gaining the Texans 462 to 183.  That was one heck of a performance by a revamped Jets team.  All in all it was a good game for Gang Green.  They dominated the Texans on both sides of the ball.  Sanchez looked very good in his first start.  Hopefully a sign of good things to come.  The defense was as good as advertised, totally shutting down the Texans big three of Shaub, Johnson and Slaton.  It was a good win on Sunday, but now the focus switches to a familiar foe in the New England Patriots.  They will be visiting New York in week 2.  The Jets looked good in Houston, but now its time for a real test on how good the Jets may be this season.
Posted on: December 29, 2008 3:06 pm
 

Jets v. Dolphins: Recap (The Ironic End)

Miami Dolphins 24.  New York Jets 17.  So how ironic was that ending?  Former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington comes into town and puts the final nail in the coffin of the Jets 2008 season.  Kind of fitting don't you think?  You know Chad would not have wanted it any other way.  It's amazing what can happen in a month's time in the NFL.  On Thanksgiving, the Jets stood at 8-3 and were in the top 2 or 3 of everyone's power rankings.  You were hearing talk all around New York of a Jets v. Giants Super Bowl.  Well at least the Giants are still on track to be playing on February 1st. 

So Brett Favre played on Sunday just like he has all season.  He threw for 233 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.  Favre worked with what the defense gave him, which was not much.  Miami was solid on "D" like they have been all season and kept Favre under control every time he dropped back.  The offensive line kept Favre on his feet for the day, not allowing him to be sacked on the afternoon.  But either way you look at it, Favre was outplayed by Pennington this season in almost every category, and Sunday was no different.  Laveranues Coles had the best day among Jets receivers.  He had four receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown.  Dustin Keller was again a no-show with two receptions for 24 yards.  Jerricho Cotchery also saw limited action on Sunday with two catches for 41 yards.  Leon Washington led the team in receptions with six but for only 29 yards.  Not many stats jumped out at you from the passing game, and that is just sad against the 25th ranked pass defense in the league.

New York's running game was also non-existent on Sunday.  Thomas Jones, who came into the game as the AFC's leading rusher, was held to 23 yards on only 10 carries.  The man has been the team's workhorse all season, so explain to me how he only gets 10 carries.  Washington also had 10 carries in the game, but he was able to get 60 yards on those carries.  All Jets fans have been saying that he needs to get more touches per game and on Sunday he finally did.  On the Day, Leon ended up with 16 touches on offense for a total of 89 yards and a touchdown.  The running game, which had been a strong point of the team during the middle of the season, just kept declining at the end of the season.  This is one of the reasons the Jets lost 4 of those 5 games.  You need to have a solid running game to win in the NFL.  They had that earlier in the season, but they let it get away from them in December.

The Jets run defense had another poor performance on Sunday, their 4th in the last 5 games.  They did not allow one player to gain over 100 yards, but on the day, the surrendered 126 yards on the ground to the Dolphins.  Ronnie Brown led the team with 57 yards rushing on 11 carries.  His teammate Ricky Williams ended up with 50 yards on 10 carries.  The Jets defensive line just looked confused all day and did not know who to defend.  Bryan Thomas registered the Jets only sack of the day, his first in 11 games, and that was basically the only pressure they got on Pennington all day.  In the beginning of the season, the Jets pass rush was strong, being among the league leaders in sacks all the way into November.  Over the Past 6-7 weeks, the pass rush has really slowed down. 

The pass defense was nothing spectacular on Sunday either.  They allowed Pennington to pass for 200 yards while completing 22 of his 30 passes.  Chad did what he usually does, and that is short passes for first downs.  And here is a usual Pennington stat, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.  That is what Chad does best, he may not be flashy, but he knows how to win.  Ted Ginn, Jr. was the Dolphins leading receiver with 71 yards.  He had only two receptions, but one was for 44 yards and the other was for a touchdown.  As usual the Jets had to deal with a good tight end in Anthony Fasano.  He registered three catches for 39 yards and a 20 yard touchdown.  All season the Jets had problems covering the TE, and Sunday was no different.  The pass defense is something that needs to be addressed in the offseason in a major way, they were toward the bottom of the league all season.

The Jets looked lost all day on both sides of the ball.  They had a hard time stopping the Dolphins when they were in their wildcat formation and let Pennington have his way the whole game.  To me it came as no surprise with what Chad did in this game.  He played with a chip on his shoulder all season and capped it off by beating the Jets, winning the division for the Dolphins.  The Jets flaws were all exposed over the past month of the season and their offensive could not cover it up like it did during their five game winning streak.  At one point in the season, the Jets looked like they could hang with any team offensively, and that changed dramatically in December.  The rush defensive also began to struggle in December and that really hurt the team.  The game on Sunday was a sad one in many aspects, but it is ironic to see the Jets get burned by good old number 10 in his return.

Posted on: December 27, 2008 12:21 am
 

Jets v. Dolphins: Week 17 (The Final Act?)

So this is it?  Chad Pennington comes back into town to knock the Jets out of the playoff picture.  Basically, to try and put the final nail in the coffin for the New York Jets 2008 season, a season that has made a complete u-turn over the past four weeks.  The Jets have totally fallen apart at the seams since beating the Titans in late November.  So let's break down what will either be the Jets last game of the season or a push into what may become a memorable playoff run.

So the Jets slim playoff hopes rest on the 39 year old sore shoulder of Brett Favre.  For the first 12 games of the season, Favre was all the Jets could have hoped for.  For the past 4 games, he has been about as lost as the entire Jets offense.  Like I've said before, the Jets will only go as far as Favre takes them.  While the Jets were on their five game winning streak, their offensive game plan consisted of a very balanced attack.  Not so much over the past four games.  Dustin Keller has disappeared and Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery have been used sparingly in the passing game.  The Dolphins have the 25th ranked passing defense in the league, giving up 226 yards per game.  New York needs to take advantage of this if they want to win this game.  I know Brett's shoulder may be sore, but they need to get the ball downfield, even if it's only 2 or 3 times during this game.  He has to be able to have the "deep ball" in his back pocket and use it when he really needs it.  On top of that, Keller really needs to be back in the game plan this week.  During their winning streak, Keller was he key 3rd down man.  We need to see more of that on Sunday. 

The offensive also needs to keep Favre upright during this game. They have to be able to contain Joey Porter, who is one of the league leaders in sacks this season with 17.5.  The Dolphins will be bringing the pressure against Favre knowing that he will throw interceptions when forced to make bad throws.  So the offensive line really needs to man-up his week and do whatever they have to do to keep Brett on his feet.  Give him 3-5 seconds to throw the ball, he will find someone that is open downfield.

If the offensive line is solid then the Jets should be able to run the ball with some success on Sunday.  That will be a tough task though, since Miami has the 10th ranked rushing defense in the NFL, giving up around 103 yards per game.  As we all know in the NFL, you work your passing off the running game.  Over the past three games, Thomas Jones has only averaged 67 yards rushing, which is another reason why the Jets have lost two of those three games.  During their wins this season, the Jets had a good balance or run and pass in the offense.  New York should try more two back sets with Jones and Leon Washington back there at the same time.  I've been saying all season that Washington needs to get more touches then he has been and this is the last chance to get that done.  Washington is the Jets best offensive weapon and most dynamic offensive player on the team.

We all have seen how bad the pass defense has been this season, and lately the run defense has been equally as bad.  Over the first 11 games of the season, the Jets did not allow a 100 yard rusher in any of their games.  Over the past four games they have allowed three 100 yard rushers.  The defensive line has looked tired and run down in the month of December.  Kris Jenkins, who was up for defensive MVP through the first 11 games, has taken a lot of the blame for he run defense's decline this month.  They will have their hands full on Sunday against Miami's two headed monster of Ronnie Brown ad Ricky Williams.  Together they lead Miami to a tune of 118 yards per game, while the Jets are giving up 92 yards per game on the ground.  They really need to keep an eye on Brown, especially if he lies up in the wildcat formation.  We all saw what he did to the Patriots earlier in the season.  And especially with a division championship on the line, I would expect the Dolphins to break out all the tricks this week.

The Jets pass defense has looked better in recent weeks, but that is a tribute to bad teams and bad weather, any now the face Chad Pennington.  A man who is on a mission with something to prove to the team who let him go back in training camp.  Believe it or not, Pennington has passed for more yards than Favre this season and has made a lot fewer mistakes.  All us Jets fans know that Pennington will not force bad throw or make mistakes to jeopardize is team. He has always been a smart quarterback and that did not change this season.  Chad will be facing the 29th ranked pass defense in the NFL this week and I expect him to have success against it.  This is the best QB the Jets have faced over the past three weeks and he will try to carve up the Jets secondary with tons of short passes for first downs.

The Jets will have a hard time guarding the Dolphins TE Anthony Fasano this week.  The Jets have had a hard time guarding TE's all season and this will be no different.  He is currently fifth on the team with 415 yards, but does lead them in touchdowns with 6 on the season.  Between Fasano and Ted Ginn,Jr. , New York will definitely have their hands full this week.  Ginn is the Dolphins leading receiver on the season and has been coming up huge in recent weeks.  However, he only has one touchdown on the season. 

So the Jets head into the final week of the season facing former quarterback Chad Pennington who would love nothing more then knock them out of playoff contention.  They also face a running attack that will be very tough to defend.  Especially the way the Jets defensive line has played over the past month.  The Jets need a lot of help to make the playoffs, but it all starts by winning on Sunday.  Then we will see if the football gods will allow them to sneak in by the skin of their teeth.  It would be nice to see if Brett Favre will get one more shot at a memorable playoff run, or the best we will see is the annual Favre watch that will start in February.  I'm not sure how to call it this week.  I want to say the Jets win 23-20 on a last minute field goal, but with the way they are playing, I just dont know.  All I can say is GOOD LUCK to my Jets and hopefully there is still some good football left in you.

Posted on: December 18, 2008 3:59 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2008 4:01 pm
 

Jets v. Seahawks: Week 16 Preview

The Jets have just hit the two minute warning.  Week 16, two games to go and a three way tie for the division lead.  Now if someone would have said back in the summer that the Jets would be 9-5 after 14 weeks and they would control their own destiny for the division, I'm sure all Jets fans would have signed up for that in a heartbeat.  But with the Jets, things like that are never easy.  This week they head up to the Pacific Northwest to take on the 3-11 Seahwaks.  This is their fourth trip to the West coast this season, where at the moment they are 0-3 out there this year.  But with the way things are going this season, if they lose this game, they may as well not come home.

If you go by the numbers, then this week should be a good week for New York and their passing game.  The Seahawks have the 32nd ranked passing defense in the NFL.  They have been giving up an average of 261 yards per game in the air this season.  This may be just what Brett Favre and the offense need to get going for the rest of the season and hopefully the playoffs.  Over the past three games, Favre has passed for 591 yards, one touchdown and 4 interceptions to add to his lead leading total of 17.  If there is any chance to get back on track, it is this week.  After two straight weeks of no shows, Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery finally were involved in the offense last week for a total of 9 catches for 116 yards.  However, Coles had no catches in the second half of that game.  I expect Coles, Cotchery and Dustin Keller to all have big games this week.  They also need to re-establish the screen pass in the offense again.  Get the ball on a screen over to Leon Washington two or three times on Sunday and see what happens.

The Jets running game should also be solid this week as well.  Seattle is ranked toward the bottom of the league in rushing defense, giving up around 120 yards per game on the ground.  On the flip side, the Jets as a team get about 130 yards on the ground on offense, so I would expect the same on Sunday.  Thomas Jones has had a great season to this point and with the way the offensive line has played this season, he should keep trucking along.  He is still the AFC's leading rusher and will be able to plow over the Seahawks defensive line this week.  With Jones and Washington in the backfield doing what they do, the Jets should be able to open up the passing game with better results then over the past three weeks.

After their second sub-par performance in the past three weeks, the run defense needs to bounce back in a big way this week.  The Bills and Marshawn Lynch ran all over the Jets last week for a total of 187 yards, by far their worst performance of the season.  They are still among the league leaders in yards allowed, giving up about 90 per game.  Maurice Morris will be starting for Seattle this week and his numbers don't really jump out at you.  He has only played in 11 games this season and is getting about 38 yards per game on the ground.  This matchup seems to favor the Jets in a huge way.  New York's Pro Bowl nose tackle Kris Jenkins has shown signs of wearing down over the past couple of weeks.  With that being said, I expect him to have a huge game on Sunday.  When they have had bad performances this season, he takes the blame on himself and usually bounces back with a solid performance.  He knows what is on the line for the Jets and will use that as motivation this week.

Ironically enough, the passing defense is coming off one of their better games of the season last week.  Against the Bills and backup QB J.P. Losman, the Jets gave up 148 yards passing and intercepted him three times.  They are still ranked near the bottom of the league in yards allowed, giving up 241 yards per game.  This week, the Jets will face Seneca Wallace who will be filling in for Matt Hasselbeck again this week.  The good news for the Jets is that Wallace only throws for about 138 yards per game, but he does not turn it over.  In the eight games he has played this season, he has thrown only one interception.  As long as the Jets take away Seattle's running game then Wallace will have to beat them through the air.  Sounds all well and good, but even that is tricky since he does not turn over the ball.  If the Jets do not keep pressure on Wallace, then they will have a hard time covering the Seahawks number one receiver, John Carlson.  The Jets have had a rough time covering TE's this season and if their not careful, he could burn them throughout this game. 

The bottom line this week is that the Jets have no margin for error.  Right now they control their own destiny in the division and a loss would cripple their playoff chances, especially with the Dolphins and Patriots playing so well right now.  This is a veteran team and they know what they have to do.  It's just time for the veteran leaders to step up and get this team where they need to go.  Winning this will only make things easier heading into next week's showdown against the Dolphins.  I say the Jets take care of business this week up in Seattle and take the game by a 30-13 score.  The matchups seem to favor the Jets this week in a big way.  If they do not win this week, you will be hearing a lot about the "Same Old Jets" next week.

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.

 
 
 
 
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