Tag:Law
Posted on: November 28, 2008 1:46 pm
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Jets v. Broncos: Week 13 (Confidence a Mile High)

November into December 1998.  That was the last time the Jets had a six game winning streak.  If they win against the Broncos on Sunday, they can match that feat.  The Jets are flying high with confidence right now riding a five game winning streak, with the last two wins coming over the Patriots and Titans both on the road.  Now the Jets return home to the Meadowlands to play a 6-5 Denver team who has been anything but consistent this season. 

The Jets running game has been really hitting it's stride the past few weeks.  Thomas Jones, who is currently 5th in the NFL in rushing, should have a huge game against the Broncos on Sunday.  Denver has one of the worst run defenses in the league, surrendering about 145 yards per game.  The Jets offensive line has been one of the tops in the league during the Jets five game winning streak and I expect them to continue to get better.  Jones and Leon Washington had a field day against a very good Titans defense last week, totaling 178 yards on the ground between the two of them.  Jones looks like a man on a mission the past month or so.  He has become the workhorse the Jets thought they were getting when they traded for him before the 2007 season.  And Washington has become the Jets "X-Factor" out of the backfield.  Whether he is running the ball, catching a pass in the flat or on special teams, he always seems to make something happen when he touches the ball.  I can see each of them getting at least 75 rushing yards against the Broncos.

The passing game also continues to improve each week.  Brett Favre has really adapted to the Jets offensive game plan.  As much as he hates to say it, he really has managed games for the Jets.  He has only thrown one interception the past three games, while throwing for 649 yards and 5 touchdowns.  The offensive line has also kept Favre upright over the past 3 games, only giving up 5 sacks during that span.  Allowing Brett time to throw the ball has given him the ability to find receivers and not force passes into double coverage.  And one man who has benefited from this is the Jets rookie tight end Dustin Keller.  He is becoming one of Favre's favorite receivers.  Over the past three games he has 20 catches for 236 yards.  He only has one touchdown during that span, but i'm sure those will come in the next few weeks. 

With Keller becoming a bigger part of the offense, it has enabled Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles the ability to see more man coverage.  Favre has been able to keep his top two receivers happy this season with Cotchery having 54 catches for 652 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Coles has 53 receptions for 613 yards and 6 touchdowns.  And there is always a threat of Chansi Stuckey and Brad Smith being able to have a big catch here and there.  The offense has really come together over the past month and there is really no telling how far they can go.

The Jets run defense should have another big game this week.  The Broncos rushing offense are in the middle of the pack in the NFL, rushing for 110 yards per game.  But at this point in the season, they are already on their 5th starting tailback.  That tailback is Peyton Hillis.  He ran for 74 yards against a very bad Raiders team last week.  The Jets still boast the 3rd ranked rushing defense in the league, giving up about 78 yards per game.  New York totally shut down the Titans running game last week, limiting them to a season low 45 yards rushing.  The Jets still have not allowed a 100 yard rusher in any game this season, a big difference from last season.   They are also one of the league leaders with 35 sacks on the season, already more then they had all of last year.  Off season additions, Kris Jenkins and Calvin Pace have had big seasons so far.  And Shaun Ellis and Bryan Thomas are quietly having strong seasons of their own for the Jets.

The one area the Broncos may have success is throwing the ball against the Jets.  Jay Cutler is having a solid season for Denver and could have a field day against the Jets secondary.  He already had 3,036 yards passing with 19 touchdowns.  The Jets secondary has improved since the second half of the season started, but they have been following up a good performance with a bad one.  This week against Denver they could be in line for a bad one.  On average they have been giving up around 240 yards per game in the air.  If that trend continues, then Cutler could have a huge game getting the ball to Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal.  The top two Broncos receivers have already combined for almost 1600 yards receiving.  Darrelle Revis, who may be having a pro bowl season, will most likely me matched up with Marshall, so I would not expect him to have a huge game.  But Royal will be going against Ty Law, who is still getting into game shape after only two weeks of practice so far.  That would mean that the need to keep their eyes on WR Brandon Stokley and TE Tony Scheffler.  Scheffler could be tough to cover since the Jets star line backer David Harris is still out with a groin injury.  If the safety's do not come up to help cover, these two could have huge days.

This is a very winnable game for the Jets, who for the most part have a very favorable schedule the rest of the way.  Right now the Jets are soaring with confidence and I do not think they will beat themselves in this game.  The Broncos have good corners so I would not expect Favre to be throwing deep too often. But I do not think he needs to anyway.  As long as the Jets can establish the running game, which I think they will, then they should again be able to control the clock and take home their 6th straight win.  Then they would keep pace with the Titans and keep their lead on the Patriots.  I say the Jets take it 27-13 and get one game closer to the playoffs.

Posted on: November 20, 2008 2:15 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2008 2:56 pm
 

Jets v. Titans: Week 12 (Melee in Music City)

With the Jets still riding high after their huge win against the Patriots last week, they now head down to Tennessee to take on the undefeated Titans.  Right now the Jets sit alone on top in the AFC East, but they are well aware that if they do not show up against the Titans, they will be back in a tie for first in their division.  On paper the Jets seem to match up well with the Titans, so I do not see this game being a blow out for either team.  But it will be fun to watch, that's for sure.

One of the main keys for the Jets is for Brett Favre to keep playing smart.  He has only thrown 1 interception in the past three games.  He has been able to manage games efficiently without putting the Jets in any bad situations.  Favre has found a new favorite target the past 2 weeks to get the ball to, Dustin Keller.  The rookie tight end has finally become what the Jets thought they were getting when they took him in the first round of the 2008 draft.  Against the Rams two weeks ago, Keller had 6 receptions for 107 yards.  Last week against the Patriots he had 8 more catches for 87 yards.  With him emerging as a down field threat, defenses will have to adjust which could leave either Jerricho Cotchery or Laveranues Coles in man coverage.  And if that is the case, Favre should be able to see this and expose it. 

With every passing week, the Jets offensive line keeps improving.  Thomas Jones was able to get another 100 yard game last week, gaining 104 yards on 30 carries against New England.  He has become the Jets workhorse over the past month.  He still is the leading rusher in the AFC with 854 yards on the ground.  He also has 8 touchdowns over the past six games.  This week will be a lot tougher for Jones to have a big game.  The Titans are a very physical team and they have big Albert Haynesworth plugging up the middle of their defensive line.  Haynesworth is having an MVP type season for Tennessee with 7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.  They will be tough to run against, but they do give up almost 100 yards on the ground per game.  I'm not saying the Jets will gain 100 yards on the ground, but I do think they can get close to that number if Favre can get the passing game going.

With the exception of Matt Cassel gaining 62 yards rushing last week, the Jets still have the 4th best rushing defense in the NFL.  They were able to limit four other of the Patriots running backs to a total of 63 yards on the ground.  Kris Jenkins, who is also a candidate for defensive MVP, is having a stellar season anchoring the line for the Jets.  He may not have as many stats as Haynesworth, but what he has done for the Jets run defense has been remarkable.  And with him having the season he is having, it has allowed Shaun Ellis to have his best season in the past 4 years for the Jets.  He currently leads the team with 7 sacks.  They will have their work cut out for them with the Titans running game.  Led by Chris Johnson and LenDale White, the Titans rush for about 133 yards per game.  Johnson leads the way with 787 yards rushing and White has pounded his way to 11 touchdowns so far.  I believe the Jets run defense matches up well with the Titans running game.  If they are able to keep them under 100 yards and not control the clock, then they just have to deal with Kerry Collins and the passing game.

This is where the Jets may run into a problem.  The Jets passing defense has been up and down all season.  One week they look great, as they did against the Rams two weeks ago.  And the next week they look horrible, as they did against the Patriots last week.  Letting Matt Cassel throw for 400 yards in the air, most of that in the second half of the game.  And Collins, as we have seen the past two weeks, is more than capable of leading the Titans to a win through the air.  They went down early last week to the Jaguars 14-3, only to have Collins throw for three touchdowns and lead the Titans to a 24-14 win in Jacksonville.  Collins does not make mistakes, with only 4 interceptions on the season, and will not hurt the team with bad throws.  The Titans are a run first team and they only seem to rely on the pass when they need to.  Last week the Jets welcomed back Ty Law and he did a very good job on Randy Moss.  Considering it was his first game action in 11 months, I'd say he was up to the task.  With Darrelle Revis most likely matched up with Justin Gage, that means the Jets linebackers and safety's need to watch out for the Titans tight end Bo Scaife.  He leads the team in receptions and yards.  This will be tough for New York, who is still missing David Harris, but Kerry Rhodes has played a lot better as of late and should be on him for a good portion of the game.

I really think the Jets can win this game.  Basically, Favre has to limit his mistakes to pretty much zero and the pass defense has to show up.  If they play they way they did against the Rams and Bills, then I think the Jets will win.  The run defense will play the way they have been all year and the running game should be able to eat up enough clock in the second half to be able to grab a win.  The field position the Jets are given by Leon Washington will also be a big factor.  Every time he touches the ball, he has the ability to make something big happen.  I think the Jets win a close one 21-17, with the Jets making a big defensive stand late in the game.

Posted on: November 14, 2008 1:15 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2008 9:57 pm
 

Jets v. Patriots: Recap (Jettin' into First)

Jets v. Patriots...Thursday night...prime time...only game of the day, talk about an instant classic.  What a game for the New York Jets.  They go up to New England tied for first place with the hated Patriots, build a huge lead and blow it, and still walk out with a win.  This game was big, not just for the Jets in the standings, but for the whole organization.  Just when we were all ready to say "Same Old Jets", they pull out a miracle win in enemy territory.

All throughout his career, Brett Favre has won big games.  Last night, he finally won a big one for the Jets.  Favre played by far his best game of the season for the Jets, considering the stakes.  He made no mistakes in this game.  He was 26-33 for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns, and most importantly, no turnovers.  He was able to spread the ball all over the field, making completions to seven different receivers.  He is definitely getting more comfortable in the Jets offense, which was evident last night, completing almost 80% of his passes.  The key stat for Favre was that he was 9-12 on third down.  He was finding the open man all night. 

And last night the open man was rookie tight end Dustin Keller.  Keller, coming off a 6 catch 107 performance against the Rams, had another great game last night.  The Jets first round pick hauled in 8 catches for 87 yards, with some of his biggest catches on the night coming on overtime.  Three of his 8 catches came on the game winning drive in OT.  His biggest catch came on third down and 15 in overtime.  Favre was able to hit him for about 14 yards, with Keller making a 2 yard dive for the first down.  He is proving to be a very reliable option for Brett in the passing game, especially over the past two weeks.  All though he did drop a sure touchdown in the 1st quarter, he does have very good hands, and you can see why the Jets picked him in the first round.

Jerricho Cotchery and Leon Washington also had huge games for Gang Green.  In the second quarter, Favre saw Cotchery in man coverage, and unleashed a bomb down the sideline.  Jerricho, fighting off Ellis Hobbs with his right hand, was able to make a one handed catch with his left hand.  He reached out, while falling down, grabbed the ball and pinned it to his helmet for a 46 yard reception that ended up on the New England 16 yard line.  The Patriots must have been having David Tyree flashbacks from the Super Bowl.  To cap off the drive, Favre hit Cotchery for a 15 yard touchdown.  He was met by two Patriots at the 2 yard line, so he stretched his arm out to break the plane by the nose of the ball.  He ended up with 5 receptions for 87 yards.  Leon Washington, who has been a Jets MVP, stepped up in a big way for the Jets again.  In the second quarter, the Patriots scored a field goal to cut the Jets lead to 10-6.  On the ensuing kickoff, Washington fielded it at the Jets 8 yard line and took it to the house for 92 yards.  Giving the Jets a 17-6 lead.  He also had a 7 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter to give the Jets a 7-0 lead.  He really is the Jets "X" factor.  There is nothing he can not do, and is always a threat when he is on the field.

The offensive line was good last night again.  They did allow Favre to be sacked three times, but were able to help Thomas Jones gain 104 yards rushing against a very good Patriots line.  Jones was not flashy, but kept grinding out yards.  He ran the ball 30 times for an average of 3.4 yards.  Overall the Jets ended up with 140 yards on the ground.  At one point, Brad Smith lined up under center with Favre going out wide left.  Smith took the snap and ran the ball for 17 yards to the Patriots 5 yard line.  That would be the Jets version of the "wildcat" formation.  The best part was Favre running a slant and waiving his arms in the air for Smith to throw him the ball.

The defense had a great first half to this game.  They held New England to two field goals until the last minute of the second quarter, when the scored their first touchdown of the game.  During the first half, the Jets defense managed to not let Matt Cassel get into a comfort zone.  He missed a few open receivers on key third downs.  The defense was able to get a huge sack on Cassel in the second quarter on 4th and 1 with the Patriots going for it down 24-6.  The second half was a different story.  Tom Brady's backup had a huge second half, leading the Patriots back to tie the Jets at 24 and then again at 31.  He ended up throwing for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He also ended up with 62 yards rushing on 8 attempts.  His best play was a touchdown pass to Randy Moss on 4th and 1 with .01 seconds left on the clock.  He has chased out of the pocket, and almost sacked, only to hit Moss falling out of bounds on the right side of the end zone.  Moss made an unbelievable catch with Ty Law all over him.  Cassel played a very good game and almost led his team to a big comeback win.

This was a huge win for the entire Jets organization.  They have been getting beat down by New England in what seems like forever, losing 11 of the previous 12 to their hated rivals.  They needed a win like this to not only take a one game lead in the division, but to show the NFL that they can hang with the big boys.  One of the reasons they got all these big name free agents was to win "this" game.  Favre proved he is still up to the task.  And as he said after the game, "This is why I came back".  If he can play like this the rest of the way, this may end up being a very special season for the Jets.

Posted on: November 12, 2008 4:04 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2008 4:06 pm
 

Jets v. Patriots: Week 11 (Now or Never)

It's finally here...the Jets vs. the Patriots with first place in the AFC East on the line.  This is what we Jets fans have been waiting for, a late season matchup against the reigning AFC champs with a chance to put them in out rear view mirror.  This is the reason why the Jets got Brett Favre and all the other big names in the off-season, to beat New England in a game that matters.  The Jets have been getting knocked around by the Patriots ever since Tom Brady took over the reigns.  The Jets have been rolling the past three weeks and have plenty of momentum heading up to Foxborough on Thursday night.

Brett Favre, the old gunslinger, came here for a chance to win one more before he rides off into the sunset.  This is the game the Jets really need him to step up and flash some of that "Favre magic".  Last week against the Rams, Favre played a well managed game.  He threw for only 167 yards and a touchdown, but no interceptions.  They did not need him to do a lot with Thomas Jones running all over the field.  Brett has seen a ton of these games during his career, more than any of his teammates have.  The bottom line is that he is a winner and should be able to lead gang green to a win.  The offensive line has also played a lot better in recent weeks.  They have not allowed a sack the past two weeks, which has allowed Favre to cut down on his mistakes (one interception in the past two games).  Jones has also benefitted from this as well.  He now leads the AFC in rushing with 750 yards.  However, the best part of the Patriots defense is their defensive line.  If the Jets are to have any success on Thursday, then they need to somehow establish the running game.

As long as Favre is upright, then I expect the passing game to have success in this game.  The Patriots have no Rodney Harrison or Adalius Thomas playing in the game and the Jets need to expose that.  Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery are both having very solid seasons for Jets.  I expect them to be a huge part of the offense in this game.  Coles is always up for big games and he should be amped up for this one.  Another option that emerged for Favre is Dustin Keller.  He had his best game of the season last week against St. Louis to a tune of 6 receptions for 107 yards.  The Jets are very high on their first round draft pick, especially after the game the just had.  With Keller emerging and Chansi Stuckey out there, New York has plenty of good options for Favre to throw to.  The difference between this game and the game in week two is that the offense is finally on the same page.  The first time they played this season Favre did not know the playbook and the Jets were still meshing as a team.  Favre knows what is going on now and the offensive line is really clicking with each other at the right time.

As usual, the defense will have its work cutout for them.  In week two, Matt Cassel was making his first career start in the NFL and played a very smart game for the Patriots.  He threw for 165 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, not flashy but it got the job done.  He still has Wes Welker and Randy Moss to throw the ball to.  The Jets need to find a way to slow them down.  They will have some help this week with the free agent acquisition of Ty Law.  He may not play all that much with only two days to prepare, but he is a veteran and knows both teams well.  He also may not be a shut down corner anymore, but with him on one side and Darrelle Revis on the other, the Jets secondary will be much improved for the rest of the season.  One of the keys will be to limit Welker as much as they can.  Even if that means giving Moss one or two deep ones in the process.  Welker helps that offense go.  He is their go to guy on third down.  Slow him down and they should be able to slow down the whole offense.

The defensive line, which in one of the tops in the NFL, needs to get pressure on Cassel.  The Jets are second in the NFL in sacks with 31.  Shaun Ellis is quietly having a pro-bowl season for New York, leading the team with seven sacks.  The defensive MVP has been Kris Jenkins so far.  What a huge difference he has had on the defensive line for the Jets.  The Jets are 5th in the league against the run, surrendering only 76 yards per game.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis will be starting for the Patriots this week and he is coming off a 105 yard rushing performance against a good Buffalo Bills defense.  The Jets should be able to limit him and force Cassel to beat him with his arm.  New York needs to keep constant pressure on him and force him to make mistakes.  They had constant pressure on Marc Bulger and Trent Green last week and Trent Edwards the week before.  They caused big turnovers that they turned into scores.  Abram Elam had an interception return for a touchdown and Calvin Pace had a fumble return for a touchdown the past two weeks.

The bottom line is the Jets have to win this game to establish them-selves as a force in the AFC.  This is a game that they went out and got Favre, Pace, Jenkins, Damien Woody, Alan Faneca and now Law.  This is a great rivalry in the NFL and I would expect both teams to come out with guns blazing.  The main key's for the Jets is just to keep pressuring Cassel and take advantage of his mistakes and for Favre to limit his mistakes and recapture some of the old "Favre magic".  The Jets finally get over the hump and take this one on the road by a 28-17 score.

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