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Tag:Lynch
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.

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: November 3, 2008 2:29 pm
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on: October 31, 2008 1:24 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2008 11:51 am
 

Jets v. Bills: Week 9 (Jekyll or Hyde)

Dr. Jekyll (Good Brett) or Mr. Hyde (Bad Brett).  Who will be circling the wagons in Orchard Park on Sunday?  This is a big test for the Jets this week.  Either they will make a statement and finally beat a team with a winning record under Eric Mangini, or fall to 4-4 and be on pace for a .500 season.  Lately, the Jets have had tough times playing in Buffalo the last 3 years.  Dick Jauron has had Mangin's number the last few seasons.  The Jets have only averaged 10 ppg over the last three games versus the Bills.

The main key for the Jets this week is stopping the turnovers.  Mangini preached all week (to Favre) about not turning over the football.  That it is ok to take the sack or throw it away.  Look, we all know that Brett Favre brings three things with him no matter what.  Win's, touchdowns and interceptions.  And right now Favre leads the league with 11 interceptions and is second in the league with 15 touchdowns.  The Jets talent is capable of winning this game, but they need to win the turnover battle.  The Bills and the Jets both only have 10 turnovers on defense for the season.  If Favre and Shotty play it safe, like Chad Pennington did last week, and they pick their spots to go deep, then the Jets should limit the picks on Sunday.

Last week Pennington was able to complete 22 passes for 314 yards against the Bills secondary.  If Favre cuts down on the picks he should be able to put up similar numbers.  The running game has been better as of late but the Bills have a good (not great) rushing defense, giving up around 100 yards per game.  The Jets need to try to establish the running game on Sunday.  Thomas Jones is quietly having a good season with 532 yards so far.  But I expect Leon Washington to get a few more touches this week.  He had a great game against the Chiefs last week with 274 all purpose yards.  He has been one of the Jets MVP's so far this season.  He has been amazing on special teams and seems to always be in the middle of all of the teams scoring drives this season.  Jones should still get at least 20 carries per game but Washington deserves a few more as well.  Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery should be healthier this week then they were last week which will help the passing game.  Chansi Stuckey was a little more involved last week after being a non-factor for a few weeks.  This gives Brett three legitimate receivers out there and you never know where Washington will pop up. 

The rushing defense is still one of the NFL's best giving up 82 ypg.  They should be able to limit Marshawn Lynch and make Trent Edwards beat them in the air.  But with the way the pass defense has played the past three weeks, he may be able to do it.  Edwards manages a game very well and does not put the Bills in bad situations all that often.  The Jets passing defense need to play better for this team to go anywhere this season.  The first half against the Cardinals back in September they were almost perfect.  They got a few turnovers and had a shutout going.  Then they gave up almost 400 yards in the second half and have not improved since.  If they do not step it up this week then Edwards will pick them apart.

This will be a tough test for the Jets after going 2-1 over the past three games against three sub-par teams.  If the Jets can grab a win up in Buffalo and the Colts take care of the Patriots, then the Jets will be tied for the division lead.  It's not that far fetched.  But in order for that to happen, they need to cut down of the turnovers and tighten up in the secondary.  And maybe the Jets can also find out if they are a passing team or a rushing team because they seem to be stuck in the middle somewhere.  I think the 5.5 spread on this game is big and I think the Jets will be in it till the end.  Maybe squeaking out a 16-13 win on a last second field goal.

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