Tag:Patriots
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 24, 2009 9:58 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2009 8:18 am
 

Jets v. Titans: Week 3 (Trap Game?)

So the Jets enter Sunday's game against the Titans with a record of 2-0.  Last week they outplayed and outcoached the New England Patriots, beating them in the Meadowlands for the first time since 2000.  Now they will play a Tennessee team that comes in at 0-2 and desperate for a win.  So far this week, the trash talking Jets have been remotely quiet.  After talking all week about the Patriots leading up to the game, the Jets have not posted any bulletin board material leading into the showdown with the Titans. 

We'll start off here with the Jets offense.  Last week against New England, the Jets could do nothing on offense in the 1st half.  All they were able to manage was a field goal.  Against the Texans in week 1, they managed only a field goal in the first quarter.  The Jets may not have the opportunity to start out slow this week.  Tennessee will be fired up in this game, looking to take the crowd out of it early.

The best way for the Jets to stop that is to establish the running game early.  Last week Thomas Jones rushed for 54 yards and Leon Washington rushed for 58 yards himself against New England.  Last November in Tennessee, Jones and Washington put up 178 yards against a defense led by Albert Haynesworth.  Now that Haynesworth is in Washington, the Titans run defense is not as strong as it was last season, but it is still very good.  They are currently 2nd in the NFL against the run, giving up about 99 yards per game.  Do not expect the Jets to put up 178 yards this time around, but expect a solid performance out of the running game on Sunday.  As long as they can get something going on the ground, they should be able to set up the play action passes and keep the Titans guessing.

When it comes down to it, the game may be Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez' for the taking.  While the Titans defense is ranked 2nd in the league against the run, their passing defense is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  They are currently ranked last in the NFL, giving up about 340 yards per game in the air.  This looks to be the perfect opportunity for the Jets passing game to finally take off.  Heading into week 3, New York is averaging about 205 yards per game in the air.  It's time for Brian Schottenheimer to use some spread formations and get some receivers downfield and see what Sanchez has. 

As of now Jets #1 WR Jerricho Cotchery leads the team with 10 receptions for 177 yards.  The yardage is not bad through two games but he needs to get more than 5 catches per game.  Jets #2 receiver Chansi Stuckey only has 8 catches in the first two games.  Sanchez needs to get him more involved in the offense this week.  WR's Brad Smith and David Clowney round out the top four and have not done much over the first 2 weeks. 

Sanchez has been very good over the first two games protecting the football.  He seems to be very smart with the ball in the pocket.  If he can find some open receivers, it will open some holes for the running game.  And if the Jets can run the ball, the pressure will be off Sanchez.  If he does have any trouble while dropping back, he can always get the ball over to TE Dustin Keller.  Keller is building off a solid rookie year to emerge as a solid option for the Jets in the passing game.

The rock of the Jets so far this season has been their defense.  Their front seven has looked very strong over the first two weeks.  They will have their work cut for them.  So far this year, the Titans have been averaging 163 yards per game on the ground.  Last week against the Texans, RB Chris Johnson ran for 197 yards and caught 9 balls for 97 yards.  His career day also included 3 td's.  A key for the Jets this week is to try to slow down Johnson.  It will be hard for them to stop him, so they need to limit the damage.  Stop Johnson and make QB Kerry Collins beat them through the air.

The passing game for the Titans, which is averaging 221 yards per game, is still not clicking on all cylinders yet.  Their top two receivers Kenny Britt and Justin Gage still have not taken off just yet.  Both of them only have about 100 yards on the season.  Meanwhile the Jets secondary has only been giving up about 180 yards per game, good enough for 9th in the NFL.  But the Jets are hurting out there right now.  CB's Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland both got banged up last week against the Patriots and have missed some practice time this week.  But with CB Darrelle Revis and S Kerry Rhodes still back there, the Jets should be ok this week.

This is a tough game to gage for the Jets this week.  They are riding high after shutting down two top offenses in the NFL in the Patriots and Texans.  In fact, they still have not surrendered an offensive touchdown this season.  While the Titans have lost two tough games and are looking to right their ship this week.  This is setting up to be a classic "Let-Down" game for the Jets.  But that is why Jets hired Rex Ryan, to keep this team motivated and ready to go come game days.  I think the Jets defense comes out firing on Sunday and knock Kerry Collins around to start the game.  Make him make mistakes and try to limit the damage from Chris Johnson.  If the Jets can do this, they will be off to their first 3-0 start in a while.  Jets open up the passing game and take this one 28-17. 
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 17, 2009 4:34 pm
 

Jets v. Patriots: Week 2 (Round 1, Ding..Ding)

To quote Terrell Owens, "Get your popcorn ready!"  The New York Jets and the New England Patriots will renew their heated rivalry this weekend in the Meadowlands.  Both teams come into the game atop of the AFC East, both posting a 1-0 record.  New England, in true Bill Belichick form, are treating the game as just another game on the schedule.  While the trash talking, Rex Ryan led Jets are treating it like Armageddon.  Which as a Jets fan you have to love.  He sure does talk a good game.

The Jets are coming off a very dominating performance in Houston last week and are amped up for Sunday.  They totally shut down a very good Texans offense.  While the Patriots were two minutes away from a loss against the Bills, until Buffalo KR Leodis McKelvin fumbled a kickoff which led to another Tom Brady comeback win.  Both teams will be ready to play and play hard on Sunday.

Mark Sanchez is now being called "Sanchise" after his solid performance in his first game last week in Houston.  The Jets rookie quarterback picked apart the Texans for 272 yards and a touchdown.   191 of those yards came on 3rd down.  But just like the Jets teams of the past, Sanchez will have his hands full with the Patriots defense.  Rookie quarterbacks always seem to have a hard time with Belichick's defenses.  The offensive line should have a slightly easier time then in the past with the absence of DE Richard Seymour, who was recently traded to the Raiders.  Sanchez has a pocket presence about him after watching last weeks game.  As long as the offensive line can give him some time, he will be able to find his open receivers.

The Jets receivers did a good job of finding openings in the Texans secondary and they will need to do the same this week.  Jets TE Dustin Keller was the teams leading receiver last week with 94 yards.  He should be able to find openings across the middle with Patriots LB Jerod Mayo out with an injury.  It's not that the Patriots do not have good role players, but the loss of Mayo and Seymour is something the Jets need to take advantage of.

Jets number one receiver Jerricho Cotchery will most likely be matched up with CB Shawn Springs, so don't expect a huge game from him.  Chansi Stuckey, who had a good game himself last week, will need to take pressure off Cotchery and make some plays himself.  I think the key for the Jets will be to have Brad Smith and David Clowney involved in the passing game this week.  Neither one recorded a catch last week.  Smith could be a key for Sanchez and the offense this week.

The passing game may be tested in a big way if Gang Green can not get the running game going.  Thomas Jones picked up right where he left off last season by posting another 100 yard game last week.  He will be leaned on to get the offense started this week behind a strong offensive line.  He will be up against a Patriots defensive line that surrendered 90 yards on the ground against the Bills.  Since the start of last season Jones has been pretty consistent at putting up 90 yards a game and I don't think that will change this week.

It took two season, but Leon Washington finally got more than 10 touches in a game.  He was able to gain 60 yards on 15 carries against the Texans.  Throw in 4 catches for 24 yards and I'd say he had a good day.  And that does not include what he does on special teams.  Any way you slice it, Leon has to get the ball at least 12 times against New England.  Even if it's in the "Wildcat" which the Jets ran a few times last week.  He is a main key to any success the Jets will have in 2009.

What more can you say about the way New York's defense played last week.  They totally dominated the Texans offense and shut out that side of the ball.  If that was their "A" game, then they need to bring their "A+" game this week.  Unfortunately for Rex Ryan and the Jets defense, Tom Brady is no Matt Schaub.  Brady is a master at picking apart a weak spot in a defense, so the Jets better not show any holes in their defense.  Just like last week, the defense needs to send a message early.  On the Texans first series, Jets LB Bart Scott buried his helmet in Shaub's chest after a pass attempt to set a tone.  And it worked.  They must send a similar message this week.  A good thing for the Jets is the return of DE Shaun Ellis from his one game suspension this week.  The defensive line was great last week and now you add Ellis back to it.....scary.

CB Darrelle Revis will be matched up with WR Randy Moss and should be able to keep him in check most of the game.  The key for the secondary will be to keep an eye on WR Wes Welker and TE Benjamin Watson.  Watson put up 2 touchdowns last week and is always a threat in the red zone.  Welker had 12 catches for 93 yards last week, but did have a few key drops on 3rd and 4th down.  With a potential neutralized Moss, stopping Welker and Watson is crucial.

The Patriots running game is inconsistent at best.  RB's Laurence Maroney and Fred Taylor did not have the best showing against the Bills.  Combined they were only able to rush for 55 yards.  Kris Jenkins and the Jets "D" line was able to hold Steve Slaton to just 17 yards on 9 carries.  They totally dominated the line of scrimmage.  With the way they played and the return of Ellis I don't really see the Patriots running game being a huge factor in this game.

Patriots - Jets is always a huge game for both teams.  The main reason is the divisional matchup and the standings afterword.  It just always seems to be a little bit bigger for the Jets.  They are the ones with something to prove, not New England.  The Jets need to focus on: 1) controlling the game clock.  Let the running game do its thing and eat up that clock.  2)  Try to contain the Brady to Welker connection.  They wont be able to stop it, but try to limit the damage.  3)  Start drives with good field position.  This is something the Jets have done pretty well over the past two seasons with Leon Washington.  If they can execute these things, then I think they can win this game and stop the 8 game losing streak at the Meadowlands.  If they don't execute, then Brady can have a field day and this game could be over by halftime.  I say the Jets stick to the game plan from last week and squeak out a 20-17 win on Sunday.  They have the talent and the attitude, but they need to execute.

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: February 11, 2009 11:55 am
 

Brett Favre Retires...........Again

So the news just broke that Brett Favre has decided to hang it up for the 2nd time in two years.  This being said, let me be one of the many fans to say thanks for the memories.  Favre has had an amazing career since 1992 and has left Jets fans with a season of memories, both good and bad.

Favre was traded to the Jets from the Green Bay Packers back in August and brought with him a cannon for an arm and a breath of hope for Jets fans.  And we Jets fans were excited.  It was evident at the first practice that Favre attended.  About 10,000 fans showed up to see the Jets latest acquisition.  The Jets have always been known as a franchise that was 2nd fiddle in their own city.  So the acquisition of Brett was just what the franchise needed.  The Jets were all over the pack pages of the papers all the way until week 1 of the season.

It was not easy for Favre in the beginning.  There were some major bumps in the road during the first month of the season.  It took a while before Favre was able to really get a grasp of the playbook.  That was evident by the Jets 3-3 start of the season.  New York had a rough time establishing whether they would be a running or a passing team. 

The season took a turn after Favre threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown against the Chiefs late in the 4th quarter back in October.  With about 2 minutes remaining, Favre led the Jets down the field and hit Laveranues Coles with the game winning touchdown.  After that the Jets took off.  The won the next two games against the Bills and Rams to improve to 6-3 before heading up to New England with first place on the line against the Patriots

The Jets owned the 1st half of that game and the Patriots owned the 2nd.  Favre owned overtime.  On the 1st possession of the OT, the Jets received and Favre went to work.  He led the Jets down the field by hitting Dustin Keller on a few key 3rd downs.  That set up the game winning field goal, which led the Jets to sole possession of 1st place in the AFC East.

The old gun slinger then led the Jets to Tennessee to face the 10-0 Titans.  All he did was throw for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns, while leading the Jets to a 34-13 rout of the previously undefeated Titans.  He had the Jets flying high and on a 5 game winning streak where it looked like they could do no wrong at 8-3.  Then the "old" Brett got old in a hurry.

Over the next five weeks the Jets went 1-4 and should have gone 0-5.  The defense could not stop the run, the running game was slowed and Favre was way off.  Over that span Favre threw 2 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.  The Jets who were once 8-3 finished the season 9-7 and out of the playoffs. 

I still believe that the Favre trade was the right move for the Jets.  He brought hope to a franchise that always seemed stuck in the middle of the road.  Finally, the Jets had some juice in New York, the type of juice that the Giants and Yankees usually occupy.  Now the Jets will move on with their new coach Rex Ryan and have to find a new quarterback.  They seem not to be sold on Kellen Clemens and there is not much available on the free agent market this year.  The draft may not be an option either, as the Jets will be drafting around #20.  So we see what happens from here.  The one good thing about Favre retiring is that the Jets, who with Brett are $5 million over the cap, now save $13 million and will be $8 million under the cap.  Thanks for the memories Brett Favre.  Even though we only got to see you live in NY for 16 games, it was worth it.

Posted on: January 20, 2009 5:24 pm
 

Jets Offseason Report: Rex Ryan Hiring

So the New York Jets have their new head coach, Rex Ryan.  The Jets were able to lure the defensive guru away from the Baltimore Ravens, where he has been for the past 10 years.  New York offered Ryan a 4 year deal worth about 11 million dollars.  He now takes over a Jets defense that was all over the map in 2008.

The Jets pass defense was the team's achilles heal all throughout the 2008 season.  They ranked 29th in the league in passing yards against, giving up 235 yards per game in the air.  A very odd stat considering you have Kerry Rhodes and Darelle Revis in the secondary.  This is an area that needs to be addressed for the Jets to be successful in 2009. 

The Jets defensive line was very successful for the first 11 games of the season.  With Kris Jenkins leading the 3-4 defense, the Jets were ranked in the top 4 in the NFL throughout the first 11 games, surrendering about 78 yards per game on the ground.  During that same time period, they did not allow a rusher to top the 100 yard mark.  Over the final 5 games, the Jets allowed three 100 yard rushers and the other 2 games; they allowed over 100 total yards to multiple rushers.  The defensive line just seemed to be tired and worn down at the end of the season.

We all have seen what the Ravens defense has done over the past 10 years.  They always seem to be ranked near the top of the league, especially against the run.  Baltimore has always seemed to have very talented players on their defense, including Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs to name a few.  The question is:  Is Ryan that good of a defense guru?  Or is he only as talented as the players he is coaching?  I personally would like to see Ryan call a lot of the defensive plays, but we shall see what the Jets do about hiring a defensive coordinator. 

In January 2006, the Jets hired the Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini as their head coach after seeing what he did with a beat up defense in New England.  As we all saw, one year as a defensive coordinator was obviously not enough to lead a defensively challenged team such as the Jets.  Ryan has been the Ravens defensive coordinator for the past four years and was a defensive assistant for the six years previous to that.  He has been on a Super Bowl winning team, a team that won a division once and a team that made the playoffs 5 times during the past 10 years.  Only time will tell how Ryan fits with the Jets.  And from what we have seen in the past with these Jets, he will have his hands full.

Posted on: January 8, 2009 2:27 pm
 

New York Jets 2008 End of Season Review

What a difference six months makes.  The Jets were heading into the 2008 season with a handful of offseason acquisitions that were brought here to improve on a disastrous 2007 season which say the team go 4-12.  The Jets made the most noise in the off-season with the signings of Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Calvin Pace, Bubba Franks, Tony Richardson and the trade for Kris Jenkins.  Faneca and Woody were brought here to sure up the offensive line that already consisted of budding stars Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson, attempting to protect injury prone quarterback Chad Pennington.  Jenkins was brought in to anchor a 3-4 defense that was missing a true nose tackle.  Pace was brought in to establish a better pass rush.  Coming into training camp in late July, things were looking better for the Jets and they were looking like a 8-8 or 9-7 team, much better than the 2007 season.  Then on August 6th the whole landscape of the franchise changed.

On that day it was announced that the Jets had traded for future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.  Favre was brought in to try to revive a franchise that was only going so far on the shoulder of Pennington.  Favre was coming off a solid season in Green Bay in which he threw 28 touchdowns, passed for over 4,000 yards and took the Packers to the NFC Championship game.  So with Favre came bigger expectations for Gang Green.  The Jets finally had a QB that could hang with Tom Brady and keep the team in the race for a division title.  So Favre had about 4 weeks to learn a totally new offense and try to get the Jets into the playoffs.

Going into week 1 against the Dolphins, the Jets were looking like a possible 10-6 or 11-5 team with Favre and the new acquisitions leading the way and then Tom Brady got hurt.  With Brady out for the season, everyone was saying the division was the Jets for the taking.  So after the Jets win in week 1, the talk was now of the Jets possibly going 12-4 with their pretty weak schedule.  The team must have believed the hype because Matt Cassell, playing in place of Brady and making his first career start in the NFL, came into the Meadowlands and beat the overconfident Jets.  They then headed out west to play the 0-2 Chargers and got blown out.  So with all the high expectations the Jets were at 1-2 at this point in the season.

They came home to a must win game against the Arizona Cardinals.  The offense really took off in this game.  Favre set a personal record high in throwing for 6 touchdowns in the game.  The Jets put up 56 points, but their passing defense was really exposed in the game.  They gave up over 400 yards passing to Kurt Warner with most of that coming in the second half of the game.  The Jets then had their bye week early and welcomed in the Bengals in week 6.  New York won the game but the offense was not on point as it was against Arizona.  So the Jets were at 3-2 heading out to play the awful Oakland Raiders.  The Jets struggled all day on offense and eventually lost the game in overtime to a Sebastian Janikowski 57 yard field goal. 

So the 3-3 Jets came home to play one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs.  The Jets had a lead late in the 4th quarter until Favre threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and gave the Chiefs a 24-21 lead.  Favre then put together a drive, in the two minute offense, that led to a touchdown catch by Laveranues Coles and a Jets win.  From this point, the team really started to take off.  They followed up the game against the Chiefs with relatively easy wins over the Bills and Rams over the next two weeks.  This set up a battle for first place in the AFC East against the Patriots.  Both teams were sitting at 6-3 with the winner taking a one game lead in the division. 

The Jets jumped out to a huge lead by the end of the first half, 24-6.  The offense and defense both looked great and the team was rolling.  Then came the second half.  The huge lead was gone and Cassell hit Randy Moss in the end zone for a last second touchdown to tie the game.  On the first drive of overtime, Favre led the Jets down the field to setup the game winning field goal by Jay Feely.  The Jets took over first place and headed out to play the 10-0 Tennessee Titans in Tennessee.  The Titans had a very good defense and had been getting solid play from QB Kerry Collins.  Everyone figured this is where the Jets four game winning streak would end and the Titans would remain unbeaten.  Well they were all wrong.  The Jets went down there and totally dominated the Titans on offense and defense and came out of the game with a 34-13 win.  New York found itself at 8-3, two games behind the Titans for the #1 seed in the AFC and tied with the Steelers for the #2 seed.  The Jets looked like a force to be reckoned with in the NFL and the sky was the limit.  Unfortunately, this was about as good as it would get for the 2008 Jets.

The Jets came home at 8-3 to face the 6-5 Denver Broncos.  Again, the Jets must have really started to believe the hype that they were an elite team, because they played like the total opposite.  They laid an egg against Denver and lost 34-17.  No big deal right?  They would get back on track in the next game against the 49ers right?  Well that didn't happen either.  They went out to San Francisco and could not get out of their own way.  They let another team with an inexperienced quarterback get the best of them in a game that they should have won easily. 

So they came home with a record of 8-5 to take on the Buffalo Bills.  Buffalo ran all over the Jets and nearly pulled off the win, if not for the poor play calling by Buffalo.  All they had to do was run out the clock with under two minutes remaining.  Instead, J.P. Losman fumbled and Shaun Ellis returned it for a touchdown and the Jets won a must win game.  With the win, the Jets controlled their own destiny at 9-5 to make the playoffs.  Win their last two games and they were in.  So they hit the road again to play the Seattle Seahawks who, at the time, held a record of 3-11.  The snow was falling and so were the Jets.  They were outplayed in snowy Seattle and lost 13-3.  Not only did they lose the game, they no longer controlled their own destiny with the Dolphins and Patriots both winning that week. 

Coming into the last week, the Jets would need to beat Chad Pennington and the Dolphins and hope for some help from other teams.  If the Dolphins win, they win the division.  You could not have written a better script for this game.  A must win against a former teammate.  The game was tight in the first half and the Jets were on the losing end at the time.  But they took the lead in the beginning of the third quarter, 17-14.  And it was all over after that.  Pennington took apart the Jets with the dink and dunk passes and gave the Dolphins a lead they would keep.  The Dolphins won 24-17 and won the AFC East in the process.  The Jets finished the season at 9-7 and were officially eliminated from the playoffs with the loss.

Back in August, it looked like this may be a special season for the New York Jets and it turned out to be what all us Jets fans are used to, a big disappointment.  The Jets loaded up in the offseason to try and right the ship from a forgettable 2007 season.  When they were at 8-3 in late November, it looked as though all those moves were the right ones.  But in the end it was not enough to get the Jets over the hump.  For a team that was on such a roll, winning five straight games to get to 8-3, to lose four of their last five and not make the playoffs is very disappointing on so many levels.  Now the Jets stand without a coach and a quarterback who will keep everyone in limbo on whether or not he will return in 2009.  The team has a lot of questions to answer in the offseason, but it may only take a few key moves to get this team on the right track again next season.  2008 was filled with a lot of memorable moments and tons of hope.  Unfortunately, it ended the way that it did.  But we will stick by our Jets next season and beyond, and hope that one day this franchise will figure it out and get back to the Super Bowl.

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