Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Pennington
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.

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 22, 2008 5:16 pm
 

Jets v. Seahwaks: Recap (Just Sad)

Seahawks 13.  Jets 3.  Just outright pathetic.  Ok, I know the weather was poor, but that is still no excuse why they should have lost to that team.  This was about as bad is it gets for the Jets and their fans.  The blame for this goes to everyone on that field on Sunday.  Players and coaches equally.  Just watching the way they have played over the past month, it's amazing that they beat the Titans and Patriots back in November.  They would have been totally embarrassed if they played in those games like they have over the past four weeks.

The Jets brought Brett Favre here to bring this team back to respectability.  Instead of bringing the Jets up to his level, the Jets brought him down to theirs.  After the win over the Titans, Favre could do no wrong in the Jets eyes.  Since that game he has done very little right.  In Seattle, Favre went 18/31 for 187 yards and two interceptions.  And for the third time in four weeks he had zero touchdowns.  He started off red hot in the frigid temperatures on Sunday by going 8/9 and getting the Jets a field goal on their opening drive.  It was all pretty much downhill after that.  He just never seemed to get into any kind of groove.  The defense kept constant pressure on him and ended up sacking him 4 times.  He was also forced into a handful of bad throws and that led to the two interceptions.  As we have all seen multiple times over the past few weeks, Favre was again under throwing his receivers.  So either he is hurt or age has finally caught up to him.  Jerricho Cotchery had a nice game, grabbing 6 balls for 81 yards.  Laveranues Coles had 60 yards of his own but dropped a deep ball late in the game.  On a 4th and 2 with about 2 minutes to go and the Jets down 10-3, Favre heaved a deep ball down to about the Seahawks 40 yard line that Coles caught but the ball was knocked out by the defender.  It was probably Favre's best pass of the day.

The running game was mediocre as well.  Thomas Jones was only able to run for 67 yards on 17 carries against a beat up Seahawks defensive line.  Jets fullback Tony Richardson, who only had 5 carries all season coming into the game, was able to get 5 carries for 34 yards himself.  In total, the Jets ran for a total of 115 yards against a team with a makeshift defensive line.  Once again, Leon Washington was not a major part of the Jets game plan on offense.  He had 3 carries for 14 yards and had no receptions.  Every week, Jets fans call for this man to get the ball more and more and it seems Eric Mangini gets it to him less and less.  I know Thomas Jones is one of the league leaders in rushing but Leon adds a different dimension to the offense.  With the way the weather was on Sunday, the Jets should have ran the ball easily over 30 times in this game.  Just a bad game plan all around by the coaching staff.

The Jets defensive line turned another poor performance as well, their third in the past four games.  Maurice Morris, who has been filling in for Julius Jones, gained 116 yards on 29 carries.  The Jets, who hadn't allowed a 100 yard rusher through week 12, has now allowed three in the past four weeks.  The defensive line has just looked tired and was shut down Sunday.  They also did not get too much pressure on Seneca Wallace as he was not sacked in the game.  The Seahawks were playing an offensive line of primarily backup's and the Jets still could not get to Wallace.  The defensive has looked run down over the last quarter of the season and does not look like it will improve before next week.

The Jets secondary had a better game then we have seen, but that was due mainly to the weather.  They held Wallace to 175 passing yards and were able to recover two fumbles as well.  Both fumbles were caused due to the horrible field conditions in Seattle.  Bobby Engram was Seattle's leading receiver with 6 catches for 65 yards.  Obviously the Jets only allowed the one touchdown but we'll chalk that up to Mother Nature.  Wallace was basically mistake free all game since New York did not force him to make bad throws and had no interceptions on the afternoon.  He was able to lead Seattle on some long drives and kill the clock, even though the drives did not amount to anything on the scoreboard.

So over the past four weeks, the Jets have gone from 8-3 and cruising to an AFC East title and a home game in the playoffs, to just plain missing the playoffs.  Yeah, I know they have not been officially eliminated yet, but that will come on Sunday by the arm of Chad Pennington.  Mangini and his coaching staff have looked like a chicken with its head cut off in recent weeks.  Right now the team needs a miracle to make the playoffs (beating Miami and having the Ravens and Patriots both lose).  They have completely collapsed in December and even if they were to make the playoffs, they will not go far at all.  So sad to see such a promising season go down the tubes so fast.  It seems only fitting right now to see Pennington come in here and put the final nail in the coffin next Sunday.

Posted on: October 23, 2008 12:43 pm
 

Jets v. Chiefs: Week 8 (Time to Put Up)

You would not believe it after last week's performance, but this is the perfect situation for the Jets this weekend with the Chiefs coming into town.  The Jets are home, where they are 2-1 on the season.  The Chiefs will be starting their 3rd sting QB, Tyler Thigpen, who will be making his second career start.  And Larry Johnson will be serving his one game team imposed suspension.  This game has the writing of a Jets blow out all over it.  They need to put the loss to the Raiders as well as the Favre fiasco this week behind them and focus on destroying Kansas City on Sunday.

First off, Brett Favre needs to play better.  He has four interceptions in the last two games and eight in the last five.  I know the picks come with Favre, but he needs to limit them in big spots.  That being said, Eric Mangini and Brian Schottenheimer need to turn him loose and stop playing so conservative.  You don't go out and get a big arm quarterback and have him throw 10 yard slants into the slot.  If that's what they want then they should have kept Chad Pennington.  The Jets need more big plays incorporated into the offense this week.  The Chiefs are giving up about 200 yards passing per game on defense.  Favre and the coaching need to expose this and basically go nuts on Sunday.  It may be a little tough though.  Laveranues Coles has a slight head injury from last week and Jerricho Cotchery has a shoulder injury but still should play. 

The Jets running game showed up last week in Oakland, with Thomas Jones running for a season best 159 yards.  Expect to see a similar performance against the Chiefs.  Kansas City's defense gives up an average of 207 yards per game on the ground.  The Jets also had a Brad Smith sighting last week.  He ran four times for 59 yards and had 4 catches for 29 yards.  I think he well be in the game plan for Sunday, even if it is just to keep the Chiefs on their heels.  Dustin Keller has disappeared since weeks 3 and 4.  But he may be more involved this week since Bubba Franks is banged up and is questionable this week.

The Jets defense had another solid game last week until the game got to overtime, when they gave up the two big plays that led to the game winning 57 yard field goal.  With a third string QB and no Larry Johnson to deal with, I don't see the Chiefs scoring a lot.  Kolby Smith, one of Johnson's back-up's, saw a majority of the carries last week and probably will this week as well.  The Jets who still have one of the league's top rush defense's should be able to contain the running game.  The pass defense was better against the Raiders but needs to continue to improve if they want to be there at the end of the season. 

This seems like a good game for the Jets to get back on track.  They need to win this game with the Bills and improved Rams coming up on the schedule.  The Jets play good at home and I'm sure the Meadowlands will be rocking come Sunday.  The Jets are also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Super Bowl III champions.  With Broadway Joe and so many other great Jets of the past in attendance, I expect the Jets to come out firing on all cylinders and win this game big.  35-10 Gang Green.  No let down this week.  Jets take it running away and stick it to Herm Edwards.  A battle of two original AFL teams, but this is not the 1960's anymore.

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