Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Rhodes
Posted on: October 1, 2009 4:06 pm
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on: 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: 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 9, 2008 11:01 pm
 

Jets v. Rams: Recap (A Complete Game)

Jets 47.  Rams 3.  Now that's what Eric Mangini has been talking about all season, a complete game.  The offense was almost perfect, scoring on their first eight possessions.  The defense was just as good getting five turnovers against the Rams with one defensive touchdown.  The Jets did not get caught up in a potential "trap game" with a trip to New England looming this coming Thursday.  And with the Patriots coming up, this was a perfect tune up with 1st place on the line in Foxborough.

Thomas Jones was one of the main factors on offense Sunday.  He had his second 3 touchdown game of he season while also adding 149 yards rushing.  Jones, who coming into the game was the AFC's 2nd leading rusher, is really proving this season that last season was just bad season on a bad team.  He now has 750 rushing yards on the season and is on pace for over 1300 yards.  He also had 8 touchdowns on the ground and is also on pace for about 15 this season.  I know it's tough to say that he will get to 15, but it's a whole lot better than last season when he only had one rushing touchdown.  Dustin Keller was also a big part of the offense on Sunday.  The Jets second pick in this year's draft, 30th overall, had by far his best game of the season with 6 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.  His biggest catch of the day came on the Jets second possession when Brett Favre went over the top to hit him for a 54 yard reception that led to a Jets field goal and a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.  New York has been waiting for him to break out and be a threat in the offense.  Hopefully this will lead to bigger things for the young tight end.

For the second straight week, Brett Favre managed the Jets offense, this time to perfection.  He ended up going 14-19 for 167 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers.  Not flashy by any means but it got the job done.  Since the game got out of hand early, the Jets relied on the run.  They rushed 43 times for a total of 206 yards.  The Rams had one of the worst rushing defenses coming into the game, so the Jets took full advantage.  In addition to the 149 yards from Jones, Leon Washington added another 54 yards on the ground.  The offensive line continues to improve for the Jets.  For the second straight week they allowed zero sacks.  Favre has been getting excellent protection which has led to him having only one turnover the past two weeks, a major improvement over the first seven weeks of the season. 

The defense was a major factor to Sunday's win as well.  Eric Barton had a huge game for the Jets.  He contributed with 10 tackles and a half a sack.  He had constant pressure on the quarterback all day.  Calvin Pace, one of the Jets big free agent acquisitions in the off-season, also had a big play early in the game.  On the Rams second possession of the day, Marc Bulger was pressured and fumbled the ball.  Pace picked it up off one bounce and took it 50 yards to the house for the touchdown.  The fumble was caused by Abram Elam, who last week had a touchdown of his own after an interception against the Buffalo's Trent EdwardsKerry Rhodes also had one of his better games of the season on Sunday.  He had one interception which led to a touchdown and a fumble recovery which led to a field goal.  Overall, the Jets defense had five turnovers against the Rams which led to 27 points.

The Jets defensive line had another solid afternoon, only surrendering 80 rushing yards on 21 attempts.  The Jets rushing defense will remain one of the top four in the NFL after this performance.  The passing defense really stepped up this week.  They gave up only 135 yards in the air and gave the Rams receivers headaches all day.  St. Louis ended up playing both Marc Bulger and Trent Green, only to get no where with either of them. Bulger had only 6 completions while Green only had 5.  The pass defense is the weakest part of the Jets defense and they really stepped it up on Sunday.  This unit has continued to improve as the weeks have gone by.

This was a huge win for the Jets.  With a short week ahead, they needed to keep their momentum going before heading up to New England.  Both the offense and defense has improved each week over the last month or so.  With the exception of the loss in Oakland three weeks ago, the Jets have managed to win five of their last six games.  They now see themselves at 6-3, tied with the Patriots, heading up to Foxborough on Thursday to face them.  This is the first time in a while the Jets see themselves in first place this late in a season.  If they can play on Thursday the way they did against the Rams, then they will be in the drivers seat for a potential AFC East title this season.  It's still a long way to go, but they have put themselves in a very good position.  This was a good win in a game they had to win.  Next up is payback against the Patriots.

Posted on: October 20, 2008 12:45 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2008 4:01 pm
 

Jets v. Raiders: Recap (New QB...Same Old Jets)

Here we go again Jets fans.  The Jets managed to go to Oakland and find a way to lose to a 1-4 Raiders team, a team that quit for their interim coach last week in New Orleans.  A team that was ripe for the picking.  The Jets forgot to show up.  With the exception of the Jets running game, the rest of the team took a week off in week 7. 

Let's start with the offense.  What happened to Brett Favre.  Last week against the Bengals, he did not have a great game by his standards, but he managed the game and got a win.  This week you would think he would have a bounce back week against a sub-par team.  Not so much.  Favre was 21/38 for a 197 yards and 2 interceptions.  He was just not able to get into a groove yesterday.  The Raiders did a good job of taking away the deep threats, leaving Favre to look over the middle for open receivers.  Chris Baker had a great opening drive for the Jets with 4 receptions and then disappeared, having only one reception after that.  He led the team with 5 catches.  Favre now has 4 interceptions in the last 2 games with 1 TD pass.  We all know what you get with Brett, but you would think with the teams the Jets have played the last 2 weeks (Bengals, Raiders), he would have more TD's then picks.  On a positive note, the Jets running game finally showed up.  Thomas Jones had his best running game for the Jets, running for 159 yards on 24 carries.  He also managed some long runs as well, busting one run for 31 yards and another for 20 yards.  This is something the Jets have been lacking from Jones, big gains from the backfield.  As a team the Jets ran for 242 yards, their best performance in recent memory.

Defensively, the Jets had two sides as well.  The rushing defense, which was third in the league giving up 69 yards per game, got lit up for 153 yards, their worst performance of the season so far.  The Jets, who are one of the league leaders in sacks as well, were only able to manage to sack JaMarcus Russell one time.  The Jets were just not able to get enough pressure on the young quarterback yesterday.  The defense did keep him in check for the most part until the game got to overtime.  Russell was able to get two big plays in OT that sealed the game for the Raiders.  On the Raiders third drive of OT, Russell was able to hit Javon Walker for a 16 yard gain and Zach Miller for a 27 year gain, that set up the game winning field goal.  Kerry Rhodes went in on a safety blitz and was clipped buy his own teammate on the way in, allowing Russell to hit Miller on a 27 yard pass to get inside the Jets 40 yard line.  This allowed Sebastian Janikowski to hit a career best 57 yard field goal in OT to give the Raiders the win.

This was a tough one to swallow.  This game was a must win for the Jets, who have a tougher part of their schedule quickly approaching.  Favre needs to cut down on the mistakes and get this team in the end zone more.  This is why the Jets got him, to win these kinds of games.  The good news is the running game finally took off, but that was about the only highlight for Gang Green this week.  The Chiefs come into town this weekend in what has turned out to be a must win for the Jets.  A win will put them over .500 when the head up to Buffalo in 2 weeks.  As long as Brett Favre is back there, I have faith that they will pull this together and sting together some big wins the next few weeks.  But is has to start on Sunday against Kansas City.  Otherwise, this season will be like many others in the past.  With the Jets on vacation come January.

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