Posted on: September 24, 2009 9:58 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2009 8:18 am
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 14, 2009 1:51 pm
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: September 9, 2009 2:58 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2009 12:10 am
So here we go again. The 2009 New York Jets season is about to start and a lot has changed since the end of last season. The Jets will take the field at Reliant Stadium on Sunday to take on the Houston Texans. They will be led by new head coach Rex Ryan, who brings his defensive mind to New York from Baltimore. The Jets will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing end to the 2008 season and it all starts Sunday in Houston.