Posted on: September 28, 2009 9:08 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2009 9:18 pm
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
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: February 11, 2009 11:55 am
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 8, 2009 2:27 pm
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 11, 2008 2:26 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2008 2:27 pm
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 28, 2008 1:46 pm
November into December 1998. That was the last time the Jets had a six game winning streak. If they win against the Broncos on Sunday, they can match that feat. The Jets are flying high with confidence right now riding a five game winning streak, with the last two wins coming over the Patriots and Titans both on the road. Now the Jets return home to the Meadowlands to play a 6-5 Denver team who has been anything but consistent this season.
The Jets running game has been really hitting it's stride the past few weeks. Thomas Jones, who is currently 5th in the NFL in rushing, should have a huge game against the Broncos on Sunday. Denver has one of the worst run defenses in the league, surrendering about 145 yards per game. The Jets offensive line has been one of the tops in the league during the Jets five game winning streak and I expect them to continue to get better. Jones and Leon Washington had a field day against a very good Titans defense last week, totaling 178 yards on the ground between the two of them. Jones looks like a man on a mission the past month or so. He has become the workhorse the Jets thought they were getting when they traded for him before the 2007 season. And Washington has become the Jets "X-Factor" out of the backfield. Whether he is running the ball, catching a pass in the flat or on special teams, he always seems to make something happen when he touches the ball. I can see each of them getting at least 75 rushing yards against the Broncos.
The passing game also continues to improve each week. Brett Favre has really adapted to the Jets offensive game plan. As much as he hates to say it, he really has managed games for the Jets. He has only thrown one interception the past three games, while throwing for 649 yards and 5 touchdowns. The offensive line has also kept Favre upright over the past 3 games, only giving up 5 sacks during that span. Allowing Brett time to throw the ball has given him the ability to find receivers and not force passes into double coverage. And one man who has benefited from this is the Jets rookie tight end Dustin Keller. He is becoming one of Favre's favorite receivers. Over the past three games he has 20 catches for 236 yards. He only has one touchdown during that span, but i'm sure those will come in the next few weeks.
With Keller becoming a bigger part of the offense, it has enabled Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles the ability to see more man coverage. Favre has been able to keep his top two receivers happy this season with Cotchery having 54 catches for 652 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Coles has 53 receptions for 613 yards and 6 touchdowns. And there is always a threat of Chansi Stuckey and Brad Smith being able to have a big catch here and there. The offense has really come together over the past month and there is really no telling how far they can go.
The Jets run defense should have another big game this week. The Broncos rushing offense are in the middle of the pack in the NFL, rushing for 110 yards per game. But at this point in the season, they are already on their 5th starting tailback. That tailback is Peyton Hillis. He ran for 74 yards against a very bad Raiders team last week. The Jets still boast the 3rd ranked rushing defense in the league, giving up about 78 yards per game. New York totally shut down the Titans running game last week, limiting them to a season low 45 yards rushing. The Jets still have not allowed a 100 yard rusher in any game this season, a big difference from last season. They are also one of the league leaders with 35 sacks on the season, already more then they had all of last year. Off season additions, Kris Jenkins and Calvin Pace have had big seasons so far. And Shaun Ellis and Bryan Thomas are quietly having strong seasons of their own for the Jets.
The one area the Broncos may have success is throwing the ball against the Jets. Jay Cutler is having a solid season for Denver and could have a field day against the Jets secondary. He already had 3,036 yards passing with 19 touchdowns. The Jets secondary has improved since the second half of the season started, but they have been following up a good performance with a bad one. This week against Denver they could be in line for a bad one. On average they have been giving up around 240 yards per game in the air. If that trend continues, then Cutler could have a huge game getting the ball to Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal. The top two Broncos receivers have already combined for almost 1600 yards receiving. Darrelle Revis, who may be having a pro bowl season, will most likely me matched up with Marshall, so I would not expect him to have a huge game. But Royal will be going against Ty Law, who is still getting into game shape after only two weeks of practice so far. That would mean that the need to keep their eyes on WR Brandon Stokley and TE Tony Scheffler. Scheffler could be tough to cover since the Jets star line backer David Harris is still out with a groin injury. If the safety's do not come up to help cover, these two could have huge days.
This is a very winnable game for the Jets, who for the most part have a very favorable schedule the rest of the way. Right now the Jets are soaring with confidence and I do not think they will beat themselves in this game. The Broncos have good corners so I would not expect Favre to be throwing deep too often. But I do not think he needs to anyway. As long as the Jets can establish the running game, which I think they will, then they should again be able to control the clock and take home their 6th straight win. Then they would keep pace with the Titans and keep their lead on the Patriots. I say the Jets take it 27-13 and get one game closer to the playoffs.
Posted on: November 24, 2008 12:03 am
I think it's now time to take the Jets seriously as a contender in the AFC this season. The Jets managed to not only beat the undefeated Tennessee Titans in Tennessee, but they steamrolled them in the processby a score of 34-13. New York now sits at 8-3 on the season and could be in a position to get a bye week for the first round of the playoffs. Of course we are still five weeks away, but the Jets have put themselves in a very good position after Sunday's win against the Titans.
Brett Favre is showing everyone that there is still some gas left in the tank. Favre managed the game very effectively once again. On the day Favre was 25-32 for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. I believe there were two huge moments in the game. The first was a Chris Johnson fumble in the 3rd quarter. At the time, the Jets were leading 13-3. The Titans were getting a drive together when Johnson coughed up the ball. Favre was able to put together an 8 play drive that ate up almost 5 minutes of game clock that ended with a 2 yard touchdown pass to Laveranues Coles in the back of the end zone in double coverage. That gave the Jets a 20-3 lead late in the 3rd and from that point on they were in the drivers seat.
The other key moment was the Jets last drive on the 4th quarter. After the Titans put together a 4 play 66 yard drive late in the 4th quarter that ended in a touchdown that cut the score to 27-13, the Jets took over. Favre was able to lead the Jets offense on a 12 play 75 yard drive that ended with a 4 yard touchdown run by Leon Washington. The key to that drive was the fact that it ate up 7:34 off the clock. It gave the Titans the ball back with 2:09 remaining in the game trailing 34-13. Favre was hitting open receivers all day. His new favorite target, Dustin Keller, had his 3rd straight big game. He hauled in 6 catches for 42 yards. Not as big as his last two games, but did have some key catches on 3rd down. He has become a very reliable option for Favre over the last month. Coles had the big day for the receivers, grabbing 7 balls for 88 yards and a TD. Jerricho Cotchery also grabbed 6 catches for 55 yards. Brett's only mistake in the game was an interception by Cortland Finnegan in the second quarter. Finnegan made a one handed catch with Coles all over him. Other than that, Brett was near perfect.
The Jets running game had a huge day. Thomas Jones, who coming into the game was the AFC's leading rusher, was able to rack up 96 yards against a very sound Tennessee run defense who was ranked 10th in the league heading into the game giving up about 95 yards per game. Jones was able to do that on 27 carries. He has really become the Jets workhorse over the past 2 months. Washington also contributed with 82 yards rushing on his own. He was able to gain that on only 8 carries. He got most of it on a 61 yard touchdown run early in the 4th quarter in which he bolted to the end zone almost untouched. He didn't have his usual big day on special teams that we have all come to expect, but he always seems to contribute in a big way each week. In all the Jets ran for 192 yards against Tennessee. New York's offensive line was great again as you can see from the rushing stats. But they also managed to keep Favre upright for most of the game, only allowing 2 sacks. The line has really come together over the last 6 weeks. This has allowed the running game to improve each week as well as letting Favre have time in the pocket to be able to make big plays.
The Jets defense also had a huge day. The defensive line put together one of it's biggest efforts of the season. The Titans who had been rushing for an average of 133 yards per game were limited to a season low of 45 yards on the ground. The defense, led by Kris Jenkins and Calvin Pace were able to take the running game totally away from the Titans. This meant that the game was left to Kerry Collins against a spotty Jets pass defense. New York's secondary, which was torched by Matt Cassel for 400 yards last week, had a strong game against Tennessee. Collins, who does not make mistakes and did not in this game, was held to 243 yards in the air for 1 touchdown. With the running game being shut down, Collins was never able to get into a groove. The Jets secondary, which has been having a good week followed by a bad week all season, had a good week in a big spot. Collins was able to get the ball to nine different receivers, but none of them had more that 43 yards receiving. Even with the Jets offense turning the ball over three times and the defense only forcing one turnover, the Jets defense still managed to step it up and dominate the Titans offense. One key stat for the Jets was the fact that they dominated the time of possession. They controlled the ball for over 40 minutes. That is just straight domination.
New York is really hitting their stride at the right time. They have now won 5 straight games and 7 of their last 8. Currently, they are tied with the Steelers for the second best record in the AFC at 8-3. I know it's early to get too excited with five weeks remaining and two trips out to the west coast ahead, but this is getting exciting for Jets fans. The rest of the league has now been put on notice. After huge wins against the Patriots and Titans in back to back weeks, both on the road, the Jets are now a huge factor in the AFC. This is something that has not happened in about ten years when Vinny Testaverde led the Jets to a 12-4 record and got the Jets within 30 minutes of going to the Super Bowl.
Posted on: November 20, 2008 2:15 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2008 2:56 pm
With the Jets still riding high after their huge win against the Patriots last week, they now head down to Tennessee to take on the undefeated Titans. Right now the Jets sit alone on top in the AFC East, but they are well aware that if they do not show up against the Titans, they will be back in a tie for first in their division. On paper the Jets seem to match up well with the Titans, so I do not see this game being a blow out for either team. But it will be fun to watch, that's for sure.
One of the main keys for the Jets is for Brett Favre to keep playing smart. He has only thrown 1 interception in the past three games. He has been able to manage games efficiently without putting the Jets in any bad situations. Favre has found a new favorite target the past 2 weeks to get the ball to, Dustin Keller. The rookie tight end has finally become what the Jets thought they were getting when they took him in the first round of the 2008 draft. Against the Rams two weeks ago, Keller had 6 receptions for 107 yards. Last week against the Patriots he had 8 more catches for 87 yards. With him emerging as a down field threat, defenses will have to adjust which could leave either Jerricho Cotchery or Laveranues Coles in man coverage. And if that is the case, Favre should be able to see this and expose it.
With every passing week, the Jets offensive line keeps improving. Thomas Jones was able to get another 100 yard game last week, gaining 104 yards on 30 carries against New England. He has become the Jets workhorse over the past month. He still is the leading rusher in the AFC with 854 yards on the ground. He also has 8 touchdowns over the past six games. This week will be a lot tougher for Jones to have a big game. The Titans are a very physical team and they have big Albert Haynesworth plugging up the middle of their defensive line. Haynesworth is having an MVP type season for Tennessee with 7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. They will be tough to run against, but they do give up almost 100 yards on the ground per game. I'm not saying the Jets will gain 100 yards on the ground, but I do think they can get close to that number if Favre can get the passing game going.
With the exception of Matt Cassel gaining 62 yards rushing last week, the Jets still have the 4th best rushing defense in the NFL. They were able to limit four other of the Patriots running backs to a total of 63 yards on the ground. Kris Jenkins, who is also a candidate for defensive MVP, is having a stellar season anchoring the line for the Jets. He may not have as many stats as Haynesworth, but what he has done for the Jets run defense has been remarkable. And with him having the season he is having, it has allowed Shaun Ellis to have his best season in the past 4 years for the Jets. He currently leads the team with 7 sacks. They will have their work cut out for them with the Titans running game. Led by Chris Johnson and LenDale White, the Titans rush for about 133 yards per game. Johnson leads the way with 787 yards rushing and White has pounded his way to 11 touchdowns so far. I believe the Jets run defense matches up well with the Titans running game. If they are able to keep them under 100 yards and not control the clock, then they just have to deal with Kerry Collins and the passing game.
This is where the Jets may run into a problem. The Jets passing defense has been up and down all season. One week they look great, as they did against the Rams two weeks ago. And the next week they look horrible, as they did against the Patriots last week. Letting Matt Cassel throw for 400 yards in the air, most of that in the second half of the game. And Collins, as we have seen the past two weeks, is more than capable of leading the Titans to a win through the air. They went down early last week to the Jaguars 14-3, only to have Collins throw for three touchdowns and lead the Titans to a 24-14 win in Jacksonville. Collins does not make mistakes, with only 4 interceptions on the season, and will not hurt the team with bad throws. The Titans are a run first team and they only seem to rely on the pass when they need to. Last week the Jets welcomed back Ty Law and he did a very good job on Randy Moss. Considering it was his first game action in 11 months, I'd say he was up to the task. With Darrelle Revis most likely matched up with Justin Gage, that means the Jets linebackers and safety's need to watch out for the Titans tight end Bo Scaife. He leads the team in receptions and yards. This will be tough for New York, who is still missing David Harris, but Kerry Rhodes has played a lot better as of late and should be on him for a good portion of the game.
I really think the Jets can win this game. Basically, Favre has to limit his mistakes to pretty much zero and the pass defense has to show up. If they play they way they did against the Rams and Bills, then I think the Jets will win. The run defense will play the way they have been all year and the running game should be able to eat up enough clock in the second half to be able to grab a win. The field position the Jets are given by Leon Washington will also be a big factor. Every time he touches the ball, he has the ability to make something big happen. I think the Jets win a close one 21-17, with the Jets making a big defensive stand late in the game.