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Tag:Williams
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.

 
 
 
 
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