Tag:Woody
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: November 12, 2008 4:04 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2008 4:06 pm
 

Jets v. Patriots: Week 11 (Now or Never)

It's finally here...the Jets vs. the Patriots with first place in the AFC East on the line.  This is what we Jets fans have been waiting for, a late season matchup against the reigning AFC champs with a chance to put them in out rear view mirror.  This is the reason why the Jets got Brett Favre and all the other big names in the off-season, to beat New England in a game that matters.  The Jets have been getting knocked around by the Patriots ever since Tom Brady took over the reigns.  The Jets have been rolling the past three weeks and have plenty of momentum heading up to Foxborough on Thursday night.

Brett Favre, the old gunslinger, came here for a chance to win one more before he rides off into the sunset.  This is the game the Jets really need him to step up and flash some of that "Favre magic".  Last week against the Rams, Favre played a well managed game.  He threw for only 167 yards and a touchdown, but no interceptions.  They did not need him to do a lot with Thomas Jones running all over the field.  Brett has seen a ton of these games during his career, more than any of his teammates have.  The bottom line is that he is a winner and should be able to lead gang green to a win.  The offensive line has also played a lot better in recent weeks.  They have not allowed a sack the past two weeks, which has allowed Favre to cut down on his mistakes (one interception in the past two games).  Jones has also benefitted from this as well.  He now leads the AFC in rushing with 750 yards.  However, the best part of the Patriots defense is their defensive line.  If the Jets are to have any success on Thursday, then they need to somehow establish the running game.

As long as Favre is upright, then I expect the passing game to have success in this game.  The Patriots have no Rodney Harrison or Adalius Thomas playing in the game and the Jets need to expose that.  Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery are both having very solid seasons for Jets.  I expect them to be a huge part of the offense in this game.  Coles is always up for big games and he should be amped up for this one.  Another option that emerged for Favre is Dustin Keller.  He had his best game of the season last week against St. Louis to a tune of 6 receptions for 107 yards.  The Jets are very high on their first round draft pick, especially after the game the just had.  With Keller emerging and Chansi Stuckey out there, New York has plenty of good options for Favre to throw to.  The difference between this game and the game in week two is that the offense is finally on the same page.  The first time they played this season Favre did not know the playbook and the Jets were still meshing as a team.  Favre knows what is going on now and the offensive line is really clicking with each other at the right time.

As usual, the defense will have its work cutout for them.  In week two, Matt Cassel was making his first career start in the NFL and played a very smart game for the Patriots.  He threw for 165 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, not flashy but it got the job done.  He still has Wes Welker and Randy Moss to throw the ball to.  The Jets need to find a way to slow them down.  They will have some help this week with the free agent acquisition of Ty Law.  He may not play all that much with only two days to prepare, but he is a veteran and knows both teams well.  He also may not be a shut down corner anymore, but with him on one side and Darrelle Revis on the other, the Jets secondary will be much improved for the rest of the season.  One of the keys will be to limit Welker as much as they can.  Even if that means giving Moss one or two deep ones in the process.  Welker helps that offense go.  He is their go to guy on third down.  Slow him down and they should be able to slow down the whole offense.

The defensive line, which in one of the tops in the NFL, needs to get pressure on Cassel.  The Jets are second in the NFL in sacks with 31.  Shaun Ellis is quietly having a pro-bowl season for New York, leading the team with seven sacks.  The defensive MVP has been Kris Jenkins so far.  What a huge difference he has had on the defensive line for the Jets.  The Jets are 5th in the league against the run, surrendering only 76 yards per game.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis will be starting for the Patriots this week and he is coming off a 105 yard rushing performance against a good Buffalo Bills defense.  The Jets should be able to limit him and force Cassel to beat him with his arm.  New York needs to keep constant pressure on him and force him to make mistakes.  They had constant pressure on Marc Bulger and Trent Green last week and Trent Edwards the week before.  They caused big turnovers that they turned into scores.  Abram Elam had an interception return for a touchdown and Calvin Pace had a fumble return for a touchdown the past two weeks.

The bottom line is the Jets have to win this game to establish them-selves as a force in the AFC.  This is a game that they went out and got Favre, Pace, Jenkins, Damien Woody, Alan Faneca and now Law.  This is a great rivalry in the NFL and I would expect both teams to come out with guns blazing.  The main key's for the Jets is just to keep pressuring Cassel and take advantage of his mistakes and for Favre to limit his mistakes and recapture some of the old "Favre magic".  The Jets finally get over the hump and take this one on the road by a 28-17 score.

 
 
 
 
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