Tag:Patriots
Posted on: December 22, 2008 5:16 pm
 

Jets v. Seahwaks: Recap (Just Sad)

Seahawks 13.  Jets 3.  Just outright pathetic.  Ok, I know the weather was poor, but that is still no excuse why they should have lost to that team.  This was about as bad is it gets for the Jets and their fans.  The blame for this goes to everyone on that field on Sunday.  Players and coaches equally.  Just watching the way they have played over the past month, it's amazing that they beat the Titans and Patriots back in November.  They would have been totally embarrassed if they played in those games like they have over the past four weeks.

The Jets brought Brett Favre here to bring this team back to respectability.  Instead of bringing the Jets up to his level, the Jets brought him down to theirs.  After the win over the Titans, Favre could do no wrong in the Jets eyes.  Since that game he has done very little right.  In Seattle, Favre went 18/31 for 187 yards and two interceptions.  And for the third time in four weeks he had zero touchdowns.  He started off red hot in the frigid temperatures on Sunday by going 8/9 and getting the Jets a field goal on their opening drive.  It was all pretty much downhill after that.  He just never seemed to get into any kind of groove.  The defense kept constant pressure on him and ended up sacking him 4 times.  He was also forced into a handful of bad throws and that led to the two interceptions.  As we have all seen multiple times over the past few weeks, Favre was again under throwing his receivers.  So either he is hurt or age has finally caught up to him.  Jerricho Cotchery had a nice game, grabbing 6 balls for 81 yards.  Laveranues Coles had 60 yards of his own but dropped a deep ball late in the game.  On a 4th and 2 with about 2 minutes to go and the Jets down 10-3, Favre heaved a deep ball down to about the Seahawks 40 yard line that Coles caught but the ball was knocked out by the defender.  It was probably Favre's best pass of the day.

The running game was mediocre as well.  Thomas Jones was only able to run for 67 yards on 17 carries against a beat up Seahawks defensive line.  Jets fullback Tony Richardson, who only had 5 carries all season coming into the game, was able to get 5 carries for 34 yards himself.  In total, the Jets ran for a total of 115 yards against a team with a makeshift defensive line.  Once again, Leon Washington was not a major part of the Jets game plan on offense.  He had 3 carries for 14 yards and had no receptions.  Every week, Jets fans call for this man to get the ball more and more and it seems Eric Mangini gets it to him less and less.  I know Thomas Jones is one of the league leaders in rushing but Leon adds a different dimension to the offense.  With the way the weather was on Sunday, the Jets should have ran the ball easily over 30 times in this game.  Just a bad game plan all around by the coaching staff.

The Jets defensive line turned another poor performance as well, their third in the past four games.  Maurice Morris, who has been filling in for Julius Jones, gained 116 yards on 29 carries.  The Jets, who hadn't allowed a 100 yard rusher through week 12, has now allowed three in the past four weeks.  The defensive line has just looked tired and was shut down Sunday.  They also did not get too much pressure on Seneca Wallace as he was not sacked in the game.  The Seahawks were playing an offensive line of primarily backup's and the Jets still could not get to Wallace.  The defensive has looked run down over the last quarter of the season and does not look like it will improve before next week.

The Jets secondary had a better game then we have seen, but that was due mainly to the weather.  They held Wallace to 175 passing yards and were able to recover two fumbles as well.  Both fumbles were caused due to the horrible field conditions in Seattle.  Bobby Engram was Seattle's leading receiver with 6 catches for 65 yards.  Obviously the Jets only allowed the one touchdown but we'll chalk that up to Mother Nature.  Wallace was basically mistake free all game since New York did not force him to make bad throws and had no interceptions on the afternoon.  He was able to lead Seattle on some long drives and kill the clock, even though the drives did not amount to anything on the scoreboard.

So over the past four weeks, the Jets have gone from 8-3 and cruising to an AFC East title and a home game in the playoffs, to just plain missing the playoffs.  Yeah, I know they have not been officially eliminated yet, but that will come on Sunday by the arm of Chad Pennington.  Mangini and his coaching staff have looked like a chicken with its head cut off in recent weeks.  Right now the team needs a miracle to make the playoffs (beating Miami and having the Ravens and Patriots both lose).  They have completely collapsed in December and even if they were to make the playoffs, they will not go far at all.  So sad to see such a promising season go down the tubes so fast.  It seems only fitting right now to see Pennington come in here and put the final nail in the coffin next Sunday.

Posted on: December 18, 2008 3:59 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2008 4:01 pm
 

Jets v. Seahawks: Week 16 Preview

The Jets have just hit the two minute warning.  Week 16, two games to go and a three way tie for the division lead.  Now if someone would have said back in the summer that the Jets would be 9-5 after 14 weeks and they would control their own destiny for the division, I'm sure all Jets fans would have signed up for that in a heartbeat.  But with the Jets, things like that are never easy.  This week they head up to the Pacific Northwest to take on the 3-11 Seahwaks.  This is their fourth trip to the West coast this season, where at the moment they are 0-3 out there this year.  But with the way things are going this season, if they lose this game, they may as well not come home.

If you go by the numbers, then this week should be a good week for New York and their passing game.  The Seahawks have the 32nd ranked passing defense in the NFL.  They have been giving up an average of 261 yards per game in the air this season.  This may be just what Brett Favre and the offense need to get going for the rest of the season and hopefully the playoffs.  Over the past three games, Favre has passed for 591 yards, one touchdown and 4 interceptions to add to his lead leading total of 17.  If there is any chance to get back on track, it is this week.  After two straight weeks of no shows, Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery finally were involved in the offense last week for a total of 9 catches for 116 yards.  However, Coles had no catches in the second half of that game.  I expect Coles, Cotchery and Dustin Keller to all have big games this week.  They also need to re-establish the screen pass in the offense again.  Get the ball on a screen over to Leon Washington two or three times on Sunday and see what happens.

The Jets running game should also be solid this week as well.  Seattle is ranked toward the bottom of the league in rushing defense, giving up around 120 yards per game on the ground.  On the flip side, the Jets as a team get about 130 yards on the ground on offense, so I would expect the same on Sunday.  Thomas Jones has had a great season to this point and with the way the offensive line has played this season, he should keep trucking along.  He is still the AFC's leading rusher and will be able to plow over the Seahawks defensive line this week.  With Jones and Washington in the backfield doing what they do, the Jets should be able to open up the passing game with better results then over the past three weeks.

After their second sub-par performance in the past three weeks, the run defense needs to bounce back in a big way this week.  The Bills and Marshawn Lynch ran all over the Jets last week for a total of 187 yards, by far their worst performance of the season.  They are still among the league leaders in yards allowed, giving up about 90 per game.  Maurice Morris will be starting for Seattle this week and his numbers don't really jump out at you.  He has only played in 11 games this season and is getting about 38 yards per game on the ground.  This matchup seems to favor the Jets in a huge way.  New York's Pro Bowl nose tackle Kris Jenkins has shown signs of wearing down over the past couple of weeks.  With that being said, I expect him to have a huge game on Sunday.  When they have had bad performances this season, he takes the blame on himself and usually bounces back with a solid performance.  He knows what is on the line for the Jets and will use that as motivation this week.

Ironically enough, the passing defense is coming off one of their better games of the season last week.  Against the Bills and backup QB J.P. Losman, the Jets gave up 148 yards passing and intercepted him three times.  They are still ranked near the bottom of the league in yards allowed, giving up 241 yards per game.  This week, the Jets will face Seneca Wallace who will be filling in for Matt Hasselbeck again this week.  The good news for the Jets is that Wallace only throws for about 138 yards per game, but he does not turn it over.  In the eight games he has played this season, he has thrown only one interception.  As long as the Jets take away Seattle's running game then Wallace will have to beat them through the air.  Sounds all well and good, but even that is tricky since he does not turn over the ball.  If the Jets do not keep pressure on Wallace, then they will have a hard time covering the Seahawks number one receiver, John Carlson.  The Jets have had a rough time covering TE's this season and if their not careful, he could burn them throughout this game. 

The bottom line this week is that the Jets have no margin for error.  Right now they control their own destiny in the division and a loss would cripple their playoff chances, especially with the Dolphins and Patriots playing so well right now.  This is a veteran team and they know what they have to do.  It's just time for the veteran leaders to step up and get this team where they need to go.  Winning this will only make things easier heading into next week's showdown against the Dolphins.  I say the Jets take care of business this week up in Seattle and take the game by a 30-13 score.  The matchups seem to favor the Jets this week in a big way.  If they do not win this week, you will be hearing a lot about the "Same Old Jets" next week.

Posted on: December 15, 2008 5:20 pm
 

Jets v. Bills: Recap (Hey...It's a Win)

Jets 31.  Bills 27.  This game should be called the Miracle at the Meadowlands Part 2.  The Jets were able to escape a sure loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday thanks to some defensive heroics late in the 4th quarter.  The Jets can also thank Bills quarterback J.P. Losman for being J.P. Losman.  Overall, the Jets had another poor performance, especially on defense.  This time however, they managed to get a win that the desperately needed.

The offense showed up early in this game.  On the opening drive of the game, Brett Favre was able to get the Jets down the field for a touchdown.  This is something that the Jets did pretty consistently during their five game winning streak.  He came out on fire, leading the Jets to scores on their first two drives.  He had a better first half then he did in the second, but overall he was 17-30 for 207 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.  On the plus side he was able to complete nine of his passes to Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery.  Coles pulled in 5 receptions for 82 yards, all in the first half.  That is more catches then he has had the previous two weeks combined.  Dustin Keller also hauled in three balls for 35 yards.  After last weeks game, it was good to see the Jets top 3 receivers getting 12 catches between them.

The running game was solid once again.  On the day, Jones had 78 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown.  The touchdown turned out to be a little bit of Jets history.  It was his 15th of the season, which is now a Jets team record for rushing touchdowns in a season.  Jones is continuing his great season and is still the AFC leader in rushing yards.  Last week I said that Leon Washington needs to get more touches because you never know what he will do when he gets the ball.  On Sunday, he had one carry that went 47 yards for a touchdown, another solid game for the Jets ace in the hole.  All around the offensive line was solid.  They did not allow Favre to get sacked in the game as well as letting the offense rush for 165 yards on the ground.

The defense was all around shaky on Sunday.  The one strength the Jets have had all season is their run defense.  They had allowed only one rusher to gain 100 yards against them all season.  Well on Sunday, Marshawn Lynch was number two.  He ran all over the Jets defensive line for a total of 127 yards on only 21 carries.  A different story then a month ago when he only gained 16 yards against the Jets in Buffalo.  On the day the defensive line allowed a season high 187 rushing yards.  They also allowed backup running back Fred Jackson to score in the 4th quarter on an 11 yard run while dragging four defenders into the end zone with him.  Jets linebacker David Harris has now been back for two games and the defense has not improved.  The 49ers gained 100 yards on the Jets last week on the ground with a couple of different backs.  Now this week they gave up almost 200 yards, not acceptable.

While the run defense suffered, the pass defense had an improved game over what we have seen lately.  Losman was only able to throw for 148 yards and one touchdown.  Buffalo really did not need to throw with the running game going so well.  The pass rush was finally allowed to get some pressure on a QB and sacked Losman three times.  They also had three interceptions and a forced fumble.  With the Jets trailing 27-24 with 2 minutes to go in the game, the Jets sent Abram Elam in on a blitz and he was able to strip the ball from Losman causing one of the fumbles.  Shaun Ellis picked up the ball and ran it in for the game winning touchdown.  If you watched the game, the defense was nothing spectacular, but they did cause four turnovers.  If you have to look for a plus, there it is.

The Jets got lucky in this game.  Currently, they are still tied with the Patriots and Dolphins for the division lead.  They may have won the game on Sunday, but it was very sloppy all around for the Jets.  Favre is under throwing the receivers, the defensive line looks tired, and Mangini looks confused on the side lines.  Obviously the Jets needed the win and will take it anyway they can get it.  But the truth is, they only have two games left to try to get back on track and get into the playoffs with a little momentum on their side.  They have another tough week coming up against the Seahawks in Seattle.  They are 0-3 on the West coast this season, and they can not afford to lay another egg out there with the Dolphins coming up in two weeks.

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: December 8, 2008 3:17 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2008 3:31 pm
 

Jets v. 49ers: Recap (Slipping Away)

49ers 24.  Jets 14.  So the Jets, who just two weeks ago were 8-3 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC East, now find themselves at 8-5 and tied for first place with the Dolphins and Patriots.  My how things have changed over the past two weeks.  All those thoughts of a subway Super Bowl are long gone.  And if the Jets keep playing the way they have been over the past two weeks, then their playoff hopes may be long gone as well.

In my blog last week I said there were four things the Jets had to do to win this game:  The keys for Gang Green this week is A) tighten up the secondary; B) get Leon Washington more touches; C) get the ball to your top wide receivers; and D) pressure the QB.  So lets break down what the did and did not do in regards to my list.

A)  Tighten up the secondary; This is something that they definitely did not do on Sunday.  This has been the Jets achilles heal all season and it was their downfall on Sunday as well.  Shaun Hill, starting his 6th game this season, torched the Jets secondary for 285 yards and two touchdowns.  He also managed to complete 28 of his passes on 39 attempts.  Not only that, he completed passes to 10 different receivers.  That stat alone shows that the Jets have absolutely no pass defense.  Isaac Bruce led the 49ers with 6 receptions for 70 yards on the day.  New York is currently ranked 31st in the league in pass defense.  They seem to make every young inexperienced quarterback look like Dan Marino.  That is something that will either leave them out of the playoffs or get them knocked out in their first game.

Jumping ahead to D) Pressure the QB; This is yet another thing the Jets managed not to do on Sunday.  The run defense rebounded nicely from last week's game against the Broncos as I expected they would.  They were able to hold San Francisco's bruising back Frank Gore to just 52 yards rushing, while allowing a total of 100 yards to 4 different players.  The defensive line is too good to have two bad weeks in a row.  They again showed why they are one of the best in the NFL at stopping the run.  As for the quarterback pressure, there was not all that much.  They were only able to sack Hill twice while forcing him to throw one interception.  Otherwise, Hill was able to hang in the pocket to make his 28 completions.  During the Jets five game winning streak, which seems like ages ago, they were able to keep constant pressure on the quarterback, forcing to make bad decisions.  Not so much over the past two games.  When they have the pressure up front it allows the secondary to capitalize on mistakes.  On the flip side, when there is no pressure, it exposes the secondary as the worst unit the Jets have.

B) Get Leon Washington more touches; While he was able to have six receptions for 31 yards, the Jets managed to get him one carry form the backfield.  That's right; you read it correctly, ONE.  Leon Washington always seems to make plays when he has the ball and that is hard to do when he gets only one carry on the day.  Thomas Jones, who had been on fire lately, was only able to get 10 carries himself for a grand total of 56 yards.  This was another reason why the Jets lost this game.  Not establishing a running game against a poor run defense.  During the winning streak, the Jets were able to control the game clock by running the ball.  Yesterday, the 49ers controlled the ball for nearly double what the Jets were able to, 39:49 to 20:11.  Jones, who still leads the AFC in rushing, needs to get at least 20 carries per game.  When he rushes for 100 yards, the Jets usually manage to win the game.  For a team that had been in the top 10 in rushing, to only get 11 carries is a big problem.  This needs to be addressed next week in a big way.

C) Get the ball to your top Wide Receivers; Another thing the Jets did not do on Sunday.  Laveranues Coles, who is your number one receiver, was able to grab one catch on the afternoon for a grand total of 5 yards.  That followed up the performance of two catches for two yards last week.  The 49ers were without their top defensive back Nate Clements, were still able to shut down the Jets passing game.  Brett Favre was limited to 137 passing yards and for the second straight week he did not throw a touchdown, although he did get himself a rushing touchdown.  On the day, Favre was 20-31 with one interception.  Chansi Stuckey led the team with 43 yards receiving on Sunday, while Coles, Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller were held to 4 catches for a total of 29 yards.  Not quite the numbers you want from your top three targets in your passing game. 

The Jets played a horrible game on both sides of the ball on Sunday.  The two stats the jump out at you were the Jets getting killed on the time of possession and the fact that they were 1-10 on third down, while the 49ers were 8-15.  The Jets are a very talented team and the good news is that they are still tied for first place in the AFC East.  But when they can not run the ball and control the clock, they are just not the same team.  And that's when a lot of their weaknesses are exposed.  They have only 3 games remaining to try to right the ship and not have this season go down the drain.  What was looking like something special only two weeks ago is heading in a downward spiral and needs to be fixed starting on Sunday against the Bills.

Posted on: December 1, 2008 3:03 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2008 6:31 pm
 

Jets v. Broncos: Recap (Bump in the Road)

Well I think we can all see now that the Jets are not the team to beat in the AFC.  Not only was the Jets major weakness exposed in the sloppy loss to the Denver Broncos, their major strength was also knocked down a few pegs as well.  The weather in the Meadowlands was bad as was the showing of the Jets defense yesterday.  The Broncos, who are an average team in a horrible division, came into the Jets house and basically had their way with them.

I have to start with the defense today.  The other day I said that the Jets need to tighten up their passing defense in a major way because that has been their achilles heal this season.  So what happens?  Jay Cutler picks them apart for 357 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  The two men I said the Jets needed to watch out for, Brandon Stokley and Tony Scheffler, each had big games for the Broncos on Sunday.  Stokley has always been a threat going back to his days on the Colts.  He was able to grab two balls for 44 yards and a touchdown.  He is a good slot receiver and needs to be watched at all times when on the field.  Scheffler grabbed 7 catches for 90 yards, a very nice day for the Broncos tight end.  The Jets showed how much they miss LB David Harris in the middle of the field, after missing his 5th straight game with a groin injury.  In total, Denver had four receivers with over 55 yards.  If the Jets plan to make any noise in the playoffs, then this problem needs to be fixed.  Otherwise, it will be one and done for the Jets in January.

The one Jets strength, the run defense, had by far its worst game of the season.  They were ranked 3rd in the NFL against the run coming into Sunday, but rookie full back turned running back Peyton Hills was able to chalk up 129 yards on 22 carries and added a touchdown as well.  Hillis is the first back this season to gain 100 yards against the Jets defensive line.  The Broncos game plan kept the Jets off balance all afternoon, never allowing them to get into any sort of comfort zone.  As a result, the Jets were not able to get to Cutler at all, totaling zero sacks on the day.  The defensive line, which has been one of the best all season in the NFL, was due for a bad week.  I believe they got it out of their system and will be solid over the last four weeks heading into the playoffs. 

Brett Favre had an up and down game of his own yesterday.  He threw for 247 yards but also ended up with zero touchdowns on the day.  Denver never allowed Favre to get into any type of groove.  They did a very good job of taking Laveranues Coles out of the game plan for the Jets, limiting him to just two catches for two yards.  They were also able to hold down Jerricho Cotchery who had only four catches for 40 yards.  Cotchery ended up being involved in a very bizarre play in the first half.  Brad Smith lined up under center and took the snap and tried to hand off to Cotchery and he fumbled the ball.  Jerricho then jumped on the ball and somehow the ball squirted loose after he was touched and the officials called it a fumble.  The ball was picked up by Denver and returned for a touchdown.  They deemed it not reviewable by the Jets after Mangini threw the challenge flag, a very strange play to say the least.

There were two bright spots for the Jets however.  One was their running game.  Thomas Jones was able to gain 138 yards rushing on the afternoon on just 16 carries.  He also added two touchdowns to up his total on the season to a career high 11.  One touchdown came on the longest run of his career which was 59 yards and the other was a 29 yard run.  Jones was also to eclipse the 1000 yard mark for the fourth consecutive season.  He now has 1088 yards for the Jets this year.  The other bright spot for the Jets was the continued emergence of rookie tight end Dustin Keller.  He was able to haul in 7 more receptions for 77 yards.  He has become Favre's favorite target over the last 4 games.  He is really looking to have a very bright future in this league and should be a fixture for the Jets for years to come.

Hopefully this was just a bump in the road for the Jets.  They were going to lose another game this season, and hopefully this will be the last loss for a while.  The game was not a total loss though. With the Patriots losing to the Steelers on Sunday, the Jets maintain their one game lead in the division for at least another week.  They now head out to the west coast for the 3rd time this season to face the 49ers.  San Francisco is coming off a win in Buffalo and will be a tough task for Gang Green.  They will not be laying down for anyone so the Jets have their work cut out for them next week.

Posted on: November 28, 2008 1:46 pm
 

Jets v. Broncos: Week 13 (Confidence a Mile High)

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
 

Jets v. Titans: Recap (Remember the Jets)

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.

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