Archive for October, 2013

The Nightmare Before Halloween; Jets Slaughtered by the Bengals 49-9

Monday, October 28th, 2013

In the 4th quarter, Rex benches Geno in the mess that was the Bengals game.

Cincinnati, OH – There’s a silver lining Jets fans. If the team follows suit, they’ll have an awesome last minute win next week. Around 4:00 pm next week, those daydreams about the playoffs will reemerge. I guess I can’t promise this… they are facing the Saints… but the pattern of win big, then lose big continues. Today’s loss though was the most gruesome of the season. Just in time for Halloween…The colors orange and black were all up in your face.(I’m sure my theme here won’t be unique among Jets beat writers.)

Going into this game the Jets were the 4th ranked defense and the Bengals were number 9. It looked like those rankings should be switched in the Jets 49-9 loss to the Cincinnatti Bengals. (Actually, it looked more like the Jets D should rank toward the bottom of the NFL in this one.)

The secondary looked terrible. They were truly tested today. Rookie Dee Milliner was benched for the second time this season. He was targeted 5 times and allowed 4 completions for 108 yards before making his way to the sideline. The first round pick was first benched during week two against the Patriots for mental mistakes. Today, Rex said it’s because “physically Milliner wasn’t getting it done.” But he wasn’t the only one. “We have a ProBowl corner that wasn’t getting it done either,” Rex said referring to Antonio Cromartie, who has underwhelmed so far this season. “There wasn’t one guy out there on the field or on the sideline that was having a good day,” Rex said. Darn right. Darrin Walls (who filled in for Milliner), Dawan Landry and Jaiquawn Jarrett each allowed a touchdown pass.

The pass rush also stunk. When the Jets front 7 doesn’t get to the quarterback and he has plenty of time, the weak secondary is especially obvious…and they made Andy Dalton look like an elite QB. The Jets defense allowed 323 passing yards. It was Dalton’s third straight game with over 300 yards. Rex pointed out multiple times during the post-game press conference that the Bengals are a very good team.

Going into this game, A.J. Green was the receiver being feared, but it was Marvin Jones who had four touchdowns. The Jets couldn’t readjust and stop the bleeding.

Offensively, the Jets also struggled. Let’s start with the inconsistent rookie quarterback Geno Smith. When you think back on this game, you’re not going to think of him as the weakest link. You’re going to think it was a poor performance, but this will be the game you remember your beloved Rex Ryan defense disappointing you.

Geno came away from this game with a 51.9% passer rating. He completed 20 of 30 passes, took one sack, threw for 159 yards and 2 pick six. He was benched towards the beginning of the fourth quarter to allow Matt Simms his chance against the Bengals. This could’ve been Rex’s way of saying the QB competition is still open (it never officially closed, right?) or most likely it was Rex protecting Geno’s psyche, and from a possible injury in the middle of the massacre.

We knew how critical it was going to be to protect Geno from the Bengals’ dominant defensive line. But the offensive line didn’t cut it. It’s ironic that the guy who took Geno down more than anyone else goes by the same name. Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, has more sacks than any other interior lineman in the league since 2010. Atkins added to his count with one sack today and 3 QB hits.

There’s one player who has been consistently showing up for the Jets. That’s kicker Nick Folk, who hasn’t missed a single field goal this season. He’s 17-of-17 and was the only player to put points on the field today.

At least the game of horror came at the appropriate time this year, because it was especially horrible when it fell on Thanksgiving. What a paradox.

Green and White Breakdown: Jets v. Bengals

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

JetsInsider.com reporters Ashley Iaconetti and Evan Slavit breakdown what to expect from the Jets when they go into Cincinnati.

More Precious Than Beating the Patriots

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Rex and the Jets may have beat the Pats, but there was something even more exciting about to happen in Demario Davis's life.

Florham Park, N.J. - While some Jets were cutting into juicy steaks or getting bottle service in Meatpacking after Sunday’s big overtime 30-27 win against the Patriots, Demario Davis was in the hospital. The day was about to get even more celebratory for the 24-year-old linebacker.

As soon as he got in the locker room, a Jets staff member informed he’d be popping champagne bottles for another reason.

“They were like ‘Yo, Demario your wife’s in labor’ and that was my nightmare,” Davis said. “We were going to induce her on Tuesday, so we weren’t planning on anything happening.”

But something did happen and Davis didn’t know for hours.

“My wife’s water broke Sunday morning and when she got to the hospital they said it would be hours, so they decided not to tell me until after the game.”

I imagined a scene of Jets surrounding him and cheering him on as he ran out of the locker room after getting the news a la a movie, but that’s not what happened.

“My mind just went blank. I was like I’ve got to get there no matter what. So I just left my stuff there and hopped in the limo they had outside waiting for me.”

He arrived in the delivery room with his pads still on. He rushed, but his baby daughter didn’t. Bailey Grace Davis wasn’t born until early Monday morning.

Davis said he felt himself put a protective barrier over his daughter immediately. “It’s so crazy the emotions you feel,” he said smiling. “It’s an extreme high. I was like living the dream. You play a game you’ve dreamed about playing your whole life. You beat a team that everyone knows it’s so important to beat. And your daughter’s born. It’s beautiful. I’m very appreciative of the favors that god puts in my life.”

Davis is a man of strong faith. He leads the Jets locker room ministry, including their weekly bible study group. He spoke about how ready he was for God to make him a father.

Our interview was the last thing on his agenda at the facility on Thursday before he got to go home to her.

“Every time she fusses you wonder what she’s fussing about,” Davis said. “My parents are here and my wife’s parents are here helping. She’s so adorable and precious.”

Even more precious than a win against Belichick and Brady.

Green and White Breakdown: Jets v. Patriots

Friday, October 18th, 2013

JetsInsider.com reporters Ashley Iaconetti and Evan Slavit breakdown what to expect from the Jets when the Pats come to town.

Preview: Jets (3-3) vs. Patriots (5-1)

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Can Geno Smith and the Jets offense be consistent and mistake-free agains the Pats? (JetsInsider.com Photo)

At 3-3 the Jets have been on a roller coaster ride this season. We don’t know which team is going to show up. If the pattern holds we should be expecting a win this Sunday, which would be great news with the division rival Patriots coming into town.

The last time these two teams squared off Tom Brady was getting used to new receivers and the Jets defense put up a dominant performance, but it wasn’t enough. Three late Geno Smith interceptions led to a tough 13-10 loss. Since then the Jets have lost Santonio Holmes, Kellen Winslow and Clyde Gates (though if we remember the last time these two teams faced off Gates doesn’t seem like much of a loss). Not to mention the Patriots have generally played the Jets better in their second meetings.
Geno has shown flashes since that game, and this time the Patriots are heading to the Meadowlands. At 3-3 the Jets are only a half game behind the Dolphins, and two behind the Patriots. A win this weekend will keep them above .500 for the season, and in the division as the currently are 1-1 against the AFC East.
When: Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, 1:00 pm EST (TV – CBS, Radio – ESPN NY, 98.7 FM)

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

Injury Report (As of Thursday):

Jets: Limited: CB Dee Milliner (hamstring), WR David Nelson (hamstring), CB Kyle Wilson (concussion) Did Not Practice: WR Santonio Holmes (foot, hamstring), WR Greg Salas (knee)

Patriots: Limited: TE Rob Gronkowski (back, forearm), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (knee), S Devin McCourty (shoulder), WR Matt Slater (wrist), S Tavon Wilson (hamstring) Did Not Practice: WR Danny Amendola (concussion, groin), DT Tommy Kelly (knee), CB Aqib Talib (hip), RB Leon Washington (ankle)

Things to watch:

Running game – Mention the Jets ran for 129 yards in the last contest. The criticism in that game was they abandoned the run in the fourth quarter. With the injuries to the receivers, the running game will have to have be good.
Defensive line – Teams have been game planning to combat the Jets pressure. The Patriots aren’t going to beat you with great receivers, they’re going to beat you with Brady. This goes without saying every time the Jets, or any team, face Brady.
Guard against the big play – The last time these two teams met, a defensive breakdown near the beginning of the game was the difference. The Jets can’t allow the Patriots to get easy points in this one.
X-Factor
Stephen Hill – Kerley and Cumberland have been good, but they need someone else to step up. The player most likely is Stephen Hill. He has flashed big play potential, but he needs to be a guy Geno can rely on to move the chains. Hasn’t had more than 4 receptions in a game since week one. This week would be a good time to change that.
Result
Patriots win 24-17. Patriots always adjust to the Jets, and Brady has better rapport with receivers. Won’t be as low scoring as last time, and with all the injuries to receivers, and the Jets resistance to being a running team, they won’t have enough to beat the Pats.

Another Substance Suspension for the Jets

Friday, October 11th, 2013

TE Kellen Winslow out for the next 4 games due to PED violation

Florham Park - Something seemed weird when Rex Ryan was asked to address why tight end Kellen Winslow hasn’t been at practice. I’ll admit, I came up with some dramatic scenarios. In reality, it’s slightly juicy. The NFL announced today that Winslow is suspended for four games for violating the league policy on performance enhancing drugs. This means Winslow won’t be Geno Smith’s buddy out on the field again until the November 17th game against the Bills. The suspension will take $197,647 out of Winslow’s pocket. We’ll soon know how costly the loss will be to the quality of offensive play. He leads the Jets with 17 catches for 169 yards and two touchdown receptions this season. However, Winslow only took 19 snaps last week against the Falcons and didn’t hide his frustration over his limited role.

Winslow released a statement today regarding the violation: “It came as a huge surprise to me when I learned that I tested positive for a banned substance. I have investigated all possible sources since learning of the positive test, including possible medical causes, but frustratingly, I do not know the source. I do not take substances that list any banned ingredients, but NFL policy is very strict. I am accountable for the results. I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, and Jets fans, for this situation. I will work extremely hard during this time away from the field and look forward to contributing as soon as the suspension ends.”

The suspension obviously means we’ll be seeing more of TE Jeff Cumberland in the coming weeks. He had 3 catches and a career high 79 yards and a touchdown last week against the Atlanta Falcons. Also expect to see more action for second-year tight end Konrad Reuland and Jets newcomer, Zach Sudfeld, who was just claimed off waivers from the Patriots last week.

Preview: Jets (2-2) vs. Falcons (1-3)

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Cromartie and the Jets secondary need to step it up this week despite injuries

The Jets are coming off their worst game of the season. At 2-2 they’ll be traveling to Atlanta trying to avoid falling below .500 for the first time this season. They’ll likely have to do it without star receiver Santonio Holmes. Holmes and second-year receiver Stephen Hill were hurt in the game last week against the Titans, but Hill might be able to make it back for the game. He practiced on a limited basis on Friday.

The Falcons are coming off a disappointing loss of their own. Last season they were the top seed in the NFC, and came into this season with similar expectations. But they’ve started the season 1-3, and are dealing with injuries to top offensive playmakers Roddy White and Steven Jackson. No one is ready to write them off, though, and they’ll be at the Georgia Dome where the Falcons have only lost 8 times since Mike Smith and Matt Ryan joined the team in 2008.

When: Monday, October 7, 2013 8:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)

Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

Injury Report (As of Thursday):

Jets – Probable: Stephen Hill (concussion), Chris Ivory (hamstring); Questionable: Kellen Winslow (knee), Clyde Gates (knee), Out: Santonio Holmes (hamstring), Mike Goodson (hamstring), Dee Milliner, Oday Aboushi

Falcons –Probable: Johnathan Babineaux;  Questionable: Roddy White (ankle), Julio Jones (knee), Asante Samuel (thigh), Chase Coffman; Out: Stephen Jackson (hamstring)

Game Keys:

The Secondary – It’s no secret the secondary struggled against the Tennessee last week. This week they’ll be going up against a Falcon offense that is loaded with playmakers and big bodies. It should be a challenge for Darrin Walls and Kyle Wilson with Dee Milliner missing another week. The good news is the defensive line should have an easier time getting pressure on Matt Ryan, and that’ll make things easier on the backend.

Geno Smith – The rookie dug the Jets in a hole early. The defense has been great, but they were put in a tough position last week. Smith can’t have a repeat performance, especially against a team as talented offensively as the Falcons are.

The Running Game – The Jets got Mike Goodson back from suspension, but he’s ruled out this week for a hamstring injury, which is unfortunate as this week looked to be the first look at the three headed monster they were expecting to have in training camp. Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell will be out there again. With the injuries at receiver, a strong running game would be a big boost on offense. There is also the added bonus of keeping Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense on the bench.

X-Factor:

Jeff Cumberland – The receivers are hurting. Kellen Winslow would be a good option, but teams have been trying to take him away after the rapport he showed with Geno week one. Cumberland has been a bit of a forgotten man, but this may be a week that Marty decides to feature the tight ends.

The Pick: The game will be closer than the spread. The Jets were embarrassed last week, but the defense will bounce back. The running game will take off, and Geno will be more careful with the ball. But the Falcons don’t lose at home often, and aren’t going to do it in two straight weeks. Matty Ice will find a way to win it in the fourth.

Falcons win 24-17

Putting Walls Up

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Rex is hoping Darrin Walls and his secondary can step it up against the explosive Falcons offense

Florham Park – There’s a good chance Darrelle Revis is missing his days on the Jets right now as part of the struggling/embarrassing Buccaneers…and the Jets are feeling his absence, especially with Dee Milliner out with a hamstring injury. Now, Darrin Walls, who calls himself the best-dressed Jet, is filling in opposite Antonio Cromartie. The 25-year-old cornerback didn’t have the most impressive performance against the Titans, but he’ll have a chance to redeem himself when he starts again Monday night against his former team, the Atlanta Falcons.

“It’s exciting to go up against those guys because I know them pretty well,” Walls said. “But at the same time it’s a game you want to win.”

So is he giving the secondary any insider tips on how to stop one of the league’s most powerful offenses?

“Oh yeah. We want to win the game. So anything I can do to help, I do it,” he said, pauses and adds…”Legally.”

The Falcons won’t be easy to beat, but that’s okay with Walls.

“It’s a great challenge,” said Walls. “As a secondary, you always want to go up against the best competition to see where you rank. And the Falcons, with Julio [Jones], Roddy [White], and especially Tony Gonzales…It gives us a benchmark of where we stand when we go up against such a strong offense.”

Like pretty much everyone else that’s played with the future hall of famer, Walls only has great things to say about his former teammate, Tony Gonzales. “I think that’s one of the most influential people I’ve ever met playing football,” Walls said. “He’s done a great job in the locker room being a leader and that veteran that shows the younger guys how it’s done and how the game should be played.”

In the Jets locker room it’s Kyle Wilson and Jaiquawn Jarrett who Walls looks up to. They’re the guys motivating him going into the next game. Despite the fact that he’s starting, he says his mentality this week hasn’t changed.

“It’s just a normal day,” Walls said. “I don’t think about it too much. I just go out there and try to do what I can the best I can.”

Walls spent half of last season on the Jets practice squad until he was elevated to the active roster in November. He admittedly doesn’t usually have to deal with reporter questions, but I ask him what he thinks the silliest common question is and this is what he said:

“They always ask, ‘Are you ready for what you’re going up against?’ and I’m like, I have no choice but to be ready.”