Archive for December, 2011

Win or Lose, Sanchez to Stay With Jets

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Florham Park, N.J.- After the Jets suffered a crucial and devastating loss on Christmas Eve the talk turned to the evaluation of third-year quarterback Mark Sanchez. A “report” surfaced online indicating that the Jets were exploring their options to part ways with their inconsistent quarterback, but let’s be clear Sanchez isn’t going anywhere. He will be the Jets starting quarterback headed into the 2012 season, beyond that is likely up for discussion and up to him to prove that this team can indeed succeed with him at the helm.

“I’ve stated over and over my feelings about Mark Sanchez.” Rex Ryan said, “And I’ve said it before, no quarterback’s going to look great when that’s all you do and you fall behind and things like that, but it wasn’t Mark’s best day by any stretch of the imagination, but we know he’s done it. And he’s been doing it. We have great confidence in him and I have great confidence in him.”

Sanchez hears the criticism and understands it comes with the territory. Being a young quarterback, selected with the fifth overall draft pick to play in New York on a team with high expectations, it’s just the nature of the beast that you will find yourself taking heat if you fail to live up to the lofty expectations thrust upon you in this situation. (more…)

Revis, Mangold and Ferguson Named to Pro Bowl

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Florham Park, N.J.- This year’s Pro Bowl selections are a fitting way to summarize the Jets 2011 season. The Jets only earned three spots on the AFC roster and only one of them, Darrelle Revis was named a starter. A disappointing and underachieving tally, just like their win-loss record this season.

Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson have been known as the best at their respected positions over the past few seasons, but this year they were both selected as backups for the Pro Bowl team with Maurkice Pouncey being named the starting center and Joe Thomas and Jake Long getting the nod at tackle. (more…)

Preview: Battle For New York

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Florham Park, N.J.- Rewind to the day the 2011 NFL schedule was released and your eyes first scanned the week 16 matchups to see the Jets versus the Giants in their shared stadium in only it’s second year of existence and on Christmas Eve to boot. “Good Lord that’s going to be a big game,” you undoubtedly thought to yourself. Now fast forward to present day and laugh at how this game has turned into a much bigger event than you could have possibly imagined when the schedule first came out.

With both teams in the midst of disappointing seasons and facing the very real possibility that the loser of this game will miss the playoffs, this game has become much bigger than the ‘Battle For New York,” bragging rights among friends and boasting and trash-talking among players and a certain coach. A matchup between these two teams smack dab in the middle of the season would never reach this magnitude of importance. Sure the winning side would revel in victory and taunt the losers unmercifully, but we would have had the rest of the season to play out to determine the overall fate of both teams’ seasons and neither side would be able to say that they put the finally nail in the coffin that was the others 2011 season. Now we are staring at the very likely scenario where the victors of this game go, not only, the spoils and to the playoffs, but they can also take glory in knowing they were responsible for burying their cross-town rivals. Which is pretty much the exact definition of having your cake and eating it to. (more…)

Plaxico Puts Reunion In Perspective

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Florham Park, N.J.- As far as New York area football fans are concerned it gets no bigger than this Christmas Eve, Jets versus Giants matchup that will likely end any playoff hopes for one of these teams. For Plaxico Burress it’s not about a battle against enemies or revenge, it’s about being a free man, playing the sport that he loves, getting to spend time with family and friends and earning his way back into the playoffs.

This time last year Burress was stuck in a jail cell, cut off from all things football and away from his family. That time away gave the talented receiver a chance to gain some perspective on what’s really important to him in life. During his stay in prison he gained a new appreciation for the little things all free Americans take for granted, he started to read more and more importantly he learned to enjoy reading. He realized his wife and kids needed to be a bigger priority and he realized the window to his playing career was closing while he sat in a jail cell. (more…)

Santonio Holmes Focused For Rebound

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Florham Park, N.J.- The man affectionately known as ‘Tone’ knows he had a terrible game last week in Philadelphia. Santonio Holmes’ history of clutch catches and late game heroics has spawned the phrase ‘Tone Time,’ but last week ‘Tone Time’ turned into a nightmare as his fumble and dropped pass that created an interception led directly to 14 points for the Eagles and put the Jets in a impossible position to come back from.

This is not what has been expected of Holmes and as disappointed as Jet fans were by his play last week, no one is more disappointed in the receiver than he is. But his coach and his teammates still have all the faith in the world in him and this week he is hoping to reward their faith by having a classic rebound performance that could vault the Jets into the playoffs. Holmes has a way with the media, though not a way the media likes as he knows what the reporters want him to say he just refuses to bite. So he won’t just come out and say it, but the focus with which he speaks, carefully maneuvering his way through questions as he would dodge defenders after catching a short slant route, speaks volumes about where his mind state is currently at. (more…)

Line Play Likely To Be Determining Factor Against Giants

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Florham Park, N.J.- We definitely have an intriguing matchup up on our hands the day of Christmas Eve. Even aside from the area rivalry, back and forth trash talk amongst fans and Rex Ryan hyperbole.

Strictly from a football standpoint this game pits two bipolar teams with some drastically different flaws, and some similar flaws such as inconsistent quarterbacks, against each other for a game that will surely prove impossible to predict. The Jets and Giants are similar in ways they certainly wish they were not, both are hot and cold, up and down teams. As soon as everyone thinks they have either of them figured out, whether anointing them or burying them, they flip the switch and continue to baffle everyone who watches them. (more…)

Miscues Bury Jets In Philly, Eagles Romp 45-19

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA- The Jets never stood a chance today as Santonio Holmes’ two big mistakes early in the game dug too big of a hole for the Jets to pull themselves out of. There is plenty of blame to go around for how the team played the rest of the game, but make no mistake Holmes has to shoulder the blame for this loss. The two costly mistakes put the Jets in an impossible position that they weren’t able to wiggle their way out of, even if it looked like they might have had a chance when the game went to halftime.

After the Jets stopped the Eagles on their first drive and Shonn Greene rallied off four straight runs for 33 yards, Mark Sanchez hit Holmes for a seven yard gain, but Kurt Coleman knocked the ball loose before Holmes feel to the ground and the ball skipped directly to Juqua Parker who easily coasted 47 yards for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead for the Eagles, but remember that’s just crucial mistake number one. After the Jets were forced to punt on their next possession they caught a break when the punt bounced off an Eagle player and was recovered by Ellis Lankster (really the lone bright spot for the Jets today as he had two fumble recoveries in the game), but then came mistake number two for Holmes. Sanchez delivered a strike right on Holmes’ hands and the ball bounced in the air and landed in Asante Samuels paws which lead directly to a long touchdown drive to put the Eagles up 14-0 and all but ended the game.

“I was just trying to play fast. It was a great pass.” Holmes said of the deflected pass.

Jets QB Mark Sanchez fumbles against the Eagles. The Jets committed 3 turnovers in Philly's 45-19 rout. ( Photo)

From there the unraveling continued. False start penalties, the offensive line (specifically Wayne Hunter) got completely abused by the Eagles and the offense never seemed sure of what type of rhythm they were trying for, let alone approaching anywhere near actually establishing a rhythm. The Eagles did their best to keep the Jets in the game by seeing the Jets three first half turnovers and raising them one, after jumping out to an 28-0 lead with 6:27 left in the first half the Eagles allowed the Jets to knock off 13 straight points to cut the Eagles lead to 15 at the half, but by the start of the second half it was clear the Eagles defensive line and the elusiveness of LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick was too much for the Jets to handle after handing them a 14-0 lead.

McCoy finished with 102 yards on 18 carries (5.7 yards per carry) and three touchdowns, Vick finished 15-22 for 274 yards one touchdown and one pick (and a rushing touchdown as well), while Sanchez finished with a disappointing stat line of 15-26 for 150 yards, two touchdowns and two picks, but as bad as he looked at times it’s hard to pin much of the blame on Sanchez. Between the hole his receiver dug him and the way the Eagles treated the Jets offensive line like it wasn’t even there (Jason Babin had three sacks and three QB hits) Sanchez never really had a chance.

All season long there has been one consistent difference between the games the Jets win and the games the Jets lose and that’s the play of the offensive line, today it was disturbingly bad and naturally the Jets got their rear ends handed to them. This game will ultimately be the tipping point we can all look back on when the Jets inevitably select the best right tackle available with their first draft pick this spring. The secondary getting embarrassed by yet another tight end (Brent Celek had five catches for 156 yards and a touchdown) makes it fairly obvious that safety and outside linebacker are the next two most important areas of need for this team heading into the offseason.

But as ugly and gross as this game was, somehow, someway all is not lost. The Titans gave the Colts their first win of the season and the Raiders blew a late lead to the Lions to keep both of those teams a game behind the Jets and while the Bengals defeated the Rams to bring them to the same record as the Jets, the Jets actually hold the tiebreaker over the Bengals because they have a better win percentage against common opponents.

So for all the misery that fell upon the Jets today, they still hold their destiny in their own hands. Beat the Giants and the Dolphins these next two weeks and they will find themselves right back in the playoffs for the third season in a row, lose one or both of these games and just know it will be an ugly and cold offseason.

With the Giants getting blown out by the Redskins it sets the stage for two New York teams battling not only for the City, but for their playoff lives as well. Neither team played deserving of even talking about the playoffs today, but the NFL is a week to week league and next week has to turn out better for one of these New York teams.

The Jets just have to hope it’s them, or we can all start lining up our draft boards now.

Subdued Sanchez

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Florham Park, N.J.- Over the past few weeks there has been a lot of talk about the mood of Mark Sanchez. He doesn’t seem like his normal, laid back, care free self they say, he seems subdued. To that I say, good. It’s not that Sanchez is down on himself or depressed or even crumbling under the pressure. Clearly that’s not the case considering he has played his best football of the season as of late. But Sanchez doesn’t see it as him being subdued, he says he’s just more focused on the task at hand.

“I told you guys, I’m just focused. I’m excited, we have a great opportunity.” Sanchez said yesterday when asked why he’s been so serious (insert Batman/Joker joke here). “We’re in a good spot, but it could get better hopefully. And we have to make it get better.

“When I’m here, I’m working my butt off, and that’s important. I just try my best to rack up wins and when it’s time to have fun and goof around, you do that, and then when it’s time, you have to work.” (more…)

The Mission For Jets D: Contain Vick and McCoy

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Florham Park, N.J.- This week’s mission for the Jets defense, should they choose to accept it, contain Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy. It’s no secret that Vick is one of the most explosive and dangerous quarterbacks the league has ever seen and it’s become less and less of a secret that McCoy is among the league’s most complete running backs currently playing. While the Eagles have had a dreadfully disappointing season, this Jets team knows they can’t afford to take the Eagles lightly.

“They’ve been up-and-down this year, but we know we are going to get their best shot.” David Harris said, “So we just got to approach it that way.”

With the unpredictable and explosive Vick, the balanced McCoy and lighting fast speed of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, the Jets defense will have their hands full trying to limit the Eagles offensive success, record be damned. Yes there were Super Bowl aspirations for this year’s Eagles team and yes they have grossly underachieved, but with Vick back from his rib injury this offense is as dangerous as it gets. (more…)

Jets Roll Past Chiefs (37-10), Increase Playoff Chances

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

East Rutherford, N.J.- For the past three seasons the Jets have been known as notorious slow starters, today with the team needing a win over a far inferior opponent the Jets answered the bell by jumping out to an early lead and continuing to beat the Chiefs into submission. The Jets won the opening coin toss, Rex Ryan elected to receive the opening kickoff instead of deferring like usual, and the offense didn’t waste any time as they immediately marched down the field, going 77 yards in 11 plays to take an early 7-0 lead on a naked bootleg by Sanchez.

7-0 quickly became 7-3 after a punt by TJ Conley put the Chiefs in field-goal range, but that’s the closest the Chiefs would get the entire game. The Jets used a balanced offense (159 rushing yards and 155 passing yards) and a dominating defense to cruise to an easy victory. They ran the ball right down the throat of the Chiefs and Sanchez made the throws when needed, avoided turnovers and managed to rush for two touchdowns of his own to go with his two touchdown passes (first QB in Jets history to do that). The defense stifled the Chiefs rushing attack (65 yards on 21 carries) and really got after Tyler Palko, sacking him five times and keeping him running for his life on the other plays. (more…)