Posts Tagged ‘Chris Ivory’

Jets’ playoff hopes fade in loss to Panthers

Monday, December 16th, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Jets fell flat in all three phases against Carolina on Sunday, losing 30-20 to the Panthers and all but putting to bed any remaining playoff hopes.

The Jets remained competitive until the fourth quarter, but had major breakdowns on offense (Geno Smith pick-six), defense (Cam Newton-DeAngelo Williams 72-yard screen pass touchdown) and special teams (blocked punt), which inevitably couldn’t be overcome.

Santonio Holmes was forced to eat his "weakest link" comment as the Panthers held him to two catches for 14 yards in another ugly Jets loss.

“It snowballed on us and the game got out of hand at the end,” said head coach Rex Ryan, who will now go three straight seasons without a winning record and without making the playoffs.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Jets were still very much alive, down 16-13, but a blocked punt led to great field position and an easy one-yard touchdown run by Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert.

Three minutes later, Smith was picked off, trying to force a pass to Santonio Holmes in double coverage and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn returned it 41 yards for the touchdown.

“Before the blocked punt happened I thought it was only a matter of time [until we would take the lead],” said Ryan.

Smith did rebound after throwing his 20th interception of the season, leading a 12-play, 72-yard drive that resulted in an eight-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeff Cumberland. But, with just under four minutes remaining, it was just too little, too late.

Smith finished his day going 15-for-28 with 167 yards passing and a 68.6 passer rating. He now trails only Eli Manning (25) for most interceptions in the NFL.

Chris Ivory had another solid day on the ground against a top-flight Carolina run defense, tallying 66 yards on 11 carries, including a long 35 yarder that set up one of Nick Folk’s three field goals. Smith and running back Bilal Powell added 81 more rushing yards for a total of 157 at 5.6 yards per carry.

The pass catchers were no where to be found, however, as Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley combined for three catches and 39 yards.

Holmes, who earlier in the week called the Carolina secondary the Panther’s “weak link” on defense, was jawed at all game and dropped half as many balls as he caught despite being targeted eight times.

“I’m an eight-year veteran,” Holmes said after the game. “I wouldn’t regret anything.”

Despite clearly motivating the Panthers, Ryan stood behind his star wide receiver saying, “I think the weakness is the secondary, I’ll say it. I’m not saying they’re a bad secondary, but [their weakness] is not they’re front.”

Cumberland led all receivers with 50 yards and one touchdown while wide receiver David Nelson added 44 yards on three catches.

Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, a defensive rookie of the year candidate no less, had the only other Jets touchdown, taking two carries to punch it in at the goal line with three minutes left in the third quarter.

“We’ve been practicing it,” said Ryan about giving the 294-pound Richardson goal line touches. “[We were] thinking they shouldn’t be able to deny that guy down there.”

On the whole, the defense played well enough to win, save for loads of missed tackles and a 72-yard touchdown screen pass which DeAnglo Williams took for a touchdown.

After Miami’s unexpected win over the Patriots earlier today, the Jets, at 6-8, sit two games back of the final wildcard slot in the AFC. That means they would need a prayer and a miracle just to have the possibility of sneaking in.

But despite hanging tough against a playoff bound Carolina team, and despite being projected as one of the worst teams in the league heading into the season, Ryan was not in the mood for moral victories.

“No, no, no. Absolutely not,” said Ryan, half laughing, half shaking his head. “We came here to win, we thought we’d win.”

“Hell, obviously that’s not our intent going into a season or any other time. We want to win it all that’s been clear since I got here.”

So, as for the Jets in 2013, it’s like the saying goes: Wait ’til next year. Unfortunately for Ryan, there might not be a next year.

Geno Smith bounces back in win over Raiders

Monday, December 9th, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – There were 10 minutes left in Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders when Geno Smith sensed the pocket collapsing and took off.

He darted across midfield, past a diving defender and along the sideline for 32 yards and a key first down. Just before the play ended, however, he made a telling decision. A decision his running back would later call, “dangerous.”

The young quarterback opted not to run out of bounds and instead lowered his right shoulder – his throwing shoulder – and embraced the contact.

Geno Smith wasn't perfect on Sunday but he kept the Jets in the game, instead of taking them out of it. That's a step in the right direction.

It was a play that embodied the Jets 37-27 win over the Raiders at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, a game that the Jets won, in part, because of Smith’s legs and his refusal to go down without a fight.

“We needed that in the worst way, to say the least,” said head coach Rex Ryan after his team’s first win in four weeks.

The Jets are now 5-2 at home and 6-7 on the season, still alive in the AFC playoff hunt.

Smith bounced back from his midseason struggles in a big way, completing 64 percent of his passes for 219 yards with one passing and one rushing touchdown.

He kept the Raiders alert with his legs, rushing for 50 yards off designed runs, like his 8-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter, and extended plays, like his 32-yard breakaway in the fourth.

“I think the difference was just eliminating the indecision in my game,” said Smith. “A lot of things are happening to me for the first time. That’s not to make an excuse, but sometimes I second-guess myself and that always hurts especially a quarterback.”

Smith did throw an ugly interception halfway through the first quarter but rebounded nicely, throwing a 25-yard touchdown to Jeremy Kerley on the next possession. It was the team’s first offensive touchdown in five games and 138 pass attempts.

The rookie did mention he felt like he had something to prove, which played into his decision to take that hit instead of going out of bounds.

“I can’t explain why. It was kind of instinct,” he said. “I think part of it was me trying to send a message to my teammates, to everyone, that I’m their quarterback, that I’m a tough guy, that I’m going to stay in there.”

Ryan wasn’t pleased with Smith’s decision but praised his competiveness.

Running back Chris Ivory, who rushed for 76 yards, including a powerful 15-yard touchdown called the decision, “Kind of dangerous, especially for a quarterback.”

But for once, the Jets young quarterback kept them in a game instead of taking them out of one, and that’s a step in the right direction.

Punter Ryan Quigley pinned the Raiders down at the two-yard line, setting up safety Antonio Allen for a blocked a punt touchdown, and kicker Nick Folk (now 28-for-29 this season) added three field goals.

The defense, the team’s supposed strength, were the weak link, allowing 27 points, 383 yards of offense and two long touchdowns.

The first came on a 63-yard run by Raider’s running back Marcel Reese and the second on a 48-yard pass from quarterback Matt McGloin to Rod Streater. The latter occurred when cornerback Antonio Cromartie and safety Ed Reed collided, paving the way for Streater, untouched, to the end zone.

Reed, however, did get his first win and interception as a member of the Jets.

Traditionally, the day after a win this late in the season would be dubbed “victory Monday,” a day for the players to rest.

But Ryan and his team, like their quarterback late in fourth quarter, have opted to lower their shoulder and press on.

“I mentioned it, I looked, and I’m like, ‘Nah, let’s not do that, let’s go to work,’” Ryan said about starting preparation for the Carolina Panthers on Monday. “Everyone’s like, ‘Yeah, let’s go to work.’ And that’s what we have to do.”

Jets grab controversial win over Patriots in OT

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – A rule’s a rule.

Bill Belichick may not like it. The fans may not have known it existed. But for Rex Ryan and the New York Jets, a controversial call may have just saved their season.

Winless in their last five games against New England, the Jets managed to claw their way into a 30-27 overtime victory at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, thanks in part to a bounce-back game from rookie Geno Smith, a timely pick-6 and a new NFL rule regarding field goals.

Rule 9.1.3.2, to be exact.

Chris Ivory rushed for 104 yards and the Jets defeated the rival Patriots, 30-27, in overtime on Sunday.

It’s a rule, brand new to the NFL in 2013, that states: “Players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation” and it came into effect on the game’s deciding play.

After failing to convert on a crucial overtime third down at the New England 38-yard line, the Jets elected to send Nick Folk out for a would-be game winning, 58-yard field goal.

“We had ‘Folk Hero’ and we thought maybe we could pop one on them,” said Ryan after the game.

Instead, it went wide left, setting up Tom Brady with a second chance and a short field, needing only a field goal to cap off the victory.

Then the flags flew.

The call on the field was unsportsmanlike conduct, a 15-yard penalty, on Patriot’s defensive tackle Chris Jones for pushing his teammate into the formation. The Jets retained possession, ran the ball three more times and Folk kicked a much more manageable 42-yarder for the win.

Belichick was irate on the sideline, fans in the stadium were on their feet and the press box was abuzz with people saying, “What in the world just happened?”

“We have probably talked about it before,” said Jones. “It slipped my mind at the time. Now I know it. I just have to keep that in mind during the up coming games so I don’t make that mistake again.”

The real kicker (pun intended) is that this was the first case ever of the rule actually being enforced.

“We’ll take it,” said Ryan, head coach of the now second place, 4-3, New York Jets, a team that many people wrote off as one of the worst in the league before the season started.

“We don’t care how people look at us as long as the fans know that this team right here is going to compete every single day,” said Ryan. “We’re certainly much better than what people thought. I guess that’s not hard to be, we were picked 32nd, I think. But I think we’re better than that.”

Geno Smith went 17 for 33 for 233 passing yards, 32 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown.

The rookie’s only mistake came on a forced pass to David Nelson in the first quarter that resulted in a 79-yard pick-6 by Logan Ryan.

“I think this one means a little bit more to us,” said Smith. “You could just get that feeling in the locker room and around the community. Everyone knows about this rivalry.”

Running back Chris Ivory was a work horse grinding out 104 yards on the ground and Jeremy Kerley was money on third down, going for 97-yards and a touchdown pass. David Nelson added four catches for 80 yards.

Antonio Allen played great in coverage against star tight end Rob Gronkowski, deflecting two passes and returning an interception for a touchdown early in the second half.

“We knew we needed a turnover,” said Allen. “We were trying to get one … We knew we had to force a turnover in order to win the game.”

The Jets travel to Cincinnati next week to face the 5-2 Bengals, starting a stretch that also includes the New Orleans Saints and division rival Bills and could very well ignite or extinguish New York’s playoff hopes.

“It’s a big push. That is a division team,” said Kerley of the Patriots. “We definitely want to get up in the division but a win like that against an opponent like that is a big motivation and hopefully a drive for the next some odd games.”

Ex-Stony Brook star Miguel Maysonet comes home

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Miguel Maysonet walks out to the field house after his second day of Jets practice wearing Air Jordan sandals, a bright red Stony Brook football hoodie and a million-watt smile.

Exactly a year ago, the star running back was preparing for the Gardner-Webb University Bulldogs – an opponent he bulldozed for 244 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard kick return.

Today, the former Walter Payton Award runner-up for the best player in the FBS is preparing for a much different opponent: NFL front offices.

“Hopefully I’ll stay longer than a week and then I’ll start getting excited about everything,” Maysonet told Jets Insider after signing with the team on Tuesday.

“I am excited, but it’s hard to … you know,” he said, his voice trailing off.

It’s hard to get your hopes up.

Maysonet is on his fifth team in sixth months after going undrafted out of Stony Brook University in April. He signed with Philadelphia following the draft but was cut after less than a month and has since made short stops in Cleveland, Indianapolis and San Diego. Never sticking.

“It’s the business I’m in and you just have to accept that. When [I get cut], I’m sad for a couple seconds and then I just have to move on,” said Maysonet. “I am looking forward to settling down and actually staying with a team for a long period of time.”

And what better team to settle down with than his hometown New York Jets?

The kid from Riverhead, NY, who wore a Curtis Martin jersey growing up and rushed for 1,964 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior for the hometown Seawolves has come home.

“I was just excited that I was able to have the opportunity to still be playing football,” he said. “And then playing in New York, that’s just a dream come true.”

The Jets snatched up Maysonet the moment he landed in Cincinnati for a workout with the Bengals, a workout he never made it to.

“As soon as I touched down, I turned my phone on and the phone rang and it was a New Jersey area code so I was like, ‘it has to be the Jets or the Giants,’” said Maysonet. “When I answered, it was the Jets.”

The Jets were in the market for a running back after Mike Goodson went down for the season, tearing his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. Now, Maysonet may just have a chance to stick with his hometown team.

Still, Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory will get the lion’s share of the carries for the Jets, as Maysonet awaits his opportunity as a practice squad player, fourth on the depth chart behind Alex Green, catching passing from the recently retired (and then unretired) David Garrard in practice.

“You don’t know how upstairs works and what they’re doing, so it’s hard,” said Maysonet, still uncertain about his whether his sentence in practice squad purgatory will end. “I would hope, and love to stay here, but you never know at the end of the day.”

Maysonet continues through the Jets field house after practice, past Curtis Martin’s Ring of Honor banner, and on to this temporary home, the Hyatt a couple blocks from the facility. He doesn’t know how long he’ll be staying there, but he’s thankful for another chance to pursue his dream.

“I played my high school football in New York, I played my college football in New York and now me staying in New York, that’s just awesome,” he said.