Posts Tagged ‘David Nelson’

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.

Facing the Bills will be ‘personal’ for David Nelson

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Jets wide receiver David Nelson still has fond memories of Buffalo, NY.

“I’m a Duffs guy,” he joked with Jets Insider, referring to the city’s famous wing joint. “I went to Duffs probably twice a week. I miss Buffalo for that reason, for the food.”

As for Buffalo’s football team, well, the memories are a little more stale.

“Anybody who tells you that when they play an old team or a team that cut them, that it’s just another game, is lying to you,” Nelson said. “Because this is definitely more than just another game for me.”

Sunday’s divisional game against the Bills will be the first time Nelson is back in Buffalo, the place where he started his career as an undrafted rookie out of the University of Florida in 2010, since the Bills decided not to tender him a one-year deal back in February.

Nelson was in the process of rehabbing an ACL injury, which he sustained in Week 1 of the 2012 season against the Jets, when he got the news that he would not be returning to Buffalo.

“I found out through Twitter, like a lot of other things in life,” he said.

The Bills didn’t notify him or his agent before the wide receiver got the news while at a Chicago Blackhawks game.

“Because of the way it kind of ended, it’s still a little difficult for me to swallow,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m glad to be here. I consider it a true blessing to be here and I’m glad the way it worked out.”

Nelson has been a pleasant surprise for the Jets this season since signing as a patchwork free agent on Oct. 2, catching 13 passes for 179 yards in three games.

In that time, he’s managed to play himself into an important role on the Jets offense, becoming one of Geno Smith’s most consistent targets, considering the glut of injuries and the suspension of Kellen Winslow.

“The fact that he’s able to pick up an offense in the short amount of time that he did, that’s very impressive. It speaks volumes about the teachers that you have in there … those guys do a great job, but it tells you about him. It tells you about the person,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “He put it upon himself to really learn it and I think that’s really, really impressive. I know he gained all the respect in the world from all his teammates.”

So, with the backing of his new teammates, Nelson will prepare to face his old ones on Sunday and he’s not holding back.

“This isn’t just another game for me,” he said. “It’s going to be personal and I think you’ll see that on Sunday.”

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.”