Archive for December, 2010

Game Against Bills Carries Importance

Friday, December 31st, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – At 10-5, the Jets hold the sixth and final playoff spot with one week to go in the season. The entire team is hurting from the endeavors of a grueling 16-game regular season schedule.

Mark Sanchez (rt. shoulder), Darrelle Revis (hamstring), Antonio Cromartie(groin), Shaun Ellis (back) and James Ihedigbo (knee/ankle) were all either limited to non-participants in Thursday’s practice.

All signs point to parking the battered starters on the bench in a game that on the surface has no significance. LaDanian Tomlinson thinks otherwise.

“You definitely want to end [the season] on a good note. You want to be, as we talking about all year long, playing our best football at this time. So you want the momentum of winning the game. [It is] also a dress rehearsal [to] make sure you’re covering everything you need to do at this time to be ready to go for next week.”

This week's game against the Buffalo Bills will most likely resemble the third preseason game, and the 16th regular season game...just without the red jersey. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

While it maybe counter-productive to have the starters play the entire game, but perhaps Ryan should approach this week as if it’s the third preseason game of the season.

“I guess you can look at it that way,” Ryan said in a press conference Thursday. “Of all the preseason games, that would probably be more like this one. We’re going to try to get the young guys in, but we’re trying to win also. Will we take a Shaun Ellis [out] if he’s not ready to go? Absolutely, we won’t play him.

With the roller coaster ups and downs of the regular season, it’s very important for the team to gain some confidence and momentum as they remain a week away from Wildcard Weekend.

In regards to Sanchez, who looked good taking snaps under center today, that little playing time may be enough to test his ailing right shoulder and get his normal reps in what may be a short week of preparation.

“More than anything, it’s just that routine he’s established,” Ryan said speaking on the importance of Sanchez starting Sunday. “He has a good thing going right now and he’s just comfortable. I just kind of wanted to keep that going. The other thing is to think that we could be playing a Saturday game and if we are, don’t come around here [saying], ‘I haven’t done anything,’ and now all of a sudden,  you’re on a short week.”

On the defensive side of things, it is dually important to get in some sort of groove before the playoffs. The Jets defense hasn’t lived up to the expectations after their 2009 campaign. First it was the lack of a pass rush, then it was the thin secondary, now the run defense is beginning to crack.

“I think it had gotten to the point where, in light of the new faces, we needed to go back and do some of the teaching we had done and rebuild the foundation,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. “Some of the things, we realized when we looked back, were summarized as mistakes from the Jets defense 101 class, as opposed to 401. That’s when you need to go back and make sure [the fundamentals are in place].”

Call it a glorified bye week. Call it a tune-up before the playoffs. But whatever you call it, this week will be decisive in how the Jets play two weeks from now.



Jets Sign DB Isaiah Trufant

Friday, December 31st, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – The Jets have signed defensive back Isaiah Trufant to bolster a secondary that has been limping since the loss of defensive play caller Jim Leonhard.

“We want to see the kid play,” Rex Ryan said Thursday. “[Can] he help us in the playoffs? That’s what we’re trying to find out He was [ the United Football League's] Defensive Most Valuable Player. He’s done some good things on the practice field. We want to see if it translates to playing on Sunday.”

Trufant (5′8″, 170 pounds) was signed to the practice squad on December 8, 2010, but spent the 2010 season in the UFL for the Las Vegas Locomotives. He was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year after recording four interceptions. He has also played in the Arena Football League for the Spokane Shock (2006), the Kansas City Brigade (2007) and the Arizona Rattlers (07-09).

“He’s a guy who practices really well,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. “He has something about him and [he] makes plays. He has very unique movement skills. He’s a guy that has shown to be productive. That’s what we talked about. We say ‘Play Like a Jet’ and that’s how he practices.”

The roster spot was made available after the demoted defensive tackle Matt Kroul to the practice squad. He has played in six games for the Jets before being waived on December 28, 2010. He was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa on May 1, 2009.

Jets Release 2010 Team Awards

Friday, December 31st, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – The Jets announced their 2010 team awards today, as voted by the players.

Inside linebacker David Harris won the Curtis Martin Award as the team’s MVP. First-year Jet LaDanian Tomlinson won the Dennis Byrd Award for the team’s most inspirational player, while Brad Smith received the MartyLyons given to the player for their outstanding community service work. Defensive tackle Mike DeVito won the Kyle Clifton Good Guy Award and Shaun Ellis was honored with the Ed Block Award for courage. Rookie fullback John Conner was given the Bill Hampton Award.

Harris is the 2010 recipient of the Curtis Martin Award, given to the team's most valuable player. Harris leads the team with 113 tackles. (JetsInsider.com Photo).Harris, a team captain, leads the team with 113 tackles (87 solo), three sacks and 13 QB hurries. Drafted in the second round in 2007, he has led the team in tackles every year with the exception with 2008.

Tomlinson has inspired his teammates with his approach and preparations on the field and in the locker room. “He’s just a great teammate,” head coach Rex Ryan said about Tomlinson earlier this season. “I know one thing, he’s lifted not just inspired the offense, but the defense as well.”

Smith is the spokesperson for the Jets Play 60 campaign, centering his fouc on the health and wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.

Now in its 14th season, the Kyle Clifton Good Guy Award recognizes exceptionally consistent willingness, cooperation and professionalism in daily interaction with the entire organization. DeVito signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Maine in 2007.

The Ed Block Courage Award is given for perseverance and dedication to staying on the field. Ed Block was the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. Recipients of the award embody everything that is positive about professional athletes in the locker room and in their community, Ellis, the longest tenured Jet, is in his 11th season with the team.

The Bill Hampton Award is voted on by the equipment staff and past winners. Named for the Jets equipment manager of 37 seasons, the award is given annually to the rookie who acts like a pro in the locker room. The winner’s jersey hangs in the equipment room the following year for all the players to see. Conner, a 2010 fifth round pick, played in every game this season.



The 2011 Jets New Year Resolutions

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – It’s that time of year, folks. Yes, it’s almost the start the new year. But with the new year comes the NFL Playoffs. In a regular season where the Jets started out with astronomically high hopes, it has been filled with soaring highs and gut-wrenching lows.

As we saw last year, the Jets were able to shrug off a mediocre regular season, winning their last two games to sneak into the playoffs and make some noise. They cast aside any negative labels and set forth to the second season with a new set of goals.

The 2010 regular season had aspirations of the Jets crowning season. They were going to run through the league on their way to a top seed and the inside track to Dallas. After all, Rex Ryan had put that big X on their backs as soon as he predicted a Super Bowl for him and his team in the off-season.

Whether they have lived up to expectations is no longer a question one should ask. They have made playoffs. They’re in. Breathe.

We can forget all the speculation about how they got there. The fact still remains the Jets, for a second year are in the playoffs. But that doesn't mean they don't need some changing. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

We can forget the guarantees. Joe Namath isn’t walking through that door. We can forget all the macho man bravado, it’s here to stay — like it or not. We can forget all this season’s second-guessing. They got where they wanted to be. Was it pretty to watch unfold? Probably not.

With the new year comes change (We must credit Barack Obama every time the word changed is used). With change (BO) comes resolve. The Jets must resolve any issues with the regular season before the start of the new year.

  • Mark Sanchez will resolve his identity-crisis issues and settle in the role as a game-managing QB who can make a big play or two. He does need to be spoon fed with 44 attempts for the Jets to win the game.
  • The Jets will continue to be loud, brash and conceited. This time just off the field.
  • LaDanian Tomlinson will resolve to never run between the tackles. Ever. Get him out in the flats or across the middle of the field where there is space to make people miss. He may have proven some skeptics right with his play as of late, but his lateral speed and acceleration is still there.
  • The Jets will not incorporate a soccer “wall” on their sideline while the opposing team is punting the ball.
  • The entire defense will resolve their self-image issues. This cocky bunch came into the season as the backbone of the team, with “Revis Island” and their streak of consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. Well, they have allowed two 100-yard rushers in back-to-back weeks and Revis Island must be showing the after effects of a hurricane. It’s January. Time to tighten up those screws on defense and get back to being Gang Green of last year.
  • Vernon Gholston records a sack before his tenure with the Jets ends.
  • Every wide receiver will sleep with a ball in their hands every night for the remainder of the season. I can’t even begin to recount all the dropped passes, significant ones, by the Jets receiving corps.
  • The coaches will no longer be able to draw up plays for players to run by attractive news reporters. They will instead be on a silent count.
  • The Jets secondary will put aside their communications errors and fill in the apparently large hole left by Jim Leonhard.
  • The Jets will never trot Nick Folk out for anything longer than a 48-yard field goal…with the wind at his back.
  • Win the Super Bowl.

When the weather gets colder, the Jets must heat up

Friday, December 24th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Jack Frost may bring with him frigid temperatures as January swoops in, but the Jets need this time to get hot. With two games left in the season, one in the chilling winds of Soldier Field and the other at home against the Bills, the Jets—in particular the offense—needs to become more fluid before the playoffs begin.

And all of it starts with the quarterback.

After suffering a right shoulder injury against a physical Steelers’ defense, speculation has been swirling around Jets camp that Mark Sanchez may not be able to start in the pivotal Week 16 match-up against the Chicago Bears.

“I felt good at practice,” Sanchez said. “They kept me limited, just to be smart, but if we were playing today, I’m definitely in there. I’ll be ready for Sunday.”

As a precaution however, the coaching staff has been monitoring Sanchez and has kept him limiting in practice, while preparing back-up quarterback Mark Brunell to take over the reins if Sanchez can’t go.

Already missing guard Damien Woody for the remainder of the season, the Jets are also nursing injuries from Sanchez (left) and Santonio Holmes. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

When offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was asked if Sanchez has been taking the majority of the snaps, he answered with an emphatic “absolutely”. “I don’t know the exact number,” he said. “But he took the majority of them I would say.”

Despite the injury to Sanchez’s throwing shoulder, Schottenheimer seemed happy with his progress throughout the week. “I thought he looked really good. The way he played after he fell on his shoulder [during the game], I felt good about it. I think he’ll be fine. I really do.”

But when it gets to be this late in season everyone is hurting in some way, shape or form. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who was very quiet in his homecoming last week against Pittsburgh, sat out of practice Wednesday with a toe injury and was limited Thursday with the same problem.

“I think he’ll be fine,” Ryan said. “He looked great when he was in there, but he had that toe [injury]. I expect him to play.”

While he has been leaned on by Sanchez as the sole playmaker on the offensive side of the ball, the Jets were able to tread water on offense without an effective Holmes against Pittsburgh. But he will need to be, at the very least, on the field as a presence the defense must respect, so they don’t load up defensive backs against Braylon Edwards.

Moving to the defensive side of the ball, safety Jim Leonhard spoke to the media yesterday regarding his rehabilitation process. “[Everything] feels really good right now. It will be three weeks out from the surgery [Friday]. I was able to get the splint off a week ago and get in here and do a lot of rehab. Hopefully the bone is healing the way it’s supposed to.”

There is still a long way to go in his recovery, but the initial recommendation for the time before he can practice again is roughly three-to-four months.

The cold weather is not going to help speed up the recovery process of Darrelle Revis’ sore hamstring. Revis, who gave up seven receptions for over 70 yards against rookie wideout Emanuelle Sanders, is definitely a cause for concern. The Bears receivers may not have the skill sets that the Steelers’ receivers carry with them, however they do have an abundant amount of speed to burn with Devin Hester and Johnny Knox. It will be imperative for Revis and Antonio Cromartie to stay with the speedy receivers and not let Jay Cutler cash in on any big plays.

Woody Addresses the Media

Friday, December 24th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – When I was given the opportunity to be a staff writer for the JetsInsider.com, I felt very fortunate. Not only do I have the ability to meet the players I have grown up watching, but I get critique their performance and get “insider” information, so to speak.

I was fully prepared to take on the developmental breakdown of Rex Ryan’s 3-4 blitzing schemes. But nothing could have prepared me for the media blitz the 2010 New York Jets have laid on the NFL world this season.

Jets owner Woody Johnson addressed the media yesterday regarding Sal the Tripper, the New England Patriots, and Rex Ryan. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

From racy photos, to DUIs, to the lore of Sal the Tripper, to the finer art of sexual harassment, this Jets season has been filled with more off-the-field headlines than any other NFL team. Yet, despite all the off-the-field attention, more tabloid gossip continues to pile up on the Jets backs.

This time it’s involving head coach Rex Ryan and his wife, Michelle, and their intimate relations regarding Michelle’s feet.

To be honest, I got into the business because of my love for sports, not gossiping about a 50-something year old coach and his sexual preferences with his beloved wife. The question of morality is raised as soon as reporters ask ten different ways about this home movie that indicts the couple with a foot fetish.

I would have loved nothing to more brush over this story quicker than Kris Jenkins passing over the steamed broccoli at Christmas dinner, but when owner Woody Johnson chooses to speak out on the recent Jets media blunder, then I’m left with no choice.

Johnson took to the podium yesterday afternoon to address Sal the Tripper and Ryan’s foot fetish allegations, as he had to answer a bevy of questions regarding the two blunders.

Asked to comment on Ryan’s foot fetish video, Johnson replied with an answer similar to Ryan’s the past few days, “It is a private matter”. No surprise there, as that is the perfect answer to give.

“My reaction is I don’t really want to talk about that in terms of I’m going to respect Rex and how he wanted to characterize it. It’s a personal matter and that’s the way it is,” Johnson said.

After it became clear that this situation involving Ryan and his wife was and would continue to remain a personal matter, the topic of conversation turned to Sal Alosi and his status. If you remember, Alosi’s initial penalty for tripping a Dolphins player two weeks ago was a $25,000 fine and suspension for the remainder of the season. But after more information was dug up by the Jets internal investigation, Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum suspended him indefinitely.

“Sal was suspended indefinitely,” Johnson said. “Indefinitely is a pretty long time. We’re focused on the season. We’re focused on the Chicago Bears at this point.”

As they should be. With only two games remaining in the regular season, the Jets – as an entire organization – must remain focused solely on winning these finals games, as there are no guarantees the Jets will make the playoffs.

And since it is crunch time for the Jets and the rest of the NFL, Johnson will not be making any more decisions regarding Alosi until there is ample time to do so.

“I’m not really putting it off. We’ve looked at what he did. I don’t know if I said this, but I did apologize to [Dolphins owner] Mr. [Stephen] Ross and asked if his player [Nolan Carroll] was OK. He asked me that the player was fine. He accepted the apology,” Johnson said.

Aside from touching on his apology to the Miami Dolphins and their owner, Johnson also extended an apology to the New England Patriots and their owner, Robert Kraft. The apology came on the heels of special teams coach Mike Westoff throwing “that team up north” under the bus when the illegal “wall formation” came to light. On a radio show in Chicago, Westoff rattled off the Patriots as one of few other teams that also utilized an illegal wall during punts.

“I called Bob about any comment that we may have made and how he may have interpreted those comments,” Johnson said. “Our job is not to insult another team, particularly from a coach or owner’s standpoint. [We don’t want to insult] another team’s coaches or players. That’s not what we do here.”

What the Jets needed to do was exactly this. Send out their figure-head in Johnson and clear the air of any speculation and gossip that has been surrounding this team in recent weeks. Let’s hope this will be the last chapter for the Alpha Class of t

The Morning After Report: Final Exam Edition

Monday, December 20th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — History suggest that it’d be an impossibility. With an all-time record of 0-9 in the state of Pennsylvania, the Jets managed to steal a victory in the Steel City, thanks in large part the the special teams and defense.

Brad Smith proved to Brian Schottenheimer that his explosiveness can still be utilized in the game without stuffing the Wildcat down opponent’s throats.

Jason Taylor proved to his coaches that, at age 36, is still worthy of extra playing time.

And the Jets proved they can beat an elite team.

The final exams are in and it’s safe to say the Jets passed all of them. So without further adieu…The Official JetsInsider.com’s Final Exam Morning After Report.

With a little help from their friends upstairs, the Jets defense was able to fend off a Steelers last-minute comeback in Pittsburgh. The Jets stole on in the Steel City, 22-17. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

PASSING: C+

  • No touchdowns for Mark Sanchez, but no turnovers either. Can’t complain from that standpoint. Schottenheimer allowed Sanchez to chip away against a questionable Steelers secondary, minus Troy Polamalu.
  • We had a Braylon Edwards sighting yesterday. No, unfortunately, he did not teach us how to Dougie…again. But he did pull in eight receptions for 100 yards.
  • The offense’s two weakest points, third-down efficiency (6-for-13) and red zone efficiency (1-for-3), didn’t look too bad — especially against a stingy Steelers’ defense.

RUSHING: B

  • For the first time in three games the Jets had less than 30 rushing attempts (27). It was mostly the Mark Sanchez Show on offense, but the running game forced the Steelers to respect the run, which allowed that extra second on play-action passes.
  • Despite his rushing total (49), LaDanian Tomlinson yards per carry averaged bounced back up to his early season numbers (4.9). With less touches, Tomlinson’s explosiveness is…well, more explosive.
  • When Sanchez is able to use his feet to make plays, whether it be extending plays or pulling the ball down and running with it, the offense is far more effective.

PASSING DEFENSE: B-

  • The pass rush did their best to mask a hurting Jets secondary. Drew Coleman’s two strip-sacks were huge. Add Bryan Thomas’ bone-chilling sack kept the fleet-footed Ben Roesthlisberger.
  • I’ll give a pass on the secondary for Mike Wallace, as he’s been consistently faster than any team’s cornerback. He burned the Jets for seven receptions and 102 yards.
  • The problem arises when rookie Emmanuel Sanders, who was mostly covered by Darrelle Revis, has seven receptions for 72 yards. I’d expect a better performance by Revis in his hometown. Perhaps with the cold weather, the hamstring was a tighter than expected.

RUSHING DEFENSE: C

  • For the first time all season the Jets allowed a 100-yard rusher with Rashad Mendenhall’s 100 performance.
  • The Steeler’s 147 yards rushing is the most a Jets defense has given up since Oct. 12, 2009 against the Miami Dolphins, a 31-27 road loss.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A

  • How many more tricks does Brad Smith up his sleeve? He’s certainly living up his “Swiss Army Knife” nickname, alluding to his versatility.
  • As the season comes to the end, I’m becoming more and more convinced that the team MVP is none other than punter Steve Weatherford. I haven’t seen a punter more important to his team since Jeff Feagles was coffin-kicking for the cross-town Giants. Ryan loves getting into a chess-like positional battle during games and Weatherford is his perfect rook. With three of his four punts being downed within the 20-yard line, it’s hard to disagree with Ryan.

COACHING: A

  • In a week that coined the phrase “Sal the Tripper”, kudos to the Jets staff for keep their team focused on the playoffs.
  • Ryan’s Rudy-like pregame motivational speech has already added to his Paul Bunyon-sized folklore.
  • After calling for his job earlier in the week, I must give a pat on the back of Brian Schottenheimer. He came in to this pivotal game with a solid game plan for his team. And he always looks better when his players can execute his plan.

A Modest Proposal

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – It is a melancholy topic to those who walk through this great town or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads and cabin doors crowded with depressed Jet fans.

The offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in nine quarters. In their four losses this season, they have scored a combined 18 points. Excluding the 45 points in New England, the defense gave up 29 points in those losses. In his last eight games, Mark Sanchez has 8 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

As the season dwindles down to the final three games, a time that is usually reserved for fine-tuning has turned into nearly a complete overhaul. To be frank, the Jets look flat-out awful on offense. And the time has come for a change.

Brian Schottenheimer must go. He and his offensive game-planning has been killing this team as they haven't scored a touchdown in 9 quarters. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

Fire Brian Schottenheimer.

Certainly firing the team’s offensive coordinator is not that bizarre or sarcastic as Jonathan Swift’s request, but there is more madness to my method.

Hire former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels.

Now we’re talking bizarre. Or is it? The Jets offense has looked as lost as a poor Irish boy wandering the streets for food. Sanchez and his receivers have been on and off more than Bradgelina. His on-the-field relationship with safety-net Dustin Keller appears to be in shambles as they can’t even connect on a simple crossing route.

The Devil’s advocate may say to change quarterbacks, however a lot of time, money, and public love affairs between the front office and Sanchez has made that an impossibility — at least for now.

So the most obvious, and the most logical decision would be to let go of Schottenheimer.

A former college quarterback and son of Marty, Brian has developed a system made up of bells and whistles that is designed to maximize mismatches and generate favorable match-ups.

In theory, that sounds amazing. However, it requires a lot of motion for the playmakers and pre-snap analysis for the quarterback to make sure those mismatches can be utilized. For a second-year quarterback, this is just far too much to ask for.

Sanchez aside, Schottenheimer has gotten too cute with the offense. The Wildcat offense has been a sexy package that most teams have incorporated, but few teams run it (and with little success) as much as the Jets have recently. I realize he is trying to put Brad Smith’s skill set to full use, but just because one has 100 tools in his toolbox does not mean one must use them all to build a house.

Too often I have watched this team line up in five-wide sets, clearly showing pass. And too often I have watched Shonn Greene and Ben Hartstock  run in to the huddle only to see what? A run to the loaded side of the offensive line. Whatever happened to the element of surprise? Apparently that has been lost in the cocky attitude instilled with this team. Ryan has said on multiple occasions that he prides himself in running the ball in running situations and passing in passing situations, as if to say “come and stop us”.

The running game has faltered. What was once a dominant area for the Jets, has showed a little less each week as the season has progressed. I don’t believe it’s because the lack of talent, but Schottenheimer not properly utilizing his weapons in the backfield. LaDanian Tomlinson, 31, doesn’t not have the legs to run between the tackles anymore, especially this late in the season. At this point in his career he has to be a change-of-pace back, much like how Danny Woodhead has been used in New England. Shonn Greene, like it or not, should be the feature back. He is the type of downhill, punishing runner that a Jets team is used to.

While I’m not impressed with the job Schottenheimer has done this season, I believe he should be given the season to pull himself out of the hole he dug his team in. But in meantime, general manager Mike Tannenbaum should be having preliminary talks with McDaniels.

As a head coach, McDaniels is considered damaged goods. But as an offensive coordinator he is considered a mastermind. He was the architect of the 2007 record-setting Patriots offense. And in 2008 he turned Matt Cassel, a man who hadn’t started a game since his senior year in high school, in to a Pro Bowler.

As a head coach in Denver, he perfected his mad scientist act. He took a dink-and-dunk passer, Kyle Orton, and transformed him into a 4,000 yard gunslinger. The guy is an offensive-minded Dr. Frankenstein.

He is young, brash, and confident. Those all happen to be similar character traits as Ryan, and I think he could appreciate his enthusiasm and work ethic. Plus, wouldn’t it be a nice dig to New Englanders to land their former offensive coordinator? McDaniels could offer insight into the Patriots organization and philosophies as well.

Think about it, New York. Time is running out on a season that promised dominance, both offensively and defensively.

The End.

The Morning After Report

Monday, December 13th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – A week removed from being flattened in New England, the Jets were just plain flat in a home loss to the Miami Dolphins, 10-6, last night.

It was Fan Appreciation Night at the New Meadowlands Stadium. And how did the Jets show the Gang Green faithful their appreciation? Mark Sanchez fumbled the ball four times, and turned it over twice. Sal Alosi disgraced his organization. Santonio Holmes dropped a gift-wrapped touchdown.

I guess ‘Tone Time was running late.

The Jets are slowly sinking back into the abyss that has been haunting this organization and fans ever since Broadway Joe left the Orange Bowl clenching the very first “Super Bowl” trophy.

Thoughts of 1986’s 10-1 team and 2008’s 8-3 team must be passing through the mind of Jets fans as Sanchez continued to miss throw after throw last night. With tough road games against the Steelers and the Bears, and the home finale against the bills (which now cannot be overlooked), a once over-confident Jets team has turned desperate. But sometimes a desperate team is the most dangerous team.

Having said that, here is the Official JetsInsider.com’s Morning After Report.

Three's a company in New York as not one person can be blamed for the team's offensive ineptitude this season. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

PASSING: F

  • There was no improvement offensively from the Patriots’ beat down the week before for Sanchez and his receivers. His 44 pass attempts tied a career high, his 38.6 completion percentage surprisingly isn’t the career low (38.1% 11/22/09 @ NE, 34.5% 10/14/09 @ BUF).
  • As bad as Sanchez was, his receivers may have been worse. If Holmes can be a Super Bowl MVP for making one of the greatest catches of all time, then he has no excuse for dropping one in the hands. Simple as that.
  • And as bad as Sanchez and his receivers were, the offensive line may have been the worst. A banged up o-line gave up six sacks, three of which Cameron Wake was in on. This unit has been above average all year in protecting the quarterback, but if they can’t stay healthy and on the field the Jets will collapse.
  • I knew the game was over when…Joe McKnight was put in and caught his first NFL pass for 5 yards in the third quarter.

RUSHING: F

  • Where has the all the ground and all the pound gone in this offense? LaDanian Tomlinson is turning in to the player that the cynics were saying he would be earlier this season. Fifty-four total yards isn’t going to cut it as a premier back. At this point, he needs to be exclusively a third-down back.
  • The problem with that notion, however, is that when Shonn Greene rushes for 17 yards for a 2.1 yards per carry average it’s hard to take the ball away from Tomlinson.
  • Because the run game has been so ineffective the last few weeks, the play-action passsing has been effected. One of Sanchez’s biggest strength is his ability to utilize the play-fake and freeze the defenders for that extra second, but with out a run game no one buys the fake.

PASSING DEFENSE: A

  • The 5 sacks they recorded last night were a season-high and the most in a game since the played Miami on Nov. 1, 2009. Not only that, but their three fumble recoveries were the most in two years. It’s nice to see the defense respond to last week by giving up only 10 points.
  • Brodney Pool enjoyed his best day as a Jet. He had four tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. After his coaches had said Pool has not played to his potential this season earlier in the week, it’s clear Pool heard the message.
  • You know you’re defense was dominant when…they only gave up 30 net passing yards, even if it was Chad Henne (the lowest since they gave up 0 net yards against CIN on 1/3/10).
    The Jets have their fans, like star of the Jersey Shore, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, wondering “What’s wrong?” (JetsInsider.com Photo).

RUSHING DEFENSE: B

  • The defense gave up 87 total first half yards and 131 total yards.
  • Since Ryan has taken over this team, he has prided himself on the ability to shutdown his opponent’s rushing attack. In the last two weeks, however, he has allowed over 100 yards on the ground –  something Jet fans saw few and far between last year.
  • Having said that, they did a good job containing the Wildcat formation and keeping the Dolphins’ dual backfield in check.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-

  • Punter Steve Weatherford played a huge role in what a positional battle for most of the game. Of his eight punts, six were downed inside the 20-yard line.
  • A big reason for Weatherford’s amount of action was due to the lack of faith they have in kicker Nick Folk. While he made both kicks (35,42), the Jets chose not to send him out for what would have been kicks in the high-40’s/low-50’s range. In past games where they have been placed in a similar situations, weather included, they still trotted Folk out there. Hhmm.
  • Brad Smith took the opening kickoff 45 yards last night. That marked the fourth time this season Smith has returned a kick 40 yards or further.

COACHING: F

  • Evidence that the Jets are losing faith in Sanchez: On 4th&1 from Miami’s 37-yard line (a 54-yard FG attempt) with 8:02 left in the first half, Brian Schottenheimer calls a run play from the wildcat — as if to say, “Hey, Dolphins defense, here’s exactly what I’m doing.” More evidence: After the game Ryan said the thought had crossed his mind to bench Sanchez, the first time he’s had that thought since the Oct. 14 game against Buffalo last year.
  • Speaking of Schottenheimer, as Ryan walked to the press conference room he was serenaded with chants of “Schotty must go!” While I believe that there is no way to prove that a coordinator is not putting together a good game plan week-in and week-out (quite often the execution by the players will dictate what the coaching staff feels they can and cannot do), I agree with the fans. He gets too “cute” too often and I feel he is too caught up with the idea of being the guy to groom Sanchez in to a great quarterback.

‘Phins hand Jets second straight loss, 10-6

Monday, December 13th, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - On fan appreciation night in the New Meadowlands Stadium, there wasn’t much that Jet fans could appreciate.

For the second straight week, the offense has failed to get the ball in the endzone as the Dolphins (7-6) downed the Jets, 10-6. Players couldn’t hold on to the ball, the run game was non-existent, and Mark Sanchez was not on the same page of his receivers all night long.

“It makes you sick,” Mark Sanchez said after the game. “I’m really upset. I think the whole team is too, but we squandered an opportunity today. We had plenty of chances to win; we just couldn’t capitalize on offense.”

In a game that was low scoring–not because of dominant defensive play, but offensive ineptitude due to inclement rain for most of the game–the biggest play was, in fact, one that wasn’t made.

After going their last nine quarters without an offensive touchdown, the Jets (9-4) need a timeout from their offensive deficiencies. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

On a drive that started at Miami’s 38-yard line due to a Calvin Pace strip-sack that was recovered by Sione Pouha mid-way through the second quarter, the Jets (9-4) moved the ball to the 17-yard line. On the next play Sanchez pump faked down the middle, which forced Dolphins cornerback  Steve Smith to stop dead in his tracks. This left Santonio Holmes wide open in the back of the endzone. Sanchez threw to the open Holmes only to see the ball fall through his hands and hit the turf.

“For every drop there’s probably three or four poorly thrown balls,” Sanchez said. “It falls on the quarterback and I have a lot of work to do, so I’ll be the one to fix it.”

As it would turn out, that’s the best chance the Jets would have in the game.

After Rex Ryan made it known that he would receive the ball in his team won the coin flip, in an effort to jump start a Jets offense that hasn’t scored a touchdown since the third quarter of the Bengals game on Thanksgiving Day, the offense still couldn’t get anything going.

The Jets first drive ended in a three-and-out. And their second and third drives ended with turnovers by Mark Sanchez, one an interception by Nolan Carroll and a fumble that was recovered by Dolphins linebacker Quentin Moses.

“The turnovers hurt us early,” Ryan said. “We had poor execution on offense, in particular with dropped passes and the protection from a lot of guys. It shouldn’t be blamed on one person.”

The Dolphins made the most of the Jets first quarter miscues, as they scored on both turnovers, as their defense was able to hold the lead. Carroll’s interception set-up a 47-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter. And the fumble recovery by Moses led to the games only touchdown, a six-yard pass to Brandon Marshall.

“It felt good, but we have to clean things up on offense,” Marshall said. “I’m one of the leaders on offense and we have to get going.”

In a game that featured total yardage numbers of 131 (MIA) and 280 (NYJ), it was clear that both sides were playing a battle of field position. And in this battle, Dolphins’ punter Brandon Fields was the warrior. He had 10 punts for an average of 56.4 yards. Steve Weatherford also had a solid game, punting the ball eight times and downing the ball inside the 20 six times.

“I tip my hat to their punter. I thought he was a big difference in this game. He punted them out of [poor] field position a lot of times,” Ryan said.

Nick had field goals of 35 and 42 yards in the game. For Folk, the 42-yarder he hit in the fourth quarter marked the first time he’s been good from 40+ yards since Oct. 17 at Denver.

Ryan, with his team ending five drives in Miami’s 35-40 yard line, chose to punt instead of forcing a shaky Folk to kick from long distances, as he’s done in the past.

The word that’s being thrown around the most to describe the state of this Jets team is desperation.

“It’s critical,” Antonio Cromartie said after the game. “Right now, we just lost two division games. We need to do things as a team and capitalize on what we need to capitalize on.”

The loss for the Jets comes as a tough game to swallow as this was an easily winnable game. After being undefeated in their division and, seemingly, controlling their own destiny just a mere two weeks ago, the Jets have suffered two straight divisional losses and look lost offensively.

The road won’t get any easier for the Jets as they will travel to Pittsburgh next week and to Chicago the following week.

NOTES:

  • Injury Report: Eric Smith left the game with an apparent head injury. The team is not calling it a concussion, but have not rule out the possibility either. Smith did not finish the game. Damien Woody left the game did not return with a knee injury. He has been nursing this knee injury for the last two weeks. Shonn Greene finished the game but suffered neck problems, he will be re-evaluated tomorrow. Trevor Pryce left the game with a hip injury, to which Rex Ryan labeled as “minor”.
  • The Jets, 31 rushes-87 yards-2.8 yards per carry, were once again ineffective with the running game.
  • Sanchez’s 44 attempts matches his career high for a game. The last time he did it was in wins against Cleveland on Nov. 14 and Minnesota on Oct. 11.
  • Miami’s Cameron Wake added to his NFL-leading sack total of 14 with two sacks Sunday.
  • New York’s Sione Pouha enjoy a nice game, tallying 10 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.
  • With Woody out of the game and left guard Matt Slauson hampered with injuries, the offensive line gave up five sacks on the day. That’s the most the unit has given up all season.