Archive for December, 2010

Jets strength coach Sal Alosi trips Dolphins player

Monday, December 13th, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The person on the Jets sideline who tripped Miami Dolphins punt returner, Nolan Carroll, has been identified as Jets strength coach Sal Alosi. Alosi, 33, is a former Hofstra University linebacker who is in his ninth season with the NFL as a strength coach.

Alosi issued a statement following the game.

“I made a mistake that showed a total lapse in judgment. My conduct was inexcusable and unsportsmanlike and does not reflect what this organization stands for. I spoke to Coach Sparano and Nolan Carroll to apologize before they took off. I have also apologized to Woody [Johnson], Mike [Tannenbaum] and Rex. I accept responsibility for my actions as well as any punishment that follows.”

“He could have ended his career with that,” said Dolphins defensive end Kendall Langford. “I think  he should get fined. We get fined for illegal stuff. Why can’t the coaches?”

Rex Ryan, as well as Roger Goodell, will look into the actions of strength coach Sal Alosi. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

Jets head of media relations, Bruce Speight confirmed that it was Alosi who indeed tripped Carroll on the sideline during a punt return. In an official statement released by the Jets, Speight said that “the team is reviewing the situation and is looking in to the appropriate next steps.”

The statement came after reports of the Jets apprehension to swiftly accept Alosi’s actions. Greg Bishop of the New York Times has reported that the team tried to deny any suspicious activity from the Jets sideline. Also, Brian Lewis of the New York Post has reported that security whisked Alosi away before reporters could interview the coach.

“That’s sad that it happened,” Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby said. “There’s no place for that in football. I think he’ll be fined for it, hopefully. I believe in [Commissioner Roger] Goodell and everybody.”

The officials didn’t see anything as there was no penalty called on the play.

“My guys upstairs were screaming at the time that this happened,” Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano said. “It felt like Nolan was down on the ground and they showed the replay, that somebody from that sideline stuck a foot out or something to that effect.”

Last Minute Notes

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - As the starting players get introduced at the New Meadowlands Stadium for the New York Jets, here a few last minute notes before the Jets and Dolphins are ready for kick off.

Expect the Jets to receive the opening kick-off if they win the coin toss. Rex Ryan has already stated earlier in the week, that he would do a so. Electing to defer is a tactic that Ryan is a big believer in and has done so throughout his coaching career.

Santonio Holmes and the New York Jets look to get their offense rolling early as the welcome the Miami Dolphins into town. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

In his pre-game warm-ups kicker Nick Folk, who has struggled kicking the football in recent weeks, looked solid hitting kicks from 30 yards and in. With the weather at a breezy 53 degrees with the wind blowing southeast at 8 miles per hour with gusts up to 20 miles per hour, this may prove to be another challenging day for Folk.

Folk hasn’t made a field goal of 40 yards or more since the Oct. 17 game against Denver. Since then, he’s 0-for-5 from that range.

Jets in-actives for today’s game will be Kellen Clemens, Marquice Cole, James Ihedigbo, Jamaal Westerman, Vladimir Ducasse, Matt Mulligan, Jeff Cumberland, and Marcus Dixon.

The Dolphins in-actives are as follows: Nate Ness, Ikaika Alama-Francis, Matt Kopa, Vernon Carey Eric Ghiacuic, Mickey Shuler, Ryan Baker, Chris Baker.

At 9-3, Jets have backs against wall

Friday, December 10th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Like Christopher Nimbley put it: It was all good just a week ago. But with one unsightly loss at the hands of their most hated rival, the Jets are faced with a must-win situation on Sunday.

At 9-3, the Jets are far from playoff elimination. But with the season dwindling down to the final four games, they face a slight uphill battle to get in. As of right now, their record holds them in the fifth playoff spot and would visit the 7-5 AFC South-leading Jacksonville Jaguars.

Certainly nothing is set in stone, as the the Jets will face three teams trying to propel themselves into the postseason. The first challenge is the 6-6 Miami Dolphins, currently on the outside looking in. They, along with the Colts (who won last night), the Raiders and the Chargers all will need to win out to even have a shot at sniffing the playoffs.

The Jets (9-3) have bee flying high this season. But with the playoffs looming, the Jets face three very tough games. Will they still be soaring high at season's end? (JetsInsider.com Photo.)

While the Dolphins have had their share of problems (injuries to the quarterback position, lack of a ground game and the disappointing play from receiver Brandon Marshall), but they have always played the Jets tough, in particular with Chad Henne under center.

In the three games Henne has started against the Jets, the Dolphins have won two. He’s averaged 239 yards and has a 5-1 TD-INT ratio. This game cannot be taken lightly.

But the road doesn’t get easier for Team Gang Green. They then travel to Pittsburgh (currently the no. 2 seed) to play in the hostile Heinz Field and the even colder Soldier Field in Chicago to visit the Bears (also the no. 2 seed in the NFC). Against teams with winning records this year, Ryan is 1-3.

The Jets do control their own destiny, and as along as they split their last four games, will get into the playoffs. But should they lose three of their last four, putting them at a 10-6 mark, they will need some help from others.

At 8-4, the Baltimore Ravens hold a two game lead on the sixth and final playoff spot. Should the Jets and Ravens end the season with the same record, the Ravens hold the tiebreaker with a 10-9 Week 1 victory over the Jets.

The Indianapolis Colts, who helped their cause with a 30-28 victory last night, control their own destiny. They host divisional leader, the Jacksonville Jaguars, next week before visiting 6-6 Oakland. They end the season with a home game against 5-8 Tennessee. Should they win out, which is certainly plausible, they will be in.

The Oakland Raiders, perhaps the most surprising team still in the hunt. With a 4-0 divisional record and a 4-4 conference record, their best shot is to beat out Kansas City for the AFC West crown.

And last but not least, the San Diego Chargers round out the ninth spot, but still hold a puncher’s chance at punching their playoff ticket. It all starts with a win this week against 8-4 Kansas City, otherwise it would eliminate the Chargers from AFC West contention and most like playoff contention as well. But with a favorable final three games (home against the 49ers, at Cincinnati and at Denver), you can’t count out Philip Rivers and the Super Chargers.

A win for the Jets this week will take that cinder block off the chests of Jets fans, and would make tough games at Pittsburgh and Chicago easier to swallow. They still control their own destiny, but the sense of urgency has kicked in as the second NFL season looms large.

Dinner for Two

Friday, December 10th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - The table would probably be filled with an array of enchiladas, empanadas, taco dips, maybe some Frank’s red hot sauce to top it off and then about 12 to 13 empty Coronas scattered around the table.

No, I am not describing my last trip to Tijuana.

Instead, I am envisioning what the food, and more importantly the talk, between Jets head coach Rex Ryan and his second year quarterback, Mark Sanchez.

“It’s a lunch date, so I can eat some Mexican food with him,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday.

The only Rex Ryan might like more than winning is enjoying a nice Mexican dinner for two, with his quarterback Mark Sanchez. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

Earlier this afternoon, the two sat down — without the company of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer or quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh –  to discuss the upcoming games against two tough defenses in the Miami Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The sit-down comes fresh off two less-than-stellar performances by Sanchez (16-for-28, 166 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT vs. CIN / 17-for-33, 164 yards, 3 INT vs. NE) and right before Ryan faces some familiar foes in Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan (the 2000 Ravens defensive coordinator) and the Steelers long-time defensive architect Dick LeBeau.

“I know those two guys well. I worked under [Nolan] for a few years and I’ve gone against [LeBeau] forever. So I think I could help him through these two weeks. We’ll go over some film or two and maybe I can give him some insight,” Ryan said.

The meetings between Ryan and Sanchez are separate from the weekly Friday meetings held betwen Ryan, Sanchez, Schottenheimer and Cavanaugh.

“There’s some things, formationally that he’s been around with Mike,” Schottenheimer said referring to his head coach. “All that stuff is priceless because, in certain situations,  we’re all going to revert back to our final core of beliefs. In crunch time, what I might call, there’s going to be something that Mike’s going to call. I think having that insight is very valuable.”

With many wondering what direction this Jets team will go after their Monday night meltdown, Ryan will take this time to recenter his quarterback. The sit-down should not come as a surprise as a similar meeting happened around this time last year.

While Sanchez was still having difficulty grasping Schottenheimer’s system, Ryan decided to break down the playbook in a simpler fashion: using a color-coded scheme so that the relay from coach-to-quarterback-to team would be fluid and help ease Sanchez’s transition from college to the pros.

The Jets hope that the sit-down, coupled with a change in philosophy on the coin flip (they will now receive instead of defer), will provide a spark that the offense has been missing.

“By getting out there first, I think that allows us to [start fast] because sometimes when you sit down first and watch the defense, you [just] sit around,” LaDanian Tomlinson said. “At the beginning of the game you’re ready to go, then you kid of sit around for a while, so it does take away from that tempo a little bit.”

There you have it. Nothing like a little Mexican food to kick start your metabolism, or in this case your offense.

Turning to the Dolphins

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - With a full two days to critique the Monday night debacle, the Jets (and hopefully the media) will turn their eyes to another divisional foe, the Miami Dolphins.

At 6-6, the Dolphins will come into the New Meadowlands Stadium with their backs up against the wall holding on to the final thread of playoff hopes. In all likelihood, the Dolphins will have to win their final four games to even have a shot at getting in to the playoffs.

The Jets have a little more flexability, but after the 45-3 loss at the hands of the Patriots, this will be as close to a must-win game for a 9-3 team.

Rex Ryan took his team outside in the middle of a team meeting yesterday to, literally, put the Patriots game to rest. He took a game ball and buried it six feet deep, a chilling metaphor that the game is over and we can all move on and focus on Miami.

Mark Sanchez and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer look to see eye-to-eye this week as they prepare to face the Miami Dolphins at home on Sunday at 4:15 p.m. EST. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

“They’ve traditionally played us tough since I’ve been here,” Mark Sanchez said, already re-focusing his attention. “We want to come out firing, finish strong and just be ready for their defense that always plays well.”

Since the two teams met in Week 3, both have had identity crisis issues. For the Jets, once considered a run-to-set-up-the-pass team with a stingy defense, has faced problems adjusting to a more passing team that, on the defensive side, has trouble communicating.

The Dolphins were looked at quite similarly, with an unique running attack and a defense that prides themselves with their physical level of play. However the additions of Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess, and the disappearance of their two-headed monster in the backfield has left Dolphins fans wondering what exactly to make of this team.

Marshall was brought in to compliment the surging passing game behind Chad Henne. His impact was felt immensely in the Jets 31-23 win over the Dolphins as he nearly willed his team to a victory on 10 receptions, 166 yards and a touchdown. Since then, however, Marshall has had little to no impact on the Dolphins. In his last four games he could barely duplicate his numbers in Week 3: 16 receptions, 169 yards, 0 touchdowns.

While Marshall’s size and skill set always makes him a point of interest to opposing teams, having Darrelle Revis as opposed to Antonio Cromartie(who, at the time was still adjusting to the defensive schemes) will more than likely keep Marshall’s underachieving numbers going.

It will be interesting to see how Cromartie, who was burned for two touchdowns last week, handles Henne’s go-to guy, Davone Bess.

“They have a young guy in Bess that’s been doing a heck of a job for them this year,” Cromartie said.

Bess has emerged as a threat in this league, in particular on third downs. The Dolphins, despite their inefficiencies in the running game and their carousel ride that is the starting quarterback position, are eighth in the league in third-down conversions (42%), thanks in part to Bess’s sure-handedness. Of his 61 receptions, 35 have gone for first downs. That’s good for an astounding first-down rate of 57%.

But it hasn’t been Bess, Marshall, nor Henne that has been the Dolphins best offensive threat. That honor has been bestowed upon kicker Dan Carpenter. He leads the team with 99 points and has successfully made 27 of his 33 field goal attempts. And unlike his New York counterpart, Nick Folk, he has been able to connect from 50+ yard. Four times he has kicked from the half-century mark or further with success (60, 54, 53, 50).

On the defensive side of the ball, be aware of former Candanian League-er, Cameron Wake, who leads the NFL in sacks with 12. Wake will look to wreak havoc in the backfield create pressure from the outside edge.

He may prove to be an even tougher assignment for a Jets offensive line that is nursing a few minor injuries. Damien Woody did not practice Thursday with a knee problem. And while D’Brickashaw Ferguson was a full participant Thursday, he did jam his shoulder while finishing off a block in practice.

The Morning After Report: Late Edition

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Well, it’s safe to say that the New York Jets will not be receiving any passing marks after the down-right abysmal performance in New England Monday night.

Rex Ryan and his Jets ran out of Gillette Stadium with their tail between their legs..well, sort of. After the game, the braggadocios and often-outspoken Ryan had this to say to the Patriots:

I can promise you one thing. I’ll be ready to play ‘em. I’ll play them right now if they’ll go out and do it again.

Take it easy, Rex. You had your butts handed to you and you’re still talking trash. Sometimes humility is an admirable character trait.

But I digress, without further adieu here’s this week’s JetsInsider.com’s Official Morning After Report: Late Edition.

It's understandable if Mark Sanchez showed some bad body language following the 45-3 thrashing against the New England Patriots. After the game, the whole team should've been fined for the down-in-the-dumps demeanor. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

PASSING: F

  • It was deja vu all over again for Mark Sanchez, as Gillette Stadium continues to be his personal house of horrors. His numbers, 17-of-33 for 164 yards and three interceptions earned a failing QB rating of 27.8.
  • Not all of it can be blamed on Sanchez as his receivers once again showed the inability to hold on to the football.
  • While the offensive line allowed only one sack, there was plenty of pressure coming from all angles at Sanchez. The Patriots amassed four quarterback hits.
  • Once they were down 17-0, Sanchez was forced to throw the ball to make plays, which in return made the offense very one-dimensional and predictable.

RUSHING: F

  • There wasn’t much need to establish the run when the team is down by so much so early, however that didn’t stop offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer from running a total of 31 times in the game.
  • LaDanian Tomlinson’s production is slowing down to a halt, in the running game at least. Tomlinson, who’s known for collapsing in cold-weather games shouldn’t running the ball between the tackles. At his age he has no business between the trenches. From this point on he should play the role that Danny Woodhead has assumed for the Patriots.
  • Which brings me to Shonn Greene. As long as Tomlinson is wearing a Jet uniform Greene won’t get the full attention he deserves from his team. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry and regularly gained big chunks of yardage, one of the few bright spots for the Jets.

PASSING DEFENSE: F

  • To the Jets credit, they were playing against Tom Brady.
  • Antonio Cromartie looked like the reincarnation of Lito Sheppard, as he was picked on by Brady for two touchdowns — one on an early 4th&3 that turned into a 25-yard score for Deion Branch after Cromartie failed to make the stop.
  • Darrelle Revis was stranded on his island, as Brady stayed away from the All-Pro corner all night long. What’s the best way to stop Revis from killing your team? Just take him out of the game completely and play 10-on-10 football.
  • While the loss of Jim Leonhard certainly hurt the Jets (Eric Smith’s 36-yard pass interference call, for example), let’s be clear he is no Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu. If Leonhard was able to play, something tells me he wouldn’t have made up the 42-point difference.

RUSHING DEFENSE: F

  • In what is supposed to be the cornerstone of this Jets defense, the running game allowed BenJarvus Green-Ellis to average four yards per carry and score two touchdowns. Very un-Rex like, but so was this whole game.
  • I don’t know what’s stranger: the fact that the Jets ran 31 times in a rout, or how the Patriots ran 26 times on the other end of that rout. Conventional wisdom usually states that the team on the losing end of a blowout passes more and the team on the winning end runs the ball. In a game where the Patriots didn’t run all that much, the Jets still couldn’t stop them.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F

  • When the Jets are thinking about replacing their starting kicker with Kris Brown, you know that the kicker must be struggling. No surprise here, Folk hasn’t made a kick from 40+ yards since the Oct. 17 game in Denver. Since then he’s o-for-5.
  • Steve Weatherford’s 12-yard botched punt was humiliating. Want to hear the worst part, though? The wind was at his back.
  • The Jets finally force a Patriots punt with 6:08 left in the first half. They get a 31-yard return from their lone playmaker, Santonio Holmes, only to have it brought all the way back to their 12-yard line due to an illegal block in the back from Brad Smith.

COACHING: F-

  • Why waste a challenge on a first drive 4th&1 spotting, only to then go for the first anyway? I’m still scratching my head over that one.
  • Here’s the stat of the day for you: In games this season where Rex Ryan has had more than a week to prepare for the next game, he is 0-3. Not only that but his team has scored a total of 12 points–all field goals–in those games (opening night against Baltimore, coming off the bye week against Green Bay, and the extended layoff before the Patriots game). Ryan talks all the time about treating his players like men and giving them the necessary time off, but maybe he should re-think that state of thought.
  • I have just about given up on Brian Schottenheimer as a Jets offensive coordinator. He motion and movement schemes are far to intricate for a quarterback who is only five years removed from playing high school football. He started the game, in which the best gameplan to stop Tom Brady’s hot hand would be to keep him off the field, in the no-huddle hurry up rather than establishing the run before the score got way out of hand. I don’t see him returning with the Jets next season, barring a miracle.

BOSTON MASSACRE! Jets lose in rout, 45-3

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

FOXBOROUGH, MA - The definition of gangrene is the death of soft tissue due to obstructed circulation, usually followed by decomposition and putrefaction.

The Gang Green decomposed in all facets early and often, as they were beaten down 45-3 in Foxborough, in what was dubbed the game of the year leading into the Monday night mauling.

“We got our butts kicked,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “We got outcoached. We got ouplayed.”

Ryan would go on to say that it was the biggest “butt-whooping” he’s ever received.

“I thought we were going to play a great game. Our preparation was great. I thought we were going to have a huge game.”

For the Patriots, it was.

Tom Brady was 21-of-28 for 326 yards and four touchdowns. BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for another two scores and former-Jet Danny Woodhead had 115 yards in a game that was all Patriots, all the time.

It's back to the drawing board for Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez after the 45-3 massacre in Massachusetts. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

In contrast, Mark Sanchez looked reminiscent of the last time he played in New England where he went 8-for-21 for 136 yards and threw four interceptions. In Monday night’s game he was 17-of-33 for 164 yards and three interceptions. All three interceptions led to Patriots’ scores.

“It wasn’t as fluid as we normally are and it obviously showed,” Sanchez said after the game. “It’s just too bad because we had some of the right plays on, and [that one with LaDanian Tomlinson] was one of them and we just weren’t on the same page.”

It was a memorable night for the Patriots, who honored former linebacker Tedy Bruschi at halftime as well as seeing Brady pass Drew Bledsoe for thirteenth on the all-time touchdowns list with 252 in his career.

“It’s the best 60 minutes of football we’ve played all year,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “It was a good night for us. The Jets are a good football team.”

The same couldn’t be said for the Jets, who were helping the Patriots all game long. Nick Folk’s 53-yard field attempt was short and led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Green-Ellis. And Jets punter Steve Weatherford’s 12-yard shank was followed by a 25-yard catch-and-run by Deion Branch.

It was a mismatch from the start. The Patriots scored on their first four possessions with Brady’s only blemish coming from three straight incompletions on the Patriots first drive of the game. They settled for a Shayne Graham 41-yard field goal.

The Jets followed by putting together a 12-play drive in which Rex Ryan was unsuccessful on a 4th&1 challenge from the Jets 46-yard line. They were successful in converting the fourth down play, but left fans scratching their heads as to why he would challenge the call in the first place.

The Jets would attempt a 53-yard field, in which Folk came up short. Folk is 0-for-5 in 40 yard attempts since the Oct. 17 game in Denver.

The Jets pass rush, which has been criticized for their play this season, continued to disappoint as their blitz packages were fruitless for the better part of the night.

“You have to take your hat off to them because they gave it to us today,” said defensive end Shaun Ellis. “We have got some things we need to go back and work on. They played an excellent ballgame and had us on our heels.”

Brady, who has now not thrown an interception in seven straight games, had ample time to sit back and pick a part a Jets defense that was missing their signal caller, Jim Leonhard.

Leonhard broke his tibia in a collision with receiver Patrick Turner in practice leading up to the game. Without him, the defense, who has struggled with communication issues all season, wilted in the harsh New England weather as the Patriots put up 17 unanswered points in the first quarter.

The Jets lone scoring-drive of the game came on a 39-yard field goal by Folk following an eight-play drive that featured a heavy dose of Shonn Greene (13 rushes, 64 yards).

Brady went back to work as he shied away from Darrelle Revis and, instead, focused his attention towards Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie was on the wrong end of two touchdown passes; the 25-yard reception by Branch, in which Branch ran through a would-be Cromartie tackle, the other, a four-yard fade in back of the endzone to Brandon Tate.

The lone bright spot for the Jets was Santonio Holmes (7 receptions, 72 yards) who Sanchez seemed locked-in on the whole game. Holmes, who was apart of the punt returner by committee with Leonhard on the IR, had a 31-yard return that was negated by an illegal block in the back by Brad Smith. Instead of having momentum at the Jets 45-yard line, they were pushed back to their own 12-yard line. They produced only a three-and-out.

The Jets went in at halftime trailing the Patriots, 24-3.

That’s the closest they would get for the rest of the game as Sanchez would throw three interceptions to the 32nd-rank passing defense. All three turnovers would lead to Patriot touchdowns.

In a game that would most likely decide not only the AFC East, but home-field advantage, the Jets all but secured themselves the fifth spot in the AFC playoffs.

If the playoffs were to start today, the 9-3 Jets would visit the 7-5 Jaguars.

The Jets will now turn their attention to another divisional foe, the 6-6 Miami Dolphins. The game will be at the New Meadowlands Stadium at 4:15 p.m. EST.

NOTES:

  • The Jets were 5-0 this season on the road and 8-0 dating back to last season.
  • The Patriots have extended their regular season home winning streak to 26 games. With the win, Brady surpassed Brett Favre for most consecutive wins in his home building.
  • Eric Smith, who filled-in for the injured Leonhard, was exposed early as he was called for a 36-yard pass interference call that led to the 1-yard Green-Ellis touchdown.
  • LaDanian Tomlinson, who was instrumental in the 28-14 Week 2 win with 102 total yards, tallied a mere 61 total yards Monday night.
  • The Jets redzone and third-down problems continued as they were 0-for-2 within the 20-yard line and 3-for-12 in extending drives.
  • Danny Woodhead on playing his former team: “This is where I am. I am a New England Patriot. Was I over there [referring to the Jets sideline] at one time? Yeah, but that’s not something I dwell on or ever want to dwell on because that’s not who I am now. I am a New England Patriot and that’s the most important thing.”

Last Minute Notes

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

FOXBOROUGH, MA – As the fans leave their respected tailgates on the opposing side of Route 1, there are a few last-minute notes to get to you before the game of the year is ready for kick-off.

The on again, off again relationship between the New York Jets and wide receiver Laveraneus Coles is on…again…for now. The receiver, who was cut by the Jets before the season even started on Aug. 29. He was re-signed by the Jets on Dec. 4, wearing number 87 and will be inactive for Monday night’s game.

The Jets and Patriots are ready for kick-off. If you are not watching this game tonight, you might as well just through your TV set out the window. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

With the broken tibia to safety/punt returner Jim Leonhard, slot receiver Jerricho Cotchery will be taking over the punt return duties. Cotchery, of course, is coming off a groin injury in which he missed the last two weeks. Safety Eric Smith will be replacing Leonhard on the starting defense.

During pre-game warm-ups, kicker Nick Folk could be seen trying attempts from as far out as the 35-yard line with the wind at his back. With winds at highs of 24 miles per hour and  a windchill factor of 15 degrees tonight, that might be as far as we see the Jets try an attempt, especially with Folk’s shakiness as of late.

Jets Inactives: 3QB K. Clemens, LB J. Westerman, OL V. Ducasse, TE J. Cumberland, TE M. Mulligan, WR L. Coles, DT M. Dixon, DL M. Kroul.

Patriots Inactives: WR T. Price, RB T. Clayton, CB J Wilhite, OL R. Ohrnberger, T M. LeVoir, DL M. Pryor, DL E. Moore, DL M. Wright.

The magnitude of Jets-Patriots

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – After 102 meetings between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots, there is very little that has separated the two as their head-to-head record shows (51-50-1, Jets).

With both teams at 9-2, the best record in football, their 103rd meeting will decide a whole lot more than a .500 all-time record.

As we all know, the game will most likely decide the AFC East, home-field advantage and Super Bowl supremacy. With the Jets already with a half game lead, thanks to the Week 2 thrashing in New York, they could seal their fate with another win in New England.

However, as the saying goes, it’s easier said than done.

You will have to go back ten years to see the last time the Jets swept the regular season from New England – Bill Belichick’s first season as head coach and, seemingly, Drew Bledsoe’s last full season a Patriot starter.

The first game occurred on September 11, 2000 at the Meadowlands Stadium. After being held to only a touchdown through three and a half quarters, trailing 19-7, the Jets turned the burners on to score 13 unanswered points from Wayne Chrebet to pull out the 20-19 victory. Vinny Testaverde threw for 281 yards and three scores in the come-from-behind win.

The Jets then whooped up on the Patriots at Foxboro Stadium on October 15th, 34-17. Curtis Martin ran wild against his former team, rushing for 143 yards and three TDs.

Rex Ryan will be going for this third victory in four attempts against Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots Monday night. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

And then September 23, 2001 would remain a day that Jets and Patriots fans would remember forever. The Jets won the battle, a defensive 10-3 victory, in which Mo Lewis laid a vicious hit on Bledsoe, shearing a blood vessel in his chest and changing the course of history, but the Patriots would win the eventual war.

In comes a lanky, unheralded quarterback by the name of Tom Brady, just one year removed from playing at the University of Michigan. He didn’t do much in that game (5-10, 46 yards), but would go on to do much bigger things.

And since then, the Jets haven’t been able to defeat Brady and the Patriots in consecutive games, let alone a season sweep.

The Jets have won consecutive games against the Patriots: a 34-31 OT winner, perhaps Brett Favre’s signature game as a Jet, and a 16-9 win in which the Jets shut out the Pats in the second half and score 13 unanswered points. Both wins came at New England, however the overtime game featured Matt Cassel at quarterback, while Brady was out with a season-ending knee injury.

While they have proven they can beat Belichick and the Patriots at home, they still must prove they can beat Brady at home, who has rattled off 25 straight regular-season home victories.

A win on the road Monday night would prove just that. The Jets have been very bad guests in 2010, as they have yet to be beaten by their hosts. But the masterful Belichick rarely loses when he’s given extra time to prepare for an opponent, especially one who has bested him in recent history.

Jets coach Rex Ryan holds a 2-1 career record against Belichick, backing up his claim that he will not be kissing Belichick’s rings any time soon.

How will the Jets align their DBs?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - For the last three years the game plan against the New England Patriots has been relatively simple: play All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis heads up with All-Pro receiver Randy Moss and let everyone else fall in place.

This time around, however, the 9-2 Patriots are without Moss. Instead, they have compiled a bevy of playmakers to compliment their cornerstone quarterback, Tom Brady.

Randy Moss may be playing for the Music City, but Darrelle Revis and co. will have their hands full with a new-look, versatile Patriots offense. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

Certainly Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Petitine are letting out a sigh of relief with not having to deal with number 81, but this new Patriots offense might prove to be more problematic than in past games.
“We have a lot of flexibility in our system,” Ryan said Friday. “Whether we lock our guys inside, outside, we’ll do what’s in the best interest of the team.”

The question everyone is asking is ‘who will Revis cover?’. While Ryan doesn’t want to tip his hand in the chess match leading up to the game, all signs have been pointing to Revis covering speedy slot receiver Wes Welker (65 receptions, 9.1 yards per receptions, 6 TDs).

“The guy is very dangerous. Most teams double him in the slot. He’s dangerous,” Revis said when asked to describe Welker.

However, Revis has little to no experience in the slot and Welker usually does his damage 5-10 yards away from the line of scrimmage. We may see the physical Revis jam Welker at the line before passing him along to a linebacker who will look to lay big hits on the pint-sized receiver.

Another scenario that Ryan has hinted at is using either Revis or the long-armed Antonio Cromartie to cover the Patriots two-headed monster at the tight end position. Aaron Hernandez (6 receptions, 101 yards against NYJ) and Ron Gronkowski (6 TD receptions) are match-up nightmares for opposing linebackers and defensive backs alike. With the Jets struggling against the better pass-catching tight ends in the league, this seems like a probable move for Ryan and company.

But then there is still Deion Branch, a favorite target for Brady over the years, who is coming off the best game as a re-newed Patriot (3 receptions, 113 yards, 2 TDs).

Also Danny Woodhead, who’s pass-catching abilities have been utilized to the fullest by the Patriots, will be looking to show what the Jets have been missing since he was waived on 9/14/10. Certainly his speed and elusiveness will demand the attention of a defensive back rather than a slower linebacker.

There has been communication problems amongst the defense, which has attributed to some the Jets defensive problems. While Ryan and Petitine would ideally love to deploy an intricate defensive game plan to confuse the Patriots offense, sometimes less is more.

“We can’t worry about cooking up these exotic game plans. Let’s just be who we are and rely on the fact that our personnel can not only match up with their personnel, but can win one-on-one battles,” Damien Woody said, who feels the same about the offense as well.

An obvious plus for the Jets is they will have all hands on deck for this mega-game. Cornerbacks Marquice Cole (hamstring) and Dwight Lowery (concussion) have been limited in practice but fully expect to be ready come Monday.