Archive for December, 2011

Mourning After Report

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Just shut up and play the game.

Do you think Rex Ryan had dreams of sugar-plum fairies dancing in his head last night? Do you think he walked down his staircase to find a stocking filled with coal? Has he even tried to remove the foot from his mouth or do you think he’s going to savor the accents for a bit?

No matter the topic the Jets will have a lot of thinking to do with, more than likely, plenty of time to devote to it. And with the new year fast approaching how fitting is it to reflect on the actions past and make adjustments for the future. From the looks of the dismal game plan the Jets had implemented in their 29-14 “home” loss to the New York Giants, the adjustments are going to start from the top. Ryan has a marked propensity for writing checks that his team just can’t cash. Sunday was no different. After flapping his gums and beating his chest all week long that his team was the most dominant in New York, the Jets came out flat-footed and lacked luster — most certainly not deserving of any extra helpings of Grandma’s figgy pudding.

The offense was clearly out of their comfort zone, with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer abandoning the team’s identity of “Ground and Pound” and forcing Sanchez to drop back 59 times — 16 more attempts than his previous career high. Now depending on nearly half of the AFC to lose in Week 17, the Jets must win in Miami if they have even a shadow of hope of getting in to the NFL’s second season.

PASSING OFFENSE: F

  • Sanchez has attempted 40+ passes in seven career games. The Jets are 3-4 when he is forced to throw the ball. In those games the Jets have been outscored 139 to 154. After going into the half down three points, Sanchez came out in the second half and attempted 30 passes. The team was outscored 19-7.
  • After what could easily be the most disappointing game in Santonio Holmes’ career, where two costly  mistakes led to 14 Philadelphia Eagle points, Holmes had yet another two drops in Saturday’s contest. In fact the only passing touchdown came by the hands of Josh Baker, the team’s back-up fullback. This after Holmes predicted he would have a big game as the Giants’ defensive secondary “gives up big plays”. On the night, Holmes had four receptions for 50 yards. Bah Humbug!
  • The struggles of the offensive line could play as the microcosm of the Jets 2011 season: head-scratchingly inconsistent. Just two weeks after giving up a combined 1 sack in three games, the Jets played to the strength of the Giants defense — the pass rush. Jason Pierre-Paul harassed D’Brickashaw Ferguson for two sacks, just a week after Wayne Hunter was abused by Jason Babin for three sacks. The line gave up five sacks in total on the afternoon.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D+

  • The poor grade comes from a lack of use. But when used LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene (87 combined yards, 5.0 yards per attempt) were effective. And against the third worst rushing defense in the NFC (giving up 126.1 yards per game) it doesn’t make sense to abandon the ground game when the game was as close as it was.
  • “I don’t know, that’s a lot of throwing the football,” he said, adding, “We pride ourselves on Ground and Pound. That’s our philosophy. The last few weeks, we’ve done that. We’re pretty good at it and pretty successful and putting points on the scoreboard. For whatever reason, we didn’t do that today. I can’t answer why,” Tomlinson via ESPNNewYork.com on when he heard Sanchez attempted 59 passes.
  • “No, that was not our plan. We thought we’d be able to run the ball on them. We liked some of our match-ups that we had, but obviously we don’t go into a game planning on throwing it that many times,” Rex Ryan on whether passing the ball that much was a part of the game plan.

Nick Mangold (left) and D'Brickashaw Ferguson (right) had a tough game against the aggressive New York Giants pass rush. The Jets lost the game 29-14 on Saturday. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

PASSING DEFENSE: B-

  • Well, maybe Victor Cruz (3 receptions, 164 yards, 1 TD) wasn’t crazy for talking down to Darrelle Revis and the Jets secondary.
  • Eli Manning has over 4,000 yards and is on his way to 30 touchdowns and the Jets held him to 9-of-27 passing the ball and still lost. Is it really a question of defense? The pass rush could only generate a measly three quarterback hits and two sacks on Manning (1o TDs, 9 INTs over his last six games) while only intercepting him once.

RUSHING DEFENSE: C-

  • The Giants were one of the worst rushing teams in the league combined with the Jets having uncharacteristically struggled against the run this season, allowed for Ahmad Bradshaw to bust the game open with two second half scores.
  • After the game, Giants oft-outspoken running back Brandon Jacobs spread some holiday cheer in the direction of Ryan. After Ryan told Jacobs to “shut the f— up”, Jacobs reminded the Jets boisterous head coach that he is not the Giant player to be provoking.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C

  • If you have to punt the ball nine times in a game after dominating time of possession (36 t0 24) that’s not the sign of an efficient offense.
  • After starting the season perfect for the first eight weeks, the second of the season has been far from perfect. Upon missing a field goal last night, Folk has been 50/50 on field goal tries going 8-for-16. That’s the definition of liability.
  • The lone bright spot for special teams was the rookie Jeremy Kerley, who averaged 18.5 yards on four punt returns. It will be exciting to see him develop in to a real playmaker next season.

COACHING: F

  • I’ll reiterate what I said in the first line: just shut up and play the damn game, Rex. You’re a coach. Just coach. Forget pumping yourself up with empty promises that your team just can’t deliver. Ryan congratulated Giants coach Tom Coughlin, stating it starts with coaching and they did a better job. He’s right, it starts with coaching. So coach.
  • In his post-game press conference Ryan seemed to question Schottenheimer giving the boot to the ground game. “We are not going to beat anyone if you throw it that many times, that is for sure. We averaged 4.3 [yards]a carry, we were running the ball effectively, but you fall behind like that and are behind a couple of scores, you have to speed it up and that’s why we did it. Obviously we were really not built to play that game but it is what it is.” — sounds like a difference in philosophy.

Hot (& Bothered) Issue: Santonio Holmes

Monday, December 19th, 2011

As a member of the media I try to stay even-keeled on the teams I cover. It’s journalism 101: leave the bias at home. But every so often there’s a moment that creates such a genuine, organic response where the journalist has no choice but to succumb to the grips of fanhood.

I was at a local sports bar, following my fantasy football team on their way to championship game appearance when the moment hit me in the face. It happened in the 45-19 drumming of the New York Jets in Philadelphia with 4:42 left in the first half. Mark Sanchez found a wide open Santonio Holmes for a 25-yard touchdown. Already down 28-3, most Jets fans were already drowning their sorrows in $10 Coors Light pitcher knowing the game was too far out of reach to celebrate the score.

One of the captains of the Jets, Holmes, did not have that same feeling. Following the score he did the “Flight Boy” soar before taunting the Eagles by imitating their infamous “Fly Eagles Fly” celebration. Holmes was penalized for excessive celebration, pushing the Jets back 15-yards on the ensuing kickoff.

That’s when I lost it. My friends, who were there only for the beer specials and free pool, didn’t pick up on the distasteful act but did notice my uproarious reaction to it. I slammed my fist on the wobbling table, spilling the beer over scattered remnants of buffalo wings while doing my best Seth Myers impression. “Really Santonio Holmes? Really?! You’re going to celebrate after only being 18 points down? Really?!!”

Santonio Holmes was a fan favorite in 2010. But in 2011 he has done some things that have left Jets fans scratching their heads. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

Think this is just a fabricated story just to support my case? Check my Twitter (@Wesley_Sykes). In fact, check any one of the many Jets Nation members on the social medium. It was a consensus #SMH moment. And as long as we’re being honest, honestly I’m a Patriots fan at heart. One would think I would revel in such a bone head play by my favorite team’s bitter rival. But I was infuriated by his selfishness.

The kicker of it all? For all intents and purposes, Holmes was the one of the big reasons the Jets lost the game. On the Jets first drive of the game, Sanchez found Holmes for a seven-yard gain before coughing up the ball and watching the robust Joqua Parker return it 47 yards for the first score of the game. On the following drive, after the Jets got a gift fumble recovery, Holmes tips a pass from Sanchez that was more than catchable only to have it fall in the hands of Asante Samuel. Two bad plays resulting in 14 points, and in return, sucking the life out of a Jets offense that has been rolling as of late.

Holmes wears the “C” on his chest, usually standing for captain. But on this day the “C” stood for conceited. Head coach Rex Ryan rewarded Holmes’ 2010 performance with giving him the leadership role, but still has yet to live up to his captain title. Earlier in the season he publicly bashed his teammates, questioning the offensive line, his coordinator and quarterback. Hardly a sign of a leader.

In an age where it seems more about the name of the back of the jersey than the front, Holmes needs to know that not every time is “Tone Time”.

PREVIEW: NY Jets (8-5) @ Eagles (5-8)

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Jets take their three-game win streak and a high-flying offense to Philadelphia to face arguably the most talented 5-8 team in the NFL. Throughout their past three games the Jets have scored 13 touchdowns (tied for first in NFL) and averaged 33.0 points per game (fourth in the NFL). Mark Sanchez is a big part of the offensive surge, accounting for nine of the team’s 13 touchdowns while passing for over 500 yards and only turning the ball over twice.

The Eagles, albeit a consensus disappointment in 2011, present a unique set of problems for this Jets team, in particular the offense. Jason Babin (15 sacks) is among the league leaders in getting to the quarterback and lines up alongside Cullen Jenkins (6 sacks) and opposite Trent Cole (9 sacks). The secondary is where three Pro Bowl corners reside in Nnamdhi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie — all of whom are adept at jumping routes and making big returns.

Defensively, Bart Scott and company will have their hands full putting a stop to the Eagles two-headed rushing monster in Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy.  Against a weak Philadelphia offensive line the Jets will need another stellar performance from their pass rushers, after their 5-sack game against Kansas City last week.

WHEN: Sunday December 18, 2011 @ 4:15 p.m. EST (Can be seen on CBS or heard on 1050 ESPN Radio).

WHERE: Philadelphia, PA / Lincoln Financial Field (capacity: 69,144)

SERIES HISTORY: Ninth meeting, Eagles lead 8-0

LAST MEETING: Eagles, 16, Jets, 9, The Meadowlands (10/14/07)

NOTABLE: Six of New York’s eight losses to Philadelphia have come by eight points or less, with two of the defeats by only one point. The most recent contest (10/14/07) featured nine field goal attempts with kickers David Akers and Mike Nugent connecting on six. The game’s lone touchdown came when Eagles QB Donovan McNabb found WR Kevin Curtis on a slant that he took 75 yards for the score.

Plaxico Burress' red zone prowess makes him the JetsInsider.com's X-Factor of the Week. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

STATISTICS:

  • JETS — OFFENSE: 25.2 PPG (6th), 311.0 TOTAL YPG (25th), 206.1 PASS YPG (21st), 104.9 RUSH YPG (22nd), 37.5% 3rd DOWN (15th), 29 SACKS ALLOWED (14th-T). DEFENSE: 20.8 PPG (12th-T), 310.1 TOTAL YPG (6th), 200.8 PASS YPG (6th), 109.2 RUSH YPG (14th), 30.4% 3rd DOWN (2nd), 29 SACKS (17th-T).
  • EAGLES — OFFENSE: 22.8 PPG (15th), 399.2 TOTAL YPG (4th), 250.3 PASS YPG (11th), 148.9 RUSH YPG (3rd), 40.9% 3rd DOWN (10th), 25 SACKS ALLOWED (11th-T). DEFENSE: 22.5 PPG (20th), 334.0 TOTAL YPG (11th). 218.9 PASS YPG (12th), 115.1 RUSH YPG (18th), 36.4% 3rd DOWN (14th), 42 SACKS (2nd).
HEAD COACHES:
  • JETS – Rex Ryan / third season / 28-17 Regular Season / 4-2 Postseason
  • EAGLES – Andy Reid / thirteenth season / 123-81-1 Regular Season / 10-9 Postseason.
INJURY REPORT:
  • JETS — OUT: Marquice Cole (knee). PROBABLE: Mike DeVito (knee), Marcus Dixon (hip), Vladimir Ducasse (knee), Shonn Greene (rib), Nick Mangold (ankle), Joe McKnight (elbow), Brandon Moore (hip), Calvin Pace (groin), Eric Smith (knee), Matt Slauson (knee).
  • EAGLES — DOUBTFUL: Darryl Tapp (ribs). QUESTIONABLE: Todd Herremans (ankle), Cullen Jenkins (groin), Jeremy Maclin (shoulder, hamstring), Vince Young (ankle). PROBABLE: Nate Allen (hamstring), Nnamdi Asomugha (knee), Ronnie Brown (hamstring), Riley Cooper (groin), Trevor Laws (knee), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle), Michael Vick (ribs).
KEY MATCH-UPS:
  • LeSean McCoy vs. David Harris — Now it’ll take a collective effort to stop McCoy, the NFC’s leading rusher, but if successful the Hitman can cross off one name high on his “hit list”. McCoy has been the Eagles offense for the season leading the team in rushing while ranking third on the team in receptions with 45. With the elusive Vick more than capable of making plays outside of the pocket, it will be McCoy lurking around the flats and underneath the secondary ready to take advantage from a broken down defensive scheme.
  • Justin Babin vs. Wayne Hunter — Babin may be the lone free agent signee who has lived up to the mega deal he signed in the off-season for the Eagles. With 15 sacks Babin has taken advantage from the 1-0n-1’s with right tackles as the rest of the line is forced to deal will line mates Jenkins and Cole. Hunter has had his troubles against elite pass rushers this season, but the offensive line as a whole has been very productive — not giving up a sack in two of their last three games.
  • Shonn Greene vs. Eagles Front 7 – It’s not secret that Greene has been a huge part of the offense’s resurgence and Sanchez’s efficient play, but against an Eagles front seven that likes to fly around and ranks second in the league in sacks, Greene will be the centerpiece to the offense. The best way to combat a fury of blitzing defenders? Run right at them.
X FACTORS:
  • Brent Celek, Tight End, Eagles — The tight end position is usually one for concern when it comes to the Jets’ secondary. But with the loss of defensive field general Jim Leonhard at safety, the match-up becomes an even more glaring weakness. He leads the team with 49 receptions and is a steady target for Vick. With Eric Smith and Brodney Pool playing deep for the Jets, the pressure will be on to keep Celek from breaking free when Vick moves outside the pocket.
  • Plaxico Burress, Wide Receiver, Jets — The Jets lead the NFL in red zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns on 71.4 percent (30-of-42) of their opportunities. New York has produced touchdowns on their last 12 possessions inside-the-20. A big part of the red zone success has been Burress, who does the brunt of his damage within the 20-yard line. Add in the fact that Burress has at least three inches on every defensive back the Eagles have to offer and that could be all the space Sanchez and Burress need to capitalize.

THE PREDICTION: NY JETS 28 — EAGLES 21. This is the Jets time of the season. We’ve seen it occur over the last two years now. Greene has yet another big day and the defense finds a way to keep the elusive Vick and McCoy in check.

    Jim Leonhard’s season in jeopardy

    Monday, December 12th, 2011

    FLORHAM PARK, NJ —  UPDATE: JIM LEONHARD SUFFERED TORN RIGHT PATELLA TENDON AND WILL MISS REMAINDER OF SEASON. It’s deja vu, all over again. For safety Jim Leonhard the classic Yogi-ism might be more than appropriate if the reports of yet another season-ending right leg injury for the veteran safety are true.

    He is to have an MRI on Monday and more definitive results will be known later in the day, likely during Rex Ryan’s press conference with media. Eerily, it was Week 13 where Leonhard suffered a gruesome broken right leg during practice in preparation for their mega match-up with the New England Patriots. He would be done for the rest of the season and the Jets would go on to lose the ensuing two games. It took a grueling rehabilitation process to get the scrappy Leonhard back on the field after spending some time in a motorized scooter, that he playfully drove around the locker room in.

    Jim Leonhard suffered a right knee injury following an interception in Sunday's 37-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

    In Sunday’s 37-10 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs, Jets safety and defensive leader Leonhard injured the same right knee following an interception and getting his legs wrapped up oddly on the tackle.

    “I’m hopeful it’s not that bad, but it’s never good when you need help coming off [the field]. I don’t know the extent of it right now,” Ryan said in his post game press conference.

    Darrelle Revis told ESPNNewYork.com that “it’s a big loss for our defense and everybody knows that he’s one of the captains of our defense. It’s big a loss for us again, we have to go through the same thing we did last year.”

    In Leonhard’s place, former starter Brodney Pool assumed the starting safety duties alongside Eric Smith, who replaced Leonhard last year. Along with Bryan Thomas, who suffered a season-ending Achilles’ injury, Leonhard is in the last year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent next season. Rumors are swirling that the injury is a torn ligament in his right knee, however nothing has been confirmed.

    Be sure to stay with the Jets Insider as the news on Leonhard’s status breaks.

    PREVIEW: CHIEFS (5-7) @ NY JETS (7-5)

    Saturday, December 10th, 2011

    FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Looking at this game on paper, you’d be surprised that, to the Jets, this is a playoff game. After all, the Kansas City Chiefs are two games below .500 and without three of their most talented players in QB Matt Cassel, RB Jamaal Charles and S Eric Berry. But as the NFL season draws closer and closer to January, the Jets find themselves in a familiar position: with their backs against the wall, scratching their way to a playoff berth.

    The key to a Jets victory on Sunday will be stopping the dynamic Chiefs defense, lead by All-Pro defensive end Tamba Hali — whom was on the mind of all the offensive players of the Jets this week. Despite losing their two cornerstones of their offense, the Chiefs defense has been playing admirably — with their national stage performance two Sunday nights ago against a potent Pittsburgh Steelers aerial attack.

    WHEN: Sunday December 11, 2011 @ 1 p.m. EST (Can be seen on CBS or heard on 1050 ESPN Radio).

    WHERE: East Rutherford, NJ / MetLife Stadium (capacity:82,500).

    SERIES HISTORY: 34th meeting, tied 16-16-1.

    LAST MEETING: Jets 28 — Chiefs 24, The Meadowlands on 10/26/08.

    NOTABLE: Sunday’s contest will be the fifth time in the last six games between the two franchises that will be hosted by the Jets. New York has won three of the previous four home contests. The Jets earned the most recent victory in the series when QB Brett Favre found WR Laveranues Coles from 15 yards out with 1:00 in the game.

    Shonn Greene (above) has to have another big day if the Jets offense hopes to have success against a tough Chiefs defense. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

    STATISTICS:

    • CHIEFS –  OFFENSE: 299.8 TOTAL YPG (27th), 13.6 PPG (30th), 179.2 PASSING YPG (30th), 120.7 RUSH YPG (9th), 38.5 3rd DOWN % (14), 28 SACKS ALLOWED (18th-T). DEFENSE: 344.2 TOTAL YPG (16th), 22.3 PPG (18th), 213.8 PASS YPG (12th), 130.3 RUSH YPG (25th), 34.8 3rd DOWN % (8th), 20 SACKS (29th).
    • JETS — OFFENSE: 310.8 TOTAL YPG (26th), 24.2 PPG (8th-T), 210.3 PASS YPG (20th), 100.4 RUSH YPG (24th), 37.8 3rd DOWN % (16th), 26 SACKS ALLOWED (16th). DEFENSE: 317.5 TOTAL YPG (7th), 21.7 PPG (16th), 204.6 PASS YPG (7th), 112.9 RUSH YPG (15th), 31.45 3rd DOWN % (3rd), 24 SACKS (20th-T).

    HEAD COACHES:

    • CHIEFS — Todd Haley / third season with Chiefs / 19-25 Regular Season / 0-1 Postseason
    • JETS — Rex Ryan / third season with Jets / 26-17 / 4-2 Postseason

    INJURY REPORT:

    • CHIEFSDOUBTFUL — Kyle Orton (right finger). QUESTIONABLE — Jovan Belcher (shoulder), Demorrio Williams (groin). PROBABLE — Wallace Gilberry (chest), Casey Wiegmann (finger).
    • JETSDOUBTFUL — Mike DeVito (knee). QUESTIONABLE — Marcus Dixon (hip), Joe McKnight (right elbow), Brandon Moore (hip). PROBABLE — Vlad Ducasse (knee), Shonn Greene (rib), David Harris (ankle), Jeremy Kerley (knee), Eric Lankster (low back), Nick Mangold (ankle), Calvin Pace (groin), Tanner Purdum (low back), Matt Slauson (knee), Eric Smith (knee), LaDanian Tomlinson (knee), Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder).

    KEY MATCH-UPS:

    • Jets O-Line vs. LB Tamba Hali – He just won’t be the concern of D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel uses Hali all over the field, forcing the offense to always be on the look out for number 91. He brings a variety of moves in his pursuit of the quarterback, starting out as a strongside defensive end before Haley and Crennel converted him to an upright 3-4 linebacker. With 41.5 career sacks, 15 of them coming last season, Hali has to be public enemy number one for offensive line coach Bill Callahan.
    • Mark Sanchez vs. Chiefs Corners — Sanchez feels like he knows this Chiefs defense. “They get after the ball carrier whether it’s the quarterback, receiver or running back. They have a great pass rush and their secondary is good enough to hold up until they get to the quarterback, so we really have to run on the perimeter, get open down-field and our running game has to be strong again.” But with Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr, they combine for arguably the best cornerback duo the Jets have faced this year. If they Jets don’t want the Chiefs to clip their wings, it will be imperative for Sanchez to play a smart, controlled game against this secondary and aggressive pass rush.

    X FACTORS:

    • Shonn Greene, RB, Jets — It will be because of the offense if the Jets win on Sunday, as the Chiefs offense is rather JV with Tyler Palko at the helm. December is ground and pound time and Greene seems primed to carry the offense on his back. Sanchez said it himself, he needs another great game from his running backs if the offense is going to be effective against this well-rounded Chiefs defense.
    • Dexter McCluster, WR/RB, Chiefs — He’s versatile and can beat you in a blink of an eye in so many ways. Whether running the ball or receiving his speed is a threat, and can be exploited against a thin Jets secondary. On special teams McCluster has the speed and talent to be a threat on every return. If the game is close he could be the difference maker and it only takes one play.

    THE PREDICTION: Chiefs 13 — NY Jets 24. The Chiefs defense will give the Jets a tough time, but it will be a score from the defense or special teams that decides this game. The Jets know how to protect their home, where they are 4-1 this year.

    Thomas Jones: “I love New York”

    Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

    FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Kansas City Chiefs running back Thomas Jones loved playing in New York. He loved the atmosphere, the location, and the gripping buzz the city has to offer. For Jones, playing with the Jets was the perfect match.

    “I’ll always have love for New York City and the Jets. I miss being in Morristown and Florham Park, I loved that area. It was perfect for me. If my family wanted to come up to Virginia it wasn’t too far off. If I wanted to go shopping I’d go to the Short Hills mall. It’s a 30-40 minute drive to the city. The environment was just a great place to play. I had a lot of fun that year we went to the AFC Championship game and playing in New York City and the whole buzz that comes with it. It was just a great, great experience that I’ll never forget,” Jones told members of the New York media via conference call Wednesday.

    Statistically speaking it was Jones’ best year of his underrated career. In 2009 he posted 1,402 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns — both career highs. Coupled with then-rookie Shonn Greene, the two gave the Jets the number one rushing attacking the league. And in his three years spent with the Jets, he posted averages of  1,311 yards and 9 touchdowns while amassing 4.1 yards per attempt, the highest out of any of his three-year totals of his career.

    But following their memorable run to the AFC Championship game, Jones was cut to make room for the addition of LaDanian Tomlinson –  a slightly younger and flashier player. Now as his Chiefs prepare to face a resurgent Jets (7-5) unit, Jones has washed his hands clean any hostility toward his former team. After having spent time with five NFL teams, three of whom willingly let him go, he chooses to focus on the positives.

    “Some people look at [being on so many different teams] as an opportunity to be bitter, but I don’t look at it like that. I look at it like every opportunity I’ve had has been a blessing: to play in a Super Bowl with Chicago and play three great years for the Jets,” he said.

    "The thing is, this organization and myself included, I thought the world of Thomas. We all did, and we all do. But not this week," - Rex Ryan on the return of Thomas Jones. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

    As the soft-spoken leader of a young Jets team, Thomas let his actions dictate his knowledge of the game and the league. He felt a sense of responsibility as a veteran to take time to mentor young cornerstones of the franchise like Greene, Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller. Whether it would be finishing off runs, working hard in practice or watching extra game film, Jones felt an obligation to the team to share what it takes to be an NFL success story.

    By definition he is the NFL success story: a former first-round pick out of Virginia turned journeyman player who transferred himself into a blue-collar dependable and durable back in the NFL. With 12 yards on Sunday, Jones will pass Eddie George and Tiki Barber for sole possession of the 22nd most rushing yards in NFL history. He’s currently 24th on the list with 10,438 yards. It’s an honor he’d be honored to share with fans in New York, calling it potentially a “very special” moment.

    “A lot of what I do is from that man; everything from pass protection, to running routes, to conducting yourself as a professional,” Greene said. “In my first year I ain’t know nothing about watching film and things like that. But he’d grab me after the running backs meetings and we’d watch film together.”

    For Sanchez, Jones’ influence taught him that sometimes the best play a young quarterback could make wouldn’t be a pass, but a handoff to his steady running back.

    “[There were times] I’d throw it and miss Jerricho [Cotchery] or Braylon [Edwards] or something, and I just remember seeing him jump up on the film and get in my face and say, ‘Hey man, you don’t hand that ball off more it’s going to be on’-type thing,” Sanchez said.

    Two years removed from the Jets locker room and his impact is still felt by many. Could he stay bitter about being cut by a team that he, rather obviously, loved being a part of? Sure. But that’s never been the way Jones has looked at life. And he’s not about to start now.

    “In my house I have 5 jerseys hanging up for the five teams I’ve played for,” he said. “Some people may look at that as teams that got rid of me, but I look at it like those are the five teams I played for in the NFL. Kids dream to play for one team and I’ve been able to play for five. So I look at like a blessing.”

    Morning After Report

    Monday, December 5th, 2011

    Well, they did it again —  another miserable three quarter performance followed by a fourth quarter surge to pull out the victory. Forget Tim Tebow. Mark Sanchez has been running on “Tebow Time” long before the Broncos quarterback began his miraculous stretch this season. Sunday’s victory marked the 10 Th. time the team has won in either the fourth quarter or overtime, including the playoffs, under Sanchez and Rex Ryan.

    It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t have to be. They were able to trade points with Washington early and capitalize on big plays late in the game. Against a stalling Redskins offense the Gang Green defense was able to impose their will on Rex Grossman, who failed to throw a touchdown. But it was the special teams, usually their strong point, that allowed the Redskins to hang around.

    The Jets still have yet to put together a complete win in the sense that all facets of the team look fluid and in sync. They will have their opportunity next Sunday as they welcome the hapless Kansas City Chiefs to MetLife Stadium.

    PASSING OFFENSE: C+

    • Like I said, Sanchez didn’t make it look pretty. He looked efficient in the first half , going 11-14 for 98 yards. But he was 8-18 passing as he gained 67 yards and touchdown. Relying on Antonio Holmes late seems automatic for Sanchez, as the two connected for fourth quarter scores in two straight weeks.
    • The offensive line stymied an aggressive Redskins pass rush, allowing zero sacks on the afternoon. It’s the second straight game the line has not given up a sack.
    • Sanchez spread the ball around, finding 10 different receivers with four players getting three or more receptions. The significance? With the extra time the offensive line has been providing, Sanchez is able to go through his progressions and find the open man.
    • Random Thought: After the cheap shot by a Redskins defensive back on Sanchez after a blown whistle —  a head-to-head hit on a defenseless Sanchez — I was surprised to see five offensive players watching their quarterback get mauled and did nothing to retaliate. No shove. No headbutt. No nothing. It’s perplexing.

    Jeremy Kerley (above) was one of the players used as Brian Schottenheimer re-introduced the wrinkle of the Wildcat offense. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

    RUSHING OFFENSE: B+

    • Shonn Greene dedicated his Sunday’s performance to his naysayers. A banged up Greene (rib injury) took a beating, but banged back for 88 tough yards and three touchdowns — including two fourth quarter scores that sealed the game. It was the most carries Greene has ever had in the regular season.
    • The performance couldn’t have come at a better time, after Aladdin Tomlinson re-injured his left knee that kept him out for the previous two games. Additionally Joe McKnight came up lame in the second half. Could this mean seeing rookie Bilal Powell get activated this week?

    PASSING DEFENSE: A

    • Aaron. Mayhem. Maybin. ‘Nuff said.
    • Kyle Wilson’s second interception of his career is also his second of the year. Wilson continues to mature in his sophomore season, hammering out the bumps and having more good days than bad. If he can hit a hot streak it will make for a stifling secondary to compliment Darrelle Revis and Antonio Chromate.
    • The weak point of the secondary continues to be the coverage skills of their safeties — Jim Leonhard, Eric Smith and Brodney Pool. With the sudden craze with NFL teams and athletic, match-up nightmare tight ends you’d think the Jets would bring in personnel to stop them. Right?

    RUSHING DEFENSE: B-

    • Redskins rookie running back Roy Helu started the game on a tear, slicing through the defense for 40 yards on the first drive of the game. Early on he was able to run at will, looking reminiscent of Darren McFadden in the Jets Week 3 loss to the Raiders.
    • Bart Scott, often criticized for having a mouth bigger than his play, showed up on Sunday posting two tackles for loss and one huge pass defended to end a driving Redskins offensive threat.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: D

    • The Jets have an NFL-worst six turnovers on special teams. Shocked? So was I. Just imagine how special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff feels about the unsightly stat.
    • The sixth turnover came at a tough time, with Kerley botching a punt deep in his own territory, setting up the Redskins to take the three-point lead going in to half. The less explosive, but very reliable Leonhard to the rest of the punts — taking one punt 14 yards that help set up a late field goal for Nick Folk.

    COACHING: B+

    • I love the fact that Ryan showed the faith in the offensive line on an early 4th & 1 and went for it. After the offensive line has fallen under media duress this season, it was great to see Ryan entrust and battled offensive line to get the job done.
    • Ryan was also great throwing the red hankie on Sunday. He went two-for-two on challenges that proved to be possible changing points in the game.
    • Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer re-introduced the Wildcat offense with Greene and Kerley taking the direct snaps. Last year it proved to be effective, averaging over four yards per carry. In this game, it was also effective, producing a 11-yard touchdown run by Greene in the second half.

    Quick Hits from FedEx Field

    Sunday, December 4th, 2011

    LANDOVER, MD — The Jets are never on schedule, but always on time. For the second straight week and the tenth time under Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez the Jets have come from behind to steal a victory. And it doesn’t stop on Sundays, it’s something Jets fans have come to expect after Thanksgiving.

    The past two seasons the Jets have gone on a late season run to roll into the playoffs. And this one isn’t any different. It wasn’t pretty, but the team made plays when the opportunity presented itself and capitalized.

    With the win the Jets are now 7-5, tied with the Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans for the final wildcard spot in the AFC. Two of those teams (the Broncos and Raiders) hold the tiebreaker against the Jets.

    Here are a few tidbits and game notes on the Jets 34-19 win at FedEx field brought to you by the New York Jets media relations staff.

    To Rex Ryan, a win is a win. And with two straight wins Ryan must be smiling. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

    LONG SCORING DRIVE:

    • The Jets established a season high in both plays and time of possession on a scoring drive when they opened the game with a 17-play, 74-yard 9:06 drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by RB Shonn Greene. QB Mark Sanchez connected on 5-of-7 passes for 47 yards on the drive and helped the team convert three times on third down.

    SANCHEZ CONTINUES:

    • After leading the Jets to a come from behind victory last week against the Buffalo Bills, completing 7-of-9 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, Sanchez completed 11-of-14 passes for 98 yards in the first half against the Redskins.

    DEFENSE:

    • The Jets held Washington Redskins QB Rex Grossman to 0-of-4 passing in the third quarter after limiting him to 9-of-20 for 120 yards in the first half. For the game Grossman finished 19-of-46 for 221 yards and one interception.
    • After allowing Washington to convert their first third down attempt, the Jets held the Redskins without a conversion in their next eight attempts. The Redskins finished the game converting 5-of-16 on third down.

    FOURTH QUARTER SCORING:

    • The Jets posted 21 points in the fourth quarter of today’s 34-19 win. It was the first time they scored 21-or-more points in the final quarter of a game since 9/28/08 vs. ARZ, when they scored 22 points in the fourth quarter of a 56-35 win. The last time the Jets scored 21-or-more points in the fourth quarter on the road was 12/5/99 at NYG in a 41-28 loss.

    AARON MAYBIN:

    • Maybin leads the team with six sacks and four forced fumbles after he sacked and forced WAS QB Rex Grossman to fumble in the fourth quarter. Over the last two contests, Maybin has totaled three sacks.
    • In two games in his home state of Maryland, Maybin, an Ellicott City, Maryland native, has tallied two sacks and two forced fumbles. Earlier in the season, he tallied a sack and a forced fumble against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, Maryland). In today’s contest at FedExField (Landover, Maryland), Maybin added another sack and forced fumble.

    SHONN GREENE:

    • Greene rushed 22 times for 88 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. This was his first multi-touchdown game since 10/25/09, when he scored two touchdowns at OAK. His 22 carries in today’s contest tie for a career-high in the regular season. He also rushed 22 times on 10/3/10 at BUF.

    KYLE WILSON:

    • The second-year cornerback intercepted Rex Grossman with :36 remaining in the fourth quarter to seal the Jets 34-19 victory. It was Wilson’s second interception of the year and second of his career.

    Greene, Jets run past Redskins 34-19

    Sunday, December 4th, 2011

    LANDOVER, MD – Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets live for the forth quarter. After three quarters of mediocrity the Jets offense exploded for 21 fourth quarter points on their way to beating the Washington Redskins 34-19 at FedEx Field.

    Sanchez found Santonio Holmes for a 30-yard touchdown strike with just under five minutes in the fourth that was followed by two touchdown runs by a banged up Shonn Greene. The late offensive score keeps the Jets (7-5) in the pack of teams fighting for the AFC wildcard spots.

    It was the 10th come-from-behind victory for the Jets since Sanchez has been the starter, including the playoffs. The win comes on the heels of yet another fourth-quarter win at home against the Buffalo Bills. The Jets are in familiar territory, aiming to win out and make the playoffs for a third straight season under Rex Ryan.

    Despite the win, the game was filled with mistakes and miscues for three quarters – untimely penalties, yet another turnover on special teams (their sixth this year), and compiling a meek 168 total yards against a Redskins (4-8) team that has lost seven of their last eight games.

    It was Aaron Maybin's team-leading sixth sack on the year that sparked the turnover for the Jets in their 34-19 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

    Sanchez was a game manager going 19-32 while passing for 165 yards and one passing touchdown. The key for the third-year quarterback was not turning the ball over. With zero interceptions he snapped his streak of throwing at least one at five games. The offense relied on a heavy dose of Shonn Greene, who was nursing a rib injury, as he ran for 88 yards on 22 carries and scoring three touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer reinstated the “Wildcat” formation, where they were able to average 4 yards per attempt last season, with Greene as well as Jeremy Kerley taking the snaps.

    Rex Grossman was 19-of-46 for 221 yards and an interception for the Redskins. But it was the strip/sack of Grossman by Aaron Maybin that sparked the turnaround for the Jets. With his team down 20-16 Grossman was sacked by Maybin in his own 20-yard line. The ball was recovered by Calvin Pace and two plays later Greene took the direct snap in from 9-yards out to give the Jets an 11-point lead.

    Graham Gano’s 43-yard field goal with 1:59 to play cut the lead to eight, but the Redskins failed to recover the onside kick. Then with 1:47 remaining Greene busted out a 25-yard run to seal the game for the Jets.

    The Jets were down 16-13 after Gano was good from 46-yards out with 7:52 remaining, but on the ensuing kick off the Jets benefited from a short kick, getting the ball close to midfield. The Jets offense then came to life, as Sanchez avoided pressure and found Greene for a ten yard gain on third down. It was one of their four third-down conversions on the day. Two plays later he found Holmes in the endzone for the go ahead score.

    The Redskins, who won the toss, started out fast on offense scoring on a 2-yard run by rookie Roy Helu (100 yards, 1 TD). Grossman found tight end Fred Davis (6 receptions, 99 yards) for a few big plays, including a 42-yard catch that help set up the team’s first score.

    New York came back with a methodical 17-play, 74 yard drive capped by a one-yard run by Greene. The drive took 9:06 minutes and accounted for the team’s longest drive of the season. LaDanian Tomlinson returned to the field after missing two games with an MCL injury to his left knee left the game on that first drive. He was dragged down by Redskins safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, getting his left leg caught in the process.

    The two teams proceeded to trade field goals before a fumbled punt by Kerley gave the Redskins great field position late in the first half. Gano capitalized with chipshot field goal, giving the Redskins a 13-10 lead at halftime. The Jets, usually sharp in the special teams game, committed their NFL-worst sixth turnover on special teams.

    Safety Jim Leonhard assumed the punt return duties for Kerley, who then took a punt back 14 yards and crossing into Washington’s territory. The return led to a 51-yard field goal from Nick Folk, a season-high, tying the game at 13.