Saturday, October 23, 2010

Week 7 Matchup: JETS vs. BYE

The worst week of the season for Jets fans is upon us, the BYE week. Fortunately though, it is a great help to the players on the team. They get some much needed rest, time to heal, time to relax, and extra time to prepare for the next game. So what have the players been up to on this week off? I went to twitter to find out.

Mark Sanchez is coming off a rough week in Denver, so he should just take some time off and relax right? Clear his head a little? Well he has been doing quite the opposite.

@Mark_Sanchez: RT @Todd_Norman: & @Mark_Sanchez making up a new QB Conditioning Drill during bye week. Haha check it out!!!

Sanchez has been working with Todd Norman of Cutting Edge Sports Training. In this video that was shared on twitter, we see Mark and Todd working on a new quarterback conditioning drill. Of course, our young and hip quarterback is up with the times and into the popular music. Justin Bieber playing in the background. The kid did make fun of Tom Brady, so if Sanchez is comfortable practicing to his music, then I will not question it. Note: Picture perfect throw made at the very end. Always a good thing to see. I am proud to see him hard at work in the bye week. Although, he could be eating better…

Darrelle Revis is using this time off to rest his ailing hamstring.
@Revis24: #OCNN injury report: Taking this weekend to rest the hammy and get back to 100%

I hope this time off is helpful to Revis. It would be great to see him playing as well as he was last year.

Dustin Keller is spending his week off in Manhattan. He’s made a deal with all of his followers that anyone in his area should try and take advantage of:

@DUSTINKELLER81: Everwhere I go to eat Im going to pay for the first one of yall that makes it to the restaurant and says Dustin Keller sent me
@DUSTINKELLER81: Whatever my bill is I'll leave the same amount for y' bring one guest if you'd like..and I'll be in NYC all week..good luck!!!

Nick Mangold went home to Ohio for the week. He’s been his usual twitter addict though. Thinking of names for his very own cereal brand. Sleeping in. Watching TV. I’m almost jealous. It’s always good to be Nick Mangold.

@nickmangold: Wouldn't "Mangolden Grahams" cereal be awesome? Tweet @plbsports and let them know. @russellspielman says so! #mangoldengrahams
@nickmangold: David on #TheApprentice is Andy Bernard on #TheOffice before anger management.
@nickmangold: T-minus 15 mins to The Office! "Ground control to Major Tom". And yes that's how my mind works, scary isn't it?
@nickmangold: There is nothing better than wearing comfy pants at noon-15. Bye week is pleasant when in the great state of Ohio!

Seems like some of the Jets best players are really enjoying their bye week. Hopefully they will all be well rested, have healthy bodies, and clear minds. I’m sure the coaches are enjoying their bye week as well. Rex is definitely having his fair share of snacks, but I hope they have a plan to fix the problems this team has been having the last few games. I’m looking forward to a strong outing at home on Halloween against the injured Green Bay Packers by a rested and rejuvenated New York Jets team.

Special thanks to Erik Manassy and for making my twitter search easier.

NFL Hard Hitting Safety Video

This is the video that was sent to every team around the league. I find it to be pretty useless. These guys have played football for their whole lives. I'm pretty sure they all know which hits are clean and which are not. I feel like this video would appear on the classic Monday Night Countdown on ESPN for the "Jack'd Up" segment they used to show each week. I'll restate how dumb I think this new rule is. It's really dumb. Thank you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fantasy Files - Week 7

Welcome to my first weekly fantasy file. I’m here to offer my advice to the struggling fantasy owner, or to one who cannot decide to start or sit someone. Whether you choose to take my advice or not, I hope you continue to come back and read my posts.

Matt Cassel KC – Start
Coming off a solid week against a bad Houston secondary, Cassel gets to play the 28th ranked pass defense of Jacksonville this week at home. Expect a good game.

Kevin Kolb PHI – Start
Finally looks like he is coming into his own this season. Likely won’t have DeSean Jackson this week, but Maclin had a big game last week and I can definitely see it happening again.

Matt Hasselbeck SEA – Start
Has been a consistent solid start all but one week this season. An unspectacular Arizona pass defense will allow him to make some big plays

Joe Flacco BAL – Sit
Tough call, but I'd advise you to sit him. There is nothing to fear in the Buffalo defense, but with a very bad rush defense, expect Baltimore to run all day on the Bills especially with two strong running backs.

Donovan McNabb WAS – Sit
Chicago’s pass defense has only given up 3 touchdowns all season. McNabb has been putting up big yards all season, and I wouldn’t doubt he does it again, but don’t expect him to score.

Mike Wallace PIT – Start
Wallace is always a big play threat. With Big Ben back and with a full game under his belt, expect him to be able to hit Wallace down field a few times this week.

Terrell Owens CIN – Start
Actually having a really good season so far. Atlanta’s pass defense isn’t anything special. Expect him to have plenty of targets.

Deion Branch NWE – Start
Sure, San Diego has the top ranked pass defense, but they also haven’t faced any tough teams. Deion Branch, as we saw last week, is already back in sync with Tom Brady. I’d bet on another big game from him.

Patrick Crayton SDG – Start
Had a nice game last week. Gates is hurt. Floyd is hurt. Naanee is hurt. Expect him to see most of the targets from Rivers.

Hakeem Nicks NYG – Sit
Playing against a very good Dallas secondary. He is expected to play after missing a few practices this week with a hurt hamstring. Detroit knew how to slow him down last week; Dallas should be able to do the same.

Kenny Britt TEN – Sit
Britt has been very good lately, but he’s playing a good Philadelphia secondary. He was also in a bar fight early Friday morning and it is possible that the Titans may sanction him in some way. Not worth it.

Ryan Torain WAS – Start
Looks like he has some sort of knee injury. Nothing too serious and he will play, but it may have been bad enough to hold him out of the 4th quarter of the Colts game last week. Chicago’s defense is only giving up 84 rushing yards per game, but is tied for the league worst in rushing touchdowns given up. If the Redskins are going to score, it’ll be Torain, but he may not have many yards. Not a bad flex start.

Willis McGahee BAL – Start
Another good flex start. Buffalo’s run defense is pitiful. Ray Rice will need a rest after running for so many yards on them. He’ll get some carries and probably a score.

Knowshon Moreno DEN – Start
Got himself back in the lineup last week. Not his strongest game, but I’d guess he has shaken off the rust now and facing a weak Oakland defense makes for an easy breakout game.

Danny Woodhead NWE – Start
I have always been a huge fan of Woodhead. Good to see him getting his chance, even if it is for the Patriots. Had a very good game last week and it looks like he’s going to be an essential part of this Patriots offense. He’s also eligible at wide receiver if needed.

Ronnie Brown MIA – Sit
Hasn’t been impressive this season and facing the top ranked rush defense in the league. Only play him if desperate with better backs on bye week.

Beanie Wells/Tim Hightower – Sit
Seattle has been great against the rush, and neither of these two has been spectacular this year. Even if you need them because players are on bye, there may be better options out there.

Tony Moeaki KC – Start
Has been a very solid play each week and playing a Jacksonville defense that gives up a lot of receptions. If you need a tight end, he’s not a bad choice.

Kellen Winslow TB – Start
Actually available in a good amount of leagues. Has always been a great receiver and has a good matchup this week. I’d play him.

Antonio Gates SD – Iffy…
I say iffy because Gates is always a great start, but against what isn’t a terrible New England defense and missing practice all week (game time decision), may not be the safest play. If you have a good backup, give that guy a go.

San Francisco – Start
The Panthers cannot score. Doesn’t even matter how good the San Francisco defense is, they won’t be giving up many points. Matt Moore’s first start back too, I’d expect at least a couple turnovers.

New Orleans – Start
Always has the potential for big turnovers and scores. Colt McCoy making his second start with not much help around him. Threw two picks last week, will probably throw another two this week.

San Diego – Sit
New England’s high power offense will show everyone what this San Diego defense really is. They haven’t played any spectacular teams yet, but this is an offense they won’t be able to stop.

Pierre Garçon IND – Pick up ASAP
He was available in both of my leagues. Grab him if you can. No more Clark and Collie out for a few weeks. Garçon finally healthy again. Get him before someone else does.

Jabar Gaffney DEN – Pick up
Available in many leagues as well. Getting many targets and plenty of yards. Definitely solid enough for a flex play or a bench spot.

Christopher Ivory NO – Pick up
Had a big game last week. Until Pierre Thomas or Reggie Bush comes back, expect him to keep getting plenty of carries, especially this week against the Browns.

That’s about it for this week everyone. If you have anything you would like to share, any arguments, any agreements, any extra advice you would like to add, please feel free to leave some comments. I hope my advice helps some of you win your matchups this week. Best of luck to all my readers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Take: NFL Suspensions for Flagrant Hits

Today, the NFL officially announced that it will start suspending players for what they feel are flagrant hits, effective immediately. After a weekend where we saw numerous concussions caused by hard and sometimes illegal hits, the NFL needed to find a way to prevent players from driving at other players with their heads. Brandon Meriweather of the New England Patriots was the worst offender of one of these hits this weekend. Meriweather drove his helmet straight into the helmet of Ravens’ tight end, Todd Heap, after the ball had already soared over Heap’s head and as another Patriot defender was already tackling him. Meriweather’s hit was clearly intentional and unnecessary. He was fined $50,000 by the league, but was not suspended. Falcons’ cornerback Dunta Robinson was also fined $50,000 by the league for his hit on Eagles’ receiver, DeSean Jackson, a hit that resulted in both Jackson and Robinson sustaining injuries. This hit did not look intentional at all and seemed like it was just a case of bad timing. James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was fined $75,000 by the league, knocked out two Browns players, Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi, on separate helmet-to-helmet hits. Neither of which were penalized in the game. I’m not so sure about the Massaquoi play, but the hit on Cribbs looked like Harrison fully intended on hitting his helmet into Cribb’s helmet. Again, this was not penalized.

This makes me raise the question, why were Harrison’s two hits, which were clearly helmet-to-helmet, not penalized, but Jets’ safety Jim Leonhard’s hit was. Leonhard clearly hit body to body and had no intent of doing anything but knocking the ball out of the receiver’s hands, or knocking the receiver out of bounds. Just some food for thought.

I can understand why the NFL is implementing this new rule. Obviously they want to protect players as best as they can. Just because I understand does not mean I agree. Football is a physical game and we are going to see every type of hit possible at some point or another. Helmet-to-helmet, chop blocks, helmet-to-chest, tripping, etc. These are going to happen, and it is part of the game. Let’s not forget that this rule is only going to be enforced on defensive players and blockers. Ball carriers can run full speed and do whatever they can to get more yardage; they can lower their shoulders, lower their heads, throw their bodies forward, and anything else you can think of. So what we get here is ball carriers running at full speed at a defender, and the defender is the one who has to avoid hitting the ball carrier as hard as he can, because he can get penalized, fined, and/or suspended if the hit is seen as “flagrant”. The real question is what the league will define as “flagrant”.

I hate to see the NFL getting soft, but this is the day we live in. Concussions are becoming more and more common in the NFL. Players are more aggressive and they are also getting bigger and bigger every year. Newly designed helmets may protect players better, but they also allow defenders to use their helmets to lay down harder hits. I would not doubt that we see more knee and leg injuries because of this new rule. Players will want to avoid going after helmets, so they’ll go for the legs. Concussions rarely end a player’s season, let alone a career, but we have seen numerous leg and knee injuries end players’ seasons and sometimes their careers. Starting in week 7, we will see a new era in tackling. I, for one, am not excited about it. National Flag Football League anyone?

The Drive for Five (JETS 24 - Broncos 20)

Winning ugly is still winning. The Jets extended their winning streak to five in a row heading into the bye week leaving them with a 5-1 record, making them the only five win team in the NFL. As a Jet fan, the bye week is the worst week of the year, but as a knowledgeable football fan, I understand how important this week off is to the team. Darrelle Revis has not been himself this season, and his sore hamstring is definitely a contributing factor. His long holdout left him out of game shape and without any real game experience going into the season. Revis plans to spend the entire bye week rehabbing that hamstring. Hopefully this helps him get his act together so he can continue stranding the league's top receivers on his island.

LaDainian Tomlinson did not have the type of game he's been having all season (3.4 YPC), but came up big when he needed to. LT tied the game on a 20-yard run with 8:36 left in the game, and scored the game winning 2-yard touchdown run with barely more than a minute left. Tomlinson, probably the best signing the Jets have made in a long time, has been the leader in the offense that the Jets needed him to be this season and his experience brings more than stats to the team. Second year halfback Shonn Greene had his third straight impressive game Sunday, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. The Jets are fortunate to have a tandem like these two. Although Greene was demoted to the backup role a few weeks ago, his effort has not lessened and he is starting to show that he is the same player we saw in last year's postseason. We should definitely expect the Jets rushing offense to be near the top of the league for a second straight season with these two carrying the load.

We knew Mark Sanchez could not stay perfect for the entire season and we definitely saw a game like this coming from the sophomore quarterback. Sanchez threw 2 interceptions early in the game trying to force the ball to players when no one was open. What impressed me was his composure throughout the rest of the game. He never panicked like he would have last year. Yes, he did force some throws and made some bad decisions, but we also saw some flashes of brilliance like he has been showing off all season long. Sanchez is one of the best throwers on the run in the entire league and he made many timely throws while scrambling out of the pocket. It's easy to see in his on field actions that the Sanchize's confidence has greatly increased from last season. Being able to shake off two interceptions and lead the team to two scores late in the game shows his maturity and his ability to learn from and forget his mistakes. Sanchez finished the game 17/30 for 198 yards and a touchdown pass. His season rating is down to 86.4 after the game, which is still much improved from last season’s 63. His 9/2 touchdown to interception ratio is 2nd in the league behind Peyton Manning’s 13/2. Six games into the season, we are able to place Mark Sanchez’s name among the top players in the league. In Sunday’s game, we saw Sanchez struggle to find open receivers. This will not be the case every week with the wide receivers they have on that roster. I’d like to see his completion percentage (55.4%) improve as we go deeper into the season, but so far he is looking like a very promising player and leader for the Jets offense.

Sanchez and Braylon Edwards continued to play in sync this week. Sanchez connected to Edwards on a 32-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter to put the Jets up 7-0. Edwards is continuing to impress by making big catches and breaking free from some of the top corners in the league, including Champ Bailey this week. Ignoring his legal troubles, Edwards has been a very important part of this team this season and the Jets would not be where they are without him. Braylon knows he is also fighting for a contract at the end of the season, but the addition of Santonio Holmes will make it difficult for him to get that money from the Jets.

The addition of Santonio Holmes hasn't added the big numbers we expected...yet. Holmes caught 4 passes for 47 yards this week, and drew a crucial pass interference on Sanchez's fourth down heave in the final minutes of the game. He also fumbled the ball in Broncos territory after a 14-yard gain on an end around. He was having trouble holding onto the ball in the preseason, so this was not unexpected. I suspect that Holmes, like Revis, is now out of game shape after having to sit for four weeks for his suspension. His contributions will continue to increase every week and he will impress us enough to earn that new contract after the season. 

The pass defense this week was very impressive, holding Kyle Orton, who was second in the league in passing yards going into the game, and had three straight 300 yard passing games, to 14/34 for 209 yards. I am extremely proud of how Antonio Cromartie has been playing this season. Many Jets fans continue to criticize his play because receivers are actually able to catch some balls on him, but we aren't easily impressed anymore after the play of Darrelle Revis last season. He has been the best part of the Jets’ secondary this season, especially while having to take on a greater responsibility with the league's most talented cornerback being limited. Drew Coleman has also played a lot better than he has in recent years. He was not great is Sunday's game, but he did force an important fumble when he stripped Knowshon Moreno in the first quarter and has done much more than Jets fans would expect of him this season. He voluntarily took a pay cut to make sure he would make the roster this year, and we should definitely be glad he did. The Jets are still slacking in the pass rush, even with the return of the team's sack leader the past two seasons, Calvin Pace. Pace is definitely not 100% yet, but expect him to start getting his sacks and more pressure on the quarterback in the coming weeks. This bye week will give him more time to get his injured foot healed.

Jim Leonhard was flagged in the 3rd quarter for unnecessary roughness on Brandon Lloyd. Leonhard lowered his shoulder, not his head, and hit Lloyd hard in the chest as he caught the ball with two feet in bounds. Lloyd lost control of the ball as he hit the ground, but was still credited with the catch after the play was challenged. One can only imagine what was going through the head umpire’s mind when he was reviewing the play and saw that Leonhard did not hit Lloyd with his helmet. The officiating in this game was beyond questionable. Antonio Cromartie was flagged for defensive pass interference early in the 3rd quarter after what looked like a perfectly executed play. No contact was made until Cromartie went after, and knocked down the ball. The referees were able to make one very good call, on the 4th and 6 defensive pass interference at the 2-yard line that set up the Jets winning touchdown, although this call has also come under some scrutiny because it could have been called a 15 yard facemask instead of a spot foul. We’ll just let that one go.

Wins like this one let you know how special of a season we are in for. Does anyone actually believe the Jets would have won this game had it occurred last season? Probably not. Being able to overcome struggles on both sides of the ball, along with some questionable officiating, is a sign of good things to come. This team is maturing and showing the league that they are for real. This team is going places and I, for one, am very excited to see where this goes. It has never been easy being a Jets fan, and maybe the years of heartbreak and torture are finally paying off. All we can do is wait, watch, hope, and cheer. J! E! T! S! JETS JETS JETS! 

Monday, October 18, 2010


Hello and welcome to my new blog, "And The Home Of The JETS"!  This blog will mainly focus on the New York Jets, but I will be discussing other sports teams and news and some fantasy tips as well from time to time.  As of this moment, I do not have any planned out schedule of posts.  I do plan to recap Jets games every week and will probably also include fantasy football advice each week as well.  Unfortunately, as a full-time college student, my time is limited due to academics and this blog can not be a top priority for the time being, but I will make an effort to post as often as possible. Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions, and share this with your friends. Thank you!