Saturday, December 25, 2010

Win and We're In: JETS at Bears

The New York Jets fly into the Windy City to face the NFC North champion Chicago Bears this week. The Jets can clinch a wildcard spot with a win or a tie, and can also clinch if the Colts or Jaguars lose. The Bears have clinched the NFC North title, but can still earn a first round bye in the NFC Playoffs, so don’t expect them to go easy in this one.

Mark Sanchez will be starting on Sunday. He believes his shoulder is back to normal and he can give the Jets the best chance to win.

I see this game being extremely similar to last week’s against the Steelers. Both the Steelers’ and Bears’ defenses give up very little points and both are very strong against the run. The Bears are actually ranked lower than the Steelers in both categories. The point I am trying to make is that Brian Schottenheimer stepped his game up last week and beat one of the best defenses in the league, why can’t he do it again this week?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sanchez Ready to Go

Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez has officially been listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Sanchez has been limited in practice all week with a cartilage tear in his throwing shoulder. The second year quarterback had more zip behind his throws in Friday’s practice and he says there is no question that he will be out there leading this team. Sanchez told reporters that his shoulder felt the way it did going into last Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh and the way it felt the rest of the season.

Sanchez will start on Sunday. It is possible that the Jets tried to play the media by overhyping this story to make everyone forget about Rex Ryan’s foot fetish video. Whether he is in pain or not, I fully expect Sanchez to be out there playing. He knows how important this game is and knows he needs to be out there to give the Jets the best chance to win.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jets in the News

It has been another crazy week in the news for the Jets. Here’s what I think of some of the top stories.

Tripgate is still being talked about. Moving on.

Rex Ryan’s foot fetish video has gone viral this week. Despite what everyone else thinks of it, Jet fans know that the head coach is a character. I would really love to know the video of him and his wife got leaked. Anyway, the Jets have won 10 games this season under Coach Ryan. 10 games. Let the man have his fun. I will not judge him as long as we keep winning games.

Mark Sanchez has some torn cartilage in his throwing shoulder. What originally seemed like something he could play through has now become a concern. Rex and company are calling Sanchez a game time decision and have Mark Brunell preparing to start if necessary. If Sanchez is a no-go, the defense and ground game will need to step up big time. Mark Brunell has plenty of experience, but at his age we are unsure if he can lead a team to victory against one of the top defenses in the NFL.
EDIT: Sanchez will definitely start on Sunday barring any setback on Saturday or before the game on Sunday. He looked close to 100% in practice on Friday.

Santonio Holmes has a case of turf toe. The Jets say there is no question he will be playing and there is nothing to be concerned about. Let’s just hope it isn’t a lingering injury that may hurt him during a playoff run.

That seems to be it for now. If anyone has heard anything else worth talking about, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What I Saw: JETS at Steelers

I decided to try something new this week. This will not be long, but just some things I noticed, whether good or bad, from the Jets in their week 15 game.

Schotty redeemed himself this week, coming up with a brilliant game plan that kept one of the most feared defenses in the league on edge every time the Jets had the ball. The only questionable parts of his game were at the ends of each half, but otherwise he did a fantastic job and makes Jet fans more confident in him going forward toward the playoffs.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Green Machine is Alive: JETS 22 - Steelers 17

The Jets went into Pittsburgh and did what they had never done before in franchise history; they won. Gang Green pulled out a much needed win over the Steelers and are now one win away from clinching a playoff spot. Mark Sanchez stood strong and got his team back on track with some big help from his defense.

The Jets finally did what they had been saying they needed to do for weeks. They started hot and came out with a bang on the opening kickoff. Brad Smith found a big hole and returned the opening kickoff 97 yards to give the Jets an early 7-0 lead. Smith scored the last Jets touchdown on a kickoff return 3 weeks ago against the Bengals, but was able to keep both of his shoes on this time.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got off to a slow start, but found his rhythm late in the first quarter, which led to three straight scoring drives ending with a touchdown on the first possession of the second half. From that point on, Big Ben could not get anything going. On the ensuing drive, Sanchez led the Jets 66 yards down the field and scored on a 4th and 1 bootleg in which Sanchez faked the hand off and ran the ball into the end zone himself to tie the game. At this point, the defense stepped in and gave the Jets a chance to take the lead, which they did on a field goal on their next drive. Two series later, after a Jets punt forced the Steelers to start a drive at their own 3-yard line, Jason Taylor powered past the offensive line untouched and tackled Steelers’ back Mewelde Moore in the end zone for a safety to give a Jets a safer 22-17 lead. The Jets only managed to kill 25 seconds after getting the ball back, leaving a little over two minutes for the Steelers to try and drive 92 yards for a game winning touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger picked apart the Jets’ secondary and drove the Steelers 82 yards to the Jets’ 10-yard line with nine seconds left. On the next two plays, the Jets sent only three men to rush the quarterback and dropped eight back in coverage. This proved to be the winning strategy as Roethlisberger’s two attempts at the end zone fell to the ground incomplete leaving the Jets with the victory.

This was the most complete game the Jets have played since their week two victory over the Patriots. Mark Sanchez protected the ball well and ended an eight game interception streak. The Jets took advantage of Troy Polamalu being inactive. His presence creates a different atmosphere on the field and his absence was a huge reason the Jets were able to protect the ball. Sanchez did not throw for any touchdowns, but did produce his third rushing touchdown of the season, the Jets’ first offensive touchdown in 11 quarters of football. Looking at the numbers, the Jets ground game does not look very impressive. The Steelers are the top ranked rush defense in the NFL and only allowed 60 yards per game on the ground going into the game. The Jets rushed for 106 yards, the most the Steelers have given up all season. LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene proved to be a nice one-two punch and came up big when they needed to. Braylon Edwards had his biggest game of the season, making eight catches for 100 yards.

The Jets defense gave up an ugly 378 yards of offense and the Steelers had two receivers with seven catches. Rashard Mendenhall became the first running back to rush for 100 yards on the Jets this season. As bad as that may look, the defense stepped up big time in the second half and is a huge reason for this Jets’ victory. 

Just wanted to throw this video in. Rex Ryan showing lots of respect for Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. You can hear him say "We'll see you in there. We'll play again."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quick Preview: JETS at Steelers

The Jets visit the Steelers at Heinz Field today looking to avoid a 3-game losing streak. The Jets’ offense has only managed nine points in their last two games and has many wondering if they are in the midst of a breakdown. They have a difficult task today, trying to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, something the Jets have never done in franchise history. The Jets are 0-7 playing in Pittsburgh, and 0-11 in the state of Pennsylvania. Of course, all streaks have to end at some point, so why not today?

Neither team gives up many points, and both teams are in the middle of the pack in points scored. Expect a lower scoring affair and not many yards for either side. Both teams are in the top 3 in rush defense, so most of today’s yards will come through the air. Troy Polamalu will not be playing today for the Steelers due to an ankle injury. Polamalu missed most of the 2009 season and the Steelers defense was not the same without him. He creates big plays every time he is on the field and makes the Pittsburgh defense that much scarier. With this help, it is still a mystery if quarterback Mark Sanchez will be able to take advantage of the NFL’s 23rd ranked pass defense. Sanchez’s play has been very shaky in the last few weeks and he has not proven to be a competent quarterback in cold weather. In sub-freezing temperatures in Pittsburgh today, Sanchez will be tested once again and will need to show up for the Jets to win.

Santonio Holmes makes his return to Pittsburgh after being traded away for a fifth round pick during the offseason. He expects a standing ovation, which he will probably get after being a Super Bowl MVP for the Steelers after making the game winning touchdown catch against the Cardinals two seasons ago.

Every week the Jets say they need to start fast if they want to win, but each time they have failed to do so. They are the lowest scoring first quarter team in the NFL. As much as it would help to start fast, they don’t necessarily need it to win the game. The defense will have to do what it does best and stop the Steelers from scoring and having long drives. If the offense can make a few big plays, the Jets can pull off the much needed win. It will be a very long game for both teams.