Posts about New York Jets

Bears hold off Jets’ rally; lingering thoughts from week 3

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It was difficult to figure out what to expect from last night’s game. The Jets were lukewarm at best, their only victory coming in week 1 against the Raiders, who are fighting against the Bucs for the title of “worst team in the league” right now. Then we have the Bears who were coming off a very impressive second half, and fourth quarter, against San Francisco just a week ago in a night game. We didn’t know what Chicago team we would get and because of that, we didn’t know what kind of response the Jets would come out with. The Bears held off a late Jets’ rally that fell short as Chicago took the victory on the road, taking advantage of their opponent’s mistakes and inefficiency in the red zone. We were less than a minute into the game and the Bears already had a score coming off a “pick-six” thrown by Geno Smith. Bad start for the young quarterback and while Smith was better as the game went on, he really struggled to find his form up to that point. Geno’s TD pass to Kerley was nice but he had to go through another interception and the Jets were bad in the red zone. Praise Nick Folk for making his field goals but if they get into the end zone at least one of those times, there isn’t desperation at the end of the game. But credit Chicago for taking advantage of the situation and holding to their lead that they established early on. The Bears had a scare when star receiver Brandon Marshall but he returned; by that time Jay Cutler had turned his TE Martellus Bennett for the scoring in the end zone. The Jets might be in trouble. After their Lions game this coming weekend, they have a three game stretch where they face the Chargers, Broncos and Patriots all in a row. It’s not as tough for Chicago but if they want to establish themselves as the sole leaders of a division they need to win at home against the Packers this weekend, a game that doesn’t seem as daunting as it did before the season started.

So I’ve had a chance to look at the scores and take a deeper look at the scores from this past weekend; there’s also the surprising standings. Does anyone realize that we’re left with only three undefeated teams in the league? I know, kind of a silly statement. But, it’s surprising to think since it seems like by week 5 or 6, there are still two or three teams left. Because the Cardinals and Bengals are on byes this week, it’s the Eagles have the biggest opportunity to be the first undefeated team to go down. They’re in San Francisco this weekend in a very interesting game. Meanwhile, the other teams are in a good position to take their bye weekend because both have a tough road game in the fifth week. The Cardinals are in Denver (tough) and the Bengals are in New England (not as tough) for week 5. Can’t wait for either of those games. The NFC is wide open, partly because three teams that were supposed to be early favorites (Saints, 49ers and Packers) have only combined for three wins. Crazy. The AFC is more in order, because even though Patriots (specifically the offense) have been underwhelming, only the Colts have caused confusion. Indianapolis has started slow but with their schedule, they should be back in order soon enough. Aside from that everything else in the conference seems to be in order. After this weekend we’ll be a quarter of the way through the season but since so many good teams are in their bye week, i’ll wait until after week 5 to do a power ranking of the best five teams in the league.

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2014 NFL season preview: AFC East

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We’re ten days, that’s right TEN, away from the NFL regular season getting underway. The preseason has teased us a bit but now that the more important of the four games have been played, the roster cuts begin and teams will look officially ready for the season. I waited as long as I could to preview each division mostly because of injuries. Just look at what’s happened to Sam Bradford (torn ACL), Cam Newton (fractured rib), Wes Welker (concussion) and many other players around the league. And the NFL hasn’t even played a game yet! The show must go on and so will we. I’ll be doing a division each day, switching from conference to conference, while leaving the toughest divisions to decide for the last few days.

New England Patriots: As it has been for the past decade-plus, the division starts and ends with the Patriots. As long as Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are there then it’s just assumed that they will win over 10 games and take the division title. The Jets challenged them for a few years (sometimes successfully) but this isn’t one of the years. The Patriots are healthy, getting back Rob Gronkowski and key players on their defense. The acquisition of Darrell Revis vastly improves what was an abysmal secondary last season. So what’s going to determine their season? Well, Brady’s weapons and their health. Last year Gronkowski went down early and the offense was so different. That and how effective they will be at running. Despite what problems may occur, I don’t seem them giving up the division.

Miami Dolphins: If the Patriots were to concede the division to another team, which team steps up to take it from them? I have a feeling that it’s going to be the Dolphins. All the signs are there. Miami did a nice job signing players in the offseason that fit their needs. Better players on both sides of the line and more weapons at play-making positions. But it’s all going to come down to Ryan Tannehill. The young QB, with the hottest wife in the league, has been getting plenty of buzz as one of biggest breakout stars of the season. I’m a bit hesitant to agree because he’s never been able to stay upright and his deep passes aren’t too crisp. Fixing the o-line and improving the receiving core will help both of those things immediately. Miami will be better this season but challenging New England for the division is a bit of a stretch.

New York Jets: The Jets. Even when they’re not good, they’re still getting plenty of attention because of their bizarre way of doing, well, everything. The circus doesn’t stop this season with the signing of Michael Vick and Chris Johnson. Those two names immediately create discussion but what about the rest of the Jets team? Geno Smith is named the starter for week 1 but how will the rest of the offense step it up? I mean, it’s not like offense can be worse than last season, right? Eric Decker should be a nice go-to target but i’m worried about their secondary and their inability to create turnovers. Coaching is always a question with Rex Ryan around. All signs point to a mediocre/.500 team and I think that’s exactly when they’re headed. Maybe even a bit worse.

Buffalo Bills: Of all the teams with playoff-less droughts, the Bills might be the most disappointing of them all. They’re one of about three teams that are predicted to “make the leap” year after year, but they always come up short on their goals. Last year was the first year of the EJ Manuel era and while he showed a bit of promise to start the season, the injury bug didn’t want to let him do. The Bills are gambling by selecting WR Sammy Watkins so high in the draft (ie. ATL with Julio Jones) so we’ll have to see how that plays out. Yes, the pieces are there as they are most years but how will everything pan out? The potential of the entire franchise being sold will loom over everything and it won’t have a positive result. Potential not fulfilled turns into disappointment. Bills bring up the rear of the division.

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Patriots top Jets in ugly game; previewing Sunday’s games

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Is there still time for the NFL to take back their Thursday Night Football idea? Last night’s game between the Patriots and Jets was just downright ugly. Both offenses struggled to get going, the players on defense looked out of gas midway through the 3rd quarter and to add insult to injury, a storm decided to show up at halftime. Despite all of those factors, Tom Brady was still able to (somewhat) lead the Patriots to a 13-10 win over the Jets. Throughout last night’s game, I didn’t know who Brady was throwing the ball to half the time. But luckily for New England, the Jets were even worse when it came to offensive production. Geno Smith looked decent in the first half, despite not throwing a pass for touchdown but when it came to the 4th quarter, it was all downhill. A couple of dropped passes might be a bit to blame but Smith ended up with 3 interceptions in the 4th quarter to seal to win for the Patriots. I’m all for more football whenever possible but not if it’s going to make the game this sluggish and inefficient. Things got really ugly at the end of the game (pictured above) as a scuffle broke out between the teams, resulting in two Jets players being ejected. Maybe, because of all the circumstances, last night was made for a bad game. Next week’s game (Chiefs at Eagles) should provide a better product but we’ll have to wait and see.

Luckily for us, last night’s game wasn’t the most promising game of the week. Not even close. The only game that has the chance to be worse than last night’s is definitely the Jaguars in Oakland to take on the Raiders so avoid that game at all costs. Great slate of early games. I’ll of course be watching the Cowboys-Chiefs game in what feels like a game that will show us just how good both teams are after a 1-0 start. I’ll also be watching the Packers-Redskins game because one of those teams will come out of that game 0-2 and could spell doom for their season. It’s VERY rare for a team to start with two losses and make the postseason in that same season. Am I the only on who thinks that the Dolphins might be good? At the very least they’re the team that starts off 4-0, gets some buzz, comes back down to earth and ends the season 6-10. It’s either them or the Titans. Has to be an AFC team because the NFC is way too stacked for a dark horse team to really make some noise. The late afternoon games will revolve around the Broncos in New York to take on the Giants. It will definitely be a great game to watch but with respects to both Manning brothers, they’re not playing the game of the week. Everyone knows Sunday night’s game that has the 49ers in Seattle is THE game to watch. I might even wait until after the game to watch Breaking Bad like I did during last Sunday night’s game. That’s the potential between these two teams.

Enjoy the games everyone. Should be another great Sunday of NFL football.

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Leftovers after a crazy Thanksgiving day in the NFL

 

Depending on how your team performed yesterday, you were either thankful they played or thankful that they were finally off your TV screen. Unfortunately I was part of the latter as my Cowboys decided to participate in their game until after halftime but we’ll get to that. First things first:

What was Jim Schwartz thinking when he threw the challenge flag? I understand that emotions sometimes make you do things that aren’t entirely logical but everyone knows that every scoring play in the NFL is reviewed. Even plays that are clearly TDs are looked at a couple of times over. The Texans took advantage of the break and rallied to tie the game late and take the victory 34-31 in OT against the Lions. The controversial scoring play didn’t doom the Lions, they actually scored another TD after that but it still lingered throughout the rest of the game and was one those obvious “what if?” plays. This loss essentially eliminates any realistic chances of the Lions participating in the postseason and it puts Houston one step closer to securing  the best record in the AFC.

The second game brought forth another classic NFC East rivalry game between the Redskins and Cowboys (isn’t that kind of ironic considering the holiday? Redskins against America’s Team?) but it can only be considered a game if both teams play in the first half. RG3 was spectacular (20-28, 311 yds, 4 TDs, 1 int, 29 rush yds) to lead the Redskins in beating the Cowboys 38-31 and suddenly put them in the running to win the NFC East. The Cowboys looked like a different team in the second half and rallied within one score but once again it was too big a hole that they’d dug themselves into. Both teams are now looking at Sunday night’s game, hoping for a Giants loss.

The final game on Thanksgiving between the Patriots and Jets was one-sided to say the least. How did the night go for the Jets? Well if Mark Sanchez getting tackled and fumbling because of his lineman’s ass (pictured above) doesn’t tell you, I don’t know what can. The game was over by halftime but particularly in the 2nd quarter when the Patriots scored 35 points, including 3 TDs in a span of 53 seconds. Tom Brady was crisp and the Patriots offense didn’t miss a beat even though they’re without Gronkowski, easily the best tight end in the league. As the Patriots finished the 49-19 victory many Tebow chants were heard from the crowd but once again, number 15 was not seen taking a snap.

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Texans remain undefeated as they take down Jets on MNF

It didn’t come as easy as the Texans planned but they did get the win against a Jets team in the middle of turbulent times. Texans RB Arian Foster led the way (29 car, 152 yds, 1 TD) as they held of the New York Jets late in the 4th quarter to take the victory 23-17.  By statistical reasoning, this is the best Texans team of all time, being the the first that they have started 5-0 in franchise history. From the eye test, it looks like they’re the Super Bowl slightly over Atlanta because of their elite running game and superior defense. As the season progresses it will be seen whether or not these two undefeated teams can keep the pace. On the other hand, the Jets woes continue at the worst times. Just as the Jets were driving late in the 4th quarter, Mark Sanchez throws another interception to kill all momentum. This time it pretty much gave the Texans the win so the question remains: is it Tebow Time for the Jets?

I wasn’t able to make a post yesterday due to real life getting in the way but I still have some lingering thoughts now that week 5 of this season has settled. What are the chances the Packers aren’t very good? Crazy to think about it after their record last season but a good team doesn’t give away a 21-3 lead to a rookie quarterback. Is this Vikings team a legit contender to make the postseason? One of these surprise teams will free fall, it happens every season. It’s between the Vikings and the Cardinals, let the games begin! The Saints got their first victory of the season late Sunday but it felt more like a choke by the Chargers than a rally by the Saints. After two weeks of absolutely demolishing teams, the 49ers will get a nice test this weekend when the Giants (the ultimate road team) come to town.

My upset pick (Browns keeping it close against the Giants) showed some real life early in the game but even the Giants woke up and the Browns became the Browns. That’s what I get for bragging about the previous week.

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