Browsing Posts tagged Antonio Cromartie

There were many new faces on New York’s sideline, but Brandon Marshall proved to be the biggest different maker. Marshall scored one touchdown, forced a fumble after a key interception that turned the tide. The Jets haven’t had a big, physical wide receiver like Marshall since Keyshawn Johnson. Marshall sets the tone on offense and brings a renewed sense of urgency to this once lackluster offense. Antonio Cromartie suffered a non-contact, knee injury during the second quarter. Two trainers were needed to get him off the field. Marcus Williams came on in relief of Cromartie and played well, intercepting one pass and defensing three passes. Before suffering an injury, Cromartie was beaten on Johnny Manziel’s 54-yard touchdown pass. Heading into his contract year, Chris Ivory garnered the attention of fans after an impressive pre-season. Ivory did not disappoint by rushing for two touchdowns. Ivory ran with an attitude and purpose as he ran through arm tackles and converted when asked to produce in high-leverage situations.

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It’s been a tumultous season for Rex Ryan’s Jets. After flirting with Peyton Manning, the Jets signed Mark Sanchez to a three-year, $40.5 million contract extension. Sanchez had two years remaining of his rookie contract, so the move was surprising. However, the Jets made the most puzzling move in franchise history a few months later. The Jets sent a fourth round pick to Denver for Tim Tebow. The looming presence of Tebowmania was evident as Sanchez’s clearly looked uncomfortable in the pocket. The offense’s production went from ‘bad’ to ‘worse’ as Wildcat guru, Tony Sparano was signed as offensive coordinator. Ryan was hellbent on getting back to a ‘Ground & Pound’ offense that he overlooked the offense’s biggest problem–Sanchez’s inconsistencies as a passer. Sparano’s offense is predicated by a hard-nosed ground game and accurate throws down field–two facets the Jets simply don’t have. Sanchez was booed to the bench and Tim Tebow Greg McElroy took over. McElroy isn’t the long-term answer, but the thought of McElroy starting seems like blasphemy.

While the offense’s on-field play was a downright disgrace, injuries clearly affected production. Santonio Holmes suffered a season ending foot injury and Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller couldn’t seem to stay healthy. Practice squad fodder (e.g. Chaz Schillens, Mardy Gilyard) became Sanchez’s go-to receivers. One could argue that Sanchez played so poorly that it didn’t matter who was on the field. Still, every team must overcome injuries and the Jets didn’t do it.

The defense has always been the Jets’ strength, so this year’s statistics were downright pitiful. The Jets have the NFL’s sixth worst run defense, yielding 135.3 yards per game. Of note, the 49ers gashed the Jets for over 250 yards, which Ryan coined as his worst performance ever. Bart Scott looked old and simply couldn’t defend tight ends. The Jets lost Darrelle Revis early in the season, but the pass defense did not miss a beat. Newcomers, Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry secured the safety positions and Antonio Cromartie played at a Pro Bowl level. The Jets were the NFL’s second best pass defense, yielding just 187 yards per game. Kyle Wilson started in place of Revis and was always picked on by opposing quarterbacks.

Special team’s coordinator, Mike Westhoff, will retire at season’s end. Known as the ‘Creator of Special Teams’, Westhoff experienced many highs (and lows). The Jets scored (and gave up) two special teams touchdowns, but suffered numerous gaffes. Tebow was placed on the punt team and made his share of mistakes.

Overall, it was a terrible season for the Jets. Ryan’s pre-season assertions about his team’s talent level were downright comical. Still, Cromartie made the Pro Bowl and Muhammad Wilkerson is beginning to play like an All-Pro. If Revis fully recovers from his ACL injury and Bell and Landry re-sign, the Jets will have the league’s best secondary. The Jets are encouraged by the play of Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, so the defense can return to its dominant ways if adds a few pieces.

On offense, the Jets need a new offensive coordinator. The Jets are stuck with Mark Sanchez, so they need a coordinator that can help develop him as a passer. Norv Turner and Charlie Weis have track records of fixing quarterbacks, so they may be options. Ryan does not know anything about offense, so he needs a strong coordinator that can fully take over. Dustin Keller will be a free agent, so the Jets need to make a decision. Still, the Jets will hope the injury gods shine more favorably upon them next season.

The Jets should give Rex Ryan one more season. The Jets will likely have a Top 12 draft pick and the return of some key pieces will help. In addition, the Jets will play a 3rd-or-4th place schedule next season, which should pad their win total. Ryan’s defense can regain its dominance, but the offense desperately needs a strong coordinator. Tebow, Sparano, and Mike Tannenbaum should not be brought back, but Ryan should be given one more chance.

So far, I’ve profiled the Jets on offense and special teams. Today, we’ll look at the Jets’ best unit–their defense.

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On Friday, we highlighted the New York Jets offense. Today, we’ll highlight their offensive line and special teams.

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Yesterday, in a development that shocked no one, the New York Jets made headlines for the wrong reasons.  Several anonymous players called for Peyton Manning to come to New York, and trashed Mark Sanchez in the process.  It’s a fitting end to a dreadful season that began with Super Bowl guarantees and ended with a collapse.  From one fed-up fan, here’s an open letter to the entire team (after the jump).

A true captain

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‘Just another team in the AFC.’

After Sunday afternoon’s shlacking to the Oakland Raiders, the Jets proved that they are just another team in the AFC. Led by Darren McFadden, the Raider ground attack chewed the Jets up for 234 yards. 234. The ‘feared’ Jets run D. 234.

Mr. McFadden had 181 of those yards, including an impressive 70-yard touchdown run. With the loss, the Jets fall to 2-1 on the season and have yet to post legit win. Maybe Rex will stop talking and start focusing on coaching his ‘great’ defense. This loss was no surprise.

Eric Smith Can't Hold Run DMC--AP Photo

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After starting the season with Hard Knocks, the 2010 Jet season ended the same way: With some hard knocks. The Jets were denied a trip to the Super Bowl for the second straight year, falling 24-19 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Give the Jets credit, though. They never gave up. After playing their worst half of football to date and facing a 24-3 deficit going into halftime, the Jets came roaring back in the second half, scoring 16 straight points. However, the Jet rally came up short as Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers on a key fourth quarter drive, sealing the Jets fate. Ultimately, the hole the Jets dug for themselves in the first half was just way too deep to dig out of.

At the end of the day, the facts still are the facts: their play on the field did not back up the talk we’ve heard all season long. Super Bowl or bust. The Jets busted.

A few key moments ultimately sealed the Jets fate as the Steelers advanced to their third Super Bowl in the last six seasons…

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Well, none other than a safety on the Green Bay Packers. However, Smith’s relevancy to this article dates back to the 2007 season. At the time, Smith was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Entering Week 14, Smith Steelers were 9-3 as they traveled up to Foxborough to tangle with the 12-0 New England Patriots. Smith, who was not phased by the Patriots 12-0 record, guaranteed that the Steelers would hand the Patriots their first loss on the season. After Randy Moss broke off two long touchdowns against Smith and the Brady tossed for 400 yards and four scores, the Patriots made Smith eat his words as the Pats won, 34-13 and moved to 13-0 on the season.

Fast forward three years and the New York Jets aren’t being bashful with their words, either. Corner Antonio Cromartie called Brady ‘an asshole‘. (Typical Classless Jet). Rex Ryan isn’t reprimanding Cromartie and encouraging his team ‘hate’ their adversaries. Is this a smart move by the Jets though?

Cromartie Getting Toasted By Pierre Garcon

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Mark Sanchez improved to 3-1 on the ROAD in the playoffs last night. It’s extremely difficult to win road games in the NFL come playoff time (just ask Drew Brees), but Sanchez has used his defense, and great plays at all the right times throughout his three wins in the post-season. There may be a lot of things to not like about Sanchez’ quarterbacking, but don’t try and take away the fact that he’s a winner.

Jets QB Mark Sanchez proves he is a postseason winner by beating Peyton Manning's Colts.

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I Win This Time, Peyton.

Rex talked the talk and Rex backed it up. Rex Ryan won his third post-season road game in the last two years as the Jets topped the Colts, 17-16. After Adam Vinatieri nailed a 50-yard field goal to give the Colts 16-14 lead with 53 seconds to go, Antonio Cromartie ran the opening kickoff back 43 yards, putting the Jets back in business. Two key catches by Braylon Edwards, including a huge 18-yarder, put the Jets in field goal range. Nick Folk nailed a 32-yarder as time expired, giving the Jets an opportunity to take on their bitter rivals the New England Patriots next Sunday afternoon in Foxborough.

Head Scratching Moments:

00:29 4th Quarter: The Jets had the ball at the IND 32 with one timeout left and the Colts used their final timeout? I didn’t understand this at all. Essentially, the Colts gave the Jets two more plays instead of one. Following the IND timeout, a 18-yarder to Edwards gave Nick Folk a chip shot 32-yard field goal, sealing the Colts fate. If the Colts don’t take that timeout, Folk is looking at least at a 40-yard field goal.

Santonio’s Drop: On a huge 3rd and 5 with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Mark Sanchez threw a very catchable ball to Santonio Holmes for a first down. Holmes dropped the ball, setting up a punt. A Colt special team’s miscue gave the Jets a first down, bailing out Holmes.

Holmes is one of the more arrogant players in the league. Don’t dance, joke, and pose when you can’t catch a short five-yard out in the AFC Wild Card round.

Sanchez’s Accuracy: Sanchez made the critical throws on the Jets’ final drive (3/3 for 38 yards), but was otherwise sporadic (15/28 for 151 yards, 1 INT) before the game winning drive.

Good Moments for the Jets:

Revis Island: Is there a better defensive player in football? Revis held the Manning-Reggie Wayne combo to one yard tonight. Hard to believe the Jets played hardball with this guy during Training Camp.

Ground and Pound: The Jets basically did what I outlined earlier this week. Run the ball, keep Peyton off the field, and dominate the clock. The Jets out-rushed the Colts, 169 to 93 and won the possession battle (33:07 to 26:53). The Jets illustrated both of these facets during a nine-minute, third quarter drive, capped off by a two-yard LaDainian Tomlinson touchdown run.

With The Win….: A minor detail, but worth noting. With the win, the Jets will send a second round pick to San Diego as part of the Cromartie trade. If the Jets lost, they would only surrender a third rounder. I’m sure this is at the fore front of Rex’s mind right now.

Rex Ryan: As much as I hate the guy, I gotta give him credit. He has now won three road playoff games in three different venues over the last two seasons. He talked the talk all week. His team beat the Colts. They were the better team today. His biggest test will come next Sunday afternoon…

What’s Next?

The Jets will now have eight days to prepare for a monster showdown in Foxborough against the Patriots. The two teams split the season series, each winning on their home turf. The Patriots crushed the Jets during their Week 13 showdown, 45-3. Tom Brady threw for 326 yards and four scores in the rout. Rex took some shots at the Pats during the week, so expect the battle-tested, brash coach to light a fire under his squad this week.

Expected Line: New England by 7.5