Browsing Posts tagged Darrelle Revis

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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Talk about lucky. Sometimes, you need a little luck in the NFL and the Jets had that luck on Sunday afternoon. The Jets are lucky that Stevie ‘Stylez’ Johnson is a buffoon. The Jets are lucky that Dave Rayner can’t execute on-side kicks. The Jets are lucky Stylez missed not one, but two game winning TD catches in the fourth quarter. The 6-5 Jets are lucky and didn’t deserve to win this game.

I don’t care that Mark Sanchez threw four touchdown passes. I don’t care that Stevie ‘Stylez’ Johnson did the Plaxico Burress dance after his TD. I don’t even care that the Jets won the game. They were supposed to win this game and were supposed to win this one pretty handily. But they didn’t. In typical Jets fashion, the Jet defense (including Revis) was bewilderingly bad against a Bill team that mentally checked out three weeks ago. In particular, I can’t get over Stylez ‘styling’ Revis on his touchdown catch. I thought Revis looked kinda uninterested, but that’s the head coach’s fault if his players aren’t ready to go.

Would You Expect Anything Else?--Getty Images

Sanchez was ‘big’ late in the game, but the fans (including yours truly) was calling for his head in the first half. Sanchez completed only two passes and was routinely short-hopping his receivers. I was ready to see what 41-year-old Mark Brunell could do, but Sanchez saved himself in the third quarter. 

A fun stat: The Bills rushed four or fewer rushers on 79 percent of their plays. The Denver Broncos did it only 45 percent of the time last week. See the difference?

The Jets are still ninth place in the AFC and will now travel to Washington to take on the Skins. Winning in Washington is always tough, so we’ll see if Ryan can rally his team.

I never liked Plaxico Burress. I never liked his antics, demeanor, or his style of play. However, Jet fans loved Plax today as he hauled in one two three touchdown passes in the Jets 27-21 win against the San Diego Chargers. The Jets were in a ‘must-win’ situation and took care of their business. They are now 4-0 at home this season.

Plax--Reuters Photos

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The New York Jets avoided a PR crisis tonight after beating the hapless, awful, atrocious Miami Dolphins, 24-6. The score does not indicate the Jet dominance. It indicates the ineptness of the Miami offense. Quarterback Matt Moore targeted Revis Island’s main squeeze, Brandon Marshall, eleven times but paid for it heavily early in the first quarter. With his team in the red zone, Moore threw an interception to Darrelle Revis that was ran back for a score. The Jet would utilize other big plays in the win, but overall suckiness of the offense was startling. Despite the lopsided score, the Dolphins out-rushed the Jets, 118-104 and out-gained them, 308-296 in terms of total yardage. With the win, the Jets improve to 3-3 overall and 3-0 at the house that Fireman Ed built…

That Hack Fireman Ed--AP Photo

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The New York Jets will welcome the Jacksonville Jaguars to New York for their Week 2 match-up. Both teams won their opening games last week, as the Classless Jets topped the Cowboys late and the Jags stopped Chris Johnson and the Titans. The Jets will look to tee-off on one of the weakest starting quarterbacks in the league, Luke McCown. Despite the presence of Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jets need to come out and dominate on both sides of the ball tomorrow. Vegas has the Classless Ones pegged as a nine-point favorite, but here are three reasons why they will win by more than that.

Plax Acting Classless

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Later on tonight, the Jets will make their much anticipated 2011 home debut against the Dallas Cowboys. Make no mistake, there will be many games within the game as these two playoff caliber teams square off. Crazy Rob vs. Classless Rex. DeMarcus Ware vs. D’Brickashaw Ferugson. Dez Bryant vs. Darrelle Revis. The Jets run D vs. Felix Jones.  Expect both teams to play with a ton of emotion on such an emotional day for New York City. Kenny (wearing his Cowboys Jersey, boo Kenny) and I (wearing my NYPD shirt, yay me) will be in the building.

For me, the outcome of this game will come down to one over-looked facet: Special Teams.

 

Goofs

 

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Players cannot actually sign contracts until this morning, but that hasn’t slowed the buzz around the league. NFL fans have never seen this type of free agency activity with dozens of players signing with new teams each day. For the Giants, they cut offensive linemen, Shaun O’hara, Rich Seubert, and Shawn Andrews. Fullback Madison Hedgecock and defensive end, Rocky Bernard are also expected to be cut. In essence, the Giants have ripped down their O-Line to get under the salary cap. The Giants, however, are expected to bring Ahmad Bradshaw back.

As for the Jets, they made Santonio Holmes extremely rich, but are currently being held up by prized free agent, Nnamdi Asomugha. The field for his services is beginning to thin, but the Jets have a ton of work to take care, whether Nnamdi calls Broadway home or not. A Revis-Asoughma combo would be unbelievable to watch, but would it create too many holes elsewhere?

Coming Back To Gotham

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The crown jewel of this free agency class is corner, Nnamdi Asomugha. The 30-year-old Asomugha is considered by many to be the league’s second best corner behind Darrelle Revis. As many as a dozen teams are currently in on Asomugha and whichever Super Bowl contender lands him, will instantly become Super Bowl favorites. However, after giving Revis $25 million/year last season and having a laundry list of free agents to resign, can we reasonably expect Asomugha to land on Broadway?

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The emotional investment in the New York Jets football team is at an all-time high. The team has been down this road before. They have stumbled in past AFC Championships, suffered without a Super Bowl championship for 42 years, and lived in the shadows of the Giants for far too long. This current group of Jets have completely bought in the brash, aggressive style of their head coach. They have talked to talk all season long. They have belittled opposing players, coaches, and front office executives. They have claimed that they are the best team in football. The self-proclaimed best team in football should have no issues advancing to Dallas, right?

Last season, the Jets were heavy underdogs as they entered the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts, who essentially gave up on a chance at a perfect season, were the odds-on favorite to reach the Super Bowl. In the minds of the Jet players and their fans alike, they were lucky to even make the playoffs. The Colts and Bengals rolled over to them in Weeks 16 and 17 in order to give the Jets a ticket to playoffs. The Jets relied on an erratic rookie quarterback who was only completing 55% of his passes. The team relied on its heavy ground attack to carry it through the first two rounds. Essentially, the Jets were playing with house money when they went in to take on the Colts. Even though they lost to Peyton Manning, it gave the rather inexperienced Jets their first taste at the spotlight.

This Steeler team is much different from the Colts. They have had dealt with injuries and off-the-field distraction all season long. Their offensive line is a tattered mess. Their defense is one of the best in the game, but they are far from the Steel Curtain of old. Ben is still Ben and #43 will be active all over the field, but this Steeler team is not the same level as the Colt team from last year. The Jets have another year of playoff experience under their belt and are facing a lesser opponent. While the Jets are three-point underdogs, there are no excuses.

No excuses. The Jets finished the regular season with an 11-5 record. The quarterback has had another year of seasoning and has won four road playoffs games. The team is battle tested. They have one of the best defensive players in football. They added hungry, Super Bowl starved veteran players needed to push the team over the final hump.  The Jets have talked the talk for far too long not to deliver tonight.

When the whistle blows tonight at 6:30PM, there are no more excuses. The Jets MUST win in Pittsburgh or else this season will once again, be for naught.