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The Heat Is On as Jets, Pats Loosen Up

Posted by Randy Lange on September 14, 2008 – 3:20 pm

It’s a hot one today at the Meadowlands for the Jets’ long-awaited home opener against the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots. Matt Cassel instead will quarterback the visitors after Brady suffered his season-ending knee injury in last week’s opener vs. Kansas City, while Brett Favre will again pilot the Jets offense. says the East Rutherford temperature is 90 degrees with a heat index reading of 96, right in the ballpark with last week’s 100-degree on-field temps at Miami (although it’s expected to cool slightly from here into the evening).

A few pleasantries have already been exchanged by these often heated rivals. with OT Damien Woody and NT Kris Jenkins chatting up Patriots DE Richard Seymour at midfield an hour and 45 minutes before the 4:15 p.m. EDT kickoff.

Contingents from both teams have already come out to do some running with their strength coaches. Now the kickers are holding forth, and for the Jets that means No. 3, Jay Feely, is limbering up for his first appearance as the Jets’ kicker.

Feely, whose signing was announced Wednesday, replaces Mike Nugent, who has been deactivated as expected due to the thigh injury he suffered in the season-opening 20-14 win over the Dolphins. Feely is hitting them easily and nicely in the heat, first alone from his tee, then from the snap of James Dearth and the hold of Ben Graham.

Feely had a great quote Wednesday based on his two seasons as the Giants’ kicker: "You have to learn which flags to trust and which not to trust" from the assorted strips and banners around the Meadowlands. The flags today are flitting lazily in a warm breeze while Feely hits from 43, 48 and then 55 yards toward the east end zone.

The Jets are wearing their green jerseys and white pants. It is true the team flirted with the idea of wearing their Titans throwback uniforms for today’s game against the Patriots, who have beaten them here seven straight seasons, but after the trade for Favre and some strong input from Jets fans, the team exercised its option and switched back to its green and white, in which they’ve gone 2-3 in home openers since 2000 (wins vs. NE in ’00 and Miami in ’05).

The Jets’ inactives for today, besides Nugent: QB Brett Ratliff (third QB), K Mike Nugent (as expected with his thigh injury), QB Erik Ainge, WRs Marcus Henry and David Clowney, CB-KR Justin Miller, OL Robert Turner and DL Kareem Brown.

The Patriots’ biggest name on the inactive list is starting TE Benjamin Watson, who was on the Pats’ injury report this week with a knee injury. Likely TE starter is David Thomas, with Stephen Spach backing Thomas up.

Also IA for the Patriots: Matt Gutierrez (third QB), CB Terrence Wheatley, LBs Eric Alexander and Shawn Crable, C Dan Connolly, OL Wesley Britt, and WR Sam Aiken.

We’re about an hour away from today’s battle of AFC East rivals, and maybe, hopefully from an indication that there can be a change in the division’s balance of power this season.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “The Heat Is On as Jets, Pats Loosen Up”

  1. By Ray on Sep 14, 2008 | Reply

    The Pats are gonna go hard at Lowery just like the Phins did. Pressure, pressure, pressure is the only answer. Go Jets!!!

  2. By Carolyn N. on Sep 14, 2008 | Reply

    After watching Feely’s less-than-perfect kicking with the Giants, why in the WORLD would the Jets hire him? It hurts to watch (posted after watching him miss on the first attempt).

  3. By Anonymous on Sep 14, 2008 | Reply

    Game over as soon as Feely choked. They couldn’t close it out and that’s a bad sign for the rest of the game.

  4. By JP on Sep 14, 2008 | Reply

    Ok – it is halftime, we could be easily winning this game – battle in the trenches so far.
    D is looking awesome – we just have to stop them on the opening kickoff and take one in and we are in front – Go JETS!

  5. By Row on Sep 14, 2008 | Reply

    Even Brett Favre can’t run Schott’s offense successfully. I don’t like the play calling, I like the goal line runs, but why can’t we run the ball? Where is Dustin Keller? Why are we not running screens? What is going on? Can anyone see what I’m talking about? Where is Brad Smith?

  6. By Carol from Wisconsin on Sep 14, 2008 | Reply

    Feely was more than likely very nervous about his first field goal attempt with the Jets. Second one at least went through. Offense behind Favre needs to step it up a notch. Pats offense is having its way with the Jets D so they need to get with the program as well. Hopefully the team will “gel” soon and play the way we all know they can.

  7. By Ray on Sep 14, 2008 | Reply

    Yeah Row I see what your talking about, those 3 runs inside the five were great. And those two screens that lost 5 apiece were great calls too.

  8. By Rick Roucoulet on Sep 15, 2008 | Reply

    We dont hear anymore how Mangini used to inspire the players leading up to a game. Remember the the boxers that came in to speak or fights shown to the team ect? Things like that still happen or has the newness worn off to Mangini?

  9. By Steve on Sep 15, 2008 | Reply

    Sitting in the stands yesterday, the people knew what they plays being called were before they were run, if we know it, don’t you think the other team knows it too? The offense is too predictable, no creativity, with no real game strategy. I watched the Jets run the same offense with better personnel, how does this make sense, Schott’s gotta go, that or use some 4 wide sets to spread out the D!

  10. By mike ex jet fan on Sep 17, 2008 | Reply

    woody — if u ran the team the way you run your company– I’m betting it would be us contending 4 the championships every year not the hated pats—tell u what bet when the fans finaly get as feed up as me & don’t fill the seats in that new home of ours, u will get on the ball maybe

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