Time is growing short, not only to secure a playoff berth but to nail down Pro Bowl berths. And Jets fans can still help their favorite players move into contention for berths on this year’s AFC squad.
The fan voting ends next Monday night, Dec. 20, at midnight. And the teams will be revealed in an NFL Network special on Tuesday night, Dec. 28.
The fan vote as you know by now is one-third of the total Pro Bowl vote, sharing weight with the votes by players and coaches around the league. But it’s an important third which could give a favorite player just the ballot-box recognition he needs to earn his first berth or his 10th as an NFL all-star. Click here to find your official 2010 Pro Bowl ballot.
Nick Mangold has been to two Pro Bowls already in his young career and he’s angling for No. 3, considering he’s second among AFC centers behind the Colts’ Jeff Saturday. LaDainian Tomlinson had secured the most votes among Jets players, almost 320,000. And the two super cover corners, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, were running 2 and 3 at CB behind only the Raiders’ Nnamdi Asomugha.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t vote for Jets players because they wear green and white on gamedays (although that’s perfectly legal) but rather because you think they’re the best players for the position. Here is a list of the Jets who are in the top five in the AFC at their positions, with their ranking and vote totals in parentheses, updated today on nfl.com.
Running Back — LaDainian Tomlinson (5th, 362,893)
Fullback — Tony Richardson (4th, 109,397)
Tight Ends — Dustin Keller (5th, 145,949)
Tackles — D’Brickashaw Ferguson (4th, 173,773)
Centers — Nick Mangold (2nd, 213,538)
Defensive Ends — Jason Taylor (5th, 85,809)
Defensive Tackles — Shaun Ellis (5th, 115,366)
Cornerbacks — Darrelle Revis (2nd, 239,542), Antonio Cromartie (3rd, 182,396)
QB Mark Sanchez and G Brandon Moore have fallen out of the top five at their positions in the past week. Also not in the top fives at their positions are such worthy candidates as ILB David Harris, KR/ST Brad Smith, WRs Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, P Steve Weatherford and kick-cover guy James Ihedigbo. Take your pick, check the boxes and help send a few of the Green & White to Hawaii for this year’s game.
Numbers Game I
One of the most stunning statistical wrinkles of these last two losses to AFC East foes is the split personality the Jets’ pass defense showed after the catch.
By my unofficial charting, the Jets gave up exactly 200 yards after the catch to the Patriots. Sound like a big number? It sure is. I’ve been tracking YAC for the Jets since the mid-Nineties and that is the most YAC allowed by the Jets in a game in that time.
Then flash ahead to the Dolphins. Yes, wet weather. But also yes, Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess, Anthony Fasano and Chad Henne, passing-game parts that have hurt the Jets in the past. And no YAC. Or more accurately, 9 yards after the catch on Miami’s five completions. Those 9 yards are the least a Jets opponent has gained since Game 6 of the 1995 season at Buffalo.
Many Green & White fans will remember that game well. It was the day Bruce Smith ripped past Everett McIver and rocked Boomer Esiason for a concussion. It was also a game dominated by Thurman Thomas and the Bills’ 220-yard ground game. As a result, Jim Kelly only completed nine passes for 101 yards, and only 7 of those yards came after the catch. But the Bills didn’t need the YAC in that 29-10 win. Ah, memories.
Numbers Game II
You never want to get in third-and-long, but it happens. And it also happens that sometimes offenses convert those bad boys. In fact, the Jets had any chance at all in their 10-6 loss to the Dolphins because they converted three third-and-13’s or longer. The last time the Jets could say that was in 2003, when the Vinny Testaverde-led offense did the same in the Game 2 win over the ‘Fins.
Mark Sanchez scrambled for one of those Sunday conversions and hit Jerricho Cotchery for the other two. J-Co’s conversions give him 14 chain-movers on third-and-11 or longer, the most by a Jets receiver since Wayne Chrebet had 21 such conversions through the end of his career in 2005.
Numbers Game III
OK, the stats are not all great at this crucial stretch in the season. The red zone continues to be a red wall for the Jets offense. For the season the offense has scored just 14 touchdowns on 38 drives inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, a 36.8 percent success rate that is 30th in the NFL.
But it’s been even less productive recently. From Game 5, the Nick Folk five-FG game vs. the Vikings, the Jets have cashed in just six TDs in 24 RZ trips, a 25 percent rate. This is the second-slowest nine-game stretch of red zone offense in the last 25 seasons, trailing only the 22.6 percent (7-for-31) rate from Games 6-14 of the 2007 season.
And that is just not good enough, especially when heading into Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers’ fourth-ranked red zone defense before the Heinz Field fanatics on Sunday.
For those of you who are interested — and we know you’re out there — here is a partial playlist from Sunday’s Jets-Dolphins game at New Meadowlands Stadium:
Forget You — Cee Lo Green
Here I Go Again — Whitesnake
Rock N Roll All Night — Kiss
MC Hammer — Rick Ross
Starlight — Muse
Lose Yourself — Eminem
Start Me Up — Rolling Stones
Just Like That — Bun B
Body Count — Fabolous
Bang Your Head — Quiet Riot
Amber — 311
Everything Zen — Bush
Are You Gonna Go My Way — Lenny Kravitz
No Love — Eminem
Can’t Be Touched — Roy Jones Jr.
Till I Collapse — Eminem
Now for Rock — Breaking Benjamin
In The End — Linkin Park
Numb/Encore — Jay Z, Linkin Park
Remember The Name — Fort Minor
Boom Boom Pow — Black Eyed Peas
Get It Started — Black Eyed Peas
Fight For Your Right — Beastie Boys
Bawitdaba – Kid Rock
The Pretender — Foo Fighters
Tags: Boomer Esiason, Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills, Jerricho Cotchery, LaDainian Tomlinson, Mark Sanchez, Pro Bowl, Vinny Testaverde, Wayne Chrebet
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