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Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again

Posted by Randy Lange on September 19, 2011 – 6:12 pm

Updated, 6:30 p.m. ET

My good friend Steve Serby from the New York Post popped the question to Rex Ryan today: To what do you attribute your success on the road?

You know Rex wasn’t going to blink at that question.

“If you bring a good team with you, you’ve got a chance,” Ryan said at his news conference today about 24 hours after the conclusion of Sunday’s second home win of the season by 32-3 over the Jaguars. “I think that’s the big thing. What we bring to the road is that we’re bringing a good team with us. We’re not intimated by any of the surroundings we’re going into. We’ve been together now for a third year and we know what it takes to prepare to go to the West Coast.”

That of course is a good thing because the Jets are about to begin preparations to embark on a most unusual three-game road trip in this still most unusual NFL season. It’s unusual for the Jets because they don’t normally play three away games in a row in the regular season. In fact, the last time it happened was in the early Eighties.

But the Jets have gotten much experience at these extended stays in NFL America due to their playoff exposure, which has given them unscheduled three-game road trips in the ’09 and ’10 postseasons.

And there’s no question Rex knows road. His away record as Jets head coach including those playoff games is a sterling 15-7 record. Not only is that the best road record among all head coaches in franchise history but he’s one of only two Jets field bosses to have a road record of better than .500. (The other: Bill Parcells at 13-12.)

But this trip looms large in the Jets’ 2011 season. Arguably, it could have a lot to say about the Jets’ ’11 season. The three-pack:

At Oakland (1-1) — The Raiders are improved from recent years, it’s their home opener, they’re packing the No. 4 rushing attack led by No. 2 NFL rusher Darren McFadden, and they’d no doubt love some payback for the Jets’ 38-0 whitewash administered at the stadium formerly known as Oakland Coliseum in 2009.

At Baltimore (1-1) — Another big Rex game, since he’s lost to his former employers twice (2009 preseason, 2010 regular-season opener). Jets are 0-3 all-time at the Ravens. And the Birds will be returning home off their own two-game road trip after opening with an impressive 35-7 thumping of the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium.

At New England (2-0) — The Jets have shown themselves to be perhaps the NFL’s most adept team at winning at Gillette Stadium, since they’ve done it three times in the previous five seasons, including last season’s remarkable 28-21 AFC Divisional Round triumph. But the fact remains that in the regular season the Patriots have ruled their roost with 18 consecutive wins including Sunday’s 35-21 powering down of the Chargers.

One more factor to keep in mind, which is actually logical and yet the numbers bear it out, is that teams with three-game RS road trips find it harder to win Game 2 than Game 1 and Game 3 than Game 2.

There have been 36 scheduled three-game trips in the NFL since 2000. The teams involved in those trips have a robust winning percentage of .639 (23-13) in the first games of those trips. In the second games the figure slips to .444 (16-20), and in the third games the road-weary warriors’ success rate goes down to .389 (14-22).

It’s a tough road to hoe, but the Jets are getting ready to take it away. Yet just in case there’s any doubt, Ryan assured reporters and fans: “We’re confident on the road … but we’d much rather play at home.”

Injury Report

Ryan’s normally optimistic about his players’ return to action, so his day-after prognosis on Nick Mangold’s high ankle sprain said a lot.

“I would say his status for the game would be … very iffy,” Ryan said of his seemingly indestructible center.

“With that being said,” the coach added, “he thinks he can go. … I wouldn’t count him out. He’s a tough guy. The trainers will always do what’s in the best interests of the player. We’ll never put a guy out there who shouldn’t be out there.”

Andrew LeRay writes further about Mangold and his replacement for the last three quarters of Sunday’s win over the Jaguars, Colin Baxter. That story is now live on newyorkjets.com.

Ryan said three starters who were questionable for the Jags but started as usual came out of the game “no worse now than they were”: LB David Harris, WR Santonio Holmes and S Eric Smith.

Rex Cetera

Here’s a trivia question significant of nothing but still interesting: When was the last time the Jets started the season 2-0 and had seven takeaways in the two wins? The answer is that while the Jets have had 10 two-win starts in their history and while they’ve had 10 starts with at least seven takeaways in their first two games, they haven’t put those two pieces together in the same season since 1968. We all know what happened that year.

Ryan said the main reason Plaxico Burress had no receptions Sunday was because the Jaguars respected the heck out of the big wideout. That manifested itself in the Jags’ coverage. “Almost every snap in that game he was doubled, almost every snap,” Rex said. “Does he still have that respect? Absolutely. He’s a special player and people know it.”

Another OL alignment just in case would be LG Matt Slauson going to C and Caleb Schlauderaff going to LG. As for bringing in another O-lineman from outside, Ryan said, “I’m comfortable with the guys we have. I feel good about who we have.” … Early this evening the Jets announced they have released G Trevor Canfield and CB Julian Posey from their practice squad.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 42 Comments »

42 Responses to “Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again”

  1. By wayne on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Mark Sanchez, meet Richard Seymour.

  2. By Jack on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    I could be wrong about this but the season I think is over as of Sunday. The offensive line is just plan awful there no ground and pound I blame it all on Mr T for not fitting the offensive line RT, and RG, in the drafts and F/A. You just can’t drafts defense defense with the 1st 2 picks last year they drafted 2 running backs this year they drafted another 2 running backs in the later Rd’s. They will need to drafts a RT, RG, or a RB, in the 1st and 2nd Rd.

  3. By GaryC on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    told you slauson played all line positions at nebraska,he really will be needed at right tackle shortly, what no ducasse as first guy off the bench,oh well another draft bust shortly.

  4. By walt on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    I guess that Jet fans will never change.They seem to be saying that the only reason we defeated the Jaguars was because the are a bad team.However with a little bit of research you will discover that the jaguars defeated the Titans the week before and that this week the Titans beat the Ravens 26 to 13 a team that was good enough to defeat the Steelers by four touchdowns the week before.When you consider we were able to make the Jaguars look very inept while we defeated them by a score of 32 to 3 I think you can conclude that the Jets played a great game against the Jaguars and deserve praise.

  5. By Mark@Jets Realty on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    What on earth was Mike T. thinking with Hunter starting at RT? Sanchez won’t last the season with him there. Westerman might have peaked his rookie season. I like the guy but he is showing zero. My favorite, B. Moore seems like he is struggling. Hope the hip holds up. N. Bellore had some great hits on ST. I’m not a big E. Smith fan but you have to admit, he was ready, willing and able sticking his nose low on MJD. Great to see J. Cumberland playing. Now get him the ball 2-3 times a game. Concerns on offense go beyond the OL. Our running backs and back up QB are not what you want for a SB team. It’s only 2 games but the best Jets have been Justin Keller and Nick Folk(gulp).
    Randy, give us players who played on both Jets & Oak. Like B.Owens.

  6. By Karan on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s go Sanchez, I know he’ll bring the Jets to another AFC title, I honestly don’t care what his stats are as long as the kid wins, and boy oh boy, he knows how to win.

  7. By Karan on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Get well soon Mangold, I still think the Jets should sign a backup C/G, I was thinking someone with more experience like Shaun O’Hara or Rich Seubert, although I do admit, it seemed like Colin Baxter did a good job filling in for Nick. Hope Nick and Rob Turner have a fast and healthy recovery, its crazy how pivotal these 2 are to the O-line, great players. :) Also, play better Wayne! C’mon Man!

  8. By karan on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Come on T-Rex, you guys need to fix the issues on the O-line. Get some veterans, Shaun O’ Hara, Rich Seubert, Damien Woody (maybe comes out of retirement)??

  9. By IRA on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Randy, Great trivia ?. I will add to that in 1968 the Jets opened their preseason in Houston and lost 28-14. Weird right?
    Too much is being made of Plax not getting a catch this past week. He was open a few times that i could see and Sanchez either didn’t see him or the play was designed to go elsewhere. How about that most of the game Plax drew a lot of coverage and Keller was the winner with that. So even though Plax had no catches he was a factor in the passing game.
    Wayne and to others who are ready to jump ship because Mangold is out or Hunter has struggled early on. Do you want to just forfeit the next few weeks or season? Give me a break. Callahan and the rest of the staff will do what they need to do with what they have.

  10. By IRA on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I have felt all along a veteran would be added even before Mangold got hurt. Well either nobody out there is worth signing and O’Hara won’t be ready until mid Oct. So just maybe the players they p/u can get them by for a few games if needed. Only time will tell. I think with the rest of the OL’s experience they have enough to get by in Oak. Then we will see were they are after that. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mangold is back for the Pats game. Lets hope Turner can get back quicker than expected.

  11. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I won’t go nearly as far as you, Jack, we’re only 2 games in and we’ve won ‘em both. But your post does remind me of a question I’ve been meaning to ask, one from the ever-growing Does Rex Really Know What He’s Doing file: Why is Ellis inactive? Is he so unimpressive that he doesn’t even belong in at least a few packages? Are we so strong on the D line that we can afford to treat him like Ducasse?

  12. By Frank on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Hunter will get his act together he played well filling in for Woody last year. I thought Baxter played well considering he has only been on the team for a few weeks and has had little time learning the system and working with Sanchez. Other than a snap count screw up I didn’t see any other major blunders. I will say it again its all about Sanchez teams are stacking the box to stop the run and dare Sanchez to beat’em. He is going to have to be more consisitant and stop reverting to poor play periodicly in the game. He always goes into an in game funk for long stretches and that has to stop. He must sustain drives and do a better job on third down if we are going to win these road games.

  13. By Mark@Jets Realty on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I Love Ira’s loyalty but let’s face facts.
    1) In our 2 wins our OL is losing the point of attack almost every play.
    2) Sanchez is getting whacked even on completions. All of Sanchez’s runs vs. Jags went to left side because of pressure from Hunter’s spot on right.
    3) Greg McElroy was fortunate only to hurt his thumb with awful OL backups.
    4) Since drafting D’Brick & Mangold in 1st round and Slauson late, Mike T. has done nothing to draft OL.
    5) Trading up in draft, and doing a good job i.e. Revis,Harris,Keller,Sanchez, has finally caught up with depth problem.
    Hope I’m wrong but I see the “Walls of Jericho” come tumbling down! My heart is with Ira, my mind tells me different!

  14. By russ on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I am sure Wayne Hunter will have an impact on the health of Mark Sanchez…We have a no run OL and a right side hole that makes every Defensive End..all Pro …

  15. By IRA on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Mark, Some very valid points and trading up might have finally caught up with their depth issues. Thing is how about Turner, DeVito, Pitoitua, Conley [still a wait and see] and Westerman all FA’s the past few years. Also with the lockout this year it really hurt the Jets because Mr T wasn’t able to make any trades as of now.

  16. By Gmany3k on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    The only Problem that is evident is the offensive line is not winning the line of scrimmage battle in a dominate manor and if they ever do than watch out.
    I hope Rex sticks to ground and pound as we need the prcatice for the deep season we wish to be apart of.

  17. By KEVIN MALLON JR. on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    i firmly believe that hunter will come through,,he played pretty well last year…i also liked how sanchez used his legs last week

  18. By Jimmer on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    The worst part of this 3 game road stretch coincides with our OL playing so poorly. These 3 teams DL’s control the line of scrimmage against good OL’s. A category I no longer think of as a strength for us.
    The worst part of watching Hunter, is that he’s laughing/smiling all the time.

  19. By GaryC on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    jet fan tom, remember my post about Ellis coming out of the MEAC conference and the competition you face there as opposed to what you face at Alabama and Texas,I said Ellis won’t dress for quite a few games,again I did not drink the kool aid when rex says you can’t teach size, but you still have to read and react,also I said if Ellis was so great he would have found himself playing for a major college,even with his off the field problems.

  20. By GaryC on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    jet fan tom, if your looking for a safety for next year keep an eye on McDonald, Tim’s son who is playing in your neck of the woods at USC this year.Tim had a good career with cardinals and maybe apple won’t fall far from tree,I’m sure we will be looking at safety next year along with many other things.

  21. By Ed in Tucson on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I like Walt, Ira & Frank’s attitudes, more ‘glass is half full’ than the prophets of doom that love to harp on weaknesses & predict disaster. Fortunately, their prognosticating skills are worse than the failures they predict for the team. Had these doomsday prophets been correct we would not have advanced to 2 AFC Championship games in 2 years. According to some predictions we weren’t going to make the playoffs at all. I’m curious if Jack called the season over after game 1 last year.
    I think this OL needs a few games to gel into a cohesive unit. It’s a bummer that Mangold went down; but this could be an opportunity to see what Baxter, the young Wildcat (Bear Down Arizona!) has to contribute. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

  22. By Jimmer on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Ed, we ended last season with the same OL we have now. That’s the frustrating part. If Vlad made progess, it wouldn’t seem so bad, since he’d have been thrust into it. But this is the same line we went to the playoffs with.
    We have the best coached OL in the league. That’s why people are frustrated. But it looks like a season of seeing how tough a hit Sanchez can take, as well as seeing if we can be a passing offense. If we haven’t run it yet, these next three games might really be a wake up call. 3TE sets might be our only chance to keep Sanchez alive. With our WR’s, that’s just not gonna happen.

  23. By MarkP@JetsReality on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    One of Mike T’s strength is working phones the second the draft ends. Turner, DeVito and Pitotua were excellent pickups. I’ll go even further, Bellore and Mauga look like they are players. But when you look at the Ducasse, this pick might have hurt the team more than the VG pick. Last year’s draft was not good, though Wilson is looking much improved. But when we put guys on the OL like Pete Clifford (since cut) in pre season and Ducasse and Hunter, Sanchez’s hurried throws and rhythm will be affected. Not to mention the hits he is taking his running which makes him vulnerable. Ira, I’m very upset with OL, RB and backup QB situation. Hope I’m wrong!

  24. By uncle joe on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Well said Walt,don’t know why no one is talking about that and Ira,nice fact about the 68 Preseason. Rex blaming himself for leaving Mark in to the Media gave the Media something else to attack instead of Sanchez. Rex has this UNBELIEVABLE way of taking heat off of his team.

  25. By uncle joe on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Hunter came in last season and played AWESOME,he looked BETTER than Woody. And in doing so,he was against,who? Steelers,Chcago,Mathis on the Colts,the Steelers again and New England! That’s as impresive a resume as anybody available, SO BACK OFF THE MAN!

  26. By wayne on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    A few of us have been complaining about that trading upand giving up picks thing for a while now(trying to make the biggest splash every draftday)….I said it early and I have said it often, I am skeptical about Sanchez’s health this year. At the rate he’s getting pulverized, he’ll be hard pressed to finished the season…….They’ve been robbing peter to pay paul long enough….And it finally manifested itself in FA this year….Compounded when they went for the spectacular move rather than the obvious and most pressing needs……If they come out of the next 3 games in good standing, then sumpin special maybe brewing. It would mean Hunter and Batxer have weathered the storm and settled down…The D’s already ok.

  27. By uncle joe on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Blame the play calling,where are the quick Holmes slants? Lets see some screens to keep these opposing D-lines honest and let them think before they just put their heads down and rush our QB.

  28. By uncle joe on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    And if Eric Smith could tackle and catch just a little better,not saying he can’t do either,just saying there is a little tiny room for improvement,He could very well end up in Hawaii,,,just saying! Randy, did E.Smith sign for only one year or was it a long term contract? The Kid should’ve had at least three interceptions last week!

  29. By Randy Lange on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    uncle joe, I saw reports that in late July Eric Smith signed a three-year contract to return to the Jets.

  30. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Good insight on Ellis and good tip on McDonald, GaryC. Ed, I don’t go for panic either but you have to admit, the way we’ve ignored some obvious problems this yr like depth on the OL and the S question is very curious.

  31. By uncle joe on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I think the True unvieling of Cumberland will be against Balt or the Patriots. I think the Jets are soughta keeping that Ace up their sleeve.

  32. By IRA on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Kevin, Agree i think Hunter will get it together. He did play very well last year while Woody was hurt. I truely believe like Ed said the OL just needs time. It would be very nice if they can get this running game going this week. I think its time to get Powell some carries. The Bills ran for over 200 yds on the Raiders last week. We should be able to put 150 yds plus too along with a win!
    GO JETS!!!!!

  33. By TONY GARCIA on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    were two and 0 our offensive line is not doing well running the ball.that being said its early in the season.regarding jacks comment season is over is a bit premature.why our jets fans always gloom and doom. i’ve been a fan since 1969 me personally im enjoying jets football we will be okay.honestly a step back this season would not surprise.jet fan since 1969.

  34. By Tim on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    **(I hope (WAYNE HUNTER) doesn’t get (SANCHEZ) killed against the RAIDERS!)***

  35. By Relax on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply


  36. By Christopher on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    How bad is Trevor Canfield if he was released from the practice squad when our O-line desprately needs depth.

    The Jets will do fine. Again, just like the last few years, this team will go as far as the defense takes us. Sanchez plays a big role, but if the D plays lights out, then its lights out for the rest of the NFL and the D looks the best it has under Rex.

    Tom, I’m sure Ellis is inactive because he would only be involved in a few plays at best and you know Westhoff is in Rex’s ear about who he needs on special teams. Ellis doesn’t play ST and activating him leaves someone out. I’m sure he will get his chance in time.

  37. By Andrew B on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    It is 2 games, we will get this all fixed and if one more person disses the backup QB spot aka Mark Brunell I will find you and hurt you! Great option as backup!

  38. By Tom Spicer on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Frank, How is it that 9 out of 10 posts say how bad the o line has looked thru 2 games & you cant see that. All you can do is focus on the QB when based off of his ratings & completion percentage the only 2 things you had to harp on last year. He played 2 good games? I have to think that EVERYONE is right & you are wrong.

  39. By Ed in Tucson on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Blame the lockout! It’s true that this is the O line that finished last season but if you look to game 1 of last season the O line performed badly & the gloom & doom choir was calling for Slauson’s head. Brick & Nick pulled him through & by mid season he was a solid starter. This year’s line hasn’t had as much time to synch but there was improvement between games 1 & 2, even after Nick went down. Baxter’s a good kid & was a standout at Arizona until he injured his knee halfway through last season. He’ll get pulled along by Slauson & Moore at first but he’s got talent & character, he’ll be just fine. Check out this story in the local paper


  40. By Dave on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Please please please tell Schottenheimer to stop running up the middle on every run play. Please please please tell Schottenheimer to stop running up the middle on every run play, Please please please tell Schottenheimer to stop running up the middle on every run play.Please please please tell Schottenheimer to stop running up the middle on every run play.

    Notice the repitition? SO DO THE OPPOSING DEFENSES!!!

  41. By Charliejet on Sep 25, 2011 | Reply

    Good call Dave.

  42. By felix on Sep 25, 2011 | Reply

    please tell Rex Ryan to stop talking about the Superbowl if he get the team to the Superbowl all the jets fans will be happy until then keep it in the locker room long time jets fan team still has a long way to go before they can call them selfs top team

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