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Rex, Jets Feeling Themselves Again After SD

Posted by Randy Lange on October 24, 2011 – 3:05 pm

Updated, 3:20 p.m. ET

One theme from Rex Ryan’s day-after news conference today involved what he feels is a return to status quo for the Jets.

What is the Jets’ personality now, Rex was asked.

“Like it always is. A ground-and-pound-type offense, what we’ve talked about. An all-weather offense. The ability to run the football and protect the quarterback are two things we strive to do offensively,” the head coach said. “And then play great defense. We want to be a dominant defense. And we’re on our way.”

Ryan was feeling it less than 24 hours after the Jets came back to topple the Chargers, 27-21, at MetLife Stadium. And he seemed particularly happy that an experiment with more air-based offense has given way to a return to the running game that was in the forefront of the Jets’ fortunes the previous two years.

“I just thought we weren’t being ourselves,” he said of the pass-heavy first four games. “As much as we wanted to expand our weapons and we felt good about our receiving corps, that maybe three wides was our base offense, I just don’t think that was the best thing for us. We wanted to get back to playing New York Jets-style football. Maybe I got caught up with being enamored with the type of personnel we had. But at the end of the day, I never waited till the whole season went by. We went back to being who we were.”

Through the Baltimore game, the Jets were a 63/37 pass/run offense. In the past three games it’s 51/49 pass/run.

And the run was the best it’s been in a while. Shonn Greene’s 112 yards on 20 carries marked the best home rushing game of his career (his four previous 100-yarders came at Oakland, Cincinnati and San Diego in ’09, at Buffalo last year). The 162 team yards were the most since last year’s Indy playoff game. And the 5.2 yards per carry were the best, if you want to set aside last year’s RS finale vs. the Bills, since last year’s 5.6 at Buffalo in Week 4.

“Those are things I saw specifically yesterday that we’ve gotten better at,” he said. “But even playing New England, I saw our running game coming. If we can run the football and win that time of possession — we always talk about winning the runs and completions battle — if we can win that, we’re tough to beat.”

Ryan acknowledged the Jets’ run defense, even with a good 96-yard allowance to the Chargers, remains a work in progress. “We’ve given up some huge gains on the perimeter. It’s something we’ve got to get better at,” he said. And San Diego converting six of its seven third downs en route to the 21-10 halftime edge had to be disconcerting.

But the Chargers failing to convert six of seven in the second half and being shut out for the first time in their last 67 first halves dating to 2007 was music to Rex’s ears.

“The secondary really played well,” he said. “Look at the way [Antonio] Cromartie played, really great, physical, got his hands on guys. I thought the way he played and the way Kyle [Wilson] played was tremendous. The other corner played OK. Eric Smith had a great game for us.

“And Calvin Pace was a monster in that game, very physical, the way he was rushing the passer, setting edge. Calvin is having, I think, the best year he’s had since I’ve been here. I don’t think it’s even close.

“I just thought our defense really stepped up

Ryan’s officially not looking further ahead than Buffalo, which he and his staff will begin game-planning this week even as most of the players say “bye” and scatter for home until returning next Sunday night. But we all know the coach’s confidence is high.

“We’ll make our run,” he said. “We’re 4-3. We’re behind where I thought we’d be, but there’s still a lot of football in front us.

“We thought the wins were just around the corner. But we’ve got a long way to go. Coming out of the break we’re facing two division opponents. As we know, right now they’re ahead of us. We’ll see where we’re at.”

Sunday Drives

Capturing Ryan’s ebullience about the state of the Jets were the drive stats Sunday. They don’t prove anything definitive about the quarterbacks involved. Indeed, many things go into each line. But they are interesting.

Philip Rivers entered the game unofficially in the top three among NFL QBs in plays/drive (6.75, first), yards/drive (41.9, second), and three-and-out drive percentage (11.5). Mark Sanchez was middle of the pack in the drive measures, third-worst in three-and-out rate (33.1).

In the game Rivers averaged 5.8 plays and 27.0 yards per drive, produced two scoring drives (two TDs) and three three-and-outs. Sanchez was 6.0 plays and 32.1 yards per drive, engineered five scoring drives (three TDs, two FGs) and had one three-and-out.

Tone’s Flag Day

This is a redundant note from a month ago, but it’s appropriate again because Santonio Holmes drew three pass-interference calls on Chargers defenders. After the Oakland game, it was Plaxico Burress whom we were singling out for drawing three penalties (actually four, with one declined) on Raiders defenders.

Now Holmes and Burress are the first Jets receivers since TE Dustin Keller (Game 11, 2008, at Tennessee) to get three penalties marked off against opponents in one game. And they’re the first Green & White wideouts to do so since Wayne Chrebet (Game 9, 2000, vs. Denver).

Also, San Diego was flagged for 10 defensive penalties, which is the most against any opponent’s defense in a game since at least 1984.

Injury Update

Ryan was upbeat about the health of his troops with the bye week ahead to get well for the Bills. He said DT Mike DeVito’s knee might have kept him out if the Jets had a game on Sunday but “we probably expect him to play against Buffalo.”

He said both rookie DT Kenrick Ellis and LB David Harris “have ankle sprains, not high ankle sprains.” He said Ellis will be staying at the training center this week to rehab the ankle and be ready for the second half of the schedule.

Ryan had no further update on LaDainian Tomlinson’s illness that limited him to a little more than a half of play vs. the Chargers.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “Rex, Jets Feeling Themselves Again After SD”

  1. By IRA on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Not sure they can completely get back to that 09 team that attempted 631 rushing plays but they showed that the offense as a whole is better with a more balanced attack. And with the [sorry to say]weather about to change in the Northeast well you better be able to run the ball or you aren’t going to have too much success.
    This season reminds me so much of the 02 season and i think it will come down to the last weekend with us @ Mia and Buff @ NE and Oak @ SD to determine the playoff picture.

  2. By Tom Spicer on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Congrats to Wilkerson, Tavesu (stepping in for a injured Ellis & Devito), Pace, Maybin, Scott, Harris, Revis, Cro, Wilson & Smith. All played a great game holding the Chargers to 14 points.

  3. By Tom Spicer on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Congrats to the Jet O line the 1st 4 games they were terrible. The last 3 games they have started to put it together & this game was the best they have played all year. Up until yesterday I would see Greene get hit as soon as he touched the ball or at best 2 yards past the line. This game I saw runs wear nobosdy touched him until he was 5 yards down the field. Now that is the Jet O line that I am used to seeing one that opens BIG HOLES! Holmes on your 23 yard TD catch that was called back on a bogus holding call. Plax welcome to the Jets its nice to meet you. Greene running the ball hard. Kerley looking good & McKnight what can you say the guy is a player get him the ball more.

  4. By Tom Spicer on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    I dont want to be captain negative after such a big win but I thought the Jets would be 5 & 2 at the bye they are 4 & 3. I thought they would lose 2 of these 3 at Ravens, at Pats & vs Chargers. Now at 4 & 3 we have to win a game that nobody thinks we can win. This Oakland game may come back to haunt us.

  5. By wayne on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Not one of his booster, but can’t bash GQ here. He played tough inspired game. Got way more heart than the guy playing for Chargers……….GQ is built for a balance attack. That should be enough to win….NoT gonna be Tom Brady or Peyton, but he’s got enough………………He will succeed as long as run game holds up and he keeps mental errors to a minimum. THIS TEAM THRIVES IN TURMOIL…..GEEZ.

  6. By Karan on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    I still don’t trust Schotty. Much respect to Tom Moore, he was there yesterday at the game and his presence could definitely be felt on offense. Offense played pretty good, unfortunately, Moore will not be at every game, hopefully he can travel more with the team instead of just at S. Carolina.

  7. By Charliejet on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Hey don’t forget the 12 player – Rex said it himself they could hardly hear themselves..fans were soooooooo loud. GO JETS! One game at a time baby!

  8. By Eli Rodriguez on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Good game! (My views) Maybin should get more playing time- Kyle playing tight I thought M.S. force a few.

  9. By Karan on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Yea, I have a feeling this year might come down to “Win it and your in it”. I believe Jets can make the playoffs but its going to be tough, the AFC is stacked this season. I hate to say it, but I think NE will take this division. then its going to be a battle between San Diego and Oakland in the West. This might sound really dumb, but Broncos might have a chance to sneak up in that division. I love Tebow, I believe he’s a winner, so never say never in the NFL, but I still strongly believe it’ll be Oakland and San Diego. Houston will get the South and in the North, it’ll be down to Pittsburgh and Baltimore. So as for the Wild Card, wow, it’ll be like a 4 way battle, I think its going to come down to the Jets, Steelers, Raiders and the Bills.

  10. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    It’s hard for anyone to tell me, that the Tom Moore effect was not felt during that game. We took deep shots to Holmes, which gave us those P.I. calls, Dustin Keller was a focal point of the offense, lining up in the slot, as a fullback, motioning him out wide, he led the team in targets. Plaxico was utilized in the redzone. This is what I envisioned when Tom Moore arrived here, heavy doses of Keller. Instead, to start the season, we neglect the run game, Keller was under utilized, no deep shots down the field. The writing is on the wall gentlemen.

  11. By cgb on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    the jets looked much better running the football. those same runs were somehow working .nothing different sceme wise. just more of a push with o-line. greene was able to bounce some inside runs to the outside. i hope the jets get more rb’s involved in the running game. the jets could have a monster running game. mark plays better and o-line protects better when they run the ball and can keep the defense off balance.even if i dont agree with shottys play calling ,you have to give him credit for the way the jets strive to execute each and evey play. congrats to the D. they will only get better as the year goes on.

  12. By Jet Fan Tom Since '64 on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Why should you trust Schotty, Karan? I’m pretty sure it’s no accident that the O looked better yesterday with Moore helping out.

  13. By Jet Fan Tom Since '64 on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Good eye, Clarke, amid the successful RZ stuff you’re reminding me of all the other things that looked different on O. Hope you’re right because this kind of utilization of our weapons is what we’ve needed for a long time.

  14. By john ski on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Kudos again ‘Jets fan tom since 64′ … and great common sense from ‘karan’!. Ryan has had to step in to help with the offense/Sanchez each of his two years as coach, and now this year there’s Tom Moore. Says a whole lot… San Diego was a great game and a perfect example of preparing to our strengths and establishing an identity the whole team and the fans can actually feel; now let’s hope Shotty doesn’t out think himself too much and keeps us on the same path. It’s no chess match if everyone knows once we rely on our pass game, that’s when the opposition can make it’s move. I would love to see Sanchez’s completion percentage out of the shotgun; his first two years it seemed like it was horrible.

  15. By RichW on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Randy can you comment on where Matt Berning is? He looked great in the preseason, at times like a vintage Zach Thomas. I know you guys post any changes to the practice squad, but could the site just put a table at the bottom of those posts with who’s currently residing on the PS? Thanks man. Keep up the great work.

  16. By Randy Lange on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    RichW, I believe Matt Berning is still a free agent. kffl.com reported that he worked out for the Seahawks on Oct. 18 but was not signed.

  17. By Gregory Beaumont on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Much better game.
    But why do the players and the public have to tell you how to coach? You are supposed to be professionals.
    I hope you continue to try some trick plays, and throw long down the field with more passes to Buras.

    Let’s not go back to the pathetic predictable team that we were in those looses.

  18. By Jet Fan Tom Since '64 on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks, john ski, and I agree with everything in your post here.

  19. By Jimmer on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Karan, I think the win it and you’re in it is the next 4 games. Gotta put Buffalo away and out of the playoff picture. This is a must. The Ravens and Raiders have the tie breaker on us. I think the Raiders are done. But Balt and Pitt are both going to the playoffs. That leaves only 1 spot to make. You know the pats are at least going. We absolutely need to beat them in a few weeks. We need to start fighting for that spot now. Either the division or the wild card will come down to the next 4 games for us.

  20. By Row on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    This was a game won by the defense. Mark had 2 more throws that should have been interceptions. Holmes isn’t seeing the ball and there are no deep play action shots. I wish LT wasn’t sick because I think he would have gained 200. It’s time to have Plax play like Ward, we need WR picks and crossing routes to make the safety bail on the deep guy. I am so tired of watching Sanchez get praised for throwing a high ball to Keller covered by a linebacker. Should have been 31-21.. Nice to see the running game progress, god knows we can rip Buffalo for 200 on the ground if they get the carries.. Go Jets

  21. By davetharave on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    No secret the offense looks much better with Mangold back, he is the indispensible man. Rest that ankle these 2 weeks Nick, we’re lost without you. Joe McKnight gets better every game regardless of where he is playing, he was in over his head last year but that is history. Got some carries vs SD and should get more every week, he’ll break one real soon. Wilson also improved 150% over rookie performances, he’s another guy for whom the light bulb suddenly switched on somewhere between February and August.

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