Here are today’s pregame tweets for Jets-Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, in case you missed them on Twitter. Follow Bob Wischusen, Eric Allen and me for our tweets during each Jets game on https://twitter.com/nyjets.
#RL Weather for Jets @ Seattle won’t be snow as it was in ’08, but almost as bad: rain expected all afternoon, temps in mid-40s, light wind.
#RL Jets are 8-9 all-time vs Seahawks, 3-4 @ SEA, 0-1 @ CenturyLink, but they’ve won 8 of the last 10 meetings, 3 of last 5 @ SEA.
#RL Jets have scored first in eight of the last nine games in this series (7-2), have scored first in last five games at Seattle.
#RL Jets QB Mark Sanchez last 2 games: 95 atts, 56 comps, 611 yds. Atts, comps most in back-to-back games in his career, yds 2nd most.
#RL SEA rookie QB Russell Wilson in 4 home games this yr: 92 atts, 57 comps, 747 yds, 9 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 lost FUM, 120.2 rating, 4-0 record.
#RL Jets RB Shonn Greene: 139 carries, 509 yds (3.7 avg), 5 TDs. In his last 3 games Greene is averaging 97.3 yds/game, 4.6 per carry.
#RL SEA RB Marshawn Lynch w/BUF vs Jets 2007-10: 7 games, 103 carries, 431 yds (4.2 per carry, 61.6 per game), 2 TDs.
#RL Today’s referee: Ed Hochuli. It’s Ed’s 17th Jets game as ref since ’93, incl ’04 PO win @ SD, ’09 season opener @ HOU, ’10 win vs NE
#RL NYJ inactives: QB Greg McElroy RB Joe McKnight LB Aaron Maybin G Caleb Schlauderaff G Hayworth Hicks TE Hayden Smith NT Kenrick Ellis
#RL S Eric Smith (knee) active first time in 4 games, LB Bart Scott (toe) active after sitting vs MIA, ending 119-game RS appearance streak.
#RL With Jets LB Aaron Maybin deactivated, LB Ricky Sapp is active and could make his NFL debut today.
#RL Jets in white jerseys, white pants, green trim. 23rd time u/ Rex Ryan Jets are in white/white. Record is 12-10 but 1-7 in last 8 games in w/w.
#RL Marv Albert, Rich Gannon in the CBS booth for Jets-Seahawks. It’s the 100th career Jets game that Marv has called for network TV.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Bart Scott, CenturyLink Field, Ed Hochuli, Eric Smith, Mark Sanchez, Marshawn Lynch, Marv Albert, Ricky Sapp, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, Shonn Greene
Posted in Randy Lange | 4 Comments »
Updated 11:48 a.m. ET
Shonn Greene is picking up speed and one more measure of that is the Jets tailback’s nomination for this week’s FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.
Greene, who ran for 129 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in the 37-10 rout of the Chiefs on Sunday, is in the running for the award with Giants RB Brandon Jacobs and Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch. Fans can go to NFL.com/FedEx and vote for their favorite Air & Ground players of the week from now through 3 p.m. ET Friday.
Greene’s game was significant for several reasons. His 129 yards not only was a season high but was the third-most yards in a game in his three-year career, topped only by his 144 yards at Oakland in 2009 in his first significant action as a Jet and by his 135 yards in the AFC Wild Card win at Cincinnati later his rookie season.
And Greene’s 24 attempts is a career high, surpassing his 23 carries in the 2009 AFC Divisional Round win at San Diego the week after the Cincinnati game.
SG’s rushing game was a major component of the victory. As head coach Rex Ryan said on Monday, “I was really happy with the way we ran the football. We had 42 rushing attempts, which is always a good sign for us.”
How good a sign? Ryan and his stuff like to bundle rushing attempts and completions together as an indicator of the offense’s performance in a given game. The Jets had 55 rushes and catches vs. Kansas City, the 11th-highest total in Ryan’s tenure as the Jets’ coach. When the Jets have 55 or more rushes plus catches under Rex, their record is 10-1, and in franchise history the Jets’ record in those games is 148-24-2, an .856 winning percentage.
Further, it’s not a part of the criteria for nominating a player for “Ground” status but it should be mentioned again that Greene also added 58 receiving yards to give him a career-high 187 yards from scrimmage.
And further still, Greene is on a roll, with Sunday’s game following hot on the heels of his 22-carry, 88-yard, three-TD game against the Redskins. Which coincidentally was played at FedExField. We’re just sayin’.
Several team rankings are worth mentioning now that Week 14 of the season is in the books. The offense’s yardage rankings are still low (although the Jets have risen from 31st to a season-high 22nd in rushing offense in the last eight weeks). But the scoring offense is on the move, rising to sixth in the league, its highest level in the last 24 weeks, or since it came in at fourth after Week 7 of the 2010 season.
The Elias Sports Bureau tells me that the last NFL team to go 12-for-12 in red zone TDs was the Colts in 2010 and the last to put together a longer streak was the 2006 Chargers, who had 15 in a row.
The Jets’ red zone performance continues to sparkle. By going 5-for-5 in RZ TD drives vs. KC, they now have scored touchdowns in 12 consecutive possessions inside the opponents’ 20, beginning with the one TD at Denver. That raises their TD drive percentage to 71.4, No. 1 in the NFL. It’s also the best percentage after 14 weeks since the 2007 Saints were posting a 72.5 percent red zone TD rate en route to their league-leading 72.0 for the season.
Finally, after allowing 221 yards to Kansas City, the Jets’ defense in total yards allowed has also climbed to a season-high sixth. And after holding the Chiefs to 2-for-12 on third-down conversions, the Green & White inched up from third to second in the league’s third-down defense standings.
Tags: Brandon Jacobs, FedEx Ground Player of the Week, Kansas City Chiefs, Marshawn Lynch, Shonn Greene
Posted in Randy Lange | 63 Comments »
This weekend marks the debut of Jets Huddle, a brand new television program which will be broadcast on Verizon FiOS Channel 1 both on Long Island and in New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday.
The new show, which will be broadcast weekly throughout the season on FiOS 1, will premier with a mic’d up feature on Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. A roundtable discussion, which will be a Huddle staple throughout the year, had a panel consisting of host Steve Overmyer, NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger, Newsday’s Bob Glauber and myself as we discussed some hot-button offseason Jets topics.
“We are excited to launch Jets Huddle on Verizon FiOS 1." said Rich Gentile, the club’s senior director of multimedia and broadcasting. "This show is another example of our commitment to providing unique and compelling content to Jets fans. "Steve Overmyer brings energy to our panel discussions, and it’s no secret that our club is as fun to follow as any in sports.”
While the Green & White are trying to take it to another level in 2010, the Huddle also goes inside strength coach Sal Alosi’s offseason program with some behind-the-scenes footage. The show will be directed by Gentile and everything will fall under longtime Jets executive producer Bob Parente.
You can go to the Jets’ Facebook page next week for exclusive footage.
The times for this weekend’s special are as follows:
FiOS1 LONG ISLAND
Saturday, June 26
10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 27
10:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m.
FiOS1 NEW JERSEY
Saturday, June 26
2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 27
4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m.
A Titanic Teacher
The Jets figure to field a great corner tandem in the fall with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. But according to a published report in The Tennessean, Revis will meet with Titans CB Cortland Finnegan next week in Phoenix and the two DBs will get some summer work in.
“We are two totally different players, really," Finnegan said in the article by Jim Wyatt. "He is asked to shut down a receiver and our defense is totally different from their defense, what we’re asked to do. But I can learn from him for sure. I wish I could teach him something, but I’ve got nothing for him.’’
Lynch Mad-den About the Jets
Bills RB Marshawn Lynch hasn’t been in Western New York for a long time this spring, but he’s actually got an eye out east on the Jets.
"I’m probably not supposed to say that, but I’m excited to see what the Jets are going to do," Lynch told ESPN.com’s Tim Graham during the Bills minicamp. "I’m real excited.”
Lynch, who may find himself third on the depth chart after the Bills’ drafting of C.J. Spiller, told Graham he wants to use the Jets when he plays Madden 2011.
“They made so many moves, it’s hard to just pinpoint one," Lynch said. "I am a running back, and LT … man, one of the best that ever did it. I’m going to be excited to see him twice a year. Santonio and Revis and Cromartie over there, that’s going to be interesting."
Tags: Brian Schottenheimer, Darrelle Revis, Marshawn Lynch
Posted in Eric Allen | 40 Comments »
Marshawn Lynch returns after the third quarter gets under way, but the Bills featured back still isn’t ready to return to action. He jogs with a dark green towel over his head to the stationary bike and starts to pedal as the Bills try to move the ball on the second half.
The Bills try some fakery that, in a similar form, worked well for the Raiders two weeks ago. Facing fourth-and-4 at their 24, Buffalo punter Brian Moorman takes off on a run. On the play, newly activated Jason Trusnik is mauled by Buffalo’s Bryan Scott, and the flag is thrown for holding.
But a long delay ensues when ref Ron Winter’s crew rules that Moorman didn’t even gain the first down and it’s Jets ball at the B-24. Coach Dick Jauron challenges the spot and Winter finally rules that Moorman did get the first down, but the Bills have to repunt because of the penalty. Moorman shanks that kick and the Jets take over at their 47.
Again the Jets move into the Buffalo red zone but not across the goal line. Brett Favre finds Dustin Keller on a nice second-and-11 completion for a first-and-goal just inside the 10, but three plays get only to the 2, so Jay Feely comes on for his fourth field goal try and makes his third, from 20 yards out, to increase the Jets’ lead to 16-7 with 8:55 left in the third quarter.
The Lindell kickoff looks like trouble — it’s almost out of bounds but stays in bounds. But the rule isn’t like a third baseman waiting for a ball to roll foul that never does, Leon Washington makes a great play that is rarely seen. He gets his foot out of bounds and fields the kick inbounds. That makes it an out-of-bounds kick and the Jets get the ball at their 40 instead of their 8. Great move, Leon, Mike Westhoff and Kevin O’Dea.
That provides the platform for the Jets to knife through the previously impenetrable Bills defense for the offense’s first touchdown of the game. The key play is Favre’s slant to Jerricho Cotchery, who catches the ball in traffic and almost accelerates for a TD.
It is reminiscent of J-Co’s 77-yard TD catch-and-run at New England in the 2006 playoffs. The difference is that this doesn’t go for a TD. But it goes for 35 yards to first-and-goal at the Buffalo 7.
On the next play, Thomas Jones strides through the middle of the line for the 7-yard touchdown. The 60-yard drive to seven gives the Jets a 23-10 lead with 1:07 to play in the period. I would say "commanding" lead but here at "the Ralph" commanding leads don’t happen until later in the game.
But commanding gets a little closer when Kris Jenkins gets his second sack on a three-man rush and C.J. Mosley gets his first sack of the season. And Rian Lindell, who hit from 53 yards last quarter, misses from 43 with 11:05 to play.
Then commanding goes away as Favre, under pressure up the gut from LB Paul Posluszny, throws another pick-six. This one he tried to get up for Jerricho Cotchery on an out to the left side but when his arm is hit, the ball flutters to Jabari Greer, who juggles it slightly but takes it 42 yards the other way to put the Bills right back into it. The Jets’ lead is cut to 23-17, with 10:53 to play.
But the Jets don’t let it shake them. Favre, who may have invented the "five-second rule" before Eric Mangini came up with it, leads the Jets from their 22 all the way to the Buffalo red zone. The big plays: a third-and-1 flip for 1-yard to Thomas Jones, followed by a 23-yard run by Jones to the Bills 32 behind big blocks by Alan Faneca, who pulls and blocks S Bryan Scott twice on the play, and FB Tony Richardson.
The Jets are in range of making it a two-score game with two minutes or less left for the Bills to get those two scores. With 3:10 to play, the Bills call their second timeout.
And then their third timeout after a Washington 5-yard run makes it third-and-3 at the 13.
One more run, the clock runs down to 2:16, then the Jets call their own timeout to set up Jay Feely’s 31-yard field goal. The James Dearth snap is uncharacteristically high, but holder Reggie Hodges snags it, gets the ball down and Feely converts to give the Jets a 26-17 edge with 2:12 to play.
The Bills, with no timeouts left, have no margin for error and only one time stoppage at the two-minute warning. McKelvin takes the kickoff to the Buffalo 37 and the Bills get to work. Edwards hits TE Robert Royal for 20 yards and the clock is stopped with 1:59 to play.
Another completion to Lee Evans to the Jets 30, but with G Jason Whittle needing injury attention, the Bills have in effect called their fourth timeout, which requires a 10-second runoff to 1:29 to go. Another completion to Evans going out of bounds — he has a quiet four catches today.
And then Darrelle Revis steps up with another big play, even bigger than his strip-sack and recovery in the first half. Edwards tries to find James Hardy at the goal line, but Revis is with him step for step and has the position. The second-year corner comes down with the end zone interception in front of the rookie WR and the Jets have posted the upset.
Favre kneels and the Jets have come away with a crucial, hard-fought, hard-earned 26-17 victory at Buffalo to catch the Bills at 5-3 in the AFC East standings. A loss by New England at Indianapolis tonight would create a three-way tie in the division.
We’ll have Eric Allen’s game story, my postgame Radar entry and a feature by Tim Carlson in the coming hours as we recognize one of the biggest road wins of recent Jets history.
Tags: Brett Favre, Brian Moorman, Dick Jauron, Jason Trusnik, Leon Washington, Marshawn Lynch, Thomas Jones
Posted in Randy Lange | 71 Comments »
It’s the battle of the 40-yard plays as the Jets-Bills game opens up.
Leon Washington starts the game with a 40-yard kickoff return to the Jets 39. Two plays later, he takes a quick screen and darts through traffic for 40 more yards to the Bills 21. This sets up Jay Feely’s 37-yard field goal into the so far still mild Orchard Park breeze for a 3-0 Jets lead.
It’s the third consecutive game in which the Jets have scored on their opening drive, after going 0-for-5 in their first five games. It’s also the first time they’ve scored in the first quarter at Buffalo since a Doug Brien field goal in 2003. That breaks a scoreless streak of nine first-period drives up here in Western New York.
But the Bills respond in kind. Rookie Leodis McKelvin returns the hosts’ first kickoff 44 yards to the B-43. Then the first play from scrimmage is a Trent Edwards toss to a wide-open Marshawn Lynch for 42 yards to the Jets’ 15. Was Lynch David Bowens’ man. Bowens, starting at ILB for David Harris, went on a controlled blitz and there was no one else around Lynch.
That sets up Edwards’ 9-yard TD pass to another wide-open receiver, this time rookie TE Derek Fine in the end zone. Bowens arrives too late, but it’s hard to say whose guy Fine is. Kerry Rhodes blitzed on the play. Quickly in the game’s first four minutes, it’s Bills, 7-3.
The Jets shoot themselves in the foot on the next drive, second-and-1, when first Chris Baker is called for not being set at the snap on a quick first-down throw from Brett Favre to Dustin Keller, then, after a dancing Washington gain makes it third-and-1, Thomas Jones is dropped for a yard loss by DE Chris Kelsay, who comes off the Jets’ left side unblocked.
But the Jets defense strikes quickly with a brilliant Darrelle Revis blitz. Edwards is looking to his left the whole time and never senses Revis from the blindside. No. 24 slams the Buffalo QB, strips the ball and recovers the fumble at the Bills 6.
Favre can’t hold the shotgun snap from Nick Mangold but Thomas Jones recovers. Then Bills pressure — Kelsey muscling past LG Alan Faneca — forces one Favre incompletion, and coverage plus Favre not finding Laveranues Coles in the back of the end zone results in a throwaway. Feely comes in again from 26 and Buffalo‘s lead is trimmed to 7-6.
The Bills are helped down the field on their next drive by Jets mistakes. Bryan Thomas is called for unnecessary roughness, then Kris Jenkins jumps too soon and is called for encroachment. And when the Bills are called for ineligible man downfield to set up on an Edwards incompletion, head coach Eric Mangini can take fourth-and-11 from the Jets 25 and a likely 43-yard Rian Lindell field goal attempt or third-and-16.
Mangini takes third-and-16 and Edwards finds Roscoe Parrish, with Drew Coleman having fallen down in coverage, for 22 yards and first-and-goal at the 8.
But perhaps there was a method to the Jets’ madness. On third down, Jenkins, playing mad and effectively after his penalty, pressures Edwards heavily. The Buffalo QB unloads a pass — and Abram Elam is ready. The safety, starting with Eric Smith deactivated, snaps up the interception and takes off down the right side of the field and outlasts Lynch’s pursuit. It’s a 92-yard interception return TD and the Jets take a 13-7 lead on the last play of the long first quarter.
Elam’s return is the longest by a Jet in nine years and is tied for the fourth-longest INT-return TD in franchise history. Here are the six 90-yard-plus IR scores by the Jets:
|1996||Aaron Glenn||at MIA||100|
|1983||Darrol Ray||at CIN (PO)||98|
|1999||Marcus Coleman||at MIA||98|
|1989||Erik McMillan||vs. IND||92|
|2008||Abram Elam||at BUF||92|
|1994||Marcus Turner||at MIN||90|
The Bills march again down into the Jets red zone, and again they are thwarted. This time they get to third-and-1 at the 8. But Edwards can’t find a receiver and throws the ball away. Then, with Marshawn Lynch walking to the locker room presumably with an injury, Bills coach Dick Jauron decides to go for it on fourth-and-1.
Fred Jackson tries to burrow off his left side, but Kris Jenkins and company are there to meet him. He doesn’t make it and the Jets offense finally gets back on the field with 7:57 to play in the first half.
The Bills have just held the ball for 15 minutes, 8 seconds of clock time and have scored no points.
Then Jauron makes the wrong call. He challenges Favre’s third-down completion to Coles, saying the ball touched the ground. At first glance it appeared the Bills boss had a case, but replays show Coles had his hand underneath the ball the whole time, so Buffalo loses its last timeout of the first half.
Favre and the offense seems to be getting on track on this drive, and Favre is throwing high heat to move the chains. After the Coles third-down grab, he converts third-and-2 to Jerricho Cotchery, then second-and-4 to Coles, then a laser that Cotchery pulls off his hip for second-and-1, setting up Washington’s short run for the first down.
The Jets are in hurryup mode, and the officials seemingly ignore two Bills getting off the field late. So Mangini comes on the field to ask an official about throwing the red flag. He gets the answer he wants and drops the flag to call for a replay challenge. Ref Ron Winter rules that the Bills in fact didn’t get their people off the field and so the Jets make it first-and-5 at the B-25.
Then Thomas Jones, behind a punishing Damien Woody block, rips off 11 yards to the 14 to take us to the two-minute warning.
Word has just come in that Lynch left the game because he was nauseous and vomiting on the Buffalo sideline.
The Bills defense, even without Aaron Schobel, remains formidable and stiffens in its red zone. Jerricho Cotchery drops a play-action WR screen but would’ve been dropped for a loss had he caught it. Paul Posluzny swallows up Washington for a 2-yard loss. Then Cotchery is tackled for a 3-yard loss.
To top it off, Feely misses wide left from the right hashmarks from 37 yards out. So the visitors put together a scoreless 7:38 drive of their own and the teams go in at halftime with the Jets ahead, 13-7.
Tags: Brett Favre, Darrelle Revis, Leodis McKelvin, Leon Washington, Marshawn Lynch, Trent Edwards
Posted in Randy Lange | 14 Comments »
Jonathan Vilma wasn’t about to do cartwheels through the Jets’ locker room today, but he was encouraged to hear that the Jets are an NFL top-10 team in one rushing defense category: yards per carry allowed.
"Yeah, we felt that against Buffalo," Vilma said of the run defense starting to tighten things up. "I don’t know how many yards we held them to, but I know it was under 100. That’s always the goal, to hold them under 100 and keep the yards per carry down. I felt we did a good job of that.
"The bottom line is still to win. We can have all those things, all the great stats, but we still have to find a way to win."
But perhaps stopping the run will help the Jets’ pass rush and coverage toward that end. Bills rookie Marshawn Lynch, while impressive in bursting through the Jets’ nickel front for his 10-yard touchdown run, finished with 79 yards on 23 carries, and the Bills were held to 86 rushing yards at 3.1 yards per carry.
That brought the Green & White’s per-carry average down to 3.7, improving their NFL ranking from 15th to ninth. Their rush yards allowed per game also improved to 112.5, with their ranking also rising from 20th to 16th.
These gains will be tested by the Giants on Sunday and by Derrick Ward, a seventh-round pick by the Jets in 2004 whom the Giants signed off their practice squad. Ward has taken over Big Blue’s ground game from the injured Brandon Jacobs and is averaging 4.8 yards a pop (73 carries, 353 yards). And this week word is Jacobs is ready to return from his right knee sprain and coach Tom Coughlin’s job will be to achieve an optimum blend of Ward and Jacobs.
Some Rest for No. 51
Vilma will be on the front lines again vs. the Giants, trying as always to stop the pass and the run. But it was interesting that at Buffalo, for the first time in two seasons, he was not on the field for every Jets defensive play. CBS without comment showed No. 51 on the sidelines for one of the four plays he said he came off the field for in the second quarter.
It’s not like Vilma has never sat out a play. He didn’t start his first two games as a rookie in 2004 and yielded his MLB spot here and there once Sam Cowart returned to health that season.
But by an unofficial count, in ’05, besides eight end-game plays, he missed only one midgame play at Baltimore. And last season Vilma was involved in all 1,093 of the Jets’ defensive snaps, including the playoff game at New England.
"It’s been eight or nine years," he said about his remarkable longevity of taking almost every rep, including his four seasons as starter and star at Miami.
The coaches, needless to say, are mixing and matching, scheming and subbing, trying to get the D up to speed. Rookie David Harris is getting more PT in the base, not to mention the nickel. David Bowens has been seeing more action on the outside. All active D-linemen are getting reps, and Darrelle Revis gives the Jets three corners who see action in the base.
For those keeping score at home, there have been some changes to the statistics from the Jets-Bills game.
The forced fumble originally credited to Jonathan Vilma late in the first quarter was actually forced by Darrelle Revis and now the official play-by-play correctly recognizes Revis with the FF.
Also, Jerricho Cotchery’s second 28-yard reception has been changed to a 29-yarder because the ball was actually advanced to the Bills 13, not the 14 as originally scored. And Justin McCareins’ ensuing illegal motion penalty, originally scored as a 4-yard penalty, becomes a 5-yarder.
That means Cotchery has 107 receiving yards, Pennington 291 passing yards and the Jets 347 total yards and 66 penalty yards.
No, Elias Sports Bureau did not find four missing points for the Green & White.
Newest Jet: Clowney
Head coach Eric Mangini announced that with Cody Spencer going on the Non-Football Illness list, the Jets have signed rookie WR David Clowney off of Green Bay’s practice squad. The Packers’ fifth-round draft pick (157th overall) out of Virginia Tech, Clowney checks in at 6’0" and 188 pounds. The Long Island-born and Florida-bred player’s preseason numbers for the Pack were not eye-popping, but what was impressive at the NFL Combine workouts was his 4.36 speed. He does a lot of special teams work, and not just as a returner but also on punt and field goal block and as a gunner on the punt cover team.
Tags: David Clowney, David Harris, Derrick Ward, Jonathan Vilma, Marshawn Lynch
Posted in Randy Lange | 24 Comments »
The Jets locker room was a tough one today. Even on the best of days, the Ralph Wilson Stadium visitors room is difficult to navigate: too small for an NFL team, especially after a game when garment bags and equipment duffels take up precious floorspace for players and reporters alike.
But on days like these, the place really shrinks around the players who are frowning and trying hard to make sense of what just transpired.
"This was a game we couldn’t really afford to lose," said tight end Chris Baker.
But lose the Jets did, and the shame of it for the defense is that the unit had its best game of the season.
No, it wasn’t dominant, and yes, Trent Edwards looked much too comfortable as a rookie QB making his first NFL start.
But the D had some moments. Two sacks, two takeaways, a big third-down play to get the ball back for the offense in the final two minutes. And rookie Marshawn Lynch did not do a three-figure number on the run defense — he had an 11-yard TD run, but his 22 other carries gained 68 yards, a shade over three a carry.
One of the sacks and the one fumble recovery — the Jets’ first of the season — came from LB Victor Hobson, who’s done some good things over the years in the western New York woods. But unlike last year, when he returned a fumble for a TD, Hobson could only offer a sad smile at this day’s work
"I just like coming out here and playing football, knowing it’s going to be a hard-fought game every time I come up here," he said, giving the Bills their due. "I wish I could enjoy it. The tables turn sometimes."
On slowing down Lynch, he had to agree: "I felt like we did a good job. At the same time, we didn’t win." There was that sad smile again.
And Hobson said he and his teammates aren’t throwing in the towel.
"We’ve just got to learn from our mistakes," he said. "We’ll bounce back. We won’t get down on ourselves. We’ve just got to understand the situation we’re in and think positive."
I know how the fans are feeling today — I’ve read the comments that came in on the Radar during and immediately after the game. And I know Hobson’s comments are the type to drive many of you up a wall.
But what else can the Jets say? They lost a game they need to win, they feel bad and they feel they’re better than this. I don’t sense any players giving up. I’m looking forward to seeing how they tighten it up this week and get ready for their next "road game." The general goals are a win over the host Giants and a 2-3 record, which of course was what they were last year after their 41-0 jacking in Jacksonville. If the Jets could fight back from that start, they can fight back from this one.
Tags: Chris Baker, Marshawn Lynch, Trent Edwards, Victor Hobson
Posted in Randy Lange | 98 Comments »
Buffalo gets to the 27 with Marshawn Lynch continuing his impressive running. But Lynch doesn’t pick up the blitz well as Kerry Rhodes comes off the edge and Eric Barton barges up the middle. Trent Edwards isn’t sacked, but he gets swarmed under as his batted pass falls incomplete. Then Rian Lindell comes on to nail a 46-yard field goal and the Bills go back on top with 10:49 left.
Bills 10, Jets 7
Chad Pennington breaks his personal best with his 15th straight completion, to TE Joe Kowalewski for a yard, but then he breaks another stretch that is not good, throwing a pass for Laveranues Coles that CB Jabari Greer picks off. That ends Chad’s 115 straight passes without throwing a pick, and it sets the Bills up at the Jets 25 to take control of this tightly played contest
Lynch shows his quality by beating Jonathan Vilma to the edge and even getting Vilma’s hands momentarily on his facemask for first-and-goal at the Jets 9. Two more Lynch runs gets the Bills inside the 1.
But the Jets defense rises up for a stand, stopping Lynch for no gain with their six-down-linemen goal-line defense. Sione Pouha hits Lynch around the ankles, Eric Hicks pounds him upstairs. Buffalo appears to be ready to settle for another Lindell FG.
But after a Bills timeout, they’re going for it. Hey, they’re 0-3, they weren’t supposed to be in this game and they’re going for the kill shot. And for the Jets, this is certainly a key play either way in their early season.
Edwards fakes to Lynch, drops back and finds TE Michael Gaines just over the goal line. Despite Bryan Thomas putting on a big rush, Edwards throws his first career TD pass and Buffalo has now put the Jets two scores down with 6:56 on the clock.
Bills 17, Jets 7
Pennington, facing a three-man rush, throws three checkdown darts to Leon Washington for the first down and a move into Buffalo territory. A second Brick hold on Aaron Schobel pushes the visitors back to their side of the 50.
But then Pennington pumpfakes and gets Brad Smith open to the Buff 32. We’re under five minutes.
A play-action pass against a Bills blitz to Justin McCareins doesn’t fool CB Terrence McGee, who swats it away. Coles leaps and snags the first-down pass, then Washington, who had the first big play of his career here last year, weaves his way for 9 yards, and Pennington, sore ankle and all, keeps for the hurry-up first-and-goal. And another hurry-up handoff to Washington, who strides all the way to the end zone to make things interesting again. Nugent’s PAT with 3:02 on the clock makes it …
Bills 17, Jets 14
The Jets have only one timeout left, so after Nugent’s kickoff the defense has no wiggle room here. On the first run by Lynch, Bryan Thomas swallows him up after a 3-yard push to the 31. Then Josh Reed takes an end-around for 4 yards to the 35 and to the two-minute warning. Another big play as the Jets head toward the quarter pole.
Stop the offense and live to send this game to OT. Give up the first down and you’ve lost to the formerly winless Bills.
And the Jets defense survives. Edwards rolls out and tosses to Josh Reed, but Darrelle Revis is right there to pry the ball out as the two fall to the turf. Brian Moorman’s punt follows, Washington is bottled up on the return, so with 1:43 left, the Jets are at their 26, about 65 yards away from a tying Mike Nugent field goal try.
Pennington hits four passes, but the last three only get him to fourth-and-3. Who you gonna call? Chris Baker. Pennington calmly hits the TE on the right side, and he gets 6 yards and the first down and gets out of bounds.
But after an incomplete pass, the Jets are second-and-10 at their 49 with 17 seconds left. And then Cotchery, free on the right, gets 11 yards. Now there’s 11 seconds and the ball’s at the Bills’ 39. A 57-yard field goal to tie?
No, it won’t come to that. Pennington, having to unload, tries to find Justin McCareins at the right sideline, but he underthrows it, McCareins isn’t close enough to contest it, and the ball nestles in the breadbasket of Terrence McGee for the interception. One Edwards kneeldown and the battered, bruised Bills have their upset.
And the Jets have many questions ahead, today in the Ralph Wilson locker room and all throughout the week as they head toward their road game against their infrequent rivals, the Giants, next Sunday.
Tags: Kerry Rhodes, Marshawn Lynch, Rian Lindell, Trent Edwards
Posted in Randy Lange | 58 Comments »
The two QBs, the veteran Pennington and the rookie Edwards, combined for 27 completions on 33 attempts in the first half. And through the first seven minutes, neither missed. Trouble is, the Bills D-line is starting to win the trench warfare against the Jets’ O-line. On third-and-1, Thomas Jones is thrown for a 3-yard loss by LB Mario Haggan.
And then Edwards moves Buffalo to the Jets 5 with four completions. A false start barely hurts the Bills as rookie RB Marshawn Lynch powers up the middle — even with rookie LB David Harris in the game — to the goal line. The Bills have drawn first blood.
Bills 7, Jets 0
But Chad Pennington is up for the challenge. He hits Jerricho Cotchery with a pair of 28-yard touch passes, with Cotchery gaining 17 of those 56 yards after the catch. An illegal shift on Justin McCareins hurts but not too bad as Pennington finds Chris Baker for 11 yards to third-and-1 at the Bills 5. This time Chad spends a timeout — this is a big play if the Green & White doesn’t want to suffer a bad upset loss.
Apparently they don’t. The play call from OC Brian Schottenheimer is a fade from Pennington to Coles, and again Coles reels in the tough catch, taking it away from CB Terrence McGee and tumbling to the ground with the ball in the right corner of the end zone. Tie ballgame.
Jets 7, Bills 7
For Pennington that’s 14 consecutive completions. His one incompletion in that stretch, an incompletion to Leon Washington, was wiped out by D’Brickashaw’s holding penalty. That ties his personal best of 14 in a row in the 2003 regular-season finale at Miami.
But Edwards appears up to matching drive engineering and completions with Pennington as he leads the Bills from their 8 after a kickoff-return hold toward midfield as the third quarter expires.
Tags: Chad Pennington, David Harris, Marshawn Lynch, Trent Edwards
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Respect for the opponent is one of the cornerstones of any successful NFL franchise, and that’s something that Jets DE Kenyon Coleman, along with all his other defensive teammates, has for the Bills offense with the rookies in key places that the Green & White expects to face Sunday.
"Against quality players, you’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game," Coleman told me in the middle of a Friday locker room filled with equipment bags and frenzied activity as the players hurried home ahead of today’s flight to Buffalo. "Their quarterback and running back, these guys can hurt you."
Coleman was referring of course, to RB Marshawn Lynch and QB Trent Edwards.
Lynch, the 12th pick of the April draft, already has three pro starts under his belt and has the second-most rushing yards (228 for a 4.0 per-carry average) among NFL rookies. Lynch no doubt would like to get the first 100-yard game of his career against the Jets, who as many fans know have been vulnerable to Bills backs over the years.
In fact, since 1990 five different Buffalo RBs have accounted for 17 100-yard games vs. the Green & White. See if you can name the five before going to the chart at the bottom of this Radar entry.
Edwards was the third-round rookie QB who may not have expected to play and start quite so soon, except that you can never expect that in this league. When J.P. Losman had his knee twisted by a hit from Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (for which Wilfork was fined late this week), Edwards ran the Bills offense the rest of the game vs. the Pats and, with Losman ruled out for the game Friday, will get his first pro start against the Jets.
"I’m going to be excited, anxious, eager," Edwards told Sirius NFL Radio this week. "I’ll be feeling a whole lot of emotions I haven’t felt in a long time."
It was Edwards’ and coach Dick Jauron’s goal during the past week of practice to have the young QB harness his emotions to be able to pull out an upset win against the Jets in his first pro start. I’ve been able to find only two other QBs in the last 22 seasons who made their first NFL starts against the Jets — Jim Kelly, who came over from the USFL to QB the Bills in the 1986 season opener, won by the Jets, 28-24, and Steve McNair, whose first pro start for the Houston Oilers produced a 23-6 win over the Green & White in the next-to-last game in 1995.
Jauron wants both rookies to play like season veterans.
"What I’d really like our game plan to be is balanced," he said. "You have to do both and balance them. We would like to run it very effectively and we would like to throw it effectively. We aren’t going into it thinking solely about the run."
And the Jets need to disrupt one player, the other, or both to give their defense the best chance of contributing to a second straight AFC East victory and getting them to the .500 mark for the first time this season.
"That’s not a great thing, 1-2," Coleman said of the Jets’ record. "We can’t worry about the past."
But they can help set up the future with a strong defense against two precocious Bills on Sunday. Here are the five Bills backs who have rushed for 100 yards vs. the Jets since 1990:
|Buffalo RB||Span||100-Yd Games||Jets’ Rec.|
Tags: Kenyon Coleman, Marshawn Lynch, Steve McNair, Trent Edwards
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