Here are today’s pregame tweets for Jets-Dolphins at MetLife Stadium, 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 Gray afternoon for Jets-Dolphins 1 pm ET start at MetLife Stadium. Cloudy, chance of rain, temps in high 50s, wind gusts to 20 mph.
#RL Jets lead Dolphins in all-time series 49-44-1. Jets lead in all-time series at home 27-19, have won 1 of last 4 but 10 of last 14.
#RL Mark Sanchez career vs. MIA: 7 games, 120-for-233 passing (51.5%), 1623 yds, 10 TDs, 6 INTs, 13 sacks, 77.6 rating, 3-4 record.
#RL TE Dustin Keller career vs MIA: 8 games, 28 recs, 328 yds, 11.7 avg, 17 first downs, 4 TDs.
#RL Shonn Greene career vs MIA: 7 games, 82 carries, 247 yds, 3.0 avg, 0 TDs, 6 recs, 41 yds, 0 TDs.
#RL K Nick Folk is 41-for-43 career (95.3%) in 4th-quarter FG tries (incl playoffs), 2nd-best pct among all NFL kickers since 1991.
#RL Ryan Tannehill career vs NYJ: 1 game, 16-for-36 (44.4%), 196 yds, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 0 sacks, 50.2 rating, 0-1 record.
#RL Reggie Bush career vs NYJ: 3 games, 26 carries 169 yds (6.5 avg), 0 TDs, 6 recs, 15 yds, 0 TDs.
#RL CB Antonio Cromartie leads Jets with 3 INTs. Cro has 10 INTs as a Jets since ’10, with 1 coming @ MIA in Game 16 last season.
#RL K Dan Carpenter career vs NYJ: 15-for-17 in all FG tries, with both misses coming in Game 3 @ MIA last month, from 47, 48 yds.
#RL Jets inactives: QB Greg McElroy, RB Bilal Powell, S Eric Smith, LB Bart Scott, DT Damon Harrison, TE Jeff Cumberland, DT Kenrick Ellis.
#RL Bart Scott had appeared in 119 consecutive RS games, 5th-longest streak among active LBs, 8th-longest streak among active def players in NFL.
#RL Third-round rookie LB Demario Davis making his pro starting debut for Bart Scott at ILB alongside LB David Harris.
#RL TE Hayden Smith, signed from Jets practice squad on SAT, is active for this game and could make his pro debut.
#RL Active for Jets: NT Sione Pouha (back), who’s missed past 3 games, WR Clyde Gates (shoulder), who missed past 2 games.
#RL MIA inactives: QB Pat Devlin, CB Richard Marshall, LB Josh Kaddu, T Will Yeatman, TE Michael Egnew, WRs Rishard Matthews & Anthony Armstrong.
#RL Walt Anderson is the referee. Anderson has been ref at 9 previous Jets games since ’03, incl ’09 “Win And We’re In” Game 16 vs CIN.
#RL Jets in green jerseys, white pants today. Jets u/ Rex Ryan since ’09 are 11-9 in green/white, 9-7 at home in green/white.
Tags: Dan Carpenter, Mark Sanchez, MetLife Stadium, Miami Dolphins, Nick Folk, Reggie Bush, Rex Ryan, Ryan Tannehill, Shonn Greene
Posted in Randy Lange | 69 Comments »
Moving on to non-Island topics in today’s muted day-after-Miami, LB Calvin Pace came into the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room to clear up a remark he made immediately after the 23-20 overtime win over the Dolphins regarding RB Reggie Bush, who left the game with a left knee injury late in the first half.
“Apparently I said something about Reggie Bush, trying to get him out of the game,” Pace said. “I wasn’t trying to say it as if we were trying to hurt him. I’m sad to see him get hurt. We aren’t running any kind of bounty system or anything like that, and actually, looking at the play, somebody just fell on his knee.
“I guess I need to say things in a different manner, and I’ll do a better job of it next time.”
The word from South Florida today is that Bush’s knee injury isn’t serious and that he may be able to return to action as soon as Sunday when Miami visits Arizona. That’s good news for Bush.
And perhaps not as good for the Jets, who could face him for the second time this season in five weeks at MetLife Stadium. Bush is currently No. 4 on the NFL’s rushing-leaders list this season with 302 yards on 50 carries for a gaudy 6.0-yard average. And it’s an even gaudier 6.5 yards per carry in his three career games vs. the Jets (26 carries, 169 yards).
Figuring Out OT
Sunday’s game was the Jets’ first in overtime under the NFL’s OT rules that were modified for last season. Had they moved into range for a Nick Folk field goal on their first possession and he hit it, the Dolphins and Dan Carpenter would have had the chance to tie it. Since the Jets punted on that first series, Carpenter’s kick was of course for the win.
And with that 48-yarder sailing wide left, Carpenter has begun an unusual new chapter in his career vs. the Green & White. Including Sunday’s first kick from 21 yards out, the Dolphins’ Pro Bowl kicker had made his first 14 field goals against the Jets dating to 2008. But he’ll go into the Oct. 28 rematch having missed two of his last three.
Perhaps Carpenter’s miss and the outcome of the game was preordained, since the Jets have gotten the extra session figured out lately, especially against the Aqua & Coral.
Their last OT games were the back-to-back wins at Detroit and Cleveland in the middle of the 2010 season. In fact, the Jets have won their last three overtime games and their last four on the road.
The Jets are now 19-19-2 all-time in overtime. And that includes a perfect record against their friendly AFC East rivals. They’re 5-0-1 in OT vs. the Dolphins, 2-0-1 at Miami.
Due to overtime, injuries and a few discussions by the replacement refs, the game lasted exactly four hours. The last four-hour game the Jets played: the 2000 Monday Night Miracle in the Meadowlands against the same Fish, a 40-37 overtime win that went 4:10 into the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
Folk’s 33-yard kick to decide things was the fourth gamewinning kick of his Jets career and his third “walk-off” FG. He’s tried six field goals in all to tie the score or put the Jets ahead in the last two minutes of a game or in overtime. He’s missed only one, a 47-yard wide-right miss that would have beaten Cleveland in ’10.
Santonio Holmes won that game vs. the Browns, and he played a big role in Sunday’s triumph. His nine receptions were the most by a Jet since Jerricho Cotchery had nine against Kansas City in 2008, and Tone’s 147 receiving yards were the most by a Jet since Cotchery’s 152 at Tennessee in ’07.
And for trivial trivia, consider that LaRon Landry’s 18-yard interception-return TD was the shortest IR TD by a Jet since Aaron Glenn returned a 13-yarder vs. Ty Detmer and Philadelphia in 1996 and the shortest on the road since Mo Lewis went 15 yards vs. Kerry Collins and Carolina in the “Shovel Pass Game” in 1995.
Late today the Jets announced that LB Bryan Thomas and WR Patrick Turner — BT and PT — have been re-signed. The team also waived DT Marcus Dixon, T Dennis Landolt and CB Donnie Fletcher, who went on the Miami trip in case Ellis Lankster’s low back strain prevented him from playing. But Lankster did play, Fletcher was deactivated, and for 24 hours he’s in the NFL’s waiver system.
Tags: Aaron Glenn, Calvin Pace, Dan Carpenter, LaRon Landry, Miami Dolphins, Mo Lewis, Nick Folk, Reggie Bush
Posted in Randy Lange | 84 Comments »
If you’re not a Twitter follower, here are our pregame tweets on our nyjets Twitter page, under the hashtag:
Overcast day in South Florida for Jets-Dolphins. Thunderstorms in the area for 1 pm ET kickoff, temps in the 80s, heat index in the 90s.
Jets have lost 5 of last 7 to Dolphins, 2 of last 3 in Sun Life Stadium. Rex Ryan, facing Joe Philbin for 1st time as HCs, is 2-4 vs. MIA.
Jets QB Mark Sanchez career vs. Dolphins: 99-for-188, 1317 yds, 9 TDs, 4 INTs, 12 sacks, 82.2 passer rating, 2-4 record.
Jets have averaged 28.7 carries and 137.7 rushing yards, 4.8 per carry, in last 3 games at Miami.
Jets who used to play/coach for Dolphins: OC Tony Sparano, STC Mike Westhoff, OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo, S Yeremiah Bell, WR Clyde Gates.
(Also, Tim Tebow grew up in Jacksonville and played at Sun Life in high school and TE Dedrick Epps was drafted by Dolphins.)
Jets wearing green jerseys, white pants. They’re 9-7 in green/white under Rex Ryan, 1-2 on road, including last yr’s season finale at MIA.
Jets inactives: QB Greg McElroy, CB Donnie Fletcher, FB John Conner, DL Damon Harrison, G Caleb Schlauderaff, T Dennis Landolt, TE Dustin Keller.
MIA inactives: QB Pat Devlin, WR Marlon Moore, T Will Yeatman, T Ray Feinga, DT Tony McDaniel, TE Michael Egnew, WR Rishard Matthews.
Dolphins RB Reggie Bush in 2 career games vs. NYJ: 16 carries, 108 yards, 6.8 avg., 5 catches, 14 yards.
Tags: inactives, Mark Sanchez, Miami Dolphins, Reggie Bush, Rex Ryan, Sun Life Stadium
Posted in Randy Lange | 23 Comments »
Rex Ryan said nothing much good comes out of a loss except possibly the learning. And what the Jets may have learned is that their run defense can be all that it thought it was before C.J. Spiller creased them a few times on opening day.
“We’ve got to put the loss behind us,” DE Muhammad Wilkerson said of the Sunday slipup in Pittsburgh, “but we were challenging ourselves all last week about being physical up front. We just wanted to come out and attack the challenge.”
“We need to bounce back still from that first game,” said DT Mike DeVito. “We kind of took the pedal off the gas there and let the Bills run for some yards. We want to be the top run defense in the league. We’re capable of doing that. So now it’s just digging ourselves out of that hole that we started off in.”
By a few measures, the run defense was outstanding in Pittsburgh. The Steelers needed Ben Roethlisberger to carry them on his broad shoulders because their backs were finding no room in gaining 66 yards on 28 carries.
A big component of those figures were seven Jets tackles behind the line of scrimmage (six on running plays, one on a pass) for minus-22 yards. Led by Wilkerson (2.5 TFLs) and LB Garrett McIntyre (2.0 TFLs, two sacks), those two team figures were both the most in a game in four seasons under Ryan. The last time they had seven TFLs was in the 2007 home win over the Steelers. The last time they racked up more than 20 yards in losses was when they went 7-for-27 at Buffalo in 2004.
On their own, TFLs in a game aren’t great predictors of victory. But they can be an important part of a defensive game plan that can shut down a potent ground game and turn an offense one-dimensional, especially if led by a rookie QB.
Kind of like what the Jets’ run defense would like to do Sunday at Miami. Job One: Prune Reggie Bush.
“They’ve got a great back with Reggie,” Wilkerson said. “He’s a fast guy, so again we’ve got to be physical up front and don’t let him get outside to the edge, because if we do that, it’ll be a problem.”
Bush has been a feast-or-famine type runner over the years. Among the 56 NFL backs with 500 carries since 2006, he’s sixth in percentage of 10-yard-plus runs but he’s also fourth in percentage of “stuffs,” or being tackled for loss. So far this season he’s been feasting — his 241 rushing and 312 yards from scrimmage are both second in the league (behind Spiller, coincidentally).
“With a guy like that, this takes all 11 guys to stop him,” McIntyre said. “We’ve got to create lots of penetration. We’ve got to set edges. That’s huge this week.”
Especially because as poised as Ryan Tannehill has sometimes looked, he’s a rookie who’s been sacked four times, thrown three INTs to one TD and passed to a rating of 62.6.
Tannehill’s comfort in the pocket will be dependent on Bush’s comfort in running the ball and moving the chains.
“It’s going to be a great challenge for us,” DeVito said. “That’s they key to the game, who we play as a defensive front.”
Revis and the Walking Wounded
The Jets’ injury list keeps growing each week. Today’s first report of the week is up to a season-high 19 players. But the good news is that 11 of them were full-go in practice today. And the news is cautiously optimistic on the key-player front as well.
CB Darrelle Revis? “He has not been cleared for contact. He has been cleared for practice,” said Ryan. “We’ll see how that goes.” Revis was in fact limited today.
TE Dustin Keller? Did not participate in practice but sounded confident again that he’ll be ready to play at Miami.
QB Mark Sanchez, who appeared on the list as full participation with a low-back twinge? “I just found out about it today,” Ryan said. “I don’t think it’s that serious.”
Also DNPs were LB Bryan Thomas (hamstring), S Eric Smith (hip/knee) and FB John Conner (knee). Said McIntyre about getting a second start for BT at OLB: “I’ve got to prepare like I’m going to be the guy and whatever happens, happens. I’ll do whatever role they want me to do, whatever it means, as long as we get wins. The more depth we have, the better we are.”
The Dolphins have listed nine players on their Wednesday list. Backup DT Tony McDaniel (knee) didn’t participate Starting CB Richard Marshall (back) and backup WRs Anthony Marshall (hamstring) and Marlon Moore (hamstring) were all limited. Five ‘Fins were full practice.
McKnight Prognosis: Two-Plus Plays
Ryan was pressed about two play-related situations by reporters. One predictably involved the Tim Tebow Wildcat, which went from eight plays vs. Buffalo to three at Pitt. How much will we see the ‘Cat vs. the ‘Fins?
“That’s the beauty of it because we control it,” the head coach said. “The media’s not going to drive it and the opponents, they’re not going to have any idea what we’re going to do with him,” the head coach said. “I think I know the answer but I’m not going to give it to you. I think it’s in our best interests that our opponents don’t know exactly. Will the Wildcat really be featured this week or is it more back-burnered? I think that plays into our advantage.”
As for kickoff man McKnight, Ryan said his one play on offense, on which he ran for 12 yards with a handoff from Tebow, was a function of him being “a little nicked. We’ll see. I think he’ll have a bigger role this week.” How big? “I would think he’d play a bigger role than one snap.”
Tags: Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller, Garrett McIntyre, joe McKnight, Mark Sanchez, Miami Dolphins, Mike DeVito, Muhammad Wilkerson, Reggie Bush, run defense, Ryan Tannehill, Tim Tebow, Wildcat
Posted in Randy Lange | 30 Comments »
Updated, 4:41 p.m. ET
Hidden beneath the obvious enormity of the Jets’ upcoming tilt with the Miami Dolphins on Sunday is a subplot that was not likely earlier in the season. RB Shonn Greene has rebounded beautifully from a rough start to 2011 by knocking on the door of his first 1,000-yard rushing season.
The first four games of the year were unkind to Greene. Over the first quarter of the campaign, he had 157 yards on 51 carries, a shade over 3.0 yards per tote. Since then, he’s averaged 4.5 yards per carry.
“He’s had a good year,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “When you look at him, he had some tough sledding early in the season but he started coming on. This is the time of year when he usually does the most damage. We hope to give him not only this opportunity on Sunday but more opportunities.”
It’s reasonable to think that the first 1,000-yard season of a young running back’s career would be a major milestone, but Greene didn’t even know exactly where he stood until he was told today that he’s at 999 yards. He admitted knowing he was close to the landmark but not that he was only one yard away.
“It doesn’t even matter,” said Greene. “We’re just trying to get this win. I’ve been saying that since I got here. We’re just trying to win games.”
In addition to Greene crossing the 1,000-yard barrier, another Jets tailback will attempt to add another accolade to his own legend. RB LaDainian Tomlinson is only 34 yards behind RB Jerome Bettis as the NFL’s fifth-leading rusher of all time.
Tomlinson is a free agent at the season’s end. Whether he stays, signs elsewhere or ultimately decides to retire, he has had profound impact on the younger Greene in his two-year tenure with the Jets.
“He means a lot to my success and to this team’s success,” said Greene. “He’s a Hall of Fame player. If he decides to hang it up, it’s too bad but it’s well-deserved. He’s done about everything you can as a running back in this league.”
The two backs will shoot for their respective benchmarks against a hungry Dolphins squad that no one in the locker room takes lightly.
“They’ve been playing hard lately,” said Greene. “Even though they don’t have a chance [for the playoffs], they’ve been playing hard. Teams like that are the most dangerous.”
Ryan and his team know the danger of travelling to Miami to play at Sun Life Stadium. Ryan wouldn’t go so far as to guarantee a victory over the Fish on Sunday. However, that didn’t prevent him from guaranteeing something else.
“I know how I am with my guarantees,” said Rex, “but I guarantee Shonn goes over 1,000.”
Dolphins RB Reggie Bush has been ruled out for Sunday’s game with a knee injury. Miami’s leading rusher finishes the season with a career-best 1,086 yards on the ground and added six rushing touchdowns. Today in Miami, interim coach Todd Bowles said “a combo of people” will fill in for Bush, among them Lex Hilliard, Steve Slaton and rookie Daniel Thomas.
Dolphins CB Jimmy Wilson is listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury, and WR Clyde Gates, Miami’s kickoff returner, is questionable with a groin injury.
The Jets turn in a surprisingly clean bill of health for Week 17, with only one player listed as questionable. LB Garrett McIntyre injured his knee on the opening kickoff of last week’s game against the Giants, and practiced in a limited capacity on Friday after not having practiced at all earlier in the week. He will make the trip to South Florida and a decision will be made on his availability prior to gametime. In addition to his linebacking duties, McIntyre is a major contributor on special teams, where he has totaled 18 tackles this season.
All the other injured Jets are listed as probable for Sunday, including CB Antonio Cromartie (hamstring), who appeared on the injury report for the first time today and was limited during team drills.
Tags: Garrett McIntyre, LaDainian Tomlinson, Miami Dolphins, Reggie Bush, Rex Ryan, Shonn Greene
Posted in Andrew LeRay | 62 Comments »
“We’ve got to find a way to win our division.”
That was the decree from Jets head coach Rex Ryan more than seven months ago in Indianapolis. That statement kind of got lost that cold day at the annual NFL Combine because Ryan also guaranteed a Super Bowl win in 2011, but the Green & White know their best shot at getting to America’s Heartland in February is to win the AFC East.
The Patriots are two-time defending division champs, finishing 10-6 in 2009 and 14-2 in ’10. After taking three of five contests (including a 28-21 triumph at Foxboro in the AFC Divisional Round last January) against Bill Belichick and the Pats, Ryan issued a challenge to the rest of the league when training camp commenced in August.
“I think we have to find somebody out there to beat New England besides us, and I think that would help,” he said. “Anybody out there that wants to sign up for it? Are you good enough as a team to beat the New England Patriots? Forget about us, are you good enough to go out and beat the New England Patriots? I’m challenging the league.”
The Bills proved good enough to beat the Patriots — at least on Sept. 25 in Orchard Park, N.Y. — as they came from behind for their heartstopping 34-31 win. Last Sunday was an odd day in the division as the Jets would go on to drop a 34-24 decision in Oakland, marking the first time both of the division’s top dogs have lost on the same weekend since Nov. 15, 2009.
While Buffalo’s 3-0 start has been most impressive, it is way too early to make this a three-horse race. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are stuck in last place at 0-3 and they’ve already given themselves little wiggle room if they want to be in contention come December.
Let’s take a spin around the division.
BUFFALO BILLS (3-0)
Offense: 3rd overall (4th rush, 11th pass)
Defense: 26th overall (24th rush, 24th pass)
Reasons for Hope: This offensive explosion has been extraordinary. The Bills are averaging 37.7 points, 431 yards and 155 rushing yards per contest, which ranks first, third and fourth, respectively, in the league. Ryan Fitzpatrick is completing 65 percent of his passes while Fred Jackson is averaging 101 yards per game and 6.4 yards a carry. They have repeatedly spread teams out, helping a line that entered the season a huge question mark, and let Fitzy survey the field, or pounded away with Jackson. Both Stevie Johnson and David Nelson have 20 catches and even Donald Jones is coming off a 100-yard receiving effort. Belief is a funny thing and the Bills just became the first team ever to come back from 18-points-plus deficits to win in consecutive weeks.
Reasons for Concern: The lights are still out for Shawne Merriman because the Bills rank dead last in sacks with two. The team is a plus-5 in the turnover department and the DBs made a quartet of interceptions against Tom Brady, but they are thin at CB as veteran Terrence McGee (hamstring) and rookie CB Aaron Williams (collarbone) are both out with injuries. Can this defense get better because there is probably no way the offense can stay this hot? But you should take the Bills seriously because the upcoming schedule appears manageable.
Next Four Foes: @ CIN, vs. PHI, @ NYG, Bye, vs. WAS (Toronto)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-1)
Offense: 1st overall (13th rush, 1st pass)
Defense: 32nd overall (10th rush, 32nd pass)
Reasons for Hope: Losing early to a division rival, on the road, is commonplace for the Pats. Before they blew the 21-0 lead at Buffalo, the Pats lost in Week 2 to the Jets in both ’09 and ’10. Brady has been tremendous, completing 70 percent of his passes for 1,327 yards with 11 TDs and a 113.8 passer rating. Wes Welker not only has a ridiculous 31 receptions but he’s averaging 14.8 yards a catch and has scored four times. Tight end Rob Gronkowski has been phenomenal in his own right, averaging 16.5 yards a reception and scoring five times.
Reasons for Concern: Is it fair to criticize anything offensively? After all, when will Brady toss four interceptions in a game next? Don’t be fooled by the Pats’ solid rush ranking — they don’t scare you on the ground and the lack of balance could be a concern. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and former Jets back Danny Woodhead combined for just 37 yards on 15 carries in the loss to the Bills.
But the primary reason for concern obviously is the defense. Ranked dead last overall, the Pats don’t get consistent pressure and the secondary and linebackers have been torn up in coverage. Devin McCourty, the Rutgers product who had seven interceptions his rookie season, has really struggled. Sure, the Pats played without four defensive regulars — S Patrick Chung, rookie CB Ras-I Dowling and DTs Albert Haynesworth and Mike Wright — in western New York, but there are a ton of question marks. You would expect to see improvement on this side during the year, but have the Pats become the Indianapolis Colts? Fascinating couple of weeks ahead for the Men of Belichick starting on the coast in Oakland and then coming home for the showdown with the Jets.
Next Four Foes: @ OAK, vs. NYJ, vs. DAL, Bye, @ PIT
MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-3)
Offense: 12th overall (7th rush, t-14th pass)
Defense: 30th overall (16 rush, 30th pass)
Reasons for Hope: Rookie back Daniel Thomas, a Kansas State product, is making a strong case to be the Dolphins’ No. 1 running back as his 41 carries, 202 yards and 4.9 average far outpace Reggie Bush’s 27-69-2.6. The Dolphins are seventh in rushing, picking up 129.7 yards a game in their winless start. Wideout Brandon Marshall has been solid with 17 receptions and a 15.4-yard average.
Reasons for Concern: Chad Henne has been sacked 11 times and he’s completing just 56.5 percent of his passes. The offense has moved the ball but has struggled in the red zone and is averaging just 17.7 points per contest (27th in the NFL). Wasn’t this defense supposed to be better? A month ago, Vontae Davis said he and Sean Smith were the best corner tandem in the league, but teams aren’t having difficulty finding holes in the secondary. Many in the media have also questioned whether the Dolphins might make a coaching move and replace Tony Sparano if they lose this week at San Diego.
Next Four Foes: @ SD, Bye, @ NYJ, vs. DEN, @ NYG
Tags: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Reggie Bush, Rex Ryan, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shawne Merriman, Tom Brady, Tony Sparano
Posted in Eric Allen | 21 Comments »