It’s never too soon to start prepping for the arrival of the 2013 schedule. In a biweekly series on into July, I’ll post some blogs capturing some bullet points for each game on the slate, by quarters of the season. Today we review the First Quarter (a.k.a. Games 1-4):
Game 1 — vs. TAMPA BAY, MetLife Stadium, Sunday, Sept. 8, 1 p.m.
■ Jets will be going up vs. remade TB secondary featuring Darrelle Revis, their former Pro Bowl CB, S Dashon Goldson (from SF), and top draft pick CB Jonathan Banks.
■ Jets opened their season once before vs. Buccaneers — at home in the Meadowlands in ’91, 16-13 win secured with Pat Leahy 40-yd FG with 1:22 to play.
■ Jets are 9-1 overall and 6-0 at home all-time vs. TB. Six home wins are the most without a loss for the NYJ vs. any NFL opponent.
■ Green & White’s last home game vs. Bucs: 2005, when QB Vinny Testaverde “climbed off his couch” to start his first Jets game in two years, lead 14-12 win.
Game 2 — @ NEW ENGLAND, Gillette Stadium, Thursday, Sept. 12, 8:25 p.m.
■ Is this the best time to get the Patriots? NE is 8-5 in September since ’09, 1-3 in Game 2′s (and 0-2 vs. Jets) since ’09.
■ Patriots are 10-1 in home openers since ’02. But that one loss came last year, by 20-18 to Arizona — in Game 2.
■ Third time in franchise history Jets will play Game 2 on three days’ rest (1984, Thurs night loss to PIT; 1986, Thurs night loss to NE).
■ 10th time in last 15 seasons Jets will play NE in first two weeks of season, but first time in the first two weeks since 2010.
Game 3 — vs. BUFFALO, MetLife Stadium, Sunday, Sept. 22, 4:25 p.m.
■ Jets will want to welcome new BUF coach Doug Marrone, their OL coach from 2002-05, into the big leagues with a rousing home win over their longtime AFL rivals.
■ Jets lead this series at home, 27-25, after taking four of the last five, including last year’s season-opening 48-28 shootout at MetLife Stadium.
■ Which QB will Green & White face? They’ve never played vs. Kevin Kolb or first-round rookie EJ Manuel, faced Tarvaris Jackson in relief only once in ’06 win @ MIN.
■ C.J. Spiller had 56-yard TD run, 49-yd run in opener, 66-yd TD reception in finale vs. Jets. First Jets opponent with three 40-plus plays in a season since Chiefs WR Carlos Carson (2 games in ’88).
Game 4 — @ TENNESSEE, LP Field, Sunday, Sept. 29, 4:05 p.m.
■ RB Chris Johnson had unusual game vs. Jets last year: 10 yds in his first 7 carries, 18 yds in his last 13 carries, 94-yd TD burst on his 8th carry that helped TEN post 14-10 win.
■ Titans who’ll be familiar to Jets: RB Shonn Greene, four-year Jets back now backing up Johnson, plus DE Ropati Pitoitua, S Tracy Wilson, and ex-Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
■ Despite last year’s loss, Jets have fared well recently against AFC South, winning 9 of last 13 beginning with ’08 road win at TEN.
■ Jets have lost 16 of 22 on the road in this series, but have won 3 of last 5 on road since Titans moved to Tennessee, including ’98 at Vanderbilt, ’06 in season opener, ’08 when Titans were 10-0.
Tags: Buffalo Bills, Chris Johnson, Darrelle Revis, Doug Marrone, New England Patriots, Shonn Greene, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Vinny Testaverde
Posted in Randy Lange | 16 Comments »
Late Tuesday the NFL finally released its official list of available free agents in four different categories for the signing period that began at 4 p.m. While most of you already are aware of this information and a lot more, for those who haven’t heard and in the interest of bookkeeping, here is a summation of what the release reads regarding the Jets:
Restricted Free Agents who received Qualifying Offers from their Prior Clubs and are subject to the First Refusal/Compensation system of the NFL CBA
T Austin Howard, Round 2
TE Jeff Cumberland, right of first refusal
The Round 2 designation for Howard is the pick a new club, if it were to sign Howard to an offer sheet, must send to the Jets, its own choice or a better choice in the round for the April draft. In Cumberland’s case, there is no compensation for a new club that would like to sign him to an offer sheet but the Jets still retain the right to match the offer and retain Cumberland. Offer sheets may be submitted up until Friday, April 19, one second before midnight.
Unrestricted Free Agents with four or more accrued seasons
S Yeremiah Bell
DT Mike DeVito
WR Braylon Edwards
K Nick Folk
RB Shonn Greene
RB Lex Hilliard
TE Dustin Keller
S LaRon Landry
G Brandon Moore
WR Chaz Schilens
G Matt Slauson
LB Bryan Thomas
Players with fewer than four accrued seasons who received no Qualifying Offer or minimum tender from their Prior Clubs
TE Dedrick Epps
LS Tanner Purdum
The fourth category is players who have been designated Franchise Players, but the Jets did not so designate anyone.
Tags: Austin Howard, Brandon Moore, Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland, LaRon Landry, Nick Folk, restricted free agents, Shonn Greene, unrestricted free agents, Yeremiah Bell
Posted in Randy Lange | 88 Comments »
Here are today’s first-half tweets for the Jets-Bills game at Ralph Wilson 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 Jets gameday captains: G Brandon Moore, DT Mike DeVito, T D’Brickashaw Ferguson, WR Jordan White, CB Darrin Walls
#RL Shonn Greene has 17 yards on 3 carries, has reached 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight season.
#RL Nick Folk 47-yd FG is good. Folk now 19-for-24 on season, 11-for-13 career vs BUF. Jets lead 3-0…
#RL Jets have 2 TDs, 2 FGs on 16 opening drives this season.
#EA Entering Week 17, teams averaged 5.1 a carry on the Bills D. Jets ran 9 times on that 1st drive for 42 yards — a 4.7 average.
#RL Jets lead the NFL with 27 inside-the-20 kickoffs but ex-Jet Brad Smith doesn’t cooperate, going 27 yds on KO return to BUF 31.
#RL With BUF punt, Jets opponents have gone their last 6 opening drives w/o scoring a point. (4 TDs, 2 FGs on 16 opening drives overall.)
#RL LB Bryan Scott nabs Mark Sanchez pass, goes 20 yds for BUF TD. 2nd INT-return TD vs. Sanchez this season, 7th in his career.
#RL Lex Hilliard’s first catch in 6 games goes for 7 yds on 3rd-and-7 for 1st down at BUF 44 as 1st qtr comes to an end.
#EA Giveaways have been a problem the entire season. The Jets now have 36 and that was the 19th INT.
#RL Nick Folk 2-for-2 on FGs today, although his 23-yarder just got over the crossbar after tip by Alex Carrington. Folk on year: 20-for-25.
#EA Powell almost equaled a career-long with that 18-yard run. He had a 19-yarder vs. the Cards on Dec. 2.
#EA With 51 yards on the ground, Greene is up to 1,040. He needs only 15 yards to set a career-high (1,054 in 2011).
#RL Bilal Powell 33-yard reception wiped out by Austin Howard hold. So Jeremy Kerley goes 40 yds on third-and-16…
#RL Jets’ longest 3rd-down conversion on a pass play since Mark Sanchez-to-Braylon Edwards for 34 yds on 3rd-and-21 @ MIA in 2009.
#RL Nick Folk 28-yd FG gives Jets 9-7 lead. Folk’s first 3-FG first half since 2010 Game 5 vs. MIN.
#RL CJ Spiller 66-yd TD catch/run longest reception by opposing RB in road game since Fred Taylor 72 yds w/ Mark Brunell pass @ JAX ’02.
#RL Jets CB Donnie Fletcher has hamstring injury, his return to this game is questionable.
#RL Jets hold edges in yards (204-132), 1st downs (13-4), possession (23:04-6:46) but Bills have 14-9 halftime lead.
#RL Jets’ 23:14 first-half possession time is their most in 1st half since 2009 “Win and We’re In” Game 16 vs CIN (24:50).
Tags: Austin Howard, Bilal Powell, Brandon Moore, Braylon Edwards, Buffalo Bills, C.J. Spiller, Mark Sanchez, Nick Folk, Ralph Wilson Stadium, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shonn Greene
Posted in Randy Lange | 152 Comments »
Here are today’s pregame tweets for the Jets-Bills game at Ralph Wilson 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 Weather for Jets-Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium today: ptly cloudy, temps in high 20s (wind chill around 9°), winds gusting to 20 mph.
#RL Jets 50-54 all-time vs BUF, 23-28 in western NY. But Jets have won last 6 in rivalry, 8 of last 9, and last 4 on the road.
#RL Mark Sanchez last 6 starts vs BUF: 6-0 record, 77-for-129 passing (59.7%), 941 yds, 11 TDs, 3 INTs, 3 sacks, 101.0 rating.
#RL Ryan Fitzpatrick last 5 starts vs Jets: 0-5 record, 80-for-152 passing (52.6%), 876 yds, 9 TDs, 6 INTs, 9 sacks, 73.2 rating.
#RL Jets’ Shonn Greene needs 11 rush yds to reach 1,000 yds for 2nd straight season, 2 TDs to become 11th Jet w/ 10 rush TDs in season.
#RL BUF’s CJ Spiller in ’12 opener vs NYJ: 14 atts, 169 yds, TD. First Jets opp w/ two 40+ runs in 1 game since Barry Sanders (@ DET ’97).
#RL Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson last 10 games: 5 sacks, 3 forced FUMs, 1 FUM-return TD, 4 PDs, 3 penalties forced, 1 blkd FG.
#RL Rookie DE Quinton Coples (5.5) and Wilkerson (5.0)–former Hargrave MA teammates–are 1-2 for Jets sack leadership.
#RL Jets K Nick Folk: 18-for-23 on FGs this season. Career vs BUF: 10-for-12. @ Ralph Wilson: 7-for-9.
#RL Bills K Rian Lindell: 21-for-22 on FGs this season. Career vs NYJ: 25-for-27 on all FGs, 17-for-17 on FGs from 42 yds/closer.
#RL Jets HC Rex Ryan is 5-0 since ’10 vs BUF HC Chan Gailey. Gailey is 0-6 all-time vs Jets (0-1
#RL NYJ inactives: QB Greg McElroy CB Ellis Lankster LB Bryan Thomas C Caleb Schlauderaff TE Dustin Keller WR Chaz Schilens (6 inactives).
#RL Jets roster at 52 players, including RB John Griffin, signed from practice squad during the week. Griffin is active, will wear No. 21.
#RL BUF inactives: QB Tarvaris Jackson WR Kevin Elliott S Da’Norris Searcy G Keith Williams DT Jay Ross T Chris Scott DE Mark Anderson
#RL CB Donnie Fletcher, LB Ricky Sapp, DT Damon Harrison also active for Jets.
#RL Today’s referee is Terry McAulay. It’s his 11th Jets game as ref since ’01. Jets have won 4 of last 5 he’s officiated in.
#RL Jets wearing white jerseys, white pants for today’s game. Jets in white/white: 2-3 this season (wins vs BUF, STL), 16-12 u/ Rex Ryan.
#RL Jets D has held opponents to 6 conversions on their last 58 3rd downs. (0-for-2 vs NE, 0-15 vs ARZ, 2-16 @ jax, 2-13 @ TEN, vs SD 2-12)
Tags: Buffalo Bills, Mark Sanchez, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Ralph Wilson Stadium, Rex Ryan, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shonn Greene
Posted in Randy Lange | No Comments »
Here are today’s first-half tweets for the Jets-Chargers game 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 Jets gameday captains today: Antonio Cromartie, Greg McElroy, Garrett McIntyre, Robert Malone, Antonio Allen.
#RL Chargers win opening coin toss, will defer their choice to 2nd half. Jets are 4-0 this yr in games in which opps win toss and defer.
#RL Micheal Spurlock 63-yd punt return for SD touchdown 1:59 into game. First opponent PR TD since Phillip Buchanon @ OAK in 2003.
#RL Greg McElroy screen to Shonn Greene for 30-yd reception. Longest reception by a RB this season.
#RL Jeremy Kerley to Clyde Gates out of Wildcat for 42-yd completion to SD-11. Kerley now 2-for-2 for 83 yds passing in his career.
#EA That was Shonn Greene’s 2nd longest catch of his career. He had a 36-yarder against KC last Dec. 11.
#EA Greene sets a career-high with his 7th rushing TD.
#RL Shonn Greene goes over from 1 yd out for TD to tie score at 7-7. Greene’s 7th TD of the season.
#EA 5 of Shonn Greene’s 7 Rush TDs in 2012 have come at MetLife Stadium. He is closing in on 1,000 for the year.
#RL Jets score 1st first-half offensive TD in 5 games, 2nd first-half offensive TD in last 48 drives, 8 games.
#RL Jets KO cover team, which came into weekend 2nd in NFL in most inside-20 kickoffs, get No. 24 as Micheal Spurlock is tackled at 19.
#EA Greene has another TD – that is No. 8 on the season. 2 Trips to the Red Zone – 2 TDs.
#RL Greene from 1 yd out again, Jets lead 14-7. First time Jets are in double digits in 1st qtr since 10 pts vs JAX in 2009 Game 9…
#RL … first time Jets have had 2 1st-qtr TDs since 2009 Game 7 @ OAK, first time 2 1st-qtr TDs at home since 2009 Game 3 vs TEN.
#EA In 2012, Jets have had 44 Trips Inside the Red Zone and scored 23 TDs. That is a 52% TD% now after Greene’s 2 scores in the 1st.
#RL Quinton Coples sacks Wildcat QB Ronnie Brown at SD-2 for his 5th sack of season, taking the Jets’ team lead.
#EA In the previous 7 first halves combined, the Jets had 16 offensive points. They have 14 late in the 1st vs. San Diego.
#RL Jets have 14-7 lead at the end of 1st qtr, largest 1st-qtr lead since Game 1, when they led BUF 7-0.
#RL After timeout, Nick Novak comes out for 51-yd FG, which he hits. Equals his longest FG this season, is longest by Jets opp this season.
#EA Greene: 8-20. Needs 29 Yards to Reach 1,000.
#EA Jets 3rd Down D Dominance Continues. SD 0-for-5 in 1st Half.
#RL Jets face 3rd-and-9 at their 25 at 2-minute warning for 1st half. They’re 1-for-4 so far in converting 3rd downs.
#RL Greg McElroy to TE Hayden Smith for his first pro reception, 16 yds on third-and-9 for first down.
#EA Wow the Jets get the big Australian going on the throwback screen for Hayden Smith! His 1st career catch.
#RL Jets go into locker room with 14-10 lead, their first halftime lead in 5 games or since 13-7 at St. Louis.
#RL Besides lead on scoreboard, Jets also hold edges in 1st downs (10-5), yards (142-76), possession (17:24-12:36). No turnovers in half.
Tags: Braylon Edwards, Greg McElroy, Hayden Smith, Micheal Spurlock, Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, Shonn Greene
Posted in Uncategorized | 93 Comments »
Here are today’s pregame tweets for the Jets-Titans game at LP Field in Nashville, 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 at kickoff for Jets-Titans is expected to be partly cloudy, possible showers, temps around 50, southerly winds.
#RL Jets 17-22-1 all-time vs Titans/Oilers but have won 5 of the last 6 since the team moved from HOU to TEN, and 3 of last 4 at LP Field.
#RL In first 23 games of rivalry, Jets were 8-14-1 with minus-22 turnover margin. In last 17 games Jets are 9-8 with +13 TO margin.
#RL Mark Sanchez is 1-0 vs Titans. In ’09 Game 3, Sanchez completed 17 of 30 (56.7%) for 171 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 81.4 rating in 24-17 win.
#RL Jets RB Shonn Greene in last 8 games: 154 atts, 666 yards, 4.3 avg., 5 TDs. He needs 117 yds to reach 1,000 for 2nd straight yr.
#RL Jets DE Mo Wilkerson in last 8 games: 4 sacks, 3 forced FUMs, 1 FUM-return TD (@ SEA), 2 PDs, 1 intl grounding forced
#RL TEN QB Jake Locker playing Jets for first time. Locker in 8 starts this yr is 2-6 with 10 TD drives, 9 TD passes, 9 INTs, 4 lost FUMs.
#RL TEN RB Chris Johnson has 1,037 rush yds, 4.7 avg. this season. Johnson in 2 games vs Jets: 32 atts, 143 yds, 4.5 avg, 0 TDs, 0-2 record.
#RL Titans are minus-12 in TO margin in 6 homes games, tied for lowest home margin/game in NFL with Chiefs at minus-2.0.
#RL Jets K Nick Folk playing TEN for 1st time in career. He’s 16-for-21 FGs this yr, 5-for-last-10, 5-for-6 in 4th qtr/OT, 3-for-4 from 50+.
#RL Jets wearing white jerseys, green pants for 2nd straight game. Jets in white/green u/Rex Ryan: 3-4 since ’09, 1-0 this season.
#RL Today’s referee is Walt Coleman. It’s Walt’s 18th Jets game as ref since 1995. Jets have lost last 8 games Coleman has refereed.
#RL NYJ inactives: QB Greg McElroy CB Aaron Berry LB Bryan Thomas DL Damon Harrison G Caleb Schlauderaff TE Dustin Keller WR Stephen Hill
#RL TEN inactives: QB Rusty Smith WR Damian Williams LB Colin McCarthy LB Xavier Adibi G Mitch Petrus T Daniel Baldridge DE Scott Solomon
#RL TEN K Rob Bironas career vs Jets: 4-4 on FGs, 4-4 on PATs.
#RL TEN is only NFL team that has scored no 1st-qtr offensive TDs at home. Titans’ only 1st-qtr TD at LP Field came on PR in Game 3.
Tags: Chris Johnson, Jake Locker, LP Field, Mark Sanchez, Monday Night Football, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Shonn Greene, Tennessee Titans
Posted in Randy Lange | No Comments »
Here are today’s pregame tweets for the Jets-Jaguars game at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, 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 It’s raining now in Jacksonville. Weather for Jets-Jaguars expected to be partly sunny, showers possible, temps in low 70s, light wind.
#RL Jets 4-6 all-time vs Jags and have played 3 games in JAX (96, 02, 06). In those games Jets are 0-3 and have been outscored 90-20.
#RL Mark Sanchez is 1-1 vs Jaguars. In ’11 Game 2 Sanchez completed 17 of 24 (70.8%) for 182 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 85.8 rating in 32-3 win.
#RL JAX QB Chad Henne is 3-1 vs Sanchez/Jets, all with Dolphins: 63-for-109 passing, 57.8%, 771 yds, 6 TDs, 1 INT, 12 sacks, 94.2 rating.
#RL Jets RB Shonn Greene in last 7 games has 134 carries for 589 yards, 4.4 avg., 4 TDs, although he hasn’t scored a TD in 5 games.
#RL Mark Brunell’s on the field visiting. Brunell was Mark Sanchez’s backup in 2010-11. As Jags’ QB from 1995-2003, Brunell was 3-2 vs Jets.
#RL Today’s referee is Al Riveron. It’s his 4th Jets game as ref, following games at MIA in 09, at DET in 10 and 11 season opener vs DAL.
#RL Jets wearing white jerseys, green pants today for first time this season. Under Rex Ryan, Jets in white/green are 2-4.
#RL Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson in last 7 games: 3 sacks, 3 forced FUMs, 1 fum return for TD at Seattle, 2 PDs
#RL NYJ inactives: QB Greg McElroy WR Jordan White WR Clyde Gates LB Ricky Sapp DL Damon Harrison OL Caleb Schlauderaff TE Dustin Keller
#RL JAX inactives: RB Rashad Jennings CB Aaron Ross RB Maurice Jones-Drew OL Mike Brewster WR Cecil Shorts DE George Selvie DE John Chick
Tags: Al Riveron, Chad Henne, EverBank Field, Jacksonville Jaguars, Mark Sanchez, Muhammad Wilkerson, Shonn Greene
Posted in Randy Lange | 12 Comments »
Updated, Friday, 7:25 a.m. ET
Shonn Greene wanted to set the record straight.
The Jets tailback made a point to tell the team’s beat reporters after today’s practice that he didn’t say what Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports said he said under the headline “Jets RB Shonn Greene is right: Time for team to hand ball to ‘terrible’ Tim Tebow.”
“I think the quotes were totally out of context,” Greene said. “It was that we’re 3-6 and things need to change. I said nothing about changing the quarterback, nothing about any single person on this team. I’ve been here four years and I never once said anything about anybody on this team.”
Greene’s agent had set up the interview with Silver on Tuesday. The first he heard of the piece was when a friend texted him the article after it posted Wednesday night.
“I was shocked,” he said. “First of all, the article was supposed to be a feature on me and where I’m at right now, and how it turned into me saying this about this person and that person, I don’t know.”
One of the key quotes Greene took issue with was Silver quoting him saying, “You feel bad for Mark, but at the same time you want to win. We’re not here to protect people’s feelings.”
“I never said that,” he said, adding he didn’t bring up QB Mark Sanchez’s name at all. “What I said was we’re 3-6 and some things need to change. We need to win.”
This Jet-on-the-media story comes on the heels of head coach Rex Ryan’s critiquing of the unnamed Jets who were quoted on Tim Tebow in Tuesday’s Daily News, both to his team and to reporters at Wednesday’s news conference.
“First you get yesterday, now today with me. It’s just ‘C’mon, like, really?’ ” Greene said. “We just want to play football. That’s all we want to do.”
Greene said his relationship with Sanchez was unharmed by the story.
“I let him know about it through a text,” No. 23 said. “We’re not worried about that. We’ve got a game to play.”
Thursday Injury Reports
It’s good to see big Kenrick Ellis moving around again. The 346-point nose tackle seems to be nearing a return to action after sitting the last four games with the knee injury he suffered vs. Houston and not even practicing the first three weeks after the injury. He’s listed as full-go in practice this week, along with 12 other teammates, and he could help in trying to corral ninth-year man Steven Jackson, the 240-pound feature back whom Ryan today called “a big-time playmaker who’s as big as he ever was, strong, determined, and still has speed and all the skills.”
Also on the Green & White I-report, WR Stephen Hill stayed home for a second day with an illness but Ryan said, “I’m hopeful he’ll be able to play” on Sunday. S LaRon Landry (heel) also didn’t practice, as per his usual late-week schedule. And RB Bilal Powell, listed as limited before practice, also was a DNP. Powell may have gotten his concussion Sunday when he was shoved by Seattle’s Malcolm Smith and fell into what appeared to be an accidental knee shot from Leon Washington as he was tackled after a punt return.
For the Rams, WR Austin Pettis (toe) did not practice today, while LB Mario Haggan (thigh), new to the list, and DE Eugene Sims (knee) and S Darian Stewart (knee) were all limited.
John Schmitt, Joe Namath’s Super Bowl III center, visited the Jets training center today, as usual impeccably clothed in suit and tie. Schmitt just celebrated his 70th birthday on Monday but he doesn’t look a day over 60. Maybe that’s because of the 60 hours he still puts in every week running his businesses.
Former Jets RB -KR-PR extraordinaire Bruce Harper will be among the sports world luminaries at the 16th annual “Teddy Dinner” at the Hilton Garden Inn on Staten Island, N.Y., tonight. Teddy Atlas, is, of course, the celebrated boxing trainer and ESPN Friday Night Fights analyst and a former Jet himself as a consultant in Eric Mangini’s regime. This year’s gala will benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy throughout the New York area from Staten Island to Rockaway.
Pass and Catch
A little unfinished business from Seattle that may interest only me:
Golden Tate had the first-quarter 38-yard touchdown reception from Russell Wilson and the fourth-quarter 23-yard TD pass to Sidney Rice. A TD catch and a TD pass in the same game … that doesn’t happen often, does it?
No, it doesn’t. The only other time an opponent did it in franchise history was on Oct. 1, 1961, when the Jets were the Titans, the game was in the Polo Grounds, the opponent was the Boston Patriots, and Gino Cappelletti had an all-around scoring day. Cappelletti threw to Larry Garron for a 27-yard TD on a fake field goal, caught a 32-yard strike from Butch Songin and kicked three field goals and three PATs, accounting for 24 of the Pats’ points in the Titans’ 37-30 win.
The Jets have also done it twice to opponents: Curtis Martin at Tampa Bay in 2000 (the “Flashlight Game”) and Freeman McNeil in ’83 at Miami.
It’s the first time it’s happened in the NFL since 2009, when Mewelde Moore turned the trick for Pittsburgh vs. San Diego, and it’s only the 12th time since 1960 that a wideout was the player who threw and caught a TD pass in the same game.
Tags: Bilal Powell, Bruce Harper, John Schmitt, Kenrick Ellis, Mark Sanchez, Michael Silver, Shonn Greene, St. Louis Cardinals, Teddy Atlas, Tim Tebow, Yahoo Sports
Posted in Randy Lange | 43 Comments »
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 »
It’s been a tough week all around in this neighborhood as people continue to dig out from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Power’s still not restored in many places, trees are lying on people’s houses and in roadways, gas lines hearken back to the late Seventies.
The Jets have fared OK in the sense that the Atlantic Health Training Center is in good shape, the building has full power, and we haven’t heard any ugly storm stories from the players and the coaches.
But the Jets have needed to correct their different kind of power outage as much as possible this bye week before they gather back together next week to get ready for the NFC West leg of their schedule, road games at Seattle and St. Louis, then two weeks later at home for Arizona. (Not to mention the Patriots’ visit on Thanksgiving night.)
“You’re at the halfway point of the season and you really analyze where you’re at. And 3-and-5′s not getting it done,” head coach Rex Ryan told my partner, Eric Allen, late this week in video remarks that you can see and hear on this week’s “Jets Flight Plan” on Sunday morning on WCBS-TV. “We have to really look at what we’re doing and see areas where we can improve, expand roles, take roles away, those types of things. At the same time you start your preparation for Seattle and other teams down the road.”
Ryan and his coaches were making those analyses throughout the week here. What had they found at the time of this interview?
“I think we’ve been inconsistent throughout as a football team,” he said. “Usually a strength of ours would clearly be the defense and clearly be our special teams. And we’ve had moments where that’s been the case, but then we also had moments where those two areas have hurt us.
“Then offensively we’re searching for our identity. Sometimes we’ve been running the ball very effectively, other times not as much. I think we’ve had some excellent days protecting the quarterback, then other times when it hasn’t been as good. So we’ve really got to focus on how we can improve this team and see what happens. But clearly, 3-5, that’s certainly not acceptable, not to our fan base, nobody accepts it. We have to do a better job, and I always say it starts with me.”
“Inconsistency” comes through loud and clear in these stats, rankings and factoids that I’ve shaken out of my databases and spreadsheets at this season’s midpoint:
It’s a mixed bag with the quarterback.
■ His ball-in-the-air-yardage is at a career-high clip of 8.6 yards per pass. But his receivers’ yards after catch is at a career-low rate of 4.0.
■ He followed one of the best-passing fourth quarters of his career at New England (10-for-12, 114 yards, 1 TD, 134.0 rating) with one of the worst-passing third quarters of his career vs. Miami (5-for-14, 53 yards, 1 INT, 17.9 rating).
■ Some key passing numbers, if sustained through the final eight games, would be career lows (52.9% accuracy, 6.38 yards/attempt), while the passer rating of 72.8 would end his increases there since his rookie year.
■ Three-and-outs continue to be an issue. Sanchez’s three-and-out drive rate of .292 (26-of-89) is 31st out of 33 qualifying QBs, ahead of Jacksonville’s Blaine Gabbert (.316) and Oakland’s Carson Palmer (.298).
Tebow’s been on the field for 54 offensive plays, 6.8 per game, plus 49 special-teams plays, giving him 103 snaps this season, about 13 a game. With those he has compiled 23 runs for 78 yards (3.4 yards/carry) and two completions on three passes for 32 yards, one sack and a 102.1 passer rating. He’s moved the chains nine times.
Ryan was asked on his Monday conference call if the Jets look at ways to use Tebow more in the second half of the season. “I definitely think that’s a fair statement,” he said.
Inconsistent fits here as well. The Jets are 16th, right in the middle of the NFL rankings, in rushing yards per game, 22nd in yards per carry. Shonn Greene had a career day with his 32-carry, 161-yard, three-TD outing vs. the Colts and a regular-season-long 36-yard bolt against the Dolphins. But for all eight games he’s at a career-low pace of 3.7 yards/carry, which breaks down unofficially to 1.3 yards before first contact, 2.4 yards after.
The good news, perhaps, is that Greene started slow in last year’s first half, too (1.5 before, 2.3 after, 3.8 total) before finishing muscularly (1.8-2.8-4.6) in the second half. The returns of a healthier Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight to the RB mix and Shonn’s November-December push could help the offense pick things up.
A big difference from a year ago is the performance on drives inside the opponents’ 20. In ’11 with Plaxico Burress doing his best work as a Jet, Sanchez had 10 TD passes at the midway point of the season, compared to eight this year — without Santonio Holmes, that’s not bad.
But Sanchez has already thrown three RZ interceptions this season, equaling last season’s total, and in the last 11 games dating to last year he’s had six giveaways inside the 20.
And the offense’s rate has dropped off, from last season’s franchise-record 65.5% touchdown rate to 48.1% (13 TDs in 27 drives) this year. Again, like many other areas on the team, the Jets’ five TDs in five tries vs. Indianapolis and a good showing at New England (two TDs, two FGs in 4 trips) were negated by the 1-for-4 showing against the Dolphins — one of only two times since ’78 that the Jets failed to score any points on three RZ trips in a home game (Atlanta, 2009).
Meanwhile, the defense has given up TDs at a too-high rate of 60.9% (14 on 23 opportunities), 26th in the NFL through eight weeks and the team’s highest rate since the ’87 strike-year team yielded TDs at a 61.5% pace. And the last time Jets opponents averaged more than this year’s 5.2 points per red zone trip was in 1980 (5.6).
As we laid out last Friday, the Jets’ short-yardage rushing game on third down has been strong. Greene is 7-for-7 on converting third-and-1′s, and with Lex Hilliard’s pair of “and-one” rushing conversions vs. Miami, the Jets remain the NFL’s only perfect team when running on third-and-1-or-2/fourth-and-1-or-2 combined at 15-for-15.
Getting to third-and-short has been successful as well. The Jets on average face 6.2 yards to go on third down this season, which if it holds up would be their best third-down yardage figure since averaging third-and-6.1 in 1993. But with such favorable yardage on third down, they need to convert better than their 39.5% rate, which is 17th in the NFL.
Through six games Mike Westhoff’s special forces were doing very well. Using a simple rating system for ST big plays (7 points for return scores, 3 points for blocked FGs, 1 point for takeaways, non-TD blocked kicks and successful onsides kicks), the Jets were purring along with a plus-12 through six games.
Then came long kickoff returns at New England and vs. Miami, plus all the other issues vs. the Dolphins. The Miami game by this scoring system was a minus-11. The only worse game in Coach Westy’s Jets phase (2001-present) was the “Ted Ginn Game” vs. Miami in 2009 (minus-13).
Even with his sore ankle, Joe McKnight has been close to the once-in-a-quarter-century form he displayed last year in returning kickoffs. He had his second career TD return vs. Houston and his 29.3-yard average is sixth in the NFL.
Jeremy Kerley has been equally impressive on punt returns with the Jets’ first PR TD since Santana Moss at Pittsburgh in the 2004 playoffs and the first one at home since ‘Tana vs. Cleveland in ’02. JK’s 14.1-yard average is third in the league. But his 50% fair-catch rate (10 of 20 punts fielded) is among the league’s highest.
Nick Folk was on a season-opening 11-for-11 tear before suffering the block late in the first half vs. Miami. Still, his 4-for-4 from mostly long range at Gillette was “remarkable” (Westhoff) and his first half has been “phenomenal” (Ryan). He and his KO cover unit were No. 1 in the NFL in opponents’ average drive start after kickoffs until the last two games, when two long returns dropped them to 20th.
Robert Malone’s first half is comparable to Steve Weatherford’s 2010 first half. Malone has a better gross than Weatherford did (46.9 to 44.7), Weatherford had the better net (39.7 to 39.1), inside-the-20 total (17 to 12) and average hangtime (4.77 to 4.53). Weatherford fell off in the second half of ’10 (except for his NFL-record-tying I-20s). If Malone suffers only minor slippage on his gross and he and his punt cover team improve their net (and cut out the punt blocks), he could threaten the franchise records set by Curley Johnson in 1965 (45.3 gross, 39.7 net).
Individually, the Jets have some shining lights. LB David Harris is on pace for another 100-tackle season with 62 at the halfway point.
DE Muhammad Wilkerson leads the defense with 8.0 tackles for loss/no gain, putting him on track for the best total since Bart Scott’s 18.5 TFLNGs in 2010 and the best by a D-lineman since DE Marvin Washington’s 16.0 in ’95.
Antonio Cromartie is picking up where Darrelle Revis left off with his season-ending knee injury in Week 3. Cro leads the defense with 10 pass defenses and three interceptions, including the fifth return-TD of his career and his first as a Jet with his INT-return TD in the opener vs. Buffalo.
Teamwise, the numbers are not what we’re used to seeing from a Rex Ryan/Mike Pettine defense:
Overall yards/game — 16th in the NFL. Ryan’s previous seven defenses as coordinator or head coach never finished a season lower than 6th.
Rushing yards/game — 29th. The last time the Jets finished that low in a season was 29th in ’07 and before that in ’05.
Net passing yards/game — 6th. This is still in the Ryan ballpark. Rex’s Ravens finished 8th, 6th, 20th and 2nd, and his three previous Jets teams came in 1st, 6th and 5th.
Points allowed/game — 24th. Ryan’s ’07 Ravens scuffled to a tie for 22nd. The last time the Jets finished lower was 29th in ’96.
What would make everything better would be a big-time rush. With only 12 sacks, the Jets’ sack rate is 25th in the league, and their 24-sack pace would produce the fewest sacks in a 16-game season since the ’78 and ’79 squads each had 22 sacks.
Something else that would improve things would be fewer flags on the D. The defense has had 25 penalties marked off for 286 yards. The most penalties on a Jets defense were the 59 in ’95 and the most yardage since ’78 was 533 in ’86. Leading the way individually: Cromartie with six flags for 81 yards and fellow CB Kyle Wilson with five for 49.
That’s it on the raw midterm facts and figures. The Jets face an uphill road in the second half, one that seems in equal parts their making and that of the injury gods. But a few good teams overcome the bad IR and injury hands that they’re dealt to do great things (the ’11 Giants and the ’10 Packers among others). How did Rex want his players handling this week between Games 1-8 and Games 9-16:?
“I hope they get away from it for a little bit,” he said, “but also they have to look at what they want. I think we all want the same thing. There’s no magic formula. I think the big thing is hard work and dedication. And I’m confident that they’re recharging their batteries to be ready for Monday.”
Barring any unforeseen events over the weekend, we’ll recharge our batteries —literally and figuratively — this weekend and we’ll check back in with you the fan on Monday when the Jets return to work.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, David Harris, Jeremy Kerley, joe McKnight, Mark Sanchez, Midseason, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Rex Ryan, Seattle Seahawks, Shonn Greene, Tim Tebow
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