Archive for the ‘The Jets’ Category

Jets Destroy the Rams

It’s been a while since I’ve written any posts about sports. In fact, I think several months may have gone by where I didn’t write about anything that wasn’t in some way tied to the election. Now that the election is over, I might find that I still haven’t quite defined the extent to which I’ll cover non-political topics here. I don’t really know the answer, except that I’ll continue to write about what happens to be occupying my thoughts at the moment. Right now, they’re occupied by the greatest margin of victory in NY Jets franchise history, which I was lucky enough to witness first-hand from the very top of the north corner of Giants Stadium.


I was reminded of a hullabaloo from last season in which the Patriots were accused of unsportsmanlike behavior for unnecessarily running up the score late in blowout games in which the outcome had already been determined. The most offensive example came in the week 8 blowout against the Redskins. In that game, the Pats got the ball back with 2:02 remaining in the 3rd quarter and led the Skins 38-0. Any NFL fan knows that a head coach lucky enough to be in that position will normally play out the game as conservatively as possible. He’ll sub in as many of his reserve players as possible to eliminate the risk of key injuries. He’ll call mostly simple running plays, to keep the clock running and eat up as much of the remaining time as possible while he has possession of the ball, and to limit the likelihood of turnovers.

But this was not the approach that Coach Belichick employed in the 4th quarter of his week 8 game last season. Instead, the Pats ran an offensive assault with Tom Brady in at QB. They ran 10 passing plays, all of them from the shotgun. The drive took 17 plays and ate up 8 minutes because of two penalties called against the Pats, the fist of which sent them back to their own 13 yard line on the 6th play of the drive. On the 15th play, a 4th and 1 on the Redskins 7 yard line with 11:02 left in the game, they ran a QB sneak to get the first down! This set up the touchdown pass two plays later with 9:09 remaining. 45-0 Pats.

The Skins promptly went 3 and out and New England got the ball back at the Washington 45 with 8:30 to play. Would they now win graciously, let the clock wind down and go back to the locker room and celebrate another blowout? No. They ran it up to 52-0 with the backup QB on 6 plays (2 from the shotgun) including a pass on 4th and 2 from the Washington 37 with 7:16 left to play. The drive took all of 2:40 off the clock.

Compare that with the final 17 minutes of yesterday’s Jets/Rams game. The Jets also got the ball with just over 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter with a huge lead (40-3). They orchestrated an 8 play drive with 6 running plays that ended in a touchdown, eating up 5:30. The Rams then went 3 and out and the Jets got the ball back on their own 22 with 11:09 left in the game. The Jets brought in backup QB Kellen Clemens and ran 12 straight running plays, getting them 4 first downs and 70 yards and eating 9 minutes off the clock. So they came out of the 2 minute warning with first and goal on the Rams 8 yard line. With a cinch field goal and the opportunity for their second 50 point game of the season (not to mention Clemens’ first touchdown opportunity of the season) staring them in the face, he took a knee on three straight plays and let the clock run out. With a division showdown looming this Thursday against the hated Patriots, Coach Mangini made exactly the opposite statement that Belichick chose to go with 54 weeks earlier in almost exactly the same situation: a display of sportsmanship.


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Brett Favre is a New York Jet

Maybe it’s typical Jet fan cynicism but this looks like a disaster in the making. On local cable news this morning they’re showing man-on-the-street interviews where everyone who responds seems thrilled. These people don’t sound like Jets fans to me at all. Are they not aware that Favre turns 39 in October? I understand that he had one of his greatest seasons last year. It’s not all that rare for great athletes in the twilight of their careers will put up one last great season after their skills had seemed to decline toward mediocrity. Ottis Anderson in 1989. Randall Cunningham in 1998. Rickey Henderson in 1999. What is extremely rare is for a player to see his skills decline in his late 30s, as Favre’s did in 2005 and 2006 (QB ratings of 70.9 and 72.7, respectively) followed by a strong comeback to previous level of play – that lasts any longer than one season.

By comparison, Chad Pennington’s QB ratings in the past two seasons are 82.6 and 86.1, though he only started 8 games last year. Kellen Clemens, who started the other 8 games, had a paltry 60.9 rating but the team likes his skill set and sees him as a work in progress. Pennington will apparently be released by the Jets. Wish him well, he was always a team-first player. He stood on the sidelines too long holding a clipboard for Vinny Testaverde – another aging QB who played for the Jets at the end of his career as a starter. In Vinny’s case, Jets fans were lucky to get his great career year/comeback season in New York. That was 1998, when Vinny led The Jets to the AFC Conference Championship game. Going into the following season, the Jets were regarded as Superbowl contenders with 36 year-old Vinny Testaverde at the helm. In the first quarter of the first game of the season, Vinny dropped back for a pass and went down without anyone touching him. He’d snapped his achilles and was done for the season. You’d think that would be a lesson a franchise wouldn’t forget for at least 10 years.

A couple of choice excerpts from today’s NY Times:

Tannenbaum said that Favre had to be convinced to consider the Jets and that Favre talked directly to the Jets only in the last two days. Favre and his family favored the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Favre knew Coach Jon Gruden and his offense, all the way up to the moment when the Jets made the deal. The extent of Favre’s commitment to the Jets remains a question.

Favre has no previous relationship with Coach Eric Mangini and the offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and he will be forced to learn an unfamiliar offense on the fly. Favre’s style has always had a seat-of-his-pants element, and that has led to a striking propensity to throw interceptions. That problem could hamper him with the Jets, particularly early in the season as he tries to find his comfort zone with new receivers. But as he left Green Bay Wednesday morning, Favre expressed weariness at his predicament — the falling out with the Packers had taken a toll on him and his family — and a desire to merely join a team.

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