Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From one bad AFC West team to another: Jets look to get back on track.

Despite the Oakland Raiders' best effort, they were able to take on our beloved New York Jets and win 16-13 in a performance that screams SOJ (same old Jets). The Raiders committed 14 penalties, more than half of which occurred in the first quarter. Yet, the Jets could only manage one measly touchdown in the 4th quarter.

What went wrong? Well, the passing game was the main issue as the Jets' offense once again could not take advantage of playing a bad football team. Early in the game, the Jets spread out the defense only to keep throwing the ball less than five yards down field virtually every play. Brett Favre, he of the cannon arm, was again used as a checkdown quarterback, something a little guy named Chad Pennington could do just as well. Favre threw two interceptions in the game, but an early interception in the endzone really hurt the Jets early on. That and Leon Washington's muff of a punt were two turnovers that directly took points away from the Jets and gave them to Oakland.

What makes the inability to pass the ball at all even more alarming is to see just how well Thomas Jones ran the ball. His three touchdown game against Cincinnati wasn't as impressive as some think, but this game his 24 carries netted 159 yards, as the offensive line consistently gashed holes, letting Jones take advantage. Brad Smith and Leon Washington added another 78 yards on the ground on just 7 carries.

Normally, when a team runs the ball that well, they are able to win football games, but abysmal playcalling helped kill any shot the Jets had to put the ball in the endzone. It was all passes early, mostly short passes to Chris Baker, and then later on, it was all runs. It's almost as if Brian Schottenheimer

Field position certainly did not help, as the Jets started most of their possessions deep in their own territory, forcing each drive to need to gain more yards to end in points. Shane Lechler was a true weapon for the Raiders.

But a Jay Feely 52-yard field goal after a Raiders' time out tried to ice him sent the game into overtime, until Sebastian Janikowski one-upped him late in overtime with a 57-yard game winner.

But it's Saturday now, so you probably don't care about that game anymore, so let's move onto tomorrow's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

I want to tell you that the Jets will annihilate the Chiefs. But I said that last week, so I understand if you don't believe me as much.

But keep this stat in mind: the Chiefs allow more than 200 rushing yards per game. No, that was not a typo. If you still don't believe in Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, this game may alleviate some doubts because Kansas City is quite simply a joke of a football team right now.

Oakland at least has talent. Kansas City has a good tight end and a good receiver in Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe, but Jamaal Charles and Kolby Smith will run the ball instead of the "suspended" Larry Johnson, and Tyler Thigpen will throw the ball. If you've heard of any of them, kudos, and you probably realize that there isn't much of a threat there. And if you haven't heard of them, there's a reason for that.

Thigpen is the 3rd string quarterback, who has been forced to play in four games so far (one start) due to the injury problems of both Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard, and let's just say that he hasn't claimed the job so far. Here are his stats on the season: 38-90 (42.2%), 392 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. When all is said and done, he has a 44.3 quarterback rating.

As bad as the loss to the Raiders was, a loss this week, and you can officially hit the panic button. Because this isn't just a team that good teams beat, this is a team that BAD teams beat.

The Jets might not have Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles, both of whom are injured and might not play. Then again, the Jets probably won't need to throw the ball to win, so Chansi Stuckey and Brad Smith might both start just to give them both some rest. We'll see.

I just don't see how the Chiefs are going to be able to score. They are simply inept offensively, even by Cincinnati Bengals' standards. The only chance the Chiefs have is if the Jets are looking forward to Buffalo next week, and if Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles can break open some big plays. The Chiefs also will need to take advantage of turnovers to have a chance to win as we all know Favre can throw some picks.

Jets 24, Chiefs 6

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