Friday, January 1, 2010

Strickland, Weatherford may not play Sunday

Enough top 10 lists for now, though I'll get back to them soon enough. Let's get some information for Sunday's must-win tilt with the Cincinnati Bengals, starting with some injury notes.

*CB Donald Strickland will miss Sunday's game with a quad injury. Last Sunday, Rex Ryan said Strickland's injury was the only one that might linger, and now he has been ruled out. Dwight Lowery, coming off one of his best games of the season against the Colts, will be the #3 cornerback behind Darrelle Revis and Lito Sheppard.

*P Steve Weatherford tweaked his hamstring in practice and is now listed as questionable. Weatherford has done a solid job as the team's punter after the Jets rotated guys in and out throughout training camp. The Jets should bring in a few players tomorrow just in case he can't go. The worst case scenario is that K Jay Feely would take the job.

*As for other injuries, DE Shaun Ellis is questionable with an illness but is expected to play as of now, while RB Shonn Greene, QB Mark Sanchez, and OL Robert Turner are all listed as probable and will play.

*One of my favorite stories this week is the back-and-forth between Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco and Revis. Ochocinco's conference call was one of the most hilarious things you will ever read. Ochocinco's offering most of the trash talk, but Revis is getting involved a little. It's all in good fun though. The two are good friends, and reading the conference call, you can see Ochocinco's respect for #24.

*Almost as interesting, Braylon Edwards is calling his shot, saying, "We won't lose this game. We want it too bad." I'll say this, he had better be right. Edwards has a lot to prove as a Jet, with 33 catches, 526 yards, and 4 touchdowns in his 11 games. 3 catches per game is not the impact he needs to make if he wants to earn the salary that he demanded with Cleveland. A lot of his issues have to do with how late he got here and the rookie quarterback tossing him the ball, but he needs to become a more consistent force.

Edwards definitely brings it on Sundays, as he is a load to carry with the ball. But there were a lot of bad things said about him when he left Cleveland, and a lot of them had to do with his practice habits. There's no reason a receiver with his physical skills can't put up numbers similar to what he had in his breakout 2007 season, but that hasn't happened yet. You can't write him off yet, but he needs to be a more consistent playmaker, not round off his routes, and actually catch the ball when it hits him in both hands.

*Now, with just one game left in the season, it's time to take a look at some statistical milestones the Jets can reach this season.

*RB Thomas Jones is 2nd in the AFC in rushing with 1324 yards and 12 touchdowns. He won't lead the league in either category, but he is just 11 yards away from his career high in yards, set in 2005 with Chicago, and he is one touchdown away from tying both his career high and his own single-season Jets record, both set last season with 13.

*QB Mark Sanchez is 119 yards short of 2500 in his rookie year.

*LB Calvin Pace, DE Shaun Ellis, and LB David Harris are battling for the right to be the team's top pass rusher. Pace has 7 sacks, Ellis 6, and Harris 5.5, so any of the three could lead. Pace missed the first four games, making his total more impressive. Harris leads the Jets with 126 tackles, 81 solo.

*LB Vernon Gholston needs one sack to have one in his career. What a bust.

*The Jets defense leads the NFL with 15.7 points allowed per game. Baltimore is 2nd with 16.5, so the Jets should win that category barring a miracle. Same goes for yards allowed, where the Jets are first in 264.3 yards allowed per game. Green Bay is 2nd with 290.9. Finally, the Jets are 1st in passing yards allowed per game with 163.9 yards per game. Denver is 2nd at 184.9.

*Offensively, the Jets' running game will face a stiff test for NFL supremacy. The Jets currently lead with 166.6 yards per game, but Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans are 2nd at 163.9. You can bet the Titans will give Johnson the ball early and often to try to get him the single season rushing record, so Jones and Shonn Greene will need to play well to hold off the Titans. The passing game isn't so hot, though, as only Oakland and Cleveland throw for less yards per game than Sanchez and the Jets. Thank goodness for Eric Mangini yet again.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Edwards wants it bad enough to make a couple of plays on Sunday. He has to step up his game big time for the Jets to go anywhere.

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