This week is going to tell us a lot about the 2008 New York Jets! The last time the Jets won a road game anywhere outside of Miami was the end of the 2006 season. Yikes… So what chance do they have in San Diego? Well, there are a couple of things that make me think they have a fighting chance.
First of all, Brett Favre has always stepped up his game on Monday Night Football. We saw the emotional performance he gave after the passing of his father where he posted almost 400 yards and 3 TD’s against the then formidable Raiders. We also saw a Chargers team which allowed Jay Cutler and the Broncos to carve up their secondary and post 39 points.
Next, the Jets defense has been great. Compared to the last two years, the defense has been stout against the run, and they have finally found a pass rush! San Diego will score points, but if the Jets can neutralize LT (who by the way is a little banged up), and get some pressure on Phillip Rivers, then hopefully they can limit the Bolts opportunities. Plus, the Jets surely have to be fired up to see something else in film sessions besides what happened last Sunday…
Minus the poor showing on the goalline against the Patriots, Thomas Jones has been solid. He’s posted a 4.4 yard per carry average which is exactly what everyone was hoping for with the additions along the offensive line. We have also seen flashes of brilliance from Leon Washington every time he touches the ball. They need to find a way to put the ball in his hands (and don’t let him be responsible for pass protection, that was embarrassing… go for the legs Leon).
It seems like the Chargers are still more interested in complaining about Ed ”Hercules” Hochuli snafu then they are in preparing for the Jets. Norv Turner was in the news again yesterday complaining about what would’ve been. Let’s hope they continue to worry about the past while the Jets can go in there and steal one! With that said, I hope they give Hochuli another chance in San Diego on Monday!!!
Final Note: Brian Schottenheimer’s offense has always been based on a lot of pre snap shifting and movement, but the actual plays are fairly similar. The fact that Brett Favre came into the mix so late has taken that ability away. The Jets now line up and run a play without much shifting or creativity. They need to get back to the pre snap movement which is designed to exploit mismatches! The good news is that every week they have together, the Jets will be able to bring more of Schottenheimer’s offense into the game, and Favre will become much more comfortable with the receivers. Dustin Keller and Leon Washington are walking mismatches… hopefully we’ll see some more creativity this week.
THE LOST CAUSE…
Dare I say that the difference between a dominating performance in Miami, and pulling out a win against New England was the product of our kicking game? Think about it… Between Mike Nugent and Jay Feely, the Jets have left points and momentum up on the board a couple of times which truly deflates a team. More importantly, Ben Graham (who was just released) averaged 27.3 yards per punt last week. That allowed the Patriots to have an average starting position around the 48 yard line while the Jets average start was on their own 21! I don’t care who you are, when you’re in a close game and you give the other team a short field your going to lose! Field position is so important for this defense, because it gives them more freedom to take some chances. It also allows Favre and the offense a chance at a shorter field once they get the ball. I don’t know who they are going to bring in, but I hope they catch lighting in a bottle. Somebody call the NY Red Bulls!!!