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Week Four: Keys to Victory

Keys to Victory:

1: Stop Ray’s Runs
After getting gashed on the ground by Darren McFadden for 171 yards on 19 carries, a whopping nine yard per carry average, New York is pitted against yet another elite back in Ray Rice. In Baltimore’s two wins, Rice averaged 6.7 yards per carry, while in the Raven’s lone loss his average dipped to 3.3 yards a carry. The Ravens run game has been a key component of their winning formula the past few seasons. With the Jets licking their wounds after the pounding McFadden and the Raiders dealt them last week; the task will not be any easier heading into Baltimore Sunday night. New York will need to tighten up its run defense, if it plans on escaping with the win.

2. No more Shotty Playcalling
The Jets looked like a Jekyll and Hyde team week 3. The first half New York opened up the playbook winging the ball up the field on play action passes and establishing a solid running attack. In the second half, it all unraveled as McFadden ran wild on the Jets and Antonio Cromartie’s mishandled kick return culminated in a two score deficit. It’s critical that New York gets on top early so they can maintain an offensive balance. When Gang Green keeps their opponents guessing they’ve been able to matriculate the ball down the field effectively. Facing a vaunted Ravens defense, New York will need to dig deep into the play call sheet to keep Baltimore on its heels.

3. Make the Right Reed
Suffice it to say that Ed Reed is one of the premier defensive players in the NFL. Mark Sanchez will need to identify where Reed is on the field before every snap, as the ball hawking safety has the potential to turn any play into a defensive score. Sanchez has a propensity for throwing the football up for grabs; something that Reed will make him pay dearly for Sunday night.

Prediction: 17-13 Ra

Giants Receiving Core Rammed by Injuries

Facing the prospect of an (0-2) start; the Giants answered the bell and disposed of the St. Louis Rams 28-16 Monday night. If Big Blue thought they had injury problems coming into Monday’s game; their issues just got a heck of a lot worse.

Wide receiver Mario Manningham left the game in the second quarter following his bobbling 31 yard catch in the final minutes of the half. The team initially called it a neck injury, but it’s now reported Manningham has been diagnosed with a concussion. On the first play after Manningham’s grab, Dominick Hixon performed his own version of the juggling act reeling in a 22 yard touchdown, but tweaking his knee in the process. With two of the G-men’s top receivers likely on the shelf for Sunday’s contest in Philadelphia; New York will look to their star wide out Hakeem Nicks to percolate in Week three.

Newly acquired veteran Brandon Stoakley’s role in the offense will likely increase, while second year player Victor Cruz will see action as the number three receiving option. In an offseason where New York lost wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Kevin Boss to free agency; Eli Manning’s receiving weapons are disappearing fast.

With New York’s Bye Week still four weeks away, Big Blue will have to patchwork their offensive attack to stay afloat in the cutthroat NFC East.

Jaguars vs. Jets Review Show

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Join Rick Laughland and Daniel Feuerstein as they review the Jets 32-3 romping of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Showtime: Monday, September 19th at 2:00PM

Duration: 30 minutes

Jaguars vs Jets Review Show

Week Two Grades: Jets turn McCown Upside Down

Passing Offense:
Mark Sanchez tossed two first half interceptions, but Gang Green’s defense righted the ship paving the way for a blowout victory. Sanchez was impressive on the Jets opening drive, connecting on all four of his passes for 60 yards, including a 17 yard touchdown strike to Santonio Holmes. The man they call the Sanchize would finish 17 of 24 for 182 yards with two touchdowns and two picks on the afternoon. The Jets third year quarterback looked to force the issue early on, culminating in his two turnovers, but once the defense took a stranglehold on the game, Sanchez played within himself.
/> Grade: B-

Rushing Offense:
Give the Jaguars defensive front some credit as they plugged up New York’s running lanes, limiting ball carrier Shonn Greene to 49 yards on 16 touches, including a one yard touchdown rumble. The Jets offensive line was beat to the punch, and when Nick Mangold’s high ankle sprain forced him out of action in the first quarter, New York’s run game took a nosedive. Tackle Wayne Hunter committed a hold and a false start penalty catching the ire of the coaching staff for the second consecutive week. Questions remain whether starting tailback Shonn Greene can shoulder the workload of a full-time back, with Sunday’s performance pedestrian at best.
Grade: C

Passing Defense:
Jaguars quarterback Luke McCown amassed a quarterback rating of 1.8. That’s not a typo or a cruel joke, Jacksonville’s signal caller had a nightmarish game facing a rabid Jets defense. Antonio Cromartie stole the show, with his two interceptions crushing the spirit of Jacksonville and leaving little doubt as to who deserves MVP honors on Sunday. In a game where McCown tossed four picks, the Jets had countless opportunities for more, in what was a historic day for the Jets secondary.
Grade: A+

Rushing Defense:
The human pinball, Maurice Jones-Drew, had 107 all purpose yards; yet the Jets prevented Jacksonville’s tailback from breaking off big running plays. With a long run of 16 on the afternoon, Jones-Drew was kept at bay and unable to find the end zone on Sunday. Jones-Drew 16 carries for 88 yards doesn’t have the looks of a poor performance, but given the back’s dynamic game-changing ability, the Jets were more than satisfied with his final stat line.
Grade: B+

Special Teams:
Nick Folk made good on his three field goals tries (38,45,23) and Antonio Cromartie brought back two kicks for a total of 85 yards as the Jets put the special in special teams play. New York had great starting field position, while the Jaguars were pinned deep in their own territory much of the afternoon. Hats of once again to Mike Westoff and the special teams unit.
Grade: A

The game plan for New York was simple, stop Maurice Jones-Drew. They executed well and were able to force Luke McCown to try and beat them, but instead he beat himself. The Jets first down play calling was predictable and ineffective as they tried time and time again to ground and pound between the tackles with Jacksonville loading up the box. When offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer went to the play action pass, the game opened up for Sanchez and his receivers and the Jets moved the ball with success. Head Coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Petine overwhelmed Jaguars quarterback Luke McCown, possibly costing him his starting job. The Jets racked up seven penalties for 70 yards and looked sloppy at times, but the team was prepared and executed the game plan well.
Grade: B+

Cheers and Jeers: Jaguars Eat Cro

The Jets jump started their engines, marching 65 yards on their opening possession capping the six play drive with a 17 yard bullet to Santonio Holmes. Sunday marked the first time since Week four of the 2010 season that Gang Green’s offense found the end zone in the first quarter of play.

With the Jets off to a soaring start, New York’s defense wreaked havoc on Jacksonville’s journeyman signal caller Luke McCown. Jets rookie defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson started the onslaught on the Jaguars first offensive possession, a third down and nine play from the Jaguars 10 yard line.

McCown dropped back surveying the field, and with the Jets pressure flushing him out of the pocket, Wilkerson flew through wrapping up McCown and emphatically slamming him to the turf for a Jets safety. The Metlife Stadium crowd went into a frenzy as the Jets captured the early momentum and rattled the Jaguars quarterback.

rk Sanchez’s decision-making was nothing short of baffling as his errant throws kept Jacksonville in contention, particularly early on. With a 9-0 advantage, and Jets fans in full throat, Sanchez hurled a deep pass intended for a triple covered Derrick Mason as Jaguars defensive back William Middleton reeled in the pick and returned the ball 11 yards into New York territory.

Sanchez’s lack of coverage recognition was evident once again with eight minutes remaining in the second quarter as he lobbed a desperation pass for wideout Santonio Holmes with Jacksonville’s Rashean Mathias stepping in front for the interception.

The Jets were able to overcome Sanchez’s mistake as Cromartie would hault the Jaguars ensuing drive with the first of his two interceptions on the day. In a game where the Jets third year quarterback was expected to manage the game and limit turnovers, his two early miscues breathed second-life into an otherwise inept Jaguars squad.

Antonio Cromartie was a jack of all trades for the Jets on Sunday. His second interception of the day was nearly returned for a touchdown with an official review marking the Jets cornerback out at the one-inch-line. Cromartie was a ball hawk in coverage nabbing two interceptions, while breaking off two kickoff returns for a combined 85 yards, a one man wrecking crew for Gang Green.

Luke McCown’s quarterback rating of 1.8 was the lowest by a Jets opponent in the franchise’s 41 year history.

“Really, I was proud of our effort,” stated Rex Ryan. “We’re where we wanted to be at 2-0, two home wins. We talked about getting better at home. This is our second home win so I feel great about that.”

In a game that was dubbed a favorable matchup for the Jets, New York earned a lopsided win, terrorizing Jaguars quarterback Luke McCown in the process. Gang Green brought the fight to Jacksonville early and cruised to a decisive victory. With New York embarking on a three game road trip including stops in Oakland, Baltimore and New England; the Jets depart Metlife Stadium winners of their first two home contests of the season and put their unbeaten record on the line as they tangled with the Raiders next Sunday, September 25th with kickoff set for 4:15pm.

Week Two Preview Show: Jaguars vs Jets

Join Rick Laughland and Daniel Feuerstein as they preview this weekend's matchup as the New York Jets (1-0) play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)

Jaguars vs. Jets Podcast Preview Show

Week Two: Jets Keys to Victory

Sunday’s Storyline:

Fresh off their improbable comeback win over Dallas, the Jets return to the friendly confines of Metlife Stadium and tangle with the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at 1pm. New York, aided by a miraculous punt block from Joe McKnight along with a few blunders by Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo, emerged victorious on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Gang Green will try to avoid a let-down this week against a Jaguars squad that dealt New York a crushing 24-22 defeat in Week nine of the 2009 regular season. In the final minutes of that contest, Jaguars tailback Mauric
e Jones-Drew escaped for a nine yard scamper and with the goal line in-sight and the Jets out of timeouts, he alertly dove down at the one inch line. The Jaguars would milk the clock and with three seconds remaining Josh Scobee knocked through a 21 yard game winning field goal, much to the dismay of the Jets faithful.

With that bitter loss fresh in the minds of fans and players, the Jets aim to exorcize the demons from that gut wrenching loss just two seasons ago and delight fans on Sunday in what is expected to be a capacity Meadowlands crowd.

Keys to Victory:

1. Stop Jacksonville’s Mo-Jo
The secret is out. At five foot seven inches tall and 208 pounds, Maurice Jones-Drew is a human wrecking ball at the running back position and a holy terror for opposing defenses. The man they refer to as “Mo-Jo” is powerful and elusive, artful at hiding behind his mammoth lineman then hitting a crease and finding the open field. Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is mindful of Jones-Drew’s game-breaking ability and won’t be shy in packing the box with eight or nine defenders to smother the Jaguars diminutive, but dynamic back.

2. Turn McCown Upside Down.
An eighth year journeyman out of Louisiana Tech University, quarterback Luke McCown was thrust into a starting role when Jacksonville unexpectedly released their franchise signal caller David Garrard prior to week one. With more career interceptions (10), than touchdowns (9), McCown will likely be on the business end of the Jets blitzing schemes. If New York can dial up the pressure early they can disrupt McCown’s timing and create scoring opportunities for their defense and build a sizeable first half lead.

3. Early in the End zone
The Jets have failed to score a first quarter touchdown in their last 16 games. If my calculations are correct that’s an entire season without an opening period end zone celebration. For one, it’s miraculous that the Jets have a winning record over that span, but more importantly Jets fans are growing tired of waiting until the second half for Gang Green’s offensive attack to ignite. The Jets will need to feed their two headed monster of LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, establishing the run and stretching the field with play action passes. If New York can find the right mix of run and pass offense early, it could be a long day for the Jaguars.

Prediction: Jets 31- Jaguars 13 F.

Jets Ground and Pound, Nowhere to Be Found

Sunday night’s poor rushing performance against Dallas was not the least bit pleasing to New York’s head man Rex Ryan. 45 yards on 16 carries, Gang Green’s lowest run production during Ryan’s tenure as coach has the team searching for answers.

Some may credit Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s commitment to stymieing the Jets run game, by stacking the line of scrimmage; while others attribute poor offensive line play as the culprit for a dismal rushing output. Whatever the case may be, New York wants to reclaim their ground and pound identity and for tailbacks Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson that task begins this Sunday when the Jets play host to Jacksonville. In Week one, the Jaguars rushing defense held the league’s most prolific back, Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans, to a mere 24 yards on 9 carries.

If the Jets are going to rebound from a disappointing ground game opening night, they will have to do it against a Jaguars defense that perennially ranks amongst the NFL’s top run defenses. Questions remain whether third year
rusher Shonn Greene is ready to become New York’s feature back, with LaDanian Tomlinson utilized as a third down back and a sure-handed receiving option for quarterback Mark Sanchez. While Greene has shown to be an electrifying and punishing ball carrier for the Jets the past two postseasons; his durability and stamina have yet to be tested as a starter through the grinds and rigors of a 16 game regular season.

Rex Ryan and his Jets are hopeful that Week One was an aberration and the Jets will revert to their dominant run heavy schemes that helped them clinch two consecutive AFC title berths. For one thing, Ryan is relieved he won’t have to square off with his brother Rob again in the regular season, but didn’t dismiss the possibility of the two matching up again come February’s big game.

“As much as I love him {brother, Rob Ryan}, I always want to beat him and that's it,” declared Rex Ryan. "We played far from a perfect game. Not even close. That's an excellent football team. I'll sign up right now to play them in the Super Bowl."

Week One Grades: Jets Comeback Kids Once Again

Passing Offense:
Non-existent for most of the first half, Mark Sanchez orchestrated a brilliant 9 play, 83 yard touchdown drive in the waning moments of the second quarter, closing the scoring gap to 10-7. Sanchez proved effective in the no huddle offense particularly in the final minutes of both halves connecting with seven different receiving targets for 335 yards. Sanchez’s lone interception cost the Jets a touchdown as Dallas linebacker Sean Lee returned the ball to the one yard-line, and two plays later halfback Felix Jones found the end zone for six. Sanchez was vulnerable to a few mistakes but made the big plays down the stretch to give Gang Green second life.

Grade: B

Rushing Offense:
Rex Ryan’s ground and pound was held in check by Cowboy’s defensive coordinator, and younger brother Rob Ryan. Gang Green’s offensive front was manhandled at the line of scrimmage, providing no running lanes for the Jets duo of Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson who were stopped in their tracks. New York would finish the day with 45 yards on 16 carries, the lowest rushing total produced during the Rex Ryan era.

Grade: F

Passing Defense:
The Jets had no answer for Dallas tight end Jason Witten who hauled in 6 receptions for 110 yards including a 64 yard catch and rumble in the early stages of the final period. Tony Romo made good on 23 of 36 passes for 345 yards including two touchdowns. The Jets capatil
ized on Romo’s over-aggressiveness on Dallas' final possession of the game as Darrelle Revis undercut and intercepted a pass intended for wide receiver Dez Bryant, setting up Nick Folk’s game winning 50 yard field goal.

Grade: C+

Rushing Defense:
New York’s run defense was in mid-season form surrendering just 64 yards on 17 carries, limiting the Cowboys to a long run of eight yards on the evening. Rex Ryan’s defensive front did not allow Tony Romo to escape the pocket rushing for only nine yards on three scampers. Jets defensive end Mike DeVito provided the play of the game, when he stripped a scrambling Romo down by New York’s goal line deep into the fourth quarter.

Grade: A

Special Teams:
Improbable as it was, running back Joe McKnight played the role as the Jets savior Sunday night blocking Dallas punter Mat McBriar’s boot, which danced into the hands of Isaiah Trufant who brought it in for the game- tying score. Mike Westoff’s designed punt block was executed to perfection as the Jets overloaded the Cowboy’s strong side, allowing McKnight to run in free up the middle. Nick Folk was perfect on his two field goal attempts capping a stellar effort by Gang Green’s special teamers.

Grade: A

Darrelle Revis: "This One's for New York"

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets 9/11 game Review Show

Showtime: Monday, September 12th, 4:00pm

Rick Laughland and Daniel Feuerstein discuss the New York Jets improbable comeback win on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Making their case to be annointed America's Team.

For Ryan Out Loud: Two Brother's Heavyweight Battle

Sunday's Storyline:

Heavyweights collide as the Ryan brothers do battle for the second time in as many seasons. One year ago, Rob Ryan's Cleveland Browns came out on the short end of a 26-20 overtime thriller. Now the defensive coordinator of America's team-the Dallas Cowboys- Rob Ryan aims to exact revenge on older brother and make his case for his dad's (Buddy Ryan) favorite son. On the tenth anniversary of September 11th, emotions and patriotism will certainly run high as all fans, players and coaches will unite as one to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the worst terrorist attack in United States history.

Jets coach Rex Ryan proclaimed Sunday's game as the most pressurized game he can remember being a part of. Whether it's the duty to his team, his country or to secure family
bragging rights, Rex and the Jets are determined to deliver a victory for New York City. America's service men and women along with members of New York's fire and police department will be on hand and admired as the country's true heroes.


1. Corral that Cowboy

The Jets will have to play disciplined defensively holding containment on Dallas quarterack Tony Romo who has been known to break free and scramble for huge chunks of yards. Romo's offensive line has been spotty in protection, just ask the signal caller's collar bone. If the Jets can maintain pressure, while limiting Romo's running lanes, they will force the Cowboys to be a one-faceted offense.

2. Round up Dallas' Secondary

With the Cowboys carrying only three healthy cornerbacks into Sunday night's contest, the Jets will have to take to the air. New York's receiving core of Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes and Desmond Mason should have a field day against a Dallas secondary missing their top two pass defenders in Mike Jenkins and Terrence Newman. Look for Mark Sanchez to lead a dynamic pass attack and wear out the Cowboy's injury riddled secondary.

3. Feed off the 12th man

With Sunday night's crowd expected to be in full throat, urging a win for their city's beloved team, the Jets will have a supreme homefield advantage. If New York can give the Jet faithful reason to cheer early, they can ride the early momentum to a convincing victory.

PREDICTION: Jets 27-Cowboys 13 F

Stunner at South Bend: Brian Kelly goes A-wall

The Fighting Irish entered Saturday’s contest with South Florida as the 16th ranked team in college football nation. A game nearly reaching six hours in duration- with two separate severe weather delays- saw Notre Dame exit into the tunnel at South Bend to the tune of a bitter 23-20 defeat. The rain and lightning may have let up but the rain of boos from frustrated fans was unrelenting. Head Coach Brian Kelly’s antics were reminiscent of a foul mouthed sixteen year old, not the inspirational leader of a 16th ranked Irish squad. Kelly’s rage reached critical levels when Irish receiver T.J. Jones had a pass deflect off his pads and into the mitts of South Florida’s Michael Lanaris.

Notre Dame was in the spirit of giving, tossing two interceptions, while committing two lost fumbles-the most deflating coming on the Irish’s opening drive- returned 99 yards for a score. The early miscue took the wind out of Notre Dame’s sail, as a 16 point first half deficit proved too much for them to overcome. The Irish’s homecoming parade may have been spoiled, but it was a bitter sweet moment for Skip Holtz- South Florida’s head coach
and son of Notre Dame’s legendary head coach Lou Holtz. For Skip, it goes down as one of the biggest wins in the coach’s history-while Brian Kelly’s temper tantrum was indicative of the anguish along the Irish sidelines.

Next week, Notre Dame travels to the “Big House” in Ann Arbor to tangle with Denard Robinson and the Michigan Wolverines. Brian Kelly will have to build his squad back up after berating his players for their poor performance on Saturday. Notre Dame’s confidence is certainly shaken, as fans clamor for the dismissal of Coach Kelly for his sideline tirade and poor preparation. Can Brian Kelly’s squad shake out of this early rut, or will luck continue to evade the Irish?

Out of Dodge

The New York Giants have released second year punter Matt Dodge, the team's former seventh round pick in the 2010 NFL draft.

Dodge will forever be remembered for his part in the "Miracle at the New Meadowlands." Despite warnings from the Giants coaching staff to keep the ball out of the hands of Philadelphia returner Desean Jackson, Dodge inexplicably booted the ball to the league's most prolific returner who high stepped his way for the winning score as time expired. Big Blue's Week 15 meltdown was more a product of their defense providing no answers for a running and gunning Michael Vick, but Dodge shouldered the blame for the late game collapse. Deserved or not, Dodge was labeled the "goat" a punching bag for pundits and fans.

The Giants have announced that former New York Jet Steve Weatherford has won the starting job. Weatherford committed a special teams gaffe of his own in a Week eight contest between the Jets and Packers. In the first quarter of the game, on 4th and 18 from the Jets 20 yard line, Weatherford elected to forgo the punt and dashed towards the sideline diving for the first down marker. Packers coach Mike McCarthy challenged the spot of the ball and replays indicated Weatherford stepped out shy of the first down. The Packers would gain possession converting a field goal en route to shutting out the Jets 9-0.

The Giants can only hope that 2011 will bring them improved special teams play, an area that haunted Big Blue a season ago.

Willy or Won't He?

Prior to the Jets preseason finale, quarterback Drew Willy was hardly a household name.

With veteran quarterback Mark Brunell's injured finger sidelining him this preseason and rookie signal caller Greg McElroy sustaining a dislocated thumb Thursday night, Willy's chances of securing a spot appear more and more likely.

Drew Willy, a New Jersey native, set Randolph high school's mark for passing yards and touchdowns paving the way for an equally successful collegiate career at the University of Buffalo. There, he evolved into the University's most accomplished passer, establishing school records in completions (849), attempts (1,322), passing yards (8,748), completion percentage (64.2), touchdowns (52), as well as total offense (8,369). In 2008, Willy's senior year, he led the Buffalo Bulls to a MAC Championship where they upset the heavily favored and previously undefeated Ball State Cardinals.

Willy was projected by scouts and draft experts to be a late first round selection in the 2009 NFL draft, yet he went undrafted electing to sign a one year contract with the Baltimore Ravens. Willy's time in Baltimore was short-lived as he was released immediately following the 2009 season, without taking any snaps in the regular season.

The following year, the Indianopolis Colts had Willy on their radar as they signed him to their active roster December 26, 2010, only to send him to the practice squad three short days later.

In August of 2010, the Colts released Willy and with NFL int
erest in the young quarterback waning; Willy tried his luck in the UFL with the Las Vegas Locomotives. There, he backed up former San Francisco 49er quarterback Tim Rattay as the Locomotives steam rolled their way to a second consecutive UFL championship. Under the tuteledge of Rattay and former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel, Willy developed his understanding of the game, capturing the attention of NFL scouts once again.

In September of 2011, Willy was signed to a reserve contract by the New York Jets, who decided to give the Garden State gun slinger a chance to compete as the third stringer. Willy performed well in Thursday night's 24-14 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. The 24 year old totaled 109 yards passing, completing 9 of 17 passes including a 14 yard touchdown strike to rookie wide out Scotty McKnight. Willy's future with New York remains uncertain, but the hometown kid is making his bid to grab a position on New York's depth chart. With the regular season opener fast approaching, the Jets will have to determine whether Willy can blossom into a viable backup with Gang Green in 2011.


Preseason Wrap-up Show

Jets preseason wrap up show as the Gang Green 50 man roster takes shape heading into the regular season. Does Randolph, New Jersey native Drew Willy have a shot to make the squad? This answer and more as Rick Laughland and Daniel Feuerstein get in their daily dose of Jets football talk, Friday, September 2nd at 2pm.

Jets Preseason Wrap-up Show

Jets Preseason Wrap-up Show

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