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Friday, November 29, 2019

Jets Game Plan Versus Bengals

Green Rewind's Ray Clifford, a native of Ohio has contributed to this issue!

On paper this game should be a Jets slam dunk. The Jets have won three straight games, scoring 34 points in all three. The Bengals are the worst team in the NFL at 0 -11 so end of story right? But these are the Jets and they never seem to handle success well. The second people start jumping on the Jets bandwagon is usually a good time to pump the brakes. When they beat the Cowboys in Sam's return, the analysts fell in love and started predicting big things.  One week later Bill B. and the Pats laid a massive beatdown on them and made Sam see ghosts, the start of a 3 game skid. The point to all of this?  The third loss was to a winless Dolphins team donned "the worst team in the NFL".  Sound familiar?

The Bengals are ranked 30th and 29th respectively in passing and rushing defense. They are allowing 166.4 yards per game and have given up 200 yards rushing 4 times this year. Still with those weak stats they have some good individual talent. Linebacker Nick Vigil leads the team in tackles with 88 but it is defensive tackle Geno Atkins that is a concern. He leads the Bengals with 4.5 sacks. This two time All-Pro has 75.5 lifetime sacks. Geno Atkins may be the best defensive tackle no one knows about. At 31 years old he is not close to slowing down having had 10 sacks last year. In addition to Atkins, defensive end Sam Hubbard has been improving every game since coming into the league. This second year Ohio Sate product already has 4 sacks and had 10 in his rookie year. 

The Bengals offense hasn't been much better but there are a couple things to keep an eye on.  Joe Mixon has been running better of late.  So the Jets league leading rushing defense will again be tested.  Mixon is 6'1" 200 with speed.  He isn't a pile mover but he will run through arm tackles or make you miss. But the biggest key to the game will be at QB where Andy Dalton (9 TDs, 8 INTs, 79.2 RTG)) has been reinstalled as the starter.  It is hard to gauge the impact this will have.  Dalton is inconsistent and streaky, so which one shows up on Sunday could make this game very interesting.  When he's on, he can make all the throws and looks every bit the part of a top NFL QB.  His whole career has been in the NFL North, facing the likes of the Steelers and Ravens defense twice a year for the last 9 years.  He isn't rattled by a blitzing defense. Wide receiver Tyler Boyd is the most dangerous weapon the Bengals have unless (listed as doubtful) AJ Green plays. Boyd had 101 yards receiving last week but more important when he and Andy Dalton are on the field together he is even more dangerous. Earlier this year he had 10 receptions for 122 yards against the 49ers and three weeks later he almost repeated exactly the same stats with 10 receptions for 123 yards against the Cardinals. The often injured tight end Tyler Eifert is also a threat. This Notre Dame product has 23 lifetime TDs highlighted in 2012 with 13 of them. The injuries have taken their toll on Eifert but he is still dangerous.

The Jets offensive success should continue.  The offensive line has been protecting Sam better over the three wins and if that trend continues look for the offense to keep playing well.  Wouldn't be a surprise if Le'Veon Bell finally has his breakout game but this game will likely hinge on the play of Dalton.

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Game Plan
Put Bless Austin on Tyler Boyd.  Jamal Adams should continue to roam the line of scrimmage giving Dalton another thing to think about. And when their is a 3rd and 8+ yards, blitz like crazy!
Last week the Jets contained rookie sensation Maxx Crosby who had 1 sack and they must do the same to stop Atkins & Hubbard. The Jets have got to continue with the short passes mixed in with some misdirection plays. The moving pocket is working and Adam Gase should continue this. Sam Darnold has got to get rid of the ball quickly with both Bell and Powell helping the Jets offensive line with pass protection. If AJ Green somehow plays, the Jets could be in trouble. Hopefully Sam’s night on the town after last Sunday’s win has no lasting affects. Le'Veon Bell has his first breakout game as a Jet they win this game to continue the season turn around. 
Jets 24 Bengals 17

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Rising Up
Robby Anderson: Maybe Robby reads this and saw his name on the “Free Fallin” list. Had a very good Raiders game but has got to keep his helmet on. Still not sure if he is on the team next year.
Braxton Berrios: Our speedy Patriot type player is coming on. He is fast and sure handed on punt returns and catching passes. Get him more reps.
Sam Darnold: I don’t know what the ceiling is for Sam, but surround him with more talent and keep him upright and the Jets future is positive.
Ryan Griffin: I’ll put this newly resigned player on this list every week if he continues his stellar play. He had another TD reception but it was his block on Sam’s TD run that stood out.
Brian Poole: When this ex-Falcon was signed, I had heard that he was Buster Skrine 2.0. Nothing to that. Surround this athlete with competent DB’s and he does an excellent job covering the slot.
Alex (not Jones) Lewis: This guard was a great pick up by Joe Douglas. Despite at least one penalty a game, he is tough, plays hard and opens holes.
Frank Pollack: I raved about the Jets new offensive line coach then did a “Mea Culpa.” Truth is the band aid OL is doing better now than when the season started. Frank is doing a great job.
Adam Gase: He has showed me something the last 3 (especially the last 2) weeks. But the image of him giving up and moping on the sidelines still resonates in my mind.

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Free Fallin
Henry Anderson: I know the Jets defensive line is great against the run, but where is the pass rushing Henry we saw last year? 
Oh Henry!
Quinnen Williams: When are we going to see something? I almost threw up my Thanksgiving dinner watching the Bill’s Ed Oliver (who I wanted) have 4 tackles and 2 sacks against the Cowboys. 
Kyle Phillips: Great story with this un-drafted free agent. Truth is since the Jaguars game he is disappearing. Hopefully he is not hurt. We need to see more production from this Tennessee product.
Jet Fans Who Sold Raider Tickets: Full disclosure: I almost gave up on the season also but the people who prematurely sold their Raider tickets after the Dolphin game were classless.


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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Jets Manhandle Raiders

The game was never close as the Jets overpowered the Oakland Raiders in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams. The Jets even had a spectacular athletic pick six in the second half. There were a lot of heroes but this one has to start with two people, Sam Darnold and Adam Gase. Starting with Gase this coach looked as if he had one foot out the door with the Jets season sinking fast. Many including myself thought this would be a one and done for Adam Gase. Somehow he is turning it around and his play calling the last three weeks has been nothing less than excellent. He has shown creativity and efficiency with the offense and somehow even the offensive line has improved. Thirty four seems to be the magic number with the Jets scoring that amount in each of the last three weeks ( Jets 34-Giants 27, Jets 34-Redskins 17, Jets 34-Raiders 3). Gase continues to be aggressive with reverses and flea flickers every week. He has made the offense unpredictable and has shown confidence in all the skill positions. As far as Sam Darnold (20-29, 315 yards, 2 TD passes, 1 TD rushing), I can’t help but think he had some effects from Mono up through the Dolphin game. He is playing at his best since he became a Jet looking confident and sure of himself. Even when the Jets have say a 3rd and 14, Jet fans are showing a confidence that Sam will get it done. His supporting cast is showing a lot of trust in Sam Darnold and he spread the ball around hitting 9 different receivers. Robby Anderson (4 rec. 86 yds. 1 TD)  had a very good game as did Le’Veon Bell showing his pass catching prowess with a great one handed catch in the first quarter. Even punt returner Braxton Berrios had a catch for 69 yards falling just short of the goal line. Berrios also had a brilliant 26-yard punt return. He has looked real good and Gase should consider playing him more at wide receiver. On defense it was a total team effort holding the Raiders to only a field goal. Jamal Adams played well and added a 1/2 sack to his total. Defensive backs Bless Austin and Arthur Maulet continue to play like seasoned veterans. But it was a pick six by Brian Poole that was the defensive play of the day. Never mind the horrid weather Poole reached down low after a Derek Carr pass bounced off a receiver and made an incredible athletic catch and then went with ease into the end zone. Jet fans should enjoy the moment and don’t look backwards with the schedule and what could have been. Adam Gase, Greg Williams and Sam Darnold have got the Jets on the right track. Today was fun!

Green Tidbits
…..The roughing the passer call on the Raiders was an awful call. But we’ll take it!…..Ryan Griffin continues to shine. His block on Sam’s keeper was text book. And the good news is the Jets resigned him for 3 more years…..Imagine a few years ago I was wishing and hoping the Jets would lose that last game and they would draft QB Marcus Mariotta…..Any Jet fans missing Trumaine Johnson and Daryl Roberts? Or for that matter Leonard Williams…..Jamal Adams has got to control himself. Announcer was right saying he will eventually be hit with taunting…..Jets need to lock up guard Alex Lewis who could walk after the season. For that matter they should do the same with guard Tom Compton…..Telling it like it is the Raiders dropped way too many first half passes…..Gase’s play calling is making up for offensive line deficiencies big time. Calling mis-direction plays, reverses and flea flickers have given Sam Darnold more time…..Bell continues to play hard on every play. He is getting close to breaking one…..Unfortunately Jets defensive coordinator will probably be a head coach next year somewhere else…..Extension on Ryan Griffin shows Adam Gase has fans in the locker room…..Twice Sam could have run for a first down but decided to pass it. He has to learn to take the sure thing…..Sam’s skill set to slide out of trouble is getting better and better…..

What The Jets Scribes Are Saying
Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
When Adam Gase finally takes off his baseball cap and falls asleep Sunday night (assuming he doesn’t sleep with it on), he should revel in his best game yet as the leader of the Jets universe. The embattled coach has absorbed enough body blows during this turbulent season to last a lifetime, but he pushed all the right buttons in a 34-3 laugher over the Raiders.
Give credit where it’s absolutely due: Gase dialed up one smart, creative play after another to help the Jets win their third in a row for the first time since Weeks 3-5 in 2017. Gregg Williams’ defense also erased Derek Carr, who was benched in the third quarter when the outcome was no longer in doubt. The same Jets that sleepwalked through the first two months have scored 34 points for a third consecutive week, prompting some to wonder if a playoff run is not dead yet.

“You think about a lot of things during the day,” Sam Darnold said with a smile. “So, I mean, that’s definitely in the back of my head.… The vibe is a lot better for sure. We just got to keep putting in the work during the week. If we do that, this vibe’s going to continue.”

The Jets (4-7) made a respectable team look like a dumpster fire thanks to good coaching and execution in all three phases, a welcomed change for an outfit that looked lost not that long ago. The Jets are in line to extend to their winning ways with a tomato can on the horizon (Bengals), but this victory deserves its proper attention. And Gase deserves praise for the way he called this one.“When you’re not three-and-out,” Gase said, “When you get first down, second down, first, third-and-short, it makes it a lot easier.”

Gase was in a play-calling groove, helped by a young quarterback, who is growing with each passing week. Darnold went 20-for-29 for 315 yards, two touchdowns and a season-high 127.8 passer rating…..After the Jets stuffed Oakland on fourth and 1, Gase & Co. made them pay again. Gase dialed up a flea flicker on the ensuing drive that netted 31 yards to Robby Anderson. Darnold then found Anderson for a 1-yard touchdown to officially cue the laugh track.

“I think we can definitely feel when he’s in a rhythm,” Darnold said of Gase. “But I think it’s fair to say that it’s up to us to make sure that we keep him in that rhythm and we stay in rhythm with ourselves, too, because it’s up to us to continue to get first downs and keep the chains moving. When we do that, everyone’s rolling.”

Brian Poole’s pick-six on Carr’s pass intended for Tyrell Williams 14 seconds later put the punctuation mark on this impressive performance.

Gase has been rightfully criticized for myriad reasons this season, but he should be lauded for everything Sunday.

Win No. 5 is coming in Cincinnati in seven days.

Brian Costello, NY Post
With the weather raw and rainy and the home team sporting a 3-7 record, it was a late-arriving Jets crowd into MetLife Stadium for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. There was however, a hearty contingent of Raiders fans — decked out in their black and silver, masks, makeup and all — who turned up early and formed their own pregame Black Hole of sorts, taking over the front several rows of the north end zone. Raiders players trotted onto the field first for warm-ups and the Oakland fans cheered loudly. Moments later, as the Jets players ran onto the field, loud boos were audible, and they didn’t fall on deaf ears. It infuriated the Jets, who were so livid some indicated after the game that it ignited their fast start en route to a 34-3 rout of the Raiders. The reception the Jets received was the topic of conversation when the players returned to the locker room before the game. Some, including safety and team leader Jamal Adams, spoke up, firing up the rest of the team. “We felt disrespected,’’ Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum told The Post. “We were very unhappy. You never want to get booed in your own stadium, and we came out for pregame warm-ups and were getting booed. I’ve never had that happen in my career in a game at home.“We felt disrespected,’’…..Listening to some of the Oakland players speak after the game seemed to back up Adams’ assertion that the Raiders, who entered the day on a three-game winning streak, might have taken the Jets lightly. “We just didn’t show up today,’’ Raiders defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins said. “We didn’t show up … didn’t bring enough energy,’’ Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby said.Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said, “Give praise to the Jets; they showed up better than we did,’’ added, “Hopefully, this is an eye-opener.’’

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Jets Game Plan Versus Raiders

The Jets take on the Oakland Raider tomorrow at Met Life stadium. Rarely do the Jets meet the Raiders here for some odd NFL reason. The Raiders are coming in with a 6-4 record and coach Jon Gruden is doing a better job than I thought he would. The Raiders are led by Quarterback Derek Carr who has a 72.3 completion percentage with 15 TD passes and 5 interceptions. He has a quarterback rating of 105.2 so far. Another weapon on offense the Jets have to be concerned about is rookie running back Josh Jacobs. This 1st round draft pick from Alabama is having a great year. So far he has 923 yards rushing with a 4.8 yards per carry average with 7 touchdowns. The key to stopping Jacobs is to wrap him up. He is excellent at breaking tackles so the Jets defense has got to be on their “A” game. Once Jacobs breaks a tackle his motor goes into high gear and he gets tougher to take down. Another weapon on offense that will create problems is tight end Darren Waller. He has 56 receptions with 666 yards and 3 TDs. Originally drafted as a wide receiver by the Ravens in the 6th round, this Georgia Tech product is having a breakout year. For any of you jazz fans out there, Darren Waller is the great-grandson of legend Fats Waller. Wide receivers Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams are good but do not scare me though Williams has 5 TD receptions. On defense the Raiders have a few headaches for Sam Darnold and company. Rookie defensive end Clelin Ferrell (1st round Clemson) along with fellow rookie Maxx Crosby (4th round Eastern Michigan) have already combined for 10 sacks. Both are threats on every play but the player the Jets have got to contain is linebacker Tahir Whitehead. This New Jersey naive is having a breakout year with 75 total tackles in 10 games with 5 1/2 tackles for a loss. Interestingly in the last 6 games Whitehead has played in 100% of the defensive snaps. Jet fans, when watching the game keep an eye on number 59. This late bloomer (29 years old) is a good one.

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Jets Game Plan
Not to beat a dead horse but the Jets offensive line has got protect Sam Darnold. Rain and sleet with high wind gusts are expected so the line has got to open up holes for the running game. The running game showed a little life last week and I would continue to give Bilal Powell more reps. He is not in the same class as Le'Veon Bell but last week he seemed to find the holes better. I would continue to have Darnold throw the quick passes and if he rolls out, I would roll him toward Maxx Crosby’s side. It is better to go toward him then have him chasing Sam. On defense the Jets should consider using Jamal Adams as more of a hybrid as a safety/linebacker. He has become a force on defense so I would put him at the line of scrimmage even more times and take out a linebacker (James Burgess) and start another safety or defensive back (yes, have 3 of them). DB Kyron Brown is the guy I would start.
With Jamal Adams, when he is on the line of scrimmage, he should constantly change sides. On some passing downs, Adams should hit tight end Darren Waller at the line of scrimmage to alter his route running. 

Score Prediction
The Oakland Raiders can be beat. Though they are 6-4 but they have scored 225 points this season while giving up 250 (21st in the league). Look for the Jets to win this game in horrid weather.
Jets 19-Raiders 17

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Rising Up
Sam Darnold:After a 3.6 QB rating against the Pats, the numbers have been going north: 73.3, 85.4, 97.9, 121.3. And he is building chemistry and trust with his teammates.
Jamal Adams: What can you say about this guy? Probably the first Jet on defense since John Abraham opposing offensive coordinators have to game plan around.
Jonotthan Harrison: Since this center replaced Ryan Kalil, the offensive line has looked a little better.
Ryan Griffin: Don’t mistake this tight end for Gronk yet but all he does is block, catch everything thrown his way and run well with the ball.
Neville Hewitt:This linebacker has missed 5 games but he makes plays when he is playing and his effort is second to none.
Kyle Phillips: This DE has been the surprise of the season. His production slowed a little but he has a motor that never stops.


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Free Fallin
Sam Ficken: I have zero confidence in this guy and hold my nose and close my eyes during extra points.
Nate Hairston: Showed promise replacing Trumaine Johnson but was benched two weeks ago and was a healthy scratch last week.
Vyncint Smith: Suppose to have great speed but this WR/KR is having the dropsies all over the place.
Marcus Maye: Sorry Jet fans. This safety just hasn’t shown me enough big plays. His angle of pursuit is awful and he has bad hands.
Robby Anderson: Two things bother me about this talented underachiever. His lazy route running and looking frozen at times when Darnold extends plays.


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Jets Scribes 
Rich Cimini, ESPN
Rookie CB Bless Austin received praise from coach Adam Gase, who said: "He was driving us nuts on the scout team. When you're making receivers angry ... you know he's got something to him." Austin, who spent the first eight games on the NFI list as he recovered from his second ACL surgery, has held up well in two starts. He has allowed only six catches for 59 yards as the closest defender, per NFL Next Gen Stats.

Ryan Griffin’s “sticky-hands” TD celebration last Sunday went viral and prompted a T-shirt company to create this shirt. #Jets Via 500 Level Marketing. (No, he didn’t have stickum on) He got the idea from Madden video.

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Bell has been ineffective on a bad football team. To his credit, he lives without regret. There’s no DeLorean or Hot Tub Time Machine to go back to March and pick a different team in free agency.

“I made a decision,” Bell said in a candid conversation with the Daily News about choosing the Jets. “And I’ll live with it.”

The three-time Pro Bowler has navigated this forgettable season with aplomb when it would have been easy to let his frustrations bubble to the surface. He’s averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per carry and hasn’t had much of an impact amid this miserable 3-7 campaign.

Cornerback Bless Austin has given the Jets’ maligned secondary an unexpected jolt since being activated two weeks ago. The rookie sixth-round pick, who hadn’t played in 14 months since suffering a torn ACL in back-to-back seasons at Rutgers, has been solid in his first two NFL games. Austin spent the better part of his time since the draft rehabbing his knee and making sure that his conditioning didn’t drop off, while waiting for an opportunity.
“The guy’s run enough sprints for a lifetime probably,” Adam Gase said Thursday. “He conditioned from the time he got here to the time he actually was able to practice. You talk about a guy that was hungry to get on the field. When he stepped on the field you could tell he was excited to be out there. He was driving us nuts on scout team which, when you’re making the wide receivers angry — the guys that are playing on Sunday — then you know he’s got something to him.”

Austin was solid in relief of an ineffective Nate Hairston against the Giants before getting his first career start against Washington last week. He’ll likely be tested by Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on Sunday.

Brian Costello, NY Post
Demaryius Thomas didn’t arrive at the Jets’ complex until a mid-September trade from New England, but the 10-year veteran receiver clearly has made an impact on his new teammates in a short time.

Enough of one, that is, that Gang Green’s existing captains recommended last week that Thomas officially be designated for inclusion in their exclusive group following recent season-ending injuries to safety Rontez Miles and center Ryan Kalil. Thomas served as a captain for the first time during last Sunday’s win over Washington, and he will continue to do so this week against the Raiders, according to coach Adam Gase.

“It means a lot,” Thomas said after Friday’s practice in Florham Park. “I try to take myself as a leader, as a captain. I’m going to try to help the lead the team and teach them some of the stuff I learned in my career being around Tom [Brady], Peyton Manning, Brian Dawkins, Champ Bailey … and just try to adapt it here, some of those things.

“I think that’s one of the reasons why they voted me in. I appreciate it. I respect it. It meant a lot.”

Thomas, 31, became the 49th player in NFL history to amass at least 700 career receptions on Oct. 21 against the Patriots, nearly six weeks after they dealt him to the Jets, on Sept. 11, in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

…..Thomas believes he’s primed to help Darnold and the Jets’ offense even more over the final six games, beyond the 29 receptions he has posted over eight appearances. The Georgia Tech product excitedly added that he finally started to regain his explosiveness “like two weeks ago” after suffering an Achilles injury late last season with Houston.

Either way, his teammates say his impact already has been undeniable.

“He’s always willing to help and share what he’s experienced in the game and that’s amazing to have,” McLendon said. “It’s always important for a veteran guy who’s done it and seen a lot of football. The biggest thing honestly is how much the guys are learning from him, not just the receivers, but everybody on the team. He’s a guy everybody can learn something from.”