NY Jets better off losing in order to get high pick in 2015 NFL Draft

The last time the New York Jets won a football game was Sept. 7. They beat the Raiders, a team that still hasn’t won a game this season. So despite all the what-ifs and near-misses against the Packers and Bears and Patriots, that is all that separates the Jets from the worst record in the league. They finally got the lead at halftime that day, a short touchdown pass from Geno Smith to Chris Johnson. Geno was 22-for-28 against the Raiders, one touchdown pass, one interception. Chris Ivory ran for 102 yards. Eric Decker caught five balls. The Jets won 19-14, which means that was one of five games — out of seven — this season when their offense scored fewer than 20 points, in a league where points are often scored like it’s flag football. Now they try to get their second win before Halloween, a 1-6 team favored at home against a 4-3 Bills team that decided to switch to their veteran backup quarterback, Kyle Orton, because the kid they picked ahead of Geno in the same draft, EJ Manuel, wasn’t getting it done to the satisfaction of the head coach Doug Marrone. All along we have heard about how soft the Jets’ schedule is in the second half. They circled the Bills game as one they could get once they stopped going up against quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford and even Jay Cutler. But at this point, knowing what other teams know about the Jets and seeing what they’ve seen from the Jets on both sides of the ball, you think those teams aren’t circling the Jets’ dates on their calendars? Come on. The Jets say they’re better than their record. Right. So do the Raiders. But if the Jets lose to the Bills on Sunday and go to 1-7, the reality of their situation becomes this: It would be better for them to finish 3-13 and move way up into the draft, instead of kidding themselves and their fans with the kind of finish a year ago that saved Rex Ryan’s job. Continue Reading

Rex Ryan lets his NY Jets get some extra rest in preparation for heat of Miami and Dolphins

Forget snack time. Rex Ryan is telling his players to sleep in and come to practice well-rested each morning. Ryan adjusted the Jets’ schedule this week, in part to prepare for the heat in Miami on Sunday. The coach shortened meetings and practices in order to “gain a little advantage.” He also pushed back the schedule 90 minutes. REVIS READY FLAGGED & FINEDSafety LaRon Landry said that he was fined $15,750 by the NFL for a horse-collar tackle against the Steelers last Sunday, and will dispute the decision. “All intentions is not to horse collar a guy,” he said. “I’m not trying to injure a guy. Not trying to play dirty. I’m just trying to make a play. It comes to a point where you need to be smart when you’re out there, but in pursuit throughout the whole game, I’m trying to win and do anything to make a play. I ain’t really worried about my pocket.” Landry, who has drawn three personal foul penalties in the first two games, maintained that he grabbed Pittsburgh wideout Antonio Brown in pursuit for a tackle, but did not pull down. The incident occurred near midfield as the Steelers were driving and moved the line of scrimmage to the Jets’ 31. Ben Roethlisberger went on to complete a touchdown pass to wideout Mike Wallace to cap the drive. Landry leads the league in personal fouls, and opponents have scored on all three drives when he was flagged for those penalties. He insists that he will be more cautious, but will not change his aggressive approach. “I need to be a little more strategic in my entry,” Landry said. TIM TEASE-BOW Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

NY Jets’ schedule doesn’t do Gang Green playoff hopes any favors

Well, they are confident. That never changes. The Jets are embracing their December circumstance, not that they have much of a choice. They have left themselves with little margin for error over the last four games as one of five 7-5 teams fighting over the last wild-card spot and a team that has reached the conference championship game in each of the last two years. So Rex Ryan stood at his podium Thursday. He spoke of the magnitude of this stretch run, and, of course, how his Jets are better prepared for it than any other team, how they have a “burning desire” to get into the playoffs, how they don’t plan to be “one and done” once they get there, that “we think we can do some damage once we get there. “Everything we do is built so we’re better at the end of the season. It’s for this time of year, so you’re fresher than your opponent. We feel we are,” he said. “But we have to get to eight wins this week.” It starts with the Chiefs, continues with the Eagles and Giants and ends in Miami on New Year’s Day. “At the end of the day, we control our own destiny,” said Antonio Cromartie. That’s certainly a confident way of looking at things. But they are not in command. Not to be a killjoy here, but the fact is that, considering all the tiebreakers, the Jets are currently in the worst shape of any of the 7-5 teams, with both their 5-5 conference record and head-to-head losses working against them. Needing help, they are probably going to have to go at least 3-1 the rest of the way, and that one loss can’t come against either AFC team left. They may have the easiest schedule remaining of all the contenders (no opponent currently has a winning record) but that is also misleading. The Giants could have as much on the line, and the Dolphins are one of the hottest teams in the league. If the Dolphins’ last game means taking the Jets out Continue Reading

NY Jets can’t be Wash-outs in playoff push Sunday vs. Washington Redskins

There is nothing glamorous about the Jets’ scheduled assignment on Sunday afternoon, when they travel down to FedEx Field for a non-conference, non-rivalry game they can’t afford to blow against a losing opponent with a chronic Achilles heel at quarterback. Washington may be physical, but the team scores just 16.6 points per game, 28th in the league. Rex Grossman has made a bad habit of throwing deep interceptions (14) into coverage and owns a QB rating of just 73.6. The environment in Landover will be hostile. Mark Sanchez can expect to hear even more boos than he does at the Meadowlands, which is saying a lot, and the Jets really don’t know much about a place they haven’t visited in eight years. Maybe because of all this dreariness, Rex Ryan was doing some foolish daydreaming on Wednesday, allowing his mind to wander prematurely again to the playoffs in January, explaining why the Jets can still play deep into the winter. “We have a lot more experience than teams people write about,” Ryan said, although it is hard to figure out his target on this one — Green Bay? New Orleans? New England? “We know what the playoffs are all about and we’ll do damage. The best is yet to come.” The best may or may not arrive at all, and certainly won’t materialize if the Jets drop this mundane gimme on Sunday. Their margin for error is zero now. Even the daydreamer, their coach, admits, “Obviously, we’re running out of weeks.” So there can be no mistakes, no more missed-timing passes between Sanchez and Santonio Holmes. The Jets are plum out of bonus opportunities and alibis. LaDainian Tomlinson and Jeremy Kerley are both expected to be back, ready to go against Washington. Compared to the Giants, the Jets are the rosy-cheeked picture of health. Still, we wait for the Jets to be the Jets. Sanchez promises the offense is ready for its breakthrough performance, finally. “Things are looking up. Continue Reading

NY Jets’ Plaxico Burress returns early from charity work

Jets wideout Plaxico Burress returned to the team’s facility in time for afternoon meetings Tuesday after spending the previous day and a half performing charitable acts in locations ranging from his hometown of Virginia Beach to a middle school in Harlem. “For me to be able to go back and do it for the first time in two years, it’s always a special day for me,” Burress said. “I grew up in that area, grew up in that community and I know what it’s like not to have food on Thanksgiving.” Burress was released from prison in June after serving 22 months for attempted criminal possession of a weapon after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh with an unlicensed Glock at a Manhattan night club. He missed practice Monday so he could hand out turkeys in Virginia. Burress had scheduled the event months in advance believing that the Jets would have off Monday and Tuesday. Rex Ryan granted permission then, but changed the schedule due to Thanksgiving. Ryan refused to renege on Burress’ leave of absence. “When I reworked the schedule, he never asked me one way or the other,” Ryan said. “I was not going to go back on my word that he can do those things.” IN KNEEDJeremy Kerley and LaDainian Tomlinson, who were both held out of practice due to knee injuries, experienced setbacks after performing agility drills on the sideline during Monday’s practice. Both were out of action Tuesday, and Ryan remained uncertain of whether either would be able to play Sunday against the Bills. Ryan said they both experienced more soreness than expected. Neither Tomlinson nor Kerley played in the loss to Denver last week. LOOKING FORWARD (knee) and RB Shonn Greene (ribs) returned to practice and expressed optimism over being healthy enougth to play Sunday. . . . The team waived tight end Shawn Nelson with a non-football illness. Although the team didn’t disclose the nature of the illness, Nelson has dealt with Continue Reading

NY Jets legend Joe Namath needs to keep launching his bombs at NFL targets

After watching the Jets get whipped in Oakland last Sunday, Joe Namath had something to say. Something that couldn't wait.That's why, according to radio moles, he had his representative call ESPN-1050 brass to ask if he could appear on "The Michael Kay Show" on Monday. Namath regularly appears on Thursday.The suits granted Namath's wish. He delivered big-time, creating headlines and recognition for ESPN-1050. In case anyone forgot, Namath said the 34-24 loss was "humiliating." Then he zeroed in on Rex Ryan."I think these guys might be believing they're better than they are," Namath told Kay. "Rex has been the only coach that we know, in maybe the history of the game that I'm familiar with, that keeps continually telling his guys how good they are. And they have been pretty good - pretty good - but they haven't won a championship yet."Ryan fired back at Namath. It was on. The Jets coach, who speaks louder and more often than any of his predecessors, taking on the greatest quarterback in franchise history. This was a banquet for the media. Namath served the first course.Yet by the end of the week, Namath was laying low. He did make his regular Thursday paid appearance on ESPN-1050. While he didn't back down from what he said Monday, Namath sounded more subdued. He didn't fuel the controversy, didn't offer another angle.It doesn't appear any private words were exchanged between Namath and representatives of the Jets organization. But a source close to Namath said the Jets icon was "not comfortable with some of the media coverage" the controversy created."Joe believes additional comments can be a further distraction," the source said.Here's hoping this state of caution is temporary. For what Namath needs to do now is keep those pointed, insightful - and yes, inflammatory - comments coming. Not just about the Jets or Ryan, but the entire NFL. That's what he should do if he wants to continue being a must-listen.The stunning thing about Namath's ESPN-1050 segments, which Continue Reading

NY Jets must figure out how to stop Ray Rice, Ravens after being gashed by Darren McFadden

Nosebleed Thursdays, full-speed, bone-crunching 9-on-7 drills in Baltimore, are a thing of the past. Rex Ryan leaned on those intense padded practices with the Ravens to help his group prepare to stop the run each week. With fewer padded practices allowed on the new NFL landscape, Ryan has had to find new ways this week to erase the memories of an uncharacteristically porous defense in Oakland. Linebacker David Harris admitted that Ryan "wasn't pleasant to be around" in the aftermath of the Raiders' 234-yard rushing game. The three most overheard words in Gang Green Land this week: Set the edge. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine even admitted that there were isolated incidents of a lack of full effort. "Sometimes you can handle some technique mistakes, sometimes guys just (are) going against somebody that's better and coming up short," Pettine said. "But when it's a mental error or...a guy just being lackadaisical or it's an effort thing, those are the things that we consider unacceptable." The Raiders' dominance dropped the Jets' run defense from No. 9 to No. 31. Gang Green's yards per carry allowed jumped from 3.3 to 4.8. "Anybody that thinks that...there's 30 teams better than us at stopping the run, I would call you a little bit foolish," linebacker Bart Scott said. "The week before we were (ninth). So which are we...(ninth) or the 31st? It's up to us to prove which one we are." Although the Raiders had runs with zone-based elements, the Jets will see a healthy dose of inside- and outside-zone runs Sunday against the Ravens. Expect Baltimore to test the Jets with stretch plays to running back Ray Rice early to find out whether Pettine's defense has corrected the mistakes that plagued them in Week 3. Although Ryan took solace in the fact that the defense wasn't consistently gouged by 8-, 9- or 10-yard runs against Oakland, he conceded that "it just doesn't feel good" to be near the cellar against the run. "I don't want to be there," Ryan said. Continue Reading

Despite struggles, Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and NY Jets are set up to get to NFL playoffs

This isn’t about the coach’s $75,000 bad word, though maybe the fine will help even Rex Ryan know that sometimes it’s not against the law to have an unspoken thought around the New York Jets. And this isn’t about the coach maybe trying to motivate his glamour-boy quarterback by giving his senior-citizen-discount backup some snaps at practice. That is all background noise, because nobody in pro football and maybe all pro sports gives you more of that than Coach Ryan’s Jets. This is all about the coach being as good as he thinks he is and his young quarterback being where he ought to be nearly three full seasons into this. And about where the Jets are - at 5-5 - and where they are going. And where they are going is the playoffs. As flawed as they are this season, and I believe they are more flawed in a lot of ways than Ryan’s first two Jets teams, the Jets are all set up to be finishers again in the AFC. As bad as they looked against the Tebows, as bad as Tom Brady made them look when it was all on the line at MetLife Stadium the Sunday night before last, the Jets are still supposed to make the playoffs. We know by now how streaky Mark Sanchez is, how streaky the whole team can be, both sides of the ball. But as second-rate as the Jets have looked in the fourth quarters of the last two games, the rest of the season still sets up great for them. Say it again: Even with the Giants in first place, the Jets have a much better chance to make the playoffs than the Giants do. The Jets have three games now against the Bills, the Chiefs, the Redskins. If they aren’t 8-5 going into their last three - against the Eagles, Giants, Dolphins - then everybody was dead wrong about them from the start, starting with their coach, and you know how much he hates to be wrong. Somehow the Jets were immediately written off after being Tebow-ed the way they were in Denver, despite the next three opponents on their schedule. They were written off for Continue Reading

Playing part of New England Patriots fan lets NY Jets coach Rex Ryan get into the act

Rex Ryan listened to a reporter’s question during his Friday press conference, then pretended not to hear it as he looked away. “You talkin’ to me?” Ryan said. Ryan, delivering a deadpan impression of actor Robert De Niro’s character in “Taxi Driver,” refused to guarantee an Oscar win for his performance in Adam Sandler’s upcoming movie “I Hate You, Dad,” which is scheduled to be released next year. “When I read (the script) I was like ‘Oh my gosh,’ it was great, it was a lot of fun being on that set. I will say this: it’s way more work than I thought it would be. I thought you would go in there and rattle off a few lines and that would be it. I felt like a player: just run that play again, run that play again.” Jets safety Jim Leonhard said Ryan, who wears a suit in his part as a Boston-based lawyer and New England Patriots fan, fit the profile of the Foxborough faithful. “When you cast an amateur actor, give them a role that’s natural,” Leonhard said. “I think it’s pretty obvious over the last few years that he’s proven to be a Patriots fan. They just gave him what he knows.” Sandler told the NFL Network that Ryan is a mammoth Patriots fan in the film. “I hope it’s funny, at least,” Leonhard said. “Otherwise, (Ryan’s) kind of a sellout. WAITING GAME “I don’t feel great about it right now,” Ryan said. “If we were going to play tomorrow, I would say probably not." WR Plaxico Burress was limited in practice due to soreness in his lower back. He was listed as questionable. “You think he’ll be fine, but sometimes those backs are troublesome,” Ryan said. “So hopefully he’s feeling good when we play on Sunday." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

2011 Week 3 NFL Power Rankings: Surprising Lions and Bills supplant Patriots and NY Jets in Top-5

There are three unbeaten teams left in the NFL and two of them are the Lions and Bills. Who knows what will happen the rest of the year but with the Lions overcoming a 20-point deficit on the road in Minnesota and the Bills breaking their 15-game losing streak against the Patriots, the former woebegone teams have earned their climb up the Daily News power rankings into the third and fourth spots. As for the local teams, the Jets' alarming loss in Oakland moves them five spots down into the eight spot, while the Giants move up four to 14th after roughing up Michael Vick and the Eagles.Packers (3-0): Everybody's best team right now. 2. (8) Saints (2-1): That's 104 points in three games. 3. (10) Lions (3-0): Scary thing about this team is it still isn't playing its best football. 4. (13) Bills (3-0): Most satisfying win since the 1993 AFC title game? 5. (5) Ravens (2-1): Offense catching up to defense. 6. (2) Patriots (2-1): This defense just isn't very good. 7. (19) Raiders (2-1): Gotta love what Hue Jackson is doing out there. 8. (3) Jets (2-1): The bullies got bullied. 9. (4) Texans (2-1): Couldn't hold lead in New Orleans but AFC South is now theirs to lose. 10. (6) Steelers (2-1): Just kind of flopping around right now. 11. (14) Bucs (2-1): End five-game losing streak vs. Falcons. 12. (15) Cowboys (2-1): Guess you could call that a gutsy performance by Tony Romo. 13. (16) Redskins (2-1): They lost the game but their compete level is higher than it's been in years. 14. (18) Giants (2-1): Win in Philly may have turned the season around. 15. (12) Chargers (2-1): Still unimpressive after struggling to beat Chiefs at home. 16. (11) Bears (1-2): Concerns about offense grow as Mike Martz keeps chuckin' it. 17. (17) Titans (2-1): Kenny Britt's torn ACL spoils win against Broncos. 18. (9) Falcons (1-2): O-line can't protect Matt Ryan. 19. (7) Eagles (1-2): Officially overrated and underachieving. 20. (21) 49ers (2-1): Jim Harbaugh Continue Reading