Inside the Playbook – Denver Broncos at NY Jets: Tough task for Rex Ryan with Peyton Manning coming to town

DENVER BRONCOS AT NY JETS, METLIFE STADIUM, 1 PM LINE: Broncos by 7 TV: Ch. 2 (Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts) RADIO: WEPN 98.7 FM (Bob Wischusen, Marty Lyons), in Spanish on WEPN 1050 AM (Clemson Smith Muniz, Oscar Benitez), Nationwide on Westwood One (Dave Sims, Rod Woodson) FORECAST: Sunny, high of 63, winds at 8 mph INJURY REPORT Jets LB David Harris suffered a “significant” shoulder injury last week but he’s gutting it out with all hands needed on deck. The Jets’ depleted WR corps will be restocked. Eric Decker (hamstring) should be well enough to face his former team. WR David Nelson (knee) is also expected back. CB Darrin Walls is nursing a knee injury. The Broncos will be without RB Montee Ball (groin) but they’ve always been a team with interchangeable backs. After Ball went out last week, Ronnie Hillman gained 63 yards on 14 carries. Another backup, Juwan Thompson , was limited during the week with a knee injury. KEY MATCHUP TE Julius Thomas  vs. S Antonio Allen The Jets moved the regular CB to safety to play against the Chargers’ Antonio Gates last week and he gave up two TDs to the tight end. The Broncos’ offense is almost identical to San Diego’s except that Thomas is a lot younger and a bit more athletic than Gates. Thomas, who is under fire for a chop block that injured Arizona’s Calais Campbell last week, will often split out to provide added mismatches. He gets down the seam in a jiffy and his size makes him a red zone nightmare. Allen will have his hands full again. SCOUT SAYS “How much man (defense) can the Jets play? It plays right into Peyton’s hands. Last week, he used Demaryius Thomas to take apart the Cardinals’ man, and we’re talking Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie . The Jets have got to take away the inside release because they’re not going to get enough Continue Reading

Inside the Playbook – Pittsburgh Steelers at NY Jets: Rex Ryan’s team better hope for a letdown from the visitors

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT NY JETS, METLIFE STADIUM, 1 PM LINE: Steelers by 5 TV: Ch. 2 (Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon) RADIO: WEPN 98.7 FM (Bob Wischusen, Marty Lyons), in Spanish on WEPN 1050 AM (Clemson Smith Muniz, Oscar Benitez) FORECAST: 54 degrees with 8 mph winds. INJURY REPORT The Steelers will be without S Troy Polamalu (knee) and rookie LB Ryan Shazier (ankle). Will Allen steps in for Polamalu but the Steelers are really thin at safety with Shamarko Thomas also out. CB Ike Taylor is playing with a broken right forearm. For the Jets, Darrin Walls could miss another game with a calf injury. QB Geno Smith should be the second quarterback after being inactive last week with a sore shoulder. KEY MATCHUP WRs Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant vs. Jets secondary If you’re a wide receiver, you know you’re playing well if you’re getting compliments from Jerry Rice , who says Brown, the Steelers’ big-play threat, is “just killing it right now.” So, of course, is every other one of Ben Roethlisberger’s targets about to take dead aim at the Jets’ DOA secondary. He’s hit six different guys for TDs over the past two weeks (12 TD passes in all). Bryant has been a revelation as the third wide receiver since not even dressing the first six weeks. The rookie from Clemson is big and fast and makes teams pay for doubling Brown. It doesn’t matter who’s back there for the Jets right now. None of them match up. SCOUT SAYS "Michael Vick did OK in his first start but he’s running around so much you wonder when he’s going to take the next hit that puts him on the sidelines. There were also some good things from Percy Harvin. Harvin has a chance to make some plays in the return game this week against the Steelers’ coverage teams. The Steelers’ defense has improved. It’s still not great but they can get Continue Reading

NY Jets learn they may not feel at home Saturday against NY Giants

By late Tuesday afternoon, there were 2,345 tickets left on sale for the big game Saturday on StubHub, priced at anywhere from $38.50 to $6,050 apiece. There were another 1,277 available on eBay, and then 1,998 remaining on NFL Ticket Exchange, selling for anywhere from $199 to $10,000. This is a Jet home game on Saturday, but anybody who pretends to know who will actually show up at MetLife Stadium is kidding himself. It’s Christmas Eve. There are bills to be paid, relatives to pick up at the airport, and experience would indicate there will be plenty of enemy jerseys in the stands, rooting against the designated home team. How much do Jet fans love their team? We’re about to find out, around kickoff time on Saturday, whether Lawrence Taylor was right years ago when he said Jet fans are just Giant fans who can’t get Giant tickets. “I hope the Jet fans keep their tickets,” Rex Ryan said. “But I understand it’s Christmas time and all that stuff. If the price is right, I’m sure it’ll be tough not to let those things go. Obviously, there are going to be a lot of Giants fans in the stadium, we expect that. At the end of it, all that matters is that the Jet fans leave the game happy and the Giant fans leave the game sad.” But it’s more than that, isn’t it? For all the pressure on the Jet players to prove they are no longer the junior varsity around here, there is also a considerable burden on their fans to demonstrate loyalty to Gang Green and a lack of fidelity toward family duties and the onrushing Christmas holiday. Fair or not, the Jets aren’t the only ones expected to step up at the Meadowlands on Saturday. This is a big moment for their spectator base, which traditionally is loud, boisterous and notoriously fickle. “I don’t think he would,” D’Brickashaw Ferguson insisted Tuesday, when asked if a true Jet fan would sell his ticket to a Giant Continue Reading

NY Jets shocking trade for quarterback Tim Tebow has New York sports fans split

Even if it did not make sense to them, Jets fans — and football fans — are passionate about Gang Green’s trade for controversial quarterback Tim Tebow. “He can’t throw the ball farther than I can, and I am not a professional quarterback,” said Jets fan Chris Kearney as he stood outside Madison Square Garden waiting for the Rangers-Red Wings game. “And that is a problem.” JETS AGREE TO DEAL FOR TEBOW Most Jets fans focused on Tebow’s less-than-stellar stats. He completed only 126 of 271 passes for 1,729 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Out of a dozen Jets fans interviewed around Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon, just two were in favor of the trade — and they were happy only because they saw it as motivation for current starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. “I think it’s great, because it puts pressure on Mark Sanchez,” said Jets season-ticket holder Ben Kaminetzky. “I think they have treated (Sanchez) like a prima donna the last few years. There was no pressure on him. No one in business would be treated that way. There is always someone ready, willing and able to step in for your job.” PHOTOS: A TIMELINE OF TIM TEBOW'S CAREER FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO GANG GREEN Jets fans Carmine Fusaro of New Jersey and Christopher Parks of Delaware, in town on a tour with the University of Delaware, stopped in to the Jets team store to see if Tebow jerseys were available. They had mixed feelings about the trade. “We’ll have to see how it works out,” Parks said. “There are potential upsides and downsides,” Fusaro said. “We’ll have to see.” LUPICA: JETS TRADE FOR A QB... AND CONTROVERSY Most of the reaction, however, was negative while respectful of Tebow, who is known for his Christian beliefs. “It’s just really too soon to give up on Sanchez,” said Jets fan Mike Maguire of New Continue Reading

Forget ‘Hard Knocks’, NY Jets reality show is on full display in Cortland

Any minute now, expect another major story to break in Jets training camp. Something like... This just in: Tim Tebow seen picking his nose while running off the practice field. This scene would mesh with some of the unusual sights and sounds already coming out of Cortland. For Jets suits, only one thing matters: Can all the attention juice the bottom line and be turned into money? The innocent act of Tebow going shirtless was turned into one of the more burning issues of our time on sports talk radio, which is all-consumed by these “huge” Jets stories. So addicted, one station, ESPN-98.7, held a Jets marathon weekend, with two straight days hopelessly devoted to Gang Green as seen through the eyes of Bristol Clown Community College scholars. Oh, about those burning issues. Important stuff like “how many people booed Tebow,” or “it’s a terrible sign” that Tebow and Mark Sanchez both went 1-for-7 during a practice. Or “what kind of fans will be chanting for Tebow to enter the game” to replace Sanchez or “was Tebow trying to bring attention to himself” by running off the field stripped to the waist. These issues, blown totally out of proportion by the genius wing of the Valley of the Stupid, are a measly sideshow compared to the hard stuff that’s gone on under Rex Ryan’s Big Top, like: -- Santonio Holmes saying New York media needs to be supportive. -- Holmes saying a two-quarterback system won’t work in the NFL. -- Ryan firing back, saying Holmes was not brought here to be an offensive coordinator. -- Ryan advising all not to worry because he’s “on top” of the problem. A whole lot to chew on in just a week. Then again, these are the Jets. With the saturation coverage they are receiving, who needs “Hard Knocks”? The Jets don’t have a reality series. They are their own reality show in the country’s biggest media Continue Reading

NY Jets’ problem isn’t Santonio Holmes, it’s finding a way to back up Rex Ryan’s words

The fact that Santonio Holmes is one of the few Jets who's ever won anything is as good a place to start as any, not with some "Friday Night Lights" idea of what a captain is supposed to be in sports. And by the way? There's only one captain with the Jets and that's the head coach, not the wide receiver who made the greatest game-winning catch in the history of the Super Bowl one time against the Cardinals.Dolphins tomorrow night. But with the "Hard Knocks" Jets, who act as if the cameras are still around, and the boom mikes, recording every single bit of wisdom, you know they will never have unspoken thoughts for very long.Brandon Moore doesn't like Santonio Holmes telling the offensive linemen to pick it up a little. No one knew the Jets of all teams had such delicate sensibilities.Braylon Edwards, a guy who stretched the field for them last year, including in the big playoff win over the Patriots, is long gone. Plaxico Burress isn't that kind of receiver, and poor old Derrick Mason just punched his ticket out of Florham Park.Matt Moore. But they start to act more than somewhat wobbly, with the way they basically release Mason, sending him to the Texans for a low draft choice, and by the way they overreact to Manish Mehta's story in last Sunday's Daily News, the one about the wide receivers complaining to Rex Ryan about Brian Schottenheimer's offense.Ron Darling about the old '80s Mets: "We spend an amazing amount of time around here worrying about things that have nothing to do with winning the game."Mike Tannenbaum, the general manager, says that Mason didn't get traded because he talked about "cracks" on the offense. Others still think Mason DID talk his way off the team, which would make him the first of Rex Ryan's Jets ever punished for talking too much. Now Holmes tells some truths about the offense on which he plays and gets jumped by a teammate. Ryan tries to make it sound as of Holmes wasn't trying to criticize anyone. Only on the planet Continue Reading

MetLife Stadium security tight for NY Jets-Jaguars after stun gun incident during Cowboys game

One week after a Cowboys fan smuggled a stun gun into the stadium, a Jaguars fan from Jacksonville was ready for the tight security Sunday at the Meadowlands."I don't have a Taser," he announced after passing through security while wearing his Jaguars T-shirt, a garment he had thought about leaving at home."I was a little concerned (about wearing the colors in the stadium)," he said, considering what went on in Section 323 a week ago, when a fan wearing a Cowboys jersey jolted several spectators with a stun gun during an altercation on the 10th anniversary of 9/11."I should be in the sky box with the Jets owner (to be safe)," joked Taylor's friend Mike Stantos, also from Jacksonville.Fans at last week's Cowboys-Jets game said Cowboys backer Leroy McKelvey instigated the altercation by being disrespectful during the 9/11 ceremonies and national anthem. McKelvey, who had managed to get his stun gun through security, then proceeded to use it when taunting turned into a near physical confrontation."We're doing a full patdown now," one security guard said outside the stadium, noting the need to now frisk patrons' legs, down to the ankle. The edict came from the NFL before the season, but didn't become full public knowledge until late last week.Fans coming into each gate were asked to spread their arms wide while being patted down from chest to ankle, then to spin around and be frisked from the back as well. Fans were also asked to show their cell phones and turn them on, a clear response to McKelvey slipping in his cell-phone-sized stun gun last week. All bags were searched, too."You've got 80,000 people coming in here," the security guard said when asked how a man could slip through the stadium's defenses with a stun gun. "I think we do a damn good job."State troopers were stationed at every entrance, with some holding assault rifles.Bill Powell, 48, who has been coming to Jets games for 16 years, noticed the uptick in security, calling his patdown "more thorough," but Continue Reading

NFL Week 4 Bettor’s Guide: Ravens are the pick as Rex Ryan’s run defense makes NY Jets vulnerable

It's that time of the week again and our experts try to break down all the games for your Sunday spreads and odds. Check out Sean Brennan's guide to get you through the weekend a winner. Then register for our new Pick 'Em Game to pick NFL spreads against Daily News experts! JETS at RAVENS - 8:20 p.m., Ch. 4, Ravens by 3½, 42BRENNAN'S BUZZ: Game 2 of a brutal three-game road trip has Rex returning to Baltimore for the first time since taking over Gang Green, and it didn't take long for the war of words to develop between Ryan and his old crew. 'Now, we haven't won the AFC Championship but we got there two years in a row," Ryan said. 'The Ravens haven't. So you can throw that one right back at them as well." Replied one Mr. Ray Lewis: 'The only response I could ever have for that is he was sitting in the same place I was sitting watching the Super Bowl. He had to be, because he wasn't in it." The Jets have bigger problems than Rex's loose lips. Their run defense is ranked 31st in the league and could have their hands full with Ray Rice (5.6 yards/carry). Mark Sanchez is going to have to protect that broken nose from the likes of Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Co. or he could come home looking like Jimmy Durante.IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Ravens and the under. GIANTS at CARDINALS - 4 p.m., Ch. 5, Giants by 1½, 44½BRENNAN'S BUZZ: This could be a classic 'trap" game for the Giants after they gave the Dream Team nightmares in Philly last week. But there's something about Arizona that seems to appeal to Eli Manning. Not only was the desert the site of the Giants' memorable upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, but the following season against the Cardinals, Eli dropped a 26-of-33, three-touchdown performance on the Redbirds in a 37-29 victory. Now he may have Mario Manningham at his disposal to enhance an offense that thrives in the red zone (it leads the league with five TDs on six drives), and the defense could get Osi Umenyiora back. Kevin Kolb is still Continue Reading

As NY Jets continue to struggle they will end up in TV obscurity for rest of the season

Rex Ryan and his Jets are headed for the Witness Protection Program - as a TV property, that is. On the flip side, the Giants, who perform tonight on a national stage under the spotlight of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” will be one of the league’s marquee TV attractions down the stretch. The unfortunate situation of his team not delivering on what his mouth is selling will have the media dogging Ryan all week. Unless the Jets can turn things around quickly, starting with Buffalo next Sunday, the topic will remain on the front burner. So maybe it’s best the Jets will be doing the rest of their work in relative “obscurity.” Of their final six games, five (4 on CBS, 1 on Fox) will be 1 p.m. starts airing regionally. Only the Jets’ Dec. 18 matchup, a 4:15 p.m. kickoff with the Eagles in Philly on CBS, will be seen by a wider audience. Although it’s just coincidental the Jets are gagging and being minimized as a national attraction, their TV schedule is going to make them even more irrelevant. Unless they can re-establish themselves and run the table into the playoffs the Jets are not going to be widely seen or discussed nationally. Sure Ryan & his crew will be a topic locally, especially inside the Valley of the Stupid. The coach’s detractors are already having a field day. If more losing inspires more finger pointing, the Jets probably have a few back page headlines left in them before the season ends. Nationally the Jets are dangerously close to achieving punchline status. The only national TV value Gang Green may have left is old video of Ryan making bold predictions followed by the cast of Fox’s Hee-Haw, er, “NFL Sunday” pregame laughing up a storm. Considering how important it was for Jets boss Woody Johnson to change the culture surrounding his team, to make them relevant again, just the thought of a possible slide into irrelevancy must sting. If it continues, the team’s bold Continue Reading

NY Jets’ Rex Ryan, Bart Scott need to return to trash-talking, big boasting Gang Green

We have grown accustomed to the bragging and boasting of Rex Ryan and his jolly green band of marauders. For three years it has serenaded the ears of those who are routinely subjected to NFL coachspeak, which preaches the gospel of not ending up on someone’s locker room bulletin board. Three miserable road losses muted the tongues of the verbose Ryan and his players. And then when the village malcontent, receiver Derrick Mason, popped off about Schotty workmanship on the offense and was given a one-way ticket to Houston, it seems the whole team went into a shell. Fresh off a bye week that was preceded by two straight victories, the Jets are recharged. But they still haven’t found their voices. Following a “man’s practice” in pads, as Ryan called it on Wednesday afternoon, Gang Green was not in a mood to chirp. Too bad. That’s the missing ingredient. Let’s face it, the Jets aren’t very interesting when they’re not talking trash or making outlandish predictions. There is something about a 4-3 record that makes a team just slightly less than pedestrian. And these Jets, the ones who were supposed to be on the way to the Super Bowl on rollerskates this year, aren’t supposed to be pedestrian. The bold talk has always had a positive effect on the Jets. It forces them to play better to back it up. In the past, losing didn’t seem to take away their edge as the players were always confident that prosperity was always just around the corner. And that thought proved correct as the Jets made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game the last two years. Ryan said there’s no drain on the Jets’ swagger even though they haven’t gotten off to the hot start that he anticipated at the beginning of the year when he boasted of their Super Bowl championship abilities. “I really don’t think we lost it, but winning these last two games has certainly helped,” Ryan said. “The style of Continue Reading