Why the Patriots Win (and Why You Don’t): Part Two

by RichardSeymour
Guest Pats Columnist


The Patriots win Super Bowls. The Jets do not. In our continuing series, we have asked for articles dissecting why, exactly, this is, and what it will take for the Jets to overtake the Pats in the AFC. This week’s contributor is RichardSeymour, who breaks down the coaches, the fronts offices, and the quarterbacks…

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Why do the Patriots win?

Why do the Jets lose?

Where do I begin?….

The Jets are a good team. They made the playoffs three times in four years. You could do worse, but really though, who cares? Good is just another way of saying “not greatâ€?. Good is a four letter word. Good means you came up short. Good means you didn’t get the job done. Good is an excuse in a game that brooks no excuses.

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Curtis Martin–One Too Many?

by Frank Barone
JetNation Columnist

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In my evaluation of the coming Jets season and our prospects for winning a title, I reluctantly find myself questioning how Curtis Martin fits in. I am forced to ask myself the question, Has the Jet organization gone one year too many in counting on him to be the feature running back for the New York Jets?

Curtis will be a guaranteed Hall of Famer when he retires, but his playing time has generated quite a few heated discussions among us Jet fans over the past couple of years. Yes, he led the league in rushing last season, and yes, he was absolutely dynamic on some of his weaving jaunts down the field, but every time he was tackled, and every time he was at the bottom of a pile, you were forced to wonder, How much can he take?

Curtis actually did not play any high school football until his Senior year, when he made All-State, and ended up rushing for 1,705 yards. He lettered for three years in college at Pittsburgh and, in the second game of his senior season there, suffered a season-ending ankle injury. He entered the NFL Dradt anyway, leaving a year of eligibility behind, falling all the way to Parcells in the third round–as a slow, efficient runner with a frightening injury history.

Of course, the rest is history.

Through his first ten years in the NFL, the last seven with the Jets, he has rushed a total of 3,298 times for 13,366 yards from scrimmage. His average yards per carry over that ten-year span is 4.1 , with a high of 4.6 in 2004, compared to a low of 3.5 in 1998. He has been tough, durable, at times–heroic. He doesn’t fumble, losing only 14 fumbles out of those 3,298 carries. That statistic should be a benchmark for every running back that enters the NFL to strive for. Turnovers lose games and change momemtum in games plain and simple–Curtis carrying the ball throughout his career has given his team everything they could want to win games, and absolutely nothing that would lose games.

However…

One unflattering statistic in reviewing his past was the plus twenty-yard runs in his career. There have been 67 total in his career, a mere two per cent of his total carries. His first year in the league was actually, with 11, his best individual year in this category. He’s not going to break one for you, at least not the way he used to do to us when he was with the Patriots, streaking downfield with Victor Green on his heels. He’s not Dickerson. He’s Curtis Martin.

As he enters his eleventh season, and at age 32, nothing I say here is meant to detract or minimize his achievements and contributions to the New York Jets. I have his number 28 jersey as part of my Jet collection as a reflection of the admiration I have for him.

Unfortunately loyalty and respect for past accomplishments, as noble as they might be, are not part of the necessary ingredients for the 2005 New York Jets to win a world championship. Our organization is counting on a 32 year-old running back, entering his eleventh season, to stay healthy and perform at like an All-Pro again. As evidenced throughout his career Curtis gains majority of his yardage in smaller chunks, maximizing the possibility of hits and contact with opponents. The potential for injury on a 32 year old body goes up exponentially over a younger, more explosive runner.

Lamont Jordan, that younger, more explosive runner, is gone. We caught only glimpses of what Lamont could do, his powerful, freakish forays around the right end, stiff-arming opponents to the ground, going 35 yards, 50 yards for touchdowns. Curtis Martin, for all his glory, can’t go 50 yards on a play anymore. Curtis Martin, for all his glory, will go five, six, maybe ten yards on a run, usually being dragged down from behind by a linebacker, by a defensive end. He is a Volvo. Lamont Jordan, at times, looked like a double-axle Ferrari.

Now, it’s Curtis Martin and nobody else. Bradway signed Derrick Blaylock away from Kansas City in the off-season. Blaylock, the back-up for Priest Holmes, is dynamic, but in a scat-back kind of way. If Curtis’s ankles give out on him finally, or his knees finally give out, it’s Blaylock’s show–Super Bowl or bust. Can Blaylock get 25-30 carries a game? He hasn’t proven it to us. Lamont did. Bradway is playing high-stakes poker with an old running back, and, by letting Jordan walk, is acting like he’s using house money.

This is one Jet fan that hopes that we will not be waiting yet another year (35 and counting for myself) because of the decision to rely on Curtis to help take us to the goal of a Super Bowl championship in 2005. I can’t help but wonder, are we going to the well too many times with Curtis? Of course, as Jets fans, we’ve been asking ourselves that question about Curtis for the last three years. Here’s hoping.

Five Reasons Why the Jets Can Dethrone the World Champions

by PatsFanTx
Contributing Columnist

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It has been almost three months since Steeler kicker Jeff Reed’s 33-yard overtime field goal sailed through the uprights, ending the New York Jets 2004-2005 season at a cold and blustery Heinz Field. To most Jet fans, the season ended with a lot of “what if’s”:

What if the Jets offense did not go ultra-conservative during the end of regulation and during the overtime period against the Steelers?

What if Doug Brien was successful on either one of his 47 or 43-yard field goals with less than two minutes left in regulation?

What if the Jets defeated the Steelers and traveled to Foxboro to take on the defending World Champions in the AFC Championship game?

One thing is for certain, the road to the Super Bowl is an extremely difficult task if you are one of the Wild Card teams who have to win three road playoff games just to get to the Big Dance. Only one team in the history of the NFL (the 1985-’86 New England Patriots) has ever won three road playoff games and made it to the Super Bowl. And only one Wild Card team (the 1980-’81 Oakland Raiders) has ever won the Super Bowl.

Without a doubt, the easiest way for any team to reach the Promised Land is winning their division (and hopefully gaining a first-round bye in the process) and having at least one home game in the playoffs. Unfortunately for Jet fans, their team plays in the same division as the New England Patriots. Getting over that hump is the key for the Jets quest to get their long-awaited ring.

While most NFL prognosticators have once again made the Patriots the early favorites to repeat their AFC East title, here are five reasons why the New York Jets can take the AFCE crown away from the Pats….

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The Fruit of the Matter: Why the Patriots Win Super Bowls and the Jets Don’t.

by Garbanza
Guest Pats Columnist

pomegranate
I was grocery shopping the other day. There I was in the exotic fruit area – feeling up a big, red Pomegranate (or as it is sometimes referred to, the Wisdom Apple); and it occurred to me, if Bill Belichick were a fruit, he would be a Pomegranate. I placed the Pomegranate into my basket and walked over to the Lemons. As I viewed the display of these shiny, bright, yellow, yet sour Lemons , I thought to myself, if Herman Edwards were a fruit, he would be a Lemon. Now, you are probably wondering if I’ve 1) lost my mind and 2) why exactly is Bill Belichick a Pomegranate and Herman Edwards a Lemon? Well, I think I lost my mind a few years after college – a story for another day. Today, however, I will explain my fruit analogy.

Pomegranates are the best team fruit of them all. Once you tear away its tough, leathery red skin, you see a bounty of juicy, sweetly acid, red seeds held together by a white tissue. Eating only one of the red seeds (or pulp) is just a tease and leaves you feeling rather unsatisfied. However, eating several seeds at once is a tasty nirvana – together, these seeds leaves you satisfied and happy….just like my Patriots! The Patriots are really an extension of their coach – the Pomegranate. Individually, they don’t usually satisfy – but together, they create exotic defenses. Together they leave an indelible mark (Pomegranate seeds stain). Together, they not only quench the fans hunger and craving, they win Championships.

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Continue reading “The Fruit of the Matter: Why the Patriots Win Super Bowls and the Jets Don’t.”

WWBD: What Will Bradway Do? Draft Profiles for the #26 pick

by Tom Shane
Managing Editor, JetNation

As of right now, the Jets have the 26th pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft. This may change, as the status of DE John Abraham—speed-rusher, malingerer, and general panty-waist—becomes clearer. Abe could still be traded for picks, or for a bag of pork rinds (either would suffice), and the Jets could end up with at least one, if not two more first round selections. However, until we know what the going price is for a pansy (Kendrell Bell, pansy MLB, got huge coin from the Chiefs, after all), we’ll just operate on the assumption that John Abe will be in NY. On the injured list, sure, but in NY regardless. Here are four guys who could/should/might be around for the 26th pick:

Jammal Brown, OT, Oklahoma: 6’4‿, 305 lbs.

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With Jason Fabini on the downside of his career and looking more and more like a miniature golf-course windmill against the faster edge rushers in the league, and with Kareem McKenzie getting over-paid by the Giants, the Jets are in need of a young left tackle prospect in the worst way. Ideally, Brown or Alex Barron will be around until 26, and could step into Fabini’s cement shoes on the left side, while Fabs moves over to the right side where he can whittle away his remaining years not blocking pass-rushers from the less dangerous half of the field.

The Skinny:
Brown is a mean, nasty, tough tackle, who is more geared for the right tackle position, but is athletic enough to move over to LT. His run blocking is extra-ordinary, but his pass-blocking is a source of debate. Some publications list pass-pro as “his strength,‿ while others point out his need to develop “better blitz awareness and recognition.‿ What separates Brown from the likes of Khalif Barnes or Barron is his intensity, and the fact that he’s been on top of the OT pile for the last three years with no drop-off. Barnes and Barron are late bloomers who carry the label right now of “workout warrior.‿ Brown is ready to go.

What DraftDaddy.com says: “Most pro-ready and least risky of the top tackle prospects.‿

WWBD? It’s not Terry’s M.O. to draft an offensive lineman in the first round, although Kansas City did spend first round picks on OT’s Victor Rogers in 1998 and John Tate in 1999 while Bradway was there under GM Carl Peterson. The highest pick Bradway has used on an O-lineman with the Jets was a third rounder in 2001 to get Kareem McKenzie out of Penn State. Complicating matters here is that Bradway has already burned two late-round picks in ’04 on Adrian Jones (4th) and Marko Cavka (6th). While Jones is a good athlete, who was a converted tight end at Kansas, he looked extremely raw in pre-season action last season and spent the year being molded by O-line coach Doug Marrone. Cavka is a similar story: a true RT prospect who needed to build an NFL body before making the transition from small-school football at Sacramento State to the pros. Bradway might be inclined to let these two fight it out for the RT job at camp, depending on how far they’ve come in their respective development. In the end, Brown will most likely reap the benefits of this being a weak draft for tackle prospects, and end up being drafted higher.

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Heath Miller, TE, Virginia

heathmiller

Say it with me now: Anthony Becht is no longer a Jet. Ahhhh, now didn’t that feel good? Becht was Bill Parcells’ only swing and miss in the first round of the 2000 draft that netted the Jets Chad Pennington, John Abraham and Sean Ellis. Becht was a 275 lb. piece of dog-crap who, as a pass-catcher, was a pretty good blocker. We all know how much the Jets love to drop first-rounders on tight ends, so Miller would be a natural fit.

The Skinny:
Heath Miller is an intriguing prospect in many respects who will both prosper and suffer because of the mania surrounding the apparent need for the Tony Gonzalez/Antonio Gates-type pass catcher. I say he will prosper because this year’s TE class is so weak other than Miller (and perhaps Stanford’s Alex Smith), that Miller’s value will be greatly inflated and he could end up being plucked in the mid-teens of the first round. He will suffer, however, because Miller is not as strong or as quick as the premier TE’s he’s being compared to. He’s not as fast or agile as Jeremy Shockey or Todd Heap, and he’s not as big or physical as the Cowboys’ Jason Witten. Nevertheless, Miller would make a fantastic target for Chad Pennington, who desperately needs a middle-of-the-field pass catcher to compensate for a lack of premier arm strength. Miller (4.6-4.67/40) is fast enough to get downfield, and is a very fluid, natural athlete, whose statistics suffered from playing on a sporadic offense last season, but was very productive prior to that playing in a more pro-style passing system. His blocking is not exceptional, however, although he is a sound, fundamental technician-type. He won’t drive a DE off the ball, but he can seal well on the corner and make blocks downfield because of his willingness and team-first mentality.

What DraftDaddy.com says: “…great route runner who knows how to create separation from coverage.‿

WWBD? If Miller is there, this is a no-brainer pick for the Jets. New offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger demands production from the tight end slot (see: Frank Wychek, Erron Kinney, Ben Troupe in Tennessee), so Terry might want to hustle and get Dinger his guy before they get to camp and realize that Chris Baker and James Dearth are all that’s left at TE. This is a safe pick, even if Miller never makes a Pro Bowl, simply because it gives the offense a flexibility it currently doesn’t have. What might complicate matters is the still-pending rumor of a potential deal between the Jets and Denver for TE Jeb Putzier.

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Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn

The Jets current corner tandem of Donnie Abraham and David Barrett was part of a group that Rams coach Mike Martz last season called “the worst secondary [he’s] ever seen.‿ While Martz is an idiot, he wasn’t too far off. The Jets great pass rush last year hid a lot of warts that were hiding in the secondary that will immediately get exposed if John Abraham is, in fact, dealt or inevitably injured (excuse me, I mean, “injured‿). Defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson would no doubt like another athlete to play in the backfield for him, and Rogers is just that—an athlete.

The Skinny:
Because of the great corner prospects in this upcoming draft, Rogers could fall to the Jets at 26, as players like Adam ‘Pac-Man’ Jones and Clemson’s Justin Miller move up the charts. However, Rogers is much more than just a consolation prize. He has plus size for a corner at close to 6’ feet tall, weighing 200 lbs. An aggressive, tough player who will come up and support the run, Rogers is a great fit for Henderson’s pressing schemes and won’t get over-matched by bigger, even faster receivers. His combination of toughness (he tore the ligaments in his right thumb and didn’t miss a start as a freshman) and play-making ability will make him an immediate starter at left corner, replacing the slow Donnie Abe, and giving the Jets two corners in Rogers and Barrett who aren’t afraid to punch receivers in the mouth. Rogers, a 4.4/40 guy, can more than hold his own on an island, but doesn’t have elite closing speed, meaning he won’t be a shut-down type guy, which could cause him to fall to 26. If he does, the Jets should pounce.

What DraftDaddy.com says: “A team leader with pro size…and speed…who played best in big games in 2004.”

WWBD? Corner isn’t a pressing first-round need for the Jets, as Abraham and Barrett improved their cohesion as the year went on, and with the expected return from injury of Derrick Strait, last year’s third-round steal, and Ray Mickens, who missed all of last season with various knee ailments. Mickens could be cut, however, in a salary cap move, leaving the Jets a little thin here. Bradway may opt to sit tight and try to pick up a later round value at corner such as Oklahoma’s Antonio Perkins or Nebraska’s Fabian Washington, both of whom could be available for the Jets up until the third round. Also complicating matters is the continued rumors of Ty Law’s desire to join the Jets, combined with Terry Bradway’s suspicious, but continued manipulation of cap space. As soon as Law proves he can walk and is past the dreaded Lis-Franc foot injury that has been hobbling him, there could very well be a bidding war between the Chiefs and the Jets for his services. Even if Law is added, a young, fast corner will be needed somewhere in this draft. Rogers may still, in fact, end up being their guy is he’s available.

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Matt Roth, DE, Iowa

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I know, I know, I know. Not another DE. We already have Ellis, Thomas and Abraham. Not to mention Trevor Johnson, who played well in a reserve role. But listen to me—Roth is special. We list him here because, if he’s sitting there at #26, the Jets may have to draft him. Here’s why:

The Skinny: Roth is just like Mike Mamula… Just kidding. When you get a white guy at DE, who is on the lighter side, and comes out of nowhere to blow everyone away post-season workouts, we always have to ask ourselves, Is this a Mamula I’m looking at? The difference between Roth and Mamula is this: Roth scored considerably lower on the Jason Giambi SAC (Steroid Alcohol Content) scale than Mamula did {legal disclaimer: I have no money, so don’t bother suing me}. Roth has farm-boy strength (what we used to call ‘inbred-strong’ back home), and speed and uses it to his advantage. He won’t blow you away with his athleticism, but he will make plays every time he steps on the field, whether it be a tackle-for-loss (43 career TFL’s at Iowa) or with a sack (30 in his career). That is more than you can say about a lot of guys that will be drafted ahead of Roth. He plays the run and the pass with equal abandon, and when he gets his hands on a quarterback, he makes sure they feel it. A powerful hitter with an incredible mean streak, Roth is a guy who will sacrifice every ounce of his energy to win a football game. You just can’t have enough guys like that on your team. He runs in the 4.7’s in the forty, but his short area quickness is impressive, and his instincts help make up for a lack of straight-line speed.


What DraftDaddy.com says:
“Throwback to the days when players literally hated each other and would do anything to impose their will.‿

WWBD? Bradway probably won’t draft a player like Roth, fearing the same backlash he received for drafting Bryan Thomas in the first round three years ago. The Jets are set at DE, but Donnie Henderson, coming from a Ravens team that always respected the mantra that you can’t have too many pass-rushers, knows how to put a ‘tweener like Roth in position to make plays. Roth is athletic enough to rush with his hand down or in the two-point stance (although you’d never want him dropping into coverage), so he could be a real luxury for Henderson to be able to scheme with. Especially if John Abraham is dealt prior to the draft, Roth could fall into Bradway’s radar if he lasts to the 26 slot.

Coming soon: Thomas Davis, Khalif Barnes, Alex Smith and Mark Clayton

Visit www.draftdaddy.com for extended profiles, pics and analysis of this year’s draft.

The Shoulder of Burden: Pennington's Surgery and the 2005 season

Like it or not, Chad Pennington and the NY Jets 2005 season are behind the proverbial 8-ball right now and success rests solely on the repaired shoulder of Pennington.

by Patrick Stanton
Contributing Columnist

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~Like it or not, Chad Pennington and the NY Jets 2005 season are behind the proverbial 8-ball right now and success rests solely on the repaired shoulder of Pennington.

Despite a tragic and gut wrenching end to the NY Jets playoff run, the weeks following the 2004 Season had many fans looking towards the 2005 season with optimism. While optimism has never been regarded as a strong trait in NY Jets fans, legions of Gang Green supporters saw a team that they felt was not only ready to contend for an AFC East title, but for the AFC title as well

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Welcome Back, 87

by Joe Grinwis
Contributing Columnist

Two weeks ago many Jets fans were sitting in their chars on their computers reading articles about a Laveranues Coles return to the Jets for Santana Moss. For most Jets fans, that was a dream. Well now it has become a reality. The Jets have finally completed a Coles-Moss trade that will bring back the 27 year old wide reciever who has been sorely missed.

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Herm Edwards: Escape Artist or Visionary?

by djaparz
Contributing Columnist

There has been a lot of talk of the NY Jets coaches being “thrown under the busâ€? by head coach Herman Edwards. But I see a head coach making changes to improve this team and taking it to the next level…

The New York Jets have had 16 different head coaches in their history. Bill Belichick was named the head coach twice, never coaching one game in that position. Prior to the 1997 season, he was named head coach, then renamed assistant head coach (and defensive coordinator) after the Patriots and the NFL came to an agreement to let Bill Parcells take over as the head coach. Bill Belichick knew he would be named successor after Parcells retired. That took place right after the 1999-2000 seasons when Parcells “retiredâ€?. Talk about throwing someone under the bus! Parcells was left looking foolish when Belichick moved on to bigger and better things in New England After Belichick resigned, Parcells then threw Al Groh under the bus by nominating him for the job…until Groh jumped ship right after the 2000 season.

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The East is Ours! (says Joe G.)

by Joe Grinwis
Contributing Columnist

This is the season.

Wait, how many times have you heard that one before? Many times I’m sure, but this really could be that season. So far this off-season, the Patriots have lost a lot of key parts to their dynasty the past four seasons and most likely will find out they are to lose another one in Tedy Bruschi because he probably won’t be able to play football again.

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