Power Rankings: Jets Hit Rock Bottom

Ranking All 32 Teams Based on Week 6, and Previous Performances:


 

  1. Minnesota Vikings (5-0)
  2. New England Patriots (5-1)
  3. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
  4. Seattle Seahawks (4-1)
  5. Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
  7. Denver Broncos (4-2)
  8. Buffalo Bills (4-2)
  9. Washington Redskins (4-2)
  10. Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
  11. Green Bay Packers (3-2)
  12. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2)
  13. Houston Texans (4-2)
  14. Oakland Raiders (4-2)
  15. New York Giants (3-3)
  16. Detroit Lions (3-3)
  17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
  18. Baltimore Ravens (3-3)
  19. Los Angeles Rams (3-3)
  20. Tennessee Titans (3-3)
  21. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
  22. Miami Dolphins (2-4)
  23. San Diego Chargers (2-4)
  24. New Orleans Saints (2-4)
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
  26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)
  27. Indianapolis Colts (2-4)
  28. Carolina Panthers (1-5)
  29. Chicago Bears (1-5)
  30. New York Jets (1-5)
  31. San Francisco 49ers (1-5)
  32. Cleveland Browns (0-6)

#30 New York Jets (1-5): The Jets are an absolute disaster. Nothing is going right for gang green after a 1-5 start to the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had no help from his offensive line or running backs, struggled again and was benched for Geno Smith. Todd Bowles said that Smith was “relief” for Fitzpatrick, and that Fitzpatrick will start again next week. It would be easy to identify the problem if it was just the quarterback who was struggling, unfortunately for Todd Bowles and the Jets just about every position on the roster seems to be a problem. The season is virtually lost after such a horrendous start. Only two teams in the Super Bowl era have made the playoffs after a 1-5 start: the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals, and the 2015 Kansas City Chiefs. Although two teams have turned their season around after a 1-5 start, the 2016 Jets don’t look like a team capable of sustained success. The Baltimore Ravens come to MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Rankings Going into Previous Weeks:

Week 1: #10

Week 2: #13

Week 3: #9

Week 4: #17

Week 5: #21

Week 6: #27

Inactives Report: Harris Active, Jenkins Out

After a scare in week three of the preseason, David Harris will start for the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. Harris injured his shoulder against the Giants, and initially thought he had broken his collarbone. After tests, it was revealed that it was only a bruise. This will be a huge boost for the Jets seeing as Harris is essentially the quarterback of the defense, making sure all the players are in the right position. Conversely, rookie Jordan Jenkins will be out today. Jenkins wasn’t able to practice all week and was listed as doubtful for the game. Even though Jenkins was selected in the third round, he was the favorite to start opposite Lorenzo Mauldin at outside linebacker. Mike Catapano will likely start in his place.

Other inactives include: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Troymaine Pope, Darryl Roberts, Brandon Shell, and Braedon Bowman

Both backup quarterbacks Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg won’t dress for today’s game. This shouldn’t surprise anyone as Petty is recovering from an injury, and Hackenberg is in a “red shirt” season. Petty’s push for the second string spot was cut short against the Eagles after throwing a touchdown strike to Robby Anderson. With Geno Smith’s contract expiring after this season though, it’s likely he could either have a chance to start or be the second string backup next season. Meanwhile, Hackenberg looked completely lost against the Eagles, and showed he was still far away from taking the field during the regular season.

Newly signed running back Troymaine Pope will be inactive, leaving Matt Forte and Bilal Powell as the only two active running backs. Julian Howsare will also be active at fullback. Pope was one of the leading rushers in the preseason, but he won’t get a chance to flash his ability yet for the Jets.

Backup cornerback Darryl Roberts won’t suit up today, leaving the Jets with only four active corners. Rookie Juston Burris will likely see a good chunk of playing time after having an impressive preseason and training camp. The four active cornerbacks include: Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams, and Burris.

New tight end Braedon Bowman will be inactive today as well. The Jets made a statement by releasing former second round pick Jace Amaro, who failed to make any argument for a roster spot. While releasing Amaro was justified, it leaves the Jets with a destitute tight end position for the second season in a row. Incumbent Kellen Davis will start, followed by Brandon Bostick.

Fifth round draft pick Brandon Shell will likely see a “red shirt” season as well. Shell looked almost as lost as Hackenberg during the preseason. It’s likely he will get ample opportunity to prove himself as the Jets moved up to select him in the fifth round.

The Jets’ 2016 season begins today at MetLife Stadium on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. It will be an emotional atmosphere, and a huge game for both the Bengals and the Jets. The Jets have a tough schedule this season, and will be looking to open the season with a win for the sixth time in a row.

Monday Notes: Schedule Breakdown, Predictions

A Quick Recap of Last Week in JetNation:

 

Jets are Handed a Difficult 2016 Schedule

 

The 2016 NFL schedule was released on Thursday, and the Jets’ schedule is a daunting one. In 2015 the Jets were given a relatively average SoS (strength of schedule) rating at .488, ranked 18th most difficult schedule in the league. This season they weren’t as lucky, getting a .531 rating, good enough to tie for the seventh most difficult schedule in the league. The SoS rating is based on all 16 opponent’s combined overall records from the previous season. The Jets will play six of their first nine games on the road. Five of their first six opponents are playoff teams from last season, the exception being the Buffalo Bills. The season will end with back-to-back short weeks and three games in the span of 13 days. The Jets will have five prime-time games for only the third time in franchise history: two Monday night games, two Thursday night games (one on Saturday), and a Sunday night game. Here’s some thoughts and predictions on each game:

 

  • Week 1: 9/11, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Cincinnati Bengals – The Jets will open the season at home against the Bengals on the fifteenth anniversary of September 11th. It will be an emotional atmosphere, and a difficult game for Todd Bowles and the Jets to start the season with. The Bengals will be without linebacker Vontaze Burfict, giving the Jets a slight advantage. It will be difficult for the Jets to contain Andy Dalton and a diverse offense, but the Jets get it done at home. Score: 27-21, Record: 1-0

 

  • Week 2: 9/15, Thursday, 8:25 p.m., at Buffalo Bills – The Jets will take a trip back to where their season ended in dismal fashion last year. Rex Ryan will be eager to keep his undefeated streak alive against his former team, and will have his players fired up for the early prime-time match up. If Ryan Fitzpatrick is the quarterback for the Jets this coming season, the outlook is bleak for this game. Fitzpatrick has a 1-8 record against Rex Ryan coached teams. The trip back to where their season ended will be too much for the Jets, and Rex will keep his streak against the Jets alive. Score: 28-10, Record: 1-1

 

  • Week 3: 9/25, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., at Kansas City Chiefs – The Jets will head into one of the most difficult stadiums to visit in the NFL, Arrowhead Stadium. They will get a few extra days to prepare for the contest after a Thursday night game. Although Arrowhead and Andy Reid will give the Jets some troubles, they will pull off the upset. Score: 21-14, Record: 2-1

 

  • Week 4: 10/2, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Seattle Seahawks – Pete Carroll and the Seahawks will visit MetLife Stadium for the first time since their Super Bowl XLVIII victory. The last time the Jets played the Seahawks they were crushed 28-7, although that was at Century Link Field in Seattle. This will be the only home game in a five game span, but the Seahawks and Russell Wilson will overpower the Jets. Score: 35-13, Record: 2-2

 

  • Week 5: 10/9, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., at Pittsburgh Steelers – The Jets are historically bad against the Steelers, only winning five of the 24 match ups since 1970. The offense will need to be firing on all cylinders to keep up with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown at home. The trend will continue and the Jets won’t be able to stop the Steelers. Score: 21-20, Record: 2-3

 

  • Week 6: 10/17, Monday, 8:30 p.m., at Arizona Cardinals – This will be one of the most interesting games of the season as Todd Bowles faces off against his mentor in Bruce Arians. Bowles and Arians have a long history together. Bowles played for Arians at Temple, and most recently Bowles served as the defensive coordinator for Arians in Arizona. It will be a great clash between two great coaches out in the desert. The pupil will defeat the mentor this time, with the defense making enough plays to take the day for the Jets. Score: 16-14, Record: 3-3

 

  • Week 7: 10/23, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Baltimore Ravens – In recent history the Jets have had a difficult time against the Ravens as well, with the last win coming in 1997. Joe Flacco and the Ravens had some serious struggles last season with injuries, and will definitely have a better season than their 5-11 record from a year ago. With a healthier roster the Ravens will give the Jets a run for their money at home, but the Jets will clinch it late in the game. Score: 28-24, Record: 4-3

 

  • Week 8: 10/30, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., at Cleveland Browns – The Browns are in full rebuild mode with new head coach Hue Jackson. The Browns have been pushovers in the league for a long time now, and that won’t change any time soon. The Jets will beat up on the Browns’ mediocre roster. Score: 38-6, Record: 5-3

 

  • Week 9: 11/6, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., at Miami Dolphins – The Jets have won four out of the last six games against the Dolphins, including two last season. This should be a go ahead win for the Jets, but they will fall to their rivals in Miami. Score: 17-14, Record: 5-4

 

  • Week 10: 11/13, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Rams – The newly relocated Rams will have a rookie quarterback at the helm after trading up for the first pick in the upcoming draft. In all likelihood the Rams will have either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz at the helm. The rookie quarterback will have a tough game against Todd Bowles’ blitz-happy defense. The Jets take it in a low-scoring affair. Score: 13-3, Record: 6-4

 

  • Week 11: The Jets get a break with a bye week.

 

  • Week 12: 11/27, Sunday, 8:30 p.m., vs. New England Patriots – Recent match ups between the Jets and Patriots have been very close games. The Jets haven’t won against the Patriots twice in a row since 2008-2009. Todd Bowles will end that streak with a big victory in a prime-time match up with the Jets’ biggest rival. Score: 30-23, Record: 7-4

 

  •  Week 13: 12/5, Monday, 8:30 p.m., vs. Indianapolis Colts – Last season the Jets took Andrew Luck and the Colts behind the woodshed in a 20-7 victory. Andrew Luck hasn’t beaten the Jets since entering the NFL, including the most recent 20-7 loss, and another 35-9 loss in 2012. This time Luck and the Colts will get the better of the Jets. Score: 35-28, Record: 7-5

 

  • Week 14: 12/11, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., at San Francisco 49ers – After playing on Monday night, the Jets will take a trip out west to San Francisco on Sunday. It will be difficult to fly west after having a short week, but the Jets will be able to handle Chip Kelly’s new team. Colin Kaepernick will get benched for Blaine Gabbert after throwing three interceptions to seal the win for the Jets. Score: 24-17, Record: 8-5

 

  • Week 15: 12/17, Saturday, 8:25 p.m., vs. Miami Dolphins – The Jets will be playing Saturday night after two short weeks in a row. The Dolphins have a new head coach in Adam Gase after firing Joe Philbin. Although Miami will have a new head coach, the tough schedule will catch up to the Jets as they let another close game slip away. Score: 20-17, Record: 8-6

 

  • Week 16: 12/24, Saturday, 1:00 p.m., at New England Patriots – The Jets will play the Patriots on Christmas eve. The last time the Jets squared off against the Patriots during a holiday was on Thanksgiving in 2012. That game was one of the Jets’ worst in recent memory, a 49-19 trouncing. As much as the Jets would like to make it a three game win streak, Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense will get the better of the Jets in New England. Score: 38-24, Record: 8-7

 

  • Week 17: 1/1, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Buffalo Bills – For the second year in a row, the Jets will end the season against their former head coach Rex Ryan. Rex would love nothing more than ending the Jets’ season with a defeat twice in a row. This time the Jets will prevail at home against their former head coach and end the season on a high note. Score: 28-21, Final Record: 9-7

 

With a significantly tougher schedule it’s possible the Jets could take a step back. Play makers such as Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, and Eric Decker will keep the Jets in contention, but it might not be enough. It would be tough to say whether or not a 9-7 record will be good enough to earn a playoff berth, but in the competitive AFC conference it might be a stretch. Last season the Jets were kept out of the playoffs with a 10-6 record. At this point it’s difficult to make accurate predictions seeing as the Jets starting quarterback spot is still up in the air. The Jets’ playoff chances could vary greatly depending on who they have starting under center.

 

Other Notes

 

Other than the schedule release it was quiet week for the Jets. The Jets announced the signing of backup tackle Ben Ijalana who will likely retake his spot at left tackle behind newly acquired Ryan Clady. Paxton Lynch visited with the Jets during the week. Lynch is the only quarterback out of the top three in the draft that has a realistic chance of being on the board at 20 when the Jets are on the clock. There have been rumors that the Jets inquired about moving up to the #1 spot in the draft before the Rams made the move. This has fueled speculation that not only are the Jets trying to move up to draft a quarterback, but also that Muhammad Wilkerson was a part of the deal. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Jets move Muhammad Wilkerson before the draft, and if so, for what price. News broke Sunday that the Houston Texans are releasing Brian Hoyer. Hoyer was targeted by the Jets last off-season before they traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Hoyer could be a fallback option for the Jets, or at the very least a means to try to gain more leverage in negotiations with Fitzpatrick. According to the NFLPA the Jets have $3.8 million in cap space, enough to sign all six of their current draft picks.

 

Monday Notes: Jets Hold Off Cowboys, Slip Out of Sixth Seed

A Quick Recap of Last Week in JetNation:

 

Fitzpatrick, Jets Complete Fourth Quarter Comeback to Remain in Wildcard Mix

 

For the first three quarters of Saturday night’s game it looked as if the Jets might succumb to a lowly Cowboys team. For the second time in three weeks Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a fourth quarter comeback. The game started with a 9 play 70 yard drive, with nearly half of it coming on a trick play by Lucky Whitehead running a reverse and going for 33 yards. The Jets defense continues to struggle defending trick plays whether it’s a reverse or the wildcat. They stood up when it mattered though, and held the Cowboys to a field goal. The offense started with a three-and-out and Ryan Quigley’s ensuing punt was uglier than the three-and-out drive netting a paltry 25-yards. On the following drive Darrelle Revis was given a gift from Matt Cassel. Cassel was under heavy pressure and attempted to throw it out of bounds but didn’t see Revis in prime position to pluck the ball out of the air near the sideline. Revis recorded his fourth interception on the season. The Jets squandered a chance at points from Revis’ interception by going for it on fourth down at the Dallas four-yard line. They decided to do a quarterback sneak on a third-and-three, making it fourth-and-one at the four. Chris Ivory was stuffed for a one yard loss, giving Dallas the ball back on their own five-yard line. The defense held them to a three-and-out and forced a punt. On the following drive the Jets managed to put up some points, with a 60-yard drive capped off by a 12-yard Bilal Powell rush for a touchdown. Kicker Randy Bullock, who has been pretty solid for the Jets so far, missed the extra point making it only a three point game at 6-3. Then after two more punting drives, one by each team, the Cowboys pulled quarterback Matt Cassel for Kellen Moore. On the second pass of his NFL career, Moore threw an interception to safety Marcus Gilchrist. The Jets managed to get a field goal out of the turnover. After two more punting drives, the Kellen Moore led Cowboys drove for a touchdown making it 10-9.

On the last drive of the half, the Jets drove 52 yards in seven plays setting up a 40-yard field goal, one in which Bullock converted. After the kick, it was made clear that one of the referees threw his hat because he couldn’t find his flag. The penalty was against the Jets and made it a 45-yard attempt. Bullock missed the 45-yarder and the Jets went into halftime down 10-9. The Jets received the ball to start the second half, but ended up punting. The Cowboys looked to score on the following drive going for 76 yards in seven plays, but Calvin Pryor came up with a big interception in the end zone. After that, Fitzpatrick’s turnover-free streak ended at a bad time. Fitzpatrick threw an interception on his own 19-yard line. Luckily the Cowboys only managed a field goal out of the turnover. After two more punting drives, the Jets drove 70 yards on nine plays, and Eric Decker sealed the deal with a 3-yard touchdown reception from Fitzpatrick. The Cowboys came back with a field goal making it 16-16. With 1:55 left on the clock, Fitzpatrick led the Jets on a game-clinching eight play 58-yard drive. Bullock nailed the 40-yard field goal to give the Jets a 19-16 lead with 36 seconds remaining. On the second play of the last drive, Marcus Williams made an interception to end the game on a jump ball thrown up by Kellen Moore. The impact players of the game were: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eric Decker, Calvin Pryor, Bilal Powell, Brandon Marshall, and Marcus Williams. There were many impact players for this game, but the player of the game was Ryan Fitzpatrick for the third week in a row. Even though Fitzpatrick ended his streak of no-turnover games, he still had 299 yards passing and a touchdown as well. He also led the team to a clutch late-game comeback for the second time in three weeks. The impact play of the game was Kenbrell Thompkin’s 43-yard reception from Ryan Fitzpatrick that set up the game-winning field goal. Other impact plays were: all four interceptions by Darrelle Revis, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist, and Marcus Williams, Bilal Powell’s 12-yard touchdown run, Calvin Pace’s huge sack, Leonard Williams’ and Sheldon Richardson’s shared sack, Decker’s three-yard touchdown catch, and Quincy Enunwa’s 24-yard catch.

 

With a Kansas City and Pittsburgh Win, the Jets Move to Seventh Seed

 

After holding the sixth seed for the AFC playoff race last week, the Jets have lost some ground. The Jets have now moved down to the seventh seed due to both Kansas City and Pittsburgh winning and having the advantage in a three-way tie at 9-5 records. Any Jets fans watching the Denver-Pittsburgh game thought the Jets were going to maintain the sixth seed at halftime. The Broncos were leading the Steelers 27-13 at the half. After the half the Broncos were a completely different team, scoring no points on offense, and letting the Steelers put up 21 unanswered points. At this point, the Jets might have a better chance of getting the sixth seed if Kansas City overtakes Denver for their division. The Broncos have a tougher schedule than the Chiefs or the Steelers playing the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Chargers. The Steelers play the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, and the Chiefs play the Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders. That’s a combined 15-13 record between the Bengals and Chargers compared to 9-19 for the Raiders and Browns and 7-21 for the Ravens and Browns. Either way, the Jets will still need some help if they are going to make the playoffs. The Jets still do not control their own destiny, but if they win their next two games they only need a loss from Kansas City, Pittsburgh, or Denver. If the Chiefs and Broncos tie for their division, the Chiefs would win the tie-breaker. Which means if the Jets win out and are also tied with the Broncos they would take the sixth seed due to a better conference record. Basically, the Jets need to win their next two games and have one of the other three teams mentioned lose a game to make it.

 

Other Notes

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s three-game streak of no interceptions came to an end during a nail-bitter against the Cowboys on Saturday. Even though he turned the ball over once, he still had a clutch performance against the Cowboys. Over the past four games Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,229 yards and 10 touchdowns with only one interception and nearly 100 yards rushing, not to mention two clutch fourth quarter comebacks. This begs the question, even if the Jets don’t make the playoffs, do they resign Fitzpatrick? If they do, what kind of a deal does he deserve? It will be interesting to see how the Jets manage the quarterback position heading into the offseason. They have a veteran in Fitzpatrick who has shown he can run this offense at a high level, the rookie Bryce Petty, and the potentially odd man out in Geno Smith. If the Jets do resign Fitzpatrick, it might make sense to see if there’s any market for Geno Smith.

Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker made history on Saturday night by surpassing the previous record for most receiving touchdowns set by a Jets wide receiver tandem. Eric Decker’s 3-yard touchdown reception gave them 21 on the season, passing the old record of 20 held by Al Toon and Wesley Walker and Don Maynard and Art Powell before them. Marshall also tied the team record for most receptions in a season by matching Al Toon’s 93 reception season. It’s highly likely that Marshall will set a new record with two games remaining in the season. With such an impressive duo at wide receiver, this is the best offense the Jets have seen in a long time. As of right now, the Jets have the 10th overall offense. Something they haven’t had in a long time.

After a somewhat shaky start to the season, the Jets’ defense seems to be coming together. The secondary grabbed four interceptions on Saturday against the Cowboys, and has held teams to an average of 16 points over the last four games. With the defense coming to a head, and a fairly steady offense the only area that needs significant improvement is special teams. Special teams had a solid game against the Titans, but had some less-than-spectacular moments against the Cowboys. In particular, punter Ryan Quigley botched a punt giving the Cowboys the ball on the Jets 43-yard line. There have been numerous other mistakes throughout the season that have hurt the Jets as well. If the Jets want to win their next two games and make the playoffs, coach Bobby April will need to have the special teams unit running at peak efficiency.

The New England Patriots will come to MetLife Stadium on Sunday in what will be a massive game for the Jets. The Jets played the Patriots close in their previous match up losing 30-23. This time there’s have no room for error. The Jets will almost definitely need to win their next two games to make the playoffs. It starts this coming Sunday against their bitter rival, and ends the following Sunday against their former head coach’s squad. Rex Ryan’s Bills were eliminated from the playoff race with a loss to the Washington Redskins. Ryan would love nothing more than to keep his old team out of the playoffs. The next two games will be tough ones for the Jets, but they will need to show their mettle if they want to get into the playoff dance.

 

Holmes Out; Jets At Bengals Injury Report

Santonio Holmes didn’t practice this week and Rex Ryan has officially declared that he will not play this week.  Nick Mangold is listed as questionable (ribs) but Rex told the media that Mangold will play.

For the Bengals they will be missing their star CB Leon Hall.  He suffered a season ending torn ACL against the Detroit Lions.  The only reason why he is on this list and not on IR is because the Bengals are apparently waiting for WR Andrew Hawkins to come off the IR with a designation to return list on Monday.

New York Jets 

NAME POSITION INJURY WED. THU. FRI. GAME STATUS
Holmes, Santonio WR Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Out
Allen, Antonio S Groin/Finger LP LP FP Probable
Bellore, Nick LB Thumb FP Probable
Coples, Quinton DE Ankle FP FP FP Probable
Cribbs, Josh WR Knee FP FP FP Probable
Cromartie, Antonio CB Hip FP FP FP Probable
Cumberland, Jeff TE Hamstring DNP LP LP Probable
Ellis, Kenrick DT Back FP FP FP Probable
Kerley, Jeremy WR Hamstring LP FP Probable
McIntyre, Garrett LB Knee FP FP FP Probable
Milliner, Dee CB Hamstring FP FP FP Probable
Nelson, David WR Hamstring FP FP FP Probable
Reuland, Konrad TE Knee LP LP FP Probable
Walls, Darrin CB Shoulder FP FP FP Probable
Mangold, Nick C Ribs LP LP LP Questionable
Salas, Greg WR Knee LP LP LP Questionable

Cincinnati Bengals

NAME POSITION INJURY WED. THU. FRI. GAME STATUS
Hall, Leon CB Achilles DNP DNP DNP Out
Still, Devon DT Elbow DNP DNP DNP Out
Gilberry, Wallace DE Knee DNP FP Probable
Jones, Marvin WR Shoulder DNP DNP LP Probable
Maualuga, Rey LB Hamstring DNP LP LP Probable
Newman, Terence CB Ankle DNP LP FP Probable
Burkhead, Rex RB Calf LP DNP LP Questionable
Practice Status

  • DNP = Did not participate in practice
  • LP = Limited Participation in Practice – Less than 100% of a player’s normal repetitions
  • FP = Full Participation – 100% of a player’s normal repetitions
  • Out = Player will not play
  • (-) = Not Listed = No practice status available

Game Status

  • Out = Player will not play
  • Doubtful = 25% chance a player will play
  • Questionable = 50% chance a player will play
  • Probable = 75% chance a player will play
  • (-) = Not Listed – No game status available

New York Jets Playoff Scenarios

Well, the Jets are one step closer to the playoffs thanks to the Steelers loss to the Cowboys, which prevents the Steelers from going 10-6 and shutting us out. The Chargers and Bills both lost so they’re out of the hunt and will have nothing but pride to play for when they play the Jets in the next couple of weeks.

Tonight’s game between the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers has no impact, other than possibly making the Texans try against the Colts in week 17.

So the playoff scenarios for the Jets involve the Jets winning all three of their remaining games and:

  1. Having the Colts lose both of their remaining games
  2. The Steelers lose to the Browns if they win against the Bengals next week
  3. The Bengals lose to the Ravens if they win or tie against the Steelers next week.

Jets Playoff Scenarios Mini-Update #1

Thanks to the Bengals win over the Eagles, the Jets cannot make the playoffs at 8-8 for another Bengals win would give them 9 wins and a Steelers win versus the Bengals in week 16 would eliminate the Jets since the Steelers would win the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bengals and the Jets at 8-8.

So with that in mind the Jets can still win out and get in if either the Colts lose 3 in a row or the Steelers lose the next 2 or 3 games in a row, and the Bengals beat the Steelers and lose to the Ravens in week 17.

Unofficial Week 1 Injury Report

Why unofficial? Well it’s unofficial because the NFL doesn’t use injury reports during the preseason, which kind of makes my job hard to do, but I’ll manage to get something up for each week of the preseason. Now without further ado here is this week’s unofficial injury report(source #2):

New York Jets
Out: Santonio Holmes(ribs) and Jeremy Kerley(hamstring)
Doubtful: Wayne Hunter(back)
Probable: Chaz Schilens(Groin)

Cincinnati Bengals
NONE

JetNation NFL Power Rankings – Part Two

(Part 1 link) 

21) Buffalo Bills

Offense:  The Bills rely on a balanced attack when it comes to offense.  They ranked 13th-15th in most major statistical categories: Points (14), Yards (14), Passing Yards (15), and Rushing Yards (13).  They are led by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who threw 24 touchdowns but a league high 23 interceptions.  The Bills use a spread quick pass offense which helped limit the offensive line to only 23 sacks.  The loss of LT Demtress (former Demetrius) Bell has left a hole at that position.  Currently rookie draft pick (#41) Cordy Glenn is the front runner to fill the spot, although he is more suited to play guard, with second year lineman Chris Hairston also in the mix.  WR Stevie Johnson (76 REC, 1,004 YRS) is Fitzpatrick’s favorite target but he will drop a big one from time-to-time.  RB Fred Jackson had almost 1,400 all purpose yards in ten games before an injury ended his season and back-up C.J. Spiller had a 5.2 yard per carry average. 

Defense:  The Bills made waves in the off-season signing top pass rushing DEs Mario Williams and Mark Anderson.  They also drafted CB Stephen Gilmore (#10) to improve their secondary.  They needed the help on defense as they gave up 371.1 yards (26th) and 27.1 points (30th) per game and only managed 29 sacks last season. 

Analysis:  The Bills are everyone’s sleeper team which means they are not a sleeper team.  They did add some pieces to a below average defense which should improve the unit but a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 1999 needs to “prove it” not just acquire a few big names.  Fitzpatrick will have to show he can throw the ball down field as last year’s hot start (5-2) had people on the Bills bandwagon then off quick as they lost seven straight.

20) San Diego Chargers

Offense:  QB Philip Rivers had a down year yet throw for 4,624 yards and 27 touchdowns however he also tossed 20 interceptions.  The team was 6th (393.1 YRS, per) in total offense last season.  Rivers will have some new faces to complete passes to this year as WR Vincent Jackson moved on to Tampa while the Chargers picked up WRs Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal and Roscoe Parrish.  Antonio Gates (64 REC, 778 YRS) will be back at TE and the team is expecting big things from RB Ryan Mathews as back-up Mike Tolbert went to Carolina but they did pickup HB/FB Le’Ron McClain.  The Bolts lost the entire left-side of their offensive line as they released LT Marcus McNeill (injury) and LG Kris Dielman retired due to concussions.  OT Jared Gaither filled in nicely for the injured McNeill and will start this season while Tyronne Green (8 starts in 2011) attempts to replace Dielman.

Defense:  The Chargers didn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of many QBs as they only had 32 sacks last season.  LB Antwan Barnes had 11 sacks alone but there wasn’t much of a threat after him.  The team drafted DE/OLB Melvin Ingram (#18), DT Kendal Reyes (#49) to help bolster the pass rush.  The secondary gave up a 7.5 yard average per pass so the Chargers used pick #73 on safety Brandon Taylor who will play with veteran Eric Weddle (88 tackles, 7 INT).

Analysis:  The Chargers still have Rivers and some weapons on offense but the defense lacks elite talent.  They seem to be stuck in neutral and head coach Norv Turner will blow a game or two with bad decisions.  Their division is weak but someone will emerge with double digit wins this season, it just won’t be the Chargers.

19) Denver Broncos

Offense:  The Broncos sure decided to go in a different direction offensively bringing in QB Peyton Manning.  It will be vital for the Broncos line to keep Manning upright but they did allow 42 sacks last season and given Tim Tebow’s scrambling ability that seems quite high.  Denver brought in some familiar faces WR Brandon Stokley and TE Jacob Tamme whom Manning has played with in the past.  The team will be expecting a big year from WRs Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker but wonder if RB Willis McGahee can duplicate almost 1,200 yards rushing without Tebow, besides he’ll be 31 this season. 

Defense:  Often hear how the Denver defense held them in games which Tebow was able to pull out.  Well this is true to a point as the Broncos were 24th in points allowed (24.4 per) and were 22nd against the rush (126.3 per).  Losing DTs Brodrick Bunkley, Marcus Thomas and Ryan McBean and their 119 combined tackles can’t help their run defense.  The Broncos will be looking for immediate production from #36 draft pick DT Derek Wolfe.  SS Brian Dawkins has retired and the safety position as a whole is a concern.  D.J. Williams and his 90 tackles will be suspended six games but second year player Von Miller will look to improve on his impressive 11.5 sacks as a rookie along with Elvis Dumervil’s 9.5 sacks.

Analysis:  Tebow got the Broncos to the playoffs and even advanced the team one round, thanks for the memories as he was shipped out.  Denver has many question marks and who knows what Peyton Manning is now after four neck surgeries and a year off from football.  Their schedule is murder as they face seven playoff teams from last season.  It will be difficult for the Broncos to repeat as AFC West champs and don’t see enough wins for a wildcard as they will battle San Diego for second place in the division.   

18) New York Jets

Offense:  The team finished 25th in offense (311.8 YDS, per) but 13th in points scored (23.6 per).  The Jets brought in new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano to try and improve the overall performance of the offense and really more on the running game which averaged about 105 yards per game.  QB Mark Sanchez threw 26 TD but 18 INT and had 8 fumbles.  Usually a team strength the o-line gave up 40 sacks and was inconsistent all year.  The Jets acquired QB Tim Tebow from the Broncos along with WR Chad Schilens (6’4”, 225) and rookie WR Stephen Hill (#43, 6’4”, 215) to provide speed and size to the receivers.  The Jets are looking at Tebow as a change of pace QB who can be used to run or throw.  They hope his unique skill set will increase overall offensive production getting crucial first downs preventing three and outs.

Defense:  The Jets finished 5th overall (312.1 YRS, per) but was 13th against the run (111.1 YRS, per).  The Jets drafted DL Quinton Coples (#16) to help against the run as well as rush the passer as the Jets only had 35 sacks in 2011.  They also added rookie LB Demario Davis (#77) to bring some youth/speed to an aging LB group.  New DL coach Karl Dunbar was brought in to improve the d-line play.  The Jets philosophy is simple stop the run make the opposition one dimensional and scheme blitzes while their great corners Revis/Cromartie cover top receivers.  Rookie FS Josh Bush (#187) will be used in passing situations to provide support to the CB.

Analysis:  The Jets are a veteran team but lack depth on the offensive line so their health will be important as last year showed when center Nick Mangold went down leaving inexperienced lineman to fill big shoes.  They did not beat a team with a winning record last season and QB Sanchez can’t have 26 turnovers if the Jets want to make a playoff push.  Their schedule is not that difficult but the Bills are formidable and New England will be favored to win the division again.  The question is was 2011 just a down year and the Jets will bounce back or a sign of what will be in 2012?  An 8-8 2011 finish puts the Jets here for now only time will tell the answer to the pervious question.

17) Tennessee Titans

Offense: The Titans have a QB competition on their hands as veteran Matt Hasselback will battle second year back-up Jake Locker for the starting job.  It seems like the job is Hasselback’s to lose for now but Locker did well in limited action as a rookie.  The team added top OG Steve Hutchinson to a line that only surrendered 24 sacks a year ago but the team was 31st in rush yards (89.9).  RB Chris Johnson rushed for over 1,000 yards last season but took some time to get going after a contract holdout.  All indications are Johnson is in top shape and ready to perform more like his 2009 season when he rushed for over 2,000 yards.  The receivers are solid as Nate Washington led the group with 1,023 yards along with Damian Williams and Kenny Britt who is returning from a knee injury which cut his 2011 season short.  The Titans also drafted WR Kendall Wright (#20) to add more depth to the unit.  TE Jared Cook had 49 receptions for 759 yards in 2011.

Defense:  While giving up 19.8 (8th) points per game the Titains struggled to get to the QB only having 28 sacks.  They picked up DE Kamerion Wimbley and drafted LB Zach Brown (#52) in an effort to improve their sack total.  They did lose top cover CB Cortland Finnegan but still have a decent secondary led by safety Michael Griffin (75 tackles, 2 INT).

Analysis:  The Titans were in the playoff hunt last season and their division is weak, except for Houston.  Given the schedule they can be in the hunt again. A December 17th match-up against the Jets may put the winner in position to make the post-season.  They have some tough out of conference games against the NFC North but there is no reason to believe they will not finish second in their division. 

16) Cincinnati Bengals

Offense:  Rookie QB Andy Dalton was able to bring his team to the playoffs last season.  Dalton threw for 3,398 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2011.  The big question is will he progress or have the well known sophomore slump?  Feature RB Cedric Benson (1,067 YRS) was not retained so it will be up to Bernard Scott, free agent pick up BenJarvus Green-Ellis and rookie Dan Herron (#191) to handle the rushing duties.  The Bengals drafted to WR Mohamed Sanu (#83) and Marvin Jones (#166) to play along with second year receiver A.J. Green (65 receptions 1,057 yards).  Their offensive line played well only allowing 25 sacks but the Bengals lost both guards from last season.  They picked up veteran LG Travelle Wharton and rookie draft pick Kevin Zeitler (#27) will play RG as the offense looks to improve on its 20th ranking (319.9 YRS, per).

Defense:  The Bengals defense ranked 7th (316.2 YRS, per) last season and recorded 45 sacks on the year.  DT Geno Atkins led the team with 7.5 sacks last season.  They are hopeful to have CB Leon Hall back for the start of the season as an Achilles injury ended last season after 9 games.  The Bengals did use the #17 draft pick on CB Dre Kirkpatrick as insurance if Hall is not 100% or ageing CB Nate Clements falters.

Analysis:  Even though they made the playoffs the Bengals have yet to prove they can overtake AFC North powerhouses Baltimore and Pittsburgh.  Dalton will need to improve upon a quality rookie season if they want to try and win the division and the running game will have to help him.  The schedule has enough winnable games that they should be in the hunt just don’t think they are on par with elite teams in the league. 

15) Dallas Cowboys

Offense:  The Cowboys offense ranked 11th (375.5 YRS, per) QB Tony Romo threw for 4,184 yards, 31 TD, and only 10 INT.  RB DeMarco Murray (5.5 YRS per carry) is expected back after an ankle injury cut his season short.  The Cowboys spent the offseason trying to upgrade the offensive line bringing in OG Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livingston as the Boys look to improve on the 39 sacks allowed.  Undrafted rookie OL Ronald Leary has turned some heads in pre-camp workouts and could push for a major role on the line. 

Defense:  Giving up 244.1 yards per game passing was the Cowboys down fall as their secondary was torched often.  To remedy this they signed free agent CB Brandon Carr and traded up to #6 overall to select CB Morris Claibourne.  They have an elite pass rusher in OLB DeMarcus Ware (19.5 sacks) so they need players to cover long enough to allow the pressure to get to the opposing QB. 

Analysis:  If the games ended after 3 quarters the Cowboys would have been in the playoffs.  Their offense has the fire power to be very good as long as Romo doesn’t make bonehead mistakes down the stretch of games, something he’s done often.  With the additions on defense the Cowboys should be able to maintain some fourth quarter leads.  They play in a difficult division but Dallas has a good shoot at double digit wins this season. 

14) Atlanta Falcons

Offense:  QB Matt “Ice” Ryan had another good regular season 4,177 yards passing to go with 29 touchdowns but he has yet to win a playoff game and had an early exit last season.  RB Michael Turner had 1,340 yards rushing but is 30 years old and may not be able to handle the same workload as years past.  Second year receiver Julio Jones will look to build on his impressive rookie season (54 REC, 959 YRS, 8 TD).  While the Falcons offensive line only allowed 26 sacks last season there is some concerns.  They used their first pick (#55) on OL Peter Konz who is expected to start at RG.  LT Sam Baker allowed 11.5 sacks in 2010 and had an injury prone 2011 season reserve Will Svitek may push to start over Baker but both lack the talent needed at the most important o-line position. 

Defense:  The Falcons ranked 20th against the pass (236.6 YRS, per) and only had 33 sacks last season.  Ex-Jet John Abraham led the way with 9.5 sacks but he is 34 years old and will hit the wall eventually plus there is not much else after him.  They traded for CB Asante Samuel who will play across from Brent Grimes.  The Falcons lost LB Curtis Lofton’s 147 tackles and will look to replace him with Lofa Tatupu who underachieved with Seattle and didn’t play last season. 

Analysis:  While Julio Jones is a true asset the Falcons lost important picks in this year’s draft to acquire him.  Just feels like the Falcons, while still good, have taken steps backwards personnel wise.  It is possible their best chance at a championship past them by two years ago and have been declining since.  They could easily end up third in the NFC South. 

13) Kansas City Chiefs

Offense:  The Chiefs struggled to put up points last season only 13.2 per game.  Injuries really took a toll on this team as back-up QB Tyler Palko in four games and his 2 TD, 7 INT, 59.8 (QBR) didn’t help the already depleted Chiefs.  They have had a nice off-season picking up RB Peyton Hillis, OT Eric Winston and TE Kevin Boss.  RB Jamaal Charles is expected back after missing last season with an ACL injury. QB Matt Cassel is also expected back after breaking his hand in November.  Cassel will have a full complement of receivers Dwayne Bowe had 1,159 yards even with Palko starting 4 games, second year wide-out Jon Baldwin should improve and veteran Steve Breaston had 785 yards receiving last season.  TE Tony Moeaki is expected to be healthy after a knee injury kept him out last season, he’ll share time with Boss.  The Chiefs have a solid rush and pass protection line, giving up 34 sacks last season, which isn’t bad given the QBs at times.

Defense:  Considering how bad the Chiefs offense was their defensive numbers 11th (333.3 YRDS, per) is fairly respectable.  They did have problems stopping the run 132 yards per game so they drafted DT Dontari Poe (#11) and picked-up DL ex-Jet Ropati Pitoitua to help the run defense.  CB Stanford Rout was brought in to replace the departed Brandon Carr and will play across from stand out CB Brandon Flowers.  The return of SS Eric Berry from a knee injury and his 92 tackles in 2010 will also help the run/pass defense.  The Chiefs will need to improve on their 29 sacks with DE Tamba Hali having 12 last season. 

Analysis:  Matt Cassel is an average QB but fortunately for him the team is surrounded with talent.  It was obvious former head coach Todd Haley had lost the team as Romeo Crennel led them to victory over the undefeated Packers after Haley was fired.  If the Chiefs can avoid the injuries they are a very dangerous team and will win the AFC West. 

12) Carolina Panthers

Offense:  The Panthers were 7thin team offense (389.8 YRS, per) and rookie QB Cam Newton accounted for 4,800 yards of offense throwing/running and 35 touchdowns.  The Panthers have a solid line with some depth if often injured RT Jeff Otah or rookie OG Amini Silatolu (#40) struggle.  RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for close to 1,600 yards rushing last year.  They also picked up HB/FB Mike Tolbert to add depth to a talented backfield.  WR Steve Smith had 1,394 yards receiving last year and the team will look for increased production from third year wide-out Brandon LaFell (613 YRS).

Defense:  The Panthers defense ranked 28th overall (377.6 YRS, per) and struggled against both the run and pass.  Head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will have a full off-season to try and implement their defense.  The Panthers drafted LB Luke Kuechly (#9) and he will likely start at MLB with SLB James Anderson (145 tackles in 2011) and former MLB Jon Beason returning from an Achilles injury will likely play weak side LB.  Another LB returning from injury is Thomas Davis who would add some depth at the position. 

Analysis:  The Panthers defense should improve with better LB play but they still have some question marks on the d-line and secondary.  The offense should be excellent and balanced which will keep the defense off the field.  The Panthers are good enough to take the next step with the Saints hurting from bounty-gate and the Falcons possible coming back to the pack. Carolina will have a chance to win the NFC South or at least contend for the playoffs. 

11) Chicago Bears

Offense:  The Bears season fell apart last year after losing QB Jay Cutler.  Job one is to keep Cutler healthy and new offensive coordinator Mike Tice will use a much different approach than his predecessor Mike Martz.  Don’t think Cutler will be sending Tice profanity laced messages via the sidelines as Martz’s play calling led to many Cutler beatings.  The Bears picked up former Cutler teammate WR Brandon Marshall and RB Michael Bush.  Franchised RB Matt Forte is currently in holdout mode but reports say he’ll be there opening day.  Besides Marshall the Bears drafted WR Alshon Jeffery (#45) to go with Earl Bennett and Devin Hester.  The offensive line gave up 49 sacks last year and has been a problem for awhile.  It has already been reported Tice will have Cutler getting the ball out early and using the running game more, this should help lower the sack numbers. 

Defense:  The Bears have a solid defense but would like to improve on their 33 sacks from last year.  Julius Peppers led the way with 11 so the bears drafted DE Shea McClellin (#19) to play across from Peppers. 

Analysis:  The Bears play in probable the toughest division in the NFL which could produce three playoff teams.  If they can keep Cutler upright and health the Bears will battle for a spot in the postseason as double digit wins are likely.

Jets Sign Journeyman Fullback – Ful Vakapuna

The Jets have signed free agent fullback Ful Vakapuna.  Originally a seventh round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009 Vakapuna played collegiately at Brigham Young University.  He is probably better known for appearing on the HBO show “Hard Knocks” then anything he’s done on the football field.

Cut by the Bengals before the 2009 season Vakapuna ended up on the Arizona Cardinals practice squad before being re-acquired by the Bengals added him to their 53-man roster.  Vakapuna was expected to make the Bengals in 2010 but was released due to a shoulder injury.  He was released again in 2011 by the Bengals and signed with the Indianapolis Colts practice squad in October only to be removed by November.

There have been rumors that the Jets are not please with incumbent fullback John “The Terminator” Connor and would like to bring in some competition.  Given that Vakapuna has never appeared in an NFL game over three seasons he’ll be a long shot to even make the roster.