Tag Archives: New York Jets

Takeaways from Bills-Jets game

ARTICLE By BRANDON FAZZOLARI / @spot_bills / Facebook – Brandon Fazz

Was this the most beautiful performance in the history of the franchise? No. But, it’s a win and Bills’ fans will take that all-season long. Unfortunately, the home game verse their weakest opponent is officially over. Starting with a road game in Carolina, here comes the tough part of the schedule!

OFFENSE

What more can you say about LeSean McCoy. He burst through holes when they were there, he made defenders miss and slithered for tough extra yards. He also came up with one of the big plays in the game when he bailed out Tyrod Taylor on a third and long late in the third quarter. Backup Mike Tolbert showed some good quickness on inside run plays as well.

Where the Bills struggled in the ground game was on the outside on sweeps. Particularly when trying to run on the goal line with Tolbert on the initial drive of the game, the Jets easily drove through the Bills’ offensive line and knocked Tolbert back for a loss of five. That drive never recovered and ended in an interception. Fortunately for Buffalo, the Jets tackled themselves. Otherwise, that interception turns into 6 points for New York.

The Bills did a poor job for the most part in getting the wide receivers involved. Taylor’s nicest throw in the game came on an in-cut to Jordan Matthews where the pass itself led Matthews to the open field for a long gain. Andre Holmes scored on the short yardage deception play and Zay Jones made a 21-yard reception early. Other than that, the outside guys didn’t do anything.

The tight ends dominated Jets cover men early and often. The Jets were so focused on stopping the Bills on the run, they sometimes left Charles Clay and Nick O’Leary completely uncovered. If Clay had better hands, he would have been the star of the game statistically. Even so, he scored once and had a few other key receptions.

The offensive line had their ups and downs. Based on the defensive scheme and personnel, they did an adequate job. The Bills certainly piled up the yardage, but only 3 of their five drives deep into Jets’ territory resulted in points. The good news was all three scores were touchdowns.

At quarterback, Tyrod Taylor managed a good ball game and made some nice throws. He also understood the situation and knew when to throw the ball away Truthfully, he will have to be better going forward. Future opponents are likely to score more than 12 points.

DEFENSE

For the most part, the defense was very impressive. New York had no ground game. This defense really flies to the ball. Lorenzo Alexander has a great motor for a 12th year guy and Ramon Humber is your prototypical fast, strong linebacker. Humber had a whopping 12 solo tackles. He is an excellent player. The only positive running play for the Jets came on a third and seven when the coaches weren’t prepared for it.

On the back side, the defensive backs were better as tacklers than they were as cover men. Micah Hyde was a real presence at safety. He is a big improvement over what we saw last season back there. Jordan Poyer was perhaps the most pleasant surprise for Buffalo. He had a sack, a pick, two passes defended and three solo tackles; not bad for a 7th round draft choice on his third team.

The Bills were very weak late in the second and late in the third quarter on pass defense. Veteran Jermaine Kearse beat rookie Tre’Davious White a few times and the pass rush failed to hurry Jets’ veteran QB Josh McCown. When McCown had time, he was able to hit Kearse and check down to his tight end and backs for substantial gains. The Jets only touchdown came on a 4th and goal sneak. The Jets’ O-line got a gooe enough surge for the points.

The Bills’ only injury occurred to EJ Gaines’ shoulder. We’ll monitor his progress throughout the week.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Jets played decently on special teams. The young kicker (Catanzaro) made two long first half field goals, the young punter nailed a clutch 4th quarter kick inside the five (Edwards) and the young return man (Raymond) had a long return in the 4th.

The Bills got 1 good punt return from Brandon Tate. Other than that, the Bills were below average in the kicking game. Placekicker Stephen Hauschka missed his only attempt from 45. It had the distance but the ghost of Weeb Ewbank seemed to brush it aside at the last moment.

 

ARTICLE By BRANDON FAZZOLARI / @spot_bills / Facebook – Brandon Fazz

 

Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer is not Tom Brady

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Ah, 2015.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer dominated opposing defenses last season—and players, coaches and fans clustered around his reflected glow like desert moths. He was the brightest light in a constellation brimming with talent and confidence. The Cardinals regularly occupied opponents’ end zones after precision air and land attacks, and Palmer drove the offense to a 30 points per game average. He finished with 35 touchdowns and a league-best quarterback rating of 104.6.

Enter 2016.

To the surprise of some, it now seems that Palmer is human after all. He has underthrown too many receivers this season, causing some observers to question his arm strength. And he has fumbled three times in his four games. There are murmurs that he has committed the great sin of being 36 years old in a young man’s league, and a glance at his birth certificate confirms it.

But savvy observers know that Palmer hasn’t hit full stride yet, nor enjoyed his full complement of weapons. The offense has missed the presence of Pro-Bowl guard Mike Iupati, who remains out. Speedy wideout John Brown was hurt early in the year and has yet to sync up with Palmer. And receiver Michael Floyd has vanished like Blockbuster Video, or perhaps civility in this political season. Floyd’s disappearance has put more pressure on Larry Fitzgerald to carry the receiving load.

Then there’s the unpleasant business of the Los Angeles Rams summarily slamming Palmer’s head into the turf in week four, putting him into the league’s mysterious concussion protocol and forcing him to sit out the October 6th game against San Francisco. His numbers this season are downright unPalmerian—six TDs against five interceptions—and the Cardinals have crawled out of the blocks with a 2-3 mark. But capable backup Drew Stanton led the Cards to a win against the 49ers, and Palmer is now back on the field.

Despite his slow start, faith in Palmer abounds, from GM Steve Keim to Coach Bruce Arians and all through the locker room. 36 years old? So what? Tom Brady is 38 years old, and he’s still performing at a high level on the field—and likely at home. Face it: Tom Brady married supermodel Gisele Bündchen and you didn’t. What did Brady do after being suspended for air pressure transgressions? Flew to Rome with Gisele and sunbathed nude, to the delight of the Paparazzi. What did Carson Palmer do when he missed time with a mild concussion? He studied the playbook.

Carson Palmer is not Tom Brady. And neither are you.

Still, Palmer has the resume, the tools, and the horses around him to lift the Cardinals out of their sluggish start and into contention.

Arizona hosts the New York Jets this evening under the lights. The Monday Night game has given Palmer an extra day to clear his head, and given the coaches more time to dig into the playbook and try to unearth remnants of last year’s offensive wizardry. Vegas likes the spot, installing the Cards as a touchdown favorite.

Fans have grown restless for the brand of success Arizona enjoyed last year. There is a faint gloom in the collective mood so far this season. The dust devils that swirl up from the desert floor seem more ominous. Cactus flowers seem duller.

Still—for Palmer, the Cardinals and their fans, there is hope. Stubborn, imperishable hope.

Eric Forgaard

This blog is not sponsored by a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Jets Dismantled in KC- Week 3 review @ Chiefs

Well that was bad! Should have been a lot worse considering the Jets committed 8 turnovers. So let’s break down what happened, what went wrong, and what very little worked.

Offense

The good

Matt Forte– He continues to be an effective runner and is always a threat coming out of the backfield. I am really growing to appreciate his patience in reading his gaps and blocks. That extra split second of him reading whats in front of him is how he is able to still be as effective as he is even at his age.

Quincy Enunwa– While a stat line of 4 receptions for 37 yards isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire, Enunwa continues his growth and was the Jets most effective receiver in this game. Only one player for the Jets caught for more yards and that was running back Bilal Powell.

The bad

Play calling in the red-zone– Chan Gailey coming in last season as the Jets offensive coordinator was a godsend to a team that felt like it hadn’t had an effective offense in a decade. Last year was a revelation for the Jets offense, and a rebirth for Fit’z. That trend was continuing this season with strong showings from this unit in weeks 1 and 2. However, that trend was abruptly halted this past week. While the Jets didn’t have problems moving up and down the field, they struggled mightily in the red-zone. It seemed like we have been running the same plays and concepts for a while, and the Chiefs clearly had the drop on what the Jets were doing. This is how they kept the Jets to one measly field goal the entire game.

The ugly

Ryan Fitzpatrick– 6 Interceptions, what else is there to say! Following what I considered to be one of the best performances of Fitzpatrick’s career, we saw the ugly side to the journeyman quarterback. The smart decision making and down-field accuracy shown against the Bills seems to have disappeared over night, and we were treated to this lovely debacle. I mentioned the problems I had with the play calling in the red-zone, Fit’z should have seen that players weren’t open, and protected the football. Some of those pics came on second downs.

Defense

The good

Defensive Line– These guys continue to play at a high level! While there were only 2 sacks total for the Jets, they were consistently providing pressure up the middle and limited an otherwise pretty good run game. Furthermore, you can see how the Chiefs had to game-plan to help slow down the pass-rush, Alex Smith was mostly in shotgun and still dropping back.

Cornerbacks– They were making plays out there! Some were close calls, but overall this was a much better performance than week 1 and 2. No receiver for the Chiefs reached even 50 yards, their best receiving threat was their up and coming tight end Travis Kelce.

The bad

Calvin Pryor– Speaking of Travis Kelce, he had has way with the young Jets safety. Pryor was consistently beaten up and down the field by Kelce, and gave up their lone offensive touchdown to him.

Special Teams Report– Unfortunately special teams became a liability against the Chiefs. Everything was good and well, until the fumble return for a touchdown on a kickoff. It’s very hard to watch you’re team lose by 21 points, especially when 14 came from a pick six and a botched kickoff return.

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New York Jets – Week 2 Review – @ Buffalo Bills

The Bills left a bad taste in the mouths of Jets fans, coaches and players last season. The Jets managed to obtain a very respectable 10-6 record, yet still somehow missed the playoffs. This fate was sealed with a week 17 loss to the Rex Ryan led Bills.

The Offense

The good

Ryan Fitzpatrick– Consider me befuddled. My biggest knock on Fitz this off season was the holding out for money I felt he didn’t deserve. When looking at the tape last season, by which I mean beyond the stats, you realize how many drawbacks Fitz had. His deep passes were inaccurate and it took extra effort from his receivers to make him look good. However, in this game he looked like a 12 million dollar quarterback. He started clumsy with the ball coming loose several times including a recorded fumble which was thankfully recovered by the Jets. He quickly moved past that and picked apart a pair of highly touted corners and a secondary that many considered to be one of the best in the league.

Wide Receivers– Coming off a game where the Jets passing game could be described anemic at best ( not to say the offense didn’t work well in other facets), this game was a revaluation, a return to form if you will. Quincy Enunwa continues his growth, and unlike last week the big two (Decker and Marshall) had stellar games.

Brandon Marshall– Although I mentioned the wide receivers above, I am giving Marshall his own category because of that scary looking injury. From the initial looks of it I gasped in shock, fearing the worst. It looked season ending and, at Marshall’s age, potentially career ending. However, surely enough the machine trotted back onto the field in the next drive.

The bad– Not too much bad on offense, one could argue early on things were looking a little ugly as Fitzpatrick looked like he forgot to hold a football, but these problems were quickly gone. The one big thing that I will point out is Jalin Marshall’s fumble! The Bills turned this one slip up into a big play going in the wrong direction for a touchdown.

The Defense

The good

The Defensive Line– I have a feeling this unit will be talked about a lot this season and show up frequently in this category. While this performance wasn’t as dominating as their 7 sack showing against the Bengals, this was still a dominant and physically opposing unit that limited one of the best rushing teams in the league last season to just 86 yards on the ground. Only 59 of those yards came from LeSean McCoy. They provided a lot of pressure against a mobile quarterback, and if the secondary helped up a little better they would have done some real damage and the score would have been much more lopsided.

The bad

Darrelle Revis/ Game Plan for the Secondary– The secondary gave up two big plays that kept the bills in the game. Two long touchdown passes of over 70 yards kept the Bills hope for a victory alive. One of those plays was directly on Revis, an 84 yard bomb to Michael Goodwin, a receiver with Olympic level speed. Now here’s the thing Revis may have lost a step, but I’m not a fan of how he is being used. During the prime of his career he was such a good shut down corner because of how good he was on the line of scrimmage. He would play man press coverage and receivers would struggle even getting off the line to run their routes. We all know now that he was nursing a wrist injury, an injury that required off season surgery. This is why last season he played a lot of off coverage, gaining a head start against an opposing receiver so he could be in the right place at the right time, of course his age made this difficult and their were times against young speedy receivers where he was simply outclassed. I think in order for Revis to have a good season the defense is going to have to find a way to let him be the physically imposing presence he once was on the line, while having a safety net behind him.

Special Teams Report– The Jets lost only 6 games last season, but in many games they gave up punt returns of kick returns for touchdowns. Furthermore, punting was a real issue last year as well and opponents too often would have a short field to work with. I am happy to report that with a new couch in place and an injection of young talent it looks like the special teams won’t be the liability they were a season ago

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New York Jets Week 1 Preview

The season is almost upon us, and it can’t come any sooner! The Jets will be kicking off their week one home game showdown at 1 PM against the Cleveland Browns. Mike Pettine starts his second season as the Browns head coach, and Josh McCown is at the helm this time. Johnny football will be holding the clipboard, unless an injury, and it could start off rough for the Browns offensive. McCown’s 11 TD to 14 Int’s from last year with the Tampa Bay Bucs won’t cut it this year for a team that needs to get some traction and find their identity. Signing veterans Brian Hartline, and Dwayne Bowe won’t be enough to turn around a weak passing offense. While they might not win too many games through the air, they have a decent mix of running backs behind an improved offensive line. Rookie Duke Johnson might not play due to a concussion he suffered in the teams third preseason game so Isaiah Crowell will be handling the bulk of the carries. Even if Johnson does play though the combo won’t find much room against the Jets dominate line. The Jets finished 5th last year allowing 93.1 rushing yards per game, and that should improve this year. After a crazy offseason that included signing Darrelle Revis, Antonino Cromartie, and ex Cleveland Brown Buster Skrine the secondary is totally revamped. Add in stud USC lineman Leonard Williams, and the Jets should have one of the best defenses in the league. Offensively, new Jet QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will look to target Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall often and early. This is clearly not the same group of wide receivers from last year. It’s still to be seen what other wide receivers will step up, and grabbing Devin Smith in the 2nd round of this years draft should give the Jets a receiver that can stretch the field, once he comes back from injury. Having a healthy Chris Ivory play on first and second down will be the way for the Jets to grind out yards on the ground, and third down back Bilal Powell can hold his own in pass catching, and blitz pick up. Zac Stacy also looks to sprinkle in when Ivory needs a rest. Overall, the Jets look to overpower the Browns in the air, and on the ground. My final score prediction NYJ-17 CLE-10