Monday Morning Quarterback: Quincy Enunwa-ah-ah-ah is Down With the Fitzness

Please enjoy this delightful song in reference to the title of this here post:

Good news boys and girls, for the first time this season, the New York Football Jets didn’t play in a ‘must win’ game. That means there no longer are crazy expectations, young guys can get some opportunities to show the team what they can contribute, and older guys can ease off the gas a little bit to preserve their bodies for next year.

EXCEPT….

After a decent game vs the Rams and a bye week, Bryce Petty was yanked from being QB1 for no apparent reason. Petty had signs of brilliance competence, but it was obvious that he had some kinks to work out on the field. The main difference between Petty’s kinks and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s kinks is that Bryce Petty may have a future in this league, while Fitz is nothing more than a one-year placeholder for the franchise. I get that the big bad New England Patriots are in town and you don’t want to get embarrassed at home, but last time I checked, Bryce Petty hasn’t thrown 6 interceptions in an NFL game.

I’ll be fair, Ryan Fitzpatrick had himself a decent game (22/32, 269 yards, 2 TDs), but it was mostly due to WRs Brandon Marshall (6-67-1) and Quincy Enunwa (5-109-1) bailing him out with spectacular grabs. And, when the game was on the line with less than two minutes left, Fitzpatrick was strip-sacked by DE Chris Long.

This game was just the latest installment in ‘Tom Brady beats the Jets with little to no time left in the game.’ The past seven match ups between the Jets and the Patriots have been decided by 7 or less points, with the Pats winning 5 of them. Despite being visibly banged up and losing star TE Rob Gronkowski early, Brady threw 50 passes, completing 30 of them for 286 yards and 2 TDs. Despite not getting sacked, the Jets had pressure on Brady the entire game, and they had some ferocious hits on him.

The first possession of the game saw the New England Patriots get a favorable spot to convert on 3rd down, followed by a Tom Brady timeout. The Jets reviewed the spot upstairs and Todd Bowles had a rare successful challenge, forcing the Patriots to punt.

The Jets countered by marching right down the field, riding the coattails of WR Brandon Marshall. Him and Fitz connected on a beautiful corner route on 3rd and 4:

The drive ended with a 51-yard FG by Nick Folk.

The Patriots went back to the drawing board and ran a LeGarrette Blount reverse field play with Tom Brady himself leading the way. That’s a bold strategy cotton, let’s see how it pays off for him:

The result of the play was a first down, but the Patriots ended up having to punt again. Quincy Enunwa had his first catch of the year on the day at the end of the first quarter, which was the beginning of a long day for Patriots CB Malcolm Butler:

The first play of the 2nd quarter was a 1-yard ‘Mossed’ TD to Brandon Marshall:

Marshall had a spectacular first half, but then was a ghost in the 2nd half. It was reminiscent of the Seattle game where he had an early TD against Richard Sherman, but was then on the wrong side of two Sherman INTs later in the game.

After a Patriots FG to make it 10-3 Jets, rookie WR Robby Anderson made what turned out to be the game-changing mistake. After a nice 20-something yard gain, Anderson continued to try to make a play despite being in the vicinity of a half dozen defenders. Given his size, and general lack of understanding of how the NFL works, Anderson should’ve stepped out of bounds or kept the ball high and tight while getting tackled. You can’t hate on the rookie for trying to make a big play a huge play, but his inexperience really showed there. It was a heads up play by Malcolm Butler to go right for the ball as well.

Tom Brady did what Tom Brady does and turned that turnover into a touchdown reallll quick. This is when I knew the Jets were in trouble. You could go outside right now and drop a football on the ground just like he did and I guarantee it bounces every which way 9 times out of 10. Naturally, this ball bounces right into Brady’s hands as if he had a string attached to it and he finds rookie WR Malcolm Mitchell crossing in the middle of the end zone. In case you needed a refresher of how washed Darrelle Revis is, this game was more proof.

The Jets were driving again after the Patriots tied the game, but a no-call on what appeared to be defensive pass interference killed the drive. In perfect Jets fashion, Nick Folk’s 54-yard FG attempt was blocked by DT Alan Branch, who got really high. (Just kidding, he can’t jump. Just wanted to make a weed joke.)

The Patriots subsequently missed a FG at the end of the 1st half and the game remained tied at 10-10.

However, their first drive in the 2nd half did put 3 points on the board for New England, largely due to DE Muhammad Wilkerson hopping into the neutral zone on 4th and 1. Everybody and their mother knew what Tom Brady and the Pats were going to do. They do it a million times a year. They’ll line up on 4th and short and hard count until the play clock gets down to 1 or 2 seconds. Tom Brady did move most of his body on the count that drew Wilkerson offsides, but his head is literally on top of the ball. It was the first time Wilkerson’s name came up the whole game, and it was a terrible play for who should be the Jets premier defensive player.

The rest of the 3rd quarter was uneventful, and the Jets started the 4th quarter with the ball. They put together one of their best drives of the season, hitting Matt Forte for a good gain, Marshall for another 13 yards, and even incorporating TE Brandon Bostick for a play. Then came Quincy Enunwa’s second catch of the year on the day:

(If this game had a subtitle it would be Malcolm in the Middle because either Malcolm Butler or Malcolm Mitchell was in the middle of every touchdown scored.)

Enunwa had a phenomenal game. The only downside of this catch and his butt being what made him inbounds was the endless tweets bringing back memories of the ‘Butt Fumble.’

After the Patriots kicked a FG to make it a 1-point game, the Jets squandered their opportunity to ice the game largely in thanks to an intentional grounding call on Ryan Fitzpatrick. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, Tom Brady gets the ball down one score with 5 minutes left in the game. Sure enough, the Patriots marched 83 yards on 9 plays, capped off by Malcolm Mitchell’s 2nd TD on Darrelle Revis.

Darrelle Revis is now the Jets’ family dog that they love too much to put down so they’re letting him live out his last days moving around all slow and mopey, a la Peyton Manning circa 2015.

Finally, down 5 with 2 minutes left, the game’s in your hands Ryan, what do you do!!??

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AIDS. New England Patriots 22 @ New York Jets 17.

 

Next week, the Jets get to poison the nation’s eyes on Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are 5-6 but are within striking distance in the AFC South. They were recently dismantled 28-7 on Thanksgiving, but that was without QB1 Andrew Luck. Luck has been in concussion protocol for over a week and a half now, but his availability for Monday is still in question. His availability probably is the difference between a win and a loss for the Jets. Luck has thrown for 2827 yards and 19 TDs, while backup QB Scott Tolzien looked overwhelmed Thursday night. The Colts are a pass heavy team and boast a great trio of WRs in TY Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett. With a healthy Andrew Luck, the Jets could be in big trouble.

Prediction with Luck: Indianapolis Colts 31 @ New York Jets 24

Prediction without Luck: Indianapolis Colts 17 @ New York Jets 20

 

Now onto the awards from this week:

The GOAT:

Quincy Enunwa (5-109-1)

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Quincy is a motherfuckin’ starboy. The catches that he made in this game would be talked about for weeks if Odell Beckham wasn’t doing the same for New York wearing blue. Enunwa is becoming a more reliable target than Brandon Marshall. Look at the stats:

Despite seeing 25 less targets, Quincy has almost as money yards and receptions than Brandon Marshall. Also, Marshall’s catch rate is not good at all for a receiver of his caliber. Enunwa’s emergence this year now allows the Jets to explore other options pertaining to Marshall and Eric Decker this offseason.

Honorable GOATs:

LB Darron Lee (11 tackles, 1 pass defended)

2016 1st round pick Darron Lee had a strong outing against the Patriots while playing all 73 defensive snaps. Lee has been banged up a couple times throughout the year so it was reassuring to see him out there for an entire game against a physical team and a bruising RB in LeGarrette Blount. Although he didn’t get the challenge of defending Rob Gronkowski, Lee was strong in both pass and run defense and finally showed signs of why he was 1st round caliber talent.

Darryl Roberts (5 tackles, 1 pass defended)

Roberts, who was actually a 7th round pick out of Marshall by the Patriots in 2015, is better than Darrelle Revis. He went step for step down the seam with Rob Gronkowski on an incompletion and broke up a would-be touchdown to Malcolm Mitchell. I’m sure that he’ll have his inexperienced moments now and then, but this was a strong showing by the 2nd year player against the team that cut him in the preseason.

The WOAT:

Darrelle Revis (5 tackles)

He got burnt by a 4th round rookie for 2 touchdowns against his former team. His talent is gone, his competitive edge is gone, and quite frankly, it looks like he doesn’t even want to be there.

There have been examples of plays like this ever since the Kansas City game by Revis. Not only is he getting torched on the field, he’s being vague about injuries and throwing other players under the bus instead of admitting his own defeat. Darrelle Revis should change his jersey number to 24/7 because receivers are open all day against him. This was Revis’ response to why Malcolm Mitchell was able to score the game winning TD:

Dishonorable WOATs:

CJ Spiller

The once great Clemson RB has no business being on this team. His role in the NFL has always been as a pass catching back, but the Jets already have Matt Forte and Bilal Powell, who are lightyears ahead of Spiller in the skills department. Spiller was also supposed to be an immediate factor in the KR game. He hasn’t done squat. To make matters worse, he dropped a wide open pass deep down the left sideline that easily could’ve ended in a TD, or at least a 40+ yard game. The Jets’ veteran players have been atrocious this year, which can be detrimental to the team’s younger guys as well.

Muhammad Wilkerson (2 tackles)

“Beast Mo” has been anything but a beast this year. Since his 1.5 sack showcase in Week 1, he has recorded 1 sack. This is the same man that had 12 sacks and forced 2 fumbles this year. With Leonard Williams’ rise to power and Sheldon Richardson’s somewhat consistent play, Wilkerson is leaving Jets fans wondering why they’re paying him all that money. Muhammad wasn’t even a factor in this game. All he did was jump into the neutral zone on 4th and 1 to give the Patriots a 1st down. He’s been missing meetings, he’s been reportedly feuding with Sheldon Richardson, and now his on the field product is downright embarrassing.

 

 

That’s all for this week, here’s some Jabrill Peppers highlights to get you geared up for #DraftSZN.

 

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Monday Morning Quarterback: J-E-T-S Just Endure The Suffering

This game sucked. It was boring, it was sloppy, it was heinous. There were 15 punts, and neither team went over 300 total yards. In fact, I may just rematch this game when I can’t fall asleep it was such a snoozer.

The 3-5 Los Angeles Rams came into town to play the 3-6 New York Jets, and somehow the NY Post pegged this game as a must win for New York. This is now the 10th consecutive ‘must win’ game for the Jets, of which they have only won 3.

This game featured the much-anticipated first start for QB Bryce Petty. While very few think that Petty will be the long term answer for the Jets, it was a great change of scenery for anybody besides Ryan Fitzpatrick play Quarterback. Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey gave Petty a very limited playbook and in my opinion didn’t let him play his game. At Baylor, Bryce ran a spread offense in which he would call plays at the line of scrimmage and sling the ball up and down the field. He was only given that opportunity twice in this game, and converted one of them for a beautiful 52-yard pass that landed perfectly in Robby Anderson’s breadbasket. However, he did miss a WIDE open pass to Robby later in the game. This is now the 2nd week in a row that a Jets QB was unable to hit him for a wide open TD down the right side of the field.

This is good, Bryce:

This is bad, Bryce:

On the replay, it looks like Robby may have slowed down a little, but when a guy is that open all you have to do as a QB is place it in his general vicinity. That one play may have very well been the difference maker in this game.

Petty and the Jets looked good early, as they took their 2nd drive of the game 99 yards for a touchdown. After their first possession being a three-and-out, it was refreshing to see a variance in play calling their second time around. After Robby Anderson’s long catch and a 28-yard run by Matt Forte, the Jets ran some trickery dickery for their first score of the day:

As all of you probably remember, I mentioned in last week’s Monday Morning Quarterback after the Fitzpatrick lateral that the hook and ladder is the most criminally underused play in all of football. It’s a good thing that Chan Gailey has been a long-time reader.

After the touchdown, Nick Folk missed the XP, and then the Jets punted on their next 7 possessions. I’m 10000% putting the blame on the New York coaching staff, however. This is a real life possession that the Jets ran:

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Uhhh, hey Jets…

figureitout

Probably not the best idea to run three consecutive rushing plays inside the tackles against one of the best front 7’s in football. I truly hope that the Jets have Bryce Petty start again after the BYE and let him play his own game.

As for the rest of the game, the Jets defense looked great (besides Darrelle Revis). The defense held Todd Gurley to 64 yards (3.0 yards per carry), got to QB Case Keenum 3 times, and only allowed 165 passing yards. Yet, they managed to lose a game where they allowed 0 touchdowns. It was terrible in all facets, despite this punt by Rams P Johnny Hekker:

The Jets had one final opportunity to take back the game with 3 minutes left, but Quincy Enunwa was outmuscled by Rams LB Alec Ogletree as he ripped away a Bryce Petty pass to seal the game with an INT.

Los Angeles Rams 9 @ New York Jets 6.

But good news everyone, Sheldon Richardson and the New York Jets will not quit!

Other good news, the Jets can’t lose until 2 weeks from now. They have a BYE next week. However, the good news comes with bad news; they will be playing the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Remember the last time the Jets played the Pats around Thanksgiving on primetime TV?

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Boy oh boy.

Onto the awards.

The GOAT:

Robby Anderson (3-69-0)

The UDFA out of Temple is quickly becoming a fan favorite, as well as one of the best offensive weapons that the Jets have. Had Petty dropped in a pass anywhere close to Robby  at the end of the first half, his stat line looks like 4-137-1 instead. The kid is quick, he brings newfound excitement to this team, and he is one of the few bright spots that the Jets have regarding their future. Hopefully the Jets will draw up more plays for Robby Anderson during their bye week.

Honorable GOATs:

Defensive Line (1.5 sacks, 5 TFL, 5 QB hits)

DT Steve McClendon had himself a huge day with 1.5 sacks, his first since his two sack campaign in Week 1. Despite being primarily a gap-stuffing run defender, he has blown up some interior linemen for some great plays this season. Sheldon Richardson had a standout game as well, getting Rams RB Todd Gurley behind the line on what could have been huge plays. The DLine as a unit only allowed the reigning Rookie of the Year Award winner to rack up 64 yards on 21 carries, in what was a phenomenal showing. They have another big matchup coming up against LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis in two weeks.

Matt Forte (20-98-0 rushing, 2-11-0 receiving)

Another game with 100+ yards from scrimmage from old man Forte. This is now his 6th game with at least 96 yards from scrimmage. He has answered the critics who thought that he had nothing left in the tank and has shown explosiveness in his past two games with numerous 20+ yard runs. His game mirrors what the Jets want out of RB Bilal Powell, so his presence on the team will even help the team long term when he is no longer around.

The WOAT:

Darrelle Revis (burnt toast)

Shadowing WR Kenny Britt for most of the game, Revis looked BAD. Case Keenum was picking him apart. That sentence has probably never been typed before in the history of time. Take a look:

Britt ended the day with 7 receptions for 109 yards. Revis recorded 4 tackles and didn’t defend a single pass. The Jets are much better off going with the like Buster Skrine, Justin Burris, and Darryl Roberts over the ghost of Darrelle.

Dishonorable WOATs:

Jalin Marshall (dropped punt return, again)

The guy simply can’t catch a ball off of somebody’s foot. It’s revolting to watch. Luckily, he recovered his own fumble, but to quote the internet, “you had one job!” After Jalin’s disaster of a punt return, he one-upped himself by fielding a 78 yard punt over the shoulder on the 10-yard line. A general rule of thumb for a kick/punt returner is to not field anything over your head. You dig your heels into the field at the deepest point you’d like to return the kick and anything over your head you let go. I’m not sure how I know that and Jalin Marshall doesn’t. Don’t make me break out the ole HS highlights.

Coaching Staff

Any coach that loses a game when they only give up 3 field goals has no business being a coach in the NFL. The Jets have a gunslinger QB ready to prove himself, with a Hall of Fame WR & RB, as well as a speedster in Robby Anderson and a matchup nightmare in Quincy Enunwa. Yet, somehow, the only touchdown that they manage to draw up is some schoolyard bullshit hook and ladder play at the 3-yard line. Todd Bowles and Chan Gailey have to come up with some new plays during their bye week for the sake of their jobs.

 

That’s all for this week. Here’s some Leonard Fournette highlights to help ease the pain. #TankForFournette

 

NFL Week 10 Picks

Picks out for Harambe is back and better than ever. I’ve been riding hot and have no signs of slowing down. Nothing like some gambling goodness to fund some weekly debauchery.

My new nickname should be Pusha T because half of my picks last week resulted in a push. I might have to start buying half points so it’s either a W or an L. I went 3-0-2 last week to go to 15-8-3 on the year. To recap Week 9’s picks:

New York Jets (+4) @ Miami Dolphins PUSH

Dallas Cowboys (-7) @ Cleveland Browns WIN

Carolina Panthers (-3) @ Los Angeles Rams PUSH

Indianapolis Colts @ Green Bay Packers OVER 54.5 WIN

New Orleans Saints (-4) @ San Francisco 49ers WIN

 

Pushes aren’t the worst thing in the world, but when all of your other bets hit, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. Time to ride the hot streak and go undefeated in Week 10. The picks:

Los Angeles Rams @ New York Jets (-1) UNDER 40 points

After 3 impressive wins against the Seahawks, Buccaneers, and Cardinals, the LA Rams have lost 4 straight, including 2 consecutive games in which they only scored 10 points. The Rams have been a train wreck on offense, with veteran journeyman Case Keenum at the helm as QB. 2015 Rookie of the Year award winner RB Todd Gurley has yet to have a big game, and the only bright spot on offense has been WR Kenny Britt. I don’t expect Gurley to get going against the stingy Jets defense, even with the developing story that is #CakeGate:

The Rams average 77 yards on the ground a game while the Jets allow 81 per game. They surrounded a big game to Jay Ajayi and the Dolphins last week, but that is partially due to New York benching DEs Mohammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson in the 1st Quarter.

The Jets have had success running the ball this year, averaging 113 yards per game. If the Jets are smart (MAJOR IF), they’ll control the time of possession by establishing the run and sticking to it. The more they allow QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw, the more likely he’ll throw the worst interception of all time.

One factor that I’ve taken into consideration all year is the West Coast team playing on the East Coast in the 1:00 PM time slot. The Rams are doing just that this week, so I believe that they’ll come stumbling out of the gate and will allow the Jets to come away with the victory. I like the under of 40 points in this game because I think that both teams will try to run the ball and let the clock tick. There also is still some speculation as to whether or not Ryan Fitzpatrick will be able to play. If he doesn’t, and Bryce Petty starts at QB, then I definitely think that he’ll be given a simple playbook for the game which includes lots and lots of running plays. If Fitzpatrick plays and he performs poorly, I also think that Petty could come in mid-game and get the simple playbook. The same deal goes for the Rams and QB Jared Goff. The Los Angeles fans have been clamoring for their #1 draft pick to get a shot, so I’d have to imagine that Case Keenum has a short leash in this game as well.

UPDATE:

https://twitter.com/shehanjeyarajah/status/797610374203842560

Bet the rent on the Jets. Our Messiah has arrived.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Carolina Panthers (-3)

After a boring win in Los Angeles, the Carolina Panthers are returning home in what is pretty much a must win game for them. They are 3-5 and can pretty much kiss their season goodbye if they fall to 3-6. Cam Newton is finally 100% healthy and I think he uses his arsenal of weapons to have a vintage Cam Newton game. The Chiefs allow a whopping 124 yards on the ground per game while allowing another 256 through the air. Cam’s healthy, RB Jonathan Stewart is healthy, and his top targets are all healthy as well. Cam has ran 7 times in his last two games, showing that he is comfortable and confident in getting outside of the pocket again. He wasn’t quite himself when he returned from his concussion, but he looks ready to rock now.

For the Chiefs, they will have both QB Alex Smith and RB Spencer Ware returning from injuries this week. While it is always good to have your QB1 back and he is definitely the most trusted guy the Chiefs have, I think it’s almost detrimental to the team to have him back against the Panthers defense. The Panthers secondary is nowhere near as good as they were last year, but they are most susceptible to the long ball. Alex Smith, however, doesn’t have as big as an arm that backup QB Nick Foles has. Smith relies on short passes to TE Travis Kelce and screens/swings to RB Spencer Ware. This is the same quarterback that went nearly 600 days without throwing a TD to a wide receiver. He may not throw one this week, as start WR Jeremy Maclin has already been ruled out.

Edge rusher Justin Houston’s loss will be felt as well, as it’ll allow Cam Newton more time in the pocket as well as having a less skilled LB spy him when he does get out of the pocket. This could be a statement win for a Panthers team that has wildly underperformed all season.

Houston Texans (+2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

While neither team has been impressive this year, I think that the Houston Texans are less of an embarrassment to the league. Despite Brock Osweiler’s best attempts to make the Texans offense look like an expansion team, they still have one of the best RBs in the league in Lamar Miller and one of the best WRs in DeAndre Hopkins. I honestly don’t expect much from the Houston passing game, but I could see Lamar Miller and the rest of their run offense having a field day against the Jaguars.

The Jaguars have a pretty decent secondary, and lesser units have done more than great against the Brocketship. However, Blake Bortles has been terrrrrrrible. He’s become a running joke amongst analysts as a QB that only puts up points in garbage time. I expect the same from him this week. Bortles may throw for 300 yards, but half of them may come in the 4th quarter when the game is already out of reach. This is a big spot for the Texans to keep the league in the AFC South.

Miami Dolphins @ San Diego Chargers (-4)

The Chargers have a sneaky good run defense, only allowing 85 yards per game. Rookie DE Joey Bosa is starting to play like a beast. The Dolphins may have found their RB of the future in Jay Ajayi, but I think that the Chargers will stack the box and force QB Ryan Tannehill to beat them through the air. Tannehill has had a rather pedestrian season thus far, averaging 218 yards per game while only throwing 8 TDs to his 7 INTs. The Chargers are giving up nearly 300 yards in the air per game, so their biggest area of concern should be Kenny Stills or DeVante Parker burning their corners for a big score. San Diego hopes to combat the deep ball threats with CB Casey Hayward, who leads the NFL with 5 interceptions and veteran CB Brandon Flowers, who had a pick-6 last week.

On offense, the Chargers have workhorse RB Melvin Gordon, who has already amassed 1,052 yards from scrimmage in 9 games. He is coming off of a monster game, and he has 12 total touchdowns this season. The Chargers are also getting TE Hunter Henry back from injury. Speedster WR Travis Benjamin is not expected to dress, but I don’t think that will be a major factor in this game.

I think that QB Phillip Rivers at home in this spot is a sure bet. The Dolphins are beatable both by the run and by the pass, so Rivers will call a smart game while taking advantage of the numerous mismatches across the field. The Dolphins got away with some bad throws from Ryan Fitzpatrick last week that resulted in either incompletions or interceptions. Phillip Rivers does not make those same mistakes.

Seattle Seahawks @ New England Patriots (-7.5)

Bill Belichick off of a bye week against a ‘rival’ in Seattle playing on a short week with a healthy Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount, AND Dion Lewis. Don’t try to tell me Bill isn’t focused on this game:

Tom Brady has been remarkable in his 4 games this season, throwing for 1,319 yards and 12 TDs. The Patriots have won all 4 games, and their closest game was an 11-point victory in Pittsburgh. With an extra week to get healthy and the conversation about how Seattle lost Super Bowl XLIX more than New England won, I could see the Pats stepping on the gas and never letting up.

The Seahawks will be without RB Thomas Rawls and potentially RB Christine Michael as well. That would open the door for rookie C.J. Prosise to take RB1 snaps, with only 9 career carries under his belt. That would essentially make Seattle a one-dimensional offense, which is never a good idea against a team that had 2 weeks to prepare for you. The Seahawks were just picked apart by slot man/scat back Robert Woods for a 10-162-0 stat line. WR Julian Edelman must be licking his chops thinking about this matchup. I love this spot for the Pats. Gillette might explode.

 

 

 

That’s all for this week. Call me Jordan Belfort because money is the oxygen of capitalism and I want to breathe more than any man alive.

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Monday Morning Quarterback: P-P-P-Petty And The Jets

Riding high off of a win against the mighty Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets headed to Miami to square off against their division rival. The Jets had won the previous three contests vs the Dolphins, and were looking to keep their momentum going against the easier part of their schedule.

As per tradition, the Jets played their 9th straight “must win” of the year.

Naturally. I wonder how long it’ll be until these turn into “must lose” games. #TankForFournette

 

Now onto the game:

The Jets first drive featured some literal lateral Fitzmagic:

While the end result was a positive, and I believe that laterals, as well as the hook and ladder play are criminally underused, I don’t think I can condone this behavior from Fitz. He already had the first down, and it was only the first drive of the game. Maybe it just didn’t look smooth, making it hard to swallow. Or, perhaps, it sent shivers down my spine reminding me of Brandon Marshall’s worst play in NFL history:

Despite the tomfoolery, the Jets only got away with a Field Goal that drive.

The New York defense started off hot against Jay Ajayi and the Miami offense. Ajayi’s first three carries went for -3, -1, and -5. However, Calvin Pryor and the Jets quickly gave those yards back with this ridiculous ‘taunt.’

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Raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimized by Calvin Pryor’s brushing off of his jersey:

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^ NFL Headquarters, probably.

Two plays after Calvin Pryor poisoned our eyes with that outrageous taunt, Jay Ajayi powered his way in the end zone from 20 yards out to take a 7-3 lead. Ajayi finished the day with 111 yards and a TD as well as 3 receptions for 19 yards. It wasn’t quite his 3rd straight 200+ yard performance, but Ajayi looked very good against the Jets run defense. The Dolphins as a whole ran for 137 yards, nearly doubling what the Jets allow on average (74 yards).

The Jets returned fire with a long rushing touchdown of their own, courtesy of Matt Forte (12-92-1, 1 reception for 5 yards):

https://twitter.com/TurnOnTheJets/status/795339774143987713

The Jets as a team ran for 140 yards and averaged 6.7 yards per carry, which is crazy. The time of possession was almost split right down the middle, so I think that the Jets simply let the game get away from them and they abandoned their game plan. Even with a diminished offensive line, the Jets were running the ball with relative ease and the combination of Matt Forte and Bilal Powell were finding holes and shooting gaps. Its a shame they only had 18 total carries between the two. With the incompetency of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the inexperience of Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg at QB, it’s of utmost importance that the Jets establish the run often and early to alleviate the pressure from their guys.

Speaking of the incompetency of Ryan Fitzpatrick……

https://twitter.com/bmainou/status/795359728482353153

The lone target from Fitzpatrick to a Tight End (Austin Seferian-Jenkins) goes directly to Dolphins DT Jordan Phillips. Defensive Tackles can go weeks without touching a football, but life, uh, finds a way. Turns out that Jordan Phillips was enrolled at the Ezekiel Elliott school of hurdling, however. Also, you can’t blame 190lb WR Robby Anderson for playing dead there. The undrafted rookie probably saw his life flash before his eyes. That interception led to a field goal to give Miami a 20-13 lead.

Speaking of the inexperience of Bryce Petty…….

https://twitter.com/nyjets/status/795362946704703488

The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Ryan Fitzpatrick was hit hard at the end of the 3rd quarter and was awarded a roughing the passer penalty. He went to take the next snap and then motioned to the referee that he was injured. He limped off and and the people’s champ, Bryce Petty made his professional debut. P-P-P-Petty and the Jets got right after it, as he hit Bilal Powell for a 15-yard screen on his first play. After a couple runs, Petty hit Robby Anderson for a short gain and Nick Folk hit a 28-yard field goal to narrow the game down to 4 (20-16).

Next possession, Ryan Fitzpatrick came back in at QB. Bryce Petty ended the day with a completion percentage of 100. He went 2-2 for 19 yards.

Fitzpatrick’s reentry taught us all the valuable life lesson that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone:

Ryan Fitzpatrick is a shell of his former self and he has absolutely no business playing one more snap as Quarterback on the New York Jets. Not only is he physically messing up plays, he is making mental errors that no veteran Quarterback should be making. On this specific play (his 5th red zone interception of the year), Fitz threw a pass to literally nobody while facing a 3rd and 8 from the Miami 11 yard line. The Jets defense had been looking good the past few possessions, so kicking a field goal to make it a 1 point game wouldn’t be a bad move at all. Even taking a sack from that spot on the field wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Also worth noting, I see three open receivers on this play.

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Despite the interception and all momentum on their side, the Dolphins went 3-and-out and then proceeded to fumble the snap on the punt attempt. Fitz then reared back into 2015 and hit Jalin Marshall in stride for his first career touchdown. It was just good enough for the Jets coaching staff to spin Fitz’s performance around and say that they are going to ‘work on the positives’ going into next week’s game vs. the Rams.

And then came the typical Jets play of the day. Typical Jets plays include but are not limited to: butt fumbles, unnecessary laterals, running into each other, fumbling into the end zone, or in this case, GOING OFFSIDES ON THE KICKOFF.

Or, actually, being falsely flagged for going offsides on the kickoff:

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Antonio Allen was flagged for going offsides on a kickoff that Dolphins KR Jakeem Grant only returned to the 22 yard line. The Dolphins obviously accepted the penalty, and the Jets had to re-kick from 5 yards back. Having just ran down the field in an extended kickoff return moments earlier, the same 11 guys lined up again to do the same thing. The Dolphins countered their fatigue by switching out kick returners, bringing in rookie RB Kenyan Drake. The end result:

96 yards to the brib. That’s all the Dolphins needed as the Jets were stunned. They went 3-and-out and then allowed Miami to ice the clock.

New York Jets 23 @ Miami Dolphins 27

The Jets fell to 3-6, while the Dolphins advanced to 4-4. The Jets are last in the AFC East and trail the Patriots by 4.5 games already. I jokingly said to #TankForFournette after the Jets Week 5 loss to the Steelers, but I think that we are very close to that becoming a reality.

Next week, the Jets host the 3-5 Los Angeles Rams. The Rams have lost 4 consecutive games and have a quarterback controversy of their own brewing. The Rams boast the 1st pick in the 2016 draft in QB Jared Goff, but they have had Case Keenum starting all season. He has thrown 9 TDs while throwing 11 INTs. Not quite as bad as Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the LA crowd is clamoring for a changing of the guard. Given the direction both teams are going, it isn’t too crazy to think that this game could be a Jared Goff-Bryce Petty showdown. Besides the QB situation, the Rams also have 2015 Rookie of the Year RB Todd Gurley. After an amazing rookie campaign, Gurley hasn’t been able to find daylight at all this year. He has only ran for more than 75 yards in a game once.

Given the Rams troubles running the ball and the Jets skilled defensive line, the Rams could very well be a one-dimensional unit next Sunday. Los Angeles has been riding the hot hand of WR Kenny Britt to get points on the board, and they have playmaker WR Tavon Austin and TE Lance Kendricks as good weapons, too. Given the Jets’ struggles defending tight ends, this could be a big spot for Kendricks.

There are a lot of variables, such as who will be playing QB for both teams, but I think that the Jets are a more complete team than the Rams, and they will control the clock at home en route to a low scoring victory.

Prediction: Los Angeles Rams 16 @ New York Jets 20

 

Now onto the awards:

 

The GOAT:

Robby Anderson (4-49-0)

The stats don’t nearly paint the picture of how well Robby Anderson played. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite players and it’s refreshing to see his role getting increased week to week. He also had the (almost) play of the game:

Robby completely bailed out Fitzpatrick on a pass thrown into double coverage. He’s made great catches in traffic over the past of weeks and he has been rewarded with an increased role on offense. He actually hopped up after this catch and ran into the end zone, but it turned out that he was barely touched by a defender before he was down. It was a tough call, but rules are rules. It’ll be exciting to see Anderson’s role increased as the season progresses and the Jets start evaluating their young talent.

Honorable GOATs:

Matt Forte (12-92-1, 1-5-0 receiving)

Forte averaged 7.7 yards per carry and didn’t get the rock nearly enough. He’s proven to be able to get the results, but he’s not getting the volume needed. With a depleted offensive line, Forte was able to break off a couple nice long runs, including a 31-yard TD in which he went untouched. With Fitzpatrick’s lack of skill and the eventual young gun takeover, there is going to be an increased emphasis on the run game.

Bryce Petty (2/2, 19 yards)

The future is almost here and it is very bright. I’m definitely overreacting, but I’m very excited to see the Texas gunslinger take some snaps from here on out. And of course, I’ll accept him with arms wide open:

The WOAT:

Ryan Fitzpatrick (17/28, 193 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT)

I think that I’ve said enough throughout this post for you to get the idea. Ryan Fitzpatrick is terrible. There is talent on this team, but Fitz’s abysmal play is taking everybody down a notch. You already know:

Dishonorable WOATs:

Sheldon Richardson & Mohammad Wilkerson (12 total tackles, 1 pass defended)

Something fishy happened between these two before the game. There are rumors swirling around that there was a confrontation between the duo and that was the reason for their absence in the 1st quarter.

Given that these two guys are All-Pro defensive linemen, perhaps their presence could have prevented Jay Ajayi’s 20-yard TD in the first quarter. I’m sure some more information will be released/leaked later this week, but it was definitely a peculiar and stupid move to have Richardson and Wilkerson miss an entire quarter of football. Another area of concern is their lack of transparency regarding the benching after the game. A locker room divided is big trouble, and hopefully these All-Pros aren’t having a ‘this town ain’t big enough for the both of us’ type showdown.

 

Linebackers

With injuries to Darron Lee and Bruce Carter, the Jets had to rely on LBs such as Julian Stanford, Mike Catapano, and Lorenzo Mauldin to step up. Even when healthy, the Jets LBs have had trouble in coverage, allowing TEs and RBs to catch passes with relative ease. That remained the case in this game, as no reception went for more than 24 yards, with TE Dominique Jones leading the way with 3 receptions for 42 yards and a TD. RBs Damien Williams, Jay Ajayi, and Kenyan Drake combined for 6 receptions for 48 yards. The Dolphins wideouts were held to very limited numbers, so almost all of the blame in pass defense can be put on the linebackers. The Jets just need to get healthy, and they really need to address the back end of their depth charts when the season is over.

 

That’s all for this week. Hopefully next week will bring us good fortune. Until then, he’s Bryce Petty’s senior year highlights at Baylor to hold you over:

 

NFL Week 9 Picks

Sorry, I took a Halloween hiatus and became #Halloweakened 10 minutes into it. Once again, I lost all of my money so it’s time to make it all back with some gambling goodness. As a token of my sincerest apology, I am giving you 5 picks this week. FIVE!!!

Week 7 was a roller coaster of emotions. We witnessed a revival of both Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets. I was afraid that I was about to go 0-4, so I did what any logical person would do; I doubled down on a Live Bet in the Raiders-Jaguars game. It all turned out alright and I ended up 2-2 on the week, and I moved to 12-8-1 on the year. To recap:

Chicago Bears (+7.5) @ Green Bay Packers LOSS

Baltimore Ravens (+2) @ New York Jets LOSS

Oakland Raiders (+1)  @ Jacksonville Jaguars WIN

New England Patriots (-7)  @ Pittsburgh Steelers WIN

 

Now onto this week’s picks:

New York Jets (+4) @ Miami Dolphins

I’ll admit, I’m drinking the Jets Kool-Aid and I’m a bit of a homer. The Jets are riding ‘hot,’ as they’ve won 2 in a row, and they have a very favorable schedule down the stretch. Despite abysmal Quarterback play from Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets have established a very good running game with Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. The Jets have turned Fitzpatrick into a game manager instead of a game breaker, and they have been a much better team because of it. When the Jets were great good with Mark Sanchez, they ran an almost identical game plan as the Jets are running now. They had a run heavy offense, worked the quick and easy routes with their receivers, and relied on their defense to keep games close. The Jets defense isn’t the same as it was back then (RIP Darrelle Revis), but their defensive line is still top 5 in the league.

The Dolphins have ridden the coattails of RB Jay Ajayi in their last two games, in which he recorded 200+ yards on the ground in both games. He’s running at a historic rate, but the Jets are adamant that his streak will stop:

History is also on the Jets’ side. Last year, the Jets took down the Dolphins by scores of 27-14 and 38-20. In their last matchup, Jay Ajayi only ran for 6 yards. The Jets allow 74 yards on the ground per game. They’re up against a WR-turned-QB in Ryan Tannehill. The only threat to the Jets this game is Jarvis Landry. In their last meeting, he roasted the Jets for a 13-165-1 stat line. The secondary for the Jets has been an absolute liability, so a similar game is definitely possible for Jarvis.

Dallas Cowboys (-7) @ Cleveland Browns

Come onnnnnnnnnnn. The Cowboys are only favored by 7 points? I get that this is a ‘trap game’ for a team riding high off of a big overtime win on Sunday Night Football, but COME ON. The Cowboys have the top 2 rookie of the year candidates in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley has been playing like a man possessed, and this guy named Dez Bryant is back and playing at 100%. I’m so flabbergasted by this line that I’m almost afraid of it.

There is one area of concern for this game, however. The Browns expect rookie WR Corey Coleman to be back in action. Coleman was last seen burning the Ravens for 2 TDs in Week 2 before breaking his hand in practice. The good news for the Browns is that Coleman was able to condition throughout the entire duration of his injury and he is 100% good to go. This gives the Browns a huge boost in the passing game, as this frees up WR Terrelle Pryor and TE Gary Barnidge. The Browns are going to have to air the ball out if they want to keep up in this game. Cowboys’ CB Morris Claiborne and S Barry Church will both be out. However, 2nd year S Byron Jones is hungry and will be on the prowl against Browns QB Cody Kessler:

Carolina Panthers (-3) @ Los Angeles Rams

Cam Newton is back, don’t @ me. After sustaining a concussion on October 2nd, Cam only ran twice (once for a TD) in his next game back. After a bye week, he led the Panthers to a big win over the Arizona Cardinals while rushing 7 times for 43 yards. It seems that Cam is finally healthy and is back to being his dual-threat self.

The last time the Rams played at home, they lost to the Buffalo Bills 30-19, where LeSean McCoy ran for 150 yards and TE Charles Clay put up 75 yards. The Panthers run game is just a small step behind Buffalo’s and TE Greg Olsen is a top-3 TE in the league. I could see a very similar outcome in this game as the Bills game. Cam’s health is the biggest factor in this game, because the Ram’s front 7 is finally healthy. Coming into this season, they were one of the most feared units, but injuries have plagued them thus far. If Cam Newton is able to elude pressure and scramble freely, it’s a huge wrinkle thrown into the Rams’ game plan. I think Cam runs for at least 50 yards, Ted Ginn Jr gets behind the defense for a big TD, and Greg Olsen has himself a 10 catch game.

The Rams have to hope that either/both Cam Newton and RB Jonathan Stewart aren’t 100% for this game. As a defensive unit, the Rams allow over 100 yards on the ground per game. The Panthers as an offensive unit average 123 rushing yards per game. The Panthers are weak in the secondary. Fortunately for them, Case Keenum is still QB1 for the Rams. However, he and WR Kenny Britt have been putting together a solid string of games and I expect them to continue their success. Coming off of a bye week, the Rams could definitely come up with some trickery with Tavon Austin as well. This will be an interesting game, but I still think it’ll end with the Panthers winning by a landslide. Maybe we will finally see 1st overall pick QB Jared Goff??

Indianapolis Colts @ Green Bay Packers OVER 54.5

I think that these two offenses are ready to explode. Both the Colts and the Packers are flirting with the ‘must win’ label on this game, and these are two of the highest scoring offenses in the game.

The Colts laid an egg at home last week against the Chiefs. TY Hilton tweaked his hamstring early, and the Andrew Luck- Donte Moncrief connection wasn’t quite there yet. However, Hilton has been back at practice in full, and Moncrief will now have another week with his QB under his belt. On defense, the Colts were just torn apart by TE Travis Kelce, WR Jeremy Maclin, and unknown WR Tyreek Hill for 350 yards (Nick Foles also threw for 223 of those yards).

The Packers also lost last week in a shootout in Atlanta. They gave up 288 yards and 3 TDs through the air, despite holding WR Julio Jones to 3 receptions for 29 yards. The Colts receivers in Hilton, Moncrief, and Dorsett and much, much better than Mohammad Sanu Sr. and Taylor Gabriel. On offense, Aaron Rodgers threw for 4 TDs despite missing both WRs Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery. Montgomery is expected to return this week, and Cobb will be a game time decision, but obviously whenever you get back players of their caliber, it’s beneficial to the team.

Neither the Colts nor the Packers have a legitimate running game. The Packers haven’t had a rushing touchdown by anybody not named Aaron Rodgers. I think that this is the recipe for both teams to air the ball out to their healthy receivers against basically nonexistent secondaries.

New Orleans Saints (-4) @ San Francisco 49ers

I will feel 10x more confident about this pick if 49ers RB Carlos Hyde doesn’t suit up.

The 49ers have lost 6 in a row and haven’t looked particularly good in any of those 6 losses. In fact, their closest game was a 7 point loss at home to the Dez Bryant-less Dallas Cowboys in Week 4. Since then, they have been dismantled game after game. Even with a healthy Carlos Hyde, the 49ers do not have any other adequate weapons on offense. Colin Kaepernick hasn’t shown that he can put together a full game at QB, and WRs Jeremy Kerley, Torrey Smith, and Quinton Patton have wildly underperformed.

On the Saints’ side, QB Drew Brees is getting hot now that all of his weapons are back on his side. Despite RB Mark Ingram’s recent case of fumblitis, Brees now has WRs Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, Michael Thomas, Brandon Coleman, as well as TEs Coby Fleener and Josh Hill. Even if Ingram fumbles the ball again, the Saints can easily spread the field and pick apart the lackluster 49er defense with one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Saints by a hundred thousand trillion.

 

 

That’s all folks. Five picks this week. Call me Bernie Sanders because I’m sharing the wealth.

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