2018 AFC Predictions

It seems that we have been predicting the demise of the New England Patriots unsuccessfully for the last 7 years. This season the Patriots will miss this player or this player. Yet here we are again with the 2 time defending AFC Champions ready to battle off conference contenders who appeared to have closed the gap.

3d illustration of an NFL logo behind a transparent silver American football on top of a green football field

Yet here we are with a great number of marquee players returning from serious injury. How quickly can DeShaun Watson, Andrew Luck, and JJ Watt return to form?? Can the Steelers offense find a rhythm once they get LeVeon Bell to report to the team??

There is this team out in Los Angeles no one wants. Not only do they return with the NFL’s 4th ranked offense featuring Melvin Gordon (1,105 yds 8 TDs rushing / 58 rec. 476 yds 4 TDs) & Phillip Rivers (4,515 yds 28 TDs and only 10 ints) on a team that went 9-3 to finish the season.  It took the Chargers 4 weeks to get used to Coach Anthony Lynn’s staff and a new home as they started 0-4.

2018 AFC Predictions:

AFC Wast Champs: LA Chargers 12-4*

AFC East Champs: New England Patriots 11-5

AFC North Champs: Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6

AFC South Champs: Houston Texans 9-7

Wild Card: New York Jets 10-6

Wild Card: Kansas City Chiefs 9-7

AFC Champions: LA Chargers

Yes the city of Los Angeles will have a team in Super Bowl LIII but not the team that everyone is anointing.

The Chargers best pass rush since the mid 80’s.

Keep in mind the Chargers defense was middle of the road ranked 15th and should improve as Joey Bosa returns from a foot injury. However a closer look shows this team gave up 319 yards per game in the last 8 games. Good enough to make the top ten. Fellow DE Melvin Engram III came on with 10.5 sacks to combine with Bosa’s 12.5 which anchored the NFL’s 3rd ranked defense against the pass. This team is ready to make a move.

A lot of pundits want to anoint Andrew Luck as back however The Chancellor sees nothing but rust, rust, rust. He hasn’t played football in over 600 days and Colts fans will wince everytime he hits the ground. Keep in mind he has 4 games against Sacksonville (55 sacks) and Tennessee (43 sacks) which finished in the top 5 in QB take downs. Oh…and 3 time NFL Defensive Player of the year JJ Watt also returns. Sorry Calvin Ladd the Colts will be losing a lot of games. Did you just see that Redzone interception??

Can Forunette stay healthy this season? Has a tendency to get nicked up.

The AFC South will have 3 even teams beating up on each other as no one will take command until the final week. The Titans and Jaguars play several close to the vest affairs. One bounce of the ball one way or the other spells win or loss in at least 6 of their games. Its going to come down to which QB can make plays beyond the X’s and O’s and DeShaun Watson edges Marcus Mariota and Blake Bortles in that regard.

The Steelers and Patriots rule the AFC North and East respectively largely on Hall of Fame QBs. The underappreciated Ben Roethlisberger (4,251 yds 28TDs 14 ints) will have to keep the offense going in Bell’s absence. Pittsburgh is still the class of their division although this could be the last year on that perch. This situation with LeVeon Bell will linger all season. The back and forth between Pro Bowl C Maurkice Pouncey could prove disruptive to team chemistry once Bell joins the team.

This is how The Chancellor of Football’s crystal ball shapes up for 2018. It will be the L.A. Chargers traveling to Atlanta to play for this trophy:

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The History of The AFL: Making Amends

As The Chancellor of Football, it’s imperative the history of the NFL and AFL is preserved and showcased for future generations. One of my favorite friends to Taylor Blitz Times is Chris Burford. Not only was he the starting wideout for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I, he was the first player signed in the history of the American Football League. He also suggested a great book to me last year. The Ten Gallon War which covered the days when the Chiefs / Dallas Texans battled the Cowboys for the heart of Dallas.

chris burfordAt the end of the highlight for Super Bowl I, he’s the one who puts on the Cowboy hat and heads out as John Facenda’s voice offers “In another year it will be the turn of the AFL. But this first spectacle of a sport belonged to Green Bay.”

These words echoed in my mind when Chris commented on an article which was the earlier incarnation of one I did on the ’66 Chiefs here.

“The major press were all in the NFL’s corner and denigrated our teams throughout the 60′s…however, when all was said and done after 10 years and 4 Super Bowls, the score was AFL 2 NFL 2…..(Chiefs 1-1), and the football world knew we could play with or against anybody….was a great time in pro football and a joy to have played in the AFL, from the beginning and through the emergence of the league….John Facenda, the Sabol’s, Pete Rozelle, Sports Illustrated, and the NFL propaganda machine notwithstanding.”

Full comment and original article here.

I thought it would be fitting to share with Chris one of my older archives where the late Steve Sabol had the late John Facenda narrate The History of The AFL. It’s told in a very respectful vain. The importance of this is even in the highlight for Super Bowl III, NFL Films narrated it with an NFL slant. Steve Sabol some time around 2000, later apologized for it. Going over the top about “One more moment for the master”- John Unitas trying to bring the Colts from behind instead of focusing on Joe Namath, the AFL, and the Jets victory. Which further validates Chris’ point.

So without further adieu lets take you back to this gem recorded in 1987 yet was produced in 1982.

Unfortunately I started two a day practice and didn’t get the other two shows recorded. What most folks don’t understand is there is still a battle between the AFL and NFL. For those that were there, some like Al Davis, didn’t want a merger. Others went on yet have their memories intact of the 10 year war and are fighting to be remembered and recognized. How the late DE Jerry Mays and FS Johnny Robinson were on the All Time AFL team, yet not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, are glaring omissions.

Websites like mine and Todd Tobias’ Tales From The American Football League do what we can to recognize these players. I know this doesn’t totally make amends Chris but something I wanted to share this Memorial weekend.

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NFL Week 3: The AFC East – Bizarro World

Reggie Bush breaks out for a 65 yard touchdown against Oakland.

If you are a fan of any of the AFC East teams last week, you undoubtedly were scratching your head on Sunday night. First you had the New York Jets, without a touchdown in week 1 while obliterating the Buffalo Bills 48-28, get throttled by the Steelers 27-10. The Jets scored a touchdown on their opening drive and never saw the endzone again. If you close your eyes and listen you can hear the faint chants of “Tebow” starting up.

After one of the most drab editions ever of “Hard Knocks”, it looked like the Dolphins were in for it with rookie QB Ryan Tannenhill taking his lumps, especially after an 0-1 start. Enter Reggie Bush. Not only did Bush dazzle with a 26 car. 172 yard afternoon. He caught 3 passes for 25 yards and energized Dolphin fans on both of his touchdown runs while being named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. With a 35-13 win the Dolphins are feeling confident when they face the Jets this week.

Speaking of AFC Player of the Week candidates: What about CJ Spiller in Buffalo?? Not only does he lead the NFL in rushing after two weeks (292 yads), his play seems to have brought life to a Bills offense beating the Chiefs 35-17. Going back to week 1, Buffalo looked dazed and confused while sleepwalking against the Jets. However once Fred Jackson was injured, Spiller came in and broke a long touchdown run to give the Bills some hope. He carried it into this last game scoring on the first two drives and the team never looked back.

Which brings us to the New England Patriots and the…serious… get up off the floor. Alright we’ll get back to that in a minute. Lets take a look at the AFC East standings…

East Division

W

L

T

PCT

PF

PA

HOME

ROAD

DIV

CONF

STRK

LAST5

New York Jets Jets 1 1 0 .500 58 55 1-0 0-1 1-0 1-1 L1 1-1
New England Patriots Patriots 1 1 0 .500 52 33 0-1 1-0 0-0 1-0 L1 1-1
Miami Dolphins Dolphins 1 1 0 .500 45 43 1-0 0-1 0-0 1-1 W1 1-1
Buffalo Bills Bills 1 1 0 .500 63 65 1-0 0-1 0-1 1-1 W1 1-1

Yes, the New England Patriots fell to the undefeated Arizona Cardinals 20-18 when Gostkowski missed a last second field goal. Are you serious?? Even in their 2008 Super Bowl run, Arizona lost 47-7 in Foxboro. The Cardinals were let off the hook after Ryan Williams fumbled the football with 2:00 left in the game. However there was a huge hold by TE Rob Gronkowski when Danny Woodhead broke what appeared to be the game winner. Very uncharacteristic of a Bill Belichick team. The game itself was a defensive struggle and the one thing New England could take away from this loss was the solid play of their young defense. After 2 weeks they are ranked 2nd in the NFL.

One thing that needs to take place is Wes Welker has to be a larger part of the offense. The Patriots offense really bogged down once they lost TE Aaron Hernandez. However the Patriots were beaten on the line of scrimmage and Tom Brady saw pressure most of the game. The riff between Welker and the front office has to stop and they need to go to him 12-15 times in this Sunday nighter against Baltimore. The short pass is what Brady needs to keep from getting hit and he’s been sacked 3 times each game. This is the wrong stat when facing the Ravens defense which promises to bring pressure. Here is where Welker needs to be prolific although Kellen Winslow has been signed to replace Hernandez. However losing their  first home opener since 2002 did raise some eyebrows. Surely the meetings and practices will be ratcheted up because a second straight home loss could send off alarm bells.

CJ Spiller leads the league in rushing after 2 weeks.

How did Buffalo look so anemic in week 1 yet show so much explosiveness against the Jets?? No question CJ Spiller is drinking some different gatorade in his third year. It could be the reincarnation of OJ Simpson where he played for a few years without distinction and BOOM the light goes on. There has been no player more explosive in these first two weeks in the NFL. He’s on pace to gain over 2,200 yards and right now Bills fans are thinking “Fred Jackson, take your time in coming back.” Jackson was the starter at the beginning of the season and just signed a big contract extension but would you bench him for Jackson right now??

Its been his play that allowed QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to get comfortable last week after a horrible outing against the Jets. The jury is still out on his play for 2012. This week he gets a tune up against the Browns defense that is missing CB Joe Haden to a suspension. He has to get going to complement Spiller and open it up with Stevie Johnson for in two weeks they host the Patriots. By then Belichick figures to return the AFC East to some normalcy. Buffalo’s new playmaker may have something to say about that though.

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The Chancellor’s Take On Mark Sanchez v. Tim Tebow in New York

Everyone is giving an opinion on the quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow in New York,  now it’s time for The Chancellor to weigh in. The latest comments coming from New York Jets quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh. First he expressed that Sanchez made ‘poor decisions’ last year and now the next day raving about the upside of Tebow’s throwing prowess. It’s been interesting to watch. From the second New York signed Tebow the controversy started and as usual the Jets have been vocal in the media yet none seem to support their starting quarterback of the last three years.

Ironically now Tebow comes to work and the first item praised is how he’s working on his throwing ability. Are you kidding me?? His stat-line for the 2011 season was 126 of 271 for 1,729 yards 12 TDs and 6 interceptions. He completed just 46% of his passes….46%?? In an NFL that has changed the rules and officiating to the point that every major passing record fell last year and that was the best Tebow could do?? So he’s to unseat Mark Sanchez who competed 56% in going 308 passes out of 543 attempts for 3,474 yards, 26TDs and 18 interceptions??  That can’t be a sentiment expressed with a straight face… not if you know football.

By the way, Sanchez’s 26TDs were the most by a New York Jet since Vinny Testaverde threw for 29 in 1998. In that year Testaverde led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game.

No doubt Sanchez has to improve on his interceptions but too much has been thrown on his shoulders. Let’s talk about the complete and utter collapse of the New York rushing attack and defense to start the 2011 campaign. First off going into week 5, the Jets defense had given up 34 points in back to back outings against the Raiders and Ravens. Where was that stout defense you were known for?? It was at that point we here at Taylor Blitz started to criticize the anemic rushing attack of Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson who were averaging 3.1 and 3 yards respectively.  https://taylorblitztimes.com/2011/10/09/nfl-week-4-afc-east-see-you-at-the-crossroads/ Greene only had 157 yards rushing in the first four games. This before the Patriots throttled them 30-21. Although the team fought back and had a chance for the playoffs this really derailed your season. The blueprint was the Patriots game.

The Jets as an organization and a coaching staff are more to blame than the quarterback. It was you who let Sanchez confidante and productive route running receiver Braylon Edwards go. How close were they?? When Braylon landed in New York the teammate he met was Sanchez who was studying film at the house of then Jets safety Kerry Rhodes. He was his go to guy. You signed Santonio Holmes to a $50 million contract who runs very lazy routes yet was supposed to be the deep threat. Isn’t it ironic that Edwards had better statistics in 2010 when you made this bonehead decision (Edwards 53 rec. 904 yds /7TDs to Holmes 52 rec. 746 yds /6TDs).  http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/nyj/2010.htm Edwards reception yardage record was nealy 3 yards better than Holmes. To top it off you lost WR Brad Smith in free agency then to add further insult to injury you signed another terrible route runner in the slow Plaxico Burress, who had been incarcerated for more than a year and was not in football playing shape. All of this before you also lost dependable 3rd down WR Jerricho Cotchery.  Fittingly the first grumbling heard about Sanchez was from Holmes, the receiver the Steelers gave up on after he was a Super Bowl MVP for them. Great for chemistry.

As for Tebow, the circus comes to town with him. He has a tremendous following that has more to do with his religious convictions than pure football skills. He did have many a fourth quarter rally and you have to give him credit for that. What needed to be pointed out that wasn’t, was the Bronco defense keeping him in all those games. Tebow fans say how much of a leader he is…well so are most quarterbacks. Yet time and time again we kept saying that the Broncos have to minimize his passing to make him more effective. https://taylorblitztimes.com/?s=Tebow+Quotient Coming out of college, our CEO had Tebow as an H-Back or Tight End because of his questionable throwing and his statistics bore that out. We said we would grade him fairly and we have. Tebow fans point to his 6 fourth quarter comebacks yet seem to go blank on the 40-14 loss to Buffalo, 45-10 trouncing they took at home from the Detroit Lions, the 41-23 pounding they took from the Patriots before being routed 45-10 in the playoffs.

The last time I checked, Mark Sanchez won in the playoffs IN New England the year before and held the NFL record for road playoff wins with four until Eli Manning broke it last year. Tebow has one home wildcard win to Sanchez’ four road playoff wins and 2 trips to the AFC Championship Game. So let me get this straight… You want to replace a quarterback who’s beaten Belichick and New England on several occasions including playoffs for one that has been routed each time he’s played them with an ineffective running game?? Good luck. If you wanted to light a fire under your present quarterback, draft one. These non votes of confidence for your incumbent could derail this entire season if things don’t get off to a good clean start. Don’t take blame front office it’s all the quarterbacks fault and now you’ve whipped your fans into a frenzy with all the talk coming out of New York. First with Super Bowl promises and now with nonsensical desperate moves. Did you know the Broncos scored 309 points while allowing 390?? That’s a negative 81 point differential… and if Tebow was so effective, why did he get ousted and Peyton Manning signed in the blink of an eye??

By the way…if Tebow starts, Rex Ryan will be the first coach fired this year because it will be an abject failure…and you heard it here first.

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NFL Week 11 AFC East: As The World Turns

Patriots rattle Mark Sanchez in the 2nd half

It is at this point that we want to say this has been the strangest season in NFL history. More ups and downs than a roller coaster at Cedar Point and more twists and turns than the end of a mystery novel. Every division in the NFL has several teams within striking distance of their individual races yet one has an all familiar shape to it. No, not the hoodie again?? Yes the hoodie again. Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots drew and quartered the New York Jets on Sunday night to regain control of the AFC East.

Sunday night’s tilt saw the Jets beaten at their own game. Usually the Jets play a ball control, close to the vest affair leaning on their defense. Then open up their attack in the second half. However Tom Brady and the Patriot offense beat them to it and pried open a 9-7 deficit and pulled away in a 37-16 laugher. The difference was Brady’s ability to make adjustments to how the Jets were defending them. With Darelle Revis hounding Wes Welker all night, Brady opted to throw to his tight ends. They combined for 12 receptions yet it was Rob Gronkowski’s 8 receptions for 113 yards and 2 TDs that was the difference. Ochocinco was brought out of witness protection for a 53 yarder to introduce another element to their attack.

Ninkovich's second interception of Sanchez was the icing on the cake.

In contrast Mark Sanchez didn’t pass the eyeball test all night. He looked uncomfortable and had to force several throws. Stat-wise his night wasn’t that dissimilar from Brady’s. He completed 6 fewer passes for 23 fewer yards (Brady 26/39, 329 yds v. Sanchez 20/39, 306 yds). Yet of those six, two were interceptions with one being the game clincher by Nickel backer Rob Ninkovich.

After Santonio Holmes the Jets didn’t have a speed outlet that scared the Patriot defense. Subsequently the coverage on the intermediate routes grew tighter and tighter and exposed the Jets offense. As we watched this performance, we saw the same thing the television audience saw. The Jets are a slow football team. Plaxico Burress doesn’t have a burst and is only good from in close. Who wouldn’t be at 6’5 catching over a 5’9 defensive back?? Yes he caught his touchdown from seven yards out but only caught 3 passes on the night for 32 yards. On two occasions he ran pedestrian slant routes that Patriots DBs were able to knock down. The tradeoff of Plaxico Burress for Bralyon Edwards has backfired and their receivers no longer have balance. Edwards could stretch the field more and ran better routes to bail out Sanchez on 3rd down. Had to say it…lets take a look at the standings

AFC EAST W L T PCT HOME ROAD DIV CONF PF PA DIFF STRK
New England 6 3 0 .667 3-1-0 3-2-0 3-1-0 5-2-0 259 200 +59 Won 1
NY Jets 5 4 0 .556 4-1-0 1-3-0 2-2-0 4-4-0 215 200 +15 Lost 1
Buffalo 5 4 0 .556 4-1-0 1-3-0 1-1-0 3-2-0 229 218 +11 Lost 2
Miami 2 7 0 .222 1-3-0 1-4-0 0-2-0 1-6-0 158 178 -20 Won 2

Ryan Fitzpatrick is hounded by the Dallas defense last Sunday in a 44-7 loss.

Now what the hell was that that happened in Dallas?? Fortunately our boss, who is a Bill’s fan, is off this week and it looks like his team took it off also. 44-7?? What had been lost in the Bills 4-0 start was the fact that their defense ranked near the bottom. They were opportunistic in those first weeks leading the league with 12 interceptions yet without those they can’t get the other offense off the field. Losing Shawne Merriman has robbed the Bills of pass rush prowess that’s desperately needed. Right now the Bills are ranked 29th on defense and are tied for 27th in sacks with a paltry 15. If you can’t force teams off the field the last thing the Bills can afford are turnovers. In their first 6 games, the Bills were in rhythm and only had 7 turnovers as they started 4-2. Their last 3 games, 2 of which were losses?? Nine turnovers while going 1-2 in those.  This has to stop for the Bills to right a season that looks like they’ve lost a handle on.

Fred Jackson carries several Cowboys defenders in Sunday's loss.

saving grace for the Bills is the play of Fred Jackson. The underappreciated back hit the Cowboys defense for 114 yards to bring his season total to 917 and 6 TDs. He has emerged as a dual threat with 392 yards on 34 receptions and should make the Pro Bowl. His continued performance is needed to help Ryan Fitzpatrick not face a pass rush that is getting to him more in these last four games. With their center Eric Wood sustaining injury the line isn’t as formidable and could see problems the rest of the way. The Bills can right the ship with a big win. Yet it looks like their meal ticket may come from the ground game as we head toward winter games and 3 of their next four on the road. At 5-4 they are in desperate need of a win to keep pundits and other teams from thinking the sand is out of their 2011 hourglass.

Well one further thing to note: The Taylor Blitz Times in it’s NFL Annual Preview picked the New England Patriots to face the New York Jets in the AFC Championship. Well after being swept by the Pats, the Jets are hanging by a thread with 4 conference losses. The Jets have to nearly run the table just to make the playoffs and they had better find some answers. After a season of antics from Rex Ryan, it’s time for his team to deliver on the field and grow into the unit they say they can be. It’s alright to talk and be verbose when your team is pulling out big wins.

Well if the Jets can’t right the ship, their season will be defined by their losses to the arch rival Patriots. So we know Rex Ryan said “I wasn’t brought in to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings”…well…we just received a fax and wanted to share it with you. We’re not exactly sure what it means…you tell us

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NFL Week 4 AFC East: See You At the Crossroads

The AFC East has a Super Bowl favorite, a Gotham media darling, and a classic underdog who are all vying to be pro football’s best for 2011. Then you have the Miami Dolphins who lost their quarterback Chad Henne to season ending shoulder surgery as of Thursday. Where do the Dolphins go besides a rebuilding year now with their main quarterback out?? Then more important question comes up… Who are the New York Jets?? Are they the team we here at Taylor Blitz Times picked to win Super Bowl XLVI, or are they the .500 ball club emblamatic of their 2-2 record??

Right now there is a team to the northeast, dying to get some payback and deal the Jets possibly a crushing blow to their season in the Patriots. They have treated their first four games like a 7 on 7 passing drill with the league’s #1 ranked offense.  Do you realize this team is averaging 507 yards per game?? The New Orleans Saints are #2 and average nearly 50 yards less per game. YIKES! Is this really the time for a Jets defense, which has given up 34 points in each of the last two games, to take on a Patriots team averaging 33.8?? Tom Brady has passed for 1,539 yards with a league leading 13TDs while leading the second highest scoring team in all of pro football.

Last Sunday the Patriots beat the Raiders 31-19 behind a modest day from Tom Brady (226 yds passing) yet went to the ground game for the first time this season. BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 75 yards while Stevan Ridley (pictured here) ran for 97 with each scoring once. They kept the ball from the Raiders with 30 carries for 182 yards in the most balanced game of the season. However their defense is still struggling. Campbell lit them up for 344 yards yet a few timely stops by the Patriot defense ultimately derailed the Raiders. In a battle of once beaten teams, the Patriots proved they were the more complete team. Now they set their sights on an old antagonist who upset them in the playoffs in the New York Jets. Think this team hasn’t had that game circled on the calender?? Think again…but let’s check the standings.

AFC EAST W L T PCT HOME ROAD DIV CONF PF PA DIFF STRK
Buffalo 3 1 0 .750 2-0-0 1-1-0 1-0-0 3-1-0 133 96 +37 Lost 1
New England 3 1 0 .750 1-0-0 2-1-0 1-1-0 3-1-0 135 98 +37 Won 1
NY Jets 2 2 0 .500 2-0-0 0-2-0 0-0-0 1-2-0 100 95 +5 Lost 2
Miami 0 4 0 .000 0-2-0 0-2-0 0-1-0 0-4-0 69 104 -35 Lost 4

Bills Fred Jackson is among the league's best rushers.

That’s right the Buffalo Bills were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten yet what have we learned?? Well they fear no evil and have gone after their opponents with aplomb not seen since Jim Kelly. When you’re down to a perennial division rival with 3 minutes to go and your first play is a five step, hitch and throw up the sideline for 40 yards, you’re not fearing anybody. Last week the Bills offense was slowed in a 23-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bills were up 17-3, in a game where many felt they were due for a letdown after the emotional win over New England. Yet the #1 defense in football slowed the Bills offense down and rookie Andy Dalton led the Bengals to a comeback win. However the Bills are still 4th in scoring with 33.2 points per game. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/buf/2011.htm Fred Jackson is doing his best Thurman Thomas impersonation with 369 yards rushing, 4TDs, and another 13 receptions out of the backfield for 147 yards more. While Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1092 yards 9 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. They now return to the friendly confines of Rich Stadium where they get to take on the back pedalling 1-3 Philadelphia Eagles. Its going to be loud Michael Vick, just warning you.

Which brings us back to the “Boys from Gotham”…who are they?? Well right now they are a .500 football team. The defense is the strength of this team yet has given up 34 points in back to back road losses to the Raiders and the Ravens. Those were bad losses to fellow AFC teams that will have tie breaker affects on playoff seeding at the end of the year. Now they have to take on a revenge minded Patriot team who is averaging nearly 34 points?? Yikes this doesn’t look good and it’s time to face facts. These three early road games were where this team was to establish it’s dominance. If they could have stood tall and stepped on the leaders of the AFC North and the strongest team in the AFC West they would be coming into this game with confidence and seize control of the conference. Then to put the hammer down on the Patriots would have cemented that point home. Once you think about their stealing their opening game against the Cowboys after a sluggish start and this team could be 1-3.

However they are 2-2 and have a chance to right the ship today. If they can ride football’s #8 defense to a victory against the Patriots they will have held serve that they may still be best in the AFC East. http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&defensiveStatisticCategory=GAME_STATS&conference=ALL&role=OPP&season=2011&seasonType=REG&d-447263-s=TOTAL_YARDS_GAME_AVG&d-447263-o=1&d-447263-n=1 Right now Mark Sanchez has been given free reign of the offense to be able to audible and throw downfield. He isn’t lighting it up statistically and something needs to be done with Shonn Greene and the running game. We know Center Nick Mangold has been out but the ineptitude of the Jets running game is derailing this team. Do you realize that after 4 games Shonn Greene leads the Jets in rushing with only 157 yards?? In four games?? Pathetic!! His rushing average is a paltry 3.1 yards per carry with Tomlinson averaging 3.0. These have to improve and they may have to get into a groove and give Tomlinson the ball first and supplement with Greene. Something has to be tried or they’ll continue to be undone by an unbalanced offensive attack. Will it happen this week in Foxboro??

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