17 October 2012
I remember that guy!
The Likely Lad and I are off to London Town to see our other football team and its closet gingy manager obtain violent and merciless retribution against its inner-city rival and racist, home-wrecking, little-boy haircutted defender. (7:45 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2!) (I'm a company man.)
Before we do that though, I felt emotionally obligated to breathe life into this aging blog. We're like one of those fruity smelling candles where you put the lid on top to put out the flame, but right as it's about to be extinguished, you rip off the lid and the flame re-ignites. Plus, the Jets play the Patriots this weekend, and as long as Rex Ryan is the Jets head coach it'll always kind of be a big deal when the teams meet.
Anyway, we're going back to an old favorite, a theme that produced two memorable seasons and starred in this site's glory days: Things We Never Knew (About the 2012 Jets)
*OK, here we go. In case you forgot from last season, here is the origin of "Things We Never Knew."
Rex Ryan has a peculiar hitch in his speech, a sort of verbal trope the listener might only notice after a year or so of press conferences. It goes like this: When you would say, "I didn't know," Rex says, "I never knew." When you'd say, "I did not anticipate that happening," Rex would say, "I never anticipated that happening." Basically, the guy always says "never!" He never says "not!" *
1. That Shonn Greene Is Still Alive
Here's a depressing stat: Shonn Greene has not rushed for 100+ yards and a touchdown in a game decided by less than 24 points since, you (probably haven't) guessed it, Jan. 17. 2010, when the Jets beat the Chargers, 17-14, in the AFC Divisional Round (23-128-1). Greene provided the signature moment of that season and perhaps the Rex Sanchez era, when he ran over Eric Weddle en route to a 53-yard touchdown. Just a week later Greene began to show signs of perhaps his most glaring weakness---his lack of durability---when he left the AFC Championship Game with bruised ribs and the Jets leading 17-13. Greene couldn't muster the cojones to finish the game, and an ineffective Thomas Jones (16-42-0) forced the Jets to abandon Ground and Pound and allowed the Colts to take the lead and win the game. (I swear I don't think about these things every day. Just every week.)
Fast-forward nearly three years and we've had Jets fans calling for the likes of Bilal Powell and Jonathan Grimes to usurp Greene as the Jets starting running back. Whether it was a soft Colts defense or the realization his livelihood was at stake, Greene responded with his most impressive performance since that glorious January afternoon, rushing for a career-high 161 yards and three touchdowns in the Jets, 35-9, victory. If Gang Green has any chance of beating the Patriots on Sunday, that same angry, battering Greene must make a return appearance.
2. Antonio Cromartie Has A Second Gear
When Darrelle Revis went down for the season all Jets fans had nightmares of Cro-DontWearA-Magnum covering the opponent's no. 1 wide receiver. The Jets were slated to face the likes of Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Larry Fitzgerald. And outside of his all-pro season with the Chargers in 2007 when he led the NFL in interceptions, Cromartie never showed he had the talent to be an elite cornerback in the NFL. Well, through three games, Cromartie has delivered, backing up his inane claim that he was the second-best cornerback in the NFL. He has held Michael Crabtree, Johnson, and Wayne to 8 catches for 109 yards and no touchdowns through three games, stats that would even make Revis blush. This week should be trickier, however, knowing how nefariously the Patriots deploy their wide receivers and tight ends, and due to Brandon Lloyd's freakish skill set.
3. Austin Howard Is A Competent Right Tackle
(Whispering) I know, right?!? You've barely noticed him out there. Brick has been a bigger liability than him! Oh, crap. I think Wilfork and Chandler Jones can hear us. Let's stop talking about this.
4. Dustin Keller Is A Huge...Yeah
I know it's terribly unfair for me or any other Internet blowhard to criticize Keller (or Greene) for not playing through an injury, but it's hard to believe a non-hamstring tear could keep an NFL player out four weeks, let alone in a contract year. Even in the two games he's played, Keller has a grand total of two catches for 13 yards. Moreover, he's not even being targeted by Mark Sanchez, who in seasons past has forced pass after pass to Keller even when he was not open. It's time for Keller to wake up; he's losing money off his next contract every week.
5. Mike Tannenabum Is A Terrible General Manager
JK. Lolz. We already knew that.
If you're going to blame anyone for the inevitable 8-8 finish to this season (the Jets are 11-11 in their last 22 games), it shouldn't be Sanchez (see: NYJ's starting receivers vs. Texans/49ers), it shouldn't be Rex Ryan (I NEVER said he was to blame!), and it shouldn't be Revis and Santonio's injuries (they would have been better off cutting Santonio before the season so his money didn't become guaranteed), it should be Tannenbaum. The pompous asshole of a GM has not added an impact player through the draft or free agency since drafting Revis in 2007. His failure to sign Nnamdi Asomugha crippled the team's offseason in 2011, and he failed to redeem himself this past summer. If anyone pays the price for another failed (non-Super Bowl) season, it should be Tannenbaum.
6. Nick Folk is the Jets Most Reliable Offensive Weapon
What the hell am I doing? Never mind.
(Seriously though, Folk has missed crucial first quarter field goals in two of the last three Jets-Pats games. My money is on him making that three of four on Sunday.)
Prediction: Jets 23, Patriots 22
Prediction Record: 34-25
(For those new readers, I have never predicted the Jets to lose a game on this blog.)