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Everything posted by TaborJet

  1. Your home for all off-topic interests, except for religion and politics! Anything interesting to chat about until, oh...next fall? Enjoy your stay here!
  2. Happy Birthday, Tyson! Let's hope the Jets give us all a gift today!
  3. Some of the inhabitants from up there are questionable as well.
  5. Look, we Jets fans certainly hate the Pats, but why the extra hate today? The Jets just have to take care of business today. Yes, screw the Patsies, but c'mon fellas. No need to get those panties in a bunch over this game!
  6. Started my diet today, and got my elliptical all tuned up. Why wait for the new year to start? F it. Now is the time. I actually haven't had a bad meal since the IHOP fiasco, but now the real deal begins.
  7. You may have well just said, "Please everyone photoshop this photo."
  8. Pressure is on New York Jets coach Mangini to deliver a playoff berth Posted by bwentwor December 20, 2008 17:40PM Nick Mangold, Thomas Jones, and Brett Favre, from left, are three of the Jets' seven Pro Bowlers this year. Jets coach Eric Mangini knew the question was coming and had one of his signature canned answers ready. On Wednesday, a day after the Jets placed an NFL-high and franchise-record seven players on the AFC Pro Bowl squad, he was asked if that added to the pressure of making the playoffs. Mangini smiled and said it's just more ammunition for his critics if the Jets don't make the postseason. "It's right on down the line," he said. "The free agents (we signed), Brett Favre, the new facility, (Patriots quarterback) Tom Brady going down, points (the Jets have scored) in the season. That question consistently gets asked. "The only pressure I feel is to give the guys the best plan to win each week. There's so many things that go on externally, there's so many perceptions or discussions about different situations. That's not really the focal point. The focal point is trying to get our guys to play the best that they can." Fact is, Mangini knows his detractors will be ready to pounce if the Jets (9-5) fail to reach the playoffs, a goal that will be made even harder if they stumble Sunday in Seattle against the struggling Seahawks (3-11). Owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum have given Mangini everything a coach could ask for, not the least of which are those seven Pro Bowlers. Quarterback Brett Favre, who some believe didn't earn the Pro Bowl honor, and left guard Alan Faneca, who signed the richest free-agent contract for an offensive lineman in NFL history, top the list. Massive nose tackle Kris Jenkins, running back Thomas Jones, kick returner Leon Washington, cornerback Darrelle Revis and center Nick Mangold also earned trips to Hawaii. All were acquired by Tannenbaum over the past three seasons in an effort to give Mangini the type of football team he desired. For that to pay off, the Jets almost certainly need to win Sunday -- they are 4
  9. Jets-Seahawks: The Breakdown Posted by bwentwor December 20, 2008 17:49PM Seattle coach Mike Holmgren will walk off the field Sunday for the final time before taking a one-year sabbatical from football. WHEN THE JETS HAVE THE BALL QB Brett Favre is stumbling to the finish line. After posting a quarterback rating of 117.7, 119.4 and 103.6 in a three-game stretch -- all wins, he has slipped to 60.9, 60.8 and 61.4 in the past three games. And his interception total is a league-high 17. With their short passing game no longer a secret, Favre did stretch the field a bit against the Bills last week. WR Laveranues Coles caught five passes for 82 yards against Buffalo, but all of them came in the first half. Favre had four passes of 20 yards or more but completed just five of 13 passes for 58 yards in the second half. At least Favre should be in his element Sunday with snow in the forecast. That could mean a heavy dose of Pro Bowl RB Thomas Jones, who leads the AFC with 1,222 yards rushing and a career-high and franchise-record 13 TDs. He also has two receiving TDs. The offensive line features Pro Bowl C Nick Mangold and Pro Bowl LG Alan Faneca, but many of the Jets big runs this season has been to the right side behind RG Brandon Moore and RT Damien Woody. The Seahawks rank 30th in the NFL in total defense (380.4 yards per game) and are last in pass defense (260.9 ypg). WHEN THE SEAHAWKS HAVE THE BALL QB Seneca Wallace is making his third straight start and seventh overall this season in place of the injured Matt Hasselbeck (back). He's the type of mobile quarterback who has given the Jets problems this season. He has completed just 56.9 percent of his passes, but he has eight TDs and just one interception. His 158 consecutive passes without an interception is just two shy of the franchise record. Seattle has been wrecked by injuries, with four of their starting offensive linemen on injured reserve, including Pro Bowl LT Walter Jones. The Seahawks have a running-back-by-committee setup, with Julius Jones leading the team with 692 yards rushing and two TDs. The bruising T.J. Duckett (7 TDs) is the goal-line specialist. Rookie TE John Carlson sparks the passing attack with 51 catches for 601 yards and four TDs, his receptions and yardage are team-highs and franchise-records for a TE. Four players have two TD catches each. The Jets allowed a season-high 187 yards rushing last week against the Bills, and NT Kris Jenkins said opponents are game-planning him differently and he's a bit banged up. The Jets must contain Wallace with their pass rush or he could have a big game. SPECIAL TEAMS Veteran K Jay Feely has connected on 12 straight field goals. Pro Bowl KR Leon Washington remains a threat every time he touches the ball. The Jets unit was outplayed by the Bills last week, being duped by a fake punt and allowing a 56-yard punt return. A 100-yard kickoff return by the Bills was called back because of a penalty. Seattle KR Josh Wilson leads the NFL with eight returns of 40 yards or more. K Olindo Mare has hit 22 of 24 field goals and ranks second in the NFL with 20 touchbacks. Seattle has blocked two field goals this season. ONE MORE THING Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren will step down after this season and is coaching his final home game. He has compiled an 89-79 career record in 10 season in Seattle, with seven winning seasons, six playoff berths, five division titles and one Super Bowl appearance. FOUR DOWNS WITH SEAHAWKS COACH MIKE HOLMGREN WILL PLAYING AGAINST BRETT FAVRE ADD TO THE EMOTION OF THIS BEING YOUR FINAL HOME GAME? "Sure. He and I have been through this, except it was him stepping down a couple times (laughter), then he decided not to. We'll talk before the game. He has meant a lot to me over the years and seeing him always puts a smile on my face. Here he is again. When I saw the fact that, I don't know what came out first -- him signing with the Jets or the schedule -- but having this be my last home game here and Brett being on the team that comes in, the irony is just unbelievable. It'll be good to see him." IS FAVRE PLAYING THE SAME AS YOU REMEMBER? "He looks the same to me. I've said that over the last couple of years. Every time they were talking about him retiring, and when he was talking about it, he and I have had conversations where I've told him that physically you can still play this game. There is no question about that. The important thing is do you want to, inside? The game gets to be hard sometimes. If you don't have that burning desire inside, the thing that has made him great over the years, then you probably should not play. He made the decision this year to come back, and it appears to be a great decision. He's playing very well." WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO FAVRE SAYING HE WOULDN'T BE WHERE HE IS TODAY WITHOUT YOUR GUIDANCE? "That's very nice of him to say that. He's had a lot to do with my success in this business as well. It's kind of a mutual-admiration society. I'm most happy about Brett as a dad, and as a husband, and how he handles and conducts himself off the field. To see guys grow up and do a good job that way, I feel good about that." ON WHETHER HE THINKS FAVRE WILL PLAY AGAIN NEXT YEAR ... "I've been wrong three times (laughing). I'm not going to make a prediction. I'm just going to sit and wait and watch. After he makes his decision I'm going to say, 'I knew that.' "
  10. HOLMGREN'S LAST (HOME)STAND Or is it? The coach, set to retire, still has that football itch Bob Glauber December 21, 2008 Mike Holmgren was asked the other day if he'll be back in the NFL someday soon. Holmgren, who announced before the season that he will step down after 10 years as the Seahawks' coach, pointed to the back of his head. "Right in the back of my [mind], that little itch I can't scratch, it's still there," he said at his news conference in Seattle. "Maybe someday." Hmmm. Holmgren, 60, has been a head coach since 1992, the longest consecutive tenure of any current NFL head coach. And even though he has promised his wife, Kathy, that he'll step away from the game for at least a year, Holmgren has dropped recent hints that suggest pro football hasn't seen the last of him. That's good news for the NFL, because Holmgren remains one of the game's brightest minds. Forget the fact that his team, which hosts the Jets today, is 3-11 in his final season in Seattle. Injuries have played a major part in the Seahawks' undoing, and perhaps the players unwittingly eased up, knowing that Holmgren will not be around next year. He will be replaced by secondary coach Jim Mora Jr., the former Falcons head coach. First things first for Holmgren. Despite speculation that he'll be considered for what is expected to be several coaching vacancies, people close to Holmgren strongly suggest he will take a year off to re-charge. But even if Holmgren were to come back to the NFL, it might not be as a head coach. Think Bill Parcells. Think football czar of an organization. Maybe even team president. For now, it's a little R & R. At least that's the plan. "What's that saying, 'Never say never'?" Holmgren asked. "I think I'm going to take the year off. That's my thinking right now. I've been doing this a long time, and I haven't taken any breaks in 17 years as a head coach. I'm looking forward to riding my motorcycle and reading a little bit more, and maybe taking some trips and doing some stuff I haven't been able to do for a long, long time. I'm calling it a sabbatical leave." At least one member of Holmgren's family hopes the sabbatical is a bit more permanent than Holmgren suggests. "Kathy, my wife, is calling it a retirement, but I'm calling it a sabbatical leave," he said. "I think I have to learn how I'm going to react to this. That's the number one thing during this time, that I have to see how I handle this. My feeling is that maybe next year I'll hop back in and do something after this year." Could it be sooner than that? Not likely. But not impossible. Sources familiar with Holmgren's situation tell me there might be one or two teams out there that might be able to convince Holmgren to sign on after the season. One of those teams is Dallas; team owner Jerry Jones has worked with Holmgren on the league's influential Competition Committee. Jones has said he will retain Wade Phillips in 2009, but if the Cowboys don't make the playoffs, those plans might change. The other is Washington, where Daniel Snyder is uncertain about whether he'll retain Jim Zorn as his coach beyond this season. Even if Holmgren takes a well-deserved break, the feeling here is that he definitely will be back. Despite the fact that he was stripped of his general manager duties by the Seahawks after the 2003 season, he remains convinced that he has solid credentials as a football executive. And he yearns to have a major say in personnel acquisitions. People who know Holmgren well say he still is hurt about having his front-office duties removed, and that his competitiveness is one reason he wants to have a major say in another team's operation. In the meantime, he prepares for his final home game as the Seahawks' coach. Oddly enough, he'll face the quarterback he molded into a star during his days with the Packers. Holmgren vs. the Jets' Brett Favre, with both men on different teams. "You really hope that you can make a difference on the field and maybe off the field, just a little bit for your players," Holmgren said. "In Brett's case, he has had a lot to do with my success in this business." And vice versa. "I would not be here today if it were not for Mike Holmgren," Favre said. "The things he taught me really hit me later how much of a perfectionist he was, how hard he was on me. That's the way I study and prepare today. He put me in position to succeed." They will meet one more time, Holmgren trying to go out with one last win at home and Favre trying to preserve the Jets' playoff hopes against his old coach. Holmgren hopes he can rein in his emotions. "Hopefully, I'll do a decent job calling plays and stuff in the game," he said. "And then after that, there's going to be some emotions on Sunday." JETS AT SEATTLE, 4:05 p.m. TV: Ch. 2 Radio: WEPN (1050)
  11. Ex-Jet Mehl has new career working with kids BY JIM BAUMBACH jim.baumbach@newsday.com December 21, 2008 Lance Mehl's post-playing career seems as if it were destined to be a script for one of those Saturday morning television shows aimed at a young teenage audience. After retiring in 1988 because of constant pain in his right knee, the former Jets linebacker became a juvenile detention court officer. But he is not just any juvenile detention court officer. Oh, no. When a kid steals a car, gets caught smoking marijuana or something of that sort, and the judge decides this kid is close to going to juvenile detention but he's not there yet, whom does the judge order him to see? That big former NFL player named Lance. And that's Sir Lance to you. "We started the program 13 years ago as a military boot camp-style program," Mehl, 50, said by telephone from his home in St. Clairsville, Ohio. "But what we found out there was that we only made stronger delinquents." So they quickly made some revisions and turned it into a four-level program dedicated to making the troubled kid understand what it takes to be a respected, productive person. "All the time we're talking about what it's like being a member of a community and what you're expected to do," he said. "These kids all talk about respect, but they don't give it, yet they expect it in return." In any given week, Mehl said he sees the 60 or so kids enrolled in the program every day after school, and he rewards them with gold stars for going to class, getting good grades or simply handing in a project on time. That means they're close to moving to the next level in the program - and one step closer to the door. Mehl also sees them on Saturdays in a classroom of his own; there they are supervised doing schoolwork, watch educational films, perform exercises and meet with counselors. The quickest a kid can get through the program is six months, but Mehl said it's rare that a kid finishes that quickly. "Sometimes," he said, "it's a long uphill battle." Mehl technically is on the clock all the time. His cell phone is always on, because he's always one call away from having to step into a situation. He said he makes surprise visits to the kids' homes at all hours any day of the week simply to make sure they're staying out of trouble. This is not exactly the job Mehl envisioned doing when he was finishing his eight-year career with the Jets. After retiring from football in the summer of 1988, he did construction work for a few years. In 1996, a friend who worked as a juvenile court judge suggested this job to him. Mehl was intrigued. He still enjoys it, but he said his football injuries from decades ago have slowed him down considerably. In the beginning, he chased kids down the street if he had to; nowadays, knee and back pain along with nerve problems related to spinal stenosis limit his mobility. He has missed being a part of a football team, but he doesn't miss playing. That might be why he said he's been to only one Penn State game since his playing days and only one Jets game in the past 15 years. Mehl said the NFL denied his application for workman's comp immediately after he retired, and he hasn't asked for any assistance ever since. "I'm not going to go begging," he said. "I can still work. I'm just not as mobile as I used to be." Besides, Mehl said, he enjoys his job, even if it's impossible to change every kid he meets for the better. But whenever he runs into someone who made it through his program, as he did recently at the mall - and the kid yells out to him, "Sir Lance!" - Mehl said it makes all the troublesome times worthwhile.
  12. Will Jets 4th time on West Coast be the charm? BY ERIK BOLAND erik.boland@newsday.com December 21, 2008 Damien Woody knew they were coming, and they did. "I'm sure there's going to be plenty," the Jets' affable right tackle said Monday when asked how many travel questions he figured the team would get. He was right, of course. Then he added, "and deservedly so." The Jets are 0-3 on the West Coast this season (against teams with a current record of 14-28) entering today's game against the 3-11 Seahawks at Qwest Field. It figures to be an emotional day as Seattle's Mike Holmgren coaches his final home game. There's the added attraction of Brett Favre, Holmgren's first quarterback pupil, in the opposing jersey. But while Favre fielded a few questions about that during his weekly meeting with reporters, the overriding topic was the series of West Coast mishaps that have plagued the Jets this season. It started with a 48-29 loss to the then-winless Chargers on Monday Night Football Sept. 22 and continued with a 16-13 overtime loss - still the most perplexing defeat of the Jets' season - to the then-one-win Raiders Oct. 19. Two weeks ago today, a backup named Shaun Hill threw for 285 yards in leading the 49ers to a 24-14 upset, giving the Jets what coach Eric Mangini called "a sense of urgency" for the remaining three games. A sense of luck prevailed last week as the Jets, with a big boost from Buffalo coach/sometimes play-caller Dick Jauron, beat the Bills, 31-27. Mangini early in the week seemed tired of answering West Coast questions and said the Jets, after returning from San Francisco, looked into leaving yesterday instead of Friday for Seattle. (The Jets left on Friday for their previous three West Coast games.) But the team carrier, Delta, told the Jets it couldn't make the change to the charter flight on such short notice. The Jets were delayed about three hours - the going rate at Newark International because of the weather - but still were in Seattle by 11 p.m. PST Friday. But Mangini said, "What I don't want to get too caught up in is that being some reason why we can't perform." Other teams have performed on the West Coast this season, most notably the Patriots, who went 3-1. Players shake their heads when asked where the Jets would be had they played even marginally better three time zones away. Still, the West Coast queries might have helped the Jets in some ways. With a potentially winner-take-all matchup against the Dolphins looming next Sunday, the Seahawks could have been a trap game. But the Jets' playoff circumstance doesn't allow any room for error. In a three-way tie for first in the AFC East, the Jets need to win this week and next to clinch a playoff berth. The Jets still could make the playoffs if they lose today, but in their eyes, it's already playoff time. "Everybody in this locker room knows what's at stake," Woody said. "Like me and a lot of the other guys have been saying, whatever you have on your plate the next two weeks, nothing is more important than football right now. This is what it's all about. This is a playoff atmosphere right now." "The bottom line is we're in a position that we had hoped we'd be in," said Favre, in the midst of a three-game slump. "How we handle that remains to be seen. But we do control our own destiny. The only game that matters is this game, and it will be tough. We'll see what happens. But it's a nice position to be in." But so, too, was the prospect of facing sub-.500 teams San Diego, Oakland and San Francisco. The Jets had no trouble this week remembering how those games turned out. There were reminders everywhere. And every day. ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS Record: 3-11. Coach: Mike Holmgren (10th season with the Seahawks, 85-73). Last week: Seahawks defeated Rams, 23-20, at St. Louis. The skinny: Holmgren said he hasn't seen an injury situation like his team has faced "in my 25 years in the league," but despite playing backups all over the field - including on the entire offensive line - the Seahawks are still playing hard. They beat the Rams last week and two weeks ago led the Patriots much of the game before losing on a late touchdown. The Seahawks have had injuries rosterwide, mostly affecting the offensive line, which today starts five players who were backups to start the season. There doesn't look to be much in the way of positives on either side of the ball - the Seahawks rank 28th in total offense (268.6 ypg) and 30th in total defense (380.4). MEET THE ENEMY SENECA WALLACE, QB Be afraid, Jets fans. Be very afraid. The Jets are facing yet another career backup and everyone knows how that has worked out this season. Wallace is likely to start for the third straight week in place of the injured Matt Hasselback (Hasselback is listed as questionable, though he did not practice this week). Wallace is coming off last week's 23-20 victory over the Rams in which he was pretty good, making no mistakes and went 15-for-25 for 226 yards. More concerning to the Jets, however, is how Wallace - a good scrambler with a solid arm - handled the Patriots. Two weeks ago, the Seahawks lost, 24-21, to the Patriots, but not because of Wallace, who went 20-for-28 for 212 yards and three TDs. The Seahawks' offensive line is a mess but the Jets haven't mounted much of a pass rush of late and they've struggled all season against mobile quarterbacks. INJURY REPORT JETS - Questionable: LB Eric Barton (knee), WR Laveranues Coles (thigh), LB David Harris (groin), NT Kris Jenkins (hip), LB Bryan Thomas (shoulder), WR Brad Smith (concussion), OL Wayne Hunter (shoulder). Probable: WR Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder), OL Brandon Moore (ankle), LB Jason Trusnik (knee). SEAHAWKS - Doubtful: LB LeRoy Hill (neck), T Sean Locklear (toes). Questionable: CB Jordan Babineaux (concussion), WR Koren Robinson (knee), QB Matt Hasselbeck (back), LB D.D. Lewis (shin).
  13. Final goodbye for Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre? BY RICH CIMINI DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER Sunday, December 21st 2008, 1:15 AM SEATTLE - Brett Favre and Mike Holmgren will say their final goodbye Sunday at Qwest Field - their third final goodbye. The first came in the 2005 regular-season finale in Green Bay, where Favre faced the Seahawks in what was billed as his last game. Afterward, Favre walked on the Seahawks' team bus and told his forever coach that, yes, he was planning to retire. He didn't. A year ago, the Seahawks visited the Packers for a divisional playoff game, and once again the storyline focused on Favre versus Holmgren in possibly Favre's last game. It wasn't, as the Packers advanced to the NFC title game. Two months later, he retired. Then unretired. Sunday the focus will be on Holmgren, who will be coaching his final home game. After 10 years as the Seahawks' coach, he's leaving the organization to take at least a one-year sabbatical. "He and I have been through this, except it was him stepping down a couple of times," Holmgren, laughing, said of Favre. This was going to be an emotional day anyway for Holmgren, but with Favre on the opposite sideline ... how perfect is that? They spent seven seasons together in Green Bay, the hard-driving, perfectionist coach and the young, recklessly talented quarterback. They clashed at times, but they won a Super Bowl in 1996 and have remained close. "I can honestly say I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for Mike Holmgren," said Favre, who hasn't indicated whether he'll be back in 2009. Holmgren is a popular figure in Seattle, where he restored pride in the Seahawks. Under Holmgren, they reached the playoffs six times and captured one NFC championship. Things bottomed out this season because of a spate of injuries, but the Seahawks (3-11) still are playing hard for Holmgren and the players talked all week about winning one for Mike. Just what the Jets needed: A beat-down opponent that suddenly has a cause. "We play hard every Sunday, but this one may mean a lot more to a lot of players on the team," quarterback Seneca Wallace said. This isn't one of those made-for-TV games, either. The NFL schedule was released last March, and Favre wasn't traded to the Jets until August - "an unbelievable irony," said Holmgren, who plans to thank the fans with a post-game walking lap around the field. Holmgren hasn't ruled out coaching elsewhere in the future, meaning he's just as indecisive as his old quarterback. What a pair. Tight end Bubba Franks, another former Packer, believes Favre will try to feed off the electricity in the atmosphere. "It'll be emotional because he knows it's his old coach's last game," Franks said. "Plus, there's a lot at stake, so you expect his A game." Favre, too, could be calling it quits in the near future, so perhaps, deep down, he knows this could be the absolutely last goodbye. Then again, you never know. Asked it would be a dream to play again for Holmgren, Favre said: "That would be awesome, but he better hurry up, I'm running out of time. That would definitely be another chapter for the book, but the odds of that happening are very slim."
  14. JETS at SEAHAWKS, Qwest Field, 4 p.m. VITALS THE LINE: Jets by 4.5 TV: Ch. 2, (Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker) RADIO: WEPN 1050-AM, WABC 770-AM (Bob Wischusen, Marty Lyons), in Spanish on 1280-WADO-AM (Clemson Smith-Muniz, Alfredo Bejar). Nationwide on USA Radio (Larry Kahn, Terry Donahue) FORECAST: Snow, temperatures in the 30s and medium winds. INJURY IMPACT The Seahawks are fielding an offensive line entirely of backups, with LT Kyle Williams making his first start there for Sean Locklear. Williams is a former practice player, and the Jets are coming off a three-sack game. LB Leroy Hill (finger) is doubtful, and Matt Hasselbeck (back) will be the third QB. Jets WR Brad Smith should be able to play after a concussion. NT Kris Jenkins (hip) and Wayne Hunter (shoulder), used as a third TE in running situations, should play. FEATURE MATCHUPS WR Deion Branch vs. CB Darrelle Revis: The Seahawks' second-string offensive line isn't likely to sustain much of a running game, so it's going to be up to the athleticism of Seneca Wallace against a pass defense that has had some rough afternoons. The slippery Branch is the Seahawks' biggest downfield threat and has 14 catches for 220 yards and two TDs the last two weeks. Revis is the Jets' best cover corner. QB Brett Favre vs. FS Brian Russell and the Seahawks' secondary: Favre signed for this time of year. He'll be taking aim at one of the three defenses which have allowed more passing yards than the Jets and one that he picked apart in last year's playoffs. A weak pass rush has forced the Seahawks to blitz and that plays right into Favre's hands. He says he prefers the snow to the rain so he should feel as though he's back at Lambeau Field. SCOUT SAYS "The Seahawks are vulnerable along the back line but Favre seems hesitant to throw the deep ball. I'd look for Leon Washington and Dustin Keller to be key as Favre goes through his checkdowns. The Jets have to be aware of Wallace on sprint outs and bootlegs. He's been pretty effective lately although he does have a tendency to fumble and he can't be very comfortable behind this offensive line. The Jets need a dominant Kris Jenkins if they make it to the postseason and he should have a big game against this group. Otherwise, you'd have to start wondering." INTANGIBLES Emotion, emotion, emotion. It's Mike Holmgren's last home game. His wife, Kathy, will raise the 12th Man flag before the game and his protege Favre is on the other sideline. Most importantly, the Jets cannot afford to lose or they will have wrecked their season with an 0-4 record on the West Coast. There's hope. The Seahawks are just 1-6 at Qwest Field, which had always been one of the loudest stadiums in the league. You would have to think that after getting handed last week's miracle win by Dick Jauron's boneheaded play-call, the Jets will have been handed back some momentum. PREDICTION JETS, 31-17: It's time they played as though they belong in the playoffs. - Hank Gola
  15. Jets' Buffalo win recalls memories of Vinny Testaverde and destiny BY RICH CIMINI DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER Sunday, December 21st 2008, 1:07 AM Shaun Ellis' touchdown off fumble late in fourth quarter last week stirred memories of Vinny Testaverde and Jets' run to AFC Championship Game in '98 (below). SEATTLE - Vinny Testaverde was watching on TV last Sunday when Abram Elam and Shaun Ellis performed their strip-and-score routine to stun the Bills, and the old quarterback's thoughts traveled back to 1998, back to the December day he stole a victory for the Jets. Testaverde scored the winning touchdown against the Seahawks on a 5-yard sneak in the final seconds, except he really went only 4
  16. HOLMGREN GLAD TO SEE BRETT AT SEATTLE FINALE By BRIAN COSTELLO December 21, 2008 -- SEATTLE - Mike Holmgren plans to take a lap around Qwest Field today after his final home game as Seahawks coach. The only question is, will it be a victory lap? If the Jets spoil his home finale, it could be because of his former pupil, Brett Favre. The duo spent seven seasons together in Green Bay, and they both rose to prominence with help from the other. "I can honestly say that I would not be here today if it were not for Mike Holmgren," Favre said this week. This isn't the first time the duo have been at a retirement party together. Last year, the Seahawks visited Favre's Packers in the playoffs in what they both thought was one of his final games. Instead, Favre came back, joined the Jets, and here they go again. "He has meant a lot to me over the years, and seeing him always puts a smile on my face," Holmgren said. "Here he is again. When I saw the fact that, I don't know what came out first - him signing with the Jets or the schedule - but having this be my last home game here and Brett being on the team that comes in, the irony is just unbelievable. It'll be good to see him. He's having a great year and making a big difference, I think, with the football team." Holmgren's final season in Seattle has been a rough one. The 3-11 Seahawks have endured a ton of injuries and lost four games by three points or less. He leaves a legacy in Seattle, where he compiled a 89-79 record in his 10 years, with seven winning seasons, six playoff appearances, five division titles and the franchise's first trip to the Super Bowl. The 60-year-old has not ruled out returning to coaching, but it won't be next year. "What's that saying - never say never?" Holmgren said. "I think I'm going to take the year off. That's my thinking right now. I've been doing this a long time and I haven't taken any breaks in 17 years as a head coach. I'm looking forward to riding my motorcycle and reading a little bit more, and maybe taking some trips and doing some stuff I haven't been able to do for a long, long time. I'm calling it a sabbatical leave. Kathy, my wife, is calling it a retirement, but I'm calling it a sabbatical leave. I think I have to learn how I'm going to react to this."
  17. FAVRE'S JOB WELL DONE, BUT NOT FINISHED By MIKE VACCARO December 21, 2008 -- SEATTLE - OK, first things first: The Jets have been a better football team this year with Brett Favre as their quarterback than they ever would have been with Chad Pennington. There seems to be a recently uncovered civic ordinance that every citizen must answer this question and do so honestly and there it is: The Jets are 9-5 with Favre. I say they would be 7-7 with Pennington. I say Favre has won them two extra games this year. There's no way to know that, of course, and in many ways the ultimate referendum on that subject will be rendered a week from today, back home in the Meadowlands, when Pennington and the Dolphins play Favre and the Jets. If all goes well for both teams today, in Seattle and Kansas City, that should be a showdown with dire postseason implications. For now, all we can go on is what our eyes tell us we can go on. My eyes say Favre has won the Jets three games Pennington probably wouldn't have - Arizona, New England, Tennessee. My eyes tell me Pennington probably would have rescued the Jets against the Raiders, Make it net-two, Favre, on this ballot. Here's something else, though: Pennington would win this game, today, against the Seahawks. It might not be pretty. It might not sear itself into anyone's memory bank. But he would find a way to win it; we know that, because he already beat the Seahawks, back in Week 10. We know that because as a Jet, Pennington always managed to find a way to win late-season games the Jets absolutely had to have, against inferior opponents, winning the last two in '02 to wrap up the AFC East, winning the last three in '06 to secure the wild card (a talent that runs absolutely against the history of Jets Decembers, by the way). Pennington would win today. He would win next week. History says that's so. What will history tell us about Favre? "The bottom line is that we're in a position that we had hoped we'd be in, Miami can say the same thing and New England as well," Favre said earlier this week. It's a good position. "I know a lot of these guys have not been in this position in quite a while here. It sure beats the alternative, I can tell you that. There have only been a few times in my career where at this point in the season we knew we were out. I'd much rather take this position. I have no idea what's going to happen, but our approach has been very good. We know what's at stake. How we handle that remains to be seen." How Favre handles it is another point of emphasis, one that will define what his tenure as a Jet will be, how it forever will be remembered. It will be cold in Seattle today. It will be windy. It will be snowy. When the NFL Films-inspired montage of Favre's career replays in your memory, isn't that what you always see? Favre looking, looking, snow falling, steam blowing from his frozen mouth, frost on the ground, and No. 4 unleashing a fastball downfield into the arms of a waiting Packer. He's been here before, too. He's done this. He knows how to win bad-weather games, and high-stakes games, he's spent his adulthood doing that as much and as well as any man ever born. And needs to get there again today, at age 39, so he gets the chance to do it again next week, too. Needs to figure out a way, no matter what the stat sheets say at the end, or the numbers. "I'd love to lead the league in passer rating every year, but I'd much rather lead this team to the Super Bowl," Favre said. "I think I have that capability to be that type of a leader. Whether or not that gets done, I will do everything in my power to help this team win. I knew when I made that commitment to sign with the Jets that I was committed to being that type of leader." For the most part, he has been. And needs to be again today. And next week. Not an easy task. But who ever said it was supposed to be easy to be Brett Favre?
  18. NEED TO HAMMER 3-11 HAWKS ON SEATTLE TUNDRA By BRIAN COSTELLO December 21, 2008 -- SEATTLE - A month ago, it looked as if the Jets were going to coast into the playoffs. Instead, they've made it interesting, losing two of their last three games. Still, all the 9-5 Jets have to do is win their final two games to capture the AFC East crown. That begins today against a dreadful 3-11 Seahawks team, which will be playing with emotion in Mike Holmgren's last home game as coach. Get past this one and the Chad Bowl awaits. We'll see if the momentum of last week's miracle win over Buffalo carries over. "We control our own destiny, that's the good part about it," cornerback Ty Law said. "But at the same time, if we get too lax or we lose a game, we could be sitting at home with everybody else. There's a sense of urgency. . . . Right now, it's ours for the taking, and if we take advantage of the preparation that we do the next couple of games, we'll be in the playoffs and give New York what they want." A look inside the game: BEST BATTLE Seahawks QB Seneca Wallace vs. Jets pass rushers: The Jets pass rush has been missing in action for more than a month. The Jets face another backup quarterback this week in Wallace, who took over for an injured Matt Hasselbeck (back). Wallace has been great in his last two starts, compiling a 110.4 passer rating with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Jets need to get in his face and knock him down a few times. They have to be careful, though. Wallace is mobile, something that's given the Jets trouble. J.P. Losman had all day to throw last week. Maybe Eric Mangini and Bob Sutton could dial up a blitz today? PAGING MR. FAVRE The legendary Brett Favre was questioned this week after his third consecutive subpar game. He has thrown just one touchdown and four interceptions over that span. Favre swears he feels fine. He should show it today. The Seahawks are the worst team in the NFL at defending the pass, allowing 260.9 yards per game. This is Favre's time of year. He is 26-6 in the final two games of the season. OH, BROTHER The Jets' and Seahawks' leading rushers both grew up in the same Virginia home. Brothers Thomas and Julius Jones face off for the third time in the NFL (Julius prevailed in the first two). Thomas is having a monster season and was elected to the Pro Bowl this week. Julius has 692 yards and has lost the starting spot to Maurice Morris. "Every time I get to play against him, it's like a dream come true," Thomas said. "We dreamed of being running backs in the NFL as kids. We have a chance to play against each other. It's very unique. We're very thankful and very grateful." NOT THE BEST IN WEST Now for the story line Mangini is the most tired of talking about - the Jets are 0-3 on the West Coast this season. The head coach loves to research every variable that can affect his team, but this is one he can't figure out. Mangini tweaked the routine this week, having practice later on Thursday and Friday so players could sleep in and prepare for the time change. He also wanted to fly out yesterday instead of Friday like the Jets had for the prior trips, but Delta Airlines could not switch the charter. "Starting fast is going to be the biggest thing," linebacker Calvin Pace said. "I think when we go on the West Coast, for whatever reason, we come out kind of flat. This one, we've got come out with some energy and make plays." FOE FACT Qwest Field will be rocking today as Seattle fans say goodbye to Holmgren. The stadium has a reputation as one of the loudest in the NFL and has caused penalty nightmares for opposing teams (see Giants' 11 false starts in 2005). The Seahawks are 35-13 there since Week 16 of the 2002 season - only the Patriots and Colts have been better at home.
  19. We are your second family! It is so not about the game right now. I hope you get back here quickly and safely.
  20. Nonsense was here long before that comment.
  21. Did she play any sports in a semi-pro capacity?
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