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Mangini gives Jets real discipline

Johnette Howard


November 28, 2006, 9:59 PM EST

If anything has been highlighted with increasing clarity as the Jets and Giants plow through their 6-5 seasons, it's how all disciplinarian coaches are not the same. There are the cartoonish, arm-waving, tough-talking, military-man models such as the Giants' Tom Coughlin, who scowled on Monday that the buck stops here -- forgetting how on Sunday he nearly pulled a hamstring in his haste to run over and chew out Mathias Kiwanuka for failing to throw Vince Young to the turf as the Giants were melting down against Tennessee.

Cheesy as it seems, Coughlin is hardly the first coach to lambaste a rookie when he'd really like to ream out some veteran star such as Plaxico Burress or Eli Manning for screwing up.

Then there is a disciplinarian such as Eric Mangini, who demands an uncompromising intellectual rigor from the Jets -- not just the wherewithal to physically survive a season, or handle the three-hour, two-a-day practices in 100-degree heat they endure in training camp.

Mangini insists that the Jets play smart, not just tough -- an emphasis that's badly missing, in practice if not theory, with the nosediving Giants. Both teams are still in their playoff hunts, but stylistically they're polar opposites. The Jets are the third-least penalized team in the league; the Giants commit mistakes in droves.

When the Jets fail to make plays, it often feels like their limited talent is catching up to them more than some fatal brain cramp. When the Giants self-destruct, mental mistakes or egotism usually do them in. Burress quits on badly thrown balls that become interceptions. Tight end Jeremy Shockey flaps his arms when he doesn't get the ball and Tiki Barber pops off.

All of which makes Coughlin the subject of one of those tree-falling-in-the-forest questions: Are you really a disciplinarian if no one is afraid of you?

If you ask a Jets player even an innocuous question, he's likely to see Mangini suddenly hovering behind him and recoil and say: "I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about that."

Mangini rarely emotes much of anything on the sideline, or in front of the media. But players say it's a different story behind the scenes. There, Mangini is a relentless nitpicker, a detail freak, a total system wonk who preaches that the system is the thing. He's a head coach who wants to be able to adjust and morph on the fly and have a team around him that's smart enough to keep up.

He ratchets up individual accountability by making each player draw up personal scouting reports of the player opposite him each week and give an oral report in their position meetings. He's changed the starting lineup at times based on how players practice during the week rather than how they just played the previous Sunday.

It's a different, more cerebral kind of discipline. And so far, it's working.

Mangini has created an across-the-board fear among the Jets players about never getting too comfortable. But it's combined with a teamwide commitment to knowing the game inside out and accepting given roles.

Heading into the five-week stretch run, the Jets have players who have improved as the season has gone on while the Giants have players -- even stars -- who have regressed, none more conspicuously than Manning.

That suggests a gap in coaching and discipline, too.

Earlier this season, some Jets players privately complained that Mangini was so emotionally distant and hard to read, they didn't know where they stood. But that's no accident, either. His pedigree reads out of Bill Belichick by way of Bill Parcells, whose latest peccadillo is referring to attention-hungry receiver Terrell Owens as, only, "the player."

Mangini has his Parcellichick quirks, too, such as calling his old Patriots organization "the other place" or refusing to have the Jets use their indoor practice bubble in bad weather. But look: Then a game comes along like the Jets' upset win over New England three weeks ago in the fog and mud and rain, and Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas -- thinking back to how Mangini made them practice in the driving rain that week -- said the victory didn't surprise him at all because "it was like we had already played this game. On Wednesday."

It was the sort of result that will make football players run over a cliff for you even if you're not some foot-stomping, old-school disciplinarian. Pro players want to keep their jobs. Teams want to play meaningful games come December. They long ago reconciled the fact that this is the NFL.

It's supposed to hurt.

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Jets' Nugent realizing his potential

By Andrew Gross

The Journal News

(Original Publication: November 29, 2006)

Everybody else identifies Mike Nugent as a second-round pick. But the Jets' place-kicker spends his time trying to fulfill what he considers the job requirements, not the expectations of his draft position.

"You have to be consistent,'' Nugent said. "You have to be dependable.''

That's exactly what the second-year pro, picked 47th overall out of Ohio State in 2005, has been lately. He kicked a career-best 54-yard field goal in Sunday's 26-11 win over the Texans and tied a career high by making all four of his field-goal attempts.

That's helped to somewhat shake Nugent's reputation for not having the strongest of legs. His previous career high was 49 yards, and he came into the game 0 for 3 from 50 yards and beyond in his career.

"Mike is the type of guy that everybody cheers for because of the way he works, the way he cares,'' Jets coach Eric Mangini said. "It's just good to seem him hit that type of field goal. I think once you get one on the board, it always helps to make the next decision.''

Likewise, Nugent has had problems consistently getting his kickoffs deep. But he booted three of his seven against the Texans to at least the goal line.

Even better, he went low to upend Dexter Wynn and make the stop on his 33-yard kickoff return in the second quarter.

"It wasn't just a tackle,'' teammate Brad Smith said. "It was a great hit, too. He did a great job of doing his job all day long.''

Nugent said he made a couple of similar tackles at Ohio State but has not played defense since going in for "three plays'' in eighth grade.

Nugent has hit 10 of 11 field goals plus all 11 point-after attempts in his last six games. This week could be challenging as the Jets (6-5) are at Green Bay (4-7), where temperatures could drop to the single digits and snow is in the forecast.

"I played with B.J. Sander, who was a punter for Green Bay the last two seasons, at Ohio State,'' Nugent said. "So I hope that he's someone I will be able to talk to and try to get info about what the wind does there and how the field is.''

Nugent's recent solid play is a huge turnaround from earlier this season after he went 1 for 3 - missing from 30 and 34 yards - with a missed extra point in a season-opening 23-16 win at Tennessee. Mangini then brought in three kickers the following Tuesday to push Nugent for his job.

Now Nugent believes he's restored Mangini's confidence in him.

"I think it does,'' Nugent said. "I think you really have to earn that kind of confidence.''

Not that Nugent's confidence was ever shaken.

"Not really,'' Nugent said. "That's the biggest thing I've tried to learn from other guys that I've talked to, especially in the NFL. If you don't have confidence in yourself, you might as well not even be out on the field. If you're the only one in the whole stadium that has confidence in you, that's the most you need.''

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Jets' Jones faces DWI charge

By Andrew Gross

The Journal News

(Original Publication: November 29, 2006)

Jets backup offensive lineman Adrian Jones faces a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated after being arrested early Saturday morning in Nassau County.

He has already been fined $20,000 by the Jets and could be fined up to an additional $20,000 by the NFL.

"The maximum under the misdemeanor is up to a year in jail,'' said Brian Davis, Jones' Garden City-based lawyer. "If he was convicted, he's probably looking at a sentence of three years' probation, fine and license revocation. He has no priors.''

Davis said Jones is due in Nassau County court Dec. 15 for a "conference date to talk to the prosecutor.'' Jones also must appear at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Garden City Dec. 8 for a refusal hearing after he declined to take a field sobriety test. The DMV could revoke his license for a year.

If Jones is either convicted or admits guilt, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can impose an additional fine, suspension or other punishment. The NFL can also demand Jones seek treatment.

The Jets imposed a one-game suspension on Jones after he missed Saturday's walk-through. He was inactive for Sunday's 26-11 win over the Texans.

"I am deeply sorry for my actions and for putting myself before the team,'' the third-year pro said. "I apologized to my family, my teammates and my coaches for my behavior. I used poor judgment and will be held accountable.''

Feeling it: Despite coach Eric Mangini's ban on players discussing the playoffs, the Jets are aware of their status as playoff contenders.

"As a player, you always want to have the chance to do something big,'' safety Kerry Rhodes said. "Right now, we're 6-5, we're in the thick of things. Right now, we have Green Bay and we just have to try and get the seventh win.''

"Yeah, we're for real,'' defensive end Shaun Ellis said. "We're starting to jell a little bit more.''

Pennington honored: The Jets announced yesterday Chad Pennington is their 2006 Walter Payton Man of the Year, and the quarterback will receive $1,000 to donate to his 1st and 10 Foundation.

Pennington is now a candidate for the NFL's Walter Payton award, which will be announced the week of the Super Bowl. The national recipient receives $25,000 for the charity of his choice.

The award is given annually to recognize players' volunteer and charitable work as well as their play on the field.

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Rhodes pick is Jolley good one



Former GM Terry Bradway - remember him? - took a lot of heat for questionable personnel moves, but some of his drafts are starting to look better. The Jets got Kerry Rhodes via the infamous Doug Jolley trade, albeit indirectly. Yes, Bradway dealt his 2005 first-round choice for Jolley, a useless tight end, but he also got three picks, including a sixth-rounder that was used as a bargaining chip. The Jets used it to trade up four spots in the fourth round to take Rhodes.

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Vilma fights off guard duty



Kerry Rhodes is making plays all over the field. Victor Hobson is having a career year. Bryan Thomas isn't a first-round bust anymore. Dewayne Robertson is finding a home at nose tackle. It took awhile, but they all seem to be getting comfortable in the new 3-4 defensive scheme. One player who appears lost in transition is the best one of them all - inside linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

Undersized for the 3-4, Vilma is struggling to get to the ball. As a result, he's not making impact plays - zero sacks, zero forced fumbles, only two tackles behind the line and one interception. He leads the team in total tackles, but he has fewer solo tackles than Rhodes and Eric Barton.

On Sunday, the Texans ran 14 times and Vilma didn't make any tackles on those plays. In fact, he got his hands on only one ballcarrier, a run blitz in which he missed Wali Lundy in the backfield. At least Vilma slowed him up, enabling Hobson to swoop in for the tackle.

Vilma still is finding his bearings in a scheme that forces the inside linebackers to take on guards. An example of that occurred in the Chicago game. In one particular series, he was blown out of three running plays by 300-pound G Ruben Brown.

Vilma is contributing in his "quarterback" role, making sure everybody is lined up properly. On one play against the Texans, he re-positioned Brad Kassell before the snap. Kassell bitzed and batted down a pass - an assist that won't appear Vilma's stat sheet. ... Some NFL insiders were surprised by the amount of tackle Adrian Jones' fine ($20,000). Technically, a team can't fine a player for an alcohol violation; in this case, the Jets fined him for violating team rules. Jones, arrested for DWI early Saturday morning, missed the walk-through and meetings later that day.... Jets cut DB Guss Scott, whom they acquired last week from the Texans - proof that they only wanted to pick his brain on his former team.

Originally published on November 29, 2006

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Earn 'A' in chemistry

Jets buy into team concept




Anthony Clement (from l.), D'Brickashaw

Ferguson, Justin McCareins and rest of Jets

are buying into team-first philosophy.

McCareins is best example, volunteering

for special teams.

Compared to the whiny, headline-making Giants, the Jets are boring - blissfully boring, if you ask them.

At Weeb Ewbank Hall, where Eric Mangini has constructed an imaginary code of silence, nobody pops off about playing time or criticizes the coaches. Save for an occasional grumble by Laveranues Coles, who has mastered the art of cryptic complaining, it's rare for a player to unload on someone. They're a tabloid's nightmare.

Mangini is trying to build a roster of Stepford Jets, but they believe team harmony is critical.

Why do you think they jettisoned Kevin Mawae and John Abraham? They were regarded by the organization as "me" guys. Mangini wants "we" guys.

The Patriots showed the importance of team chemistry during their championship seasons, and the Jets are trying to duplicate that team-first atmosphere.

You could almost see goose bumps on Mangini's skin Monday as he related the story of former starter Justin McCareins, who, after 10 games of wallowing in a backup role at receiver, volunteered last week to play on special teams - truly a team-first gesture.

"He's a great example of what we're looking for," Mangini said of his new $4 million-a-year special teamer, who made two tackles in his debut. It would be na

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Shhh! No talk of 'P'-word in locker room

Tom Rock

November 29, 2006

The Jets aren't blind and they aren't dumb. They just like you to think that.

Which is why defensive end and captain Shaun Ellis established a ground rule before speaking with the media Monday, the day after the Jets beat the Texans.

"No playoff questions," he said. "It's one game at a time."

Two weeks after Jets coach Eric Mangini refused to utter what he called "the P-word" when asked about the postseason aspirations of the team, that possibility still remains largely unspoken among the Jets. It's almost as if they aren't even aware of where they stand among the playoff contenders, or are hardly moved that their season with low expectations is producing drama into December.

At 6-5, the Jets are one game out of a share of the wild-card lead, have one of the easiest remaining schedules of any team in the race, and could very well wind up among the six AFC squads who advance to January.

One game at a time, they say, sometimes in unison as they did Sunday in the postgame locker room. It's as if they have blinders on.

But once in a while, there comes a bit of a crack in the doctrine. Take, for example, quarterback Chad Pennington's comments after Sunday's game. He was asked about the team looking forward to playing at Green Bay the following week.

"It's just the next step and I think we realize that it's still one game at a time," Pennington said, reciting chapter and verse. "If you look at today, I think Buffalo beat Jacksonville. This is how this league is. Every week, you have to bring your 'A' game and you have to be focused and mentally and physically prepared if you expect ..."

Hang on a second. Buffalo beat Jacksonville. That was a back-and-forth game that ended on a last-second field goal at roughly the same time the Jets were trotting off the field after their victory. Pennington addressed the media no more than 30 minutes after the game, so for him to know the final result would have taken some coordination. Next to their own battle with the Texans, the Jaguars-Bills game was the most important for the Jets that day as it pulled Jacksonville back to a tie for that seventh spot in a field of six. Are the Jets scoreboard watching?

They'd deny that, but who can blame them for keeping tabs on the competition. They may be saying "one game at a time," but there is a reality of other games at other times that are just as important to the Jets' playoff hopes. Don't think for a moment that the Jets are not conscious of where they are, and where they want to be.

"As a player, you always want to have the chance to do something big," safety Kerry Rhodes said Monday. "Right now, we're 6-5. We're in the thick of things. We just have to come play every game, every week."

That may only be a slant on "one game at a time," but at least it concedes the obvious.


Taking on the Tundra

Heated coils under the turf prevent the field from actually freezing, but the mystique that hovers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay hardly ever thaws. For many Jets, this will be their first time playing at the hallowed site, perhaps the most recognizable stadium in the NFL. "I've heard about it since I was a kid," Jets safety Kerry Rhodes said. "The Frozen Tundra, that's what they call it?" Even Jets coach Eric Mangini recognized the significance of the place. "I've been there only once; it was during preseason," Mangini said. "It's always nice to go to the places that you've seen, that have such an incredible history. But it's nice to go there and leave there the way that we're always looking to leave."

It takes three

Mangini said he was not happy with the numbers the running backs put up Sunday, but he does seem satisfied with the number of running backs. With Cedric Houston back from a knee injury the last two weeks, the Jets now have three running backs with Leon Washington and Kevan Barlow. Against the Texans, the Jets shuffled the backs, which may have had as much to do with keeping the defense confused as keeping the runners happy. "It's not a function of one guy or another guy, one style or another style," he said. "They're complementary. Having complementary skill sets helps because it's different things that the defense has to prepare for."

Man of the Year

The Jets have named Chad Pennington their 2006 Walter Payton Man of the Year, largely because of work through his 1st and 10 Foundation that assists community-based programs in the Tri-State area, West Virginia and Tennessee. Pennington becomes eligible to win the national Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which recognizes a player's off-the-field community service, as well as playing excellence. The national winner will be announced during Super Bowl week in Miami and receives $25,000 to donate to the organization of his choice.


Laveranues Coles (far right) and Jerricho Cotchery had 100-yard receiving efforts in the same game for the second time this season Sunday, and they are among the league's top receiving duos:

Team Players (receptions) Combined total

Texans Andre Johnson (84) & Eric Moulds (49) 133

Rams Torry Holt (63) & Steven Jackson (63) 126

Colts Marvin Harrison (61) & Reggie Wayne (59) 120

Jets Laveranues Coles (68) & Jerricho Cotchery (51) 119

Bengals Chad Johnson (64) & T.J. Houshmandzadeh (55) 119

Saints Reggie Bush (64) & Marques Colston (54) 118

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Jets Head to Lambeau for Clash with the Packers

Published: 11-29-06

The New York Jets (6-5) travel to historic Lambeau Field for the first time since 2000 to take on the Green Bay Packers (4-7). After two straight home games the Jets return to the road, where they have won three of the five games they’ve played this season.

Jets-Packers History

The Jets hold the edge in the all-time series between the two teams, 7-2. The Jets also lead when the two teams have met in Wisconsin, 3-2. Two of the five road games the Jets have played in the series have been in Milwaukee at Milwaukee County Stadium. The last time the two teams squared off, it was the 2002 season finale and the Jets needed a win to clinch their division. Quarterback Chad Pennington, who had started since Week Four, threw four touchdown passes on his way to a 134.7 passer rating, the best rating in his first season as a starter. After being held scoreless in the first quarter, the Jets scored 14 points in each of the final three quarters to win 42-17 and clinch the AFC East.

Jets-Packers at a Glance

Record vs. Packers: 7-2

Record vs. Packers on the road: 3-2

Last time vs. Packers (12/29/02): Jets 42, at Packers 17

Broadcast Information

Television: This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience by CBS and can be viewed in the Tri-State area on WCBS-2. Jim Nantz will handle the play-by-play duties and will be joined by analyst Phil Simms. Lance Barrow will produce, while Mike Arnold directs the telecast.

Radio: 1050 ESPN and 770 WABC are the flagship stations for the Jets’ Radio Network. The play-by-play call will be handled by Bob Wischusen. Former New York Jets’ defensive lineman Marty Lyons will handle the in-game analysis. Both Wischusen and Lyons are in their fifth season in the Jets’ booth.

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CRASH COURSE: Jets linemen Kimo von

Oelhoffen (left) and Rashad Moore crush

Texans running back Wali Lundy during

Sunday's victory. The Jets, who had allowed

24.1 points per game prior to their bye week

a month ago, are allowing a mere 11.7 since.

November 29, 2006 -- YOU walk around the Jets' locker room and ask their defensive players if they can pinpoint exactly when, why and how they made the turn from being weekly doormats to the disguising, disruptive force they have become in the past three games, and no one gives you the same answer.

A look at the calendar, though, gives you a pretty clear picture. The bye week, which came a month ago, appears to be the turning point. Prior to the bye week, the Jets had allowed 193 points in eight games, an average of 24.1 points per game. Since the bye week, the Jets have allowed 35 points in three games entering Sunday's game against the Packers in Green Bay, an average of a mere 11.7 points per game.

That kind of defense, if continued in the next five weeks, will earn the Jets, now 6-5, a playoff berth. Guaranteed.

With the way the Jets are playing defense right now, winning four of five against the Packers (4-7), Bills (5-6), Vikings (5-6), Dolphins (5-6) and Raiders (2-9) hardly seems impossible. What has happened to this once-predictable defense that made every running back look like a reincarnation of Jim Brown?

"We're having fun, that's the most important thing," safety Kerry Rhodes said.

"It just took longer for guys to pick it up," linebacker Matt Chatham said of Eric Mangini's 3-4 defense.

"We're just feeling more and more comfortable with the scheme," linebacker Victor Hobson said. "As the coaches feel more comfortable with us and we feel more comfortable with the system, it gives everyone a lot more freedom."

Indeed, the Jets' defense has gone from a relatively flat and predictable read-and-react group to one that has proven it can disrupt offenses with blitzing (see the New England and Chicago games) and confuse them by disguising the blitz and staying in its base (see Sunday against Houston).

Chatham, who played for Mangini in New England before signing here this season, pointed directly to the bye week as the turning point.

"One of the biggest strengths of what they did up there (in New England), and it's what Eric is bringing here, is reacting to what you do wrong," Chatham said. "They're really good at self-scouting. They're really good at trying to minimize mistakes, trying to put ourselves in the best position to win.

"What bye weeks do is give you a chance to self-scout a little bit more. When games are rolling eight, nine in a row, it's very difficult to step back and say, 'We're not very good at this; this is what we need to go back and change.' "

Mangini now refers to the final practice of the bye week as a time when he saw a collective light go on with his players.

"The days we had during the bye, we got a lot done," Rhodes said. "We went back to the basics with everything and whatever we did wrong we pointed it out. We just knew we had to stand up for each other and be accountable. We weren't holding up our end of the bargain as good as we would have liked to.

"So we wanted to come and put a complete game and complete effort together and we've been doing that."

The results have been dramatic.

With deference to Chad Pennington's terrific performance Sunday against the Texans, the improvement of the young offensive line, and the consistently outstanding performances of wide receivers Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery, the defense has led the way toward this final stretch.

And it's going to take the defense to close the deal, to carry this team to the postseason.

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Let's hear a cheer for Jets' Nugent

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Mike Nugent must have been a walking buzzkill on mischief night in Centerville, Ohio, or at Ohio State frat parties. He is one serious young dude.

He's said he doesn't hear the Meadowlands crowd even when he's kicking into his net 10 feet below them.

"I wouldn't say I have rules for myself," Nugent said, "but my buddy was in the stands for a game and he told me later, 'I was screaming your name the whole time.' I told him I don't look in the stands."

Nugent's focus has sustained him through his first two seasons as Gang Green's place kicker. Jets Nation has debated the second-round pick that was spent on him, his short leg as a rookie, his missteps in his two NFL opening days.

But if Nugent hasn't started to win you over now, you don't want to be won. He not only made but drilled all four of his field goals Sunday against Houston, including the 54-yard centerpiece that equaled the third-longest three-pointer in franchise history.

And his 40-yarder with eight minutes left wasn't anything to sneeze at, giving the Jets a 23-point lead, their largest under Eric Mangini. It gave him 11 hits in his last 12 tries, the only miss the 52-yarder in windy Cleveland.

Don't forget his submarine tackle of Texans kickoff returner Dexter Wynn, which drew glad hands on the sideline from such professional tacklers as defensive end Shaun Ellis.

"Nuge is a good kicker, man," Ellis said. "He had a chance to kick a long field goal and he did it. We're going to need that."

"Mike is a guy everybody cheers for because of the way he works, the way he cares," said Mangini, who debated briefly with special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff before sending him out for the long second-quarter try.

Nugent, who hadn't hit a pro 50-yarder until then, thought he still needed to earn his stripes. "I think I did that last week in practice and showed that the next time we get to that point, we do have the opportunity," he said.

Ken Harris never doubted this day would come -- not a news flash since he's Nugent's agent. But Harris represents a number of kickers and said Nugent is not from the school of flakes and head cases.

"At Ohio State, they knew he was money," Harris said. "That's the same thing Jets fans will find in him. When it comes to focus, this is one guy I don't worry about."

One problem area remains -- kickoffs. His key numbers are virtually identical to his underwhelming rookie season, from the yard line his kicks reach (6.3 after 11 games last year, 6.7 this year) to the yard line they're returned to (29.2 to 29.1).

His hang times have been shorter (3.87 seconds to 3.79), yet he's gotten 10 kicks to the goal line this year compared to seven all last season.

But Nugent won't be remembered for his kickoffs. He sees similarities between his job and that of a baseball closer. He disdains the concept of "game-winning kick," calling it "deceiving" to think he won any game all by himself, but he said, like a Mariano Rivera, "I've got to be a dependable guy going out there every day."

Harris thinks it won't be long before Jets fans embrace him, whether he hears them or not.

"It's a tough environment, and he's held up under a lot of pressure," Harris said. "He's found his footing again."

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Jets looking ahead

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jets (6-5) vs. Packers (4-7)

Lambeau Field

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Early line

Jets by 2

The mystique of Lambeau is in limbo. For the fifth time in six games, the Packers aren't favored at home. Their record as home underdogs is 0-4, straight up and against the spread. New England's 35-0 rout two weeks ago was the Pack's worst Lambeau shutout loss since the 1970 opener. In the Jets' last visit to Green Bay, for the 2000 opener, they were 2½-point underdogs and won, 20-16. Against the spread the Jets are 3-2 on the road and 7-4 overall.

On the hot seat

The running game

Leon Washington, Kevan Barlow and Cedric Houston into one position isn't working. The Jets are 29th in the NFL with 3.44 yards per carry, and in the four games when all three played, that average dropped to 2.94. It's not all on the backs -- too often, penetration leaves them nowhere to run. Eric Mangini and Brian Schottenheimer need to orchestrate the plays and the rotation better because rushing offense has replaced rushing defense as the new Achilles' heel.

Game plan

Protect Chad Pennington's flanks against DEs Aaron Kampman and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who have combined for five strip sacks this season. Stop RB Ahman Green and then attack Brett Favre, who had a prime-time relapse, throwing more interceptions at Seattle (three) than he had the previous six games. Weather some stiff resistance at first, then jump on all the scoring opportunities the Pack will provide over the final three quarters -- they're giving up 26.0 points per game, most in the NFL.

-- Randy Lange

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Right back at ya

Andrew Gross Blog - November 29

Got on the road to Hofstra a little early this morning so I caught Joe Namath on the Opie and Anthony show as Broadway Joe scrambles all over the radio dial pitching his new book.

At one point, Anthony was complaining to Namath that he had made his life miserable for a year as a kid because Anthony’s mother, a huge Namath fan, had bought her son a fur coat so he could be just like Namath. But whereas Namath looked cool in fur, Anthony said all the boys in school just beat him up.

``Maybe it was the ribbon in your hair,’’ Namath shot back.

Real Jets observations and the injury report later today.

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