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Gameday NY JETS articles- wk.8 10/26/08

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It's just like yesterdayMaynard being honored with rest of Super Bowl III Jets

BY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com

October 26, 2008

Don Maynard was talking about NFL history and his role in it, then casually tossed in a line about women's undergarments as if it might go unnoticed.

"You know, I wore pantyhose four years before he did," Maynard said before continuing to discuss The Greatest Game Ever Played, Super Bowl III and wearing white shoes.

Um, timeout. Say again?

"Well, I wore them [pantyhose] when I went hunting," the Hall of Fame receiver said Thursday in a telephone interview from his home in Texas. "Guys put on whatever they could to keep warm when they headed out to hunt. Naturally, they didn't advertise it."

Maynard paused for a moment and laughed. "Joe, of course, had to get publicity for it, which he did for everything," the straight-talking Texas native said.

It was a good-natured barb at Joe Namath, who presented Maynard at his Hall of Fame induction in Canton in 1987. The two remain close - "I holler at old Joe once a month or so," Maynard said - and the two reunited this weekend with many of their former teammates to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their Super Bowl III victory.

A ceremony honoring the 16-7 win over the Colts will take place at halftime of today's game against the Chiefs at the Meadowlands.

Maynard, a Titan/Jet from 1960-72 who said he keeps in frequent contact with many of the players from that team, doesn't define himself by Super Bowl III and can come off as nonchalant talking about it.

He has maintained through the years that the Jets' 27-23 victory over the Raiders in the AFL Championship Game, which put the Jets in the Super Bowl, was just as big. It was among Maynard's biggest games; he had six receptions for 118 yards and two TDs, including a 6-yarder in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winner. A 52-yard reception in which Maynard turned his body completely around to adjust to a wind-blown pass set up the score.

"I was really cranked up for that one," said Maynard, 73, still active as a financial planner. "You have to win that one to go to the Super Bowl."

Despite a spindly 6-1, 173-pound frame, when Maynard retired after the 1973 season, he was the NFL career leader in receptions (633) and receiving yards (11,834). (Jerry Rice, with 1,549 and 22,895, now owns those records.)

Maynard took his share of punishment in the victory over Oakland. He was quoted afterward in Sports Illustrated giving a rather colorful description of his physical condition, one that might lead to some kind of fine from the current Jets regime.

"I've been hurting for three weeks," Maynard said. "I hurt all over. I hurt so bad, the average man would be in traction."

But such forthrightness was emblematic of Maynard then, as it is now. Even with the Jets being 18-point underdogs to the Colts, Maynard says his primary motivation for that game wasn't so much about backing up a certain guarantee or proving the world wrong about the Jets or the AFL. "You wanted that winner's share," he said of the $15,000 awarded to the Super Bowl III winner. The loser got $7,500.

Maynard's apparent indifference to one of the league's most important games, however, is a bit of misdirection. He is proud of what the Jets achieved and said they don't get their due as an all-time great team.

Evaluating everything 40 years later, Maynard said other players felt exactly the same as Namath. "I knew, we knew, if we didn't make any mistakes, we would beat them," he said.

The reasons?

"We had as great a running back tandem as has ever played with [Emerson] Boozer and [Matt] Snell, and we had as good a passing attack as the game has ever seen," said Maynard, who formed the nucleus of that attack with George Sauer and tight end Pete Lammons. "I'll argue that with anyone. Namath had a great offensive line and our defense just shut people down. We were completely balanced."

He took a breath. "We respected the Colts, but we weren't scared of 'em."

And so Maynard does enjoy talking about that day in Miami's Orange Bowl for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it adds to an impressive resume of having played in some of pro football's most notable games.

Maynard, as a rookie with the Giants, was the first player to have the ball in overtime in the 1958 NFL title game - "an 18-yard kickoff return" - and he caught 10 passes for 228 yards in the Heidi Game in November 1968. The first Monday Night Football game in September 1970 in Cleveland? Maynard was there, too. "Been part of some good history," he said.

Maynard said that despite taking nearly 15 seasons worth of hits, he's doing pretty well.

"Some days I feel 73, some days I feel 93," he said. He laughed softly. "And every once in a while, I feel 23."

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NOT WINGIN' IT: With Brett Favre ranking 22nd in the league in yards per pass attempt, the Jets have been unwilling or unable to throw the ball deep downfield.

Posted: 4:25 am

October 26, 2008

THE soft spots on the New York Jets schedule are disappearing almost as fast as has Vernon Gholston. The Dolphins are competitive, the Rams suddenly competent, the Bills for real and reports of the Patriots' demise again proving premature.

So do the 3-3 Jets desperately need today to beat Herm Edwards' Chiefs, the worst team in the NFL? Uh, does Woody Johnson have a lot of money?

Seattle and San Francisco, both on the road, are the only softies left for a Jets team that needs to go 7-3 the rest of the way to reach 10-6. So it's getting late early for a team that doesn't have a player, let alone an anchor, to show for No. 1 picks from 2003 through 2005; that spent $140 million on free agents; and that brought in a 39-year-old quarterback.

Brett Favre's training camp was short. The offense is complicated and so, Eric Mangini reminds us, are the game-plan-specific reasons why the running game works one week, the passing game works another week and the Jets, with one of the greatest quarterbacking talents ever, somehow still have zero offensive identity.

"I think you're looking for balance," the coach said. "Some games you are going to throw for six touchdowns, some you are going to rush for 8 yards per carry. End result is, you're looking to score."

According to Mangini, it practically all comes back to the turnovers, four of which in the last two weeks come back to Favre. So have the season and practically the program since the mid-training camp decision was made to crowbar open a one- or two-season window of opportunity with a 39-year-old quarterback.

So the Jets have to win now, even if based on 4-12 a year ago and signings of players who were in their prime two and three years ago, they don't have a team ready to win now. They do not have a player on either side of the ball who demands double teams and, judging from the way Oakland jammed the line in the overtime daring Favre to throw, do not have a quarterback who can any longer stretch the field much better than could Chad Pennington.

Of course, Mangini could have a death wish and not allow the biggest-armed quarterback there ever was to stretch the field. But having made the decision to shoot the wad with Favre, that would make zero sense. Thus, one would have to conclude that Favre, 22nd in the NFL in yards per attempt (6.77), isn't throwing the ball deep because all things like protection problems, penalties and a dearth of second-and-short situations considered, the Jets haven't been capable of throwing the ball deep.

"We are trying to find a balance," Favre said. "No one's at fault here.

"I like our game plans, I like the way Schotty (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) calls the games. We have to be more consistent because I can assure you, if you watch the tape like we do, there were numerous plays to be made individually, by me included."

It's hard without a LaDainian Tomlinson or a Randy Moss. A radical change in mid-camp figured all along to make it even harder, as it may get more difficult still if Jerricho CotcheryJerricho Cotchery is out for any length of time.

Scoring shouldn't be difficult today against the NFL's 31st-rated defense. But starting next week in Buffalo, the time to make this work grows even shorter than some of Favre's dump-offs or phone conversations with Matt Millen.

In a sense, the direction change signaled by bringing in Favre points his fabled right gun right back at Mangini's and GM Mike Tannenbaum's heads, More successfully than unsuccessfully, Favre has made a career of squeezing throws in. And with time so short, this is the tightest spot he ever has faced.


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New York Jets vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Preview

by Dave HutchinsonThe Star-Ledger

Saturday October 25, 2008, 9:36 PM

New York Jets beat writer Dave Hutchinson breaks down the matchup for Sunday's game at the Meadowland: offense, defense, special teams and more.


RB Thomas Jones, who ran for 159 yards on 24 carries vs. the Raiders, his career-high as a Jet, could be in for another memorable day. The Chiefs come in with the league's worst rushing defense, yielding 207.2 yards rushing per game, and they could get demoralized pretty quickly. Interestingly, despite the presence of free-agent prize, LG Alan Faneca, many of Jones' run went to the right side behind G Brandon Moore and T Damien Woody. WR Laveranues Coles (concussion) will play. Fellow WR Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder) is a game-time decision, but it appears he, too, will play. The Brett Favre experiment remains a work in progress. He has thrown for less than 200 yards in four of his six games, the most sub-200 yards games he has had since 2005 (not counting partial games). But he should have plenty of time to pick out a receiver as the Chiefs have a league-low three sacks. Look for the Jets to be aggressive as coach Eric Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer have come under fire for their conservative ways, with their latest transgression being playing not to lose in the overtime session vs. the Raiders last week.


It won't be pretty. Coach Herm Edwards is on his third quarterback, second-year pro Tyler Thigpen, as Brodie Croyle (knee) and veteran Damon Huard (thumb) are done for the season. Thigpen has hit 38 of 90 passes for 392 yards, two TDs and four INTs. He has a league-low 44.3 passer rating. And, he'll be without RB Larry Johnson, who has been benched for a second straight game by Edwards for violating team policy. He has been late for meetings and generally insubordinate. The Chiefs rank 29th in the league in total offense (257.3 yards per game) and last in scoring (12.5 points per game). And what little offense they did have was provided by Johnson (417 yards rushing and three TDs). WR Dwayne Bowe is the Chiefs' big-play guy with 34 catches for 410 yards and two touchdowns. Although he wanted out, veteran TE Tony Gonzalez (27-290-2) is still around, apparently doomed to finish his career with a rebuilding team.


Veteran K Jay Feeley, subbing for the injured Mike Nugent (thigh), has connected on eight of 10 attempts, including a game-tying 52-yarder with :03 remaining in regulation in last week's 16-13 overtime loss to the Raiders. P Reggie Hodges (39.1-yard average) has been solid. Jets KR Leon Washington (10.7 yards per punt/ 28.2 yards per kickoffs) is a game-breaker. Chiefs rookie K Barth Connor will make his NFL debut at Giants Stadium, where many kickers have nightmares.


RB Thomas Jones is passionate about football but he has an even greater love affair with music. He has a new music production company, OuttaPocket Entertainment, and he struck gold with a debut single, "Late Nite Creep," from his first recording artist, Myko.


Last five meetings: Jets lead, 3-2.

Year;; Date ;; Winner ;; Loser

2007;; Dec. 30 ;; JETS 13;; Chiefs 10

2005 ;; Sept. 11 ;; CHIEFS 27;; Jets 7

2002 ;; Sept. 29 ;; Chiefs 29;; JETS 24

2001 ;; Nov. 11 ;; JETS 27;; Chiefs 7

1998 ;; Nov. 1 ;; Jets 20;; CHIEFS 17

Note: Home team in caps

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Posted: 4:25 am

October 26, 2008

As incredible as it may sound, the JetsNew York Jets have not had a running back rush for 100 or more yards in consecutive games since Curtis Martin did it four years ago.

If that drought hasn't ended by sometime after 4 p.m. today, then there's something wrong - something wrong with the Jets, something wrong with the universe.

The 1-5 Chiefs, whom the Jets play today at Giants Stadium, are ranked last in the NFL in run defense. They're allowing an average of 207.2 rushing yards per game, 40 more than the next-worst team, the Lions.

So, if the Jets aren't salivating to grind the Kansas City defense into submission with Thomas JonesThomas Jones , then something is very wrong with their game-planning and play-calling process.

Jones, who rumbled for 159 yards against the Raiders last week, his most as a Jet and second most of his career, is the second-leading rusher in the AFC with 478 yards. He has a 4.4-yard average - nearly a yard more per carry than last year's 3.6-yard average.

"Hopefully," Jets tight end Chris BakerChris Baker said yesterday of Jones, "we can keep him going."

When the Chiefs' futility against the run was mentioned, Baker said, "Obviously, things would point to" the Jets running the ball well today.

"I would hope we can go out and run the ball effectively; that's what all the other teams have done against them so far if they're ranked 32nd in the league," Baker said. "Obviously, Herm [Edwards, the Chiefs coach] is going to look to address that. Hopefully, we can exploit that. You always want to attack the other team's weakness."

Baker said he thinks Jones "is capable of getting 100 yards every week."

Jones, low-keying the Chiefs' defensive woes, said, "They have really good players over there. They're fast and have really good athletes. They've had some problems the last couple games, but that has nothing to do with our game.

"We have to show up and play [today]. Every Sunday is different. You never know what's going to happen in a game. I don't take anyone for granted. We have a lot of respect for the Kansas City Chiefs."

Mangini, doing his coach-speak best to talk up the opponent, said, "One of the things Kansas City has done effectively is create a lot of negative plays in the running game. Those are things that can ruin a drive."

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October 26, 2008

The New York Jets are fresh off losing a game they shouldn't have lost, leaving a potential fourth victory of this 2008 season splayed out on the clumpy turf in Oakland last Sunday.

Today, the 3-3 Jets face a team in even worst shape than those Raiders who beat them last week, the 1-5 Chiefs, in a game that they simply cannot lose if they have any realistic aspirations of being a playoff contender.

"Right now, we've put ourselves in position where we're facing the possibility of being above .500 or below .500, and there are a lot of expectations placed on this team outside and in this locker room, where guys expect to win," Jets WR Laveranues ColesLaveranues Coles said.

"I think once it all comes together, it's going to be a beautiful thing. It just hasn't come together yet."

Indeed, the Jets' common lament this season has been one of too many "self-inflicted wounds."

"A lot of situations we've been in, we've hurt ourselves with turnovers and penalties," RB Thomas JonesThomas Jones said. "A lot of our problems have been just us. We can eliminate those."

Let's see if they do. Here's how The Post sees the game unfolding:


Jets CB Darrelle Revis vs. Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe. Bowe, who leads KC with 34 catches and two TDs, is one of the few players on offense who potentially can hurt the Jets. Revis is steadily becoming a shutdown type of CB.


If this is a close game, the kickers could be a big factor. Jets interim K Jay Feely, coming off last week's 52-yard game-tying field goal, not only has made eight of 10 this season, but has much familiarity with the nuances of the Giants Stadium winds. The Chiefs bring rookie Connor Barth, whom they just signed this week. He obviously has no Giants Stadium experience.


The Chiefs' defense has managed only three sacks in six games, the worst production in the NFL. If form holds, Brett Favre should have ample time to throw. The Jets have yielded 15 sacks. On the other side of the ball, the Jets' defense has produced 20 sacks.


The Chiefs have one of the best tight ends of all-time in Tony Gonzalez, who has 27 catches and two TDs. An Achilles heel to the Jets' defense this season at times has been covering the tight end. S Eric Smith, whose playing status today has been in question all week because of a concussion, has had problems covering tight ends, as has rookie CB Dwight Lowery.


Jets RB Thomas Jones should have a big day considering he's coming off a 159-yard performance and the Chiefs are ranked last in the NFL in run defense, allowing an average of 207.2 yards per game.


The Chiefs are one of the few teams Brett Favre has not had a lot of success against in his career. Favre is 1-3 against the Chiefs with seven TDs, seven INTs and an 82.1 rating. He, too, has been sacked 12 times in those four games.


Chiefs coach Herman Edwards cannot avoid thinking of the irony: Favre will start his NFL-record 260th consecutive game at quarterback today, and Edwards cannot find a QB who can merely start two consecutive games. In his eight years as a head coach - five with the Jets and three with the Chiefs - Edwards has had only one season in which his starting quarterback played all 16 games.


44.3. That's the QB rating of Chiefs starter Tyler Thigpen, worst in the NFL.


The Jets have been successful on fourth-down conversion attempts seven of eight times this season - as have their opponents.


The Chiefs have scored only 33 points in the first three quarters in their six games this season - six in the first quarter, 17 in the second and 10 in the third.


If the Jets cannot win this game with at least relative ease, then there's an inherent flaw with this team that is supposed to be a contender. Look for Thomas Jones to rush for 100 yards for the second consecutive week and for the Jets' defense to pitch a shutout.


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