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NY JETS articles 10/ 28/ 08

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October 28, 2008

First, the damning numbers for the New York Jets :

* In three games since their bye week, playing against the NFL's bottom-feeders (a combined 4-17 record), the Jets are just 2-1 and are minus-8 in turnover ratio.

* In those three games, Brett Favre has turned the ball over nine times (7 INTs and 2 fumbles) and looked his age (39) at times. Four of his INTs have come inside the opponent's 10-yard line, which means the Jets are giving away precious points.

Now the good news:

* They're 4-3, a mere game out of first place in the AFC East - behind the Bills and Patriots - and tied for the AFC's second wild-card spot (though they would lose the tiebreaker).

* Sure, the Jets' last four games have come against teams they were favored to beat - the Cardinals, Bengals, Raiders and Chiefs - but at least they won three of those.

The Jets had designs on ideally going to Buffalo on Sunday to play the 5-2 Bills with a 5-2 record.

But, as we all know, the Jets rarely exist in an ideal world, so you take what you have and, as long as they start playing better than they did in their 28-24 survival against the depleted Chiefs on Sunday, they'll make their fans forget about the unforgivable loss in Oakland and Sunday's sloppiness.

"We don't want to go into (the Buffalo) game playing the way we played in this game (against the Chiefs), no," Jets safety Kerry Rhodes said yesterday. "If we play that way against a lot of teams, it won't be a good thing. It may not be a good outcome."

Rhodes actually put an interesting spin on the plight and mindset of his team, indicating it'll be refreshing this week to prepare for a team they're not expected to beat for a change.

The Jets, who've been decided favorites in their last four games, are underdogs against the Bills.

"Now (everyone) will come out and they can talk about how bad we are and it'll take pressure off us," Rhodes said. "It should be fun to be in that role - coming out to prove something and not be expected to win."

Rhodes conceded that the Jets are "fortunate to be where we are, (because) we're not playing the way we expect to play.

"We're in a situation now where we have a chance to tie for the division (lead)," he said. "We're definitely aware of that. We're aware of who we're playing. This can be a good measuring stick for us. There's going to be a lot on it. It's a big game, a division opponent."

While Rhodes said "the mood was great" among the players after the win, the vibe in the locker room after the game Sunday, provided a more sobering picture.

The Jets know they got away with one against the Chiefs, and you can bet their veteran players will be imposing that reality on the rest of the team as they prepare for the Bills this week.

"We have to tighten it up," Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins said. "The fans know that, the coaches know that and the players know that."

Eric Mangini perhaps put the state of his team and its recent uneven performances in the best perspective yesterday when he said, "Well, I can tell you that it's a lot better feeling this week than it was last week," referring to the loss to the Raiders.

"I would much rather have this feeling than the previous feeling, and now, we've got another week to work, to improve, to get better and any disappointment should be channeled into work to improve," he said.


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Jets receiver Stuckey blamed for interceptionBY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com

October 28, 2008

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Peyton Manning once said every interception has its own story, and the story of Brett Favre's third one Sunday - it was returned 91 yards for a TD by Brandon Flowers - revolved around second-year receiver Chansi Stuckey.

Jets coach Eric Mangini yesterday all but blamed Stuckey - as did CBS' game commentators - for the result of the play.

"Yeah, he should have kept going on that," Mangini said of Stuckey's running of his route. "Worst-case scenario, if the guy does catch it, you have to be able to make the tackle. It's a turnover, but it's not a turnover which results in a touchdown, and he could do a lot better job on that play of finishing that route."

The typically pleasant Stuckey sounded annoyed when asked what he could have done better.

"I mean, I could have just, I guess, tried to grab the guy and get an offensive pass interference [penalty] before the ball was thrown because he was in front of me," Stuckey said. "So that's really all I could have done."

Earlier, Stuckey, though it wasn't intentional, seemed to offer an indictment of the predictability of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's play call.

"He kind of recognized it from the first time," Stuckey said of Flowers. "We had kind of beat them up pretty good on that play in the first quarter on a third down. He recognized it and jumped inside. I tried to get inside him but he kind of gave me a little bump that got me off my route and I kind of bumped into the safety and he just kind of kept running and the ball came right to him and he just made a play."

Chatman likely done

Mangini said RB Jesse Chatman, who has only 13 total yards, probably is out for the rest of the year with a knee injury. Chatman was hurt during a kickoff return in the second half of Sunday's game. "Odds are, it's going to be season-ending," Mangini said.

As for the "hip" injury suffered by LB David Harris, Mangini said it wasn't an aggravation of the hamstring injury that limited the second-year linebacker much of the preseason.

"Could be something that's soreness, could be something that's a little bit longer," Mangini said. Mangini also said Favre isn't experiencing any arm trouble, just "general soreness."

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Time for Mangini to show his stuff-Bob Glauber

October 28, 2008

Even with all the intense emotional swings of the first seven games - from Brett Favre's mind-numbing ratio of brutal interceptions to exhilarating touchdowns, to a bend-and-sometimes-break defense, to some head-scratching plays on special teams - the Jets' season has come to this: On Sunday afternoon in Buffalo, they might very well be playing for a share of first place in the AFC East.

At the very least, they have a chance to make a decisive statement about whether they can remain a factor in a divisional race that is eminently winnable now that Tom Brady is fighting off a post-surgical infection instead of opposing defensive linemen. But whether the Jets make that statement will not depend solely on the right arm of Favre or the legs of running backs Thomas Jones and Leon Washington or the defensive grit of Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace.

It also will come down to Eric Mangini and his coaching staff.

Nearly 2 ½ seasons into his tenure, with one playoff season followed by an injury-filled disaster on his resume, Mangini and his cadre of coaches will have to be every bit as good as the players entrusted to carry out their orders.

Bob Glauber Bio | E-mail | Recent columns

With three-time Super Bowl- winning coach Bill Belichick in New England and highly regarded veteran Dick Jauron in Buffalo and Bill Parcells prot

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Jets' victory had hollow feel for someBY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com

October 28, 2008

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - It was a Victory Monday that didn't have the feel, or sound, of one.

Three Jets players were available to the media via conference call after Eric Mangini's mid-afternoon news conference, and the questions had a similar theme: primarily what went wrong rather than right in Sunday's 28-24 victory over the Chiefs at the Meadowlands.

The victory, which raised the Jets' record to 4-3, was far from unexpected, but the difficulty involved was. The Chiefs entered as one of the league's worst teams - most observers consider them the worst - yet led 24-21 until Brett Favre hit Laveranues Coles on a fade route for a 15-yard TD with one minute left.

Several players used the word "flat" in how the Jets came out, but Mangini disagreed.

"Well, we did score on that first drive, we did stop them on their first drive," Mangini said. "We came back down and were in position to score again; missed the [36-yard] field goal. So I don't think it was a function of coming out flat."

As for some of his players expressing disappointment in the team's overall performance after the game, Mangini shrugged.

"I can tell you it's a lot better feeling this week than it was last week," he said. "And I would much rather have this feeling than the previous feeling, and now, get another week to work, to improve, to get better. And any disappointment should be channeled into work to improve."

Which had better come soon. The "soft" portion of the Jets' schedule is over. This Sunday the Jets visit the Bills (5-2), who are coming off a loss in Miami but are tied with the Patriots atop the AFC East standings.

"Against Buffalo, we make those mistakes, it's going to get ugly quick," linebacker Calvin Pace said after Sunday's game.

Safety Kerry Rhodes, though happy to take the win, to a degree echoed Pace yesterday.

"If we played that way against a lot of teams, it won't be a good thing," Rhodes said.

Rhodes said the team feels "fortunate" to be where it is - sitting one game out of first place despite not playing especially well against struggling teams the last three weeks.

"We're in a situation to tie this thing up and we're definitely aware of that," Rhodes said. "We're aware of who we're playing and we know they're in first place and they're playing well, so it's a good measuring stick for us and it's a game ... there's a lot on it. The fact that we're one game out, we are fortunate to be where we are. We're not playing the way we think and the way we expect to play, but we're still in it. We have a chance, and that's all you can ask for."

What fans, along with some players, have been asking for is that the Jets establish some kind of consistent identity on offense. Mangini called the team's identity under offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer "game-plan specific."

"I think that's really what our identity is," Mangini said. "Like I said, it can be heavy emphasis on the run; heavy emphasis on the pass; it could be no-huddle; it could be empty; it could be it's just not one package."

One of the more perplexing elements from Sunday was a pass-first approach against a Chiefs team that ranks last in the league against the run.

Mangini acknowledged that but said, "They also had a very young secondary, starting two rookie corners, two second-year safeties [and] had not gotten a lot of pressure on the quarterback."

Later, Mangini added: "Oakland wasn't particularly strong against the run, and we ran it for 250 yards and scored 13 points. So you can look at it either way."

Either way, the Jets need to get better. Fast.



at Bills

1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2

Radio: WEPN (1050)

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I cannot tell a lie: This Washington deserves more playing time

By Adam Sweeney | Tuesday, October 28, 2008 | ( 0 )

The New York Jets' Thomas Jones is a solid runner, but the backfield's biggest spark comes from Leon Washington -- who saved Brett Favre's bacon against Kansas City on Sunday during a 13-touch, 274-yard effort in a 28-24 win. Jones, meanwhile, only found room room for 54 yards on 14 carries. Washington, who bettered that on only three carries, is quicker, more versatile and more elusive than Jones. Why, then, isn't Washington getting more playing time?

Commentary: The Jets should take a page from the 2006 New Orleans Saints, who went to the playoffs because they used their two backs (the thunderous Deuce McAllister and the electric Reggie Bush) perfectly.

Jets head coach Eric Mangini needs to realize that Brian Schottenheimer's close-to-the-vest offense is killing the team. The Jets are primed to make big plays, which is being masked by their current scheme.

Fan Pulse: Gang Green fans are feeling some appreciation for Washington. If only Mangini felt the same way: http://forums.theganggreen.com/showthread.php?t=37305.

Fantasy Football Commentary: At the beginning of the season, all signs pointed to WR Jerrico Cotchery being Favre's favorite target; however, Laveranues Coles is having his say in that. He scored his fifth TD of the season Sunday and seems to be recovered from his concussion.

Injury Watch: TE Chris Baker couldn't play versus Kansas City after aggravating a hip injury. There's no word yet on his status for Week 9's game in Buffalo.

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Can The Jets Beat The Bills Sunday?

Tuesday, October 28th 2008, 12:49 am by Pietro DiSante

The answer is yes! Here is how:

1. Stop the Run.

One key factor in every Jets-Bills game over the last few seasons is the Bills being able to run on the Jets. Well, if the Jets are going to stop the Bills running game, it is now with Kris Jenkins on the team. Stopping the Bills from running and forcing them to pass puts them in a bad spot too being one dimensional and missing WR Josh Reed.

2. Better Playcalling, on Offense and Defense.

It can

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New York Jets' approach to offense subject to change every week

by Dave Hutchinson/The Star-Ledger

Monday October 27, 2008, 8:41 PM

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Jets coach Eric Mangini prefers having some flexibility in the team's offensive game plan each week. After weeks of trying to pin down the Jets' offensive identity, coach Eric Mangini said Monday that the unit has no identity and that's the way he wants it.

Clearly annoyed at criticism that the Jets' up-and-down offense has no defining trait, Mangini said it's by design.

"I think you're always looking to try to classify things, but our identity is the fact that it's game-plan specific," said Mangini. "I think that's really what our identity is. It can be heavy emphasis on the run; heavy emphasis on the pass; it could be no-huddle; it could be empty (backfield). It's not just one package."

"It's the package that we think is going to help us move the ball and score the most points," he added.

That can be a good thing and a bad thing, but it's mostly been the latter the past two weeks. The Jets decided to run the ball against the Raiders two games ago when it appeared that passing the ball, especially in overtime, was the way to go. On Sunday, the Jets went to their passing game against the Chiefs and barely won despite the fact that Kansas City entered the game with the league's worst run defense, allowing 207 yards per game.

The Jets (4-3) rushed for 135 yards in their uninspiring, 28-24 victory over the Chiefs, but 60 yards came on a Leon Washington touchdown run. Had the Jets just pounded the Chiefs with the run, it may have been a much easier day.

As a result, some argue that Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer are simply outsmarting themselves.

"They (the Chiefs) also had a very young secondary, starting two rookie corners, two second-year safeties and had not gotten a lot of pressure on the quarterback, so all those things are pretty positive," said Mangini. "I feel really good about Jerricho (Cotchery). I feel really good about Laveranues (Coles)."

Cotchery (nine catches for 102 yards) and Coles (7-64, one TD) had big days, but the Jets struggled to win, as quarterback Brett Favre threw three interceptions (a fourth was dropped), including one that was returned 91 yards for a touchdown. He completed 28 of 40 passes for 290 yards, two touchdowns, and his three picks led to 14 points.

"I would say Oakland wasn't particularly strong against the run and we ran it for (242 yards) and scored (just) 13 points," said Mangini. "So you can look at it either way."

Meanwhile, Favre's head must be spinning as the offense is ever evolving. The Jets are adding new wrinkles and plays every week and Favre is still trying to get the basic terminology.

The future Hall of Famer has always been a gambler and interceptions are part of his game, but the fact that the Jets change their offense like a chameleon changes colors isn't helping.

Favre has thrown seven interceptions in the past three games and is tied with the 49ers' J.T. O'Sullivan with a league-high 11. He has repeatedly thrown into coverage and is still having miscommunications with his receivers. Once in each of the past two games, Cotchery broke off a route and it led to an interception.

"It's not a total overhaul of the offensive system," said Mangini of the weekly game plans. "It could be the same play, just a different formation."

Even so, that could be confusing to Favre, who has said the same terminology the Jets use meant different things in Green Bay, where he played for 16 seasons.

"There's a lot of carry over from week to week," insists Mangini.

Unfortunately for the Jets the interceptions are also carrying over from week to week. Favre joked after the game that the pickoffs "seem to follow me everywhere I go. I thought I'd left those behind."

Mangini seemed resigned to Favre playing it fast and loose with the football.

"That's what he's done," said Mangini. "He's been very successful. He's thrown the most touchdowns (457) and the most picks (299 -- in NFL history). I'm not in any way saying that we're striving to keep that trend in tact."

This time Favre saved himself and the Jets with his game-winning touchdown pass to Coles with a minute left to play against the lowly Chiefs -- the 41st fourth-quarter comeback of his career -- but the Jets can't continue to live like that.

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Is this what you're going to get with the New York Jets Brett Favre?

by John Shabe / NJ.com

Monday October 27, 2008, 9:00 AM

Brett Favre has seven INTs and three TD passes in the last three games.The New York Jets' win over the Chiefs Sunday was more of a non-loss, according to The Star-Ledger's David Hutchinson during his game analysis video. And the reason may have been Brett Favre.

Favre threw for 290 yards and the winning TD, but also threw three picks. Dave says in the video that Favre's INTs will make you pull your hair out, but he gives you those tantalizing moments at the end of the game, too.

So Jets fans, can you live like this for the rest of the season?

Both Ian O'Connor on NorthJersey.com and Filip Bondy in today's Daily News write of the battered Brett in the postgame locker room. Bondy writes:

There is never an easy escape from New York, or from its distorted lens of expectation. The Favres probably should have known that when Brett reinvented himself as a Jet. He was cross-examined for consorting with a Detroit team official, and then Sunday Favre was jeered by the home fans, who have already seen enough of the back-foot, looping Hail Bretts.


The rules around here work this way: Favre can talk to the Lions all he wants again this week, as long as he beats the Bills.

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Eric Mangini's focus is on Brett Favre's interceptions hurting Jets



Monday, October 27th 2008, 9:30 PM

Weissman for News

Brett Favre and Jets are hoping to get on the same page when it comes to complicated offense.

Physically, Brett Favre is okay, suffering from what Eric Mangini described Monday as "general soreness" - the residual effect of general beatings by the Bengals, Raiders and Chiefs.


"He probably just needs to be iced up for a little while," the Jets' coach said with a half-smile.

Maybe they all need to chill. In a sense, they will.


In an attempt to curb Favre's rapidly-growing interception total, Mangini said the Jets will take a step back and analyze the offense. Favre threw three interceptions in Sunday's 28-24 win over the Chiefs, bringing his total to 11, tied for the NFL lead with the 49ers' J.T. O'Sullivan. "He's thrown the most touchdowns and the most picks (in history), and I'm not in any way saying we're striving to keep that trend intact," Mangini said. "But we're going to look at it in all of the different levels, things he can do better, things the receivers could do better, the O-line, play selection. It's never one guy's fault."

This is a delicate challenge for the coaches. They want Favre to exhibit more caution on certain throws, but they don't want him to abandon the aggressive mentality that made him who he is.


You think that's going to be easy? Moments after saying he'd like to make the offense more Favre-friendly, Mangini contradicted himself, all but admitting there's no chance of making Favre change his ways.

"He had a lot of time in that Green Bay system, and the numbers were what the numbers were," said Mangini, suggesting he's willing to live with the agita as long as there's euphoria.

One thing Mangini isn't willing to change is his offensive philosophy. That could be part of Favre's problem.

The Jets (4-3) pride themselves on being a game plan-specific team, meaning they change their approach based on the opponent. Mangini adopted it from the Patriots. The idea is to create favorable matchups and attack weaknesses. They can go from the no-huddle to an empty backfield to a smash-mouth running attack. "That's who we are and that's our identity," said Mangini, perhaps mocking recent newspaper stories about the Jets' so-called identity crisis.

Thing is, the ever-changing offense could be stunting Favre's ability to get comfortable in the system. Privately, some players have remarked that the offense needs to narrow its focus, concentrating on core plays. Mangini defended his philosophy, saying there's "not a dramatic overhaul" from week to week, just different formations for the same plays.

Obviously, it's not working. For the second straight game, Favre had a miscommunication with Jerricho Cotchery, resulting in an interception. Cotchery broke off his route, but Favre threw long, expecting him to be there. Favre also has forced the ball into double coverage, as he did Sunday on a long pass to Laveranues Coles that was picked off. His third interception, returned 91 yards for a touchdown, wasn't all Favre's fault, according to Mangini. The coach, who rarely criticizes players, said Chansi Stuckey quit on his route. Favre threw to a spot, and Stuckey wasn't there. "I guess I could've grabbed the guy to get offensive pass interference before the ball was thrown," said Stuckey, offering a different take. "That's all I really could've done."

Six minutes after the deflating turnover, Favre led the Jets to his first fourth-quarter comeback win, throwing the game-winning touchdown to Coles - the second straight week he rallied the team.

Still, Favre has thrown eight interceptions over the last four games. "I'm very confident that we'll get it corrected," Mangini said.

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By Adam Sweeney

Jets head coach Eric Mangini needs to realize that Brian Schottenheimer's close-to-the-vest offense is killing the team. The Jets are primed to make big plays, which is being masked by their current scheme.

This is why I can't take all this Schottenheimer bashing too seriously. The whole world is complaining that they didn't run enough against the Chiefs and this guy is criticizing them for "playing it close to the vest" and not attempting any "big plays"? They have had a ****load of "big plays". The problem is things aren't so safe while we're waiting around for them.

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