This week I caught up with Brian Johnson, the chief editor of One Jet At A Time. That is, of course, the one stop shop for all Jets information right here on the Bloguin Network. I've gotten to know Brian prior to this exchange and can definitely 100% vouch for his football knowledge. Thanks to him for spending the time with us! Below is our Q&A and make sure you check them out on twitter as well. Apologies to Brian for the butt fumble pic, but I couldn't resist.
The Saints Nation: Man that was a drubbing you guys took against the Bengals. You beat the Patriots and then turn in that kind of game? What gives?
One Jet At A Time: A 'drubbing,' huh? Is that N'Orleans dialect? ;)
Every team will have a game in their season that causes fans and outsiders to question the state of the team. Look at the Broncos/Jags game, for example. Now, because the Jets don't have the talent of the Broncos, they were completely obliterated in every phase of the game. The Jets did not watch the film tape together, after Sunday, with Rex Ryan trying to encourage his troops to move on and focus on your Saints.
Geno Smith was pretty awful in particular, and benched as it got out of hand. He's definitely the starter again this week though right?
Absolutely; no two ways about it. Geno's benching was in the same way it would be for a Drew Bress... getting the starter out and avoiding injury, in a winless game.
I do a 1st round draft pick ranking each week for Bloguin and Sheldon Richardson is always at the top. How does he have such a high tackle total each week? He has by far exceeded your expectations, right? Why is he so awesome?
Richardson is a monster that is benefitted by having Monster's Inc on the defensive line with him. He's not asked to win games or even disrupt them, he's just asked to do his job, alongside Pro Bowl-caliaber player Mo Wilkerson and UDFA standout, Damon Harrison. Richardson's first job is to stop the run, thus the high tackling numbers. Especially since Harrison and Wilkerson are receiving double teams because of their size and power. He was a pinpoint selection by new GM John Idzik and has looked like a 3-year vet+ in just half of his rookie season. Most Jet fans, including myself, weren't so hot on yet ANOTHER D-Line first round selection, but we were all completely wrong with Richardson.
Dee Milliner, by contrast, has totally sucked. He's been near the bottom of the rankings. Injuries have played a part, but why the slow start for him?
Injuries have played a large part of the rookie growing pains, but mental mistakes have been a very close second. Most notably, in the Jets' first game against the Patriots, Milliner didn't know which man to cover, thus leading to an easy touchdown for Tom Brady. He would later be benched, as he was last week, too. The game has yet to slow down for Milliner and, at this point, I consider him more of a liability than anything else. He will be starting on Sunday, which I think is an indictment of just getting him reps to improve for future games and seasons.
Much is being made of the Ryan bowl, Rex vs. Rob. Any thoughts on that?
Bleigh. Not too much excitement in that for me, but it would be nice to see them get into a UFC fight on the sidelines. Haha Go REX!
How has Chris Ivory worked out for you guys? Are you glad you traded a 4th round pick for him?
Ivory has been very hit-or-miss for the Jets, but I think that could be said of a 4th-round drafted running back, as well, so I'm still happy with the trade at this point. He's been another player fighting injuries, so we just started seeing the real Ivory magic against the Pats two weeks ago. (104 yds on 34 carries)
I ask this each week: if you're the Saints how do you attack your team? What should be the gameplan coming in to leave with a win?
Take multiple shots deep: Both CBs Cromartie and Milliner are getting beat long. Screen Passes: The Saints are known for it, and when the Jets miss a tackle, they miss many tackles. You might have to keep trying it until the one that leads for a score. But it'll pay dividends. Get Pressure on Geno Smith: When Smith has time to throw, he can make any throw. When he doesn't, he's prone to forcing the ball into the arms of a defender. Beat the O-Line down.
The Jets are 4-4 and I really have no clue what to expect from them. One week they are horrendous, the next they look really strong. What are your expectations for this season?
My initial prediction was 8-8 with a 1 game margin for error. That seems to still ring true, although it's hard for me to imagine them dropping to 7-9, because they look better than I expected. With a shaky AFC, the Jets are very much in the playoff race, but let's see what happens on Sunday before I 'ink' my name to any predictions. Haha
Who should the Saints be worried about coming into this game? Give me three or four of your best players to watch for.
WR Jeremy Kerley: He's a smaller, lesser-known receiver, but don't let that fool you: he's a 3rd-down machine. Kerley has 16 receptions on 3rd-down, this season, and he can help keep the Jets offense driving down he field.
RB Chris Ivory: We've touched on Ivory already, but you have to imagine Rex Ryan will try to give the back many touches in a game against his ex-team.
DL Mo Wilkerson: The Wilk Man will get to Drew Brees at some point in this game, the question is, can he cause a turnover? That may be the only way to keep this one close, so look for Rex Ryan to unleash his animals.
I'll be at the game, and I'm a friken Jets Blog writer, but I'll be fair: 31-24 Saints
While I like Ivory, I have to hope he disappoints this week. Hoping for a good game, as a prelude to February, and let's keep Drew upright for most of the game, please.
In case someone missed it, I have a new Great Grandson...