Yesterday, the Jets announced that they had signed running back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal. Johnson is a well-known player with whom most NFL fans will be familiar. However, it's still worth looking at recent footage to try and get an insight into what Johnson has left in the tank and what he could bring to the table.

Johnson is a 28-year old former first round pick who has surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL (all with the Tennessee Titans). He's a three time pro-bowler and was an all-pro in 2009 when he became just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson has also caught 272 passes and scored a total of 58 touchdowns in his NFL career.

After the jump, I'll be reviewing his career so far and looking at footage from last year to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Chris Johnson?

The 5'11" 203-pound Johnson wasn't a highly touted collegiate player as he was better known for his kick returning abilities until his senior year when he broke out with a 1,400 yard season. However, his 4.24 forty yard dash at the 2008 scouting combine definitely turned heads. Still, it was a surprise when the Titans selected him 24th in the draft, but many experts were left eating their words when he rushed for over 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie, leading them to the postseason.

In 2009, Johnson had an incredible season, rushing for over 2,000 yards at an average of 5.6 per carry and setting an NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season. While he hasn't approached those kind of numbers since then, Johnson has still rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons and hasn't missed a game in his entire six-year career. In 2013, he had career lows in yards per carry and yards from scrimmage, but it emerged after the season that he'd played most of the season with a torn meniscus in his knee. He still managed to rush for 1,077 yards and scored a total of 10 touchdowns.

Let's look at Johnson's numbers, then review what he brings to the table.

The Numbers

Six seasons

96 games

1,742 carries, 7.965 yards, 50 touchdowns (4.6 ypc)

272 catches, 2,003 yards, eight touchdowns

78% catch rate (including preseason games)

18 career fumbles (13 lost)

240 broken tackles, including 39 as a receiver

11 penalties committed

68 20+ yard runs

18 40+ yard runs

Seven sacks, seven hits and 41 hurries surrendered in 576 pass block snaps

Here are my observations based on watching footage in detail from the 2013 season:

Usage - The first thing to note is that Johnson plays all three downs. The Titans would sometimes spell him for a series here and there, but there were three games where he missed less than 10 snaps overall (including one where he missed just two). In 2012 there had been five games where he missed five or fewer snaps. This, when coupled with the fact that he didn't miss any games yet in his career, and also that he was playing hurt last year, shows some impressive durability.

In terms of how he was used, Johnson was a tailback most of the time, as you'd expect. However, when the Titans would go five wide, he'd stay in the game and usually line up out wide. He had 50 snaps as a receiver out wide and a handful in the slot.

Running Ability - Johnson's track record speaks for itself, but the biggest question mark surrounding his move to the Jets is whether he's losing some of that breakaway ability that made his so productive in his early years. The numbers don't look great, with a yards per carry average of less than four for the first time in his career in 2013 and a long run of just 30 yards.

However, Johnson was still pretty dynamic in the open field; The Titans just struggled to get him into those situations very often. As evidence that he can still be a "home run hitter" I submit this 58-yard touchdown run from preseason:

...and this spectacular 66-yard catch and run from the regular season:

In addition, in 2012, Johnson broke three runs of 80 yards or longer, without which his yards per carry average would have been just 3.6 yards per carry, so in 2013 he was arguably more consistent in terms of picking up yardage.

There were some encouraging performances from midseason onwards that suggest Johnson still has some gas in the tank. Against the Rams, he broke several long runs on his way to 150 yards and two scores and it's also encouraging that he had one of his better games (127 yards and two scores) on the final day of the season. All told, Johnson averaged 4.2 yards per carry over the last 10 games. There was also a game against the Colts on Thursday night football where he ran for 70 yards and two scores in the first quarter (on eight carries) but then only managed 14 more yards on nine carries and a catch the rest of the way.

When at his best, Johnson has tremendous acceleration and makes good reads and sharp cuts. He also isn't afraid to lower his head to fight for tough yardage, especially near the goal line. However, at this stage of his career, it does seem like he needs a few extra inches of daylight to get up to speed.

Pass Protection - Since he plays every down, Johnson is obviously called upon to pass protect quite a lot. It's important that he's comfortable in that role and his pass protection numbers are not too bad. However, I'd definitely stop short of calling him any kind of specialist in that role and would question how much of an upgrade he'd be over the inconsistent Bilal Powell or the improving Chris Ivory in pass protection.

Johnson did make several missteps as a pass blocker and was more often than not used as a safety valve instead. On a couple of plays, he seemed a bit tentative when picking up the blitz, although maybe that was connected to him not having complete confidence in his bothersome knee.

Receiving Threat - Johnson has always been a productive receiver, so he does have that ability which is certainly something Marty Mornhinweg offenses have looked to exploit in the past. We know that Mornhinweg strives to get his playmakers the ball in space, so that could be a good way of extra getting production out of Johnson. Johnson was one of the league leaders in yards after the catch last season, but his YAC per catch was higher than his overall yards per catch average which tells you that he was catching a lot of passes behind the line of scrimmage.

Despite his good numbers, Johnson is somewhat limited as a weapon in the passing game. In the past two seasons, he has caught just one pass more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, on this play where he was covered in the flat but broke off downfield on an improvised route as the quarterback bought some time. As you'd imagine, basically all of his production comes from screen passes and underneath dump-offs. However, as LaDainian Tomlinson showed in 2010, you can add an extra dimension to the offense (and help a young quarterback have some easy success to develop rhythm) just by doing that - and this is an area where Powell and Ivory have struggled to contribute.

Hands - With so many dump-off passes, it's not surprising that Johnson has a high catch rate and not too many drops. He dropped four passes last year and three the year before that. It was poor concentration that was to blame for most of these, as he does look comfortable catching these easy passes most of the time. I didn't find any examples of him making tough catches, but then again he wasn't called upon to do so.

Fumbles - Johnson's fumble rate isn't too bad. He had three last season, two as the ball was punched out as he hit the hole and one on a freak play where he got trapped in the backfield and tried to reverse his field and got nailed from behind. There were also one or two fumbled hand-offs which were attributed to the quarterback.

Short Yardage - Johnson isn't a power back, but does still have some success in short yardage situations, usually on the kind of one-cut zone plays that Mornhinweg also uses. As noted, though, he will fight and drive for extra yardage at times.

Special Teams - Johnson does not play on special teams. Despite being a good return man in college, he has had just one kick return for 17 yards and that was in his rookie season.

Instincts - Johnson shows good instincts as a runner and in downfield blocking situations, although there will be times where he has nowhere to go and dances around behind the line looking for a gap to emerge rather than just falling into the line to take what the defense gives him. The touchdown reception linked to above was a good veteran play showing good instincts in the passing game, but we didn't see much more of that kind of thing.

Attitude - There are some questions over Johnson's attitude although he has been saying all the right things since arriving. He held out over money and griped over his touches in the past, which could be an issue considering part of his contract is made up of yardage incentives. Other sources have queried his effort and said that he looks out for the big play, occasionally to the detriment of the overall gameplan, but who knows how accurate these reports are? From the footage, he seems like a popular teammate who gets fired up about making plays to help the team.

Injuries - As noted, Johnson hasn't missed a game yet in his NFL career, but does have major red flags over the condition of his knee. Still, he passed physicals with both the Jets and Titans and finished the 2013 season on a high, so hopefully that's something that won't hold him back come September.

You can't help thinking back to Curtis Martin, who gutted the way through the 2005 season with a knee injury and was on course for 1,000 yards or thereabouts when they shut him down with four games to go. In 2006, Martin wasn't ready in time for camp and was forced to retire. Sometimes, when running backs start to have issues, the downfall is swift and sudden. Martin was five years older than Johnson is now in 2006 though.

Conclusions

Johnson is a big name and while there may be fears over how much longer (if at all) he can perform at an elite level, the Jets are getting him on a reasonable level contract and won't be entirely reliant on him to carry the load.

From the footage, I was encouraged to see that Johnson still has the burst and open-field quickness he has relied upon to become one of the league's better backs. While he didn't break as many long gains, he does still possess the ability to get out to the second level and is dangerous when he does that.

Marty Mornhinweg's offense does require backs who can produce in the passing game and protect the quarterback and while I've said that Johnson might not be all he's advertised to be in those areas, his experience and competence in either role is valuable.

While Johnson will compete for a role and most likely end up splitting carries with Chris Ivory, the obvious comparison to look at is Tomlinson, who joined the Jets coming off a career-worst year and rejuvenated his career (improving his yards per carry average from 3.3 in his final season with the Chargers to 4.2 with the Jets). While the offensive line took a lot of the credit for that, this was the year where Matt Slauson was a first year starter and Damien Woody went down injured to be replaced by Wayne Hunter, so they were hardly at their best. I'd instead attribute Tomlinson's success to the fact he had a reduced workload and was able to remain fresh much deeper into the season. That's something that could benefit Johnson too.

In terms of whether Johnson will benefit from the Jets offensive line being better than the Titans were last year, I wouldn't automatically assume that to be the case. The Titans are not a bad run blocking team and I'd put last year's Jets team on about the same level. However, if the Jets can get improved play from the left guard position, their line should improve substantially this year and that will give Johnson a good chance to have some success.

We'll return to looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of the season with a look at defensive lineman TJ Barnes in a few days...

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

What to make of Sam Darnold 00:00:51
Sam Darnold returned to action against the Bills. What should Jets fans takeaway from the young QB?s season so far?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Fourteen years ago there was a young quarterback in New York who had struggled through an up-and-down rookie season. He showed flashes of his potential, but not nearly enough to convince everyone he would someday be the man to lead his franchise.

Then in Week 17, Eli Manning got the ball with 1:41 remaining and drove the Giants down the field for a game-winning drive capped by a 3-yard Tiki Barber touchdown run. The Giants beat the Cowboys 28-24 that day and it seemed like the moment that Manning arrived.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Eli Manning, Elijah McGuire, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Report Cards from the Jets win 00:02:37
Willie Colon and Bart Scott give their grades for the Jets 27-23 win over Buffalo. It's all A's for special teams but what about the rest?

The Jets crew hands out grades after Sam Darnold led the Jets to a last-minute comeback drive in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field.

Tags: Buffalo Bills
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Jets beat Bills 27-23 00:01:17
The Jets got their much-wanted revenge on the Buffalo Bills, winning 27-23. After the game it was all smiles in the locker room.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Sam Darnold limped off to the locker room after the Jets' first series, it looked like this season was going to go from bad to much worse. This season had always been about him. But he had already missed three games with a foot injury after three terrible performances.

And now he was going to be out again?

Well, though it wasn't exactly a Willis Reed performance, Darnold returned quickly enough to give some life and hope to what's left of this Jets season. He went 12 of 18 for 139 yards in the second half and led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes to give the Jets a 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Running back Isaiah Crowell left Week 14 against Buffalo with a foot injury. The Jets announced he is questionable to return. 

The 25-year-old was sidelined at Jets practice with a toe issue all week, and it could be related to Sunday's injury. Crowell had three touches for seven yards before exiting. Elijah McGuire took over for Crowell as the New York's lead back.

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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Jets QB Sam Darnold left Sunday's game against the Bills after just three plays, heading to the locker room with team doctors before being replaced by Josh McCown.

Darnold missed one drive before jogging back on the field and coming back in the game. 

He is playing in his first game since Week 9, when he suffered a right foot strain.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

After missing the last three games due to a foot injury, Sam Darnold will return as the Jets' QB on Sunday against the Bills, the team announced. 

Darnold practiced in full on Friday, but head coach Todd Bowles said a final decision on his availability wouldn't be made until right before the game. 

"We'll decide that on Sunday," Bowles said. "Both he and Josh (McCown) had good weeks."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (3-9) at the Buffalo Bills (4-8) at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

As the Jets enter the final quarter of their schedule in the 2018-2019 season, the reality that there will be no postseason football for Gang Green has set in. But that does not mean players are packing it in on the whole.

That's certainly not how Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams sees it.

"You can tell guys are tired of it - they want to win, no more losing," Williams told the New York Post on Friday. "I think it shows a lot."

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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The last time Sam Darnold was under center for the Jets, his rookie season was in a freefall.

In his last three games, he had completed just 47.3 percent of his passes for 588 yards, with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. He had a dismal passer rating of 43.2.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Manish Mehta responds to Bowles 00:02:56
Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta responds to Todd Bowles' denial of his story about tension between and GM Mike Maccagnan and himself.

Even though Todd Bowles claims there was "never any tension" between him and anyone else on the Jets staff, New York Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta isn't buying it. 

Mehta doubled down on his Daily News report Friday, saying the head coach's denial of friction between him and GM Mike Maccagnan were "predictable" and he wouldn't expect the two to publicly say otherwise.

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New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets season still manages to reach a new low. 

Linebacker Darron Lee was suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the team announced on Friday. 

Lee will begin his suspension immediately and will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Dec. 31, the day after their final game. 

Tags: Darron Lee
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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz is joined by Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager to discuss why a younger, offensive-minded head coach would be a lot better than hiring Mike McCarthy and could get the most out of Sam Darnold. Lastly, The Athletic's Jets beat writer Connor Hughes goes in-depth on the Jets roster and how the losing is impacting the locker room.

Subscribe to the show here: https://on.sny.tv/2Od2Qzt

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

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Todd Bowles denies rift with GM 00:00:36
Jets head coach Todd Bowles denies a published report that there's a rift between himself and GM Mike Maccagnan.

Todd Bowles insists everything is just fine between him and GM Mike Maccagnan

The Jets head coach denied a report form Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that said there was "friction and passive aggressive petulance" between Bowles and Maccagnan. 

"I'm not big on responding to articles, but there's never been any tension between me or anybody else in this building," Bowles told SNY's Jeane Coakley on Friday.

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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

After a 30-9 Titans beatdown on the Jaguars Thursday night, the Jets were officially eliminated from playoff contention this season. 

A 3-9 Jets team had extremely slim chances of staying afloat, but Tennessee put the nail in the coffin to send New York packing after Week 17 for the eighth straight season. This playoff drought is the second-longest in franchise history. 

In turn, head coach Todd Bowles' job could be in some serious jeopardy. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano says it "seems like a given at this point" considering the lackluster performance the team has had all season long. So, while fans will be focused on the Jets' high draft pick, finding a new head coach will also be on their radar. 

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Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)
Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There doesn't seem to be any way for Todd Bowles to save his job now, which means the Jets are probably already thinking about what comes next. Most good executives always have a list of future potential coaches. Surely GM Mike Maccagnan and CEO Christopher Johnson have lists, too.

It's hard to say for sure who is on it with four games to go in the regular season. It's not even absolutely certain who will lead the search, though one team source indicated Maccagnan will have "strong influence" if not total control. Regardless, the Jets will have several strong candidates from which to choose.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Darnold looks good, could start 00:00:53
New York Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is encouraged by what he's seen from Sam Darnold in practice, but will he play on Sunday?

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold was back with the first team at practice on Thursday, which means the first-year signal-caller could see action for the first time in nearly a month when the Jets hit the road Sunday to take on the Buffalo Bills.

Talking on "Good Morning Football" this morning, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Darnold is "expected to exit the injury report pretty soon." Darnold took part in full practice drills, and seems to be back on track after a foot injury that sidelined him in Week 9.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles hasn't said whether or not Darnold will start across from fellow rookie QB Josh Allen. Darnold noted feeling great after practice Wednesday, as he continues to practice hard...

Tags: Josh Allen, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets are looking to avenge their embarrassing 41-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills last month, and in Jamal Adams' eyes, "It's personal.

"They came in and they whupped us," Adams continued, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. "They don't like us, we don't like them, so it's going to be a tough battle."

So much went wrong for the Jets on Nov. 11 that it was fair to question of the players quit. The heat under head coach Todd Bowles' hot seat was scorching; owner Christopher Johnson did comment on Bowles' job status after the game. 

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold
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Get to know Jonotthan Harrison 00:02:19
Jonotthan Harrison would be a homicide detective if he wasn't playing football. He shared a lot of interesting facts with Jeane Coakley.

Jets C Jonotthan Harrison is something of a Renaissance man.

The 27-year-old University of Florida product revealed to SNY's Jeane Coakley some of his varied interests.

Harrison said football came later in his life because he was simply too big to play in his youth. That put the sport on the back burner until around halfway through college, he said.

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Mark Sanchez seems to be taking his "Butt Fumble" saga in stride, but Plaxico Burress is still firing his shots.

The former Giants receiver caught Sanchez in his crosshairs Wednesday, two days after the quarterback added another butt-centric fumble play to his repertoire in his debut with the Redskins.

"I can't wait to see this QB play for the Washington Redskins for the rest of the season," Burress tweeted. "@mark_sanchez Let me grab my popcorn. #comedyfor3hours #checkdowning Yup I said it!!"

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
		
		 (John Minchillo/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (John Minchillo/AP)

It has been six years since that infamous day at MetLife Stadium. The Jets and Patriots were pitted against each other in a division matchup on Thanksgiving, and New England was the obvious favorite. 

But it was one play in particular during this blowout loss for Gang Green that would be cemented in history -- and it wasn't good. Jets QB Mark Sanchez wanted to hand the ball off for a fullback dive, but miscommunication forced him to run himself.

Well, Jets fans know what happened next...

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Bowles and Darnold on QB status 00:00:57
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and Sam Darnold talk about the rookie QB's health, and Jamal Adams talks about his desire to beat the Bills

Jets QB Sam Darnold spoke Wednesday about his ongoing recovery from a strained foot and how he feels about his chances to return Sunday against the Bills.

"I'm really excited about this week and where we're headed," Darnold said. "Really excited about how I felt today, so as of right now I'm really excited about hopefully getting the chance to play Sunday."

"I like to take everything one day at a time, especially this injury that I had," he added. "I'm really just trying to practice hard every single day. And when Sunday comes and I'm healthy, I'm really looking forward to going out there and playing well."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs against New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports  (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs against New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said S Marcus Maye underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair his shoulder injury that placed him on the IR for the remainder of the season. 

When asked about his expected recovery, Bowles answered with "a couple months," which is a good sign for the second-year player.

Maye, a second-round pick in 2017, is the seventh-leading tackler for the Jets in 2018-2019. He tallied 34 tackles, a half-sack, a forced fumble and one interception in six games this season.

Tags: Marcus Maye
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With a 3-9 record, the Jets are currently on pace to make the third overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

But their road to the No. 1 pick remains complicated with four games left in the 2018 season.

The 49ers and Raiders are the leading contenders for the top pick with a shared record of 2-10. In the event two or more teams are tied for the worst record at the end of the season, the team with the lowest strength of schedule is awarded the No. 1 pick.

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Should the Jets pursue McCarthy? 00:01:03
Ralph Vacchiano defends Mike McCarthy as a good option to be the next head coach of the Jets over the likes of Lincoln Riley.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There is no more accomplished coaching candidate on the market right now than former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, and there isn't likely to be one when this season is over. His record is stellar. He's coached a string of top-10 offenses. He even has a Super Bowl ring.

He could be exactly the coach the Jets need to turn around the star-crossed franchise.

Of course, that might be what they're thinking in Cleveland and Tampa Bay -- and maybe Cincinnati, Baltimore, Denver and a few other cities, too.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 3, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) causing a fumble during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Dec 3, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) causing a fumble during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Is this what redemption looks like for Mark Sanchez?

Taking his first NFL snaps since Jan 1, 2017, the former Jets QB came in for the Redskins Monday night against the Eagles after Colt McCoy left the game with a season-ending leg injury in the second quarter.

And it didn't take long for Sanchez to inadvertently remind the football world of the most infamous play of his career.

Tags: Washington Redskins
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have had some bad losses during the Todd Bowles era, but it was Sunday's 26-22 defeat to the Titans that elicited such a strong response from the normally reserved Jets head coach. 

"This game will stick with me for the rest of my life," he told reporters on Monday. 

Bowles, who has never made the playoffs and has had just one winning season in his four-year head coaching career, oversaw his team blow a 16-point lead that they held late in the second quarter to drop their sixth straight game. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after a 29-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after a 29-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Timing can be everything for a team that is rebuilding. It needs to bottom out in a year when the right players and coaches are available to help with their long-term plan.

That's why the Jets should consider it a sign that the Green Bay Packers fired coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday afternoon. And as soon as they fire Todd Bowles after the season (which seems like a given at this point), they need to put McCarthy at the top of their list.

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Grades for the Jets 26-22 loss 00:03:49
Ray Lucas, Victor Green and Chad Cascadden deliver their grades for Jets performance against the Titans in the 26-22 loss.

The Jets crew hands out grades after New York's fourth-quarter meltdown led to a 26-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Tags: Tennessee Titans
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Penalties hurt Jets in loss 00:01:39
The Jets looked like they were going to beat the Titans at home. Ultimately falling short as penalties riddled the team in the 26-22 loss.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are many things that have become trademarks of the Todd Bowles era. One big one is that the Jets simply never learned how to finish games.

And that's exactly what happened to them in Tennessee on Sunday afternoon.

They fought hard and played a gritty game all day, building a 16-point first-half lead and still leading by nine points heading into the fourth quarter. Then they melted down on both sides of the ball and lost their sixth straight game, 26-22 to the Titans.

Tags: Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Tennessee Titans, Ralph Vacchiano
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Tennessee Titans wide receiver Taywan Taylor catches a pass in front of coverage by New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne during the second half at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Taywan Taylor catches a pass in front of coverage by New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne during the second half at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets were more competitive this week, but still fell 27-13 to the AFC East-leading New England Patriots. Let's review three of the best and worst performances from Sunday's game.

Losers

CB Morris Claiborne

Claiborne only gave up a couple of catches in this game, but they were big plays, as Tajae Sharpe was able to get some extra yards at the end of the play on a 28-yard catch-and-run and Taywan Taylor burned him over the top for a 44-yard catch to set up a field goal.

Tags: Morris Claiborne, Quincy Enunwa, Tennessee Titans
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