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Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jets WR Brandon Marshall and DE Sheldon Richardson were embroiled in an argument following Week 3's loss the the Chiefs, but Richardson said the yelling between the two means little, according to an ESPN New York report. 

Head coach Todd Bowles acknowledged the incident, and believed it was not significant. 

Richardson did not want to discuss the matter in detail, but also downplayed the argument. 

"That's Brandon, bro," Richardson said, according to ESPN. "I got nothing to talk about on that note.

"That's locker-room business. "That's what it's supposed to be."

Marshall chalked it up to the players having a normal reaction following a losing effort. 

"I think the thing that's so hard to do in sports is, it's so emotional, you put so much into it and you have so many alpha males in one room, it can be hard to communicate, at times, when you're fresh off disappointment," Marshall said. 

The loss in Kansas City kicked off a string of four straight losses, as the Jets now sit at 1-5. 

Tags: Brandon Marshall , Sheldon Richardson

Vacc's 3 Keys: Ravens-Jets 00:03:22
SNY NFL insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets' victory on Sunday vs. the Baltimore Ravens.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME: The Baltimore Ravens (3-3) at the Jets (1-5) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: After the cold, wind and rain blow through on Saturday, the forecast for Sunday calls for a gorgeous fall day - lots of sun and temperatures in the low-to-mid 60s.

WHAT IT MEANS: For the 2016 Jets? Nothing. They're burnt toast. For the 2017 Jets? Maybe a lot. For Geno Smith? Everything. This is all about Smith and the Jets' quarterback situation now. It's the beginning of what likely will be a decent stretch of games where he'll have the chance to prove that he either belongs in the conversation about the Jets' 2017 quarterback or that he's good enough to play (and maybe start) somewhere else. The result probably doesn't really matter much. It's all about how Smith plays.

PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Geno Smith. Perhaps you've heard that Ryan Fitzpatrick has been benched and Smith is starting? Seriously, he had two nearly full years to prove his worth to the NFL and all he proved was that he was somewhere between bad and mediocre. Now he gets a reprieve just when it looked like he'd be holding a clipboard on the Jets' bench until his contract ran out. The Jets are a mess, so that's not going to help his cause. But his mobility actually might help him behind what has become a porous and injury-plagued offensive line. Maybe that will give him a chance to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers. Though to be honest, that's really playmaker, singular. He's got to ride Brandon Marshall because in the last few weeks nobody has stepped up. Regardless, only one of two things can happen here. One is that Smith does at least an adequate job (or better) and he gets to continue on as the Jets quarterback. But the other is that he stinks and the Jets are forced to go back to Fitzpatrick, in which case you will never see Smith on the field for the Jets again. Because if that happens, they'll just ride Fitzpatrick until they believe Bryce Petty is ready for his close-up.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Jets WR Brandon Marshall vs. Ravens CBs. I know, you were expecting another Smith item. But this is somewhat related. Did you see what Odell Beckham did to the Ravens' secondary last week? They looked like cartoon characters flailing at him as he went by. Now, Marshall is a much different receiver than Beckham is, but he's certainly good enough to take advantage of this banged up group. A lot of this, of course, will depend on who plays. Their top three corners are all injured - Jimmy Smith is questionable with a concussion he suffered against the Giants. Shareece Wright is doubtful with a thigh injury and Jarraud Powers is questionable with a thigh injury (The Ravens have six players on the injury report with thigh injuries, by the way. What's up with that?). The only healthy corners on their roster are Will Davis and rookie Tavon Young. The whole thing certainly sets up for Marshall to have the potential for a big day - you know, assuming Smith can get him the ball.

INJURY REPORT: On top of everything else, the Jets are now an injury-plagued mess, too.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle), rookie LB Darron Lee (ankle) and RT Brent Qvale (stinger) are all out. But the big news is that DE Mo Wilkerson's ankle is getting worse and, though he's questionable, Jets coach Todd Bowles said Wilkerson might have to sit this game out. The good news is that the Jets do still have some pretty good defensive linemen without him. The bad news, though, is the entire line has been badly underperforming. LT Ryan Clady (shoulder) and C Nick Mangold (knee) are questionable, which is bad news for the struggling offensive line. They are expected to play, but who knows how limited they really are?

For the Ravens, you can forget about a bunch of key players, including WR Steve Smith (doubtful, ankle), G Marshal Yanda (doubtful, shoulder), Wright (doubtful), LB Terrell Suggs (doubtful, biceps) and LB CJ Mosley (out, hamstring). Oh, LB Elvis Dumervil (foot) is still out, too. QB Joe Flacco missed a couple of practices with a shoulder injury, and that would've been the end for the Ravens, but he is now expected to play.

THE PICK: The Ravens are not a good team. The problem is the Jets are worse. Maybe they shouldn't be, but they have been underperforming in a bunch of key areas, including their rushing attack, their secondary and their pass rush. Add in some awful quarterback play and … well, you get the picture. The Jets are trying to address the quarterback issue, but I'm not sure I trust Smith to suddenly be the spark that Bowles thinks he will be. He still has to deal with all the same issues Fitzpatrick was dealing with.

Maybe his mobility will help counteract the offensive line problems, but other than that? To see the Jets beating the Ravens I'd have to assume some of the other parts of their mess will suddenly come around. I don't see that. And while, again, the Ravens aren't good and they are pretty banged up, I do trust their quarterback. Joe Flacco is playing with an injured shoulder and maybe that'll keep this game close. But as we saw against the Giants a week ago, if he's given time in the pocket he can still make things happen. Not much, with this Ravens team, but likely enough to beat the Jets. Ravens 16, Jets 10.


Tags: Baltimore Ravens , Brandon Marshall , Brent Qvale , Bryce Petty , Geno Smith , Nick Mangold , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won, 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Bridge - USA Today)
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won, 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Bridge - USA Today)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke with the media after practice Friday. Here's what we learned…

  • TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, LB Darron Lee, RT Brent Qvale, and DE Muhammad Wilkerson missed practice.
  • Seferian-Jenkins, Lee, Qvale, and TE Braedon Bowman are all out for Sunday's game against the Ravens.
  • Wilkerson, T Ryan Clady, and C Nick Mangold are all listed as questionable for Sunday.
  • Bowles indicated that Wilkerson's ankle has been bothering him more lately, and that it's possible he won't play Sunday.

New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. (William Hauser - USA Today)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. (William Hauser - USA Today)

Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has been playing with a sore ankle "for a couple of weeks," according to Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday.

"Is my foot bothering me? Yes," said Wilkerson, who would not blame the injury for his recent struggles.

After recording 1 ½ sacks in the season opener against Cincinnati, WIlkerson has failed to get to the quarterback in the last five games. 

Wilkerson would not provide a definitive answer regarding his status for Sunday's game after sitting out of practice Thursday. 

"I don't call those shots," he said. "I can't say I'm not playing."

Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers was more optimistic of Wilkerson's health and his status against Baltimore.

"When you talk about his health and everything, you have to take that up with Todd (Bowles)," Rodgers said, deferring any decisions to the head coach. "But just watching his play, I wouldn't say there's a drop-off because he's playing so many plays.

"I just think it's something, right now, like maintenance," Rodgers added. "But coming into the game, he's ready to roll."

The Jets signed the soon to be 27-year-old Wilkerson to a five-year, $86 million deal in the offseason. 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson

GEICO SportsNite: Geno's turn 00:01:05
After a rough start to the season, Jets head coach Todd Bowles names Geno Smith the new starting QB to replace struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Although the Jets have gotten off to a very poor 1-5 start, owner Woody Johnson has put his support behind head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan, stating the team is not making any changes to its leadership.

"We got 10 games to go. I'm very confident with [coach] Todd Bowles and [general manager] Mike [Maccagnan]," Johnson said. "I think we've got an excellent team [of leaders]. I really respect Todd, I know he's doing what he's going to do. It's football. He's a good coach. I have long-term confidence in him and in Mike and in their teams."

Despite the slow start, Johnson is confident with his head coach and general manager. However the owner did show some frustration with the team's performance during Monday night's loss to the Arizona Cardinals in front of a national audience.

"That's the way I feel. Onward and outward, we've had a tough schedule, it's no excuse. We've been in some games. But Monday night was ... we gotta be better than that."

The Jets will turn to Geno Smith at quarterback this week as they look to bounce back at home against the Baltimore Ravens.

 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Jets QB Bryce Petty told Manish Mehta of the Daily News he's ready to play and help contribute.

"I want to contribute," Petty said. "I want to compete. But that's everybody in this locker room. So, I just have to continue to get better and study that book and study the gameplans and be ready to rock n' roll. That part hasn't changed since Day One…. So, definitely, yeah, I'm ready to play."

Head coach Todd Bowles said earlier this week that Geno Smith was the only serious consideration at this time to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starting QB, noting that Petty needed more practice after missing most of the season due to a shoulder injury.

"He needs to practice a good bit," Bowles said. "He needs to practice a good bit and get some reps. A week coming back after over a month, he needs to practice a little while."

Petty, who has yet to appear in a regular season game, says he'll be ready if his opportunity comes.

"Shoot, I want game action," he said. "I think that's what everybody in this locker room wants… is to get an opportunity. That's all you can ask for in life in general, much less in this game. So, I definitely want an opportunity. … My plan is to go in and prepare like I am and then just wait for my number to be called and just jump on that opportunity. I've been in this league a short amount of time, but what I have learned is that when you do get your opportunity, you got to jump on it. Because they're quick and few and far between."

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Petty's comments are not unlike any other backup who is waiting for his chance to play. It makes sense that he wants to be ready for the opportunity if and when it arises.

While the Jets could revert back to Ryan Fitzpatrick at some point, the team's hesitance to move away from him until now signals that it stands to reason that he might not get another chance. With 10 games remaining, the Jets might want to see just what they have in their backups, most importantly Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg -- the quarterbacks on which this regime spent some serious draft capital.

Petty played well in the summer against backups and players who are no longer on NFL rosters, but playing against starting-caliber NFL defenses in October and November is a different matter.

According to Mehta, Petty has been at the Jets practice facility early every day, so maybe some of that will help if and when he does see snaps in the regular season.

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The season has gone downhill so dramatically that we're nearing the point at which the Jets have nothing to lose by giving Petty a shot. Maybe he can become the latest in a recent stream of young NFL quarterbacks who were unexpectedly not-terrible despite the fact that it seemed like they were being thrown to the wolves too soon.

I know that the majority of the Jets' fanbase isn't particularly optimistic about Geno Smith's chances of making a success of this opportunity to start, but at least Petty has a clean slate and that new car smell should at least buy him a little grace period.

Petty has portrayed a confident air since being drafted, so it's not a shock to see that he considers himself "ready" even though that contradicts Todd Bowles' comments that he needs more reps. Petty has shown modest improvements since being drafted, based on his preseason appearances. If and when the time comes to get a look at Petty, we'll see if facing real bullets can accelerate that development.

Tags: Bryce Petty

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett punch this week's podcast in the face, as they face the future with Geno Smith. They examine how the change in Jets signal callers will affect this week's game against the Ravens, and look ahead to what it all means for the rest of the season and beyond.

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke with the media after Thursday's practice. Here's what we learned...

  • TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle), LB Darron Lee (ankle) T Brent Qvale (neck), TE Braedon Bowman (knee), and DE Sheldon Richardson (personal issue) all missed practice Thursday.
  • Lee will not play on Sunday and it's unlikely Qvale will play.
  • Richardson is expected to play on Sunday.
  • DE Muhammad Wilkerson, T Ryan Clady, and C Nick Mangold were limited.
  • CB Buster Skrine returned to practice.


Tags: Brent Qvale , Buster Skrine , Darron Lee , Muhammad Wilkerson , Nick Mangold , Ryan Clady , Sheldon Richardson

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Brandon Marshall knows what everyone thinks about Geno Smith. He knows the critiques of his erratic performance as a starter. He knows the questions about his maturity after the infamous I.K Enemkpali punch. He knows many aren't sure if Smith can really be an NFL quarterback.

And he knows this is a huge opportunity for his friend to prove everybody wrong.

"I haven't been through a quarterback change like this where we have a guy that's our No. 2 guy that's really talented," Marshall said. "The thing that Geno needed to learn, which he did, is not about anything football. It's about coming into work every single day and being consistent.

"I think the person who benefitted the most from this last year and a half has been Geno. It's been amazing to see this guy grow and really punch adversity in the face."

Whether he really did get up from the Enemkpali punch that broke his jaw and cost him his job in the summer of 2015 and "punch adversity in the face" will be crystal clear in the coming weeks now that the 26-year-old Smith is back under the microscope as the starting quarterback of the star-crossed Jets. In some ways he steps into a horrible situation -- a 1-5 team with no realistic shot at the playoffs and a locker room filled with some players skeptical about the change.

But in other ways it couldn't be more perfect. The bar is set low, thanks to his performance as starter in 2013-14 and the Jets' performance so far this season. Plus for the next four weeks the Jets don't face a team with a record above .500. Show small signs of improvement, win a couple of winnable games, and it'll be hard to say that as a quarterback he hasn't improved.

Of course, it's about more than that, too. It's about how he handles everything else -- the criticism that will surely come, the skepticism that already has, the doubts he has to know some of his teammates have. Will he be the sulking, moody quarterback he often seemed like before. Or will he be what every team expects and hopes their franchise quarterback will always be -- an unflappable pro?

"You guys have been really tough on him and he hasn't always dealt with that the right way," Marshall said. "A lot of that is frustration. But that's a process. He'll continue to grow and learn.

"But what people need to understand -- especially the media -- is it's personal. When you read stuff about you, especially negative when you're putting your all into something and you're going out there trying to do the right thing, not trying to mess it up, and you get crushed, especially in this market, we take it personally. Take a kid who is 22 years old … you have grown men crushing him … (and) a lot of these guys who talk about Geno in the media are guys who can be his father. Just imagine if that was your kid in that situation, a guy that's trying his best, but may be messing up here and there."

Sure, it's easy to imagine how tough and painful that can be. But it's part of the job of being a starting quarterback, especially in New York. Many, many, many before him have handled it well, and done so without cursing out fans, as Smith once did, or pouting about the harsh words from the media. If he can't, then maybe this job isn't for him -- at least not here.

And the same goes for handling his teammates. Yes, in a perfect world they'd all fall in line behind Smith and immediately anoint him and respect him as the leader a quarterback should be. But many of them won 10 games with Fitzpatrick last season and that's not something easily forgotten. Nor is it easy to forget the image of Smith refusing to solve or walk away from his dispute with Enemkpali before allowing it to go too far.

Maybe that's why, when Jets head coach Todd Bowles was asked on Wednesday if his players respected Smith, he didn't exactly offer a ringing endorsement.

"I'm sure they do," he said. "You can respect people as a player and not hang out with that person. This is football. They don't have to be best friends. They don't hate him."

That's enough for them to co-exist, but not enough in the dynamics of a football team. A good quarterback is an unquestioned leader. A good quarterback has unshakable trust. Teammates have to look at him as the ultimate example of how to conduct their business on and off the field. His attitude and demeanor, as much as his play, dictates the direction of the team.

Smith has to realize that, just as much as he has to play well, to prove he's still an NFL quarterback -- either with the Jets, should they choose to re-sign him for next season, or for anyone else. There can be no more questionable use of social media, no more missed meetings, no more fights or any other signs that he's too immature to handle the job.

On Wednesday, Smith did seem to say mostly the right things, though he didn't really say much about anything at all. He deflected (politely) nearly every question asked, to make it clear that, as he believes, this isn't about him.

"It's not really going to be about me," he said. "It never is. It never has been. I'm still growing. I'm still learning as a player."

Except, of course, this is all about him and whether he can play his way into the Jets' or someone else's plans for 2017. And for his sake, most of the growing and learning better be over. This isn't a long-term experiment. He likely has no more than four games to prove he's a different quarterback, a different leader than he was. If he can't, you can bet Bryce Petty -- or maybe even rookie Christian Hackenberg -- will get an audition over the final six games.

For now, though, it's Smith's time. It's his "opportunity," as so many made clear on Wednesday afternoon. The play is the thing in the end. He has to prove he still has the ability to do it at quarterback.

He has to prove he's much more ready to handle the whole experience than he was before.

"I commend him for being able to pick himself up when he has made mistakes," Marshall said. "He has an opportunity to prove himself. Some of your most beloved players and coaches have made mistakes and done some childish things. It's all part of the process and growing up. He's fine. He'll be all right."

Tags: Brandon Marshall , Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

Bryce Petty (Bill Streicher - USA Today)
Bryce Petty (Bill Streicher - USA Today)

The Jets have replaced starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick with Geno Smith, who will make his first start of the season Sunday against the Ravens.

Despite having four quarterbacks on the active roster, head coach Todd Bowles said only Smith was considered to replace Fitzpatrick, citing a lack of practice time from Bryce Petty and the inexperience of rookie Christian Hackenberg as his reasoning. 

Petty, 25, was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Baylor.

"Bryce (Petty) has only practiced for a week and Hack's (Christian Hackenberg) not ready. It was Geno or Fitz," said Bowles. "He needs to practice a good bit. He needs to practice a good bit and get some reps. A week coming back after over a month, he needs to practice a little while."

The second-year QB yet to appear in a regular season NFL game.

Hackenberg, 21, was selected in the second round (51st overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Penn State. Bowles is hesistant to use his rookie QB, who he views as fourth on the depth chart, until he further develops. 

"You've got to get reps to get ready. He's a rookie quarterback and he's got three in front of him," said Bowles of Hackenberg. "He's not going to get enough reps to be ready to throw in there like that. He's getting plenty of scout team reps. He's learning poise in the pocket and is getting experience that way."

After replacing Fitzpatrick on Monday night in the Jets' 28-3 loss to the Cardinals in the fourth quarter, Smith completed four of six passing attempts for 31 yards and threw an interception. 

For at least Sunday, Smith will serve as the team's starting QB and Fitzpatrick will assume the role of backup. 

Tags: Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Tim Reilly

GEICO SportsNite: Jets new QB 00:03:17
Jeane Coakley breaks down all the latest on the Jets as they name quarterback Geno Smith the official starter for Sunday's game.

Jeane Coakley breaks down all the latest on the Jets as they name quarterback Geno Smith the official starter for Sunday's game.

New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) reacts after being benched in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) reacts after being benched in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, now the team's backup, told reporters Wednesday that he will respect the decision to start Geno Smith made by head coach Todd Bowles, although he is not pleased with it. 

Fitzpatrick struggled again in Monday night's loss to the Cardinals, throwing his 11th interception of the year and failing to throw a touchdown. 

"I mean, I don't like it," Fitzpatrick said. "I'm disappointed that we're making the change, but disappointed in my play this year as well. The competitor in me really wants to be out there. The guy that was the leader of this team last year and the beginning of this year wants to be out there, but it's the decision that Todd (Bowles) made and I have to respect his decision, but I don't have to like it."

After the team's fourth consecutive loss, Bowles said Wednesday the Jets' offense was "stagnant" and it was time for a change, which will hopefully lead to better production. Fitzpatrick agreed, but hoped it would not come down to a change in quarterbacks. 

"We're 1-5, so something has got to change," Fitzpatrick said. "And the way that we played on offense the last four weeks, something had to change. So I guess I was the change."

Fitzpatrick added that he didn't know a change was coming after Sunday's game.

"I didn't know," he said. "I've been around and been at it long enough to know that when you're 1-5, usually good things aren't happening and it's not all smiles in the building. I don't want to say that I expected it, but it's not shocking to me that they wanted to change things up in some regard."

Smith will start Sunday's matchup with the Ravens, his first start since Week 17 in 2014 against the Dolphins. 

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Bowles on starting Geno at QB 00:02:06
Todd Bowles discusses his decision to start Geno Smith at quarterback over Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Ravens on Sunday.

Head coach Todd Bowles addressed the media on Wednesday, focusing on Geno Smith replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Here is what we learned...

  • The offense has been "stagnant" so a change in quarterbacks could be beneficial. 
  • It was only Bowles' decision to change quarterbacks.  
  • The decision was made because of production and nothing to do with leadership. 
  • Bowles needed to see the film from the game to make a definitive choice. 
  • As for why Smith was only considered, Bryce Petty has only practiced a week and needs more reps. Christian Hackenberg hasn't had many reps with three guys playing in front of him
  • Geno has "good spunk in the huddle" and now has opportunity to succeed. 
  • The Jets will take who plays quarterback "week to week" and it is possible Fitzpatrick comes back. 
  • Fitzpatrick earned his role from play last year, but it's Smith's team now. 
  • Geno has been taking reps with first team all week. He had been getting about 20 percent of the first-team reps earlier in the season. 
  • Some things in offense will change now because Smith has different abilities.  
  • Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle), Darron Lee (ankle), Brent Qvale (neck), Buster Skrine (excused), Ryan Clady (shoulder) and Nick Mangold (knee) all did not practice Wednesday. 
  • Breno Giacomini and Devin Smith practiced Wednesday but will not play Sunday. 
  • David Harris got some reps in practice Wednesday. 

Tags: Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Smith to be named Jets' starter 00:07:36
Breaking News: Ralph Vacchiano calls in ahead of the Jets' announcement that Geno Smith will start at quarterback Sunday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- More than a decade ago, on the day the Eli Manning Era began for the Giants, Kurt Warner stood at his locker and made a good case for why his benching needed to be permanent. Once a team made the move from a veteran quarterback, he said, they needed to give the younger one every possible chance to succeed.

That's why the Ryan Fitzpatrick Era has to be completely over now for the Jets. It's Geno Smith's team now - or at least for now -- and for better and sometimes for worse.

Things are likely going to be hard enough for the 26-year-old Smith, a former second-round pick (2013) and once the future of this star-crossed franchise. No, he's not a rookie learning how to play the toughest position in sports. But his situation might be even tougher. He's already had nearly two full years to prove his worth as a starter and he proved to be somewhere between bad and mediocre. And his maturity and leadership came into question too from the infamous I.K. Enemkpali punch.

So the pressure is on him to prove to the Jets he has a future beyond the expiration of his contract at the end of the season. He has to prove to them he's better than he showed in the extended chance he's already gotten. They all know what he can do. They know he couldn't do it. So he's not only trying to get the Jets to rise above their 1-5 record. He's trying to rise above himself.

But he needs a chance to do that. Not one game. Not two. A string of games, where he has a chance to get into a rhythm, to feel what it's like to play again after essentially taking the last two seasons off. He can't do that if he can feel Fitzpatrick -- a favorite of his teammates, coming off a year of incredible success - standing over his shoulder. He can't do that if Todd Bowles treats the quarterback position like a Yo-Yo snapping back on its string.

Bowles needs to just let Smith play - play through his struggles and his successes, assuming he's going to have a little bit of each. There can be no quick hook. There can definitely be no going back to Fitzpatrick. Because if the Jets bench Smith again they will have lost him forever. And if it gets to that point the season will be even more over than it is now, and there'll be no sense in going back to a 33-year-old journeyman who is not under contract for next year.

The good news for Smith is that Fitzpatrick has done the heavy lifting - or heavy dropping - on the season already. He's been terrible, sure, but he also was the sacrificial lamb through the Jets' brutal, six-game opening of the season. Smith enters in the soft spot - games against the Baltimore Ravens (3-3), at Cleveland (0-6), at Miami (2-4) and vs. the Los Angeles Rams (3-3). Those are four theoretically winnable games that give the Jets at least somewhat of a chance to be 5-5 heading into their bye week.

That seems like a reasonable enough stretch to decide if they have any slim hope left in the season, and to get a good look at what Smith can do. If, at the bye - they return for a home game against the New England Patriots, by the way - they're 5-5 or even 4-6 and want to dream about a longshot run, then great. That probably means Smith is playing well and they can stick with him. If he's struggling and they're 3-7 or worse and they're ready to start thinking about 2017, then they still have six games to give Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg a chance.

And at that point, that would make sense. Because as soon as the Jets can accept the reality - mathematical or otherwise - that their season is over, they have to turn their attention to next season. Because if they can't make the playoffs, then nothing they do is nearly as important as figuring out if they have a quarterback for 2017 and who that might be.

So give Smith four games, maybe five to show what he can do. If he's good enough to show the Jets he deserves a shot in 2017, great. If not, then give Petty or Hackenberg a look to see if there's anything there, or if they need to turn to the draft or free agency in the offseason.

But Fitzpatrick? It's over. Going back to him doesn't do any favors for anyone and it doesn't help the Jets in any direction. He already proved he can't help them this season. He'll be a detriment as a looming shadow hovering over Smith, and if he's forced back in then it'll already be too late for 2016 anyway. And obviously he's not the future. His future is as somebody else's backup. The Jets knew that when they spent the offseason refusing to give him any significant financial commitment beyond the end of this season.

He had a wonderful season last year and it was a thrill ride for the Jets, right up until the disappointing, playoff-less ending. But the Jets always knew that this year would be the end of that line. They may think they have a season to still salvage, but they have to keep one eye on 2017 with everything they do from here. And they need to make sure they find their quarterback of the future.

The only way to begin doing that is to make sure that Fitzpatrick stays in the past.

Tags: Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

Smith to be named Jets' starter 00:07:36
Breaking News: Ralph Vacchiano calls in ahead of the Jets' announcement that Geno Smith will start at quarterback Sunday.

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

This is a last-ditch effort to salvage the season by a desperate team, and it's also the only move that the Jets could make to try and turn things around. But it comes with a bonus: A chance for them to maybe get a head start on planning for 2017.

First things first: Let's face it, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been terrible. Sure, there have been extenuating circumstances, and Todd Bowles was right to blame the offensive line for a lot of them on Monday night in Arizona. But for most of the season - and definitely on Monday night - Fitzpatrick has just been off. His throws have been off target, his decisions have been bad and unbelievably he's thrown 10 fourth-quarter interceptions and no fourth-quarter touchdowns this season. With numbers and film like that, this quarterback change won't be difficult to sell to the veterans on the team.

They went to Geno Smith - and not Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg - for a couple of reasons. One is that they don't seem to think that Petty or Hackenberg are ready. But the bigger one is this: the Jets, despite being 1-5, aren't ready to concede the season. Certainly the players aren't. The veterans in the locker room don't want to think about next year in Week 7. They see four very winnable games coming up, and a chance to get back to .500. Sure, maybe they're dreaming, and maybe that's not even enough to get them back in the playoff race. But they're not ready to give up on that chance and look towards 2017 just yet.

Turning to Smith gives them a chance to do both. Like him or not, he's got talent and experience. He also now has a golden opportunity to prove to everybody that he's grown up and should be back in the conversation about who the Jets quarterback should be next season. His contract is up at the end of the year, and the Jets have given no indication that they think Smith is their future. These next few games are his chance to change their minds.

It's hard to believe the Jets will turn back to Fitzpatrick at this point -- and they shouldn't -- so it's the Geno Show now, as long as he's playing well, and probably as long as the Jets remain mathematically alive. If Smith starts to really struggle, and if the Jets at some point accept the reality that they are done, then they will look to 2017 and give Petty and maybe even Hackenberg an audition. Because for the Jets, once reality sets in, nothing will be more important than figuring out who their quarterback is for next season.

This is Smith's chance to prove that it should be him. And if he somehow gets the Jets back into the fringe of the playoff conversation, all the better.

Tags: Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Matt Kartozian)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Matt Kartozian)

The Jets plan to name Geno Smith their new starting quarterback today, SNY's Jeane Coakley has confirmed

Smith takes over for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who after having a career year last season, struggled mightily in the Jets' first six games this season.

"The coach made the decision and I back him 100 percent," Jets owner Woody Johnson said, according to's Ian Rapoport

Smith saw his first action of the season on Monday when he entered the game in place of Fitzpatrick with the Jets already down 28-3 to the Cardinals. Smith went 4-for-6 for 31 yards and an interception on his only drive, and also fumbled a ball that was recovered by New York.

Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,441 yards, five touchdowns, and a league-high 11 interceptions in his six starts. The veteran quarterback has not looked good while compiling a completion percentage of 57.0 percent, a QBR of 47.5, and a Passer Rating of 63.4. The offense managed only three touchdowns in the last four games with Fitzpatrick under center.

Following Monday's game, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters that Fitzpatrick would remain the team's starter. However on a conference call on Tuesday, Bowles walked back those comments, stating he needed to discuss who would start at quarterback with his coaching staff.

Sunday's start against Baltimore will be the first for Smith since Dec. 28, 2014.

SNY will have live coverage of Todd Bowles' press conference at 3:45p.m.

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This isn't entirely surprising with how badly things have gone. However, with the lukewarm endorsements given in respect of Smith's viability to start, you have to wonder whether the team really believes he's their guy or are they just taking the opportunity to rule him out as the potential face of the franchise?

Back in July, I went back to the film and broke down Smith's 2015 appearance with a view to determining how he would fare if called upon to start. This proved frustrating, as I watched Smith continue to make the same kinds of errors he'd been associated with in his first two seasons. Monday night's cameo did little to reassure me he's worked on those things as he still fumbled in the pocket and threw an interception. Nevertheless, he did make a few good throws and Fitzpatrick is in such a slump that the mere ability to make a few good throws could potentially provide a short-term upgrade.

Where will this lead though? Is it Smith's job to lose now or is Fitzpatrick being given a chance to get his head right and work on a few things before he reclaims his job? And if Smith falters, would they turn to Bryce Petty or even Christian Hackenberg next? Clearly this move produces a lot of questions and it's difficult to be confident that Smith will answer them all.

Regrettably, no matter what happens, this doesn't look good on the front office. It seems inevitable that paying Fitzpatrick $12 million was a major miscalculation and even if Smith succeeds, he's out of contract at the end of the year too, so one way or another they're going to be back at the negotiating table.

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Jets Extra Point on Matt Forte 00:02:04
The Jets Extra Point panel discusses running back Matt Forte, wondering why he is not producing more yards per carry.

After beginning the season averaging 130.7 rushing yards in the first three games, the Jets have run for just 78.3 yards per game in the last three. 

Jets RB Matt Forte did not shy away from voicing his displeasure about the team's ground game.

"My job is to run the ball," Forte said. "I'm not looking on the other side. If we're not running the ball well, then I'm frustrated anyway and not happy with what's going on."

Forte had a combined 261 yards during New York's first three games. Since then, the starting running back has not topped 53 yards in a game, and bottomed out Monday night when he ran for a season-low 19 yards on nine carries.

It is hard to blame Forte for the Jets lack of a run game, as the offensive line has struggled to open up holes for the running backs. Yet Forte did not hesitate to put his support behind his offensive linemen.

"They're the guys up there doing the hard work so we can run the ball," the veteran running back said. "Of course, I have confidence in the offensive line."

Nick Mangold, the leader of the team's offensive line, knows they have to be better in order for the Jets to have a shot at establishing the run game.

"At this point, it's all about how we improve," said Mangold. "We'll look at films and see went wrong. We all made mistakes, and execution is the big thing."

Tags: Matt Forte , Nick Mangold

GEICO SportsNite: Todd Bowles 00:00:58
Jets head coach Todd Bowles speaks about who will be this weekend's starting quarterback for the New York Jets.

Ryan Fitzpatrick might not start at quarterback Sunday against the Ravens, Jets head coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday during a conference call.

Bowles indicated he's considering turning to Geno Smith and that Sunday's starter would be decided during a meeting on Tuesday night.

"I did (consider Smith) and when I discuss it with the staff, when they know, then everybody else will know," Bowles said. "If I decide to make a move, they'll know tomorrow."

Tuesday's stance is a reversal for Bowles, who said after Sunday's game that Fitzpatrick -- who was removed in favor of Geno Smith in the middle of the fourth quarter of Monday night's loss to the Cardinals -- would start against the Ravens.

"It's like a relief pitcher," Bowles said Sunday. "If the starting pitcher isn't doing it this game, this day, you put in the relief pitcher. Fitz will be back next week."

Fitzpatrick went 16-of-31 for 174 yards Monday night with no touchdowns and one interception.

He's completed 57 percent of his passes this season with five touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He threw 15 interceptions all of last season.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

No matter what they paid Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets need to consider all the options at quarterback.

Geno Smith probably won't be better, but maybe just being different is good enough for the 1-5 Jets, with no answers forthcoming or even visible from Fitzpatrick's play so far.

The game against the Bills was the exception rather than the rule and the Jets were happy to say in March, April, May, June and July that Smith was a fine enough quarterback for the team.

Now whether they really meant it or not seems up for debate, but it might be time for them to eat some of the words they were only too happy to dispense all spring and early summer.

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs into the tunnel after his team's 37-31 win over the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) (Bill Wippert/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs into the tunnel after his team's 37-31 win over the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) (Bill Wippert/AP)

The Jets have annouced that WR Eric Decker underwent surgery on his hip today.

From the Jets announcement: "The hip surgery was deemed necessary during an evaluation that occurred when Decker was placed on injured reserve for a torn rotator cuff on October 12." 

The recovery time for his hip surgery is six months and once Decker is off crutches "he will subsequently undergo a procedure on his shoulder. The estimated recovery for his shoulder surgery is eight months."

Head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on a conference call Tuesday evening that "it's probably too early" to tell if Decker will be ready for the start of the 2017 season.

"It'll probably be close," said Bowles. "We've got to see how he heals."

In three games this year, Decker had nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns in his third season with the Jets. 

The starting receiver finished last year with 80 receptions for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns, making it Decker's third professional season with 80 catches and 1,000 receiving yards.


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This latest development isn't exactly encouraging to hear. If Decker can't have the shoulder surgery until he's off crutches, then this will only delay his return even further. With a projected recovery time of eight months, that further increases the chances that he won't be ready to contribute at the start of next year.  

There's a longer term concern too. Jets fans are well aware of the effects hip issues can have on a player because of the struggles Antonio Cromartie had over the past few seasons. While Decker doesn't necessarily rely on his athleticism as much as Cromartie did, if this causes him to lose a step, he's going to find it much more difficult to create separation.

Hip problems have also limited Brandon Marshall at times in the past and he's still been productive into his thirties, so perhaps he'll be able to give Decker some useful guidance as to how to get back on the field and remain effective. That's if they're both still here next season, of course.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

With Decker already sidelined for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury, it makes sense to address any other nagging injuries he may be experiencing now. While we'd previously not heard much about his hip, the long recovery and rehab window afforded to Decker makes this the right time to undergo the procedure.

Depending on how the rest of the season goes, the Jets front office might be tempted by Decker's $5.7 million cap savings … but for the $8.7 million they are paying him next year I don't think the financial tradeoff makes sense outside a total regime change.

The Jets are already feeling the loss of Decker and while I like the depth the team has at wide receiver more than any year in recent memory, now is the time for some of those guys to step up into a larger role.

Tags: Eric Decker

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) leaves the field following the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) leaves the field following the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Prior to Monday night's loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Jets QB Geno Smith indicated his displeasure about remaining the team's backup quarterback behind Ryan Fitzpatrick to ESPN's Lisa Salters.

"I'm getting antsy," Smith said to Salters.

With Fitzpatrick under center, the Jets punted on seven of their first eight drives against Arizona, with the lone exception being a 39-yard field goal from Nick Folk. On the ninth drive, Fitzpatrick led the Jets down the field, only to throw an interception in the end zone. 

Prior to Todd Bowles making the switch at quarterback, Smith was visibly frustrated on the bench. The backup quarterback took off his hat and threw it, and was seen pacing the sidelines, making it clear to Bowles, the Jets, and everyone watching that he was looking to get into the game.

When he finally was put into the game, Smith did not look much better than Fitzpatrick.

Geno went 4-for-6 for 31 yards and an interception, and also fumbled a ball that was recovered by New York. 

Following the game, Bowles told reporters that Fitzpatrick would be back under center next week for the Jets' home game against the Ravens.

"Smith played [the role of] a relief pitcher," said the head coach. "Fitz will be back next week ... It definitely wasn't Fitz's fault. He barely had any time to throw."

This is unlikely to sit well with Smith, who has made it abundantly clear that he wants to be New York's starting quarterback.

"As a competitor, I want to play, at all times," Smith said after Monday's loss. "I think you guys know that. I can't reiterate that enough. I'm ready."

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As soon as the Cardinals applied some pressure, Smith's old issues returned on a strip-sack as he was hesistant, didn't anticipate pressure off the edge and displayed woeful ball security. Shortly afterwards, he forced a throw into tight coverage and was intercepted. It's difficult to judge Smith too harshly on such a short performance, especially with the game already over, but he hardly did much to instil any confidence in his supporters.>>>>>>>>>To read the rest of Bent's Game Analysis, CLICK HERE.

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett see no hope for this Jets team after watching them get routed by the Cardinals in Arizona. The guys answer calls from listeners venting about the quarterback, the coaching, and the disappointing defense.

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Going into this season, the Jets knew they had to just find a way to survive their brutal, six-game opening stretch to keep their hopes of a playoff berth alive.

They didn't. They're 1-5.

And the reasons behind their hideous, 28-3 loss in Arizona Monday night are familiar, since they've been a relatively constant theme throughout their four-game losing streak. All that and more is covered in my 10 takeaways from the latest Jets' debacle:

1. The Jets committed seven penalties in the first 10 minutes of the game (including two that were declined). That's either the sign of an undisciplined team or one that just wasn't prepared to play. Either way, considering they came in 1-4 with their season on (or perhaps already over) the brink, that's just terrible.

2. The ease with which Arizona RB David Johnson got through the Jets' defensive line on his three touchdown runs - the 58-yarder early and 2-yarders in the second and third quarters - was frightening. The best thing about the Jets' defensive line this season has been that they've been strong against the run. This performance, though, was alarming.

3. The Jets hinted all week that their defense was going to be more aggressive and they certainly were. There were a lot more blitzes and some decent pressure from those blitzes on Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. But that pressure just isn't coming from the line, and that's where it's all supposed to be coming from. Forget everything else, this is the story of this season. Well, OK, maybe the decline of Ryan Fitzpatrick is the story, but this is Story No. 1A. That line was supposed to be dominant. It was supposed to make up for a lot of other deficiencies. Now the best that can be said is that their defensive coordinator still thinks it's playing better than any position group on the team. Of course, it's now a 1-5 team, so he's probably right.

4. Late in the first half, Jets S Calvin Pryor blitzed straight up the middle and forced Palmer to throw a quick dump off to Johnson … who was being covered by Sheldon Richardson? I seriously can't think of any scenario where it's OK for Richardson to be in coverage like that, unless 10 other players have fallen down. Johnson went for 10 yards, not surprisingly. Seriously, the Jets have to figure out a way to have their defensive linemen play … you know, defensive line.

5. Fitzpatrick's magic seems totally gone and it's clear he's reverted back to his journeyman, up-and-down form of his pre-2015 career. He looked completely off target for much of the first half. When he was on target he was telegraphing his throws. And some of them were downright dangerous (like the one that nearly got Charone Peake killed in the third quarter). Overall, Fitz was 16 of 31 for 174 yards and an interception before he was mercifully pulled for Geno Smith. The big picture of this disaster, though: Fitzpatrick has no touchdowns and 10 interceptions in the second halves of the Jets' six games this season. With a number like that, it's hard to justify Todd Bowles' decision to stick with Fitzpatrick heading into their game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday

Video: Ralph Vacchiano on Jets' loss to Cardinals, QB issues

6. And yet, I will. … Even though I advocated a quarterback change at halftime … and again after his third-quarter end zone interception -- now is not the time for the Jets to make a quarterback switch for the rest of the season, even though it's clear Fitzpatrick won't be the Jets' quarterback in 2017. Why? Because they can't do that until they're absolutely eliminated from the playoff chase. And sure, at 1-5 they're basically done. But their next four games are against the Baltimore Ravens (3-3), at Cleveland (0-6), at Miami (2-4), and home against the L.A. Rams (3-3). It's certainly not ridiculous to think they'll emerge from that 5-5. OK, maybe they'd still be a longshot to make the playoffs. But at 5-5, the Jets would take that shot and they would want their No. 1 quarterback leading them at that point. Yes, that scenario is a fantasy and ignores the fact that they still have two games against the Patriots left and that they probably need to go 9-1 the rest of the season to make the playoffs anyway. But I guarantee you the Jets don't think they're out of it. It may sound ridiculous but they're not thinking about 2017. They're thinking "If we can just get to 5-5 …"

7. The offensive line didn't do Fitzpatrick any favors. He was under constant pressure. And what I thought was particularly problematic is the Jets attempted several screens where it sure appeared that the running back got to the outside but his blockers didn't go with him. And no, it didn't help that RT Brent Qvale and left guard James Carpenter got hurt during the game and center Nick Mangold was battling a knee injury all week. Still, the line was a trainwreck - and that's why Bowles basically blamed them for Fitzpatrick's disaster after the game.

8. The Jets did a better job than they had been doing at spreading the ball around to their receivers. Not successfully, of course, but they tried. They threw 30 of their 37 passes to receivers, and only six of those went in the direction of Brandon Marshall. Rookie Charone Peake had 10 thrown towards him (and caught five for 43 yards). Rookie Robby Anderson had a nice game (4 catches, 24 yards) - and he also laid a heck of a block on a Cardinals defensive back on the sidelines at the tail end of a Marshall catch. It was dangerously close to a late hit, but definitely legal. And hard. Anyway, the bigger problem was the rookies - Peake, Anderson and Jalin Marshall. They combined for 10 catches and 78 yards. That's a really pathetic 7.8 yards per catch. And it illustrates the problem the Jets have without Eric Decker. Brandon Marshall is the only game-breaker on the team.

9. I actually thought Quincy Enunwa could have emerged as a bit of a game-breaker, but so far that hasn't happened. His first catch came in the third quarter and that was on only the second ball thrown his direction. He ended up with three catches for 42 yards, but he is now the second best receiver on the team and the Jets really have to use him that way. Find ways to get him open and give him a chance. And while we're on that subject, normally here I'd advocate for throwing more to the running backs, too - and that's valid considering only seven passes were tossed to Bilal Powell and Matt Forte. But as I mentioned above, the blocking - particularly on screens - was basically nonexistent. Powell and Forte combined for four catches for 15 yards - not even four yards per catch.

10. This is somewhat premature, but since I've heard it in a few places since the end of the game on Monday night, I'll mention it: The idea that Todd Bowles' job should be in jeopardy if this season ends without a playoff berth is crazy. Yes, it would be disappointing. It would also be a sign that he basically worked a miracle with the team last year to get them close. Regardless, that's not how good franchises operate. They made a decision to hire Bowles, now they've got to give him a chance - and a chance isn't two years. It's especially not two years without a quarterback. They got lucky with Fitzpatrick last year. They're unlucky with him this year. The Jets need to find Bowles a quarterback for 2017. Then judge him.

Tags: Bilal Powell , Brandon Marshall , Brent Qvale , Calvin Pryor , Charone Peake , Eric Decker , Geno Smith , Jalin Marshall , James Carpenter , Matt Forte , Nick Mangold , Quincy Enunwa , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Sheldon Richardson , Ralph Vacchiano

Larry David presents the award for Outstanding Comedy Series
           during 68th Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater. (Robert Hanashiro)
Larry David presents the award for Outstanding Comedy Series during 68th Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater. (Robert Hanashiro)

Comedian and lifelong Jets fan Larry David was in Glendale last night to witness the team's 28-3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. 

When asked how he felt about the team's performance after the game, David's response was one you'd expect to hear in his hit TV show, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

"Oh wonderful," said David. "Couldn't have been more pleased."

This was not the first time the comedian has offered his views on the Jets. Prior to last season, David told Howard Stern that with a little bit of studying, he could take over as either the offensive or defensive coordinator for New York.

When asked what made him qualified for either position, the comedian replied, "When I was a kid and we used to play football in the parking lot, I would design very good plays."

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) avoids the tackle attempt of New York Giants cornerback Buster Skrine (41) as he scores a first quarter touchdown at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) avoids the tackle attempt of New York Giants cornerback Buster Skrine (41) as he scores a first quarter touchdown at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets committed 10 penalties for 83 yards in Monday night's loss to the Cardinals, with eight of the infractions coming in the first half alone. 

Jets CB Buster Skrine had a particularly rough game, getting whistled for three holding penalties and one pass interference call. According to ESPN, the 45 penalties he has taken since entering the league in 2011 are the second most in the league. 

Head coach Todd Bowles eventually replaced Skrine with Darryl Roberts

"Questionable or not, four penalties are four penalties," Bowles said after the game. "He had a bad game. He's got to be better with his hands. We can't play like that and he can't play like that if he's going to have penalties and get handsy like that."

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Jerome Boger's officiating crew victimized Skrine all day long, calling him for four penalties, at least a couple of which were extremely dubious.

Skrine was trying to play physical coverage, but that proved impossible with how the game was being officiated. Later in the game, the team obviously instructed him to play off instead and he gave up three consecutive identical plays where the receiver stopped and caught a back shoulder throw.

Skrine has had issues with penalties in the past, but seemed to have fixed that to some degree. Since the NFL tightened up their rules in 2014, he had 20 penalties in the first 20 games, but only five in the last 17 games prior to Monday night's game. >>>>> To read the rest of Bent's Game Analysis, CLICK HERE.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals , Buster Skrine

Vacchiano breaks down Jets' loss 00:04:13
Ralph Vacchiano breaks down the Jets' loss to the Cardinals and a possible change at quarterback as Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to struggle.

Despite struggling and getting removed from Monday's game, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will start on Sunday against the Ravens for the now 1-5 Jets, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after the loss. 

Fitzpatrick never got into a rhythm, going 16-of-31 for 174 yards. He failed to throw a touchdown but did throw his NFL-leading fourth red-zone interception of the season. Geno Smith replaced Fitzpatrick halfway through the fourth quarter. 

"It's like a relief pitcher," Bowles said. "If the starting pitcher isn't doing it this game, this day, you put in the relief pitcher. Fitz will be back next week."

Overall for the season, Fitzpatrick has completed 57 percent of his passes, but has just five touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He threw 15 picks all of last season. 

"It's not that I have no confidence in Geno," Bowles told reporters. "We have two quarterbacks that can play right now. Fitz is our starter. Anybody back there would've been under duress today."

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We all knew that if Geno Smith was going to being taking snaps in October, the season must have taken a turn for the worst. However, that was the case again here, as the Jets struggled to move the ball all day and Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for the fourth quarter.

Could the team be about to go with Smith as the starter? They're saying no, for now, but if Fitzpatrick continues to struggle, that day can't be too far off. >>>>> To read the rest of Bent's Game Analysis, CLICK HERE.


Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick

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New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-13. Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-13. Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Jets LB Darron Lee will undergo tests on his injured ankle, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after Monday night's loss to the Cardinals. 

Lee left in the third quarter of the game and went to the locker room for evaluation and did not return. Bowles did not know the severity of the injury immediately after the game. 

He finished the game with two total tackles, one solo. 

Tags: Darron Lee

Bowles and Fitzpatrick on loss 00:02:03
Todd Bowles and Ryan Fitzpatrick discuss the loss to the Cardinals and how the team can still turn it around.

The Jets gave up an early score, the offense couldn't get things going and failed to come back, as New York fell to the Cardinals, 28-3, on Monday night in Arizona. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick had another rough game, throwing for just 174 yards and 16-of-31 passing. Down three scores in the third quarter, he threw his fourth red-zone interception of the season, most in the league. Geno Smith replaced him about halfway through the fourth quarter. Smith threw an interception on his one drive. 

Running back David Johnson got the ball rolling for the Cardinals, scampering for a 58-yard touchdown down the near sideline, his first of three touchdowns of the night. 

He'd later add his second score of the day in the second quarter, a two-yard run to cap off a 75-yard drive. Not done there, Johnson would punch it in for the third time of the game with 5:24 left in the third. 

Carson Palmer was 23-for-34 passing against the Jets defense, connecting with Michael Floyd on a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put the game away. 

The Jets finished with just 230 total yards and were penalized 10 times. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It's hard to imagine a worse performance in a must-win game than the Jets put on in Arizona on Monday night. And start with this: They committed seven penalties in the first 10 minutes of the game. That doesn't exactly scream, "Ready to play!"

You can probably blame the coaching staff for that, and then you can blame the players for everything else. Start with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who clearly has lost all of his 2015 magic. He looked terrible. His passes were off-target. Many of his decisions were poor. And it was so bad that the Jets had to at least be thinking about a quarterback change at halftime, or at the latest after he through an end zone interception late in the third quarter.

That was basically the Jets' last chance to make it a game. They never could get their offense in sync. They couldn't run the ball and with the exception of one big play by Brandon Marshall they basically got nothing out of their receivers.

As for the defense … Well, they did get a little more pressure on Cardinals QB Carson Palmer thanks to the aggressive blitzing they hinted at all week. But RB David Johnson ran for three touchdowns - a 58-yarder and two 2-yarders - and he was untouched on all three of them. He got no resistance from the Jets' defensive line and ran through terrible tackling behind them.

Or, to make a long story short: The Jets looked like a bad team. Which they are.

And now they are 1-5 after the much-hyped, killer, six-game stretch to start their season. They knew they had to go 3-3 to survive and instead they were about as bad as they possibly could be. The good news? Their next four games aren't exactly a basket of unbeatables. They play the Baltimore Ravens (3-3), at Cleveland (0-6), at Miami (2-4), and home against the L.A. Rams (3-3). So perhaps if they can improve their play they could head into their bye week 4-6 or 5-5.

The bad news? They still have to play the Patriots twice and they still probably need at least nine and maybe 10 wins to get to the playoffs. Their disastrous 1-5 start has basically removed their entire margin of error. And for all intents and purposes, they are essentially done.

Read more here for a full recap, stats and play-by-play box score.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals

THE GAME: The Jets (1-4) at the Arizona Cardinals (2-3) at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Monday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: The stadium has a retractable roof, so it may not matter, but the forecast calls for temperatures around 90 during the day and dropping into the 60s -- pretty typical for the desert this time of year. No rain or wind either, not surprisingly.


Jets: Active: CB Darrelle Revis and C Nick Mangold are both active. 

Jets: Inactive: LB David Harris, T Brandon Shell, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Jeremy Butler, CB Nick Marshall and QBs Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg are all out. 

Cardinals: Active: DT Robert Nkemdiche is in. 

Cardinals: Inactive: DT Ed Stinson (toe), G Mike Lupati (ankle), CB Brandon Williams, RB Kerwynn Williams, DT Olsen Pierre, DT Xavier Williams and TE Hakeem Valles are all out. 


Visit at halftime to see Jets Halftime Live where members of Jets Post Game Live will break down the first half.

Leave your comments about today's game in the comments section below.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals

New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets LB David Harris, who had played in 121 consecutive games at linebacker, will have his streak come to an end Monday night, as he is inactive against the Cardinals. 

Harris was listed as doubtful in the team's final injury report before the game, as he had been dealing with a hamstring injury he sustained in Week 5 against the Steelers. 

"It's a huge hit for our defense," CB Darrelle Revis said at the end of last week on the possibility of missing Harris. 

The linebacker had not missed a game since Week 13 in 2008. His streak was the longest in the NFL for a linebacker since he began the stretch of games played. 

Tags: David Harris

Vacc's 3 Keys: Jets-Cardinals 00:03:21
SNY NFL insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets' victory on Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME: The Jets (1-4) at the Arizona Cardinals (2-3) at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Monday, Oct. 17, 8:30 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: The stadium has a retractable roof, so it may not matter, but the forecast calls for temperatures around 90 during the day and dropping into the 60s -- pretty typical for the desert this time of year. No rain or wind either, not surprisingly.

WHAT IT MEANS: I don't know if it means anything anymore because the Jets are pretty much done at 1-4, but at 1-5 maybe even Brandon Marshall will believe it. Remember, it's going to take a record of 9-7 to get into the playoffs, maybe even 10-6. If the Jets lose this and fall to 1-5 … well, does anyone think they'd be capable of finishing on an 8-2 run? Right, Brandon Marshall. I mean besides him.

PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Quincy Enunwa. It's his ballgame now. Eric Decker is going to have shoulder surgery and won't be back until next season, which means Enunwa is the unquestioned No. 2 receiver and the man responsible for taking some of the heat off Marshall. So far he's been a decent receiver this season, but it's obvious he's not really worrying anyone given all the attention Marshall is receiving from opposing defenses. If Enunwa can even do a little of what Decker did, Marshall's life will become a lot easier and the Jets won't have to rely on one of their rookies to emerge as a third option.

So far Enunwa has 27 catches, which is good, but only 294 receiving yards, which isn't (10.9 yards per catch). He also only has one touchdown, meaning he hasn't emerged as anything near the red-zone threat that Decker once was. Yeah, those are big shoes to fill and a lot of expectations heaped on the 24-year-old receiver. But if he doesn't come through, the Jets offense might not have much of a chance of turning things around.

 See also:

 MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cardinals RB David Johnson against Jets LBs David Harris and Darron Lee. The Jets have the NFL's second-ranked run defense, allowing just 68.4 yards per game, which is due partially to the strong play of their defensive line (against the run) and the fact that teams prefer to throw on the Jets because their pass defense has been awful. Johnson, though, might be the best running back they've faced and he's certainly the best dual-threat running back they've seen. That's why Harris (if he plays) and Lee are key, because Johnson is dangerous when he gets through the initial wall of tacklers and really dangerous in space as a receiver.

Containing Johnson will require a lot of sideline-to-sideline running for the Jets' best linebackers and some great open-field tackling. It's on all the linebackers to do that, obviously, but Harris is the best they have and Lee's speed could be invaluable against the Cardinals' most dangerous player.

INJURY REPORT: The loss of LB David Harris (hamstring) could be significant, though the extra day has given the Jets some hope that he'll play. It seems to have worked for C Nick Mangold (knee) and CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring), who both returned to practice on Friday in a limited fashion. Revis may still be a game-time decision, but he's hopeful. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins was also limited Friday with an ankle injury. That doesn't change much for the Jets, though they were hoping he would slowly have an increased presence in their passing attack. … As for the Cardinals, getting QB Carson Palmer back from his concussion is their most significant injury-related item. They are also keeping an eye on the status of left guard Mike Iupati's ankle.

THE PICK: Look at the bright side: After this game the Jets get the Ravens, Browns, Dolphins and Rams before their bye. All of those are winnable games. This one? I know the Cardinals have struggled, but there's a reason they were such a trendy pick to win the Super Bowl this season. They have a very strong defense and on offense they are loaded with weapons, including Johnson and the ageless Larry Fitzgerald at receiver. Granted they've underachieved offensively and quarterback Carson Palmer has been a little erratic, but the Jets' porous secondary should be just what the Cardinals' offense needs to get going in the right direction.

Besides, the Jets have just about everything working against them. Eric Decker is out and their offense is out of sync, Darrelle Revis is hurting and the defense has been underachieving. Their confidence and mood are down and now they have to take a long, cross-country flight. The way the Jets are playing it's just hard to see them beating a good team with talented skill players right now. Even last week, they hung with the Steelers a little and then just wore down. This game is likely to look very similar. Then maybe next week the Jets can start to turn things around. … Cardinals 27, Jets 14.


Tags: Brandon Marshall , Darrelle Revis , Darron Lee , David Harris , Eric Decker , Nick Mangold , Quincy Enunwa , Ralph Vacchiano

The New York Jets will wear decals with Dennis Byrd's No. 90 on their helmets during Monday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals, the team announced Monday afternoon.

Byrd was killed in a two-vehicle collision in Oklahoma on Saturday.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Jets will also wear the decal in next Sunday's game against the Ravens. The Jets will have a tribute for Byrd during that game, reports ESPN New York's Rich Cimini

No. 90 always in our hearts. #RIPDennisByrd #MNF

A video posted by New York Jets (@nyjets) on

 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here's a quick look at the Arizona Cardinals, the Jets' opponent on Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona through my three-question interview with Kent Somers, who covers the Cardinals and the NFL for the Arizona Republic. You can read all of his coverage at and you can follow him on Twitter at @kentsomers.

1.) The Cardinals were a very popular Super Bowl pick this season. I'm not sure anyone expected them to start 1-3. What's been their biggest problem?

Kent Somers: It's hard to narrow it to just one thing. It's been a little bit of everything. The passing game, which was so dynamic last year, has been off. Opponents are scheming to take away the deep pass (the Patriots, Bills and Rams kept safeties deep). Still, Bruce Arians thinks the deep passes have been there, it's just Palmer is leaving a lot of them short. Receiver Michael Floyd is off to an awful start in a contract year. He's had three drops in the last two games and his playing time has dwindled. Receiver John Brown started slowly after missing most of training camp with a concussion. Carson Palmer hasn't been as sharp, although it's not all on him. He had five touchdowns and no interceptions in the first two games. He had one touchdown and five interceptions in the next two starts.

Defensively, they've had mental breakdowns, especially in the secondary. There have been guys running open because of blown coverages. Tyrann Mathieu isn't 100 percent after knee surgery last December, although last week he moved back to his usual hybrid safety/cornerback/linebacker spot. Overall, there have been a ton of missed tackles, and there were some games where their best players, such as tackle Calais Campbell and outside linebacker Chandler Jones, didn't do much.

Until last week against the 49ers, their special teams were horrible. They went with a rookie snapper, Kameron Canaday, who had two awful games. They finally released him on Sept. 27. His bad snap contributed to a missed field goal that would have probably beaten the Pats in week one. So, yes, a little bit of everything.

2.) David Johnson is looking like one of the best RBs in football. Is there any doubt about whether he can keep it up over a full season, especially now with his top backup, veteran Chris Johnson, on IR?

KS: If he stays healthy, Johnson will have the best season a Cardinals running back has had since the team moved to Arizona in 1988. That's sort of a backhanded compliment since they have had backs produce just six 1,000-yard rushing seasons in that time. He's a special player with no weakness in his game. He has size (224 pounds), speed, power, and he catches the ball as well as any back in the NFL. There isn't anything he can't do. He has gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each game. No one else in franchise history has done that.

Losing Chris Johnson was a blow and Arians has said he needs to do a better job of utilizing backup Andre Ellington. David Johnson had 30 touches in San Francisco. They would like him to average 20-25. They lost starting guards Mike Iupati and Evan Mathis to injury last week, so it will be interesting to see if they can continue running the ball productively.

3.) I don't know if this is Larry Fitzgerald's final season, but at 33 he might be making a run at one of his best seasons. How is it possible he's still an elite receiver at that age?

KS: Fitzgerald swears he doesn't know if this is his last season. His standard response to retirement questions: "I don't even know what I'm having for dinner tonight."

Fitzgerald is still playing at a high level for a few reasons. He takes great care of his body. He keeps his weight down, is a maniacal worker in practice and a great technician at receiver. His two touchdowns last week were the result of beautiful, double-move routes. Fitzgerald's game was never based on speed. He's never been a burner. But he has amazing hands, vision and body control. He's a big guy and he knows how to use that body to beat defenders. He's crafty and has all the nuanced moves of great receivers. Last week, for instance, he slyly used his left hand to create space for himself on the touchdown catch.

Over the years, he's really developed as a runner after the catch. In his first years in the league, he wasn't too interested in doing that. But he's really good at it now and can make big plays on crossing routes and the like.

Tags: Ralph Vacchiano

 (Denny Medley)
(Denny Medley)

The Jets think their beleaguered secondary will perform better against the Cardinals Monday night.

"We're still confident in the back end," CB Buster Skrine told reporters. "Why? Because we're defensive backs. That's why. You've got to be. You can't play defensive back and not be confident."

The Jets have allowed 303 passing yards per game this season, worse than every team in the league except the Raiders.

They improved in Week 5 against Pittsburgh, which is one of the reasons for Skrine's confidence.

"I mean, it's encouraging," Skrine said. "I don't think we played up to our potential, because they still had a good game. But one step at a time. We definitely want to pick this thing up in the back end. We haven't lived up to our expectations so far, but we will figure it out."

Tags: Darrelle Revis

 (Denny Medley)
(Denny Medley)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson won't put stock in the team's long-shot playoff odds, which sit at 6 percent

"You can take those percentages and shove 'em," Richardson told reporters. "Because I honestly I don't give a damn. If we win our division, it doesn't really matter. That's it."

The Jets are 1-4 heading into Monday night's game against the Cardinals in Arizona.

They trail the first place Patriots by 3.5 games in the AFC East and are 2.5 games behind the Bills for the final Wild Card spot.

Richardson said he was frustrated as to why the Jets haven't pulled games out, but that he refuses to give up on the season in Week 6.

"I don't believe in predicting the future," Richardson said. "I've always had this attitude: Fearlessness mixed in with a little optimism. I'm never going to call my season over in Week 6. I'm never going to do that."

Tags: Sheldon Richardson

Jets head coach Todd Bowles and Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians (Credit: USA Today)
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians (Credit: USA Today)

Three decades ago, as Todd Bowles was winding up his final season as a defensive back at Temple, his young coach Bruce Arians had some advice.

"I actually told him: `I don't think you're going to be making it in the pros. You might want to start coaching,'" Arians recalled. "He only played for about 11 years and got two Super Bowl rings."

Actually, it was one Super Bowl ring in eight NFL seasons, but obviously, Bowles didn't take the advice.

"I had a broken wrist at the time and I couldn't do a pushup," he said. "They told me I'd have arthritis later on in life, and he was just being honest with me. At the time, I was too immature to probably realize he was being honest with me, but I realized that later on in life. But, I was hard-headed and wanted to play anyway."

The two men grew to be great friends.

"It went from father-son to uncle-nephew to we're almost like brothers now," Bowles said. "Anything that he can help me with, he does. Anything I can help him with, I do. ... He taught me so much in life and in football. Words can't describe how I feel about him."

Bowles on the sidelines during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. (Credit: USA TODAY Sports)

The two will be on opposite sides of the field Monday night, when Bowles' New York Jets face Arians' Arizona Cardinals.

Bowles was a team captain at Temple, "one of the smartest players I've ever seen," Arians said, and he seemed destined to be a coach.

"You knew right away because of the type of person he was and the type of player he was," Arians said, "if and when he decided to coach, he'd be a hell of a coach.'"

Back in 1986, Bowles went un-drafted, signed with the Washington Redskins, and played seven seasons there.

Then came the coaching >> Read more at SNY.TV!

Quarterback Carson Palmer returns to action Monday night for the Cardinals.  (Matt Kartozian - USA Today)
Quarterback Carson Palmer returns to action Monday night for the Cardinals. (Matt Kartozian - USA Today)

During the season, Bent's Game Analysis charts games for some of the Jets' upcoming opponents, enabling a breakdown of what to watch out for on gameday…

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The last time these two teams met in 2012, the Jets won a remarkable game 7-6, as Greg McElroy, came off the bench for the benched Mark Sanchez to throw a game-winning touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland. The Cardinals have undergone a transformation since that game, reaching the NFC championship game last season. So far this year, things haven't gone to plan, though, as they lie third in the NFC West after losing three of their first four games, two of those coming against AFC opponents. They bounced back last week with a 33-21 win over the 49ers on Thursday night and, with the long week to prepare, enter tomorrow's game as a 7.5 point favorite.

After the jump, I break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) for the Cardinals and highlight what to watch out for.


Carson Palmer has been the driving force behind the Cardinals' recent success, but doubts are resurfacing about his abilities in big games after he struggled during last season's postseason exit to the Panthers. He's ironically close friends with Jets' starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, who faced the same questions after failing to clinch a playoff berth in the season finale last year. 

Like Fitzpatrick, Palmer has struggled to quiet the doubters with his performances so far this year, especially against the Bills when he threw four interceptions and was sacked five times. He then suffered a concussion in the next game and watched from the side lines as Drew Stanton led the team to the win over San Francisco.

Palmer makes his return tomorrow, hoping to improve his downfield passing in particular as he's underthrown a lot of deep balls so far this season. If he struggles again, it will be interesting to see how short his leash is with Stanton coming off a winning performance, albeit one where he completed less than 40% of his passes for his third appearance in a row.

Stanton has history with the Jets, who signed him in 2012 only to trade him away for a conditional pick when they traded for Tim Tebow one week later.

Offensive Line

The Cardinals have put together a nice offensive line with a solid core of experienced veterans and a couple of youngsters with good potential.

Last year's first-round pick, DJ Humphries, was a healthy scratch all year as a rookie, but has found his way into the starting line-up at right tackle this year. While he surrendered four sacks in the first four games, he held up much better against the 49ers and did an excellent job in the running game.

The plan was for Humphries to work with four veterans. Center AQ Shipley, left tackle Jared Veldheer and guards Mike Iupati and Evan Mathis have 299 combined starts. Mathis was recently placed on injured reserve though and his replacement - Earl Watford - is definitely a downgrade. In addition, Iupati has been dealing with an ankle injury and is a gameday decision for tomorrow.

Iupati is a big and physical run blocker who has had some issues in pass protection in recent years, but has held up quite well so far this year. Veldheer has developed into a consistent blind side pass protector and Shipley is an experienced anchor.

If Iupati is unable to play, then the line will take on a different look with Watford starting along with John Wetzel at the two guard spots, which will put extra pressure on Shipley at center. Despite being in his fourth season and with his fourth team Wetzel didn't make his NFL debut until last month but filled in quite well for Iupati last week when he went down.

Rookie Evan Boehm is one of the back-up options and the Cardinals also just added youngster Ulrick John.

Running Backs

Despite Palmer's struggles, the running game has still been productive with emerging star David Johnson well on the way to a thousand-yard season. Johnson has 457 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, including 157 and two scores in the last game against the 49ers. Johnson is also dangerous in the passing game. He caught 51 passes last year and is on about the same pace this season.

Former Jet Chris Johnson was serving as the back-up, but just landed on injured reserve himself, so Andre Ellington will fill that role.

The Cardinals don't use a full back, preferring to run out of two-tight end sets.


Veteran Larry Fitzgerald turned back the clock last year to catch over 100 passes and put together his first thousand-yard season since 2011. This year, he's been extremely consistent with at least five catches and 60 yards in all five games, but no 100-yard games. Fitzgerald is more of a possession receiver these days, but can get downfield once in a while and is still one of the best blocking wide receivers in the NFL. He still does a lot of damage from the slot.

In the past, Michael Floyd has been the downfield threat to complement Fitzgerald but he's off to a slow start this year. The Browns, John and Jaron, will also see plenty of playing time. Jaron offers good size, but John has been the more productive player. He had over 1,100 receiving yards last year, if you include the postseason.

The Cardinals haven't had much production out of their tight ends yet and the biggest name, Jermaine Gresham, has been uncharacteristically struggling as a blocker. Darren Fells is the main back-up, but rookie Hakeem Valles recently made his first career start.

Defensive Line

The Cardinals' defensive line still includes several players Todd Bowles worked with when he was the defensive coordinator a few seasons ago, led by Calais Campbell who is still their most disruptive player against the run and as a pass rusher.

Veteran Frostee Rucker starts at the other end position in the Cardinals' 3-4 system. The Cardinals looked to bolster their depth when they drafted Robert Nkemdiche in the first round, but he's been unable to earn much playing time so far after a high ankle strain slowed down his progress in the offseason. Josh Mauro and Ed Stinson have been getting reps ahead of him, but Stinson has an injured toe and will not play, so this might turn out to be Nkemdiche's first chance to make any meaningful contributions.

The Cardinals signed Corey Peters from Atlanta to be their nose tackle last season, but he missed the entire year with a torn Achilles. However, he's healthy now and is fitting in well. That has allowed Rodney Gunter, who started 12 games at nose tackle as a rookie last year, to move back into a rotational role.


The Cardinals have an interesting group of linebackers led by young pass rusher Markus Golden who is in the midst of a break-out season. Golden's six sacks are among the league leaders. He had four in total during his rookie year.

Across from Golden is another familiar face in former Patriot Chandler Jones. In six career games against the Jets, Jones has only been on the losing side once and has racked up six sacks. 

On the inside, Deone Bucannon, a converted safety, has become one of the leading lights in the recent trend for smaller, more athletic linebackers, an experiment that began under Bowles. He is paired with a bigger player in the shape of 246-pounder Kevin Minter. 

Much of the time, all four starters play three downs, but Alex Okafor has also seen time as a situational rusher.

Defensive Backs

Cover corner Patrick Peterson is the highest-paid player in the Cardinals' secondary, but the versatility of Tyrann Mathieu in his hybrid safety/cornerback role is equally crucial to the team's success.

Marcus Cooper has good size and length at the other corner position with rookie Brandon Williams and veterans Tharold Simon and Justin Bethel available as cover off the bench. Simon and Bethel have played just five snaps between them all season though, as Bethel has been dealing with an injured foot. Williams started the first two games but hasn't played on defense since. Another veteran, Tyvon Branch, had been the primary nickel, but he's now on injured reserve.

Tony Jefferson is the other starter at safety and has been solid against the run, leading the team in tackles. DJ Swearinger provides cover, but the versatility of Mathieu and Bucannon means they have plenty of alternatives.

Special Teams

Another familiar face handles punting duties for the Cardinals, as former Jet Ryan Quigley was signed recently and will be making his third appearance for them tomorrow. He'll also be holding for Chandler Catanzaro who has made every field goal this year apart from the one which would have beaten the Patriots on opening day.

Ellington had been handling kick-off return duties, but recently activated Brittan Golden is expected to take on that role soon. John Brown has been returning punts but Golden has experience of doing that too. It's a departure from last year, where two key starters - Johnson and Peterson - had the primary return roles.

Finally, Bethel - when healthy - is one of the best gunners around and usually among the leaders for special teams tackles.


I'll be back on Tuesday to recap the game.

Stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.

Dennis Byrd speaks as hits number is retired at MetLife Stadium in 2012. (William Perlman)
Dennis Byrd speaks as hits number is retired at MetLife Stadium in 2012. (William Perlman)

Dennis Byrd, whose career as Jets defensive lineman ended after a neck injury, was killed in a two-vehicle collision on Oklahoma 88 north of Claremore, Okla., on Saturday, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

Byrd, who turned 50 on Oct. 5, was pronounced dead at the scene due to massive injuries.

He became an NFL legend when he defied his doctor's prognosis and walked within weeks after he broke his neck in the New York Jets' game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 29, 1992.

Byrd was the co-author of "Rise and Walk: The Trial and Triumph of Dennis Byrd," and was the subject of a made-for-television film, "Rise and Walk: The Dennis Byrd Story."

The crash occurred about 11:15 a.m., according to the Highway Patrol. A 17-year-old driving a 2000 Ford Explorer northbound on Oklahoma 88 veered into the oncoming lane, striking a 2004 Hummer H2 driven by Byrd. A 12-year-old passenger in Byrd's car was hospitalized.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Byrd's story was an inspiration and a big part of the reason that I initially became a Jets fan; so for me personally this news is crushing. I was aware of the impact Byrd had on the field during his time with the Jets, it was his tenacity after his career ended that left the biggest impression on me.

The first NFL football game I ever went to was the last of Byrd's career. I remember watching the play unfold in which he collided with Scott Mersereau that ended his playing days and I remember the collective worry in Giants Stadium as we waited an eternity before Byrd was helped off the field.  

For a time it seemed like Byrd would never walk again, but in time he did. While his career and life were both tragically cut short, his hope in the face of extreme adversity is why he was an inspiration to fans, why he was the inspirational speaker prior to the Jets playoff game against the Patriots in 2011 and why his number was retired in 2012.

Byrd clearly looked for the larger purpose in his life and in his doing so he helped me look for the larger purpose in mine. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Byrd family in this time, but we also celebrate the life of one of the most inspirational players to ever wear a Jets uniform.

Vacc's 3 Keys: Jets-Cardinals 00:03:21
SNY NFL insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets' victory on Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Brandon Marshall may be delusional at times, as shown by his odd optimism about the 1-4 Jets, but in many ways he's also a realist. He knows that outside of the locker room most people believe the Jets just aren't any good.

"That's fine," he said. "We expect to be killed out in the streets and killed in the media, because our record shows that we're not a really good team. But we have to stick together. We know who we have in that locker room. You guys (in the media) know who we have in that locker room. I think this (1-4 start) is surprising not only to our organization, but this is surprising to you guys and our fans.

"And with that comes criticism. This game isn't for the wary. This game isn't for the sensitive. What's funny about failure is that failure speeds up the growth process. So that's what I'm excited about. We've had a lot of failure these first five games. We're growing rapidly, because we have no choice. That's the awesome thing about failure."

Yeah, failure is swell. But if this is really to be the Jets' "due season" -- as Marshall has proclaimed both vocally and on T-shirts -- at some point they need to have a little success. And if it doesn't start on Monday night in Arizona the Jets will likely be out of time.

It's another tough road trip and a hard game to envision them winning. But can they stop the bleeding and prevent the final 10 games from being a slow, sad march towards the 2017 season? In the video above, I give my three keys to how the Jets can win and start earning their "due."

Tags: Brandon Marshall , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Jets tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray)

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

As Shakespeare once famously penned, "something is rotten in the city of Florham Park" (it's totally true … Google it Bent … I FRIGGIN DARE YOU) but through five weeks it is hard to put a finger on the source of the problem. It might be easy to blame the players who are there … but does this sudden flop have more to do with who isn't there this year compared to 2015?

Bent, Follow on Twitter

Yes, this fanbase went into the season basing much of their hope upon the concept of addition by subtraction. No more Demario Davis getting lost on a wheel route. No more Antonio Cromartie flailing wildly to grab some receiver as they run past him for a 60-yard touchdown. No more wondering whether Chris Ivory was going to wake up and decide to be more like "Least Mode" than "Beast Mode". They removed some of their least reliable parts and yet the infrastructure is falling to pieces.

Did we have the weaknesses of the 2015 team pegged incorrectly this whole time?

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

You are dead-on. How does losing some of those guys not make them a better team? I think we have a better sense that it comes down to some of the core rotting from the inside out. Cromartie was horrible last season and somehow he was still better that whatever it is we are seeing this year. Am I totally insane to argue that 35-year-old Calvin Pace would be an upgrade on the play the Jets are getting out of their 20-something outside linebackers?

For as good as the defense is up front, opponents have turned that fortification into a true Maginot Line due to the flaws at linebacker and the secondary position. Like it or not, I think if Darrelle Revis can get healthy and remember that he was one of the best defenders in football not that long ago it could make all the difference in the world. If there was a miscalculation it was the expectation would continue to play at the same level as he has in the past. 

At the running back position, I really thought Matt Forte was going to be the upgrade this team needed but it's not worked out that way exactly. Maybe Chan Gailey's scheme was more dependent on between-the-tackles running than we realized. Forte and Powell aren't really suited for that and it's shown … especially when paired with a short passing game.

Bent, Follow on Twitter

Going into the season, it looked like the roster had become more talented. With so many of the mistakes that have cost them games attributable to miscommunication rather than constantly being overmatched, perhaps it's more to do with the way these pieces are meshing together. When you see lapses in focus, effort and conditioning, it makes you wonder if the team lost something intangible with some of these guys that left, even if those players weren't delivering on an individual basis.

D'Brickashaw Ferguson's quiet dependability, Cromartie's approach to maintaining his physical condition and Pace's locker room wisdom could all be attributes missing from this team which have had a larger-reaching effect on chemistry, cohesion and perhaps even effort levels. Even something as simple as having popular guys around that kept the camaraderie at a high level could influence this. Character guys in the locker room such as Damon Harrison, Willie Colon and Leger Douzable are gone and the team is just a collection of players rather than a team.

It seems like it's falling on Brandon Marshall to carry this mantle himself and other players are going to start to tune that out eventually if he's the only one desperately trying to keep everyone on the same page. It also puts a lot on his plate and adds pressure in respect of his own performances.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

I think that's right. There are a lot of players who are compensated well for their aptitude and/or production but there are too few leaders. It seems like a team falls into these sorts of cycles and it is hard for young guys - especially young guys who aren't even productive - to assert that mantle.

Once you rattled off that laundry list of players, I see your point. It might be less about talent and more about accountability and a lack of player-leader types. At this point all we can do is hope that those veteran players see the void and fill it quickly.

Tags: Brandon Marshall , Darrelle Revis , Brian Bassett

New England Patriots cornerback Justin Coleman (22) defends a pass against New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Mark L. Baer)
New England Patriots cornerback Justin Coleman (22) defends a pass against New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Mark L. Baer)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Devin Smith has had 10 months to think.

About life. About football. About his future.

The New York Jets wide receiver has been sidelined since last December with a knee injury that cut short his rookie season - and threw his career into uncertainty.

"Really, you just realize that this game can be taken away from you," Smith said. "It was taken away from me for a couple of months. It sat me down, man."

Smith is inching closer to a return to the game he has missed. He spent the first six weeks of the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list and is eligible to begin practicing next week.

The Jets would have 21 days from the day Smith first practices to activate him to the 53-man roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve.

"I haven't done any football in about nine months, so it's been a long time coming," Smith said. "I can't wait. It has seemed very, very long."

Smith was a second-round pick out of Ohio State last year, a speedster with terrific athleticism, as evidenced by his eye-popping one-handed touchdown catch against Miami of Ohio in 2012 - long before Odell Beckham Jr. made those acrobatic types of grabs a routine sight in the NFL.

The Jets drafted him with the hope that he would provide a field-stretching element to the offense. But Smith injured a lung and a few ribs in training camp, sidelining him for several weeks. Once he returned, he struggled through the ups and downs of life as a rookie, trying to find his place on the team. >> Read more

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.

Tags: Devin Smith

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) tries to break a tackle by New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. (Benny Sieu)
Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) tries to break a tackle by New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. (Benny Sieu)

Former Jets and current Giants DT Damon Harrison has switched New York teams but keeps up with how his old teammates are doing, according to James Kratch

Harrison, who signed a deal with the Giants in the offseason, said his new teammates have made sure he is informed about the Jets. 

"The guys around here, they do a good job of letting me know how the guys on the other side of town are doing," Harrison said. "I don't want to get into details on it, but yes, they do a pretty good job of reminding me how the Jets are doing."

Harrison so far has 18 total tackles with his new team, while the Jets have stumbled to a 1-4 start. Despite changing teams, Harrison said he wishes the Jets the best as they go forward. 

"I have some really good friends on the team," Harrison said. "I wish them the very best."

Tags: Damon Harrison

Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs the ball past New York Jets linebacker David Harris (52) during the first half of their game at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge)
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs the ball past New York Jets linebacker David Harris (52) during the first half of their game at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge)

Jets LB David Harris is dealing with a hamstring injury that could force him to miss Monday's game, which CB Darrelle Revis said would be a big loss for the defense. 

Harris has not missed a game since Week 13 in 2008, playing every game since. The 32-year-old linebacker has yet to practice with the team this week. 

"It's a huge hit for our defense" Revis said of Harris possibly missing time, according to Darryl Slater of

Harris, who sustained the injury during last week's loss against the Steelers, has recorded 18 total tackles through five weeks this season. In 10 seasons with the Jets, Harris has 665 total tackles and 35 sacks.

Tags: Darrelle Revis , David Harris

GEICO SportsNite: Jets defense 00:01:48
Ralph Vacchiano reports on the Jets defensive changes they look to make against the Arizona Cardinals in hopes of ending the losing streak.

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - They opened the season with an explosion, and it was supposed to only be the start. The Jets may have lost that first game, but they sent a loud message with their seven-sack performance. They were surely going to have one of the NFL's most dominant defensive lines.

Who knew that dominance would disappear after only one game?

There are many reasons for the Jets' disastrous, 1-4 start, from Ryan Fitzpatrick's turnovers to the loss of receiver Eric Decker to a communication-challenged secondary, but none are more shocking than the disappearance of the pass rush. Six of the seven sacks on Opening Day came from the defensive line, which was still missing Sheldon Richardson.

In the four games since the Jets have had only five more sacks - three from the defensive line, and 2 ½ of those from Leonard Williams. On Thursday, Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said "With all due respect to everybody, I thought they might be the best position playing on our team. Those guys, I really think they're really doing a good job."

Maybe they are by some evaluation that doesn't include sacks or consistent pressure. But by the standards they set and the expectations they welcomed, they should be doing so much more.

"We have a few hits and a few sacks here and there, but we're not having those huge, dominant games like we had the first week," Williams said. "So we need to pick it up."

Asked why they haven't even come close to another dominant performance, Williams said "That's the frustrating part, I would say. I can't really point out a problem. I feel like everybody's still buying in, everybody still wants to do great. But the numbers are dropping and I don't really know what to point out."

There are, of course, reasons for everything, and since every team they've faced saw the film of their opener against the Bengals, it was unreasonable to expect another seven-sack game. The Bengals, as Richardson pointed out, "are a vertical team and hold the ball a little bit longer so you get a lot more time to get to the quarterback." The Jets were able to tee off on Andy Dalton.

Since then, other teams have adjusted.

"I think people are doing a really good job of trying to counteract them," Rodgers said. "They're mixing it, keeping the tight ends in, sliding the protection and really trying to double those guys. The last couple of teams, if I'm not mistaken, they chipped on their way out so they're hitting us, bumping us on their way out. They took notice to what we did the first week I would say."

That's fair. But it's also fair to say the Jets defensive line should still be producing more. They have three former first-round picks on the line, all of whom are top (and accomplished) pass rushers. They want to be considered one of the best defensive lines in football. They probably should be.

So being out-schemed isn't a good enough excuse. Not when Richardson has one measly half sack through his four games. Not when Muhammad Wilkerson, fresh of signing a five-year, $86 million contract with $53.5 million guaranteed, has been shut out in his last four games. Williams, the sixth-overall pick in the 2015 draft, has been the only steady producer, and he even he has slowed down with 2 ½ sacks in the last four games.

And that's a big reason why the five quarterbacks the Jets have faced this season have a combined passer rating of 116.6. The numbers of staggering. Dalton, (114.0), Tyrod Taylor (112.8), Alex Smith (105.2), Russell Wilson (133.5), and Ben Roethlisberger (124.4) have all picked apart the Jets' once proud defense. Dalton's performance in the opener was all about the secondary. And no doubt the secondary has been a huge part of the problem.

But the best way to help a secondary struggling with communication issues and covering deep passes is to disrupt the offense, hit the quarterback, and make sure everything he does is rushed.

That was supposed to be a given with the Jets' defensive line. Instead what they've become is a group of strong run-stuffers - they're second in the NFL, giving up 68.4 yards per game on the ground - who can't seem to generate the pass rush they need. Maybe Rodgers is right, that overall "they're doing a really good job."

But this Jets line was supposed to be great. Anything less just isn't good enough.

Tags: Leonard Williams , Muhammad Wilkerson , Sheldon Richardson , Ralph Vacchiano

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are desperate to make the Jets great again as the guys discuss this week's matchup with Arizona. The guys touch on the emergence of Quincy Enunwa and the struggling linebackers. Later, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic joins the show for the latest on the Cardinals.

New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) stretches before a game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) stretches before a game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - For the first time in the 11 days since he pulled his hamstring, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis did individual drills at practice and ran full speed. The good news is he "felt good," even if he still has no idea whether he'll be ready to play in Arizona on Monday night.

"I think I feel better than I actually did last week," Revis said. "Today was actually the first day I ran at my top speed and actually it felt good. (No setbacks) at all. It was good to be back on the field."

Revis added that it's "very valuable" that the Jets have an extra day this week, giving him a little more time to recover and get ready. It's possible that he'll even make the trip to Arizona with the Jets on Saturday and that no decision on his status will be made until Monday night.

Asked if he had a gut feeling on whether he'd be able to play, Revis responded "Next question."

Later, he added, his recovery is "going well. I'm just doing everything I need to do."

As for the rest of the Jets' injuries: 

  • C Nick Mangold (knee) and LB David Harris (hamstring) missed practice. Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he'd have a better feel on Friday about whether they'll be available for the game against the Cardinals.
  • DE Muhammad Wilkerson (foot) was limited in practice, but Bowles indicated that will likely be a part of Wilkerson's practice routine.
  • RT Breno Giacomini (back) and WR Devin Smith (knee), both on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, are eligible to return to practice on Tuesday and Bowles said he's hopeful that both would be able to hit the field sometime in the next couple of weeks. He was also cautious, though, and said that even if they start practicing they are likely a few weeks away from being able to get into a game. Once a player on PUP returns to practice, teams have three weeks to add them to the active roster or place them on season-ending injured reserve.
  • QB Bryce Petty went through his first full practice since injuring his shoulder in the Jets' preseason finale.
  • G Brian Winters (concussion) and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) were limited in practice. T Ryan Clady was also limited, but he was just getting some rest.
  • WR Jalin Marshall (shoulder) and CB Darryl Roberts (shoulder) practiced fully.
Tags: Breno Giacomini , Brian Winters , Bryce Petty , Darrelle Revis , David Harris , Devin Smith , Muhammad Wilkerson , Nick Mangold , Ralph Vacchiano
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