Jets-Bengals: Week 17 Deja Vu, Same Teams Meet Again

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Gang Green Nation: Ryan Has Settled Sanchez

Early in his rookie campaign, QB Mark Sanchez was cruising along and making the Jets look like geniuses for drafting him. Then, the turnovers started. Sanchez was becoming an interception machine and was shooting down the Jets season along the way. But lately, the kid has been much more judicious about where his passes go and the Jets have relied on their running game and defense to win games. Somewhere along the way, head coach Rex Ryan stepped in and made the difference.

Gang Green Nation:

GangGreen is 5-1 since Rex stated he would become more involved in the offense following the loss in Foxborough. In this time period, Sanchez has drastically improved on turning the ball over. While he did throw three interceptions in the Atlanta game (it should be noted this was his first game back from injury which forced him to wear two knee braces), he has thrown only one interception in the other five games combined. Rex said he was going to help Sanchez make smart decisions with the football, and the statistics clearly back that up. I’m a believer.

Schotty did an excellent job on Sunday of putting Sanchez in a position where he didn’t have to do too much. The play-calling was conservative yet effective, and while Sanchez was inaccurate in a couple of throws, he didn’t turn the ball over and managed the game effectively.

Sanchez is going to have make plays with his arm this week. Zimmer has made it known that he will stack more men in the box and will not allow the Jets rushing attack to beat them again. The key here will be getting him into “third and manageable” situations, and not “third and longs.”

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Cincy Jungle: Jets And Bengals Very Similar Teams

Over at Cincy Jungle, they’ve noted that the Bengals and the Jets are pretty much the same team, based on regular-season stats.

When I weigh the differences between the Jets and Bengals, I’m finding more similarities between these teams. Philosophically, both teams produce a strong defense and lethal rushing offense. Defensively the Bengals rank 4th and the Jets are first. Cincinnati’s rushing defense ranks seventh and the Jets rank eighth. Cincinnati’s passing defense ranks sixth and the Jets are first. Cincinnati’s scoring defense ranks sixth and the Jets are first. Cincinnati’s offense ranks 24th and the Jets rank 20th. Both teams have a top-ten rushing offense and defensively, hold the opposing quarterback to a rating under 74 points.

Both teams run the ball and play defense. That could mean the QB who plays the best can tip the balance. Advantage: Cincy.

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Jets/Bengals: Week 17 Deja Vu, Same Teams Meet Again

New York Jets (9-7) @ Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)

4:30 PM ET, January 09, 2010
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
TV: NBC

Over in the NFC playoffs, we have two carbon-copies of the Week 17 games. In one of the AFC Wild Card games, we get the same two teams, only the location has changed. Last week the Jets held homefield in a "win and get in" game and dismantled the Bengals 37-0. The Bengals didn't have anything to play for except momentum, so they played possum for much of the game. This week, the scene shifts back to Ohio where the Bengals hope to revive their fortunes.The Bengals have stumbled down the stretch after sprinting out of the gate, losing three of their last four. The Jets come in winning five of six.

Cincy Jungle reports on the health of one Chad Ochocinco, a player the Bengals need to come up big for a playoff win this weekend. He's been battling a gimpy knee, and soon he'll be battling Jets star CB Darrelle Revis. Not sure what he can do about Revis, but Ochocinco knows how to test an injury.

Cincy Jungle:

 In order to test the health of his recently-MRI'd left knee, Ocho used a method of testing most men would approve of:  

He had sex... And talked to the press about it.

Naturally.

When asked about his knee -- the report appears in the New York Post, surprisingly enough -- Eight Five indicated the moves he used mid-coitus gives him confidence his knee is good shape.  Joking or not, one thing's for sure:  Considering who Ochocinco will be going up against on Saturday, super-stud/cornerback supreme Darrelle Revis, he'll need his knees to be as healthy as possible.

A gimpy knee = doom against a player like Revis. 

For a complete look at the facts and figures of the game, visit here.

Over at Gang Green Nation, they're talking about comments made by Revis that Rex Ryan crying was the turning point in the season for the Jets.

Gang Green Nation doesn't buy it:

I don't mean to question Revis on what took place in the locker room, but I think viewing one moment as turning around the season might be too simplistic. I mean the Jets got killed by the Pats in the next game.

I remember an interview I saw from Derek Jeter after the World Series. A reporter asked him about the Yankees' early 2009 bumps in the road and asked whether a specific winning streak helped the team bond. Jeter said it's easy to point to wins as a turning point, but sometimes the adversity losing provides is what shows true character.

Adversity either makes people stronger or destroys them. The same concept applies to teams. Last year's team folded when faced with it. This year's team came out and became stronger as a result of all of the heartbreaking defeats.

Ryan's not crying now, in fact, he's crowing a bit as he labels the Jets as favorites for a Super Bowl run.

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