Week 9 Challenge Flags

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
7:20
PM ET


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Tedy Bruschi, Mark Schlereth and Trey Wingo issue their challenge flags for Week 9 of the NFL season.

Injury Report: Geno Smith is questionable

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
4:59
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith is questionable with the injury to his right shoulder, but all signs point to the New York Jets' quarterback being available in the event starter Michael Vick can’t continue against the Chiefs on Sunday.

Here is the rest of the injury report:

Jets

Doubtful: CB Darrin Walls (calf/knee).

Questonable: QB Smith (right shoulder).

Probable: OL Oday Aboushi (shoulder), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OL Willie Colon (knee), TE Jeff Cumberland (shoulder/finger), LB Demario Davis (finger), WR Eric Decker (hamstring), LB David Harris (shoulder), RB Chris Johnson (ankle), WR Jeremy Kerley (illness), OL Nick Mangold (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee), WR Greg Salas (wrist/ankle).

Chiefs

Out: WR Donnie Avery (groin), CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring), LB Josh Martin (hamstring), CB Chris Owens (knee).

Probable: S Eric Berry (ankle), TE Travis Kelce (ribs), RB Jamaal Charles (back), TE Anthony Fasano (shoulder), CB Phillip Gaines (quad), WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring), OL Mike McGlynn (foot), QB Alex Smith (right shoulder), CB Sean Smith (groin), RB Cyrus Gray (hand).

Eric Decker backs wife in Twitter skirmish

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
3:05
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Eric Decker is standing by his woman in a low-level skirmish with Jets fans, and said his wife will be reactivating her Twitter account.

Decker
"She wasn't attacking Jets fans, she was attacking people that were saying negative comments. And I've got a lot of respect for the fact that she's going to say what a lot of people feel," Decker said Friday in the Jets locker room.

In case you missed the fracas, Decker tweeted at fans to tell him how much they loved the team and he'd give away a prize. But with the Jets being 1-7 and some fans a little roiled, things kind of spiraled.

Obviously annoyed at the abuse directed at her husband, Decker's wife, the country singer Jesse James Decker, tweeted: "You think he really cares what y'all think, haters? He's laughing his ass alllll the way home ... Life is pretty good here, can't complain."

Soon after, she deleted her account.

Decker blamed the negative people who used his giveaway as an opportunity to vent their frustration with the team.

"If you don't like something, don't say anything," Decker said. "That's my attitude to those people. But at the end of the day, she's got my back. I did a nice gesture as far as reaching out to fans and giving a prize away, so I guess if you guys don't like that, then don't write about it."
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Without having practiced at all this week and officially listed as doubtful, New York Jets starting cornerback Darrin Walls is unlikely to play Sunday in Kansas City. If he does go, Jets coach Rex Ryan said it would be so he can continue to get treatment on his ankle and calf.

"It's really doubtful," Ryan said.

And just like that, the Jets' lamentable cornerback situation went from bad to black-cat-crossing-your-path awful.

Allen
The Jets will be starting Antonio Allen, a player converted from safety this season, and either Marcus Williams, Josh Thomas or Phillip Adams -- three players who weren't in training camp with the Jets.

Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, the man paid to know Phillip Adams from Rontez Miles, wasn't all too familiar with the journeymen cornerbacks now on the Jets roster.

"I know a couple of their numbers, 41 [Thomas] and 22 [Williams]. There's Antonio, there's Walls, there's Kyle [Wilson]," Thurman said. "We're trying to put the best combination we can put out there. So, that's about [it]. I can't even tell you who's going to start this week."

The most veteran corner, Wilson, will probably stay in the slot as he has all season. As for the rest, it might look a little like a tryout for Adams -- who said he has already started two games since arriving in September -- and Thomas and Williams.

"We feel confident in our guys and that's why I think we might play all of them," Ryan said.

Not that the Kansas City Chiefs could be poised to exploit the Jets' cornerback by committee. The Chiefs have attempted a league-low 30 passes downfield farther than 15 yards, and their receivers have caught a league-low 57 passes this season according to ESPN's Stats & Info. If any team is going to exploit the Jets' Swiss cheese of a secondary, it's not Kansas City.

Last week, the corner with the biggest play in the game was wide receiver Saalim Hakim, who was tapped to play a little corner and ran down Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins as he was starting to celebrate a touchdown a few yards short of the end zone. Hakim said he's happy to play situational corner this week as well if needed.

Walls had played more reps than any other corner this season with 46. The Jets' defense did marginally better with Walls on the field than with him off, according to Stats & Info, but this is a team struggling to defend the deep pass. The Jets have allowed a league-worst 17.2 yards per attempt on passes thrown longer than 15 yards downfield.

And that was with Walls.

On the bright side, three new-ish cornerbacks have a chance to make an impression -- and try to make Thurman remember their names.

Prediction: Chiefs will beat Jets

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
2:45
PM ET
This is a tough matchup for the New York Jets, especially for the offense – new quarterback, hostile environment and an opponent that can generate plenty of heat on the passer.

It’s also a fascinating matchup, considering the similarities in the offensive and defensive schemes, due to the Rex Ryan-Bob Sutton and Andy Reid-Marty Mornhinweg connections. The Jets’ only chance is to play conservatively and dominate with their running game, as the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense is allowing a hefty 4.7 yards per rush.

In the end, though, the Jets will be doomed by turnovers. They’re a league-worst minus-15, and there’s no evidence that suggests they can maintain their poise for 60 minutes in a tough place to play.

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Jets 14

Week 9 Predictions: Jets at Chiefs

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
2:15
PM ET
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Practice report: Issues at corner

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
12:05
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Cornerback Darrin Walls, who has missed practice this week with a right knee injury, didn’t budge from the trainer’s area during the Friday walk-through that the media was allowed to see. He didn’t even have a helmet on.

If he is ruled out for Sunday’s game in Kansas City, it likely means that converted safety Antonio Allen and Josh Thomas or Phillip Adams would likely start. Either way, the Jets are paper thin at the position.

A few other players spent some time with the trainers, including OL Willie Colon, LB IK Enemkpali, TE Jeff Cumberland, RB Chris Ivory and RB Chris Johnson. They all joined their positions for the walk-through.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- -- Each week we will select two players on the New York Jets -- one on offense, one on defense -- who figure to play a key role in the upcoming game. They face the Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium:

Breno Giacomini, right tackle: Assignments don't get much tougher than this: Giacomini faces the league's leader sacker, Justin Houston, in one of the loudest stadiums in the league, a difficult place to play for visiting offensive linemen. With the lefthanded Michael Vick at quarterback, Giacomini will be protecting the all-important blind side. Even though Rex Ryan believes Tamba Hali is a better pass-rusher than Houston (Hali will be D'Brickashaw Ferguson's responsibility), it's hard to ignore Houston's 10 sacks. He's halfway to Derrick Thomas' team record. Giacomini has allowed only one sack, according to Pro Football Focus, but he has surrendered too much pressure. He has yielded seven quarterback hits (fourth among right tackles) and 18 hurries (sixth). The Jets can help Giacomini by putting a tight end on his side and by establishing a ground game, reducing the number of obvious passing situations.

Damon Harrison, nose tackle: The Chiefs run the ball well (ranked No. 3 in the league), and they do it the old-fashioned way: a lot of two-back and double-tight end packages. In fact, no team has run fewer plays with three-plus wide receivers than the Chiefs, according to ESPN Stats & Information. This means Harrison will get more playing time than usual. Because he's not involved in the sub packages on passing downs, Big Snacks has played only 46 percent of the snaps. But if the Chiefs operate their usual game plan, he'll have a heavy workload. Harrison will be the key to containing Jamaal Charles and speedster Knile Davis, the Chiefs' 1-2 punch in the backfield. This will be the biggest test for the Jets' run defense since the Chicago Bears' Matt Forte in Week 3.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Somewhere in the middle of his endless monologue earlier in the week, general manager John Idzik touched on the essence of his team's struggles: Turnovers.

When it comes to turnovers, the New York Jets stink. They don't protect the ball and they don't steal the ball, and anybody with even a cursory knowledge of football -- or any team sport, for that matter -- knows that is a formula for disaster.

Ryan
The Jets have a league-worst turnover margin of minus-15, but that doesn't begin to tell the story. We're talking about a bad run of epic proportions. At the midpoint of the season, they are on pace for the fewest takeaways in NFL history.

The fewest amount in a 16-game season is 11, set by the Houston Texans last season. The all-time futility mark is held by the 1934 St. Louis Gunners, who made only nine takeaways ... in a three-game season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Jets, reviving the spirit of St. Louis, have three -- one interception and two fumble recoveries. Do the math.

"I've been a part of a lot of record-setting defenses, but I never thought I'd set one in futility," Rex Ryan said. "Thank goodness the year isn’t over. I bet we won’t be there, I bet we won’t break that record before the year is over, but we can’t buy one."

A few mind-boggling factoids on the turnover drought/plague, according to ESPN Stats & Information:
  • The Jets could threaten the record for worst turnover margin in league history -- minus-30, by the 1965 Pittsburgh Steelers. In the post-merger era (1970 to present), the mark is minus-28, by the 2000 San Diego Chargers.
  • At their current clip, the Jets will blow past the franchise record -- minus-21 by the 1976 Jets. That's pretty awful, because it happened in a 14-game season. The 16-game mark was set in 1996 by the infamous Kotite Jets -- a minus-20. The current outfit is a safe bet to break that mark.
  • The scary part is, this season isn't an aberration. As of now, three of the six worst turnover margins in Jets history are the past three seasons. You can thank Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith for that.
  • Relax, you don't have to worry about them setting the futility mark for most giveaways in a season. In the post-merger era, it's 63 by the 1978 San Francisco 49ers. The Jets' record is 55, way back in 1962, when they were known as the Titans. Since the merger, it's 53 in 1976, Lou Holtz's one and only season as the coach. Currently, they stand at 18. They would need a few more Buffalo debacles to challenge the mark.
  • They're an absolute lock to hit a franchise low for takeaways, 15. Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman wants to avoid that indignity, saying, "I hope we don’t shatter that record."

In case you're wondering, which Jets team produced only 15 takeaways? The Kotite Jets? The Holtz Jets?

Nope, it happened last season.

Eric Decker's tweet goes awry

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
8:03
PM ET
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The New York Jets' Eric Decker picked a bad week to try to rally the team's disgruntled fan base.

A well-intentioned tweet by the $36 million wide receiver sparked a Twitter war that ended with his wife, country music singer Jessie James Decker, firing back at Jets fans and, ultimately, deactivating her account.

It started Wednesday, when Decker caught serious flak on the social media site for asking his followers to explain why they love the Jets so much. 

Lousy timing.

After falling to 1-7 with a six-turnover loss to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday, and after a bizarre midseason news conference in which general manager John Idzik was pilloried for rambling and painting a rosy picture of the team's outlook, the fan base was in no mood to explain its love of the team.

Decker was flooded with nasty and sarcastic tweets. That infuriated Mrs. Decker, who tweeted:

"You think he really cares what y'all think haters? He's laughing his ass alllll the way home ... Life is pretty good here, can't complain."

A few hours later, Decker, who has 382,000 followers, removed her Twitter account.

Eric Decker seemingly meant well with his initial tweet, but it backfired.

Welcome to New York.

"You've got to expect that," he told reporters in the locker room. "Obviously, everyone's entitled to their opinion. I don't think it's against the law to try to unite or reach out to fans. When you're in the position you are, people obviously enjoy winning a lot more than losing -- I get that -- but they still love the team aspect.


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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith will be the New York Jets' No. 2 quarterback Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

After resting his ailing right shoulder Wednesday, Smith resumed throwing and participated in a full practice Thursday. The former starter threw about 50 balls, according to Rex Ryan. He expects Smith to be ready for the game, backing up Michael Vick.

"That's what it looks like," Ryan said. "I would expect, unless there's some kind of setback, that he would be the backup quarterback."

Smith hurt his throwing shoulder in last Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills. He apparently hurt it twice during his 11-play stint, but he didn't notify anyone until later in the game. Calling it a "harsh reality" of the situation, Ryan said Smith probably would've continued to play if he hadn't thrown three interceptions, resulting in his benching.

Meanwhile, the Jets have an issue at cornerback. So what else is new? Darrin Walls, their most dependable corner, appears unlikely to play after missing his second day with calf and knee injuries. That means they will start Antonio Allen ... and pick one: Phillip Adams or Kyle Wilson or Josh Thomas or Marcus Williams. They've been changing personnel so much at cornerback that defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, speaking to reporters, said he knows Thomas and Williams by their numbers, not their names.

Thursday's practice report:

New York Jets

Did not practice: Walls.

Full practice: G Oday Aboushi (shoulder), Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), G Willie Colon (knee), TE Jeff Cumberland (finger, shoulder), LB Demario Davis (finger), WR Eric Decker (hamstring), LB David Harris (shoulder), RB Chris Johnson (ankle), WR Jeremy Kerley (illness), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee), WR Greg Salas (ankle, wrist), Smith (right shoulder).

Kansas City Chiefs

Out: WR Donnie Avery (groin).

Did not practice: CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring), LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee).

Limited: S Eric Berry (ankle), CB Christopher Owens (knee).

Full practice: RB Jamaal Charles (back), TE Anthony Fasano (shoulder), CB Phillip Gaines (quadricep), RB Cyrus Gray (hand), WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring), TE Travis Kelce (ribs), G Mike McGlynn (foot), QB Alex Smith (right shoulder), CB Sean Smith (groin).

'We're gonna go with that Bumgarner guy'

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
5:50
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan is going with the southpaw.

Bumgarner
Bumgarner
Michael Vick? No, not that lefty.

"We're gonna go with that Bumgarner guy," the New York Jets' coach said Thursday at the top of his daily news conference.

Obviously, he meant World Series hero Madison Bumgarner, who delivered a legendary Game 7 pitching performance Wednesday night for the San Francisco Giants.

Ryan, saddled with turnover-prone quarterbacks throughout his six seasons, would give anything to have a Bumgarner-esque quarterback. Have to hand it to him, though: Despite a seven-game losing streak, Ryan has maintained his sense of humor.
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- During his peak years with the Tennessee Titans, Chris Johnson welcomed the Monday morning aches and pains. It usually meant a busy and productive Sunday.

He longs for those days now.

"I don't really play, so I'm never sore," the New York Jets running back told ESPN.com on Thursday.

The former 2,000-yard rusher, who carried the ball only three times for 7 yards in last weekend's loss to the Buffalo Bills, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the Jets' offense.

Johnson doesn't want to be perceived as a complainer, but he acknowledged this has been a difficult season. After rushing for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons, he might be hard-pressed to crack 500. He reached the midpoint with 268 yards on 67 carries.

"It's been frustrating," he said. "You have a lot of different levels of frustration. You have frustration when you're playing and things aren't going well, or you're not making plays.

"That's not this type of frustration, because it's not like I've had the opportunity to really make plays. That's more of the frustration, not getting the opportunity to be on the field, trying to help the team win.

"This is the first time I've ever felt this type of frustration, but there's nothing I can really do about it right now."

After he was released by the Titans, Johnson signed a two-year, $8 million contract. He expected to share carries with incumbent Chris Ivory, but he was so confident in his ability to recapture his old form that he figured his role would grow throughout the season.


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Inside Edge: Jets-Chiefs

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
3:56
PM ET


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ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando delivers stats to help you make a pick for the New York Jets at Kansas City

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