I’m not going to lie … I covered some of my New York Jets “short” this morning. Not because I think last night’s horror show was some kind of once-a-season anomaly for the Jets offense. And not because I think they won’t miss Kris Jenkins. And certainly not because I think Mark Sanchez just had a bad night. No, I covered because the Jets stock is absolutely getting mauled this morning and I think it is a bit overdone. Whether it’s local writers, radio-chatters, ESPN talking heads or Mike Greenberg, the world is crushing Rex Ryan and the stock price now implies that the team will be lucky to eke out a pair of 6-3 wins over Buffalo.
I’m not ready to go there ….. yet. Yeah, I think they could (and probably will) fall to 0-2 this weekend. And that certainly won’t help their playoff cause. But folks, the Jets defense, while sloppy, absolutely crushed what is supposed to be a great offense. Yeah, when you tack on some of the penalty yardage racked up by Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie, the numbers look better for Baltimore but at the end of the day, the Ravens measured their success on the ground in feet. And Joe Flacco? Well, let’s be generous and just say he was “fair,” in no small part because Revis is Revis and the Jets pass rush was excellent.
I’d like to see Rex Ryan crash as much as the next guy but I think it’s a bit early to call this season a lost cause. After all, it was just one loss and a one-pointer at that to a team that many think will be playing in February. So given last night’s debacle, I reckon the stock should be down five-seven percent today. Not Twelve. With that said, I think I will take some off the table.
* Based on the “trend” that one last place finisher from the prior year always ends up being a division winner, it seemed like KC might be a decent bet out West, particularly since SD is dealing with those two important holdouts. But even though they won last night, it doesn’t seem like that KC offense is ready to win anything at this moment. Matt Cassel continues to look like a D+ QB and while the Chiefs do sport a decent running game, it seems improbable that KC can win eight or nine more times with a QB that passes for three yards an attempt.
* It was a rough opening day for a couple of first-round running backs. In Buffalo, CJ Spiller was limited to six yards of seven carries. Meanwhile, Lions first rounder Jahvid Best scored a couple of times, but back out his scores and Best EXPLODED for NINE yards on TWELVE carries.
* This week’s injury report has been brutal. Sounds like Pittsburgh dodged a bullet at Left Tackle but Bob Sanders is done, Ryan Grant is done, Kris Jenkins is done, at least one QB is concussed, and Matt Stafford is probably out til November. The NFL has got to the point where if you can survive a week without losing a starter or two, you are way ahead of the league. At some point, and probably soon, the league will simply have to change its roster rules to accomodate all this carnage.
* With Ryan Grant’s season over, does a “Laurence Maroney-to-Green Bay” trade make any sense?
* Houston was 30th in the NFL last season in rushing yards per attempt. Sunday, the Texans hit Indy for 257 rushing yards. It kind of makes one wonder why Arian Foster was on the practice squad in 2009 and didn’t play until December. Did no one want to hurt Steve Slaton’s feelings?
* Last season, Jax registered a grand total of just fourteen sacks. To boost the pass rush, the Jags brought in Aaron Kampman and the move paid off as the Jags they sacked Kyle Orton three times, half of which were credited to Kampman. Throw in another six QB hits and I gather the front-office guy who pushed for Kampman was doing cartwheels. .
* My biggest short coming in to the season was San Francisco, the thesis being this stock was priced to perfection as nearly EVERY pundit had the Niners winning the West. And to pay 25x earnings for a stock run by Alex Smith seemed awfully pricey and ripe to be shorted. Given Smith’s performance yesterday, I think the best move is to short more as SF’s next four are New Orleans, @KC, @Atlanta, and Philly. They could easily be 1-4 after five and that will probably be the time I cover some.
* I don’t know if these “target” stats for receivers are kept that well but this one stood out to me: Larry Fitzgerald had 15 balls thrown his way but only three catches? Three for fifteen says a few things to me … QB Derek Anderson has a case of LF-myopia, Derek Anderson was all over the place with this throws, and Larry probably dropped a few balls. Now Fitzgerald had a good but not great catch rate of 63 percent in 2009, which is 43 percent higher than Sunday’s small sample.
* Speaking of “target” numbers, Matt Ryan threw 44 balls yesterday and supposedly, 23 were thrown in Roddy White’s direction. No disrespect to Pitt’s secondary but after a while, doesn’t that become awfully easy to defend?
* I have no idea how much stat padding took place in Tennessee on Sunday but Darren McFadden final line was his second best as a pro. This guy has been designated a bust by most but maybe this is the year he turns it around.
* There were just 47K in the house to watch Tampa open with Cleveland. Is this apathy, a bad economy or the fans just saving up for the Rays playoff run?