Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Good news, Jets fans. The household once again has a computer. I will try to get back into a regular blog writing schedule, which I haven't had the chance to do since the season started, but the household also has a lot of homework these days (including right now, but we have a couple of e-mails I have to get to...can't let down the fans.). So I'll do the best I can.

First things first, let's go to the mailbag. Thanks for writing...

"Dear Johnnyjets.
Three weeks into the season may be a little early to play the
surprise/bust game...but I'd like to get your read on a couple of
Jacksonville is 3-0. But with 35 points scored and 28 points allowed,
and what seemed like a lucky pass interference call this past week
against the Titans that set up the game-winning touchdown. So...are
the Jags a contender or pretender?
On the flip side, K.C. looks absolutely abominable at 0-3, with 86
points allowed the most in the NFL. Is there any hope for the Chiefs?
Do you have a "dark horse" in the AFC, somebody flying under the radar
who you think can run off 10 wins and get into the playoffs as a wild
card? (And don't say the Jets.)
Love your show,

I wouldn't say the Jets, Dave, because you said "dark horse in the AFC"...and everyone knows I consider the Jets an AFC favorite. To be honest, I was big on Jacksonville this year. (I might have written that in one of my previews before the season, but I don't know. Scroll down and check that out - I can't do that while I'm writing this.) I didn't think the Jaguars would start 3-0, but I thought they'd make a late-season push. But you're write about Jacksonville...not only did they luck out against the Titans, but they lucked out in week 2 against the Broncos when Quentin Griffin fumbled deep in their territory, and they lucked out in week 1 on a last second Touchdown to win the game against the Bills. (Their defense is great, so it isn't all luck, but a lot of it is.) Speaking of the Bills, they've been a couple of plays from being 2-0, instead, they're 0-2. They would have been a crappy 2-0 team, but they're barely losing games...for whatever that's worth. As for Kansas City, I think there is a little hope, because their defense can only get better, and I don't think Oakland and San Diego are better. Once the Chiefs get a little healthier, they'll climb the division - but Denver will probably still win the West.

Curtis Martin is putting up huge numbers. I don't think he will sustain this pace the whole year. Do you think now would be a good time to start utilizing Lamont Jordan a little more, specifically on screen passes. Also, look for me at the Jets game this week in Miami. I will likely be the only one standing and cheering in my section, based on the way the Dolphins looked the last three weeks.
Sincerely, Fireman Mark"

First of all Mark, glad to hear from you...I've been meaning to give you a call to talk Jets and to see how you did with all the hurricanes, but school's been busy. Glad to hear also that you're going to this weekend's game. Give Jay Fiedler hell. Those Dartmouth people are awful. I wrote in one of my more recent postings that as a Jets fan, you just have to feel that Martin is going to wear down at some point. And I would think we should start seeing more of LaMont Jordan, but I think the Jets are intent on running Martin into the ground this season. I'm fine with that - I think Martin is in some of the best shape of his career, so I think he might not wear down, even though the pessimistic Jets fan deep inside me says he's going to get hurt in Week 9. All of the newspapers had big articles during the bye week on Martin's offseason training regimen (he took flights to California for the weekend just so he could run some steep steps in a cliff somewhere). So I feel good about Martin...but Jordan is fun to watch when he gets the ball on the screen...I just hope Herman Edwards gets over the preseason difficulties he and Jordan had, and uses him to give Martin some down time.

For the record - I went 8-5-1 with my picks last week against the spread (for entertainment purposes only). Also for the record, I won my office pool for the second time in three weeks, and my fantasy football team is 3-0. I need to go do homework now. I'll give a weekend preview hopefully by Friday.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

First of all, a big HELLO to all my new fans in the greater Wilmington, North Carolina area. Welcome, and thanks for coming. Sorry I haven't written in a while - I've had computer problems.

A lot has happened in the two weeks since I've last written. Including Saturday's 4-3 win over the Cubs in 11 innings, so that's where I'll start.

I couldn't watch this game, since the Boston area got the Angels-A's matchup. But the Mets won a game that I would classify as very encouraging. First of all, this was pretty much the Norfolk Tides against the Chicago Cubs, and the Tides won in dramatic fashion. After being shut down all day by Mark Prior, the Mets broke through in the ninth inning, first against Ryan Dempster, then against LaTroy Hawkins. Victor Diaz, who I'll talk a little more about in a bit, hit a 2-out, 3-run homer to tie the game at three, then in the 11th, Craig Brazell hit the game-winning home run. The youngsters came through, and I should also mention Aaron Heilman, the starter, who kept the Mets in it early, giving up 2 runs in five innings. All the Mets have left is to play spoilers, and Saturday's win could very well have contributed to ruining the Cubs' season.

So, I now present to you the guide to the major leaguers, who until very recently were minor leaguers:

3B David Wright: He's a future Hall Of Famer. Enough said...but just because I like to write about him, here are his stats, through 61 games - Wright's hitting .293, slugging .515, 12 HR, and 35 RBI. For good measure, he's also stolen 5 bases.

SS (yes, SS, not 2B) Jose Reyes: He has a long way to go (health-wise) before he gets his GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED tag back. But the Mets are clearly a better team when Reyes is in the lineup. That's why when he plays in just 45 games (like he has so far this year) it hurts so much.

2B (yes 2B, not SS) Kaz Matsui: The first year is done. Maybe he is less nervous next year and plays to his capabilities in the field. I wasn't too upset with his offense - he was one of the best Mets hitters this year when the game was on the line.

RF Victor Diaz: I've only seen Diaz in a couple of games so far this year, and it looks like he's a bit of a hot dog. I hope he has a level head. Diaz came from the Dodgers organization in the Jeromy Burnitz trade last year. His biggest concern, it seemed to me, after he hit the game-tying homer on Saturday, was that he stuck it to the Cubs, who passed over him in the draft, rather than the fact that he helped the Mets win. Maybe that's just my interpretation, but seeing some of Diaz's body language (not hustling out of the box) during his call-up makes me think he might have a bit of an attitude problem.

1B Craig Brazell: Brazell has been in the Mets organization for a while, and just got his first opportunity late last year. He's got some power, but hasn't shown it much at the major league level. I don't really know where he's going to fit in if Mike Piazza's going to be playing first base next year.

P Aaron Heilman: Heilman has had two solid starts in a row, since he's gotten another chance to pitch late in the season. Maybe he's put his disappointments behind him, and maybe Rick Peterson has worked magic yet again.

P Tyler Yates: Yates is working on a modest scoreless streak right now - 8 and a third. It's a start. Maybe his niche is in middle relief.

Some other thoughts on a wasted season:

Kaz Matsui says he'd like to try a couple of games at second base before this season ends...but Art Howe is worried about Matsui getting hurt (a la Joe McEwing). The funny thing, though, is that what does Howe care - he's not even going to be around to suffer the consequences.

Which brings me to the tease portion: Coming soon to - Who should replace Art Howe as manager of the Mets? I already have an idea...stay tuned.

Bye Bye Baby, Baby Bye Bye

Bye Johnnyjets

Yes, it's the bye week. That means I need to preoccupy myself in any way I can. Hence, the headline. The Jets say they're not bothered by the early bye week, and some, including Chad Pennington, say it's better to have the bye week early in the year, to break up the monotony of training camp, rather than the end of the year, where it could mess up the momentum of the season. I'll buy into that. As a fan, (which is arguably more work than being a player), I prefer the early bye week as well, because now I can go for 14 straight weeks of Jets football (and hopefully more - straight through the Super Bowl).

One other Jets note before I move onto my picks - the Daily News Jets beat writer wrote yesterday that he would bet Kevin Mawae (broken hand) will play next Sunday against Miami (for whatever that's worth). The injury is apparently healing fast, and for Mawae it appears to only be a matter of whether or not he can grip the football to snap it. The possibility even exists that Mawae will move to a guard spot and Pete Kendall will handle center duties for one week. So I think Mawae will be playing, which is good news for the running game.

OK - onto the picks (for entertainment purposes only). I was 7-9 last week, 17-15 over the first two weeks:

Miami is a one-point favorite over Pittsburgh. I think the Dolphins will actually win this game - Tommy Maddox is hurt for Pittsburgh. The only thing working against the Dolphins here is the hurricane - this game might get pushed back to Monday or Tuesday - or it could be played as early as Sunday night. Dolphins, -1.

Tennessee is a 6 point favorite over Jacksonville. I'm big on the Jaguars, and there's a chance they'll pull off the upset on the road this week...but I'm thinking they lose by less than six. Jaguars +6.

The Giants are giving three at home against Cleveland. I think the Giants will win the game, and cover. NYG, -3.

Baltimore is also a three point favorite - they're in Cincinnati. I think Cincinnati wins outright at home...I repeat, I DO NOT think Baltimore is very good. CIN, +3.

The Chiefs are giving 7 and a half points to the Texans. I thought the Texans would be better than they've been, and they still might turn things around, but I'm taking the Chiefs to win big...for their first win of the season. Chiefs, giving seven and a half.

The Rams are a seven point favorite at home over the Saints. I don't get the Rams, and I can't predict the Saints. Are the Rams that much better at home than they are on the road (they got beat bad in Atlanta last week)? I'll take the Saints plus the points.

The Vikings are giving nine to the Bears, the team that killed me in every one of my pools last week. It won't happen two weeks in a row. I take MIN, -9.

The 2-0 Eagles give four and a half to the 2-0 Lions, in Detroit. The Lions will not be 3-0. Take the Eagles, giving four and a half.

The Falcons are ten-point favorites over the Cardinals - they'll win by 14. ATL, -10.

Denver is also a ten-point favorite at home against the Chargers. I'll take them too. DEN, -10.

Indy is a 6-point favorite over the Packers, who lost to the Bears last week, therefore they are the other team that killed me in every one of my pools last week. I'll go with the Colts at home, giving six.

The Seahawks are ten-point favorites over the 49ers. Lots of big spreads this week - looks like I'm going with all the favorites. SEA, -10.

The Super Bowl XXXVII rematch is Sunday night. What a clunker this year. Raiders are three-point favorites over Tampa Bay. I'll take Oakland just because they're the home team. OAK, -3.

And Monday night it's the Redskins as a one and a half point favorite over the Cowboys. I'll go with the Cowboys to win on national TV.

Enjoy the Jets-less weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I'm going to jump right into the mailbag to start things off today, because I couldn't have asked for a better e-mail for what I wanted to address:

"Dear JohnnyJets,
Now that the team is 2-0, have you booked tickets to Jacksonville? Can the team run its record to 5-0 by feasting on the soft underbelly of the NFL, namely at the Dolphins and home against the Bills and 49ers?
Looking at the Jets' schedule, it seems like the December games at Pittsburgh and home against Seattle and New England will be the make-or-break part of the season. Thoughts?
Longtime reader, Dave in Brighton."

Dave might have to start signing off, "Longtime and only reader, Dave"...but that's besides the point. Dave, you hit the nail right on the head - I was just talking about the next few weeks for the Jets (and the Patriots) with my dad. Both the Jets and Patriots are 2-0, the Dolphins and Bills 0-2. The Jets, Pats, and Bills all have byes this week. Then things get interesting. The Jets come off their bye to play at Miami, vs. Buffalo, and vs. San Francisco. All of those games are very winnable, to say the least. The Patriots have a similar schedule, coming off the bye to play at Buffalo, vs. Miami, then at home against the Seahawks (a tougher draw than the 49ers, but still very winnable for New England). It is very feasible that the next week's game (Week 7), between the Jets and Patriots, could be 5-0 vs. 5-0. Can you imagine the hype that would surround that game?? Especially when you throw in the fact that the Red Sox will have probably just completed a monumental collapse (we're looking at October 24th here folks, nothing good happens to the Red Sox in late October), and New Englanders will be putting the Patriots on some kind of pedestal because the Pats are all they have left after a lifetime of baseball misery.

Anyway, I digress. The point is, if the Jets don't overlook the cupcakes they have before the Patriots game - that will be the most important game of the season. But as far as the second part of Dave's e-mail, those last few weeks are definitely the toughest part of the Jets' schedule. I'll even take it back another eweek - the Jets have to host Houston, who could be fighting for a playoff spot, then go to Pittsburgh, then host Seattle, then play at New England, before closing the season out in Saint Louis. That's a rocky stretch, but hopefully, the Jets will have something locked up before they play the Rams. It would be very dangerous to go into Saint Louis needing to win in the final week to get a playoff spot. Of course, the way the Jets played the first two weeks, it's likely they'll go into Saint Louis looking to cap off a perfect season. (Take it easy - I'm kidding....sort of.)

A couple of notes on the Jets - Sam Cowart's knee injury will likely keep him out of action for a month-plus. That means that rookie Jonathan Vilma will be getting the start at Middle Linebacker. And the news isn't so good on Kevin Mawae - Herman Edwards is calling Mawae 50-50 for the Dolphins game after the bye week - on Monday Edwards had said he expected Mawae (broken hand) would be able to play.

For entertainment purposes only, I bring you the following update: I was 7-9 in my picks last week, and for the season, I'm at 17-15. I'll probably write again by Friday with my picks.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Jets 34, Chargers 28

The Jets are now 2-0, after beating the Chargers on Sunday in San Diego. This was a great game to watch, because the Jets were solid all around. The types of mistakes the Chargers made were the types of mistakes we're used to seeing the Jets make. It's nice to watch stuff like that happen from the other side.

A bunch of things jumped out at me from Sunday's game - here are a few:

1) The Jets' receivers are fast. I love watching Chad Pennington drop back early in the game and launch a bomb, because I know either Jonathan Carter or Santana Moss will race under it to catch it. I have a hard time figuring out if Pennington is underthrowing the receivers or if they're just so fast they keep over-running the throws (but I have a sneaking suspicion it's the underthrowing part).

2) Curtis Martin looks amazing. I can't even believe how different he looks this year. He's like Barry Bonds on a football field. 32 carries for 119 yards for Martin, and he rushed for 2 TD's. He also passed Freeman McNeil to become the Jets' all-time leading rusher. Congrats, Curtis. That brings me to point 3), which is that the offensive line is really taking pride in Martin's performances, and they're playing like it. Pete Kendall is just making such a huge difference. What a pickup. I read in Saturday's New York Daily News that besides possible falling into disfavor with Dennis Green because he told the NFL that Cardinals practices were violating players' union rules (allegedly), Kendall could have been released by Green because he was friendly with the media, and Green doesn't trust players who are friendly with the media. OK - I have a huge problem with this - Dennis Green spent the last few years with ESPN - AS A MEMBER OF THE MEDIA. What hypocrisy. Unreal. But thanks Dennis, we'll take Kendall. (As a side note to this offensive line worshipping, Kevin Mawae got hurt at some point in Sunday's game - that could be a big blow. Hopefully the bye week helps him recover. I didn't actually see the injury - but I just read on that it was a broken right hand. Hmm...I've seen offensive lineman put casts on broken hands before and play it out....but as a center, that could really affect Mawae's game...affecting exchanges with the quarterback. I'll keep you posted on any developments...but that hurts the O-line.)

4) Sort of related to numbers 2 and 3, and stemming from the pessimism that you always kind of have in the back of your mind as a Jets fan....when do we start worrying about CurtisMartin getting worn out? Just asking.

5) I really like the role Jerald Sowell has taken on this year. It reminds me of when he was utilized a little more a few years back.

6) Erik Coleman is quite possible THE GREATEST FOOTBALL PLAYER WHO EVER LIVED. No, I'm just kidding. But he's awesome. I was impressed when he picked off Drew Brees in the first quarter, for his second career interception (and second in two weeks), and then he proceeded to have one of the best defensive games I've seen out of a Jet. Coleman was all over the field - he was always where the ball was. And not in a Rodney Harrison/Ronnie Lott type of way, where the play ends and then they come flying in with a hard, late hit. Coleman was in on every tackle, he swooped in to recover a fumble on a missed exchange between the Chargers' center and Brees, and in the most impressive moment to me, Coleman chased LaDanian Tomlinson down the field, catching him from behind, then stripping the ball (it went out of bounds, but still, what hustle!) Great game by the rookie.

7) This point is a little disconcerting. The Jets get way too conservative at times. It's really frustrating. They spend most of the game kicking butt - looking like they can score at will. But then it's like they pull up and say, "Let's let the other guys get back into this game, before we put them away." Instead of throwing the ball downfield, the Jets call three runs up the middle in a row, punt the ball away, let the other team get within one score, then they open things up again. I guess I shouldn't complain, because they're 2-0, and Pennington is pretty much flawless, but man, just put someone away, will you?

Those are the thoughts that came to me while watching the Jets game. This is the hard part now, waiting two weeks for the next game (at Miami - and the Dolphins are involved in the worst football game I have ever watched, right now, with the Cincinnati Bengals). I could go nuts waiting for the bye week to end...that's the bad part about the Jets getting off to such a good start - I can't wait for the next game. That's part of the reason I started this site, to help pass the time between games, and now with my computer stolen, I can't even do that. Boo-hoo for me. Oh well.

For those who are interested, this was a brutal week for my picks. I'm out of my survival pool, thanks to Green Bay (more like no thanks to Green Bay), and as it stands right now I have a losing record against the spread on this site. But I can still salvage an 8-8...stay tuned. Thanks for reading - send your e-mails if you have thoughts on the Jets' week 2. If I don't print them tomorrow, hopefully I'll get onto a computer by Wednesday.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Not much time for a preview of Sunday's game, but I'll do a quick one, then jump right into my picks for the week. I was 10-6 against the spread last week...and remember, this is all for entertainment purposes only. Seriously. If it wasn't, I would have made some money last week...but one of these weeks, I would definitely lose my make-believe money. So that's why it's all make-believe. Anyway, onto the previews:

The Jets play at San Diego against the Chargers, who surprised me by beating the Houston Texans last week. I don't think the Chargers are very good, and Drew Brees played really well last week. He shouldn't play that well again. I think the Jets have handled LaDainian Tomlinson well in the games they've played him..actually, come to think of it, he may have been hurt the last time the Jets played San Diego, so they may never have faced Tomlinson. Regardless, I think the Jets can handle the Chargers. I'm going to say 24-14, covering the 3-point spread.

The rest of the NFL: I'm going to take Jacksonville getting 3 and a half at home against Denver. Denver looked really good last week, but I like the Jaguars to lose by three or less at home, because that's what home-field advantage is all about.

Baltimore let down a lot of people last week, losing to Cleveland. They didn't let me down - I've been saying they're not as good as people have been saying they'll be. But they're better than Pittsburgh, and they'll cover 3 and a half points at home.

Houston let me down last week...but I think they'll bounce back this week at Detroit, getting 3.

Indianapolis is getting a point in Tennessee...they'll win outright. Indy's the pick.

Green Bay is my lock of the week to win at home against the Bears. 8 and a half is a lot of points, but I'll take them to cover as well. Packers -81/2.

The Giants are not good. Until they show me they can win, I'll keep picking against them. Washington will ruin the home opener. Redskins, -3.

New Orleans is a seven and a half point favorite over the 49ers this weekend. I don't get the Saints, but I don't think San Francisco is very good. So I'll take the Saints.

Atlanta's a 2-point favorite over Saint Louis. I'm not sure why. I'll take the Rams plus 2.

Kansas City's giving six and a half to the Panthers. The Panthers have a bunch of injuries already - their running back and their best receiver. Gotta be the Chiefs.

Seattle's giving two and a half at Tampa Bay. Seattle tends to struggle on the road, but Tampa is not good. I'll take the Seahawks.

Dallas is a five-point favorite over the Browns. The Browns were impressive last week, and the Cowboys were not. I expect a role reversal...go with Dallas.

The Patriots go to Arizona, and are 8-point favorites. I just feel like the Cardinals will keep it close. I'll take Arizona.

Oakland's giving three and a half to Buffalo out west. The Raiders will kill the Bills.

And the Bengals, after looking impressive against the Jets last week, host Miami Sunday night. They're giving five points. I'll take Cincy.

Monday night, it's the Eagles and Vikings. I'll take Philly giving three and a half...but it'll be close.

I should be able to post a recap of the Jets-Chargers game Sunday night. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Scott Kazmir knows I'm watching. He knows this is the first time I've been able to watch him since the Mets traded him to the Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano. He's been saving his best effort for tonight, because he knew I'd be watching very carefully, ready to write about what a crappy trade this was if he pitched well.

It was a crappy trade. What a crappy trade. Scott Kazmir is shutting out the Red Sox through six innings right now...pitching the best game of his short, short career. He's got 9 strikeouts, no runs, and he's given up just three hits. I really thought the Red Sox would knock him around - a lot. It remains to be seen at this writing if Tampa Bay holds on to win the game, and get Kazmir his second major league win...but Kazmir was very impressive on Tuesday night.

Other impressive nights - Kris Benson (so far) and David Wright. As I write this, Wright is 3-for-3, with his 12th homer of the year, and Benson has shut out the Braves through five innings. Back-to-back good starts for Benson - he knows free agency is right around the corner.

One e-mail to get to, which I'll print now since I don't know when I will get to a computer again (if you've been checking out, which I know you have, you know my computer was stolen):

"Dear johnnymetsmail,
That cheesesteak story was disgusting. I just feel sorry for your wife having to sit next to you for that whole game. I loved the pictures from Philly, but I wish there were some of your beautiful wife.
The website is a great resource for Mets fans and extremely well done and up to date. However, seeing as how you live in the Boston area, I think that you should address the needs of Red Sox Nation also. Some Red Sox related features would be much appreciated.
What is you take on the Sox this year? Do they have what it takes to finally win it all. What did you think of the Nomar trade? Did it make the Red Sox better or worse? Wouldn't they have been better off to get some pitching in return? Additionally who do you see the Sox resigning in the offseason and who will leave? Who do you see those players signing with? Furthermore, what offseason moves could the Sox make to become a better team? Is Roger Clemens coming back next year?

Sox Fan From Shrewsbury"

Thanks, Sox Fan. First of all, get over the cheesesteak. Everyone needs to get over the cheesesteak. Sometimes, you just make a bad food choice when you visit a new city...and you have to deal with the consequences. But it's time to move on. As for the Red Sox questions, I think you have confused with "". This is a quality Mets site, and you should really respect that. However, considering that 100% of my readers are Red Sox fans, I will indulge you:

I think the Red Sox are quite good this year, however, I think they will fold at some point, whether it's over the final weeks of the regular season or in the post-season. I have no evidence to support this theory, because the Sox are a very good team, but they didn't do it last year, so they never will do it. That's how I feel. That team is cursed bad. The Nomar trade was great, because Nomar is a @#!$&!? #(!@##?>!. They're a better team without that jerk. Pitching in return would have been good, but the defense is improved, which sort of helps out the pitching anyway. Is it coincidence that since the trade Derek Lowe has been pitching a lot better (probably, since I think Mientkiewicz has been hurt, and Cabrera can't be making that much of a difference when Lowe's on the mound). As for the off-season, I don't know who the Sox will sign - I forgot to ask Theo the last time we spoke. But I'm 99% sure Carl Pavano is signing with the Yankees. I do think Varitek and Lowe are gone. I think Varitek will sign with Milwaukee, and Lowe will sign with the Tigers (random guesses - I have no friggin' clue). For the Sox to become a better team, there's really nothing they can do. They had a great team this year and last year, but they are just fated to never ever win. It's sad, really. And Roger Clemens is a jerk. I don't care whether or not he comes back next year. I hope someone throws a shattered bat at him.

Thanks for reading, Sox Fan in Shrewsbury, and everyone else. We'll see when I can access a computer again, but I'll try to do something again before the end of the week. I'm posting early, but the Devil Rays are on their way to a win, and the Mets are up 7-0. David Wright is now 3-for-4.
You stole my computer and thought you'd keep me from writing, did you? Well, you were wrong. My wife was kind enough to lend me her work computer for the night so I could check on my 1-0 fantasy football team, and my week one pool win. So I thought I'd update the site while I was at it. (And if you have any designs on breaking in again and stealing this computer, be ready to get a baseball bat across the face.) A special thanks to my sister for rooting the Jets to victory as she attended her first season opener, and then writing about some of it on the site. Thanks for being more grateful in the backup role than LaMont Jordan.

So, obviously, the weekly schedule is again in upheaval. There was no e-mail, but I forgot to print this one last week, so I'll do it now. It's signed Al Montoya, in Ann Arbor, MI...I think it's not the Montoya the New York Rangers drafted to play goalie, but since the NHL is out of business for the next couple of years, maybe it actually was him:

"There is absolutely ZERO chance that the Jets will make the Super Bowl. You know it. I know it. The American people know it. Save this email, so you can rub it in my face in January, but only if you also promise to re-print it when the Jets either a) get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs or b) fail to qualify for the postseason altogether. ("FAIL TO QUALIFY FOR THE POSTSEASON!!!" A little "Airplane" humor for you there! It would've worked better if several people could've written it at the same time. Oh well.)"

I got an angry e-mail from Montoya the next day after I failed to print this e-mail last mail day...I misunderstood. I thought I was only supposed to print this to RUB IT IN HIS FACE. That's right. I'm not backing down, buddy. You watch...just watch. And I will promise to re-print this if.....ah, it's not even worth's not going to happen.

Anyway, reading today's Daily News reminded me that I haven't even mentioned Paul Hackett in my season previews. Well, now he's been mentioned. I am not ready to give him too much credit, because he did what he's supposed to do - use his offensive weapons and win the game. The Daily News article had a weird stat in it though - Sunday's game was just the tenth time the Jets have reached the 30-point mark since Herman Edwards and Paul Hackett have been working together. That's 49 games. Just 20 percent of the time. I wonder what the league average is on that...but it seems like the Jets should be scoring 30 points a little more often. Hopefully it will be a common occurrence this season.

Last week I started a picks section, where I pick the games against the spread. I'll continue that, since I got no negative feedback (the good thing about no feedback at all is no negative feedback), and since I enjoy it. Last week, I started out 8-1, before losing every 4 o'clock game, and the last three 1 o'clockers, but rebounded to take the Sunday and Monday night games. 10-6 overall last weekend - that still would have won me some money - but, of course, this is for entertainment purposes only.

I can't make any promises about the next time I'll be writing, but hopefully I'll be able to post something again by Friday, previewing Sunday's 4 o'clock game in San Diego against the Chargers.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Jets 31, Bengals 24

This is John's sister substituting for John. Unfortunately, the regular postings are going to be interrupted due to the unfortunate break-in at John's apartment, resulting in the robbery of John's laptop. haters are suspected.

John was very pleased with Sunday's game. Curtis Martin was unbelieveable, rushing for 196 yards on 29 carries - he's going to have a big year. Chad Pennington looked shakey at times, sharp at others, but came through in the win. And it was great to see Wayne Chrebet come back, making 2 catches for 29 yards.

The defense was good enough, playing pretty well against the run. John was a little disappointed that they didn't put a lot of pressure on Carson Palmer, because he looked too comfortable, and in all honesty, played a really good game. The defense gave up a few big plays but overall was very effective.

Next week the Jets are in San Diego to play the Chargers. Hopefully, John will be able to get on a computer and update the site again before then.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Sunday. 1pm. Jets. Bengals. I've written this before, but I think the Jets defense should be able to fluster and overwhelm Carson Palmer, and therefore, the Bengals offense. I really believe it. I know I'm usually overly optimistic, but I really think the Jets are the biggest lock of the weekend. What follows is for entertainment purposes only: The Jets are giving 4 1/2 points - usually that's too big a spread for my liking in a game where the Jets are favorites, but we'll go with the Jets - 27-17.

For my own statistical purposes - here's the rest of the NFL picks:

Tennessee-Miami: The game's been moved to Saturday because of Hurricane Ivan - the Dolphins probably wish it had been cancelled outright. Tennessee's giving 3 at Miami. Titans.

Pittsburgh, at home, against Oakland. Pittsburgh's a 4-point favorite - I don't think either of these teams are going to be too good this year...but Pitt's better this week - by 5 points. I pick Pitt.

Washington and Tampa Bay. I think the Redskins win at home in Joe Gibbs' debut. Re-debut. Whatever it is. I take Washington, giving a point and a half.

Cleveland hosts what used to be Cleveland, aka Baltimore. I think I'll take new Cleveland, getting three points at home, against the Ravens. I don't know that they'll win, but they'll lose by less than two.

Buffalo hosts Jacksonville, and is the favorite. I think the Jaguars win outright, so I take them getting three points.

Chicago, at home, giving three to Detroit. Again, I think the underdog wins the game. Go Lions, +3.

Saint Louis is an 11-point favorite at home over Arizona. I don't know, it's a big spread, I'll trust the bookies. Rams.

New Orleans is a home 'dog, getting 2 against Seattle. I'll pick the Seahawks, I think they're better.

Houston, at home, gives 5 to San Diego. The Texans will have a good year, and they'll win by a touchdown.

The Eagles are giving nine to the Giants. The Giants usually play the Eagles tight. That seems like a big spread - I'll go with the Giants, +9.

Minnesota, at home, minus 4-and-a-half against the Cowboys. I'll take the Cowboys, because I don't think they'll win, but Vinny's going to stick it to I'm using some counterintuitive thinking.

The Falcons are 3-and-a-half point favorites over the 49ers. I think the Falcons will cover.

Sunday night, Denver at home, gives three to the Chiefs. I think Denver wins and covers, because it seems like they always do at home.

Monday night, Carolina minus-3 hosting Green Bay. Gotta go with Favre and the Pack getting points.

The Colts are letting my pick slip away here late in the third quarter - we'll see how this game turns out, along with the rest - on Monday. I'll have my results. Your mail appears on Tuesday - so send it along!!!



Our lead story today - the New York Mets have won a baseball game, beating the Florida Marlins, 4-0, in Miami. The win put an end to the Mets' 11-game losing streak, and also ended a 10-game losing streak to the Marlins. Kris Benson combined with Bartolome Fortunato and Braden Looper to get the shutout.

Benson pitched well after skipping a start because of a sore shoulder. That'll just drive up his asking price as he enters free agency. But I'm still hearing that Benson wants to re-sign with the Mets, and that the talks should be picking up again soon. So that's contrary to what "Dave from Brighton" had written in his letter (you can still see that below this posting) in yesterday's mailbag...referring to Peter Gammons saying that Benson was going to test the free agency waters during the off-season. First of all, I don't know who this Peter Gammons is, and I don't know why Dave would go reading this Gammons fellow, who for all I know doesn't know a baseball from a foosball, instead of me. Trust me, me. Benson will re-sign with the Mets by November.

So back to Thursday afternoon's game (sorry this is in such a huge font - I haven't figured out how to fix it). David Wright - a big 2-for-4, and a stolen base. He tripled off of David Weathers (back with the Marlins - didn't even know about that one), and scored a run. Eric Valent hit his eleventh homer. I love Eric Valent. Valent's hitting .273, Wright's hitting .291. Just FYI.

I need to go write the Jets site, and get back to some kind of normal font. Enjoy the opening weekend of football - and check out!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Sorry folks. I was too sick to write yesterday. So there's no AFC East preview.

Today is the day I'm supposed to write about the Jets' opponent, and to be honest, there's not a whole heck of a lot going on in Cincinnati. The big news is that the Bengals want to get off to a better start than they did last year (duh - so do the Jets), and that they want to do better than their 3-5 mark on the road. The opener is at the Jets, so the idea is the Bengals want to win in Week 1. Not much insight out of Ohio. So I'll draw my own conclusions.

Carson Palmer is the Bengals quarterback - he was named the starter from the beginning of the preseason, unseating Jon Kitna, who had a surprisingly good season last year. Corey Dillon is no longer a Bengal (he's now with New England), but they have a very good running back in Rudi Johnson. That'll be a great test for the Jets' defense - Rudi Johnson will test their run defense, and we'll find out if that part of their game is better.

The Bengals' receivers are kind of dangerous. Peter Warrick still hasn't lived up to his potential, but Chad Johnson is the one to look out for. He's put up two very good seasons in a row. The receivers can't do anything, though, if the quarterback can't get them the I hope the Jets' D blitzes Palmer like crazy, not giving him a chance to think, and makes the Bengals offense a non-factor.

The Bengals defense is pretty good, I think...but to be honest, I couldn't name one guy on their defense. That said, time to switch into e-mail mode, the last time we will do e-mail on Thursday - from now on it'll be on Tuesday - meaning send your mail by Monday.

"Dear Johnnyjets,

The line on Thursday's season opener in New England is Pats minus 3 1/2 versus the Colts. Do you give the points or take them?
Bettor in Brighton"

Not that I encourage this sort of thing, but I will be making picks throughout the season, and keeping track of them, as you would see in your local paper. My disclaimer is that my picks are for entertainment purposes only, and to keep a statistic, which I love to do. So proceed at your own risk. That said, I think the Colts keep Thursday night's game close, and I think they have a very good chance to win. I think the Patriots will get called for a number of penalties, and the Colts want revenge. Bad. I take the Colts with the points.

Tomorrow we'll preview the season opener!!!!!
There have been big-time technical issues with blogger here, so yesterday's posting, even though I finished it nice and early - before the Mets even lost - wasn't published. It follows this posting, which will be short and sweet - and I only re-print it because it includes the mailbag, which I can't ignore.

Just FYI, as I write this, the Mets trail the Marlins 3-0, and they're not coming back to win, so they're going to lose their 11th in a row. Things have gone so horribly wrong. Mike Piazza swung the bat well that one game back from his injury, and has looked horrible since. I'm worried. No one else hits. David Wright is awesome, but even he's in a funk right now. It's really horrible. I leave you to yesterday's posting:


I'm posting early, before the Mets game ends, which I rarely do, but I'm very sick. I'm supposed to prepare to get very sick this year, since I will be exposed to tons of germs in a school setting, which I am not used to. So it's very upsetting that I have a fever and cold before school even starts. Oh well.

I don't mind posting early, especially since this game will follow the usual form. Right now it's 5-3 Marlins in the bottom of the seventh. The Mets might actually get back to 5-4, before Armando Benitez comes in to close it out. Or the Marlins will tack on ten more runs before the game is over. Either way, the Mets ain't coming back. Here's what you need to know. When Wilson Delgado singled a few minutes ago with men on first and second, it was the Mets' first hit with men on base since LAST THURSDAY. Not with men in scoring position - just with men on. Very frustrating.

Anyway, it's also mail day - just one e-mail (thanks for writing):

"Dear JohnnyMets...
I have 2 questions. Actually, one comment and one question.
First, the comment... Please don't ever talk about going to thebathroom at a Major League ballpark ever again. This also goes for NFLstadiums.
And "number two..." I'm interested to hear your take on the Zambranoand Benson deals now that they've had a chance to sink in. I read in Peter Gammons's column this week that Rick Peterson thinks he can make Zambrano a "big winner" next season by tweaking his delivery. I think that if Peterson turns Zambrano into a solid 2-3 type pitcher, then dealing Kazmir may have been worth it. Your thoughts?In the same column, Gammons says Benson will likely test the free agent market before he signs with the Mets. Is it troubling that theMets gave up prospect Matt Peterson for a guy whose contribution has been limited at best, and who might not re-sign? Follow up, what sort of money do you think Benson is worth? (He's making $6.1M this year.)

Love the site, Dave in Boston"

Thanks Dave. Mike Cameron just dropped a fly ball as I write - absolutely horrible. So anyway, in reference to your comment, your probably right, but I can't make any promises. I think we all understand I needed to write about that cheesesteak.

OK. On to your question. Over the weekend, while I was in Philadelphia, and therefore not writing on the site, Kazmir pitched again, and was OK, but again took a loss. Something like 4 runs in 4 innings - I could look it up, but, again, I have a fever. So I think Kazmir is 1-2. The thing about that that bothers me, though, is that he's not getting rocked. I think he's going to turn into a good pitcher. That said, the reason the Mets made the deal is because Peterson has said from the beginning that he could turn Zambrano into something special. He also said the same thing about Benson. Unfortunately, both guys are hurt. I'm not liking either trade right now. But I do think I will be soothed if Zambrano can be healthy next year, and give the Mets a few solid years as a number 2-3 guy. Benson kind of makes me mad. If he thinks he's going to command a whole lot on the market, I think he's kind of wrong. He's been horrible since the trade deadline, and I have to think that will make a lot of teams leery about signing him to a big money deal. (I won't get into figures because I am a very poor judge of money - especially baseball player money.) But I think the Mets need to re-sign him, just so it doesn't look like they got nothing out of the deal. (Let's not overlook Jeff Keppinger, though, who is fast, and could become a very good middle infield/utility guy in the majors.) I just hope the Mets aren't bidding against themselves when they sign Benson, overpaying for poor performance.

I keep forgetting to mention this, but I finally remembered. Ted Robinson has been off the air with the Mets for more than a month. First it was the Olympics for 2 weeks, then the U.S. Open coverage for the next two weeks. He'll probably be back next week. I must say that it's cruel irony that when the unwatchable Robinson has been away, and I might actually enjoy watching a Mets game, it has been the Mets games themselves that have been unwatchable. Tonight, I'm watching the Mets on the Marlins feed. I wish I got more of the Mets' opponents' feeds. Of course, the question remains - why am I even still watching the Mets in the first place?

Monday, September 06, 2004

Another lost weekend for the Mets and their fans. And a lot of Mets fans saw the Labor Day sweep in Philadelphia firsthand. I was among them. (A really strong turnout by Mets fans in Philly - seriously. And wearing Mets stuff too - I thought most would be too embarrassed to wear Mets stuff - like me.)
So I spent the weekend in Philadelphia, and attended, along with my wife and our host, Jeff (a Phillies fan), Saturday night's 7-0, 3-hit drubbing. (Not to be confused with Friday's 8-1 drubbing, and Sunday's 4-2 beating.)
Except for the whoopings, we had a nice time in Philadelphia. Some of that good time (from Saturday night) is chronicled here, in pictures. Unfortunately, these pictures are not that good. I used a much more outdated digital camera than the one I used for my Jets site. ( - check it out today!) Also, they posted in the reverse order than how I wanted them. But I hope you enjoy them anyway. (Click on the pictures to see them in full size.)
originally uploaded by Johnnyjets.
This is a picture that actually isn't bad. Unfortunately, you can't make out what I actually wanted the picture to show. The sign on one of the auxiliary scoreboards could have been interpreted in a way in which it was not supposed to be interpreted. It is inappropriate, so I will not write it here. But someday, maybe if you ask me, I will tell you. Anyway, the picture showing the ballpark came out pretty nice.
Field Shot
Field Shot,
originally uploaded by Johnnyjets.
This is one of just three Mets hits on the night, the culmination of David Wright's first at-bat. He hit a hard ground ball up the middle which the shortstop and second baseman smothered, but Wright beat the throw to first base by a considerable margin. That's when I took this picture. But I know what you're thinking. And you're right. It's not a good picture. Unless it was a picture of the back of that guy's head. Which it's not.
David Wright
David Wright,
originally uploaded by Johnnyjets.
...David Wright. Here's a look at the scoreboard in left-center field. Nice scoreboard.
Al Leiter
Al Leiter,
originally uploaded by Johnnyjets.
I would rank Citizen's Bank Park ahead of Arizona, but behind Houston, my all time favorite new ballpark. But here's probably the best feature of Citizen's Bank Park - the fans can get right up close to the bullpens. (I was actually much closer to the bullpen, but only remembered to take the picture after we had walked away a bit.)
The funny thing about these bullpens, which you may have heard already, is that the Phillies currently occupy the bullpen on the left, and the visiting team uses the one on the right, where you see Leiter warming up. At the beginning of the year, the reverse was true - the Phillies used the bullpen on the right. So at the beginning of the year, when the Phillies were struggling, in particular, the Phillies' bullpen, the fans were merciless. (Phillies' fans are known for being very merciless.) They were so merciless that the Phillies switched bullpens so that they were farther away from the vicious fans. But it's a neat attraction for visitors. Also, behind the bullpens (behind where Leiter is), is a little Wall of Fame, with plaques, and a wall commemmorating Phillies history. Also nice.
originally uploaded by Johnnyjets.
This is a horrendous picture of a Philly Cheesesteak. But it must be shown. It is a historical cheesesteak, and it is how our evening began. We went to a little joint just outside Philadelphia called Mama's Pizzeria, because, our host Jeff said, they have great cheesesteaks. OK, said we, we'll try these cheesesteak, since that is part of the Philly experience. What we, or I should say, I, didn't know was the aftereffects of the Philly cheesesteaks. First of all, apparently Mama likes her cheesesteaks HUGE, because that's what these were. I couldn't finish mine, and I'm a freakin' pig, just so you know. Anyway, they move through you pretty quick. You know where I'm going with this. Stop reading now if you're not going to like what's coming next.
Never before had I ever used a toilet at a ballpark. (I'm not talking 'using the toilet' in the euphemistic sense - I'm talking literal here. USE THE TOILET.) Anyway, I'm crazy, and I just don't see those things as being too clean, so I don't use them. I wait until we get back home. Well, this phine day in Philly, I could not wait. I rationalized, figuring it's a new ballpark, the bathrooms must be pretty clean. So this was a history-making cheesesteak, folks. It broke my bathroom boycott. And caused me to miss the entire fifth inning. No kidding.
Can you feel the excitement?!?! We're just a couple of days away from the NFL season. Here's how the website will work for the rest of the season.
The Jets play on Sunday.

Monday's posting will be a re-cap of the Sunday game.

Tuesday we'll take your mail ***note the change in mailbag dates*** That means now you want to send your reaction to the game by Monday afternoon, so that I can post the mailbag for Tuesday. This week will be the final week with the mailbag on Thursday.

Wednesday we'll take a look around the AFC East - recap the previous week, preview the upcoming week. Later in the season, we'll expand Wednesday to include the entire AFC, depending on the Playoff Picture.

Thursday we'll focus on the Jets next opponent. This day may feature guest writers with inside dirt from that city, or big-time fans of the opposition.

Friday will be the big game preview, and perhaps, I'll make my picks for the week, and keep track of that throughout the season.

This week, obviously, there is no game to recap, and Thursday is still the mailbag, not Tuesday. So we've skipped the regular Monday and Tuesday postings. Wednesday we'll pick it up with an AFC East preview, then continue with the regular schedule.

No major cuts by the Jets over the weekend - they are at the necessary 53-man roster. The Jets survived the dramatic come-from-behind-meaningless-preseason game win on Friday without suffering any injuries, so they're ready to go for the regular season!

The Mets stink, but check out for my big weekend in Philadelphia recap. There are pictures, and I'm proud when I put pictures on a website. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 02, 2004


Friday night the Jets host the Eagles in their final preseason game. Then it's on to the regular season. We just need everyone to make it out of the Eagles game healthy. That's all we need. I don't care if Pennington goes 0-for-12 and throws six INT's. Those six INT's better come in the first three minutes of the game, because he'd better not be in there for long.

Chad Pennington is the key to the season. Everything revolves around him. He is so good he gives the Jets a chance to win every single game he's involved in. So if Pennington's healthy, the Jets will do well, it's as simple as that.

Of course, he can't do it alone. The defense needs to keep the team in games. Even when the defense has been pretty bad the past couple of years, they've managed to keep the team in games. So this year, with a much better defense, I expect the 'D' to be able to do keep Pennington in position to win most games.

The Jets have taken steps to eliminate some of the mistakes that cost them games last year. Remember all the time management problems? (Not getting the kicking unit on the field in the right amount of time against the Giants, not taking a knee and running out the clock against the Titans on Monday Night Football, to name a couple.) The Jets now have a coach who will stay with Herman Edwards and tell him what to do in certain clock management situations. He's all over it. The coaching staff is better - Donnie Henderson is going to make Jets fans forget about Ted Cottrell real fast. Overall, this Jets team is better.

I'm thinking the Jets will reach double digits in wins. I haven't gone through the schedule week to week, but that's my estimate. 10 wins or so. With New England in the division, I don't know that 10 wins will be enough to win the East, but hopefully it will be enough to get the wild card. The AFC is tough. But for the Jets to win 10 games, they'd probably beat the teams they need to beat in order to earn all the tiebreakers to put them in the playoffs.

OK. As promised, it's time to check the mail. Dave from Brighton wrote about a week ago, when the rumor was that Ricky Williams had called the Dolphins. Dave says,
"I read recently that Ricky Williams might be reconsidering his retirement and could return to the Dolphins this season. Would a Williams return hurt the Jets, because Miami would be a more formidable opponent, or help them, since Miami could potentially beatthe other AFC East teams twice?"
It's become clear since Dave wrote this that Williams is NOT coming back. But if he did, that team would be in such disharmony that there's no way it would help the Dolphins, it could only hurt them. The Dolphins are going to be in a lot of trouble this season. Shortly after Williams left, David Boston got hurt, which really hurts their offense. Then, to shore up the offense, the Dolphins traded for Marty Booker, who isn't going to make a huge difference. In order to get Booker, Miami traded (I forget is first name - Adelewai?) Ogunleye, one of their best defensive players last year. And he killed the Jets. So that hurts their defense. Miami's going nowhere, doing nothing this year.

Here's this e-mail:
"Hi John-
How will the Jets finish out the season? Atop of the AFC East or as a Wild Card? (I know you have them somewhere in the playoffs).
Who's on tap for the Super Bowl this year?
And after a running back, what's the most important position to draft for in fantasy football?
Thanks. I enjoy your blog.
-Kathryn from Watertown"
I kind of alluded to your first question above, and as for a Super Bowl prediction, I'll go with the Jets over the Packers. How 'bout that...Brett Favre in his one last shot. I have to pick the Jets, because that's what I do. The Packers are just a guess. As for your last question, it really depends on the type of fantasy league you're in, and it depends on the point values assigned to each position. A scrambling-type quarterback might be the way to go, or a receiver who has the potential to also score on special teams. Thanks for writing.

Mark from Miami also checks in (take it easy, Jets fans - he's not a Dolphins fan, he just happens to live in Miami):
"John,What is the progress of Jets linebackers Darrell McClover and Jarrell Weaver?"
To be honest, Mark, I haven't heard a whole lot about either, but I think McClover will make the team. As I wrote last week, I did see him at practice, and he was putting in lots of extra time working with Jonathan Vilma. McClover is deep on the depth chart, but at least he's there. Weaver got cut last weekend. Who knows, maybe he'll end up on the practice squad. Don't worry, though, Mark, I think your Hurricanes are still the most represented college team on the Jets. That is to say, there are more Jets from Miami than from any other school.

Thanks for writing everyone! Keep them coming - we'll do it again next Thursday - hopefully on time next week.

Next week we'll get into regular season mode, and I'll give you the weekly breakdown in Monday's posting.

Marlins 9, Mets 6 (60-73)

David Wright: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, and a stolen base. Too bad he plays on a horrible team. The Mets are only 4 games better than the Expos. Six straight losses. Just awful. But I'm still making the road trip for Saturday's game. So stay tuned for Monday - I'll post some pics of the weekend.

For a team with hope, turn to:

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I apologize for the lack of a posting yesterday. School meetings have begun, and things have been busy. We'll forgo the NFL preview, because, come on, we all know I'm picking the Jets to win it all anyway. So without further ado, it's time for the Jets' offensive preview.


Thank goodness I bring you the following news: The Jets have signed QB Chad Pennington to a seven year contract extension, worth 23 million dollars, with incentives built in to make it a 64-million-dollar deal. All that means is that Pennington's contract will not be a distraction this season. All I have to say about Pennington is this: last year was by far the worst year we will ever see from Chad Pennington. For those of us who didn't see Joe Namath, this is the best quarterback we've ever seen wear a Jets uniform, and if he plays like he did two years ago, could be one of the best ever. But let's not jump the gun....Pennington is going to lead the Jets to some very good things this year.

And he's got a capable backup. That's something that couldn't have been said two weeks ago. Quincy Carter is the backup. He's happy just to have a job, the Jets are happy to have a playoff-caliber quarterback to back up Pennington. Carter will be gone next year, so the Jets aren't investing much in a guy who has a bit of a questionable character, but if things should go terribly wrong this year, we won't have to worry about Brooks Bollinger taking over. I think Bollinger will be a good backup in another year - or at least, I'll have more confidence in him, but this year, I'm glad to have Carter on the team.

My only comment about the offensive line is that the Jets really lucked out when the Arizona Cardinals cut Pete Kendall. The rumor was that Dennis Green cut Kendall because he tattled to the league that Green's practices over the summer were violating some union rules. So the Jets were able to scoop up Kendall, and he's going to be the starting left guard. That means instead of having two inexperienced offensive linemen, the Jets have just one on the line, and another capable backup. One addition really made a huge difference for the Jets this year.

They'll be blocking for Curtis Martin again. Martin says he feels great, and he's had a ton of reps in the pre-season, more than he's had the past couple of years. He says he needs that to get going for the regular season. Martin's getting up there in years (relatively speaking), and might not have many more to go. I keep doubting that Martin can top the 1,000 yard mark, but he did it last year, and that was a horrible year for him. So I feel that at least this year, Martin is going to be a big factor. Martin starts ahead of LaMont Jordan, who is not happy about his lack of playing time. Jordan feels he could be starting somewhere, and feels Herman Edwards is lying to him about trying to get him the ball more. Jordan has been great backing up Curtis Martin, and can rip off a great run once in a while. But he'd better not be a distraction worrying about whether or not he's going to play a lot.

As for the receivers, Santana Moss is Pennington's favorite target, and is explosive. Justin McCareins was a big addition. He's young, and they could form a great combo for years to come. Wayne Chrebet might be done. He insists he'll play in the season opener (although that's looking more and more unlikely), but I don't think we'll be seeing him on the field much this season. We'll see. Jerricho Cotchery was a good draft pick. He won't have much of an impact this year (unless Chrebet doesn't play at all), but can step into that slot receiver role in the near future. Jonathan Carter has shown flashes of being a big-time receiver, but he has a little case of the dropsies. He sure is fast, though. TE Anthony Becht needs to be used more. I am probably the only person in America pleading his case (as I've been doing for three years), but maybe this will be his breakout year. He's playing for a contract, and is feeling a lot of heat from backup Chris Baker. But let's just remember how many clutch plays he made down the stretch the last two years the Jets made the playoffs.

Sorry my thoughts were so disjointed. I need to go to bed. I'm going to put off the mail bag until tomorrow. We have a couple of e-mails....if you want to send another couple, I'll print them all tomorrow, along with the big Jets overall preview.

Marlins 5, Mets 4 (60-72)

Another night, another loss. David Wright gets a 2-for-4. The Mets have now lost 10 of 11. Let me break this down for a minute.

There was a point, when I thought the Mets might climb back into the wild card race, where the Mets had gone 10-8 in August. Then everything fell apart. The finished August 11-17 overall. Do the math.

Pictures come to on Tuesday from a big weekend Mets trip. Stay tuned. Also, check out Offensive preview and mail call!