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Amari Harris

The Fix 10-12: QB Overdose posted by Amari Harris

The turning point.

Tough loss for the Dallas Cowboys last week.  And it wasn’t one of those 24 hour losses either.  It was one of those that you think about for the next few days, and depending on how things go as you get into the middle part of the schedule, one of those games you think about all year.  A “What if?”  game, if you will.  I predicted that the Cowboys would beat the Broncos because I knew they could match up and I knew they could step their game up to stiff competition.  Did I expect a 48-51 shootout?  Hecks naw, but in hindsight it should have been obvious.  I bet that the defense would step up rather than Tony Romo actually playing at a Peyton Manning-like level.   Instead Tony Romo played perfect for exactly 58 minutes of the football game.  Peyton Manning did the same, except his mistake came earlier in the game rather than in crunch time. 

It’s ironic because Peyton is also known for making those critical mistakes in the clutch, but Romo beat him to the punch last sunday.  I can imagine a scenario where the Cowboys punted the ball to the Broncos in the last couple minutes of the game and Manning actually threw the “ game losing interception” (hyperlink).  But Romo beat him to it.  The QB duel was worth the angst.  Porous defense for sure, but the QBs made the game.  And in case anyone didn’t know, Romo is an elite quarterback.  He is not a clutch quarterback, but then again neither is Peyton Manning. 

Continue reading "The Fix 10-12: QB Overdose"


Amari Harris

The Fix- 10/4 posted by Amari Harris

Friday Football Fix: A Rare Guarantee!

I apologize for not posting before the games this weekend.  I visited my mom’s house for the weekend which meant no computer and no internet and I forgot to post before leaving for the weekend.  I’ll post what I had written to prove to you all that I knew that Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead would destroy the Dallas Cowboys, as I knew they, along with Eddie Royal, were the only real offensive threats they may not be able to handle.

Despite the sheer inability to cover those two individuals the Cowboys looked like they were well on their way to victory, after a Sean Lee interception return for a touchdown toward the end of the first half that put them up 21-10.  I think every Cowboys fan let out a collective sigh of relief, and felt that we pretty much had this one in the bag (I’ll include myself, as I ominously used the words “Victory Cigar” after that play *slap*).  They proceeded to allow 20 unanswered points, 400+ yards and 3 touchdowns from Phillip Rivers, and breakout performances by Woodhead and Gates.  Yes, it was a disappointing day.  Even with the Giants and Eagles losing once again, and the Cowboys remaining as the sole leader of the NFC division, they really could have gotten off to an encouraging start. 

Nonetheless, the past is the past, and this is a new week; a very big week indeed.  The juggernaut Denver Broncos come to town with the most unstoppable offensive machine since the Greatest Show On Turf.  The Broncos have not just beaten, but dominated every team they’ve faced this year.  They have one 14 regular season games in a row and all of them by more than a touchdown.  Suffice to say, the Cowboys will be heavy underdogs this week.  And I love it…

Continue reading "The Fix- 10/4"


Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three posted by Joe Anello

Welcome back everyone! I would have posted this last night but the lack of sleep Monday night really caught up with me. Now I’m back and ready to pick apart the transactions of days two and three of NFL free agency. Let’s get that money man!

OG Gosder Cherilus signs a 5-year, $34 million deal with Indianapolis Colts.
Additional signings: OG Donald Thomas (4 years, $14 million), LB Erik Walden (4 years, $16 million), S LaRon Landry (4 years, $24 million)

This is a group of Colt signings that I didn’t discuss in the day one recap because I was exhausted and there were too many to address. Cherilus was overpaid, but I get it. Thomas’ deal is tolerable and revamps the interior of their line. I don’t feel confident that Walden’s contract will prove to be money well spent. Still, signing Landry as well gives Chuck Pagano a play-making safety in his secondary. The Colts are spending, but not as crazily as the Dolphins.

WR Wes Welker signs a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Denver Broncos

Okay, I have a LOT to say about this deal. I took to Twitter to express my thoughts shortly after the news broke, but I felt utterly hindered by the 140-character limit. I was really upset by the news that New England only offered Welker $10 million (including incentives). He’s only been one of the hardest workers on your team for the past six seasons and this is how he gets rewarded? EFF YOU PATS.

Welker’s caught 100 balls in his entire run with the Pats and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. So imagine my surprise when I heard the Broncos only had to pay him $12 million… for two years!  If he, in this odd-as-hell receiver market, shouldn’t get more than $6M a year, I obviously don’t know football.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three"


Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Day One Recap posted by Joe Anello

NFL Free Agency started with a flurry this afternoon, with deals being announced by the minute shortly after the clock struck 4PM ET. I’m here to take a look at some of the bigger deals of the day and offer a quick take. First though, I want to cover a few of the moves made on Monday, before free agency.

(Note: I’m only going to discuss ACTUAL roster movements. While a running back visiting a crappy team *cough*ReggieBush*cough* might be newsworthy, I ain’t got time to talk about every little flight here.)

(Second note: for those of you looking for my take on the Chicago Bears’ moves, check out my earlier post here.)

 

Minnesota Vikings trade WR Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks

The Vikings received first and seventh round picks in the 2013 draft and a third round pick in the 2014 draft.

The Seahawks received Harvin and signed him to a six-year, $67 million dollar deal. ($25.5 guaranteed.)

Minnesota obviously wanted to get Harvin out of their hair. Despite Harvin’s interviews to the contrary, he and head coach Leslie Frasier did NOT get along. But what player won’t love Pete Carroll? An A-HOLE, that’s who. Props to Minnesota for getting a decent bounty for Harvin, but that 25th overall pick might not be a game-breaker. Still, they’re better off. For Seattle, this deal signifies how close they think they are to a title. They’re putting all of their chips in the Harvin basket now, as they released return man Leon Washington as a result of this trade.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Day One Recap"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: 2013 Divisional Round posted by Joe Anello

The 2013 Divisional Round is completed! The best weekend in football lived up to the hype, with crazy finishes (double overtimes) and historic performances. Let’s not put off this any longer. It’s time for The Final Drive!

(12-6) Baltimore Ravens 38

(13-4) Denver Broncos 35

After the Ravens were forced to punt on their opening possession, this game got crazy… fast. Trindon Holliday took that punt return back 90 yards for the first score. A 59-yard pass to a streaking Torrey Smith (who was torching Champ Bailey deep most of the day) from Joe Flacco tied the game up. On Denver’s ensuing drive, a pass from Peyton Manning tipped off the hands of Eric Decker into the arms of Corey Graham, who boomeranged it to make the score 14-7 Ravens. Manning took the ball right back and marched his team 74 yards in 11 plays, ending with a pinpoint pass to old friend Brandon Stokley on the side of the endzone. 14-14. Were you still breathing at this point? A score from both teams in the second quarter kept the game tied at 21 going into halftime. And the drama did not subside in the start of a crazy NFL weekend.

Denver Head Coach John Fox will (and should) catch a lot of flak for not even attempting to try to get in field goal range with two timeouts and 20-plus seconds left on the clock. (As we would see later in the weekend, that’s not an impossible feat to accomplish.) Fox got extremely conservative in the offensive play-calling, leaning on the run too often when he had one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time on the field. (Though doesn’t Peyton have full authority to change those calls at the line? Hm.) Not going for a third down conversion late in the fourth allowed the Ravens to get the ball back with just enough time to make something happen. And they certainly did.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: 2013 Divisional Round"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: 2013 Divisional Round posted by Joe Anello

Alright everyone, it’s my favorite football weekend of the entire season! At this point we have the eight best teams left in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy, including the two greatest QB’s of our era in the AFC and a crazy Saturday night rematch in the NFC. I have stumbled out of the gates with my picks, currently standing at 1-3 after the wild card round. I owe that to every favorite covering last week and my apparently desperate need to pick against almost all of them. This week shall be different! I hope. Let’s get to The Opening Drive of the Divisional Round! (As always, point spreads are obtained from VegasInsider.com.)

 

(11-6) Baltimore Ravens at

(13-3) Denver Broncos

4:30 PM ET, CBS

This is the first of two AFC rematches that were completely one-sided in the first go-rounds. The Broncos slapped around the Ravens 34-17 in week 15, part of their 11-game winning streak to end the regular season and claim the one seed. In that game, Peyton Manning had very pedestrian numbers, but was bolstered by ground game that featured 45 carries, the most of any Manning team in his career. Their 163 yards pounded a then-short-staffed Raven defense. This game will be different, in that Baltimore is much healthier now. Ray Lewis is back, as is linebacker Danel Ellerbee. Still, the Raven corners are average at best, so they’re not going to be able to contain Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker on the outside.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: 2013 Divisional Round"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 17, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Oh man. The drama from week 17 in the NFL was palpable! I don’t have time to lather you up with a witty intro, so let’s get right into The Final Drive!

(10-6) Cincinnati Bengals 23

(10-6) Baltimore Ravens 17

Well the Ravens probably didn’t want to win this game. Consequently, they looked a tad disinterested. Not a lot to talk about here though. Moving on!

(6-10) Tennessee Titans 38

(2-14) Jacksonville Jaguars 20

This game had no playoff implications whatsoever, but I wanted to touch on the fact that the Titans scored FOUR touchdowns in a span of five minutes without touching the ball on offense. Darius Reynaud ran back two punts for scores while Zach Brown pick-sixed Chad Henne twice. That’s impressive as hell. But it might not be enough to save Mike Munchak’s job.

(11-5) Indianapolis Colts 28

(12-4) Houston Texans 16

Anyone else really interested in seeing how Houston performs in the playoffs? They went from almost the de facto number one seed with a bye all the way down to the three spot with what should be a tough game against the Bengals coming in round one. For the Colts, they might be emotionally peaking at the right time. It’s time for Luck to show his stuff in the postseason.

(9-7) New York Giants 42

(4-12) Philadelphia Eagles 7

It was a mighty effort against a crappy opponent, but the Giants’ losing their prior two games was too much to overcome. They’re 9-7 once again, but this season they have nothing to show for it. Maybe next year Eli. And I’ll likely be acknowledging Andy Reid’s final season/career in Philly tomorrow, when I’m writing about his dismissal. EEP!

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 17, 2012"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 17, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

This is it everyone. The final week of the 2012 NFL season. Only a few months ago we were trying to figure out if the Cardinals were for real and if Peyton Manning would ever fully recover. (No and Yes, are those answers, by the way.) Now, in the final slate of games, we will discover who will make it into the playoffs and the bottom feeders’ order in the April draft. Let’s get into the games with The Opening Drive!

 

(10-5) Baltimore Ravens at

(9-6) Cincinnati Bengals

Baltimore could maybe get to a three seed with a win here, but the Bengals can’t change their slot at all. Honestly, both teams aren’t going to care about winning this game. The Ravens want to play the Colts in round one of the playoffs, I’m sure. That means they need to stay in the four spot. In the three, they’ll just see the Bengals for a second straight week. Cincy just has to get ready for the Patriots. Ugh.

(12-3) Houston Texans at

(10-5) Indianapolis Colts

Let’s see how strong #ChuckStrong really is! Now he’s back on the sidelines and the Texans are in town and looking to grab home field throughout the AFC playoffs. I don’t think the Colts are good enough to hang with Houston unless the Texans get really dumb and don’t pound the rock with Arian Foster. Houston should seal up the one seed here. Something else to watch for? See if J.J. Watt can break the single-season sack record.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 17, 2012"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 16, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week 16 is in the books! The playoffs are nearly set in stone, with only two possible slots and a few seedings left to be decided. But the drama isn’t over yet! Let’s run through the results of week 16 in The Final Drive!

(7-8) New Orleans Saints 34

(8-7) Dallas Cowboys 31

Stunningly enough, this loss did little to hurt the Cowboys’ playoff chances. They’re still operating under a “win and in” situation heading into the season finale against the Redskins in week 17. Here’s my issue with this team: Tony Romo had a career day (416 yards, 4 TD’s), but the Cowboy defense did nothing to help him out. Drew Brees threw all over the secondary, leading to more shots of Rob Ryan perturbed on the sidelines.

(11-4) Green Bay Packers 55

(5-10) Tennessee Titans 7

The Packers seem to be streaking at just the right time, thanks to ridiculous play from Aaron Rodgers. Uh… this game is barely worth talking about it was such a slap-around.

(10-5) Indianapolis Colts 20

(2-13) Kansas City Chiefs 13

Andrew Luck sets the single season rookie passing yardage record in the same game his Colts clinch a playoff slot. Well done Mr. Luck. And now they get their head coach back from cancer. It’s a great story. I’m kinda done with it already. For Kansas City… they’re one loss closer to the number one overall pick… in a terrible draft. Whoops.

(9-6) Washington Redskins 27

(4-11) Philadelphia Eagles 20

Eagles still suck. The ‘Skins are pretty good. Even with their win, the ‘Skins still have to play the Cowboys in a “win and in” contest. So… nothing’s really changed.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 16, 2012"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 15, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week 15 in the NFL saw a few notable shut-outs, as well as a few hilarious playoff eliminations. We can’t waste any more time, so let’s get right into The Final Drive!

(8-6) Cincinnati Bengals 34

(4-10) Philadelphia Eagles 13

I’d say this was impressive, but the Bengals left a lot of points on the field. Still, they’re in the driver seat for the sixth wildcard slot if they can take down the Steelers in week 16. Are they still hard to judge? Surely. But they beat down the Eagles exactly how a good team would. That means something.

(12-2) Atlanta Falcons 34

(8-6) New York Giants 0

I really can’t explain this one. Maybe the Giants have a deal with the NFL to make the NFC East race more interesting down the stretch? Otherwise the Falcons might actually be as good at home as they think they are.

(8-6) Washington Redskins 38

(5-9) Cleveland Browns 21

No RG3? No problem. Kirk’s got ya covered. That guy will be a tradeable asset in a year or two. Bet on it.

(6-8) New Orleans Saints 41

(6-8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0

Where did the vaunted Buc offense go? They made the Saint defense look like the freaking ’85 Bears. That takes a LOT of sucking.

(11-3) Denver Broncos 34

(9-5) Baltimore Ravens 17

So these Ravens are really letting up as the season winds down. Joe Flacco is inconsistent at best, and he didn’t improve dramatically with Jim Caldwell calling the plays. But do you know what really did the Ravens in? Their defense. Again. The Chris Harris pick-six of Flacco definitely hurt, but the Baltimore defense still gave up 27 points. And by the way, Denver looks like a scary-ass two seed.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 15, 2012"

Denver Broncos News

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Calvin Pace latest Jet to puff out his chest: 'We’re the best' defense in NFL (Shutd

If the New York Jets are going to go down, there are going with their egos riding high. Shortly after Dee Milliner, who was roundly tested by opposing quarterbacks as a rookie, proclaimed himself the best cornerback in the NFL , his defensive teammate had some more boastful things to say. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football! ] Calvin Pace was less about self and more about team, but equally as bold, when he told the New York Daily News that the Jets are owners of the best defense in the NFL. “(Compared to) the rest of the defenses in the NFL? S---, man, we’re the best," Pace said. “You ask anybody around the league, we’re not the team you want to see coming in, even in a down year." Pace might have been on vacation out of the country when the Seattle Seahawks made a mockery of the 606-point Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, one that we might add was played on Pace's home field at MetLife Stadium this past February. But for a moment, let's give Pace the benefit of the doubt ... Even with statistics only telling part of the story, it is a fact that the Jets ranked 11th in yards allowed a season ago, which would be solid enough to suggest that — with improvement — the Jets could find themselves far closer to the top five this season. If Milliner and Calvin Pryor upgrade the secondary, and Pace and a capable group of linebackers play well, the Jets own a defensive line as talented as any in the NFL, even rivaling the St. Louis Rams' devastating front. Head coach and defensive savant Rex Ryan can work with this unit and do some very respectable things. Frankly, we can't wait to see what Year 2 of the Muhammad Wilkerson-Sheldon Richardson duo up front, with scheme wrecker Damon Harrison — a starting-grade talent — coming off the bench. When you have those forces up front, it takes major pressure off the guys behind them and allows for some really creative pressure and coverage packages. “There’s a certain type of aggression when we come ... you know we’re going to come with a lot of stuff and teams don’t want to see that,” Pace said. “They want to see a vanilla defense, that just lines up and you know where they’re going to be.” But now let's return from dreamland ... Pace is wrong. Hey, if you're of the mindset that players should be confident and believe they're the best, I can get behind that. The Jets were always at their best under Ryan when they were boastful (when it didn't ring hollow, or as being insecure) and carrying that bravado out on the field.  But there's just no realistic way to argue that the Jets, as thin as they are at a few locations and with a few passable starters on defense, can be the best unit in the league. They might have been 11th in yards allowed, but they were 19th in points against. Go ahead, Calvin — say what you want, but no statistic or unexpected slew of injuries to the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs or whomever else will convince meotherwise. Heck, you could make the argument that the Jets aren't even guaranteed to have the best defense in their division. The New England Patriots have loaded up with (ouch, former Jets) corner Darrelle Revis, and the Buffalo Bills, even with Kiko Alonso's injury and Marcell Dareus' limbo status, sat higher in the defensive rankings a year ago. Still, Pace remains undaunted and seems to have a sharper recall of 2009 or 2010 than he does of last season. “We’re the benchmark when we’re doing well,” Pace said. “I’ll take these guys and Rex and this system any day.” I won't. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Manning 'dance' shows he's not all business (Yahoo Sports)

The star quarterback showed his lighter side Monday when he did a dorky dance during the team stretch when ''Rocky Top'' was blared through the loudspeakers at the Denver Broncos' training camp. While Manning was dancing to the unofficial anthem of his Tennessee Volunteers, fellow alum Britton Colquitt joined in and Wes Welker even added a hoedown. ''I love it,'' said defensive end Malik Jackson, another former Vol. ''They need to play it every day. Go Vols.'' Every day the Broncos begin their stretch with music blaring from the loudspeakers. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Calvin Pace latest Jet to puff out his chest: 'We’re the best' defense in NFL (Shutd

If the New York Jets are going to go down, there are going with their egos riding high. Shortly after Dee Milliner, who was roundly tested by opposing quarterbacks as a rookie, proclaimed himself the best cornerback in the NFL , his defensive teammate had some more boastful things to say. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football! ] Calvin Pace was less about self and more about team, but equally as bold, when he told the New York Daily News that the Jets are owners of the best defense in the NFL. “(Compared to) the rest of the defenses in the NFL? S---, man, we’re the best," Pace said. “You ask anybody around the league, we’re not the team you want to see coming in, even in a down year." Pace might have been on vacation out of the country when the Seattle Seahawks made a mockery of the 606-point Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, one that we might add was played on Pace's home field at MetLife Stadium this past February. But for a moment, let's give Pace the benefit of the doubt ... Even with statistics only telling part of the story, it is a fact that the Jets ranked 11th in yards allowed a season ago, which would be solid enough to suggest that — with improvement — the Jets could find themselves far closer to the top five this season. If Milliner and Calvin Pryor upgrade the secondary, and Pace and a capable group of linebackers play well, the Jets own a defensive line as talented as any in the NFL, even rivaling the St. Louis Rams' devastating front. Head coach and defensive savant Rex Ryan can work with this unit and do some very respectable things. Frankly, we can't wait to see what Year 2 of the Muhammad Wilkerson-Sheldon Richardson duo up front, with scheme wrecker Damon Harrison — a starting-grade talent — coming off the bench. When you have those forces up front, it takes major pressure off the guys behind them and allows for some really creative pressure and coverage packages. “There’s a certain type of aggression when we come ... you know we’re going to come with a lot of stuff and teams don’t want to see that,” Pace said. “They want to see a vanilla defense, that just lines up and you know where they’re going to be.” But now let's return from dreamland ... Pace is wrong. Hey, if you're of the mindset that players should be confident and believe they're the best, I can get behind that. The Jets were always at their best under Ryan when they were boastful (when it didn't ring hollow, or as being insecure) and carrying that bravado out on the field.  But there's just no realistic way to argue that the Jets, as thin as they are at a few locations and with a few passable starters on defense, can be the best unit in the league. They might have been 11th in yards allowed, but they were 19th in points against. Go ahead, Calvin — say what you want, but no statistic or unexpected slew of injuries to the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs or whomever else will convince me otherwise. Heck, you could make the argument that the Jets aren't even guaranteed to have the best defense in their division. The New England Patriots have loaded up with (ouch, former Jets) corner Darrelle Revis, and the Buffalo Bills, even with Kiko Alonso's injury and Marcell Dareus' limbo status, sat higher in the defensive rankings a year ago. Still, Pace remains undaunted and seems to have a sharper recall of 2009 or 2010 than he does of last season. “We’re the benchmark when we’re doing well,” Pace said. “I’ll take these guys and Rex and this system any day.” I won't. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Demaryius Thomas back at Broncos camp (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Calvin Pace latest Jet to puff out his chest: 'We’re the best' defense in NFL (Shutd

If the New York Jets are going to go down, there are going with their egos riding high. Shortly after Dee Milliner, who was roundly tested by opposing quarterbacks as a rookie, proclaimed himself the best cornerback in the NFL , his defensive teammate had some more boastful things to say. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football! ] Calvin Pace was less about self and more about team, but equally as bold, when he told the New York Daily News that the Jets are owners of the best defense in the NFL. “(Compared to) the rest of the defenses in the NFL? S---, man, we’re the best," Pace said. “You ask anybody around the league, we’re not the team you want to see coming in, even in a down year." Pace might have been on vacation out of the country when the Seattle Seahawks made a mockery of the 606-point Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, one that we might add was played on Pace's home field at MetLife Stadium this past February. But for a moment, let's give Pace the benefit of the doubt ... Even with statistics only telling part of the story, it is a fact that the Jets ranked 11th in yards allowed a season ago, which would be solid enough to suggest that — with improvement — the Jets could find themselves far closer to the top five this season. If Milliner and Calvin Pryor upgrade the secondary, and Pace and a capable group of linebackers play well, the Jets own a defensive line as talented as any in the NFL, even rivaling the St. Louis Rams' devastating front. Head coach and defensive savant Rex Ryan can work with this unit and do some very respectable things. Frankly, we can't wait to see what Year 2 of the Muhammad Wilkerson-Sheldon Richardson duo up front, with scheme wrecker Damon Harrison — a starting-grade talent — coming off the bench. When you have those forces up front, it takes major pressure off the guys behind them and allows for some really creative pressure and coverage packages. “There’s a certain type of aggression when we come ... you know we’re going to come with a lot of stuff and teams don’t want to see that,” Pace said. “They want to see a vanilla defense, that just lines up and you know where they’re going to be.” But now let's return from dreamland ... Pace is wrong. Hey, if you're of the mindset that players should be confident and believe they're the best, I can get behind that. The Jets were always at their best under Ryan when they were boastful (when it didn't ring hollow, or as being insecure) and carrying that bravado out on the field.  But there's just no realistic way to argue that the Jets, as thin as they are at a few locations and with a few passable starters on defense, can be the best unit in the league. They might have been 11th in yards allowed, but they were 19th in points against. Go ahead, Calvin — say what you want, but no statistic or unexpected slew of injuries to the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs or whomever else will convince me otherwise. Heck, you could make the argument that the Jets aren't even guaranteed to have the best defense in their division. The New England Patriots have loaded up with (ouch, former Jets) corner Darrelle Revis, and the Buffalo Bills, even with Kiko Alonso's injury and Marcell Dareus' limbo status, sat higher in the defensive rankings a year ago. Still, Pace remains undaunted and seems to have a sharper recall of 2009 or 2010 than he does of last season. “We’re the benchmark when we’re doing well,” Pace said. “I’ll take these guys and Rex and this system any day.” I won't. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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