Gamethread: New York Jets @ St. Louis Rams 11.18.12

David Harris “quarterbacking” the defense as he calls the next play in last Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks.

Who: New York Jets @ St. Louis Rams
When: 1:00 p.m. EST
Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
Media: TV – CBS, DirecTV – 712, Radio – ESPN 98.7 FM, Sirius – 113, Sirius XM – XM 228 Internet AudioAudio Pass.
Their Previous Meeting: The last time these two teams met, technically speaking, the Jets gave the Rams a 47-3 drubbing in the regular season, scoring 27 points off of five St. Louis turnovers under coach Eric Mangini and veteran quarterback Brett Favre. However, the last time these teams actually met, the Jets had, only a few months prior, installed Rex Ryan as head coach and went out and drafted Mark Sanchez to be their franchise quarterback. Yes, it is the 2009 preseason and the Ryan regime was just trying to get it’s legs under themselves. It would turn out to be a solid day for the quarterbacks as Kellen Clemens, Sanchez, and Erik Ainge all finished the day with ratings over 90. Clemens opened the game with Sanchez coming in with 28 seconds left in the first quarter and he ended up connecting with David Clowney on a 48 yard bomb on his first attempt. This would set up a 1 yard Thomas Jones run that put the Jets ahead 10-3. From there on, the reins were given to Erik Ainge who turned in a solid performance completing 10 of 17 passes for 148 yards including one 50 yard touchdown pass to Mr. Preseason himself, Clowney. However, St. Louis responded with a touchdown of their own to put them ahead 23-20 and ultimately ensure their victory.

Injury Report

Jets: TE Jeff Cumberland (Wrist–Probable), DE Mike DeVito (Finger–Probable), NT Kenrick Ellis (Knee–Probable), WR Clyde Gates (Shoulder–Probable), NT Damon Harrison (Thumb–Probable), WR Stephen Hill (Illness–Probable), WR Jeremy Kerley (Heel/Hamstring–Questionable), S LaRon Landry (Heel–Probable), C Nick Mangold (Ankle/Thumb–Probable), RB/KR Joe McKnight (Ankle–Questionable), G Brandon Moore (Hip–Probable), LB Calvin Pace (Shoulder/Personal–Probable), NT Sione Po’uha (Low Back/Ankle–Questionable), RB Bilal Powell (Concussion–Questionable), QB Mark Sanchez (Low Back–Probable), LB Bart Scott (Toe–Questionable), G Matt Slauson (Knee–Probable), S Eric Smith (Knee–Probable), and QB Tim Tebow (Ribs–Probable).
Rams: LB Mario Haggan (Thigh–Questionable), WR Austin Pettis (Toe–Questionable), DE Eugene Sims (Knee–Questionable), and S Darian Stewart (Knee–Questionable).

Jets: QB Greg McElroy, DT Damon Harrison, G Caleb Schlauderaff, G Hayworth Hicks, TE Hayden Smith, and LB Marcus Dowtin. (Note: Only six inactives are required because there are currently only 52 players on roster)
Rams: QB Austin Davis, WR Steve Smith, S Darian Stewart, RB Terrance Ganaway, FB Brit Miller, OL Chris Williams, and DT Matt Conrath.

Game Captains: LB Bart Scott, CB Antonio Cromartie, T Austin Howard, T Jason Smith, and LS Tanner Purdum.

Links: TJB Chat || Preview || Intel Report || Game Center || Jets @ Rams Game Release || TJB on Twitter

Post Scriptum: The password to the chatroom is case-sensitive and must be entered as shown: muckingfulligan

As the old saying goes, when it rains, it pours and there certainly has been torrent of pure suck. As if the Jets’ struggles on the field weren’t enough, the “anonymous source” bug has so conveniently returned to bite the Jets, causing not so much a circus within the clubhouse but in the media especially on Twitter. Although I promised myself I would refrain from using “must-win” in my writings, the sad reality is the Jets need to win this game if nothing else to quell the outpouring of support they have received for the majority of the season–and by support I mean the vitriol and venom spewed by fans, media and anyone else that actually pays attention to sports, even casually.

The offense will only go as far as Mark Sanchez will go and so far, that hasn’t been far. I guess at this point there is little to be said about Mark because it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion. The one thing I will say is to maintain ball security because you can’t stand out there and not expect to lose the ball if you can’t keep a firm grasp on it and Sanchez admitted as much this week. Jeremy Kerley is listed as questionable but he’ll likely play which is good since he’s the only established and sure option for Sanchez but even then, whether or not he gets the ball is still a crapshoot. Powell and McKnight could play but I wouldn’t be surprised if their respective injuries limited their playing time which means new acquisition Kahlil Bell should see some snaps in place of Shonn Greene who continues to prove week in and week out that he is the farthest thing from a featured back.

Defensively, you can’t blame the Jets for lack of effort at this point. Despite the host of injuries the have plagued them, specifically the cornerback position, they have fought against every single team (49ers game notwithstanding) and ever time have to keep going out because the offense can’t move the ball and subsequently get tired and start to get sloppy. That’s a situation I do not envy but to their credit, they seem to have the patience of a Saint for not brawling with the offense at this point. Perhaps the line will get a boost this week as the space eater Kenrick Ellis is listed as probable and looks set to return to action–a good thing since Po’uha, in addition to his back injury, is dealing with an ankle injury. If Ellis can consistently draw double teams, that will open lanes up for the Jets to get to Bradford. While Stephen Jackson has visibly declined, he still is probably an upgrade to Greene which means the defense can’t sleep on the run either. Honestly, I’m not even sure what to expect from this team anymore but I guess we can all hope and pray that they will be able to get something going and try to salvage at least a bit of the dwindling season.