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Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Two Weeks Later posted by Joe Anello

Okay everyone, it’s been long enough since my last check-in that a slew of impactful transactions have taken place in NFL free agency. So without further adieu, let’s go around the league!

(Here are my takes on the moves from day one and days two and three of free agency.)

 

WR Greg Jennings signs a 5-year $47.5 million deal ($18M gtd.) with the Minnesota Vikings

This move was almost a necessity for the Vikings AND Jennings. Minnesota was in dire straits at the receiver position after they traded away Percy Harvin to the Seahawks. Jennings wasn’t getting any more money than the Packers offered him, so he oddly walked away from that deal and signed with the division rival. He’ll be THE focal point in Minnesota at the receiver position. Maybe this eases Adrian Peterson’s rage over the trading of Harvin. Maybe.

LT Jake Long signs a 4-year, $36 million deal ($16M gtd.) with the St. Louis Rams

Shabam. And the real domino in the tackle game falls. Long’s extended physical delayed this deal from getting done sooner, but he’s now a Ram. If he’s legitimately healthy and returns to form, the Rams aren’t going to miss that money in the slightest. So what does this mean for incumbent LT and former second-round pick Roger Saffold? Uh… it means he’s on his way to the right side. Or to a trade. Once Long was signed, it set a real benchmark for other tackles on the market, as we’ll see later.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Two Weeks Later"


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

The Final Drive: 2013 Conference Championships posted by Joe Anello

Conference Championship Sunday left two teams in sheer jubilation while two other squads will be left at home for the Super Bowl. Let’s take a look at how two road teams pulled out the win in The Final Drive!

(13-4-1) San Francisco 49ers 28

(14-4) Atlanta Falcons 24

The first quarter of this game looked almost exactly the same as the Falcons’ last game, with a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. San Francisco mounted a whopping -2 yards on offense in the opening frame, stifled by a Falcon defense that had a surprisingly decent pass rush in the quarter.

Julio Jones came out ready to play for keeps, racking up over 100 yards in the first quarter. He was held relatively in check for the rest of the game, totaling “only” 182 yards. Matt Ryan seemed to be able to expose the Niner secondary all day, especially safety Dashon Goldson, who was torched by Jones on his first score. A second crazy catch by Jones to start the second quarter made the score 17-0 in favor of Atlanta. Luckily the Niner offense figured it out eventually, getting two touchdowns in the second period to make the game competitive again. But after the Falcons drove right back down in the two minute drill to pull away at 24-14, I was left to wonder: where was that vaunted Niner defense everyone kept telling me about? I think they forgot that this was an elimination game. Someone must have told them at halftime, because San Fran’s defense came out and utterly shut down the dirty birds.

As their Niner defense tightened, recovering a fumbled snap to Ryan, Colin Kaepernick and the offense thrived. Kaep continued to make key passes from inside the pocket. The read-option plays became deadly, especially at the goal line, where Frank Gore scored two rushing touchdowns. The Niners went up 28-24 in the middle of the fourth quarter and never looked back.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: 2013 Conference Championships"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: 2013 Conference Championships posted by Joe Anello

Okay everybody, Conference Championship Sunday is here and I could not be any more excited. Aside from the drama that is surrounding each of these fantastic games (you know, because whoever wins plays in that little Super Bowl), I’m also 3-5 on my picks going into the day, meaning the only way I get above .500 for the postseason is if I get everything right from here on out. No pressure. There’s been some movement on these lines (San Fran got a lot of juice and is now a four point favorite. Baltimore saw some action while the line was at 9 points, whittling it down to 7.5), so as an FYI I’m picking against the spread as the odds are currently, not where they began. Let’s stop prattling on and get into The Opening Drive!

*As always, lines pulled from VegasInsider.com. 

 

(12-4-1) San Francisco 49ers at

(14-3) Atlanta Falcons

3:00 PM ET, FOX

You’re going to be hard-pressed to find any unit in this game that favors the Falcons. The Niner offensive line is playing the best of any unit still in the playoffs, as they’ve been utterly dominating defensive fronts at the line of scrimmage. There’s a reason Colin Kaepernick ran utterly untouched against the Packers. Even as he gets a bit older, Frank Gore is the best running back in this game. Michael Crabtree has been stepping up as of late, looking at times like the number one receiver he was always supposed to be. Randy Moss is a somewhat credible threat on the outside, but this team really suffers from the loss of Mario Manningham. But Kaepernick might be able to reproduce a similar performance from last week with the benefit of a dome and faster turf. Without a fully healthy John Abraham (ankle), are the Falcons

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: 2013 Conference Championships"


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"


Patriots Fan

Your Chances of Winning with New England Patriots on NFL Football Betting posted by Patriots Fan

Betting in America has always been a risky past-time as previously if you were interested in NFL football betting, you would need to find a bookie, make a visit in person, place the bet with hard cash, and pray that you will get your money if you win. Now all this is unnecessary, as online sportsbooks accept your bets with various payment options, and winnings are settled promptly online. Secondly, these betting websites provide more locations for placing wagers, thus improving your chances of finding a better line. This not only minimizes risks but also increases your chances of winning over the long term. Once you start exploring the numerous possibilities and advantages of online betting, you will be surprised at how much you can win within a short period.

Coming back to NFL football wagers, the New England Patriots seem to be a promising team. The team’s offense was already legendary and it seems it has got better for the season with Brandon Lloyd, who is an excellent receiver. This great catch for the Patriots did not cost much, as Lloyd signed a three-year contract for only 12 million dollars, which is quite below his value in the market. However, it is a good career move for Lloyd, as he is teaming up with Josh McDaniels, the best coordinator for offense.

Another impressive player, Tom Brady, is now at the top of his game and is playing quite well this year. This excellent quarterback, together with Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, and Rob Gronkowski can be quite formidable for any NFL team to handle. New England Patriots also landed Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney, who might replace Deion Branch, as he lacks the burst. Gaffney has quite an impressive record in the last year with five touchdowns, and catching 68 balls in 947 yards - it may be worth placing a bet on him catching a few balls one game even.

Continue reading "Your Chances of Winning with New ..."


Joe Anello

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

I gotta say, week 15 of the NFL season is here and it is absolutely stacked. Almost all of the early games on Sunday have playoff implications, which ensures the excitement starts early! Let’s go through the most intriguing match-ups of the weekend!

(8-5) New York Giants at

(11-2) Atlanta Falcons

Woof. This is not a bad game at all. The Super Bowl Champs head south to face a Falcons team that just gave up an odd game to the Newton-led Panthers. It’s going to be interesting how much the Giants flip their proverbial switch for this one, seeing as how they’ll very likely meet in the playoffs. (But the G-Men still have to get there.) If the Falcons are going to be taken seriously, Sunday would be a good way to start.

(7-6) Washington Redskins at

(5-8) Cleveland Browns

Word broke early Saturday that RG3 will not start in this game, meaning Kirk Cousins will be taking the reins against a stout Brown defense. This is definitely the best candidate for the “Trap of the Week.” I’ll give the ‘Skins’ coaching staff a lot of credit for the way this team has played thus far, because they’re certainly maximizing their talent. But without a dynamic QB like Griffin, this Washington offense might not have enough explosiveness to put up many points.

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


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 14, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

There were some wildly surprising results from week 14 in the NFL. Before we move on from the weekend’s action, it’s time to recap the best stories in The Final Drive!

(7-6) Dallas Cowboys 20

(7-6) Cincinnati Bengals 19

Not only is it impressive that the Cowboys focused up and found a way to win on the road against a quality opponent, but they did it while facing such enormous adversity. Losing a teammate 24 hours before the game has to be a shock to their system, but they maintained composure and kept themselves in the playoff race. Meanwhile, Cincy lost out on a prime opportunity to pull away from the Steelers, who lost a shocker. They dropped a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and couldn’t get A.J. Green the ball. Both of which are concerns for a supposed playoff team.

(9-4) Indianapolis Colts 27

(4-9) Tennessee Titans 23

Dude. Andrew Luck. Stop it. We get it. You’re SUPER clutch. Next time you face an inferior team can you just blow the doors off them right away and not spot them points by throwing stupid interceptions? Obviously I love the drama, but I’m betting your fans could use less heart attacks.

(5-8) San Diego Chargers 34

(7-6) Pittsburgh Steelers 24

This was definitely the WTF game of the weekend. How the Steelers came out this flat at home against a team in such turmoil we’ve never know. Norv Turner pulled out all the tricks in this one, but this is just the biggest damn fluke I’ve ever seen. Shame on you Pittsburgh. Shame.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 14, 2012"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 14, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

You guys, week 14 is here. The NFL regular season only has three weeks left! Playoff races will tighten and draft orders will be cemented this weekend, so there’s plenty to talk about in The Opening Drive!

 

(9-3) Denver Broncos at

(3-9) Oakland Raiders

Two reasons why this is getting a mention. First: it’s Thursday Night Football, so it’s the game we all have to watch. Second: Peyton Manning. That one’s pretty simple. (And third: the Raiders are terrible, which is wicked fun to watch.)

(6-6) Dallas Cowboys at

(7-5) Cincinnati Bengals

This match-up features two teams right in the thick of their respective playoff hunts. Cincy could be in line for a wildcard spot if they can get ahead of the Steelers, but in their way are the Cowboys, who are still alive in the NFC East. The least mistakes wins. But who do you trust more: Tony Romo or Andy Dalton?

(4-8) San Diego Chargers at

(7-5) Pittsburgh Steelers

So the Chargers are on the road… in Pittsburgh… against the best defense in the league… with Ben Roethlisberger returning to the starting line-up? HAHAHAHA. I want to watch this demolition in its entirety.

(9-3) Baltimore Ravens at

(6-6) Washington Redskins

For all we keep talking about the “injured” Ravens, they sure manage to keep (mostly) winning. But now that aging defense gets a real test against RG3, who managed to excel versus the best front four in the game. Griffin’s got his Redskins right in the NFC East mix, so he’ll be at the top of his game. I honestly don’t trust this Raven offense AT ALL.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 14, 2012"

New England Patriots 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 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


Perseverance pushed C Wendell into Patriots' picture (The SportsXchange)

Bill Belichick loves an underdog, and he found one in center Ryan Wendell. The starting pivot for the New England Patriots arrived as an undrafted free agent in 2008, with a strong recommendation from Belichick pal and confidant Pat Hill, whose experience as an NFL offensive line coach gives him credibility beyond his bond with the longtime Patriots' head coach. It wasn't abundantly clear where, when or if ever Wendell would fit in the Patriots' plans. "When Ryan first got here, he couldn't even make our practice squad. [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 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

Raiders relying on healthy Watson to solidify line (The Associated Press)

NAPA, Calif. (AP) -- Menelik Watson's rookie season proved to be mostly a waste. [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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