Cover 3, Week 9: Richie Incognito And Jonathan Martin Are Swimming With The Fish

1. Last week they got waxed by the Bengals. This week they manhandled the Saints. Is there a more erratic team in the NFL right now than the New York Jets?

RICHARD BOADU:  No. It's the Jets. When you have a second round rookie QB and an inconsistent front office, erratic play is always around the corner. 

JAMES CARR: The real question is, would they still be the most erratic team in the NFL if they hadn't broken up with Darrelle Revis, currently cashing checks for the winless Tampa Bay Bucs (good effort this weekend, though)? One player, even of Revis' caliber, might not change the overall record of the Jets by much, but the attitude and confidence the team player with when Revis was on the field is undeniable. In a division where second is very much up for grabs, Revis' presence would be a solidifying factor. But it's the Jets, and perhaps they simply play best when no one expects anything from them

DJ DUNSON: The Jets success hinges on whether Geno Smith decides to hang his defense out to dry by committing ridiculous turnovers. Smith completed just 42 percent of his attempts on Sunday. To play devil’s advocate though, the Philadelphia Eagles offense scored 10 points in two weeks and couldn’t seem to matriculate the ball down the field without Michael Vick’s dual threat ability, then silenced its critics by hanging 49 in a record passing day by Nick Foles. However, they are still under .500 and rely on one side of the football. From week to week, the Jets goat could be the G.O.A.T.

Chris Ivory jackhammered his way to 139 yards on 18 carries this week. Last weekend, he ran for 11 yards on six carries. Against the Pats, he gained 104 yards on 34 carries and in the three weeks prior he only had 12 carries for 48 yards as Smith was slinging the ball all over the field. Their next win might be the result of three special teams touchdowns by Josh Cribbs or they could lose to the Buffalo Bills in Week 11. Neither would be surprising anymore.


2. Which seven touchdown performance was more impressive, Peyton Manning’s or Foles'?

BOADU: Peyton. It was more dramatic. It was in primetime. It was a rematch of last year's playoff game. Foles played….the Raiders. 

CARR: Peyton Manning's was more impressive because he did it against the Ravens, whereas Nick Foles jacked up the Oakland Raiders. You don't get any awards for beating the Raiders. More than which was better, though, is that seven touchdowns is only a slightly big deal now that Foles has done it. Kinda like the 400-yard passing game used to mean a big game and almost assuredly a victory in the NFL, four or five touchdowns is no longer an eye opener. In today's NFL, where QBs are Kings, seven TDs is the new five.

DUNSON: If we’re judging on a curve, Foles was more impressive in the same way adults get impressed when a toddler takes their first steps or sounds out words they can’t read. The thrill factor is gone from Peyton Manning’s exploits.  Nick Foles was out their throwing ducks into the dirt last time we saw him. Besides, Oakland’s secondary is ranked right alongside Baltimore’s outside the top 10 pass defenses.


3. Based on what we know about the situation in Miami, do you buy that Dolphins O-lineman Jonathan Martin was being bullied by Richie Incognito and other teammates or is this just an example of an oversensitive athlete who needs to show some backbone?

BOADU: It's clearly an oversensitive athlete. No grown man can be bullied. People get away with what you let them get away with. 

CARR: Honestly, when I saw the headline come across my feed, Dolphins Investigate Bullying Probe, I thought it was taken from The Onion; If there's one place you'd stereotypically assume bullying took place, it'd be an NFL locker room. Part of this is that Martin needs to grow a backbone, as it were, but bullying is such a norm in formative years that many kids never learn how to deal with it, instead just hoping it will go away. That sounds a lot like what's going on here. The biggest issue here, though, is that nobody stepped to some guy named Richie Incognito. Dude sounds like a jackass. Would have been nice if a vet stepped in to check him.

DUNSON: Richie Incognito looks and sounds like an atypical goon from The Sopranos, but unless he was sending severed fingers to Jonathan Martin’s address, this isn’t even on the level of cyber bullying. From the jump, Martin handled this incredibly poorly. The inciting incident wasn’t a violent encounter, rather it was a lunchroom prank in which a few of his fellow teammates ostracized him by getting up whenever he sat down. That’s a high schoolish prank. The racially-charged text messages are something else entirely, but once again, he kept them to himself knowing that Incognito has a poor rep around the league.

As for the $15,000 Martin donated to Incognito’s Vegas fund, rooks have been paying that sort of tributes to vets in NFL locker rooms for years. Incognito’s been suspended by the Dolphins, but Martin’s jeopardized his standing in the locker room by leaving the team and getting the NFLPA involved.