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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010 NY Jets Preview

The NY Jets seem to be set up perfectly for a reality-style televison series, don't they? Overacheiving 2009 campaign where they almost made the Super Bowl. Brash yet enetertaining head coach. Charismatic young starting quarterback. Discarded former MVP with a vendetta to prove he can still play. "Gang Green" '10 was tailored made to be the subject of HBO's hit show about NFL training camp, "Hard Knocks". The challenge for the Jets will be to translate all this pre-season hype to on the field success, culminating in a championship.

With rookie Mark Sanchez at the helm, the 2009 Jets fielded the league's most run-heavy offense, choosing the run on just over 60% of their snaps. This turned out to be a good decision given that Sanchez threw a whopping 20 INTs to only 12 TD in his rookie campaign. While the young QB will most likely cut back on the turnovers this year as he matures and is better prepared to handle NFL defenses, expect more of the same run/pass ratio. Leading rusher Thomas Jones is no longer with the team but he is replaced by TD machine LaDainian Tomlinson. He will backup 2nd year RB Shonn Greene, who had a strong showing in the post season before going down with an injury. Add in the versatile change-of-pace rookie back Joe McKnight and the Jets should be set for their running game. DeBrigashaw FergusonD'Brickashaw Ferguson at LT and C Nick Mangold achor the best O-line in the AFC.

The Jets attempted to get Sanchez a new weapon in the receiving corps by trading for Santonio Holmes, but the troubled receiver will be out for the first 4 games after being suspended for violating the NFL substance policy (just say no, kids). When he returns, the former Super Bowl XLIII MVP is a reliable receiver with the speed to stretch the field and ability to make the big catch (see here). Braylon Edwards lines up on the other side of the field, and if he can shake the dropsies the 6'3 receiver can have a solid impact as Sanchez's red zone target. Dustin Keller is the only reliable target at TE as the rest on the roster are strictly blocking options.

The defensive side of the field is where the Jets really shine. They have all the pieces needed to be successful in a 3-4 scheme. Up front, DE Shaun Ellis and DT Kris Jenkins (if healthy) stuff the run and alow linebackers Bart Scott and David Harris to fly around the field and make plays. The Jets could potentially have a true lock-down secondary, if they can manage to get All-Pro CB Darelle Revis off "Revis Island" and end his holdout. Recently aquired Antonio Cromartie has the tools to shut down the other side of the field as well, and rookie CB Kyle Wilson has the reputation of a playmaker covering the slot. Expect big things from him in the return game as well. Hard to improve on a defense that led the NFL in 2009 fewest yards allowed per game(a paltry 252.3), passing yards allowed (153.7) and fewest points allowed (14.8ppg) but they just may be better this season.

Prediction: 12-4

The Jets dont play a particularly tough schedule in 2010, and as Sanchez progresses I think he'll cut down his turnovers and throw a few more touchdowns. And if that doesn't happen, the defense will shut down almost every team in the league and keep them in low scoring, winnable games. Expect them to challenge for the AFC crown this season.

That is, if they don't go too "Hollywood" on us. Thanks, HBO!


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