Are The Jets Flying Under The Radar?

George AndersonAnalyst IIJuly 26, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 07:  Thomas Jones #20 of the New York Jets  looks on against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL game on December 7, 2008 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The New York Jets thought they finally had the key to a championship when they signed Brett Favre. With Tom Brady out for the season, and the Jets off to an 8-3 start, it was shaping up for a Jets playoff run.

Unfortunately, Favre reverted to his bad side and threw 2-3 interceptions instead of 2-3 touchdowns a game. This plus the fact the defense was not its dominant self in the home stretch, led to a Jets collapse as they could only manage one win against the Bills (who didn’t win a game against a division opponent).

The Good

The Jets probably have the greatest running back core in the NFL. Thomas Jones can carry the load when needed and can get the tough yards. Leon Washington is speed demon who will be more of a return man because of the Jets’ third-round pick.

 Shonn Greene really had a break out year with Iowa and that allowed him to have enough appeal to be drafted so high. He is seen as the successor to Thomas Jones, but in the mean time he will be the best “breather” back in the league.

All of the Jets’ success running the ball last season and this upcoming season is due in big part to the efforts of fullback Tony Richardson. He is old, grant it, yet 38 does not mean retired (39 might though).

The Jets offensive line might the best part of the team because of its consistency and toughness. Tackle D’ Brickashaw Ferguson is a mauler and has only just begun to prove he’s an elite tackle. Center Nick Mangold has had a flawless transition into the NFL as well and is now a Pro Bowl center.

The anchor for the line is the best guard in the NFL in Alan Faneca. These three dominate the line of scrimmage and their presence will be crucial this year with, in essence, two rookie quarterbacks.

The Jets' defense is the most notable asset of the team and with a tough schedule will be tested. The defensive line is led by the dominant tackle Kris Jenkins who is unstoppable when he’s in the game.

The linebacker core added Bart Scott who will try to lead a core that includes Calvin Pace (after his suspension is over) and what the Jets hope to be a dominant pass-rusher in Vernon Gholston.

The secondary now includes corner Lito Sheppard and safety Jim Leonhard. These two along with corner Darrelle Revis can shut down even a top offense like New England.

I almost forgot, the defense will be strong because Rex Ryan is now Head Coach. He built one of the most dominant defenses of this decade and now he will do the same with a young and talented Jets defense.

The Bad

The quarterback situation is bad because each of the two vying for the starting job have little to no experience. Once a quarterback has earned the spot, I feel the offense will be in good shape. I do think Mark Sanchez has better leadership and that the Jets would fair better with him over Clemens.

The receiver core is in rough shape now that Coles is gone, but hope is not lost. Now is the time for Jerricho Cotchery to shine as the No. 1. He showed last season that he has good hands and speed, so with him on one side and Chansi Stuckey, who really opened up eyes last season, on the other side the Jets offense might not drop off too much.

Add Dustin Keller, who is ready to prove he’s a reliable target, and the Jets have a fairly young but very talented core.

The Ugly

The schedule is brutal with the Jets having to face their division, the NFC South, and the AFC South. This would not be so bad for the Jets, but this is not the ideal schedule for a team relying on either a rookie or a quarterback with little experience. It will be tough, but with the right leadership the Jets might be able to weather the storm.


Jones should still be looked at as the starter and a solid No. 2 to low end No. 1 running back because he might not see as many carries this year. He will still be the guy on goal line situations and is still good for 1,000 yards.

Cotchery is a low end No. 2 receiver because he has to prove he can be the main target and with inexperienced quarterbacks at the helm the passing game will be cut down.

The Jets defense will not have linebacker Pace for the first four games, but the defense should be able to handle the schedule and will dominate once he returns. The defense is a starting one for fantasy, but it is more like the seventh best defense so see who is still available before drafting them.

The sleeper is tight end Dustin Keller. With no clear “main” target, Keller could be used early and often when the Jets are not running the ball. Also, it is said that tight ends are a young quarterback’s best friend, and both quarterbacks are young so watch out.


Third place