Do The New York Jets Have What It Takes to Be a Contender in 2009?

Jerry FrasierContributor ISeptember 14, 2009

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 13:  Running back Thomas Jones #20 of the New York Jets eludes free safety John Busing #40 of the Houston Texans as he scores on a 38 yard run in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium on September 13, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The New York Jets had a great showing against the Houston Texans on NFL Opening Day.  They showed signs of greatness against a team that many writers picked to win the AFC South over the Indianapolis Colts, but do the Jets really have what it takes to keep up with the New England Patriots and be a contender in the AFC East this season?

The Jets offense had a very good game against the Texans defense.  Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for 272 yards and a touchdown.  Running backs Thomas Jones and Leon Washington also combined for another 167 yards out of the backfield and Jones ran for two touchdowns.   The receiving corps also did a good job helping their rookie QB through his first NFL game.

On the defensive side, the team stuffed the Texans offense only allowing them to score once in the game.  The Jets defense gave up only 204 yards to the Texans and was led by linebacker David Harris, who produced 11 tackles and one sack.  Lito Sheppard also picked off his first pass and a New York Jet.

The Jets can look back at this game and say, “If we play like this every week we are a great team.”  The Jets could be a great team this year, but they have to continue playing at the level they played against the Texans, who may be a weaker team than anybody thought.

Next week, the Jets have the Patriots to look forward to.  This is a difficult matchup and may serve as an essential game for the Jets this season.  If the Jets want to win, both the offense and defense will have to step up this weekend.  Even if the Jets don’t win, but still produce a good effort, it could help their season tremendously.

In the first game of the season, the Jets looked better than anybody thought they would, and if they continue to play this way, they will have a successful season.  The Jets probably do not have the firepower or defense to keep up with the Patriots, but could be a strong Wild Card contender in 2009.

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