The Hot Topic: Jets Open Rex Ryan Era with a Bang

The RantCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 14:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets shakes hands with head coach Rex Ryan prior to the preseason game against the St. Louis Rams at Giants Stadium on August 14, 2009  in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Rex Ryan and the new-look New York Jets took it to the Houston Texans in a 24-7 victory last Sunday in Reliant Stadium, the home of the Texans.

Rookie golden child Mark Sanchez looked strong in his NFL debut, completing 18 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown. Although Sanchez shined, he wasnt the star of the day.

That award would go to the Jets defense, who held the Texans' No. 3 offense to 183 yards.

The Texans did not even pass midfield during the first three quarters of the game and held last season's electrifying combo of Steve Slaton and Andre Johnson silent.

Slaton was held to only 17 yards rushing on nine attempts while Johnson caught only four passes for 35 yards.

Slaton's 17-yard total was the second lowest of his brief two-year career.

"You work for six months leading up to this first game," Slaton said after the game, according to the Associated Press. "You have all offseason to prepare for this game and then to come out and play like that is upsetting."

The Texan offense wasnt the only thing that struggled against the new-look Jets as the defense allowed 462 yards.

The Jets under Ryan look like a whole different team than in years past.

The defense, led by Ryan's former middle linebacker in Baltimore, Bart Scott, swarmed the Texans on every play.

New York will have its hands full with the Patriots this Sunday.

Ryan and some players have already publicly talked a big game against the Patriots. The Jets even sent out a voicemail to all season ticket holders with Ryan saying he needs the fans' support this weekend.

It will be an intense atmosphere in New York Sunday; if the Jets are able to defeat the rival Patriots, they will be a team to beat this season.