The loss in the AFC championship game aside, the fans of the New York Jets have a lot to look forward to.
Many wondered during the season about the "what ifs." What if Favre had stuck around. What if we had signed a veteran QB to play this year instead of going with an unproven rookie in Mark Sanchez, whose horrendous performances early in the season had us all scratching our heads.
Was there a bit of luck with them making the playoffs this season? Of course. But with every snap Sanchez took this year, he acquired much needed experience. And this led into the playoffs, where he showed why the Jets traded up to make him their QB for years to come.
Is it me, or has this kid done a total 180 from his performances earlier in the season? The four-interception games. The guy who tried to be Superman on every play. Forcing passes, and running recklessly as if he were playing Washington State.
While I like how the Green Bay Packers chose to develop Aaron Rodgers, you can't put a price on what Sanchez learned this year. He learned he doesn't have to be a magician for this team to win games.
With a dominant running game, a QB who has already shown that he "gets it," and a defense that will only continue to improve, the Jets have a foundation that makes for the potential of a future dynasty.
This time next year, the Jets will have filled the small gaps they have on defense, starting with the return of Kris Jenkins. Add in another player in the secondary who is a cover guy, and a pass rushing DE, and you will see a defense very similar to teams like the Ravens, the '86 Giants, and the '85 Bears in their Super Bowl seasons of the past, who absolutely dominated on the defensive side of the ball.
The one thing that makes this Jets team different from those? They will have an offense that is, while not as dominant as their defense, able to play any style they want or need to on any given Sunday.
A smashmouth running game, along with a young, talented, developing QB, and the necessary weapons around him with the ever-improving Shonn Greene, the return of Leon Washington, a possession guy in Jerricho Cotchery, and a sure-fire No. 1 WR—whether it be Braylon Edwards, or one of the many possible replacements out there in free agency, such as Brandon Marshall or Anquan Boldin.
The future is bright, Jets fans. Sit back and enjoy what should be a decade for the record books!!