The New York Jets were very lucky last season, but they won't be this year.
The team snuck into the playoffs at 9-7 and heated up for a brief playoff run. The Jets also had the number one defense in the NFL last season.
Sounds great, right? Well, let's take a closer look.
There's an old saying, "statistics don't always tell the story," and that was the case with the Jets last season.
Weeks 16 and 17 for the Jets saw them face teams with clinched playoff spots. That meant in week 16, the Indianapolis Colts would take a lead and before the fourth quarter, bench their starters. It allowed the Jets to steal a win.
In week 17 against Cincinnati Bengals, the Jets played a team who essentially benched all their starters. The offense of the Bengals was bad enough even with their starters. Bring in the backups, and you have an ugly game.
There were other games that helped the defense look good as well. The Oakland Raiders at the peak of their collapse and Tampa Bay Buccaneers helped aid the process. They beat up on bad teams and teams with benched players, and it translated well.
Unfortunately, 2010 provides less golden opportunities for the team on the schedule.
As for the defense this year, they added some new players.
But, just because they look great on paper, doesn't mean they will be.
Starting with the secondary, two additions were made. Antonio Cromartie is a mediocre corner who won't be able to cover the other side for Darrelle Revis. The rookie Kyle Wilson should turn out to be a good pro, but will face a rookie learning curve that will take time to translate.
And then, Jason Taylor. Taylor declined at the second half of last season and doesn't have the burst he used to. He will contribute in select spots, but fans expecting him to make a 16 game impact are insulting themselves.
As for the offense, Mark Sanchez did not have a good rookie season. With an even more questionable offensive line this season, his 20 interceptions might once again be matched. The offense was purely run first and he was asked to control it. He won't win the games, which might be a problem when they find themselves behind more often in 2010.
As for that running game, Ladainian Tomlinson is a downgrade from Thomas Jones as a second back. He can catch out of the backfield, which should help replace Leon Washington, but his speed is nowhere close to where it used to be.
Shonn Greene is also a question mark. He had some great flashes, especially in the playoffs, but showed some deficiencies too. His three fumbles on 108 carries is worrisome for a full load. And his injury history from college and last year, makes people wonder if he can handle 250 carries at the pro level.
Look for the Jets to disappoint and fall short of the playoffs, behind the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins for some extra insult.
Expect a 7-9 record and no playoffs for the "other New York team."