Jets coach Rex Ryan has come out and predicted a New York Jets Super Bowl victory this year, with Jets legend Joe Namath backing up Ryan's optimism by saying the Jets hype is justified.
Say what you want about Rex Ryan's brash pompousness and/or weight, but he truly believes in his team, and wants more than anything to shake Commissioner Roger Goidell's hand in February as he hoists the Lombardi trophy.
While as a Jets fan I love Ryan's cockiness, there are still a few things that absolutely have to go right in order for the Jets to win a championship in 2010-2011.
Here are the Jets 5 keys to success:
"Sanchise" needs to have a good year in order for the Jets to become serious Super Bowl contenders. It remains to be seen how he will bounce back from a pretty impressive rookie year, where he became only the forth rookie QB in NFL history to win his first playoff game.
To improve, Sanchez needs to cut down on the mistakes. He had 20 interceptions last year, versus only 12 touchdowns. He is also coming off of knee surgery.
If he can run the offense more efficiently, expect a great season for the Jets.
It is reasonable to expect that Sanchez could have a better year this year because of the Jets' new and improved wide receivers. Yet, there are quite a bit of question marks surrounding them.
First, Santonio Holmes. He is good, but is starting off the season with a four game suspension. How will he play once he returns?
While Holmes is suspended, a lot will be expected out of Braylon Edwards. Can he transform into the player everyone thought he will become? Or are drops going to plague him in New York like they plagued him in Cleveland?
Laveranues Coles is also back (...again), but many wonder if he is going to be a viable threat at this point in his career.
Aside from these three, Sanchez also has Jerricho Cotchery, David Clowney, and tight end Dustin Keller to throw to. The Jets recieving corp is deep, but they need to play up to expectations in order for the offense to improve from last season.
The Jets running game was dominant last year, but many key pieces are no longer on the team. The Jets questionably let go veterans Alan Faneca and Thomas Jones, and Leon Washington was traded.
Now, Shonn Greene is expected to have a huge role in this offense. He had a great rookie season, with a convincing performance against the Chargers in the playoffs. But how will he perform as the Jets go to RB?
The Jets also added LaDainian Tomlinson to the roster, whom many think is out of his prime. Can he return to form in an offensive system that favors the running game?
Another question is who will replace Faneca at guard? Second year player Matt Slauson and rookie Vladamir Ducasse are expected to battle it out for the starting position.
If the running game struggles at all this season, so too will the Jets.
The importance of a place kicker cannot be understated, and unfortunately, Jets kicker Nick Folk is a huge question mark.
He's had struggles with his accuracy and consistency throughout his entire career, and was released after Week 15 by the Cowboys last season. The Jets cannot afford to have him missing field goals when they need a score, especially the makable FGs.
If Folk is at all a liability in training camp and preseason, expect the Jets to try and scoop up either Neil Rackers or Kris Brown, who are two veterans currently battling for the starting job for the Texans.
By far the biggest concern with the Jets surrounds CB Darrelle Revis, who is currently a holdout of Jets training camp. He justifiably wants more money, but he wants to be paid the more than any other cornerback in the NFL.
Currently, Raiders' CB Nnamdi Asomugha is the highest paid CB. While Revis may be better than him and deserves more money than him, I have a slight problem with Revis comparing his worth to a contract given out by Al Davis.
Nonetheless, the Jets and Revis need to come to terms as soon as possible. The Jets need Revis, as he is their best player, and Revis thrives under the Jets' defensive scheme.
While the Jets defense is sure to be great again - they have added Jason Taylor, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle WIlson, and Kris Jenkins is healthy again - Revis is immensely important to the team.
I think sooner or later the two sides will agree, but holdouts are not good, especially when it's the team's best player.
The Jets are expected to be a good team this year, but they do have some hurdles to jump before they reach the Super Bowl. With that, a Super Bowl appearance and win is certainly not out of the question.
The Jets have the keys to success and if everything goes right - as everything has to go for a team to win the Super Bowl - the Jets could be champions in 2011.
A side note: Love 'em or hate 'em, the Jets are also an extremely entertaining team, lead by loud mouths Rex Ryan and Bart Scott, as well as the pseudo-celebrity Mark Sanchez. For that, they'll be on HBO's Hard Knocks this season, which begins this Wednesday at 10 pm.
I'll be watching every episode. Will you?