The Jets: Five Improvements For a Successful 2010 Season

Sammy MakkiAnalyst IAugust 9, 2010

The Jets: Five Improvements For a Successful 2010 Season

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    The Jets are this year's huge NFL pick.

    Or at least one of them.

    Who knows what's happening on the Darrelle Revis front, and the decision on his contract status will play a huge part in the Jets success this season.

    On top of this, there are many improvements the Jets will have to make to win games in the 2010 season.

    The team's defense ranked first in the NFL last season, but they struggled in 4th quarter play.

    That is just one of many things the Jets must improve on this season.

    There are five main improvements the Jets must make to have a successful season:

5. Field Position

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    Field position proved to be one struggle, among others, for the Jets in the 2009 season. Both offensively and defensively.

    Offense

    The Jets always seemed to fall short of getting into the red zone. While they did have their share of touchdowns, they often fell just short on third down and were forced into a field goal attempt.

    It's a very annoying and unfortunate situation when you can't squeeze an extra first down to try to get the other three points.

    Defense

    The Jets must improve their punts and guard against the punt return.

    Allowing the opposition to begin their drive close to midfield can kill a football team, especially late in the game.

    Throughout the 2009 season, either Steve Weatherford's punt would fall short or the defense would allow kick returners to gain plenty of yardage.

4. Make the sack

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    Are you wondering why everyone is clamoring for the Jets to sign Darrelle Revis? Well, he's talented, for one, but they need his defense.

    Getting to the quarterback was a huge problem for the Jets' defense last season. They were tied for 18th in the NFL in sacks with 32.

    Calvin Pace held his own with eight sacks in 12 games, but other players need to up their game.

    The Jets need to establish a better attack defensively to force more QB fumbles.

3. Third down defense

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    Perhaps the most annoying problem in all of football, not just the Jets, is the defense's inability to stop the opponent on third down.

    I don't understand the problem.

    The Jets seem to be the worst of all. That may be unfair since I watch a lot of Jets games, but I watch other teams, as well.

    Every time an offense reaches third down, I predict that their opponent will allow them to get a first down. Even if it's third and 15 or more.

    It has to end.

    What is the point of stopping the first two downs and then giving it up anyways? It opens up chances for touchdowns instead of punts and field goals every time.

    The Jets need to improve their third down stop percentage. If they do, they will find that their points allowed will decrease over time.

2. Late game defense

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    Of the Jets seven losses last season, five were by five points or less.

    What does that tell you? Either the Jets couldn't score late or they gave the game up late. The latter was the majority reason for the Jets' close losses.

    Remember the Week 5 loss in Miami, which was Braylon Edwards' first Jets game? How about the brutal overtime loss a week later against the Bills which was Mark Sanchez's worst game as a rookie? Or the two-point loss at home to the Jaguars in Week 10?

    How about the heart breaker of them all in Week 15 against the Falcons? Tony Gonzalez caught a wide-open pass from Matt Ryan in the end zone with a minute to go to beat the Jets.

    Last season, the Jets still managed to make the playoffs with all of those close defeats. Imagine where they would have gone without losing those games.

    Their defense must tighten up in the game's final minutes.

1. Mark Sanchez QB intelligence

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    The previous four improvements are very important, but this one is tops on the list.

    Mark Sanchez must cut down on the interceptions.

    He threw 20 interceptions in 15 games last season, including five in one game against the Buffalo Bills. Not only does the offense suffer when drives are cut short, but this often also allows the opponents to start a drive off in positive field position.

    Sanchez's biggest mistake in 2009 was, not the hot dog incident, but the play against the Titans.

    He leaped headfirst into a pile of players and left his arm hanging in mid-air, attempting a touchdown. Fortunately, he got it, but he could have hurt his head and snapped his arm in the process.

    Also, on occasion, Sanchez would throw the ball down midfield, without any receiver within range, and it would be picked off. He has to learn to throw the ball out of bounds when he knows he's in trouble.

    Overall, Sanchez needs to improve his quarterback intelligence.

    Of course, as a rookie you expect him to make "rookie mistakes." But it's now year two for him, and fans are expecting big things from every player.