Finally, the barbecues are over, the Mets have gracelessly eliminated themselves from playoff contention and we can focus on the New York Jets.
The Jets and Brett Favre, who has chosen his ankle as the body part ESPN will hammer to death with coverage over the next 17 weeks. Anyway NFL football is back.
For Gang Green and its legion, no season in recent memory (or, for most of us, any memory) has come with greater expectations. The Giants are on the backburner; the spotlight is poised squarely on Rex Ryan and the Jets, which is right where they want it. Hardknocks. The Revis Holdout. Anything Bart Scott says.
This is a group that thrives on attention. And unlike last year, Rex Ryan is not alone in his prediction that the Jets are going to make some serious noise this season. But when all is said and done, is it all hype? Are the Jets a legitimate contender?
By now, the experts have exhausted their predictions and analyses on the 2010 Jets, so I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes version of my own: The Jets should go 11-5. The first three home games: Baltimore, New England, and Green Bay, are going to give a great indication of whether the Jets are for real. Weeks three and four are at Miami and Buffalo, both games the Jets should win.
If the Jets can take two of those first three home games and get off to a 4-1 start, they should easily break 10 wins. Still, those of us who remember the Favre debacle from two years ago (who doesn’t?), know that 4-1, or 8-3, is no guarantee of anything. Rather than tally wins and losses, I’ll lay out the stories to watch that will decide whether the Jets will make it late into January.
Even my dog knows the Jets live and die by their defense. Top ranked in the league, Revis Island, Kris Jenkins, and so on. But for all their hype, the defense faded late and let the Jets down in a few key games last season (Miami on Monday night, anyone?). I think the reason for this is fairly simple: when you blitz your linebackers every other play, they tire easily and wear down by game’s end, giving quarterbacks more time.
The linebackers, with the exception of the Ghost of Jason Taylor, are largely the same. But with off-season additions of Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie and his seven kids, the Jets have added significant speed and coverage capability that should better equip them to handle those late aerial assaults.
Watch this against the Packers and the Vikings, two top teams with elite quarterbacks.
Read the full article at Double G Sports.