New York Jets: 5 Players Who Will Have the Biggest Impact in 2011

Jonathan MaldonadoContributor IIIAugust 26, 2011

New York Jets: 5 Players Who Will Have the Biggest Impact in 2011

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    The New York Jets are a team full of players looking to make an impact this season, as well as finally make it past the AFC title game after failing to do so the last two seasons. 

    Through two preseason games, the Jets have had their ups and downs, but there are signs of players getting into a rhythm and getting back into form. 

    Here are the five players who will make the most impact in 2011.

Shonn Greene

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    Half of the one-two punch in the Jets' running game, Shonn Greene is poised to have a break out season. 

    Greene showed improvement in his second year in the league last season, running for 766 yards on 185 attempts, up from 540 yards on 108 attempts in 2009. 

    In Week 1 of the preseason, Greene looked sharp with 32 yards on five attempts and controlling the pace of the game as well as the Texan defense. Greene did not play in the Week 2 matchup with Cincinnati due to a low-grade skin infection on his right foot.

    Greene will impress more with his power and speed, and he will be the go-to rusher during early downs. Passing downs and goal-line plays will certainly be the calling of... 

LaDainian Tomlinson

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    The second half of the one-two punch, LT will be the man on short-passing downs and goal-line plays.

    Rex Ryan will surely rely on the running game as heavily as he's had since his first season with the Jets, and who can blame him with this duo?

    The veteran running back comes in where Greene lacks with quick and creative moves on passing downs and on the goal line. With Greene taking the bulk of the rushing load, the older LT will be fresher throughout the season, helping the Jets offense move the chains.

    LT shares the same hunger as the Jets to make it to the Super Bowl and also carries over the hunger from never getting to the big game with the Chargers where he amassed the majority of his 13,404 rushing yards—good for sixth all-time. 

Nick Mangold

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    The Jets offensive line is one of the top lines in the league and is anchored by center Nick Mangold.

    Mangold has been as important to the Jets offense as much as any other player providing protection for Mark Sanchez and the running game. 

    Without Mangold at center, the Jets offense would be in a ton of trouble. For as much success the Jets have, make sure to attribute much of it to Mangold and the O-line providing one of the leagues best protections.

Darrelle Revis

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    Dubbed by many as the best cornerback in all of the NFL and hands-down best player by his coach, Revis will make a tremendous impact on the defensive side of the ball.

    Over his first three years, Revis has no doubt cemented himself as one of the best, having accumulated 231 tackles, 14 interceptions and 74 pass defenses. 

    Revis' numbers could be better, if only quarterbacks threw to his side of the field. In the 2011 AFC Wild Card Game, Revis held Reggie Wayne of the Colts to one catch for one yard. 

    If the numbers don't add up for Revis, pay special attention to who he is defending and how many times the quarterback throws to that receiver. That is where Revis will have an impact, making the leagues top receivers virtually non-existent. 

Mark Sanchez

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    The biggest impact will come from the improvement of Mark Sanchez. 

    Sanchez improved last year over his first, but his regular season passer rating of 75.3 needs work. The addition of Plaxico Burress and the return of Santonio Holmes should help Sanchez through the season, especially with a solid ground game backing them up. 

    The Sanchise is entering his third season with a wealth of experience for someone so young and early in their career. He's played in back-to-back AFC title games, and his passer rating improved by over 20 points during the playoffs. 

    The Jets trust Sanchez as their leader, and through all his rookie mistakes, he has shown progress, which is what you expect from your franchise player.

Honorable Mention: The WR Double Threat

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    The five players chosen for this list are arguable, but at the end of the day, the ball and its protection will be in the hands of these five players for a majority of the season. However, this slideshow cannot end without mentioning the WR double threat:

    1. Plaxico Burress. 

    Burress is back after his 20-month stint in prison, but this time with the Gang Green instead of Big Blue. He looks good after his first preseason game, where he did this.

    2. Santonio Holmes.

    It's clear the connection between Mark Sanchez and Holmes is getting stronger, and now that Holmes has a viable partner down deep, the double threat is a scary challenge for defenses around the league.