Jets 2011 Season Predictions: How New York Will Fare in Their First 5 Games
Whether you're tired of hearing about them, or can't get enough, the Jets are going to be discussed.
Rex has drawn a lot of attention towards the Jets, some of it hatred, some of it admiration.
This list a prediction for the first five games of the Jets season.
Each slide includes: A winner, the score and an explanation.
I'll include another list after week five.
See what kind of shape the Jets will be in after their first meeting with Patriots.
Week 1: Jets vs Cowboys
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
This is probably the most hyped match up of opening week.
Two of the countries most popular teams and the Ryan brothers facing off.
Dallas is also entering their first season with Jason Garrett calling the shots.
One of the Jets biggest criticisms this off-season has been their need to generate a pass rush.
Their rush may surprise the Cowboys, who have a new look offensive line.
The Cowboys lack of a consistent running game won't help Tony Romo ease into his first start in almost a year either. The Jets are likely to run the ball effectively and the Cowboys struggle running the football, the odds are not in Dallas's favor.
Dallas does have one of the most talented receiving corps in the NFL, but the Jets have corners who can match up three players deep.
Sanchez will have an opportunity to prove the doubters wrong early on against a weak Dallas secondary, they were 26th in the NFL last year.
New York's running game is their moneymaker, it should prove to be a a deciding factor in the outcome of the game.
Rex Ryan's defense should be in full force on opening day and even though his brother, Rob, is sure to have his defense fired up the Jets should prove to be too much for the Cowboys.
Winner: Jets 28-17
Week 2: Jets vs Jaguars
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
This is one of those games on the schedule the Jets have to win.
With so many difficult games early on, New York can't afford to lose to a very beatable Jaguars team.
The Jaguars were 15th in total offense last season, but didn't do much to improve this off-season, losing Mike Sims-Walker to the Rams doesn't help.
Their passing defense was 28th in the NFL in 2010, another early chance for Sanchez and the Jets to shine and take some pressure off of the running game and defense.
The Jaguars were 28th in total defense as well, for a New York offense that may need a little bit of time to start flowing this could be a chance to head down the right path.
Members of the Jets receiving corps are being doubted, but they will be better than expected especially starting off against some soft secondaries. A lot of the public doesn't realize how good a year Derrick Mason had last year, especially for his age. Mason had 62 catches 802 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010. Santonio is poised to have one of the best years of his career, coming off a season where he had 52 catches 752 yards and six touchdowns in just 12 games. Even if Plaxico takes some time to adjust his presence will open up the field for the rest of the offense and don't forget about tight end Dustin Keller.
The Jaguars look to be weak on offense and defense in 2011 and the quarterback position will be a constant source of controversy.
How David Garrard will play with Blaine Gabbert nipping at his heels is yet to be seen.
The Jets need to get out of week 2 with a win against a tough, but overmatched Jaguars team.
Winner: Jets 31-14
Week 3: Jets at Raiders
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
This could be the Jets toughest test up to this point.
Make no mistake, the Raiders are on the rise.
Still, they may be outmatched by the Jets in 2011.
The Jets win the position battles in too many areas for the Raiders to succeed.
New York has a better defense and a more dangerous receiving corps.
The Raiders have a great stable of running backs, but lack the punch at receiver or consistency at behind center.
Ultimately, the clash between the Jets defense and the Raiders offense should be the difference.
Unfortunately for the Raider faithful, that meeting doesn't look like it's going to go so well, at least on paper. The Jets were sixth against the pass and third against the run last season.
The Raiders greatest strength exists in their talented young defense.
That being said, while their secondary may give Sanchez a hard time, their rushing defense was a lowly 29th in the NFL last year.
Winner: Jets 24-10
Week 4: Jets at Ravens
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Rex Ryan's second meeting with his former team should be one of the best games of 2011.
It will be a slug fest of epic proportions.
It's also a chance for the Jets to avenge their opening day loss against Baltimore in 2010.
Last season the Ravens were 21st in passing defense, though they added Jimmy Smith out of Colorado in the draft.
The Jets and Ravens stop the run like few teams in football.
This makes the duel between Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco even more crucial.
The Jets have the better passing defense, but the Ravens may have the edge as far as receivers are concerned.
Sanchez and Flacco have both experienced unprecedented success, especially in the playoffs.
Their meeting week 5 in Baltimore will set the tone for the rest of the year for both of their teams.
Both quarterbacks are looking to get over the hump and take their teams to the Super Bowl, a win will go a long way towards getting them closer to that goal.
Winner: Jets 17-14
Week 5: Jets at Patriots
It's no secret the two Patriots games on the schedule every year are the most important for the Jets.
This year is no different.
The last few seasons, the first meeting between the two teams has been a home game for New York.
Unfortunately, that meant the games later in the season were held in New England.
This year however, the Jets go on the road in their first matchup with the Patriots.
The Patriots made an uncharacteristically large splash this off-season.
This is bad news for the Jets.
The Patriots added Shaun Ellis and Albert Haynesworth to a defensive line that could use the help, plus Bill Belichick is always frightening with that kind of defensive talent at his disposal.
New England also added Chad Ochocinco on the offensive side of the ball.
Ochocinco should have a significant impact with Tom Brady delivering him the rock.
The Patriots improved this off-season more than New York did. There's no doubt the game will be close, but the improved Patriots defense may not allow the Jets offense to control the pace of the game the way they did in last season's playoff game.
Ochocinco will be a key player, if he can open up the outside passing for the Patriots it will go a long way towards neutralizing the Jets aggressive defense.
As is often the case, this game will come down to quarterback play.
Sanchez is on the rise and trying to prove the critics wrong and Brady is a future member of the hall of fame.
If Sanchez can out duel Brady, New York will have a good shot, but it's hard to go against Brady in that matchup.
At this point in the season the Jets just may not be ready, though expect the two teams to split the series, each taking a game at home.
Winner: Patriots 27-21
Record after week 5: 4-1
follow me on twitter @edwardorza