Can the Jets Make a Landing in the Playoffs Next Year?

alan lawlessCorrespondent IMay 22, 2009

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 02:  Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets speaks to the media during minicamp on May 2, 2009 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

At 9-7, the Jets didn't quite have enough in the tank to extend their year past the regular season last year. 

Out are Eric Mangini and Brett Favre, in are rookies Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez.

But can they help the Jets extend their season this year?

The Jets finished in third place last year behind New England and Miami, who tied at 11-5. Since the end of the season—as happens every year—there has been a lot of player movement.

Miami brought in S Gibril Wilson to help solidify their defense, added depth with CB Eric Green, turned the reins at center over to Jake Grove, and replaced defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday with the much younger Tony McDaniel—none of which are exactly huge moves.

But in Bill Parcells' second season making calls from an office deep in the bowels of LandShark Stadium, this team can not be totally counted out. Mr. Parcells was responsible for turning the Fins from a 1-15 joke to an 11-5 record last year, so who knows how far he can move them forward in another season.

Of course, any conversation about the AFC East has to involve the perennial contender New England Patriots. Tom Brady will be back under center this year after missing most of last year in a taxi-related injury.

Why don't you let Gisele spring for a limo from now on, Tom?

Since the last whistle-blow of the season, the Pats were able to lure receivers Joey Galloway and Greg Lewis, tight ends Alex Smith and Chris Baker, and running back Fred Taylor to the dark side.  

Bill Belichick exiled defensive back Ellis Hobbs to the City of Brotherly Love and will try to fill his jersey with the Cerberus of Shawn Springs, Leigh Bodden and Brandon McGowan. 

Razor Blade Stadium will also now be home to LBs Vinny Ciurciu and Tully Banta-Cain as well. 

The Bills didn't make any significant changes—in fact the only real move they made was trading away a Pro Bowl left tackle—so we can expect them to be nearly irrelevant by Halloween. Again. 

New England will be the team to beat this fall with the Fins teeth firmly implanted in their ankles and the Bills lumbering off on the planes. But what do we see for the Jets?

The new regime is just getting their feet wet in the vile, brown, muddy waters of the Meadowlands, and will have a chance to compete this year.

But honestly, we're looking at a rebuilding season, and hopefully taking steps forward toward a much happier start to the next decade. 


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