When we last left the New York Jets, yet another Brett Favre interception had conspired to ruin a season filled with so much anticipation. In retrospect, attempting to completely abandon the team's offensive philosophy in favor of the future Hall of Famer's gunslinging style was destined to meet its eventual demise.
After the team's 8-3 start, opposing secondaries began to jump the quick, intermediate passing routes the Jets wideouts thrived on and dared them to go deep. Having been exposed as predominantly possession receivers, not even the presence of Favre's renowned throwing arm could provide them with crucial downfield separation.
Favre is now long gone, so offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer can design his playbook to fit the team's current personnel rather than one man. With new head coach Rex Ryan having mandated an "all-weather" offense, you'll see few if any 30 point performances, but also be spared a maddening 22 interceptions.
Plain and simple, the Jets will try to jam the ball down people's throats. In Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, and rookie Shonn Greene, Ryan hopes to create the same three-pronged running attack in New York that carried the Baltimore Ravens to the AFC Championship game last season.
Jones and Washington are currently unhappy with their contract status and that could be a factor. Jones is coming off his best NFL season and Washington is the team's lone offensive game-breaker. Both men are keenly aware of the shift in offensive philosophy and that they will be counted on to play an even larger role.
The biggest onus will be on the the Jets' offensive line to move the chains despite the strong possibility of a rookie quarterback at the helm, the lack of an effective blocker at the tight end position, and an average group of wide receivers, all while dealing with a steady diet of eight man fronts.
Some may call it conservative, but this Jets' team really has no choice. Barring the unlikely emergence of a young receiver, they will try to wear teams out on the ground.
While it won't be pretty, turnovers should be kept to a minimum and maybe, just maybe, New York will develop an offensive personality that will lead to some significant wins rather than the same old losses.