Believe It: The Jets Are Playoff Contenders

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer ISeptember 15, 2009

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets leaves the field with the game ball after defeating the Houston Texans 24-7 at Reliant Stadium on September 13, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

It's gut-check time for Buffalo, Miami, and New England. Sort of.

After Monday night is over, two of those teams will be walking into next week's slate of games at 0-1, and staring at the Jets and their seemingly unshakable rookie quarterback with a 1-0 record.

"Broadway" Joe ain't got nothin' on this kid Sanchez.

Except a Super Bowl ring, years of experience, and an alcohol addiction that could kill a Rhino.

But still, all the Sanchez haters out there can give it up. The dude was flawless in a 277-yard, one touchdown effort.

Oh, and Rex Ryan has it all figured out. Think about it.

Andre Johnson had 35 yards receiving, Matt Schaub is currently screaming in his bed with a nightmare of the Jets chasing him down, and Steve Slaton is still trying to figure out how he only had 17 yards rushing.

The answer to all of Houston's issues on Sunday? The Jets are the 2008 Baltimore Ravens, the 2.0 version.

And this is without Calvin Pace. And they're running their offense through a rookie quarterback.

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But that's just it. This kid isn't anymore a rookie than Brett Favre isn't eligible for the senior citizen deal at your local Taco Bell.

Give that man, and hell, Sanchez too, a free soda. Throw in a damn taco.

While Sanchez may have been solely responsible for Houston's only points (a pick six), he made very few mistakes, completed 18-of-31 passes, and looked in complete control.

But why is this still a shock?

Rex Ryan, who many argue was "basically" Baltimore'a head coach in 2008 (sorry, John Harbaugh), has been here before.

He had solid holdovers on defense from last season.

All he had to do was lure some solid prospects and veterans (Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard) from Baltimore, and Bam!, he has a stud-driven defense.

Oh, and a solid draft on both ends didn't hurt, either.

Still, so many doubters, not nearly enough time to list them off. And I know it's only one week. I know it's just the first of 16 tests the rookie quarterback will endure. But he passed it.

He passed it big time.

Sorry, Clark Judge. This kid's got it.

And as long as Thomas Jones and company can keep up this whole "supportive offense" thing, we could see some progress on last year's 9-7 finish.