New York Jets Are Clearly Ready for Takeoff: When Will They Land?

S. Wentworth DuncansonContributor IISeptember 24, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 20:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets drops back to pass against the New England Patriots at Giants Stadium on September 20, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Being a Jets fan is so similar to being a Knicks fan. At least the Knicks had a period of time where they were always in the mix. The Jets always seemed to be just an inch or two out of the circle. Just like the Mets with the Yankees, the Jets always have played second fiddle to the Giants.

After a few "almost there" years, they decided to take a gamble on the gunner Brett Favre, which wound up being a colossal disaster. After he retired for the 15th thousand time, the Jets were stuck with nothing.

So they drafted Mark Sanchez. To begin with, I'm not a fan of athletes being paid ridiculous amounts of money before they even play a game at the pro level. Just then, Sanchez got $50 million for five years, while Matt Stafford got $72 million for six years.

This was before either one of them took a snap in the NFL, whether in the game or at practice. Meanwhile there are players who have played for years who cant get that type of money. Outrageous.

With an unproven quarterback and a rookie head coach, expectations are low. I think that's a good thing because that underdog status pushes mediocre players to greatness. Thus far things have gone pretty well.

Week one was a win in Houston, which I discredited for the simple fact it WAS the Texans. The Patriots were the true test, and the Jets passed with flying colors.

Here are a few factors that I think will contribute to the Jets success or demise this season:

  • Rex Ryan's coaching skills: In the first two game, the Jets played like a team whose head coach thought like a defensive coordinator. He virtually played "Marty-ball" with his run-run-pass-punt sequences. his offensive scheme was predictable, redundant, and uncreative. I knew when he was running a halfback dive. It didn't take a genius. They need to mix it up to keep opponents on their toes.
  • Defense: As I said before, Rex Ryan coaches like a defensive coordinator. I look at the players freelancing on defense. I see players not only play hard, but they seem to have a sense of enjoyment from it. In two games they haven't allowed a single offensive touchdown. I know there is better to come. If we win, it'll be like how they did it in Baltimore. By defense. I love it!
  • Mark Sanchez's development: Throughout the first two weeks, things are looking pretty bright for Mark Sanchez. The one weakness I see is that in the game is that his arm fluctuates depending on the pressure that is applied to him. When the offensive line gives him good protection, his throws are strong and accurate. He also doesn't panic when some pressure is applied to him. Being that he is learning on the job, he gets a major pass. Thus far, he's passing with flying colors. There is plenty of room for improvement. It is only week two.

The win over the Patriots puts the Jets in a position to cause problems in the AFC east, providing they stay in good health, and Sanchez makes progress, and doesn't regress like so many others.

As long as the offensive line does an above average job, Sanchez could develop on the fly. Is he good enough to win a Super Bowl or to be a bona fide contender? That's what we're going to find out.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.