• Are the Jets Really the Best Team in the NFL?

    The hot pick this year in the AFC is the NY Jets. Not bad for a team that barely finished over .500 last year. I just got finished watching the tape of their playoff game against the Bengals, pretty impressive stuff. Here is what I like:

    1) The Jets have the oldest formula in the NFL for winning championships, run the ball and play great defense.
    2) Rex Ryan has made it fun to be a Jet. It is this strange combination of anything goes with discipline. Rex was no choir boy growing up, and he has a unique connection with some of the bad boys. He was one. People have talked about chemistry issues with the addition of Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie. Rex Ryan is a mad scientist, the chemistry may not be traditional, but it will work.
    3) Swagger. It is so easy to run and hide with the NY media. Everything is questioned and scrutinized. It is intimidating for most coaches. It makes Rex laugh. He feels like he stole the keys to the gym anyway.
    4 ) Maybe the best offensive line in football. The Jets protected Mark Sanchez by running more than any team in football, and when Sanchez did pass, he almost never got hit. It was ridiculous watching him standing in the pocket with nobody getting close. DeBrickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, and Brandon Moore could play for anybody in the league.
    5) Darrell Revis. He is the best defensive player I saw last year. He covers the best receivers every week and makes it look like he is covering me. He is so casual with his turns, has great catch-up speed, and when the ball touches his hands, it sticks. If you blitz you had better cover, Darrell Revis takes the worry out of that.
    6) Master of the Zone Blitz. The Jets look like they are blitzing every play, but they rarely send more than five. The problem is deciding which five to block. It ain't easy. The Jets traditional rush is very average, but there fire zones are tough to solve.
    7) The Jets were short one corner last year and got two in the off-season. Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers, and Kyle Wilson in the first round from Boise State.
    8) Kris Jenkins will be back. When he is healthy he is a monster.

    I could go on, but let's hit a few negatives:

    1) They still have to beat Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots. Not many wild cards win Super Bowls. Mark Sanchez is not close to Tom Brady, yet.
    2) Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca were the guts of this team. Veteran OL like Faneca sometimes are recognizing defenses and making calls that we never see or hear, but win games. I'm sure they had to make a financial decision to cut Faneca to pay Ferguson, but that move will be worth watching. Faneca was not the old Faneca, but he was the glue between two young stars. Thomas Jones had a Steve Smith like chip on his shoulder that I always liked. LT has to stay healthy and help split reps with Shonn Greeen. No one back could run as much as the Jets ran last year.
    3) Expectations. Last year with a rookie QB, there were no expectations. Now a Super Bowl is expected. New York is a tough town on young QBs that don't live up to expectations.
    4) Calvin Pace is a good pass rusher, but they need another. Jason Taylor if used in a limited role could help, but not dominate like he once did.
    5) Kicker Nick Folk was cut by the Cowboys and now goes makes his kicks under the NYC microscope. I hope he has plenty of Tums. The Jets play in a lot of close games with their running game and defense, they will not survive if their kicker gets the yips.

    From 9-7 to the Super Bowl in one year? If they beat the Patriots and Dolphins in the East, sign me up, but I am still picking Tom Brady in his second year off of knee surgery. Although, I have to admit, I thought for a long time before I wrote that last sentence.

    Comments 84 Comments
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      JETS? OMG, I just threw up in my mouth a little ...

      Go Pats.
    1. FessJL0861's Avatar
      i feel a sophomore slump for the Sanchize and Rexy. In a word about them being the best team in the NFL,...NO.
    1. williwonte's Avatar
      Get real - there is not a team that Brady can beat by himself. In fact you could trade him to any other team, except maybe the Saints, and he will just be another OK QB. Cassel took NE to a wining season without Brady's help. Give Ryan a chance to show what he has. Get off the Brady wagon.
    1. Kosar19's Avatar
      I'd be a little worried about Sanchize. He's by no means proven yet, especially as a favorite. You can't sleep on the Pats, not to mention Indianappolis. San Diego is no slouch and neither is Baltimore. And that's just the AFC. Minnesota will be very good this year and the Super Bowl Champs are still out there. Sure, Ryan is entertaining and that is going to be a fun team to watch, but all the hype seems a bit premature.
    1. damgenius's Avatar
      I don't like the Jets, but Ryan is making me like them more. What I do like is the term "the yips".
    1. Tinindian's Avatar
      Hype, Hype, Hype. I don't think much of Cromartie and if you watched his "tackling" in the game vesus the Jets last year, You wouldn't either. He does a terrific matador impression. Holmes is a real good pickup, but just like Marshall in Miami, he has to keep his nose clean.

      I don't know here, this team was 9-7 with a Colts lay down and barely made the playoffs. And they wouldn't have done that if Miami hadn't gotten the injury bug and dropped 3 straight at the end of the year. They did get hot in the playoffs and Sanchez played better then than he had all year.

      A recent poll of Jets fans predicted a 15-1 record with 1 loss to the Pats. They are just setting themselves up for a fall.
    1. BayouBoys's Avatar
      That offensive line can fall apart. Like you said...the glue is gone. But they'll still be a force. Just when crunch time comes and some sneaky defenses get involved (Pats) it will be interesting to see who steps up and calls out who to block for everyone.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      I think the Jets are Mos Deff the Offseason Super Bowl favorites. They have put together a team that can be successful with first and second stringers. The reload that they have experienced in the offseason, including Sanchez holding a camp out west & calling it Jets West, is proving that they are poised to get it done.

      I think that Rex is for real & won't be like Mangini & have one good first season & then disappear after getting a nickname too soon! ("Sanchize" for Sanchez does sound cool though). I like the Jets to win big in 2010 & win the AFC East. They will succeed in their plays and execution of skills in all phases of the game. I look for Mark to do well but feel that he will be on the slide in stats but only due to some teams prepping very well for them.

      I give the Jets a 10-6 record with the AFC East Division title. Belichick will be back but not the only Boss in the division---Bills are gonna make good efforts but a bad record still looms---the Dolphins are going to be nice but have to take a high ranking and respectable second place behind the Jets.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      LOL! I didn't answer Cris' question did I? LOL!

      I think the Jets won't be the best team in the NFL but they will be able to have a Good run that puts the league on notice that they are serious contenders!

      I like the Colts to go back to the drawing board & try their hand at more undefeated streaks of at least 10 games. I get this hunch that the Best Team in the NFL won't be that obvious! Maybe the Falcons or the Packers or maybe the Cowboys give their best & it works!

      GOOD NINJA TIMES!!
    1. theshow47's Avatar
      There was a great forum post where we talked about Jets this year. When people talk about Sanchez and a sophmore slump, he had 12 tds and 20 picks last year. If he has a sophmore slump he might have the worst season in qb history. All he needs to be is fuctional for this team to compete.
    1. kotar44's Avatar
      Wasn't Sanchez similar to JaMarcus Russell in many ways last year numbers-wise? Look, I know great D's can win SB's with mediocre QB play (hello Trent Dilfer, I'm talking to you), but I'm not sure Sanchez is even mediocre yet, and you know the Ryan show will blow up at some point...so, no, they are not the best team in their own division, much less the NFL.
      By the way, no offense Cris, but find it so tiresome when media members talk about a"hot pick" as if they aren't the ones creating the heat...
    1. ncoolong's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by kotar44 View Post
      Wasn't Sanchez similar to JaMarcus Russell in many ways last year numbers-wise?
      It amazes me how no one mentions that.

      I don't care where they finished the year, the fact of the matter is Sanchez was a below average QB at BEST. He has not, and does not deserve any more credit than he can hand the ball off. If he really had all the protection he had last year, how do you explain the 20 INTs?

      Let's not forget this team was 9-7, and they added a guy who smoked his way out of Pittsburgh, but is in a contract year. You think Santonio's not going to come back from his suspension demanding the ball? And that's alongside Braylon Edwards, who's a punk, and Jerricho Cotchery, who's soon to become one of those Jets the team just won't pay. Overrated Sanchez is gonna have to control three huge egos with one ball and 60 percent of their plays going to a RB.

      The Jets had nothing to lose last year. They're backing that up with an overhyped team, led by a non-leader QB with below average statistical performance metrics, and several questionable character players.

      And what did Rex do last year when all seemed to be lost for his team? He went in front of the media and acted like a complete loser. "Well, we're out of the playoffs now..." How long until he's throwing individuals under the bus? How will they all respond?

      I'm not saying it'll definitely happen, but I'm saying their season has the potential of disaster written all over it.
    1. giantsfan97's Avatar
      They certainly have the talent on paper just as you've written here Cris, I think it will be very interesting to see how they handle the high expectations. They open with the Ravens and Patriots, 2 very losable games. What will happen to them if they open 0-2?

      And on a personal note, I'd love it if you would join the crusade and please not call Tomlinson "LT". We already had an LT.
    1. asphaltmidget's Avatar
      On paper they should be the best!! Watching tape against the Bengals? The Bengals looked awful that game. Palmer had every receiver drop passes that should have NEVER been dropped.

      However, the Saints are still the team to beat in the NFL. As long as Sean Payton & Greg Williams are overseeing Offense and Defense plans they are a dynamic duo of coordinators who can do some damage..... I think Coach Ryan was another good defense coordinator when he was with Baltimore... But Brian Shottenheimer runs an offense that is basic that everybody knows what they are going to do. I don't think the Jets will be that good this year....As much as it pains me to say this...I think the Miami Dolphins are going to win the AFC East this year.
    1. TheRealJosh's Avatar
      +1 to the comments on Sanchez being very bad last year.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Good points on Mark's performance on paper but he looked poised and ready to take on the riggers of division rivalries and the on-slant on teams ready to pounce on them & never let up.

      They are a team that is already being crowned Super Bowl champs now, thanks in part to being one win away from the game, but in my book I think they have the right attitude to get deep in the playoffs again but I don't crown paper champions or offseason hype machines any rings.

      The team is on the right track & unless they are in the clouds or have injuries, this team is gonna be Awesome.

      Believe or not & like it or not, the Dallas Cowboys are the same way! They are gonna be a solid team barring no injury or play execution breakdowns.
    1. Fayld's Avatar
      It is beyond me how people keep saying that on paper this team should be the favorites to come out of the AFC. This team scratched and clawed its way to 9-7 getting virtually nothing from its QB all year. Chances are, they won't get anything from their QB again this year and have replaced a very good inside the tackles guy in Thomas Jones with a guy who couldn't handle the minimal load thrown his way in San Diego. Shonn Greene should be a monster this year, but are they going to run him 400+ times? They are going to have to with LT sharing the load and Sanchez at QB.

      I simply don't know that tabbing them to be Super Bowl favorites is a legitimate call. I know everyone likes to write off the Colts because they aren't the sexy "up and coming" pick, but they are the best team in that conference. Even dismissing them, what about Baltimore? What about the Bengals (their off season has been solid too)? The Patriots were discussed, as were the Dolphins (who could be sneaky good this year). Heck, no one is even mentioning Houston or San Diego in this discussion. And it isn't as if Tennessee is a chump team either. While everyone is discounting Pittsburgh, they could have a legitimate bounce back year even with Big Ben on the bench for the first 4-6 games now that TP is back roaming the secondary.

      I know everyone likes to jump on the "young and talented team on the rise," but I think this is a team to be wary of. If there is a team primed for a 9-7 to a 7-9 slide, it is this one. They had better hope for massive strides out of Sanchez otherwise this team will go nowhere even with a defense that talented. Getting it done once in spite of your QB is very difficult. Doing it back to back years? Good luck with that.
    1. illmatc2's Avatar
      till somebody knocks off the SAINTS they are the big dogs. Brees is arguably the best QB in the League.
    1. illmatc2's Avatar
      Also no doubt Stafford has a better career than Sanchez.
    1. Fayld's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by illmatc2 View Post
      till somebody knocks off the SAINTS they are the big dogs. Brees is arguably the best QB in the League.
      I don't even think it is arguable. The guy was definitely the best last year. I love Peyton Manning, but Brees is the best QB on the planet right now. Gyawd I wish my Vikings had gone out and gotten him when he was a FA a few years ago. Then again, just about everyone who follows a team that has had QB flux for the last decade (or in my case, three decades) would say the exact same thing. Lovin' Favre right now, but Brees would have been a long term answer.