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The 2011 Jets Won’t Be Super

Rex Ryan (Photo courtesy of David J. Phillip/ AP)

I love everything about Rex Ryan. I love his need for snacks, his terrible tattoo, and how easy it is for him to anger the “classy” Patriots. Despite predicting a trip to the super bowl the past two years, Rex claims this is the year. While I want to believe everything that passes through Rex’s big fake teeth, the Jets are not a Super Bowl team.

The Biggest Issues

The Jets downgraded in many positions in the off-season, lack depth everywhere, and have way too many question marks to successfully back up the super bowl swagger. Oh, and every team wants a chance to shut them up.

The Ground And Pound Will Get Pounded

The offensive line is the foundation of the ground-and-pound, and that foundation is cracked. Damien Woody is gone, and Brandon Moore is coming off hip surgery. The other two guys not named Ferguson and Mangold are Matt Slauson and Wayne Hunter, who will have their hands full. The backup lineman is Vladimir Ducasse, who is performing as well as someone named Vladimir is expected to perform.

At running back, Shonn Greene is expected to get the bulk of the carries. This was the same story going into last year, and he ended up fumbling his way down the depth chart. LT is a year closer to retirement and shouldn’t get 200+ carries, and Joe McKnight suffered a concussion in the pre-season opener. So the Jets are pinning their hopes that the Greene can carry the load, and be the guy that hilariously celebrated a TD against the Patriots by sleeping in the end zone.

Questions At Receiver

The good news is Mark Sanchez is in his third year as a starter, and should build off a successful end of 2010. Also good news, he has Santonio Holmes to throw to again, the best and most exciting Jet receiver since Al Toon.

The bad news: what will the rest of the receivers will be? Plaxico Burress could still be good, but Shawshank Redemption proves that prison changes men. No doubt Burress was awesome before he went clubbing wearing sweats and a loaded gun, but he is two years removed from football, has a bum ankle and is 34.

Speaking of old receivers, Derrick Mason is 37, the oldest receiver in the NFL. I’d seek his advice on life insurance, but consider him a downgrade from Jerricho Cotchery.

Defensive Problems

Three-time Pro-Bowler Darrell Revis and nine-time Baby-Daddy Antonio Cromartie headline a defense without a proven pass rusher. The Jets are counting on Jamal Westerman and Calvin Pace to apply the pressure, which is not exactly Mark Gastineau and Joe Klecko. It’s not even Shaun Ellis and Jason Taylor.

The defense has other question marks. The line is relying heavily on rookies Kenrick Ellis and Muhammad Wilkerson. Linebackers Bart Scott and David Harris are solid in the middle, but there is no depth behind them. This is best exemplified by the signing of Aaron Maybin, released from the Bills (yikes!), and a less productive version of Vernon Gholston.

The Schedule

The schedule grants a few easy games, with the Jaguars, Raiders, and Chiefs helping to pad stats. The Bills are better but very beatable, and the Dolphins continue to believe that quarterbacks aren’t important. With that said, the Jets always manage at least one underachieving game, so don’t expect seven easy wins from these bottom-feeders.

After that, it gets difficult. The Ravens and Chargers are tough, and playing in Denver is always a battle against the altitude. The crossover games are against the NFC East, with games against the Philadelphia Dream Team, in Washington, “home” against the Giants, and against a familiar defensive guru in Dallas. No gimmies there.

Then there are the “classy” Patriots. It’s hard to believe, but they may have gotten better, and not because of Albert Haynesworth and Chad 85. They are fast, deep, and big where they need to be big. Plus, will someone hit Danny Woodhead? Expect them to have well over 10 wins again, making it difficult for the Jets to make the playoffs without the wild card.

Prediction

Rex Ryan has proven himself to be a good coach, but there are too many holes that weren’t addressed in the off-season. Plus, don’t ever discount a very, very long history of franchise disappointment (see photo). I think the Jets will go 9-7, just outside of the playoffs.

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One comment for “The 2011 Jets Won’t Be Super”

  1. New Post: The 2011 Jets Won’t Be Super http://t.co/JENRPk4

    Posted by Sports of New York | August 21, 2011, 6:53 pm

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