Tuesday, September 04, 2012
The 2012 season starts in 29 hours and for some strange reason I have an abundance of optimism. If you look at power rankings or predictions anywhere you will notice that almost universally the Jets are predicted to finish at or below .500. Last year, the Jets were predicted to be one of the best teams in the league and even got a super bowl championship prediction or two. Oh the media, how you can powerfully spin the universes perception with coverage one way or the other.
The 2011 New York Jets were a disappointment. A team that angered me endlessly at the tail end of the season and a team that all but gave up in Week 17. That team finished 8-8, which is now hilariously at roughly the peak of a media man's prediction. I've already made one post around why a Jets fan should look forward to this season but I think it deserves a more detailed one.
Key Losses: S Brodney Pool, OG Robert Turner, WR Plaxico Burress, RB LT, QB Mark Brunell, CB Marquice Cole, S Jim Leonhard, LB Jamaal Westerman and TE Matthew Mulligan.
Please look at that list of players and tell me whom outside of LaDainian a Jets fan should truly worry about having lost? Plaxico was mediocre at best last season and is being replaced by a taller younger version of himself in Stephen Hill. Jim Leonhard and Brodney Pool were both replaced by better safeties who have made pro bowls before. Essentially this team has to "replace" a running back that rushed for 280 yards and a Wide Receiver with zero break away speed who was only useful in the red zone.
On the other hand the Jets finally drafted a DE in Quinton Coples who is athletic and strong. Coples, who gathered several sacks over the preseason, combined with a full season of Aaron Maybin may help the Jets get sacks without bringing an army on the blitz. Plus they got rid of Wayne Hunter, hooray. This roster can EASILY be argued to be improved from last season.
While looking at preseason schedule strength is usually a poor idea because the NFL always has some fluctuation, it would be hard to make the case that playing the NFC West / AFC South is going to be more difficult than playing the NFC East / AFC West. The Jets last year went a combined 3-5 in those games. In addition the defense was "Top 5" last year, in yardage given up, and please look at the quarterbacks they play and tell me how scared you are that the Jets are going to give up a ton of points.
A Little Bit a Luck
The Jets led the NFL in a fun statistic last season. I don't think the statistic has an actual name, but lets call it points given up while the defense is not on the field (figure out an abbreviation for that one). Even if the turnover rate stays as high as it was last year, you have to believe if you are a Jet fan that at least some of those turnovers won't be pranced into the end zone while Sanchez still has a helmet on.
In addition injuries always happen, but the Jets really really really sucked without Nick Mangold last year.
Tim Tebow Will Not Start
People that think Tim Tebow will start for the Jets are wrong. Mark Sanchez finished 9th in the NFL in touchdown passes last year. Tim Tebow is going to be the best punt protector ever! ...... If Tim Tebow starts that means shit went really really wrong.
I could be drastically wrong. This team could start off 1-4 because their "difficult" part of the schedule is the beginning. The team could panic and insert the Tebus as their "savior" and watch him throw ducks into the stands and fall to a sub .500 record. Santonio Holmes could be a whining baby again that has a miserable season. Anything can happen. I just don't know why if you are a Jets fan you aren't optimistic, why you wouldn't be pumped for the season and why you wouldn't think that Rex and his defense will get this team back to the postseason..