Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not Ready for Takeoff: Why the Overrated and Overhyped New York Jets Will Disappoint in 2010

It seems that some in the media as well as many others throughout the blogosphere feel the New York Jets are the favorite to win the AFC East, if not the AFC itself. Some even feel they could be a top contender to win the Super Bowl.

There’s been quite a bit of hype about them lately, and if you ask me, it’s beginning to get annoying.

Am I the only one not buying into the New York Jets’ hype?

I don’t see them even making the playoffs, let alone dominating the AFC East, the AFC as a whole, or the entire NFL. Instead, I feel the Jets will fail their fans miserably, and will be a huge disappointment this upcoming 2010 season.

First, the Jets struggled to even make the playoffs last season. Now, how they did last year isn’t always a good indicator for how they’ll perform this year, but it does give you a starting point, as you have to look at why they struggled, and whether those areas have been addressed.

The Jets, even with a stacked defense and a solid offense struggled last year mainly because Mark Sanchez was just terrible. The defense was stacked with characters like Bart Scott and Darrelle Revis, and yet, the Jets still were lucky to get to 9-7 on the year largely because of Sanchez’ inability to lead his team.

Entering Week 16 of last year’s regular season, the Jets played their starters against the resting 14-0 Colts. In my view they got lucky with that win, as Indianapolis pretty much handed it to them. The same thing pretty much happened in Cincinnati. The Jets could have just as easily finished the season 7-9, and it was a surprise to me when they didn’t.

Largely overhyped by the New York media, Sanchez was lucky he had the luxury of an impressive defense, and even more fortunate he had such a solid rushing offense. Without those two elements, his flaws would likely have been even more exposed than they actually were.

However, Thomas Jones carried most of the load of that great rushing attack, and was the true leader on offense for the Jets. He’s now gone, and Jets fans deluded belief that Shonn Greene and/or LaDanian Tomlinson are going to easily shoulder that load are in for a rude awakening.

Even with an incredible offensive line, the Jets struggled last year at times, and with the departure of Thomas Jones, I see those struggles continuing. I just don’t see Mark Sanchez leading them to the Promised Land. I believe Jets fans are likely to see another year where his interceptions outpace his touchdowns.

New York has added some decent components, such as the aforementioned LT, as well as Santonio Holmes and Laverneous Coles on offense, and Antonio Cromartie and Jason Taylor on defense. However, I don’t see them being enough to improve this Jets squad from last year, and with their losses in personnel, I believe they could be worse unless Sanchez improves dramatically.

Laverneous Coles and LT are role players at best on this team, both of them well past their best days. LT has lost much of his speed, and won’t be juking-out any defenders or pulling out any flashy moves like he did in San Diego. Those days are gone forever. I give him one or two years before he finally hangs up his cleats.

Holmes is a good option, but those Jets fans who think he’s the equal of say…Fitzgerald or Moss are in for a big surprise. He’s nowhere near that talented. He’s strictly a possession receiver, and with Sanchez throwing to him rather than Ben Roethlisberger, I see his production dropping dramatically. Not to mention, Jets fans won’t even be seeing any action from him until Week Five.

When they do, they better keep their fingers crossed that he can help.

On the defensive side, they do have Kris Jenkins returning, and the addition of Jason Taylor will help a little, but I believe he’ll be nothing but a role player on this Jets squad, and won’t be anywhere near what he used to be.

Cromartie, on the other hand, will disappoint badly. I believe he’s highly overrated. He’s only had one good year so far in his career in my view, and that’s just not enough to believe he’s going to be a foundation for the Jets secondary. Couple that with the fact Revis might hold out because of rough contract negotiations, possibly not even playing this year, and the Jets would be screwed in the secondary.

In summary, I can’t really understand why people are hyping the Jets so much. To me, they’re overhyped and overrated. They have a tough AFC East to traverse this season, and are likely going to lose more games than they win against those division foes.

The New England Patriots are still there, with a now healthy Tom Brady. The Miami Dolphins are a dark horse in the division everyone should keep their eyes on, and Buffalo, while not the greatest team in the AFC, will probably steal a win against New York simply because they’re division rivals, and that’s how it goes down most times.

I have New York finishing third in the AFC East. Sorry, Jets fans, but I’m not buying into the hype.