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BSPN's In-Depth NYJ Season Preview


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NEW YORK JETS (Consensus division finish: 4th)

ESPN.com

Updated: September 7, 2009, 8:17 PM ET

nfl_i_jenkins01_576.jpg Nick Laham/Getty Images

Kris Jenkins, a 6-4, 360-pounder, is one of the NFL's top defensive tackles. He had 50 tackles in '08.

EXPERTS' PICKS

The Jets finished third in the AFC East last season with a 9-7 record. For more Jets coverage, visit: Tim Graham's AFC East blog | Jets clubhouse

ANALYST PREDICTION Jeffri

Chadiha

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 4 New coach Rex Ryan will put a strong defense on the field. As for the quarterback situation, that will take some patience on his part. John

Clayton

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 4 The Jets will be better on defense with Rex Ryan ramping up the pride and intensity of the unit. Mark Sanchez was the right choice at quarterback, but it's tough to ask him to be a winner going against the seventh-toughest schedule in the league. Scoring points will be tough, so the Jets will have to play a lot of low-scoring games to be successful. Tim

Graham

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 3 New coach Rex Ryan intends to field a defense reminiscent of the overwhelming units he oversaw with the Baltimore Ravens. The preseason focus is on rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, but the Jets will go only as far as their run game and defense will propel them. Jeremy

Green

Scouts Inc.

DIVISION FINISH: 4 Although I think the defense clearly will be much improved with Rex Ryan taking over as coach, the Jets will have to ride a roller coaster on offense as they live with the ups and downs of rookie signal-caller Mark Sanchez. The future is bright, but 2009 is not their time. Paul

Kuharsky

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 3 Rex Ryan sets a great new tone, and the Jets will be good in streaks. But the early schedule and the two teams above them will make it difficult for a breakthrough by a team led by a rookie quarterback. Matt

Mosley

ESPN.com

FINISH: 3 I know every team thinks it can plug in a rookie quarterback and make it to the playoffs, but it's not happening in this instance. Mark Sanchez is a good quarterback, but it will take him a while to learn how to win at the next level. Len

Pasquarelli

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 4 Under new coach Rex Ryan, the Jets will be more passionate and reckless, and preparing for their defense could be a handful. Mark Sanchez ultimately will be a very good quarterback but won't win many games this season. Mike

Sando

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 3 Mark Sanchez makes the Jets exciting. He was the perfect draft choice for New York. Kevin

Seifert

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 4 Rookie quarterback and a new coach in a tough and seasoned division? Not a good combination. James

Walker

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 3 Life will be a lot different for Rex Ryan without Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs to lean on. Seth

Wickersham

ESPN The Magazine

DIVISION FINISH: 4 The Jets will lose a lot of close ones this season. Mark Sanchez needs a year before he can get the most out of a team that should be ready to be back in the playoff mix in 2010. Bill

Williamson

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 4 I wouldn't be surprised if the Jets made a playoff run, either, but they will have a hard time leapfrogging some very good teams in the division. Yet I expect quarterback Mark Sanchez to help the Jets win seven to nine games. Matt

Williamson

Scouts Inc.

DIVISION FINISH: 3 Surely there will be some growing pains at quarterback and with the passing game in general. But the defense has a chance to be exceptional and should keep just about every Jets game close. Still, will that be enough? Pat

Yasinskas

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 3 Rex Ryan landed in a very good situation here. He inherited a team that still has some good parts, even though the Jets collapsed late last season. With a little bit of new blood, the Jets could surprise some people.

CONSENSUS DIVISION FINISH: 4th | NFL standings BEST OF THE JETS

Best overlooked offseason decision: Although most of the stories deal with the Rex Ryan hire, Mark Sanchez acquisition and Bart Scott signing, an astute move that doesn't get mentioned as much as it should is the decision to trade up and select running back Shonn Greene to open the draft's second day. Thomas Jones led the AFC in rushing last year with 1,312 yards and 13 touchdowns. But he's 31 years old, an age when a lot running backs hit the wall. Greene runs with a similar style and should make the transition seamless when that time comes.

Best offensive player: On a line that rates among the NFL's top handful and features four former first-round draft choices, center Nick Mangold stands out as the best. Left guard Alan Faneca has been selected to eight straight Pro Bowls, and Mangold just experienced his first trip. But Mangold is on his way to establishing himself as the league's greatest center. Best defensive player: Left cornerback Darrelle Revis made the Pro Bowl in his second season. He's a lockdown defender who will force quarterbacks to throw Lito Sheppard's way. Best opening day pass-rusher: With outside linebacker Calvin Pace and defensive end Shaun Ellis suspended, the Jets will be without a combined 133 tackles, 15 sacks, 18 tackles for losses, 21 quarterback hits, seven forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns from last season. So who's next? The often unnoticed Bryan Thomas really can set the edge at outside linebacker. He's the best candidate to pick up the slack. Best fashion model: As much as people might want to go with rookie hotshot Sanchez because of his infamous GQ photo shoot, nobody can do a little turn on the catwalk like Kerry Rhodes. The veteran safety is the locker room's resident fashionista, dabbles in acting and appeared in a Lady Gaga video. -- Tim Graham, ESPN.com SCOUTS INC.'S FABULOUS FIVE

Scouts Inc. has evaluated and graded more than 2,500 NFL players heading into the 2009 season, giving Insiders a leg up on the competition with exclusive grades, alerts and scouting reports. in.gif Top five players

ANALYSIS 2592.jpg1. Kris Jenkins

Defensive tackle

6-4 | 360 (Grade: 80) He can split double-team blocks and be disruptive in the backfield. As a pass-rusher, he is a powerful player who has the strength to push the inside pocket. He can get his hands up in the throwing lanes. 10458.jpg2. Darrelle Revis

Cornerback

5-11 | 198 (80) He is at his best in press man coverage, where he can use his long arms to get an effective jam on his opponent off the line of scrimmage. He has good vision and instincts. 8537.jpg3. Kerry Rhodes

Safety

6-3 | 214 (80) He is at his best in press man coverage, where he can use his long arms to get an effective jam on his opponent off the line of scrimmage. He has good vision and instincts. 10491.jpg4. David Harris

Linebacker

6-2 | 245 (78) Harris is capable of making plays in space. He has good instincts and can locate the ball in traffic. As a blitzer, he has great power to collapse the pocket. 4256.jpg5. Bart Scott

Linebacker

6-2 | 240 (78) He is solid reading and reacting as a pass-defender but has had more success as a blitzer than in coverage. Scott is better in underneath zone coverage and can get exposed in pure man schemes. Player grading scale: elite (90-100), outstanding (80-89), solid starter (75-79), good starter (70-74) SCOUTS INC.'S ANALYSIS

Strengths

Rex Ryan: We really have no idea whether Ryan will be a good or bad head coach, but there is no doubt that he can coach defense. His presence -- along with the addition of some solid defensive players -- should improve this side of the ball a great deal and help keep the Jets in just about every game they play, as they could suffer offensive growing pains.

Run game: New York now has a three-headed running attack, and Leon Washington, Shonn Greene and Thomas Jones all have varying skills. This will allow the Jets to constantly have a fresh runner and the ability to attack different defenses in variety of ways. Darrelle Revis: Revis is a real up-and-comer at cornerback. He has the ability to neutralize some of the better wideouts in the league. With Revis on the field, the Jets will be able to roll safety support to help the other cover men. Weaknesses

Quarterback: Mark Sanchez might be terrific one day, but for the here and now, the position is an area of concern in the Big Apple.

Wide receiver: Jerricho Cotchery is a solid football player, but he certainly is better suited as a No. 2 wideout than as a team's first option. With defenses looking to take Cotchery away first, someone else will have to step up in a big way. Pass protection: The Jets' offensive line gets a lot of credit and features four former first-round selections, but LG Alan Faneca's pass protection dropped off during his first year in New York. RT Damien Woody is really an interior lineman playing on the edge -- and it shows with his inability to handle speed rushers. Also, the offensive line depth is very thin. Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles.

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I can't help but laugh that most of those analysts think the Bills will finish better than us.

Same. These 'experts' are ****ing morons. The Bills are a total mess yet are picked to finish higher than us by more than half of them. Not even one of them picked us to finish 2nd in the division.

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Same. These 'experts' are ****ing morons. The Bills are a total mess yet are picked to finish higher than us by more than half of them. Not even one of them picked us to finish 2nd in the division.

The Bills are NOT a mess. They're only a defensive line, offensive line, defensive secondary, tight end and a QB away from being competitive. :bag:

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Someone needs to remind the "experts" that offensive line is a major factor in football and Buffalo doesn't have one, whereas we have either the best or 2nd best in the division.

BTW when did Miami become so damn good that zero experts predict us beating them out? Absurd.

Also I forgot to mention, never mind the lack of an offensive line, the Bills are also without their premiere RB for the first 3 games.

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