Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2012 NFL PREVIEW - New York Jets


2011 Record: 8-8-0 (2nd in AFC East) 


Key Additions: QB Tim Tebow; WR Chaz Schillens; DB LaRon Landry

Key Losses: WR Plaxico Burress; RB LaDainian Tomlinson; DB Jim Leonhard; CB Marquice Cole; DB Brodney Pool; LB Jamaal Westerman

Offense: The Jets are looking to get back to ground and pound in 2012 after ranking 22nd in the league in rushing last season, averaging 106 yards per game.
In addition to that, the team was 25th overall on offense, gaining just 312 yards per game. The passing attack, led by quarterback Mark Sanchez, was 21st in the NFL with 206 yards per game. Sanchez threw for 3,474 yards with 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
Enter Tim Tebow from Denver to show what he has to offer at quarterback after helping to lead the Denver Broncos to the playoffs last year. Tebow passed for 1,729 yards and 12 TD passes with six picks while only completing 47 percent of his pass attempts.
However, Tebow's strength is his running abilities (660 yards rushing and a 5.4 yards per carry average) as he scored six touchdowns rushing the ball. Look for Tebow to be installed in goal line situations and also in a 'wildcat' package.
The running game will once again feature Shonn Greene, who topped the 1,000 yard mark in 2011, going for 1,054 yards (4.2 ypc) and scored six touchdowns. Joe McKnight will likely be the two-back after the retirement of LaDainian Tomlinson. John Conner is the fullback.
The wide receiving corps took a hit after the Jets let Plaxico Burress (eight TD receptions) go during the off-season, leaving Sanchez with just one primary target at wide out in Santonio Holmes, who had 51 receptions for 654 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
The Jets did draft Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech) in the second round and he will have a shot at starting if free agent Chaz Schillens (23, 271 and two TD with Oakland a year ago) doesn't cut it. Jeremy Kurley (29, 314, one TD) is another option at wide receiver. Tight End Dustin Keller (65, 815, five TD) is solid and a favorite target for Sanchez.
The O-line has All-Pro Nick Mangold at center with guards Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore. The tackles are Wayne Hunter and D'Brickashaw Ferguson. 

Defense: The Jets' 3-4 look will see a rookie starting at one of the end spots as Quinton Coples (North Carolina) will line up along with end Muhammad Wilkerson while Sione Pouha will be the nose tackle. Kenrick Ellis, Marcus Dixon, Mike DeVito and Jay Richardson are others looking to help up front.
The linebacking unit has Bart Scott (4 1/2 QB sacks) and David Harris (five sacks and four interceptions) on the inside with Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace (4 1/2 sacks) on the outside backer spots.
Rookie Demario Davis (Georgia Tech) will provide depth for the linebackers along with Garrett McIntyre, Aaron Maybin (six sacks), Nick Bellore and Josh Mauga.
The secondary features arguably the best corner man in the NFL in Darrelle Revis, who made four  interceptions in 2011, including one returned 100 yards for a touchdown. Revis is a shut down defender who can force opposing quarterbacks to throw the other way.
Antonio Cromartie (four picks) is the other cornerback and the safeties include Eric Smith and LaRon Landry, who comes over from the Redskins to bolster the secondary.
 Fan favorite Jim Leonhard departed in the off-season and recently inked a deal with Denver, leaving rookies Josh Bush and Antonio Allen as reserve safeties. Also in mix in the secondary are Isaiah Trufant, Tracy Wilson, Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster.
The Jets defense was fifth overall in the league in 2011, allowing 312 yards per game, including just 201 yards passing per game, which ranked fifth as well. The run defense finished 13th overall, giving up 111 yards per game.

OUTLOOK: This could very well be a make or break year for the team after missing the playoffs last year.
Head Coach Rex Ryan seems to be toning it down a bit after his lofty predictions the last three years.
The offense needs to improve in running the football and Sanchez must show he can deliver in the clutch, as he did to a degree in his first two seasons before last season's collapse down the stretch, when the Jets lost their final three games.
The defense is good and one of the top units in the NFL defending the pass, but needs to get after opposing quarterbacks more consistently, as they totaled only 35 sacks a year ago.
With Tebow now an option in New York, Sanchez has less room for the mistakes he has made as the quarterback for this team. With less targets to choose from than in year's past, Sanchez must be more decisive in 2012.
Another question mark is the rushing attack, where Greene hasn't really lived up to the hype following his rookie season when he appeared headed for stardom.
The AFC East is ruled by the Patriots, but the Jets have shown the ability to beat their rivals in the past. Doing so this year will be extremely important for the psyche of the team after being blown out twice by the Pats last season.
There are simply too many question marks surrounding the Jets in 2012 and they would do well to qualify for the post-season. It looks like a 9-7 season for the Jets this year and possibly a wild card spot, depending on how they fair against other AFC teams in head to head matchups.

Week 1- vs. Buffalo
Week 2- at Pittsburgh
Week 3- at Miami
Week 4- vs. San Francisco
Week 5- vs. Houston
Week 6- vs. Indianapolis
Week 7- at New England
Week 8- vs. Miami
Week 9- BYE
Week 10- at Seattle
Week 11- at St. Louis
Week 12- vs. New England
Week 13- vs. Arizona
Week 14- at Jacksonville
Week 15- at Tennessee
Week 16- vs. San Diego
Week 17- at Buffalo

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