NFL Season Preview: New York Jets

Last season the New York Jets went through a drastic rebuilding process after three-time NFL MVP quarterback Brett Favre retired (at least for the time being) and head coach Eric Mangini was sent packing.

After Favre called it quits and Mangini was fired, the New York Jets brass had some big decisions to make as they were on the lookout for a new head coach and a new starting quarterback.

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Fortunately, the Jets didn’t have to wait long before they found their new head coach and quarterback as they hired the defensive minded Rex Ryan (formerly of the Baltimore Ravens) and selected rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Needless to say, the future of the franchise seemed to be intact as Sanchez and Ryan were the right pieces of the puzzle to help rebuild this struggling NFL franchise, but no one anticipated how successful this combination would be in their first season together as they led the New York Jets all the way to the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.

There is no question that the second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez still has a ways to go before he can be considered amongst the best quarterbacks in the league, but he did have a good rookie season and showed promise for the future.

Even though Sanchez has some work to do to improve his game and limit his turnovers, the promising young quarterback was given some more options in the offense this season with the addition of former NFL MVP running back LaDainian Tomlinson coming out of the backfield and former Super Bowl MVP wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

With the addition of these two veterans in the offense, Sanchez should steadily improve his play this season, but what the New York Jets live and die by is their lockdown defense.

Last season the Jets finished the regular season with arguably the best defense in the league and heading into the playoffs their defense took it to another level as they beat the AFC North division champion Cincinnati Bengals and the AFC West division champions in consecutive games.

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The two impressive playoffs win set up a classic matchup between a potent offense and a lockdown defense as Rex Ryan and company faced off against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

Despite dominating the Colts offense throughout the first half, Peyton Manning really got going in the second half and led his team to victory and a Super Bowl appearance.

Even though the Jets were disappointed they missed the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl, Rex Ryan and his boys were exceeded expectations and became arguably one of the best teams in the league in just one season.

This season the Jets will head into the season full of confidence and with a splash of arrogance as they try to have a repeat performance of last year, the one key piece to the puzzle they are missing for last season is arguably the best cornerback in the league and leader on defense in Darrelle Revis.

Without Revis the defense stands to take a big hit, but there is still a chance that a new deal can get done between the All-Pro and the beginning of the NFL regular season.

In the meantime, the New York Jets are Super Bowl title contenders in my opinion and a team to watch from here on out in the Rex Ryan era.

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