At the NFL betting odds of +140 to win the division, the Jets are slight underdogs to the AFC East stalwart New England Patriots to win the division this season.
The Patriots are favorites for a reason.
Since 1996, the Pats have won the AFC East Division 9 times. That’s 9 titles in 14 years. There aren’t many other teams in any sport that has been as dominant in a single division as the New England Patriots have been, but this year the tide appears to be changing.
Why? Because the New York Jets, who lost to the Indianapolis Colts in last season’s AFC Championship Game, are loaded on both sides of the ball and, more importantly, truly believe that they can beat the Pats.
Going into training camp and pre-season, the Jets are so highly rated that many sports gamblers are surprised that the Patriots are still favored over them to win the division.
The Jets made the necessary upgrades on both offense and defense to become the best team in the AFC East this season.
Listed below are some of the most important improvements.
New York Jets’ Improvements
More speed at the RB position – - The New York Jets unloaded Thomas Jones.
Hey, he was good, but he was getting up there in age. Instead of Jones, University of Iowa product Shonn Greene will be counted on to carry the load.
Greene averaged 5 yards per carry last season and should peak in his third official season in the NFL.
Backing up Greene will be future hall-of-famer LaDanian Tomlinson.
Tomlinson can still be a factor in spots during the game, but the real reason to love the Jets’ running backs this year is because USC stand-out Joe McKnight, who will be going into his rookie season, might be a bigger but just as fast Reggie Bush.
McKnight has some maturity issues to deal with but no nonsense Jets’ coach Rex Ryan will make sure he handles them the right way.
McKnight could be something special.
A year under QB Mark Sanchez’s belt – - A lot of times quarterbacks take a step back in their second year after having a great rookie season. It happened to Matt Ryan at Atlanta, but it’s doubtful to happen to Mark Sanchez.
The reason is because Sanchez got help when the Jets’ brass acquired wide receiver Santonio Holmes from Pittsburgh.
Holmes is a nice complement to Braylon Edwards and he gives Sanchez yet another target to throw to. McKnight is another target as he showed at USC that he can catch the ball as well as anybody.
Not only does Sanchez have more weapons this season, but the Jets’ offensive game-plan revolves around the running game meaning that Sanchez will be counted on, like he was as a rookie, to simply not make a lot of mistakes.
That should allow him to develop into a decent game manager along the lines of former Dallas Cowboys’ QB Troy Aikman.
Antonio Cromartie comes over to play CB opposite – - Antonio Cromartie is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. In fact, to some NFL fans the only better cornerback in the NFL is Darrelle Revis.
Cromartie is a shut down guy meaning that the Jets will be able to blitz the QB more with their safeties because both Cromartie and Revis can guard any wide receiver in the NFL one on one.
That makes the Jets’ D even scarier than they were last season and last season they were plenty scary!
Darrelle Revis has stopped complaining…for the moment – - Revis wants a new, long-term, contract. The Jets are willing to give him one but the sides are very, very far apart in terms of money.
The reason that Revis has stopped complaining is because he played hardball with the Jets’ front office and his coach, Rex Ryan, decided to back the Jets.
I have no doubt that once Revis enters training camp, which he has to do in order to not risk losing the guaranteed portion of his contract, he and Jets’ management will start coming together on a contract.
If they don’t, then Revis’ situation is probably the only real issue that would keep the Jets from winning the AFC East Division.
With a healthy Cromartie on one side to take some pressure off of Revis, Revis should be even better this season than he was last season.
Because the Jets upgraded both their offense and defense and the Patriots really didn’t, the New York Jets are the team to beat in the AFC East Division this season.
At the terrific NFL online betting odds of +140, the Jets are a good bet in the sportsbook to win the AFC East in the 2010-2011 NFL Season.
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