Narrowly missing the play-offs in 2011, the New York Jets are preparing to enter the 2012 season with renewed energy and confidence. Veteran players, a strong schedule of opponents and the acquisition of quarterback Tim Tebow have sports books buzzing and online casino visitors finding the playoff odds as appealing as an online slots bonus.
Hail, hail, the “Gang Green” is all here
Off-season can be a time of tense negotiations and abrupt departures. Contracts are made and broken, with many veterans arriving at training camp to find former teammates gone and new acquisitions ready to take their place. Ensuring that your core players, the heart of your team, returns year after years is a vital ingredient for the success of the next season.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez returns to play this coming season. Committing to a three-year contract extension recently, the Jets want to keep Sanchez around for a while and he is more than willing to do so.
Linebacker Bart Scott will also be returning this season. His public disappointment with his reduced role last season had raised many doubts whether or not he would return, but after several conversations with Coach Rex Ryan, and shedding nearly 15 pounds in the off-season, Scott is eager to begin workouts in the middle of April. With three years still remaining on his $4.2 million a year contract, Scott will continue to be an intimidating force on the field in 2012.
The strength of the 2012 schedule
The Jets will be facing four AFC South teams: the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. They’ll also be facing teams from the NFC West, including the Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, fellow members of the AFC East, will also meet the Jets on the field of play.
The strength of the schedule this coming season lies in the low number of away-games requiring long-distance travel. With only one cross-country trip to play Seattle, the Jets will avoid the travel that can translate into game-day mistakes. San Diego, Arizona and San Francisco travel long distance to play at the Meadowlands, giving the Jets an advantage.
The trade acquisition of Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow raises many questions: Will he see game time this season? How will he and Sanchez handle being quarterbacks at the same time? How will the Jets use him to the best advantage? The answers to these questions remain to be seen, but the Jets may make use of Tebow’s unique playing style in games against teams he has pressured or defeated in the past, including Jaguars, Raiders and Patriots.