By Tom Kiss
Well Jets fans, after a very disappointing 4-12 season the Jets organization heard the calls of the fan base. Over $140 million was spent this offseason in an attempt to fix many of the issues that faced the team last year.
Alan Faneca and Damien Woody were brought in to solidify an offensive line that looked like it had high school kids playing on it last year. The upgrade of Faneca over Adrian Clarke may be the biggest upgrade at any position in the league. Calvin Pace was paid big bucks to choose the Jets over New England and the Parcells Dolphins. He should have an impact on the pass rush. Kris Jenkins, a mountain of a man, should make life much easier for the Jet linebackers as a guy who looks born to play the nose.
Then of course there was the icing on the cake when the Jets acquired Brett Favre from the Green Bay Packers. Talk about a Madden style off-season!!
Both sides of the ball should be much better than they were last year. Combine that with a more favorable schedule than last year and the Jets could easily be a playoff team. The defense really could be something special this year. With studs all over the field the Jets defense could be a force, something Jets fans haven’t seen in years. First up for the defense is someone very familiar, Chad Pennington. Released after the Favre acquisition, Pennington signed on with the Dolphins setting up a week one matchup against his former team. Well, it wouldn’t be the NFL without a little drama now would it.
When the Jets have the ball:
This is a statement game for the o-line. The Dolphins are rebuilding, so this should be a game where the line creates big holes for Thomas Jones and electrifying Leon Washington. Favre should also get the kind of protection Pennington and Kellen Clemens saw only in their dreams last season. Expect to see the Jets try and run the ball early and often.
Favre doesn’t know all of the playbook, but surely he knows enough to be successful. Coles, Cotchery and the combo of Chris Baker and Dustin Keller can provide some good weapons for the passing game. Favre will obviously try and play well in his first game with a new team in over a decade and a half. Eric Mangini should pray that Favre doesn’t try and do too much and make some bad decisions.
When the Dolphins have the ball:
With Chad Pennington at the helm and a Parcells disciple in Tony Sporano, the Dolphins will pound the ball on the ground and try to set up the play-action. Ricky Williams will be the starter for Miami and it should be interesting to see how well he performs. The Dolphins line has holes in it, and its best looking lineman, Jake Long, is making his first ever start after being taken #1 overall in the ’08 draft.
Pennington can be successful as a quarterback in this league, we as Jets fans have seen that before. Now more than ever however it seems like Pennington needs everything working or he cannot get the job done. If the Dolphins are able to get the ground game working well, Pennington can do some damage in the short to mid-range passing. Without a running game you can expect to see those 3 yard dump offs that drove Jets fans crazy for the last few years.
Matchup of the game: D’Brickashaw Ferguson vs. Vonnie Holliday
D’Brick is entering his third year and this is the season where he needs to elevate his game to the next level. I’m sure the issues at left guard last year hampered his progress, but there were times where he looked lost last year. Holliday is a cagy vet who will put Brick to the test in week 1.
NYJ 27 – MIA 10