The New York Jets have been very busy talking the talk, now it is time for them to walk the walk. Gang Green, inspired by their new head coach Rex Ryan, has told anyone that was willing to listen how physical and aggressive they are going to be. Now it is time to put actions behind all of the strong words. The Jets need to start out strong in order to play meaningful games in December.
First 4 games
In order for the Jets to make a legitimate run at the playoffs they will have to survive a very difficult first quarter of the season. In terms of survival, Gang Green should look to go at least 2-2 heading into a week 5 match-up with the rival Dolphins. This will be no easy task as the Jets’ first four opponents are the Texans, Patriots, Titans and Saints, all teams that are prepared to challenge for their division title.
Week 1- The Jets will have their hands full with the high flying Texans as they will be missing their two best pass rushers (Ellis 1 game, Pace 4 games) due to league suspensions. Add in the fact that rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez will be making his NFL debut on the road, in front of a boisterous crowd, and the cards could be stacked against the Jets.
Week 2-Gang Green will take on a very talented, motivated Patriots team. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been known to confuse young quarterbacks, while Tom Brady will look to take advantage of a blitzing defense. Lets not forget all of the bulletin board material the Jets have given New England and the Pats could look to embarrass the Jets in their own building.
Week 3– This game against the Titans has the makings of a very physical, defense battle. The Titans run defense will put the pressure on Mark Sanchez to make plays. Will the young quarterback be able to withstand the physical nature of the Tennessee defense?
Week 4- The Jets take on the Saints who have one of the best offenses in the NFL, in one of the toughest places to play, New Orleans. Will the Jets defense be able to keep the team in the game? Can the Jets offense last in a shootout style of game?
It will be very interesting to see how the Jets coaching staff approaches these games. Will they play the games close to vest, hoping to win the field position and turnover battles? Will the coaches open the playbook for Mark Sanchez and let him dictate the flow of the offense? Will Sanchez be able to handle the role of starting quarterback? And how will the team handle the pressure of playing such difficult games early on in the season?
The one thing that is for certain, you will learn a lot about the 2009 New York Jets after the first four weeks of the season.