Sunday September 13th, 1pm, CBS
New York Jets @ Houston Texans
by Joe Grinwis
It’s finally here Jet fans, the time that we’ve all been waiting for since December. The 2009 Regular Season. Time for the official start of the Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan Era’s to begin for the New York Jets. It would be silly not to mention that these two, Sanchez and Ryan, will be joined at the hip for the rest of their time with the Jets. Where Sanchez can lead this team, Ryan will go.
Yes, Ryan has brought over Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard and Marques Douglas from Baltimore to help create the Raven defense in New York, but the man who will ultimately decide his fate in New York is the man who he traded two draft selections and three players to move up in the draft and get. The man who beat out fourth year pro Kellen Clemens in the Preseason.
Jet fans have been waiting for a savior at Quarterback since Joe Namath. The Jets have had Kenny O’Brien, who was thought to be next in line, but the talented passer never came close to that of Namath. We saw Vinny Testaverde and Chad Pennington come up with two miracle seasons (1998 and 2002, respectively), but after those years, both had injuries that followed them and never returned to the same form.
Is this finally the Jets time? Is this 22 year old hot shot rookie, with only 16 collegiate starts under his belt, going to be the future of this organization for the next 10-15 years? Only time will tell, but this Sunday is the first step, a first real sign as to what we have.
I ask all Jet fans to please, think with an open mind. Do not go into this season thinking that Sanchez has to be either Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco and if he isn’t, he is the next Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf or Cade McCown. He is his own unique talent and this team in 2009 will go only as far as the new Defense will take them.
With that said, Jet fans, get ready for an exciting 2009 season where this team will not be the boring old Eric Mangini teams of the past. There will be fire, there will be passion, there will be blitzes for the first time since 2005 (at least it feels that way) and this team will play tough for their new Head Coach.
Here’s to a great 2009 campaign. Viva La Sanchez!
Matchups Of The Week
1. CB Darrelle Revis vs. WR Andre Johnson
Revis, entering his 3rd season, has already been anointed by some Jet fans as one of the best, if not the best Cornerback in the NFL. Well, this will be a huge test for Revis, going against perhaps the best receiver in the NFL not named Larry Fitzgerald. Johnson led the NFL in receiving in 2008 with 115 receptions and 1575 yards and he did it with multiple Quarterbacks behind center. Revis, after sometimes struggling in his rookie season, broke onto the scene in 2008 with a Pro Bowl campaign, but he isn’t one of the best yet. If he can shut down Johnson, he’ll make a case to be mentioned in the same breathe as Nnamdi Asomougha.
2. LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson vs. DE Mario Williams
Ferguson, like Revis, in 2008 broke onto the scene and was a Pro Bowl alternate for the first time in his career. There is no doubt that the addition of Pro Bowl LG Alan Faneca was the reason for this as Faneca could make anyone look like a stud next to him. However, Ferguson finally has finally been able to keep his weight consistent around 305 and that has helped him as well. Williams, after struggling in his rookie season, has come out with 26 sacks over the last two years and become one of the elite pass rushers in the NFL. Along with last years first round pick, DT Amobi Okoye and free agent signing DE Antonio Smith, the Texans boast one of the better 43 fronts in the NFL. Ferguson will be tested all day, mostly by Williams, because the Texans are going to want to disrupt Sanchez early and often.
3. Jets Wide Receivers vs. Texans Secondary
The key for Sanchez this season will be, aside from Cotchery, his young and untested receiving core. Good thing for the receivers in their first game is that the Texans secondary is nothing special. Dunta Robinson only signed his deal on Sunday, leaving him doubtful to play and if he does, he won’t be anything near football shape. After that, the Texans really have nobody, so the key here is can the Jets young, inexperienced receivers get some separation so Sanchez can find them? If they can’t do it against the Texans, how can anyone believe they’ll do it against New England, Miami or anyone else?
Prediction: Jets-24, Texans-20
Mark Sanchez: 16-23, 167 yards, TD