Confident coach might have a point about his New York Jets
The NFL coaches that have character are truly something else.
Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s head coach Raheem Morris says that his Bucs are “The class of the NFC.” If we were playing cards in a hand of B.S., then Morris would have to pick up all the cards in the center of the deck. That statement was comparable to saying he had four aces on the final hand. I didn’t buy that for a second; and I wasn’t the only one. Not only was it cocky, it was border line imprudent. They probably aren’t even the best team in the NFC South, let alone the entire conference.
But when New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said his Jets are the best team in the NFL, it was at least a moderately believable statement. Seeing that, for the first time since 1979, every team in the league has lost two games at the halfway mark, no NFL guru can put a finger on who stands out vibrantly.
But the Jets have looked something like it; at least for a period of time.
The next thing you know, their receivers can’t catch a cold in the Packers game, and they appeared to be a team with no passing arsenal at all; there is a reason why their wide outs are 27th in the league in receptions, according to NFL.com. And then they barely escaped the Lions clutches at Ford Field the following week; and got lucky in the process. If not for the unavailability of kicker Jason Hanson, then the 307 pound Ndamukong Suh would not have attempted a PAT. He can probably leg press eight times Hanson’s body weight, and somehow the fact that he played soccer as a kid made it logical for him to kick.
But good teams get a ton of breaks throughout the sixteen game schedule, and sometimes would prefer to be lucky. The key play that enabled the Jets to overcome a 20-10 deficit was a late hit personal foul on the Lion’s Julian Peterson that gave New York 15 surplus yards to place them inside of kicker Nick Folk field goal range. They eventually won on a field goal in overtime.
In their two losses, the Jets have scored nine points in totality, while averaging 28 points per game on a winning note. More or less, their supporting cast around sophomore gun slinger Mark Sanchez either shows up, or bails out. Their one form of consistency is in their balanced running game; they average 148 yards per competition, 4th in the NFL, according to NFL.com.
The off-season pick up of Ladainian Tomlinson has this Jets running game at it again. L.T. replaces the departured Thomas Jones, who is now a Chief. Shonne Greene got the bulk of the carries in the Jets playoff run late last year, but has seen his workout decrease with Tomlinson’s resurgence. Former Pro Bowlers D’Brickashaw Fergueson and former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Mangold anchor perhaps the league’s best offensive line. Tight end Dustin Keller is quarterback Marh Sanchez’s favorite target, as Braylon Edwards continues his downward spiral.
But what coach Ryan was bragging about was the Jets defense, and they have an abundance of play makers everywhere. The number one corner back tandem in the NFL of Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis shut down the pass, while Bryan Thomas, Bart Scott, David Harris, and Calvin Pace lead an experienced and balanced linebacking core.
There is plenty to watch out for in this match up between Cleveland and New York. Braylon Edwards and Brodney Pool make their returns to Cleveland Brown’s Stadium, and former Brown’s killers Santonio Holmes and Bart Scott also look to do their thing. The Jets fired coach Eric Mangini after the 2008 season, and he will look to make the Jets front office feel like they made a big mistake.