As those of you who read this site may have figured out I’m a Giants’ fan. When you’re a Giants’ fan in the tri-state area, you usually don’t hate the Jets. Giants-Jets isn’t some big sports rivalry. For most Giants’ fans, the Jets are a team they wouldn’t mind seeing doing well so long as it didn’t come at Big Blue’s expense.
The good news for the Jets’ organization and their fan base, is that Giants’ fans aren’t feeling so charitable anymore. The Jets have become flat out annoying. Have they taken over the market yet? No, not really. After all, they still last won a Super Bowl over 40 years ago. But, the Jets are drawing notice. Due to a combination of their participation in HBO’s Hard Knocks, Rex Ryan’s take no prisoners persona and their on the field achievements, things are looking up for the Jets.
Unfortunately, they’re also the NFL’s biggest fraud.
It’s absolutely amazing to me how many people think they’re Super Bowl bound. Please write this down so you remember you read it here. THE JETS ARE NOT MAKING THE SUPER BOWL.
For those “experts” who disagree, let’s point out a few problems with the idea of the Jets being good enough to win the whole thing this year. First, they barely even made the playoffs last year. If not for a few playoff clinched teams laying down to avoid injuries, the Jets probably wouldn’t have made last year’s post season. Now, granted, they did a nice job when they got there, but not enough to have me over-value their Super Bowl potential this year.
Why? We’ll that’s reason number two. Mark Sanchez. Does anyone remember that he wasn’t super last year? Does anyone believe he’ll be that much better in year two? With rare exceptions, quarterbacks struggle during their development. Sanchez will be no different.
I hear some of you out there now. You’re thinking (yes, I can read your minds) that the Super Bowl Champ doesn’t need a quarterback to be much more than a good game manager if he’s got a great supporting cast around him. After all, Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl.
True, but don’t forget that Dilfer tasted victory about 30 years ago (ok, if just feels that way, but it’s still a long time ago). Take a look at who’s QB-ed Super Bowl Champs over the last decade. There’s an awful lot of great quarterbacks up there. Not too many stiffs. Wherever Sanchez ends up on the quarterback scale, it’s a lot of pressure to put on a second year player.
So, if the quarterback is suspect, then at least they’ll be able to run the ball right? Well, not so fast there. They let Thomas Jones leave and have gotten some critism for it, but I think that will ultimately be proven to be the right call. Jones had a nice Jets career, but he’s a senior citizen in running back terms and was coming off of heavy usage these last few years. Frankly, he was already showing signs of retirement being not so far away by the end of last season.
So, the Super Bowl Bound Jets are now depending on Shonn Greene to be the kind of consistent runner Thomas Jones was. Maybe he’ll be just that, but there’s a very small body of evidence to go off of, so that’s no given.
Should Greene falter who do you depend on? LaDainian Tomlinson? Maybe five years ago. I’m an LT fan despite feeling that there’s only one true LT (Lawrence Taylor, of course, even with his current legal troubles!). Tomlinson seems like a decent guy who’s come in with the right attitude. So, personally, I’m hoping he has a nice bounce back year. That’s the emotional side of my fandom coming out, but the reality is that Tomlinson like Jones is pretty old for a running back and also come with the damage that a whole lot of NFL carries will do to a man. He’s simply not going to be the season long answer at running back.
So, give the Jets credit for upping their profile and for putting together a terrific defense. These days though, offense has a lot to say about who wins the Super Bowl. When your quarterback and running backs are question marks, there’s a lot that needs to go right for you to win a Lombardi Trophy.
THE JETS WILL NOT BEAT THOSE ODDS. Again, please write it down and remember you read it here first.
PS – Didn’t even mention they play in a seriously tough division. That’s not going to help the march to glory.
PPS – I’d like bonus points for not going with the very tempting but ultimately lame argument that “after all they’re still the Jets”.