Who else is suffering from Jets withdrawal? I can't be the only one.
We're still two months away from both draft day and the official schedules being released, but we can speculate using a projected schedule based on prior years.
NOTE: Obviously this is subject to change, and is only being used to get a general idea of what we will be up against.
It is important to note that with the uncapped offseason on the horizon, there will be a lot of guys moved around and who really knows what these big-market teams will do to some of the smaller ones? I have a strong feeling one of the NFC East teams will benefit greatly from this and look to spend a great deal of money, but that's just a prediction. We really haven't seen anything yet, and it's going to be a crazy offseason once things heat up in April.
Even for the Jets, where there is a good chance we could have a new-look WR Corps or secondary. So obviously I'm speculating here and using the current rosters. But speculating is fun, so let's do just that. Follow me after the jump for a breakdown of the "projected" schedule based on rotation and prior years.
At a glance:
It seems as if all of our projected road games are winnable, yet our home games seem to all be very tough. Something you hate to see schedule-wise and also in a stadium's inauguration year. We don't get the luxury of facing any patsies at home this year, except when we play Buffalo. Last year we were very inconsistent at home, even with the benefit of facing very weak competition. Hopefully the new stadium will bring some new results!
We went a disappointing 2-4 in the East next year. If we didn't blow those MIA games, we would have been 4-2. Think we definitely have a great shot of winning the division this season and could, at worst, be 4-2 in those games.
PROJECTED HOME GAMES:
This will surely be one of the most-anticipated games of the season. I don't even need to touch on the storylines: The new Ravens vs the Old Ravens/Rex/Jets. Two smash-mouth football beasts going at it -- two teams that play very similar styles of football. We should see a lot of ground-and-pound from both offenses. Watching the young QB's Flacco and Sanchez duel it out should be entertaining also.
We took it easy on them last year in the preseason game, choosing to go for the two point conversion and the possible win in the final seconds with third string QB Ainge under center. Let's beat them when it counts, now.
Ahh yes, the 'Who Deys'. Can you say "revenge"? They will be counting the days until this one, as they look to come into our new stadium and avenge the raping we gave them last year. We completely rained on their parade and effectively ruined their season, and I don't think they like us very much! Another team that employs a similar style of play to ours, especially in their offensive schemes (run to setup the pass). I like our chances though.
Another tough game on paper. To be honest, GB is a tough match-up for any team in the NFL and I think they are going to be a force in the NFC this year. They have a great up-and-coming offense and weapons at every position. Rodgers has plenty of young targets that are tough to stop-WR Jennings, WR Jordy Nelson, and TE Jermichael Finley (will be a top-tier receiving TE in the future). As the season progressed, they also found a great balance getting veteran RB Ryan Grant . Defensively, Dom Capers employs a tenacious 3-4 defense and GB has a great front 7 which gets a lot of pressure on opposing QB's. Their biggest weakness this year was their O-Line's pass protection and secondary. Still, going to be a tough matchup for GangGreen.
It would be nice if we could play them though so Revis could show CB Woodson who the REAL DPOY was last year...
Oh, man. I don't know what game Jets fans are looking to more: this game, or the Ravens one. For me personally, I would love nothing better than to get revenge on Favre for the way he used our team in 08-09. We were basically a stepping stone for the drama queen/locker room cancer. Let's hope he returns so we can get some hits on him.
Really tough to predict matchups-wise, as we have no idea who will be at QB. One thing's for sure, they have one of the best young WR corps in the NFL, so this is another tough one for the Jets. I do think we can bottle up AP and contain their running game, and if Revis could do a good job on WR Rice we could make them one-dimensional with some nickel package. I also think Childress is one of the worst coaches in the NFL, and if anyone can lose a game, it's this clueless clown.
The Texans field an excellent air attack, as they actually finished #1 in passing YPG. Despite all the talk about NO and Indy, they were actually the top dog in this category.
This team was a couple of unlucky breaks away from attaining a playoff berth, and I think they will be a force to reckon with in the future. They coughed up a couple of red zone fumbles late in games (characteristic of a young team) early on which really hurt them, and also had some injuries at RB late which forced them to employ a pass-balanced offense. They still finished with a 9-7 record, and have a lot to build on.
This is a young, athletic team that I think can be very dangerous if they find a solid balance on offense. I look for the Texans to have a big year in 2010 and beyond, and think it will be a tough matchup for the Jets. BUT, being a young team, I question their ability to win on the road, and also question HC Gary Kubiak's decision-making if the game is on the line. This will be his fifth year as a HC in H-Town, and while he has experience in the big game as a coordinator, he doesn't have it as a HC.
PROJECTED ROAD GAMES:
(fresh off their #1 ranking in Forbe's "Most Miserable Cities" list released last week, lol)
Mangini and all the other ex-Jets will obviously have this one circled on their calendar. Not that that means anything, because the Jets are a nightmare matchup for this team, and I don't think they'll be able to stop our rushing attack. On the other side of the ball, the Jets D should be able to force a lot of three and outs and a couple turnovers to help out as well.
Clev is still a work in progress, and I think the Jets should roll them.
Two teams going in different directions. Two years ago, I thought this would have been a very tough matchup for the Jets, as the Steelers of old were everything that smash-mouth football embodied, and they played it better than anyone. But now are an aging, veteran defense with a coach that I think is just average (he won the SB with Cowher's team, fwiw). The Steelers do have one of the best front-7s in football, and are very tough to run on. Sanchez would have to make plays in this game in order for the Jets to leave as victors, but I think this is a winnable game. We will play employ their style of play but do it better then they do.
I really have no idea WTF we will see from the Bears this year. They suffered a fair amount of injuries on defense last season, and have a good, young WR/RB corps. A lot of their success will depend on Cutler, and his decision-making late in games. If he stops trying to be a Brett Favre and make too many plays with his arm, they may win some games this year.
Another team with a good run D and very solid front 7 so I think Sanchez will again need to make some plays with his arm here. Defensively, If the Jets can get pressure on Cutler I think they can force him into a couple of turnovers. Winnable game.
I think we will run the Lions into the ground. I almost feel bad for their front 7, who gave up 126 rushing ypg last season. They will obviously look to bring in Suh or McCoy and some other young guys in the draft to bolster their defensive front, so I'd rather play them earlier in the season while they are getting acclimated to the new system.
Jets should be able to ground-and-pound them to death. They are a very undersized defensive front and I think the Jets pro-bowl OL should have their way with them running the football.
On offense, Lions are very run-dimensional and have no run-game = a lot of nickel package and Stafford INT's. I expect us to punish them and run for 200+ yards on the ground. Lions are another work in progress.
Another team that I think may be active in the offseason. According to a statement from their owner, Orton will likely be their QB in 2010, but they will look to draft a QB.
Denver is one of the most streaky, inconsistent teams in the NFL and it's very hard to predict which team will show up each week. Last year, they started off 6-0 going into their bye week, and then somehow lost their next four games after the break. They had the AFC wildcard spot locked up for the majority of the season, but then choked it away down the stretch losing at home to Jamarcus Russell. WE benefited greatly off of that loss, as it helped us steal their playoff berth and garner the #5 seed in the AFC.
If anything, in HC Josh McDaniel's second season, they will be hungry. I just am not sure what they will be fielding next year. They have been shuffling around RB's for years, and have yet to find a permanent RB1 since shipping RB Clinton Portis to the Redskins years ago.
AFC EAST COMPETITION
This, I believe, will be our toughest competition in the division and the Fish should be a force for years to come. I think this young, athletic O-Line is very up-and-coming and will be very solid in the future. They certainly gave the Jets fits in the first matchup even w/ Jenkins playing, and I think young FB Lousaka Polite is one of the better blocking FB's in the NFL.
As much as I hate the wildcat, it's tough to defend against and keeps defenses honest. WR Teddy Ginn is extremely fast (as we saw last season), and can really help stretch defenses with his speed. If he's not dropping balls this year, he can be a big player in this offense. Henne showed a lot of flashes of brilliance and looks to have a bright future. Their secondary was horrible at times last season, but they also had a lot of injuries. Will be a tough matchup and I think we will probably split with them.
Karma is catching up with the cheaters. They are currently regressing, but still have a veteran QB and two of the most consistent slot receivers in the NFL in Welker and Edelman. And they have the cheating hoody wearer holding the clipboard.
I don't want to speculate here yet, because I think they will be very active in the offseason making moves. Offensively, they need a power RB that can stay healthy, and a young, speedy WR to run vertical routes, because Moss is no longer that man. We saw Revis just suffocated him last year. On defense, they have a lot of veterans and I think they will make a couple moves in the offseason to shake things up. Think we split with them AT WORST, and maybe even win both games.
They are a work in progress, as we could see by their coaching search -- NO ONE wanted to go there lol.
There are a lot of question marks on this team, especially at WR and QB. They have a very promising secondary, but I think they lack both skill and depth at a lot of important positions, and Chan Gailey is not the guy to turn this franchise around. We should punish them this year in both games.
PREDICTION BASED ON CURRENT PERSONNEL AND PROJECTED SCHEDULE:
10-6 (4-2 in divisional games)...... AFC East CHAMPS