Jets 2010-11 Schedule Breakdown (2/2): Game-by-Game Analysis

Week One - Vs. Baltimore Ravens

Storyline: Ryan actually interviewed for the Ravens job that eventually went to John Harbaugh. How bad do you think he wants to beat them?

Trend: Jets are 3-1 in season openers over the last 4 seasons.

Trend: (via poster Bob_The_Friendly_Baker ): Jets haven't beaten the Ravens since 1998.

Breakdown: The Jets open Monday Night Football in what has the makings to be the best matchup in week one. Which team will ground-and-pound the other en route to victory in the MNF opener at the new stadium? A game with storylines of epic proportions, as the new-school, Harbaugh-era Ravens come to town to face Rex and the "old" ones.  Furthermore, watching the youngins Sanchez and Flacco duel it out will certainly be entertaining.

IMO, the Ravens are the second-toughest matchup for the Jets in the AFC (Colts being the first) as both teams play very similar brands of football. The Ravens certainly had a good season last year, and they will look to improve upon that as they've acquired one of the better slot receivers in the game in Boldin to add more weapons on offense. Coupled with Donte Stallworth who presents a deep threat and will be motivated with a lot to prove, It's safe to say Flacco has some toys to play with this year and their passing game will be much improved. This in turn, will improve the effectiveness of their potent rushing attack, while Ray Rice continues to get better with age and solidify himself as one of the top 3 RB's in the NFL.

Even though it was a preseason game, last year's matchup was nothing short of disappointing. The only difference is, it won't be Eric Ainge behind center when the Jets go for the game-wining two-point conversion. Time to beat them when it counts, and I think GangGreen will do just that --- rallying behind their home crowd in the MNF stadium opener to squeak out a close win by a FG.

PREDICTION: WIN

Follow me after the jump for the rest of the schedule!

Week Two - Vs. New England Patriots

StoryLine: Last year, the Jets finally bucked the trend, and snapped an eight-game home losing streak to the Cheats.

‘Situational' Analysis Note: Having to kick off the season by playing these two emotional games against very formidable opponents back-to-back (with division-rival Miami on deck) makes this a tough stretch to begin the Jets' 2010-11 campaign. Luckily, they get the luxury of playing both of these games at home. Still, the Jets will be coming off of a short week and the stadium opener which has the potential to be a very emotional game, win or lose. Not an awful three-week stretch, but certainly a challenging one.

Breakdown: After finally getting the monkey off of their backs and beating NE at home, the Jets now enter this matchup with some confidence, believing that they are indeed the better team and can win this game. Times are a changin', the tide has turned.

New England had a relatively quiet offseason, and that may not be a good thing for them. They have an aging, injury-riddled D-Line which will be doing a lot of rotating and substituting this year. On offense,  they field a "WR1" in Moss (whose lack of speed rarely draws double coverage anymore), and even though they have probably the best slot receiver in the game, Wes Welker enters this season coming off of a serious injury with a big question mark attached to his name. And well, they've never had much of a run-game in recent years, too many inconsistencies in the back field -- no "go-to" guy.

A couple of years back, NE's offensive/defensive fronts would have pushed the Jets around, had their way with them, and controlled the game --- NOT ANYMORE.  I think the Jets will look to play a very physical game and out-muscle them in the trenches like they did in the matchup at home last year,  use some good hard-nosed smash mouth football to work the clock and limit NE's possessions, and pull out another emotional home victory. The Jets will look to control the tempo of the game, and I think they will do just that.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week Three - @ Miami Dolphins

StoryLine: Jets look to avenge last year's sweep by their division rivals, two teams that had VERY active offseasons will battle it out.

Breakdown: For awhile it appeared as if Miami were playoff-bound for the second year in a row, but the little stinkers managed to stink it up and went on to lose their last 3 games of the season. (Congrats on finishing under .500 guys!! ::: high five:: ) Anyways...

The Jets come into this divisional road game after playing two extremely emotional games, both of which will be physical, grind-it-out games. That makes this a tough situational spot. A primetime TV game in a tough environment to play in is no easy task.

Miami made some big moves in the offseason:  picking up Brandon Marshall to help keep opposing defenses honest and increasing the effectiveness of the Wildcat (gimmick) formation, and also OLB Karlos Dansby who is a monster pass-rusher. Chad Henne will have another year of experience under his belt, and this team looks like they will win 1-2 games more than last season. This is a tough spot for the Jets, and I think the Fins will squeak it out, although I hope I'm wrong.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week Four - @ Buffalo Bills

StoryLine: Bills forced six Sanchez turnovers in their OT upset win in Giants Stadium back in October of last year.

As we saw in their quest to find a head coach, no one even wanted to coach this hapless Buffalo franchise. Their best asset is their secondary, which is actually, IMO, the second best in the NFL (behind the Jets'). Unfortunately for them, they don't have a QB, an OL/DL. They've always ignored the trenches, and game fundamentals, and it's come back to haunt them. But they do have arguably the worst WR corps in the NFL (I feel bad for Lee Evans who is the only talented one)! They drafted a RB high in the first round in CJ Spiller, when they had other more pressing needs. This team is in shambles right now.

The Bills are a work in progress, and by this, I mean they're working to be a .500 team in 2025. The Jets will steamroll them like they did in Rogers Centre last year.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week Five - Vs. Minnesota Vikings

StoryLine: Jets will look to bury the self-absorbed QB who used his year as a Jet as a "stepping stone"... finishing his stint in green with a stinking 1-4 record against weak competition.

Breakdown: First off, I do believe Favre will QB this team as he had surgery on his ailing ankle. You don't have surgery unless you intend to play. At the same time, who knows how long the old man will last, maybe he'll be banged up by week 5? Lol.

This is another tough matchup for the Jets, and I'm very glad we get this one at home. Minnesota has dangerous speed at the WR position, and so many weapons a defense must focus on. I do believe they field one of  the top 3 WR corps in the NFL, and they have home-run hitter Adrian Peterson and an excellent offensive line to compliment that. When Brett isn't "Favre-ing" (heaving) it down the field relentlessly, and calling the plays himself with Childress taking a back seat, this is a balanced offense that can beat you by air or on the ground. HOWEVER, I think the loss of Chester Taylor is big for them, and will magnify Peterson's ball security issues/fumble-it is. They drafted RB Tody Gerhart to replace Taylor in the future, but it will be interesting to see what they do in the first half of the season. I think it will lead to too much of the passing game,  and render them a bit predictable. If they want to lob the ball down the field, the Jets' secondary will be ready for that.

If the Jets can bottle up Adrian Peterson, they can force the Vikings into running a one-dimensional offense, and then let (IMO) the #1 secondary in the NFL lock down their WR's with some zone coverage and nickel package. I think they will do just that, and I think they will win.

PREDICTION : WIN

Week Six --- @ Denver Broncos

StoryLine: Jets were arguably the hottest team at the conclusion of the season, and Denver was the worst (2-8 L10 games). Denver has won the last two matchups between the two though.

Breakdown: This will be an interesting matchup, as the Jets were a "buyer" this offseason, and Denver was definitely a "seller." Trading away Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler, and drafting Tim Tebow with their first round pick, the Broncos definitely shocked some people.  

I personally think this Denver team is a work in progress, and will be lucky to reach .500 this season.  Even as tough as an environment as it is in Mile High Stadium, I think the Jets win this one.

Prediction: WIN

Week Seven - BYE WEEK

StoryLine: Jets are undefeated in bye weeks ; ).

Week Eight - Vs. Green Bay

StoryLine: The Packers finished #1 in turnover margin last season at +1.3/game, while the Jets were 11th with +0.2/game.

As if the Jets secondary won't be tested enough in week five against Minnesota, they will really be tested in week eight, as Aaron Rodgers and one of the best air attacks comes to town.  Several analysts are picking the Packers to win the NFC, and I can see why. They will now be in the second year of defensive mastermind Dom Capers' 3-4 scheme, and the players will likely be more comfortable in it now.

This is a tough game to handicap because the Packers are a team I just can't seem to figure out yet, on paper at least. There are still question marks on the O-Line which was their biggest problem last year, and now with Jolly suspended their D-Line takes a hit also.  They suffered a lot of injuries on defense last year, and found themselves getting torched through the air as a result. I think they will improve here, but I'm not sure how much. One thing's for certain: they're going to score points, and Aaron is going to throw for 250 yards/2+ TD's often.

Think the Jets are challenged by the Packers' offense, GB gets ahead early and wins a close one.

Prediction: LOSS

Week Nine - @ Detroit

StoryLine: This game was initially rumored to take place during Thanksgiving.

The Matt Millen era of incompetency is over, and the Lions are a team going in the right direction. IMO, they had one of the best offseasons for any team in the NFL. They finally picked up some veterans to put on their DL, helping mentor rookie phenom Ndamukong Suh, and QB Matt Stafford will be in his second year with a veteran receiver in Burleson to help compliment the talented Calvin Johnson who was consistently mobbed with double coverage as he was the main offensive weapon they had. Defenses knew what to focus on, the Lions had no run-game, and were very predictable.

I think this team is improving, and they may finish close to .500 this year, but still have 1-2 years to go. They are still, primarily, a young team, but I don't think they are acclimated to win big games (especially divisional) on the road just yet.

In this particular matchup, I think the Jets will ground-n-pound them to death, and that will be the difference. I think their D-Line was upgraded tremendously in pass-rushing, but still think the team that was 26th in the NFL for 126.6/ypg will get torched on the ground, and the Jets will use that to control the game en route to victory. The guys they brought in known for their pass-rushing, not their run-stopping.

PREDICTION : WIN

Week Ten - @ Cleveland

StoryLine: The Jets travel to Cleveland to face former head coach Eric Mangini, and this game also marks Braylon's return to the Dawg Pound.

Even with Mike Holmgren running the show in the front office, this team is still a work in progress. Also, we still have no idea who their QB will be. When the offensive star of your team is your kick returner/WR4 (Josh Cribbs caught only 20 balls last year), you still have some building to do. They do have a stout D-Line, and some great run stoppers in Shaun Rogers and Robaire Smith, and do think they will be much improved against the run this year. They weren't awful last season, but a couple of big games in which they allowed 200+ killed them and made them look worse (statistically) than they were.

Mangini will be gunning to beat his former team, but I don't think he has the tools (or coaching sense) to do so. This is the same guy who couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag, and I think the Jets defense can easily shut the Browns' offense  down. If Jake Delhomme is under center, I foresee many turnovers for the Browns, and this game being similar to the one in Tampa last season, with the Jets' defense leading the way to victory against a lackluster team. And Braylon Edwards, 2 TD's in his return.

PREDICTION : WIN

Week Eleven - Vs. Houston

StoryLine: Last year's #1 ranked passing defense (169.1 yards/game) meets the 09-10 #1 ranked passing offense (290 yards/game).

In case the Jets weren't tested by the Packers' or Vikings' air attack, they certainly will be this week. The Jets face Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Co., who finished #1 in passing yards last year @ 290 yards/game. While Revis did an excellent job on Johnson in last season's matchup (4 catches/35 yards), it will most likely be tougher the second time around.

The Texans finished 9-7 last season, and I could definitely see this team winning 9-10 games and clinching a playoff berth this season. They were unfortunate to lose a couple of games late, most of them due to turnovers (a couple at the goal-line), which was what kept them out of the playoffs.

I think the Texans will have more balance on offense this season, and will be tough for any defense to prepare against. I don't have a good feeling about this game, and I think a couple of breaks will go Houston's way, and that'll be the difference.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week Twelve- Vs. Cincinnati

It's safe to say the REVENGE FACTOR will be in play full-force for the Bengals here, and that this one is already marked on their calendar,  however I don't think they have the tools to win this game.

Another team that has been relatively quiet throughout the offseason, and another team I have trouble putting my finger on. However, the Jets do matchup well against them, as Cincinnati plays a similar brand of football as the Jets, but GangGreen plays it better.

I really have no idea what to expect from Carson Palmer and how he will fare after an injury-riddled career, but I do know the Bengals have a weak WR corps and Jets will look to stack the box and contain Benson. This looks to be a grind-it-out game, and I like the Jets to win by a FG.

StoryLine: The Jets outscored the Bengals 61-14 in the two matchups last year. The second of which entailed Sanchez having a near-perfect passer rating of 139.4 in his NFL playoffs debut.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week Thirteen --- @ New England

StoryLine: New England loves to use cameras.

See previous writeup on NE, I'm not going to do two write-ups for each divisional game twice.  Am predicting a split against our division rivals, and while I do think this game will be competitive, think we'll lose by a TD or less. Jets could possibly be looking ahead to Miami the next week also, especially if they lose the first matchup earlier in the season. Being swept by the dirty fish two years consecutively is not something I see Rex and Co. allow to happen.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week Fourteen --- Vs. Miami

While the Jets referred to last year's week two matchup with the Patriots their "super bowl," methinks this game will be the one that acquires that title this season. I think winning in Miami will be extremely tough and there is a decent chance the Jets will drop that game. That makes this game one of epic proportions, not only for divisional implications, but also for bragging rights --- the Jets will stop at nothing to avoid being swept by this team in consecutive years.

And they will win.

StoryLine: I hate dislike the Miami Dolphins.... a lot.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week Fifteen --- @ Pittsburgh

This matchup intrigues me, as the Jets travel to Heinz Field for a matchup with Pittsburgh who were arguably the first team in recent years to introduce "smash-mouth" football to the NFL. The Jets now employ that style of play too, and this is a game which I am predicting to be very low scoring. Polamalu returns this year to help anchor the secondary, and I still think Pitt has one of (if not the best)  the defensive fronts in football.

Offensively, Roethlisberger will obviously be eligible to play in this game, but I still think their WR corps is extremely weak with the loss (our gain) of Santonio Holmes, and Limas Sweed's injury probably rendering him out of the season.  Without Willie Parker, they are very young at RB and will be having open competition for the RB2 spot to compliment Mendenhall. Even though 20-year-old Dwyer is promising, they don't have a guy who can be consistent there to start the season. There are a LOT of question marks on the offensive side of things for Pittsburgh.

This will be a tough, grind-it-out game in a tough environment, and damn if I have to see those "terrible towels," but I think the Jets will win a very close game of FG's/field position, by being slightly better on offense and winning the time of possession.

PREDICTION: WIN

StoryLine: Smash Mouth football- old-school vs new-school. The Steelers were the first team in the 21st century to successfully employ and win with smash-mouth football. Things are changing though, as the Jets now also play that brand of football, and they do it well. The Steelers, on the other hand, are weak at  O-Line and have some new faces at the RB position this year, which could alter their style of play. The Steelers are regressing, and the Jets will win.

Week Sixteen --- @ Chicago

The Jets travel to Soldier Field to face a team that suffered a plethora of injuries last year, and has a solid young, up-and-coming WR corps who I think is very talented.  The Bears brought in Mike Martz to work with Jay Cutler and help rectify their offensive woes.  Bears also brought in RB Chester Taylor who I think is a very capable back and will give them a great 1-2 punch with Forte.

I discussed this in the other thread, but think on defense the bears will be fired up from the verbal berating they received last season from Mike Ditka and Gale Sayers. They suffered a lot of injuries last year in their defensive front, and I think the Bears' stout defense of old will return. They have a lot to prove, and think they will be very motivated to succeed this year, although there is a lot of pressure on them (and Lovie).

I expect this Bears team to be much-improved this year and earn a postseason berth. If they achieve the balance on offense that I am predicting, they will be a tough matchup for any defense. With their speed at WR stretching the field, this opens doors for their strong running game. This is the third road game in four weeks for the Jets, and I think they drop this one against a very formidable opponent.

StoryLine: Lovie Smith will be coaching for his job this season, and I see a lot of pressure on this Bear's team this season.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week Seventeen --- Vs. Buffalo

The Bills are a bad, bad team, and will be lucky to win four games this season. They're also lucky I wrote more than one paragraph about them above, because that's about all they deserve.

I hope the Jets are in a position to where they can rest a couple of players here, but I'm not sure how many they'll be resting because I do think the race for the division will come down to the final game.

StoryLine:. This game could make-or-break the Jets in their quest to win the East.

PREDICTION: WIN

2010-11 PROJECTED Record: 11-5 (4-2 in East) --- AFC EAST CHAMPS!!!


In case you missed PART 1 of the Schedule Breakdown, click (here) to view it.

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