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New York Jets: Remaining Team Ranking by Storyline

Jeff Zelevansky

The week of the Super Bowl, local writers always look to tie the participants in the game to the teams they cover. With four teams left in the NFL Playoffs, let's rank these teams by the stories they might produce.

1. San Francisco 49ers

There doesn't seem to be a ton to work with here. That isn't a bad thing since many of the other teams have potentially negative storylines. We might get some snarky stories about how Jim Harbaugh has built the power run game and defensive style team Rex Ryan wanted and how Harbaugh's team keep winning after going to two Conference Championship Games his first two years in contrast to Rex. This seems pretty tame, though.

2. Seattle Seahawks

The week will be filled with storylines about Pete Carroll's unsuccessful tenure with the Jets, and how he might now return and win the biggest prize in the sport in the spot he failed. A few knuckleheads might suggest the Jets were wrong to fire him two decades ago. They are wrong. Carroll was a disaster. His team fell apart, and he had blood on his hands for Bruce Coslett getting fired. He just wasn't ready to be a head coach then. See the way he took a Super Bowl Patriots team and destroyed it a few years later. So it will be a week of negativity surrounding the Jets. The Seahawks would provide a good storyline, though. John Idzik came from Seattle so his former team playing in the game would promise a few stories about the lessons he learned and how he is trying to build the Jets in their image.

3. Denver Broncos

Now we're getting into downright painful territory. There will be plenty of stories about Denver's quarterback, Peyton Manning, and none of them are pleasant memories for the Jets. We'll have plenty of retrospectives about the 1997 NFL Draft. The Jets had the first pick. Manning didn't enter, instead opting to return to Tennessee for his senior year. We will probably have plenty of recounting that and wondering what might have been. Then there is Manning's 2012 free agency, a double whammy for Jets fans. The Jets failing to land him led to the Mark Sanchez contract extension. His decision to go to Denver led to the Tim Tebow trade. Bad times all around.

4. New England Patriots

This would be the worst case scenario, and I probably do not need to explain why. We will revisit Bill Belichick's ugly departure from the Jets and building a dynasty with a division rival. We will have the irony of him using the Jets facilities that he would have used had he stayed Jets head coach. We will get to hear the talk about how Rex Ryan said he didn't want to kiss Bill Belichick's rings with the possibility of Belichick earning another one in Rex's home stadium. Yuck.

So my advice is to have a preference for San Francisco over Seattle in the NFC and a strong preference for Denver over New England in the AFC. Gritting your teeth through Peyton Manning stories is a small price to pay by comparison.