The Jets were a surprising team last year, pulling off a 10-6 record and a playoff spot. The coaching of Eric "Mangenius" Mangini had this team playing hard week in and week out, a trait not normally associated with Jets teams of the past. Chad Pennington played a full season for the first time in his career, avoiding the injury bug and compiling a respectable 82.6 passer rating. The defense produced 16 interceptions and 35 sacks. Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery both scored 6 touchdowns.
The team drafted CB Darrelle Revis and LB David Harris (among others) in April, addressing critical needs on the defensive side of the ball.
So how will they do this year?
Chad’s health is paramount to having a successful season. No, he cannot bomb the ball down the field 70 yards, but that’s not his game. His success is based on timing and accuracy on short routes. Should he go down, there is great doubt regarding whether or not Kellen Clemens could lead this team to a record north of .500.....Trading for Thomas Jones was a huge step forward for the Jets. He will provide the workhorse running game that they have missed since Curtis Martin..... Leon Washington will flourish in a Third down/Relief role...... However, the depth is a little light here after Cedric Houston chose to leave the team. Tony Hollings has been signed, but no one will confuse him with L.T..... Coles and Cotchery are a fine starting duo, but I’d love to see them complimented by a burner who can stretch the field (Chansi Stuckey, perhaps?). Justin McCareins and Tim Dwight are not the answers.....The Jets must find a way to get Chris Baker more heavily involved in the Red Zone passing game. With the focus on Jones, they have a huge opportunity to throw numerous fades to him.....Love the foundation of the O-line with D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold, but the Pete Kendall situation needs to be rectified NOW. Cut him before he infects the rest of the team with his bad attitude.
I'll cover the Defense in Part II.