Odds to win the AFC East +150
Odds to win the AFC +550
Odds to win the Super Bowl +1200
Win Total 10
With the start of the 2011 season, the long suffering Jet fans are wondering if this is the year things finally come together after two straight disappointing losses in the AFC Championship Game. Rex Ryan has already guaranteed a win in this year’s Super Bowl, but there is some work to be done before the Vince Lombardi Trophy makes a return trip to the Big Apple. One thing Ryan has already accomplished is instilling a brash, take no prisoners attitude that has put this team one win away from a shot at a world title in both his seasons as head coach.
This team really turned the corner by knocking-off its dreaded rival, the New England Patriots, 28-21 in the Divisional Round of last year’s playoffs. The key to success this season will be the Jets ability to unseed them from the top spot in the AFC East and gain some kind of home field advantage for the playoffs.
On offense, New York has already taken some bold steps this offseason to accomplish this by using some middle-round draft picks to add some depth to the skill positions and resigning its best receiver Santonio Holmes, who was an unrestricted free agent this year. The biggest move however, could be the signing of WR Plaxico Burress, who missed the past two seasons while serving a jail sentence for gun charges. If he can return to anything close to his previous form, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez could end up having an All-Pro year.
Cut out of the same mold as his father Buddy, Ryan mainly focused his attention on adding a few more pieces to one of the best defenses in the league. New York had the No.1 ranked defense in 2009, but fell off a bit in 2010, dropping to 11th overall. First he started adding depth upfront though the draft by selecting DT Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round and DL Kendrick Ellis in the third. While the team did lose out on its bid to sign CB Nnamdi Asomugha as a free agent, it did resign Antonio Cromartie and bring back Donald Strickland, who was with the team in 2009. The team also came to terms on a longterm deal with LB David Harris that will keep him in a Jets uniform for the foreseeable future. All these moves should result in a move back up to the top of the rankings in 2011.
Ryan knows that the road to the Super Bowl still leads through New England and he will get his first crack at the Patriots on Oct.9 in Foxborough. The two will meet again in Week 10 in the Meadowlands, but everyone is anticipating a third encounter, possibly in the AFC Championship Game at a site to be determined. Ryan has already matched wits with New England mastermind Bill Belichick five times as a head coach and come away with a victory in three of those games, but his future legacy with this team could hinge on which one of these bitter rivals gets the best of it this year.
2011 Prediction: 11-5 and second in the AFC East
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.