Sunday, September 20, 2009

The New Look Jets: Changing the Culture before our eyes?

I know it's only Week 2. But I saw something last week in Houston that I hadn't seen in quite some time: a Jets team that dominated on both sides, and pushed people around.

Head Coach Rex Ryan brought a defensive attitude that Jets hadn't exhibited since the Bud Carson defenses of the late 80s. Shifting to a 3-4 defense is really like a 4-4 if you count Nose Tackle Kris Jenkins twice. He looks to be the most disruptive force in the league from that position. His only flaw is that he's so big and plays so hard that he needs to come out of the game from time to time.

Ryan brought a couple of key cogs from his Ravens defenses as well. LB Bart Scott was all over the field last week. And Safety Jim Leonhard is a force in the secondary, as a run-stopper, and on special teams.

So the task for glamorous rookie QB Mark Sanchez is to not mess it up. And if Week 1 is any indicator, the Jets offense seems to be in good hands. Sanchez was poised and delivered time and again on 3rd Down. He threw an ill-advised pick which resulted in the Texans' only score, but the Sanchez ledger sheet was pretty well-weighted to the good. And his presence was able to keep the defense honest enough that after 3 quarters of futility for the Jets ground game, they owned the 4th Quarter.

Now is the Jets time to flex their muscles as they host the Patriots today. It was a Week 2 meeting in 2001 between the teams that changed the NFL landscape forever. You may remember Jets LB Mo Lewis crushing Drew Bledsoe's chest. That opened up the door for unproven 2nd year, 6th round pick Tom Brady and the rest is history.

Today the Jets can open a door of their own by punishing Brady and changing the landscape in the NFL themselves.

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