With training camps now under way, this season looms large for the New York Jets. After making a blockbuster move to acquire Tim Tebow, there will be even more media attention directed towards the Jets, both on and off the field. The pressure that will be on the Jets to succeed will be greater now because if they don’t, they might lose much of their fan base. With that said, these are some predictions that I think will happen with the Jets this year.
Prediciton #1: Mark Sanchez throws for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns this year. In a response to the acquisition of Tebow, Sanchez will step up and show everybody that he was drafted to be the franchise quarterback, and he will not be upstaged by some celebrity who throws like a 6 year-old girl. Now that Santonio Holmes isn’t fighting with Sanchez and the rest of his teammates, he can stay focused on football and live up to the potential that he showed while he was in Pittsburgh.
Prediction #2: Dustin Keller has 1,000 yards and 8 TD’s. In the last three years, Keller has shown that he is Sanchez’s favorite target. He lead the Jets in receiving yards last year, as well as catching 5 touchdown passes. He has 120 receptions the last two years, and those numbers will continue to grow. The loss of Plaxico Burress will give Keller more looks in the red zone (most of Burress’ TD’s last year were on jump balls in the red zone). He will continue to be a presence in the middle of the field and in the red zone, and will get more passes thrown his way in 2012.
Prediction #3: Tim Tebow runs for 12 or more touchdowns this year out of the Wildcat. With new offensive coordinator Tony Sporano in charge, the Jets Wildcat offense will be used much more. Tebow is the perfect player to be quarterback in the Wildcat. He has the speed to run the ball, but has the arm strength to throw a bomb downfield. With that double-threat, he will be able to take advantage of opposing defenses, especially in the red zone where he can do the quarterback sneak that he likes to do.
Prediction #4: Shonn Greene will not rush for more than 4 touchdowns this year, even though he goes over the 1,000 yard mark again. Finally, after three positive predictions, this one is a bit towards the negative side. With the arrival of Tim Tebow, Greene will see his goal line carries diminish, especially when Tebow is in and is running the Wildcat. Unless Greene starts breaking off long touchdown runs (which he hasn’t done since the playoff game vs. San Diego in 2010), he will be visiting the end zone less and less.
Prediction #5: The Jets defense will once again be in top five in rushing yards allowed, yards allowed, and touchdowns. They made some moves this offseason, acquiring two safeties. Yeremiah Bell followed Tony Sporano to New York. Bell led the Dolphins in tackles the last four years, and the Jets are hoping he can bring his skills to the Jets secondary. LaRon Landry came over from the Redskins this offseason. He missed much of the last two seasons due to injuries of his Achillies and heel. Seeing what he has done when he is healthy, he can improve the Jets secondary as well. The Jets used their first round draft pick on North Carolina DE Quinton Coples, who had a great junior year but not so good a senior year in college, but was still one of the top three DE in the draft. He and second year player Muhammad Wilkerson should help the Jets D generate a better pass rush than last year.
These five predicitons are just a few bold guesses that I think will happen this year. What really happens this year is up to the Jets, and to see how well all of their players perform in the spotlight of New York.
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Written by Andrew Whalen