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10 New York Football Predictions
Ten assorted predictions related to the two teams who will be sharing the New Meadowlands Stadium this fall.
- Shonn Greene will run for more yards than Brandon Jacobs - Yes, the Jets second year back and first year starter will finish the season with more total rushing yards than Jacobs who is entering his sixth year. Every durability question you can ask about Greene, you can ask about Jacobs. The difference is Greene is younger, has fresher legs, will be running behind a better offensive line, and is in an offense more committed to running the football. Don’t buy any talk about LaDainian Tomlinson challenging for the starting job, Shonn Greene is the team’s starting back. Instead of having an aging back on the down side of his career backing him up, Jacobs has a younger, more explosive back behind him, chomping at the bit to take away his carries, in Ahmad Bradshaw. In the end, Jacobs, his tip-toeing behind the line and his 3.7 yards per carry won’t match Greene’s production in 2010.
- Steve Smith will lead all New York receivers in receptions and yards – Despite Hakeem Nicks late season surge, Steve Smith is the unquestioned number one receiver on a Giants offense that is much more pass happy than the Jets. Eli Manning has excellent chemistry with Smith and he should duplicate, if not exceed his numbers from last season. Considering the Jets “ground and pound” mentality, the likely continued growing pains of Mark Sanchez, and the division of receptions between Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller, it is hard to picture any single Jets receiver having 107 receptions or 1220 yards.
- Brodney Pool will have more interceptions than Antrel Rolle – Despite Rolle being the Giants biggest off-season addition and Pool being the Jets lowest profile one, the Jets safety will finish with more interceptions and more total big plays. Look at their numbers from last season:
- Pool – 4 INTs, 10 PDs, 1 sack
- Rolle – 4 INTs, 8 PDs, 1.5 sacks
Then remember that Rolle played four more games than Pool last season. If he can stay healthy, which is a fair question, Pool will excel in Rex Ryan’s defense the way everybody thought Kerry Rhodes was going to. He will benefit from having arguably the best trio of corners in the NFL and be able to roam/ball hawk more than Rolle will be able to.
- Eli Manning will have more touchdowns, yards, a higher completion percentage, and a higher QB rating that Mark Sanchez – I’m not really going out on a limb with this one. You have to give Manning his props, he has improved every year of his NFL career and is on the cusp of being a legit Pro-Bowl quarterback. I hope Mark Sanchez’s can develop into a guy throwing for 4,021 yards with a 93.1 quarterback rating.
- Kyle Wilson will have a better overall season than Jason Pierre-Paul – Both players will be entering the season as backups, yet Wilson will have a bigger role as the Jets nickel back and primary punt returner. Honestly, Pierre-Paul can do all the back flips he wants but I think he has Vernon Gholston type bust written all over him. I’m sorry if I’m not confident in a guy who played 1 year of major college football and only recorded 6.5 sacks at South Florida. Considering how much Rex Ryan loves to blitz his defensive backs, I wouldn’t even be shocked if Wilson had more sacks than Pierre-Paul this season.
- Both teams will have winning records but the Jets will finish with a better record – It is going to be a good year for New York football. The Jets are a 11-5 or 12-4 team in my mind, who are the favorite to win their division based on how they finished last season and their off-season. Even though the Giants own them, Dallas is the favorite in the NFC East. The Giants owned them in 2009 and Dallas still won the division. I think the G-Men will be 9-7 or 10-6 and battling for that last wild-card spot in the NFC, even with their scrap heap collection of linebackers.
- Ahmad Bradshaw will have more yards than LaDainian Tomlinson by a substantial margin but Tomlinson will have more touchdowns – Tomlinson’s greatest value to the Jets will be as a pass catcher out of the backfield and a goal-line back. He won’t rack up big yardage totals, that will be up to Shonn Greene. I expect Bradshaw to push Jacobs for the bulk of the carries by the end of the season and to match or exceed his 778 yards last season.
- Dustin Keller will have more touchdown receptions than Kevin Boss – I know the Boss Man has 6 more touchdowns than Keller over the past two seasons but Keller is going to build on his playoff production (3 touchdowns in 3 games) to become the Jets primary red-zone target and leader in touchdown receptions. Boss won’t exceed his 5 touchdowns from last season as Travis Beckum and Hakeem Nicks both get more looks than they did in 2009.
- Tony Richardson will have more receptions than Madison Hedgecock – Yes, I know Hedgecock beat Richardson by 1 last year in the battle of blocking fullbacks. However, Richardson still looks much smoother catching the ball than Hedgecock, who makes catching a football look more difficult than still liking LeBron James.
- Kris Jenkins will be the heaviest player in New York – Don’t worry about that weight loss contest G-Men, Jenkins will stay safely above any of you in the weight category.