50 predictions for the upcoming Jets season, let’s get right to it -
1. Playing a full 16 game season for the first time since 2008, Calvin Pace will lead the Jets with 10.5 sacks.
2. Jamaal Westerman will develop into a solid role player off the bench and finish with 6 sacks.
3. David Harris is going to put together a season comparable to the one he had in 2009, when he finished with 127 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions.
4. Despite Jim Leonhard providing a boost to the secondary by coming back healthy, the defense will still struggle to defend the tight end and slot receivers.
5. Along those lines, Kyle Wilson will continue to struggle in the slot, leading to Donald Strickland and Marquice Cole seeing more reps as the season goes on.
6. Darrelle Revis will continue to be the unquestioned best cornerback in the NFL and finish with 3 interceptions in 2011 after recording none last year.
7. Antonio Cromartie will remain an occasional liability opposite of Revis, giving up his share of big plays but also creating more big plays on defense in 2011 than he did in 2010. He will finish with 5 interceptions this season and also chip in a kick return for a touchdown.
8. Brodney Pool will see a substantial amount of reps in passing situations and be splitting the starting job with Eric Smith by the end of the season.
9. Bart Scott will remain steady as he did the past two seasons in New York, while not providing many big plays, he will remain a key part of their run defense.
10. Bryan Thomas will end the season with 4 sacks and 35 tackles. The team will look at adding a new outside linebacker either in round one of the draft or in free agency next off-season.
11. As they did the past two years, the New York Jets will split with the New England Patriots.
13. They are due for one. The Jets will lose in Buffalo this season and split with them on the season.
14. Taking advantage of starting out at home for two straight weeks, the Jets will begin the season at 2-0.
15. The team will head into their week 8 bye at 5-2.
16. TJ Conley won’t finish the season as the Jets punter.
17. Nick Folk will finish the season as the Jets kicker and show signs of improvement in year two with the team.
18. The kick and punt return jobs will be a carousel all year, with Jeremy Kerley, Mardy Gilyard, Joe McKnight, Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson all receiving opportunities.
19. Emmanuel Cook, Marquice Cole, Josh Mauga, and Logan Payne (when he comes back) will be the top players on the Jets special teams coverage units.
20. We will continue to never hear Tanner Purdum’s name…which is a good thing.
21. Mark Sanchez will continue to improve in year three, finishing with 3,850 yards passing, a 57% completion percentage, 23 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
22. Despite the insane risk they are taking with keeping Mark Brunell and Kevin O’Connell as the top backups at quarterback, Sanchez will make it through the year healthy.
23. Sanchez will add four rushing touchdowns this season and five lost fumbles.
24. Shonn Greene will finish with 1,1150 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 4.3 yards per carry.
25. LaDainian Tomlinson will see a substantial decrease in his role on the offense and finish with 950 total yards of offense, with 5 total touchdowns.
26. Joe McKnight will gradually see more time as the season goes on, finishing with 350 rushing yards and 250 receiving yards.
27. Jeff Cumberland will not be a major factor in the Jets passing game this year.
28. Jeremy Kerley will be a valuable weapon on offense…not to the extent that Brad Smith was last year but he will make his share of plays in the Wildcat, on special teams, and at receiver. He will finish with 250 total yards of offense and have one return touchdown.
29. Bilal Powell won’t see any significant action this year.
30. John Conner will become a valuable short yardage weapon and be a factor as a receiver out of the backfield, catching 19 passes.
31. The Jets will roll in the AFC West, going 4-0 in that portion of their schedule despite having difficult cross country trips to Denver and Oakland.
32. The Jets will go 3-1 against the NFC East and no that loss isn’t going to come against the Giants.
33. For the second year in a row, the Jets will lose to Rex Ryan’s old team, the Baltimore Ravens.
34. The Jets will go 7-2 after their bye week, finishing at 12.4.
35. 12-4 will be enough for the Jets to win their first AFC East title since 2002, as they will beat the Patriots in a tie-breaker who will finish an identical 12-4.
36. The number of controversies surrounding the team will drop substantially this year from last year… mathematically that has to happen, right?
37. Muhammad Wilkerson will finish his rookie season with 30 tackles, 2 sacks, and and 3 tackles for a loss. He will show enough promise to be encouraged about his rookie campaign.
38. Kenrick Ellis will be a solid role player and finish with 14 tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss in his limited role off the bench.
39. Ropati Pitoitua will push Wilkerson for playing time throughout the season and have 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 tackles for a loss.
40. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito will both put together solid years with comparable stat lines to last year.
42. Plaxico Burress will miss 3 games due to injury but still finish with 45 receptions, 675 yards, and 6 touchdowns. He will begin to come on strong towards the end of the season, heading into the playoffs.
43. Dustin Keller will have a very good all around season and finish with 61 receptions, 775 yards and 5 touchdowns.
44. Derrick Mason will be a reliable safety valve all season and despite not putting up big numbers, will come up with a number of clutch catches.
45. The Jets Pro-Bowlers will be Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, David Harris, and Darrelle Revis…Mangold, Revis, and Harris will also receive All-Pro honors.
46. Wayne Hunter will be a step down from Damien Woody but will be serviceable enough that the number of times Mark Sanchez is sacked won’t increase substantially.
47. In general, the Jets will throw the football more than they did last year..continuing to move away from the Ground and Pound.
48. The defense will move up from 40 sacks to 45 this year, and move from 12 interceptions to 18.
49. The Jets 12-4 record and AFC East title, will reward them with a bye and a long overdue home playoff game.
50. Yes, yes…I am picking the New York Jets to get over the hump and both make it to and win the Super Bowl this year…Let’s get it.