> It's Year 2
in Manginiland, and on the surface all that stands in the way of improvement
over last year's wild-card season is a ridiculously difficult AFC playoff race.
The Jets drafted two perfect players for their defense-- Darrelle Revis, a tough
cover corner, and David Harris, a linebacker physical enough to play inside and
athletic enough to play outside in Eric Mangini's malleable 3-4 scheme. To
address their rushing problem, the Jets dealt for Bears running back Thomas
Jones (2,545 yards over the last two seasons), who promptly hurt his calf
muscle in training camp and may be hobbled entering the season. Wideouts
Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles have developed into quality weapons with
big-game experience for quarterback Chad Pennington. "Last year was a good
year for our confidence," says strong safety Kerry Rhodes, who emerged as a
big-time player when Mangini gave him more freedom to roam and make plays.
"I know we're better this year."
> How hard is
it to read this team? Consider these crazy 2006 numbers.
?The Jets lost to
8-8 Jacksonville by 41 and beat 8-8 Green Bay by 28.
?They twice led
Indianapolis by four in the fourth quarter of a 31-28 loss and never led
Cleveland in the second half of a 20-13 loss.
Buffalo by eight on the road and lost to Buffalo by 18 at home.
quarterbacks averaged more yards per completion than New York's. The Jets
didn't have a back among the league's top 32 rushers. Only eight teams in the
league were worse at stopping the run.
?They were 25th
in offense, 20th in defense, 18th in points scored.
Stats lie? They
told a whopper in 2006. The Jets won 10 games and made the playoffs.