Sunday, August 21, 2011
Jets new-look offense key to season
By Dan Riccio
With the New York Jets coming off consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances, fans are hoping 2011 will finally be the year their team returns to glory.
Forty-two seasons have come and gone since Joe Namath’s legendary guarantee and ensuing victory over the Colts in Super Bowl III. If this is truly the year the Jets break through under Rex Ryan, they will have to do so using new looks on offense.
With the loss of free agent Brad Smith to the Buffalo Bills, the Jets will likely shift away from the Wildcat this season. Last year, only the Miami Dolphins used the formation on more plays, while Smith was responsible for the only passing touchdown thrown from the Wildcat across the NFL.
The Jets also parted ways with veteran wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards during the offseason, while signing free agents Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress.
Mason and Edwards each led his respective team in targets on passes outside the numbers last season, but Edwards provided much more of a deep threat. That could open the door for Burress to be a factor on the outside, or perhaps the Jets will throw the ball inside more this season.
The defense will surely be strong once again. New York’s base defense held opponents to the lowest passer rating allowed against 3-4 formations last year (74.5), and the team’s vaunted secondary tied for the NFL lead in passes defended when five or more defensive backs were on the field last season.
With the defensive side considered a given, Mark Sanchez and the offense will ultimately need to adapt to offseason changes if Gang Green wants be in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl on February 5.