Jets in '12: Prediction for each game
My predictions for the Jets, based on their just-released 2012 schedule (all times ET):
Jets vs. Bills: Sunday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m. (CBS)
For the first time in three years, the Jets don't open in prime time. Instead, it'll be Tebow Time, Tim's debut. If the Jets can figure out a way to block Mario Williams, the Bills' mega free-agent signing, they should cruise to a 1-0 start.
Prediction: Jets 30, Bills 14 (Record: 1-0)
Jets at Steelers: Sunday, Sept. 16, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)
The Jets return to the scene of one of their most painful defeats -- the 2010 AFC Championship Game. This time, maybe they'll show up for the first half. The Steelers cut ties with some respected vets in the offseason, but they're still the Steelers -- and tough at home.
Prediction: Steelers 21, Jets 14 (Record: 1-1)
Jets at Dolphins: Sunday, Sept. 23, 1 p.m. (CBS)
What happened in Miami, stays in Miami, according to Santonio Holmes. Does this road trip mean he'll answer questions about last season's late-game meltdown in the huddle? Probably not. The Dolphins are rebuilding under new coach Joe Philbin. Edge: Jets.
Prediction: Jets 19, Dolphins 17 (Record: 2-1)
Jets vs. 49ers: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. (Fox)
This will be a down-and-dirty, not-for-the-faint-of-heart slugfest. The Jets, under new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, want to be Ground and Pound. The Niners owned the league's top-ranked run defense last season. When two worlds collide, the Jets will get splattered.
Prediction: 49ers 16, Jets 13 (Record: 2-2)
Jets vs. Texans: Monday, Oct. 8, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
The Texans are a trendy Super Bowl pick, and with good reason. Even though they lost defensive stud Mario Williams, they still have plenty of firepower, especially on offense. With Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, they have too much balance for the Jets to handle.
Prediction: Texans 24, Jets 21 (Record: 2-3)
Jets vs. Colts: Sunday, Oct. 14, 1 p.m. (CBS)
One of these days, the Colts will be good again, with Andrew Luck (the presumptive No. 1 pick) leading the way. But not now; there will be growing pains for the rebuilding Colts. This should be a gimme.
Prediction: Jets 31, Colts 10 (Record: 3-3)
Jets at Patriots: Sunday, Oct. 21, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)
The Jets, swept last season by the Patriots, need to beat the top dog to re-establish credibility in the AFC East. Talentwise, there's not a huge gap -- except at quarterback. Mark Sanchez needs to play like he did in the January 2011 playoff game.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Jets 24 (Record: 3-4)
Jets vs. Dolphins: Sunday, Oct. 28 1 p.m. (CBS)
These games are never easy -- it's a rivalry thing -- but the Jets will prevail. Look for Darrelle Revis to have a huge interception return; he has a knack for doing that against the Dolphins.
Prediction: Jets 20, Dolphins 16 (Record: 4-4)
>> BYE WEEK <<
Jets at Seahawks: Sunday, Nov. 11, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Interesting subplot here: Sanchez faces his former USC coach, Pete Carroll, for the first time in the NFL. Remember, Carroll criticized Sanchez's decision to turn pro after his junior year. The Jets are better than Seattle, but long travel and a tough crowd add up to a loss.
Prediction: Seahawks 27, Jets 17 (Record: 4-5)
Jets at Rams: Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Welcome to the Schotty Bowl. Former Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who landed with the offensively challenged Rams after a "mutual" parting, will exact revenge on his old team. His new team stinks, but his old team is prone to the inexplicable hiccup.
Prediction: Rams 12, Jets 9 (Record: 4-6)
Jets vs. Patriots: Thursday, Nov. 22, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
You think the home crowd will be fired up for Thanksgiving in prime time? Absolutely. The Jets snap a two-game losing streak here to save their season, giving Tom Brady a slice of pumpkin ... er, humble pie. In the face.
Prediction: Jets 23, Patriots 22 (Record: 5-6)
Jets vs. Cardinals: Sunday, Dec. 2, 1 p.m. (Fox)
Cards WR Larry Fitzgerald joked recently that he'll need to bring a paddle because he doesn't want to get stranded on Revis Island. Sorry, Larry, but you could come in a speedboat and it wouldn't matter. You won't be successful and neither will the Cards.
Prediction: Jets 24, Cards 17 (Record: 6-6)
Jets at Jaguars: Sunday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Tim Tebow returns to his hometown, which means this could be the biggest game in Jacksonville since Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. You think we're joking? No way. The Jets might have to hire a security detail for their backup QB/Wildcat/H-back/FB/RB/rock star.
Prediction: Jets 31, Jaguars 7 (Record: 7-6)
Jets at Titans: Monday, Dec. 17, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Chris Johnson could be a royal pain in the Jets' rear, but we're going to assume their perimeter run defense will be better than last season. Two potential QB controversies in this game -- Sanchez/Tebow and Matt Hasselbeck/Jake Locker.
Prediction: Jets 23, Titans 17 (Record: 8-6)
Jets vs. Chargers: Sunday, Dec. 23, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
The Jets match up well against the Bolts. In fact, Rex Ryan is 2-0 versus Norv Turner, including a road playoff win. The Chargers always find a way to self-destruct. Maybe Ryan will try to tweak the Chargers by inviting LaDainian Tomlinson to be an honorary captain. Hmm.
Prediction: Jets 27, Chargers 21 (Record: 9-6)
Jets at Bills: Sunday, Dec. 30, 1 p.m. (CBS)
The Jets enter the game on a hot streak, but they'll cool off in a hurry in the winter chill of western New York. Hey, the Bills are on the rise. The Jets fall short after a valiant stretch drive.
Prediction: Bills 28, Jets 27 (Record: 9-7)