The Big Football: Pigskin Returns to New York
Your Guide to your 2009 Football New York Jets and Giants.
All New York football fans are optimistic as the new season start nears. And they should be. The Giants look to defend its NFL East Championship and go deep into the playoffs yet again even in the face of off field issues involving players Plaxico Buress and Antonio Pierce.
The Jets, finishing a disappointing third in AFC East during the Brett Favre error..er…era, have retooled its ailing defense and coaching corp. For luck, Gang Green even moved its training camp facilities to Cortland, NY from Albany, NY.
Could we possibly have a Subway Superbowl in 2009?
The Jets (2008, 9-7, 3rd place AFC East)
In 2008 the Jets’ underachieving record was due mostly to its poor defense, ranked 16th in the NFL. To improve in this area the Jets let go of coach Eric Mangini and hired Ravens’ defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
The dominating and devastating defense in Baltimore last year under his watch was the second best in the league. To help implement this winning system, the rookie coach took along some fellow Ravens to New York, including LB Bart Scott, SAF Jim Leonhard , and linebacker’s coach Bob Pettine (now Jets Defensive Coordinator). Other key defensive additions include free agents CB Donald Strickland, CB Lito Sheppard, SAF Larry Izzo.
The Offense, also ranked 16th in the league last season, does not look to improve. The absence of “now retired” QB Brett Favre has left a void at the position to be filled by either the much hyped Jets' number one draft pick, Mark Sanchez (USC), or the ineffective and inconsistent back up to Favre, Kellen Clemens. With the key losses of WR Lauvernes Coles and TE Chris Baker, the Jets loose crucial receiving yards and downfield blocking. The running game, however, remains strong behind the tandem of RBs Leon Washington and Thomas Jones.
Prognosis: The Jets’ high hopes will crash hard. The team’s solid defense and running attack cannot make up for the inexperience at head coach and weak passing offense.
Jets: 8-8 (4th AFC East)
The Giants (2008, 12-4, NFC East Champions)
The Big Blue Defense was gold as the league’s fifth best last year. LBs Antonio Pierce, Mathias Kiwanuka, Osi Umenyiora and DE Justin Tuck combined for over 30+ sacks last season. The Giants further bolstered their defense with draft pick LB Clint Sintim (Viginia).
Tom Coughlin’s team turned to the draft on offense this year to help QB Eli Manning by taking WRs Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina) and Ramses Barden (Cal Poly) to help a Giants receiving corp that cannot score without Plaxico Buress. The team's two headed running attack of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs will once again dominate defensive lines as they did last season as the top-ranked rushing attack in the league.
Prognosis: The Giants will once again be a force to reckon with in The NFC East but will not repeat as champs due to their weak recieving corp and a below average season for Eli.
Giants 10-7 (2nd NFC East)