After two straight trips to—and losses in—the AFC Championship Game, the Jets are back for more in their third year under Rex Ryan. Mark Sanchez has played irregularly in his regular-season starts but has shown more than a few flashes of brilliance in the playoffs. Is this the season the Jets finally get to the Super Bowl?
The weapons around Sanchez have changed, but not that much. Santonio Holmes is back for a full season after missing the first four games of 2010 thanks to a suspension. Braylon Edwards has left for San Francisco, but Plaxico Burress is out of jail and on the field. Jerricho Cotchery has also left, but he was fading -- despite that catch on one leg in Cleveland last year. Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson will again share the duties in the backfield. On defense, the Jets lost out on Nmandi Asomugha but still have a formidable unit. He gets more help from his safeties than people realize, but Darrelle Revis is still a top cornerback.
The Jets open their season Sunday night against the Cowboys on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Dallas had a terrible year last year but still has the weapons to be dangerous. A healthy Tony Romo would help, too. Ryan will face his twin brother, Rob, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys. Despite their success, the Jets have been mediocre at home under Ryan. They'll hope that changes Sunday.