New York Jets in Playoffs: Jets Fans Optimistic...or Not?

Gregory JeromeContributor IDecember 27, 2010

Mark Sanchez Key to New York Jets Success
Mark Sanchez Key to New York Jets SuccessJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

So what do Jets fans think?

We lost to the Bears, but made the playoffs thanks to Washington beating the Jaguars.

Everything about this team is conditional and impossible to predict.

Are they the tough team that beat the Steelers in Week 15? Or the beneficiaries of a schedule that included close wins over several weak teams?

We've got one of the best defenses in the game, yet got beat all over the field against the Bears and Patriots. On the other hand, the Jets only gave up 10 or fewer points in their three other losses this season to the Ravens, Packers and Dolphins

Surrendering only 10 points in an NFL game should yield a win for good teams, which brings up the offense.

Mark Sanchez has proved over the season that he is a quarterback capable of leading his team down the field in the last minute for a win and is one of the league's most inaccurate passers.

The Jets made significant improvements to last year's highest-ranked passing defense and have somehow suffered for it. While they are currently ranked a very respectable sixth against the pass, they do not appear nearly as dominant in this department.

Losing Jim Leonard and better game-planning by opposing teams seems to have impacted the Jets passing defense negatively.

The Jets are a very strong team with a severe weakness. The stats and casual observation show that they have a strong sixth-ranked running game, eighth-ranked pass defense and fourth-best defense against the run. 

Balancing out these three major strengths, the Jets have the 20th-ranked passing game in what is called "a quarterback's league." It's called that because no other single player impacts the game more, for better or worse.

Despite making improvements with last year's playoff-contending team, the Jets appear to be in the same situation they were in last year going into the playoffs or worse. Last year, it was all on Mark Sanchez to make a limited number of completions and avoid interceptions at all costs; that hasn't changed.

New England demonstrated that "spreading out" the Jets' impressive defense was an effective game plan, which Chicago used to generate 38 points.

At this point, it looks like they are going to play Kansas City in the first round.  While the Chiefs have the best-ranked running game, their season was not the most challenging. 

If I had to guess, I'd expect this matchup to be fairly even, with the Jets having a better defense.

What do you think?