The Jets will play their home games in a new state-of-the-art stadium in 2010 and Rex Ryan has set his sights on hosting some playoff contests there next January.
"It's 0-0 and we have to get away from it a little bit, but let's come back hungrier than ever. Let's go take this thing," said the Jets' head coach this week. "Let's try to get a home game. Let's play this game in front of our fans and our stadium, the New Jets Stadium. That is going to be it when we play in it and I can't wait. We get our stadium and we are not the visitors in our stadium — this is our stadium. We are the biggest show in town and that's what it's going to be."
While the Jets became road warriors this postseason with wins over the Bengals in Cincinnati and the Chargers in San Diego, the Green & White saw their season come to a close in Indianapolis. The Green & White didn't have many answers for a nearly flawless Peyton Manning and it would be invaluable to get Peyton outside and give his check-with-me-at-the-line system the ultimate test in front of 82,000 members of Jets Nation.
"I saw them make a difference," Ryan said of the Nation. "We played New England. I saw the difference. We won that game because of our fans. We really had a huge game against Cincinnati because of the way our players fed off our fans. It was awesome. I want to have that stadium. I want it to be rocking and I expect it to be like that."
Last season, the Jets finished with just a 4-4 mark at home. If they can establish dominance at their new house, that would go a long way toward securing playoff games at home and perhaps even a first-round bye.
|2010 Home Opponents||2010 Away Opponents|
|Buffalo (6-10)||Buffalo (6-10)|
|Miami (7-9)||Miami (7-9)|
|New England (10-6)||New England (10-6)|
|Baltimore (9-7)||Cleveland (5-11)|
|Cincinnati (10-6)||Pittsburgh (9-7)|
|Green Bay (11-5)||Chicago (7-9)|
|Minnesota (12-4)||Detroit (2-14)|
|Houston (9-7)||Denver (8-8)|
The NFL will officially release its 2010 schedule in April, but it's never too early to take a look at the Jets' opponents and the matchups on the horizon.
Buffalo (6-10) —After a long search, the Bills hired Chan Gailey as their 15th head coach. Gailey, a 35-year coaching veteran who compiled a 44-32 mark at Georgia Tech from 2002-07, led the Dallas Cowboys to back-to-back playoff appearances in 1998-99 before being dismissed by Jerry Jones on Jan. 11, 2000. The Bills haven't made a playoff appearance in 10 seasons and Jets Nation will be eyeing revenge for an ugly 16-13 OT home loss to Buffalo last October. Rookie Mark Sanchez threw five picks and even P Steve Weatherford tossed an INT as the Jets spoiled a franchise-record 210 rushing yards from Thomas Jones.
Miami (7-9) —We're checking on a rumor that Coach Ryan has already assigned security detail to cover Ted Ginn Jr. when the speedy Dolphins wideout gets off the bus. Ginn scored on 100- and 101-yard third-quarter kickoff returns and Jason Taylor recovered a fumble back in Week 8 as the Dolphins grabbed the most unlikely of road victories. In fact, the Jets outgained their division rivals 378-104 in front of the home folks but the 'Fins swept the season series for the first time since 2003.
New England (10-6) —If the Jets are to claim their first AFC East championship since 2002, they'll have to knock the Patriots off their perch. Last season Ryan sent an early message to the NFL with a 16-9 Week 2 win over the Pats as the Jets held serve at home against their northeastern rivals for the first time since 2000. Tom Brady was 23-for-47 for 216 yards with no TDs and an interception and left beaten up and bruised by the Jets defense. Green & White play-by-play man Bob "Shoes" Wischusen memorably said of the riled-up fan base, "This place is an insane asylum."
Baltimore (9-7) —Make no mistake, this game will be a special contest for Ryan. Hired on Jan. 21, 2009, by Jets owner Woody Johnson, Ryan served as the Ravens' assistant head coach/defensive coordinator in 2008, defensive coordinator from 2005-07 and defensive line coach from 1999-2004. Interestingly, both Ryan and Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer were considered for the Ravens vacancy in '08 before B-More tabbed John Harbaugh.
Cincinnati (10-6) —The Jets owned the Bengals last season, taming the Cats, 37-0, in the regular-season finale in a game that that not only vaulted the Green & White into the postseason but set up an immediate rematch on Wild Card Weekend. Six days later, the Jets disposed of the Bengals, 24-14, in their own den. Chad Ochocinco, who claimed Darrelle Revis couldn't cover him in a brown paper bag on a corner of a Manhattan street inside a phone booth, totaled two receptions and 28 yards against Veintecuatro.
Green Bay (11-5) —Speaking of Revis, the two-time Pro Bowler finished runner-up to Packers CB Charles Woodson in the AP's voting for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The Pack is 0-4 all-time in road games against the Jets, and who will ever forget the last time Green Bay visited the Green & White? That 42-17 demolition on Dec. 29, 2002, cemented the Jets' last division title.
Minnesota (12-4) —Will he? Won't he? The latest out of Minnesota — from ESPN's Ed Werder, anyway — is that Brett Favre says it's "highly unlikely" he'll play again. Although he's 40 now, No. 4 still threw for 4,202 yards, 33 TDs and only seven interceptions in an incredible regular season, but the image we think of is Favre rolling right, forcing a ball across his body to Sidney Rice and getting picked by Saints CB Tracy Porter. Favre — the Jets' QB in 2008 — wasn't sacked by the Saints, but he got beat purple by the NFC champions. If he is lounging around in Mississippi over the next few months, we suggest Favre throw in a tape of the Jets from this past season. He might think twice about coming back after watching them blitz, switch up coverage, overload the line and generally create chaos.
Houston (9-7) —The Rex Ryan era began in Houston with a win as the Jets trounced the Texans, 24-7, in the 2008 opener. This matchup will feature the Texans' top-ranked pass offense against the Jets top-ranked pass D.
Buffalo (6-10) —This game figures to be played back in Western New York after a one-year hiatus last season when the Jets outlasted the Bills, 19-13, in Toronto, Canada, on Dec. 3. It's a safe bet that Terrell Owens won't be a Bill next season, but who's going to be Chan Gailey's quarterback?
Miami (7-9) —Both the Jets, who were happy with the maturation process of Mark Sanchez over the last six weeks of their season, and the Dolphins, who got a 20-of-26, 241-yard, two-TD performance out of Chad Henne in the 31-27 Monday night win over the Jets last October, appear to be set at the quarterback position for the foreseeable future. The 'Fins' problem wasn't their offense but rather on the other side of the ball as they finished 25th in points allowed (24.4 points/game).
New England (10-6) —Despite posting an unblemished 8-0 mark in Foxboro during the regular season, the Pats looked less than average in that 33-14 wild-card smackdown they got from the Ravens. What can't be argued is this is a team in transition and you know internally they're thinking about what the Jets are building.
Cleveland (5-11) —Prior to the Jets meeting the Colts in the AFC Championship Game, Daily News columnist Gary Myers interviewed Eric Mangini. "I do take a lot of pride in how they are doing," said the man who led the Jets to a 23-25 mark from 2006–08. "Not just in how they are playing but the type of people they are. That locker room is loaded with good guys. I am happy with their success. I feel I contributed to it." You can throw all the nice-nice talk out the door when these two clubs do battle on Lake Erie. Lots of interesting storylines when you consider Rex Ryan's twin brother, Rob, is Mangini's D-coordinator and the Jets traded twice with the Browns last year in order to select Mark Sanchez on draft weekend and then acquire Braylon Edwards in October.
Pittsburgh (9-7) —In regular-season play the Jets have never broken through in the Steel City and own an 0-6 all-time mark in Pittsburgh. This will be a put-the-children-in-bed-early kind of affair, a bruising game that will remind folks of yesteryear. Can't wait for this showdown in Blitzburgh! Was the Steelers absence from the playoffs this year an aberration and will the Jets stamp their place as one of the conference's elite teams?
Chicago (7-9) —Jay Cutler is a riverboat gambler who was victimized by 26 INTs in his first season with the Bears, and throwing caution to the wind in this clash might play right into the Jets' hands. If it's breezy in the Windy City, the Jets' top-ranked rushing attack will attack a Bears rush D that finished 23rd in '09.
Detroit (2-14) —Mark Sanchez vs. Matt Stafford. If both young passers are successful, then both franchises will succeed for years in what is a quarterback-driven league. The Lions grabbed Stafford, a Georgia product, with the first overall selection last April, then the Jets got Sanchez four picks later. Sanchez had the good fortune of coming to a team that won nine games the previous year but the Lions are just 2-28 in their last 30. "Obviously, 2-14 is unacceptable," said GM Martin Mayhew after the Lions followed a winless year with a 2-14 campaign. "That's not what we're gonna be about." Both WR Braylon Edwards and WLB Bart Scott grew up in Detroit while DT Kris Jenkins is from Ypsilanti, Mich., and MLB David "Hitman" Harris attended Ottawa Hills HS. Edwards, Harris and K Jay Feely were Michigan Wolverines and S Eric Smith was a Michigan State Spartan.
Denver (8-8) —Bring those oxygen tanks up in that high altitude. After starting 8-4 under Josh McDaniels, the Broncos lost their breath and took a deep fall to reach .500 by season's end. We think you'll be seeing a lot of stories on the 24s leading up to this contest when you think of Darrelle Revis and Champ Bailey.