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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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New York’s Future Is Greene

Twenty-seven years.

That’s how long Jets fans had to wait for a season with two playoff victories.

As the season came to a close, thanks to a clinical performance from Colts maestro Peyton Manning, one can’t help but hope it will be sooner than 27 years before the Jets win another two playoff games.

It’s understandable to feel discouraged. The incredible culture of losing the Jets have built on in the last few decades may be in Jets fans’ blood. When even the mighty Brett Favre couldn’t change Gang Green’s fortune, surely all was lost.

But two draft picks and a new head coach later and the team with no business being in the playoffs was suddenly one win away from football’s biggest game. And more than that–the Jets believed, and so did their fans.

Mark Sanchez is not a Super Bowl quarterback. He’s not even a playoff quarterback, and he showed that during the season. It’s okay—he was a rookie. He grew a lot this season.

But if you tell a lie enough times, it becomes the truth, and somewhere along the line a man named Rex Ryan had heard this as well. So he went to the highest mountain—the New York media—and told everyone that would listen that Sanchez and the Jets were winners. New York was thinking green.

They believed it, and everyone did for about eight seconds as Braylon Edwards ran 80 yards down the field, managing to actually catch a football, and yes, move it into the end zone without dropping it, giving the Jets the lead.

The honeymoon was over as quickly as it had begun, as Peyton Manning steered clear of Revis Island and instead stopped in at the welcoming ports of the Rest of the Jets Defense, basking in a touchdown for three receivers not covered by Revis.

The Colts were the better football team. Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. But the Jets obliged Ryan and played the part of the contender.

Sanchez played good football.

His interception hit his receiver, though it was high and wide and happened to in the clutch (thus not great football).

But pivotal to the Colts keeping the Jets offense sputtering in the second half was the loss of rookie running back Shonn Greene.

Greene has the potential to be a great running back.

Good vision, good power, and good speed–Greene is always dangerous. He’s quick side-to-side, and should he break into the secondary—as he tends to do—he’s not afraid to lower his head and steamroll any defensive back with the guts to step in front of him.

He knows when to cut the ball up the field and can run downhill in traffic, a skill of incalculable value.

He will replace Thomas Jones in the Jets backfield next season, but his most important role is knocking the stuffing out of the other teams’ defenses, forcing them to load the box and allowing Sanchez some space to throw.

If he stays healthy, he will do that.

And one day, Sanchez will throw the ball accurately. He’s already gotten better with decision-making and leadership.

With Greene relentlessly punching holes in defenses, the Jets will have an offense.

Maybe then, Rex Ryan, you won’t have to fool people into thinking the Jets are contenders anymore.

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