The New York Jets are off to a rollicking, if unexpected, start to the 2012 campaign. It's never too early to commence keeping an eye on the competition for a playoff position. Certainly, a case can be assembled that, given the dysfunctional nature of the flawed Jets, it encompasses every team in the AFC. There are a few opponents that rise to the top of the discussion, however.
New England 34, Tennessee 14 - It's always semi-humorous watching Tom Brady and company annihilate lesser teams, which they accomplish regularly. The Pats rarely fall victim to an upset, even on the road, a perilous adventure for even the best of teams. They run well. We know they pass without comparison, and the defense, though faced with a rookie quarterback appeared stout.
Houston 30, Miami 10 - The Texans have the appearance of a juggernaut with a soft division and games against teams like the Dolphins. Simply stated, the Texans were dominant causing four turnovers and dominating time of possession.
Atlanta 40, Kansas City 24 - Weren't the Chiefs supposed to sport a good defense? They allowed nearly 300 yards in the air to Matt Ryan, which is excusable. Coughing up the ball three times, and not generating a turnover, though, is clearly not. The Chief debacle is good news for Jet fans.
Denver 31, Pittsburgh 19 - The Manning magic is back and took center stage on Sunday night. The Steelers relinquished a second half lead, which is not good news for the Jets who are traveling to Pittsburgh this week. We're not likely to witness an 0-2 start for a team with a legacy like the Steelers.
Baltimore 44, Cincinnati 13 - Who know the correlation between first week dominance and post-season success? If it exists, there's a good chance the brothers Harbaugh will meet in the big game. Both the San Francisco 49ers and Ravens have vastly improved offenses and tremendous defenses.
San Diego 22, Oakland 14 - The Raiders were in trouble after dominating for a lion's share of the first quarter and leading only 3-0. The Chargers have made abundant changes, and it appears the defensive side of the ball, for a change, can be impactful.
Glenn Vallach has been a football fan for most of his lifetime, but never played organized pigskin unless you consider the thousands of youth hours running slant routes on city streets with a friend serving as Joe Willie. Don Maynard was his idol, an adulation he took seriously, complete with a number 13 stitched to his sweatshirt. He remains a New York Jet fan through so much disappointment and embarrassment over the years. Coach Rex Ryan has rekindled a dormant fire, but sometimes he feels as if he doesn't understand the likely end result of all his efforts. It has been 42 years, after all.
Sources:- Yahoo! Sports New York Jets page
- Yahoo! Sports Baltimore Ravens page
- Yahoo! Sports Denver Broncos page
- Yahoo! Sports Peyton Manning page
- David Ginsburg, The Associated Press, Flacco carries Ravens past Bengals 44-13- Josh Dubow, The Associated Press, Chargers beat Raiders 22-14 in opener
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