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2009 Schedule Preview: Week 4 vs. N.Y. Jets

The Saints return home, after two trips to the Northeast, to play the second of three straight New York-based teams and second consecutive AFC East team. This time it's the J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS. The biggest change for New York this off-season was made on the sidelines when they parted ways with head coach Eric Mangini and brought in defensive minded Rex Ryan to take over. Ryan is sure to turn around the Jets mediocre defense but the offense may still suffer some growing pains. It's time to take a look at what the Saints will be up against this year for the second game at home.

Jets Offense

This may be hard to believe but the Jets actually had fewer picks, three, in this years draft than the Saints. Shocking, I know. All three of those choices were used to improve the offensive side of the ball, including first round draft pick and dreamy babe magnet, quarterback Mark Sanchez. Following the "retirement" of Brett Favre, Sanchez is likely to be next years starter. He won't have too much to work with in the receiver department, however, as the Jets have not really addressed that position this off-season and are now without Laveranues Coles.

On the ground the Jets are a bit more solid. Thomas Jones will continue his duties as the primary running back though age - Jones turns 31 in August - should start playing a factor. If contract talks go well, Leon Washington should get his wish to stay in NY and maintain his backup role while third round draft pick Shonn Greene learns the ropes.

In the recent past, the Saints have typically done better shutting down run-heavy teams than ones geared more toward the pass. Even if the Saints defense hasn't improved much they should still be up to the task. Unless, of course, Sanchez is some sort of Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco-esque stud, in which case the Saints could be in trouble. Still, I think the black and gold have the advantage in this one.

Jets Defense

New head coach Rex Ryan comes from Baltimore where he led the Raven defense to prominence. As such, he's made quite a few changes and done a bit of house cleaning in his first year with the Jets. Probably the biggest upgrade to the defense this off-season was the acquisition of inside linebacker Bart Scott from, where else, Baltimore. Scott should fit into Ryan's sure-to-be-complex 3-4 defensive scheme that also includes linebackers Calvin Pace and David Harris. Second year linebacker Vernon Gholston still needs to prove himself. Also brought in from Ryan's old team to help get pressure on the quarterback was defensive end Marques Douglas.

The other big-name upgrade for the Jets this off-season was the signing of Lito Sheppard. Yes, that Lito Shepphard. He will replace Ty Law and play alongside talented CB Darrelle Revis. The two should drastically improve on the teams 29th ranked pass defense. At the safety position, Kerry Rhodes remains a bright spot on the roster following the loss of four other players at the position this off-season. He is joined by safety Jim Leonhard, who is new to the team after coming from, yes that's right, the Baltimore Ravens.

This is an intriguing matchup for the Saints and will definitely pose a challenge. We know Rex Ryan is going to bring it on defense and the Jets' talented cornerbacks should match up well against New Orleans' receivers. Saints fans, beware.

Jets 2008 Season

9-7 Record

Last Meeting

November 27th, 2005

Week 12 1 2 3 4 OT F
Saints 0 14 0 7 -- 21
Jets 3 6 7 3 -- 19

Why the Saints Can Win

The Jets might not be set in the quarterback department.

Why the Saints Can Lose

The Saints offense could stall against the Jets defense.


Saints 17 - Jets 15

Newly Acquired

DE Marques Douglas

DT Howard Green

CB Donald Strickland

ILB Bart Scott

CB Lito Sheppard

S Jim Leonhard

LB Larry Izzo

2009 Draft Class

QB Mark Sanchez

RB Shonn Greene

G Matt Slauson

Key Losses

QB Brett Favre

RB Jesse Chatman

RB Musa Smith

WR Laveranues Coles

TE Chris Baker

DE Kenyon Coleman

DE C.J. Mosley

ILB Eric Barton

ILB Cody Spencer

ILB Brad Kassell

ILB David Bowens

CB Ty Law

S Abram Elam

S David Barrett

S Hank Poteat

S J.R. Reed

K Mike Nugent


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NY Jets Roster