Commentary

Jets fans anticipate big takeoff

After fans predict a 15-1 season, Ryan wonders: Who's going to beat us?

Updated: May 4, 2010, 11:33 PM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

Rex Kool-Aid? Have another glass, New York Jets fans.

Turns out, Jets' fans might be just as swaggerlicious as their coach. When asked in a recent SportsNation poll what the Jets record would be at the end of the season, Jets fans said their team would go 15-1.

That's right, a team that went 9-7 and was nudged into the playoffs with late season wins against the half-staffed Colts and lethargic Bengals, is going to be the Death Star of NFL teams this season.

When asked what he thought of the prediction, Ryan was predictably startled.

"Who'd we lose to?" he asked.

In the game-by-game poll, it seems the fans believe the Jets will lose to the Patriots during their second matchup in Foxboro.

"15-1, I'll actually take that," Ryan said. "15-1, Jets fans are smart. We'll go ahead and take that. I don't want to be too greedy."

The fans are putting a lot of faith in the second-year coach. Some of the key players on the team that made the AFC Championship game are now playing in Arizona, or Kansas City, or Seattle. That aside, Ryan thinks the team will be better this season, and apparently forces his players to repeat this mantra under penalty of having to personally iron all of Woody Johnson's white dress shirts and khakis.

"I think we'll expect to win every game," said wide receiver Marcus Henry, successfully avoiding the chore.

Still, as Ryan walked down the corridor, he seemed to digest the fact that the fans would cut him no slack this season when it came to wins and losses.

"Man," Ryan said. "That's some expectations."

Jane McManus is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow her on Twitter.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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