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NFL New York Jets

10 Players That Will Lead New York Jets to 2013 Playoffs

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Players that Will Lead the Team to the 2013 Playoffs

Jets
Ed Mulholland - USA Today Sports

It was a rough season for the New York Jets in 2012, to say the least. Coming into the year with plenty of expectations and coming off the curious signing of Tim Tebow, the year started out great in Week 1 with a dominant 48-28 win over the Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately, it was all down hill from there.

Their best player Darrelle Revis suffered a torn ACL, quarterback Mark Sanchez was terrible in all aspects of his game, their top receiver Santonio Holmes injured himself as well and Tebow was used sparingly and ineffectively. Their defense wasn’t bad, but they had one of the worst offenses in the league and finished 6-10.

After the catastrophe that was the 2012 season, the team cleaned house a bit. Head coach Rex Ryan survived, but the team brought in new general manager John Idzik and he immediately made moves to clear up cap space and look towards the future. That meant the release of veteran linebackers Calvin Pace and Bart Scott, safety Eric Smith and defensive tackle Sione Po’uha. The team also opted not to re-sign some big name free agents, including safeties Laron Landy and Yeremiah Bell along with DT Mike Devito and RB Shonn Greene.

For a while the team remained dormant. Their first big move was to bring in RB Mike Goodson and it became apparent that no big-money free agents would be coming to the Jets. Idzik has done well, however, bringing in some cheap talent to fill holes.

The Revis situation and the NFL Draft will be huge tests for Idzik and the Jets moving forward, but for now the team has its clear key players for the 2013 season. Under Ryan they still have a talented defense, and if a few things can click on the offensive side of the ball the Jets shouldn’t be counted out in this year’s postseason picture. Here’s a look at 10 key players who can lead New York to the playoffs.

Rich Arleo is a fantasy sports expert with Rantsports. Follow him on Twitter, 'Like' him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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10. DE Muhammad Wilkerson

Wilkerson
Phil Sears - USA Today Sports

The team’s 2011 first-rounder really established himself as one of the best players on the defense last year and will look to get the team’s pass rush going in 2013.

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9. SS Dawan Landry

Landry
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

After losing LaRon, the Jets brought in his brother Dawan to replace him. He is older and not quite as talented but has experience with Ryan and will fit in nicely as a run-stopping safety.

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8. LB David Harris

Harris
David Butler II - USA Today Sports

The team’s top linebacker had a down year in 2012, along with the rest of the team. He should be able to return to form this season and help clog up the middle.

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7. RB Mike Goodson

Goodson
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

With Greene gone, the Jets brought in the speedy Goodson. When healthy, Goodson has been effective in his short career so the Jets hope he can put his past injury issues behind him and put it all together in a full season.

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6. RB Bilal Powell

Powell
Jeff Curry - USA Today Sports

Powell began showing some signs last season and had a nose for the end zone a bit last year. He’ll likely team with Goodson to form a 1-2 punch in the backfield.

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5. QB Mark Sanchez

Sanchez
Kevin Hoffman - USA Today Sports

After playing smart football in his first two seasons and bringing the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games, Sanchez took a small step back in 2011 and an enormous step back in 2012. He was one of the most ineffective quarterbacks in the game and became the butt of many jokes…literally. The fact is, however, that he had basically zero offensive weapons to work with all season and is just a few years removed from success. He will likely be the starter again in 2013 and a return to past form will be key to the team’s success.

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4. G Willie Colon

Colon
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Trying to shore up a shaky offensive line, Colon was a great lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers before dealing with injury issues the past few seasons. He is still just 30 and if healthy could be an enormous help in getting the offense going.

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3. WR Santonio Holmes

Holmes
Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports

Holmes may be a headache, but he is still by far the most talented receiver the team has. The offense completely died out after he went down with a season-ending injury last year, but he restructured his contract this offseason and will need to bounce back for the Jets.

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2. CB Darrelle Revis/Draft Picks Received in Trade

Revis
Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports

No matter which way you slice it the Revis situation will be a big part of the Jets’ performance this upcoming season. If they decide to keep him he will be able to shore up the defense and have a chance to prove he’s back to form after tearing his ACL. If the team decides to trade him, the haul they get in return (which could be an early first round pick) will certainly have an impact on this year’s team.

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1. DE Quinton Coples

Coples
James Lang - USA Today Sports

2012 first round pick Coples looks to have teamed with fellow DE and 2011 first round pick Wilkerson to end a rough stretch of failed first-rounders, including Vernon Gholston and Kyle Wilson (and possibly even Sanchez). The Jets haven’t had much of a pass-rush in recent years but will lean on these two linemen to establish dominance.