Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 7/12/12

At least one analyst isn't buying the New York Jets' 8-8 season in 2011 as a jumping off point for a Jets tailspin. ESPN analyst and retired NFL defensive end Hugh Douglas has pegged the Jets as not only the biggest threat to knock off the New England Patriots, but he has outright picked the Jets to win the AFC East this season. Hugh Douglas focused on the Jets defense and Mark Sanchez as reasons why the Jets can win the AFC East.

Can the New York Jets win the AFC East and finally knock the New England Patriots off their perch atop the Division? ESPN NFL analyst Hugh Douglas thinks so. Hugh Douglas pointed to the Jets talented defense and also highlighted the fact that Mark Sanchez threw 26 touchdown passes during a "bad" season.

There's been some interesting reaction to that prediction from Hugh Douglas, and the anchor he was paired with seemed genuinely shocked. The Buffalo Bills have been the trendy pick to slide into the second spot in the AFC East, with the Patriots seen by most as head-and-shoulders above everyone. But is it really so wild to say the Jets could win the AFC East?

Just a year ago the Jets were viewed as a squad with realistic Super Bowl aspirations. The core of this year's team is the same group that took two out of three games from the Patriots in 2010, including the epic playoff win on the road. Last season was certainly a disjointed one, but with young speed (Stephen Hill, Demario Davis) and big-time talent (Quinton Coples, LaRon Landry) added to the mix, maybe it shouldn't be such a shock.

Hugh Douglas does have ties to the Jets, as the Jets selected him in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft. He earned Defensive Rookie of the year honors that season, then was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for two draft choices prior to the 1998 season.

Also…

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