There might not have been a team that gained more attention this off-season than the Jets. With a new coach, new GM and a plethora of new talent, they have been touted as the most likely team to unseat the Patriots. Even more so, to make a legitimate Super Bowl run. They are a team that can cause concern for Pats fans as well as the rest of the NFL.
Why Pats fans should be concerned:
With the additions of new coach Todd Bowles, the Jets gain another brilliant defensive coach that had some exceptional squads in Arizona over the past few years. They spent a lot of money on improving their talent depleted roster. On offense, the biggest acquisition was Brandon Marshall, who, with Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley, give them a dynamic trio with Kerley manning the slot. They added RB’s Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy to challenge Chris Ivory. They will be able to pound the rock as good as anyone.
Defense, they have a ton of talent. Although the loss of Sheldon Richardson for 4 games (and probably the year, still undecided), having stud DL Leonard Williams fall to them was a coup. Muhammad Wilkerson is one of the best 3-4 DL linemen in the league and NT Damon Harrison is a massive force. The biggest acquisition was Darelle Revis. He is arguably the best CB in the game (as we know) and with other free agent DB’s Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine and Marcus Gilchrist gives them an entirely new look on defense. This team is just stacked with talent. But…
Why Pats fans shouldn’t be concerned:
With a new coach, there are bound to be growing pains. Especially in his first head coaching job. With QB Geno Smith already knocked out for 10 weeks, it shows that there is a general discord in the locker room due to the lack of retaliation and reaction after, by both coaches and players alike. This doesn’t bode well for chemistry. Relying on journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick is not something that can make anyone truly happy here. He did have his best success under OC Chan Gailey in Buffalo, but that was also 4 years ago. He has struggled in his stints in Tennessee and Houston. It doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon. Also, the offensive line is aging and is under-performing. There might not be a better center in the game than Nick Mangold. But, he’s 31 as is D’Brickshaw Ferguson, who underperformed last year. Free Agent G James Carpenter is mostly just a run blocker and can’t pass block well at all. They have a lack of talent on the other spots that could get this team in trouble.
With the suspension of Richardson, the Jets are in a tough spot. Williams was a stud in college, will that translate in the NFL? Also, relying on 34 year old Calvin Pace and Quentin Coples, who is more of a run stopping OLB, as their pass rushers is concerning. David Harris looked slow last year at his ILB position. They didn’t really do anything to improve the linebacking corps other than the drafting of Lorenzo Mauldin in the 3rd round. Also, the logic of paying that much money to 2 CB’s like Revis and Cromartie, who are over 30 is a little mind boggling. Gilchrist wasn’t that good in San Diego, so I’m not sure how good he’ll be in New York.
What does all this mean? There is a TON of uncertainty in New York. On one hand, you have a ton of talent that, on paper, looks poised to make a run. But, you can already see that there are things lining up in a bad way for New York. From Richardson’s drag race through a neighborhood to Smith getting punched in the face, the dark clouds are definitely on the horizon for this franchise.