Football season is coming back ladies and gentlemen. This means that every analyst, commentator and sports writer is breaking out the good ol’ power ranking of each division talking about the winners, the losers, and the rebuilders. Since we are talking about the Jets, then we are talking about the only division to have a singular winner every year, yes the AFC East.
The AFC East is made up of the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins and the decade reigning kings the New England Patriots. Every year the Jets, Bills, and ‘Phins go through the analyst shuffle. It is a two-part dance, one part where will they land between 2,3,4 in the division and the second is how terrible will they be compared to others.
And like every year, they are branded the worst team in the NFL, laughed at and picked on by the know-it-all analysts going into the season. And when they make noise and play well compared to the perennial playoff powerhouses, then the wagons start to circle and the story is flipped until they lose a game and the analysts back step on what they said.
Well, they can backstep and back peddle all they want. I am going to plant the flag in the ground and tell you proudly and with facts, that the New England Patriots will not be top dog this year. It WILL BE the New York Jets.
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Alright, back down to Earth. Here is why I am talking about this (not as just another Brady hating, Jets fan). When the Pats went into the season last year they had Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, and a few other well-perceived receivers. Well, Edelman just got suspended four games for violation of the NFL’s drug policy, Cooks was traded to the Rams and Amendola left the cold winter for sunny Miami.
That leaves Mitchell, Kenny Britt or Eric Decker to become the new number one WR over Hogan. But due to Britt and Mitchell suffering injuries that leaves Decker in the lead for the takeover. So the Patriots WR core is a little bit starved in the talent department. If the Pats go into the season with Hogan, Patterson, Dorsett, and Turner as their top four WRs then the Jets are poised for the takeover over every other team.
— Full Press Patriots (@FPC_Patriots) August 2, 2018
But the casualty does not stop there. Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon and new draft pick RB Sony Michel left practice with trainers so the hits keep coming. Assuming that it is not serious then they can return. However the WR core is depleted and the Brady-Gronk duo cannot keep them afloat at all, so a new king’s time to shine is now.
The Pats defense last year was ranked behind the Jets before week 8 when they surpassed every AFC East team. But after the Super Bowl, certain key players left the wintry tundra for warmer and friendlier places leaving holes in the defense. This leaves the veterans responsible for the patch up until the rookies can fill it.
The Jets added key defensive players this offseason while the Pats barely added any. The Bills barely touched the defense which is bolstered as a good one and the Dolphins did the opposite and jettisoned more players than they received. So defensively speaking, the Jets are looking to be a prime team thanks to the additions of Trumaine Johnson at corner and Avery Williamson at linebacker. The forced upgrade of Darron Lee as signaler caller due to the departure of Demario Davis should spark a new flame as well. And with the Jamal Adams/Marcus Maye duo coming into their sophomore year, things are looking promising.
This defense has a standard to meet.
And it won't accept anything less.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 4, 2018
While Maye may suffer from injury pain the first week, J.J. Wilcox should be a nice addition to the collection in the meantime. And all of this meanwhile, in the tundra, the Patriots’ defense is comprised of rookies and some vets mixed in. So the Super Bowl winning team from years past has long gone.