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NY Jets: NFL Power Rankings

Are the NY Jets really the dregs of the NFL?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the current NY Jets Power Rankings by ten major sports media outlets.  Notice how nine of the ten organizations rate the Jets no better than 30th.  This despite the fact the Jets were rated 24th at the end of last year as denoted by their #9 draft position.  A ranking in the 30-32 range ordinarily should presage a 2 to 4 win season, and one has to ask, why?  No doubt the Jets are not a great team, nor even a particularly good team, but 30? 31? 32, for Tebow's sake?!  How has the team managed to get lumped in with the Oaklands and the Jacksonvilles of the NFL?  The way I view this, last year the Jets were deservedly a 6 win team.  How has the team deteriorated so much since then?

It's true, the Jets have no Revis this year.  But the Jets had no Revis for 14+ games last year, so that really is no loss.  The Jets have also added a first round draft pick and a pretty impressive Darrin Walls to the CB mix.  The CBs should be better than last year.

Likewise the defensive line has added a first round draft pick along with the development of Damon Harrison, while losing only an injured, ineffective Pouha and Mike DeVito.  That seems to me like a wash, maybe even a slight upgrade.

The linebackers may be worse against the run than last year, but should be much better rushing the passer with the addition of Coples and Barnes to the LB corps.  That probably shapes up as a slight upgrade.

The safeties are undeniably going to be much worse than last year.  Overall it would appear the defense should be no worse than last year, and if the Jets can really amp up the pass rush, it has the possibility of being much better.

On offense the line may have been downgraded, depending on your view of Ducasse vs. Slauson.  But the receivers should be better with improvement from youngsters Kerley and Hill.  If Holmes is anything close to his former self his comeback makes the receivers much better than last year.

The tight ends have swapped out half a year of Dustin Keller for whatever the Jets get from Kellen Winslow.  If the Jets get a full year from Winslow, like he has provided in all but one year of his career, the tight ends should be better.

The running backs have swapped Shonn Greene for Chris Ivory and 10 or so games of Mike Goodson.  And the Jets have added the legend of T-Bo at fullback, who looks like a clear upgrade over last year's atrocious Lex Hilliard.  That looks like an overall upgrade at RB to me.

The QB position is unsettled, but it's difficult to believe it will be any worse than last year's disaster.  And in what appears to be going largely under the radar, the OC with Marty M. at the helm represents a huge upgrade over last year's Sparano led fiasco.  Overall to me the offense looks like it should be at least as good as last year, with a good chance it is significantly better.

So that makes the defense probably no worse than last year, with some upside potential, and the offense likely improved from last year, possibly much improved.  With special teams returning everyone but Joe McKnight, who will admittedly be a bit difficult to replace, the team overall looks on paper to be better than last year.  So why is everyone so down on the Jets?

Three possible answers suggest themselves.  First is the QB situation.  Perhaps people see the rookie Geno as significantly worse than last year's Sanchez performance.  Difficult to fathom, but maybe that's the explanation.  Or maybe people think the Jets were really one of the three worst teams in the league last year, and were lucky to go 6-10.  Maybe.

The most likely explanation though is that people doing Power Rankings get a little lazy toward the bottom of the rankings.  And they are consequently influenced by the prevailing narrative, which currently is that the Jets are a national laughing stock.  And instead of delving into the nitty gritty of roster changes, upgrades and downgrades to personnel, coaching changes, etc., they just say OK, the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Jets are all pathetic jokes.  So we'll just rank them all in some random order and be done with it.  Leaving the Jets at somewhere between 30 and 32.  This seems the most likely expanation for the near unanimity of what I consider to be undue pessimism regarding the Jets.  It's not going to be a pretty year, but I very much doubt the Jets belong lumped in with the teams vying for the first overall draft pick next year.  Of course, every fan of every team likely thinks the same thing about their favorite team until the real games begin.  We'll see if my view of things or the consensus media view turns out to be more accurate.  I'm betting the media's wrong on this one.  How about you?


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