PFF determined by studying the teams who played in the NFL conference games between 2007 and 2013, that 40% of those teams were composed of good or elite players. As a result of that methodology, PFF determined how many good or elite players stood between your team and contending for the Super Bowl in 2015.
Now how PFF determines a good/elite player is up for argument, but I thought this would be a fun topic of conversation, especially considering we are just over a month away from free agency.
Just to give you some examples, the Dallas Cowboys were short 0 players, so they were ready to compete this year, they just didn't get the job done. However AFC Championship runner up, the Indianapolis Colts were 9 players away, while the NFC Championship runner up, the Green Bay Packers were just 2 players away.
According to the PFF research, the New York Jets were 8 players away from being able to compete for the Super Bowl. That's less than the Colts, Dophins, Chargers, Cardinals, Saints, Falcons and rams, and many other teams. I find this research hard to believe when you have the Colts so low, but the Giants and Browns in the top 10.
However, if we completely look past the methodology and take the base piece of information that the Jets require 8 players to make it to the Super Bowl, at which positions do you think these 8 players need to be?
Personally I would probably put it at:
Obviously if we lose David Harris to free agency, we may need 9 players instead of 8 and then you just add the ILB position to the list above. Obviously a strong FA class will bring us closer, you bring in Franklin, Lupati, Maxwell, Cromartie and a good receiver, you're a lot closer. You then hope for a couple of your own players to take the jump from being average to being above average. With the weak draft and free agency class at QB, you're probably hoping that Geno Smith makes that jump.
Whether you agree with the concept and research or not, lets debate the merits of the 8 player shortcoming. So I want to hear from everyone. Which 8 positions do we need to upgrade to get to the Super Bowl? and which players do we either need to sign, draft or see an improvement from in order to get there?