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2021 NFL Power Rankings, Week 14: Offensive Defense

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Jets Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The New York Jets lost to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday for the 12th consecutive time. The defense was downright offensive, as the Eagles scored the first seven times they had the ball. Defense like that makes winning all but impossible. The putrid defensive performance overshadowed some improvement by Zach Wilson, who led three touchdown drives in the first half before the Jets were shutout in the second half.

The Jets record under head coach Robert Saleh fell to 3-9. How did the power rankings feel about this loss? Let’s find out.

Pro Football Network

29) New York Jets

Even though the Jets struggle with a lack of talent on their roster (particularly on defense), I still didn’t expect them to perform so poorly, especially as the season has progressed. They can’t defend anybody on the back end, and they can’t tackle, either. With two draft selections currently in the top 10, they’ll have their pick of the litter in an outstanding defensive class.

They could go with one of the top pass rushers, like Aidan Hutchinson, George Karlaftis, or David Ojabo. They could also look at any of the top cornerbacks, and they should absolutely target Kyle Hamilton from Notre Dame to be a do-it-all safety.

The best thing to come from today was that the game wasn’t an abject disaster for Zach Wilson. In fact, he looked pretty good early on! Mental progression can come as the season winds down, but fixing some of his mechanical deficiencies in the offseason should help correct some of his accuracy issues.

New York Post

29. New York Jets, 3-9 (29)

Jets-Eagles was an unlikely choice to become the first game since at least 1978 that featured both teams scoring touchdowns on their first three drives. Only problem is the Eagles kept scoring points on their first seven drives, while the Jets went ice cold totaling three plays for three yards in the third quarter. Time to give retired soccer star Carli Lloyd a shot at kicker.

USA Today

29. Jets (29): Need a reason to smile, NYJ fans? Rookie WR Elijah Moore looks like a keeper, amassing 28 catches for 392 yards and five TDs in the past five games.

ESPN

29. New York Jets (3-9)

Previous ranking: 29

Player who must step up: QB Zach Wilson

The rookie’s performance over the final five games will determine whether the Jets’ season is an abject failure or a positive springboard into 2022. So far, the second overall pick has been a disappointment, with only six touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in eight starts, but he made progress in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. It was “by far” his best game in terms of playing within the structure of the offense, according to coach Robert Saleh. If Wilson can stack games like that, it will reinforce the Jets’ belief that he is the right guy at the most important position.

Sports Illustrated

28. New York Jets (3–9) (starting to play a little better, relative; Wilson back)

Last week: Loss vs. Philadelphia, 33–18

Next week: vs. New Orleans

Maybe it’s simply life as a former Jets beat writer, but I watch this team, through loss after loss, and still, somehow, manage to see progress. In this case, it’s relative, but from quarterback Zach Wilson to slot receiver Elijah Moore to some (small) offensive improvement, and … ah, who am I kidding? The J-E-T-S are still J-E-T-ing, but were bumped above the Giants for that very (again, relative) improvement.

Not much movement here from last week’s rankings. The Jets are mostly viewed as the 29th best team in the NFL. What do you think? Where should the Jets rank in the NFL power rankings?