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2023 NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Signs of Life

The Jets put together their first dominant performance of the season

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NFL: DEC 10 Texans at Jets Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Prior to last Sunday the New York Jets had been looking like the worst team in the NFL, and it looked like Zach Wilson would never get another snap in a Jets uniform. What a difference a week makes. In a stunning performance this past Sunday, the Jets excelled in every aspect of the game. Wilson put together the finest performance of his NFL career, and the Jets dominated the Houston Texans to the tune of a 30 - 6 blowout.

The victory over the Texans snapped a five game Jets losing streak and brought the Jets’ record to 5-8 on the season. They next take on the 9-4 first place Miami Dolphins, a team that blew the Jets out just a couple of weeks ago.

How did the power rankings feel about this unlikely dominant win by the Jets? Let’s find out.

Pro Football Network

23) New York Jets (25)

Zach Wilson has been through a lot since entering the NFL. He’s been horrific. He’s been replaced by Aaron Rodgers and then benched for Tim Boyle. But Wilson had an awesome day against a secondary that has been incredibly opportunistic over the past few weeks intercepting passes.

He finished 27 of 36 for 302 yards and two TDs. His fumble on a third-down scramble took away a squeaky-clean day, but it was a far cry from being his normal reckless self.

But the Jets defense remains the real deal. Every window C.J. Stroud tried testing was the size of a bent nickel. The secondary is incredibly talented, the second level flies to the football, and the defensive front pests opposing quarterbacks.

Sports Illustrated

25. New York Jets (5-8)

Last week: win vs. Houston, 30–6

Next week: at Miami

Full thoughts on Zach Wilson here. If anything else, the fact that the Jets still have eyes on the fringe chances of meaningful postseason football (almost assuredly without Aaron Rodgers if it actually happens) is a credit to how the team has weathered so many potential storms. This is a well-constructed roster. Do I think Wilson has a quarterback rating over 100 in each of the remaining four games? I do not. Do I think he can still be a good quarterback? I do. Sometimes potential does not materialize on your timeline. Would it be the absolute treat of the season to see it all click for a kid who has been through so much? No doubt.

ESPN

26. New York Jets (5-8)

Biggest improvement: Pass rush

It got off to a sluggish start, with a mediocre 26.1% pressure rate over the first three games. For the next 10 games, the pressure rate jumped to 36.4%, second in the league over that span. Bryce Huff (23.5%) is generating pressure on the edge, while Quinnen Williams (14.4%) is among the top interior pass-rushers. Pressure from the front four is vital in the Jets’ scheme because they don’t like to blitz. In fact, they have the second-lowest blitz rate in the league.

USA Today

26. New York Jets (28): Despite the myriad challenges at quarterback during both of his NFL seasons, WR Garrett Wilson projects to finish with 1,115 receiving yards – 12 more than he had in his 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign.

Opinions ticked up just a bit with the Jets win. It’s difficult to put much stock in a single victory, but maybe the Jets can start to string a few wins together at the end of the season. For now they’re ranked as high as 23 and as low as 26.

With the obvious proviso that power rankings are stupid, unless they praise the Jets, in which case they’re awesome, what do you think? Where should the Jets rank in the NFL power rankings?