Aug 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez leaves the field with a shoulder injury during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via USA TODAY Sports

2013 New York Jets: Not as Bad as People Think?

As we’ve all probably heard by now, the news about the Mark Sanchez injury is fairly basic. I’m going to combine this news with the news I’ve heard overall this off-season about the New York Jets. I’ve heard it all, and the season has not even started yet. The quarterbacks are doomed. This is a four win team. Rex Ryan is a lame duck coach. Whoever wins the quarterback competition, has still lost because of a lack of talent. I was just doing some digging around, and to me things are not as bad as they would seem. Here’s what I came up with.

The offense is in a better place than you might believe. In 2012 Jets QB’s Sanchez and McElroy averaged 6.4 and 6.9 yards per completion despite being a more “vertical” passing attack. So far this preseason the quarterbacks are averaging almost 9 and in Matt Simms case 12 yards per completion. Yes it’s the preseason, but the types of routes being run, and the foundation of the passing attack will not change. Also, Sanchez in games 1-3 has a very un-Sanchez-like 66% completion rate, and 90+ QBR. For those of you that don’t follow this is almost 10% higher than usual in completion percentage, and over 20% higher quarterback rating. Again this is the preseason, but I checked against the 2012 preseason, and the numbers were still very good. Last year his QBR was 59.6 and didn’t get much higher.

Next up is the wide receiver situation. I think at this very moment the Jets have a better group of receivers than about 12-15 teams in the league. While this isn’t great, it’s also not terrible. Factor in Eagles sans Jeremy Maclin, Raiders, Redskins, Chiefs, Jaguars, etc. and you get my drift. The Jets while not star laden, have a solid group in Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Clyde Gates, Ben Obomanu, and an emerging Ryan Spadola. This is not to mention Santonio Holmes who after being gone for a year, is not as missed on offense as he was last year. This season I expect to see 6 wide receivers on the depth chart, and pretty much dressed every game. I’ve already seen some 5 wide sets, some with tight ends, and some all receivers. With this many receivers on the field and being used, New York may not need a household name pro bowl wide receiver, as long as everyone on this list is good in their specific jobs.

The defense in all 3 games has been great in my opinion. I’m going to toss out game 1, which was still a very good defensive effort. The front seven has caused problems for good offensive teams like Detroit and New York, and just about shut down Jacksonville other than that hurry up drive. I’ve seen maybe 3 or 4 good drives against the Jets defense in three games. If this holds out, the top five defense that Rex Ryan was expecting may come to fruition.

Last up is the improvement I’ve been seeing in tight end play. Kellen Winslow Jr. and Jeff Cumberland are a better pair this year than Dustin Keller and Co. were last year. The tight ends have been targeted often on third downs, and also around the red zone, which is the way it should be. I’ve seen Konrad Reuland drop one or two on third down, that I’d expect Winslow Jr. or Cumberland to make in the regular season to keep the chains moving.

The only negative that I’m going to go on record as having is the run game, and Dee Milliner. The Jets have struggled against strong D-lines in the run game in both Detroit, and again against the Giants. They seem to be able to excel in the run game against average defensive fronts, but struggle mightily against good first lines. That part is not news, it’s the large disparity that is disconcerting. Averaging 5+ yards against the Jags to 1 or 2 yards per carry is not going to cut it. That number needs to stay at close to 5 and at least over 3 against even the very good defenses. Dee Milliner is injury prone, and Kyle Wilson is penalty prone. Jets may have been better trading back and drafting Xavier Rhodes or Trufant this past April. Only time will tell.

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Tags: Mark Sanchez New York Jets Rex Ryan Santonio Holmes

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  • Frank Antonelli

    Don’t let Manish or Cimini see this article since they might learn something. Oh yea I forgot their hatred of the Jets precludes any ability to learn anything of a positive nature. The only thing that I think you’re off on is Milliner. He was the best CB in the draft and will prove it this year. If the team can stay healthy it has a chance to make the playoffs.

    • Vincent Hall

      I know Manish the anti-Jetfan. I hope you’re right about Dee. I like him as player, but he seems like he might be one of those guys that is always dinged up. If he makes it through the season unscathed, without missing more than 1 game I will change my tune.

  • Michael Black

    last year in the preseason when the Jets went 3 games without a TD and the offense couldnt move the ball, the general feeling was that the offense was going to be bad. This year when they score 74 points in 3 games and move the ball well the general consensus is that the offense is going to be bad. Analysis or group think?

    • Vincent Hall

      Mike you’re correct. The preseason isn’t enough to go on, so you just hear recycled lines about the team that was fielded a year ago as if that still applies. It doesn’t. This team is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was on offense last season. The red zone is the only area where the team last year was pretty good actually.

  • Joe Willie

    A bunch of made up BS by garbage bloggers posing as journalists –look up what Keith Olberman had to say about the subject on the Jets blog–finally somebody with a brain commenting on how stuff is just made up.

    • Vincent Hall

      Joe, everyone thinks they’re a better driver than the idiots next to them on the highway, and everyone thinks they know what they’re talking about when it comes to sports teams. If only that were true.

  • matr dontelli iii

    I’ve been singing this song since the draft. After the first round I wasn’t impressed but after thinking about it and seeing the rest of the draft unfold I started becoming more and more optimistic. Last year the OC was terrible as werethe WRs, TEs, and RBs. The QBs were worse than that. The upgrade at OC is staggering. As far as the rest of the offense, they couldn’t possibly perform worse than last year without trying to be worse. Keller missed most of the season as did Holmes, hill was a raw rookie, Schilens was on the roster and bring counted on!!! And we had several receivers worse than him. The defense is younger and faster. The future is bright and the present should be as well. The circus media are intent on destroying the team and running the coach out of town. The coach is intent on keeping the team together and tight. This should be some season.

    • Vincent Hall

      The one thought I have consistently, is what will fans and media have to say if this turns out to be a very good season? Will we suddenly see a change of heart sweep the nation? I doubt it, but it would still be fun to see.

      • matr dontelli iii

        It is really sad the way people listen and repeat what they hear with so little thought if their own. I’ve seen fans of the raiders, cardinals and chiefs trashing the jets in recent months! I mean really, raiders, chiefs and cardinals! That’s like mets fans trashing the baseball cardinals. There’s just no basis in fact for the trashing, yet it continues…

  • Paul Newbold

    We started camp with a lot of question marks on this roster. I still haven’t gotten many answers. Who will the starter be at QB? Who are your starting safeties? Starting DB’s? Can this O line run block? Just a few unsolved mysteries. Hard to predict how this team will perform until you have a clear piicture of what the starting unit looks like. Will the offense be better than last year, hell yes!!! But that isn’t saying much. I hope they can silence the critics, but I’m braced for another tough year. Go Jets!!

    • Frank Antonelli

      Ever the optimist!

      • Paul Newbold

        If you’re optimistic about this roster Frank, more power to you. :)