This year the defense will be able to drop from 23.4 points per game down to 20 and will keep the team in most of its games. If the team’s strong defensive line can stop the run then this will be an elite defense. They will be able to get to the quarterback both conventionally through a 3 or 4 man rush and exotically through blitzes. Will the back-end of the defense be able to hold up behind Cromartie? I see Wilkerson rising to an All-Pro level, Richardson developing into a transcendent talent by the end of the year and Coples will adjust well to his new rush role. Milliner will struggle more than we think due to injuries and the time it takes to adjust to the pros (even Revis wasn’t Revis in year 1) and the play of Darrin Walls will be key for the defense. They need to find a safety opposite Landry that can cover or the linebackers will be exposed. (August 29, 2013)
The Jets were 19th in the league in points allowed at 24.2 points per game. They were number three against the run in yards allowed, number one in yards per attempt. They were 22nd in the league in passing yards allowed. What Rex Ryan did with the defense is nothing short of amazing. The reason I say that is the entire secondary was based on the premise that Antonio Cromartie would do the same job of approximating what Darrelle Revis did in covering number one receivers 1 on 1. That allows the team to send another rusher, flood the middle if necessary or give safety help to the rookie starting on the other side. Cromartie had the worst year of his career partly due to a hip injury and was a liability in coverage. With Milliner struggling for most of the year like I predicted the Jets were forced to play more conservatively than usual even having to rely on Cover 2 zone at times. Couple that with the fact that none of the safeties were good covering the back-end and Demario Davis couldn’t cover anybody and you can see why I think so highly of the job Ryan did on defense. The defense recorded 40 sacks with Wilkerson leading the way with 10.5 sacks. Wilkerson played at an All-Pro level against the pass and run certainly growing as a player in year three. Sheldon Richardson is the favorite to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year for his play against the run, 3.5 sacks and two rushing touchdowns. Damon “Snacks” Harrison went from a fringe roster player to one of the best run stuffers in the league. David Harris and Demario Davis benefitted from Harrison and Kenrick Ellis’ work up front to snuff out the run as well. Antonio Allen emerged and showed the ability to cover the tight end and make a difference on defense even though he lost snaps to Ed Reed in the 2nd half of the season.
…I will say that the teams struggles some early but rallies late for Rex and finishes at 8-8. Since most see this as a 6 win or less team I believe 8-8 and trending upwards at the end of the year will save his job and let Geno Smith have stability going into 2014. The future is brighter than it is being portrayed by the media just trust the plan. I do. (August 29, 2013)
Not a bad start for me I nailed the record and the late rally by the team led by its young core. While I believed that the early season schedule would put the team behind the 8 ball and force it to rally late the Jets did well against the better teams on the schedule and failed during a post-bye three game stretch against “lesser” opponents. The late rally was needed to get back to .500. Key wins in Atlanta, New England at home and New Orleans at home highlighted a surprising 5-4 start to the season while a 3-1 stretch that closed with knocking Miami out of the playoffs in their own building left the team on a high note and ready to move on to finishing the rebuild.
How did I do? I nailed the record and Rex Ryan’s continued employment and hit more than I missed this year. How will I do in 2014? Stay tuned to find out.