Comparing the New York Jets and the New England Patriots: Defense
Dec 15, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterbackCam Newton
(1) with the ball as New York Jets defensive endMuhammad Wilkerson
(96) pressures in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
As we were discussing yesterday, in order for the Jets to get where we want them to go, they have to win the AFC East. Three road playoff games are not impossible to win, but it certainly is more difficult to do it that way. So winning the division is essential.
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So, to do that, the Jets must unseat the New England Patriots. Yesterday, we compared the two teams on the offensive side of the ball. Today, we are going to compare the two on the defensive side of the football. Here we go:
DEFENSIVE LINE: The strongest part of the Jets in 2013 was the defensive line. Sheldon Richardson was the defensive rookie of the year. Muhammad Wilkerson broke out for over ten sacks, and Damon Harrison became one of the league’s best run stuffers. The Patriots, other than Chandler Jones, have an aging core defensive line. Even if Vince Wilfork is back and healthy, he is not the player he once was.
LINEBACKERS: Demario Davis had an excellent season as a full-time starter, recording his first season of over 100 tackles. He has learned quite a bit from David Harris, who posted another solid season in 2013. However, Davis still must be considered a work in progress after only one full season as a starter, and the rest of this group is aging. There is no way to expect another ten sacks out of Calvin Pace. With Dont’a Hightower and Jerod Mayo, this choice is unfortunately obvious.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: Both of these teams were in the middle to the bottom of the pack in pass defense, allowing around 240 yards per game through the air. The Jets lost Antonio Cromartie and the Patriots said goodbye to Aqib Talib. However, the Patriots, unfortunately, said hello to an old friend of ours, some guy named Darrelle Revis. For that reason, they take the category.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Nick Folk and Stephen Gostkowski work out as a wash. I would trust either one of them with a kick late in the game. The Jets’ punting situation is not even written in stone with Ryan Quigley, as they may bring in Zoltan Mesko. As such……
So what do you guys think? Did I do OK with this group, or do you disagree? Sound off below with your thoughts.