New York Jets: 5 reasons why they will win AFC East


Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) carries the ball against New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower (54) and New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets may have won the infamous offseason Super Bowl trophy this year, but there is real reason for optimism heading into the 2015 campaign. With a new regime in place and a new direction for the team, the AFC East may finally be within reach.

Especially since AFC East rival and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are going to be without their star quarterback for the first quarter of the season (barring any reduction in his suspension sentence).

This should open the door that was already ajar for the other three teams in the division. All the teams in the AFC East have improved this offseason, but perhaps none more so than the Jets. Here are 5 reasons why they will win the AFC East title for the first time since 2002.

Next: 5. Defense will win plenty of games

Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback

Tom Brady

(12) is sacked by New York Jets defensive end

Jason Babin

(58) and inside linebacker

David Harris

(52) during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

5. Defense will win plenty of games

If it isn’t obvious enough, the first reason the Jets will win the AFC East is because of their stout defense. The Jets ranked 6th in overall defensive rankings according to ESPN statistics. Specifically their ability to get after the quarterback; again ranking 6th in the league with 45 sacks last season.

Leading the team was second year superstar in the making Sheldon Richardson. With Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison leading the charge, this defensive line was already talked about as one of the best in the league. And then the 2015 NFL Draft happened.

The Jets drafted arguably the best prospect in the entire class in Leonard Williams. Adding him to the mix gives new head coach Todd Bowles and his team the best chance to upset the New England Patriots. On top of that, the Jets revitalized their secondary with the return of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.

With all these new additions, the Jets’ defense will keep them in every game this season. It will also be a major reason in the Jets being crowned the AFC East champions when all is said and done.

Next: 4. New look receiving corps

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets wide receiver

Eric Decker

(87) runs after a catch during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

4. New look receiving corps

Yes, the Jets’ defense isn’t the only thing that has improved this offseason. The receiving corps of the Jets has a brand new look too. Scoring Brandon Marshall in a pre-free agency trade that added some star power to this unit was huge for the team. But the work wasn’t done there as the Jets would look to add homerun threat Devin Smith to the fold in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

He adds a different dynamic the Jets haven’t had in the past decade. Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan hope that one of these receivers (Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, Jeremy Kerley or Devin Smith) can step up and become their guy.

The Jets haven’t had a 1,000+ yard receiver since 2007. The new look receiving core will play a tremendous role for this Jets’ offense including leading them to an AFC East title.

Next: 3. New England Patriots are weaker

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

3. New England Patriots are weaker

Things are much more different now in the AFC East than they’ve been in the past. The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are much weaker this time around, losing guys like Vince Wilfork and Darrelle Revis will come back to haunt them this upcoming season.

They also released Brandon Browner who went on to sign with the New Orleans Saints. But that isn’t the only defensive back the New England Patriots have released this offseason.

#Patriots make a series of roster moves:

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) May 18, 2015

They also made some other roster moves earlier this offseason. They released cornerback Kyle Arrington, signed tight end Fred Davis and offensive lineman Kevin Hughes. One of the main reasons the Patriots were hoisting a Lombardi trophy a few months ago was due to their outstanding secondary. Which was manned by Revis & Browner, but now their top three corners are gone. Now their current crop is marred with unproven commodities, question marks, and concerns.

Will the Patriots be able to overcome this? Who knows but it certainly helps the Jets of claiming home field advantage with an AFC East title.

Next: 2. New Regime Is Breath Of Fresh Air

Jan 21, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets new general manager Mike Maccagnan (left), owner


y Johnson (center), and new head coach Todd Bowles (right) pose for a photo during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for via USA TODAY Sports

2. New Regime Is Breath Of Fresh Air

Let’s be honest, the whole Rex Ryan thing got old quick. When the Jets unexpectedly fired Eric Mangini, the Jets were desperate for an identity. Rex Ryan brought that: Ground & Pound. But after cutting Thomas Jones, they lost that powerhouse rushing attack. And they were never able to recover.

Ryan couldn’t develop quarterbacks, a different offensive coordinator nearly every season from Schottenheimer, to Sparano, to Mornhinweg. Ryan has been shipped to Buffalo and will look for revenge against his old team after being fired. Enter Bowles and Maccagnan who have so far, made incredible strides for the organization.

The Jets are much better off now with a new tandem leading the organization. The players seem to be buying in to the less boisterous Bowles leadership. A fresh perspective, a new offensive philosophy with Chan Gailey coming in, a similar 3-4 base defense to Ryan and an entirely new outlook via Maccagnan screams major success this upcoming season.

Often rookie head coaches can spark an organization and the Jets need it in the worst of ways. They haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010, those aforementioned back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances. The combination of all these things add up to the Jets ending this playoff drought this season. And of course the AFC East drought that has plagued this team for over a decade.

Next: 1. More Options At Quarterback

Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback

Geno Smith

(7) drops back to pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

1. More Options At Quarterback

Ultimately more so than anything else, the quarterback situation will define this team. This roster overall isn’t as bad as some NFL analysts would like to think. The Jets have arguably the best receiving core in the division, arguably the best defense in the league on ‘paper’ and they added Zac Stacy to the 3rd ranked leading rushing attack in the NFL last year.

Not to mention one of the major reasons the Jets ended up with that 4-12 record and top-6 pick in the draft was their secondary. They faced some of the best quarterbacks playing today that decimated the Jets’ shambled secondary. Enter Revis, Cromartie, Buster Skrine and Marcus Gilchrist which completes quite the turnaround for a major weakness last season.

The only real question mark on this team is at the most important position in the NFL: quarterback. To quickly slam the door on any Bryce Petty fans reading this post. No. He isn’t ready. And in the best interest of his future, what’s best for him is to sit a year or two and learn the intricacies of the quarterback position.

The Jets now have more options at the position than before as they will hold no allegiance to any particular athlete. It’s always good to have more options in this particular case since the Jets have one big question mark at the position.

Despite what Chris Simms, Phil Simms, or what any Simms sibling or fans believe, Matt Simms is not the answer at quarterback and never will be, so please stop. Which brings us down to Geno Smith, the mercurial incumbent starter from last season entering his third campaign. Or newly brought in via trade, Ryan Fitzpatrick. A seasoned veteran who has made his way around the league from stops in Cincinnati, Buffalo, St. Louis, and Houston.

Long story short, Fitzpatrick has been around. Could he be what the Jets are looking for? He’s a seasoned veteran capable of managing the team and holding down the fort for a couple of years until the Jets develop their next franchise quarterback.

For Smith, this is without a doubt his last chance with the Jets. I don’t blame him for his early struggles, he got thrown into action way too early. But now it is paramount to the Jets success this season what decision they make to go forward with. Let it be a fair competition, Fitzpatrick is recovering from a broken leg but he’ll be back soon enough. I think Geno can be the guy. And if he can, the Jets might be holding more than a AFC East crown at the end of the season.

Next: Brandon Marshall: What does he bring to New York Jets?

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