Oct 4, 2015; London, United Kingdom; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) is pursued by Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas (31) and cornerback Jamar Taylor (22) in Game 12 of the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium.The Jets defeated the Dolphins 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
When it comes to NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 5, did analysts get it right with the NY Jets?
The Jets sent a very nice message to the NFL with their huge win over the Miami Dolphins last week sitting at 3-1 for the first quarter of the season. While they’re far from playing perfect football, truth of the matter is the Jets are heading in the right direction.
Most analysts believe the Jets are currently in the middle of the pack when it comes to the top teams playing in the NFL at this very moment. They Jets don’t have a prolific passing game but are proving to be known as a true ground-and-pound team capable of being physical with any opponents standing in their way to victory.
One of the strengths of the team lies in the Jets’ defense which leads the entire league in takeaways. It’s scary just how good this defense has been and that’s without Sheldon Richardson on their defensive line. One can only imagine how even more fortified this unit will be with him back in the mix in Week 6.
Without further adieu, here are the top 3 NFL Power Ranking grades the Jets got heading into Week 5 of the regular season.
Next: 3. Sports Illustrated says Jets are road warriors
Oct 4, 2015; London, ENG; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) catches an interception during the second half of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
3. Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated power ranked the Jets No. 7 on their list which is a pretty good assessment. They pretty much expressed how the Jets went in against a terrible team in the Miami Dolphins and completely bullied them all throughout the game as expected.
It’s crazy to think that technically, the Jets beat the Dolphins so bad, it effectively sent Joe Philbin packing as he was fired promptly the very next day. The Jets have a great history against the Dolphins and in their 100th matchup, they proved to be the better team in all aspects of the game.
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated, who ranked the Jets this week, had this to say about the team:
"It is an overlooked bonus when a team scores a ‘road’ win in London. Not that Miami has been a house of horrors for visiting teams of late, but the trip overseas definitely levels the playing field. New York took full advantage and now holds a 2–0 mark as a visiting team this season."
I’ve always believed that defense wins championships as the Jets could definitely ride this incredible defensive momentum with how great this unit has been playing. They do need to clean up all the missed tackles, which I’m sure they will address during their bye week as they prepare for the Washington Redskins in Week 6.
Next: 2. NFL says the Jets are in the mix for playoffs
Oct 4, 2015; London, ENG; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
Don’t get me wrong, the Jets are far from a perfect team. I wouldn’t even call them a powerhouse since they have a solid defense that is still playing a bit sloppy and an offense that is powered by a potent ground game. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing good but he’s still coughing up interceptions in every game.
One thing I give Fitzpatrick though is his awareness and high football IQ. He’s careful in not giving up sacks as his mobility showed against the Dolphins as he definitely kept those chains moving. I think the Jets could indeed be a team destined for the NFL Playoffs but if they are to succeed, they must clean up their offensive miscues and work on timing. Fitzpatrick doesn’t have the arm strength to go deep, and that’s okay but he has been overthrowing his passes and missed some pretty easy wide open targets.
Gregg Rosenthal of Around The NFL, who ranked the Jets No. 10, had this to say about the team:
"The middle of the league is wildly up for grabs with uneven teams like the Jets and Rams right in the mix for the playoffs."
I agree with Rosenthal since until the Jets are clicking on all cylinders without all the bonehead penalties, missed tackles and offensive miscues, they’re a team that’s in the middle of the pack so far in the NFL. There is still plenty of football to play as I’m confident they’ll course correct and eventually hit their stride towards being a better football team.
Next: 1. ESPN says Jets off to a hot start
Oct 4, 2015; London, United Kingdom; New York Jets receiver Eric Decker (87) is defended by Miami Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi (55) in Game 12 of the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
To start the season 3-1 is pretty impressive because even though they beat some terrible teams in the Cleveland Browns and Dolphins, nobody really expected the Jets to have a chance against the Indianapolis Colts. That big win over the Colts, especially on Monday Night Football in front of a national audience, proved that the Jets can indeed be contenders this season.
If the Jets didn’t fall for that “trap game” against the Philadelphia Eagles, they could have gone into their bye week undefeated. They truly made a mistake in putting the pressure on Fitzpatrick to win that game when he’s not built for that. You can’t expect him to win a football game when throwing for 58 passes to makeup for injuries to his prime offensive weapons. He thrives when he has the support of a potent running game so he can hit those short passes and get everyone contributing on offense.
ESPN.com’s staff, who ranked the Jets No. 9, had this to say about the team:
"The Jets are 3-1 for the first time since 2010. That was also the most recent time they made the playoffs."
It’s impressive that ESPN bumped the Jets up 6 spots from last week since they’ve improved from their shocking loss to the Eagles. The better teams of the NFL know that when you get beat like that, you have to put it behind you, fix the blatant issues and go back to work against your next opponent. The Jets did just that and got things back on track. Granted, the Dolphins are a terrible team but a win is a win in my book.
Overall, the Jets have much work to do before they’re considered one of the better teams in the NFL. Once they fix their issues and really start to push the envelope with better execution on offense, defense and special teams, the sky is the limit for the Jets this season.