How the New York Jets Match Up Against Each AFC East Opponent
In recent years the AFC East has always been a tough division to play.
Last season there was a chance that three teams from this division were going to advance to the postseason as the Patriots led the division, while the Jets and Bills battled for Wild Card spots.
In the end, both the Bills and Jets collapsed and the Patriots represented the division in the playoffs, and they advanced all the way to the Super Bowl.
With the beginning of the regular season a few months away, which means the first inter-division game is only a few months away, it is time to take a look and see how the Jets will fare against the other members of their division.
As always, feedback is welcome. Enjoy!
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
The Buffalo Bills have been on the rise for the last few years.
Last year was their best year in a while after they started the season 3-0 including a win against the AFC Champion New England Patriots. Because of this great start the Bills were considered as playoff contenders for one of the Wild Card spots.
They were in good shape to slide into the playoffs until they played the New York Jets during Week 12. Both teams were 5-5 and the winner would be the one to likely make the playoffs. As most of you Jets fans know, the Jets won 28-24 but did not end up in the postseason.
As to how the Jets match up against the Bills, what fans and critics should look out for is how the Jets pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The first time the Jets and Bills faced each other in 2011, the Jets traveled up to Buffalo and left with a 27-11 victory after the Bills did not put up much of a fight in the second half.
In this game, the Jets were able to force turnovers, Sione Pouha and Jim Leonhard teamed up to force Fred Jackson to fumble, while Calvin Pace and David Harris each had interceptions.
When the two played on November 27 Fitzpatrick threw three touchdowns and no interceptions.
With the revamped defensive line and solid secondary going against the Bills offense it is hard to see the Jets not winning this matchup.
Revis should be able to lock up Steve Johnson, while Cromartie covers who else is opposite of him.
The dynamic and young duo of Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples coming from the outside, and Sione Pouha and Mike Devito bring pressure up the middle, should rattle Ryan Fitzpatrick enough so that he makes a few mistakes and then it will be up to Mark Sanchez and the offense to capitalize.
I see the Jets and the Bills splitting this series. The Jets will win their home opener while dropping their final game of the season to the Bills.
Week 1: Sunday September 9, 2012 Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
Week 17: Sunday December 30, 2012 New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Last year during Week 17, the Dolphins made sure the Jets would have no hope to make the playoffs after their game at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 19-17.
This season should be very different when it comes to how the Jets perform against the mediocre Dolphins. This season Miami will be without Brandon Marshall and will be having a quarterback battle to see who will be their starter. They are obviously still in a transitional stage and the Jets need to take advantage of that.
On offense, the Jets offensive line is easily better than Dolphins’ with D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold leading the way.
Mark Sanchez is better than Matt Moore or Ryan Tannehill and with Tim Tebow coming in for wildcat and other trick plays, the Jets have the advantage at quarterback.
The Dolphins have the edge at running back with Reggie Bush, who is coming off a great season as he rushed for 1086 yards, and Daniel Thomas coming in and rushing for another 581 yards.
If the Jets front four is as good as it is expected to be, they should be able to beat the Dolphins offensive line (aside from Jake Long) and keep the Bush/Thomas duo from having a good day at the ground. It is also pretty easy to the say the Jets have the advantage at receiver.
Despite their thin core with Stephen Hill, Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley, they are still better than Brian Hartline and the Dolphins receivers. While the Dolphins added Chad Ochocinco this off-season, he was not productive at all in New England and their reasoning for adding him is somewhat questionable, especially since they will be on Hard Knocks this season, the show in which Ochocinco shined on in 2009.
As for defenses, it is needless to address the secondaries. Revis, Cromartie, Wilson, Smith and co. will easily handle the Dolphins passing game.
Sean Smith, Vontae Davis and the rest of the Dolphins secondary will have their hands full with the Jets and have some work to do before they consider themselves as good as the Jets secondary.
As of right now the defensive lines are about the same. The Dolphins line proved themselves in last years Week 17 matchup as they caused headaches for Sanchez. While the Jets defensive line looks good on paper right now, they have yet to prove anything.
The Jets should be able to take two from the Dolphins. Barring any problems within the locker room that divide the team, the Jets are just better than Dolphins and as long as they execute and play as a team they should not have too much trouble.
Week 3: Sunday September 23, 2012 New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
Week 8: Sunday October 28, 2012 Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
New England Patriots
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Last year the New England Patriots swept the season series against the New York Jets, and sorry Jets fans, but it looks like they may do the same this season.
They added receiver Brandon Lloyd to help out the already strong trio of Deion Branch, Wes Welker, and Rob Gronkowski. They also added two talented defensive players through the draft by getting Syracuse’s Chandler Jones and Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower with the 21 and 25 overall picks in this year’s NFL Draft.
On offense, it is easy to see that the Jets cannot really compete.
Tom Brady is a proven veteran with a great ability to read defenses, make the right choices and just make plays. The Jets have the advantage at running back with Shonn Greene, but not by much (do not sleep on Joseph Addai this year).
The wide receivers and tight ends speak for themselves.
Who would you rather have, Dustin Keller or Rob Gronkowski? Brandon Lloyd or Santonio Holmes? Wes Welker or Stephen Hill?
Offensive line is the only position where the Jets beat the Patriots and it has been that way for the past few years. The only problem is that might not be enough to match the firepower the Patriots have.
On defense, once again the Jets take the cake in the secondary, especially at cornerback with Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson.
Although the Patriots do not have well-known players like Bart Scott, Revis or Cromartie, they have been able to do a great job with the guys they have. One of them is Rob Ninkovich, who put an end to any hopes of a Jets comeback when the two teams played each other at MetLife Stadium on November 13 (Week 10).
Along with Ninkovich, Mayo and Hightower will be causing problems for the Jets offense, and although the Jets have David Harris, the Patriots have the edge at linebacker.
The defensive line is tough to judge. The new Jets defensive line has yet to show what they can do, but is very promising, while the Patriots defensive line has shown that they can create pressure against the Jets and bring down Sanchez or stop Greene in the backfield.
Because of past play, this one has to go to the Patriots. As you all can see clearly see, the Patriots simply overpower the Jets and in order for them to win it will take flawless play during all four quarters to take down the mighty Pats.
Week 7: Sunday October 21, 2012 New York Jets @ New England Patriots
Week 12: Thursday November 22, 2012 New England Patriots @ New York Jets (Thanksgiving)