Despite taking a 26-3 beating, it is not all bad for Gang Green. When compared to their regional counterparts, they have a better chance of getting to the Super Bowl than the Giants.
When comparing the two defenses, the two have had their share of time being the better defense. Last season it was the Giants, especially down the stretch. Their ferocious defensive line made up for the injuries and inadequacy they had at other positions. Just like their Super Bowl victory in 2008, their defensive line played a huge role in winning their most recent championship.
Fast forward to 2012, it seems as if the improvements the Jets have made with their defensive line may be what brings them back to defensive supremacy. Going into this season, Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine chose to switch the defensive front by installing a 4-3 defense for the 2012 season rather than the 3-4 scheme they ran in years prior.
One of the weaknesses the Jets defensive line had last season was getting pressure on the quarterback, and they were only average when it came to stopping the run. So far the defensive line has looked pretty impressive, especially in comparison to last year's defense.
In the first round of this year's draft, the Jets drafted North Carolina's Quinton Coples to play at defensive end. In his first two preseason games, Coples has shown the potential and promise the Jets saw in him when they drafted him in April. He has a good ability to find the football and rounds out the young, new Jets defensive line.
That defensive line also includes the 2011 first-round defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, defensive tackles Sione Pouha, Kenrick Ellis and end Mike DeVito. Thus far, when this starting defensive line group has been out on the field, they have been getting some added pressure on the opposing quarterback, but they have been stars when it comes to stopping the run. Against the Bengals and Giants, it looked as if the majority of the time when the ball was being run, the back would hit a wall and gain one to two yards, if lucky.
Combine this new defensive line with the rest of the defense, which includes Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Antonio Cromartie and several other talented players, they outmatch the Giants defense easily.
For years, the success of the Giants defense came from its defensive line, this year it will be the same thing, as they have a decent linebacker group and a secondary that is full of potential but has yet to show that they have reached that full potential.
Meanwhile on the offensive side, the Jets have one big weapon the Giants do not have, and he comes in the form of Tim Tebow. When it comes to the the passing game, the Giants have a slight advantage because of Eli Manning's skill and experience, which when compared to that of Mark Sanchez's makes him a better quarterback.
At receiver, the Jets are young, inexperienced and no one knows what to truly expect from this group who is led by one of the NFL's biggest crybabies, Santonio Holmes. Led by Victor Cruz and some other younger, yet reliable receivers, the Giants have the advantage.
The running game, on the other hand, is pretty evenly matched between the two teams. The Giants have a healthy Ahmad Bradshaw who is expected to have an excellent season, while the Jets are looking for big things from the Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight duo. Greene is coming off of his first 1,000-yard rushing season, while McKnight enters the season as arguably the biggest kick return threat and is looking to make a smooth transition to coming out of the backfield on a regular basis.
The one thing that separates these offenses, though, is that "X-factor." The Jets have that X-factor the Giants do not have and are definitely planning to use him.
Tim Tebow is a fullback with a good arm; he has good field vision when running but can surprise people by showing off his arm. What having Tebow as a backup and Wildcat players does is allow the Jets to surprise the opposing team and make the opposing team work even harder to come up with a scheme to stop an offense that could literally attack any which way they want.
Something NFL teams face across the board throughout the season is injuries. It is how those teams recover that truly matters, and when it comes to who would recover best if one of their top players goes down, the Jets would most likely come out on top.
For example, if Victor Cruz were to go down early in 2012, who would step up as the No. 1 guy? Could anyone step up? Meanwhile, if the Jets lose Santonio Holmes, sure it would be a hit but he does not and will not have the biggest role on the offense, giving them a better chance at recovering.
Meanwhile on the defense, if the Jets were to lose their best player on the team, Darrelle Revis, they have a guy like Kyle Wilson who could step in. While Wilson is not exactly the same as Revis, he has proved that he is a solid cornerback. If it weren't for the Jets having two other top cornerbacks, he'd easily be a starter. If the Giants were to lose a guy like Justin Tuck or Jason Pierre-Paul, it would be a massive hit to one of the key components of their team. While they still have Osi Umenyiora, the Giants' performance afterward would not be anywhere near the same.
Both New York teams have a chance at the playoffs this season. They each play in tough divisions and have talented rosters, but the defending champions are not the ones more likely to see themselves in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome come September. It is the New York Jets who have a better shot at making an appearance in this year's Super Bowl.
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