Jets Are NFL’s Surprise Team

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What’s the lesson here? Don’t underestimate a team’s will to win! These Jets have heart and it shows every week.


Before the season it was commonly accepted that the Jets would be bad. But these same Jets–the team that most everybody laughed at–have won five games as of Week 13. (Editor’s note: TSC’s Joey Platania picks the Jets to beat Denver this week.)

Why is this happening? Let’s look at players, then the coaches.

Players

–Rookies Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye have had an immediate impact on the defense. They’ve given NY an identity with effort, guts, and–most importantly–a will to win.

–The Jets are tough on defense, especially with Buster Skrine, a normal nickel corner, who starts at the cornerback position regularly. Buster’s attitude and physicality are unquestioned, but many football fans ignore him when picking their Fantasy teams.

Morris Claiborne (photo, USAToday)

Morris Claiborne, the other cornerback, had a stint with the Dallas Cowboys and came to the Jets in the offseason. Morris is a physical, lockdown corner who’s underrated. He covers the #1 wideout.

–The Jet’s D-line was criticized because Sheldon Richardson was traded to the Seahawks. But overlooked were line players that the Jets received in trades. Kony Ealy, previously a Carolina Panther, was picked up in the offseason and has made his presence felt with strength, ability to sack the quarterback, and ball skills. Leonard Williams gets double-teamed most of the time. Mohamed Wilkerson is a beast! Williams, Ealy, and Wilkerson give trouble to every O-line and QB in the league.

–Linebackers Demario Davis and Daron Lee are underrated but have great ball skills and the ability to blitz the quarterback. Davis has made plays to either win games or put the team in position to win games. Lee is quick at blitzing the QB and is also very good at spying a running QB.

Courtesy: NY Daily News

–QB Josh McCown was considered by many to be one of the NFL’s worst quarterbacks. But he doesn’t look like that way now. His ability to scramble is severely underrated and has helped win games against the Chiefs and Bills. His toughness under pressure makes him a solid pocket-passer.

–The speed, quickness, and route-running skills make Robby Anderson a tough cover for corners. Anderson has scored six TDs in the last five weeks–with at least one in each of those games.

Jermaine Kearse is a consistent receiver with the ability to run any route and make big plays. His veteran leadership helps keep this team focused.

–The TE position had been lacking for the Jets, but Austin Seferian Jenkins has exceeded expectations. With both size and ball skills, Jenkins is a difference maker in the Red Zone and during the two-minute offense.

–The Jets’ O-line has improved, too. They aren’t allowing McCown to be sacked at critical times.

Coaches

The coaching staff has even done an outstanding job, too.

–This presumably 0-16 team is now 5-7 and Head Coach Todd Bowles gets a lion’s share of the credit. He needs to be in the conversation for Coach of the Year.

Courtesy: NY Jets

OC John Morton has done an extraordinary job calling plays. Smart play calling has made it possible for the offense to score points against good defenses.

Todd Bowles’ defensive expertise cannot be underestimated, either–especially the ability to put his rookie safeties (Adams and Maye) in comfortable places. And continuous blitzes gives the Jets a defensive identity, creating havoc for all the quarterbacks they face.

What’s the Lesson Here?

Don’t underestimate a team’s will to win! These Jets have heart and it shows every week.

The icing on the cake would be a Wild Card spot in the playoffs.

J-E-T-S!

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