When grading the New York Jets positional groups, it’s clear that two rank near the bottom of the league while some of the stellar groups that grade nicely don’t rank as critical in terms of NFL importance.
This isn’t your father’s National Football League.
Out is any chance of witnessing a truly historic defense. In is the factual idea that a dink-and-dunk three-step-drop offense can score at will if executed perfectly. It wasn’t always like this.
For example, take the classic 1985 Chicago Bears. Buddy Ryan’s famed 46 unit could stop an NFL offense based on pure will alone. They could impose their strength and skill and stop an offense in its tracks even if it executed perfectly. We could also say the same about the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.
Eighteen years later, forget about it.
Line up Mike Singletary’s ’85 unit against Tom Brady with the rules of today and it’s not even a contest. The New England Patriots will score their fair share of points.
Would the Hall of Fame-ladened unit hold up better than other defenses of today’s game? Of course. But that’s not the heart of the issue. What matters is the idea that this game is completely different than what we watched even a decade ago.
A well-designed, quarterback-accurate three-step-drop offense cannot be stopped if executed at full tilt. With rub patterns and a no-hands feel in the secondary, it’s drastically changed which positions rank as more valuable.
Unfortunately for the team that makes its living in Florham Park, New Jersey, some of its positional strengths don’t line up with what’s currently working in the league that plays for pay.
Today, we grade out the New York Jets positional groups while also ranking just how important each unit is in the eyes of this brand-new pass-happy NFL where defensive coordinators travel to die a slow death.