D.J. Reed
Syndication: The Record

Aaron Rodgers is the focal point of this much-hyped Jets team. So much so that this Jets‘ defense may be getting overlooked as the stronger of the two units. With its versatile rotation on the defensive line, a highly productive C.J. Mosley at linebacker, and one of the best cornerback trios in the NFL.

As long as it remains healthy, this should be one of the top defenses in the NFL to complement Rodgers. But a certain starter of this unit believes it could go a step further and rank as one of the best in league history.

D.J. Reed portraying that sort of confidence — even though it’s believing his defense could be as good as the 1985 Chicago freaking Bears — is fine. The Jets have a ton of talent on that side of the ball. There’s no problem with him believing the sky’s the limit.

But there’s a downside.

It gives off Rex Ryan-guaranteeing-a-Super Bowl-ahead-of-the-2011-season vibes. Remember that? The Jets eventually missed the playoffs that year and they haven’t made the postseason since. Ryan was gone four years after reaching back-to-back AFC Championship Games.

In 2023 terms: this kind of quote has the makings of a prime Freezing Cold Takes tweet, even as soon as Week 1 if Bills quarterback Josh Allen torches the Jets on Monday Night Football. Or even if the Bills just go down the field and score right out of the gate on their first possession of the season.

This is a bold statement for sure. Reed said he believes a defense that’s yet to play a down in the regular season could end up being compared with one of the best units of all time. It’s a declaration that comes with much risk though. The organization knows this all too well, plus the potential rough fallout that could ensue when you don’t live up to the set expectations.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.