I was wrapped in the latest Cimini mailbag over at the Jet Stream, and the focal point of the questions was the OTA’s and camp competitions (obviously Clemens and Pennington). But one of the more interesting questions came from bruceg who asks:
The Vegas over-under on the Jets is 7½ wins. What do you think?
Bruce: Right now, I’d say over – assuming they get a decent amount of production out of the QB position. This team definitely has eight-win talent. The O-line will be better, and the pass rush will be better, which means the secondary will be better. I still have concerns about QB and the lack of team speed on offense, but if they don’t win at least eight games, something is wrong.
First of all, if this doesn’t show an improvement in the offseason, I don’t know what does. The fact that Vegas is saying they’ll basically win more than last year is always a positive. However, can this team pull out seven wins? Well, with any team that has a QB competition as off-turning as the Jets do, its hard to generalize an average win total. I would say Clemens or Pennington, when both healthy, can each get the team about 6-8 wins. Anywhere in between is where the two are clearly separated. I could see Pennington probably getting that nod at 7-8, and I would put Clemens anywhere from 6 downward. I like Pennington better because he has more big game experience and, yes, he does have the lurking arm power problem but I still like his abilities even at his age.
As for the rest of the team and what they can do, it baffles me to think that this offense could win less then five games. With Coles healthy, and Cotchery coming off a year where he was the go-to guy, the offense has to produce at least 5 wins this year. We’ve replenished the running back depth, added huge bulk to our offensive line, and added two tight ends who will complement the already talented Chris Baker, who is still in waiting for this Friday. The defense, when you look at it, is pretty similar in that there were a ton of improvements. However, the secondary still doesn’t have a clear man to play opposite Revis and until that happens, this team will continue to get beat with the deep ball more times than not. I love Revis and Rhodes, as all of us do. But in reality, it’s not enough.
So when you look at all those parts that I just mentioned, I wouldn’t be surprised to find the Jets limping into the playoffs as a 10-6 team, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them blow it up again and 5-11 or another 4 win season. We’ll just have to see what happens. For right now, let’s see if Chris Baker reports this Friday!