Long time lurker. First time poster. As a Pats fan, I am sick and tired of all this Jets and Dolphins talk. Know why? Because it's irrational. It's fuelled by publicity and hype. It lacks any content. After the jump, you'll see why.
So, the Jets are Superbowl material, right? Well, without even mentioning the Pats or Dolphins, who do the Jets resemble? Let's look at a REAL superstar team "on paper" - the Vikings (hate 'em, but man for man, they're tough to beat). Better RB than the Jets. Better QB than the Jets. Hell, better receivers than the Jets (just. Holmes is 3/4 of a receiver, and Edwards has the dropsies. Give me Berrian and Harvin any day. As long as Harvin takes his painkillers.)
Defensively, look at that Vikings line. I love Kris Jenkins, but man, that Vikings line gives me nightmares. Absolute nightmares. After the Starcaps saga, you KNOW those guys are juiced. And it shows. Sure, the secondary's nothing special, but are the Jets?
Now that I've pointed out that even in the stupid "on paper" perspective, the Jets aren't that amazing (think Chargers 06, or Pats 07 for real all star teams), let's compare the Jets and the Pats.
QB vs. QB - not even a contest. Sanchez is stupid. That's a killer in this league. You can be inaccurate, slow, even noodle armed, but stupidity will get you beat.
RB vs. RB. How good is Shonn Greene? He's got the edge over Lo Mo. How good are the others? Is LT really better than Fred T or Sammy M at the respective stages in their career? LT has a lot of wear. A lot of wear. And the Jets don't really have a great 3rd down back (will LT do that?). They got rid of Washington - should I say, in the biggest betrayal since Judas and his 40 pieces.
OL vs. OL. They have all-pros at centre and left tackle. Well, almost. I give Brick the edge over Matt Light, and Mangold is in a class of his own. But the rest of that line is nothing amazing. It's very good in the run game, a bit swiss cheese in the pass pro game. Even stevens. I'd even give the Pats the edge IF Connolly and Vollmer continue to develop.
Receivers vs. receivers. No contest. Moss is better than Holmes, Welker is better than Edwards (despite being a slot guy.) Holmes is only play 3/4 of the games, and Edwards will drop a ball a game. usually a deep one. Which, considering the Jets are a play action team, will hurt a lot more than it would elsewhere. When it comes to receiver depth, Edelman and Tate give us a huge edge over the Jets. They CANNOT go 4 wide successfully. We can go I-Formation successfully if we have to (not as well, but better than they could go spread.)
DL vs. DL. Any 3-4 team that lines a 270lb guy like Gholston up at end (unless solely on passing downs) has some issues. Jenkins is great. Wilfork is just a little bit better (I'd sign Jenkins in a second, though.) The rest is pretty even.
LB vs. LB. Here is the only part of the team where I think the Jets have a big edge. Unfortunately.
CBs vs. CBs. No Revis. Thank GOD for that. Butler vs Cromartie - Cro-mo-baby-daddy has some of the best cover skills around. Butler doesn't. Yet. But Butler tackles better. McCourty vs Wilson = even. So, this is darned close to even, and I think our CB depth - Wilhite, Wheatley, Arrington - means we will better be able to cope with injuries and spread. If you're Rex Ryan, and you don't have Revis, and the Pats come out 4 wide with Gronk in the standard position, what sort of defence do you have? You HAVE to blitz and you PRAY TO GOD you get there in time because you do not have enough good CBs to cover long enough. Cromartie on Moss, Wilson on Welker, fine. But who else? Leonhard is great deep middle, but can he cover in tight spaces? Who's your nickel, your dime, your quarter?
Safeties vs. safeties. Edge Pats. Meriweather == LEonard, but the depth around him is where the Pats have the edge. They have a swiss army safety set: the smashing Chung, the pressing McGowan, the cornerbacking Meriweather, and the centrefielding Sanders. None elite, but magnificent when they complement each others.
So, guys, don't drink the Kool Aid. If paper teams won championships, we'd be anointing Brad CHildress right now. They don't. And even on paper, the Pats can hang with the Jets.