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Why the Jets Could be the Biggest NFL Surprise

A great defense can beat the best offense.

The average NFL fan looks at the Jets and sees a top defense, and an incompetent Geno Smith at quarterback. Despite a really good offseason, the Jets were still the laughing stock of the league last year so most people would probably pick the Jets to finish with seven or eight wins. But Jason La Confora, an NFL insider for CBS, says the Jets could be the league’s biggest surprise.

“There are way more pass-catching options now, and the rebuilt secondary should make that defense stout again, so if (Geno) Smith can manage games and protect the football this might be one of the more surprising teams in the league,” La Confora said.

The Jets clearly have more of a passing threat this season after signing wide receiver, Brandon Marshall. But La Confora thinks the running game could be a huge factor for the Jets as they signed Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy to go along with Chris Ivory. All three are threats out of the backfield.

“I think there’s a reason they have so many commodities in that backfield. So many guys who while you don’t look at anyone and maybe say he’s a franchise back, collectively I think you have a lot of guys there who can tote the rock and that pie chart may be a lot of carries divided up a bunch of different ways.”

A solid running game is important for this team because it will take pressure off of Geno Smith. He will not have to throw for 200 yards per game to give the Jets a chance to win. He just has to be average, not turn the ball over, and let the run game do a lot of the work.

But the offense doesn’t even have to be fantastic thanks to the defense. “It has all the makings of a Top 5 defense,” La Canfora said. “You can say where is there a 15, 17 sack guy, but I think if you look at Todd Bowles’ history – he can kind of create those guys or again the whole is kind of greater than the sum of its parts. People say there are too many defensive linemen. He’ll find a way to get those four guys on the field at the same time. Somebody could be standing up, you could have a Mo Wilkerson doing some of the stuff Adalius Thomas used to do in Baltimore.”

The Jets defensive line along with their new and improved secondary will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to winning games. And if there is anything we learned from Super Bowl XLVIII, it is that a great defense can beat the best offense; and humiliate them.

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