New York Jets
Geno Smith went through a lot of growing pains as QB his rookie year. He showed a flash here in there but was mostly ineffective, throwing 12 tds and 21 picks. It wasn’t all his fault his most productive receivers were Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson. (how many of you have never even heard of them?) the addition of Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford is a much needed improvement in that area, but can Smith get it to them? Doubt it.
Chris Johnson and Michael Vick were huge free agents to this lackluster offense. Expect Vick to take over the starting QB role at some point. Vick had the fastest 40 time ever for a QB at the NFL combine, and Johnson had the best of ANY player at the combine in its history. Sure, neither is in their prime anymore, but that is some blazing speed in the backfield. Combine with the bruising power of Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory and you have a solid offense.
Love him or hate him Rex Ryan is a defensive mastermind. Not sure which is more impressive; Taking his team to two straight AFC Championship games with Mark Sanchez as his QB( in Sanchez’s first two years in the league); or his stint as D coordinator for the Ravens in 2000, considered one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. That D was so good they won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer. The Jets, on the other hand, had a defense that was not up too snuff last year, except for their crushing run defense (3rd best). Defensive rookie of the year Sheldon Richardson was a huge reason why.
Rex’s D will bounce back and their offense is vastly improved. This is my surprise team this year. I expect them to make it to the playoffs, and possibly dethrone the Patriots as the division winner.