New York Jets: 5 Reasons They Could Miss Postseason

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Toughest Division In NFL?

Feb 2, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (left) and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the Super Bowl XLIX-Winning Head Coach and MVP Press Conference at Media Center-Press Conference Room B. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While the Jets have obviously improved on paper this offseason, the question still remains; is it enough to move up in their division? Not only do they have to deal with Tom Brady and the defending champion New England Patriots, the Jets also have to face off with the improved Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, who now have ex-Jets coach Rex Ryan at the helm.

When comparing the teams, it is fair to say that the Jets have at best the third quarterback situation of the group. Brady and Ryan Tannehill are clear-cut one-two in the division, while the Jets grouping of Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick may produce more confidence than the one the Bills have with E.J. Manuel, Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor.

Even with that, the Jets could be looked at as the weakest of the four teams. Last season they were easily swept by the Bills, fought hard but came up short against the Patriots, and beat the Dolphins in a meaningless Week 17 matchup, as they always seem to do, for their only divisional win of the season.

Also, like the Jets, the Bills and Dolphins improved this offseason. The Bills, already with one of the best defenses in the NFL, decided to trade recovering linebacker Kiko Alonso to the Philadelphia Eagles for All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy. McCoy will be the centerpiece of the Bills offense that will attempt to cover up for inefficiencies at quarterback. But, McCoy will be joining a strong cast of playmakers that includes last season’s first round pick Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and recently signed tight end Charles Clay.

The Dolphins also made arguably the biggest splash in the offseason, signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. They didn’t stop there, providing the improving Tannehill with even more weapons, trading for Kenny Stills, signing Jordan Cameron and drafting DeVante Parker and Jay Ajayi.

All of the teams in the AFC East outside of the Patriots looked to have improved, but as long as the Patriots have Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach they will be dangerous. With how much ground the Jets had to make up, going 4-12 last season while everyone else in the division went 8-8 or better, it could be another season or two before they can truly take that next leap to the postseason, jumping past members of their own division.

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