Did everybody have a nice bye week? The Jets sure did, just look at the results across the AFC since the last time they’ve played a game. The Dolphins brought the circus to town and are in the middle of a ridiculous hazing scandal which effectively ruined their season, the Titans lost to the winless Jaguars (and then again last night), and the Bills lost in Pittsburgh. And to add to that, the Jets are adding Kellen Winslow, Santonio Holmes, and some guy named Ed Reed to the roster this week. So why does this week’s game in Buffalo scare the hell out of me? Let’s do some buying and selling…
BUY: Ed Reed Signing – Ok, I need to start with this Ed Reed signing. I’ve seen way too many “experts” out there totally crapping on this move and I just don’t get it. Is Ed Reed the same player he was five years ago? No, of course, not, but nobody is expecting him to be. The fact of the matter is that Rex Ryan thinks this player can come in and help his defense and that’s good enough for me. What has Rex Ryan done during his tenure as HC of the NYJ (as Belichick would say) to make you think you know more than him when it comes to his defense? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Here are some other complaints I’ve heard and why they’re stupid:
“They shouldn’t spend the money on him” – Umm, the Jets gave him a prorated veteran’s minimum salary of $940,000. That means he’s only owed 7/16 of that amount since they only have 7 games left to play, and none of it is guaranteed. So each week Ed Reed is a Jet in 2013, he’s going to make less than $60,000. If he’s on the team throughout the rest of the season that’s less than $500,000. This is silly.“He’s going to take playing time away from young players” – You mean the young players who were downright thrilled at the prospect of playing with the Hall of Famer like Reed? You mean Josh Bush who told Reed he’s going to shadow him every day to learn from him? Or maybe Jaiquawn Jarrett who said the signing was tremendous and would have a positive impact on all the other safeties? Give me a break. Reed isn’t going to play every snap of every game, he’s going to be put in spots to succeed, and the bottom line is that he brings more to the defense than a guy like Jarrett or Bush do at this point in their careers. Opposing offenses still have to account for a declined Reed. Do you think they’re too worried about Jarrett out there? Me neither.
“It shows Rex Ryan is really in charge, and that’s a bad thing!” – First of all, if Rex has been in charge all year, then I think he deserves credit for doing a great job bringing in players on the fly. However, I don’t think that’s the case, and this was simply GM John Idzik throwing Rex Ryan a bone and letting him have a player he believes can help his defense. Idzik isn’t going to give Rex a contract extension in the middle of the season, but what he can do is let Rex have a player that he really wants as something of a reward for doing a great job this season. Signing a Hall of Fame player in the middle of the season to a minimum contract with no commitments doesn’t tell you ANYTHING about the dynamic between Rex and Idzik. Nothing has changed from one week ago.
And on that note, let’s move on to other aspects of the New York Jets…
BUY: Jets Defensive Line vs Bills OL – Oh my. This can get ugly up front, as a rested Jets defensive line (the best 4 players on this Jets roster according to my roster rankings last week), after a week of Rex Ryan coming up with special wrinkles and new looks for the Bills to look at gets to face this average-at-best Bills offensive line protecting a banged up rookie quarterback. Speaking of Rex Ryan…BUY: Rex Ryan vs. Rookie QB – Rex has a great history against rookie quarterbacks, and this week he gets the added benefit of having two weeks to prepare for him. I would expect a downright dominant defensive performance this week as Rex is going to throw the kitchen sink at poor EJ Manuel and this Bills offense that will be without it’s two top wide receivers due to injury. And if you don’t think Rex is going to try and put a little bit extra into this game to beat up on his former protege, Mike Pettine, then you’re crazy.
BUY: Chris Ivory – The last time the Jets faced the Bills, Bilal Powell went wild on them. The Bills defense is solid, but they have some major issues against the run and a rested Chris Ivory should get the ball 25 times this week and do some major damage. With the Eagles, Marty Mornhinweg’s offenses always came out and played extremely well after bye weeks and I would expect them to do the same this week, albeit in a bit of a restricted fashion. I think the coaching staff knows that the key to winning this game is to keep it simple on offense, run the ball, and give Geno some easy throws to make while letting the defense do the heavy lifting. That leads me to my next point..
SELL: The Passing Game – This is not an indictment on them going forward or anything like that, but for this week, I think the passing game is going to be extremely limited. Yes, Holmes and Winslow are going to be back, but I think ultimately that will just mean the Jets have more opportunities to run because the Bills will have to respect those guys in a way that they don’t have to respect the hodge podge group of targets the Jets have been throwing out there the past few weeks. If the threat of passing it there, it should hopefully lead to more big running opportunities for Ivory.
BUY: Jets Win – Under normal circumstances, I would think this is a horrible spot for the Jets and a major trap game. You know the drill with this franchise: Whenever the fans get real excited about the team, they find a way to punch us in the stomachs and lose in a horrible fashion. But, since they’re coming off the bye and with the way this defensive line is playing, I just don’t see it happening. Not this week. Not to these Bills. The Jets playoff run starts this week, 23-10.