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They are like Kabuki Theatre. They are a bread and circus. They really don’t mean much or anything, but a lot of people care about them, for some strange reason.
I’m talking about Power Rankings. Myriad websites and newspapers rank NFL teams from 1-32, like this actually mean something. They do this periodically in the off-season and weekly during the season. They mean nothing, but people seem to eat them up.
They are pretty foolish during the season, but really foolish in the off-season when all teams are undefeated.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio started his countdown today with the Jets ranked 32.
He had several categories to explain his ranking.
“Biggest positive change: In an offseason without many of them for the Jets, the acquisition of cornerback Morris Claiborne stands out,” wrote Florio. “Banged up and arguably misused in the Cowboys Cover-2 base defense that came after Claiborne was drafted, the former top-10 pick could become a difference maker in the Jets defense as a free-agent arrival. Or maybe not. Either way, there isn’t much to choose from by way of potentially positive changes.”
Jamal Adams isn’t a potentially positive change? He looked great in the spring, not just as a safety, but as a leader. He looks like he could be special.
“Biggest negative change: Take your pick. The mass exodus of talented veteran players, from Nick Mangold to Ryan Clady to Darrelle Revis to Erin Henderson to Brandon Marshall to David Harris to Eric Decker, will make it much harder for the team to compete in 2017,” wrote Florio. “Then again, chances are the Jets wouldn’t have been very competitive with them. So why not tear it down, earn the first pick in the draft, and take solace in the notion that 2018 will bring them one year closer to not having to deal with Tom Brady?”
Clady, Revis and Henderson are big losses? Clady can’t stay healthy, Revis was awful and Henderson was sent packing early last season for some off-the-field matter.
As for Mangold, Harris and Decker, perhaps these loses are a little more significant, but not much. Mangold had a very serious ankle injury, that was still a problem when the season ended, and was scheduled to make a little over $9 million this year. He’s also 33 and his backup Wesley Johnson is a very good player. While Mangold is an all-time great Jet player, this move made sense. Harris doesn’t run very well and is a liability in space. The Jets can live without him. Demario Davis, making $5 million less than Harris was scheduled to make, isn’t a downgrade. Decker was scheduled to make $7.25 million and was coming off two significant surgeries. That is too much money for a 30-year-old receiver coming off two operations.
The most spot-on part of Florio’s analysis was when he pointed out, “Then again, chances are the Jets wouldn’t have been very competitive with them.”
Jets went 5-11 with these guys and they can go 5-11 without them.
I’m not saying the Jets will go 5-11. I have no idea if the Jets will be good or bad this season. I don’t have the ability to see the future like so many other reporters. All I’m saying is these players were on a pretty awful team last year and they all made a lot of money. None of these guys are transcendent talents at this point.
And Power Rankings are a waste of time. This isn’t college football were rankings matter.
July 10, 2017
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