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Ranking AFC East offenses by position: Where do NY Jets land?

Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, NFL, New York Jets, AFC East
Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets, Getty Images

How good is the New York Jets’ offense compared to the rest of the AFC East?

The New York Jets are starting to inspire more hype than they did earlier in the offseason. Rankings from one ESPN analyst, Pro Football Focus, and NFL.com all place them in the top 10 in the NFL. Still, considering that they play six divisional games each season, it’s worthwhile to look at their rankings compared to their AFC East rivals.

How does the Jets’ offense stack up with the Bills’, Dolphins’, and Patriots’ at each position?

Quarterback

  1. Josh Allen, Bills
  2. Aaron Rodgers, Jets
  3. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
  4. Jacoby Brissett, Patriots

Aaron Rodgers’ peak was higher than Josh Allen’s, but at this point in their respective careers, Allen is clearly the better quarterback. Although Tua Tagovailoa continues to rack up impressive counting stats, his disappearance in big games continues to lower his stock. Jacoby Brissett is a backup-plus, but he’s several tiers below. Drake Maye would also fall to No. 4 on this list.

Running back

  1. De’Von Achane/Raheem Mostert, Dolphins
  2. Breece Hall, Jets
  3. James Cook, Bills
  4. Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots

Breece Hall has the highest two-way ceiling of any running back in the division, but his 2023 performance was not quite up to that standard.

Heading into the 2024 season, objectively speaking, Miami’s backfield of De’Von Achane (7.9 yards per carry, 8 rushing TD) and Raheem Mostert (4.8 YPC, 18 rushing TD) is the most lethal in the division — and that’s not including rookie speedster Jaylen Wright. Hall takes the No. 2 spot with the potential to conclusively bypass the Miami duo.

James Cook is no slouch himself, averaging 4.7 YPC and catching 44 balls for 446 yards and 4 TDs. Rhamondre Stevenson is coming off a down year (4.0 YPC) and therefore takes the last spot.

Wide receiver

  1. Tyreek Hill/Jaylen Waddle/Odell Beckham Jr., Dolphins
  2. Garrett Wilson/Mike Williams/Malachi Corley, Jets
  3. Keon Coleman/Curtis Samuel/Khalil Shakir, Bills
  4. Kendrick Bourne/Ja’Lynn Polk/Demario Douglas, Patriots

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are the best receiving duo in the NFL, and Odell Beckham Jr. just comes along for the ride. Rookie Malik Washington could also make a strong appearance out of the slot.

Garrett Wilson and Mike Williams are the only other proven top-two receivers in the division, giving them the second slot on this list. It was hard to differentiate between the Patriots’ and Bills’ lackluster receiving units, and they honestly tie in my book.

Tight end

  1. Dalton Kincaid, Bills
  2. Tyler Conklin, Jets
  3. Jonnu Smith, Dolphins
  4. Hunter Henry, Patriots

Dalton Kincaid is the most promising tight end of the bunch, catching 73 balls for 673 yards and 2 touchdowns in his rookie season. His 81.1% catch rate was impressive.

After that, the other three tight ends are pretty tightly bunched. Tyler Conklin had his best statistical season in 2023 by counting numbers (61 catches for 622 yards) but was inefficient. Jonnu Smith caught 50 balls for 582 yards and 3 touchdowns in Atlanta’s run-first offense. Hunter Henry caught 42 balls for 419 yards and 6 scores. I just went by the raw numbers here.

Offensive tackle

  1. Tyron Smith/Morgan Moses, Jets
  2. Terron Armstead/Austin Jackson, Dolphins
  3. Dion Dawkins/Spencer Brown, Bills
  4. Chukwuma Okorafor/Mike Onwenu, Patriots

Pro Football Focus ranked Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses the fifth-best tackle duo in the NFL. Smith dominates even excellent pass rushers, while Moses is rock-solid in both phases of the game.

Terron Armstead is equally impressive when he’s on the field, but he’s had as many injury problems as Smith throughout his career. Austin Jackson earned an extension but was mostly mediocre in 2023.

Dion Dawkins is good but paid like a great tackle; Spencer Brown had his best season to date but was still marginally effective. Mike Onwenu had a good season at tackle, but Chukwuma Okorafor has been a below-average starter for his whole career.

Interior offensive line

  1. John Simpson/Joe Tippmann/Alijah Vera-Tucker, Jets
  2. Isaiah Wynn/Aaron Brewer/Robert Jones, Dolphins
  3. David Edwards/Connor McGovern/O’Cyrus Torrence, Bills
  4. Cole Strange/David Andrews/Sidy Sow, Patriots

There’s not a lot to choose from here, as most of the interior offensive lines in the division are pretty soft. The Patriots’ linemen were all above average as run-blockers and below average as pass-blockers in 2023. The Jets’ players were mostly the reverse, while the Bills have some sort of mix. It’s hard to trust the Dolphins’ pass-blocking statistics because they had such few true pass sets.

When you take an average of their Pro Football Focus pass-blocking and run-blocking rankings (percentile-wise), the Jets have the best pass-blocking average (65, with Alijah Vera-Tucker’s tackle stats, where he played more) and the second-best run-blocking average (56). The Dolphins have the third-best pass-blocking (54) and run-blocking (53). The Bills have the second-best pass-blocking (56) and the worst run-blocking (48). The Patriots have the worst pass-blocking by far (32.3) and the best run-blocking by far (78).

In this case, it really depends on what you consider the most important. Is it better to be average in both areas, be excellent as a pass-blocking unit but terrible as a run-blocking one, or vice versa? I think the Jets are pretty clearly No. 1 because they’re above average in both areas, but the Bills and Dolphins certainly both have an argument for second. Both teams also have a lineman that did not qualify in 2023 (as do the Jets).

I’m putting the Patriots last because their interior pass-blocking projects to be pretty poor. The Dolphins and Bills essentially tie for second.

Total rankings

Here were the rankings based on a pure average of the six position groups.

  1. Jets: 1.67
  2. Dolphins: 2.0
  3. Bills: 2.3
  4. Patriots: 4.0

When weighting the averages (4.0 QB, 2.5 WR, 2.0 OT, 1.0 everything else), here is how the rankings come out.

  1. Jets: 3.5
  2. Bills: 3.75
  3. Dolphins: 4.25
  4. Patriots: 11.5

When weighting for importance of the quarterback, the Bills pull ahead of the Dolphins, but not the Jets. Overall, the Jets have the most offensive talent in the division — but also, obviously the most question marks. It’s up to Rodgers, Williams, Vera-Tucker, and Smith to prove that they can stay healthy and still perform at a top-tier level.

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