With the Jets and Texans wrapping up the first week of the preseason, it’s time to make some observations. Mind you, it is still the first week, so teams are still getting in the groove of things.
A common thought seems to be that the preseason is a waste. It’s boring etc etc, but this is the time when people are fighting for jobs, and it’s exciting to see that. This gives you a sense of what’s going to happening if injuries take place. One can never forget how much of a team sport football really is, and backups are a part of that. Football, being the physical sport it is, is always full of injuries. With that in mind, backups quite often get a chance to be in at least a few games.
I’m going to really focus on one set of teams here since it is still too early to say too much. I don’t think it’s too early to say though, that the Patriots and Jets are the two top contenders for AFC. I don’t feel the Steelers have done enough in Free Agency to really make a big impact. The Pats and Jets were very clearly in an arms race, and after week 1, I think it’s safe to say the Pats won. Not only do the Patriots still have Brian Hoyer as their backup QB, they Ryan have Mallett as 3rd string. Both performed extremely well in their opener against the Jags. The same can’t be said for Jets draft pick Greg McElroy. He wasn’t awful, but he was definitely inconsistent. McElory definitely isn’t the Jets’ only other QB option, but the Jets kept him from when he took over for Sanchez, until the end of the game.
With three more games left in the preseason, there definitely is time for the other 2 QB’s to come in and try some snaps, and this could also be a test to see if McElroy can handle the NFL. At this point in time though, I don’t think he’s ready.
Looking at the team as a whole, despite the Patriots having a few more than small “mishaps” they pulled together, and some incredible talent was displayed. The Jets had moments of excitement, especially on defense with a huge interception. Problem is, as a whole they were still inconsistent, and they lost.
Again, this is a team game, and if the backups are unable to fill in, then the team is sunk. Comparing the two, I feel New England has bolstered their already strong starting team, and is taking care of their backups as well. If the Jets really want to stand a chance this year, they’ve got a long way to go.
Some other side notes. After their first win, I’m saying Detroit will finally have their break through year. I’ve heard Matt Stafford being compared to some big time QB’s. If you ask me, I don’t know if I’d say he’ll ever be on the levels of Brady, Marino, Montana, etc. I think as a team though, I think they’ll do well. Better than the Falcons, Eagles, or GB? Probably not, but I think they’ll do well.
Back to AFC East talk, it might be too early to say, and quite a bold prediction- but I think in terms of rankings it’s going to be more like:
Patriots, Jets, Bills, Dolphins. Despite picking up Reggie Bush, I don’t have any faith in Chad Henne, or much else of the team.
I’m sure many things will change in the next coming weeks, watch for updates as they do!