The New York Jets were a mediocre eight win team in 2011, while the New England Patriots won 13 games in the regular season and went as far as the Super Bowl championship. For the Jets the 2012 off-season had to be focused on how to beat their biggest division rival.
In free agency the team signed LaRon Landry (SS), Yeremiah Bell (SS), Chaz Schilens (WR), Josh Brown (K), and a few other backup free agents. They traded away their fourth round pick for Tim Tebow. Later the Jets drafted Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill, Demario Davis, Terrance Ganaway, Josh Bush, Antonio Allen, and Jordan White.
Essentially the team didn’t properly address their problems at right tackle, free safety, strong safety, and running back. Rex Ryan hopes that a base 4-3 defense and Aaron Maybin‘s hard work in the off-season will significantly help the Jets pass rush.
On the other the New England Patriots biggest issues were on defense. They used their first three draft picks, all of which were in the first two rounds, on defense players and signed even more talent on offense. Based on all indications the Patriots are the favorites to win both games against the Jets.
New York usually does better early in the season but they rarely win in New England, the site of the first game, and worse in the second half of the season, the time during which the Patriots play better. Ryan will have to think of a very creative game plan in order to defeat the AFC’s best team from 2011.