The New York Jets made headlines today after releasing QB Mark Sanchez. They made even bigger news when just minutes later, they agreed to terms with former Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick on a new contract. Immediately following the news, Jets fans everywhere voiced their approval of the move on social media. Some even went as far as to say that they could compete with the New England Patriots in the AFC East in 2014. I am here to burst your bubble, Jets’ fans, and tell you that will not happen for many reasons.
First of all, Vick has had durability issues since coming into the league, especially in the last few years. In fact, throughout his career, Vick has only had one season in which he played all 16 games. That season came in 2006 with the Atlanta Falcons. If Vick does not play all 16 games, and assuming Tom Brady stays healthy for all 16, I don’t believe it is a stretch to say that Brady will win more games than and outperform Geno Smith in 2014.
Besides the injury factor, there are issues with Vick as a quarterback as well. While he can make plays with his legs that few other quarterbacks can even dream of making, his ability as a passer leaves a lot to be desired. To further illustrate this point, one would only have to look at his career stats.
In 11 seasons as an NFL quarterback, Vick has only completed 60 percent of his passes one time in his career, in 2010 with the Eagles. The point being, if you take away his legs, Vick is a below-average pocket passer. Bill Belichick surely recognizes this and will do his best to take away that part of his game in head-to-head matchups.
Another thing to keep in mind is the lack of offensive and defensive weapons around Vick. The Jets don’t exactly have the cream of the crop to work with anymore on either side of the ball. A receiving core of Eric Decker, David Nelson, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and others should not instill fear in the hearts of the Patriots.
Defensively, they are equally as unimpressive. Guys like Dee Milliner and Quinton Coples have yet to live up to their high draft status. Surely they will not be able to fluster Brady and his overhauled receiving core, which is sure to feature better names than it did a year ago.
Add to that the fact that New England has added substantial pieces on defense such as Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, and are likely not done on that side of the ball, and it is clear that the Patriots have a huge advantage over the Jets. It would be a miracle if the Jets’ average receivers could gain any consistent separation against the Patriots’ stacked secondary especially.
Those who think the Jets will unseat the Patriots in the AFC East in 2014 will be in for a rude awakening when the season ends.